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Pete Thunell: Battling my artistic side at the Redbox
I want to be a better person and rent more high-minded films, but when it's Friday night and I'm standing in front of the Redbox, it gets tough. - photo by Peter Thunell
This is a conversation Ive had with myself about a hundred times standing at the Redbox looking for a movie.

Artsy Pete: Hey bro. Long time no talk.

Action movie Pete: Oh uh, hey Artsy. I didnt expect you to show up right now.

AP: Pete, look at these movies youre thinking of renting. These are terrible. Is this really how youre going to kill the next two hours?

AMP: Listen, its Friday night. Its been a long stinkin week at work. Havent I earned the chance to watch something entertaining and unwind? I dont want to be challenged. I dont want to learn about the plight of Marxist Italian postal workers. I just want to see a few explosions and maybe watch Tom Cruise run away from said explosions.

AP: But an artsy film can be so much more! Its entertains and it nourishes the soul!

AMP: Ugh. You sound like Tammy trying to sell the kids on eating cabbage.

AP: Dont you remember all those art films you watched in college. Arent you the same guy who teared up while watching a 15-minute static shot of an Iranian woman running under olive trees because of what it said about love and freedom? What happened to your soul, man?

AMP: Hey, I almost cried during Inside Out when Bing Bong jumped out of the wagon. I still have a soul.

AP: Pixar doesnt count! They make everyone cry. Thats like their whole mission statement: Kids movies that will haunt you later in bed as you contemplate old age, death and losing a loved one. Its on their letterhead. Pete, you need to do more. Have you forgotten you minored in humanities?

AMP: Listen, we both know 80 percent of the reason I did that minor was to up my skills at Trivial Pursuit.

AP: It doesnt matter. Why dont you swing by the library and pick up something more substantial? Like, say, Bergmans The Seventh Seal.

AMP: Just a thought, what if they remade The Seventh Seal where now its about Jake Gyllenhaall and he has an older brother who is a part of an elite six-man SEAL team, and the team gets captured. Now it's up to Jake, who had been a SEAL but had washed out, as the seventh SEAL to save the team from the terrorists?

AP: OK That does sound awesome. Maybe the older brother could be someone from a little-known independent film?

AMP: Sure, and well even have them play chess against one of the terrorists who is wearing a billowing black cloak, just to tie it in to the original.

AP: Holy cow, thats NO! Stop! Do not distract me from my point.

AMP: OK, what if the seals this time are six performing seals at Sea World and their brother saw that Blackfish documentary and wants to break them all out. The seal could be voiced by Jake Gyllenhaall.

AP: That one is way worse, and whats up with all this Jake Gyllenhaall business?

AMP: Hes awesome in everything.

AP: Agreed. Hold on, hold on, I see what youre doing. You're trying to distract me. Delete Jupiter Rising from your Redbox queue. I see it there. You know its going to be terrible. There is no way you honestly think this movie is going to be good. I mean, we share a brain. Im looking in our brain right now, and the brain knows for a fact the movie is going to be awful.

AMP: Maybe itll be good OK, its going to be terrible. But explosions, right?

AP: Listen, how about we find some middle ground? Go home and fire up some Downton Abbey. Listening to British accents always make me feel smarter and more cultured. Give me something anything to work with.

AMP: Ill see your British accents, but Sherlock episodes, no period pieces.

AP: Deal. But next week we finally hunker down and watch that documentary about the failings of Americas education system. Its important and powerful.

AMP: Sure. Im sure next Friday night after another week of work Ill totally be in the mood to fire that one up.
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