Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Six Flags Great America

Today was a perfect day for Six Flags...and apparently everyone else within driving distance of the place thought so too.  It was packed.  Though my surgeon said all's well, I am still a little sore and he didn't sound excited about riding roller coasters, but I decided to go for it.  Well, sort of--I only ended up riding one because I wasn't willing to stand in line for ages for any others.  Plus you now have to put all your stuff in a locker at the ride entrance/end of the line, which costs $1 at every ride (and you can only use once--it ends when you open it).  That is NOT cool.

Cecily and I rode the train around the park several times--as in, for just over an hour.  haha!  It was relaxing and shady, which was nice.  On the train, however, there is a recorded audio tour-ish voice.  At one point, as you pass the frontier-town area of the park, they say something about the "Crazy Buffalo restaurant."  Except they pronounce it "buffay-lo."  Which made us laugh repeatedly!  Only when driving home, 4 hours later, did we realize (having gone in to check the place out) that it's a buffet.  What are the chances they did it on purpose and said "buffet-lo"?  (the sign definitely says "buffalo"...)  Our slowness made me laugh even more.

There are lots of things about Six Flags that annoy me greatly...the main one being the whole business of the FlashPass.  Paying more than the cost of your ticket gets you special line-jumping privileges.  Meanwhile, the rest of us just stand in line for hours and hours and hours.  So obviously if one has more money, one gets to cut to the front of the line.  Money gets you ahead, not just in life but at Six Flags too.  Gag--this reflection of our culture's obsession with both $$ and getting ahead makes me ill.    (end rant.  prematurely, perhaps, but whatever.)    

Okay, I lied.   I've also noticed that there is no honor system anymore--the locker thing is part of this, as is the business of getting a ticket while you're standing in line (also new) that has a number on it.  If your ticket is out of order, they know you cut and they kick you out of the park.  Cuz they can't just trust you not to cut.  Again with the reflection of the culture--is it possible that we have reached the point where we've lost honor, so the honor system doesn't work?  Are we an honor-free culture?  disturbing.  Okay, for more ranting.  

I'm watching the movie Atonement as I type this.  It's weird, and slow enough to blog and follow at the same time.  This movie came highly recommended...and I've been waiting a couple months for it to come in from the library (when I put it on hold I was like number 130 in the queue).  It seems well done but I don't get it yet.  Maybe all will become clear....


  1. re: the flash pass phenomenon...I have the same feelings about first-class fliers - they already get bigger seats, more leg room, and better snacks than we peons who fly coac. Do they have to get priority for check-in, the security lines, and boarding too?

    Glad you're feeling better!

  2. No, Teri, no! That movie is terrible! Read the novel! The novel is quite good (except for the excessively long war segments) because it plays with narrative and the reader's expectations of plot. None of this translates well into film. I think the film received good reviews because it was pretty and featured popular, competent actors. I thought the plot made little sense or at least lacked depth if you hadn't read the novel. And it was slooooow. Novels that thrive on novelistic narrative techniques should not be made into films.

  3. Since movies and books should be judged independently (except in the case of Harry Potter - which butchered the third one) I thought the movie was a beautiful adaptation. The book is usually better, but I felt that since the narrative style of the author had a lot of description, it translates well to the screen, which is so visual. I thought the Dunkirk evacuation was an amazing piece of cinematography - the 3.5 minute single shot is a feat. I even liked Kiera Knightly in this film, though I sometimes don't. Her ability to brood and pout and still be sympathetic at the end was very well done.

    And, it was long and slow, but if you're into the art film genre, that's pretty status quo. I loved it.

  4. I admit I have not read the book. And I'm not sure I will (though I've learned not to say "never").

    The movie was a little slow and confusing--I spent a lot of time wondering what on earth was going on. It wasn't until well over halfway through that I even figured out that the girl had lied. I mean, I knew she was wrong about the first stuff, but that last thing...well, anyway, it wasn't that obvious (perhaps because of the way the men all looked in the scene in question).

    In any case--yes, the evacuation from Dunkirk was well done. The whole movie was well done in cinematographic terms, I'm just not sure it did a good job telling a story, which is what I thought was going to happen when I started. If I'd been prepared for a slow-moving light-on-narrative art film, I might have liked it more, but it wasn't what I was expecting, I guess.

  5. It's a novel entirely about narrative and storytelling! If people want to make pretty films that have no plots, they should just use screenplays that aren't adapted from novels. Or they could use Virginia Woolf novels, which generally have no plots to begin with.

    I'm not even an adaptation snob. I even like the Keira Knightley Pride and Prejudice! I just thought the director/screenwriters of Atonement completely failed at capturing the only thing that makes the novel special.

    Teri, the novel will take you like 5 hours to read. It's very short. Take it on the plane to Scotland. (or wait until I move, and you can just borrow my copy for however long you want)