Monday, April 02, 2007

Mucho movies lately

The econ course started yesterday, and I'm procrastinating reading the first chapter in The Economic Way of Thinking. It occurs to me that I've seen a lot of movies lately. And blogging about them lets me take my mind off of promarket biases and comparative advantage.

So movies!

Will Ferrell's work is usually hit or miss with me. Either I think something's hilarious, or I think it's incredibly stupid. But Blades of Glory was funny. It's a great spoof of the sport-movie genre and the figure skating world. And if you've ever watched figure skating religiously (like most teenage girls do at some point), the cameos and skating jokes are funny too. Good times.

Y Tu Mamá También was good. It was a little weird. Basically the plot is that two friends who've just graduated from high school make up a story about a beach to impress a pretty woman, and end up on a road trip with her. I kept looking for the metaphor of driving towards a beach that doesn't exist, but it never was. The underwater film shots throughout also didn't really foreshadow anything; I think Jaws is too ingrained in my underwater subconcious. The bulk of the movie was the two friends coming of age sexually -- their experiences with their girlfriends, their desire for their female passenger, their jealousy of each other when they both sleep with her. The film tried to tie in themes about poverty and globalization and privilege, but in my opinion it didn't really make sense except to reinforce how fleeting and illusory the "innocence" of youth is. The movie wasn't outstanding, but it was good.

And finally, I watched Margaret Cho's Notorious C.H.O. I thought I'd never actually seen an entire show of hers, just clips. On the one hand, I was pleasantly surprised that this particular show was taped at the Paramount in Seattle. On the other hand, I laughed exactly once in an hour and a half. Cho's schtick seemed to be talking about sex, gay men, being bisexual, being not-so-skinny, being Asian American, and making fun of her mother. All of which is fine for subject matter, but not necessarily funny in the way that she presents it in this film. The most compelling point in the show was when she was talking about body image, and she said something on the lines of every time you look in the mirror and critique your looks, it's not you doing it, it's the millions of advertising dollars poured into campaigns aimed to make you unhappy with yourself and get you to buy beauty products. It was a great statement, but not what I was looking for from a comic performance. Obviously, I agree with most of Cho's political and cultural sentiments. I just didn't find her very funny in this film.

Then I watched I'm the One that I Want, and realized I've seen it, but I have no idea where. Most likely at a conference in college. Must've been one of those angry workshops at a student activist conference. Because a lot of the film is Cho being a little bitter about the politics behind All-American Girl, dealing with stereos of Asian-Americans as well as irritation from Korean American community members. Maybe because this is her first one-woman show film, but she covers a lot more ground in this one -- she has a basic narrative for her jokes, which is the story of her career's rise and fall. (This film is also more political, which is unapologetically always a plus for me). But her performance in this first film seemed fresher; when I thought I'd heard most of the jokes in Notorious C.H.O., I think it was because I'd already seen I'm the One that I Want and heard the general sentiment. Anyways, I liked this one a lot better. I laughed more often throughout this one, which means I don't need to purge the rest of her movies from my Netflix queue. I'm not bumping them up, but I won't delete them either.

Damn it, now back to supply-side perspectives and aggregate fluctuations....


The Common Man said...

I remember Margaret Cho coming to Colby sometime after we had graduated. I saw the show with Melissa and with Jean Sanborn, Professor of English and my boss. And it really wasn't funny then. Also, you've never been uncomfortable until a hit-and-miss comic starts telling a scatalogical joke in front of your boss, who is in her early 60s, and who is seated right next to you.

Torgo said...

I, too, saw "I'm the one that I want," though I'm not sure where and when. Must've been Colby.

And I, too, thought "Y Tu Mama Tambien" was just ok. Aimless and, ultimately, predictable. But a decent movie.