Sunday!

So we watched Angry Birds last night and I walked away from the movie feeling vaguely confused.

It was exceptionally *INTERESTING*, as movies go. I mean, it has some subtle takeaway lessons for conversations with the kids. The main character (Red), for example, was bullied as a child and grew up to be a friendless jerk. That’s pretty heavy! “Be nice to your schoolmates lest they grow up damaged.”

But that means that the first half hour of the movie is spent with us following around a main character who is fairly unpleasant. Not “Gruff Grump With Heart Of Gold”, unpleasant either, but, like, actually unpleasant. You feel *SORRY* for him, but you never get around to actually liking him. Much of the humor comes from him living in a society that is exceptionally pleasant where everyone is nice to each other and he’s the only guy running around being a jerk to people. Which is one of those kinds of humor where a little goes a long way.

Well, luckily, right when you’re thinking “why did I want to watch this?”, the movie picks up. The pigs show up to this exceptionally pleasant society and this starts a funny chain of events where stuff like The Slingshot is introduced, our main characters go on a quest to find Mighty Eagle, and the eggs get kidnapped by the pigs.

And once *THAT* happens, we get to see a live-action version of that iPhone game you loved so much back in 2009. Birds being thrown via slingshot at the pigs’ village, trying to get into the castle, to unkidnap the eggs.

All in all, I could easily see an 8 year old finding the movie really fun and funny with enjoyable supporting characters, even if the main character is unlikable.

It’s just the grownups also watching the movie who will have their eyes widen and ask “HOW IN THE HECK COULD THIS MOVIE HAVE POSSIBLY BEEN GREENLIT?!?” once they see the various themes regarding immigration, high trust societies, and conflict resolution. I mean, it *AIN’T* a kids’s movie. Even though it presents identically to one.

Rent it, if you’re inclined. But make sure that the kids have already gone to bed.

(And if you’d be fine with merely watching the best scene in the movie, you can just watch this and know that the rest of the movie isn’t as good as this.)

The Angry Birds movie Chuck Slow Motion scene

So… what are you reading and/or watching?


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Jaybird is Birdmojo on Xbox Live and Jaybirdmojo on Playstation's network. He's been playing consoles since the Atari 2600 and it was Zork that taught him how to touch-type. If you've got a song for Wednesday, a commercial for Saturday, a recommendation for Tuesday, an essay for Monday, or, heck, just a handful a questions, fire off an email to AskJaybird-at-gmail.com

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28 thoughts on “Sunday!

  1. I watched Ex-Machina this week. I did not like it. The “twists” and “surprises” where very easy to figure out and Oscar Issac’s performance was not up to his usual self. He ended up telegraphing is character too much and that also made the twists and surprises blah. We now seem to be in an age where happy endings would still be seen as too sweet but “twist” endings are getting way too predictable and dull.

    There is a documentary on Netflix called Sour Grapes which is fun for anyone who likes to see the misbehaving rich who think they are sophisticated have their asses handed to them on a platter. The documentary is about a wine forging scandal from the early and mid 2000s and is a view into the world of high priced wine buying and auctions. We are talking rare vintages where people spend thousands if not tens of thousands on a bottle of wine. Burgundies are the usual object of desire.

    The basics of wine forging are this. Do research into a highly sought after bottle of wine, replicate the bottle, the cork, the wax seal, the label (with appropriate aging of course). Then you take a mix of cheaper wines and blend them together to stimulate the taste of the desired wine. It helps if you have tasted the desired wine yourself.

    I would think that most wines become vinegar after a few decades though.

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  2. What if Angry Birds was about colonization and not immigration? What if our current problems with people being terrified of immigration are colonization guilt leading to projection? (whoops, no politics! but you started it.) Granted I slept through most of the movie so your take is probably more perceptive than mine :D.

    What I’ve been doing:

    I spent most of the week reading the letters of Vita Sackville-West to Virginia Woolf (with a few return missives from Woolf to make things more whole) and the letters of Edna St. Vincent Millay to a lot of people (mostly relatives or intimate friends).

    I watched Holes yesterday, it’s charming and reminded me mostly of how much I like the book. Did not demand my full attention.

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    • Well, the pigs showed up, made friends, stole the eggs, went home.

      So it didn’t map 1:1 for either immigration or colonization… but I’m pretty sure it was running with an immigration thing anyway.

      Anybody else here see it?

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      • Regardless whether the movie was about immigration or colonization, I thought the execution was rather ham-handed (oh yes he did!). CLEARLY, the movie was about American foreign policy and our time-honored practice of moving into a region, making friends with the natives, and then exploiting them for their natural resources before clearing out and leaving a mess in our wake.

        I liked Red from the start. I identified with Red and his anger management issues and saw a fellow traveller in Red’s gruff, sour, sarcastic, unpleasant demeanor. It seemed like an understandable, though not entirely mature nor constructive, response to a society that insisted he pretend to be happy while enduring torment at the prehensile wings of his fellow birds. Heck, I’d have moved to the beach, too! I’m probably more like Red at work than I should admit publicly.

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  3. Finally watched the Ghostbusters remake last night. So-so overall, but Kate McKinnon’s mildly crazed engineer was wonderful. I’m willing to come out of retirement if I get to write the real-time control software for Dr. Holtzmann’s stuff…

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  4. Saw Dr. Strange on Saturday (wife’s choice, no really). Quick takes:

    1. Is the Marvel universe completely and utterly devoid of philosophical/theological inquiry – or is it just the movies?
    2. “Dark” is doing an awful lot of heavy lifting with regards #1. Of course, “look at the eyes” is probably all we need, right?
    3. I remember when characters other than the main one had backstories and were properly introduced into a narrative. Heck, a parson can’t come to dinner in an Austen novel without a page and a half precis on the status of his vicarage and why he came to be invited. In Dr. Strange the story literally hinges on the mysterious character of the Celt… nothing.
    4. I take it Dr. Strange was an American? He would have been funnier as a Cumberbatchian Brit.
    5. The Dr. Strange Jesus loop was interesting… I assume in the comics he came out of it…changed?
    6. I’d be happy if all the people writing chase scenes were rounded-up, spanked, and sent to bed without supper and royalty checks. (Of course, we’d have to catch them first… argh, foiled already).

    So my serious question is whether the, erm, source material was at least somewhat inquisitive with regards the multiverse, eternity, good and evil… not to mention the characters in the drama? Or are the comics all plot and car-chases too? I was given to believe there was at least *some* thought to these “deeper” issues.

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