This time around my lovable light-emitting Laugh-out-loud Lobby-junkies I am pleased to breech a subject that I have not dared to comment on before. The reason is that this thing is so big and so deep and so wide and so different for so many, that it is often difficult to find common ground on or even any agreement on. For some it is pure ecstasy, for others it is dark and painful. Some avoid it at all cost. Still others are committed to never say it out loud for fear it may develop some power over them. With this last group I would confess that I agree and that I am also afraid of this power that this thing has over me.
For me this thing has been a double edged sword . While I have been a willing participant in this thing it would still often catch me by surprise. It has confused and angered me but mostly because I made so many assumptions about it that did not always come true. Then there is the other side of this thing that has filled me up until I overflowed with it and it made me capable of making the world a better place. Without this thing I would be far less than I am now. It was first shown to me in a very practical decision made by my parents to give me a home when I had none at the tender age of 6… weeks. As an adopted child I came to learn in my later life what sort of sacrifice is involved for many to bring a child into their home and promise to love them like their own. I am very grateful for this love my parents showed me but this is NOT the kind of love I want to talk with you about today.
Today my friends I want to talk with you about Crazy Stupid Love. As I type these words I am feeling a welling up of emotion inside. My eyes are getting misty and I will need to catch my breath in a moment once I start breathing again…
Guy from the back row: “Holy freakin’ Christ on a corn chip MickGee. What the hell are you doin here? At least grow a pair and pull yourself together.”
Me: You know what ‘Guy’ because I am feeling something and talkin about something here that is bigger than you and me I am going to let that go. Because I suspect you will largely miss the entire point of what I am saying here.
Guy: “whatever… MickGee ‘what can’t I grow a pair’ lover boy”
Seriously for those of you who care there is a very big thing out there that almost has a life of its own, seemingly beyond our control that fills each of us and lights us up at times from the inside out. ***Before I dive in any deeper here you should all remember a couple of things about me. I LOVE going to the movies. One of the main reasons I love it is that no matter what movie I see it helps me gain a focus on the emotions and memories or even goals and dreams I have. When I walk out of a movie my mind and heart are racing… well usually. I can think of a few that I wish I would have simply walked out on. So I am coming off a movie going experience. One that moved me and made me think about some things that are profound and important.***
If you have not seen Crazy Stupid Love you should. It is a romantic comedy that works very well. It has drama, wit, charm, twists and most important love, soul mates and the tenacity that those last two deserve. So to get you to understand what I experienced as I left the theater I want to share with you the lyrics from a song that made me thing twice about what love is for me. It’s from a singer named Russ Taff. The name of the song is Believe in Love. Here is the Chorus.
I got to know,
Do you believe in love,
In all the things,
You searched the world to find,
But know nothing of..
Through the sun ,
Through the fire, and the rain.
Nobody will ever hurt you,
Nobody will break your world in two.
If you believe,
Guy from the back row again: “Oh my God MickGee you are a sentimental sap, emphasis on the ‘mental’ in sentimental – Ha!”
In my best sing song voice, “I’m ignoring you Guy”
Now many people when they read these lyrics will think ‘that’s not true’ just because you love doesn’t mean that you will never be hurt. And initially I would agree. Using my rational logical reason to consider and contemplate the facts about love. However, The Stupid Crazy Love that I want to talk about is what these lyrics hint at. The kind of love that NEVER stops, it NEVER gives up it takes whatever you can dish out and just keeps coming. It makes you try harder and be smarter. It makes you find a way when there doesn’t seem to be one. It helps you get out of your own way and let this ‘Crazy Love’ wash over you and then it fills you and you don’t know how to contain it. And then that is when the best part happens. It comes bursting from you like a dam that is overcome by a mighty storm.
You see I have been hurt by some who said they loved me and I didn’t find a way to mend the hurt. I just walked away. I regret that for both of us. I have been hurt and betrayed by love that I never thought could hurt me. WE together did not let this BIG love find a way out of our hearts and into each others and we missed out. I have found a love that saw my hurt and took it on themselves. I love them for that. That love showed me empathy and understanding and offered nurturing and healing form loves past failings.
