Sunday, March 28, 2010

What's Up Netflix!

Food, Inc.- 5 stars- I cried twice while watching this film; partly because I cry all the time now at the movies, and partially because it was so sad. I am already aware of what factory farming is and what it entails. If you are not, this will be a bit of an eye awakening. What I didn't expect was how the impact of those practices would affect others. I cried the first time during a segment on Kevin's Law, which would give the USDA the authority to enforce its own standards, help identify pathogens (Salmonella, E. coli, etc), and set performance standards in the processing of meat. Did you know it didn't have that authority? It's shocking! The law is named after a 2-year old boy who died while on vacation with his family after eating a tainted hamburger. The second time I cried was during a segment about soy. Who knew soy was such a touchy subject? Apparently, one company owns the rights to soy (they engineer the seeds and force farmers to use those only). Those who want to use their own seed are forced to hire "cleaners" to weed out the copy written product. The company then sues these cleaners for copy write infringement, effectively taking away their lively hood and putting them into further debt. It's sick. Watching this film confirmed for me something I have been feeling for a while- that to feel better about myself (both internally and externally) I need to be more aware of what I put into my body (market!). I am now cutting out most meat from my diet, eating only ethically raised meat when I do, and more fresh and leafy produce. I hope everyone watches this film and thinks about what they are doing, not just to themselves but to others.

Four Christmases- 2 stars- Maybe it's because I didn't see this movie until March when it finally came off long wait (what are people doing with this movie for 4 months?), but it is not good. I'd say it's really a 1 star movie, but I didn't turn it off, and that seems to be worth a star. The acting is fine, but the writing and premise are horrid. Selfish Vaughn and Witherspoon would rather do anything than see their family for the holidays. You start to feel bad for their families until you meet them. They are horrid. Did the writer visit the island of misfit toys to get the ridiculous archetypes for each branch of the family? There are the hillbillies, the evangelical Christians, the hippies, and the rich but absent father. I don't mind a bit of "whimsy" and comical artifice in my holiday movies, but this was ridiculous. I'd skip it all together and rent "Home for the Holidays" with Holly Hunter instead.

The Time Traveler's Wife- 3 stars- Let me be clear upfront: I haven't read the book. It seemed ridiculous and I think Oprah liked it and I can't support any novel Oprah deems relevant. I have added it to my "to reads" section of Goodreads, and hopefully it will expand on the themes and relationships in the movie. This is not to say they are not explained, simply that I'm not sure it could have been done to an outsider's satisfaction in 107 min. The film is well acted, especially by McAdams; as the long time but forgotten love of time travelling Bana. This movie was close to getting 4 stars, but the unanswered questions nagged me to the end. Why does he time travel? How long does he have between shifts? How can the past and future exist in the same time, let alone interact with each other? This movie needed a big dose of Sci-fi honesty to get another star. Still, it filled the void of girly-romance I was desperately in need of.

Witches of Eastwick- 4 stars- I didn't rent this; it was on TV a while ago and I finally got around to watching it again. I forgot how poorly it has aged. Everything from the opening credits to the camera angles remind me of a made for TV movie. Last year I tried to read the Updike book of which it is based but to no avail. To say it was a difficult read is an understatement- torturous may be a better word. I was so frustrated! I am an excellent reader, always have been. I loved Thackery for goodness sacks, but Updike was my undoing. Any notion I had of tackling Joyce soon was quickly put on the back burner. The performances are great, of course. Cher (where has she been?) is amazing as is Susan Sarandon. I'm still not sure how I feel about the casting of Jack Nicholson as the suave, handsome object of their desire; but you cannot help but find him mesmerizing. This may be why it works so well for women. What we find attractive is often so much more than physical beauty. You go… boy.

1 comment:

  1. I cried watching Food, Inc. too. No matter how much I learn and know about the industry, I still get so upset when those images cross the screen. Every step toward more responsible, sustainable eating is huge...which is all the more reason I'm super psyched about your new blog venture!!