Swine Flu Movie Reviews

Being sick is one of the most dif­fi­cult things for me. It’s a psy­cho­log­i­cal mind game. Not only am I unable to be pro­duc­tive1, which is some­thing that nor­mal­ly keeps me sane, it’s the only sit­u­a­tion in which I feel like I can’t take care of myself. All I’m left with is this mis­ery, this suf­fer­ing that men­tal­ly wears me down. On a long enough time line (though I’m talk­ing months to years), I lose the will to live.

I start­ed get­ting some symp­toms since Tuesday after­noon, when I was feel­ing faint at work. When I woke up the next day, the symp­toms had got­ten worse. I spat into the sink, and cheered the fact that my phlegm wasn’t dark green, which is the case when I have strep throat (some­thing that seems to hap­pen annu­al­ly to me). I should say that I only sus­pect swine flu, since I didn’t have a blood test con­firm­ing it, but the per­son who gave it to me told me she had it, so I’m going on her word, and my symp­toms match up with how swine flu is dif­fer­ent from sea­son­al flu.

For me, it’s been:

  • run­ny nose with extreme­ly watery mucous
  • stuffed nose
  • loss of appetite
  • mild­ly sore throat
  • dry cough
  • headaches
  • very slight fever
  • hot flash­es and sweating

This flu, though drawn out, has actu­al­ly been eas­i­er than strep, which is so painful for me that I get fair­ly severe headaches. I went through two entire box­es of tis­sues, and I’m sure I would have gone through more, I had not spent almost the entire time like this:

Nose tissues

On the upside, it was an excuse to drink Neo Citran every night, which I also call Yummy Sleep.

In the five days since I real­ized that I have the flu, I didn’t leave my house, aside from going across the street to buy gro­ceries. Not a sin­gle one of my friends called me (although some of them prob­a­bly didn’t know I was sick), which was a lit­tle dis­heart­en­ing, but I didn’t let it get to me. Jen offered to pick up gro­ceries for me, but I didn’t take her up on it because the offer was enough of a morale boost.

This time, I sur­vived, I did it by myself, and I’m stronger for it.

To keep myself sane, I watched a record num­ber of movies. Usually, it’s hard for me to watch movies, because I feel guilty for not being pro­duc­tive, but this time I embraced my sick­ness. I may watch one every two weeks when I’m healthy, but this time it was nine in five days (ten if I hadn’t passed out in the mid­dle of Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice). Here are some quick reviews. Warning: SPOILERS.

Rebel Without A Cause: Before The Breakfast Club, I’d say that this was the quin­tes­sen­tial teen angst movie. It’s quite enter­tain­ing to see how dif­fer­ent high-school was before my par­ents were born. Movies were also very dif­fer­ent back then, with near Micky Mousing orches­tral music and over­ly-exag­ger­at­ed characters.

The Matrix Revolutions: I had seen this in the the­atre before, but didn’t remem­ber much of it, which usu­al­ly means it’s a bad movie. I put this on as some­thing to keep my eyes enter­tained while I wait­ed to be tired enough to fall asleep (no one can accuse the Wachowski broth­ers of mak­ing a Matrix film that wasn’t visu­al­ly stim­u­lat­ing, if not good), and because I had since read up on the sto­ry and had a clear­er under­stand­ing of the con­vo­lut­ed plot.

P.S. I Love You: I had no idea what to expect, and even then, I was let down. I felt like a roman­tic movie, and this one was not only stiff and gener­ic, it was bor­ing. The only good part was the hilar­i­ous char­ac­ter played by Harry Connick, Jr. who has a dis­abil­i­ty that caus­es him to speak what­ev­er is on his mind, unfiltered.

