Mea culpa and movies

Posted: November 29, 2013 in Uncategorized

So, I haven’t been reading a lot lately, at least fiction. I have been watching movies, however.  Caveat: this is not the YA edition, more the empty-nest station.

The Way, with Martin Sheen really hit home with me.  It’s not action packed drama, so if that’s your thing, this likely won’t be.  His character moves, certainly, because he’s walking on a pilgrimage, but it’s a journey his son chose, a journey he tried to convince his son not to take – and which tragically killed his son.  It’s not a religious movie, in spite of the fact that he’s following the Way of St. James (Camino de Santiago), a pilgrimage route dating back at least 900 years. It’s not really a travel movie, though he leaves his practice in the South to take this trip to Spain to walk the Camino. It’s about finding yourself, and taking time, which so few of us do in this hyper-connected, twitter-ific world.  Is it a supreme compliment that the movie made me want to walk the Camino?

Shirley Valentine.  This is an oldie, but sometimes they’re more fun than blowing things up (which I do actually enjoy sometimes).  We meet Shirley as a young girl at school, and discover when she decided to become a rebel. But as she says, she can’t point to where that changed, and when she became ‘merely’ a wife, ‘merely’ a mother, merely another middle-aged woman bored and unhappy with her life. A windfall gives her the opportunity for a vacation to Greece and she takes it, though not without thought, doubts and a few waffles. Again, not a flashy movie, she isn’t 20 and isn’t trying to be.  She has fun but keeps her head. The cover, like many things in life, seems to promise one thing, but what happens … is even better.  

R.E.D.  Sticking to a theme here, I Loved RED (Retired, Extremely Dangerous).  I love that action heroes no longer have to be under 30, I thought Helen Mirren was fantastic, Morgan Freeman wonderful, as always, John Malkovich was .. John Malkovich, and the cameo by Ernest Borgnine great fun. Bruce Willis does his usual big action hero thing which works (and I say this as one who’s not a huge fan).  There’s not a lot of thinking required – or encouraged – for this film.  They blow stuff up. It’s spies, retired, sort of. There’s even a couple romances in there so that (stereotype warning) girls will watch it when their boyfriends drag them to see it. But its older people blowing stuff up, really.  The ‘gang’ gets back together and the lives they’ve been leading will never (thank heavens) will never be the same.  RED2, largely more of the same, less the wonderful Morgan Freeman.


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