Thursday, March 24, 2011

Paul (a movie review), the Word "Sklent," and Roses

Greetings, Evildoers.
I am upset.

As some of you probably know (though many of you probably don't) Simon Pegg and Nick Frost came out with another movie, Paul. It is not a part of the acclaimed "Blood and Cornetto Trilogy." And that, my friends, is the best thing about it: It is not a part of one of my favorite movie series.

Here's a brief synopsis (stolen from a very helpful site):

Two English sci-fi fans (Simon Pegg and Nick Frost) make a pilgrimage to Comic Con and Nevada's Area 51, where they unexpectedly meet one of the legendary "grays," a real extraterrestrial (voiced by Seth Rogen). They agree to a road trip to help the alien escape to a desert meeting place, where his people will take him home, while being obstructed by an FBI Agent (Jason Bateman), Christians, the American government, and assorted others. Also with Kristen Wiig, Bill Hader, John Lynch, Jane Lynch, Sigourney Weaver and Blythe Danner. Directed by Greg Mottola.

The story is old fashioned, I think we've all seen one version or another of new friends helping someone fight for their dreams. It was simple, yes, but had so much potential. They just didn't use it right. The story, overall, was 5/10 stars.

However... the rest of the movie brings that number WAY down.

Let me begin by saying that Paul has moderately clever moments at best, and quite a few funny sci-fi references. But my praise must end there. Most of it wasn't funny. Most of the jokes were either sex jokes (not even funny sex jokes, but just people saying "f***" and grabbing people etc.) and what wasn't a sex joke seemed to be an overtly blatant attack on Christianity.

I'm used to subtle attacks on Christianity, and the portrayal of Christians as crazy. Paul took it a couple (several) steps further. The Christians were six-day creationists, 4,000 year old Earth type. They believe the alien, Paul, is a demon. Paul tells them that his very existence disproves all Judeo-Christian beliefs. What's his big argument? "Evolution, Baby!" They never even stop to think about the fact that evolution and Christianity are not in conflict. One's a scientific theory about how species develop over time, and the other is a belief in a creator. But that's not my beef. I worry about that too much.

What annoyed me was when Paul did a mind-meld with the Christian girl and gave her knowledge and "freed" her from the bondage of Christianity. What did she decide to do with this newfound "freedom"? She decided to "do a lot of [swearing] kissing and fornicating." Some freedom. :P

It wasn't just that the writer's were obviously anti-Christian; it was that the entire movie seemed to be an attempt to make all Christians and Christiantiy seem like crazy, controlling, oppressive and stupid farmers who, although they won't swear, have no problem killing people. o.O That's not the Christianity I know, but that seemed to be the theme of the movie.

At the end when Paul was talking to the Christian girl he said "Sorry I scared you," and she answers, "You didn't scare me, you freed me."

Okay, I know what some of you are probably thinking. "Rafe's OCD and is probably overracting." I questioned myself on that too, and if it were only I that felt this way, I would wonder. However, my sister went to see it with me, and agreed that at some points it crossed the line into blasphemy. In fact it was she who prompted me to write a review.
But what really made me mad was that it was largely unfunny. They mocked Christians at every turn, but they couldn't even do it cleverly. It was, in my mind, a waste of money.

I give it 2/10 stars.

For those of you who are going to ignore my advice and see it anyway, just be warned it is totally not a kids show. Besides the anti-Christian message, it is also full of swearing, and sex jokes, and grabbing people. (They meant that to be funny, but it was mostly just gross.)

Sklent and Roses

However... now to be funny. :)

I'm hoping that from the title you were able to guess that "sklent" is a word. According to the Official Scrabble Dictionary "sklent" means the same thing as "slant." Perhaps this is a common word in your world and you're going "Don't you ever sklent your art to send messages of pain, fear and remorse?" (Which, by the by, I do.) On the other hand, if you're like me, you've never heard the word before and wonder why (WHY???) you've never heard it before... I can't answer that. That, my eager, young pupil, is something you must discover for yourself.

But, next time you're in someone's house and they have a picture hung crooked, tell them their photographs are at a great sklent. See how they react.

In related news, I was playing Scrabble, and had the great fortune to play a 76 point word. If you're not into Scrabble you'll probably say "oh," however, if you, like me, are a word guru, you will know that 76 point words are a bit of a rarity. I've scored higher before, but only on the internet with a dictionary (which is technically illegal, even though it was built into that particular computer game.) So the dictionary was illegal, but I wasn't cheating since it was built into the game... unrelated. Totally without cheating, I score 76 points... on the first word of the game. I AM the word guru.

As I wasn't saying...

I have a secret.

I was never big into roses.

I've never gotten much from them.

They seem too much like overused, pompous, self-centered flowers with delusions of grandeur that think they can capture a woman's heart with their mere presence! Buying a woman a rose (or eleven roses and one counterfeit rose) is so clichéd that it literally takes LESS THAN no effort or creativity. However, women seem to like overused, pompous, self-centered clichés, so, by all means, get your girlfriend a rose! Get her a dozen roses! A dozen lovely smelling roses!

Not that I've ever gotten much scent from roses.

I really haven't.

Granted I've haven't shoved my nostrils cheek-deep into the fumiest of rosebuds and whiffed like there was no tomorrow, but I have "stopped to smell the roses." It was fairly close to odorless. Perhaps there's something wrong with my nose, (in the smelling department not the size and/or shape department) or perhaps there was something wrong with that flower, (mutant roses?) but perhaps the analogy just sucks.

What does it really mean to "stop and smell the roses"? The literalist in me wants to describe keeling down on a muddy path and sniffing flowers of the genus Rosa. The metaphorist (not a real word) in me wants to say that it means we should take time out of our busy schedules to appreciate life, beauty, and... well... roses.

But I was never big into roses.

Besides, sometimes we need more than a snort of rose-scented, pompous, clichéd pollen. (Sometimes we're literally sick of pollen.) Sometimes we need to take a break from our completely whacked-out, crazy-ass routines and do something totally uncalled-for!!! …or at least something spontaneous and strange. Something akin to going to the local overpass and taking a gander at the work of our modern-day Michaelangelos.

So next time you're feeling stressed, depressed, overworked or borderline schizophrenic, I want you to do yourself a favor and stop…

Stop and read the graffiti.

No comments:

Post a Comment