Angry, Angry Afterlife Fakery…

Chalk one up for the “I’m starting to get back to living life in a more normal way” column, I went to see a movie today….

It sounds pretty simple and mundane to you, the able-bodied majority, but getting to the theatre, getting popcorn, sitting in the seats, then getting back home – has nearly all the logistics of taking Christopher Reeve on a weekend-long, white-water rafting trip, not including the digging him up part. OK well, perhaps, I’ve gone and exaggerated a wee bit but it’s only because I’m embarrassed to say seeing a movie, it’s a pretty big deal. Getting there, well, the car rides are generally OK now, with way less wincing, sharp fast corners are still not good, they cause you to involuntarily adjust yourself to an upright position – by flexing your core and chest, fast deep bumps or potholes – also no good, the jarring violent upwards motion is still pretty uncomfortable. Still, the odd grunt escapes me in certain instances but it’s manageable…

Besides, it’s getting better all the time. The movie seats, at the Silver City theatres are pretty fantastic, way more comfortable than seats at the picture shows used to be, BUT they are still not lazy-boy quality – and so I get sore right quick. Why back in my day, I remember when they made you sit on plywood chairs covered in barbed wire and we loved it… cold hard, splintered pieces of rusted metal for arm rests, we were much tougher then…

The choice of movie probably didn’t help. Now listen, ever since the very first time I laid eyes on him, I’ve had a pretty serious man crush on Clint Eastwood… but at some point, early on in your movie going life, you realize, he’s never going to call… …not only is he a fine actor in many wonderfully violent extravaganzas, but I fully credit him for single-handedly teaching me the correct way to say the world “Punk” with just the right amount of sneer… gigantic plus, right there… as a happy coincidence, he has turned into a fine, fine director with a number of exceptional movies produced under his careful hand. One of his latest efforts the thoroughly entertaining Gran Torino… We went to see his “Hereafter” starring a young unknown actor named Matt Damon.

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I hated it – and I don’t say this lightly – I’ve always been a monster fan of letting people decide about a movie for themselves and haven’t put much stock in what critics have said. There have been far far too many times when the critics have said something utterly stinks and I’ve really liked it and vice versa, heard that something is unbelievable, an instant classic – gone to see it only to be horribly disappointed. So, it’s a very personal thing and one I believe is very influenced by mood, it plays a huge part in how you perceive a movie…. Have you ever watched a movie, Loved it and told everyone how great it was, and what a life changer it was — then watched the movie later and found it to be trash and for the life of you, you can’t recall what you liked about it in the first place… the frame of mind is a big part of how you categorize a movie, into your likes or dislikes….

Anyways on to the “Hereafter”… which incidentally is a funny title, because I’m pretty sure my soul slipped into the hereafter at least twice during this movie. Now if you plan on watching this movie, I won’t spoil or give away any plot points but I will say it wasn’t at all what I was expecting – Clint shoots no punks and there isn’t an explosion or racial beat-down to be seen. The ads on TV really push the movie as a sort of weird psychic, disaster, sci-fi drama… it’s not, and it’s slow, slow-paced, really slow – I swear it has glaciers yelling at it to pick up the pace…. I have a tremendous affinity for films and have watched too many old movies to count, so slow-paced movies pose no problem for me whatsoever  – I can watch slow pacing, with tension ascending towards a third act climax….. but this was unbearable… and about three-quarters of the way through I found myself wanting to walk towards the light…. so pretty… so warm and inviting…… BUT I DIDN’T… I came back…. to give Clint this message….

Clint, my love – I understand you are getting along in years, he’s 80 – and so, it’s only natural for you to want to start a dialogue and explore what happens after we pass — but there is NO damn reason you have to drag us down with you….

Have a Great Day, Punk!

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