Category Archives: Movies

A Bit of the Old Ultraviolence

I’ve been watching a few movies since Meagan’s been out of town and it’s been much like being in a sauna where ever I go the last few days. Last night was no exception.

I started off (yeah, it was something of a marathon) with Bruce Willis’s “Hostage.” I was expecting a whole lot of violence and I wasn’t dissapointed; there was so much gore that I think I’m gonna have to call ServiceMasters. But the movie offered more than just gore. It raised the perennial questions: What matters to you the most? What will you do to get and protect it? I actually was surprised by the movie, but partly because I went in with low expectations.

Because it’s really hard to see too much brain matter splattered on the wall from a pistol shot to the temple, I followed “Hostage” with Steven Segal’s “Submerged.” Oy! What a travesty that was. This flick about a mad, money-hungry scientist who figures out a way to brainwash and control people from any distance is ludicrous. And filled with bad acting. And has a poor plot and worse writing. The bottom-of-the-barrel clencher, though, is that Segal uses guns way more than his silly girl-fighting, slappy-hands, so-called martial arts skills in this movie. Maybe he’s getting too old to be an action hero. No wonder the movie was direct-to-video.

Tonight, I’ve cued up “Corporation,” a documentary about something… I forget what…

Serious Extra Credit (and Spiderman)

Ran 30&1, x2

We got home last night lateish, probably around ten or so, after spending a nice evening with Pete and Robin and watching Spiderman 2, which sucked a lot less than Spiderman 1, but still sucked. Since Alden was up for a lot of the night Thursday, I didn’t go for my run yesterday morning, as per usual. Through the day, I was thinking that I’d just run when I got home from work, but then Meg and I wound up having a little impromteau picnic on Maslowski beach, just a stone’s throw from all the construction on the highway. Alden was entranced by the sand mostly, and by the sound of the waves, too.

P&R were going to meet us at the beach for food and a swim, but the breeze was a little cold and the kid was snotting up a storm, and Meg talked about feeling a little sick the night before, so we bagged the beach in favor of a warmer, less sick-inducing spell at P&R’s place.

Throughout Spiderman, mostly while watching Toby McGuire wrestle with all sorts of complicated internal issues, which is a lot like watching a very nice shade of taupe paint dry on my bathroom wall, I was aware that I still hadn’t run, and that this run was feeling important. I made a couple of small anouncements to P&R&Meg to that effect.

On the way home, I almost clipped a gangly black bear cub, but that doesn’t really have anything to do with anything, except, perhaps, to establish the darkness of the night (though there were still the last vestiges of color in the sky when I was running half-an-hour later, so that theory’s kind of shot) and the suckiness of the van headlights. But it’s a Chrysler, so I don’t know what I was expecting.

At home, I did a few small getting-the-house-ready-for-the-night chores, then put on my running stuff and a reflective safety vest and headed out the door, past the skunk prowling the yard, all the while wondering just what the hell I was doing out there at 11 p.m., what was I trying to accomplish or prove. Or perhaps was I just stubbron enough to not recognize a perfectly socially acceptable opportunity to go to bed?

As I started my run, the first thing I noticed was that though there was a gibbous quarter-moon shining down, in the shadows, it was still pretty damn dark. Dark enough that I coukdn’t see my feet; that I stayed on the road by feel, and occasionally by finding the road’s swath through the trees. I also noticed that without benefit of all the usual micro-landmarks, I was paying attention to other things while running. There were, after all, constellations above. And occasional startled deer. And my legs in their slow, shuffling pace, accompanied by my breathing which is not as raspy and wheezing as it was nine weeks ago.

At some point, fairly early on, the run took on kind of a dream-like quality, like those dreams where I feel physically stressed, though not necessarially in a bad way, and the scenery keeps changing, but I know I’m still in the same place. Or like in movies where the actors are in a car with filmed sequences playing out in the windows.

As I ran, I felt like I could keep going indefinitely. When my watch signaled the end of my first rep, I was a little sad to stop running. I knew I could have made the entire run in an uninterupped lope, but I decided to be faithful to the program I’m following, just on general principal. After all, if I’m faithful when things are going well, I’ll have more incentive to be faithful when things are more challenging.


We took Alden to “Revenge of the Sith” on Friday. He was really into it; just staring at the screen and for a while, just hanging out. Then he started talking to the movie. Something would happen on the screen and he’d reach out with his arms and say “Gah!” or occasionally “Bubbub.”

We didn’t want to irritate our fellow movie goers so we took shifts standing in the doorway of the theater rocking the Kid and trying to pick up snatches of the movie. That worked OK for a little while, but when Anakin went off to kill all the sepratists, Alden (and I) got bored with the movie, so we went on a rambling tour of the theater’s lobby, making sure to stop at all the important highlights like the water fountain (“splish, splash, I was takin’ a bath…), the mural on the wall (“Gah Reeshk!”), and the crazy old biddies (“Oh, what a beautiful boy! Do you have any smiles for me?” “Probably not, since it’s past his bedtime, but if you come closer, he might puke on you. But it’d be OK since you’re wearing a rain jacket.”).

I went back to the theater by myself on Sunday to watch the Sith en totale, but at the first sappy, sparkless scene between Anakin and Padime, I realized that I had no love for the movie and didn’t really want to be there.

So I went across the hall to “Mr. & Mrs. Smith.” It was fun, violent entertainment. I’d give it about a 2.5 or maaaaybe 3 on the five-scale.