Thursday, May 24, 2012

What is it with men and...

As a devotee of all quotes You've Got Mail, I enjoy Meg Ryan's exasperation that both Tom Hanks and Greg Kinnear instantly understand the phrase, "Go to the mattresses."

"What is it with men and The Godfather?" she muses. As a single Mormon though, I don't usually date men who are well versed in Vito Corleone. Instead, I find that I have to have a working knowledge of other movie series, each of which I find tolerable, but neither of which I would watch of my own choosing.

So, I ask all y'all, "What is it with men and...

1. Star Wars
2. Lord of the Rings

But I can totally seeing those guys responding with a "What is it with girls and...

1. Gilmore Girls
2. Gilbert Blythe
3. Pride and Prejudice

Anything to add, dear readers?

Bad Movie Genre: Robot Movies

Remember on Gilmore Girls when Luke married that lawyer lady while they were on a cruise together...but soon thereafter they decided to get divorced. Being a lawyer she knew how to handle her own side of the lawsuit but she sent some of her colleagues over to Luke's Diner to handle his side of the case. Her colleagues couldn't believe that Luke didn't want to snag any of her money or sue for damages or doing anything generally requiring a lawyer during a divorce. "There must be something that you want," they insisted to Luke. Finally, in a classic case of Luke-loses-his-cool, Luke described the on ship entertainment which he regretfully sat through three nights in a row: a water-glass player. Luke's verdict: "I want those three hours back!"

I can endure many "bad" movies--Frankie and Annette beach party films, High School Musical 1-3, Elvis movies, Prom, etc. But there is an entire genre of movies that always makes me say, along with Luke, "I want those three hours back." Luckily for me, these movies are usually less than three hours long, but the pain of watching them makes them feel at least 180 minutes in agonizing length.

Robot movies. Can't stand 'em.

In the spirit of the Olympics, I'm awarding gold, silver, and bronze to the robot movies that sucked irrecoverable time out of life

Gold: The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.

I actually went to The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy on opening weekend, at the recommendation of my best friend's older, cooler, college-attending brother. Ten minutes in, I could tell it wasn't my kind of humor. Twenty minutes in, I realized the guy sitting next to me smelled like a speakeasy. Thirty minutes in, I was putting on lotion and covering my nose to mask the scent of Mr. Speakeasy. And at forty minutes in (or was it 42?), I was scanning the audience. Surely they were all in agony like me?

Half right. The women were all dozing to the best of their ability. The men were on the edge of their seats like this was the best superhero flick they'd seen in years. I don't say this to be sexist; I'm sure there are plenty of women who love this movie. I just don't know any of them, and none of them were in that theatre that night.

Silver: Wall-E.

I have a hard time watching movies with little to no dialog. I'm not a big fan of animation (although Pixar can usually entertain me). And I hate the deliberate ploy to "get nominated for an Oscar by making a movie about a current Hollywood-promoted issue." (See also Happy Feet, another 90 minutes I'd like back.)

Let's just say that by the time humans came into the picture, I had no emotional connection to this robot that many have called lovable or his high-tech, garden of Eden girlfriend.

Bronze: Transformers.
Other than the fact that I have no interest in Transformers, I probably should have tried to watch this movie before last summer. A roommate and I started watching it on a whim, but neither of us could take it very long. Four story lines are hard to justify in a film about living (and possibly breathing?) space robots. Only Michael Bay could take a movie with two Hollywood hunks--Josh Duhamel and Shia LaBeouf--and turn out a product that is unwatchably bad. (See also the historically embarrassing Pearl Harbor, but I still secretly like that one.)

By this point, I'd learned my lesson about robot movies, so I quit watching. But that movie followed me into my nightmares. Like Shia in the movie, I had recently gotten my first car. All night long, I tossed and turned as I imagined it driving itself away. Even worse, a car was being towed from the parking lot of my apartment complex around three in the morning that night, and in my state of drowsy half-sleep, I thought Optimus Prime was invading. If nothing else, I want those eight hours of sleep back.

Just out of the medals: Bicentennial Man and I, Robot