Daddy Issues and Contact

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Poster image taken from IMDB

I know I am late to the party. For some reason I had never seen this movie. I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed it.

Now, I am not going to get into semantics about the movie, I just want to talk a little about how it influenced me. We all know I am rather self-absorbed and the most important part of anything is how it all influences me. 

Daddy Issues

The biggest question bothering me as I watched the movie centers on the girl, who is looking for her father. Are we all constantly seeking a dad? Are men slaves to this as well? I am usually quite sensitive to this topic in literature and movies which leaves me wondering if this is simply due to my lack of a father. Do people with good fathers have this issue? I found myself thinking David Morse was cast perfectly as the doting paternal figure. Then he died. Sigh. 

There was a small part of me wishing she actually found a way to communicate with her father. Then, he made certain she understood he was just a hallucination. Once again there are no answers about whether or not our “souls” continue to exist after we die. Come on Sagan, throw me a bone! I found myself wondering if she felt closure after she saw her “father.”

My father is not dead. At least not as far as I know. I don’t imagine I would get any relief or closure if I saw him again. I think it would be more of the same bullheadedness that I inherited from him. While I cannot imagine completely turning your back on your child, I also know there is something so irrevocably damaged he simply lost capacity for maintaining a relationship with me. I am okay with this. Even if it still sucks sometimes.

Love Interests!

Look, this was NOT Matthew McConaughey’s finest hour. He was quite flat throughout the movie. So, while I am acknowledging the fact he was not my kind of dude, he did something I love. The whole compass thing. Come on! I know it is cheesy. I have had secret fantasy for years about a guy giving me a compass. Tom Hanks did it in Big! It is seriously the sweetest gesture to me. So, Mr. Right if you want to win my heart, all you need to do is give me a compass and say something incredibly charming about wanting me to always find my way home to you.

This would serve two purposes. First, it would indicate you pay attention to the cheesy, sappy crap I pretend I don’t like. Second, it would show you have been reading my blog, AND paid attention. You would win all the way around. There is absolutely no downside to presenting me with a compass.

Theology and Terrorists

This movie did a fairly good job of highlighting the struggles people in this country face when they are not religious. Her lack of faith almost prevented her from being the person who got to go on the grand adventure. The only thing I know is I value religious freedom. This includes the right to not have a religion and not be persecuted.

The bomber was relevant even for almost 20 years later. We are still using bombs and weapons to attempt to prove theological points. I still find it disgusting. I cannot wrap my head around how people get from “I want to save lives” to “I need to kill you.” Pro-lifers shooting doctors. Muslims shooting up Christmas parties. Strange dudes opening fire in a bible study. I lump all of these people into one big group. Anyone who fixates on some ideology and uses it to justify hate and murder is just a douchebag. I have tried to convince myself they are mentally ill, however I just don’t buy it.

Love Letter to Science and Progress

In the end I suppose the story is really a love letter to science as a tool to achieve progress. I loved the point about taking small steps and evolving through it. This is an important lesson for me. I find myself wanting to rush through every thing to get to the end point. Perhaps I need to relish the small steps I continue to make.

There is something beautiful in the little victories.

As a species, I feel like humans have a gift of curiosity. This eternal drive for knowledge and answers. We would cease to have ambition if we had all the answers handed to us. I will never run out of questions. This means I will have to wake up and not be excited about what I may learn that day. We cannot stop looking for solutions just because our first attempt failed. We have to continue on.

Stop using real footage out of context

Robert Zemeckis did a pretty good job on this movie. I did not like all the news coverage and CNN footage. It seemed jarring. It was cute when he did it in Forrest Gump, but he needs to find a new trick. Rather than making the movie seem more likely to be possible, I was distracted trying to remember what Bill Clinton was actually talking about in that clip. I did not like it.

Jodie Foster.

I related to Ellie as she went through her journey, and Jodie Foster somehow manages to suck me in with her understated charm and quiet demeanor. She manages to play strong women without making them overbearing. This is a skill I wish I possessed.

