Wednesday, October 24, 2012

join my clubs -- or not

On Tuesday morning I was still without a rope for my plant-grabbing grappling hook.

Melaque is a fishing village.  Or, it was a fishing village.  Tourists are more likely to take the baited hook than dorado.  But the town has plenty of hardware stores more than willing to sell rope to fishermen and tourists alike.

I think I just needed a good excuse to drive east to Manzanillo.  The last time I was in Manzanillo was to pick up my renewed FM3 -- in April.  I suspect I have not been in any of its shops this year.

And there were new shopping meccas to visit.  A Sam's Club opened while I was in the highlands this summer.  It was big news for the tiny expatriate community.  But even bigger news for the area's expanding Mexican middle class.  The opening of this type of store is another milestone in Getting There.

The first Sam's Club I visited was in Colima two or three years ago.  I was not very impressed with the place.

I am a Costco man.  And the Costco/Sam's Club divide is as wide as the Coke/Pepsi gulf.  The store did not seem to offer anything I could not get at the local Walmart.

The Manzanillo store is a clone of my Colima experience.  I walked around for an hour with an empty cart - - and left with empty hands.

I will confess that a 55 inch Sony television kept whispering my name.  Lacking a crew, I metaphorically stuck wax in my ears and lashed myself to the mast, Ulysses-like, to avoid the sirens' call.  But it was tempting.

I did give into temptation, though, at the cinema.  I love movies.  But the offerings in Manzanillo are usually limited to big American movies.

I decided to take a gamble on Taken 2.  The reviews were not very good.  The most common complaint being that the film was a remake of Taken, and not really a sequel.

The storyline is rather simple -- as they usually are in action films where stories are written and characters are drawn not to get in the way of the action.

In the first film, Liam Neeson is a private security provider with intelligence resources.  His daughter is kidnapped by Albanian white slavers.  He kills the gang, one by tortuous electrocution, and rescues his daughter.  Considering his amazing killing and physical skills, you start wondering why he simply did not melt them with his x-ray vision.

In Taken 2, the father of the electrocuted terrorist seeks revenge with a plan to kidnap Neeson, his ex-wife, and their daughter on a trip to Istanbul.  Of course, all three are alive in the end and the Albanians are all dead.  (Before you complain that I just ruined the story, let me remind you there is no story.)

There is little to enjoy in the film.  Even the action scenes are ultimately disappointing.  There is no action.  Merely some annoying camera angles and MTV choppy editing.  The type of editing that could make Newt Gingrinch look like an Olympian.

My chief concern is the violence.  Violence has its place in art.  Especially if characters can grow in its midst.

There is nothing like that here.  It is all revenge.  On both sides.  And the second film arises because the cycle of violence was initiated in the first film.  There is a promise of a third cycle when we discover the Albanian father has two other living and undoubtedly vengeful sons.

As far as I am concerned, the cycle of violence is broken for me.  I am not going to bother with being fooled three times.

After the movie, I was on my way west to Melaque after stopping at Soriana for some sandwich fixings.

Here it is Wednesday morning.  And I am still without a rope for my plant-grabbing grappling hook.  I completely forgot the primary reason for going to Manzanillo yesterday.

Well, there are still those fisherman-satisfying hardware stores in town.


Andean said...

I just saw the movie -- had similar feelings. If it weren't for the exceptional driving skills of his daughter through Istanbul, the map, plus he is kinda cute, it would not have held my attention.Yep, looks like a sequel in the makin.

Steve Cotton said...

It is one of those films where thinking certainly gets in the way.

Peterandshelagh said...

Just curious, do you remember the price for the Sony tv? It would be interesting to compare it to Vancouver BC pricing. Thanks.
Hope you get your rope soon.

Steve Cotton said...

I took a photograph of the sign.  Sam's Club is asking $26,389 (Mx) for the television -- $2,017 (US) by this morning's exchange rate.  I cannot find it on the Costco USA site.

Cdubee said...

So, in case you do decide to give in to your desire for big screen tv, I have read that some are big electricity hogs and some are not.  That's all the info I have, but I am sure you can research more if the time comes.
I know electricity can be expensive in Mexico.  

Steve Cotton said...

The secondary reason I bought my Vizio big screen for the Salem house was its low electricity consumption.  The primary reason was its dazzling screen. 

On the other hand, I will not save much in utility costs here in Mexico no mater which screen I get.  It will be used about an hour a week at the most -- probably costing me less than the electricity for my refrigerator.

My big electricity splurge will undoubtedly be a bedroom air conditioner if I finally end up being seduced by comfort.