Category Archives: Movies

Bible Beatings a Growing Trend…

I’m not proud to admit this. Or, maybe I should be. I love Mandy Moore. The new Mandy Moore…of course. I think that her latest album Wild Hope is actually pretty good. She seems to be maturing and separating herself from the era of overly blonde teen pop-stars that we were forced to endure in the late 90’s and early 00’s. I watched a short documentary on her that was actually pretty interesting. She cusses like a sailor (which you gotta love) and enjoys poking fun at herself–especially that ridiculous song Candy. Just in case you forgot how bad the song was, here is a clip from VH1’s Pop Up Video

So, anyway, you get my point. Mandy has not typically been known for her great music. Or, for her great movie roles… I must admit, though, that I loved the movie Saved. She plays the “popular kid” at a Christian High School. This movie is actually a parody of Christian High Schools. To me, it is one of the funniest movies I’ve seen for a while. My favorite scene is when Mandy’s character tries to “save” a girl who has “lost her way.” FYI, she “lost her way” by having sex with her gay boyfriend in order to try to save him. The scene is soooooo funny.

It to mind this morning while I was reading the paper. Evidently, a prison guard was charged with battery for attacking an inmate with a Bible. I guess he was “full of Christ’s love” as Mandy’s character says. I just love this shit. 馃槈

2 Ways to Deal With 1 Problem

For those of you who have been following along on my blogging journey, you may remember that I wrote an entry entitled, “A Serious Problem.” It was a humorous look at cell phones and voice mail. Due to the gravity of the serious cell phone problem in the world, I have decided to write more. (I am just guessing; but, I think you will probably see even more of these to come…I’m on a crusade.)

Jeff and I went to see The Invasion this weekend, starring Nicole Kidman and Daniel Craig. It was the latest in a growing list of movie remakes of The Invasion of the Body Snatchers. Not bad. Not great. It was so-so. I mostly went because I enjoy sci-fi, and was in the mood for a movie. It proved to be enjoyable. But, not because the movie was awesome.

About ten minutes into the movie, the guy directly in front of me started texting on his iPhone. After about 3 seconds of thinking, “ooooh…an iPhone,” I started to get annoyed. It was such a distraction. In the dark theater, it was like someone was shining a light in my face while I was–believe it or not–trying to watch the movie. In my typically passive manner, I pointed him out to Jeff. I really just wanted to complain about it. Jeff, however, leans forward and kindly asks this guy to stop. After shooting Jeff a scandalous glance, he turned off his phone for the rest of the movie. I was amazed. First, chivalry is not dead. (Thanks, honey) Second, I couldn’t believe that is all it took for this guy to stop being rude.

Now, back to the movie. Here’s a synopsis and a spoiler. The movie starts off with the space shuttle disintegrating upon re-entry into Earth’s atmosphere. The pieces end up scattered across the U.S. Well, evidently there are some mysterious spores attached to the remains of the shuttle. These spores, once inside the human body, alter the person’s DNA and cause the person to be void of emotion, feeling, etc. Slowly, but surely, this “virus” spreads across the country, giving everyone a zombie-esque manner. Blah, blah, blah…I’ll skip to the moral of the story. Without emotion or feeling, there is no rage or hate or even reason for war, or any kind of conflict in general. So, the question is raised: are we better off being fully human (full of hate and rage) or are we better off in this new state of being…in peace? They don’t really answer the question; they just want you to think.

Welllll, at the end of the movie, I hear yelling in the back of the theater. Evidently, a woman was texting throughout the entire movie. The guy behind her got sick of it after an hour and a half and decided to kick the back of her chair on his way out. I’m thinking…finally, now for the real entertainment! Security was called, so, Jeff and I left. Jeff brought up an interesting point about people having ADD. They can’t just watch the movie. They also have to text, talk on their phone, etc. In his words, “why would you pay $10 to come play on your phone?” Good point.

Immediately, I was in awe that this was going on after this movie. These people totally missed the point to the whole movie, which was due to the fact that they were paying more attention to the phone. Not only that, but also, they put a perfect exclamation mark at the end of the movie. I was proud of Jeff for choosing to ask the guy in front of us to turn his cell off. I think it was better way to deal with the issue.

Isn’t it amazing that devices that are intended to help us communicate and connect to others, can actually do the opposite? Instead of connecting and communicating with the world around us we are pulled into this tunnel were no one else matters. I believe that the cell phone and the MP3 player are GREAT inventions. I love mine. But, there is a time a place for everything. We as a society need to learn this lesson. Otherwise the body snatchers might come…

Everybody Loves a Nice Montage

mon路tage (mon-t盲zh) n.

1.a. A single pictorial composition made by juxtaposing or superimposing many pictures or designs.
b. The art or process of making such a composition.

2.a. A relatively rapid succession of different shots in a movie.
b. The juxtaposition of such successive shots as a cinematic technique.

