Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Domestic policies

La Madre, for some strange reason, wanted to watch At First Sight when it was on TV a few nights ago. It reminded me of Charlie, an old film based on the short story "Flowers for Algernon." The plot of those stories: a mentally retarded man undergoes experimental treatment that suddenly makes him a genius. He learns how to navigate in his new world, and attempts to convey what it was like in his old one. Then the treatment reverses, and he has to return to his former self. We read the short story in 7th grade and had to watch the movie. We compared. We contrasted.

Here, of course, it's blindness that is the focus, but the plot is essentially the same: Val Kilmer is a blind man who falls for Mira Sorvino, who convinces him to undergo experimental surgery to make him see. He finds it difficult to cope with the changes in worldview (no pun intended). Then the effects of the surgery diminish, and he becomes blind again. Apparently it is based on a true story as well as a book by Sir Oliver Sacks.

I was underwhelmed.

At any rate, it was kind of predictable, and even La Madre called it boring. (This from the woman who will voluntarily watch Doctor Zhivago in its entirety.) Afterwards, we watched a Hallmark Hall of Fame made-for-TV movie about a Polish woman (played Anna Paquin) who rescued 2500 Jewish children from the Nazis.

Whereupon I realized that if this was at all indicative of the next two weeks of my life, I would need several good stiff drinks.

In between writing cover letters, reminding the neffy why we don't hit auntie, jogging to the beach, karaoke-ing, and studying for the upcoming qualifying exams, I managed to watch The Hebrew Hammer.

In a nutshell: the Hammer is a Jewish superhero out to save Hanukkah from Santa's evil son, who wants to abolish the elves' labor laws and the North Pole's highly tolerant holiday attitude in favor of an anti-semitic, pro-Aryan, Christmas-only season. The Hammer enlists the help of the Kwanzaa Liberation Front to save the holiday season.

Clearly, it is a Comedy Central movie. Good for a laugh while doing crunches! But I liked it and its general (if undeniably satirical) spirit of inclusion and self-parody.

Also, who knew Adam Goldberg worked out? Just sayin' ... there's a scene where he's frolicking around in boxer briefs, for which I stopped doing post-jogging stretches in order to watch uninterrupted.

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