I could have just left love. I could have given up and said that there is only hurt in the end. I have only really loved 3 women in my life. At least I think. Remember I am still learning just how love works and what it is. But the Stupid Crazy kind. I am very satisfied with myself knowing that I felt it. I felt it so powerfully that years later after those relationships have came to a close and the pain has faded I can look inside and say I still love and I do love in a way that makes me believe that NO MATTER WHAT there IS love. I can’t stop it. I don’t want to. I want to think back on the pain and the hurt and say I still love today. I am not defeated, I do not quit, I refuse to be less than I am. I am in Crazy Stupid Love and I never what it any other way.
Guy: “Oh for cryin out Loud MickGee are you crying’? Look at the little cry baby, wah, wah, WAH”
Me: sobbin (yes really) and smiling. “Guy, I’m sorry you don’t know what I am talking about. My sincere wish for you is that someday soon you find a love for someone that will spin you around like nothing you have ever experienced. But first you better lose the edge so someone can get close enough for that to happen.”
Guy: “Shut up MickGee!”
Me: Still got a ways to go there my friend”
Now back to what WE were talking about. I know I didn’t really tell you very much about the movie and because of what I have written here you may have a very lofty expectation for it. Please don’t. It is good but it has flaws like most movies in this genre. But I think you will find it enjoyable. If you have someone you love… no matter what that love looks like right now. I would encourage you to see it. It can be a good reminder of just what we do when we truly love someone in all those intangible ways that don’t make any sense, that cause us to scream and yell at times and drive us nuts. I know that many of you already have that person in mind. I want to make a suggestion. Right now… get up and go to them. Look them in the face. Maybe study it for a minute… remember the first time you saw it… look into their eyes. If yours is anything like mine they might say something like “What?” or “what are you doing?” or “That’s my head” when they do don’t let their surprise or lack of understanding in the moment deter you. Tell them you love them. Then keep telling them every chance you get until they know it. Until they remember how much they love you and then let that spill out into your families, your friends and everyone you come into contact with .
You know we (yes that includes you too Guy) need more love that we don’t have to explain. The kind of love that everyone just sees and knows that this is something worth doing. WE need to show it to each other so we make each other want it more and more every day. So look down into you heart for your soul. I know it’s still in there somewhere. Get a hold of it and offer it to the ones you love. And even if they hurt you don’t let that make you any less than you are. Love anyway. Love stronger than the pain, love better the next time than you did before. Love now before it’s too late. Believe in love like your life depends on it. And do something with it right now.
Real love never fails and if you believe in it you will never fail in love again…
Until next time… I’m still watching
p.s. I’m sorry about that little quote at the end “… never FAIL in love again” that was a little sappy right?” Oh well, maybe I am just a sap who will never apologize for being in love again.
Well Film Frenzied Fantastic Family I welcome you once again into the inane ramblings of yours truly. A guy who seems to like spending hours sitting in the dark while choking down questionably nutritional foods and watching pretend people live pretend lives. And sometimes I even like going to the movies [awkward silence…cough]. Since we last spent a few precious moments together reliving the magic that is the movie going experience there have been a few more films that have now entered into the annuls of Box Office success and failure. Since my last entry endorsing Super 8 as one of the movies to see this year I have enjoyed: Cars 2, which was ok but not as good as Cars, Transformers 3 which was a feast for the senses – well mostly sight, sound and equilibrium. The final 45 minute battle sequence is worth it if you’re into that sort of thing. Harry Potter 8 which was a very good ending to the previous 7 films, it just sort of felt like it was ending right from the beginning and then kept on ending all movie long. Then I saw Captain America! [Choir of angels singing in the background] Finally someone did this character and story justice. No it’s not an award-winning movie it’s based a comic book after all but one I have personally loved and have waited to see on the silver screen all my life.
Guy from the back row: “See – told ya MickGee was comic book readin, mo-ped ridin, dim-witted %^&*$% %^(@#$!”
Me: Dude! Seriously – already? I just got started here and already you pile on with the insults.
Guy: “Anyone who likes a guy who runs around in his star-spangled pajamas deserves whatever I wanna say about him Butt head”
Me: Well thanks for your contribution. I’m sure the world is a better place thanks to you…
That gives me an idea. Let’s not talk as much about the movie Captain America today and spend a minute talking about America itself or as some have coined the term lately American’t. Which really pisses me off! I want to speak out here from a place that I would rarely do in a blog like this. So if you my white screen movie team will allow me to rant for a moment I will be most grateful.
