A sort of movie review but mostly a rant

On Sunday, I celebrated Mother’s Day by taking the day off.  Actually, I accepted (with deep gratitude) my husband’s gift of the day off.

He woke up early, took the kids to church and let me sleep in and stay home.  I heard the ruckus while they prepared to leave but feigned sleep.  Then, when they left, I snoozed  little and woke up slowly.  I read for an hour, then got ready and left the house.

I went to a movie.  Which leads me to my pet peeve.

Doesn’t anyone understand the MPAA movie rating system?

For our purposes, let’s discuss PG-13.

Here’s what it means:
PG-13 — Parents Strongly Cautioned. Some Material May Be Inappropriate For Children Under 13.

Somehow, people seem to interpret that as, “Parents Strongly Cautioned.  Some Material May Be Inappropriate for Children Under 13 but GO AHEAD AND BRING YOUR BABY AND YOUR TWO YEAR OLD.”

What is wrong with people?  Seriously?

So, I went to see “Iron Man 2” which had a rating of PG-13.  So did a ton of families including very young children, leading me to wonder if people don’t understand child development, if they don’t realize that you can’t “unsee” something.  Furthermore, it’s rude to bring young children to a movie that is inappropriate because the children are distracting to other paying customers.

But you know what was worse?  I hesitate to say this because I’m not sure how to communicate it in writing without sounding like a jerk.

As I sat waiting for the movie (and reading a book in the near darkness), I heard a moaning yell.  I looked up to figure out what was happening.  In walked a young man escorting another young man who had some difficulty walking.  I’m not sure if the second man had an injury or brain damage or a developmental delay, but what was obvious was his inability to communicate other than by bellowing.  I suspect his companion was his caregiver who brought him to a movie.

I nearly called the theater to complain–before the movie began–but decided not to since I knew the movie would be loud anyway.  Sure enough, I only heard the non-stop moans during the few scenes of dialogue.  So, it was only a minor annoyance even though the man yelled during the whole movie.

So I know it seems insensitive of me to complain about a person with an obvious disability.  But I thought it was incredibly rude for his “friend” (companion?  caregiver?) to bring this man to a movie where he knew he’d be loud and vocal and distracting.  If I’d been sitting near these people, I would have moved to another seat–or left if there were no more seats.

When I came home to describe the situation to my husband, he declared that’s why he dislikes going to movies in the theater.  Personally, I enjoy the community experience of watching a movie with other people.  I suppose I shouldn’t complain about people who have no sense, people who insist on exposing their children to material that is obviously inappropriate for them.

Generally, I love the whole experience.

I just don’t understand what the hurry is to take children to movies made for adults.

Why the rush to expose children to violence and adult situations?

I have never heard an acceptable reason.  And “it doesn’t give him nightmares” is not a good enough reason.  Nor is “he doesn’t understand it anyway.” Please.

As for the movie itself?  I thought it was good–I love Robert Downey, Jr.–but it was not as good as the first movie.  Not even close.

(My favorite movie of late?  “Date Night.”  It was laugh-out-loud funny.  Not a perfect movie, but very funny.)

A little bit about books and movies

So, my teenagers are back from camp. Lots of laundry, empty gallons of milk.

I finished reading Life of Pi.  Have you read it?  A 16-year old boy alone on a lifeboat in the middle of the Pacific Ocean . . . with a 450 pound Bengal tiger.  Preposterous plot, excellent read.  I loved it.

Now I”m reading I am Legend because I found it for $2.00 at Half-Price books and after seeing the Will Smith movie of the same name, I wanted to read the book.  As it turns out, the book and movie have little in common.

I spent my entire sunny Sunday editing, sorting, uploading and ordering digital prints.  I had neglected that task since . . . uh, 2007.  March of 2007, to be more specific.  I found the whole ordeal rather confusing since I have failed to keep my photos in order.  However, working backwards and working forwards, I believe I can now document half of 2008, all of 2009 and parts of 2007.  What a mess.  I’ll be glad when I can file the prints in chronological order.  Sadly, I will never get this gloriously sunny day back.

