What I Have For You Tonight is This: Movie Reviews. And Nothing Else.

The cinema, it seems, has taken a substantial amount of my dollars in the last week.

And really?  I’m okay with that, because sitting in front of the big screen, while the scent of buttery popcorn fills the air, is actually one of my great talents.

It’s even greater than my other talent, which is scrambling eggs, because SWEET MOSES AND ABRAHAM, STEP ASIDE!  I can make some Very Good Scrambled Eggs!

At the tail end of last week, the suggestion was thrown out that we should gather some girls and go see Water for Elephants, and I was, of course, game for that and quickly joined the fun because I adore Reese Witherspoon and would like to sit down over coffee with her and ask her the burning question:  “Reese, should I cut bangs or not?”

Of course, Reese would give me a straight answer, which would be, “Yes!  Cut some bangs!  My hair is the exact same texture and thickness as yours is, and I cut the bangs which have forever changed my life.  Join me in Bang Happiness!”

(Secretly, I think Reese would be lying to me.  I don’t think that Great Bang Happiness will ever exist for me, because my bangs have a tendency to lay on my forehead like a 34-year-old son lays on the basement sofa when he plum refuses to move out of his parents’ ranch-style house and find himself a job and a girlfriend and a clean T-shirt.)

No matter.

As we were scrunching into our seats at the theater last week, Amy leaned over and said, “You know, my sister told me that this isn’t a feel-good sort of movie; it’s full of animal cruelty!”

And if ever there was a sentence which made me want to march back out to the ticket booth and whisper, “I think I’ve made a mistake, and I’d like to have my $8 back, but I already ate some of the popcorn, so I’ll just keep the bucket of it for a snack at home.  I cannot watch a show involving animal cruelty,” it was THAT sentence.

So my expectations for the film plummeted before the opening credits even appeared; I even contemplated slipping off to another theater, to watch another show that was completely free of animal abuse.

And, people, I’m here to tell you that, yes!  Water for Elephants was NOT a feel-good show, because THE RINGMASTER BEAT THE ELEPHANT!  (And yes!  That’s a total spoiler alert, which I should have warned you about, in case you still hold out a thread of hope for the movie and haven’t seen it yet.)

I think I squeezed the feeling completely out of both Amy’s and Heather’s knees, because I was not (NOT!  NOT!) a fan of seeing the sweet-mannered, kind-hearted elephant whipped into submission.

Ultimately, I came home from this show and told Hubs, “Listen.  I want to adopt an elephant.”

Hubs, of course, got right on that request of mine and began calling hotlines around the globe for Elephant Rescue programs.  I haven’t worked out all the details as to where I’ll keep my new pet, or how I’ll buy enough peanuts to feed him when the boy suffers from a thunderously-awful peanut allergy, but…where there’s a will, there’s a way.

Amy called me the following morning and said, “Let’s discuss the film.  What did you think?”

What did I think?

My rules of movie-viewing, which I plum stole (STOLE, people!) from my friend, Nicky, and which have made my life EASY, are the following:

1.  No torture of any kind in the movie.

2.  No loss of limb (ANY limb) in the movie.

3.  No animal cruelty in the movie.

Water for Elephants broke rule number three and made me cry.  But goodness!  We did adore Reese, and it was good to see Edward Cullen do something that didn’t require his face to be painted white while he wore funky contact lenses and acted moodier than any teenage girl could ever hope to be.

Yes, I called him Edward Cullen.  It’s because I really have no idea what his real name is, and finding out would involve opening another tab with Firefox here and logging into Wikipedia, and I’m not sure it’s even worth the effort.

But the bottom line is simply this:  The movie is good.  The movie is intense.  The movie elevated my blood pressure.  The one elephant scene made me cry, and I cried hard.  In the end, the ringmaster got what was coming to him, and I may have clapped quietly in my seat when it happened.  And now, people, I want a pet elephant named Rosie who understands commands in Polish.

