Saturday, July 24, 2010

This Post Rated J for Jim

Jim explaining to Betty once again how movie seats in theaters go up on their own.

Everybody needs a movie friend.

You know, that person who knows a whole lot more than you know about movies, actors, directors, and the movie biz. My go-to movie buddy is Jim. I call him up whenever I have a question or need to have a mini-rant about a movie I have just seen.

Now, Jim is a walking encyclopedia when it comes to films and the details involved, and I am sure he would really enjoy a conversation in which I ask a decent question such as “What are some hallmarks of the movies of Martin Scorsese?” or “How did you interpret the symbolism of the bird in Citizen Kane?” or “Could you please compare and contrast the heroines of the movies of the 40’s and those of today?”

Oh yes, he would love questions like that. Instead he gets questions like this from me: “What’s with all these characters walking in a straight line coming at the camera? Can't directors just give that up already? or “My God, they could have stuck push pins in the face of that lead actress. What’s the deal with her plastic surgery?” or “I got a hideous rash from one of the theater seats. Has that ever happened to you?”

Just the other night I called with a mini-rant on the movie, Cyrus that I had just seen with friends. Now, before we go on, let me just say that if Betty is going to park herself in a seat for two hours and be subjected to people around her munching on popcorn (I swear some of those people have tiny microphones embedded in their molars) then the movie needs to be good. However, being vaguely aware of social norms, I also don’t want to be the complainer of the group and go on and on about how bad a movie was when others in the group seem to like it.

So I went to see Cyrus with some of the same gal pals I had gone to see Girl With the Dragon Tattoo with. Now, I had totally misunderstood what THAT movie was going to be about and had assumed, from the title that it would be similar to The Girl With the Pearl Earring. You know, a type of art restoration film. Well, it wasn’t and after the movie I stood in the lobby wide-eyed and shaken at all the violence in the film. I just wanted to go home, bathe, and take a sleeping medication that would wipe out all traces of the film.

Even though I did not say anything, I think the gal pals all could sense my reaction. (I find that as I age, I am losing control over my facial expressions.) Anyway, after Cyrus, I didn’t want to stand around and nit-pick over the movie with the gals, fearing they would never ask me to go to another movie, so I said my goodbyes and went home and called Jim.

Movie buffs are great, but Jim is the best kind of movie buff. He knows his stuff but will not dispense his stuff unless you ask him to. Dreamy, right? No one wants to take the unwrapped candy from the bowl on the desk of the employee who is a bit too eager to dispense the candy. Jim is not a Candy Bowl. Jim is a Generous Vending Machine. You simply insert your question or questions and he dispenses information and gives his opinion if you ask for it. He is generous, but in a way that fills you up, not out.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I don’t always agree with Mr. Movie. We nearly had a knockdown, drag-out over Knocked Up, but what I love about my movie friend is that he is listens to my ¾ rant ¼ question and then (sometimes after a stunned pause) will discuss the issue with me. Last night I wanted to discuss the sin of dragging out scenes that did not need to be dragged out. I felt insulted about twenty times in Cyrus because I thought the directors were keeping the camera on a scene as if to drill in some sort of point. I wanted to yell, “I’ve got it! Let’s move on, already!”

(Sorry! Did I get off on a little tangent there? I thought I had gotten that out of my system.)

Back to my thesis: I don’t mean to make Jim sound like a one-trick pony. He isn’t. He’s more than just my movie friend. We’ve discussed just about every life issue under the sun and seen each other through some major life transitions. However, it is pretty cool having him as my movie friend, someone I can call to get the story of the making of a movie or a point of view.

On my first attempt to call him the other night, I couldn’t reach Jim and I was antsy. I needed to talk to him about this movie. I had the same reaction I have when I can’t find my glasses. I can make do without them, but I also really love the way they help me to see things. Details come into focus and I just feel more centered, and yes, smarter. I guess in the grand scheme of life, that’s what friends in general do for each other.

(Oh yeah, and I have him on speed dial just in case I am ever on a game show and need to answer an obscure movie question. Helping a friend win a million dollars or a shiny new car is also what a friend does.)

