Wednesday, December 31, 2008

They also serve Crumbs cupcakes over there

In the second week of December, I came across some extra money, and decided not to use it to pay off massive debt. I will die with that debt, so they can go fuck themselves. What was more important was to get out of my stuffy shack, so I drove over to the Silent Movie Theatre in piece-of-shit Los Angeles and bought a ticket for Nicky Katt's Smackum-Yackum Saturday. Nicky Katt is an actor who's been in some cool movies, so you probably caught one of them. You can find out here:

This past year, Mr. Katt hosted two other all-night movie marathons at this place. The first one involved Good Ol' Boy Southern type stuff, and the second one was called Mug-Melter Monday and was just different movies that were all cool. I went to both of those and they were a good time. They had a barbecue grill available to anyone who brought hot dogs and they had lots of free beer; Shiner Bock and Asahi. They were not nearly as well attended as you figured they would be though, which may have had something to do with being scheduled on weeknights. But the city of L.A. missed out, because they was good times, especially Mug-Melter Monday. That one started at 7pm and ended around 5am. They had a D.J. and a fog machine that went haywire and we saw the first 20 minutes of a crazy-as-fuck supernatural kung-fu flick called Boxer's Omen through that fucking fog. I went by myself, as usual, and if I didn't get so drunk on free Shiner early on, watching everyone else have a good time with their friends would've crushed my goddamn soul. Which is why I love booze. I could always try talking to people, but my testicles are too huge, making it difficult for me to walk all the way across to speak with strangers. Plus I've seen the brave souls who do that, and when they leave, they are usually mocked by those fuckin' assholes. Fuck 'em.

I arrived at 6:30 with a flask bottle of Jack Daniels so I can kill the lonely bug as quickly as possible, but I find out it's not necessary because in addition to Shiner and Asahi, Mr. Katt and the fine folks at the Silent Movie Theatre have supplied free hard liquor! Vodka, JD, orange juice, and whatever the fuck else. Fucking Awesome!

But you know what ISN'T awesome? That there were only about 8 or 9 people when I got there. On a Saturday night. Maybe it's just too early in the evening and it'll get better, I thought. I sit down and watch an old stop-motion short about some lumberjack who makes a clarinet out of wood and plays jazz music with it. Pretty cute. After that, they start the first movie, which is called Something Wicked This Way Comes.

It's about a carnival that comes to a small town, sometime in the 1920's or 30's or 40's, I can't fucking remember. Like most carnivals, the people working for it are evil scary motherfuckers lead by an more evil scary motherfucker and evil scary motherfucking shit happens. This was a Disney flick, and I don't think you'll see Disney make movies like this again, because it's pretty freaky. This is probably the only Disney family movie with a shot of a boy's decapitated head in a basket. There's a lot of freaky shit in this movie; a merry-go-round that either makes you younger or older depending which way it goes, scary bearded guys with moving tattoos, silent red-headed boys and motherfucking tarantulas. There's also midgets. I'm sure lots of little kids went to see this shit and had nightmares for a while. It's pretty fucking sweet, though.

The movie ended somewhere a little after 8pm and by then there were around 25 people, which is better than 8, but still pretty small. There's a break and by 8:30, Nicky Katt and this dude Hadrian, who's like the main dude at the Silent Movie Theatre came out to talk about the next movie, called Enter Laughing. I noticed a faint whiff of the sweet, sweet Sonny Chiba in the air before the movie started. To each his own.

Enter Laughing is a movie from the 1960's starring Poppie from Seinfeld. Poppie was a pretty handsome dude back then, playing this kid from New York City who wants to be an actor. He's got the dream of being a famous movie star but doesn't know the first thing about acting. Plus, he's got his parents who want him to become a pharmacist. The title of the movie comes from a scene where he auditions for a play and the first thing he says is "enter laughing". Poppie doesn't know that he's reading the stage directions as dialogue. There's a couple of cute chicks in the movie, and there's another one who's pretty but way too fucking skinny, and it reminds you that chicks like that were the exception and not the rule back then, like they are now. This chick is played by Elaine May, and I know that name because Alec Baldwin compared Tina Fey to this broad, so I guess she's a big deal. Another big deal is that Meathead's father Carl Reiner directed this movie, and it's based on a play that was based on a book he wrote that was kinda based on his life, if you got all that. I dug it, man. It was pretty funny and the audience seemed to dig it as well. There was a part where the director of the play is counting up the donations from last night's performance and he says something like "15 dollars? There were 30 people in that audience..." and either Nicky or Hadrian said something like "I know the feeling" and the 30 or so of us in the audience laughed.

