I have been hibernating for a few days now; actually it might be closer to a week. Heck maybe even longer! I don’t know how long it’s been because I’ve lost count of the days; or maybe the days are blurred because of chronic insomnia. But isn’t that the point, at least in part, to hibernation? To lose track of time, people, things? It works for a bear every year doesn’t it? They don’t eat for months but manage to survive nicely due to hibernation. Hibernation in my case though doesn’t include starvation.
To be honest with you, it is not hard for me to hibernate. When you live alone, except for the two dogs and two cats, cancelled your home phone line, laid off from a job and have been cold shouldered by everyone you know, or flicked off those pesky leeches, someone else calls friends, it really isn’t hard to hibernate. There is enough food in the cupboards, the fridge/freezer and additional freezer in the garage to sustain life for six months—I may have a food hoarding thing—there’s no need to go shopping for anything except maybe that the bottle of vodka is empty and the rum is getting low. There is no one to raise their eyebrows at the fact you haven’t left the house for many days. There is actually no one to NOTICE whether I’ve left the house or not. That food hoarding thing by the way, I don’t have to EAT it but it has to be there to prepare. It comes from a childhood of being-poor-and-never-enough-food-to-eat thing…
Even for me hibernation can get a little boring and maybe a lot lonely so I decided it might be time for some company—voices and faces—to join me in my solitude. I had semi-decided this hibernation or exile from humanity needed to come to an end.
I paid my bills albeit late and I don’t care and I prepared my resume and cover letter and even sent it off via computer. The prospective employer is already annoying to me, requesting resumes sent via fax. Who uses fax machines anymore anyway? I didn’t fax it from an old machine, I sent it via the internet, but they don’t need to know that I guess. Anyway, I’m rambling off here a bit…
Where was I? Oh, hibernation—exile, company, voices and faces, right.
Anyway, I really loathe the TV, and watching false hyper-happy strangers who don’t resemble me or my life at all during commercials telling me why I need to buy something I’ve either never heard of, or already have two of, or really just don’t need—which is just about everything advertised.
Never mind that whole Black Friday insanity being talked about like it’s on the scale of an apocalypse.
Hey that’s coming up soon isn’t it? 12-12-12? Presuming the Mayans are correct in their calculations. I wonder if people who believe that theory still lined up on Thanksgiving to get some deal on a new Xbox or flat screen TV….No! It would be a generator, flashlight, a dehydrator—something they would utilize while the rest of us foolish nonbelievers perished. But that would be a little hypercritical in a way wouldn’t it? If they stood in line for some shiny new something they can’t live without? See? Those commercials convince some people to spend.
I wonder what the survivalist wanna-be’s will be thinking and doing on 12-13-12. Stay tuned news at 11:00. How embarrassing for them! Fell for a scam, gave up their jobs, their lives, moved their family to some hidden mountain spot far, far away from…well, everything and everyone and all for nothing! Gee, can I have my job back now that the world continued? All that stuff I bought on credit thinking I wouldn’t have to pay it back… hum…
I did it again, in one post. I wandered off in thought or woolgathering. Rambling and babbling.
Anyway back to the point, instead of TV I turned to my rather large DVD collection. To entertain myself I just started randomly looking for a movie to start with. I have binders and I have drawers and drawers and drawers of DVDs and then there’s stacks over there —à of cancelled series and old black & white TV shows (Our Gang, Little Rascals and Honeymooners, etc.) for me to choose from. I grabbed a binder and decided then and there, start at the first DVD and go from there. It was irrelevant how many times I’d seen the movie. It was irrelevant what the topic or genre was; and it was irrelevant to me who starred in it.
As I was waiting for whatever DVD I grabbed to “load”, the TV was, of course, on an old classic movie channel. That channel is usually the one on my TV. It has movies with Bette Davis, Montgomery Clift, Lana Turner, James Stewart, Elizabeth Taylor and so on. I think it must not have commercial breaks as I don’t ever remember being annoyed while the movies are on.
On this particular day and hour, 4:30am, a movie that I had not seen (unusual) had just started. It was called On Borrowed Time. It is a 1939 film about the role death plays in life, and how humanity cannot live without it. Starring Lionel Barrymore.
I love old movies as I may have already said or hinted; and if one is starring Mr. Barrymore I will watch it. After all he played the old Mr. Potter, a miserly and mean-spirited banker in the Christmas classic movie It’s a Wonderful Life (1946) opposite James Stewart. He can’t be all that bad if he’s in a movie with Mr. Stewart.
On Borrowed Time is a black & white movie about Pud and his grandfather, played by Mr. Barrymore. Pud and his cantankerous, wheelchair bound old grandfather become inseparable friends. Pud was very young, orphaned and left in the care of his aged grandparents. But grandpa is concerned for his grandson’s future and wary of a scheming relative (there was a life insurance policy up for grabs) who seeks Pud’s custody.
