Day 6: Six Geese a Laying
Time again for my annual look back at healthcare through the movies. 2018 was a year dominated by superheroes and anti-heroes. And I mean dominated. Check out the top grossing films domestically for the year so far. Six out of 10 are full on superhero/anti-hero films, though I plead my case on a few others. And not on the list is Aquaman, which is expected to be a huge hit, with a release date in the U.S. of December 21.
- Black Panther: Critically acclaimed superhero movie of the year that has grossed over $700 million in the U.S. to date.
- Avengers Infinity War: Superheroes and anti-heroes galore – is Loki a good guy in this one or a bad guy?
- Incredibles 2: When you want to watch a whole family of animated superheroes.
- Jurassic World Fallen Kingdon: Stars Chris Pratt, the anti-hero in the Guardians of the Galaxy franchise.
- Deadpool 2: Not just an anti-hero, a mercenary anti-hero starring a super cute wisecracking Ryan Reynolds.
- Dr. Seuss’ The Grinch: Let’s keep it real here. The Grinch is the first anti-hero we all fell in love with as kids.
- Mission Impossible Fallout: Just plain old hero saving the world MI style, though anyone watching Tom Cruise do his own death-defying stunt work on the film may argue the man has superhero powers.
- Ant-man and The Wasp: Superheroes with insect powers. Cool!
- Solo A Star Wars Story: Han Solo is the epitome of the anti-hero. Like Bogart’s Rick Blaine in Casablanca, a classic.
- Venom: Anti-hero and a snake. I hate snakes.
Looking at this list I now realize why I watched Netflix so much this year. Don’t get me wrong. I like a good superhero and anti-hero movie as well as the next person. I’m just saying that I saved myself about $350 here ($12 ticket; $15 glass of wine; $7 popcorn) because I haven’t seen ANY of these films. I don’t know about you, but if I’m going to drag myself away from my beloved Netflix to go to the movies, I’m going to be sitting in a lounge chair sipping a glass of wine and eating buttered popcorn just like I do at home. Don’t judge me.
Yet I’m writing this post. About 2018 movies. That I’ve actually seen. That made me think “healthcare”? I went to the movies six times this year, and this is why our Editor, Roberta Mullin, assigned me Day 6. Nothing to do with geese or geese laying eggs or Christmas. I saw six films so Day 6 is what I got.
So, without further ado, here are the films I did see.
Ocean’s 8: A bunch of beautiful, lying, cheating, stealing women pull off the heist of the year, despite a whole host of security protocols protecting a lot of jewels at the annual Met Gala in NYC. Spoiler alert: It is Rihanna’s hacker character breaking into the Met’s security system through a Wheaten Terrier phishing ploy that gets our gals on their way. Sound familiar? A little phishing here, a sleight of hand there and before you know it, your healthcare system has been hacked and your patient records are gone. Millions of records were stolen this year and experts predict it will get worse as the price tag on the dark web for a medical record now averages $408. You don’t have to Google far to read that most of the hacks were the result of human error.
A Star is Born: This movie, directed and starring Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga, was terrific. The “she on the rise; he on the downfall” remake brought out amazing performances by both. Lady Gaga, as expected, showed her acting chops and her singing was terrific. But for me, it was Cooper’s depiction of the addiction-riddled Jackson Maine, driven by his personal demons, and spiraling out of control, who stole the show and my heart. According to the latest CDC data, the U.S. life expectancy has declined over the past few years largely due to deaths from drug overdose and suicide. We will need the collective superpowers of the entire healthcare industry, I think, to solve America’s addiction crisis.
Three Identical Strangers: This disturbing documentary tells the true tale of three 19-year-old strangers from New York who, by accident, discover they are identical triplets separated at birth. While the reunion of the boys brings them international media attention and fame, their quest to discover the truth of their birth leads to some shocking conclusions. The three boys, adopted out through one agency, were deliberately placed in completely different home environments as part of a larger controversial research study to track how their lives are shaped and influenced. Speaking of research, and controversy, the debate over the use of alternatives to fetal tissue research hit Congress last week. As reported in this article by the New York Times, HHS is looking at whether adequate alternatives exist for the use of human fetal tissue in HHS funded research. The article highlights the pros, cons and why this is not a simple issue or story.
Ralph Breaks the Internet: The follow-up to Wreck-it-Ralph, this charming animated film finds Ralph and Vanellope, now besties, on a wi-fi router adventure in an attempt to save the Sugar Rush Arcade. Okay, none of that will make any sense to you unless you saw the first film. But it made me think: does anyone really remember what healthcare was like before the Internet? And if they do, would they go back to 100% paper, non-patient portal, no-can-do digital-era healthcare? Really, what WOULD happen if the Internet completely broke? And how would it break?? Could hackers break it??? Or an EMP???? A gamma-ray burst????? If you have any theories here I’m all ears.
A Private War: This gripping movie starring Rosamund Pike is based on the 2012 Vanity Fair Marie Colvin’s Private War, and follows the legendary war correspondent’s life as she and her photographer cover some of the most dangerous hotbeds of war and unrest, including the besieged Syrian city of Homs. Read the article of this fascinating woman, then see the movie. War on any front is dangerous, and the men and women that serve need our support, and they need access to healthcare. Last week the VA announced it will work with mobile service provider T-Mobile to improve access to healthcare for veterans through telemedicine.
Game Night: I’m a big fan of Jason Bateman, Rachel McAdams, and board games so I loved this comedy of a married couple (Max and Annie) and four friends who meet up every week for game night. Things go awry when Max’ older brother Brooks appears and takes their next game night to a whole new level with a murder mystery party. Through a chain of events, we discover Brooks has been kidnapped, and it is up to Max, Annie, and friends to unravel the real mystery. Chain of events. Chain. Chain-chain-chain. Blockchain! Yes, my final movie and my final healthcare connection has led me to Blockchain. One of the biggest topics of the year, blockchain promises a lot, from transaction tracking for medical supply chain to smart contracts, and aggregating and managing patient data. No doubt blockchain and its uses will be a big topic at HIMSS19. But back to the movie. Pay close attention to Jesse Plemons as boorish, next-door-neighbor Gary who has been iced out of game night by his divorce. He steals every scene he is in, as does his Westie Bastian, which is no small feat as far as I’m concerned when Bateman is on screen.
To all the movie-loving, wine drinking, popcorn eating readers out there, have a great holiday season!