Around 10:30 the movie ended and Nicky & Hadrian returned and talked about the next movie they would play after the break, called Prime Cut, a movie from the 70's with motherfuckin' Lee Marvin and motherfuckin' Gene Hackman. Everyone was pumped and then it was time for another break. Most people went to the back patio to eat hot dogs, talk and drink. I milled around, going back and forth, trying to look like I had something going on, all the while attempting to work my way to higher state of drunkeness.

Prime Cut started around 11 and it was a pretty decent flick. No great shakes, but it's cool to see Marvin being his typically badass self. He's a dude who works for the mob in Chicago, and he's sent down along with a few other dudes to Kansas City to collect some long overdue money from Hackman, playing a guy who runs a meatpacking joint named Mary Ann. Yup, homeboy's name is Mary Ann and they never explain that shit either, so you don't know if it's just a nickname or if it's just the cover name for the company like Sara Lee or Aunt Jemima or if his father was just a fucking asshole who never listened to that Johnny Cash song about a boy named Sue. Mary Ann's a real scary dude too, since the last guy the boys from Chicago sent to collect was sent back to them as a pack of sausages. He also sells drugged-up chicks on the white slavery market. Mary Ann's an asshole.

Of course it's not going to be easy, and there's a couple of cool scenes of Marvin and Hackman standing off and giving each other a hard time. There's a cool chase scene that leads to Marvin and Sissy Spacek (the only time I've ever seen her play the hot chick role) running from a combine as it tries to chop their asses up. The film climaxes with a shootout on Mary Ann's property, which starts at a sunflower field, then a greenhouse and finally in a barn. It's a pretty simple movie with a fast pace and the occasional weird moment, like when one dude tries to stab another dude with a sausage. This was back when you fucking believed in guys like Lee Marvin, you believed they were fucking badasses along with dudes like Steve McQueen and Charles Bronson, the last of their generation. As far as I'm concerned, they were quite capable of doing the shit they did in movies. I don't believe any of the movie star tough guys of today, seeing them as no more than just actors playing tough. Bunch of slack-jawed faggots, to quote the great Jesse "The Body" Ventura in Predator.

There was another break, and I went to get some more free JD. Two college-age girls were serving themselves some booze, and one of them said to the other something like "ok, we're not going to end up as Girls Gone Wild tonight, ok?" and they both giggled. Based on their behavior during Prime Cut, they were more like Girls Gone Really Fucking Annoying. Sorry girls, but nobody likes a drunk chick unless there's sex involved.

By the time the next movie started around 12:45, I was just the right amount of drunk, which was perfect because it was none other than Dangerous Men that appeared on the screen. This movie is like the Second Coming of Plan 9 from Outer Space. Well, the guy who made it passed away a some time ago and the movie kinda disappeared after it's original release. But now it looks like the Cinefamily at the Silent Movie Theatre are gonna bringing it back. They had two sold-out screenings the week before this marathon, and I understand they're going to screen it again in late January. Sounds like they're going to make it the new "So Bad, It's Good" flick to watch, alongside Tommy Wiseau's The Room. Twenty minutes into the movie, the Girls Gone Really Fucking Annoying got up and left, never to return. It was like the movie was too much for them to take. Or maybe they just thought it sucked. Or maybe they were just late for a date rape by some future NFL star.

By 2:10, Nicky & Hadrian returned and let the audience vote by applause which of the three choices given would be played next:

--Star Hops, a goofy T&A movie from the late 70's

--It's Always Fair Weather, a Gene Kelly musical

--Revenge, the Kevin Costner flick about bloody motherfuckin' Revenge.

It came down to a tie between Revenge and Fair Weather. We left it to Nicky to be the tie-breaker and he chose Fair Weather.

I voted for Revenge, but I'm glad Nicky picked It's Always Fair Weather, because it's pretty damn good. This was the follow-up to Gene Kelly & company's smash hit Singin' in the Rain, but this one didn't do nearly as well in the box office. Too bad, because it's got some great set-pieces, my favorite being a dance sequence with Kelly on rollerskates. I almost jumped out of my seat and screamed "FUCK YEAH" at the end of that one, and if I was sloppy drunk at that point, I would've, but luckily I was calming down with the booze by then. I wasn't alone in my enthusiasm; there was crazy applause at the end of most of these routines.

