Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Three Movies and a Disappointment

J was out of town last weekend. and so I took the opportunity to watch some movies that I've been meaning to get to for awhile (and by awhile I mean years) that I knew J didn't necessarily care to see.

Come Academy Awards time, am I the only one that suddenly needs to see all of the critically acclaimed movies that no one has seen but yet are nominated for copious amounts of awards?

The first film I chose was Milk.  This film won two academy awards in January of 2009.  Yep, I'm a little behind here.  The film is a biographical account of the rise of politician Harvey Milk, the first openly gay man to ever be elected to public office in the state of California.  What a wonderful character.  Sean Penn did an outstanding job playing this courageous man (and won the Best Actor trophy to prove it). It was fascinating to see his fight to be heard, and his passionate work for equality.  It is terribly sad that his fate was to be assassinated, as it is certain that Harvey Milk would have done great things.  Definitely a movie worth seeing.

The next film was an oldie that I've been meaning to watch forever, To Kill a Mockingbird.  A professor of mine once used this film as an example to counter my argument that movie versions are never as good as the book.  Since that class, six or so years ago, I have been meaning to watch this movie.  My conclusion?  That professor is a liar.  Or has questionable taste in movies.  Or both.  You see, I loved the novel.  It left me full.  Those of you that are readers of great novels will understand what I mean when I say that.  The movie did not have the same affect on me.  I will say that Gregory Peck played an incomparable Atticus Finch, but other than that, I just did not have the same passion about the film as I did about the novel.  But not a bad movie, if you like the oldies.

My third film of the weekend was Slumdog Millionaire.  In 2009, when Sean Penn won that Best Actor trophy?  Slumdog Millionaire won just about every other Oscar there is.  Eight of them, to be precise, including Best Picture.  This movie was truly wrought with emotion.  At any given moment, I may have felt happiness, sorrow, fear, or hope.  A truly intriguing story of an uneducated young man performing shockingly well on India's version of "Who Wants To Be a Millionaire," the film takes us back to circumstances in the boy's life the led him to know the answers on the quiz show.  And his life has been far from easy, being orphaned at a young age and forced to survive the streets with his brother.  This was an excellent, excellent film. If you haven't already seen it, then I demand that you rent it this weekend.

And lastly, one HUGE disappointment.  After these cultured, smart films, you'd think I would have stuck with the trend, no?  Well, as I knew J would NEVER want to see it, I decided to watch "Bad Teacher."  Mostly because it stars my number one crush, Justin Timberlake.  Well, not only was this movie sheer and utter crap, I was temporarily slightly less attracted to my beloved JT after witnessing the horror that was his character.  The premise is that Cameron Diaz, the bad teacher, only wants one thing in life: to marry a rich man.  She's only teaching until she can reach that goal...that is, until she decides that bigger boobs could help her reach that goal more quickly.  So the school year turns into a way to lie, cheat, and steal money for her "new titties" jar.  I truly couldn't make this stuff up if I tried.  JT plays a do-gooder substitute from an extremely wealthy family.  His extreme loserness makes me cringe just thinking about it even now, a week and a half later.  Ugh.  The only bright spot I found in this movie was that while grading reports, Cameron writes on one student's paper "Are you f**king kidding me?"  This made me giggle, as I can't tell you how often over the years that exact phrase has gone through my mind.  (And if you are a fellow teacher, don't try to tell me that you've never thought the same.)  Bottom line here?  PLEASE don't watch this movie.  You will do nothing but wish you had that hour and a half of your life back.

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