Sunday, April 28, 2013

This Blog Post is Based on a True Story

Life has a way of throwing you for a loop and sometimes all you're left with is the question,"What the hell just happened?!"

Frequently, it's life occurences:

  • Receiving test results that are anything but positive
  • Dealing with the aftermath of a car turning the wrong way down a one-way street
  • Finding out that til death do us part was only until something better came along
  • Other times, it's walking into the gym and glancing up at the TVs and seeing nothing but smoke and police cars and headlines about a bombing at the Boston Marathon.

    As these stories unfold, it's become pretty standard to question when the movie is going to be made. You know somewhere, someone is already working on the screenplay and subconsciously wondering if Daniel Day-Lewis would be interested in playing an FBI agent. While ex-cop Christopher Dorner's relatively short reign-of-terror was consuming Los Angeles, I couldn't help but think that if this had been a novel-turned-movie that it would be number one at the box office.

    There are some stories that I think are importatnt to preserve as a movie, Hollywood poetic license notwithstanding. I thought Argo was very-well done and captured a small, albeit significant, chapter in our country's history. Last weekend, I had the immense pleasure of hearing movie-goers clapping in the theater as Jackie Robinson's story unfolded on the big screen.

    But where do you draw the line? Nobody is going to applaud a movie showing Timothy McVeigh as a hard-working, misunderstood schmuck. I don't think that I would be quite so enthralled with the true story of the LA cop and what made him seek his form of revenge on innocent people. As a work of fiction where you're allowed to feel sympathy for what makes the antagonist tick, sure. Bring it on. As a piece that tries to offer insight into why someone would want to turn 26.2 miles of sweat and perserverance into a bloodbath, not so much. And that brings me to a rather perplexing situation I found myself in earlier.

    Pain and Gain: Based on a true story. We're told that twice while we're watching it, just in case the insanity of it all made us forget. I left the theater feeling guilty.

    It's a movie. Why should I feel guilty?

    Because signifcant parts of this movie were very, very true. Others had some liberties taken with them. But ultimately, bad things happened to people. Their lives were changed forever. And this movie was entertaining. And at times, comedic. And number one at the box office.

    I'm still struggling with how I feel about that.

    Clickety-click here, here, and here to read the original source material. It's fairly long. Or you can click on the book to buy it from Amazon.

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