Some weird shit happened, though. I guess there was a mistake and we watched the movie with one of the reels in the wrong place. What this meant was that it got to a point in the movie where people were referring to shit we didn't see, leaving us scratching our head wondering if maybe this was like Reservoir Dogs, where you never see the robbery but only hear about it. But then, after the exciting climax, the missing reel was played and it was like some Memento/Tarantino shit, where we now get to see all the shit they were referring to that happened before the events we DID see. Once that reel ended, everything was back in order. The audience was still with the movie the whole way, though. It felt like that anyway. The applause seemed genuine.

Another break, then the next film at 4:05: Star Hops. STAR HOPS? What the fuck?! Hardly anyone applauded for that movie when we voted. Fuckin' Revenge was the runner-up -- we should be watching Kevin Costner banging Madeleine Stowe and slicing motherfuckers throats open (not at the same time, though) right now! Someone behind the scenes had a hard-on for this movie and got his or her fuckin' way, I'm guessing.

Whatever. Star Hops is about two chicks who decide to buy the drive-in burger joint they work at after their boss quits. To improve business, they spruce up the place, wear skimpier outfits and hire a French chick who graduated from the Le Cordon Bleu but isn't taken seriously by her peers because she's a woman, or something like that, to work the grill. There's also an evil oil magnate who wants that property, so he recruits his son to get a job there and fuck shit up from the inside. It's pretty goofy and harmless and it ends the way you'd think it ends, with the bad guys punished and the good girls living happily ever after. The only thing keeping me interested was the main chick, the late actress Jillian Kesner. She was very pretty and had a smokin' body, so Ms. Kesner -- along with the free coffee I was drinking -- kept me awake.

A couple of interesting things during this screening occurred. At one point, it looked like Hadrian and Nicky were having a bit of a heated discussion. Hopefully not. But it did look kind of serious. Then halfway through the movie, Nicky stood up with his lady companion and said out loud: "Hadrian? This movie sucks!" then they both left. I don't remember seeing him at the end of the evening. Maybe I was in the john for his closing remarks.

It was around 5:40 after Star Hops and our last break, then it was on to the final movie of the night: a documentary called Blue Water, White Death, about a team of oceanographers looking to capture footage of the Great White Shark for the first time ever. This was before Jaws and before Shark Week, so this flick was a pretty big deal back then. Hadrian told us that it also served as partial inspiration for The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou.

It was pretty interesting, and I could totally see what Wes Anderson took from it for his movie. My favorite being the onboard folk singer, who I figured was just an Anderson original, but no, he took it from here. It would make a cool double bill with Life Aquatic. Cool shark footage too.

By 7:30, it was all over. Not even a "thanks for joining us". Just lights on, blank screen and silence. Get the fuck out. Only 8 or 9 of us remained, which was also the same number of people at the beginning of the evening. We slowly got up and made our way out of there. I noticed Marc Heuck from the Nuart Theatre and the tv show Beat the Geeks was there with his lady friend. I threw away my coffee cup and empty beer bottles and got ready to meet the day.

I would like to think they'll do more of these marathons, and it kills me that not nearly as many people showed up as I thought should. Come on, there was free beer and booze! And a place to barbecue hot dogs! That's some really cool shit for a movie theater to offer people and unless more show up to take advantage, I fear they'll just stop going out of their way like that in the future. Then when I tell people what the Cinefamily at the Silent Movie Theatre used to do for its patrons, they'll just tell me I'm full of shit. And that's fucked up.

Anyway, goodbye 2008. You fucked my shit up something awful and made me consider drastic things to kill the pain. Fuck you, 2008. Don't let the door hit you on the ass, you motherfucking cocksucking low-life piece-of-shit scumbag asshole cocksucker motherfucker. Fuck you and die.

2009, I hereby warn you to come correct. Be good to me, baby.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Talking dogs will devour your soul and you will suffer for all eternity trapped in the bowels of a Hellbeast, never to escape

A couple days before Christmas, I took a visit to a dollar movie house. It's a little further away than my usual haunts, but after doing the math I found that even with the extra gas being spent, I still save a nice chunk of change. I decided to see Clint Eastwood's film Changeling, with Angelina Jolie. I mean, she's in Changeling, not that she joined me on the trip. Wouldn't that be something, though? Me, her and her twenty kids.

The movie starts at 12:40 and I get there at 12:20, but it doesn't matter because there's a huge line snaking around the corner, like if today was May 25, 1977 and fuckin' Star Wars was playing here. I failed to realize that in addition to the usual crowd of seniors and unemployed layabouts such as myself, there's also all the other people who don't have school or work because they're enjoying their Christmas vacation. Also, because it's Tuesday, movies here are $1 instead of the usual $1.50. Fifty cents can be the difference between life and death.

