A star is Photoshopped

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Lots of movies have been filmed the Atlanta area since 2008 because of lucrative tax incentives for the film industry in Georgia.  Being a responsible blogger, AGMA tried to find out exactly how many movies.  Google was taking way more than three seconds trying to figure it out.  So “lots” is as good as you’re going to get.

Three of the Hunger Games movies, X-Men First Class, Water for Elephants, Anchor Man 3, all Tyler Perry movies, the new Ant-Man and my personal favorite, Abraham Lincoln vs. Zombies, are just a few of blockbusters filmed in the land of shrimp and grits.  It’s enough for the Atlanta area to now have the nickname “Hollywood of the South”.  Bless our little hearts y’all…

AGMA lives, loves and blogs in Atlanta.

The film industry has really ramped things up here in the last three years.  Massive production studios are being built.  Professionals in the film industry are relocating from California.  How ‘bout a little culture shock with that sweet tea, darlin’?

Hollywood acting wannabes are moving here hoping for less competition for parts.  In many cases demand for support jobs are outstripping supply.  If you’re “digital data wrangler”, whatever that is, evidently you’ve got it made…

It’s become really common to see the unique yellow signs on local roads directing the “movie folk” to sets.  One of these days I’m going to follow one of the “CREW” signs and see what happens.  I usually can always avoid arrest with the “addled senior” routine…

But I’m getting the fever.  I have a new quest.

AGMA wants to be in the movies.

I’ve managed to fight the lure of Hollywood for 61 years although I’ve always been a starry-eyed movie fan.  I’ve resisted hanging out at the St. Regis Hotel – the hotel of the stars in the Buckhead area of Altanta – hoping for a glimpse of Robert Redford or Paul Rudd.  AGMA hasn’t been loitering around the trendy bars and restaurants that are reporting constant “star sightings”.   Because I would just fit in those trendy places so well…

I think the bobby socks, saddles shoes, autograph book and feather pen are dead giveaways in the “not trendy” category.

But a new wind is blowing up Peachtree.  Pick any one of the 71 streets with the name Peachtree in it in Atlanta.  Seriously.

A new movie started filming a few weeks ago that makes all the difference; breaks down all my resolve.

Captain America: Civil War.

Some of you may remember AGMA’s post after I saw Captain America: The Winter Soldier.  I’m a serious Captain American fan.  And Chris Evans fan.  My kids are his age.  I’m so ashamed…

But this movie brings together most of the Avengers so not only is Chris Evans here, but Scarlett Johansson, Robert Downey Jr., Anthony Mackie, Emily Van Camp, Jeremy Renner, Don Cheadle, Sebastian Stan and more.   I mean seriously – you just know Samuel L Jackson has to show up as Nick Fury at some point too, screaming at everybody about what’s in their wallets.

Be still my semi-arterially clogged heart…

They’ve had some open extra calls.  One was for “high class individuals” like you would find at a gala fundraiser for the 1%.   Since I can’t remember the last time I put on a dress and heels – probably my son’s wedding in 2010 – I didn’t think that would fly.  I saw another one for an African market scene they were doing this week.  Since I’m coming out of this past winter as pasty white as a Beluga whale – with a similar girth – I thought I’d pass on that as well.

They seem to want a picture of you when you apply for these extra calls.  WTF? Actually two – a head shot and a shot from the waist up.  Sick bastards.  But it could be a problem when they actually see what I look like.  Salt and pepper Little Dutch Boy hair, glasses, a neck waddle, those jowly things on my jaw, an ample, gravity-abused bosom, a bit too much around the mid-section…  I wonder if they accept Photoshopped selfies?

But it’s a risk AGMA’s willing to take.  I gotta get on that set.

I know this probably isn’t fair to other’s who might also be applying, but I might have to drop the magic words.  Unfair I know, but I really, really want to have my fifteen minutes of movie magic fame.  I’d actually settle for ten seconds. These words have been know to open doors that were bolted and locked with rusted locks and no key.

“I’m a massage therapist.”

Open sesame!

The Corny Captain

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On Sunday, I saw Captain America: The Winter Soldier.  In 3D no less.  Chris Evans on a big screen in 3D – a glorious sight!  I feel a little odd saying that – I’m more than old enough to be his mother.  Hmmm…I guess there’s still some life in the old girl yet!

Aging gracefully my ass.

I like all of the movies in Marvel’s Avengers franchise.  They’re fun, fast-paced, and clever without being too graphic in any of the areas it’s possible to be too graphic in.  To me, movies are pure escapist entertainment.  I don’t want to pay $15 for a ticket to see trauma, sadness, graphic violence and chaos.  I can watch the news for that anytime.  I want to walk out of a movie theater smiling and The Avengers movies make me smile.

But the Captain America movies are special.  I find it really interesting that this second installment in the Captain America series has broken all previous April box office openings taking in something like $96 million in the first 3 days in the U.S.  Worldwide, it has taken in $330 million in 10 days. That’s a lot of movie tickets! The execs at Marvel and Disney are exceedingly happy.

Yes, Chris Evans is hot.  Did I say that already?  And Scarlett Johansson is hot.  And it has great special effects and action scenes. And everybody wants to have wings like The Falcon.  Hell yeah!  But I think there’s more…

The character of Steve Rogers (aka Captain American) is a throwback to a simpler, less complicated time and place.  A time where honesty and trustworthiness and integrity and a concern for the greater good were highly regarded values.  Remember when deals were done on a handshake and people like Jonas Salk freely shared their life-saving knowledge with the world without charging $1500 for a dosed sugar cube?

I’m not one to idealize the past.  I’m well aware of the evils and injustices that were present back in “the good old days”.  And I would never wish them back.  But I do long for the days when people kept their word, took pride in their work, and money wasn’t the only motivation for doing anything and everything.  Certainly, there were many back in the day who let greed and power corrupt them, but it wasn’t condoned, worshiped and glorified like it is now.

We have lost our way and the Cap knows it.

I believe the popularity of Captain American reflects the unconscious longing of our society to return to values that are, in a word, corny. I mean, look at how corny the Cap is…  He hasn’t really kissed a girl since 1943, he never lies, he is loyal to his friends and he believes in sacrifice for the greater good.  What a sucker!  The Marvel script writers did a wonderful job writing dialog for an “old-fashioned values” character that doesn’t come off as cartoonish or judgmental – just sincere and human.

There’s a great scene in Winter Soldier where it becomes clear to Steve that, in the world today, it’s infinitely more difficult and complex to tell the good guys from the bad guys than the world he left in 1943.  He wonders, not if he will ever fit in, but if he really wants compromise what he would need to compromise in order to even begin to try to fit in.  And of course his answer is no because, after all, he IS Captain America!

Duh…

We all long for a hero.  We all need a hero.  We want somebody to look up to who is so good and so honest and so trustworthy that they are above corruption.  Somebody to give us faith in the human race again and the assurance that goodness will win out in the end.

The bad news is that Captain America is a fictional character.

The good news is that the Cap is alive and well in digital media and old school comic books to remind us that those values are still noble and worth pursuing.  And I have hope because a whole lot of people lined up this weekend to shell out good money to get their dose of corny!

Or in my case, corny and Chris Evans…