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Sunday, April 18, 2010

Sunday double-bill movie reviews...spolier alert!

I love graffiti. Mostly bathroom wall graffiti. I usually read all the messages written in the loo's thinking I will find some profound message.  Nine times out of ten I do not, but occasionally there is something 'snapshot'  worthy.

I hate WAR. I try to steer clear of thinking about war (let alone sharing my thoughts in writing) because it depresses the hell outta me and I can't stand the backlash of reasoning from the folks that support the war.

I know (all to well) why war has to happen but I am at the stage now where I think that people are really starting to capitalize on it and that makes me MAD and very sad. The reason that I hate war so much is because I cannot stand the loss of life. I feel that it has gone on long enough. Being a conversationalist I would (dreamily) love to think that we have come to the stage where we could make serious head way if we just sat down over a nice pint and talked it out. 

With exams looming this week I have tried just about everything to avoid studying at all costs. I have filled my time nicely watching as many movies as possible to keep my brain numbed. This is my way of procrastinating. I am very good at this.

I will warn you there are spoilers in this blog relating to The Hurt Locker and Dear John. So, if you want to see either of them, read no further and make up your own mind about the movies.

Let's open up the can of worms by dissecting the well awarded 'The Hurt Locker'. I know this won six Oscars, and it was directed by James Cameron's ex wife Kathryn Bigelow, and that must make it a really fantastic movie. Right. Well, I guess that all depends on what you are looking for.

Jeremy Renner played a hot shot soldier that liked to dress up in a safe-suit and disarm bombs. He had successfully disarmed 800+ bombs at the early stages of his career and it seemed that he could not live without the rush and excitement that brought him.

The images of war are all to real in this flick and it just wore me down. I wanted to see it because of all the awards it had received. It was supposed to be an excellent example of screenplay 'writing'. 

Soldier disarms bomb. Soldier disarms next bomb. Soldier does not follow protocol. Soldier disarms next bomb. Soldier does not do what he is told thereby inducing conflict into story. Soldier keeps disarming bombs. Yes, there was suspense in the sense that each time he suited up to disarm the bombs you kind of thought even with that protective gear on, his head might get blown off. Sadly, he continued right to the bitter end of the movie and for all we know he is still out there disarming bombs.

There was a few fleeting minutes of hope in the movie. The horrific psychological side effects war has on soldiers is clearly portrayed. Renner's character returned home for a few minutes of the movie and it showed him living normally with his wife and baby. But, disastrously, even he figured out pretty darn fast that this was not the life for him. Unless he was within a few seconds of possibly loosing his life every day, then life at home was just not thrilling enough for him. 

Funny, but my husband has never felt that way - he walks around our place pushing my buttons every day waiting for me to go off!

That said and I am sure you can gather from my tone, I did not care for the movie at all. I am glad that they did not paint the 'American soldiers are evil drunk idiots' picture as quite a few movies have done in the past. AND on a side note here I will say that I have the world of respect for all those soldiers out there, I just question the judgement of the parents that not only allow but encourage their barely-legal children to enlist and go fight the 'war on terror' whilst they stay at home. 

The Hurt Locker did not get the thumbs up from me.

Moving on to my next movie selection and still sticking to the war hero theme I bring you 'Dear John'. 

Cuddling up on the couch with my hubby I was  looking forward to this one because one of the lead actors is a favourite of mine. Amanda Seyfried is most known for her work on the uber-popular and much loved Showtime series Big Love. Long-time addicts of that show, both the Chef and I were interested in seeing how Seyfried played out on the big screen. 

She is young, the script was ok. She has time to grow into a bigger and better role. The story (even the cover of the movie) might lead you to think that this is a love story. And it kind of is, but that is the secondary story line. It is a classic (kind of dull) boy meets girl in the first scene, boy falls in love with girl. Boy goes back to war. Twin Towers are blown to smithereens and boy re-enlists for a lifetime. Girl cries. They pledge undying love for each other. Boy goes back to fight the war. Girl dumps him and marries someone else and sends him a 'Dear John' to fill him in on her exciting news. 

Given the fact that Channing Tatum was shirtless for the first few minutes of the movie might have had something to do with the fact that I stayed tuned in. AND what actually might have saved the show entirely was the fact that he and Seyfried did have an amazing on-screen chemistry. You cannot fake that. It was so well done I would not be surprised to see them hand-in-hand in real life.

Bob Newhart Richard Jenkins played the role of the soldiers Dad in the movie. Aside from the fact that we kept thinking he was Bob Newhart the entire way through the movie, he did a fantastic job in his role. The main story is actually about a very strained father-son relationship. If you can step back from the reality of relationships and war and all the other mush in the movie it is actually very touching. I think that if they had pushed this story line just a few inches further we could have seen the whole movie develop in a way only John McGahern could have hoped for. Sensational.

Seeing as I have a boy to raise and a husband that never had a relationship with his own father, it kept me awake last night thinking about how important it is to encourage my little man to 'man-up' and hug his Daddy. Of course he does this every day now (at the age of 5) but to make sure later in life, when the teenage years separate us from our children, that the occasional 'I love you pops' slips into the conversation every now and then. I know, y'all are rolling yer eyes having to endure my 'Make Love Not War' mantra so I will put ye out of your misery and wrap things up now.

In order to 'let-go' so I can get back to procrastinating over all the studying I need to do for my exams, I thought I would share this (above) little bathroom-wall graffiti with you. Aside from the fact that it is misspelled and the accents are missing, the literal translation from this very famous Irish phrase means 'Our day will come'. 

Those are all the WiseWords I have for today,



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