Adam Reger | Freelance Writer

Pittsburgh-based freelance writer

Category: Movies

On “Inception”

I saw it yesterday and am still thinking it through. If I don’t love a movie immediately, or have very high expectations for it that are not met, I sometimes over-correct and say that the movie was bad or that I disliked it. I can admit that Inception wasn’t bad, and that on the whole I liked it. But it felt like something was missing, or like the overall set-up was overly intellectual and failed to communicate any real feeling.

This review, by Christopher Orr over at The Atlantic, comes pretty close to my own feelings on Inception. I certainly don’t care for Orr’s (mild) diss of The Prestige, though.

I now turn my sights to the technically virtuosic, exquisitely conceived and designed latest film from a director whose work I typically love that I’ve really been looking forward to this summer: Micmacs. I’d take Jean-Pierre Jeunet over Christopher Nolan any day.

Note to Self re: Research

When conducting research on, say, old-timey pirates, make sure that any films you may select off of Netflix are not actually porno flicks edited down to get an R rating.

Yes, friends, I unwittingly popped in a softcore porno, notebook poised to jot down any good period details that I might use in the project I’m working on. I swear that when I picked this movie (Pirates—the nondescript title probably contributed to my error) I had a hazy memory of its appearing in theaters a year or two ago. (Why did I picture Geoffrey Rush in pirate garb?)

This movie is very, very good for an adult film—terrible acting, as you’d expect, but excellent costumes and cheesy-but-still-impressive digital effects. But . . . how to say this delicately . . . something is definitely missing.

The Great Staycation of 2010 + The Saturday Problem

I’ve cleverly taken Friday off from work, giving me a four-day weekend. I’ve been salivating over it all week, as I was recovering from one of those weekends where you don’t really get a moment’s rest, and walk into work thinking something like “Really? Already?”

And now. My staycation. Is. Here.

I’ve generally been dubious about the notion of a “staycation” (or, for that matter, any of this kind of neologism you’re apt to read about in the New York Times Style page or wherever). It sounds like a lazy vacation, or a vacation for unimaginative people. But if you’re stressed, and just want to chill out for a few days, the idea of chilling around the house can be really, really appealing. Especially as compared with thoughts of getting to the airport, going through security, renting a car, checking into a hotel, etc. etc.

So far I’ve done nothing special—I ran, ate well, ran some errands, and have been watching both World Cup matches. (Yeah, Netherlands! And Go, Ghana!) And it has been great.

But, as often happens on lazy weekends, there’s an obligation hanging over my head. And its name is writing. I haven’t done any today. I call this the Saturday problem; it’s the problem of having, seemingly, all day to take care of the task of writing, leading one to put it off and put it off until there’s a half hour left until you’re due to go out for dinner, or it’s 11:30 p.m., or you’re about to sit down to it when a friend calls to see if you want to come out for a drink.

I’d imagine this is a common problem for writers. It seems like just another species of the procrastination problem, that cliche about writers having very clean houses because there’s always some suddenly-pressing task to be done before he/she really sits down to do it. I don’t know that I have any readers yet, but I invite any of them to chime in on this matter.

For whatever it’s worth, I do plan to get down to it as soon as the Uruguay-Ghana game ends. For real, y’all. In this instance, I’m inspired by not having completely limitless time: I’ll be going later to see the most recent film from M. Night Shyamalan, The Last Airbender. Not because I’m particularly excited about it; I haven’t seen one of his films in the theater since Signs, which I thought was pretty absurd. I also recently saw Unbreakable, which various people had talked up, and which I also thought was preposterous. And if I had limitless time and no obligations, I might take the trouble to see The Happening, which from various YouTube clips I’ve seen seems pretty amazing.

No, I’m not going for the aesthetic edification of it. (See the paragraph below.) I’m going because I am proud to bursting that my own flesh and blood, my younger brother, was a production assistant on the film and for the first time in his career I’ll be able to sit rapt through the credits, as his name will appear somewhere in there. (The premiere was this week and I got a late-night photo texted to me, a blurry screen shot of the credit scroll.)

Sadly, though, the film appears to be terrible. (Here’s a withering review from my go-to source for media reviews, The AV Club.) But on the plus side, I’ll be seeing it at a drive-in movie theater. Check it out: the theater’s website is a masterpiece of clip art. In any case, if the movie is terrible I’m hoping the novelty of the setting will help me pass the time until the part I want to see (the end credits) comes up.