Friday, November 30, 2007

BEE MOVIE; Book preview: Born on a Blue Day

Jerry Seinfeld was in Israel recently where he met the Prime Minister and the President, honors usually reserved for a head of state. He deserves it. This is a man who can do whatever he wants and he has chosen to make an excellent family-friendly film, BEE MOVIE. Mrs. 1OTT and I were the only adult couple in the theater in an audience of parents and children. What a relief it was to see a movie for kids that didn't contain the usually gross-out Shrek-humor that children supposedly enjoy.

I won't give away too much of the plot except to say that Jerry plays Barry B. Benson, a bee who wants more out of life than working in the hive and dying. He meets Vanessa, honey-sweetly voiced by Renée Zellweger, a florist who accepts Barry as the first bee to talk--a violation of bee rules--and the pursuer of justice for bees.

Hilarious Jewish humor abounds around Barry's family and a star turn by a cable talk legend. Nudge-nudge cameos are also entertaining and integral to the plot so don't read too many reviews before you go see it.

I hear people say, "Why should Jerry even work?" since he's so rich. Crosby kept working after his first 100 million and so should Jerry. One can only wonder what the extra episode of Seinfeld planned for DVD would have been like. Jerry said things didn't come together for it to happen, but I suspect the Michael Richards scandal kiboshed it. I saw Jerry's COMEDIAN documentary, showing his return to standup and was amused by it, but BEE MOVIE is a return to form by a comic prince.

Note to Chris Rock fans: his participation is a cameo, but the setup of his mosquito character, Mooseblood, near the beginning of the movie, leads to the funniest line of the movie near the end.

Born on a Blue Day by Daniel Tammet

Free Press has just published the paperback of the British bestselling autobiography of an autisitc savant, Born on a Blue Day. Mrs. 1OTT is a social worker in a school for autistic children and wanted the book for herself, so I bought it, read chapter 1, and was drawn in. The author's love of math and some of his odd habits, such as spinning coins, reminded me of some of my own childhood habits and those of kids I knew and even my own children. But when you put all these behaviors together in one person you have the autism spectrum. I'm trying to learn more about this condition. One OPRAH show with Jenny McCarthy isn't enough to learn everything you need to know. I'd like to think that eventually we'll live in a world where, when a person with an unusual condition like autism enters a bus and acts up, people will have actually learned enough in school to understand what they are dealing with, instead of scowling or laughing. Full review to follow.

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