need to change
his Huggies if
he stands there
Like most of you, I was hooked by the buzz over Inception. Shots of Leonardo DiCaprio talking about entering people’s dreams, dudes fist fighting while floating in air, and buildings colliding over a cool soundtrack made my eyebrows go up. It was all very Matrix-like. Only Inception reminded me of the first Matrix, not the crappy ones that came later. So, despite the lack of a stripper pole or hot leading ladies (Ellen Page looks like an underdeveloped 14 year old to me) I wanted to see it. Hell, even my wife wanted to see it. Then the reviews finally came in from Metacritic and Rotten Tomatoes. Both showed that the critics loved it. That put it over the top: we were go for Inception!
So, with the sun just 6 inches from our heads and nothing to protect us from its blistering rays save my beloved Chrysler, we headed off to the movies. All I could do was hope that it was worth it. Well, I was also hoping the car’s air conditioner would cope with the 5,000 degree heat. But that’s beside the point.
Bet I know what you’re thinking. Was Inception worth the sweltering heat, or did it suck like that family get together at the state prison last year?
As those who read some of my earlier Star Trek commentaries already know, the Trek franchise isn’t my favorite in sci-fi land these days. Sorry uber Trek-nerds, but the show is just too sterilized and bland for my tastes. I’ve been hoping for a much needed reimagining (or at least a reboot) ever since Star Trek: Enterprise first hit the airwaves. Then, low and behold, J. J. Abrams came along and made it happen! (Insert a chorus of angels singing here.) I’m sure many hardcore Trekkers began weeping openly when Abrams admitted he wasn’t a big fan of the series, but this only encouraged my dream for a better version. And by “better,” I mean one where humanity still has a long way to go before achieving paradise, or where battles are actually fast paced and (dare I say it?) exciting.
So … did my man J. J. Abrams deliver the goods? Or does the Star Trek reboot need a boot up its ass?
Like any atheist geek worth his salt, I used to be a big comic book nerd back in the ’80s. But I had never read the Watchmen comics or (::gasp::) even heard of them. Maybe that’s because I was into Marvel comics instead of DC. Or because my home town sucked and we never got anything that was really “cool” by my standards. I could never get my hands on the Secret Wars comics back then either. Still, I could hardly wait to see Watchmen (the movie) when I saw the previews at the theater. I checked the web sites to see who liked it (the reviewers at Rotten Tomatoes gave it a 65%) and who didn’t (Metacritic gave it 56%, which is pretty average). So I wasn’t sure what I was in for when I went to see it last Saturday.
So was it awesome, or did I leave weeping bitterly and shaking my fist at a cruel, cruel world?
I knew I wanted to see Religulous the moment I had heard of it. So let me give you the setup for my first viewing: there was me (an atheist) eager to see what Bill Maher had in store. Then there was my wife (a Jehovah’s Witness) seated beside me. She probably wasn’t so sure this was a good idea. But I had already put the disk in the DVD player and — more importantly — I had actually bought the damn thing so there was no way she was going to let it go to waste. (My wife comes from a long line of incredible cheapskates, so that was that.) Now I hadn’t previewed Religulous for her or anything like that, so I didn’t know how offensive it would be to her. But I had seen Maher’s interview on the Daily Show where he explained his belief that atheism was a religion. Most atheists would disagree with Maher on this, so I figured he would offend me too. Not so. In fact, I preferred Religulous to many other documentaries of its kind.