The relative reminded me of the horrible woman in Wizard of Oz, riding her bicycle, haunting Dorothy.
Unfortunately, Mr. Brink–an agent of Death–arrives to take grandpa “to the land where the woodbine twineth.” Grandpa avoided death, that time, but death will not be denied and he took grandma! Through a bit of trickery, grandpa confines Mr. Brink, and thus Death, to the top of an old apple tree, giving extra time to resolve issues about Pud’s future. Death being death and not the most honorable of sorts tricked Pud into climbing a fence. Pud fell, broken into pieces, never to walk again. Grandpa decided it was time to end all the shenanigans, grabbed Pud, let death out of the tree and allowed Mr. Brink to take them both to where grandma was waiting for them.
It wasn’t even sad because Pud loved his grandparents so much and grandpa was missing his wife that it was kind of ok that they were all reunited, in death.
I’d give that movie a C rating all in all. It was ok.
However, what to view next?
What movie did I grab earlier and loaded it into the DVD player?
Mr. Brooks, 2007, starring Kevin Costner.
Costner as Mr. Brooks is an ordinary man by day with wife and daughter, and a murderer by night. He admits he’s addicted to killing. William Hurt plays Mr. Brooks’ murder-and-mayhem-loving alter ego but when Brooks wants to quit, Hurt doesn’t want him to. Obviously if Mr. Brooks quits killing then Hurt is, in essence, killed off too. It’s a bummer for Mr. Brooks to discover his daughter picked up that murder gene and likes it even more than dad does.
I followed that with:
The Lincoln Lawyer, 2011, starring Matthew McConaughey.
A sleazy defense attorney has a crisis of conscience when he represents a wealthy client who has a foolproof plan to beat the system.
In almost 14 years of working for a criminal defense attorney, we had a lot of clients try to fool us. We eventually found out the truth in the end like Mr. Lawyer did. Yes, there was a case or two…maybe three where we knew the truth and we just didn’t fight that hard for the client. They deserved whatever punishment the court served them. I read the book last year or so and can say the movie holds up rather well by comparison.Wolf Creek, 2005, starring no one I’d heard of.
Stranded backpackers in remote Australia fall prey to a murderous bushman who offers to fix their car, then takes them captive.
It was really, really bad, I turned it off after about 20 minutes. Yes I broke my rules! But seriously that movie is THAT bad. That DVD can be a coaster for my rum drinks now.
Number 23, 2007, starring Jim Carrey.
Walter Sparrow becomes obsessed with a novel that he believes was written about him. As his obsession increases, more and more similarities seem to arise.
It was convoluted for a while, but the director was kind enough to explain what the hell the Number 23 represented. Poor Walter, so confused, so mentally ill but all better now! But for those confusing memories that cropped up from a book his wife gave him for his birthday. The book wasn’t ABOUT him, it was written BY him and told us a gruesome story. But it was in the past and Mr. Sparrow wasn’t crazy anymore. He turned himself in and went to jail as a sane man. Paying his dues to society now that he wasn’t a crazy killer anymore.
Australia, 2008, starring Nicole Kidman.
Set in northern Australia before World War II, an English aristocrat who inherits a sprawling ranch reluctantly pacts with a stock-man in order to protect her new property from a takeover plot. As the pair drive 2,000 head of cattle over unforgiving landscape, they experience the bombing of Darwin, Australia, by Japanese forces firsthand.
This worked for me because it was long, like 3 hours or something. It was filmed before Nicole Kidman turned into a replica of a Stepford Wife on a food strike. To pick a movie every 90 minutes can be daunting. And…and..there’s nothing more touching than a little boy that says to this white woman “I’ll sing to you Ms. Boss, I’ll sing to you…” and she responds, “and I will hear you and I will find you!” oy….touching scenes.
The Good Shepherd (also known as The Confessor in the US), 2004, starring Christian Slater.
The film follows a straying Catholic priest’s investigation of a troubled teen’s mysterious death. It was released direct-to-video on March 21, 2006.
Don’t you hate it when someone you trust turns out to be a killer? Then tries to kill you? Mr. Slater handled it like any good priest would though.
The Contract, 2006.
I wonder if I was at the bottom of the vodka bottle, I was dosing off or I went woolgathering, I don’t remember much of this movie whatsoever. Maybe that’s why it went straight to video…not memorable? But I like Freeman and really like Cusack so how come I don’t remember what happened in the movie? I’m not going to watch again right now because I don’t care THAT much.
Finding Forrester, 2000.
A black American teenager, Jamal Wallace, is invited into a prestigious private high school. By chance, Jamal befriends a reclusive writer, William Forrester (Sean Connery), through whom he refines his natural talent for writing and comes to terms with his identity.
I like this movie for the most part. Sean Connery never disappoints but Jamal…while he was interesting, articulate and certainly out of place among his friends, living in the Bronx and then in the private school he was given a full ride scholarship to, bugged me. His face never changed! I wondered if he was getting massive amounts of Botox. He was almost always expressionless. I think he smiled once or twice. But that’s it. It was distracting.
