Why Did I Just See ‘The Interview’

I just watched ‘The Interview,’ that new Seth Rogan film. I wasn’t going toThe Interview Poster see it because I heard it was terrible, but with all the publicity (I wasn’t going to let the North Koreans try to keep me from seeing a movie!) and after seeing that it had an IMDB rating of 7.9 I thought it couldn’t be all that bad.

It was ‘all that bad.’ In fact, it was worse. I think the North Koreans were doing us a favor by trying to keep Sony from releasing the movie.

I wondered how such a terrible movie could be rated so highly. Years ago I saw ‘Something About Mary,’ after most of my friends said it was a great movie. I thought it was trite, infantile, and not worth more than $1.50.

So, I did a little research and found that ‘The Interview’ was different in that most of my friends who’d seen it also thought it was terrible. I found that the movie had a 10.0 IMDB rating before it was released. In other words, the North Koreans don’t have access to IMDB, but Seth Rogan’s and James Franco‘s fans and many, many Americans who also don’t want the North Koreans to tell us we can’t watch a crappy movie if we want to spend $8.50 to watch a crappy movie.

I just gave ‘The Interview’ two stars on IMDB. That may have been generous, but I like Seth Rogan and the movie did have one or two funny lines (although I can’t remember either one of them). I noticed that in the day or so since I checked IMDB the movies rating has dropped to 7.8, so if it was once 10.0 and it’s now 7.8, it seems there are quite a few people, like me, who are also rating it closer to what a movie we wouldn’t even recommend to a North Korean should be.

There is one question I should be, and am, asking myself, should I trust IMDB in the future? Probably not. Maybe I should start checking Rotten Tomatoes before I see a movie from now on.



Revisiting Old Friends

Once every few months the urge comes over me and I know nothing more is going to be done that evening, no more writing, noHarry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets perusing of recipes, no time with football or baseball or Facebook or even a good book, especially a good book.

Some old friends hato must be  revisited.

I stare at my small rack of videos.

Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, or perhaps Shrek.

It is not an easy decision.

Should I visit with Harry, Hermione, Ron, and Snape or maybe Frodo, Samwise, Gandalf, and Galadriel? Of course it’s been awhile since I took the time to visit Shrek, Fiona, and Donkey.

There was a night a year or so ago when I found the decision so difficult that I fell asleep while trying to decide. The decision does not entail merely choosing which group of friends to visit, but when to visit. Should it be the Fellowship,  the Return, the Towers, or Shrek one, two, three or Forever, or the Stone, the Goblet, the Phoenix, Azkaban, the Chamber,  the Hallows one or two?,

It’s times like this when I need a sorting hat.

Silly, I know. Every now and then I need an evening of escape, better in some ways than re-reading a favorite book. I rarely re-read a book, simply because there are so many new books to read. Right now I have a stack of 15 books waiting to be read and by the time I finish all of them my total of books read will probably include another 15 or 20 more. It is much easier to visit a favorite book somewhat vicariously — by watching the movie. Of course that cannot always be done. For instance, I recently watched Ender’s Game. The movie was disappointing. I doubt re-watching it will bring back to mind all that the book was, but maybe.

In the end, I managed to choose a movie to watch, I did. The Chamber of Secrets.

Was that the right choice?

It doesn’t matter, because no matter which of the 14 videos I revisit, I always enjoy whichever one  I choose.


Looking Like Paul Newman


When I stepped out into the bright sunlight from the darkness of the movie house, I had only two Paul Newmanthings on my mind: Paul Newman and a ride home.**

I didn’t get a ride home. It was my fault I spent too much time looking at myself in the drugstore window. When I was finished, everybody was gone and on their way home, but I didn’t care. It was a three-mile walk home, but all the way I thought about what I needed to do to look like Paul Newman. Of course, I had to grow up. He was about 25 and I was 11, but I could change my hair and I could change my smile. It was that little, “I know what I’m doing, but you don’t” look to it that was the secret. Thee was also the look with his eyes as if whatever he was looking at was the most important thing in the world. I could do that. All I had to do was, no matter what I was looking at, pretend it was a big slice of chocolate cake with thick chocolate frosting and a scoop of vanilla ice cream. That would be easy. First I had to find some of my dad’s hair stuff. It was sticky and it smelled funny, but I had to get the part just right and that back wave right out front. I wished I had a picture so I could be sure, but I thought it was about right. Then I worked on the smile. I might have gotten better at it if my sister hadn’t started pounding on the door, “C’mon get outta there. I gotta pee. You been in there half an hour now.”

As I opened the door and stepped past her trying to smile like I knew everything about her and that she looked like chocolate cake with ice cream she said, “What’ve you been doing in there. You smell funny. Oh gosh. I’m telling mom.” Then she closed the door.

I didn’t know what she was going to tell mom, but somehow I thought it wasn’t that I looked like Paul Newman.

** First line from The Outsiders by S. E. Hinton