Guy: You are so useless MickGee what could you possibly have to say about America that anyone could give a damn about?
Thank you ‘Guy” let’s start with you. Here is a person who thinks it is ok for him to heckle my blog -many times while I’m still writing it 😉 I am here to say good. Speak up, speak out. Be obnoxious or be respectful but speak your mind. America is what it is because we are SOOOOOOOO free that it hurts. WE have so much freedom we can’t even see it to appreciate it anymore. This ‘Guy’ loves to take pot shots at me as I step up to the mic so to speak and he should have every right to do so… in fact because we ARE in America HE DOES. Our free exchange of ideas and opinions is what has forced us to be better and stronger as a nation throughout generations. It allowed neighbors to consider all of the options before designing their communities, schools, infrastructure, etc. It’s what makes the art, music, dance, drama, science, dare I say Movies, TV, Video, Games, Internet what they are today. This freedom to speak and disagree has created some of the greatest minds in these areas that the world has ever known. And yes a cartoon guy in red, white and blue tights thought it was all worth fighting and even dying for. In fact he tried to die defending the American ideal at least 3 times. And let’s not forget the America that breeds Heroes like we have a corner on the market. How many friends and family do you know who literally have laid their life on the line for you and your freedom and your way of life… so you can drive you car on roads that have not been destroyed by civil war, so you have the choice of over 250,000 food items at your local grocery food store, so that you can receive more than 750 channels of entertainment in your private livingroom everyday, so that you can find your own place in the land of North America and make a home, plan your future with optimism and without fear of invasion by foreign enemies. Well a lot of Americans along with Captain America and the idea of America they defend believe these things in life are worth fighting and even dying for. And so do I!
I sit at a computer as I write this that is built on the back of the freedom of our nation. It’s invention and innovation. On it I share ideas that were born in my mind as a young boy as I flipped through the pages of a Captain America comic book under the covers of my bed with a flashlight late at night. I was so proud to be an American back then and I still am today. So in this moment I remember that I am a free man in a free nation and my whole life is before me. I am free in this country to pursue whatever course my heart, mind and will desire and so are you. So stand up with me and remember, with sincere gratitude, that you are free, you are safe, you are part of something great that is beyond just you, you are American.
Are there problems with our nation? Yes. They are the same problems that have faced (and currently face) every civilization on earth. How do we live together and provide for everyone and try not to destroy ourselves in the process. The problems go deeper than that though don’t they? Really the problems are at the individual level. They are issues of the human mind, heart and soul. We all want to believe that our country, our cities, our neighborhoods are filled with like-minded people who value the same things we do. That they are not greedy or dishonest, careless or even reckless. We hope that we will all get along and even form friendships with those we share our neighborhoods with. There is a reason neighborhood starts with neighbor right? When the men of the first continental congress rebelled under threat of treason, wrote and signed the declaration of America’s independence. They believed something that I too believe. “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” And because of that we all have an obligation to each other to do better. To be better. How do we do that? One person at a time, one moment at a time. Never forgetting what it means to be an American and what it took to get us here. Understanding that we are part of something great in the world and that we should make our actions rise to that greatness.
Guy sleeping in the back row: “[snort] wha… what was that MickGee? I fell asleep there. Are you STILL rambling on about comic books – IDIOT!”
Well, maybe not everyone you know “gets” what America is or even what we all hope it should be. But when I go to the movies and I see the fantastical imaginations of the writers and producers, the hopes and fears, the successes and failures and the dreams realized by the characters portrayed on-screen. I remember what it means to be human. I understand what it is to feel alive. Something inside me let’s me think that anything is possible – because I am free. This week I know what it is to be a proud American.
