Saturday, January 17, 2009

SPOILER ALERT -- and Crap!

I used to love movies. Hubby and I would take in two and three a week. To spend a couple of hours in a dark theater, with a tub of hot, buttery corn and a huge, icy cola wrapped up in a land of escapism was one of our favorite things.

Then something awful happened to the movies. In today's theater you've got four choices:
  1. The hero dies
  2. It's a dense, talking movie with little to no action -- and it's just boring
  3. It's a cartoon
  4. It's a horror movie and/or made for teens
One of the traditions we've kept, because usually something other than those four choices are available, is the Christmas Day flick. The presents are opened, the food devoured and we need a couple of hours before we start in on the left-overs. So we go to the local Houston movie theater. This year we discussed all the Christmas movies. We each agreed to avoid Marley and Me -- the dog dies, folks. That's worse than the hero dies. After losing Wolfie, the dog can't even get hurt without me dissolving into rivers of tears. The other choices were cartoons and a Will Smith movie. Both Wendy and I had seen the interview on Letterman where it's announced that there's a twist at the end. Okay. It's Will Smith. Eye candy. The dude from Independence Day who almost single-handedly saved the world. We went -- and it was the worst Christmas movie experience E V E R ! No only does Smith die -- he dies in terrible, unimaginable agony. He screams and writhes and twists . . . and well, I couldn't watch it all. We left the theater stunned -- and completely disheartened -- on CHRISTMAS DAY!

Hubby and I haven't gone to a movie since. But then Eastwood came out with Gran Torino. Dirty Harry, man! Gotta be good -- you don't kill the guy who can mumble, "Make my day!" Hubby's gonna get the action he likes and I'm gonna have the hero survive. I gotta admit, when the sweet, old yellow lab came out the door with Eastwood in the first scene, I thought, "Oh, oh! Dog's gonna die!" But then I thought, "NO! It's Dirty Harry. He can protect that dog!"

The dog doesn't die, folks. It's not the dog. The dog lives on with the neighbors.

I cried. I know that the movie made the death scene make sense and it wasn't the worst death by far (nothing like Smith in Seven Pounds) -- but still . . .

The hero should not have to wear a cartoon suit to be able to walk away from the last scene in the movie. He / she shouldn't have to be Batman or SuperMan or Iron Man.

It may be that we're so enamoured of Obama's inauguration this Tuesday because here's a good guy who is alive. He's not wearing a special suit. He can't fly. He doesn't have x-ray vision. He isn't an animated toon. He's just a regular man who is also a hero. He's done something impossible -- united a diverse people just by being a man. Yes, he's a smart man. Yes, he's a decent man. Yes, he seems to be an honest man. He's not giving out seven pounds of himself in a senseless, stupid act. He's not facing a street full of thugs unarmed. He's just being a man -- and in the process he becomes the hero we all so look for in the movies.

Tuesday will be my day glued to a screen. And I won't be crying. I'll be cheering!!!!!

1 comment:

snugpug said...

And there I was feeling sheepish about blogging that I was too afraid to go watch Marley and Me.

Sorry about your terrible time at the movies.

I think the whole world is excited about Inauguration Day this time round. There's certainly a sort of anticipatory buzz in the media here and I've never remembered this from before.