Ip Man: I expect­ed a great movie, but Ip Man comes off as being a Steven Segal-type action hero with no flaws or char­ac­ter devel­op­ment. He just kicks everyone’s ass in every fight, includ­ing one against 10 Japanese black belts. It’s sup­posed to be semi-auto­bi­o­graph­i­cal, but the time­frame is so short that we don’t learn much about Ip that we couldn’t have been sum­ma­rized on the inside of a book cover.

Yes Man: Liar Liar, with­out the funny.

The Indian Runner: I don’t remem­ber how I heard about this movie, but it’s was excel­lent, with David Morse (who seems to have sup­port­ing roles in every­thing — see The Green Mile below) and Viggo Mortensen play­ing two broth­ers with oppo­site world­views, based on Bruce Springstein’s song, Highway Patrolman. It’s a sad sto­ry, that comes from the inabil­i­ty of these two. An accom­plished first-run for Sean Penn’s direc­to­r­i­al and screen­writ­ing debut. Also fea­tures full frontal nudi­ty of Viggo Mortensen.

Akira: The Japanese put the medi­um of ani­ma­tion to good use. I’m not talk­ing about an ani­mat­ed film where a man wants to trav­el by putting bal­loons on his house, which can prob­a­bly just as eas­i­ly be accom­plished with live action. This movie explores con­cepts, ideas, set­tings, and emo­tions that can only be pulled off with the cre­ative free­dom of being able hav­ing any­thing imag­ined drawn on the screen.

The Green Mile: People are sur­prised I had nev­er seen The Green Mile, since I have a rep­u­ta­tion as a “good” movie watch­er, and this has a rep­u­ta­tion as a good movie. I felt like some­thing heavy, so it was per­fect when I put this on. Had me in tears at the end. Very good all round.

Planet Terror: This was the extend­ed ver­sion of the Grindhouse dou­ble bill. I was slight­ly dis­ap­point­ed, but that’s prob­a­bly my fault as I’ve come to expect so much from direc­tors such as Robert Rodriguez. Even say­ing this, it was an accom­plished film, with some great action, inten­si­ty (the scene where Josh Brolin bites down on the ther­mome­ter comes to mind), and com­e­dy to break up all the vio­lence. Rodriguez suc­cess­ful­ly does an homage to B-movies. Some mis-cast­ings though: I still can’t take Tarantino seri­ous­ly as an actor, and Freddy Rodriguez doesn’t work as a tough-guy, which he gruffly tries to por­tray to comedic effect.

  1. I have the moti­va­tion, but it isn’t enough when my head feels like it’s explod­ing from the inside. []

14 comments

  1. Try a Neti Pot saline sinus wash. I had the flu a week ago, and it only last­ed 5 days thanks to killing all the virii and oth­er bac­te­ria in my sinus­es with the salt wash. 

    Sunday I couldn’t breathe except a bit out of one nos­tril, so I blew out all I could until I could breathe a small min­i­mal amount out of both (but bare­ly). Then I did a sinus wash and it was like a plug came out of a dam. A bunch of viral (green) mucous came out of my right nos­tril and I was able to breathe nor­mal­ly for most of the day. I did a Neti pot sinus wash at least twice a day and I’ve been on the mend since then.

    Salt water is a great (green) at home rem­e­dy to kill bac­te­ria and keep them from pro­lif­er­at­ing, which is what caus­es viral infections…

    • I’ve always want­ed to try a Neti Pot after read­ing a few real­ly gross sto­ries. Makes me won­der what’s stuck in my head!

  2. From the symp­toms you list­ed, you may have had both a head­cold as well as the flu as a true flu doesn’t usu­al­ly have nasal dis­charge and a wet cough.

    Though, it stings like a bug­ger, I found that swab­bing out the insides of the nos­trils as far as you can reach with a Q-tip cov­ered in Purell™ [the kind with Aloe Vera] also seemed to short­en the dura­tion and sever­i­ty of the nasal sys­tems of the head­cold I had recently.

    P.S. I could make a hor­ri­ble and taste­less joke about how you now know how your cousin, Ah Choo, the one with chron­ic aller­gies feels all the time; but, I bet­ter not!

