Tuesday, June 16, 2009

FLESH FOR FANTASY


I always feel so left out, totally out of the loop, every time a new fantasy or action Hollywood event movie comes around. Harry Potter. Iron Man. Batman. Superman. Spider-Man. X-Men. Wolverine. Twilight. Lord Of The Rings. Oy vey! I tune out and pretend that I live under a rock, or on another planet, an dream of a holy land dominated by prestige dramas, all starring, among a few select others, Meryl Streep, Nicole Kidman or my beloved great K/Cates.

My former colleague Mara and I used to dread the arrival of the latest in the Harry Potter and Lord Of The Rings sagas with a vengeance, like one dreads the arrival of a particularly annoying house guest. We grinned, beared it and waiting for them to go away. For us, the three years when Lord Of The Rings was Oscar bait was a particularly challenging time. We knew that it would eventually win Best Picture, and that Oscar season when part 3 was the surest thing since Titanic was pure agony. I knew that it would end in tears.

Wake me when it's over.

After moving to Buenos Aires, I figured that I could finally put my fear of event movies behind me. Surely no one down here cared about a bespectacled British boy fraternizing with witches and goblins (or whatever fantasy creatures go mano a mano with Harry Potter?), or a guy in blue and red Spandex climbing up the side of buildings. Wouldn't they all be obsessed with Penelope Cruz and Javier Bardem? Wrong! The event movie is alive and well and kicking in BA.

Now I've even gone and fallen for an Argentine guy who is as obsessed with them as anyone I've ever met. He's read every Harry Potter book, each Twilight tome, in Spanish and in English, and usually in just a few sittings. Last night, I saw a trailer for Transformers, and I just knew that somewhere in Ciudad Evita, a very sweet young man was jumping for joy. I thought I was in the middle of a flashback: Didn't this movie come out a couple of years ago? As I soon found out, this is a sequel (Transformers: Revenge Of The Fallen, or as it's being called in BA, Transformers 2) that only looks and sounds and is being marketed exactly like the original. (That Shia LeBeouf makes my heart skip several beats -- see the photos above to understand why -- although not enough to inspire interest in the film).

But I was right about my boyfriend. No, he hadn't been watching the trailer, though he was, as I had suspected, practically drooling in anticipation for the next event movie of the summer (winter in BA). His younger brother long ago made plans for a family night out to see the movie on Saturday, 27 June. I smiled when he told me this, thinking it was the sweetest thing I'd heard in the longest time (even though it was going to conflict with our date night). I smiled even wider when I realized that I was off the hook. He has so many people in his life who are into these movies (and aside from Mara and me, who isn't?), that he'll probably never try to drag me kicking and screaming to any of them -- not that I could ever say "no" to him (but shhh, don't tell him I said that).

Come Oscar season, I'll have my day. That's when all of the prestige dramas will finally arrive, peppered by the occasional Harry Potter and Twilight sequel. But as long as I get to watch Meryl Streep and Helen Mirren angling for their next Oscar nomination, all will be perfect in my world. Also on the plus side, my guy does have his limits. I can go on pretending that Kirk, Spock and company never came back to haunt us. He hates Star Trek, and that makes me love him even more.
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