Because my flat is a bit like a tinderbox at the moment, I've taken myself off to the movies for the last couple of nights. May as well use somebody else's air conditioning and get entertained at the same time.
Have to say, I've been utterly blessed and awe struck by my choice in films - and I've managed to avoid the last of the Twilight films - Breaking Wind II - A Wet End to date.
Thursday night, with the temperature still up in the realms of stupid at 9 pm, I took myself off to see "The Perks of Being a Wallflower". The only other things on at the local cinema was Breaking Wind II and the new Bond film, which I'm seeing with Sam on Monday.
I didn't know much about the film on going in, other than the trailers looked good.
Utterly and pleasantly surprised by this film. The only thing that I can criticise about it was Emma Watson's wavering American accent.
The film caught perfectly what it was like to be an adolescent / young adult in the late eighties and early nineties.
Oh hang on, second small criticism - how can you not know who David Bowie is if you were a teenager of the nineties. EVERYBODY knows the song "Heroes".
Those two small criticisms aside, I was drawn into the three main characters immediately. I think I identified with the misfit in all three of them - not popular, not able to do anything about it, learning to find themselves, struggling with growing up. "The Perks of Being a Wallflower" is also one of the best scripted films I've seen in ages. Wonderfully done, subtle, caring and honest. It helps that the fellow who wriote the book also did the screenplay and directed the film - and I think this has kept his vision pure.
The guy who plays the step-brother is going to be up for great things.
"We are infinite!" Their battle cry.
Yep, they have the era, the angst, the dreadful way we treated out friends, the dreadful ways our friends treated up - the mixed up stuff we thought - and the wonderful mix tapes. I'd forgotton about the mix tapes. I suppose it's mix CDs now. But oh, I'd forgotten what it was like to make a mix tape, complete with the double tape player if you were lucky. And how you treasured your mix tapes. How good was it to get a mix tape. Ah, I'm getting all soppy now. Mix tapes remind me of my old pen friend.
Nostalgic quality, wonderfully and subtly done. Quite a surprise. I wasn't expecting anything as deep as this.
Four choc tops out of five.
Friday night is my traditional movie night - I often take myself off to the films to chill out after a tough week - light, fun films are the go. Last night's choice was "Pitch Perfect".
Very enjoyable, light, but great fun. It was a lot better than I thought it was going to be. It also re-introduced me to "The Breakfast Club" which I downloaded and watched immediately on getting home. The music was cool, and okay, the film isn't going to win any Oscars, but the storyline was strong enough the carry the film along and the music was great. I found myself tapping along to the choirs.
"The Breakfast Club" references were great too. As was Rebel Wilson, who was allowed to keep her Australian accent and just have a ball among all the skinny girls. Taking it's queue from "The Breakfast Club", it did have a bit of a message in that no matter how out of place you may feel, you can get on. (I can't be the only one who had "The Breakfast Club" as their favourite film for years - great, great film)
Perfect Friday Night fodder than you don't have to leave your brain at home - okay, you don't have to think, but it was great fun - which was what was needed.
Three and a half choc tops out of five.
Today, after going to meditation, finding my way for a slow 5 kms at the gym, joining an old friend at the Art Gallery for a coffee and getting a bit more Christmas shopping out of the way, I went to the cinema again. It was in my diary. Getting to a session of "The Sessions" has been out of my grasp for a few weeks, so I made a point of going and seeing it tonight. It was in my diary - I had to go.
First up, the subject seemed a bit daunting. A man in an iron lung wants to lose his virginity. A rabid Catholic, he seeks the guidance of his local priest.
It either sounds like a bad porn film or a sappy tragedy.
It's neither - it's up there with the best films I've seen this year - and along with "The Intouchables". Its unflinching look at disability, pity and hope is miraculous.
The performances by John Hawkes, who spends all of his time either in an iron lung or strapped to a hospital gurney, is incredible - expressing with his face and voice, if he doesn't get nominated for an Oscar, there is something very wrong with the system.
Helen Hunt as the sex surrogate was also excellent, and brave, spending most of her time on screen buck naked. William H Macy as the priest is marvellous too - but when isn't William H Macy not good? He's a favourite of mine.
Sensitive, sweet, strong, the fims not only looks at sexuality and disability, but it blurs boundaries looking at the essence of love. It alos made me think how lucky we are to be born in a time where there is a vaccine for polio.
A moving and terribly honest film. Brutally honest. Funny honest. You don't get that every day.
As the final scenes rolled, sat there sobbing - the last moments before the film ended were some of the most poignant I've seen - like finishing a great book, you just want it to go on.
It's been a few hours since I got home, but I'm still pondering this remarkable film. If you get a chance, see it. Okay, it might not be everybody's cup of tea, but it is truly remarkable.
And I have to go and do some work on myself as to why I've been so affected by this film. Another story for another blog I think.
Five choc tops out of five.
Right, I best be off - things to do, things to think about.
And best of all, I'm trying to do run or walk at least five kilometres a day for the month of December.
I'll be needing my rest.
December 5 kms a day Challenge (1/31)