The Nostalgia Grab

ChildhoodRuinedLogo_final smallWe’re back with another episode of Childhood Ruined this week!

Your hosts briefly detail how the polar vortex scraped their original plans for this evening, which involved a brewery and a night of music trivia. Michael introduces a topic that has been burning his mind, which is the various forms of nostalgia that seem to be spinning in the news. The possible looming death of GameStop is discussed including how purchasing trends of physical media seem to be declining to the point of extinction. Chris talks about some of the unpleasant aspects of the GameStop experience, and Michael ties this into other efforts to capture the attention of similar demographics with nostalgia efforts in games like Dungeons & Dragons and franchises such as Transformers and Star Wars.

Chris and Michael detail their reactions to Bumblebee, which both agree was a quality movie that “felt” like it was right out of the 1980’s. Michael inquires about the problems with nostalgia, and wonders if the glossed-over-the-rough-edges Queen biopic, Bohemian Rhapsody, is a sign of people being too keen to celebrate nostalgia in a safe way while overlooking reality.

A Star Is Born With My Guard Down

Spoiler Warning: The following post contains numerous plot details for the film, A Star Is Born. I encourage you to see the film before reading any further. If you continue reading, multiple plot points will be ruined for you. Thank you.

Are you happy in this modern world?

My wife and I took some vacation time from work yesterday to have lunch together and see a movie. It was a rare weekday date for us while our son was in daycare. She picked me up from my office, we ate lunch at Wahlburgers in the Mall of America (she refrained from asking our waiter if he ever met Donnie), and went to see A Star Is Born at the mall’s new theater palace.

I stayed away from reviews because I knew I wanted to see the film, so I entered the theater with a blank slate. I knew there were prior versions of the same film, but I could not recall too many details about them. I assumed A Star Is Born would provide a compelling story and engaging music. I’ve found Lady Gaga to be an intriguing and impressive artist over the years; for example, I respected her dedication to a performance during the 2011 MTV Music Awards when she took on another persona and COMMITTED to that as she launched into You & I with Queen’s Brian May. I remember watching that, and just finding the whole thing so epic; the BALLS it took to do that.┬áThe creativity required to generate the idea and the fearlessness to execute it was inspiring. I recall showing it to my wife and saying, “You should watch this. It’s amazing.”

A Star Is Born
Jack & Ally

Meanwhile, I’ve been on board with Bradley Cooper since his performance as Sack in Wedding Crashers; probably the most I’ve ever laughed inside a movie theater. He’s provided quality performances in other movies too, and I gleaned from kinda-sorta, not looking at headlines that he took this movie with Lady Gaga very seriously.

So I had high hopes for A Star Is Born, and I assumed it would have something important to say.

My guard was down. I was not prepared.

I can only imagine what it would be like to see this film without living through the experience of my brother ending his life last year. You ever wish you could “unsee” a movie so it could surprise you all over again? I’d love to “unsee” The Shawshank Redemption, The Usual Suspects or Fight Club so I could experience that “ah-ha” moment all over again.

I imagine A Star Is Born would still be a powerful film to watch had my brother not decided to end his life. However, I only know this reality where I sat in my seat yesterday watching the final portion of the film – knowing and dreading what was unfolding before my eyes.

I am happy this movie exists, and I hope it increases the volume on a conversation about depression and mental health that is still much too quiet in this country and worldwide.

Continue reading “A Star Is Born With My Guard Down”