Saturday movie and other stuff

Absence of Malice
Absence of Malice

More about this movie further down the page.

I received a notification from WordPress that I’ve begun my fourth year with Classical Gasbag. I knew that it was about time for that anniversary to roll around. Knowing that, I made my annual change to the header picture. I also changed the title font. Did you notice? I would guess that it didn’t grab your eye. I may change the theme later if I get bored. But for now, those are the cosmetic changes.

This year I also plan on at least one post per week that will feature a movie that I watch on Saturday. Ever since Cindy started playing cards with her friends every Saturday night, I have been watching movies because…well for various reasons. I have a large collection of movies on DVD, and our local library is also well stocked.

Don’t expect an in-depth analysis of the movie. I am no critic. I’ll probably just stick to things such as my background with the movie, who the stars are, and if I like the movie or not. If I can come up with some clever graphical representation I’ll use that as well, but stars and thumbs have already been taken. I’ll accept any ideas that you may have.

Last night I pulled out my DVD of Absence of Malice. The movie was released in 1981, and, in my opinion was one of the best that year. It didn’t win any Oscars, but that doesn’t mean it didn’t deserve a couple. The stars were Paul Newman and Sally Fields, with a strong supporting cast. This was the first movie where I noticed Bob Balaban; it was probably the way he played with rubber bands. Wilford Brimley also put in a fine, though short,  performance. I didn’t see it in the theater, but I watched it as soon as it came to cable, back in my bachelor days living in the upstairs of a house in Auburn.

The plot of the story is basically how a leaked story to the press by a prosecutor can affect a man’s life and the lives of those around him. But the movie is more than that. It gives insight into the way some news people make decisions and react to the consequences. Even more, it is a study in the differences between perceptions and truth. That’s something we all need to be reminded of. Remember, don’t mistake the map for the terrain.

Now I didn’t really give anything away about the actual story, I hope, so find a copy of the movie if you haven’t seen it already or watch it again if it has been awhile since you’ve seen it. Wilford Brimley’s performance near the end of the movie is worth the price of admission or rental or whatever/however you pay.

Feel free to tell me about your reactions to the movie.

5 thoughts on “Saturday movie and other stuff

  1. Congratulations on your blogiversary! I didn’t notice the header. I use feedly to keep up to date with your blog and it takes me straight to the post. However, I went there as soon as I read you made some changes and I noticed the change in font! I love your review. Usually I skip through reviews because they’re full of spoilers and details I just don’t care about. Yours makes me want to watch the movie. Looking forward to more reviews!

  2. I did not notice, so you will really have to punch it up with glitter and a severe thunderstorm, knocking the balloon askew and sending it to Oz. I’ve never heard of that movie, though I was alive then, but any opportunity to witness Brimley’s full-bodied walrus mustache must be seized. I’d never heard that map/terrain proverb/quote before, so I will have to go spread that among the young and ignorant.

    1. Last things first: I got the quote wrong. Alfred Korzybski’s quote is actually “The map is not the territory.” It is his best known dictum in general semantics. But I first read it in a science fiction novel, part of a trilogy, the name of which and the author have fled my memory. I’m pretty sure it was long enough ago that I don’t remember much. In case you’re wondering, I went to the font of all knowledge, Wikipedia, to do some research after reading your comment. I was surprised to read that he had been quoted in The Medium is The Massage by Marshall McLuhan because I’m thinking about reading that book for my reading challenge, and by Robert M. Pirsig in Lilith. I recently finished the prequel to Lilith, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, as part of my reading challenge. Coincidence or an alignment of the stars?

      As to the movie, I know I’m prejudiced but, I think everyone should watch it. I hope that you look for it. Or I suppose I could loan you my copy.

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