30 August 2007

tonight i went to a movie. alone. (honestly, why do people refuse to go to a movie alone? it can be a social outing. but in the end, it's sitting in a theater watching a film. where's the need to have someone sitting next to you while you do it?)

i sat down in the middle of a preview. it was a bit violent. and then watched four or five more previews, all of which were violent. i was particularly disturbed by the preview for a new kevin bacon pic called death sentence, which opens tomorrow. all about a man who sees his son get killed in a gas station, identifies the killer, and then--when the killer gets off cause the case against him is too weak--takes matters into his own hands by killing his son's killer himself. which in turn starts a gang war, only it's just against him not against another gang (one man against all that is evil; it's like the quintessential american story in some ways). what bothered me so much about it was the way it justified a normal person turning into a crazy-eyed, butched-up, super-killer (three hyphens in a row; pretty nice, huh?) in the name of vigilante justice.

now, i wasn't really surprised by the violent previews. i was there to see the bourne ultimatum, after all (yes, i do actually go to the theater to see action flicks). but as i watched all the murder and mayhem on the screen during the previews, i wondered to myself why it is we go see such violence over and over.

well i got my answer when i left the theater after the movie...

i walked out of the theater energized. got in my little honda civic and the minute i was behind the wheel, shifting gears as i headed down macarthur towards home, i just knew that if necessary i could slam the car into reverse, spin wildly out of control only to reassert control in order to weave through head-on traffic. or drive my car at high speeds off a roof, jump out, trick a few people into shooting each other rather than me, steal a police car, and survive a deadly crash. just so i could jump off...well, i suppose i won't spoil the ending for anyone who hasn't seen it yet.

and i don't even have all that much testosterone in my system.


  1. just an aside (and thus in the comments): i do draw some distinctions between the kind of action flick the bourne movies are and the kind death sentence appears to be. they both have a bit of vigilantism about them. but the bourne movies are in many ways about a man eschewing violence (even if he has to repeatedly, and very effectively, use it in order to do so [which i admit is problematic]). about a man trying to reassert his humanity. and their violence tends to be a bit anesthetized in that you never see anything horribly gory. death sentence just looked utterly depraved.

  2. So did you like the movie?! I guess we'll see it sometime...maybe when we can rent it!

  3. Hooray for solitary movie night!

  4. I managed to fall asleep during the Bourne Ultimatum. Well, I woke up during the fight scenes, then fell back asleep.

  5. i take it you didn't find it too entrhalling, john. that's too bad--it's no fun to pay to see a movie and then not enjoy it. falling asleep in a theater (even during a movie i didn't like) is one thing i haven't quite managed yet. probably has something to do with not being able to fall asleep while sitting up.

    i did like it, jen. not as much as the first two. this one seemed a little heavier on chase scenes and fights and a little lighter on the mystery side. but it was good fun.

  6. Well, it was the end of a very long day. Dancing late the night before. Up at 5am the day of. Rode 30 miles at 6:15am. Swing teams for 3 hours in the afternoon. Drove to L.A. to watch the sister's Second City performance. And movie at 10pm....

    Thus, sleepy time!

    The fight scenes were very ... um ... loud.

  7. yes. they were very loud. and yes. that was a very long day. :) maybe you'll have to catch it another time.

  8. OK....now I'm horse laughing over your post!!! I love it! too funny!

    Mark says..."they still go your money".....hee, hee, hee

    love you & looking forward to a nice b-day dinner on Tues. I think? that is if you are coming to LA??

  9. I really liked Bourne Ultimatum. Mostly because Matt Damon reminds me of my brother, who I like to think of as superhuman. I love him.

    I was pointedly disturbed by the Death Sentence preview too--not a movie I'm planning to see...but I got the feeling that the movie isn't really justifying the actions, but is trying to show how depraved Kevin Bacon becomes as his life is consumed and destroyed by revenge.

  10. i think you're right, brooke. the preview of that movie certainly shows the bacon character becoming depraved. it just seemed so obscene as it did so.

    i'm glad you have a superhuman brother to love. :) i'm pretty fond of my brothers (and sisters), too.