One measly movie, yet so many reactions!
I spent part of New Year’s Day ensconced in a seat at the AMC theaters in Owings Mills, taking in Quentin Tarantino’s new film “Django Unchained.”
It was either see, Django or “Lincoln,” and I kind of know how the Lincoln story turns out. Not very well for Mr. Lincoln, as I recall.
I went to the 2:00 p.m. show, and at precisely two o’clock— big props to AMC management for punctuality— the trailers started rolling. However, I didn’t see every trailer, which brings me to musing number one:
Balti-morons, is it THAT hard to have your butts in a theater seat BEFORE show time?
At least four different times, I had to stand up and accommodate people arriving after 2:00 p.m. so they could take their seats. That’s annoying enough when it happens only once. After multiple times, it becomes downright infuriating. And it’s RUDE, darn it!
So, my fellow Balti-morons, proper theater-going etiquette requires that you be in a seat BEFORE show time. Would you want someone climbing all over YOU to find a seat?
Once the seemingly endless stream of trailers concluded, viewers finally got to see the movie. What was the very first graphic? (Which I was kind of happy to see, as it promotes literacy.)
“Texas, 1858. Two years before the Civil War.”
This brings me to musing number two:
So the Civil War— or the War Between the States, or the War for Southern Independence, as the deluded guys in the Sons of Confederate Veterans euphemistically call it— started in 1860?
No, it did not. It started in April of 1861 and ended in the same month four years later.
Even Wikipedia managed to get this right. I don’t expect Tarantino, who directed and wrote the film, to be up on historical details. He is what he is, and he’s darned good at it: a writer and director.
However, does that mean the guy can’t find someone to edit his scripts for accuracy, among other things?
This has been a pet peeve of mine for quite a while: the rise of the Internet age has spawned the notion that editors are no longer necessary. We have people that truly believe that since they have a computer in their homes and can plop their no-writing butts down in front of them, that they are, the next H.L. Mencken.
Go to any website on the Internet— especially those started by those who consider themselves “citizen journalists”— and you’ll find writing that is a hot mess.
On at least one website, President Obama was referred to as our “commander and chief.”
Anybody instructed in even fifth grade civics knows that the president of the United States is also the commander IN chief of the armed forces, not the “commander and chief.” I caught this on Google news just after another New York City subway passenger was pushed off a platform to his death: “Man fatally pushed on to subway tracks.”
I’m sure that whatever else the push was, it certainly wasn’t fatal. What was fatal was the man being crushed to death by an oncoming train.
Google later corrected the egregious gaffe, but the entire point to editing is to correct stuff BEFORE it’s posted, not after.
While Tarantino goofed on the year the Civil War started, I have to give him some props for letting his viewers know that French writer Alexandre Dumas, author of “The Three Musketeers,” was black.
Those viewers who had read J.A. Rogers “World’s Greatest Men of Color” already knew that. Those who did not, have now been informed.
I can only hope that members of the Motion Picture Academy of Arts and Sciences— the folks that determine who wins or doesn’t win an Oscar— are informed enough about Samuel L. Jackson’s performance in “Django
Unchained” to give him the award they should have, but didn’t, give him for “Pulp Fiction.”
Jackson stole the show— as he usually does— with his portrayal of Stephen, the house slave obsequiously dedicated to his massa, Calvin Candie. Jackson even managed to outdo Christoph Waltz, who played Django’s partner King Schultz, and that takes some doing.
Academy members have a chance to do the right thing this time. Will they?
We’ll know when Oscar time rolls around.