Which would, you know, involve me needing to learn how to say, “Rosie, please do not sit on our deck, because you will break it, Sweetheart,” in Polish.

The night after all the girls went out to see Water for Elephants, Sister and I took the boy and my eight-year-old niece, L, to see Soul Surfer.

And yes, before you get up into my grill and announce it, I ALREADY KNOW!

Soul Surfer breaks yet another one of my rules, which is Number Two:  No Loss of Limb.  I have no real desire to see an arm (or a leg) taken off of a body.

It’s because of all the blood and anguished screaming that usually accompanies the scene.

Sister and I explained to the kids right from the get-go that yes! Yes, a shark was going to bite the girl’s arm off at some point, and no! No, we did NOT know exactly WHEN that scene would be coming, but it would probably be in the beginning somewhere.

So that meant that the four of us sat there, watching the movie VERY INTENTLY for a while, wondering every single time that Bethany Hamilton jumped on her surfboard, “Is this going to be it?!”  I needed an antihypertensive pill just to calm myself down.

BUT!

The show is FABULOUS!  Plum fabulous!

And, people, I wept.  I didn’t cry because Bethany Hamilton lost her arm, but because her parents’ hearts were breaking when they brought her into the hospital on a stretcher, as she passed in and out of consciousness.  I cannot even fathom the depth of fear a parent feels when something like that happens, and, as the boy crawled up into my lap during the stressful point of the show, I simply squeezed him tight and whispered in my head, “Please, God!  I could never handle a tragedy with my son!  Please spare me from that!”

This movie really WAS a feel-good show (after we got the whole arm scene out of the way), and Sister and I both proclaimed at the end, “Didn’t you want to just stand up and plum clap your heart out when she rallied and came back to surf without an arm?”

I did.  I wanted to clap and clap and clap like a mad woman.

And then I wanted to sign up for surfing lessons.

Except I’ll probably do that in a man-made wave pool, where I know for CERTAIN that there are no Great White Sharks circling the waters.

Because I am kind of attached to my arms.

No pun intended.

And then…

…last night Amy and I dashed off to the theater yet again to see Something Borrowed.  I know that as I waved good-bye to Hubs, he was thinking that he’d have to transfer money from savings into checking to cover all the movie tickets I’ve racked up this past week, but then I also know that he has little faith in himself to accomplish that task properly.

And I love him, regardless of the fact that he brought an overdraft fee onto my name.

Years ago, I actually read the book, Something Borrowed.  It does, in fact, sit in my bookcase.  And yet…it had been so long since I’d read it, I couldn’t remember the ending at all.  I couldn’t remember which guy the girl named Rachel was going to end up with.  Amy kept whispering to me, “Tell me!  Tell me right now which one she gets!  I know you’re holding out on me!”  And, people, I plum wasn’t.  I couldn’t remember at all!  My mind was a blank slate, in regards to the ending of Something Borrowed.

But Amy and I did cheer enthusiastically for this one, although we were saddened to know that Jim Halpert was left without a happy ending, even after he confessed his love to Rachel.

And yes.  Much like Edward Cullen’s real name, I don’t know Jim Halpert’s real name.  You’d think after watching 208,000 episodes of The Office, I’d have remembered seeing it in the credits a time or two or fifty-seven, but it escapes me now, and I’m not messing around with Wikipedia tonight.

Although, I do love Wikipedia.  Love it with a big, puffy, red heart, even though Hubs assures me that it’s a useless source of online information.

And now, since I’ve seen the movie and know how the book actually ends, I think I might pull it off my shelf this week and look into rereading it.

And that, people, is all I have for you tonight.  Some poorly-written movie reviews, and the confession that I broke my list of movie-watching rules twice in the past week, but I think it was worth it.

Especially in the case of Soul Surfer, because THAT one was a nice Christian movie, that put Jesus right out there in the front, where He belongs.

Happy Wednesday night, people.

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