I make peace with the fact that I will not make Changeling in time, so I check the next showing and that's 4:00, giving me three hours and forty minutes to kill. I can't go home and come back later, because I'm too far to do that and I'd seriously be wasting gas then. So I decide to buy a ticket and hang out inside in the theatre, watching whatever the hell else they have in there. It's only a buck. I figure I'm really paying two bucks for Changeling, which has got to be at least worth that much. I buy one ticket for The Haunting of Molly Hartley, because it started fifteen minutes ago, whereas the others are all halfway through. As I walk toward the auditorium, I realize I have no fucking interest whatsoever in Molly Hartley. None.

As I sit down, there's some chick in a schoolgirl outfit on-screen and I'm like that's cool. This is the titular character, which reminds me, since this is PG-13, we won't be seeing any real titulars so I'm like that's NOT cool. The dean or principal or whoever welcomes her to this private school, and they get this Goody Two Shoes chick to help walk her around and show her the place on the way to class. GTS takes Molly to class and this guy who would probably be the star of a WB show if this was 1998 is smitten with Miss Molly, who gives him a shy but interested look back. Sure enough, we pan over to this tanned & blonde chick who is giving Molly the stink eye something fierce. So we know what's up now.

So Molly has made friends with GTS, who it turns out is a devout Christian. She's also a pretty sweet girl. She's endearingly dorky, taken to humming and singing church songs while taking quizzes. When some of the other students start to chuckle, she stops and looks embarrassed because she really didn't know she was doing that so loud. She asks Molly if she's been saved and accepted JC as her lord and savior, but she's not pushy about it, more like an open door type of deal. I don't see her as the type who goes to funerals with signs saying God Hates Fags or any of that other lovely stuff those assholes do. She's unfortunately a homely looking bird, which is bad enough, but then the filmmakers decide to hammer the point home by dressing her up in the frumpiest Carrie White's Mother hand-me-downs I've ever seen. We get it, she's REALLY Christian. Because as we all know, there is no such thing as a hot Christian chick who dresses well. Cunts. I'm not religious, but I don't like that kinda shit happening to anyone, you know? Well, most religions anyway.

Molly seems to have another problem. She has these freakouts at home where she sees fucked up visions of some crazy lady trying to attack her. Turns out this lady is Molly's mother, who some time ago did try to kill her. Now Mom's in the nuthouse and Molly & Daddy have moved to another town to do the "starting over" thing. In the meantime, Molly goes to a shrink to talk about her problems. The shrink is played by this chick who played an undercover cop in Reservoir Dogs, except they cut her scene out. I bet you Tarantino tried to work in a gander at her feet, though.

When Molly feels these freakouts coming on at school, she rushes to the ladies room to try to compose herself. That's where she meets Rebel Grrl, a chick who is such a fucking rebel, her stockings are all torn up. Yeah, that's sticking it to the Man, maaaaaaannnnn! She wears a loosened tie and her blouse isn't completely buttoned up either, maaaaaannnn! And she doesn't wear the required shoes, she wears leather boots, boots that say Fuck You Maaaaaannnn, you can't tell ME what to wear! Guess what Rebel Grrl was doing in the ladies room? That's right, she was smoking a cigarette! Fuck your authority, maaaaannnn! I'll smoke if I want to! You and your fascist rules can suck it, maaaaaaaaaaannnnnnnnnn!!!!!!

What's sad is that for all of my mocking, morally and ethically I should agree with her principles completely. I mean, I wrote a blog ranting about how I should be able to eat stuff that's bad for me if I want to, and I also complained that the city shouldn't make me or anyone else pay for parking. Sure enough, I also think you should be allowed to smoke and drink at most places too. You know what? It doesn't feel good to have your libertarian ideals not taken seriously. I didn't realize that's what I was doing to her. When I was mocking Rebel Grrl and her way of life....I was in fact also mocking myself and my way of life -- and it hurts. If anything, she's truer to her beliefs than I am. I'm all talk in the end, ultimately bowing down to authority because I don't want to get hurt. She should be mocking ME. So I take it back, Rebel Grrl. I didn't mean to hurt you. Rebel Grrl....actually, Rebel Grrl....I....I...

I love you. I don't care who knows it. I love you, Rebel Grrl. Be with me, please. Please?

Ok, anyway. Rebel Grrl becomes friends with Molly, and WB Boy is buzzing around trying to get to know Miss Molly as well. Stink Eye always comes in afterwards to give Miss Molly her namesake along with the "that's MY man, bitch" spiel and maybe a shove or two. But that doesn't keep WB Boy away, who eventually invites her to a party at his mansion. Yup, he's a rich kid too.

