Showing posts with label Movies. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Movies. Show all posts

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

How I Made My Son Hate Superman

After almost three weeks from its release date, my husband and I were finally able to watch Man of Steel.  We had to beg Noah to just go with us so we can see it, in spite of his protestations and firm resolve that his loyalties belong only to Iron Man.  (By the way, yes, I know the movie is PG-13 and we're awful parents for taking him.  Can we drop the judgment and move on now?)

Considering that the movie was more than two hours long, I was quite impressed that my son was able to behave the whole time and stay as patient as he could.  The restlessness was there of course, but there was no whining that went on.  Could it be because I kept my son entertained with the drooling that was taking place on my side of the theater?  Was it that obvious??

What probably started out as amusing to my son ended up as annoying.  The following day after seeing this movie, he must've noticed his mother endlessly Googling only two words:  Henry Cavill.  It would've been fine if I had stopped there but I uttered words that I didn't expect my son to deem unforgivable to the utmost degree:  "He's just the CUTEST!"

Apparently, I am not allowed to say those words about anyone else but him.  As soon as I said that, he growled, literally, and showed me the worst angry monster face he could muster.  He then said, "I hate Superman!", followed by, "Mama, I thought you said I'm the cutest for you???"

I felt bad.  A little bit.  But I couldn't lie.  This guy is gorgeous, and dare I say it, hot!  If you know me, you're probably a bit shocked considering that (1) I don't normally use the word 'hot' to describe men because I don't go for the conventional 'hot'; and (2) my dear Henry is actually 10 years younger than I am which is completely new territory for me.  Let me put it this way.  When my husband found out that I have a little crush going on, the first thing he said was, "But he's not OLD?!  You usually like older dudes (with graying hair, if they still have hair left)!"  (Yeah.  Thanks honey for bringing that up!).  

Let's be honest.  What's not to love about this ridiculously handsome face?  Not only does he have those dreamy eyes and dark hair, he's also an English man with awesome teeth!!  Whoa?!  

But please don't get me wrong.  I don't only love him for his face.


There's his body too!

I admit that I think it's actually cute that my son's a bit jealous.  I didn't realize he was that possessive of me and my approval.  (Duh!)  However, I know that I better tone this down now.  No it's not because I'm afraid of the  cougar label; nor is it out of concern for my son's self-esteem.  (If anything, I think it's great that he knows it's not my sole purpose to worship him).  I just think I need to behave myself now, stop pissing my son off and encourage some admiration for Superman IN CASE Man of Steel part two gets released anytime soon.  It's better to have him on my side next time rather than have him whine, roll his eyes, scream for Iron Man and ruin my concentration on this angstsy alien superhero....or is it Greek god???

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

What's your Sexy?

The movie Magic Mike is out, and people, or should I say women, a lot of women, are either raving about it or want desperately to see it.  I might get crucified for saying this but I’m probably one of the few who’s just not interested.  Seriously.  Not one bit.

It’s not that I don’t think the actors starring in it are not attractive.  Sure they have the face and the body that could easily make most women swoon, make your hormones rage (no matter how unbalanced or dormant they’ve been), and maybe produce a devilish smile here and there.  But it’s just not my thing.  I’m sure those of you who really know me aren’t surprised by that at all.  And though my husband would hate what I’m about to say, it definitely won’t be a surprise...

I’m not turned on by youngish guys. 

Nor have I ever been into hunks. 

My kind of thing on the big screen is a character that shows a lot of depth, and yes, of course, one that tickles my cerebral side.  Some of the following may not be entirely gorgeous by common, objective standards.  But to me, their ‘substance’ is sexy.  Think Anthony Hopkins, Gabriel Byrne, Gary Oldman, Ralph Fiennes (most of all), AnthonyBourdain, and perhaps the youngest here, Eric Bana.   

To me sexy is mental.  Though I won’t deny that looks definitely count, the ultimate turn on for me is an amazing mind.  And I’m not talking about plain book smarts, although of course that counts.  What absorbs me is depth.  Real substance is an aphrodisiac like no other.  I’m drawn to Insightful.  Funny. Witty.   Philosophical.  Confident with a hint of shyness.  Poetic.  Articulate.  Mysterious without trying.  These are mostly the things that fascinate me, things that I will never find boring.  And I don’t know about you, but I think it’s pretty damn hard to feel sexy when you’re bored.  ‘Sexy’ and ‘un-stimulated’ don’t really go together, do they?

So as most of you will probably be in the movie theaters enjoying Magic Mike this weekend, I’d probably be happy on my couch watching my recordings of Through the Wormhole.  The cosmos, physics, questions about existence….is there really anything sexier and more inspiring than that???!!!??

What about you?....What tickles your fancy?

P.S.  I posted this on my Facebook page last week and I know it wasn't just me who found this sexy and drooled a bit...

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

WANTED: Three 'Hunks'

I’ve been catching the movie Independence Day on television recently.    And since I’m a sucker for such movies (the whole E.T. visitation plot), I keep watching said movie every time I see it appearing on the T.V. guide. 

