At The Movies


I saw the Hunger Games. I won’t read the books, not because I’m a lit-snob, even though I am (I barely read YA novels when I was a YA) but because I have so many books to read, and this trilogy doesn’t deserve to be read before I read, say, the Rabbit series – I don’t know why I’ve never read them- do they? 

But I saw the movie. It was fine. Well paced, too much shaking hand held camera, but the narrative was compelling enough. I’m not really that much of critic when I’m actually in the theater, because then you’re rooting for the movie. After all you’re sitting there, committed. It might as well be not a terrible experience. Right? Plus I know what a Hollywood action movie is going to deliver. They’ve all read the wikipedia page on the Hero’s Journey.

Two things stood out though. One immediately. One after I consulted Sauron to tell me how I should feel about the movie I just saw.

The second one first.

People were upset that one of the characters was a Black. Apparently even though she was described as black- even to the point of being compared to a shadow- they assumed because of the other descriptors that she must be blonde and white, and cute. That made a lot of hay throughout the interwebz but it says nothing you probably didn’t already know about the Western World vis a vis protecting white girls innocence.

Insert Virginity Pledges. Insert Madonna Whore Complex. Insert Missing White Girl Syndrome. And also every commercial that uses the phrase ‘protecting what’s important’ or some variation thereof. Insurance. Cars. Tires. Brokerage Accounts. The list goes on. Little (non Jewish, non ‘Hispanic’) white girls are a precious commodity, and quite frankly, they are in short supply in America. IMMIGRATION REFERENCE.

The other thing though is worse. I saw the IMAX version of the movie. Before the film though, there is an ad for the IMAX experience. For the thing I’m about to experience. IMAX is so puffed up about its BRAND that trailers that weren’t shot with IMAX cameras carry a disclaimer before they’re shown. Those inferior trailers have a card that informs you that what you are about to see does not reflect the IMAX experience.

They really, really, want to make sure you understand that IMAX is a thing. A thing worth paying for. After you’ve already paid for it. I want to use the word IMAX more in this post because I’m way below the amount of times I was informed that I was about to EXPERIENCE IMAX before I saw the film. (Check out the preview. For IMAX. Talk about small penis syndrome.)

Here’s the thing though. The only film I’ve seen in the last few years that would truly have benefitted from IMAX wasn’t even offered in the format. (Tree of Life btw- a movie that made no sense to me, (my fault, not Mr. Malik’s) but was absolutely beautiful. A lot of beautiful images that amounted to nothing. Must be what Fashion Week in NYC is like? Anyway.)

Seeing the absolute best visual presentation of what is in the end, a trifle of a movie, leaves me still. It’s as if Ferran Adria invites you to bucolic, romantic, countryside Spain, and then perfectly recreates a dish from TGI McScrapplebee’s Factory (ZOMG I love fried potato skins!!!111!! w/ 56 others). 

Also. I don’t go to the movies a lot, but I would totally accept more pre-movie ads (straight up ads, like this turrrible, overwrought+* google plus ad) if they would reduce the cost of my ticket. But that is a different post for a different time. 

*See what I did there? I plus’ed the overwrought. 

The links in this post are out of control, I know. Whatever

The Art of Dissing

Just the year before, a mediocre book that is already half forgotten had been touted as a classic for the ages, and its author likened to the greatest novelist of all time; that was some serious bullshit.”

BR Meyers on Freedom by Jonathan Franzen. This was snipped from his excellent review of The Art of Fielding, a book, that has really lovely sentences but like the reviewer says, goes absolutlely nowhere, slowly.