Tuesday, October 12, 2010

"12 and Holding"

Mother: "Can you imagine me running a marathon?"
Leonard: "You just have to run to the end of the block. It's not as hard as you think it is."
Mother: "Easy for you to say."
Leonard: "No. It's not."

I've been tempted to do many movie and book reviews in the past, and enjoy other peoples' reviews, but for now have an arbitrary "theme" with the Blog so I keep it to certain topics, for now. I watch a fair number of Netflix "Watch Instantly" films, which is an interesting and underappreciated phenomenon in movie watching: it was one thing when Netflix came out as a lifesaving option to the crap that Blockbuster kept stocked, and for the last year or two the "Watch Instantly" selection has been an interesting mix of even more obscure films (since distribution and advertising are largely mitigated) that require little commitment to check out the first few minutes to see if you like it.

I'll make a brief mention of "12 and Holding" here because one of the subplots has an interesting tie into running. There is a short, general consensus on "Top Ten Running Movies" because there's about exactly 10 of them (couple Pre ones, some docs, award winners like "Chariots of Fire" and some recent humorous/somewhat campy ones like "Saint Ralph" and "Run, Fatboy, Run"...)

But then there's another list where a small but integral part of the movie has an activity like biking or running. Por ejemplo, I would throw out some ideas like this:

* "Forrest Gump" running scene
* "Donnie Darko" intro (slow-mo biking to INXS)
* "Goonies" bike scenes (the kids going to the beach...or Brandon going for a ride)
* "Back to the Future" skateboarding

In a way, those small parts of a better movie end up having more of an impact than an entire movie about the topic.

The quotes above for the running section are somewhat over the top, but I still thought the relationship between the "fat kid" and his mom ended up being pretty inspiring. Way more than Saint Ralph!

Anyway, "12 and Holding" is a hidden gem, if you ask me. Kind of a "Wonder Years", "Goonies", "The Sandlot", "My Girl" feeling of nostalgia and pre-teen angst, albeit darker and more disturbing. Some of the acting is uneven, especially and unfortunately both the lead male protagonist and antagonist (although things get much better toward the climax), but the lead girl, Zoe Weizenbaum, is absolutely phenomenal; and I went to see "The Town" partly because of how impressed I was with Jeremy Renner. I'm not giving too much away by saying there are multiple sub-plots with each of the kids, each one going farther and deeper than you'd think.

And, you'll never think of eating an apple the same way again.


  1. Thanks for the tip on a new movie to check out! The Town was pretty good as well I thought.

    Hopefully school is treating you well.

  2. Thanks Nick, I thought "The Town" was decent but my wife disagreed.

    School is kicking my butt at about the rate I expected, but it's mostly this first semester, then it should get better. It does get better, right???