Unknown

Kish and I went to see Unknown on Saturday.  We both like Liam Neeson and were in the mood for an action-adventure film.  Unknown met those requirements — but not much else.

Unknown is a story of a man who is knocked unconscious in an accident, lapses into a coma, and is surprised to learn when he awakens that he has been replaced, in every facet of his life, by another man.  It is the kind of movie that asks audience members to completely suspend their reasoning faculties and tries to maintain such a break-neck pace that you don’t have time to consider the plot holes and implausibilities.  It features a big twist toward the end, and I won’t spoil it for anyone who wants to see the film.  However, it is the kind of twist that renders the overall plot so improbable that I, at least, felt a bit cheated.

With his craggy face and physical size, Liam Neeson is a believable action hero who looks like he could throw a punch and absorb a beating.  His character is helped by an illegal alien taxi driver, played by Diane Kruger, and a former East German spy, played by Bruno Ganz.  (Ganz is an accomplished actor and turned in a fine performance, but as I looked at him I couldn’t help but think of his performance as Adolf Hitler in Downfall.  His depiction of Hitler, as Der Fuehrer is advised that the Russians are closing in, has been turned into countless YouTube parodies in which a subtitled Hitler supposedly reacts to unexpected results in sporting events.  Whenever Ganz was on screen I found myself thinking of Hitler talking about his TO Dallas Cowboys jersey.)

Unknown is no great film, but it’s not an unpleasant way to spend a few hours on a cold and rainy day.

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Food Fight

Okay people, does it surprise any one that portly Rush Limbaugh took a cheap shot at Michelle Obama last week after she ate ribs at a restaurant during her skiing vacation. Rush commented that while the first lady advocates healthy eating, she doesn’t look like she follows her own dietary advice and would never be put on the cover of a Sports Illustrated’s swimsuit issue.

According to the owner of the restaurant the five ounce braised short ribs Michele ate were only 600 calories, not 1,500 as Rush pointed out, besides everyone knows that when your on vacation it’s a time to enjoy oneself and splurge a little.

A word of advice Rush, childhood obesity is a big problem. I just read an article last week that the sharpest increase in strokes was among men age fifteen to thirty four and there have been numerous articles recently pointing to a significant increase in type two diabetes (formerly adult onset) in children. Not to mention the fact that 75% of military aged youth do not qualify for service because they are over weight.

Of course Sarah Palin and Michele Bachman have weighed (no pun intended) in saying that the “Let’s Move” program is big government overreach. Thank goodness two of the more reasonable voices in the Republican party, Chris Christie and Mike Huckabee both said that childhood obesity is a concern and they think it’s a good goal to try to positively encourage kids to eat better.

It’s just my humble opinion, but it seems as though the government just can’t win, if they do nothing and it becomes a really big problem then it’s their fault cause they didn’t do anything, but if they see a developing problem and try to be proactive and address the problem people say they are overstepping their bounds.

So good job Michele Obama, keep on doing what you are doing, I am 100% behind you and your program “Let’s Move” because we all know that what’s now a health issue may soon become an economic issue.

S.A.D. Dance

This is the time of year when everyone in the Midwest tries to figure out whether they have Seasonal Affective Disorder — S.A.D. for short.

S.A.D. is a condition that is associated with the winter.  The symptoms will sound familiar to anyone who has experienced a Midwest winter:  weight gain, depression, increased sleep, lack of energy, withdrawal from social activities, and feeling sluggish and irritable.  They think that S.A.D. may be caused by a lack of ambient light and changes in body temperature.  Given these symptoms and causes, how in the world do they distinguish people who have S.A.D. from people who just hate the winter and grimly plug ahead through the cold, and the wet, and endless sunless days?  How many people out there love icy blasts and revel in the overwhelming greyness of a Midwestern winter?  Are there people who are actually excited about a day when the overcast sky is battleship grey rather than slate grey or platinum?

I sometimes wonder about the “discovery” of these new emotional conditions.  After all, people were dealing with winter for millennia before somebody decided there was a condition called S.A.D. Centuries ago, when native Americans toughed it out during the harsh Midwestern winters, were braves and squaws afflicted with S.A.D.?  If so, how did the chief react when Brave Eagle overslept and wasn’t able to take down a deer or buffalo because he felt sluggish?  And did the tribes perform some kind of traditional S.A.D. dance to try to convince the Great Spirit that it was high time to bring an end to the dim, frigid days?