Untill Next time – I’m still watching
p.s. Just got a text from playmatebikinigirl she asks “Hey MickGee do you really have red, white and blue pajamas? I have a very nice wonder woman costume I think you will like. Come over for a patriotic pajama party?”
p.p.s No honey I didn’t respond and NO I am not going… (thinking to myself) now where did I put that superhero cosplay catalog…
As I sit here remembering the past month or so of summer movies. That’s right kids the summer move season starts the first week in May now… or is the last week in April? I don’t know. Remind me to call Spielberg, Abrams (a.k.a. “JJ“) and Michael (Bay), I’m sure they could tell me when the summer movie season “officially” starts. The fact remains that we as moviegoers have already had quite a few flicks to be excited about and the summer movie season is just warming up. I have seen Thor, Bridesmaids, Kung Fu Panda 2, X-men First Class and Super 8 this past weekend. I have to admit that so far, of the movies I have viewed, that there is not a real stinker in the bunch, in fact I could make an arguement that the opposite is true of at least 4 of the 5 listed above. Are there better movies than these out there? You better believe it. But most will never grace the silky white canvas like screen of my small town movie theater. I will simply have to wait for them to appear on IFC, Bravo, Netflix or that guy I know who always says he has all the new “hot” movies in the trunk of his car he says he gets them from China. No wait… I forgot, that guy’s in JAIL!
Here are just few movies I wish I could watch while choking down salty and sweet snacks that cost more than a fine meal at my favorite gourmet resteraunt. Tree of Life, Hobo with a Shotgun, City of Life and Death, Win Win, Beginners and I AM. Many of these will not make themselves easy to be seen and you will need to go after them. While many do not demand the spectacle of the Blockbuster experience of the big screen they do require our undisturbed attention for which I hope we will be rewarded with thoughtful, well written, directed or acted films that make us hopful for the future and keep us dreaming or at least remembering the past and trying not to repeat our same mistakes.
SO, now that we have just briefly commented on and introduced 2 different levels of movies this summer I feel it might be worth a minute of our time to wonder at the possibility of things being different. Stick with me here on this one. Let’s start by thinking about advertising. You know those brilliant mini-movies that try and keep you in the room when your favorite sitcom needs to try and make some money 30 seconds at a time. I have recently heard of a principle that I am becoming persuaded rings true most of the time. Here it is. The more something is advertised the worse it is for you or it represents something you do not need or it may likely be harmful to you. If you disagree ok. but I would say give it a try. Watch some TV during the summer and don’t skip the commercials (you TiVo experts know who you are) and see if the commercials you see the most are not in fact for those things that prove in the end, not be be something that is “good” for you. Get back to me on that.
Now in contrast, every now and then and commercial will come on that asks you to do something ‘good’. Such as get involved in a charity, get up and go outside and exercise, stop littering, stop bullying, etc. However when you realize how few and far between these messages are you have to ask yourself the inevitale question, “Don’t I want more commercials that represent us all doing things we believe are good and should be done and less about what drug I can add to the drugs I take now and that come with trule horrfying side effects, or how the new fried chicken, bacon, ranch dressing, bacon, fried chicken sandwhich is now just $.99 or how if I just use the shake weight I’ll get in fantastic shape and NO it doesn’t look like a sex toy and NO it’s not in the least bit homoerotic… of course not?”
Wait a second… did I just ask “don’t we want more commercials?” I think I did.
Text from scaryclowncheesegun666 “MickGee you are such a newb. Commercials have evolved into much more applicable and realistic…
[pop up ad on my screen] – it says, “Enroll now for summer clown college – come on you know have always wanted to bhe a clown. It’ll be fun and your parents won’t have to even know” There is a picture of a clown in a priest habit with colar.
Enough ‘scaryclown’ thanks for your attempt at spamming my blog but it’s not going to work. I have just banned you for life from commenting on this blog.
Text from scaryclowncheesegun667 “You can’t ban me. I’m here to stay and so are the ads my friend – [pop up on my screen] it says “so hide you kids, hide you wife and hide youself before the clown comes to getcha! [Maniacle laughter!]””
Great, just what I need, another ‘committed’ fan.
Bottom line here is we allow ourselves (and those around us – kids) to be exposed to more of the wrong (or at least questionable) messages and values in what we entertain oursleves with. So let’s take that same idea and move it over to the movies. There are truly inspired, breathtaking, wonderful films being made that most of us will never see and frankly would probably never even knew existed. These are the movies that move us and get us thinking and hopefully even get us acting on things. I love the idea that a movie, in the span of 90 minutes, might actually motivate someone to make their life and the lives of those around them better. So answer me this question then. “Do we want more movies that instill a sense of awe about our world, our place in it and how we can make it better or should we spend out time and money mostly on animated bears who know matial arts, a group of guys who can get into a huge amount of trouble while hung over, people who call themselves JACKASSES, Aliens and cowboys, vampires and priests, vampires and werewolves, barbarians, comicbook superheros, etc?”
