First off, because I cannot contain myself, I must say how very much I dislike the spambots these days. Every time I go to moderate my comments, there are 3-5 spam messages; sometimes a gobbledy-gook of random letters, sometimes a message telling me that “It is very well written, much so, you must professional. I agree and it is so. But on some thing you must mistaken. PM me for discuss.” Good God. Why would someone waste all that time and energy sending fake messages or programing computers to do it for them?
Anyway, enough of the perpetual dashing of my hopes of being discovered. It’s time for a movie catch-up! First, I should explain that the guidelines for the project have changed, by me, because I’m doing it and say it’s okay to change it. So there. You might remember that the point was to watch 100 movies with my husband, but this was all before he found himself suddenly spending 4 hours every night reminding himself about quadratic equations. Please send all sympathy notes you might address to the college widow to my husband instead. Yuck. So now that my very favorite movie companion and foot warmer is mostly unavailable, I will probably watch a great number of these movies on my own. I will give them full credit (instead of the previous idea of half-credit for solo viewings) because otherwise I’ll do nothing but watch 200 movies in 7 months. And my children will be naked, hungry, and go all Lord of the Flies. I mean all of them, not just Ollie. I corrected all previous half-credit movies to be full credit, and off we go! Into a new era of the project.
The last night of our former lives, Joe and I watched Stranger than Fiction. TOGETHER! Wah. Those were the days. It stars some of our favorite people: Emma Thompson, Will Ferrell, Dustin Hoffman, Maggie Gyllenhall. Buster from Arrested Development was also in the house. I love Emma Thompson with the heat of a thousand suns. I would watch that woman organize her tax files, I kid you not. Will Ferrell is someone I’ve always found hilarious, but his character is a total straight man in this film, and he did drama with more than adequate skill.
It’s the story of a tax man, very much into the numbers and not so much into the people, who suddenly finds himself in a very odd predicament: his life is being narrated. And he gets the feeling (okay, so the voice says in no uncertain terms) that he is to die shortly. He understandably sets out to find out who the author of his life is, to convince her that he’s worth keeping around, don’t kill him please. I don’t want to give much else away because we both really loved this movie and would recommend that you watch it for yourselves.
The next two I watched on my own. Humble Pie is just a little indie movie I found in our streaming Netflix queue. It was about a regular sort of guy, overweight and happily working a dead-end grocery store job while writing poetry in the break room. He gets inspired to try acting, meets some unlikely friends (or are they?) and other stuff. It’s fine but not amazing. I just wanted more from it, though I couldn’t tell you what.
Then the other night I had a great movie-watching experience. With Joe at the end-of-year Youth Group party, I sat down to watch a movie he’d blasted me for never having seen: Stand By Me. Yep, I’d never seen Stand By Me. Go ahead and add your own incredulous voice to the teeming masses. I asked my mom yesterday if she’d seen it and she hadn’t, either, so I can’t even pretend she was shielding my innocence or anything.
If you’re an anomaly like me and my mom and haven’t seen this movie, do me a favor and watch it. Actually, you’d be doing yourself a favor. It’s the story of four 12-year-old boys, on an adventure to find the dead body of someone they didn’t know. They’d heard where the corpse was–just a brief 30-mile walk from home–and decided for whatever reason that finding it would make them famous and off they went.
Just look at those boys. You know as the happy mother of a brood of Ys this movie just made my heart go pitter-pat. I loved the relationships they had with one another, particularly the one between Will Wheaton’s character and River Phoenix’s character. God, I loved the character of Chris Chambers (played by Phoenix.) He was everything that ever drew me to boys growing up: rough and a bit of a social outcast, but underneath tender and loyal as hell. I don’t want to say much else so as to avoid possible spoilage, but to everyone who has seen it before, I must admit that during the bridge scene I could not stay in my comfortable couch cocoon: I was up, running in place and hyperventilating.
Finally, one last movie of note. On Sunday, Ollie was at my folks’ house and Max’s dreams (and Joe’s, let’s face it) finally came true when, during Seth’s naptime, we sat down to watch Star Wars for the very first time. You’ll note that on the movie list Joe required me to call it Star Wars: A New Hope (original theatrical release…a.k.a. Han shoots first). I thought this was a bit beyond the typical dorkiness, but once he explained to me the tragedy of George Lucas trying to re-write Han Solo as a hero instead of the brilliant and perfect antihero he was, I conceded. The dorkdom hung heavy in the air of our family room that day; Max had most details memorized from a single book he’s read about the original trilogy and thus kept verifying what was happening using words that made me wonder if my hearing was going bad but made Joe flush with pride. It was almost as good a day as the one where Max asked if he could start playing D & D yet. Maybe a little better than the day Max reminded Joe that the first Sunday in May was a very important date reserved for a very special occasion: Free Comic Book Day.
It had been so, so many years since I’d seen it, and I’m pretty sure my last viewing wasn’t complete, so it was fun to watch it again. Some of the effects made me giggle, but the thing that made me laugh most was the one of the first utterances heard from the legendary Luke Skywalker, in which he whines about not wanting to fix up the new droids, since he had big plans to go get some adapters or whatever. Just the way he says it in this lame, petulant voice perfectly illustrates why Han wins. Han always wins.