Pandora – Put a Lid On It…

 

Pandora's Box - Arthur Rackham
Pandora's Box - Arthur Rackham

We watched “Tropic Thunder” last night. We watched it to the end with our jaws hanging down to our navels. This was a conscious decision, because we wanted to make sure we knew with certainty how far we have come as a society from any limits of good taste. My advice: do not watch this movie. Just as Knocked Uprocked me as an example of the decline on our collective morality, this movie confirms my belief that Hollywood should be ashamed of itself. While the great movie moguls of the early 20th century decided to produce pro-America films which helped create our sense of national pride during WWII, Hollywood is now devoted to ripping down any shred of dignity or right and wrong the old boys created.

 

While “Knocked Up” made a joke out of casual sex and out of wedlock birth, this film denigrates human dignity further under the guise of making fun of Hollywood. I suppose that makes it ‘okay’. Certainly, this notion of the open mindedness of Hollywood; letting a filmmaker create ‘satire’ which denigrates the very industry he ‘works’ in, seems to be the very epitome of open minded liberality. But that just magnifies the problem. When will too much be too much, no matter how tongue in cheek?

Consider me a former fan of Ben Stiller. I will never watch “Meet the Parents” again on HBO or DVD in protest. The Robert Altman movie, The Player”, did a much more subtle job of showing what all of us on the outside with our noses pressed to glass already suspect: Hollywood is a big hunk of rotting meat stinking up our sense of self worth and dignity. They have turned everything topsy turvy.

But Tropic Thunder is a bridge too far, to use a war metaphor for this movie about a war movie. Gratuitous violence and gore is something to be not only tolerated, but embraced, hee hee. With “Knocked Up” it was casual, hook up sex and okie dokie, cutesie wootsie, out of wedlock birth that was in your face, ‘I dare you to even as much as blink your disdain’. As a result, single women having eights babies paid for with disability payments with no means of visible support is taken matter of factly.Quick! Get Ann Curry in there to interview the Angelina Jolie look alike! In “Knocked Up,” pornography is a right. Heck, the future deputy Attorney general of the US defended pornographers. No biggy.

I write this as one baying at the moon. The train has left the station, the genie is out of the bottle just to mention a few cliches. Pandora’s box is well and truly open…

The Pursuit of Loveliness

 

Loveliness. There needs to be more of it. This past week we embarked on a movie watching spree of some of the supposedly best movies from 2007. All I can say is, oh my. I am going to sum these movies up in a blink. Here goes: 

No Country for Old Men – Shoot, kill, monster guy, shoot kill some more, dreadful, horrible, greed, blood, shoot, shoot, hopeless awfulness, good guy loses, bad guy ends up with a broken arm, older generation is irrelevant and talks gibberish. The End. Okay, the writing was quite good. A watch -able (like a train wreck) film with a sick premise. Big Sigh.

There Will be Blood – They should have used this title for No Country for Old Men, because there wasn’t much blood, just a lot of dirty fingernails, grimy, sweaty, dirty, mean, horrid, awful, people and grunge. There was blood at the end when the despicable, selfish, most likely stinky due to lack of baths old guy whacks the stereotypical Jimmy Swaggert-like sniveling, ridiculously big crucifix wearing bible banger guy with a bowling pin. Oops. I should have said spoiler alert. Sorry. Plot ends midway through movie and it meanders to a short story ending of drunken, sweaty nothingness.

An aside about the short story ending…I have to say a few words on this topic. If you read a lot of short stories, you will find many just … end… boom. No rhyme. No reason. I myself use this technique occasionally because for some reason, it is seems to be the preferred way to wind up a short story, or not wind it up as the case may be. I personally think it is laziness. Some trendy, popular author (in the case of There Will be Blood, Upton Sinclair) ran out of things to say and said to himself “I think I will submit this to see what happens and like The Emperor’s New Clothes, the hapless, sycophant publisher thinking he must be missing something, but doesn’t want to give away his lack of sophistication publishes it and Voila! A literary technique is born. Oh well.

Back to movies…

Bella – Cliché, stupid, did I say cliché? Oh, and it is also cliché. Plot moves forward cliche-ly as follows- another aborted abortion, angst, angst. Cliché angst. Stupid use of scarf. No one wears scarves like this anymore. Movie is a combo plot: Like Water for Chocolate meets Sunshine of the Spotless Mind with a twist of Juno. And this won awards at Sundance? My regard for Sundance plummets. (What is it with Hollywood, and abortion? They are doing mea culpa’s for Roe vs. Wade at an alarming, head spinning rate. Their message is so confusing, no wonder so many young girls are getting pregnant and having the baby and romanticizing the whole thing, I think it is irresponsible.)

Into the Wild – This is actually a good movie. Read the book by Jon Krakauer first, it is really good. He is a wonderful writer then, watch the movie. However, I don’t think Chris McCandless is a hero. I think he must have been troubled and he was foolish. Google Into the Wild and read the many articles, like this one and this one. But so far – it was the best movie.

Live Free Die Hard – Why did I watch this? To make my husband happy. He fell asleep, Emma and I watched it to the bitter end. Why? Why? Oh Why?

And so I write again, loveliness. I am dedicating my blog to the pursuit of loveliness, hence, the picture. Isn’t it lovely?