"One ought, every day at least, to hear a little song, read a good poem, see a fine picture, and if it were possible, to speak a few reasonable words." Goethe

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Music, Movies, and Matthew

Matthew has been home for a couple of weeks and he is looking for a summer job.  Until that happens, I get to "hang out" with him.  That means I get to find out what I've missed in the media world.  (I like it when my children tell me about something that I would like on youtube etc. that I would never find on my own.  I really just wait for them to find it for me.)  Let's start with music.

Within a few hours of Matthew's arrival I had new Pandora stations--classical guitar, solo piano, NEK, and GooGoo Dolls.  Those were exactly what I was missing.  Why didn't I think of those?  Then, he combined these with a few others I already had on a shuffle and Voila! it was the perfect listening experience.  I knew the shuffle was on there, but I did not know it would make me happy.  Let me just say before I move on that I think Pandora is what every product should be.  I get to choose exactly what I want--no one "bundles" anything for me and they seem to have pared it down to the minimal commercial interruption possible.  It obviously works for them and it is free for me.  I love it.

Of the movies we've seen, the ones I can recommend are on youtube.  They are disturbing, but I feel like I am not only better informed, but also more clear thinking because I watched them.  These are documentaries about North Korea:  Children of the Secret State, and Escape from North Korea.  We have analyzed over and over again the atrocities and apathy of WWII, can we apply that here?

We saw two movies at the theater, and I'll just tell you how much I did not like them.

Chimpanzee  This  movie has completely lost it's bearings as a G-rated family nature movie.  They took the "Bambi standard" and perverted it with disturbing elements from life as an animal in the wild.  Bambi portrayed danger in the forest and an orphaned baby deer trying to survive and come of age, but handled it as a children's story.  They gave appropriate distance from the danger and added interesting characters and escapades along the way.  This movie gave the chimps names, which personifies them, making them like people to a little child, and then we have the constant threat of gang violence from other chimpanzees--Oscar's mother is killed by a rival chimpanzee gang.  When they run out of fruit to eat, Oscar's gang plans and carries out an attack on a group of monkeys, killing and eating one.  I'm still disturbed about that.  This is NOT a G-rated movie.  The comic relief from the gang warfare is grooming and eating--and grooming and eating, while Tim Allen says something predictable about table manners.

The Three Stooges  This movie faithfully recreates the physical antics of The Three Stooges, of which I was never a particular fan in the first place.  I will tell you,  however, the couple sitting just down from us, who were about in their early 60s, were laughing the whole time.  I thought it was cute to see the Stooges as babies, but once again--can we get a children's storyline in a children's movie?  I'm all for the wicked stepmother and the dysfunctional family that implies, but here we have the wife having an affair with her husband's friend so he can knock off the husband, but really it was a plot by the wife and the husband's father to get rid of the husband because the wife and father are having an affair.  I'm looking for something better.

Meredith is home now, too, so I'm anxious to see what she has to show me.

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