A couple of movie reviews …
I bought Apocalypto on DVD the other day and watched it Saturday night. I loved it. It’s a gorgeous film filled with deep greens and stunningly realistic costumes. The plot is pretty simple, but that’s fine. There wasn’t as much man-running-through-jungle as I expected from other reviews. The hero didn’t get free and start running for home until more than an hour into the story. I liked it even more after watching the included featurette and learning that they didn’t use models or CGI; the sets were real, constructed for the film. Mel Gibson did an excellent job with this one and I strongly recommend it.
Yesterday I went to see Bug at the theater. Alex and his girlfriend were somewhere in there, too, and they didn’t like this one. A lot of people started laughing at it toward the end, which is kind of sad. Did they not get it, or did they find it too unbelievable? I’m not sure which, but then we’re talking about people who brought a kid to the movie and for a long time the kid was crying, “I don’t want to see Bug” over and over again. The joy of public theaters. Anyhoo, I thought it was a pretty good film. It’s mostly two people in a trashy motel room going nuts together. I guess the theme would be about how paranoia is contagious. Agnes is a lonely barmaid living in the motel. Her friend introduces her to Peter, and Agnes lets Peter stay with her. Well, Peter is missing some screws. He thinks he has bugs living in his blood. Sometimes they burst out of his skin to feed on him. At first Agnes can’t see the bugs. But, because she’s also missing a few cards from her deck, she soon comes to believe she also sees them. From there it follows a pretty logical course to an explosive ending.
I thought Bug was pretty depressing because I’ve known people like those in the film … women who believe they have to have a man, any man, even if he’s abusive (like Agnes’s ex) or nuts. I’ve known people gullible enough to believe in the bugs, though I don’t think any of them have gone to that extreme. So, I didn’t see anything really laughable in the ending.
A couple of things that did bother me involved the setting. Supposedly, this is happening in Oklahoma. It never says where in Oklahoma, exactly, but it’s somewhere with mountains behind the motel, which really limits the possibilities. The area around the motel, often shown from the air, looked more like Nevada than Oklahoma farm land. Also, in an early scene, Agnes is buying liquor in a grocery store, and you just can’t do that in Oklahoma … nothing but 3.2 beer is sold in Okie grocery stores. Not even wine; you have to go to a liquor store for that, and for the vodka Agnes seemed to favor.
Still, I thought it was a very good movie, though probably not something I’d want to watch repeatedly. It certainly isn’t the film for people who like a lot of external action.
Changing subjects … I wish I could get some e-mail that has nothing to do with the Horror Writers Association. Reading through about 50 e-mails per day about internal matters is a real time drain. It is important stuff to the organization, but … sheesh.
I got an e-mail from Scrybe Press the other day. The publishers says that Seven Days in Benevolence should be out by June 20. The limited hardcover of Shara should be, too. There is a significance to that date.
It’s raining again. It’s rained the past two days. This has been one of the wettest springs in a long, long time here. That’s good, though, considering the lake levels were still low from the years without enough rain. But, you know … I’m planning to cook meat over a fire this evening. Mmmm … meat …
Only two days of school left. I have mixed feelings about that. The students are ready for it, and many of them have become bigger problems as the end of the year approaches. That handful I won’t miss. Others, though, I will miss during the summer. And there are a few I’ll actually worry about. Some are going through some major things outside of school and I just hope it all works out well for them.
I will be teaching summer school, which is all extra money. I was shocked to learn I’ll be teaching math. I guess it’ll be math and reading. But … math? That’s like asking a butcher to teach veterinarian medicine. Supposedly all I need to know is additions, subtraction and multiplication. I hope so. My math skills are embarrassingly bad. I mean, I had to let a smart 8th grader demonstrate how to do pre-algebra problems when I was subbing last semester because I didn’t know how to do it.
Ah, and then there’s my own kids. They can’t seem to occupy themselves for a three-day weekend. I don’t know what I’m going to do with them for the entire summer.