Life After 9/11: The Avengers

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Living in a post-9/11 world, I view the world through a different lens. This past weekend I finally had a chance to sit down and watch The Avengers with my wife. As the movie raced towards its world-ending conclusion, with a portal opening above New York City, I found myself drawn out of the movie’s fantasy and into reality.

Helpless bystanders were running through the city streets, trying to evade the destruction going on around them. New York City was in havoc.  As taxi cabs were blasted through the air and skyscrapers were torn asunder, I became uncomfortable. I remembered scenes of people fleeing the dust cloud on 9/11; I remembered the repeated video footage of the planes that flew into the twin towers.

I don’t think I’ve ever realized just how much my perception of life has changed since 9/11. Even the movies that I used to think were fun, big budget action films, are tainted in messy reality.

Side Note: With all of the above being said, did anyone else notice that despite the falling debris from the skyscrapers, there was no dust in the air? The end scenes from The Avengers would have been almost unviewable had reality ruled. Hurray for viewable fantasy!

Super 8

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While my wife was busy prepping for school last night, I watched J.J. Abram’s Super 8 for the first time. I had a blast!

Behold, the lens flare of doom!

While the movie clearly felt like an older Steven Spielberg movie, the pacing and visuals easily surpassed his earlier works. I have to say that I enjoyed the clever camera shots that hid the “monster” until the appropriate time. I also loved the overarching theme of kids making a movie. Reminded me of all the films I tried to make as a kid with my friends.

I would have been the chunky kid…that eventually thinned out with time. 🙂

There was one particular scene, in the movie, that got to me a bit. Reminded me of how awesome it is to have home movies, especially of those that we love that have passed away.

This past June, on a vacation to see my parents in Southern California, my wife and I happened to spend an evening watching old home videos. In the videos, I saw grandparents who are long deceased moving, talking, and acting with all their memorable mannerisms. It made me cry.

Watching Super 8 reminded me of that night with my wife. Strip away the monster plot and Super 8 is all about a father and son living in the emotional aftermath of losing a wife/mother. What I most enjoyed about the film is that it focused on its simple human story, even when the town was being blown a part by the cliched “evil” military. Movies that are bold enough to be quiet and thoughtful are a rarity. Regardless of what critics or what you might even think, I enjoyed my night with Super 8 on Netflix.