The Clearing, 2004.
The film is loosely based on the real-life kidnapping of Gerrit Jan Heijn that took place in the Netherlands in 1987. Wayne Hayes (Robert Redford), and his wife Eileen (Helen Mirren) are living the American dream in a wealthy Pittsburgh suburb, having raised two children and built up a successful business from scratch. He is looking forward to a peaceful retirement with Eileen. However, everything changes when Wayne is kidnapped in broad daylight by a former employee.
I didn’t know it was based on anything but someone’s idea of a good story plot. I had seen it before but had to tear off that cellophane wrapper that no one over 5 years old is able to do without the use of sharp scissors, knives and a little patience. I remembered it as soon as it started but what I didn’t remember was the ending!
I was surprised at the demise of Mr. Hayes. In fact after wife paid $10M in ransom he was supposed to be released, at least that’s the way it works in other movies. He wrote his wife a small note while his hands were zip tied by Mr. Kidnapper. Eventually Mr. Kidnapper/killer finds his conscience and mails wife the note just before he started spending the “marked” C-Notes.
We weren’t shown what he was writing while writing it. We weren’t shown what he wrote when she read the note that came via regular mail.
BUT we were shown what he wrote in the last scene—which made me just burst out in tears.
She was lying on their bed and turned to look at the bathroom off the bedroom. Her husband was leaning casually against the doorframe and she smiled at him. He walked over to her, kneeled on the bed, leaned down to her and asked, “Do you love me?” She smiled and nodded. He then said, “Then I have everything I need.” That is what he had written apparently as she was holding the note he had written, looked at it, and then looked at the bathroom door. He wasn’t there of course because he was dead, shot in a forest by a cranky, jealous loser of a man.
I took a break from movie watching then. All the plots seemed to be dark or sad or just ugh…showing the unpleasant side of humanity.
Alas I was on some sort of crazed mission or really had nothing better to do so I grabbed another movie.
Dermot Mulroney, Sarah Jessica Parker and Claire Danes An uptight, conservative, businesswoman accompanies her boyfriend to his eccentric and outgoing family’s annual Christmas celebration and finds that she’s a fish out of water in their free-spirited way of life.
I don’t care for Parker. I find her utterly too thin and seems extremely high strung, or it’s the characters she plays or I just don’t like her. She was cast perfectly in this role though. The Stone family is mean and dismissive of her thinking that she wasn’t a good match for perfectly confused Dermot (I don’t remember his character’s name). They were right, though it doesn’t excuse their bad behavior. Maybe they were tense because mom had a secret; one she planned to share as soon as the holidays were over. As in most families, there’s one who just doesn’t give a shit what others think of him. This family is no different. The brother comes into town, meets Uptight Girl and takes her out drinking. Uptight Girl’s sister, Claire Danes (don’t remember her character’s name either), came to help with the tension because she knows her sister can wear on people’s nerves. There was some switching around with the relationships but for the most part everyone lived happily ever after. And wiser as they learned a little bit about themselves in the process of being unwelcoming to a stranger in their home. This was another movie that was a little bit better than OK to me though it held no surprise for me having seen it about 3 or 4 times now. At least I had moved on from my outburst from The Clearing.
Jodie Foster. Her fiancé was killed when a bunch of thugs attacked them in Central Park. Why they were strolling along in Central Park at NIGHT is just stoooopid! When I lived in NY and being dumb and stupid I was never THAT dumb! She recovers from the attack and then becomes a vigilante in the pursuit for revenge. She disconnects emotionally for a little while but eventually came back to life with the unwanted assistance from Mr. Policeman in charge of investigating the killings. Sometimes cops really can look the other way, when it’s the right thing to do.
I Know Who Killed Me, 2007
Lindsay Lohan, A young girl who was missing reappears, but she claims to be someone else entirely. Synopsis read something along the lines of “Woman survives at the hands of sadistic serial killer but is she lying, or mentally ill or telling a bizarre true story.”
Another movie like Wolf Creek…it sucked! But unlike Wolf Creek I watched it to the end. Why? Because I couldn’t figure out what was going on, even if I ignored Lohan’s really lousy acting, I still wanted to know what the point of the movie was. I wasted time I can never get back. Like Wolf Creek, it’s another coaster.
There were other movies I watched but I cannot remember what they were. I put each DVD back before getting another one so I didn’t have a convenient stack of “just watched” videos to refer to. Obviously they were very noteworthy if they didn’t stay around in my head long enough for me to write about them here. Doesn’t matter though…
and finally…while there was probably at least 5, 10, maybe a dozen more movies I can’t remember them all BUT…the last movie of the marathon:
SEEKING A FRIEND FOR THE END OF THE WORLD
that inspired me to come back out of hibernation! Because…meh….I’ll write some more on another blog….
TO BE CONTINUED