Thursday, March 19, 2009

Dead Celebrities and Top Ten

Dead Rich People

I suppose the big news this week is the death of Natasha Richardson in a skiing accident. So a woman born into wealth, who gained a multi-million dollar acting career in part from her family connections died while performing a leisure activity at an elite resort? Golly, I'm torn up.

I know I always seem to harp on the death of celebrities as if I don't give a shit about them, but the simple fact is I don't. Care about them, that is. And neither does the vast majority of humanity, when you get down to it. Celebrity lives are just another form of entertainment to most people, a meta-drama that keeps the masses entertained until the next film comes out or the new season of the show starts. People care the same way they care about a soap operas. They may even cry about it if the story is compelling enough. I just don't care about the story and feel no real emotional attachment to the small culture of people who make entertainment.

The only honest emotional reaction to this sort of thing is lack of interest, maybe a passing sympathy for the family. Because if I told you that a single mother in Minot, North Dakota, whom you had never heard of and had no connection to, had died in a car crash this weekend, you might say "how sad," but you would be mildly psychotic if you actually, sincerely, cared about it.

Leave it alone and let the grieving grieve. The only way it affects your life is that you won't be seeing Richardson in any more movies. In other words, very little.

Top Ten at the Box Office This Week

1. "Race to Witch Mountain." Your childhood, once again diluted and reissued. Get used to it.

2. "Watchmen." Still haven't seen it, but I plan to. And the only reason I will is because I am having trouble getting over the feeling that it somehow sucks despite what everyone who has seen it has told me. I need to settle this matter in my mind. To be clear, I want it to be good. However, my personal experiences with this sort of thing are telling me I should prepare for disappointment.

3. "The Last House on the Left." Shit buckets. I am really sick of this nonsense. Despite its pseudo-classic status, the original wasn't even that good. More interesting for historical reasons than quality. And this just looks abysmal.

4. "Taken." I'll bet you anything there are box office analysts out there trying to calculate what kind of sympathy boost this will get now that Liam Neeson's wife is dead.

5. "Madea Goes to Jail." I think it would be great if we could lock up Tyler Perry and just make him watch his own movies for 24-hours straight. I'd put down even money that he would rip out his own eyes before he got to "Meet the Browns."

6. "Slumdog Millionaire." I have no problem with this.

7. "Paul Blart: Mall Cop." This, on the other hand. Just looking at the posters for this film makes me feel weird and sticky, like someone just dumped an Orange Julius on my soul.

8. "He's Just Not That Into You." Could you cram any more mediocrity into a single film? Maybe have Ryan Seacrest narrate it?

9. "Coraline." If you have kids, take them to see it. Me, I'll probably never see it unless I stumble into the wrong theater at the multiplex after a particularly competitive beer festival.

10. "Miss March." What is it about so many comedy troupes that causes them to take their first chance at big screen success and jam it full of the most overworked cliches? Rap stereotypes, scantily clad women, road-trips-for-sex, doofus best friends, drunken high school antics. It's like they're working off some kind of list that was completed around the "Porky's" era and hasn't been deviated from since.

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