Yesterday, I had the thrill of running errands BY MYSELF.  I went to the Dollar Tree, Half-Price Books, Once Upon a Child, Costco, a movie and then Fred Meyer . . .I am easily soothed, as it turns out.  Just give me a day without a six year old. . .

Let me tell you that Jodi Picoult’s book, My Sister’s Keeper, was poorly translated to film.  Oh, how I hate to tell you that–I had such high hopes for that book.  I don’t want to spoil the movie for anyone who has yet to see it, so I won’t say more.  But.  I was disappointed.  (However, an afternoon at the movies is never a total loss, if you ask me.  I love seeing movies in the theater, even bad ones.)

I always wonder how authors feel about their stories being mangled during filming.  I remember asking Nicholas Sparks about that issue and he said he didn’t care, really, essentially.  I wonder if all authors feel like that.  Any authors want to chime in?  (Ha ha, as if.)
The End.

(See how choppy that was?  Choppy in a movie is not good.)

Signs you might be in a movie theater and not at home

1) You drove away from your house, parked your car and bought a ticket.

2) The popcorn costs money and comes in a gigantic tub.

3) The screen is very very big.

4) Your seat flips down and has armrests that go up and down.

5) There are a hundred other people in the same room.

6) The lights are dim.

7) Your feet stick to the floor.

If, indeed, you discover you are actually in a movie theater and not at home, please refrain from:

1) Bringing a baby with you. Even happy baby sounds are unwelcome during quiet movie dialogue. (Numbskull.)

2) Text-messaging. That handy-dandy screen-light is very annoying to your fellow movie-goers. I CAN HEAR YOU PUSHING BUTTONS! STOP IT! (Idiot.)

3) Chatting with your friend. (Thoughtless brats.)

4) Answering your phone. (Knuckleheads.)

5) Making stupid comments. (Are you twelve?)

If I weren’t such an upstanding citizen, I might have tackled you both. I followed you out of the theater, you know, and I am confident I could totally win in a random smackdown. Bring it on! I’ll take you both on, you twits.

Instead of roughing you up, though, (dingbats!) I asked to speak to a manager and informed her that–thanks to you–this was the worst movie-going experience of my life. (I would have walked out–and stepped on your toes, you inconsiderate jerks–but finding the time to get away to even see this movie was almost impossible.) I accepted two free movie tickets as an apology. I just hope she takes that out of your allowance, you little dim-wits.

* * *

Oh, and the movie? “The Other Boleyn Girl.” I take my movie-going seriously and prepared to see this movie by reading the excellent book first. Save your money and spend it on the book because the movie was a hot mess, thanks to the horrific screenplay and senseless plot. The actors weren’t so great, either.

The book, however, is a must-read. (Some adult content, if you are very sensitive about your reading material . . . but if you are aware of the story of Henry VIII at all, you realize that that is integral to the story and it is tastefully handled.) I am not a huge fan of historical fiction, either, but I really loved this book.

Oh, and if you stumbled onto this blog and feel compelled to scold me for my latent hostility or my narrow-eyed view of stupid teenage girls who bring babies to the movies–spare yourself the trouble. I am aware of my passive-aggressiveness and find it a source of amusement when channeled appropriately (i.e. into this blog rather than grabbing a fistful of straightened blond hair of that girl one seat away who has absolutely no manners and needs to be throttled within an inch of her life to teach her a lesson).

Movie Theater Stupidity

Dear Lady at the Movie Theater,

Did you lose your brain? Were you born without common sense? Or are you just mean enough to bring a 3-year old to The Bourne Ultimatum, a movie rated PG-13, on a warm Saturday afternoon? What? Are the parks closed by your house? Don’t you have access to a swimming pool? Did you lose the directions to the beach? Because I cannot think of a single good reason for dragging a clearly bored 3-year old to this particular movie. What do you have to say for yourself?


I’m waiting.

