We watched a few DVDs over Labor Day weekend...OK, just two. We watched disc one, season one, of "Weeds", and an indie film titled "Duma".
I'm sure some of you fancy-pants folks have cable systems that allow you to have Showtime and HBO for less than $100 a month, or you have a dish, which we can't get because of our tree situation, so you have been watching Weeds since it came out. I'm also sure that there are those amongst you who didn't pretty much have it confused in your head with Deadwood, so you were ahead of me there, too. Being not into the whole western genre, I've never really considered renting either Deadwood, or its doppleganger (NOT), Weeds. Then I read about what a great show it is, and decided, Hmmm. That's NOT about cowboys? Not so much shoot-em-up? OK, I'm in. Having just finished the first disc, I have mixed feelings about the show. I love Mary Louise Parker, always have, I would have been her lesbian lover in Fried Green Tomatoes, except, damn it all, I'm not Mary Stuart Masterson. Damn. Anyway, love her. Love the writing. It's well done and interesting. Love the Elizabeth Perkins (one of my lookalikes) character, too, though what I love about her is how well she is written. I cannot claim to actually LIKE her. The abuse she puts her daughter through is painful. (Sidenote: The daughter, thankfully, is pretty damned resiliant. When mom finds daughter's stash of chocolate in her room, mom replaces said stash with chocolate laxitives, the outcome of which is daughter's painful new nickname at school, 'shit girl'. Nice. Well, daughter replaces mom's meds with Immodium, so now mom is blocked up and her gut is distended like a starving child in a Save the Children commercial, with all of the crap she's lugging around in there. Her husband calls it Karma. I call it poetic justice. Same thing.)
My main (and it's kind of the elephant in the room for me) problem with Weeds is that I just can't get past the idea that this woman is selling dope. Her husband died, there's not enough life insurance to keep them in the fancy-pants (what is it with that term? Twice in one post?) manner to which they've become accustomed, and her first solution to this is to sell dope? WTF? How does she expect to raise children with any character whatsoever? I mean, she could maybe, GET A JOB. Or, maybe MOVE to a SMALLER house? One without a housekeeper and a pool? I'm just sayin'. Not that it's nice to have a severe change in lifestyle due to the death of your beloved spouse, but how am I to have a lot of sympathy for this character when her first career move is to start selling dope? It's not working for me. That being said, the writing is good enough that I'm looking foward to disc two coming in a few days.
Monday, we had a pile of ironing to do, so I thought we would put in a nice family film that we could all watch together. I had read about Duma last year, and was looking for it in the local theaters. It either never made it here, or wasn't here long enough, so I put it on my DVD list. Though it was certainly family friendly, Maya has been scarred too deeply by 'family' films such as "March of the Penguins" and especially "Winged Migration", and wanted nothing to do with Duma. She loved "The Story of the Weeping Camel" though, so who knows with her. Anway, Ted and I watched and ironed, while Maya spent time doing homework, reading, drawing, and looking at 'Animal Crossing' websites on the computer.
Duma is the tale of a poor orphaned cheetah, resuced by a 10-year old boy and his father in South Africa. They take him home to their farm, and raise him, with the intention of releasing him to the wild as soon as he gets big enough to hopefully care for himself. As the time of his release approaches, the father becomes very ill, and the boy goes off on a journey with Duma, to release him just as they had planned. Carroll Ballard, who directed The Black Stallion and Fly Away Home, also directed this film. If you loved the cinemetography and the understated flavor of those films, you will also appreciate Duma. If you're a fan of the book, How it Was With Dooms, you may be surprised by the film. I won't ruin the film by going into all of the differences, but let me tell you, there are some KEY things that were changed for the film.
The boy, Alexander Michaletos, does a pretty amazing job, and the adults pretty much keep up. Highly recommended. I'm thinking of buying this one for my collection, though I don't know if Maya will ever watch it with us.
Next up, Super Troopers. We've had this one in our living room for quite awhile now...not sure why we rented it. I think one of Ted's coworkers suggested it. Anyone heard of it? Is it any good? Anyone?