Friday, January 23, 2009

Family outing

I sat behind a family on the Light Rail the other night on their way home from the movies. The parents were probably in their mid- to late-30s and their two boys appeared to be around 11 and 9. The younger boy cried (and/or fake cried) throughout the trip from the Newport Mall in Jersey City to Bayonne. The parents ignored him for the most part, but occasionally the father alternately threatened to punch him in the face if he didn't stop crying and tried to cheer him up with silly quotes from the movie they had just seen. And what movie was that? Notorious, of course, the recent biopic about the life and early death of the rapper Notorious B. I. G. (aka Biggie Smalls). It should also be noted that the younger son was wearing a hooded Scarface parka (for some strange reason that horrible Al Pacino movie continues to be a major influence in hip hop circles) and that the older son tried to impress his father by telling him how his teacher had to break out the Febreze when he let one rip in class. Overall, a heartwarming scene that reminded me of the first movie my parents ever took my brothers and sister and I to: Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (a pretty good title for a hip hop song, now that I think about it). It also reminded me of the first R-rated movie I got a parent to accompany me to: the original The Longest Yard (I talked my father into taking me at 13 and sat secretly praying that Bernadette Peters' tits wouldn't come out even as I secretly yearned to see them--I knew the outing was a success when my father laughed during the "I think I broke his fucking neck!" scene).

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Growin' up

My older brother has recently undertaken the monumental task of converting our family photo albums to digital files. Share with me then, the embarrassment of growing up in the 60s and 70s. The bad hair, the outrageous clothes, there's something to amuse just about everyone here (I'm particularly fond of the black and white shot of my bleary-eyed father and my brothers and sister and I in front of a comically small television and what looks like Grandma's rocker from The Grapes of Wrath).

Saturday, January 03, 2009

The Wrestler

I went to see The Wrestler this week. Although it veered dangerously close to cliche throughout (washed-up athlete makes a comeback, stripper with a heart of gold, daughter with Daddy issues), I still enjoyed it. The scenes in the supermarket were particularly moving for me because they were shot in my supermarket (I even recognized one of the deli ladies in one scene). The only downside is that I may never be able to buy cold cuts or cereal again after having been traumatized by this movie.

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