Tuesday, February 24, 2009

The Worst Movie Reviewer Ever Speaks

If I make a few typos, it's because I'm posting while watching "The Bachelor: The Women Tell All." the PBS series: "Fractals: Hunting the Hidden Dimension." The whole series has been riveting. Especially when that crazy Allie told the camera her "eggs were frying." Her biological clock was ticking like a time bomb. Fractally speaking, of course.

Anyway, Sunday night, Jorge and I went to see Slumdog Millionaire. I wondered when we were seated if this movie would later win the Oscar for best film of the year, so I was pretty pumped to see it.

Usually I read up on movies before I see them because I want to be fully prepared for any emotional trauma that might arise due to content. I have to provide my own adult supervision, if you will. I know what I can and cannot handle, especially since I was not allowed to go to the theater when I was growing up and thus never developed any tolerance for watching people suffer, even if, as my kids remind me, "they're only acting."

The plot, as intriguing as it is, involves flashbacks to hard times in the lead character's life (uh, kind of an understatement, "hard times") which eventually explain why he knows the correct answers to the questions on India's version of "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire," or "millunair," as the host pronounced it.

Due to my low threshold for depictions of torture, within the first 15 minutes, I left the theater twice, which is not as embarrassing as it sounds because there were only two other people in there besides Jorge and me.

The third time I came back in, one more violent scene happened, and I said to Jorge, "I'm done." So we left and immediately went down the hall to have a somewhat lesser intense emotional experience by watching:

New in Town. LOVED THIS MOVIE. Go see it!

Anyway, the next morning, we heard which movie won picture of the year, and I have to confess, we were kicking ourselves (well, we were both kicking me) for not having stayed because it sounds so interesting, and yet, if I had to do it again, I would probably not be able to stay.

So I'll probably rent the DVD and speed through the torture. Or read the book. I read The Kite Runner but could not see the movie. Couldn't bear it. So you see, I actually want to see films that change me and make me more compassionate and engaged in the world around me, especially for people and or causes which deserve attention and action. But I can't watch graphic violence, especially toward children. It stays in the background and foreground of my mind for weeks after I see it.

Therefore, I sometimes have to decline serious films and opt for watching lighter fare such as Renee Zellweger trying to save a factory in Minnesota, or "Minne-SO-tah," while helping Harry Connick find love again and his daughter get ready for her first date. Sigh.

Point of interest: Renee Zellweger does wear some killer outfits in New in Town. And I'm a big fan of Harry Connick, Jr. I was distracted some, though, by Renee Zellweger's lips which seemed pursed throughout the entire movie. That's just something that bothered me, though. Probably wouldn't bother you. And, a huge plus for this movie: No one tortures anyone!

Now I ask you: where else can you get analytical reviews of this caliber, about movies that may or may not have been seen in their entirety, which have been out for weeks? I humbly submit nowhere else but here at 2nd Cup. It's a gift.

So, did you see Slumdog? If so, is it really great?

43 comments:

Linda said...

The title of that movie was strange to me. I'm sure it is very symbolic and all, but it's certainly not catchy like Grease or Mamma Mia. I haven't seen it, and wouldn't like the violence either. I would probably watch it through my fingers.

I also went to see New in Town about a week ago and LOVED it. Not only do I love Harry (I'm wild about Harry, wish Harry was wild about me! Ha. ) but her new found friends scrapbook. They are my people! I agree, too much lip pursing. Loved her clothes.

Brenda Susan said...

Great review...I would make my movie decisions based on your opinion, yep!
Just got an email from my mom (75yrs old)she said she saw Slumdog Mill. last night & don't go unless you have a strong stomache & she couldn't wait till it was over & get out of there! Ha!

Melanie @ This Ain't New York said...

I can't watch or read about violence toward children. The images stay with me forever. We could have huddled together by the popcorn machine.

Brenda Susan said...

Umm yes, this is the same mom who did not allow me to go to movies while growing up either! Bad, bad mommy!

Melanie @ This Ain't New York said...

PS- The fact that you can't watch violence toward children is a sure sign that you are already compassionate. :>)

Seeker said...

i have to admit i also hate scenes of torture especially children...acting or not... it is brutal. Thanks for the reviews

Becky said...

No I did not see Slumdog... but I did see Confessions of a Shopaholic. It was super cute in a very chick flick sort of way. Surprisingly good acting, tons of cameos, fun!

I sent you an email about Kiahs Lindonian haircut... did you get it?

Jenl said...

I have not seen it, but I am glad you gave me a heads up. I'm the exact same way!

I'm not sure I can even handle it in written form. Kite Runner did such a number on me I couldn't get through it.

mtnest423 said...

We did see Slumdog, this past Saturday when we went to see our daughter. The movie theater we went to was packed.

The torture scenes were tough - but what was even harder to see was just the absolute squalor in which people live in Mumbai and, I'm sure, in other places in the world.