At this point, I left the auditorium and walked around, watching some of the other movies for a couple of minutes. Watched an Eagle Eye chase scene. Did you know that Julianne Moore does the voice of ARIA the killer computer in that movie? Yeah, that's her.

I stepped out to the main hallway and made a phone call, and just as I finished, a little Asian boy, probably about seven, walked out of the Beverly Hills Chihuahua auditorium with his large popcorn & soda and sat up against the wall. An older Hispanic kid, I'd guess around 14 or 15 came out and followed, then a Black woman looking in her late 30's came out. They both go up to the Asian boy and start talking to him, something about, "if you didn't want to go see the movie with us, you should've told your mom". They were being pretty strict with him. I could understand, after all, the ticket was only a buck but that popcorn and soda probably added another seven or eight dollars right there. The boy hems and haws, then eventually asks the Black woman if they could stop the movie. Why, she asks. Because the talking dogs scare him, he responds. She tells them they can't stop the movie, and the best he could do is not look whenever a talking dog appears. Since the movie is called Beverly Hills Chihuahua, homeboy ain't seeing shit but the ground for the next ninety minutes while yellowing his Spider-Man underoos. It's a hard world for little things.

With the exception of Goody Two Shoes, there are no talking dogs in Molly Hartley, so Asian kid would probably have an easier time over here. I sit back down and at this point Molly and Rebel Grrl arrive at WB's party. All is good until Stink Eye catches WB and Molly dancing. After WB takes off to fix his toilet (really), Stink Eye tries to start a fight with Molly, who keeps asking her to leave her alone. Stink Eye answers by smacking her across the face. Molly responds by turning into Steven Seagal and showing Stink Eye how it looks and feels to now have an arm that bends in both directions. This understandably upsets the other partygoers and Molly runs away.

Molly has another freakout thinking her mom's out to kill her, but Dad tells her that isn't possible because he checked with the nuthouse, and at the time she claims to have seen her mom, she was under sedation in her room. So shut up about the mom, he says, then leaves for work. So Molly's kicking it by herself at home and DUN DUN DUN, Mommy's back and armed with a knife. Mom explains to her that she and Dad made a deal with a Creepy Lady and some Evil Motherfuckers long ago, because Molly was actually a miscarriage. The deal was that in exchange for bringing Molly back to life, Molly would become a part of the Evil Motherfuckers ultimate plan for World Domination or something on her 18th birthday. And guess what tomorrow is? Molly tries to shoo her away, calling Mom a hallucination, but Mom explains to her that she's real and that a simpatico nurse let her escape so she can kill the potential Antichrist that is her daughter. Mom asks Molly to allow her to shank the shit out of her, that way not only can the world be saved but Molly's soul as well. Molly shoves her back, and Mom falls on her knife. Massive fail, Mom.

Dad comes home to find his crazy wife's bloody body on the floor and he's all "Whaaa?". Molly gets on him for not telling her the truth and he's like "Did you consider the fact that maybe your Mom who escaped from the NUTHOUSE just might be CRAZY?". But Molly's like Whatever Dad, and knocks his old ass out.

She runs away and finds GTS at her Victory Outreach hangout and begs her to help save her soul NOW. GTS takes Molly to a baptism pool at an empty church and gives Molly the ol' Dunk & Save. Molly thanks GTS, thinking it's all over because she's given herself over to Christ. GTS apologizes to her, saying that yes Molly's soul is now saved, but the threat isn't over. Molly's like "Gulp. What threat?" and GTS explains that she knows all about her situation, since GTS's mother happens to be the same simpatico nurse that let Molly's mom out of the nuthouse. In other words, You Gotta Die, Bitch! Molly gives GTS the same Shove of Death that she gave her Mom, and GTS cracks her head open on the side of the pool and passes out into the water. Molly showing signs of being an Evil Bitch, just leaves GTS there to drown. C'mon, Molly -- even Sho'nuff was pulled out of the water after Bruce Leroy knocked his ass out, and Sho'nuff was a fucking prick. What really sucks is that you know GTS most likely died a virgin, so she didn't even get to experience THAT before leaving this world. But I guess Jesus is her boyfriend now, so it's all good. Put in a good word for me, GTS.