48 comments:

Leanne said...

Oooooo - good post, Betty! I'm always up for movie conversations, and I am always the one asking the questions. I have a "Jim" in my life, although mine is named "Uncle Bill". I saw Uncle Bill a few days after he saw "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" and he only told me one thing, "Leanne - you couldn't handle it. Don't see it."

AH, love those jim's in our life!

Betty said...

Sometimes I think film director´s think we are morons, when they drag out some scenes like that. I totally agree. I have not seen the movies you mentioned, but now I really don´t want to.... :)

Joe Cap said...

We have quite a few bloggers here who do movie reviews, but that is not as good as talking to someone 'live'.
By the way, I am stuck on the pic of you you and Jim...beautiful setting.

Jimmy said...

It feels good to have a close friend like this, he also has an excellent name in my opinion :), I agree with Joe the picture of you two is great.

Pat Tillett said...

Betty, I tried sending this via emial, but my own system kept blocking it as potential spam...grrrrr!

Anyway I found this link on google, her blog is either gone, or closed to all but "invitees."

I sent her a couple of emails, but she didn't answer...

"I just wanted to write a brief post thanking everyone who has taken the time to read what I have written. I so appreciate all your lovely comments...it means more to me than you can know. I have decided t..."

It was titled "You say hello, I say goodbye"

Betty Manousos:cutand-dry.blogspot.com said...

Great review, Betty, I have not seen those movies.
They do not appeal to me.
But I find that picture fantastic!
B xx

Old Kitty said...

I had to google Cyrus as it's not released here yet! I thought I'd find a horror film or at least a thriller!

It's a romcom comedy! But it's upset you!! Oh dear!! I hope you get your friend on the phone soon and see what he has to say about this film!

That's such a good friend to have btw! I always prefer to watch films by myself and preferably in obscure little cinemas during less busy times so I don't have to endure popcorn munching noisy insensitive movie goers! LOL! I get far to engrossed in the film. If I went with someone I tend to be motherhen-ny about them and fret and worry about their comfort and if they are enjoying themselves (I blame my astrological sign- Cancer - very motherly for all the wrong reasons!!).

But having a buddy to ring up asap to discuss the film just watched is something I lack in my life! Oh dear! Maybe I should advertise for one!

Anyway - you look fab in your pic btw!! :-)

Take care
x

Joey @ Big Teeth and Clouds said...

Sounds like a lovely conversation to have. My hubby and I watch the same movies together and then give them either a thumbs up or a thumbs down before moving on to our next rented flick.

Not awe inspiring dialog.

Sarah said...

I haven't seen Cyrus yet, but I read the "The girl..." book so don't want to see the movie. Yes, it was a little violent. Love your minimike in the molar description.

Momma Fargo said...

Great post, Betty! I love the movies, too. And Jims are great to have in our lives. Bravo for Jim!
Isn't it great when we disagree with them...creates a whole intense dialogue where the girls are always right. LOL

Jingle said...

Nice movie talk.
I don't watch movie that much.
Happy Saturday!

sherri said...

Jim sounds awesome, I wish I had a Jim!

sherri said...

Jim sounds awesome, I wish I had a Jim!

Ann said...

I haven't been to a movie in years. Wouldn't it just be easier to take Jim to the movies with you? That way he would be instantly accessible the moment you need to discuss or question anything in the movie.

Bella said...

I'm totally with you - if I'm going to spend a couple hours in the theatre, it had better be good. I love movies, but I like what I like and if no one wants to go with me, I'll go by myself. Your friend Jim sounds like a treasure. :)

Daisy said...

Jim sounds like a really good friend to have around. :-)

Ms. Anthropy said...

I don't go to theaters and haven't for MANY years. I love to watch a select few, but many are not up my alley. Hubby isn't a Jim, by any means. The entire time we watch anything, he is asking questions. Drives me crazy. Thank goodness there is a pause button, or I would miss half of any show, just explaining to him what's going on. It would be nice if HE had a pause button and could wait until the movies are over.

