Wednesday, August 18, 2010
Eat, Pray, Play With Guns
I often tease Stagg, and my guy friends, about male bonding. Stagg teases me that my girlfriends and I wear baby doll pajamas, stilletoes and have pillow fights when we go out for "girls nights". And I tease him that he and his pals are carrying guitars and eating steak and with strippers. And all other level of gender stereotyping. But I gotta tell ya, I love me action films and buddy movies maybe more than your average bear. I have been so excited to see The Expendables seeing as it promised to have all kinds of testosterone and action and deliver a "mangasm". So Stagg and I went off to see a double bill of Eat, Pray, Love starring Julia Roberts and The Expendables starring every 80s action star. What an unexpected bundle of movie veiwing we had....with lots of snacks and soda to keep us sustained through all five hours of estrogen and testosterone. It was one of the most fun movie experiences I've had in a while. The Expendables was just balls out fun. I fell in love with the vehicles, one an Albatross aircaft that had so much personality and offers up one of the best sequences of the movie. Worth seeing just for the plane! Mickey Rourke is divine and seems otherworldly on screen in this one. I love his character and he provides insight into the general impression of one-note motives of the ensemble cast in a delicate moment near the end of the film. The action is a blast. When the credits roll forget about grips or best boys...it's all about the stunt doubles. Stallone cuts iconic stances and is very photogenic and compelling. I loved Stone Cold Steve Austin, Jason Strahern (heart heart) and Dolph is surprisingly enjoyable. Former NFLer Terry Crews has some great moments and Jet Li makes carrying a gun pure poetry. The stunts are awesome, the atmosphere is rugged and it's just a good old-fashioned romp. 8/10.
I didn't read the book Eat, Pray, Love. It didn't interest me because I knew the story very very well. I have lived it. But, I was kinda interested in seeing the movie and enjoying the scenery. I had a bit of a weird feeling watching this movie. As I told Stagg when we left the theatre, it was almost exactly like my life when I was 16. I felt disconected, to food, to people, to the real world like a zombie of sorts. And I dived into meditation and an alternative population of folks practicing Hinduism, Buddhism and completely different diets. I even went to Rome. Stagg said he was sorry I had to go through that ...and I was like, "yes, but I was a young person. It was a sort of convenient time to make huge changes. I am so glad I went through it then and have been living the rest of my life doing what I wanted and knowing what I was meant to do". What was interesting about this movie was that it is an older person going through this story...and I remembered people much like this woman in the film back when I first got into meditation. I began traveling and meeting up with other groups of people who were following a guru, and going to meditation festivals and retreats. Most of us, frankly, were all between 15-25 years old. Maybe 30. But also there were some folks who were much older. Like the character in Eat, Pray, Love they had walked away from good jobs, and good marriages, and so-called good lifestyles. These folks were incredibly inspiring to me as a young person. They also frightened me because they had done something so extreme...they had felt totally alienated from their society just like I did...and had taken extreme measures to change their lives in search of peace, happiness and meaning. I knew a woman from Montreal who had walked out of her whole family, three kids, a husband and her parents. Her family hated her for doing this...she seemed to be living the story of Arjuna out loud. Anyways, I enjoyed this movie and it brought back a lot of feelings of what I was experiencing way back int he day and a kind of nostaligia that was nice to revisit. The movie shows that if we aren't engaged in our bodies and hearts we don't have anyplace to practice being intellectual, or spiritual, or transform. And it's never too late to explore how we want to live.
Richard Jenkins and Javier Bardem really made this movie for me. They bring most of the emotional conflict and transformations to the story, surprisingly. I had expected the story arc to be Julia Roberts but the characters these two men brought to the movie were just so deep and emotional...I did a sort of double take. Richard Jenkins is one of my favourite actors and he stole my heart in the movie The Visitor and in this movie he brought me to tears. During a scene where Jenkins character explains how he came to be in India, I absolutely forgot I was watching a movie and had the sensation of listening to a real life confession and I began to cry unconditionally. I had to sort of bolt up in my chair and remember this was a fake person, a movie and he was acting. I was so taken with his portrayal. Javier Bardem's portrayal of loss, lonliness and being a parent and saying goodbye to his child was stunning. He and Jenkins stole the movie for me....and gave it it's emotional base. Rating 8/10.