Molly calls WB to pick her up, which he does, taking her to his parent-less mansion. She explains her deal to WB, who does his best not to stop the car and kick homegirl to the curb with that crazy bullshit. She begs for some kind of help, because she's on the clock and midnight is coming. They decide the only other person they can call right now is her shrink. They get to the mansion and Molly calls her shrink, who doesn't answer. I don't know, maybe she's not available because it's like 11:55 at night. She goes to the next room to find WB standing in front of a birthday cake and creepily singing Happy Birthday to her. She's like "Wait a minute..." and then a bunch of other creepy looking people come out, and one of them drags out Molly's Dad with them, who looks like he just got the shit beat of him. He apologizes to Molly for not being upfront about her being the potential Antichrist. Then out comes the leader of the pack and it's none other than her shrink! Tom Cruise was right all along, shrinks aren't to be trusted! Turns out she's the same Creepy Lady who made the deal with Mom & Dad back in the day! Whoa! My mind is blown! Not really.

Molly freaks out and cries and all that shit and says she doesn't want to be the person to bring Evil Motherfuckers to the Promised Land, and Evil Shrink tells her there's still one way out of the deal -- kill the remaining person who signed the contract for her: Daddy. Molly's Dad is like "It's okay. You gotta do it" and Molly's like "Noooooo!" and her Dad is like "Really, it's okay. Just fuckin' stab the shit out of me and it's all good". All that back & forth going on and Molly doesn't notice that the clock has started to ring in midnight. She has no time left so she picks up the birthday cake knife and holds it up, ready to bring it down on Daddy. But she stabs herself instead, and Dad's all like "NOOOOOOOOO", but it's okay because she doesn't die. So she tries again. Nope, still alive. A third time she stabs herself. No dice. It's too late, she's the Antichrist now and I guess that makes her immortal like the fuckin' Highlander.

So Dad ends up in the nuthouse and Molly graduates as valedictorian of her class. Now she's all creepy and you get the idea from her speech that she's going to probably pursue politics and world domination. Her shrink is in the audience, all dressed in black because she's EVIL, smiling and proud of her Hell Spawn. Afterwards Molly, the shrink and some other Evil Men in Black enter a stretched limo, where I assume they're going to discuss making the future all about 666 over pasta and breadsticks at the Olive Garden. The entire sequence is done to really cheery lame-ass "tonight's episode of Dawson's Creek featured music by the following bands" music, which I guess is supposed to be ironic. If you watched the last five minutes of the film without knowing what it was about, you'd think you were watching the happy ending to some made-for-Disney Channel movie starring that girl from Lazy Town. Fade to black.

You know, the first two-thirds of this movie wasn't so bad. It was pretty decent, well, for having paid $1 to watch it. If I paid full price I would've been fucking pissed. Plus, the movie becomes complete fucking garbage beyond all help once everything's revealed. This movie had potential for a while, then just fucking squandered it. It's like the cinematic equivalent of me.

So I killed some more time afterwards, spending the remaining forty-five minutes walking around the shopping center, and then I saw Changeling. Changeling was pretty fucking good. The End.



That's the program you receive when you buy a ticket to see the roadshow version of Che, or as I like to call it, EL CHEEEEEEEEEEEEEHHHHHHH. I don't know why, but I keep saying it in a kinda sorta low guttural whisper. No joke. I've been doing this for the past week or so, whenever it comes up in my mind. I was thisclose to asking the lady at the ticket booth "I'd like one for EL CHEEEEEEEEEEHHHHHHH". Inside the program is the cast & crew credits for the production, along with black & white pics of scenes from the movie. They do this because this version of Che doesn't come with credits. No opening credits and no closing credits. Hell, the theater doesn't even play trailers beforehand. This is because the roadshow version of Che is nearly five hours long.

I went to see it at the Nuart, which while being in West L.A., is still L.A., and is becoming more like it with each passing day. It's been nearly seven months since my last visit and the changes are obvious -- most of the free parking is now gone. The wonderful, wonderful side streets are now soiled with ugly piece-of-shit parking meters ($1 per hour, two hour limit). The free parking lot is now a pay lot. Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! I need! I need! I need! says the city. Ugly white compact cars with "Parking Enforcement" on the side now roam the formerly peaceful streets, like roving jeeps of Nazis looking for Jews, only instead of Jews, they hunt poor schmucks who are five minutes late or simply misread the parking sign. LET MY PEOPLE GO!

I buy my ticket and wait in line. Some of my fellow young raza stand next to me, talking about the movie and calling their other friends on a cell to join them. My favorite overheard moment was one of them wondering why this was playing in West L.A. and not "you know...on our side?". A pleasant-looking lady who appeared to be in her early sixties came up and asked us where we parked, because she wants to make sure she parks her car at the right place and not some part of the water where those goddamn sharks can go into a feeding frenzy because she parked too close to a three-foot-tall turd made out of metal and plastic with a large red blinking EXPIRED flashing from it. We told her where we parked, she thanked us and asked us to wish her luck, then went on her way.

