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'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.


Janet said...

I'm going to see Eat Pray Love tonight and I loved reading your take on it...and getting to know you a bit better :-)

Greg S. said...

Great reviews Candy.

Anonymous said...

Watch it with that heart heart stuff!!!!


thehealingroom said...

Great reviews Candy. I haven't seen either movie yet, but I did read Eat, Pray, love and I remember feeling EXACTLY like you, was my life!!.....but how she describes her marriage break up was more like my more recent marriage then the one back then. Another book that echoes my life is called "Broken Open" by Elizabeth Lesser ...oh! and the trilogy by Oriah Mountain Dreamer. But I digress....
I don't regret a Thing about that time now, has become a wonderful measuring stick for me when it comes to "group think" situations in my life. (though, if I listen to a Youtube of the guru creeps me out) hmmmm.

Candy Minx said...

Janet, thanks, hope you like the movie. That was a strange time in my life and I really have fond memories of the people I spent time with then.

Thanks Greg, not very artsy european movies like you get over there...but I like to mix it up.

Stagg heart heart!

Hi Healing Room, I enjoy reading all the various stuff by the many gurus I checked out and spent time with back then. I don't know if I would have lived very long if I hadn't got the kind of rehab I got in those teen years and later my professional therapy. I was just so alienated from so many things in life and our society. Of course, i am still alienated and don't fit into this society, but I have a good attitude about it ha ha. I was really stirred up thinking about some of the older folks we met. Maybe you recognized Johnson in my description above? she was a real piece of work that one, ha ha.

Gardenia said...

Oh, I know what I am doing one day next week. Movie-thon, here I come, watch out popcorn machine - I will empty you! Thanks for the reviews. MMMMmmmm, yes, I relate to Eat, Pray, and Love just from your review - must see! Action movies relieve my stress. Can my 13 year old grandson see the action movie, do you think?

I am also wanting to see the Prophet, I think it is a foreign film, have you seen it?

Candy Minx said...

Yes, Gardenia, I think your grandson will really enjoy "The Expendables". It is violent, but it is also very down to's a throwback tot he action movies of the 80's with less emphasis on CGI. It's a bit of a change of pace. Good and evil are not ambivalent, so I think a young person will be fine.

You will love both these movies but especially "Eat, Pray, Love".

"A Prophet" sounds very interesting. Yes, it's a French film. I'll look for it.

michelle said...

I have seen this movie 3x times now because I am in a very similar situation - I never finished the book when it came out but since seeing the movie I now want to go back and reading it. Each time I saw the movie it was though a different set of eyes, "my sad eyes" when I saw it alone, "my excited to be going to Italy eyes" when I saw it with my friend, and my "life is really good" eyes when I say it with my mom.

I too cried at the scene in India when Javier explained how he came to be there. I also cried when she was praying on the bathroom floor!

Great review thanks for sharing.

Anonymous said...

Hey Candy,

Good post!