Gun Shy

This is a movie review I’ve been wanting to write for some time, and it’s actually the movie I had in mind when I even thought of adding a review section to my blog.

Here’s the backstory as to how I found it: We had only recently gotten cable and my father and I were sitting on the couch flipping through the now abundant plethora of channels. We flipped to this movie just as it was starting and it caught our attention right away.

We went into it not knowing what to expect, the description given seemed to call it a dark, gritty, suspenseful…romantic comedy and frankly that’s a little hard to imagine.

It starts with a man on an airplane, who is visibly uncomfortable. The man across the isle from him asks him if he’s afraid of flying and the man just replies saying it is his work that is stressful. Well, it turns out the man across the isle is a psychiatrist and he gives the other man his card. We quickly learn that the main character is an undercover CIA agent tasked with getting inside the mafia and taking them down. He meets with the psychiatrist and starts taking group sessions where the rest of the group is just normal people, all talking about stress in their workplace.

It’s a hilarious and sick clash between the drama of an office environment with that of drug dealing. The movie is all about perspective. We end up seeing the story from one of the top people in the US mob’s point of view to the Columbian brothers who are trying to impress their father—both of whom are reporting to their fathers and hate their jobs. We see the story from our main character, the undercover CIA agent, and we see the story from his friends in the group therapy group—both of whom are reporting to higher-ups and hate their jobs.

I found it enlightening to realize that we all deal with stress and that sometimes the people who seem to be so cool with it all are the people who are stressed out the most. But what I found to be most amazing of all is how it does these things, it both takes a funny approach, almost goofy really, and it also has some pretty serious notes.

All in all, I highly recommend this movie to everyone and it’s one of those films that I go back to when I’m down and watch to make myself feel better.

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Elizabethtown

So I was reading another blog, and the author had listed a quote in her bio that caught my eye. The quote was “I’m impossible to forget, but hard to remember” and when I looked it up I found it was from the movie Elizabethtown. I also saw some other interesting quotes from it and thought to myself You know, this seems like a movie I’d like to see. So I checked and sure enough it was on Netflix’s Watch Instantly so I sat down and started it.

I’ll give you a brief backstory as to why I thought this movie would interest me. My grandfather just passed away and we (my father, mother, and I) just got back from California yesterday. Now my family is quite complicated. My grandfather divorced my grandmother and remarried to a Greek woman, the family kind of split in two. To make this story shorter, my father moved out east and the rest of the family stayed in two different parts of California. So, with that would of the way, the plot for Elizabethtown is this: a young businessman flies to Kentucky for his father’s funeral where he sees the other half of his family (he lived on the West Coast with his mother and sister).

That right there was enough for me to want to see it, but I saw that it was also listed as a comedy and I needed a laugh. It was filled with a lot of dark humor, a lot of jokes about suicide and death, but it was equally filled with hope and life. The movie touched on the absurdity of how things are, and how people interact and cope with loss.

I felt like this movie helped offer closure for the funeral I just attended. It laughed at the ridiculous that my father and I also found ridiculous. It explored the tension among the family in a manner similar to what happened on our trip. The road trip from San Francisco down to Morro Bay, a five hour drive through scenic California was mirrored perfectly by the road trip across the country in this movies conclusion. Throughout the first 3/4th of the movie, I felt sad even though I was laughing at parts and enjoying it, but as it neared to an end joy overpowered sadness and I ended the movie feeling truly refreshed.

All in all, I feel that this movie ended the fiasco my father so truthfully called “My Big Fat Greek Funeral.”