Thursday, January 24, 2013

A few recent movie thoughts...

Hansel and Gretel - Witch Hunters strange little movie. Based on a story published by the brothers Grimm in 1812, it seemed odd to me that a phonograph was playing in the woods. Ditto the fully automatic crossbow. Double-ditto the wind-up stun-gun/defibrillator. And of course the f-bombs are such a touch for any fairy tale. Bottom line? No.

Zero Dark Thirty

Intense and authentic feeling start to finish. Superb acting. Flawless writing. And it of course ended with Bin Laden in a bag. Most definitely.

Gangster Squad

Not as good as it could've been, but still highly entertaining with some excellent acting. I'm not a Sean Penn fan but in this role he gives a must-see performance. Downright frightening, enough so that it's hard to imagine the real Mickey Cohen being any spookier a presence. Yup.

The Houston area's finest movie theater

The Passion That Thrills

Until a couple years ago, when someone asked me what my hobbies or passions were, the answer could turn into a real ramble:  "Well, I love Ole Miss football. And reading books. And writing books. And watching movies. And writing movies. Watching musicals. Plays. And..." You get the picture. It sounded like I had more hobbies and passions than Carter had pills. In my mind, however, once I separated out the football, everything else was really just a variation on the same theme, one big blob o'passion.

Sometimes it takes a while for the obvious to register with me, but it finally did:  My passion is storytelling. Whether it's a book or a movie or gathering around the campfire, it really is the same thing. It's the story that engages me, and with which I can hopefully engage others. The format in which the story is told is secondary. I'm ecstatic when a new book pops from a favorite author. I'm in line for the 12:01 AM first showing. A good Broadway show is a treat. It's all just variations on venue. Story is king.

Picture of Peppers
This is a picture of some peppers. It has no
purpose beyond being a picture of some peppers.

Maximum enjoyment of story is of course influenced by format and venue. Reading a book is solitary and cerebral. Subtle smiles and frowns and chuckles are more the norm than cheering. I believe this should not be the case in movie theaters. Part of the fun of going to the movies is the shared energy of the crowd. So I think there needs to be more cheering at key cinematic moments, and I'm working to increase same. Will you join me? It'll be a cool story someday.