Sunday, May 20, 2012

A Sinking Feeling

The Missus and I enjoyed the opportunity last evening of spending some time in the company of some good friends. We got together for a 50th birthday party for Lynne, who is one of Margaret's longeststanding and dearest friends. Not only was it a birthday party, it was my favorite kind of birthday party. It was a surprise party. Nothing I enjoy more than a good surprise party....as long as the "beneficiary" of it is someone other than me.

From my vantage point it appeared as if the surprise and the party each enjoyed a great success. The official subterfuge that was employed to get Lynne to her sister Laura's home by the appointed time was that the Sisters Kizis were throwing a surprise birthday bash for their dad. Lynne had no idea that it was she and not B-O-B who was the evening's honoree. Once the initial "Boy am I gonna kill everyone who was involved in this!" reaction wore off she had a hellaciously good time. It always warms the little rock I call a heart to see good things and good people find one another. Last night represented just such a confluence.

As an added benefit, spending Saturday evening at Lynne's birthday bash absolved us from going to the cinema and sitting through "Battleship". While I have actually read one or two favorable reviews of this film, getting me into the theatre to endure it is going to take one well-nourished and strong team of wild horses. The director Peter Berg is someone whose work I usually enjoy a great deal. He is - in the event you are unaware - Buzz Bissinger's cousin, the director of the film adaptation of Bissinger's book Friday Night Lights and the gent who decided that the FNL story needed to continue to be told and created the Dillon Panthers, a team that became the centerpiece of one of the finest dramas any TV network has ever aired. "Clear Eyes. Full Hearts. Can't Lose." Simply terrific stuff.

I am at a bit of a loss trying to understand how exactly Berg morphed from that fellow into being the #1 ranked student in the Honors Program at the "Michael Bay F*** Better & Just Make It Louder Academy of Film Making". I am at an even greater loss trying to understand how he prevailed upon Riggins and Landry to trade in their football cleats for combat boots. Everyone has to eat I suppose.

I find myself rooting against Berg and his troops even though I am a fan of his work. My fear is that if this movie makes a lot of money (and it apparently has to make gobs of it just to make back its cost) then Hollywood will crank up the "Dumb It Down Machine" even higher. While I must confess that for present purposes I am at a loss to provide an example of what could possibly be a sillier board game to turn into a motion picture than "Battleship" but it sickens me to realize that somewhere in Hollywood right now there are people trying to figure out what role Johnny Depp can play in "Parcheesi" and what part is perfect for Reese Witherspoon in "Mall Madness" while some other asshat is figuring out just how many merchandise tie-ins Christian Bale's "Chutes and Ladders" will have to have to ensure it makes money....even if no one with a brain ever actually sits through the entire film.

Holy shit people. Read a book for crying out loud. It is only our ability to engage in complex thought and our nifty thumbs that secure our spot atop the animal kingdom. Wearing mittens 24/7/365 is not a good look for anyone. Trust me.

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