Nothing. That’s what I thought. You have no excuse, no reasonable answer to my questions.

When the movie was over, you high-fived the little guy, saying, “You did it!” He might not have disrupted you too much, but he sure disrupted me. Perhaps you didn’t notice him getting up from his chair and standing those two times. Maybe you didn’t hear his whispers. Maybe you weren’t horrified by the thought of your 3-year old boy’s eyes taking in the violent fighting and action sequences. But I was.

I am horrified that there are people like you in the world who bring small children into movie theaters on sunshiny Saturdays and expose them to images that are scary and inappropriate for a child’s eyes. I am horrified that you do not consider how rude it is to bring a child into a theater full of people who left their own children behind so they could enjoy a movie in peace . . . and have it be interrupted by your child. Are you familiar with the concept of a babysitter? That’s when you hire someone you trust to watch your child in your absence. Try it! You’ll like it!

Anyway, Lady in the Movie Theater, I hope you enjoyed your movie and I hope your little boy didn’t wake up with nightmares. Actually, I hope he did because that would serve you right and hopefully teach you a lesson. STOP BRINGING YOUR KID INTO MOVIES FOR ADULTS!


The Lady One Seat Over Who Kept Glancing at Your Kid and Rolling Her Eyes

p.s. The movie was good, very entertaining. I also saw Rescue Dawn last week which was also excellent, toned down a little for a lower rating, I think, but an amazing story nonetheless. And last week, a lady WITH A BABY in her arms sat one seat away from me. And yes, as you can imagine, that was annoying and also very distracting. I was thankful she left mid-way through the movie. What is WRONG with people?!

Saturday: Books and a movie

I consider it akin to a miracle when I open my eyes in the morning, peer at the clock and realize it is 8:35 a.m.  Even though I escorted my 4-year old to the bathroom at 4:00 a.m. and spent a couple of minutes rocking her, a night with only one interruption and a wake-up time after 7:00 a.m. is a delight and also more proof that I have very low standards. 

What’s lovely about my youngest child reaching the age of 4 and a half is that she no longer demands that I rouse from bed at an ungodly hour.  She didn’t sleep through the night until she was eleven months old.  My twins used to wake up every morning between 5:00 a.m. and 6:00 a.m. which is just wrong on so many levels.  My husband had mercy on me in those long-ago days and would wake up early so I could sleep longer.  He rocks.

Today, after “sleeping in,” we finally got moving after 9:00 a.m.  My husband went to get donuts (around here, Saturday is called “Donut Day”) and I showered.  While still in the shower, the phone rang and my daughter, the self-appointed phone-answerer around here, brought me the phone.  I asked the woman on the phone if I could call her back.  I was sure she could hear the showering water, but she told me later that she did not.  (I wonder if talking on the phone in the shower could electrocute me.  Anybody know?)

My husband has learned after many years together (almost 20!) that I require some time alone each week for optimum mental health.  Back when the twins were babies, I had a local friend who had given birth to three kids in three years.  She told me that her husband set her free for six hours each Saturday . . . and I remember being so jealous and wondering why my husband didn’t understand that I needed six hours away each Saturday.  As it turns out, he just needed more time to understand.  Also, when I was gone for six straight days (my longest absence from home ever), he experienced what it’s like to be stuck in a cycle of satisfying the needs of four kids hour after hour, day after day. 

Now, he really understands, even more than he did before. 

So, he doesn’t make me grovel and beg.  He just assumes that I will leave the house and I will stay away as long as possible.  Which I do.  

Today, I went to three thrift stores where I mainly bought books.  I love books with an irrational love, with an addictive love, with a love that cannot be satisifed with a library card.  I also saw the worst movie in recent memory:  Perfect Stranger with Halle Berry and Bruce Willis.  Horrible screenplay, silly dialogue, inconsistent characters, awful acting, stupid plot, ridiculous dialogue . . . only the popcorn was good!  Save your money . . . watch it free on television in five years.  (How can a woman who is so beautiful make such a lousy movies?)