If you recall, there are three main characters in this film:  Bill Pullman’s (President Whitmore); Jeff Goldblum’s (David Levinson); and Will Smith’s (Capt. Steven Hiller).  Interestingly, as I watched the movie, I realized that in most, if not all, doomsday or apocalyptic films, you will find the same characters over and over (think  2012The Day After Tomorrow, and I'm sure you can come up with countless other films featuring these three)

There will always be the politician / legitimate social authority figure; the scientist / source of legitimate information; and the soldier / muscle man / action guy.

No one really likes the politician so much.  For the most part, just as in real life, this is the  character that talks, talks, talks, takes too long to make decisions in efforts to please everyone and weigh every single consideration there is even when choices are crystal clear (breathe)….and sadly, though the fate of the world rests on his decisions (yes, for the most part this is played by men), he’s the character that doesn’t really have any balls.  However, his usefulness mainly lies on the legitimacy of his role in mobilizing people and resources, hence making things 'happen', in some detached, 'I-am-not-dirtying-my-hands' kind of way.

Then there’s the science guy, the one who makes the key discovery and holds the information that can save mankind.  We can also call him the Brain, the one who really understands what's going on and sees the big picture.  It is this guy's commitment to truth and knowledge that truly saves the day.  Most often than not, some kind of friction always exists between the Brain and the Politician, with the former hating the indecisiveness of the latter.  

Finally, we have Mr. Soldier, Muscleman, Action guy or simply put, the Brawn. This is the character that doesn't really care much about rules and politics. He reacts from the gut and is clear about having a singular mission....saving the day! He cannot be bothered by scientific mumbo-jumbo, not by any bureaucratic entanglements.  He knows what needs to be done and tries to execute the plan (if there is any) as swiftly and as altruistically as possible.  Simply put, this is our traditional idea of a 'hero'.

So what is to be learned from the recurrence of these three characters?  I suppose the point is that inasmuch as we'd like to do away with one, say for instance, just kill the politician or don't even include him altogether, we all know there is a reason he is there and much as we'd hate to admit it, he is just as important as the other two.  

The fact is, 'saving the day' requires a delicate balance.  

You need to be able to charm people, be charismatic enough to get the resources you need, as well as willing cooperation from others, just as much as you need intelligence and a good amount of information to come up with a firm strategy.  And of course, always, you need a respectable amount of action and the ability to show real balls. Execution is necessary and it always helps to follow your gut and to rely on that internal compass telling you where to go regardless of what may seem normative.  The bottom line is that a degree of innovation is always the key if you truly want to make a difference and save the day!

There may be no alien invasions or huge catastrophes right now, but the next time your day needs saving one way or the other, try to cast your three trusty friends above by summoning them from within.  Then you'd really be kicking a**!

Photo Credit:

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Certainty With 50/50

Anna Kendrick and Joseph Gordon-Levitt in "50/50"
Hubby and I had a wonderful couples’ evening with my bff and her husband.  We watched the film 50/50, starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Seth Rogen.  This film, having a cancer diagnosis as its main plot, got me wondering mainly about three things:

(1)  I wonder how many people I meet everyday (walking, shopping, riding the bus, eating in restaurants…) have been given this diagnosis and are now trying to deal with the news and the disease itself.  If I knew what they were going through, would it show on their faces?  What look would they have in their eyes?  Would it show more of fear, anxiety, questions, anger, sadness or resignation?

(2)  I wonder what I would do, what thoughts would initially cross my mind if I were to receive such a diagnosis.  I honestly haven’t thought about this and would need to ponder some more.

(3)  I wonder what I would do and how exactly I would respond if someone close and dear to me were to reveal that he/she has cancer.  I think I dread this more than the second thought above.  I have had family members die from cancer but I was either too young to fully understand what was going on or quite distant to truly feel the impact of it all.  However I have some vague idea as to the depth of pain and hopelessness this diagnosis creates and it is something I am not sure anyone can really prepare for.  I think a big part of the difficulty in battling this disease is precisely because of the sense of hopelessness it creates.  To me, there is nothing more defeating, nothing more draining to the human spirit, than the thought that you've run out of options, that there is no other way out or that everything is futile.

I liked the movie a lot.  It was funny, smart, touching and felt real.  Suffice it to say that it has left me with questions and hypotheticals to reflect on and that generally translates to at least 4 stars in my book!  

Monday, June 6, 2011

Of Words, Truths and Love

I finally saw the movie The Reader (2008).  If you haven't seen this nor read the book and would hate any spoilers on it, kindly stop now and skip this post.  I don't want to ruin anything for you.  Otherwise, please do sit back and try not to get too distracted by Ralph Fiennes' beautiful face on the left as you read on.  I promise to make this post worth your attention and sacrifice.  (Yes, yes, I think he's beautiful and I love his acting, but that's not the reason why I think this movie, this story, is riveting and magnificent!  I would also use the same words to describe Kate Winslet's acting, by the way.  She played the role of Hanna Schmitz).

