Sunday, January 09, 2005

Up up and away

Saw The Aviator today. It didn't feel like a 3+ hour movie, at least not until the end. Although I enjoyed the film for the most part (Gwen Stefani? really? was there no one else in Hollywood willing to dye their hair platinum blonde? After all the buildup she got for this part, I was pleasantly gratified to see that she was only on screen for a minute or so. Not a big fan.), it was really the audience that got to me.

The coughing, the getting up to go to the bathroom (ok, it was a long movie, but come on, did you have to stand there in front of the screen for five minutes before and after your potty break? Let me help you out here. He was crazy when you got up to go and still crazy when you came back.), the whispering, and the goddamn cellphones. I heard at least four ringing during the movie. At least nobody started having a conversation in the middle of the film. They have silent and vibrate features for a reason, people! Use them.

There, I feel better.

The movie was fun, and it was also beautiful .. the sets, costumes, etc., were gorgeous. Beautiful 1930s and 40s Hollywood art deco glamour. I thought they dressed Katharine Hepburn wonderfully. And the Coconut Grove and Howard's place (before he started stashing pee bottles everywhere) were great, if a bit overly green (seriously, there were other colors available for interior decorating besides green, black, and red). Given my profession (material culture and art history) I always notice sets and costumes, and these were great. Some of my friends in the field can't turn off their internal "Historian" switches. They're always criticizing even the smallest on-screen details. I get like that too, mainly when the movie is really horrible already or when they're butchering a time and a place I love dearly (Hello The Patriot, I'm talking to you! on both counts!), but for the most part I can turn off the scholarly part of my brain when I have to and just enjoy the action. This time, I was having too good a time to do much nit-picking, but I didn't really notice anything egregious to pick apart. There was a little too much naked ranting and shaking though. Martin? Leo? I get it, he's going crazy! He's obsessive! He's compulsive! He likes to drink milk! It was nicely telegraphed with just a few scenes. No need to go overboard, but I guess it does help emphasize the OCD part when even the film seems to keep repeating itself.

Now it's time for another work week. Things are going to be hectic, plus I've got jury duty. I've always wanted to serve on a jury. I thought it would be kind of cool. So could they summon me during the year I spent as a substitute teacher with the world's most flexible schedule? No! They decided to wait until one of the two busiest months of the year for my department, at a time when I'm right in the middle of several major projects. And in the winter, no less? At least the weather is supposed to be good, or so The Weather Channel says. I do want to do my civic duty, though, so I hope that if I do get chosen it will be on an interesting (and short case)