Inside the lobby before the movie, the lady comes up to me again. She tells me that she found a spot, and then asks me if I would walk her back to her car after the movie, since it will be dark by then. I guess because I have a dick (tiny as it is), that qualifies me to be her bulletproof vest/knifeproof vest/rape shield for the evening. I say yes and tell her to meet me at the lobby afterwards. She thanks me and goes on her way.

The movie begins with a map of Cuba, the names of different sections of the island slowly fading in and out while a serious DUN DUN DUN & slow motion strings orchestra plays in the background. This both serves as a geography lesson for all of us great unwashed, and as an old-school overture just like in the epic movies of the good old days. The first thirty minutes or so are just random cuts to different times with different styles; 1954, 1964, 1958, black & white, color, television interview. Look at me, ma! I can do EVERYTHING! Eventually they calm down with that shit.

If you watch this movie wanting to know more about Che the man, you ain't getting shit. Well, you get a little, but in the context of a 5 hour experience, a little ain't shit. This kinda reminded me of the Andy Kaufman biopic, Man on the Moon. You get the dude's greatest hits, but you still don't know shit about what made homebody tick. That was bad fucking news for Man on the Moon, because what was the point of reenacting shit you could watch on YouTube for real if you can't at least give them some inside shit? All I learned from that flick was that Jerry Lawler and Kaufman's rivalry was shtick and that having Cancer really fucking sucks. That's it.

All you get from Che is that he is incapable of smiling and very capable at guerrilla warfare. But at least with the movie you get to see cinematic recreations of motherfuckers getting shot and blown up and pissing their pants. You get to see Che ask some dude if he did his math homework, and when the guy whines that he's too tired, Che gives him the fuckin' evil "I'm not gonna say it again" look which scares him into taking his pencil and notebook out. You get to see Che deny a condemned man his last confession, simply because the priest was late. You get to see Che give his troops the opportunity to quit halfway through the journey, and when three or four decide to, he calls them "faggot" and "pansy"! Go, Che, Go!

What little I got about the man, I actually got from watching The Motorcycle Diaries earlier that day. I do that kind of nerdy shit, I have to admit, but I always wanted to watch it. God forbid I actually pick up a book or something. But I would recommend those who want take the Che trip to do the same. It actually works as Che Zero, the prequel and makes for some interesting contrasts when you watch the other flicks. Or you could read a book about the dude, if you want to be like that.

What you don't get from Che the man, you will get from Benicio Del Toro the actor, who I definitely think should get a Best Actor nod for his performance. He won't win though, because he isn't ACTING like most Oscar bait performances. His mistake is that he actually becomes Che, or at least, I really did forget I was watching Benicio Del Toro. You hear that shit a lot; "he disappeared into the role" or "I forgot I was watching an actor playing a role", real well-educated faggy critic shit like that. But I'm not joking or hyperboling or any of that when I say I honestly forgot Del Toro was playing this part. He's not acting, he's just being. It sucks that he won't win because if anything, he deserves it way more for Che than for his performance in Traffic. It's hard to find an Oscar clip moment in the entire film, because it's not that kind of party. Che is too internal a dude for that, he doesn't cry and he doesn't really yell or smash stuff up because his chick left him or his baby was born retarded or because he's really a whore with AIDS which overall means no opportunity to YELL AT THE TOP OF HIS LUNGS HOO-HA IF I WERE THE MAN I WAS FIVE YEARS AGO I'D TAKE A FLAMETHROWER TO THIS PLACE! And that unfortunately means No Oscar for You, Benny. Sorry.

The first half of the movie is mostly battle scenes, which is cool because it keeps you awake. It plays like a hybrid of Hollywood crowd-pleasing spectacle and Sundance entertainment-be-damned approach. The director is Steven Soderbergh, and it's almost like the Soderbergh who made Ocean's Eleven and Erin Brockovich was in a wrestling match with the Soderbergh who made Sex, Lies and Videotape and The Limey. The Soderbergh who made Schizopolis and Full Frontal is busy jerking off all over himself in the corner, as usual. If I was a real douchebag, and I am, I would call this "a thinking man's action movie", because that's what it feels like.

