Tag Archive for Movies

When Optimism Becomes Dishonesty

InsideOutI just saw the new Pixar movie, Inside Out. As to be expected of any Pixar venture, the lesson of the movie was poignant. Joy, who spends most of the movie being an unintentional (yet enthusiastic) bully to Sadness, ultimately learns a mix of emotions are important for leading a balanced life.

That’s all well and good for the fictional world of Pixar, but out here in reality there is a different set of expectations. Our culture expects Joy to be in the driver’s seat. The other emotions are only allowed to drive under extreme circumstances, and to let them take over, especially when you’re a female in public, often leads to dire social consequences.

The movie aptly demonstrates the unfortunate results of this expectation. When Joy and Sadness are attempting to return to “Headquarters,” we see Joy steamroll Sadness multiple times. Any time Sadness recommended a solution or gave Joy a warning, Joy would ignore it in favor of optimism. Her denial delayed their return to headquarters to the point where a solvable problem ballooned into a dire crisis.

Much like Joy was fixated on keeping her charge, an 11-year-old named Riley, happy all of the time, American culture is fixated on relentless optimism. From the way we run our businesses to the way we run our government, we have effectively removed constructive anger, worry, and fear to the point where the only voices we’ll listen to are the ones who have positive things to say.

Yet we don’t live in a world where only good things happen. By embracing positivity to this degree, we are effectively lying to ourselves and each other.

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I Gots A Treadmill Desk!

Remember that treadmill desk I said I wanted for Christmas? Well, I decided to do a Christmas-in-July type of thing and buy a treadmill now.

This is a very very rudimentary set-up, and not the best design I could have created by far. I just like to prove to myself that I’m actually going to use something before I invest a lot of time and money into it. Thus, the used treadmill, the board resting on the treadmill handlebars, and the three-dollar C clamps.

This is a close up picture of my new treadmill desk, showing how a board is clamped to the handlebars and my computer is positioned in the middle of the board.

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Man of Steel: Bloated Backstory, But Still Awesome

This is a picture of Henry Cavill, who played Superman in Man of Steel.I’ve never been much of a Superman fan. I’ve always preferred superheroes with more, erm, humanity, which is probably why I largely gravitate toward the Bat family and the X-men. Despite their superhero powers, they have Earthly origins that I can relate too.

This film did a better job of making Henry Cavill’s Superman more relatable than any of the previous attempts. This journey to find truth made him more human-like than any of Superman’s previous film incarnations. Cavill’s performance was also anything but stiff, which is always a danger when playing an embodied American ideal in tights.

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Pepper Potts, CEO of Stark Industries, Downgraded to Damsel in Distress

This is a picture of a statue of the Iron Man armor at San Diego Comic Con.

I didn’t have high expectations when I went to see Iron Man 3. After polling my friends, about half really liked it and half just shrugged their shoulders and said, “Eh.”

Now I think I fall squarely in the “Eh” crowd, only I got a little peeved about Pepper Pott’s role in the story.

If you want to shield yourself from spoilers, now’s the time to summon your suit of armor, step inside it, and cut off all connection to the outside world. The ending of this film needs discussing.

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The Hobbit: A Bloviated Journey

Got only two words to say about The Hobbit: rabbit and sleigh.

Okay, I do have a few more words, but those two were semi-spoilerous, and it’s only going to get worse. So if you want to see The Hobbit in all its over-inflated glory, then I strongly suggest you don’t click “Read More,” and come back after seeing what happens when no one has the resolve to cut the fat from a script.

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Skyfall = Skyfail for Women

Last week, I finally got a chance to go see Skyfall. I enjoyed about 99% of the film. Daniel Craig made for a dark and delicious Bond, Dame Judi Dench was in fine form as M, and Javier Bardem stole the show as a villain so twisted you might as well have slapped some white paint on his face and called him the Joker. The script was also well done, and I felt the story more than made up for the sacrifice-plot-for-action insanity that was Quantum of Solace.

But for me, all that wonderful acting, that beautiful storytelling, got mucked up by the last five minutes of the film.

Okay, that last phrase should have clued y’all in that I’m about to discuss the end of movie in this post. If you haven’t seen the movie and don’t want me to spoil it for you, DON’T CLICK the “Read More” button or read past this paragraph. You’ve been duly notified.

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