Sunday, September 27, 2009

Off to see the wizard sandman

Shortly, I hope.

Am I the only one who finds the whole Wizard of Oz thing faintly disturbing? My favorite part of the movie is the first ten minutes, before everything turns to color and fantasy. The munchkins are creepy, the flying monkeys grotesque and the scenes out front of the the witch's castle (the changing of the guard) have frightened me ever since I was a kid.

So why am I watching?

There's a nasty storm outside, though it's too dark to see much. Lots of thunder, though not much lightning. Periodic bursts of heavy rain. The forecast warned of 35 - 40 mph winds tonight; I think this is the warm-up act. It would be suitably ironic if the scarecrow I have wired to the little chair on the front porch would blow away in this wind, no?

This has been a bit of an unusual movie weekend, due to my not paying much attention to what was at the top of the Blockbuster queue. First up was what was supposed to be a Steven Seagal movie (stop shaking your head, Holly) from fifteen years ago called Executive Decision. Why yes, I like sappy, uber-patriotic action movies where our military is the hero (helped by brainy civilians) and the bad guys (Islamic extremists, in this case) meet untimely and suitably horrific deaths. To my surprise, Seagal's character is eliminated in the first half hour, leaving Kurt Russell to finish the job. Lots of great character actors round out the cast.

The only explanation for Slither making the queue is my search for movies in which Nathan Fillion appears. It's a zombie movie. Technically, the director wanted to make a movie in the style of the great '80's horror films (Slither came out in 2006). He managed to make it campy, funny and still a bit frightening, without going completely over the top. All things considered, it wasn't bad, although I wouldn't recommend it simply based on the language.

Last was Revolutionary Road. Why did they bother making this movie? Yes, Kate Winslet does a superb job; she certainly deserved the acclaim the role brought her. But honestly, my takeaway from the movie seems to be that if abortions were legal and available in 1955, her character could have had one, the family could have moved to Paris as they planned, and everything would have been hunky-dory. You've got to be kidding me.

Maybe I should stick to flying monkeys and ruby slippers.

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