The Blind Side

the blind side

Is it just me or is Sandra Bullock starting to look like later life Michael Jackson? A quick images search and apparently it’s not just me…

Weird.

Weird.

Anyway apart from the distraction of constantly wondering “is that Sandra or Michael?’, I thought The Blind Side was just a disappointingly bad film. How this ever won Sandra/Michael any awards is beyond me. She puts on an accent? She wears tight clothes? She is a woman of ‘a certain age’ who got an acting gig? She looks like Michael Jackson? And she won the Academy Award for best actress? I’m starting to think I could win one.

The best thing about The Blind Side is that it is a true story. I would have much preferred to watch a doco about the actual family than this overblown melodrama. The main character is not even the main character; wouldn’t it have made sense to tell this from the point of view of the young man whose life was turned around? What do I know about that guy from watching this? Not much, apparently he plays football now.

Some good things, I am Australian therefore know nothing of this “American Football” stuff and I didn’t need to know anything to understand what was going on (good thing). Yes, that’s it.

Here are some bad things, so many stereotypes about the black community in the USA, are they really all dodgy/drug addicted/unemployed/gang members? Not one black person (apart from our footballing hero) was portrayed in a good way (bad thing). Even the man who first took in our footballing hero abandoned him to homelessness (bad thing). On the other hand Sandra/Michael’s family are rich white angels with so much money and love to give and no drugs/dodginess/unemployment. So, The Blind Side, are you telling me that white people are really better than everyone else because their skin is so pale? (bad thing). Seriously, only white people are good in this movie. A few white people are a bit judgemental but none of them are “really” bad apparently because they all have money and jobs and white skin (bad thing).

This could have been done so much better, it is a true story, so, yes, a rich white family took in a young black homeless man and gave him an amazing opportunity to shine (good thing, definitely). But did the screenwriters really have to suggest that there was no other way out, that there were no shining lights in his community to be an example of not being drugged/dodgy/unemployed? That there were very few chances for this young man with his family background and the influences around him is clear but to write-off a whole community as poor, mean and bad is pretty offensive. I get that being part of a poor community does limit chances (bad thing) but the stereotyping of non-whites versus whites in this film is really pathetic (bad thing).

Sandra/Michael is usually a good actress but this film is pretty much a load of tripe. Portraying a rich white family as heroes for using their money for good is boring and how many more times do we need to see white people heroically saving non-white people from poverty? It’s condescending and pretty much just racist (do I need to say it? BAD THING). Anyone can end up in poverty and there are many different reasons not just crack addictions and being a gang member. Not everyone who lives in a ‘bad’ part of town is a loser with no future. Hollywood needs to stop telling us this is so.

I am so disappointed by this film. Sandra/Michael has let me down. I’m off to watch The Heat again so I can at least get a couple of laughs out of her Sandra/Michael face again (good thing).

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Jack Reacher

Is it just me or does Tom seem a bit 'stretched' in this poster? Reaching for Jack Reacher height I think...

Is it just me or does Tom seem a bit ‘stretched’ in this poster? Reaching for Jack Reacher height I think…

So it turns out that Jack Reacher is a genuinely average action vehicle for Tom Cruise. Truth bombs hey! Woah, I would never have guessed.

I have only read one Jack Reacher novel and I liked it. It was action heavy and dialogue low, unlike Tom Cruise’s Jack Reacher. There were bits where I actually felt embarrassed for Tom and whatever woman was standing near him (seriously she’s there but so not an important character when you really get down to it) when he had to say everything that Jack Reacher was thinking and that most people would never have to say out loud. The good thing about the book was that you know what JR is thinking. (No-one shot JR by the way – though that could have been interesting although as I’m sure this is about to become a franchise it seems unlikely.) In the film we have to hear everything he’s thinking – oh, so tedious.

I think that the screenplay writer probably could have left a lot out and we (the great movie watching public) probably could’ve worked out what was going on. (How stoopid do they think we are? Don’t answer that – I know!)

Still we did get some classic Tom action moments. A glorious car chase, a never ending shoot out (which did actually end but it felt like it went on for ever!) but because I had been so distracted by my embarrassment for Tom having to say all the words ever in the universe I just didn’t really enjoy the action. I hate that.

In the books JR is really tall and all the ladies like that but Tom is not really tall but all the ladies like him anyway so I suppose that is okay. At least he is the right age. Still, the pretty woman really wanted to go the kissing and that didn’t happen because JR is not supposed to be a floozy going from town to town hooking up with the pretty women, which really was quite a relief. An action film without a gratuitous and useless sex scene – yay! JR is supposed to be the coolest guy ever who goes around from town to town saving the day with his awesome Military Police skills and his height (or his Tom Cruiseness as appropriate).

Here’s something I liked – they didn’t over play the fact that JR never washes his clothes and that he just buys new ones. It’s a quirk of the character (when you’re a town to town roaming non-floozy ex-Military Policy type hero you don’t want no baggage, y’hear?) and considering how much JR talked about everything else he was thinking all the time it was refreshing not to have to hear that explained.

I think I’ll just stick with the books if I need to get to know JR any better.