Monday, September 27, 2010

"Let's all go to the movies!" or, FINALLY! A post that's not about dogs!!

When I was little ... like 3 or 4 ... Annie was my favorite movie. I loved it *so* much, my dad produced the live stage version, just for me! I would sing it, I would quote it, I would while away hours in my room by myself, reenacting it. One of the highlights was that the dog who played Sandie came to live with us, and as we didn't have a dog of our own, it was awesome!

Ahhh ... the halcyon days of my childhood. I identified with that spunky, little orphan. In fact, when I was really young, I thought I was an orphan. I didn't see how I possibly belonged to my mother. Oh, my father I knew - beyond the shadow of a doubt - I was related to. But I figured he just searched for me until he found me. Coincidentally my love for Little Orphan Annie was only replaced (around the age of 6 or 7) by another orphan named Anne ... but this one was Canadian, and didn't sing or dance.

Both orphans ... with red hair ... names begin with A ... smart, spunky, optimistic girls who pulled themselves up by their bootstraps, took it on the chin, and never looked back. That must have been the reason why I hated being blonde - by all rights, my hair should have been red. UGH! Stoopid genetics.

I digress.

One of my favorite scenes in Annie (the movie) is when Albert Finney, as Daddy Warbucks, takes Annie and Grace (Ann Reinking) to the movies, simply because Annie had never been to one before ... because she's an orphan. What I loved about that bit, was the bizarre fact that Daddy Warbucks buys every seat in the theater, just for that one show. I guess it isn't really bizarre - if I were a billionaire at the beginning of the depression, and seats were only a nickel a pop, buying all the seats would be chump change in the deep money couch of my life. But when I was little, it seemed so ... extravagant!

I went to the movies tonight. I also went to the movies on Thursday night. And while I understand that it isn't 1933 anymore, I think that $11.50 for one seat in a movie theater is a little much. $11.50!! Last year, it was $10.00. The inflation rate seems a bit steep, doesn't it? But then, I suppose with the competition of television, live performances, and more visual stimulus than anyone in 1933 could possibly imagine, I suppose I understand the need for it ... to a degree. I'm sure that in the '30s, everyone would go to the movies. That was it - that was the entertainment. Besides my two friends and I, there were maybe 20 other people, sitting in a theatre that could probably seat 100-125 people.

On the other hand, we have 30 times the amount of movies playing in one theatre now. Literally - the movie houses had one screen, and one movie. Now, we have AMC 30 - 30 screens, and up to 30 movies (though probably closer to 24, since the newest releases show on multiple screens). But all of this means that I spent $23.00 in two days to see two separate movies.

So my $23.00 is going to what, exactly? The actors on screen? Only partially. The Studios? Most definitely. The movie theatre itself? I'm sure. I don't generally go to the movies a lot. I'm usually either too poor, or too busy. It takes a lot - and I mean, A LOT - to get me to slap down $11.50 to go watch people (who get paid amounts that I can't even quantify), perform on a two-dimensional screen, surrounded by other people who can't turn off their electrical gadgets, for reasons I can only assume are related to life-threatening situations (or ... you know, not), listening to babies cry (seriously? Why are you taking your NEWBORN to the MOVIES?), and/or children running up and down the aisles (When did the concept of parenting vanish??).

And for all of this - I actually like going to see movies. I'm not trying to knock films, or film actors. I don't think it's a stupid medium. I value both the art and entertainment a movie can provide. But more and more, I would rather take my $11.50 and go see some possibly hideous NoHo live theatre. Which I would totally do ... if I lived in NoHo.*

Now ... all of this being said, the movie I saw on Thursday night is called Easy A. This one was WELL worth my money. Why?

1. Emma Stone.
2. Any teen movie that seeks to question and chastise the obsession we have with female sexuality is AWESOME.
3. Any teen movie that does the above by incorporating smart dialogue and the major themes and parallels of the Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne - yes, Yes, YES!

I'm going to buy it when it comes out on DVD, it was that good.

Tonight we saw You Again. I probably could have waited to see this one on Netflix.

1. Kristen Bell is very good - the best thing about the movie, really.
2. Sigourney Weaver - well, who doesn't like Sigourney Weaver? In anything??
3. Script - nice concept, poor delivery.
4. If you go see it, tell me what you think about the dude who plays Kristen Bell's brother. (I wanted to hit him in the face with a baseball bat, just to shut him up)

But the bone that I'll throw to both these movies, is that I found myself in an inner-dialogue questioning my own experience. With Easy A, I was thinking about the creative delivery and brilliant tie-in with the Scarlet Letter, and then how the writers turned it on its head. It made me want to become an English teacher, again. Or ... you know, for the first time. I really want every teenager to see this film - a "what not to do" for both men and women.

