Friday’s 5 Ways To Have Fun. 5 Things To Enjoy And 5 Things To Avoid This Weekend: # 1
Thank you to everyone who responded to yesterday’s photography post. Yes, there’s only one photograph so far on that list of 1,000. I just started revealing the list yesterday. The demand for the next photo was strong (like any writer on WordPress, I can see where people click and request more information), so I will try to update that list at least once a week for the next few weeks.
For the coming Fridays, I’m going to publish an ongoing series: 5 Things To Enjoy And 5 Things To Avoid This Weekend
Because your time is valuable, I’ll begin with:
5 Things To Avoid:
5. The 2010 film “Last Night” stars Keira Knightley and Sam Worthington, two actors I greatly admire. The film is well made and the actors do a great job, but the story doesn’t break much new ground. There are few novel ideas to take away from the writing. And if a story doesn’t soar, it’s nearly impossible for a film based on the story to soar. The film explores the frustrations of social contracts (marriages) that exclude all other intimate relationships. It’s a common struggle. Spoilers ahead: The plots progress expectedly. He probably cheats. She probably doesn’t.
My favorite line in the film, said by Keira Knightley’s character, one of the 4 characters who can’t be romantically involved with someone they love, was: “What I wouldn’t give to have tired of you.” Then in parting, she sincerely pleads, “Let’s not do this in a big way, okay? Please?” It’s a moving and poignant conclusion to that storyline. In the last scene, the story doesn’t suggest whether the main couple will stay together or not, leaving the question unanswered, a much more satisfying ending that the next film on today’s Avoid list. ”Last Night” is a film about all the problems, suggesting no solutions. I guess we’re all doomed.
And by the way, if you’re wondering in the beginning of the film: Will this stressful piano background music ever stop? The answer is “No.” This film is streamable on Netflix.
4. The 2010 film “The Freebie” stars two actors I greatly admire. Again, great casting, acting and writing. These are truly beautiful people. But the film work is a so close so often we can see the pores in their skin, a little claustrophobic.
The premise of the film is a long time married couple decide to give each other one “freebie” sexual encounter on the same night with another person, then for reasons I couldn’t understand, agree not to talk about it afterwards. Spoilers Ahead: The characters are believably attractive, and the plot intentionally makes it unclear whether or not each of them slept with another person. I was ready to highly recommend this film, because I thought the writing was consistently authentic and novel. But a film (or story) can’t be better than its ending. And the last “Deus Machina” scene in this film is unforgivable, essentially erasing the entire film’s dramatic tension with a slapped on happy ending – where some of the key dialogue is hard to determine – even after rewatching slowly again and again. Watching the film was like watching someone run their heart out for a marathon, then giving up and skipping across the finish line. This film is streamable on Netflix.
3. The 1994 film “Cobb” stars the great actor Tommy Lee Jones. This is a train wreck of a film. Further, if someone’s life story is a train wreck, and you’re going to portray it as a train wreck, why bother? There had to have been more admirable qualities in this man, but this film only slings mud. Contrary to the teaser line on the film’s poster, this film is no Raging Bull. It’s just bull, raging.
2. The 2006 film“Hollywoodland” stars great actors Adrien Brody, Ben Affleck and Diane Lane, directed by the great director Allen Coulter. This film explores the possible reasons for the death of the actor George Reeves, who originally played Superman on television. The film is too long and labored. Spoilers ahead: It lays out 3 likely scenarios explaining his death: 1) maybe the studio boss, whose wife he was sleeping with and having a long time affair, killed him, 2) maybe his fiancé killed him, and 3) maybe he killed himself, giving all three causes equal possibility. Sacrificed in this telling of Reeves’ life story is a better portrayal of what made him genuinely interesting, charming, and attractive as a man and an actor. It’s not a bad film. It’s just not a great film. It’s not a story not worthy of the cast and creators. The film is streamable on Netflix.
1. The 2008 film “Quantum of Solace” stars great actors Daniel Craig and Judi Dench. Craig wasn’t a bad James Bond, but he got bad Bond scripts. And no great actor can overcome bad stories. Who would have ever thought we would long for the wit of Roger Moore again? Quantum has no humor. No playfulness. This Bond is all anger and revenge, a note that’s hit too hard too often.
If after watching the 2006 “Casino Royale” Bond film you thought: “Why did we just watch a film with 30 minutes of Texas Hold ‘em scenes?”, then you might have also walked out of Solace thinking “Why did we just watch a Bond film with 30 minutes of whining about environmental problems?” Somebody needs to bring the joy and cavalier back into the new Bond screenplays. Bond films have not traditionally been so wrapped up in ethical discussions. Bond has traditionally been a caricature for imperialism’s license to kill, without too much thought, in pursuit of non-domestic interests – the morality pool has traditionally been shallow.
What are the takeaways after watching this film?: Avoid popular franchise films that have mousy words in the title like “Solace” or “Menace.” Great movies, like Raiders of the Lost Ark or Goldeneye, start with exciting action scenes, but Solace proves there is such a thing as an action scene that is too long and implausible. Solace starts like a circus trapeze act and tries to disguise the implausibility by cutting scenes fast, never staying in one camera shot for more than a couple seconds. When actions scenes don’t have really interesting action, filmmakers sometimes try to make up for it with faster editing cuts. The opening scene in Solace is exhausting and poorly executed.
5 Things To Enjoy:
5. Soccer Star Hope Solo:
Hope. Solo. Star Wars FTW!
4. If you’re ever feeling depressed in the chemistry and company of your current social circles, I have a suggestion: Do something on a regular basis to socialize in a new and separate social circle. Often, there isn’t anything terribly wrong in the finite company of your current social circle. Yet, at the same time, you (and they) can often benefit from the knowledge you are socializing with more people. For me, I write this blog. I don’t have A.D.D., but mentally my mind never stops racing with new thoughts. It’s unreasonable to think any one person would be interested in all the traffic racing across my brain. So, I try to put those thoughts in very concise and organized portions, allowing readers to easily survey and only take time to read things they are interested in. Receiving the general public’s (readers’) feedback is a positive social interaction for someone like me. It allows me to not ask so much time or attention from my immediate social circle, and it allows me to get thoughts out of my head, keeping them from circling internally. Writing is healthy and helps make me happy.
3. This is mean. So, it’s not really my style. It’s also something I can’t pull off very well. But Louis CK can. Further, the meanness is employed in a humorous fashion, with the intent to take on greater meanness and stupidity. Louis CK on gay marriage:
2. If you want to see a great film starring Sam Worthington (whose film “Last Night” I suggested avoiding above), before he was famous from starring in Avatar, I highly recommend watching the 2004 film Somersault, a film I wrote a 4 out of 4 star review of here.
1. My sincere respects and condolences to Steve Jobs friends and family. He made the world better. I can’t think of a better thing that can be said about an individual.
Steve Jobs 10 Great Quotes:
Steve Jobs and his wife Laurene:
Love . . . education . . . intelligence . . . and independent drives and actions all matter.
© All rights reserved by the respective artists.
For regular readers and writers: Thank you for a wonderful week.