Been recovering from a cold bug that’s been plaguing me for a couple of weeks, so I haven’t posted lately. This weekend was spent at Spyhouse, IKEA, meetings, friends’ houses, and on the couch – watching movies.
I love watching a good movie, and I’m disappointed if a movie doesn’t turn out well – though to be fair, sometimes I deem a movie as having not turned out well because I wasn’t in the mood to watch it in the first place. Another common death-sentance is if somebody, or especially if multiple people, tell me that a film is good. When that happens I wind up hyping the movie in my head, creating these grand expectations that no movie could ever fulfill – save Steel Magnolias.
I haven’t found much time to watch many movies as of late, so I crammed in five over three days this weekend.
Friday night, end of stressful week at work, looking to kick back and relax – what’s better than a movie about superheros, one of which has special powers enabling him to turn into a ball of fire, which subsequently burns all of his clothes off and leaves his greek-god-like physique exposed for more than half of the movie? Chris Evans in Fantastic Four is the new cure for the modern nervous breakdown. But aside from the obvious delight of the gorgeous, aforementioned 24 year old, the film was your standard fare “comic book becomes Hollywood blockbuster” that we’ve seen an awful lot of lately. Now if only the rest of the producers making these films will nod their head to these guys for making the superheros both attrictive AND naked.
Saturday afternoon brought The Aviator, or Leonardo DiCaprio as he’s better known, to my living room. I’d not heard that this was a great film, nor that it was a bad film, more that it was a mediocre, long film. While I think DiCaprio is a great actor, I’ve never thought he was the heartthrob People magazine makes him out to be. I think his portrayal of Howard Hughes was fantastic – the rawness of the mental breakdown was as real as it gets. To borrow the line all of the Titanic trailers ended with, he really shows how Hughes was the king of the world. And Cate Blanchett as Katharine Hepburn was simply marvelous. Every time I see this woman in a film I find myself attracted to her. I can’t quite put my finger on it – she’s an older woman without a penis … I can only pray my attraction doesn’t reside in the physical sense. Aside from the artfulness of the film, the history lesson included was quite interesting as well – the characters seemed to me as if they were the Ratpack before the Ratpack. Interesting circles Mr. Hughes ran in – very interesting.
I wasn’t expecting much from Hide and Seek with Robert De Niro and Dakota Fanning. Sure, De Niro can usually be counted on for at a minimum, a good show, but Ronin and Meet the Fockers weren’t exactly Oscar-worthy. Dakota Fanning has become so idolized that I view her as the female MacCauley Culkin of the new millennium. But after watching it, I was happy I had. I was held in suspense. The story was certainly believable, and the film ended with a nifty way to wrap up the story. Though I was disappointed that you were able to figure out how the story would end about 5 minutes prior to the story unfolding, they did it in a fun way that let you continue shitting your pants while you waited for the credits to roll.
Sunday afternoon I simultaneously popped in Swimming Upstream, and popped up a … nevermind, that’s too awful to share. While I won’t deny that the prospect of watching hot Olympic swimmers in Speedos for two hours probably played a part in me picking this film from the shelves, I’m glad I did. Sometimes sexual attraction does result in things other than sin! I hadn’t heard of the film prior to seeing in the video rental store (I know, I know – I haven’t yet jumped on the Netflix bandwagon yet). It’s based on the true story of an Australian Olympic swimmer and how he grew up training with his brother under the coaching of their alcoholic, volatile, and highly abusive father. The main character grows up in the shadow of his brother, who holds favorites with pops. The ending had me all choked up – I was pleasantly surprised by this previously unheard of flic.
Not since Philadelphia have I ever felt so much appreciation for what our gay forefathers had to experience in order to allow me to live my life more free of prejudice and ignorance than they were allowed. It’s unimaginable to me to know what it must have been like in the 80s to have half of your friends die and watch helplessly as President Regan wouldn’t even mention the word “AIDS” until 7 years into the epidemic and over 100,000 people had died of it. Society was turning it’s cheek on gay men, saying that we deserved HIV. Yet Ray Cohn, arguably one of the most bigoted and powerful men of his time, died of the very thing that he spit on. Angels in America shows different facets of gay life and how AIDS affected not only those who were infected, but the people whom they loved and loved them. I can only hope that one day this story might find itself on high school syllabus sheets in rural Kansas.
In other news – I seem to have acquired a pair of coffee shop stalkers. Be warned – I’ll get you two, and your little dog too!