Now I spend plenty of money on many of the kinds of movies that I just suggested that we may be perfectly happy without. BUT have you ever noticed when one of those ‘independent’ films actually has a breakout box office performance suddenly it’s the greatest thing ever and people are asking. “why don’t they make more movies like this instead of crap like Priest or Alvin and the Chipmonks 3D? By the way, I am still looking for my answer to the question from the movie Priest – what is there to live for? where is the hope, why even bother, just go shoot yourself in the foot through the head. Holy Mother of Pearl! Just let it end!
Ok, I feel a littel better to get that out of my system. On a more positive note I think this halloween I am going for the officially licenced Priest costume. Whoever did wardrobe and costume design is pretty cool in my book!
Guy from the back row: “So you’re going to be a child molester for halloween again this year MickGee!?”
Me: “Oh come on! Why are you always doing that to me, and what do you mean?”
Guy: “You said you were gonna be a priest – what else should I think you porn addict?”
Me: “I just don’t get you dude. Why all the hostility and contempt it’s just a movie blog. You have a lot of pent up agression. Maybe you should do some anger management or group theropy?”
Guy: “MickGee, the only reason you don’t like me is that I am saying what everyone else is thinking – you dumbass!”
Me: “You should know that I carry a fair amount of guilt around for some innapproprite behavior from my past – my guess is so do you Guy”
Guy: “Blow it out your #$^%& %!@# MickGee”
Sorry about that guy, My point here is that when a Slumdog Millionaire shows up everyone is amazed at this movie that it could be made for so little money and be so good. And that in the end it actually changed the lives of those portrayed in it. Maybe it even changed our lives as well.
Now don’t get me wrong here, I am the last guy to say that we should stop seeing movies for pure entertainment. Yes, I agree that we need that as well. But with the disproportionate onslaught of blockbuster movies that may not ultimately take any responsibility for what they portray or its effect on you and me, I say maybe take some time and research a few of the movies that didn’t make it to your neighborhood theater that released this week. Did you know that as many as 12 movies release every week in America. How many can you name releasing this week? Do a little poking around and maybe you will find some interesting, thought provoking and maybe even intruguing movies to add to your Netflix queue. And NO you should not go get an illegal copy of it from that guy with his van down by the river who just took over from that other guy who is in jail for pirating from China!
Guy from the back row (again): “Hey, I am that guy!”
Me: “Shut up already!”
Until next time… I’ll be watching
p.s. If you are looking for family friendly movies this week put Super 8 and Kung Fu Panda 2 on your list. I would say 8 yrs. and older for Super 8 and 3-4 yrs. and older for Panda 2. Have Fun!
p.p.s. if you really want a good thought provoking discussion starter for your family watch “The Human Experience” streaming on Netflix. It’s a documentary that I think you may enjoy and it will almost certainly change your perspective on… well… The Human Experience.
Some of you may remember me as that “crazy movie guy” from 2010. Well just when you thought I had gone away, I’m back. I was going to write a novel in my blog instead this year but have since come to realize that was not the thing for me to do. If you want to read all about it click here http://mickgee2.wordpress.com/2011/05/20/what-week-is-it-again-already-hmmmm/ to read my “failed” novel blog.
But enough living in the past. Today is a gift that’s why they call it “the present”
I went to go see a movie this past weekend. <crowd cheers>
Voice from the back row, “it’s about time you lazy a$% movie hack!”
Thank you for that my loyal loveable lightfearing lemmings I am glad to be nack in my natural habitat. It’s like slipping on an old comfortable pair of Levi’s shrink-to-fit 501 button fly jeans. Ahhhh, that’s the stuff! So this week, Against my better judgement, I went to see Bridesmaids. Now it was not becuase I thought the movie would be subpar. No. It was because I was going to walk into a chick flick alone.
Guy from the back row “Gasp!”