I am always uncomfortable when she is dealing with some romantic entanglement. Why is it always so awkward?

Pleasantly Surprised

Contact was worth the time I spent watching it. While there were not many answers, it left me satisfied. I really don’t know how I managed to never see it until now.

Daddy Issues and Contact

Everest.

images-16I like Jon Krakauer. I found Into Thin Air to be a wonderful read, and it left me interested in the topic of extreme mountaineering as a topic of reading.  Not that I actually want to climb a mountain like that, that would be insane. I was insanely excited to see this movie, and the first chance I got I was in the theater anxious to watch the story unfold.

The movie was okay. I enjoyed a lot of the acting and cinematography. I was not impressed with the lack of investment in the characters though. There were several moments that should have reduced me to tears, they certainly did in the book, however I was just not invested in their struggle. Too many characters and not enough time.

One thing I was struck by is the disdain with which Krakauer’s character seemed to be portrayed. If you read Into Thin Air, I would find it disingenuous if you reported missing the sense of regret he seemed to have regarding the entire affair. He was heartbroken about the loss of his climbing mates, and the book was dripping with the pain he must have been experiencing. This movie failed to convey any of that. Instead JK was portrayed as a careless afterthought, and I find that rather rude.

Now, if you google any of this you will find a large number of people who don’t care so much for JK, and frankly, whatever. Who cares? Get a life. He wrote a book about his experience that left a lot of people on the edge of sanity. Seriously. It is a fantastic book.

On a brighter note, Jason Clarke was phenomenal and I have a bit of crush now. Josh Brolin has managed to steal my heart since I was a little girl and he was in Goonies. So, the movie was not terrible. It was not a documentary and it should not be taken too seriously. It was okay. I would recommend it to anyone who wants to see a movie about this disaster.

I wish the film could have spent more time discussing the ridiculousness of unexperienced climbers being allowed to attempt this trek simply because they have the funds to do so. It is a shame that the people of Tibet are being held hostage by this tourist trade, and that they are risking the lives of their people who act as Sherpas for these ignorant assholes. Who should be accountable for regulating this? When will these wealthy adventure whores start holding themselves responsible for making intelligent decisions, especially when they affect so many people? This is similar to the people who go hunt big game in Africa. They are putting so many people in danger for their adrenaline soaked fantasies. It really should stop.

Everest.

Cinephilia

Sicario, Everest, Philomena.

These are the three movies I have seen so far this week. I loved all three for different reasons. It certainly does not hurt that Josh Brolin was in two of them.

There are at least two more movies I need to see before I feel like this has been a productive movie weekend, Black Mass and The Martian.

How do you actually rate movies? I have yet to figure out a way to adequately judge this art form. In order for me to think it is “good” I must have felt something while watching it. Sometimes I find myself checking the time throughout the show, this is how I know it did not speak to me.

Sicario was probably the best movie I have seen so far this week. Full of male bravado and a heroine who ends up losing her way. Well, that may be a little harsh. She does give in to the latin charm of a very bad dude. Why are women always at the mercy of men? It is frustrating.

Everest was entertaining. I feel like it needed to be longer. It was too difficult to become invested in the characters. Scenes that should have left me reduced to tears barely made an emotional dent. It could have been better.

Philomena was my Netflix choice. Loved it. Loved it. Loved it. Touching tribute to how storytellers can make a difference. (That is what I got out of it anyway.)

I love movies. I hate it when people take their infant to the theater. I continue to find new ways to pass the time. What is your favorite movie this season?

Cinephilia

Welcome to Me

Kristen Wiig is my hero. She somehow managed to handle one of the darkest movies I have ever seen with a funny, off kilter charm, that assures me that she meant no harm.

There have been lots of movies made about mental illness, and some are funny. I am struggling to figure out if this was funny. I laughed and immediately felt guilty for laughing.

