Sunday, January 06, 2013

Two Girls, Two Girls, Escape and Fantasy

I've been a bit on the sickly side the last couple of days (who hasn't?!) and have spent an unusual amount of hours lolling on the sofa in front of the TV. Whatever did sick people do for entertainment before TV? Friday's viewing was pretty much spent on HGTV (all those industrious people!) but I did get in a third viewing of The Kids Are All Rght.
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 This 2010 movie stars Annette Benning and Julianne Moore as a married lesbian couple and Mark Ruffalo who was the donor for one of their children. The movie is about how the kids discover Mark is the dad of one of them and the ensuing struggle to form new relationships with him by the members of this (until now) peacefully co-existing family. This is the third time I've watched this movie and that's unusual for me because I don't usually watch a movie more than once, twice at the most. It's the kind of movie I like best which is looking into the lives of regular, normal (and sometimes not so normal) people who live really interesting, great lives without being "Look At Me, I Am Great" types of people. Ya know? Anyway, I recommend this movie if you haven't already seen it unless you're anti-gay marriage in which I case I strongly recommend it because it's obvious you don't have any gay or lesbian couples as friends and you need a little insight. (Hey! They're just like us!) Saturday I watched three movies back to back. I haven't done that in ages and let me say it reinforced my opinion that the pause button is the best invention ever for TV viewing. You can take bathroom breaks (many,many bathroom breaks) and make fridge raids (running out of Gatorade!) without missing a minute. Best. Thing. Ever.

 I'm getting a free preview of the Sundance channel right now and it's reminding me of how much I loved this channel when I had it. The first movie I watched was Ghost World which came out in 2001 and stars Thora Birch and Scarlett Johannsson. As the Sundance description says, "The lives of best friends (Thora Birch, Scarlett Johansson) diverge after high-school graduation and their encounter with a pathetic loner (Steve Buscemi)."  These two girls do a little aimless wandering after high school graduation, sarcastically dissing to each other almost everyone they encounter and trying hard to be impassively cool while trying to convince themselves they hate cool people. Yeah, typical high schoolers. They meet the "pathetic loner" played by Steve Buscemi and one of the girls becomes fascinated by him, befriends him and it changes the nature of the attached-by-the-hip status of the two girls' relationship. I was a huge Steve Buscemi fan way before he hit it big on Boardwalk Empire and he is great in this movie as the "pathetic loner" without making it an expected parody of that character. This is a quirkey little movie, again of the genre that I like best; light and entertaining and a bit on the daffy side. I recommend it.

rescue_dawn_01 Rescue Dawn with Christian Bale and Steve Zahn was my next selection. This movie just blew me away. It's the true story of Deter Dengler, a U.S. fighter pilot played by Bale,  who was a prisoner of war in Laos during the Vietnam War and his harrowing escape from the camp. Probably half of the movie is about his life in the camp with five other prisoners, their daily life and how they planned the escape. The rest relates his and Gene Debruin's (played by Zahn) trek through the mountainous and vegetation-choked jungle during the escape to freedom. It's an awe-inspiring true tale that will keep you glued to the TV to the end. Great performances throughout, especially by Zahn, in my opinion. I only covered my eyes twice during the movie and it wasn't because of the relatively little violence, it was food related. I guess we'll do what we have to do to survive. I found this site, which I'm still reading and watching,while looking for more info about Dengler's story online and it takes issue with the telling of his story. So there's that. If you like true life stories or survival stories, you must watch this one.

MV5BMTYxMjA5NDMzNV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwOTk2Mjk3NA@@._V1._SX148_CR0,0,148,200_ Finally, I watched Thor. Yep. I am not a fan of the fantasy genre but I kinda got sucked into this one simply by the gorgeous Chris Hemsworth. There were other people in the movie but, frankly, who cares? The story is about how Thor is cast from his home in Asgard, one of the nine realms of the universe, and lands on good old pedestrian Earth and how he saves them all from the wrath of his brother, Loki. It's pure fantasy escapism and I feel a bit sheepish that I watched and even, to a certain extent, enjoyed it. Look, I read the entire Tolkien series when I was younger and love them all but I've only seen bits of the first of the trilogy as a movie. That should tell you how little I like the fantasy genre. If you like fantasy you'll probably like this but what do I know? As a side note I'll say I also watched The Hunger Games a few days ago and, suprisingly, really liked it. Today is another day and a rainy one, at that. I'm feeling better but I suspect I'll still get in another movie before day's end. Have you seen any good ones lately?

 (Images via IMDb and Google Images.)
Originally posted on NOLAFemmes.com

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