Saturday, October 19, 2013

World War Z - Quickie Review

The Zombie apocalypse is upon us. The genre has been shoved down our throat so much that we're numb to it. Brad Pitt taking his turn intrigued me, but what more could be done? Well, think of 28 Days Later minus the boredom.

WWZ is fresh. It's fast. It's fun. For me, that is all you need. It's pure entertainment. The metaphorical BS is left Archie door. The world is doomed and one man is trying to save what's left, but really, he just wants his family
safe. The close up zombies are few and far between, but the masses are plentiful. WWZ doesn't try to duplicate any other film. It is different and that is what makes it special. It does steal an idea from other movies, but almost in the reverse way and it works. While I normally seek substance, this won me over with style. Two hours of carefree style!

Monday, October 14, 2013

My Four Days As A Dog Owner

I've always loved dogs.  I had a Siberian Husky as a child and when she had to be put down due to biting someone, I was devastated.  I also love cats and have always had cats in my life, but when my father's cat died last year, that was it for me, other than my brother's dog.  I've been contemplating a pet for two years now and almost committed to a cat, but then time away from home put a damper on those hopes.  Last week, my sister in law asked if I would be willing to stay at their place and take care of Roman. I accepted.

Roman is a huge, black Standard Poodle.  He is one of the friendliest dogs ever.  When I first walked into the apartment, I heard him barking.  It was about 5:30AM and I wondered how good of an attack dog he might be.   I opened the door, said hello, let him lick my hand and then tried to get a few hours sleep.   Within seconds of me getting into bed, he left the living room and laid down right in front of the bedroom door and stayed there until I got out of bed.  I got up, we went for a walk, I fed him and we became instant buddies.

Four days later, my back is hurting almost as much as my hip from all the walks, but I had a great time. We walked, talked, played catch, laid down together to watch TV (Don't tell his Mom that I let him on the couch) and ate meals together. Well basically, I'd feed him and before I could get one plate out he was sitting,staring, looking for a carrot stick or anything else.  I didn't want to break any food rules, so he received one or two carrots two different times.  The funniest thing was sleeping. I don't sleep much, so when he heard me, he'd usually get up and be ready to go or play.  Today I slept a little later and our normally schedule 8-8:30 walk was interrupted by my snooze.  He laid in bed, not making a sound and watched as I walked into the bathroom and back into bed. He waited a good 20 minutes and then came in, stretched, made the noise he makes to let me know it's time and we went out.  I appreciated his patience.

His patience is another thing that amazes me.  We spend so many day, sometimes years, getting used to those around us, but it took him four days.  The first day, he pulled me around and my inability to walk really slowed his pace. He sometimes wouldn't pee or poop and the one day I let him off the leash in a yard, he wouldn't return to me.  During this last walk, as I opened the door and sent him to the front door.  Instead of running down the stairs, he waited, only stepping as I did.  Mimicking my gimp.  We walked and for the most part he stayed at my pace.  Instead of wanting to continue as we walked to the front of the house, so my grimaced look and slowly walked the stairs, waiting to continue.  We went up and he waited patiently for his dinner.

I realize that I will miss him dearly.  I'll look forward to Thanksgiving when I see him again (hopefully sooner).  I'll miss our walks, our playing and his head laying on my leg.  I'll miss that unconditional appreciation that only animals and babies ever show is. I don't think I'm ready for a dog.  I don't think I could mentally handle leaving someone or dragging them with me every time I go somewhere.  Familiarity is an awful aspect of human life, but it's so important to animals.  It's not fair to be honest, to either species.

My days with Roman confirmed something that I always knew.  Love is inherent, but hate is taught. Saying I love him means nothing.  Just like saying one is good means nothing.  It's our actions, that prove our worth. It seems to me that my life seems to be about gaining the trust of children and animals and receiving love, respect and admiration in return. I'm poor financially, because that's all I want from human too.   Money means nothing to me at all, but unfortunately, no bill has ever been paid by love, respect and admiration.


Friday, October 11, 2013

Secret Honor - Incredible Richard Nixon Portrayal

Secret Honor is Robert Altman's adaptation of a play which starred and stars Philip Baker Hall.  It is a one man show that shows a shattered Richard Nixon, drunk, maybe even insane, attempting to come clean on everything....everything in his entire life.

Please ignore anyone, who in downgrading this, refers to Hall not resembling Nixon or to the movie being a monologue.. It actually improves the tale..The entire screenplay adaptation is about presenting the mania caused by Watergate. How because of it, things that were always common became taboo and how this "new" media aims to destroy.  The film also adds to conspiracy theories, but also states much of the common knowledge both parties hide. It is both a condemnation of Nixon and a sympathetic look at the cog in the wheel who was cast out. Brilliant on so many levels.

A few things that amazed me, when finding out when this was made. It speaks openly of candidates being taken from Hollywood and formed by the media machine. It tells of how money controls these parties and not the candidates.  It also makes clear the same money controls both.  When watching it, keep in mind, nobody even wanted to even speak of Nixon. The timing makes it brilliant if you're old enough to remember that era.

*****