Apropos of nothing, I’d like to say that I’m proud of the fact that Baji and I never write headlines that in any way conform to the rules of SEO (search-engine optimization). Nothing could bring me more pleasure than to know that we are routinely confounding serious-minded citrus-fruit-enthusiast bike riders on the hunt for Dollhouse spoilers.
And on that note, another useless, disinformational post. Hurray!
Once TV actually became good (circa 1999, with the birth of HBO’s The Sopranos), I more or less stopped going to the movies. It helped that it was around that period that I also got a TV for the first time. And that movies had turned to crap. Generally speaking, I try to avoid the old person’s lament, “Things were better in my day.” Things were not better in your day, old person, they were worse. You might say, old person, that today’s young people have no manners. Well, in your day they had manners only as regarded selected groups of people. So I’m not impressed. Also, (some of) today’s young people have manners and the Internet. And none of them are afraid of communists. Triple whammy. So technology is better. As for books and music and art, they are neither worse nor better, they are different, which lands them pretty much in the “better” category as far as I’m concerned. Music delivery is better. Life is better. Not for all of us, not nearly, but for more of us, yes. I stand by that. Exhibit A: I do whatever the heck I want and I’m a lady (purely in the double-X chromosome sense; we all know I ain’t no lady). I win, you lose. See ya later, Don Imus.
But I do think movies are worse. And getting worser. Of course, I don’t see any of them, so what do I know? And it has to be said that I too am worse than I was in my day, and that surely must be a factor. (And how delightful being worse is.)
So I only go a few times a year and I try to make these few times count, especially given the extortionate Manhattan ticket prices. This year’s highlights were Valentino: The Last Emperor and The September Issue. A couple years ago there was Michael Clayton and The Departed, both of which really held my interest during the showing and stayed with me for a good long while afterward (but how dumb was that last shot in The Departed?). Don’t ask me what happened last year, I haven’t a clue. Imagine my surprise, then, in suddenly finding myself a few weeks ago at a showing of Ricky Gervais’ The Invention of Lying, with a popcorn and soda in hand no less. All told this situation I found myself in cost me around 25 bucks; cheaper than an abortion, sure, but less than half as reasonable.
No idea how I got there (lie: I walked); no idea why I was there (half-truth: I think it was the gimmick, I’m a sucker for a gimmick. This is the only reason I see the X-Men movies—that guy can go through walls! That guy can freeze things! That guy is Captain Picard!); no idea why I didn’t walk out (lie: I had paid for the ticket, duh). If someone had asked me, pre-falling-on-my-head or whatever induced me to go see this movie, “Hey, have you heard of this movie The Invention of Lying? Think it’s any good?” I would have said, “Looks boring. Definitely skip it.” Where was I when I needed myself? Well, aren’t you lucky that I’m here now and with a public service to provide no less. Here is a screengrab from the one scene worth seeing in the movie (the actual scene lasts about 30 seconds, but alas I couldn’t find a clip):