Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Martian bites

Blogging has been a little light recently, due to an inordinate amount of time devoted to turning in my letter of resignation and writing my next job's business plan. It's almost enough work to make me happy with a $35K a year teacher salary - almost.

OK, to be honest, I've had a few other things absorbing my time as well. Work has been heavy with standardized testing, so I didn't have time to pop in a "Bill Nye" video while ignoring my duties for the blog's sake. And at home, I've either had Valentine's Day to prepare for, or a birthday to dread, or ignoring both to keep flying through DVDs of "The Wire," which I've recently become hooked on.

For a minute at a time, I've started various blog posts, only to lose interest or energy well before they were done. Instead of sifting through a flurry have half-thought out posts, though, I figured you would benefit from only a single half-thought out one. Bullet points, baby.

  • And now, ladies and gentlemen, it's time to play our favorite game: "IS! THIS! RACIST!?!" I posed this question on a movie-related blog a few days ago, and other commentators avoided it like a screening of Hannibal Rising. I live in a very diverse section of Atlanta - white, black, Hispanic, Indian and Asian neighborhoods are all nearby. I have a lesbian couple living on one side of me, a black family on the other, and a mixed race white/Brazilian family across the street. We're a happy little rainbow. That said, I regularly drive 20 minutes out of my way to go see a movie. Yes, I go to a white part of town. This has nothing to do with any inherent negative feelings toward other races. This has everything to do with generalizations that are actually true: predominately black audiences will have more loud talking and cell phones ringing; predominately Hispanic audiences will have more babies crying. And I have no bigger pet peeve than theater crowd noise. I've been to over 1,000 movies in my lifetime, and these observations have been proven time and time again. So I ask you, fine readers: Is this racist?
  • Although my predictions were more off-the-mark than usual, I am happy with The Departed being named Best Picture. It's the first Best Picture in awhile I can look at and say, "Man, that was a damn good movie." However, the Academy deserves a cockpunch (and whatever you give women) for not handing Children of Men the award for Best Cinematography. Fine, I've gotten over its absence in the top categories, but even the film's detractors - all two of them not afflicted with at least mild retardation - recognize Emmanuel Lubezki's game-changing work. If you're planning on teaching a film class in 2057, go ahead and put Children of Men on the syllabus.
  • Last week, I watched three films courtesy of Netflix: For Your Consideration, Flags of Our Fathers and Marie Antoinette. Compared to the other two, Sofia Coppola's much-derided Antoinette is an instant classic. However, that's faint praise considering how goddamned boring the first two were. Flags isn't bad, per se - it has some astounding visuals, and decent (if overly familiar) war imagery. It's just capital-D dull, though, which I guess you can expect from a film essentially about a war bonds tour headlined by look-up-whitebread-in-the-dictionary Ryan Phillippe and Jesse Bradford. That could be called, however, especially since the script came from Paul "The Facts of Life" Haggis. It's For Your Consideration that was a shock. Christopher Guest and his usual improvisational cronies took their first stab at a non-mockumentary, and the result was near laughless. It's not just a slight misstep, as some (though not me) feel A Mighty Wind was; it's a neck-breaker.
  • Despite being born in February, it is probably my least favorite month. Cold weather, "Sportscenter" highlights consisting of basketball and hockey, and - well, those two are enough. Just a dreadful time. So it's with a great relief I see March on the calendar for tomorrow. March marks the beginning of the great spring traditions, most of which involve one of my favorite pasttimes: drinking outside on a warm day. St. Patrick's Day, Derby Day, the NFL draft, the Atlanta Steeplechase, Cinqo de Mayo, the new baseball season, the new fantasy baseball season, and the once-hourly countdown to the new Die Hard movie. Fun had by all.
  • Two days until the best non-Die Hard movie of 2007 arrives.
  • In 24 hours, I will be finished with my business plan. Then I will sleep.


Anonymous said...

rac·ism /ˈreɪsɪzəm/ Pronunciation Key - Show Spelled Pronunciation[rey-siz-uhm] Pronunciation Key - Show IPA Pronunciation
–noun 1. a belief or doctrine that inherent differences among the various human races determine cultural or individual achievement, usually involving the idea that one's own race is superior and has the right to rule others.
2. a policy, system of government, etc., based upon or fostering such a doctrine; discrimination.
3. hatred or intolerance of another race or other races.

No you are not racist. just observant.

gerry said...

Hey! first and foremost congrats for your new job and yes your blog is such a relief after all the blogs I came across coz it's simple yet puts the point forward. I find you could be a full time movie critic. Nods in agreement to the fact that "Departed" is a great movie and I loved watching it. Don't know about Marie Antoniette, need to catch it when I find time from work and all things that keeps me tied down. Anyways, do drop by my blog too coz am sure you are not gonna repent your visit.

Sarah said...

After years of working second shift and going to noon showings attended by myself and maybe two other people, I hate going to movies with any kind of audience. I still like the theater experience, I just don't want to share it with the junior-high and geriatric set.

Anonymous said...

my husband and i swore off theaters last summer. race has never played into it for me, but age has. like sarah said above, i can't stand the teenager/junior high/unsupervised child set. talk about cell phones and talking and a general lack of respect for other patrons!

plus, the prices are too high because most movies are bad--too heavy on sfx and not enough plot, bad acting, ridiculous premises. no thank you. i prefer to watch at home, with my surround sound, eating my popcorn, and with the ability to pause.