Irony, Existentialism, and Extraterrestrials, Oh My!

Irony is defined in my trusty Webster’s New World Dictionary as an event or result that is the opposite of what is expected.  It follows, logically, that ironic is opposite to what is or might be expected.  So, by definition, it’s incredibly ironic that my movie viewing has decreased since I got this whole movie review blog gig.

There might be extenuating circumstances, i.e. going through an existential crisis that makes one question the last 2, possibly 3, years of one’s life, but that’s a different blog for a different website.  Even if there is some sort of existential crisis, one would think that I would use movies to escape, and, therefore, have ample fodder from which to blog.  On the contrary, I can’t seem to motivate myself to devote the 2 to 2.5 hours required for a movie. It’s much easier to turn on the equally trusty DVR and lose myself in a pointless, thoughtless hour long drama in which nothing of consequence really happens.

Most of what I’ve seen recently is too forgettable to deserve a blog.  I finally saw Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events. I’m pretty sure it got horrible reviews because it didn’t live up to the epic proportions of the Harry Potter adaptations, but I enjoyed the semi-tragic tale of the 3 children who were orphaned when their house mysteriously exploded with their parents inside.

Jim Carrey as the evil, money-grubbing “uncle” was more than a little annoying, but I love Liam Aiken, who portrayed Klaus, the middle child.  Some of you may remember him as Susan Sarandon’s precious, magic-loving son in Stepmom. 

I thought the subtitles for Sunny’s (the little sister) mumblings and baby talk were extremely original, and Jude Law made for a great narrator.  Meryl Streep’s performance was surprising and entertaining, and even though I’d recommend the film, it doesn’t really lend itself to a full length blog.

Neither does Dreamcatcher.  Other than The Shawshank Redemption, I’m pretty sure it’s the only Stephen King adaptation I’ve seen.  My desire to watch it was driven by my opinions of the starring actors.  I’ve liked Damien Lewis ever since I saw him in Band of Brothers, and Timothy Olyphant was mesmerizing in the short-lived Deadwood series on HBO.  Their performances in Dreamcatcher aren’t quite as stellar, but I don’t think the material was either.

I had hoped for something a little more original from the plot than aliens coming to take over the world.  The Ojibwa Native American culture believes that dreamcatchers filter bad dreams from good ones.  The bad ones get stuck in the net of woven sinew, and the good ones fly freely into the dreamer’s unconscious mind.

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One would think with a plot device this diverse and unusual that the film would be truly original.  Alas, there is only one reference to the dreamcatcher hanging from the ceiling of the cabin in which the four friends are staying. 

Speaking of the four friends, Jonesy, Beaver, Pete and Henry changed their lives forever the day they stumbled upon young Duddits being bullied.  They gained a friend that day, and as the friendship grew, they also gained some interesting abilities.  Is it possible that this retarded boy is more than he seems?  Could he have given them all special powers that will one day save the world?

In addition to the regular routine of life that’s kept me too busy to see any of the latest box office hits, I had a good friend tell me tonight, somewhat tongue in cheek, that I haven’t seen enough movies to really excel in the movie review realm. My pride was a bit wounded.  I like to think of myself as quite the movie connoisseur, and I’ve impressed many friends and acquaintances with my random movie trivia and knowledge.

However, I’ve often said that there’s always someone who’s better at something than you are, and I guess my friend is more of an avid movie fan than I am.  He also has a few extra years on me, but we won’t go into that.

So in the interest of becoming more qualified for this “gig,” I will do my best to devote more time to watching movies.  After all, it is August in Dallas, which means it’ll be over 100 degrees for several days in a row. 

What better way to beat the heat than to sit in my comfortable home or in a frigid movie theater and lose myself for a few hours.  I’m FINALLY going to see The Dark Knight this weekend, so even though I’m sure most of you have already seen it, check back next week for my review, unqualified though it may be.

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