Why Not Relax With a Little Solitaire…

Why Not Relax With A Little Solitaire??
Yesterday was my last day off. Later this morning I must haul my weary (it’s been sitting for days in a lazee boy easy chair, fully reclined!), butt to Little Mysteries and sit in a chair for the rest of the day, sipping coffee and reading a good paperback and working on whatever manuscript I bring with me, waiting on clients. It’s a hard life, if you don’t weaken.

But let me tell you about my last night of leisure.

I’d had to go out and shovel the sidewalk from our door, so that we could make our way through the snow to buy bread and cat litter. Ah the necessities.

So I was tired and decided to rent a couple of movies. I settled on OPEN WATER and the remake of THE MANCHURIAN CANDIDATE.

We watched OPEN WATER first, since I knew I would likely doze. I’d seen this movie at the theatre and had enjoyed it. I enjoyed it again, although I slept through the build-up. The trick to enjoying a movie like this is total immersion. (no surprise there, eh?). You have to watch it in a dark room, without any distractions. Forget about conversation, and passing traffic. You want to immerse yourself into the television screen. You want to feel yourself out there in the water, with those divers. Then, when the first shark flashes it’s scimitared dorsal fin, you’re going to jump, baby. I’m talking 9-1-1 we have a cardiac situation, code blue, all the way, lips and veins and puckered out corpuscles. This movie made me sweat and jump and clap my hands and damn near cry. (I’m too tough for tears, I tell you true). My wife sat and gasped along side of me. She hadn’t seen OPEN WATER yet. It’s a great movie, but you want to watch it in perfect silence. Don’t invite a friend, unless that friend is mute.

And even then, cut off their hands to eliminate that annoying sign language.

The second movie we watched was THE MANCHURIAN CANDIDATE. I own and love the original, on DVD. Such a dark tight razor slice of a movie.

The new version sucks. Not in a good way. Not like oral sex or major-goth-vampire-chicks. This movie sucked out loud.

Too much talk. Too much dialogue. Too much wandering of plotline. Some Alzheimer’s patient saw the original movie and decided to recreate it from memory. Wandering plotline. You never really figured out what was going on, no matter how many lines the scriptwriter forcefed into actor’s mouths to explain the situation. Overly long and telegraphed at a snail’s pace, I don’t recommend this movie. Unless you hate someone and want to bore them to death.

Where was the solitaire? That’s the line I remember most. Those cards, over and over. Frank Sinatra waving those cards. Instead, the “hypnotic cue” was the victim’s name. How lame is that?

Denzel did a fine job, and the movie might have worked if they’d kept the viewer a little more in the dark and left him cast as the mad lone gunman. Just unknotted the plot like a slow running colon on an IV drip of bran and prune juice. Glenn Close made an okay power-bitch, but they pulled their punches recreating the famous “kiss”. She should have gone down, or up. Angela Lansbury did it best, and she’s a scary lady.

So, one good and one bad. If I was ambidextrous I could flash my thumbs in both directions, but instead let me tell you this. Vote Yes for OPEN WATER, and impeach THE MANCHURIAN CANDIDATE.

Yours in horror,

Steve Vernon


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