Brief synopsis: A mentally ill woman who has an unhealthy fascination with Oprah, wins the lottery and decides to start her own talk show. She manages to find some great guys (imagine me saying that without a snarl) who allow her to pay them millions of dollars, and produce this travesty.

It reminds me of the young celebrities who are exploited and allowed to ruin their lives without anyone setting any limits for them. Sad situation. Everyone needs limits.

Now my favorite part of the movie was Tim Robbins as her therapist. He was a cool cucumber. I seriously loved the way he played this role. He is so open about his concern for her. It seems that too many people let Alice make bad decisions, and no one stepped in to protect her.

I think it was a good movie. It is hard to call it a comedy, simply because it is so disturbing and sad, however the funny hides the horror of the whole thing. I am glad it is simply someone’s imagination.

Welcome to Me

Daddy Issues. It’s not about sex.

Okay. Before you read any further… if you are expecting a post about sexual exploits with older men, you are going to be so very disappointed. I am quite cognizant of the fact that my grandfather reads this blog. (Wait, you are insinuating that there may be exploits to write about!) But, that is absolutely not the point. This is a blog about the weird daddy fantasies I have had for as long as I can remember.

Hehehe. See what I did there?

So, to put some context to this I should probably explain that I do not have a relationship with my father. It’s okay. I don’t mind all that much. I have had lots of therapy, and I realize it has nothing to do with me yadayadayada. Frankly, it is his loss. I am awesome. However, I would be completely disingenuous if I pretended that I did not wish I had a relationship with him. So, for most of my life I have been moderately obsessed with the fathers of pop culture. (Oh, one important thing, I have not been lacking in the male influence in my life- I have lots of people who have selflessly stood up and assumed that role. I have a wonderful loving family, and it’s not like I have been deprived of male attention.)

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See? He is such a good dad! Who doesn’t love dad hugs?

I am obsessed with TV shows and movies that have a man who is excessively paternal. Rick Castle (Nathan Fillion) is the best dad. He has a teenage daughter (well, I think she is in college now) and they have a really cool relationship. I have always wanted that kind of relationship with my father. You know, the guy who frets over me, and is seriously protective and proud of me. So, it’s quite entertaining to imagine that this fictional character is actually my dad! This is common for young women (ok, almost middle-aged women who did not realize the teenagers were no longer their peers.)

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This must be a dude thing. My son kisses us on the forehead. It’s kinda sweet and condescending at the same time. I am leaning more towards sweet.

More about this style of dad. He is fun. He loves to play games and keeps up with what the cool kids are doing. He is not afraid to take his daughter to see a boy band. He has a relationship with his daughter on her level. Why? He likes her as a person! She is not a piece of property that he owns. He plays laser tag IN THE HOUSE! Decorates and dresses up for Halloween. This is a cool dad. My inner kid loves this guy.

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Well, if dad is a big kid- its probably best that granny is there. Even if she has a green goo face.

Now, what about the girl who is closer to my age? Maybe even a little closer to my own experiences?

Elizabeth Keen and Red Reddington on The Blacklist. There is some controversy as to whether or not he is actually her father, however he is so paternal and I am convinced that he is her dad. Which is probably the goal of the show’s writers anyway. (Side note: I just learned that paternal and paternalistic are not at all the same thing. Paternal is fatherly, while paternalistic is bad. Like dictator bad. hmmm.)

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I don’t really understand why she spends so much time in a hospital bed. Maybe she should be a little more careful. No wonder she needs a dad.

This show does a phenomenal job of demonstrating that even strong women are drawn to father figures in their lives. I mean, this chick carries a gun, and has all these smart FBI agents following her around, yet she still seeks the approval of the one guy who seems to actually be protecting her. Although, I would think that he could have done a better job protecting her by leaving her alone. Until you factor in the fact that her career went from zero to hero in about one day due to his interference. This is my greatest downfall, I can see way to many sides to situations. I never should have been a debater in high school. It has destroyed my decision-making abilities.

Celebrity Sightings In New York City - October 3, 2013
I am pretty sure my fantasy father and I would share a bench in NYC- and somehow be this comfortable with each other.