3. A composite of closely juxtaposed elements: a montage of voices on an audiotape.

tr.v. mon路taged, mon路tag路ing, mon路tag路es
To use or incorporate in a montage.

t[French, from monter, to mount, from Old French; see mount1.]
The American Heritage庐 Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition copyright 漏2000 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Updated in 2003. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.


I love montages. You know…the piecing together of clips in a movie or on a tv show with a nice music underlay. They do this to advance the story without actually having to write all that dialogue. For example, if film editors want to show the time period between someone’s childhood and adulthood, they can just turn it into a montage by showing the defining moments that might have happened during that period. What makes a montage really great is the use of slow-motion and a nice ballad.

I think that I mostly enjoy the cheesy drama associated with a montage. More than once, I have been listening to a great song and thought, “This would be perfect for my montage!” Oh yes, that’s right, I have been creating my a personal montage of my life…in my head. I might possibly use Mariah Carey’s “Hero” or, possibly Coldplay’s “Fix You.” It would be complete with a shot of me showing my “prize” heifer at the Marion County Fair; followed by a nice clip of me in my basement, rollerskating to “Rosanna” with a broom in my hand; a couple clips of me singing; serving some drinks on the airplane with a smile and a wink; and maybe a nice slow-mo of me running on the beach with the wind blowing through my hair… OK, that last one has never actually happened, but, still I think that it would make a nice addition to my montage.

And who doesn’t enjoy a nice stroll down memory lane, with the Golden Girls’ theme song playing underneath? Thank you for being a friend… travel down the road and back again… It really is possible that I have too much time on my hands. All I know is that when I reflect on the past, I can’t help it. It turns into a montage…music and all.

I thought that I would include a couple of examples. One not so serious, and another serious. Enjoy the amazingly wonderful world of the montage…
This first montage is from “South Park.” It’s a parody of sport montages. You know, clips of the athlete training, etc. The best part is that “they” always use a nice 80’s song, like, “Eye of the Tiger” or something similar. This is probably the funniest montages I’ve seen…

This second montage is a serious one. It is from the series finale of “Six Feet Under.” They use Sia’s “Breathe Me” for the music and it’s very well done. It is the last thing you see in the show; and, they use it show how each of the show’s characters’ lives play out…

Harvey Milk

I usually don’t post twice in one day; nor do I have such a serious post. But, I was seriously moved this afternoon by watching the Academy Award-winning The Times of Harvey Milk. I realize that I am only about 23 years behind the curve here. But, this is a deeply moving documentary about Harvey Milk (San Francisco’s first openly gay elected public official and one of the first in the nation). I am amazed that it is still so moving all these years later. Perhaps it is because I live in the part of San Francisco where this all happened.

I should take a moment here to state that I realize some of you do not support gay rights. That’s too much to tackle in this post alone. What I found the most disturbing about this documentary was Dan White’s hate and disdain. It does not matter where you are at on the political or religious spectrum … to hate someone enough to kill them execution style is incomprehensible to me.

It’s not that this is news to me. I knew who Supervisor Harvey Milk and Mayor George Moscone were. I heard of the candlelight march down Market Street that followed their deaths. I read of the riots that followed Supervisor Dan White’s verdict. It’s that I had never seen the footage. It really is an understatement to say that I cried. I wept at the sight of San Francisco in the late 70’s.

I could fully recount the story for you; however, I think that you should see it for yourself.

Take a Ride on the Shortbus

One of my favorite movies of last year was “Shortbus.” What a great multi-layered movie. I’m just now writing about this movie because Jeff and I rented it again last night. And, it has taken this long for me to really process the film. I originally saw it last fall when I was in NYC with Jeff. It was a highlight of the trip–to see a movie in New York about New Yorkers trying to deal with the aftermath of 9-11, the aftermath of each other, and the aftermath of themselves. 2 kudos!

Here’s an overly brief synopsis of the movie for those who didn’t see it. The movie begins in a post 9-11 New York City following the lives of a few New Yorkers. We see them struggling to live their lives and deal with each other in meaningful, truthful ways. It is difficult to summarize such a multi-layered story. I guess one way would be to say that we are all flawed, in some way, and that life is measured in the amount of love that we give or don’t give. (Very “RENT”, huh?) Anyway, so these people created a space called “Shortbus” to gather and deal. And have sex. And give love. And be loved. The movie unfolds as these peoples lives unravel.

I realize that “Shortbus” is one of those “love it or hate it” movies. Some think that there is too much sex. Some think the sex is not titillating enough. Others just hate all of the threads that are being woven together. Some are just not ready to be confronted with the idea that we all have flaws and are taking a ride on the “Shortbus.”

I guess knowing how the movie came together really makes it special for me. The actors were cast first, then the story came together out of a series of workshops, then they found financing and filmed. This process gives the movie such a quality of realness. And, the actors are dealing with their real issues and are having real sex. Really. I guess that I just completely lost myself in their stories.

Its rare that I would care enough about a movie to write about it, just for fun. But I find this movie continuing to play itself out in my life. And that is even more rare…