I can think of two main reasons why I loved the story.    The first is because I'm a Sociologist and the second is simply because I'm a hopeless romantic and sucker for all things heartbreaking. Both my cerebral and highly sentimental sides felt satisfied with this movie for the most part and I can confidently say that I am now including this in my highly recommended movies list.  

And let me further break down my reasons for loving this movie into the three main things that stood out for me...

Viewing the film with a Sociological framework, I see it as a perfect illustration of C.W. Mills' point when he said in his book The Sociological Imagination (1959) that 'neither the life of an individual, nor the history of a society could be fully understood without understanding both'.  I couldn’t help but be reminded particularly of one thing Mills’ wrote: “When wars happen, an insurance salesperson becomes a rocket launcher; a store clerk, a radar operator; a wife or husband lives alone; a child grows up without a parent.”  In this instance, Michael Berg (played by David Kross and Ralph Fiennes) lost a lover and was forever dented.  Love stories are complicated enough just because you have two lives, two biographies intersecting, intertwining.  Imagine what further complications ensue when you begin to locate those biographies within social contexts (histories) that are tumultuous and therefore present those individuals with life choices that are impossible to simply be viewed as either black or white; a context where moral simplicity and status quo thinking cannot be applied.  Imagine the struggles.  Imagine the questions.  Imagine not having answers...

In this story, I saw two characters whose lives were ultimately defined by their respective secrets.  This brings me to a second point that struck me and that is, when people deny a powerful truth about themselves, a powerful truth that defines them, then that ultimately consumes and diminishes them.  Hanna repeatedly chose to keep her illiteracy a secret, even though it meant turning down jobs, alienating people (and herself), and suffering for something she was not completely guilty of.  She would rather choose the label 'murderer' (which she probably was, although this is a complex point in the story), than 'illiterate'.  It was one self-definition she was never willing to accept and reveal.

Michael's life, on the other hand, was obviously strongly defined by his affair with Hanna, the pain she caused him, the abandonment, feelings of rejection, and then perhaps shame that this woman who consumed him is morally questionable, to say the least.  His relationships suffered and his internal struggles dominated him.  He could've helped 'save' her, but he felt too conflicted.  He loved her but at the same time, 'hated' her, what she's done, her choice to let people die and perhaps more importantly, her choice to leave him.  Faced with the opportunity, he then chose to reject her as well, abandon her as she had abandoned him.  During Hanna's incarceration, he had every opportunity to resurface and make his presence known but he did not.  And when he had resurfaced by way of his audio tapes, he still was not fully there.  He chose to not have any physical nor real personal contact.  He refused to even send her a note.  Why?  Could it have been a way of tormenting her as well?  Letting her know he was ‘there’, ‘present’, but not quite, not reachable, still invisible, distant.  It was cruel, to say the least, but could he have been merely trying to inflict if only a fraction of the pain he feels she had inflicted upon him all his adult life?  Perhaps.  All the suffering and cruelty they both caused and experienced stem from the powerful denials they repeatedly chose, thus diminishing them one way or the other.

A third main point for me was the obvious power of words.  One of my favorite moments from the film, and perhaps one of the most powerful ones as well, was when Hanna finally started learning to read and write with Michael’s audio recording of The Lady With the (little) Dog.  Imagine the empowerment felt simply by being able to figure out a simple word such as 'THE'.  (There is more to say about words and how writers and readers like us take them for granted, but I will save that for another day).  And what about Hanna's expectation of a letter from Michael?  How a simple note from him would've made a universe of difference to her?  How a few personal words of direct acknowledgment would've given her life?  If only he wrote.  If only they said more to each other when they finally met again after decades of absence.  They both appeared utterly burdened by a sense of restraint.  As the audience, you could feel the heaviness in their hearts, how both wanted to say so much and yet neither knew where or how to begin, or felt it didn’t matter anymore.  To me, the way they seemed internally conflicted was palpable.  And again being me, I'd always prefer the presence of words and insist that it always matters.  Just say it. Say everything, ask your questions, ask for explanations, tell her how much she has hurt you, how much you’ve been carrying this pain all these years and how much the memory of her has tainted every single step you had taken since you parted years ago.  But then...for what?  Closure?  Will anything she says now truly give him that?  Does that idea even truly exist and if it does, will it be enough to heal all the wounds she caused and bring back the lives she took, including his?  I feel, though, that if he had chosen to speak to her, truly speak to her, that it would've breathed some life back into her.  If only he gave her more words...

I hear that a lot of people who saw this movie wondered if Michael and Hanna truly loved each other.  My answer would be ‘yes’ and I say that because in the end, they continued to make better persons of each other.  As Michael began to confront his feelings towards Hanna, he chose to go through the painstaking task of reading books out loud and record them for her, knowing that this fuels her.  As a result, Hanna saw an opportunity to finally free herself from the shackles of illiteracy.  I think only love can do that.  Only love, even in its faintest or transfigured form, drowned in painful memories and difficult less-than-ideal choices made, can make people achieve better versions of themselves or at the very least, get glimpses of such versions.  In the end, I truly think only love has that much power.