27 July 2012

Enjoying, but Maybe Over-analyzing?

So, this has been a banner month for me in many respects. Today marks the release of my second book this month, Stone-Hard Passion, book two in the Unveiled Seductions series. Book one, Fleeing Fate, came out at the beginning of July, and I’m really stoked!

It was also a banner month for me in relation to movies…I watched TWO! Yeah, okay, all the movie buffs that just read that probably fainted in horror, but for someone like me, who rarely watches movies, it’s a lot!

My husband finally got me to sit down with him and watch The Avengers. I enjoyed it thoroughly, all except the preamble, which consisted of my husband feeling that he had to explain every character to me. I shut him up by reminding him I grew up with an older brother, who was a fan of comics. I also reminded him that although I don’t watch a bunch of movies, I like to keep up-to-date on pop culture…who the heck doesn’t know who Iron Man, Thor, Nick Fury and the like are? And being a mythology buff, I probably had a better handle than most people on Loki’s possible character and issues.

One of the things that struck me when I was watching The Avengers was just how far special effects have come. Not that the effects overshadowed the movie. Instead they made the movie possible. Without them it would have been a cheesy rehash of one of the old comics rather than a believable altered-reality experience.

The other movie I saw was Magic Mike and, again, I enjoyed it thoroughly and more than just for that glimpse of Channing Tatum’s backside *blink, blink*. In fact, I was pleasantly surprised by the fact that it actually had a plot, the hero had a well-defined arc and the heroine stuck to her guns until the end. That last point, in particular, was a pleasant surprise. She disapproves of Mike’s lifestyle and the road he’s put her brother on, and she doesn’t allow the attraction she feels to make her lose sight of those facts.

To me the movie was truly made by the contrasts in the characters. Matthew McConaughey’s Dallas is the wheeler-dealer who never got out, and doesn’t want to. He knows this world, loves it, and believes it will make him rich. Channing Tatum’s character dreams of getting out. The stripping world has been good to him but it’s ultimately unfulfilling and he knows it can’t last. He also realizes it pigeon-holes him in the eyes of the world, and is smart enough to know that won’t change with time. Alex Pettyfer’s character is just getting in and he’s dazzled by the money, sex and drugs. The Kid gives us an all-too-familiar look at a life derailed by selfishness and a sense of entitlement. By the end I wanted to smack/throttle him, which was probably the writer’s intent.

There’s one thing I noticed, didn’t care for and was left wondering if anyone else did. While we all know the world depicted in the movie isn’t all bunnies and roses but a gritty, often dangerous place, there was, to me, a sly almost snide indictment of stripping and those who strip. I thought that aspect of it was overdone, but perhaps I’m being over-sensitive. I’ve never been a stripper (and I’m sure the public is suitably grateful for that fact!) but I know all kinds of people do all kinds of jobs to get by in life. As a slice-of-life vignette Magic Mike was unbalanced in favor of society’s often hypocritical condemnation of those involved in anything remotely sexual in nature. As an erotic romance writer, I find it rather offensive but maybe I’m over-analyzing. It would be interesting to hear if anyone else felt the same way!
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