Movie Review: Zodiac

Dear Guy in the faded FX Toughman shirt,

What in the name of all good sense are you doing taking a young girl (was she eight?!) to a rated R movie like “Zodiac”?  Are you insane?  Or just selfish?  Or stupid?

The previews alone for half a dozen gory horror films would have given me lifelong nightmares had I seen them when I was an eight year old girl.  What were you thinking?  Do you think?

And furthermore, Tuesday night is a SCHOOL NIGHT, dude!  The movie ended at 10 p.m. . . . isn’t that way past an 8-year old child’s bedtime?  Plan ahead, pal!  Get a babysitter!

What an idiot you are.  When I saw that child ALONE in the bathroom, I wanted to casually ask her if she liked the movie, but I was afraid she might talk to a stranger (ME!), thus giving her the idea that it’s completely fine to talk to strangers in the bathroom at the movie theater.

Honestly.  What is wrong with you? 



p.s.  I liked the movie.  But I would NEVER in a MILLION years take a child to see it. 

Movie Reviews

Last night, I took my a neighbor boy and my three boys to see “Eragon.”  I am not the demographic the film-makers aimed at, but still, I must say that while I thought the pacing was good, I felt no emotional response whatsoever to the story.

All the way home, the boys repeated variations of “I make a meatball” using a Mario-from-Nintendo accent.  They giggled endlessly and while I couldn’t see them, I knew they were elbowing each other in their glee and hurry to outdo one another. 

Last week, I saw “The Good Shepherd,” which Larry King supposedly said was the “best spy film ever.”  I really wanted to love it, but found it dull and confusing.  In fact, midway through the movie, the snores of a man one row up caused all of us to look over and nod with empathy because we all felt like snoring, too.  However, a boring afternoon in the movie theater with my hand in a bag of popcorn is better than the most exciting day at home doing laundry, so I’m not complaining. 

Movie Reviews

This afternoon was not good.  My daughter, the inappropriately named Grace, kept grabbing toys from her “best baby” who is two.  He’d shriek each time and I’d reprimand her and try to talk her into sharing nicely and would offer substitute toys to the boy.  Then, it would happen again.  Finally, fed up, I said, “That’s it!  If you take another toy from him, I will pick you up, take you to your room and put you in your bed!” 

Then she’d whine again.  “I want that toy!” and I’d say, “What am I going to do if you don’t stop whining?”  And she’d stop long enough to say, “Put me in my room.”  Then she’d pick up where she left off until my scalp actually detached from my head in a bloody, unfortunate display of annoyance.

No, actually, I scooped her up, she writhed in defiance and screamed and I marched her upstairs and dumped her in her room.  She screamed and cried for quite awhile.  The two year old looked at me and said, “G-acey cry?  I have toy.”  Over and over again. 

Eventually, she appeared, tearful and asked to be rocked. 

As you can imagine, that was about the time I decided to go to a movie tonight.  I won’t mention the details, but some of you are familiar with the irrational time of month when you understand why some people snap and throw their televisions through their plate glass windows.  Or not.  Anyway, I knew I needed to get out of this house, STAT!

I saw “The Blood Diamond,” which stars Leonard DeCaprio, Jennifer Connelly and Djimon Hounsou.  All three actors were remarkable . . . the film was very violent, as it was set in 1999 during the Civil War in Sierra Leone.  At its heart, it was a movie about a race and a chase.  You can check out reviews for more details, but I liked it.  Be warned that the violence is very intense and the subject matter disturbing (child soldiers, etc.).

Last weekend, I saw Mel Gibson’s Apocalypto.  This was also an extremely violent movie (a creatively violent movie, even) and also about a chase, but it was also a visually memorable and stunning movie shot on location in South America.  Think what you might about the private life of Mel Gibson, but he is a brilliant director.  I couldn’t help but be amazed at the scope of his movie.  Again, be warned that this movie is not for the faint of heart.  Oh, and it’s all in subtitles.  