When I see something like that, it helps open my eyes to see how truly blessed we are, and how we spend too much time/energy/money on things that just don't really matter.

And it gives me a little more compassion to those with less resources than I have.

mtnest423 said...

We did see Slumdog, this past Saturday when we went to see our daughter. The movie theater we went to was packed.

The torture scenes were tough - but what was even harder to see was just the absolute squalor in which people live in Mumbai and, I'm sure, in other places in the world.

When I see something like that, it helps open my eyes to see how truly blessed we are, and how we spend too much time/energy/money on things that just don't really matter.

And it gives me a little more compassion to those with less resources than I have.

Robin @ Be Still and Know said...

I confess I had never even heard of SDM ever before the Golden Globes, but then I am hopelessly out of touch with mainstream culture. If it isn't at the dollar theater then I'm outta the loop.

I did hear that there was singing and dancing involved as well...and we know how you love a musical.

Blessings
Robin

Greg C said...

I didn't see Slimedog but I do want to see New in town and not just because Renee "Puts on something Dirty" (I saw the previews) I am also on the leading edge on the song that went along with the movie as I introduced you all to it on my blog a long time ago.

Here is what I heard about Slimedog the movie. If you look at the movie in general terms it is about a boy who had a really bad childhood but he finally makes it to a gameshow where he cheats to win but it is ok because of his childhood. No thanks. Great review. Renee here I come.

sara said...

I'm pretty sure I couldn't see it either...I had a hard time reading Kite Runner. I would have to fast forward through the torture too!

Jenny said...

I can not deal with the violence either so thanks for the heads up. That would definately have to be a DVD rental where I could skip the parts I can not deal with.

Mocha with Linda said...

I'm with you. I cannot see graphic stuff and not be traumatized later.

My teens' math homework on graph paper gives me the heebie jeebies. :-)

But seriously, I recently just read a book that caused me to dream I was being kidnapped.

See, you really need to watch musicals. They are so much lighter and happier! What's not to love about Maria singing The Sound of Music on a mountaintop?!

Susanne said...

We were wondering about this movie. Thanks. We so rarely go to the theatre. We'd probably rent it and then do lots of fast forwarding.

On a different note, guess what's on the morning news right now. Those fish pedicures. And where did I here of it first? Right here. On this cutting edge, bringing me the facts first, blog! Congrats on being the first to break that story.

Merrie said...

I did not see it and probably won't because I have the same aversion to torture and violence as you do. I don't even like scenes where I know someone is about to do something wrong and get into trouble. I'm such a movie wimp! I would probably really love New In Town... That's my kind of movie. Thanks for the wonderful, awesome reviews!

skoots1mom said...

i won't be seeing slumdog...but, i am into Mr. Connick...he's so talented! Another upcoming pianist I heard recently, Peter Cincotti, his voice is clear and he's got a good range...have him on my site's playlist.
DD went to see "He's Just Not That Into You"...our youth director said he wouldn't whole heartedly recommend it but that it does have some good lessons in it
DD said it definitely was a teen flick...not too deep in plot.

I'll have to prod my DH for a date to go to the movies...

Pam Warden Art said...

Thanks for sharing your "gift" :-)
Renee and those squinty eyes and pouty-ness almost make her unbearable to watch, but I loved, Miss Potter. I hate violence too.
Blessings,
Pam

2nd Cup of Coffee said...

It's "Slumdog," Greg, "Slumdog."

Carolyn said...

Slumdog is next on my list to see.

I LOVED Renee's outfits in New in Town and applauded when she was running around in her pointy high-heels because, as a Minne-SOH-tan, I can re-affirm that it is entirely possible to wear cute outfits like and run through snowy parking lots in those pointy high-heel shoes. But, like Renee did, you have to shorten your stride a little so you don't fall.

Rach@In His Hands said...

New in Town is "set" in the small MN town I went to college in! How funny is that?

Beverly said...

I admire you for being able to read Kite Runner. I can't bring myself to read things that I know have painful places in them. I might start a book without realizing it and finish it but I can't even start one that I know about already!

Lois Lane II said...

Haven't seen either of them, but I'm not good on watching movies that involve a lot of torture-type of violence (shoot-'em-ups and explosions are fine, though, lol).

Debbie @Like a Rose said...

Okay, everyone else I've talked to said it was an awesome movie! So I'm very confused. These are not random folks but people who's opinions I value like I do yours. I think Greg's info about the cheating may be mistaken - I heard they THOUGHT he was cheating since he knew the answers because of the difficult life he'd lived. Life group friends were heralding the values portrayed in the movie.

I have a tough time watching the violence and usually won't see movies that involve kids in that way but I think we're going to see this one - although we will probably wait to rent it.

Paula (SweetPea) said...

Haven't seen it. I stick to light-hearted or comedies.

Amy said...