So, the point is not whether or not Red is her father. The point is that their relationship reminds me of the relationship that I imagine my father could have had with me. Your father should be your first mentor. The first man who offers you guidance and advice with your best interests in mind. With this imaginary father, I know that he would never encourage me to do anything that was not good for me. A dad has no ulterior motive, he only wants to see his daughter thrive and to reach her fullest potential. This is the fantasy that I have. This understanding of the fictitious nature of my fantasy is what allows me to know that it is okay that I do not have a relationship with my father. He is not that kind of man. I am better off with my imagination, and borrowing characters from cheesy crime shows.

Now, in the real world the relationship I have with my mentor at work (whom I fondly refer to as Work Daddy- although rarely to his face) has been instrumental in my success professionally. When I was a baby nurse, I had to call him in the middle of the night. I was terrified. I had heard horror stories about the perils nurses face when they wake him up…

*So… I have Daddy Issues. I figure there are lots of women who do. It has nothing at all to do with sex or romantic relationships. I think that people are drawn to the ones who have their best interests at heart.

Daddy Issues. It’s not about sex.

Fifty Shades of What was that now?

***there is some bad language- so, if you don’t like it- stop reading.

Okay, I did it. I went to see Fifty Shades of Grey…

First of all let me say this will certainly not be a blow by blow description of the movie (because there was oddly none of that going on at all!)

I took notes. My notes suck… the theatre was dark. I am going to list my thoughts though. (these are the “notes” I took.

  1. Cell phones don’t have dial tones.
  2. Only silly girls faint.
  3. written consent “fuck the paperwork.” (I actually really liked that part.)
  4. helicopter song = awesome.
  5. Not sure if it is hot or creepy- him showing up like that. (turned out hot.)
  6. kinda sweet- date night.
  7. Champagne in tea cups
  8. Cinderella with sex.
  9. So hard to take “Because I’m fifty shades of fucked up” seriously
  10. The end sucks.

Okay- so… There was not as much sex as I was afraid there would be. I actually found the sex scenes kinda disappointing. I was kinda captivated though. The whole ice cube thing. Yes please. (Wait- that may be too much. I should probably take that part out. No, I’m leaving it.)

I do want to say this though…. I know a lot of people have a lot of things to say about this movie- and this whole situation, but I think it was oddly kinda sweet. He was very attentive, and he kept telling her how devoted he would be. Seems to me that if you take out the spanking… It is an applicable metaphor for the relationships that women claim they crave. We want a man to be driven crazy, and we want him to be devoted to us.

So, I can’t actually recommend this as a good movie- it is not. However, I was pleasantly surprised by how much I liked it.

Oh, and the soundtrack. Oh holy hell. It’s hot. I may have to buy that one. 😉

So, Michelle- thanks for this. I went because you said your husband enjoyed it. I kinda liked it to.

PS. Jamie Dornan- I would never let your call go to voicemail.

Fifty Shades of What was that now?

Tuesday Morning DVR Binge

So, Monday nights seem to be a pretty good TV night for me. My DVR lights come on at 7, and do not stop until almost midnight. Now, we all know that I do not like watching live TV- and it really has nothing to do with the commercials. I love commercials. Sometimes, if you are lucky they are little films all in their own right. It is because I get distracted easily and miss too much of the show. Somehow waking up seriously early in the morning helps alleviate this issue.

This morning, I got up extra early. I wanted to write, AND watch TV. I just finished Better Call Saul, and now The Voice is blaring in the background. Now, let me just say… I think BCS is even better than Breaking Bad. I know, I know. That is probably not going to be a popular sentiment. But, I get Jimmy McGill way more than I ever got Walter White. I was Team Jesse all the way.