Did I mention that I saw “Babel” a few weeks ago?  I’m not sure it’s still in the theaters, but I did enjoy it.  Three seemingly separate stories unfold, taking place on three different continents and you don’t really know how they are intertwined until the end.  Mostly, though, I enjoyed seeing Brad Pitt look every year of of his age.  I could have done without the extraneous nudity which seemed very exploitative to me, but I overall, I liked the movie. 

This is the time of year when I try to see movies that I think might be nominated for Academy Awards.  I like to see all the nominated films and actors before the awards show . . . it’s sort of a hobby for me, I guess.  I don’t always succeed, but I like the challenge of guessing who will win.  (Last year, I was absolutely correct, too, picking “Crash” over the common expectation that “Brokeback Mountain” would win.)

Anyway, that’s where I was tonight.  I hurried home in time to watch Barbara Walter’s special while putting in thirty minutes on the exercise bike. 

Only three more days of school before Christmas break.  I don’t think I’ve been this excited about Christmas break since I was fourteen.  Or since last year at this time.

Borat is Stupid.

I offer my opinion on a popular current movie. Spoilers may appear below.

* * *

I am ashamed to admit that I fell for the hype. “Outrageously funny,” and all that. NOT. I actually saw “Borat” two weeks ago, the first week it opened, I think, and I thought it was not funny. I thought it was stupid. I thought all the people shrieking with laughter in the theater were stupid. (I thought they were almost as stupid as the people surrounding me in the theater when I saw “Fahrenheit 9/11.” You might be able to find that post if you try hard enough.)

Now, when I hear people mention how they laughed until they cried, how they laughed from beginning to end, I think they are stupid, too. In fact, I worry about the future of our country if so many of its citizens find this offensive compilation of stupidity funny. Seriously, what is wrong with people? I am surrounded by stupidity, it appears.

I am a judgmental elitist who cannot for the life of me understand how exposing people’s stupidity by acting stupid is funny. I have never found stupid people funny. This, perhaps, explains my lack of interest in getting drunk or hanging out with people who get drunk because I tend to find drunkeness stupid. I would never willingly impair myself so I might act as stupid as drunk people act.

I think it is stupid to excuse anti-Semitism by saying, “But he is Jewish!” That is just stupid. (And anti-Semitism? Stupid and incomprehensible to me.)

And I also think jokes about bodily excretions and bodily functions are stupid. I am not amused by naked wrestling, especially when it involves an obese hairy man. Not funny.

For what it’s worth, I think drunk fraternity boys are stupid, but so is tricking them to participate in a bogus “documentary.” And I think it’s outrageous to mock religious people as they participate in their traditions, no matter how wacky those traditions appear.

Save your money and don’t see this stupid, stupid movie. Do not believe anyone who says it is funny . . . because people who laughed all the way through this movie are stupid and unless you are stupid, too, you will regret “Borat.”

(And people who say, “You don’t understand this movie because you are not smart enough.” Oh, knock it off! That is stupid!)

A Movie Review

Dear Lady in the Front Row with the Baby,

Don’t feel bad about your baby who cried three times during the 123 minute showing of Marie Antoinette.  I felt like crying, too, because that was the most boring movie of all time. 


Annoyed in the back row

 *  *  *

Dear Lady to the Right Who Made So Much Noise Snacking That I Thought Perhaps You Didn’t Realize You Were at a Movie and Not At Home,

You are an idiot.  I would have told you so, too, had I not feared that you perhaps carry a concealed weapon.  But, honestly, you inconsiderate lout, why must you rattle your candy and fondle the wrapper louder than an attacking rattlesnake?  Are you hearing impaired?  Or just stupid?


Miss Manners

*  *  *

Dear Sofia Coppola,

I hate, hate, hate the soundtrack for your dull movie, Marie Antoinette.  Perhaps I am not your demographic, but that does not matter to me.  I hate it.  Your movie’s costumes, however, were pretty, but satin alone does not an interesting movie make.  I want my money back.


The 41-year old Housewife in the Suburbs