January 2, 2006

Watch This Movie, Or The Kid Gets It

The kid had a slumber party with her aunt and her grandma, so we went to see a movie--Syriana, aka Traffic-but-with-oil--and it pretty much freaked us out.[1] It wasn't the whole thing about oil companies and their friends in Washington manipulating US intelligence activities to ensure continued access to Mid-East oil; if anything, it was a relief to finally see that story getting some coverage.

No, it was the obvious impending doom for a child that did it. Combined with the trailers and the off-screen hegemony of the Celebrity Parent Industrial Complex, it was the parental equivalent of having your fingernails pulled out. [Or at least it was like watching having your fingernails pulled out, which was also part of the night's entertainment.]

It's as if all the fridges in Hollywood have the same starter set of plot magnets that reads: "child", "suffers", "dies", "then", "alone", "parents", and "fault", and "powerless".

One trailer was for Pulse, a horror flick where Assorted Children Away At College are pursued by the undead in their computers and electrical appliances. [OK, that one just sounds like someone took acid in his dorm, or a clueless studio exec heard a mention of Ghost In The Machine in a pitch and said, "Brilliant!, let's do that."]

But then there was Firewall, where Park Slope Poster Dad Paul Bettany plays Sadistic Hacker/Thief who takes Harrison Ford's Bank Exec's family hostage for days, forcing him to help rob his own bank. Think Patriot Games-meets-Swordfish [but without John Travolta or Halle Berry's rack].

And then came Freedomland, directed by Joe Roth [ex-Disney studio chief] and written by Richard Price [ex-public housing junkie novelist], in which Freaked Out Single Mom [and West Village Poster Mom Julianne Moore] blames Poor Black Carjacker after Innocent White Child goes missing in the night.

And then there was one about a dad whose kid toddles off in a single unattended instant and drowns in his in-laws' lap pool during a Christmas visit. Oh wait, that must've already come out, because it was playing non-stop in my head for the last six weeks.

Previously: TV No Likee The Children

[1] don't get me wrong, it was a pretty good movie, and I've been a wonky, DVD-extra-watching fan of the writer/director Stephen Gaghan since Traffic. I'm just saying.


I had the same reaction when we snuck out to see Syriana last week! I couldn't watch the swimming pool scene... couldn't get it out of my head for days.

It's pure exploitation, and I refuse to pay money to watch children bite it. That's also why I won't watch any network news, or read major newspapers: they always lead w/ the story of some child being hurt, killed, molested, etc. I'm a big girl--I know it happens. I accept it. I just don't wish to endorse the practice of profiting from it!

Google DT

Contact DT

Daddy Types is published by Greg Allen with the help of readers like you.
Got tips, advice, questions, and suggestions? Send them to:
greg [at] daddytypes [dot] com

Join the [eventual] Daddy Types mailing list!



copyright 2018 daddy types, llc.
no unauthorized commercial reuse.
privacy and terms of use
published using movable type