I will admit that I felt very exposed in a theater full of mostly women and a few couples, where you could see the guy was just there so he would have a place to sleep that night. As I walked past some of the fellas to find my seat, and saw the look in their eyes, I thought to myself as I looked at them and gave the requisite male chin up that says Hey dude, I’m a man too, “I know exactly what you’re doing and I understand and approve…at least you have a woman. I’m going to have to go home and apologize to my wife for not calling to get a babysitter lined up so she could join me. So as it turns out I may not have a place to sleep tonight. Enjoy the film” Or something like that. It’s amazing what men can communicate to one another with a “look”
So I found my seat and settled in for what I heard would be an entertaining and funny movie (even if it’s target audience was 30-40 year old chocolate addicted women) As the previews started and ranged through a series of relationship movies that would certainly make it into my wifes netflix queue, I had never heard of any of them. The funny thing is I bet you if I were to ask my wife about these movies right this minute she would walk over and pull the book for each of them off the shelf and tell me how she read them all 3 years ago and can’t believe that they are finally making them into movies. Ya, just thinking about makes my testosterone curdle.
I was surprised at how many people came into the movie late this week. The great thing is that I am a large man and many of the nice timid women coming into the theater, in realitive darkness, gave me a wide arc and dared not sit anywhere near me. This was perfect, so when I laughed a stuff because, as a man I found it to be stupid, all the women in the theater would not simultaineously shush me like my grandmother used to during church. So I stretched out, put my bag of popcorn on the empty seat to my right then situated my beverage in the cupholder to my left and one by one began savoring the m&m’s I love so much. You know I almost wish that I had bad gas at that moment. With so much empty space around me I could have “deflated my whoopie cushion”, “boken wind” or “changed the barametric pressure” all movie long and no one would have noticed. But instead I watched quietly until the previews were over.
Me, “What? Why is everyone looking at me? Hey buddy, he who smelt it dealt it”
Yes this was my only defence and no it doesn’t work very well…
Now the main feature began. First let me say how much I have laughed at Kristin Wigg during her time as part of the SNL cast. She has a way of creating a character and really making it special and memorable. Oh yes and FUNNY. Remember “tiny hands singing sister from Lawrence Welk“, “Target Lady”, “Gilly“, “Homeschool Mom who swats at imaginary things in the air” But she also has some acting ability beyond just the character roles. I hope she gets more serious oppotunities AND keeps making movies like Bridesmaids.
So I am going to get right ot it. This is basically a story about 2 best friends and their relationship. Additioanlly their relationships with the men in their lives and in particular about the wedding and the activities surrounding the wedding of Kristin Wigg’s best friend played by Maya Rudolf, also an SNL allumni. This really is a sweet story with heart and turmoil. But I loved it so much that I don’t really want to give anything away. I would rather say, Good date night movie, good “I need to laugh” movie, Good movie. I recommend you see it. The only warning I will give is that it is sometimes crude and irreverent. So if you are not ‘down with that’ now you know.
I want to say something that I think is very important here. This is NOT an SNL production. In fact it may be one of the first really great movies featuring a SNL cast member that was not an attempt to take a 5 minuute sketch from SNL and try to stretch it into 90 minutes. This is original and fun and funny and crude and I loved it. In fact I loved it so much I found myself laughing out loud right along with the ‘ladies’ in the theater. And for a brief moment I felt a kind of kinship with them. I wondered if this was what “getting in touch with your feminine side” was all about. Then I was struck by another thought. “what if some of the women watching the movie with me are gay?” then I was hit upside the head with yet another thought as I slowly turned to see the women sitting behind me were holding hands, “does this mean that I might be gay?” then a different thought popped inside of my head… it was about my wife and it confirmed that I was in fact VERY straight. Thanks honey!
My wife from down the hall, “Are you writing about me in your blog again?”
Me, “Why do you ask sweetheart?”
Wife, “Because I want to be sure that you don’t cross the line and share too much information again – remember the last time?”
Me, “Yes dear…” (thinking too myself) how does she know I am writing about her? Does she have some king of trojan horse keystroke tracking virus installed on my computer? Hmmmm.
So I went back to laughing out loud and thoroughly enjoying this movie. Yes it is a chick flick so grab your homegirls and roll out to the movies. If you are a guy and your lady says, “you owe me one” why not take her to see this? You can score points with your woman and check to see how gay you might be. I’m just sayin’. It worked for me.
So that’s it for this week. It feels good to be back.
Until next time… I’ll be watching