At the movies

2020-12-11
This picture has nothing to do with today's journal entry. It is just a bit of beauty we saw on our walk yesterday.

One of the things we have talked of doing in our retirement is catching up on movies. We haven’t been very big on watching movies over the years. We used to go to the theatre on rare occasions, but as students our lives were busy. Then we moved to a town that didn’t have a movie theatre. In those days it was a big treat to catch a movie in a theatre when we traveled to a larger town. Later, when our children were growing up, we lived in places where there were theaters, and we occasionally got to see a movie with our children. When our children were in their early teens, VCR machines became popular. At first we used to rent a machine from Blockbuster for special movie nights. Then we purchased our own machine. We watched movie with our children through their teenage years and bought a DVD player when they became available.

Then our children became adults and our parents came to live with us and we got out of the habit of watching movies. When the television set failed, we never bothered to get another one. We were busy and it just didn’t seem to be a priority for our lives. Reading books was such an enjoyable pastime that we didn’t seem to miss the movies. My friends would ask me about my reaction to popular movies, and I would admit that I hadn’t gotten around to seeing them.

So, we thought that retirement would be a good time to catch up on movies and enjoy this complex, bug budget art form. Covid, of course, has meant that the theatre just isn’t a good place for us to go. And we don’t have a television set, though we intend to purchase one before too long. When we signed up for Internet service for our home, the service provider offered a “free” home entertainment streaming device that allowed us to watch movies over our Internet connection. I figured out how to connect the device to a large computer monitor at my desk and we thought we were set.

There is a learning curve to watching movies in today’s environment, and I haven’t been keeping up. The device we have requires using a remote to scroll through on screen menus. Just setting it up took a rather lengthy process of entering a user name and password and account number over and over again. Without being able to use a keyboard, scrolling through the alphabet with a remote device is time consuming. I did, however, get it set up. Now we have to scroll through all of the different channels and figure out which movies are on which channels. We also have found out that most of the channels are not free. So far we are only looking at free content, but that means there aren’t many movies available.

At the end of the day when I’m ready for some entertainment, it seems a bit too complex for my mood and so far, I haven’t really watched a movie. I scroll through the various listings, don’t find anything that suits me and eventually turn it off, hook the monitor to the computer, watch a couple of YouTube videos, pick up a book and call it a night. I keep saying that it will be easier when we get a television, but haven’t been motivated to go get one yet.

In preparation, however, I have been reading a few movie reviews. It is something that I started to do so that I would have some level of intelligence when talking with my friends, who watch movies. What I have found is that the movie series that we used to enjoy are having a new life with new movies being added to the series. When I had last paid attention, there were nine star wars movies. I’ve read, however, that there are now 19: 11 famous live action films, three made for tv films, two Lego movies, five animated shows and a couple of cartoons. Just catching up on them might be a couple of months of movies for us. In the meantime, Disney has announced that there are at least ten more Star Wars films in the pipeline, so we might be watching them for a long time.

When we had children at home, we enjoyed the Indiana Jones movies, starring Harrison Ford, who also acted in the original Star Wars series. I’ve long been a Harrison Ford fan in part because in his real life, he is a pilot and aviation fan who owns a wonderful Dehavilland Beaver as well as several other aircraft. Ford is the only actor to have played the iconic adventurer Indiana Jones, a character who has aged along with the actor. The first Indiana Jones movie came out in 1981, the year our son was born. Since our son is now 39, it follows that Indiana Jones is now 39 years older than when he went on the Raiders of the Lost Ark adventure. I’m thinking that I will enjoy a movie with a 78 year-old actor. He probably won’t be doing as many of the physical stunts, but Indiana Jones was a character that was mostly courage and wit. He was constantly finding himself in situations where he was afraid, but in which he prevailed anyway. It seems appropriate for our times. After all Harrison Ford and the president elect of the United States were born the same year.

The age of those two, of course, is of interest to me because they have a decade on me. Perhaps I could make a comeback as a preacher in a few years. It seems like I have some time to think about it.

In the meantime, I’m not bored with retirement yet. I’ve got a shop to set up and fence to build on our son’s farm. I’ve got chairs that need the cane seats replace in the garage. I’ve been working on repairs for a couple of doll houses that I made for our daughter and now are being enjoyed by our granddaughters. There are new pieces of furniture for the doll houses in the works at a table. I’ve started scanning slides and organizing photographs. Then there are the normal tasks of living, shopping, cooking, cleaning, banking. Add in a few volunteer opportunities and I may not have time to stage my comeback for a few years.

In the meantime, I need to figure out how to work the movie streaming device so I will be ready when the new Indiana Jones movie comes out in 2022. By then, Ford will be 80.

Copyright (c) 2020 by Ted E. Huffman. I wrote this. If you would like to share it, please direct your friends to my web site. If you'd like permission to copy, please send me an email. Thanks!