You Again had me thinking back to my high school career - being grateful that I was never horrible to anyone, and that no one tormented me. I survived, and got out (relatively) unscathed. No, don't think I'm lucky ... I got mine in Middle School. Although hideously, the movie had Kristen Bell graduating high school in 2002, and supposedly growing up and empowering herself in the long, long years since her teenage version of hell; she plays a public relations executive - a VP at the age of 26?? REALLY?? I have to admit ... that was just a bit much. Especially since I graduated in ... never mind. But it made me feel OLD - and I'm not really in any life position just yet to feel that way. Although, the fact that I'm currently unemployed at the moment didn't make it any easier.

Ah well.

Also, I spend $8.95 a month to watch movies, courtesy of Netflix, on my Wii. Saturday night, I was up till 3:30 a.m., watching Lena Headey (mmmmm) speak with a Scottish accent (*Drool*) in a British film called Aberdeen. Relatively depressing, yet redeeming - Stellan Skarsgard is also in it. In a nutshell: A cocaine addict is sent by her mother, who's dying of cancer, to retrieve her alcoholic father in Norway, and get him back to Aberdeen, before mom dies.

I decided to chase that little gem of happiness with Rachel Getting Married. Everyone I know has been telling me how great this movie is, and how great Anne Hathaway is in it. I don't know what I was expecting; possibly some honest-to-goodness self-deprecating humor, or at least the "funny-'cause-it's-true" variety -the kind I love in movies about family dysfunction. Yeah, it doesn't have any of that. Imagine my shock! It was so painful ... I almost turned it off. I didn't - and I'm glad I didn't. But hot damn. There should be category requirements for dysfunctional family films:

"It puts the FUN in dysFUNctional!" or "It's just going to make you cry." Or, possibly: "Wes Anderson Dysfunctional" or "Mommy Dearest Dysfunctional." I know I'd appreciate the warning. Anyway, Anna Deavere Smith and Bill Irwin are in it, as is Debra Winger. It was all sort of heart-wrenchingly fabulous from an acting point-of-view.

And lastly, having nothing to do with anything I've just talked about, I've decided that I like Glee. Many people thought I already did, just because I happen to be a lesbian, and the show deals with gay themes and musical theatre. But folks, let me tell you - the gay boys are the ones who are stereotyped to like musicals. The lesbians are stereotyped to like sports. See the difference? You can witness this stereotyping right here, on my blog. Just look to see how many musical theatre-related items I've tagged. Now look to see how many sports-related items I've tagged. PLEASE - let's stop confusing this. I feel slightly annoyed whenever someone tries to stereotype me outside of my stereotype.

Also - I'm tired of the "liberal" media linking pedophilia to gay rights and/or sex. [see: anti-gay rights pastors/priests/politicians who are accused and/or actually solicit sex from young boys] This story pissed me off ... though I do find a *great* amount of irony in Ted Haggard coming to his defense ...

And - I bought my first purse/bag/thing on Saturday. I was with my friend Stephanie who said, "It's stylish, but it's also very you!!" I wasn't sure how to take that comment, exactly, but it's true! It's cargo-fabulous, has a long adjustable strap, and lots of pockets. I was getting really tired of carrying my wallet, keys, cell phone and multiple pairs of glasses in my pockets, on my head, or hanging by my shirt. Lara told me today that it was a "bag." Liz told me it was "a satchel." Whatever it is, it's mine, and it boosts my estrogen and femininity in one fell swoop. Just one more element in my ultimate quest for androgyny! BWUAHAHAHAHA! My evil plan is working! Soon, no stereotype will work at all!! Look upon me and tremble!!

......and I'm done.

* While I do support OC theatre, NoHo is the only place I know of where tickets for $11.50 (or less!) actually exist.


Phoenix said...

The sound you just heard was me falling out of my chair that you bought a purse. Sorry, just gonna check for rain of toads outside... brb... ;)

Easy A was so freakin' good. Benni was so/so on it, so I spent, like, half a day lecturing on him on how hard it is to be girl in high school because you're either a slut or a prude and how brilliantly the movie handled the subject. Also, I want Patricia Clarkson and Stanley Tucci as my parents in my next life, thankyouverymuch.

Love you. Keep me updated on your Monkey.

Lira said...

They should've retitled it, "Rachel's Family Giving Speeches." Ugh!

Can't wait to see Easy A. Did you see the House Bunny? I saw it on a plane, expecting to hate it. Loved it. So funny.

I want JK Simmons and Allison Janney as my parents. Just sayin.

Radical Bradacal said...

@ Tracy - Just for that, I'm posting a picture of my purse/bag/thing. RAINING TOADS?? Me buying a purse/bag/thing is not one of the signs of the apocalypse.

@ Lira - I DID see House Bunny!! I LOVED it! And like you totally expected to hate it.

@ both of you - I want Allison Janey AND Patricia Clarkson for my parents! So there! :P