Any kind of crunching drives me up the wall! (ice, tortilla chips, popcorn, fried chicken, candy...)

Michelle Faith said...

"God, they could have stuck push pins in the face of that lead actress" You had me on the floor with that one! You are like the best humor writer in blogger world! Like Dave Berry in lipstick. I want to be more like you Betty, do you teach, and how can I take your class....
I do have a issue...I was on the edge of my seat, leaning into the story...and what. what did Jim say about the movie!!??

Michelle Faith said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mamma has spoken said...

I haven't been to the movies since one of the Harry Potter movies came out. I think it was the second one. IDK, but for some reason, I have a hard time sitting for that long without having my mind wonder, or having to go to the bathroom.
Though I hardly ever watch movies at home either.....

Shan said...

My Mr. Movie guy is Patrick. The thing is, he's also Mr. Politics, and with all the shenanigans of the past 10 years or so that I've known him, his focus has become a bit narrower. Or maybe it's just that I rarely go see movies (Knocked Up may have been the last one, can't recall for sure). So when he asks, "Have you seen... " I'm usually stuck mumbling something about seeing part of a trailer on TV one time.

Joanna Jenkins said...

Is Jim available to discuss "The Kids Are Alright"? I saw that one last night. Sheesh.

Great rant Betty.

xo jj

Stop by, I'm having a new giveaway.

Senorita said...

I tend to avoid theaters, I usually go during the week when they are empty. I can't stand huge crowds, especially when I have to be surrounded by the same one for a couple of hours.

Anyway, Jim sounds awesome. I could definitely use a generous vending machine.

I am not really into Hollywood films. I am more into foreign films. I wonder what Jim thinks of those.

Lourie said...

I had a friend who I went to movies with all the time. He would do reviews of every movie he saw and compile them at Oscar time along with his "picks" of who should win and who would win. We lost contact about 12 years ago. I miss him.

Julie said...

Betty, you always make me laugh.

Jim sounds like a great friend to have!! A real asset to BB!!

And a little side note on the Girl With the Dragon Tatoo...I have not seen it. However, I've heard so much about it (not details..just the name). So while at Costco the other day I purchased the book. I got home..opened the book to somewhere in the middle, and proceeded to read a line that was so violent and disgusting that I quickly closed the book, washed out my eyes with vysine and returned the un-read book on my next Costco visit! ha ha So, I hear ya on that one!! I guess I won't rent the movie!

slommler said...

I have a friend like this...my DIL!!! We discuss movies and books and she is great! We always do reviews and we don't always agree but the conversations are lively (kind) and interesting. We would be great directors!! Seriously!! Ha!
Hope Jim calls you soon!!
Hugs
SueAnn

Powdered Toast Man said...

I am my own movie friend. If I need something answered I ask myself and I answer quite quickly.

Haven't seen you in my neck of the woods in awhile.

Talli Roland said...

My husband is my resident film fanaatic. Given that he's a film director, it makes sense! It's good except when I have to listen to endless analysis of film techniques etc... :)

sarahjayne smythe said...

Great post about a great friend. We should all be so lucky to have a Jim in our lives. :)

Madi and Mom said...

Hi BB
we're sorry we missed you yesterday...my typist was away...now she is on restriction.
Great post very interesting.
Mr. Jim sounds very informed.
Madi only

Georgina Dollface said...

I'm the same way about long drawn out scenes, especially battle scenes from the LOTR franchise. Just cut the scene and tell me who wins. I get that it was barbaric and bloody and blah, blah, blah, just skip it and tell me how it ends. But I'll admit that these fight scenes are a good time to go to the bathroom, because you can leave and come back and they're still fighting - so you don't really miss anything. - G

Baby Sister said...

I guess you could consider me the Jim of those around me. It's so much fun! I'm glad you have one in your life. And I'm even more glad you have him on speed dial! That is a definite necessity for when you are going to win a million dollars! And then you can share with me. :D

Bethany @ Organic Enchilada said...

The only thing I want intellectual help with when it comes to movies is the question, "What else has that guy/chick been in?" Cause I hate it when I can't place somebody. I lose sleep. And for some freakish reason, my husband does not know the names of any movie stars, but when shown a picture of one, he could tell you every movie or tv show they've ever been in. Comes in handy.

