As the ending credits rolled on Clint Eastwood’s “Flags of Our Fathers,” my son G.T. leaned in close, and whispered, “Well? How many?” It is the question he always asks, and I love that he still cares enough about my opinion, to ask it.
You see, I am a bleeding-heart pacifist, cohabitating with a miniature warmonger. There are nicer ways to express this, but none of them demonstrates the political and ideological divide that separates my 14-year-old son and me. For a while, I figured it was one of those phases he’d grow out of. I even gave in to his choice of Summer Youth Programs, and sent him to Camp Pendleton for 10 days, in hopes that a taste of Boot Camp might change his mind. It didn’t. More than ever and more than anything, he wants to be a soldier.
The whole thing might well have become unmanageable, except for the Saturday Afternoon Truce, instated more than a year ago, and resulting in the shared experience of according to my Netflix account history 62 war-related films. What history teachers left out or glossed over during my educational years, this teenaged historian is all too delighted to teach me. So much so that I have to hide the remote, so he can’t pause every few minutes with trivia. “Do you see that plane there? We only used those in the Pacific Theater.” “Wow, OK. Can you hit PLAY again?”
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There’s no easy way to say this, so please forgive me for being blunt. It has, however, become glaringly apparent that the Wachowski Brothers do not like you. Oh they might let you buy them dinner at some swanky restaurant, and will most probably smile and nod as you praise them endlessly for “The Matrix”, but when you excuse yourself to pay the check, just know that they’re rolling their eyes and making lame jokes at your expense. Please, don’t take it personally, because it’s not just you. In fact, judging from their adaptation of Alan Moore’s “V For Vendetta”, Andy and Larry Wachowski don’t think too highly of any of us.
I tell you this, not out of spite or some unfulfilled desire for an ugly scene, but because I want you to go armed into that swanky restaurant, fully prepared to call them on their dismissal of the audience as sappy, unsophisticated, and more comfortable with grandiose explosions and spurting blood than with difficult questions, complex characters and ambiguity. To that end, I shall outline for you their three most egregious sins. (I’d say “four sins”, except that sheer clumsiness is probably more of an unfortunate fault than an outright sin.) Read the rest of this entry »
t's lucky that I chose to see "Brokeback Mountain" alone, in the pouring rain of last Sunday morning, at the ungodly movie-viewing hour of 10:30 a.m., with a few dozen strangers scattered throughout the theater. I don't think I could have managed a casual after-the-movie conversation with anyone at that point. Also, a companion might have noticed that my face and neck and both sleeves were wet with tears, rather than rain, which is, I suppose, my way of saying that the film wrenched my heart right out of my chest.
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