Wednesday, 22 April 2009

17 Again

I've been putting off seeing 17 Again.

Mainly because it's a formula that's been done to death and I wasn't really ready for a yet another American over-sentimentalised view of adult-teenager relationships. The second reason is that I am very conscious of being a 40-something bloke walking in to see movies designed for teenagers.

And when it's a movie designed around the charms of Zac Efron, it makes me feel like a stereotypical middle-aged gay man which is very far from how I like to see myself.

It's very churlish to nit-pick a piece of fluff movie-making that knows it's a piece of fluff, but one element of this film made me feel extremely uncomfortable.

Like every father, our hero is out to protect his kids and works wonders with their relationships with the school bully. OK, the fact that the bully would be dating the daughter while having the son as his favourite punchbag isn't very realistic, but I'll let that slide (it might be if we'd been given some context for the kids' relationship with each other, but we have none at all).

What I found quite distasteful is our hero's very different attitude to his kids' dating. The daughter's going out with a stereotypical airhead bad guy, but that's not why the notion that he may have taken her virginity is appalling to him and her. The sex-ed class makes it clear that the idea of an almost-18 year-old having sex is simply not on.

At the same time, however, our hero manifestly encourages his younger son to go after the cheer-leader he's too shy and tongue-tied to chase at the start of the story. Not only that, but in a very laddish way during the victory party, he wants them to go off and consummate their relationship.

I don't think I'm especially sensitive to issues of sexism, but the double standards of the film industry (and especially Hollywood fluff) that all young guys should sow their seeds as quickly and energetically as possible while all young girls should remain virginal until their wedding day is hardly constructive in today's world of promoting equality and sensitivity.

Sauce for the gander not being good for the goose somehow springs to mind.

Sterling Knight(Sterling Knight, Zac's on-screen son)

A further thought...

Not because of my own sexual identity, what I think it would have made a magnificent plot element and counter-balance to some of the fluffiness would have been if the son had been gay, rather than simply too shy to chase the girl of his dreams. One of the plot elements was Zac chasing his grown-up wife while being chased by his daughter - add his son chasing him too (perhaps on the rebound), and Zac's character would have a REALLY interesting emotional triangle to deal with!

Oh, and for the record, everyone can keep Zac Efron (this was the first time I'd seen him in action and was only so-so impressed). I want to have his screen son's babies! The character's vulnerability has probably got a lot to do with it, but Sterling Knight is quite some stunner... SWOON

Tuesday, 21 April 2009

Monday, 20 April 2009

No gym today

I had other things to do today so I gave the gym a miss.

That said, I've not been entirely indolent, as I spent three hours gardening. I much prefer this kind of physical exercise to gymming, because you can see the fruits of your labours fairly easily, and you can certainly feel them! And you use differnet families of muscles in a different way (digging in particular) so despite daily doses of resistance work at ther gym over the last several months, I still feel utterly shattered.

Until a year ago, I actually considered gym-going rather strange, given the opportunities we all have in our daily lives for physical activity. In particular, I was seriosuly amused by the need for a car park at an old gym I used to walk past fairly often: if people walked or cycled there, they'd save time on at least one workout element, and perhaps even the need for attending the gym altogether!

That said, the typical British inclement weather does make trudging to gyms on foot or bicycle rather disheartening, although I must admit that sitting on an exercise bike watching drenched passers-by on several days last week did provide an element of schadenfreude.

Talking of exercise bikes, not content with my gardening efforts, I've just come back from a 20 minute cycle ride - I honestly don't recall when I last took my bike out further than the bottom of our road or used the gears (they were literally rusty!).

It's interesting though that the effort required on even a moderate upward hill in the real world is considerably greater than that on an exercise bike in a gym. That said, there are few sensations which make one feel free quite as much as pedalling down a hill at full speed and feeling the wind tearing past!

The forecasters have promised us that the rest of the week should be similar to today (dry and sunny though not especially hot) so I might try something I've not done since I was a kid and cycle all the way to gym and back tomorrow! (it shouldn't take me much longer than public transport and I should save myself the warmup and cooldown on the gym bikes!) I am however, dreading the three rather steep hills I have go up and down to get there (and what's worse, get back!)

Saturday, 18 April 2009

Getting excited

When I was in the cinema yesterday the staff were putting these up all over the place.

I can't wait!

Star Trek: The Future Begins

Tuesday, 14 April 2009

The devil's in the detail

I have nothing to sayexcept take take a look/listen to this


Sunday, 12 April 2009


It's Easter Sunday, in theory the apotheosis of Christian life.

So why am I feeling like an angry bear with a thorn stuck in his paw, especially towards my family? We've just had significant quantities of Clan Plum round for Easter breakfast and to a man, woman and child, every one of them has managed to piss me off big time.

Thankfully, they've all gone and I've cleaned up the mess and put away the besty breakfast crockery until this time next year. I'm surprised I didn't break anything!

I suspect I should stay away from all forms of human communication because I'm likely to bite someone's head off...

(I'm off to the gym, maybe I can just tire myself out. I;ve not been for a couple of days and have eaten FAR too much junk on top of it. )

Tuesday, 7 April 2009

Something just struck me.

Am I alone in thinking that this:

London 2012 Logo

looks like Lisa Simpson giving a blowjob?