Monday, August 20, 2007

Fast-food post

Oh, wait, I do have something quick and shallow to post about, so maybe I can get this one done quickly. For the first time in I don't know how long, my wife and I watched an entire movie in one sitting - and then, we watched another whole movie in one sitting the next night. Curiously, I was inspired by the classical music blogosphere to check out The Bourne Identity and The Bourne Supremacy from the library. I believe it was Alex Ross who started things with his Ludlum title take-offs. Honestly, I didn't even understand some of those, but that drew my attention to the fact that the recently released The Bourne Ultimatum is getting great reviews - it's currently #55 on the list of best movies ever, and that list is nothing to sneeze at, although it's far from perfect.

There was a time when we tried to stay up with the culture in terms of hit films and the like, but we've fallen so far behind that's it quite freeing, because there's now no chance of catching up on all we've missed. Anyway, long story short, these two earlier Bourne movies were quite compelling to watch, as evidenced by the fact that our sleep-deprived selves didn't need two nights to get through either of them. On the other hand, in the end we didn't find them that satisfying - too many absurd plot points, ridiculously absurd car chases, and a general feeling of not living up to great promise - but they were fun rides. Kind of like Cool Ranch Doritos - a really tasty snack that doesn't really leave you better in the end. (I'm assuming the newest Bourne film is better, given its lofty IMDB rating, but I'm not sure when I'll get a chance to find out.)

And to swing things back in a positive direction, I don't have any objections to experiences that excel at the Cool Ranch Doritos level (including Cool Ranch Doritos). It makes me think of some of what I learned in this great Malcolm Gladwell article, which reminds us of the level of excellence to be appreciated in products with broad appeal such as Coca-cola and Heinz ketchup. An excellent jumping-off point for exploring the incredibly murky waters of the high art/low art spectrum . . . but I don't have anything like the will to jump in there now. Time's up! (But if you've never read that Gladwell article, you should.)

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