When I was a kid, I remember just loving the young adult section of the local library. Specifically, the tragedies, or almost-tragedies, which almost always had titles like, “Six Months to Live,” or “I Want to Live” or “Please Don’t Let Me Die Now, God!” (Note: Only one of these titles is probably made up.)
So it looks like fifth-grade me has a ton of disposable income, because, holy cow, looking at all the depressing teen movies we’ve had lately: The Hunger Games? Filled with child death. The Fault in Our Stars? It’s about cancer patients who are teenagers. If I Stay?
If I Stay? Wait, what the hebubba is that about?
Well, it’s about a teen girl who — get this — is in a COMA! So she’s practically dead ALL ALONG. Man, fifth-grade me would love this book and this movie and would probably also love the love interest, teen-boy-who-is-a-rock-musician and is probably super-sensitive and kind. Fifth-grade me would think THIS IS THE BEST MOVIE EVER.
Gods, fifth-grade me. You sucked.
It’s awfully convenient that people can take to social media to attack Robin Williams’ grieving daughter. Back in the old days, if you wanted to harass a grieving family, you had to mail them a letter or, god forbid, repeatedly drive by their house.
1. I’m not going to see Step Up: All In. I didn’t see the first 12 or 20 Step Ups, and I see no reason to make an exception to my apathy.
2. The Hundred-Foot Journey doesn’t look like my thing at all. “Oh, that looks like a good movie,” said my mother when she saw the trailer. “No, it doesn’t,” I replied.
3. Into the Storm looks just godawful. I’m not a fan of disaster movies, anyway — like, seriously, there’s enough disasters that happen in the real world, all the time, and I don’t enjoy movies about them — but this one looks even more bad than the rest.
The truth is that I never liked the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Partly because my brother liked them and partly because it was just too stupid: Mutant turtles who are teenaged ninja? Are you kidding me?
Which is how I think the new Michael Bay film feels. Have you noticed in the ads that the “Teenage Mutant” is really tiny, and that they only say “Ninja Turtles” aloud? It’s like the trailers are embarrassed: “Omigod, I’m a movie about teenage turtles who are also mutant ninja. I DON’T WANT ANYONE TO KNOW!”
And that’s sad, because, dammit, if you’re going to be a movie about Ninja turtles who are teenaged mutants, then you should own it. You should revel in it. You should be like: “DAMMIT YES I AM A MOVIE ABOUT TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES LOOK AT ME!!!”
I wanted to see Guardians of the Galaxy, not so much because I’m familiar with the comic book, but because SPACE RACCOON WITH A GUN, until I discovered that H. Jon Benjamin had been considered for the part of Rocket Raccoon.
Now I can never go, because every time I hear Bradley Cooper’s voice come out of Rocket Raccoon’s mouth, I would cry out: “That could have been H. Jon Benjamin!”
I was at the dentist this morning for a cleaning (no cavities! Whoooo!), and they had satellite radio playing, and I heard this song, which is possibly the stupidest song I’ve ever heard, using sea battle as a metaphor for love. Actually, as a simile, I guess, because he says “we love like battleships.” He goes on to say: “Boom, ba-boom, boom, ba-boom, boom, boom.”
Because this is seriously the stupidest song ever.
Anyway, here’s a list of other stupid things that could be used as a metaphor for love, but probably not as stupid as battleships, because, MY GOD, this song is so stupid.
1. Dental work, why not. “Our love is like the popcorn kernel stuck in my gums that flossing won’t get out.”
2. Collecting stamps. “I love you like that rare upside-down print butterfly from 1943. Baby.”
3. Checkers. “I jump you, you jump me, I’m the king of your heart. Also: Baby.”
4. Stir-frying. “You love me like noodles frying in the wok, and then I put some green peppers in there. Oh, yeah.”
5. Ancient Edo. “Baby, it’s all like bushido and samurai when I look at you, and maybe some ninja too.”
6. Jump-roping. “Let’s just recycle that checkers lyric mostly, all right?”
7. Life-guarding. “You’re like the girl drowning in the ocean, and I’m like the lifeguard, jumping in to rescue you, because that’s love, baby, that’s love.”
8. The Karate Kid. “Wax on, wax off, love, love, love.”
9. A carnival. “Sometimes we’re the ferris wheel, kissing up on top. Other times, we’re the roller coaster, because, you know, love has its ups and downs.”
10. Bass drums. “Boom, ba-boom, boom, ba-boom, boom, boom.”
My mother bought my daughter a Furby Boom.
“You can have it, as long as you keep that thing away from me,” I told my daughter.
“Oh, your mother just has some strange ideas,” my mother said.
But I don’t think it’s strange to have a healthy dose of fear about a robot monster that adapts and learns, and also has multiple personalities.
Lucy might be a good flick, I guess. It’s got Scarlett Johansson doing her sexy badass thing, which people are definitely into, so that’s promising.
But why — WHY — couldn’t at some point someone working on the movie itself pointed out that “people only use 10 percent of their brains” is a bunch of hooey and, thus, the entire premise of the movie is INCREDIBLY FLAWED, which makes it, just, beyond stupid.
Every time I see the trailer, when I hear Morgan Freeman say, “People only use 10 percent of their brains,” I scream: “NO THAT IS INCORRECT AND IF AN IDIOT LIKE ME KNOWS IT THEN A SCIENTIST SHOULD DEFINITELY KNOW IT THIS WHOLE PREMISE IS FLAWED AAAAGGGGHHHHHHH.”
(I discovered this tool due to the comments on an online literary magazine I’ve been reading: this one dude always complains when ladies write from a male point of view because their womanly words make it impossible for him to suspend his disbelief because, yuck, they’re getting their femininity all over, and he often cited this online test as a way to tell if you write like a yucky, cootie-infested girl.)
Anyway, curiosity got the better of me, and I decided to go ahead and provide some samples from my blog and my unpublished novel that agents just keep rejecting.
And I’m a dude. My most feminine rating was “weak male.” (Which, according to the test, happens to imply that I’m European.)
Oddly enough, this post was hovering between the “weak male” rating and the “weak female” rating, until I added this line.
Yup. I’m a dude.
This weekend, I watched 1924’s He Who Gets Slapped. It is one of the best movies ever, and I love it, and here’s a list of reasons why:
1. It’s got Lon Chaney without makeup in it. Or maybe it doesn’t, I don’t know.
2. Norma Shearer is just adorable as a horse-riding countess in the circus. Yes, she’s a countess and she rides a horse in the circus.
3. John Gilbert doesn’t have a mustache.
4. The reason it’s called He Who Gets Slapped is because after various terrible things happen to Lon Chaney, he goes mad, and joins the circus as a clown named HE – Who Gets Slapped. Probably less awkward in the original Russian.
5. The actress playing Lon Chaney’s duplicitous wife has a very readable face, without overplaying. She’s all, like, subtle about her betrayal, but not so subtle you can’t tell what’s going to happen.
6. Sure, there’s clowns in it, but they’re hardly scary at all, and you know that, underneath the makeup, one of them is Lon Chaney. So that makes it all OK.
7. The effects are pretty impressive for 1920s film. God bless those hardworking technicians, who made all my favorite special effects of black-and-white movies possible!
8. It’s kind of surreal and weird, but not so artsy-fartsy that it hurts.
9. It doesn’t have a happy ending. Some movies just don’t need them, and this is one of them.
10. Last, but definitely not least, and, in fact, is the absolute best thing of all: Lon Chaney totally murders two guys with a lion. With a lion!