Archive | October, 2012

The Shining

29 Oct

Welp, I have been kinda in the dumps lately, nothing awful, but just a little blek with the fall raininess and also my skin is just being crazy, so I have been staying in and watching movies.  The big Halloween movie I just watched is The Shining.  I have some things to say about it.

1.   Forget the book.  I’ve read the book and the movie only has a passing acquaintance with it.  Yes, they have the same general items, family staying in a secluded hotel and whatnot, but the point is completely different.  Stephen King has a true horror masterpiece in his book, where the hotel is a malevolent force that is a character in itself.  In the movie, the hotel is a place where dark things happen, but I didn’t get the sense that the hotel is meant to have an active consciousness.   In fact, the hotel seems to bring out the craziness in Jack’s character, but Jack is the one with the problems–he makes a series of terrible choices which  results in him going completely crazy.  This is the major difference–in the book once the family is stuck in the hotel, they really have no choices whatsoever.

2.   Watch out for overanalysis.  Because this is a Kubrick film, there is w-a-a-a-y more posted about The Shining than virtually any other horror movie.  You can find discussions about the outfits people wear, the books that Shelley Duvall was reading, the lighting, the production drama, everything.  Honestly, if you put all this aside, the story is pretty self explanatory, with a couple of crooked parts, but really it’s about Jack completely losing control–everybody else reacts to him.  Why Jack is in the picture in the end is the only mystery, but even that fits as this is a place where events of the past replay themselves, like movies from time to time.

3.  I like that Jack’s son acts age appropriate (in King’s book Jack’s son is like a genius child who thinks things that no child would ever normally think).  I also like that the events of the past make no real sense to anybody who sees them–they’re snippets detached from their stories, and essentially make no sense in and of themselves.  This is why the personality of those who witness them is key–if Jack was sane to begin with, he would have never gone off the deep end–he probably could have resisted.

4.  In the movie, the hotel mirrors what’s going on in Jack’s head.  As his sanity deteriorates the hotel becomes more alive.  In fact if the hotel could be said to have any aim at all it would be to bring the past back (the picture at the end indicates there’s a place where the past continues indefinitely vs. the “now” in the film.)  Jack is meant to go to that place, perhaps to return there, while the other characters are clearly secondary to this aim.  The big thing about the end is that the hotel gets what it wants–Jack all by himself and the rest of his family out of the way.

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Random Quote

22 Oct

“But she maintained her rituals and the meaning eventually returned.” Wayne Hoffman, Sweet Like Sugar

Xanadu

20 Oct

Ok, so last night, being a very rainy Friday, I stayed in and watched Xanadu with my boyfriend and let me tell you that movie is as enjoyably bad as that pink whipped cream goop they serve nationwide on Thanksgiving. It’s hard for me to explain why it’s so enjoyable. It has absolutely no tension. The humor is entirely unintentional. The thing is as dated as a betamax. However, the movie is so eager to please, even when it falls on its face (and it does this often) it’s hard not to get into it.
Bad though it undeniably is. Xanadu is probably the biggest budget enjoyable bad movie made ever. Olivia Newton-John rollerskating with rainbow stripes following her wherever she goes! Gene Kelly absolutely laying on the cheese! Horrible outfits! A cast of background characters that dress like the girl in 6th grade who desperately wants to be popular! Extended dance numbers for no reason!

Let me tell you, watch it! Watch it now! Turn off your brain because thinking will not enhance this experience and just eat up the cheese!

Inertia

18 Oct

Ahhhh, lately I’ve been not wanting to do much, after that long trip. I’ve been wanting to waste oodles of time, to not be productive, to not do anything.

I could waste days just looking at things I don’t care about on the television, to argue about bands, to wander through my house putting things in different places, fingering through books without reading them, I could make a full profession of doing nothing.

My big question is what do I want to do about it? Do I want to do the nothing, to let things just play themselves out? Or do I want to fight the nothing, to attempt to bring something around it? Can I pull myself out of this state of inertia? Is it worth it to do so? How can I measure the worth?

Questions, tons of questions. What I’m going to do, is to do the first things that come to mind, and do them one at a time, without too much thought. We’ll see how this works out.

Airports

17 Oct

Well I have just come from vacation, and have spent interminable time in airports, and for the world I suggest ways to make airports better.

1. Plenty of comfortable seating–I don’t know how many times I was wandering around due to lack of a place to sit. People in airports need to not only sit, but sit comfortably in between flights. These seats need to be not only at gates but nearly everywhere. Oh, and by the way, in the gates, the seating needs to be facing the gate counters so that everybody can see what’s going on.

2. Clocks–What on earth has happened to clocks? You’d think that the one thing airports would have would be clocks everywhere, synced to the time their landings and takeoffs happen on. Yes, I have my cellphone to check for the time, and I suppose I could have worn a watch, but still, as I’m wandering around an airport I need to be able to keep tabs on the time pretty specifically.

3. Current landing and takeoff information for all flights near each gate. This might seem excessive, but at the same time, running out of a flight trying to catch another one, that stuff is crucial. I shouldn’t have to hunt for information.

4. Marked areas for the carts to drive on, rather than speeding through crowds of people.

5. Softer lighting, what an eyestrain!

6. A large waiting area just outside security. With the new scanning equipment, the waiting areas in airports has been eaten up.

7. Clear instructions for security at the lineup. I think people want to comply, but I’ve been behind some folks that don’t realize they have to take off their shoes (yes, even now) and honestly, it would be simpler for everybody if the instructions were written out for people to read as they go in line.

8. Standardized tickets. Much quicker for everybody too if every bit of information was in the same place on every ticket every time.

The things I was happy about is that there’s more places for coffee and food beyond the gates, and I didn’t notice that the prices were extraordinarily inflated (a little bit yes, but these are mall food-court prices, and not clutch at your heart prices). Security actually wasn’t that bad to go through, and they’ve gotten a lot better at having some customer service abilities, and actually I saw very little grumpy flier syndrome on this trip, sure people were tired, but mostly everybody was well behaved and tolerant of each other.