Five O'Clock Somewhere

Welcome to Five O'Clock Somewhere, where it doesn't matter what time zone you're in; it's five o'clock somewhere. We'll look at rural life, especially as it happens in Rio Arriba County, New Mexico, cats, sailing (particularly Etchells racing yachts), and bits of grammar and Victorian poetry.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Movie Nights

What to do when sailing isn’t exactly practical

With the weather less than pleasant for sailing or even for traveling to the lake, this weekend, we’ve been at home in Albuquerque. It’s the first weekend in a long time that we haven’t gone somewhere else, and it’s been nice.

We have a huge pile of DVDs that we haven’t watched, and so this weekend, we’ve been catching up on them. Friday night, we watched a set of Horatio Hornblower DVDs that my folks had given to Pat for his birthday or Christmas or something or other a couple of years ago.

Saturday, Pat was more interested in reading, but Tadpole and I got in a couple of four-star movies that had been waiting to be viewed.

One of the classes that Tadpole is taking at school is a seminar for gifted students called “Murder and Mayhem.” The instructor is a former assistant medical examiner, and I’m hoping what Tadpole learns will help me as I work on finishing Murder at the Yacht Club. Meanwhile, the class is studying serial killers – each student has been assigned a serial killer to research and write a report about. (Tadpole’s researching Andrei Chikitilo.) He doesn’t think anyone in the class is doing Aileen Wournos, but we decided that watching Monster should count as something resembling homework.

That is one really good movie. It’s emotionally wrenching, because the viewer does get wrapped up in Wournos’ story. It’s like that nightmare where you’re running to get away from something, but the faster you run, the slower you go, until you’re going backwards. How she kills, and why she kills, and how that all gets further and further out of control … it’s a giant whirlpool sucking her in.

The other movie Tadpole and I watched was The Aviator. Tadpole didn’t even know about who Howard Hughes was before watching the movie, even though his college fund includes some Baker-Hughes stock. He hadn’t been through the 1970s brouhaha involving Hughes quarantining himself on a floor of a Las Vegas hotel that he bought, and then the ensuing craziness over false biographies and wills after he died.

This was another great movie. It was also another picture of insanity, this time of someone who was brilliant in many ways, as a businessman, movie director/producer, aircraft designer, and persuasive talker – but who was also descending into the depths of serious mental illness. Hughes was a genius, and he also was a playboy who enjoyed the company of beautiful women, but he also earned the loyalty of at least two (Katharine Hepburn and Ava Gardner) who continued to support him even after their romantic relationships ended and the mental illness had taken serious hold of his life. Hughes himself had a couple of final triumphs before finally losing it for good.

We still have a few more un-viewed movies on the shelf. Yes, we like when the weather is good enough that we can sail, but if it isn’t, we do have alternatives: Elizabeth, The Pianist, Spanglish, Gods and Generals, Batman Begins … and up north, at Five O’Clock Somewhere, we have still more.


Blogger Reel Fanatic said...

I was shocked by just how much I liked Monster ... I think what I liked most was that you didn't see any cops until the final capture .. Instead you got a real glimpse of this dangerously sick woman and her companion, and it just really stuck with me for a long time

Sun Jan 21, 04:23:00 AM MST  

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