Sunday, August 29, 2010

the kids are all right (movie)

(another movie that i'm only watching because i got a free double pass to a preview screening.) the kids are all right is a movie about a family with two mums, their two teenage children from the same 'father', and what happens when the children seek out the sperm donor without whom they would not be. it's been labelled as a dramedy, and indeed there are some funny moments, and some dramatic moments (in addition to a number of sex scenes).

i have no idea why the movie is titled the way it is. i suspect that one interpretation is that in this atypical family, the kids are all right and the parents are not. certainly the two kids fairly normal, especially compared to the friends they are often seen hanging out with. the elder kid is an academic high achiever, and the other an athletic all-rounder. mum 1 is an overcontrolling doctor, mum 2 a much more free spirit type person who doesn't have quite an impressive nor definitive answer to the question of "so what do you do?". and donor-dad? a college drop out who eschews academic learning for doing, now restauranteur and locavore, and never married never divorced but seems to have a way with women.

in the end, i'm left wondering what the message of the movie is, or whether the 'father' is meant to be liked or not. the movie was a hit at this year's sundance film festival, which shouldn't necessarily be relied upon to raise your expectations too much unless you are into independent films, of which this is one, and the festival is many. i suppose that the number of known actors involved in this film gives it some weight, but it just doesn't hit any spots with this viewer. there are some truisms about the 'hard slog' that is marriage (though my kind of marriage involves a man and a woman), and how sometimes you tend to hurt most the one to whom you are closest. but i can learn / hear that type of sage advice and reflection elsewhere. definitely not worth the price of admission, though possibly worthy of a DVD rental if you're in the right mood. or just skip it altogether and watch / do something else. i don't think your life will be any poorer for it.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

boy - the 2010 movie from new zealand

thanks to some free preview tickets, i went to watch boy last night. before watching the movie, i had
  • seen the trailer, which didn't particularly appeal to me - if i didn't already hold free tickets for the movie, i don't think i would have put this movie on my to see list.
  • heard that the movie is the highest grossing new zealand movie of all time. this made me somewhat curious to see the movie and find out for myself how good is really is.
  • seen increasing numbers of free tickets being given away/offered, which made me suspect that the movie is not really that good, but maybe had potential, so the marketing/promotions people are doing the hard sell to get many previewers to see the movie and get some word of mouth type advertising happening.
now that i have seen the movie, i'm thinking:
  • it's kinda quirky - i'm not really sure what it was trying to be, as there were some funny bits though i wouldn't describe the movie as a comedy, and there were some fantastical elements which jarred a bit with what could have been a drama, which is another word i don't think quite fits in describing the movie.
  • i don't know what the point of the movie/story was, or why it was worth telling.
  • i definitely wouldn't have been happy paying money to see this, and can only conclude that i am very unlike the typical new zealand moviegoer.
so... not exactly a glowing review... but i guess if you like new zealand movies and wackyish stuff, you might find this enjoyable. for me, it had some moments, but as a whole it was generally forgettable.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

turning 33 and 3 3rds

the week leading to my 34th birthday felt like a blur of activity:
  • monday afternoon i learnt that a friend who had recently arrived from overseas was experiencing some problems with the rental accommodation he had just moved into. this eventuated in us helping him move out of the place that evening, and into our cluttered 'spare' room that didn't quite have a lot of room. a long day and late night.
  • tuesday was the usual bible study group meeting at home, which we were tempted to call off when only one person was confirmed coming, but in the end 3 turned up.
  • wednesday was... i can't remember.
  • thursday saw us start work early and finish early, in order to do an afternoon tea catch up with another overseas friend who was in town only briefly. i was so tired by this evening that when i went out after dinner to run some errands, i drove past my usual petrol station before realising i was supposed to turn in to pump petrol...
  • friday was the combined family steamboat dinner for mine and dad's birthdays. i was fully ready to vegetate by the time people left, and thankfully wifey had already volunteered to clean/wash up.
  • saturday morning, after a fairly good sleep, saw us meet with a few other couples as a followup to a marriage conference we all attended 2 years ago. this was followed by yum cha lunch at a new (for me) restaurant nearby, before we parted ways and retired home to chill for a few hours and then head out again for a dinner with some other friends.
  • sunday morning saw another opportunity to catch up on sleep, eat a late lunch in the midst of preparing food for the church dinner that night, and then church and dinner itself.
the two dinners at the end of the week were opportunities for me to do something a bit different to how i usually spend / mark my birthdays, and i will (hopefully) write a bit more that them in due course. for now, i am undeniably in my mid-30s, and continue to wonder when i'll start feeling my age.