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Darkened Theatres, a Disappointing Twist and a Dying Breed

Yesterday was a landmark day. It was the first time in over 28 months that my husband and I have seen a movie. I've missed movies. I've missed arriving early and sitting in the darkened theatre munching on popcorn. It was such a treat and where we used to take for granted that freedom of being able to come and go as we please, yesterday we savored each moment. We even went to dinner afterward! Our son is getting older and we are becoming more willing to leave him in the care of another person. We enjoyed it so much that we thought we could do it once a month. I hadn't even driven in the front seat of my hubby's car but one other time since he bought it. Times have changed. Well, I wouldn't trade my life for the world, but it sure was nice to see a movie.

We saw "State of Play" - our anniversary was 2 weeks ago and we specifically waited for this movie to come out to go on our "date." My husband loves Russell Crowe. In fact, the last movie I saw in the theatre before going into labor was "A Good Year," also with Crowe. The movie was great - a mystery with twists and turns, lots of great actors (most notably Jason Bateman who does an awesome job in his small role - seems to be a trend for this actor who rose up from the death of his teen heartthrob status) and a theme that threaded through the film about the dying off of newspapers as the internet takes over the role of news reporting. The movie was great until about 10 minutes before it ended when it took a final twist. As soon as the film ended my hubby said, "It was great until that last twist." My sentiments exactly (do couples just start thinking alike after a certain amount of time together?). That twist sold the film out. You sort of wonder why the actors who were previously meant to play these roles that Crowe and Ben Affleck ended up playing, dropped out (Brad Pitt and Ed Norton). I have no real idea, I'm only guessing that the final twist at the end backs off the political implications the film makes up until that point, and sells out. You can almost hear some producer saying, "No, we can't put that film out - it's too politically inflammatory. Add on a final scene that doesn't look like it accuses anyone of anything." Sorry for being so vague about the film, but I don't want to review it here or give anything away since it is an entertaining film and for me it was worthwhile because it helped me understand military-industrial complex a whole lot better. The best part about this film though, was the theme that ran through regarding the dying out of newspapers as the reported news is being replaced by blogs and other forums on the internet.

The final montage - played as the credits flashed after the film itself was over - was of a newspaper in several incarnations as it goes from being a celluloid sheet to being in print form, following the printing process until the newspapers are in stacks, wrapped in plastic and put on a big delivery truck. It took place in a lonely warehouse room - with very few people (possibly only the driver of the truck). In the background played CCR's "Long As I Can See the Light," a song about dying. I call that scene "Ode to the Newspaper." It was sweet - only a technical overview of the printing process but the music in the background and the film just seen gave it a sad feeling. It may be awhile before newspapers are completely gone, but surely that is the way they are headed. As Ben Affleck spoke about on Rachel Maddow last week as he promoted this movie, he imagined a scene sometime in the future where his daughter found out about newspapers. Roughly paraphrased from memory here: "You mean the news was printed on paper and the paper was brought to each house?" Weird, huh? Yeah, weird. Here's to blackened fingers after a leisurely Sunday morning breakfast over the paper. Although, really now - when was the last time I had time for that?


Jldnrats said...

Just the other day I was frequenting Pancake Circus with Karen, Gavin, and Gianna. In between wrestling knives and salt shakers out of Gianna's curious fists, I happened to glance over at a table across the aisle. Three people sat there engrossed in their reading: a father with a newspaper, and two "tween" daughters with their novels. When their food came, they put them down and began to eat and talk animatedly. I thought that was cool. I hope Gianna enjoys reading as much as I did (and still do) at that age.

Kari Jenkins said...

Thanks for leaving a comment with me! I love this post and can totally relate. I dont think my hubby and I have gone out to a movie together in....ummmm, okay 3 years is a very long time!

Deanna Hull said...

Rent the original British miniseries "State of Play" on which this movie is based. It is terrific.