Tomorrow is my wife’s [redacted] th birthday. Since we don’t ever buy presents for one another on any occasion, including birthdays, we decided to just enjoy ourselves this week-end: have lunch or dinner out, nix any typical plans or chores we all usually save for the week’s end (cleaning, shopping for groceries, mowing lawns, laundry, etc.), and we made one huge decision: go see the film Gravity at the cinema.
We wanted to go for the whole visual enchilada, so we looked forward to seeing this movie in 3D at the IMAX. Noticing that it was written and directed by Alfonso Cuarón, whose previous work I loved (Y Tu Mama Tambien, Children of Men, Harry Potter 3, a very unique version of Great Expectations, and was a co-producer on one of the most intense and heartbreaking films I’ve ever seen, Biutiful), I was extremely eager to experience this visual work. I noticed that the reviews from some people I know were either full-on positive or horrendously negative. Never mind, it was, after all, Alfonso Cuarón’s writing, and I trusted this man with both script and direction.
This is not going to be an in-depth, cerebral review of the film, but I will say this: we spent nearly $30 for tickets and $5 for a medium cup of a diet soft drink beverage (no mentioning the brand, for the bastards already have enough advertising); this is something I consider egregious, even for the visual experience we chose. Two film tickets and one shared cup of soda for little less than two twenties! As for the film: here’s how I described it to my long-faced, beyond disappointed wife: “It’s like going to dine in the most wonderful, coolest, brilliant, fantastical physical space we have ever seen for a restaurant. Only the service is absolute horseshite. In fact, the service is non-existent.”
I won’t analyze the cliché dialogue, mediocre acting (as usual) from Bullock, and absolutely preposterous, most unrealistic situations I’ve ever seen perhaps in any space film. I do realise some people will counter with: “well, it is science FICTION” only it isn’t. Not this film. This film belongs in the drama/adventure genre based upon what looks like quite a plausible subject matter for astronauts. What we watched certainly wasn’t science, unless you count the wonderful CG and other technical details, and most certainly the “fiction” part was written so horribly that it inadvertently became a satire of itself. In any case, remember my restaurant analogy.
And so we came home deflated like two morose balloons, and $35 lighter. Personally, I felt truly insulted by this film. I felt Cuarón thought I must be an idiot to believe all that happened. I felt insulted that I was being fed these preposterously amateur lines by the characters. The dialogue is at times so awful, both my wife and I would look at one another in disbelief and literally laugh outloud. I cannot tell you how many elbows in the ribs I got from my better half for literally exploding in laughter during the “intense parts” of this film. In any case, I imagine I would have written better dialogue at the age of 13 when I was studying Kafka, Camus, Fitzgerald, David Mamet, and Shakespeare as a high school freshman. My only conclusion was: Hollywood execs. tampered so much with the script, it became the ghastly piece of rubbish that it is.
Back home, it took two episodes of The Graham Norton Show to get our spirits up again; those and two very cold, very full-to-the-rim martinis (Tanqueray). As an antidote to a horrible time spent at the cinema wearing disgusting, plastic glasses, surrounded by constantly-ruminating patrons, we decided on soothing our cinematic wounds with a film that is both brilliant in script/story as well as in the visuals: In Bruges (Netflix) We hadn’t seen this film in a few years and it was time to give it a third go-round. And we were better for it.
To-day is Sunday, and again we plan on doing nothing that isn’t art, music, or writing-related. As we do not have cable television, we will probably hang about reading, listening to some sort of “ambient-chill” type music (that’s their label, not mine) on Songza. We may, perhaps, engage in a backgammon mini-tournament later this afternoon; my wife is an insufferably lucky dice-thrower, though, and my blood boils every time she quickly and efficiently casts off her men by throwing down double-sixes after double-sixes. Still, there are those few times I’m able to beat her. Very few. In any case, she deserves to win in general, but definitely on this, her birthday weekend.
Happy [redacted] th Birthday! There’s an oul’ Irish proverb goes somethin’ like this: “May the best you’ve ever had, be the worst you’ll ever have.”