Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Great holiday, but Dad can't choose the movies anymore

So, new year. I promise I will post twice a day everyday all the live-long year.

Hm, no, not really.

So, what's what?

I had a really lovely Christmas and New Year holiday. (Thanks for asking.)

Oh - k. got me only the awesomest Christmas present ever - a turntable! Not just that, but it has a USB port, if I want to digitize.

"But Ish," you say. "You don't even own any records."

Not true, bitches! I now own "The Beatles" and "Abbey Road," again courtesy of k.*

Back story: we were hanging out with friends a month or so ago, and they have a turntable and records, and I just played with them for about 3 hours straight, and it was an absolute blast.

For instance: playing the entire album "Abbey Road" on CD? That's a 8 out of 10. (It's awesome, but you have to have somewhere to go. I'm tough but fair.) Now then: listening to Abbey Road on a turntable, with the scratch and hiss after you drop the needle and before "Come Together" starts, and again before "Here Comes the Sun"? That's about a twelve.

I went back east and spent time with k's family on Nantucket, which was a lot of fun. We ate, drank, played games, read and occasionally slept. There was a lot of laughter. What more could you ask for?

I grew up in a resort town, so I have noticed that resort towns tend to have a number of things in common:

1. T-shirt shops
2. Candy shops.

Okay, so maybe not a large number. (Sorry, I thought there would be more.)

No town is really a resort town if you can walk around the town center without having an opportunity to buy a sweatshirt or fudge every fifty feet.

And I guess when you go on vacation, you tend to buy souvenirs like t-shirts and hats. But what's with all the candy? Who's going on vacation saying, "man, I sure hope [Park City/Martha's Vineyard/Hilton Head] has saltwater taffy!"

I also went to visit my family over the holidays, which meant more airports and more opportunity for disaster, but I came through unscathed.

On one flight I was in an exit row, so the flight attendent had to come and give everyone a speech.

"You are sitting in an exit row. In the unlikely event of an emergency, it may be necessary for you to assist the crew in an evacuation by opening the emergency doors. Are you willing and able to perform this task? I need you to respond in the affirmative, or I will arrange for you to be seated elsewhere."

So the flight attendent asks everyone, and they say "yes," or yeah."

I really wanted to give a Dwight Shrute-like reply: "oh my God, are you kidding me? That would be AWESOME! Seriously, how cool would that be? Totally, I'd be pumped to do it. How's it go again? Pull, and then lefty-loosie, right?"

(By the way, "unlikely?" Really? That's a bit subjective. Unless you mean that it's unlikely that we'll have an accident that's so minor that we can actually get up and do all that stuff. In that case, yeah, I guess so. But a lot of the time, the whole "who was sitting in the exit row?" question is pretty academic.)

I sat next to one woman on the plane who wore her down jacket the whole flight, and never got up in four and a half hours. During take-off and landings, she clutched in her hands what appeared to be a smoke hood. Relax, ma'am. If that door needs to open, I am ALL OVER IT.

Time with the family was good - food, sleep, a little exercise, and time to catch up with people. The only drawback was seeing "The Good Shepherd," a Robert DeNiro movie starring Matt Damon. Skip it, for the love of all that is holy, skip it. My dad chose it. I should have known better. I have revoked his movie-choosing privileges.

The movie is about the founding of the CIA by a whole bunch of Yale grads, Skull & Bones, old money-types, spanning the time period 1939 to 1961. From 1939 to 1961, a period of 22 years, Matt Damon appears to go from looking like a young man of about 24 to a man of about... 24 and ten minutes. Seriously, just absurd.

Not so his wife, played by Angelina Jolie. They manage to age (and hag-ify) her plenty with makeup. (Good makeup, then no/bad makeup.) The only thing they changed on Matt Damon was his glasses.

(Everyone wears these British Socialist medicine glasses. Everyone. They must have been on sale. I guess the theory was that they'd make everyone look crafty and serious, but in fact, the opposite was true. I was waiting for someone's nose to come off with their glasses. Ridiculous.)

By 1961, Matt has a son who's graduated from college and also joined the CIA. I don't know how they were able to find someone young enough to play Matt Damon's son who wasn't already committed to the final Harry Potter movie. You could tell he was young - he didn't even get to wear glasses.

Oh, and? It was THREE HOURS LONG. Also, it had only the suggestion of a place where a plot ought to go. 3 hours of cloak and dagger suspense that goes nowhere.

If this had been directed by a newcomer, someone from the studio would have come in and said, "yeah, justa couple notes. One, you need to trim it to an hour and 40 minutes. Two, it has to make sense." But it's DeNiro, so who's gonna tell him his movie is a steaming pile?

I bet Dwight Shrute would love to do it.

*And the Sgt Pepper's Movie Soundtrack courtesy of Sam and Mike. Thanks!


At 8:26 AM, Blogger Jen said...

Hi. I just happened upon this blog, from K's blog (after reading her entire Divorce story, which was incredible), which I happened upon through a good friend's weight loss blog to which K's blog is linked. Whew. Anyway, I'm just commenting to tell you that your review of The Good Shepherd is pretty much exactly precisely entirely what I would have written had I written that review it myself. You hit every bullet point. Awful movie. Awful. Awful.

Thanks for that. :)

At 11:46 PM, Blogger OneBadSue said...

Totally saved me from a horrible, 3-hour, Encore-movie-channel-watching experience in 2 years! Actually, I have to confess that I uttered the words, "I want to see that Matt Damon movie..." after I saw the trailer one day about a month ago. Good thing it didn't pan out.

At 5:14 PM, Anonymous Not Bridget said...

A> Listening to music on a turntable is much better and more interactive. You put the paltter on, adjhust the needle, then pore over the album art.

B> I ALWAYS hope that they have salt water taffy!

At 4:59 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I saw that movie - it freaking SUCKED. I can't believe I wasted three hours of my life that way. As to why I didn't walk out in the middle? I can only suppose I kept waiting for Matt Damon to get all Matt Damon-ish and make the movie good.


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