Hope Thanksgiving was happy for all.
Time off, for me, is always greatly appreciated. I Had a movie marathon over the weekend, which I tend to do from time to time. Nothing beats a well done flick when one is in the mood. Viewing can be the next best thing to traveling and experiencing. I know I'm not Ebert or Roper but I like doing my own reviews from time to time. Not that I expect them to be read or taken seriously but it just gives me something to write about.
The first two times I watched SICKO by Michael Moore I'm a bit ashamed to say that I went to sleep half way through it. It seemed like I was just hearing the same stuff I try to tell people every week and as I have said repeatedly in this blog, No one really seems to care. By the third viewing of the DVD I began to realize that the information in the film wasn't boring but that so much information concentrated into a 2 hour film was apparently causing my brain to shut down because there was no way to comprehend the magnitude of what the film was actually saying in such a short period of time. By the fourth viewing I was starting to feel angry but also afraid in the sense that there was now confirmation and documentation of the things I've been thinking all along but somehow hoping that I was wrong. People are actually dying by the thousand every year simply because they don't have access to health care. The propaganda we are fed seems to make us as a society not have a problem with that fact.
The Brits, French, and even the Cubans receive superior care per capita than Americans and for a fraction of the cost per citizen. Something just ain't right about that. We need to fix it. How? I do not know. Considering what has happened to Medicare under government hands over the past four years, I suggest not letting the current corrupt profiteers of government anywhere near the health care budget. Dealing with Medicaid and it's bureaucratic foolishness has led me to the brink of bankruptcy over the past year. If the same idiots that run Medicare and Medicaid are the people who would be in charge of a National Health Care reform, then I say just leave it like it is because what we have now would just become FUBAR. I personally believe the incompetence within those organizations is probably no better than the effect of the greed within the private sector. I will give the private sector credit for efficiently siphoning away funds from the most needy patients to their stock holders and CEO's. I hate Managed Care Organizations and I'm pretty certain the feeling is mutual. SICKO finally got to me and I found it hard to conceal the rage I feel for the system. The film speaks clearly to why so many feel Hillary must be destroyed. But that only leaves more power to Obama and Edwards. This election will be great to watch. Though I'm a Democrat, Ron Paul and Huckabee speak to some of the issues I feel most passionate about. Somethings' gotta give.'
To assuage my anger and re-ignite my creative side I popped The Fantastic 4 Rise of The Silver Surfer into the DVD Player. I love this type of movie since they take me back to childhood and reopen the super hero fantasy world. The days when a creative kid may have pinned on a towel and instantly transformed into Superman or Batman. Ahhh, Those were the days. As an adult one can take the fantasy a step further since adults supposedly have a deeper understanding of emotions and the science behind the fiction. Just watching Jessica Alba is actually worth the 8 bucks. Anyway, I thought the movie was fun and entertaining without exposing a lot of detail here.
Talk To Me starred Oscar Nominee Don Cheadle. For a while I thought Richard Pryor had come back from the dead and merged with Tim Meadows from Saturday Night Live. Ralph Waldo "Peety" Green was actually a real person who began dee jaying in prison before conning his way into a morning spot on WOL in Washington D.C. back in the 1960s. He had the gift of gab and a natural ability to connect with the common people mainly by just telling it like it is. Naturally, this approach pissed off many in the establishment. His manager took him all the way to Carsons' Tonight Show but once on camera he refused to perform in front of an audience he knew didn't understand him for who he really was. The movie was written from the perspective of Dewey Hughes, his manager, Who had a difficult time forgiving him for blowing the golden opportunity to cross over and make it in the national scene. Peety saw his highlight as the night he calmed the rioters during the hours after Dr. Kings' murder via radio as few other D.J.'s could have done. Peety only lived 53 years but he lived fast, hard, truthfully and didn't give a damn what others thought. It was hard to believe he suffered from severe stage fright despite the tough exterior.
Last year I wrote about the movie Open Water because of it being a simple psychological thriller that was so frightening because it could so easily happen to almost anyone. Open Water 2 was even better than the first one, providing all of the suspense without a single shark this time. And all of the principles didn't die this time either. A psychologist must have helped with character development because there were blatant characteristics of Post-traumatic Stress Disorder, Narcissistic Personality Disorder, and several other interesting behavior patterns prominently seen throughout the film as each character began to unravel due to facing death in the face so unexpectedly. Of great interest, the case of PTSD was actually cured during the movie by unavoidable emotional trauma assisted by an intact healthy mother instinct. Those who are sensitive and compassionate people will struggle emotionally with this film.
The Departed which is currently playing on HBO. It was a great gangster flick with a few twists and a high powered cast including Jack Nicholson, Matt Damon, Leonardo Decaprio and others. I didn't like that the two sexy guys got to sleep with the attractive female psychiatrist. That only happens in Hollywood. Due to the way the movie ended the American Psychiatric Association would have probably given her a break in real life, but in the film her character committed the cardinal taboo incestuous sin not once but twice. Hollywood never portrays the psychiatrist appropriately.
Those five movies should be enough for any movie buff but I couldn't be satisfied until seeing Denzel in American Gangster. In retrospect, I would have been disappointed in the film were Denzel and Russell Crowe not a part of it. I think they made it live and breath. It was also great to see veteran Ruby Dee on the screen again. The fact that Frank Lucas was from my home state of North Carolina made the film more interesting for me. Though I feel a drug dealer is the lowest form of life on earth I found it hard not to like Denzel's character. It may have been partially due to the fact of how corrupt the police department and the establishment were and the fact that other mafia establishments were known to exist but not disrupted by the law enforcement system. I think Lucas was mostly addicted to money and power and saw himself as a businessman primarily. There was something redeemable about the character even though his nature was ruthless and vicious when crossed. He didn't believe in senseless violence but when it was time to take care of business, that he did. Being redeemable, I think he probably got his act together after prison. He probably had enough cash stashed somewhere to go legit.
Movies are basically art imitating life. I love movies because of the characters. The stories teach us much about ourselves if we look deep enough.
Article from Quest 4 Sanity Site