Jan 11, 2008

Two Reviews

Wednesday night after all the holidays and hub-bub in my life calmed to a dull roar in my left ear, Dan and I resumed date night aka our weekly relaxation ritual aka quick dinner and movie. Ella went to Grandma’s and Dan and I sipped mocha and munched bread and soup while we searched the entertainment section for a good movie. Our choices were; the typical chick flick – nah, the action adventure explod’em up movie – nah, and the Tom Hanks war movie – too heavy, and the kitchy funny movie that only played at 10:30 – long after Grandma goes to bed, and lastly the weird end of the world thriller. So despite my zombie-phobia I threw caution to the wind and figured how scary can a Will Smith movie really be? Besides I had heard it was more intellectual than a simple chase'm down gore-fest.

HA! Any of you who have already seen
I Am Legend are laughing really hard at me right now. A simple chase'm down gore-fest would've been a relief compared to the droning dull fear you ride throughthe entire movie, spiked with sheer terrorizing moments and enough psudo-science to make you think about if for days afterwards. Ten minutes into the movie my brain was screaming to me “Get out of this theatre and sit in the lobby while Dan watches this movie” I didn’t listen. I sat crunched up tense on the edge of my seat, one giant ball of panic the entire 100 minutes. Every tense scene I felt the need to smack Dan in the arm and whisper “This is sooo NOT relaxing!” Verdict? – The slight germaphobe with an oversensative reaction towards Zombie movies should NEVER EVER see a movie where an air born virus causes everyone on the planet to become night feeding flesh eaters. ACK! I spent the rest of Wednesday night (until 2:30 in the morning) trying to soak in as much Three’s Company and Friends, trying to find my happy place as I could and I still dreamt the extension of the movie. You know all the parts we didn’t see, all the things that happened after the credits rolled, I got to watch them on the insides of my eyelids. ACK!


***

I started Ira Glass’ new book
The New Kings of Nonfiction, and I love this. I know, I know, I’m a This American Life fanatic and this book is kind of along those same lines but hey, yay for finding more of what you like right? Like me, Ira has a giant file of saved stories throughout the years, pieces he’s found particularly intriguing and well written, stories that grab you in right away and contain all the elements of great narration but are also completely nonfiction, items that were so good it seemed a shame to toss them, items you have pulled out and shown people to illustrate a thought. Publishers Weekly describes the collection as written by journalists who are “unafraid to insert their personal perspective into the stories they're telling.” The first reviewer on Amazon says this book is for anyone that wants to “understand the power and allure of nonfiction narrative.” I think the collection is more for anyone that wants to understand the power and allure of ANY narrative. The added bonus is that one can start each story with the qualifier “I swear to God this is a True story….” I sat up and read three essay last night and am forcing myself to hold off today for fear I will devour the book too fast and have nothing to read this evening.

***

So three stars to I Am Legend for scaring the crap out of me long after the movie was over and three stars to The New Kings of Nonfiction for being so good I am reading slowly on purpose.

4 comments:

Chrissy said...

i made the same mistake with i am legend. plus i have an unnatural love for canine companions, so you can imagine my terror and heartbreak at certain parts. the suspense was worse than the actual zombie attacks. i'm shivering and goosebumpy at my desk just thinking about it!

Jenny said...

I know! they could warn a person by putting a monster on the poster at least and maybe a disclaimer about tear jerking scenes. - sheesh!

Jo said...

I LOVED I Am Legend! Oh my gosh, I love science fiction anyway, and I loved Omega Man, so I guess it was just natural that I thought this movie rocked! I guess I am not easily scared, never had a nightmare about it a bit. Bought the book though, read it, was very disappointed. Ah well.

cameo said...

oh, you should have seen charlie wilson's war - it was fabulous. it wasn't heavy at all - quite the contrary. the writing was great. the characters were funny and you left the theatre having been entertained non-stop but educated at the same time.
i kind of felt like i did when i left "sicko". perplexed, intrigued, saddened, frustrated, but the ride was pleasant.
so, on your next date night, go hit that movie instead.
and incidentally, thanks for the heads up on legend. it wasn't on my radar. and now it's really not.