I am totally with you...the joke in my family is if the movie doesn't star Chevy Chase and doesn't have the word "vacation" in it mom doesn't go. I am not quite that bad, but if I am plunking down a half a months salary to go see a movie it has to entertain me...not make me upset. My son (13) saw Slumdog and absolutely loved it...and tells me daily that I need to see it. I am surprised he can handle those things as he is a sensitive boy, but I think he does what I cannot do, realizes it is just acting.

Great post

Amy
www.allthingsaro.blogspot.com

Julie Gillies said...

I'm right there with you, Linda...I cannot handle intense violence or torture (although, for some reason, I can watch all the Bourne movies). I couldn't even watch Mel Gibson's The Passion...marched right out of that movie despite the fact that our entire church had rented out the theatre. I sat alone in the lobby for a LONG time.

I haven't seen slumdog and now I know for sure I won't. "New in Town" seems more my style.

Joanna said...

I've noticed that a lot of movies that win are really close to garbage. One movie won best of year and we rented it and I still have issues. Darn memory! Can't remember where I put my cup of tea but I can remember a nasty movie.

Leeanne said...

I loved where you talked about "The Kite Runner". I have a really difficult time with violent movies because I can't get them out of my head for weeks, and when we rented the Kite Runner, my roommate was on censorship patrol and gave me the signal to leave the room, which I did. I'm convinced that's the only reason I can say I moderately enjoyed the film. I was required to watch "Prince of Tides" for a college course a few years back, and I complained to the professor because it has a lot of emotionally straining content.
I enjoyed reading that you had a similar experience.

a Tonggu Momma said...

We have yet to see any of the Oscar winners. Or any other movies that came out this year. (Except for the James Bond movie. Woo-hoo. Can you hear my excitement?)

Because going to the movies entails getting a babysitter.

fransmomma said...

my husband really wants to see slumdog, so i will will probably at some point watch it. new in town looks cute, but i'm not a fan of renee's strictly due to the pursed lips. she always has them and they drive me crazy.

lisasmith said...

Didn't see it...but my husband said I'd like it...weird because I pull the hairs off his arm during torturous scenes.

happy day!

Darlene R. said...

Oh I am so with you on the torture thing! I can't watch it either. I don't CARE if they are just acting! The fact that someone even thinks of the things that they do in movies scares me just a tiny little bit!

I'm all about the romantic comedy and non-violent movies...even musicals. I know! I'm so sorry to disappoint you. (sigh) :)

Heather of the EO said...

I haven't seen either of these movies. I don't get out much :) But I AM from Minnesota and will most likely roll my eyes at the over-done accents of new girl in town. We DO have accents. I know, I know. But hearing them in movies always makes me cringe.

Kim said...

I am so with you on the movie thing. I'm embarrassed to admit I'm probably the only Christian who has NEVER seen The Passion and probably never will, because the scenes would be forever seared into my brain. Which might be a good thing or not, but I don't want to find out.
There are a lot of movies the hubby and kids have seen that I haven't.
Shoot, I still have nightmares from seeing The Birds when I was a kid.

RissaRoo said...

I'm glad to see someone else has a low tolerance for film violence! A friend of mine described some of the scenes in "Slumdog" and I decided not to go see it. Movies that depict life in third world countries and hard realities I don't mind, but blow-by-blow violence and misery is a little too much for me. If I'm reading a book, I can skim or skip those parts...but seeing it in a movie is different.

Ang baylis said...

I must be tougher than I thought. It was hard to watch Slum Dog but I thought it was excellent. I can see why it won all of the awards. I haven't sen Kite Runner. I read the book and it was intense. I must admit I like the intense movies... and the shallow ones. You are too cute, Linda!
Angie xoxo

Sitesx6 said...

Okay I'm really scared. My husband and I are having a date tonight and we are going to SlumDog...I've heard a lot about it...I'm scared scared scared....I'll probably cry right?

I sort of want a light hearted flick, but I feel I need to see a movie that moves me.

Can't wait actually....we rarely get out to a movie, so I'm sure this one will give us a lot to discuss on the way home.
Kelly in Michigan

2nd Cup of Coffee said...

I want to say again that I think it's probably a great movie, and I would love to have the strength to watch it because I think I'd be a better person for having seen it; I just don't think I can take it.

Chel's Leaving a Legacy said...

Um, can I just say that since I was brought up on the "liberal" side of watching movies (I had a huge poster of Freddy Krueger, and Stephen King was my favorite author!!) that being kept from those things, and protecting your mind and heart from being dulled in your senses...not such a bad idea.

I'm just sayin.

Debbie said...

I would trust you over any paid reviewer - any day of the week!

Melissa said...

Great review. I'm a movie buff but haven't seen Slumdog yet. I have a really hard time watching movies with violence so this may be a rental that I can fast forward through, too.
I've walked out of a few movies myself. You're not alone. :)