Tuesday, April 03, 2007

The Last Mimzy

Quote of the day: “Just because I have a short attention span doesn’t mean….”

Song of the day: “Getting Better” by Bob Schneider

State of mind: OK, for now.

Date: 4/3/07

When I was 10 the movie E.T. came out and I begged my mother to take me to see it. She wouldn’t. I don’t remember why. She had no objection to the film, as I recall. I think she just didn’t feel like going. Despite that, I was obsessed with the movie. I read the novelization as soon as I could get my hands on it and actually collected all the baseball cards from the movie. (Can they be called baseball cards if they aren’t of baseball players? Wonder what they would have sold for on Ebay if I still had them? *checking Ebay* Oh. Just about .99 cents plus shipping and handling. Well. That’s disappointing. But ooohhh, I can afford those!) Anyhow, I never saw E.T. on the big screen so maybe that was why when I went to the movies this weekend I decided to forgo my original plans to see either Reign Over Me or The Lookout and saw The Last Mimzy instead. Sure, the movie is for kids but I was a kid once. Still counts. Right? Besides, how could I refuse a movie with the word MIMZY in the title? Just say it. Doesn’t it make you smile? Yes. Yes it does. Don’t lie!
Like usual I got my ticket and settled in about 20 minutes before the film. I can be late for anything except a movie. It’s a thing. A quirk. Me. I did notice that unlike most movies, for a kids flick people do not show up early. I guess they don’t want to sit in a theater with their own kids that are fidgeting and bored because there is nothing on the screen but the slides with random “facts” about Hollywood or ads from the local bagel shop. I can understand that. So at about 2 minutes before the previews started all sorts of family units walked into the theater and stood at the bottom craning their necks looking for the correct number of seats in a row and not having much luck… and some of that was probably because I was hogging a row. I can’t help it if I got there early and the folks that came in after me didn’t scoot over and fill in the seats on either side! I showered, I don’t have Tourettes syndrome, and I wasn’t making funny noises or sudden strange movements. I swear! Well, not “swear” swear.... Anyhow, I did move over for the last family that came in because I’m nice like that. And they actually asked me too.
Onto the movie: Think E.T. but without the constant feeling of immanent danger on behalf of the kids. Nor was there a government agent with too many keys hanging from his belt that heightened the sense of danger and uncertainty. (I once contemplated doing a short story called Peter Coyote’s Keys. In this story I would tell what each key went too. His mailbox, his car, the secret room at the government facility that has some of E.T.s cousins, and the last key was also going to be the newest; it was going to be a key to Elliott’s house because Elliott’s mother Mary was divorced and after all the trauma and heartache that agent put her through with her kids he needed to be servicing her a whole lot for a while. Just sayin’.)
Unlike E.T. with real world dangers mixed in with fantastical events, Mimzy was mostly just cute. Although I did notice that this director pretty much made it impossible to have a crisis of conscious when he gets older and closer to death (like Spielberg has) and airbrush out the machine guns Homeland Security wields when confronting the hapless family. Have you seen the DVD release of E.T.? What the hell are those agents doing fingering their walkie-talkies like that as Elliott and the others are coming at them on their bikes? Oh right! They used to be guns they were holding aloft in preparation for shooting an alien from outer space, but someone decided that he didn’t like the idea of grown men wielding firearms in the vicinity of an 8 year old- even if that 8 year old was lugging around AN ALIEN FROM OUTER SPACE! It’s almost as stupid as Greedo shooting first. Almost. (There is nothing AS stupid as Greedo shooting first; except maybe Gigli.) Well, I don’t think any revisions will happen to The Last Mimzy twenty years from now. Although now that I think of it, he could get someone to dub Michael Clark Duncan’s voice so that it isn’t as deep and menacing, but I think the introductory scene where he is trying to rush off and figure out why terrorists would knock out all the power in Washington State and forgets to zip his fly sort of takes the menace out of the man. (He need the keys! I’m telling you. They jingle. Set the nerves on edge. Instant tension! Keys are the key.)
Mimzy has a lot of reasons for things, but no real explanations. There are mandalas and Tibetan mysticism thrown in with future technology and a little girl realizing that Through the Looking-Glass is based on actual events and is not allegory as everyone supposes. (The word Mimzy comes form the poem Jabberwocky that was written by Lewis Caroll… and recited by my mom at the drop of a hat. Something is very wrong with her.) Also, there are precognitive dreams by a man who teaches science at the local grade school and wears Pink Floyd tee shirts. By the way, any kids flick with Pink Floyd used heavily in the soundtrack is a movie I can get behind. Which reminds me, there is also said science teacher wandering around in his underwear in one scene. No one really needed to see that.
The movie raises a few questions that it never answers. Like: Did the toys come to the kids because they are special or are they special because they found the toys? And what happens after? Do they continue to be special or do they go back to being normal kids? Are we really supposed to believe the government would walk away from a family with two kids that could outsmart Homeland Security just because the little girl sent her bunny away? And why was the science teacher having precognitive dreams before the kids found the toys? Was that part of the plan by those in the future or a lucky coincidence?
Lastly, the movie also has a lot to say about cleaning up the environment. I could complain that it preaches it a bit too much but the one time it really does the science teacher does it during class so it’s supposed to sound like a lecture. That was actually a pretty neat trick.
To sum up: The parents are nice, the teachers involved, Homeland Security doesn’t lock them all away and autopsy the little girl… so basically it’s a fantasy; but a cute one. Wonder if they are going to sell baseball cards?

Show quote of the day: “They breath fire!? Why doesn’t anyone tell me these things?”


LL said...

"he needed to be servicing her a whole lot for a while"

Que? Women need regular servicing? Does it take a long time? Is there a quicky lube place that I don't know about?

Wow... this is an educational blog. :P

NYPinTA said...

Why am I not surprised you wouldn't know that kind of stuff?

ctheokas said...

You shoulda seen "The Lookout." Well worth the money.

wa11z said...

I want you to finish the story. And then I want to read it.

fermicat said...

Quicky lube? :rolleyes:

I don't see kids movies in the theater on account of all the kids.

John said...

I saw The Lookout. That kid's come a long way since 3rd Rock From the Sun. He was great in Brick, too.

LL said...

"Why am I not surprised you wouldn't know that kind of stuff?"

Why would I? When I perform the services... well... they never come back for more.

Erm... hey waitaminute...

Beth said...

I saw E.T. something like 20 times when it came out and I swore Elliot and I would be married someday. =)

I don't enjoy kid movies at all now. I've had to watch so many while the kids were growing up that I'm glad we've on to more mature things -- like "Blades of Glory." =/