Spirit of the Marathon II

First, I must admit, I still haven’t seen the original Spirit of the Marathon.  I have Netflix, it’s in my queue, I just haven’t watched it.

My DVR is also 85% full, so clearly, I just have trouble sitting in one place and watching things.

But nonetheless, I went to see Spirit of the Marathon II last Wednesday.  Everyone talks about how inspiring and wonderful the first one was, so I had high hopes.

And… I was underwhelmed.  Don’t get me wrong, it’s a good movie and I wasn’t bored at all during it, but it wasn’t this awe-inspiring moment that made me want to go out and run a marathon.

I know a lot of people came out and thought “I must now go run the Rome Marathon.”  Now, this is just me, but my thought was “I’m sure it’s pretty, but it would be wasted on me.”  I’m not good at remembering race courses, and I’m sure Rome would be no different.

I did like the people they picked to profile, though the Marathon Goddess was definitely one of those people I would have wanted to punch during the race.  I give her a ton of credit for what she did, and I’m sure she’s an amazing, inspiring pace group leader, but she was just way too perky.  That said, 52 marathons in 52 weeks is amazing and I hope she raised her million dollars.

The cousins were hilarious.  So much fun to follow their story.  And I hope the movie has helped Ylenia’s store do better.  She’s famous!  Go buy from her!  I felt sad for Cliff that he seemed to be all alone in Rome.

I found myself really pulling for Vasyl and Epiphanie.  This race meant so much more for them than just finishing.  I was so impressed with Epiphanie’s story.  Winning in a race meant more money for her and her family, and it sounded like she spread that money around her community as well.  Such a different story from elite runners in other countries.  I’m sad that it sounds like she’s no longer competing, because I would love to see her on the international stage again.  That said, coaching is an amazing place for her to be.

I think maybe the reason the movie didn’t move me like it moves so many others is that I didn’t see myself in any of these runners.  These people are all incredible runners, clearly with bodies made for running.  Even those who struggled still pulled off incredible finishes, at least from my point of view.

Or maybe it was just that I didn’t feel like there was a big emotional climax.  I wasn’t feeling the nerves with the runners.  I didn’t really feel the finish line exhilaration.

Again, it wasn’t a bad movie.  It just wasn’t what I hoped it would be.


The Hunger Games

I went to see The Hunger Games this weekend with some lovely friends.  I learned my lesson – no more opening night movies.  That crowd was insane and a little scary.  There were even girls hiding in the bathroom, creating their own line so they could cut into the theater line.  Ridiculous.

But that said, I loved the movie.  I thought the casting was excellent, and for the most part, I’m okay with the changes that were made.  I thought the girls who played both Rue and Prim were perfect (and I am horrified by the race comments that have been made about the casting and can’t believe we live in a world where people think it’s okay to say those sorts of things).  I cried twice during the movie.  I’m not ashamed to admit it.

I thought the violence was very appropriately done, and it’s a very interesting look at society.  I don’t have an issue with violence on tv and in movies (but think parents should use their discretion in deciding what their kids watch).  But it’s not real violence – it’s fake.  The Hunger Games though, that’s real violence (at least to the fictional people watching).  Will we someday look at people fighting to the death as entertainment?  It already happens with dog fighting and cock fighting in many areas.

It’s a bit of a scary thought and hopefully very far fetched.

But the movie was very good.  You should see it.  Read the books first though.  Books are always better than the movie.

Back to the Future!

This weekend, I watched all three of the Back to the Future movies.  I think my favorite still might be the third one.  Why?  There’s adventure, romance, cowboys, horses, and a flying train.  How could it not be an amazing movie?

What amused me the most, I think, was the second movie and its perception of the future.  The “future” was supposed to be the year 2015, which, in the late 80’s, seemed so incredibly far in the future.  I was going to be so much older by 2015! 

Well, 2015 is not so far away, and I think that technology has a long way to go if we want to be where Back to the Future thought we would be.  Though in some cases, we’re beyond that point already (the presence of pay phones all over the place and the old-school printer styles, for example).   

Some things they got right.  Not every home has a thumbprint lock on the front door, but the technology is available. 

But we still don’t have flying cars.  Or hoverboards.  Or hover anythings.  My house doesn’t greet me when I come home.  I can’t demand fruit from the ceiling.  Food is not dehydrated and then rehydrated in seconds for dinner.    We’re nowhere hear Jaws 19 (thankfully). 

Some things are possible though.  Most people don’t use video phones.  But the technology exists, and is becoming more popular with the use of webcams.  So who knows, in the next seven years, maybe that will be the norm.

I don’t know that we’ll have flying cars in 7 years though.  Sad.