    • I read in sev­er­al places (includ­ing the Public Health Agency of Canada) that one of the com­mon symp­toms of this par­tic­u­lar flu is a run­ny nose, although that seems to be a symp­tom for many ail­ments in my case.

      I don’t know how you can stand Purell in your nose though; I can bare­ly stand the strong smell when it’s on my hands!

      Your joke reminds me of the char­ac­ter, Asneeze, in Robin Hood: Men in Tights, who asks Robin Hood to find his son, Ahchoo.

  3. Sounds like you’re not see­ing a doc­tor. If it doesn’t get any bet­ter, you should.

    The minute I heard that the audi­ence gave stand­ing ova­tions in the­atres across China, I knew Ip Man was about kick­ing Japanese ass, and decid­ed I wouldn’t pay to see it. I did see the pirat­ed ver­sion though. This HK pro­duc­er has a his­to­ry of pro­duc­ing junk movies just to appeal to the mar­ket, and he knew what the Chinese mar­ket want­ed. He already has a sequel in the pipeline. The lead actor actu­al­ly won a best actor award in China, OMG!

    • I’m feel­ing bet­ter now, enough to be at work since yes­ter­day. Most symp­toms have cleared, aside from some very minor stuffi­ness in the nose.

      Wow, I can’t believe this movie won act­ing awards; Donnie Yen’s act­ing was as stiff as a board. At the same time, it doesn’t sur­prise me as Hong Kong seems to churn out a lot of crap, so this “best” doesn’t mean much. It’s so rare that a good movie like Infernal Affairs comes along. I had no idea that anti-Japanese sen­ti­ment was still so strong in Hong Kong.

      • Oh, when I said “China” I meant main­land China. In HK, the sen­ti­ment is almost pro-Japanese(in Taiwan as well). So there’s this cul­tur­al contrast. 

        It’s said that HK movies are dead and gone. All the HK pro­duc­ers and direc­tors nowa­days only cater for the huge main­land market.

      • Wow, that’s so sad, and yet, it makes finan­cial sense. We can only hope for an artis­tic direc­tor like Ang Lee to have enough mon­ey not to wor­ry about going after a big­ger mar­ket, and not to emi­grate to Hollywood at the same time. Then again, it’s not the direc­tor who green­lights a movie, but the board of pro­duc­ers who put up the mon­ey to get the movie made.

  4. Awwwwwww that pic­ture of you is sooo cute. ::hug:: Ok I’ll stop laugh­ing. No seri­ous­ly, I wish I could make you soup.

    And I must say, drag­on nos­trils or not, you might try work­ing on that griz­zled mustache/goatee thing there, it looks pret­ty cool with your new piercing. 

    I don’t rec­om­mend putting Purell or any­thing else but sea-salt­wa­ter (very effec­tive) up your nose — recent­ly they have had law­suits against Zicam, which was a rem­e­dy made to do express­ly what der alt­modis­che is sug­gest­ing. Apparently cer­tain sub­stances when swabbed high in the nose can alter cer­tain people’s sense of smell, and ren­der per­ma­nent dam­age. THAT would be bad. 

    I’m going to work up a list of movies for you and send it. You’ve prob­a­bly seen maybe half.

    • Hahahahha…I think the pic­ture is embar­rass­ing, espe­cial­ly because of how pathet­ic the griz­zled look is on me. The sides are par­tic­u­lar­ly bad, because it’s just a few stray hairs here and there with­out any den­si­ty. That was about six days with­out the razor; I tend not to wor­ry about shav­ing when I’m sick.

  5. Atleast you watched a cou­ple of good movies!

  6. Glad you are feel­ing bet­ter Jeff!

  7. omfg! u got wine? that sux dude… and even tho i dont know u, i still feel bad.. feel bet­ter dude!!!.….my hearty goes to u

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