Monthly Archives: July 2010
Saw a commercial for the latest Kidz Bop album on television the other day. These things are appalling because they’re kid-sung versions of popular songs, as if the originals were not bad enough. A few thoughts came to mind:
- We are indoctrinating our children into listening primarily to pop music, which is well known for its simplicity and vapidness.
- We are indoctrinating our children into listening to this music via the voices of other children, suggesting to them (and ourselves) that they will only be capable of understanding people in their own age group. The long term yield for parents is compromised by this mindset, by the way.
- The long term yield for record companies, though, is fantastic.
- People are comfortable with the idea of children listening to Lady Gaga. The songs included on the latest release are not too bad, but they previously had “Bad Romance” on an album. I think this is not responsible parenting.
- A Kidz Bop version of Justin Beiber’s “Baby” is redundant.
What is Inception about?
I received the text hours after seeing the movie, from someone who was not aware that I was even seeing it. The TV ads and posters present a certain idea about the movie. It is a heist film featuring dreamscapes. That is a complex idea presented as simply as possible. The characters go into people’s minds to extract information. This is a brilliant science fiction concept by itself.
But what is inception? Read the rest of this entry
As a big fan of Rob Zombie’s films and a casual fan of slashers, it is hard to admit that I was so late to the party with Zombie’s take on Halloween. I can now say that it was a great slasher film. It lacked a certain level of horror and tension, but it was worth viewing. Watching Michael Myers’ development from damaged child to deranged adult was an intriguing take on a character I previously had no interest in following. The main turnoffs I had with the film were the tropes: the girls (and guys) who had onscreen sex were the primary ones killed, and Sailor Moon Zombie was put into an overtly sexual role (a stripper) so that Rob Zombie could silently gloat about how gorgeous his wife is.
What I like best about the movie is that it left me with a “What’s worse?” question. So, what’s worse – a movie full of gratuitous violence or a sympathetic psychopath committing gratuitous violence? The latter certainly adds some depth to a film, but at the same time it can work as an additional motivator to copycats looking to act out. Anonymous, faceless killers are ultimately boogey men and monsters who make for a good scare while still remaining harmless. They are unreal and therefore not real. A character suffering from regular emotional abuse at home as well as embarrassment at school due to factors outside of his control (mother’s job as a stripper and sister’s sexual practices) is real. To some degree he might even be relatable. He remains a monster due to the manifestation of his psychopathy, but he is far worse because of his characterization. Michael Myers becomes the harmed child inside of each of us.
That aspect alone makes the film powerful. This movie taps into something amazing. It deserves better reviews than it received.