*The review is in question 8*
I was tagged by LiliWrites a while back, and I finally got around to answering her questions.
1. Who is your favorite person, living or dead?
I’d have to pick my Dad, because he’s the one person who’s always been there for me.
2. Has a piece of art or literature ever changed your life?
Perhaps no one piece has dominated the others, but art collectively teaches by example how art should be made, and it both reflects and informs our values and our ideas of how the world should and does work. Every piece of art, every song, every movie, every YouTube video, every poster, and everything else that requires a creative effort, contributes just a little bit to the zeitgeist that makes us who we are and makes life enjoyable.
3. What song(s) make your hips move? Links!
You wouldn’t want to see it because I’m a terrible dancer. To say my dancing looks like I’m having a seizure doesn't even cover it; I look like a marionette doll whose puppeteer is having a seizure!
But if you must see a song that I think has great energy, here’s one:
4. Do you play a musical instrument? If not, is there one you'd like to play?
I learned a few chords on the guitar and on the keyboard, but I never could play a song that sounded decent. No rhythm, remember?
5. What's the stupidest/silliest thing you've ever done?
There was one day I tried to sleep with my Dad’s Japanese Bobtail in the room with me. The cat curled up on my chest to sleep there. I petted the cat, and he raised up as if to say, “Wait, why is he doing that? I can’t sleep with this distraction.” So, he jumped off of me.
Later, just as I was beginning to nod off, he jumped on top of me, and I jerked awake. He repeated that several times throughout the night, trying to sneak up on me without waking me up so he could sleep on top of me. The next day, the cat and I were both exhausted.
So, the funniest thing I ever did was pet a cat. Perhaps my life isn’t as exciting as I once thought.
6. Do you have a hero?
I’d say people like Albert Einstein, Niels Bohr, James Clerk Maxwell, Nikola Tesla, Srinivasa Ramanujan, and Batman.
7. If your life was a book, what would the title be?
I’d say Least Action Hero, because all of my activism involves writing articles and comments on the Internet.
8. What is the worst movie you've ever seen?
I could list any one of countless obscure B movies here, but I think a more interesting answer would be the most disappointing movie. That movie would be Zero Dark Thirty. You can watch it here on Megashare, if you have two and a half hours to kill.
Before the movie even begins, we’re already off to a bad start with the title. Zero Dark Thirty. Sure, it has a nice ring to it, but what does it tell a potential viewer? That the movie takes place at night? They could have called it “Manhunt Osama” or something, and had a title that actually describes what the movie is.
The worst aspect of the movie is the lifeless lead character Maya, played by Jessica Chastain. She has the cold, indifferent blandness of Bella Swan throughout most of the movie, so when she finally does attempt to show an emotion, it looks unconvincing and out-of-place.
In addition to her dullness, Maya is also an insufferable Mary Sue. The beginning of the movie establishes that she is a newcomer to the CIA, yet she always knows better than everybody else around her. A couple of times she insists on following leads that the other agents say are hopeless, and they chide her for wanting to waste their time with them. Of course she turns out to be right – not because she noticed some clue or had some profound insight that eluded the less clever agents – but because she just knows.
At the end of the movie, after Seal Team 6 returns with the body believed to be Osama’s, the other agents call Maya to confirm that it’s him. Why would she know what he looks like any better than the rest of them? Oh, that’s right. The great Maya knows all.
The crowning eye-roller moment has to be when the team was studying a model of Osama’s house. The secretary of defense asked who Maya was, and she responded, “I’m the motherfucker that found this place. Sir.” Ugh. This forced attempt at moxie from lifeless
Bella Maya is even more cringe-worthy in context, because she’s taking sole credit for a team effort. In fact, in the scene prior, the rest of the team was showing her the satellite view of the house, which they found by tailing the guy Maya suspected of being Osama’s courier. And she found that guy with the help of tips and leads she got from others. Way to dump on your colleagues, Maya.
I’ll close by commenting on the disclaimers in the movie. The following statement appears at the start of the film:
The following motion picture is based on first hand accounts of actual events.
As you might imagine, I became increasingly suspicious as I watched the movie. Then, I saw this disclaimer buried at the very end of the closing credits:
While this story is based on actual events, certain characters, characterizations, incidents, locations, and dialogue were fictionalized or invented for purposes of dramatization. With respect to such fictionalization or invention, any similarity to the name or to the actual character or history of any person, living or dead, or any product or entity or actual incident is entirely for dramatic purpose and not intended to reflect on actual character, history, product, or entity.
So the CIA doesn’t consist of one omniscient, infallible super genius surrounded by buffoons? No shit. I won’t even get into the other gross inaccuracies in this movie, since you can find on the Zero Dark Thirty IMDB page.
The verdict: Given the Mary Sue protagonist and generally bad storytelling, I suspect that director Kathryn Bigelow was more focused on making a feminist statement than making a decent movie about the capture of Osama Bin Laden.
9. What does your morning (or whatever time of day you wake up) routine look like?
It’s nothing too exotic. I eat a lot of protein and carbs, and lift weights on most days. I do put on my pants by sitting down, lifting both feet, and pulling the pants over them simultaneously, just so I can say I don’t put on my pants one leg at a time like everybody else.
10. If you could have a meaningful chat with the leader(s) of your country, what would you say to him/her/them?
I’d push for campaign finance reform, which would be a big step toward ensuring that our politicians work toward our best interests, rather than the interests of the lobbyists with the deepest pockets.