“Look, Adam Levine’s holding me.” Wait. What? Did I just hear that? Rewind… Ha! Yep that would be my dream too. Everyone who knows me knows that I secretly fantasize about trying out for The Voice (it would be bad- I totally cannot sing), and having Adam run up and give me a hug.

oops, sorry. I got distracted. Back to BCS. Bob Odenkirk, (can I call you Bob?) is a master with this character. I would imagine that part of the genius can be attributed to the skillful writing, however I find the manner that Mr. Odenkirk portrays Slippin’ Jimmy to be smart and playful with a dash of desperation. He appears to accept his shortcomings while still battling his brother’s desire to see him change his ways. He is the quintessential little brother, both caring about and resenting his older brother’s interference. Now, I am afraid that I missed something, why was Jimmy not given a place at his older brother’s successful law firm? Seems to me that some level of nepotism should have taken place there.

Michael McKean lends an air of authenticity to Chuck’s (the older brother who bailed Jimmy out of a slippery situation) mental illness by infusing his bizarre behavior with an understated seriousness and sincerity. Pretty impressive for Lenny (yeah, did you recognize him? I did not. I was really young when Laverne and Shirley was on.)

OMG!!! DID YOU HEAR THAT DUDE SINGING “He Stopped Loving Her Today”? It is AWESOME. But, then again, EVERYTHING IS AWESOME.

So, just some random musing on my TV binge this morning.

Tuesday Morning DVR Binge

Whiplash

Boom Boom Crash Bang. 

Nope. It was not the drumming in the movie that got me. It was the extreme anxiety that the picture caused. From the opening scene, the scene that seemed to be setting the stage for a coup of sorts. A young man, banging away on his drums- he thinks he is alone, which is why he is not nervous. He is just playing. Then HE walks in. The man whose eye you hope to capture. Why? Because he is the toughest and hardest to please. However, the young man fails to meet HIS expectations, and he walks out the door. The sound of the slamming door shook me to my core. Then, the door opens, and you get to see what a perfect asshole this guy is.

Boom Boom Crash Bang. 

There is a ton of drumming, sweating, and bleeding making up this tale. However, I do not really think the movie is about drumming at all. It is about the person who pushes you to be better than you thought possible. J.K. Simmons played the role to perfection. I hated him, and yet I was oddly seduced to seek his approval. There was an odd psychosexual undertone to the relationship, and I am left wondering if this was intentional. I am unable to explain the purpose of this, however I cannot help but wonder if this is a common theme in most relationships of this nature.

There was a moment near the end of the film, when Fletcher (Simmons) acknowledges  Andrew’s betrayal; then proceeds to set him up to look like a fool. Don’t forget the speech about how this concert can make or break your career. I found the revenge to be so smart and calculated; I was shocked, and excited to see the darkness of this character’s soul. He is not a benevolent teacher, he is a tyrant. You are led onto a roller-coaster without a track to watch Andrew fight back. The moment of triumph came when Fletcher took off his jacket and started conducting Andrew’s overly long and confusing solo. One of the best parts was the bassist standing beside him rolling his eyes, almost saying who does this rugrat think he is! It was better than any fight I ever saw in Rocky. The camera is moving and pulsing with the tempo and rhythm of the movie, and my heart was busy trying to keep time.

Boom Boom Crash Bang! 

This movie was BRILLIANT! My muscles coiled and recoiled as I experienced adrenaline rushes unlike any I have felt in a movie in a long while. I was swept up in the passion of the musicians, and more importantly, their desire to gain the approval of the man who would not give it. Blood, sweat, and tears. This movie offered it all. It may have been about a jazz drummer on the surface, but the real success is in the way the movie spoke volumes about how to make a film that grips the audience, and does not let go until the last frame.

This film spoke to the part of me that seeks approval from the most demanding people in my field. It reminded me of why I work so hard to impress them. It is not for advancement, it is for the simple nod of approval when I have pushed myself harder than I believed possible. (Now, no one has ever thrown a chair at me- and if they did, I may attack them in a similar manner that Andrew attacked Fletcher.) I tend to agree, the most dangerous words in the english language are “good job.”

**However, I like to be praised. Don’t hesitate to deluge me with praise. I like it.

 

Whiplash