A Few Mini-Movie Reviews (Avec Tangents)

– Just watched “The Reader” and after a slow start, it turned out to be quite an enjoyable film.  Plus I don't think it's a spoiler to mention that a helpful prison librarian plays a small part in the movie near the end – always a bonus to see librarians in films and a double-bonus to see them in non-stereotypical roles. 

– Shea and I also watched a documentary called “This Film Is Not Yet Rated” which was awesome!   I'm not sure where my interest in censorship/freedom of expression issues began but suspect it probably came from a couple different places.  The biggest was the realization early on that any book that was supposed to be “bad for you” actually probably had something in it that was, well, if not “good for you” at least, that was going to show you something you probably wouldn't get anywhere else – sex, violence, drugs – whatever.  The other big memory is going into the library when I started high school (our high school went from grade 7-12) and seeing they had a copy of “Mein Kampf”. At the time, I was like “holy shit – they have THAT book here?”  Of course, I immediately checked it out, expecting (and it's sort of shameful to admit this now) that it would be like some weird army instruction manual written by an over-the-top cartoony super villain.  Of course, you start reading it and it turns out to be the rather mundane ramblings of what sounds like a mid-level bureaucrat – at least for the first few pages (perhaps the Lex Luthor stuff comes later?)  I returned the book, partly relieved and partly disappointed that the book wasn't what I expected.  But at the same time, I learned the incredibly valuable lesson firsthand about how important it was for me to have access to that book and to make that decision for myself instead of having someone else – whether it was a teacher, a member of the clergy, a civic leader, or even a librarian – to make that choice for me. 

– finally, we also watched “The Wrestler” last weekend and I was about as pumped for this movie as anything that's come out since probably Batman last summer.  Unfortunately, that created a situation where I allowed the movie to become this perfect creation in my mind and there was no way that it could live up to what I expected it to be.  It's too bad that it wasn't the opposite experience – that I'd heard little about the film and happened upon it in the local art house cinema or something.  I think that would've had a big impact on how I reacted to the movie.  I've done that before in both ways – to use two movies from the 80's as examples, I remember hearing amazing things about “Crocodile Dundee” of all things but by the time it got the theatre in my small town, it turned out to be a pretty funny comedy but not the funniest movie of all-time that I'd built it up to be in my mind.  On the other end of the spectrum, I went to see “Dirty Dancing” when it also came to our small town theatre and honestly, I can't even remember why I went – this definitely wasn't the type of movie I usually attended.  But, going in without knowing a lot about the plot or the actors or anything, meant that it turned out to be one of the most enjoyable movie going experiences, probably of my entire life.  And I still can't turn the channel when that movie comes on late-night TV! 

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