Sunday, January 15, 2012

a couple of American films

I guess movie criticism has become a big part of this blog.  Some years ago, I had a lot of back trouble and had to spend a lot of time in bed on my back, which was when I bought my first VCR.  I watched so many movies that I felt I had to justify all of that time spent, and starting writing reviews for the NYU Law newspaper (I was working there at time, not studying).

I'm not sure why I felt guilty about spending so much time watching movies, but I suspect it was AA.  I'd been sober for about six months before I hurt my back, and the way I spent my time had become very careful and deliberate.  Taking life as it came had caused me to be drunk and high, as I understood it, and I had to relearn what to do with myself.  I walked on eggshells for those first few years sober, and I guess it was a good way to get into better habits.  Make no mistake -- AA was the best and the only thing I could do back then.  Later on, I found it stifling and way too closed.  (This is a little on my mind since an old sponsor just got back in touch.)

Yesterday's films were The Ides of March and Moneyball.  The former was directed by George Clooney, starring Clooney but mostly a showcase for Ryan Gosling, who has grown into a marvelous actor.  A lot of good character actors in it, too:  Paul Giamatti, Phillip Seymour Hoffman.  It involved secret dealings within a Presidential primary. Well done and interesting for American viewers, probably a little difficult for others.

Same with Moneyball.  Mr. Bachchan tweeted yesterday, "Life is too short to explain cricket to Americans."  Explaining baseball to Indians is probably just as tough.  (And no one, as yet, has been able to explain football to me.)  Moneyball is a true story about the general manager of the Oakland A's in 2004, who adopted the mathematical statistical analysis of Bill James to rebuild a team which was staggering from the loss of three key players.  He didn't win the playoffs, but did break an MLB record when the team won 20 consecutive games.  It was a really nice performance by Brad Pitt, who's starting to remind me a bit of Robert Redford.  Also nice work by Jonah Hill.  And what do you know -- Phillip Seymour Hoffman again. 

Hoffman and John C. Reilly are two actors I can watch in almost anything, and I tend to think of them together because I saw both for the first time in Boogie Nights.  (Which was one of my favorite movies, and I recommend it wholesale if you can handle even more sex than in the usual American movies.)

As much as it's not a good thing when we have computer trouble at work, it does mean I'll get a visit from Tamsir, who is one of the nicest, coolest, and most interesting people I've met in a long time.  He actually showed up with flowers for me yesterday, since we hadn't seen each other since before the holidays; totally unexpected, and it made a big impression on me.  I know he does read this blog occasionally, so if you're reading this -- thanks again.  I'm so glad to know you.

No comments:

Post a Comment