"I suppose there are people who can pass up free guacamole, but they're either allergic to avocado or too joyless to live."— Frank Bruni

Monday, September 12, 2011

me watch movies?

Gone with summer are summer blockbusters. In with the crisper, cooler air is a trickle of fall films that, surprisingly, have caught my interest. I avoid seeing movies, especially seeing them in the theatre, like the plague - pun intended (! and a great segue into the films I will soon mention). Ever the subject of many arguments with those I have dated and with the man to whom I am now engaged (what's with me and movie-types?), movies are a sore spot for me. I just find it hard to sit through something for 1.5 - 3 hours, especially when I'm seated in front of a film I never had interest in watching in the first place. Most striking example: Dark Knight at 9am on a beautiful Saturday New York morning. My only consolation was a PB&J cupcake from Buttercup afterward.

I am not the person that listens when someone recommends a movie nor am I the person who goes to midnight screenings or the person who raves about films unless it struck a political, emotional or humorous chord (namely chick flicks, documentaries, or foreign). Considering this, it's pretty surprising that I would be interested in seeing two star-studded movies this fall that I wouldn't expect to fall under any of these categories - Contagion and Moneyball.

Contagion because, in the words of a friend and fellow epidemiologist, 'that's what we do' and Moneyball because it's about MY TEAM. It helps that Contagion is based on sound epidemiological principles; in today's Times, the real-life epidemiologist technical consultant for the film wrote about the real threat of a pandemic and what our country needs to truly be prepared. I find it interesting, though, that the movie is called Contagion, given that 'contagious' was a term rarely used in my graduate epidemiology program. Rather, 'infectious' or 'communicable' were the favored terms. In fact, I'm pretty sure a professor specifically stated that contagion was more of a colloquial/lay and less-favored term, but I guess to attract the masses, it's fitting.

Moneyball is not only about the most interesting team in baseball (yeah, I said it), but it also has the rocketjuicestarpower of Brad Pitt playing Billy Beane, and is also based on a NYTimes bestseller. I want so much for it to do well. Let's go, A's!! What do the Angels have? Angels In the Outfield!! Sorry folks, but it doesn't get any lamer than that. Almost as lame as rally monkeys. I'm really hoping Moneyball earns a spot on my Greatest Sports Films list (do I spell a potential List Wednesday idea?), joining The Sandlot and Remember The Titans.

If any of you watch/have watched Contagion or Moneyball, please share your thoughts...but no spoilers!

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