Sunday, 16 September 2007

Moving Pictures.

The art-deco staircase of my local cinema, the Rivoli, Camberwell.

In a comment to the last post, Crafty was skeptical about my stated choice in movies: "Non-violent, social issues, chick-flicks".

Now, my psychology training says I should not get defensive but should challenge her stereotype of men and why she thinks I should fit into it. But I wont. For the exercise I will get defensive.

First of all, I get no thrill from the testosterone genre, the Tom Cruise, Arnold Arnold Schwarzenegger style of “good guy takes on incredible odds using unlimited supply of bullets and wins” movie. They give me the irrits. Especially when they try to stereotype the enemies – notably Russians and, more recently Muslims – while pretending that they themselves are the purest of the pure.

I do not like the science fiction type that, to someone with a science back ground, are clearly wacky. When people head off to explode asteroids, re-rotate the earth, feed firelighters to the sun, my brain just goes into a shut down that even one of these well intentioned missions could not restart. I do enjoy the more plausible ones, such as Jurassic Park, or the totally farcical ones that are not trying to present reality, such as Star Wars. I loved the first Star Wars but rapidly lost interest in the sequels. An 8 year old boy can fly a fighter? Give me a break. I end up stewing over the logical inconsistencies in these movies.

My preference in humour leans to the clever rather than the slapstick. To give you a feel, while TV shows, not movies, I loved M*A*S*H and Red Dwarf. I do not like humour that is built on insulting and putting down others in a hurtful way or just plain weird. Consequently I never watch any Adam Sandler movies. Nor could I warm to Borat. I did, however, like the Simpsons.

I quite enjoy the various cartoon movies that have been about, such as Cars.

I cry at movies. I don’t mind admitting that. I take the view that if the producer has gone to a lot of effort to make something funny I will laugh, if he has gone to a lot of trouble to make things sad, I will cry. It is part of immersing into a film, to feel the emotion. I like moving pictures.

So what do I like to watch? Recently I liked Marie Antoinette, The Italian, Copying Beethoven, The Lives of Others, No Reservations and Amazing Grace.

Maybe not chick-flicks, but certainly from the low testosterone end of the scale.


  1. Kid movies are all I seem to take in these days. Last one seen...Underdog.

  2. The idea of sitting in a dark room full of people with mobile phones, over-sized boxes of popcorn and cellophane wrapped ice-creams is not my idea of fun. But if I must go to the movies, something with a bit of culture, please.

  3. My movie experiences are pretty much limited to At the Movies with Margaret and David (Movie review show on TV) at the moment.

    When I hear chick flick, I think Bridget Jones' Diary.

    My husband cries in movies too, I like that.

  4. Oh, and I never said anything about non-violent and social issues.

    I didn't mean to put you on the defensive, though I did enjoy the results.

    It's just I was thinking Pretty Woman, My Best Friend's Wedding etc.

  5. Liked Pretty Woman, never saw My Best Friend's Wedding. No Ms Jones and her diary. Perhaps I was being a bit loose with the chick-flick designation!

  6. I'm more or less like you, but thanks to comedy-lover hubby (slapstick or not..Scary Movies for eg), I start to like almost all Adam Sandler's. The ones I love the most are period movies and novel adaptation of my preteens read, Jane Austen stuffs. I'm waiting for 'Becoming Jane'- a story of Ms Austen herself.

  7. Yes, I liked Becoming Jane. Not a fan of scary movies. Being as I don't believe in the paranormal or the supernatural they tend to annoy me.

  8. Some of my favorite movies are ones that were never really "discovered" by the media. Films no one ever heard that much about. Probably won some award in other countries, but weren't very well known here in the States. But they are always ones with a good story, and are usually with a happy ending.

    I don't care for anything that scares me, so slasher pictures are totally out. And I am not to much into shoot em up action flicks. I loved pictures like, "The Competition" with Amy Irving or Mr. Holland's Opus with Richard Dreyfuss or The Amati Girls with Mercedes Ruehl. These are no doubt considered chick flicks too.

    I don't see a thing wrong with a man enjoying a good wholesome movie. ie Chick Flick...

  9. What a gorgeous much like the ones I remember from childhood. Every theater was a work of art back then.

  10. with ya, but, not so much.

    I have it against sci-fi because there's no way we're ever going to travel from star to star (ruining planet after planet) but, I appreciate a good story and that must include everyone getting their just desserts.
    Loved Kingdom of Heaven, Bourne Ultimatum, though both have a fair amount of violence.
    Also loved The Holidays where the only violence was one of the funniest face punches in Hollywood this season.
    Quincy Down Under was good, but, for the life of me, I can hardly believe that I still laugh when Quincy actually lines up two fellows in a straight line and shoots them both with one bullet. (I know that sounds cold, but, I can almost garantee that most will laugh at the moment, too)

    But, about the Adam Sandler movies.... He changed quite a bit from the genre he was on with Waterboy and Happy Gilmore.
    One of the best was Mr. Deeds, a remake of an old hollywood classic.
    50 First Dates WILL make you cry for happy at the end.

    Now, as for a thing I've done...
    I borrowed one of your definitions and drop it into conversations when things get too quiet. (believe me, there ain't much that'll pick up a conversation like ol' boneman tossing in a joke)

    Your definition of a cannibal was one who is fed up with people.
    But, then I learned that cannibals won't eat clowns if they're dressed in full costume.
    I guess it's because they taste funny.

  11. Oops..Lee.the film 'Scary Movies' is not really a horror's a stupid comedy that makes jokes about all the really famous scary's a pain to sit there and watch it!

  12. i love drama type, that can make me cry at the end of the movie, but i will make sure i am alone on that time.Some movies inspired me a lot.Lately we only have a lot of all the violence, science fiction, crime and thriller.We need more drama type movies, that can inspire our life with love and courage.

  13. um... hardly watch movies, uh huh, not so much of horror or violence, i'll go for comedy anytime, latest was 'evan almighty' :)

  14. Tell me about Amazing Grace? Our radio was full of it and I still would like to see it.
    Would like to see Evan Almighty.

  15. We recently enjoyed Big Nothing. It was a comedy, a black one. Involuntary laughter! I have only ever seen Adam Sandler in one movie where I thought he was a good actor, 'Reign Over Me'.

  16. I'm with you, Lee. I like a good weep. 'Finding Neverland' left me sobbing in the aisles, extremely embarrassing as there were only about twelve people in the auditorium and it was obvious it was me.

  17. you cry at movies? - you big softie! -- i say that in the nicest possible way...

    also, isn't Tom Cruise a Scientologists?


  18. I was just about to take a snipe at Hugh Grant then I remembered I really quite enjoyed Bridget Jones, and even 'About a boy'...
    'Shadowlands' is the all-time biggest weepie. Culturally kosher too.


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