Call Me English

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It’s been almost a week since the horrifying mass shooting in Aurora, Colorado that left 12 innocent moviegoers dead and dozens more wounded. It’s been almost a week since we saw the photos of the man who did it, the man who by all accounts is educated and, prior to this psychotic break, just another child of upscale white suburbs.

When will it end? How many more of these heinous crimes against peaceable assembly must we endure before we finally address their root causes: poor treatment of mental illness and ease of access to firearms of mass destruction. I grew up in New York City in the 1980s, so I will never understand why anyone needs to own a gun. All it took was watching the scene in Ghost where Patrick Swayze was shot and killed for me to hate guns forever and to constantly worry about whether my parents would come home safely from eating out with friends.

Since I accept that we will never see a constitutional amendment banning guns outright in this irreparably polarized country, I am hoping that we can instead undertake efforts to curtail gun violence through regulation – and one fine place to start is by getting large-capacity magazines off the market for good.

I can’t tell you how sad I was when I read that gun purchases spiked in Colorado in the wake of this senseless act. What kind of sense does that make? A bunch of people get shot in an enclosed area, and you think you need more guns? If everyone in the theatre had been armed, I guarantee you that easily twice as many people would have died.

Written by Dave

July 25, 2012 at 14:38

Two nights at the movies

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I don’t often go to the movies… maybe once or twice a year.  And now I remember why.  It’s not that I don’t enjoy films – I love them and have a whole list I am waiting to see. I often just can’t handle the way others behave when they’re watching.

We saw Moonrise Kingdom and Ted this weekend.  Both are excellent films and worth a look, but don’t make the mistake some morons out there are making, believing these to be children’s films.  They are not.

Moonrise Kingdom is a sweetly demented tale of young love on a remote New England island from hipster man-child Wes Anderson.  Bill Murray, Edward Norton, and Bruce Willis are great.  One of my faves, Frances McDormand, is fantastic as always.  The real revelations in MK, however, are the two pre-teen leads, Jared Gilman and Kara Hayward.  Child actors can make or break a film like this, and both Gilman and Hayward kept the chain together brilliantly, sad though I may be that they were both born in the very late 1990s.

Ted is more than just a two-hour episode of Family Guy.  It’s Seth MacFarlane’s directorial debut – one with momentum, heart, and countless knee-slapping, poo-speckled belly laughs.  Strong performances abound from Mark “y Mark” Wahlberg, Mila Kunis, Joel McHale, Giovanni Ribisi, and MacFarlane himself as the chauvinistic slacker of a title teddy bear.  There are great small performances/cameos from Patrick Warburton, Norah Jones, Ryan Reynolds, and Sir Patrick Stewart.  MacFarlane takes political incorrectness to another level, sprinkles in 70s and 80s film and television references, and the end result is a movie about Boston that even a couple of New Yorkers could love.

So here are some things at the movies that keep me away:

  • Cost – When the hell did prices go up to $13.50? Is this a movie or a sporting event? Not enough of that price is going to theatre cleanliness, let me just tell you.
  • Cleanliness – It seems like every seat is bruised at the movie establishments in my area. The floors are sticky, the carpets are torn up, and the thought of bed bugs possibly infesting cinemas in this city makes my skin crawl.
  • Pre-show entertainment – What law on the books states that the music played before movies has to be the worst music ever recorded?
  • Previews – They last almost half an hour now.  Play them before the lights go down if you must…
  • Patrons – No, you cannot show up five minutes before the show and expect to get a good seat.
  • Patrons – Don’t make the farmer’s blow noise in public.
  • Patrons – If you’re going to sneak in bottled soft drinks, don’t shake them up so that they explode all over the floor.
  • Patrons – Don’t use your phone for any reason, no matter how “silent,” for the duration of the film.
  • Patrons – If you must leave during the show, don’t expect to get your seat back.  When you return, you should go all the way to the front and crane your neck for the rest of the film; this is your punishment for buying that Diet Coke the size of a toilet.