G is for Gospodor's Monument Park and Ghostie movies
On my daily work commute I pass by a strange little patch of land known as the Gospodor’s Monument Park, between the little towns of Toledo and Winlock in Washington State. It’s a very odd little memorial area, and hasn’t been without controversy. In a grassy, overgrown field stand three large and two smaller copper-plated monuments in honor of Mother Theresa, Holocaust victims, and the American Indian. When they were first erected in 2002, they were quite the oddity. The tallest monument – the one for Mother Theresa – is 108 feet high; the monument for the American Indian is 100 feet, and the monument for the Holocaust victims is 87 feet. All were fitted with lights that could be seen for miles at night. The first time I encountered them was on a visit from Montana; Sis had not said anything about them, and I thought I was looking at an alien landing site! The lights no longer shine down on them at night; I don’t know if the Dept. of Transportation and the Washington State Patrol decided it was just not safe since they are literally just yards off of the I-5 freeway, where the speed limit is 70mph, or if the money ran out to pay the electricity bill, or what. You can read more about the controversy about getting the park set up, about the monuments themselves, and the fight to make it bigger here. The linked website is also the source for this photo:
OK, now onto the movies. It has been commented on that my taste in movies seems to lean rather heavily towards the horror genre, and I guess it does. I never really thought about it, but these next two selections will seem to put a few more nails in the coffin (see what I did there?): Ghost Ship and Ghost Rig.
Sis and I have nearly identical taste in movies, books, and music. When one of us tells the other about a new movie, author, or musical group that has been discovered, the other of us just goes ahead and buys it, fully anticipating that we will enjoy it profusely because the other one did. Ghost Ship was kind of a miss on that. I loved it, but it took Sis nearly four years to watch it all the way through because it scared her to death! The opening scene was enough to send her scrambling to turn on every light in the house. It definitely is not the best movie ever made and was never in danger of winning any awards, but it has a good (if slightly predictable) plot, good acting with faces you recognize, and good special effects. One review I read said it is “more like a ‘Shining’ on the water”. In brief, a salvage crew gets a tip on an ocean liner that has been missing since the 1960’s. They manage to find it; as they are towing it back to harbor, things happen and the crew winds up trapped inside the liner only to discover a presence aboard the ship. Be sure to be pay attention at the very end for a great twist! Stars Julianna Margulies, Gabriel Byrne, and Ron Eldard.
The second pick today is Ghost Rig starring Jamie Bamber, Bryan Carney, Juliet Diamond, Kerry Norton and Noel Fitzpatrick. Fair warning: this movie is borderline terrible. It gets terrible reviews because the acting is pretty crappy, the script needs help, and the direction…well, it probably could have been better. At first I figured that they just replaced the ship in Ghost Ship with an oil rig. But this movie is definitely different. Basically, it’s about a group of environmental activists who get themselves airlifted onto an abandoned oil rig that the owners plan to blow up, letting the pieces fall to the ocean floor to make an artificial reef. The activists figure it can’t be blown up with them on it, and the owners will have to listen to their demands. The only weird thing is where is the maintenance crew that is supposed to be on board? It doesn’t take long for characters to start dying off, and it doesn’t really hurt your feelings any. There are lots of holes in the plot, but if you can ignore some of that, you can really enjoy the movie. This is another movie with a big plot twist at the end, and watching the whole movie is actually worth it just for that! Don’t hate me if you hate it. Please.
OK – that is it for today. Hope your week is going well so far, and I’ll see you here tomorrow for the letter H!