Not Exceptional

A couple weeks ago, I stayed home sick from work and did my best to rest. For me, resting involves sitting on the couch watching TV. I love TV. As I sat nursing my sore throat and runny nasal passages, I watched movies. I watched Zero Dark Thirty, The Chronicles of Riddick, and Jason Becker: Not Dead Yet.  This particular lineup of films was coincidental. I had recorded two of the films on my DVR and hadn’t gotten around to watching them yet. The third was a film that happened to be on a cable channel after Riddick ended. I would recommend all three films.

Zero Dark Thirty, about the hunt for Osama Bin Laden, has been sufficiently lauded that I need not sings its praises any further.

The Chronicles of Riddick is decent sci-fi fare. I don’t think much of Vin Diesel as an actor and by that I mean I simply don’t know his body of work well enough to pass judgment. I’ve seen very few of his films. I managed to miss the entire Too Fast Too Furious series, for example.   He certainly seems qualified to play an indefatigable badass in a science fiction film.

Jason Becker: Not Dead Yet is a documentary about an absurdly talented young guitar player who was about to hit the big time in heavy metal when he was diagnosed with ALS. He was 20 years old. He was supposed to be dead by age 25, but he’s still around at age 44. Remarkable and inspiring.

After spending the majority of the day watching those three films, I noted that they all feature exceptional people, driven to accomplish a goal, without fear. They are all admirable. Well, arguably the woman in Zero Dark Thirty wasn’t entirely admirable. She was more comfortable with “enhanced interrogation techniques” than I am. I suppose Riddick isn’t so morally admirable either. Physically, he’s amazing, but morally he leans towards the psychopathic end of the spectrum. Jason Becker, through the support of friends and family, has continued to make music despite being unable to move any part of his body aside from his eyes, which he uses to communicate and compose via visual cues and a computer.  Morally and spiritually, Becker is exceptional.

The irony of my situation weighed heavy. Despite the challenges they faced, and their moral flaws, the main characters in those films (two of which are true stories, remember) stayed committed to their goals and overcame every obstacle they faced. I, on the other hand, let a sore throat and sniffles completely derail me. I clearly have some shortcomings in the initiative department, but I think I’m hanging in there morally. 

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One thought on “Not Exceptional

  1. My opinion of Vin Diesel is that he’s a competent actor who’s been ghettoed into action fare. He has the look, the physique, and the game-face for it, and so it’s hard for him to get out of it (though I know he’s tried). We first saw him in a small role in _Saving Private Ryan_. He made a small part memorable, and I looked for him in other things. Unfortunately, “other things” included ridiculous vehicles (no pun intended) filled with cars, explosions, and cheesecake. His ventures into comedy were no better. The action and supernatural thriller genres are easy money for a lot of actors, I think, but for up-and-comers, it’s really easy to get stuck there.

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