Over on MN Dialog, I posted about my Friday night trip to the new Theatres at Mall of America. You can read the full post here.
One thing I neglected to say is that the Jack Nicholson impersonator had the shakes. I don’t think from drinking; I think from age. It was a little disconcerting when he put his arm around me for our picture, which didn’t make it onto the Metromix website.
Also, he had his notes for the movie introduction written in pen on his right hand, and as he shook more and more hands that night, the ink started to fade and he was worried about screwing up. Oops. One of the notes was, “Ridley Scott.” One was “The Departed.” When he went up to make his intro to the film, Body of Lies, he said, “I worked with Leonardo in a little movie you may have heard of called The Departed.” Big yucks all the way around.
Actually, the guy who wrote The Departed also wrote Body of Lies. Well, you can’t always hit one out of the park. Or ten feet.
I admit to being a bit drunkish during the screening, due to the fact that my wine glass was continually replenished during the cocktail party, but Body of Lies is the kind of movie that is enhanced, even made tolerable, by drinking.
I’m tiring of movies in which Middle Easterners are the bad guys. I know, it’s all timely and shit. But also a bit boring. It makes me long for the days of the generic Russian villain with the cold eye and lust for drink. One Middle Easterner is just the same as any other in Hollywood’s view. Unless, as in Body of Lies, that Middle Easterner happens to be a good and pleasant nurse who catches the hero’s eye. Then she has perfect English and sees the errors of her culture from one remove, as if she grew up in Maine.
I’m wondering what history will say about this period in filmmaking and if we will eventually blanche a little when we watch these portrayals of Middle Eastern people forty years on (like the villains in Iron Man), like we do when we watch movies from the 40s, 50s, 60s, 70s portraying Asians as one generic group. Hell, we’re still trying to get a laugh at Asia’s expense. Lest we forget this summer’s The Love Guru.
America’s whole-hearted rejection of that piece of crap warmed my heart a bit.