Monday, January 14, 2013

Thoughts on 4 Films

1. Compliance - *spoilers - and you probably won't understand my rant if you haven't seen the movie*.  My first reaction to this story is that there is no way anyone would fall for this ever.  But it's "inspired by true events". So I have to change my reaction to there is no way any logical person would fall for this ever.  I work in the retail industry (similar to the food industry by way of customer service, managing people and selling goods) and I honestly just don't understand.  In the retail industry, we get scam calls all the time but most of them are trying to get you to sign up for stuff, complete false returns, etc.  and as a manager and a representative of a multi-million dollar company, you should know how to handle these scams.  Multi-million dollar companies are terrified of being sued, so they have very strict rules to follow.  As soon as the manager took the employees bag and started searching through it, alarms went off in my head (and the film gets soooo much worse).  You are not allowed to handle an employee's personal belongings. The manager actually says out loud "corporate always wants 2 people for a strip search....right?" UM WHAT? Strip search??  Is that in the manager's handbook?  My frustration about the manager's actions is not nearly as intense as my frustration about the employee's actions.  How do you not know what your rights are???? Not even as an employee, but as a fucking American citizen??  She never once says "I want to leave" nor does she leave (which is what I would have done).  She is innocent of the theft that she is being accused of, so why does she stay?????.  She lets herself be violated (and in real life, she sued McDonald's and won millions of dollars - which sets a terrible precedent.  I agree that they are responsible for the people they hire as leaders and that they are supposed to protect their employees, but she LET IT HAPPEN - at least in the film version).  I was relieved that the ending addressed how stupid these people are (and I hesitate to use the word stupid to describe a girl who is obviously psychologically damaged, but I have no other word....ignorant? Maybe?  No, sorry, I have to go with stupid).  As far as the film, I probably would have enjoyed it if it weren't for the story.  The acting is superb, the pace moves really quickly and it is just tense enough to keep me interested.  But sadly, I can't get past the story.  It's just a sad reminder that there are some pretty fucking sick people in this world, but there are also some pretty fucking dumb people, as well.

2. Trouble with the Curve - Baseball scouting, drafts, fucking boring.  This movie really made me appreciate Moneyball,  because that movie actually kept me interested in this information that I am not interested in.  Clint Eastwood plays a baseball scout who is losing his vision, but really spends the whole movie as a miserable, grunting old man (shocking, I know.).  I had the captions on (as usual) and I actually lost count of how many times it read "Gus grunts".  I think it was supposed to be an emotional movie but I actually laughed - even when he is at his dead wife's grave and he starts singing "You Are My Sunshine" - ok he didn't really sing it.  He just grunted through it and it was hilarious.  Amy Adams is probably the best part of the movie, but she spent the whole movie desperately trying to gain her dad's approval (I have no sympathy).  She also had little chemistry with Justin Timberlake.  They fall in love because they can both regurgitate baseball trivia.  How romantic!!!  Justin was my personal highlight, but not because of his acting or his character but basically because he is pretty.  The only thing I will remember about this movie is him getting undressed and jumping into a lake.  I would have preferred to watch 2 hours of that.  Hey, at least I am honest.

3. Butter - To sum up this movie in one scene: Olivia Wilde is a stripper (worst casting ever) who tries to give a lap dance with some dirty talk that included the sentence "My father raped me".  It's not even clear on whether it's supposed to be serious or if she is making a hilarious joke, but it is definitely supposed to be a turn-on.  I don't think I need to say anything else. Offensive on every level that exists.

4. Ruby Sparks - Speaking of offensive.....this is going to be mostly me venting and it will probably contain spoilers, which shouldn't matter because if you haven't watch this movie....DON'T.  Let me explain the plot: Lonely writer,  jots down his idea of a perfect girlfriend and he suddenly begins to see her.  At first, he assumes that he has finally lost his marbles and that he is imagining her, but to his surprise, others see her too.  I am a bit confused as to why his idea of the perfect girl doesn't know who F. Scott Fitzgerald is (oh because the perfect girl doesn't have a brain or a personality.  I get it now).  He also discovers that when he writes about her, she changes to become whatever he has written (meaning he can literally make her do whatever he wants - apparently the ultimate men's fantasy).  He realizes how morally reprehensible this is, so he decides to stop writing about her.  That is until she starts discovering her own identity and changing on her own.  Possession and jealousy take over the writers brain when he fears that she may leave him, so he changes her into a child-like, vacant, pathetic girl who clings to him (literally).  When they get into an argument and she tries to leave, she discovers that she physically isn't able to.  The writer reveals his magical power over her, proving that he can make her do anything, realizes his own insecurities and then decides to set her free (all of this happens in one very chaotic scene).  Then, they meet at the end, with her having no memory of him and it is implied that they end up "happily ever after".  I *think* the intent of this story is to provide some sort of lesson about trying to change people - changing one's flaws will only result in a different flaw.  I *think*.  What the film is, however, is a disgusting display of mental and emotional abuse, making that "happily ever after" ending highly disturbing.  The actual lesson that is presented is that it's ok if a a man is possessive and abusive, as long as he is sorry about it.  It's ok that she suffered psychological distress and humiliation because she doesn't remember it (if you think I am exaggerating, here is an example: He actually forces her to crawl on the floor and bark like a dog. This was probably my breaking point).  The film also implies that men don't actually need a magical typewriter to change women - as his mother has changed her entire personality to fit with her new husband.  The absolute worst part of it all, is that this misogynistic piece of garbage was written by a woman!!! A woman that cast herself in one of the most offensive roles I've ever seen (she did a decent job in the role).  I actually feel bad for her, when I think of the things that must go on in her head and the assholes that she must have dated to write a movie like this.  I think girls find it hard to distinguish the assholes of the world, but here is a big clue: If you ask him about his ex-girlfriend and he uses the words "slut" or "whore" (as the asshole in this movie does), then there is a good chance he is an asshole.  I don't have issues with the words, I take issue when these words are used to describe someone that he supposedly cared about (also, in all likely outcomes, you will be the "ex". Don't you want to know that he will talk about you with respect? Think about it.).  I guess I am going off-topic (again).  This movie just made me very angry, but more importantly it made me disappointed.  Most reviews I've read barely mention the distressing implications that this movie displays and some people have it in their top films of the year, describing it as "charming" and "romantic".  It makes my stomach turn.

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