But you're right - we all need a Jim, for whatever purpose.

Hilary said...

Everyone should have a movie Jim, or a music man.. or a literature woman. Great post.

Writing Without Periods! said...

I want a movie jim. I usually go alone. Does anyone else do this: buy popcorn, drink and sneak a candy bar in (I have to I'm diabetic and only eat sugar free ones). Then I eat all of it before the previews are finished and think maybe my stomach might explode.
Mary

Pearl said...

I, too, want a movie jim!

Ah, well, Christmas is coming, isn't it?!

Went to see the second Sex in The City movie with a pack of girlfriends and sat through it in stunned horror. While all my friends seemed to enjoy it, all I could think about was how much money it had cost me to see such a stinker.

Still shaking my head on that one...

Pearl

notesfromnadir said...

Jim sounds like the best kind of person to see a movie w/. You're so lucky to have some1 like that.

blueviolet said...

I want a Jim. I'll settle for borrowing yours though.

I much prefer the kind of movie commentary you give than learning about plots or anything of the sort.

Ann Best said...

You are a wonderful writer. I love your witty and lively style. I loved reading this post. I also love movies, but I don't see many of the current ones. There aren't many I've read about that I've been compelled to see. Too much violence in so many of them. But how fun to have such a great friend with whom you can discuss movies. I have my friend my son, who's has a B.S. degree in film (though he's not working in the industry). Like your friend, he sees the nuances, the metaphors, the symbolism, and I love discussing movies with him, the good and the bad.

Joann Mannix said...

I have not seen this movie, Betty, but it sounds like we're on the same playing field when ti comes to certain movies.

It is good to have a Jim in your life. I have one, too. He is our newspaper's movie critic and he can wax poetic and explain things to me in a patient elementary way and he doesn't mind when I say, "I still don't get it."
My Jim is Bob.

And I hate the movie talkers. I just want to throttle those rude folks during a movie.

June said...

I have a movie friend too.
Good thing because otherwise I would never hear of or about any movie. I think the last one I saw (with my MF) was Marley & Me. We left quickly when it was over, in a hurry to get home to our furkids, so no analysis of that one.

Marlene said...

I used to have a movie friend, too....until I found out that he just wanted to sit in the dark with me!

The Empress said...

oh, you are at your best with this kind of post... I loved "take some sleep medication when I got home.

too dang funny.

Yeah, I love someone that can talk movie...maybe you can start a movie post once in awhile and say, "this week let's go see xxxx and link back next week at this time and whatddya think?"

I'd like that very much, thank you, as I don't have a Jim.

DrSoosie said...

As I have aged Betty I find my movie tastes to be very picky and particular just to me. What I mean to say is often times I am finding what someone else finds 'wonderful" I often find predictable drivel...but that is just me. I have decided not to listen to critics, friends or even children and just take my chances. I guess I am getting stodgy in that way....

Susan Fields said...

You've left me laughing again, Betty! Jim sounds like a great friend - a generous vending machine rather than a candy bowl - I love it!

Pat said...

Wow - you said an awful lot of good stuff here. First of all, I HEAR you on the popcorn scene. My ears are very sensitive and I can't stand to hear people chomp on their popcorn.

Secondly, I want a friend like Jim. Or can you just give me his phone number. I finally just watched Seven Pounds and I have a big question mark over my head!

I heard that the movie, "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" was all subtitles. Was it hard to keep up with the movie, or you pretty much understood the sounds of violence? Ha!

Geof said...

Cyrus sent off warning signs to me immediately after I saw the first trailer. Jonah Hill seemed like a great creeper, but something told me that this film's comedy might be too offbeat for me. I HATE when jokes keep getting nailed home over and over again to the point that it loses impact.

And I totally understand about having a movie buddy. And thanks to this wonderful bloggerpshere, I finally have people to talk about films I am into.

Mellisa Rock said...

Everyone needs a friend like Jim!! I love that bit about the candy bowl!