Tag Archives: movie review

Diary of a Wimpy Movie-Goer

I always go to a movie on Saturday night. It’s an unwritten rule that if we are at home for the weekend, we go to a movie on Saturday night. I’m explaining this very carefully to you so that you will understand why I went to Diary of a Wimpy Kid.

I am well aware that it is based on the books of the same name and I am also well aware that it is intended for a middle school audience. But it was Saturday night…and we always go to a movie on Saturday night…and we had already seen the other movies at the theater.

I tried to ignore the fact that we were the oldest people there by 50 years. I also tried to ignore the fact that the previews for coming attractions had all the appeal of a kiss on the lips from my behind-licking dog.

The movie featured people who walked out of their black and white drawings and became a submissive father who can’t even tell his wife that he doesn’t have a week off; a mother who appeared to be high on life and whose main ambition was to remove the pacifier of technology from her family for a week; an elder son who could only be the antagonist of the piece with his goth hair and fixation on his band, the Loded Diper (it took me a while, but I got it); and a spoiled youngest child with a real pacifier fixation.

The star, of course, was the middle child, Greg, who kept landing in impossible situations like helping his younger brother win a pig at a random county fair, and also finding himself hiding in a shower while the man on the toilet outside the curtain was voiding his bowels, one suggestive splash at a time.

The older brother chowed down something that looked like batter-fried sticks of butter (four of them) and then proceeded to puke up something green that floated in the air on the high speed gravity ride before landing full in the face of the man next to him. It was at this point that I quit eating my popcorn…it’s still sitting in the theater, next to my unfinished drink.

The movie did have its clever moments…probably all lost on the hysterically giggling little girl somewhere behind me and many others in the theater who are not familiar with the work of Alfred Hitchcock. The extremely muddy Greg is showering (with his clothes on) in a strange motel room, when the actual owner of the room comes in and rips the shower curtain down with the accompanying “eek, eek, eek” music which made “Psycho” famous. There was even a camera shot of mud flooding down the drain in lieu of the blood from the Hitchcock classic. Then, later, Greg is attacked by a flood of birds he has tantalized with a bag of cheese curls as a nod to the Hitchcock thriller, “The Birds.”

The movie eventually ground its way to a close and the middle-schoolers were quite delighted, judging by the laughter. It was as I was sitting there, wondering about leaving that I recalled my father’s assessment of a movie he went to once that was much more indecent than he anticipated. “I didn’t need a bag over my head going in, but I sure wish I could have had one to keep people from seeing me leave.” If I had thought for one minute the popcorn bag would have fit over my head, I’d have walked out wearing a salt and butter hat. As it was, I had to leave with my face ducked down behind my upturned collar.

So, that is the story of my trip to the movies. I realize that, like the boy in the story, I am a little wimpy because I went to a middle-school movie rather than staying home and reading a book or something. Judge me if you wish. As for the movie…I think it’s pretty good. That is, if you like deep fried sticks of butter eaten by weak-stomached cell-phone addicts. If not, proceed at your own risk!

 

© Jackie Wells-Fauth and Drops In the Well, 2017. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Jackie Wells-Fauth and Drops In The Well with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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Beauty and the Beast? Yeah, right!

Okay, I love a good impossible fantasy-type love story as much as the next guy, but honestly, Disney may be pushing my credulity just a little too far. This weekend I stood in a chilly line outside the movie theater so that I could get in to the latest version of Beauty and the Beast. However, there were a few questions that entered my cynical mind while I was watching.

Beauty and the Beast

Official Disney Movie Poster Copyright Disney Studios http://movies.disney.com/beauty-and-the-beast-2017

For a girl who is looked down on by the town, everyone seemed to know her. They greeted her in a friendly manner, asked about her activities and her day and though I saw little or nothing unusual about her there, the townspeople broke into song about how odd she was. I don’t find it odd that she read books and avoided Gaston whenever possible, but the fact that all she wants her father to bring her back from the market is a rose…now that’s odd.

Then there was the issue of the castle. I could take that it was winter all the time. I could even accept that it was surrounded by wolves. Even a crabby beast lurking in the shadows would be creepy but not too far out. But the second the candlestick invited me to dinner and my tea cup started talking, I’d have been out of there. Eaten by a wolf? Much better than having a conversation with your singing dresser drawers!

Beyond that is the interesting question of the looks of the key characters. We are asked to believe that the gift of a library and a snowball fight was all it took to make Belle overlook the fact that the object of her affection was a character who looked like a cross between a raging bull and Lucifer himself. Even that may be credible, but a union between a human and this “beast” would have been difficult to sustain. Would they live in the cold castle filled with creepy talking furnishings or would they go and live in the village where people already described Belle as odd?

Looks were a key consideration throughout the movie, but I couldn’t help wondering about the reverse question: What would have happened if Belle had been the beast and the prince was expected to fall in love with her anyway? Now, you have to admit there are many more stories out there where beautiful girls marry less than perfect looking, but wonderful men, than beautiful men who marry girls without looks.

A cynic (and I sometimes am one) might suspect that Belle took a look at the giant and ornate castle and its fine accoutrements  and decided she could overlook a furry physique and a couple of horns for a lavish lifestyle. I prefer the romantic point of view, however; I think Belle falling for a horrific beast who then turned into her Prince Charming is very romantic—if not very believable.

Lastly, I don’t want to leave out the mob in the “small provincial town.” Shakespeare seemed always to write his plays with utter contempt for the fickle and clueless mob. This story takes up that issue as well. The mobs follow Gaston when he locks up Maurice for suggesting that there is a monster and then just as faithfully follow him along when he decides that not only is there a monster, but they must kill it. This makes the mob even more stupid than Gaston and twice as gullible!

Okay, I guess this is the last of my questions, but as for the movie of Beauty and the Beast, I really did enjoy it. I spent the days after I went to the movie singing the songs and dancing around the house with sheets draped around me like Belle’s dress and holding conversations with my kitchenware…but don’t worry, nothing has so far talked back! Have a great week and go and see Beauty and the Beast for a fantasy treat!

 

© Jackie Wells-Fauth and Drops In the Well, 2017. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Jackie Wells-Fauth and Drops In The Well with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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