January 17, 2012

3 Days, 4 Movies, 2 Paintings

Hope you had a Happy MLK Weekend! The temperatures here in New York have been averaging in the teens, so I spent most of the three days doing indoor things. Friday night into Saturday morning, I was ensconced in my favorite chair watching a quadruple feature of DVDs that I rented from the Red Box machine. I don't get out to the movies very much these days, so all of the titles from the past year or so are pretty much new to me. So, with a bag of strawberry Twizzlers firmly in hand, I started off my movie night with "Green Lantern."

In this film, we meet the handsome, yet irresponsible flyboy protagonist. He is a man at odds with authority figures and he basically messes up every relationship that he has in his life. Until, one day, he is given super powers from outer space and he ends up saving the world from certain annihilation, albeit reluctantly. Oh, yippee. While there are a few exciting scenes in this film, the main problem that I have with it is that the movie-going world has already heard this story and seen the brazen, self-centered main character far too many times. I can't help but think about the countless wanton cop films that all seem to feature the line: "Just wait until the commissioner finds out about this!" It's a cliche. It's formulaic. It's exhausted. Hollywood already gave us Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man and that was fine and fun, but I think it's time for some fresh material. Green Lantern is just more of the same. I could have definitely passed on this one.

The next feature: Steven Spielberg's "Super 8." This is a good movie. I love the idea of a group of kids trying to make a zombie film while all of these apocalyptic things are happening around them. Before viewing this movie, I had heard many comparisons to "E.T." and I can definitely see a few similarities. Some of the shots are very reminiscent of scenes from the older film. Still, it is an enjoyable ride and the fact that the kids' zombie film rolls during the end credits is a nice touch. This one was worth the $1.30 that I spent at the Red Box.

Perhaps the best film of my quadruple feature was "Water for Elephants." Being that I have tickets for Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus in March, this movie's glimpse into early circus life was a welcome treat. Excellent story. Touching ending. It is always great to see Christoph Waltz in action. His portrayal of Colonel Hans Landa in Quentin Tarantino's "Inglourious Basterds" is marvelous and his role of August in this movie is equally remarkable.

The last DVD that I popped into the player: "Cowboys and Aliens." While the concept of an alien invasion on the Wild West is wonderfully original, I don't think this movie conveyed it quite as well as it could have. I went into this one wanting to love it (I mean, it stars Harrison Ford: Han Solo, Indiana Jones, etc.), but, after seeing it, the best I can say is that I kinda liked it. It's not awful; it's not great; I wasn't bored; I wasn't blown away. If four stars is a blockbuster and one star is a flop, I would probably give it two stars, maybe two and a half.

I also did some painting over the weekend. I don't consider myself good at it; I just love to create works of art. It feels good to have a finished piece. Here are my most recent two, I hope you like them. Love & light...

"Siren Eidolon"

"Kinesthesia In Marble"

"But when the kindness
and love of God our Savior appeared,
he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done,
but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing
of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out
on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that,
having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs
having the hope of eternal life."

~Titus 3:4-7