So the first half ends as Che and company have just finished kicking some ass, and are now on the way to La Habana. He rides in a jeep with his new chick, Aleida and everything closes out all sunny and Hollywood. I'd say this was good, but not great. If you come from a "Che was God" or "Che was the Devil" standpoint, your mileage may vary.

Intermission was supposed to be 15 minutes, but went closer to 20. But I'm sure nobody had problems with more leg-stretching time.

The second half begins, again with another geography lesson/overture (of South America) and immediately you can see the difference visually; it isn't widescreen and epic-looking like the first half, and the colors are muted and washed-out while the first part's palette was sunny and colorful. This half actually feels more like a Soderbergh movie.

Unfortunately, it's a sucky Soderbergh movie. Whereas the first half is about Che's rise and triumph, the second is about his shitty follow-up attempt that lead to his downfall. This could be said for the film as well: a shitty follow-up that leads to the overall downfall of the roadshow experience.

So Cuba is now Fidel Happy Land and all is good if you don't like money or freedom or having your own shit. But Che's not so satisfied. He wants to go to South America and do it all over again. Get some hungry boys and girls who have had enough of the bullshit over there and get into some of that good ol' guerrilla warfare, baby. WOLVERINES! Fidel's like "Dude, don't you remember what happened in the fucking Congo? I'm not the one who came back shitting myself and hacking up a lung. Whatever dude, I'll be up here in the meantime enjoying my lunches and my cigars at El Paraiso, so good luck bro", and off Che goes.

It doesn't go well at all. Most of the dudes who he hooks up with are fucking laggers and naggers, never giving a hundred-percent and always whining about wanting food or "why do I have to do this, I wanna do this instead" and you as an audience member just want to yell "Just what fucking part of 'you will go without food and it will be tough' did you not fucking understand at the beginning, motherfucker? GOD!". But you keep quiet, in case some dude is sitting behind you with a .38 in his sweatpants. Those types ALWAYS wear sweatpants.

Che and the boys need food, and try buying it off the dirt-poor peasants. These poor farmers don't have much, and what they have they fucking NEED. Still, the revolutionaries try to buy the last chicken and way too young sucklings from them. The farmers take the money, but there really isn't much choice in the matter, and one of them even says later on something like "what good is the money when we don't have any stores to spend it on". At this point, whatever high you were riding from the first half is Fucking Gone. It's all sadness and dirty peasant faces streaked with tears from here on through. Also there's kids with untreated infected bloody pus-filled eyeballs too. Enjoy. Then the Bolivian army shows up, accuses the peasants of being in cahoots with the revolutionaries, and then proceed to take the REST OF THEIR FUCKING CHICKENS! ENJOY!!!!!

Another thing. The first half is shot in great looking locations. I mean, I'm sure they couldn't film in Cuba, but goddamn if it doesn't look like Cuba. The second half of the movie looks like it was shot in Northern California or Angeles National Forest or somewhere. It looks like they started shooting the second half for a week in another country (which would explain the occasional good location) and then they ran out of money and the director was like "we'll just shoot the rest in my backyard". I'm sure it was shot on location, and the terrain was pretty close, if not exactly like where the real events took place. All I'm saying is that it still looks fucking cheap, and watching this I kept expecting some eight-year-old boy to walk in with a birthday hat on and a hot dog in his hand pointing and yelling "Daddy, they're making a movie here!". Look, it's a movie, we have to suspend disbelief anyway, and biopics will always be accused of fudging the truth, so just bite the bullet and shoot it on the fucking Scottish Highlands and be done with it.

Del Toro and some of the more known actors in the cast were able to blend in and make it so I thought of them as real people, and not actors playing real people. Some of the actors in the second half are not so lucky. At first, La Bamba himself, Mr. Lou Diamond Phillips shows up. That's pretty fucking awesome, I thought. I'm pretty sure they dubbed his voice though, like his Spanish wasn't authentic enough. I remember they did that to Erik Estrada in some movie a long time ago, and they also did it to Ron O'Neal in Red Dawn. WOLVERINES! I'm guessing Lou Diamond was cast because he looks like the real guy he's playing, or Soderbergh has a thing for dudes who were huge in the 80's, like Steven Bauer in Traffic. Kinda of like Tarantino with 70's actors. Or maybe Lou Diamond is just the best fucking actor for the part. Did you ever think of that, me?

Then you got Bucho from Desperado showing up in the movie pretty much playing President Bucho. I thought Banderas was going to bust in through the ceiling and declare "Not yet!" before popping out twin 9mm handguns out of his sleeves and blasting, the way those scenes were going. Ms. Run Lola Run herself is along for a ride on the Che train, looking badass in her rebel fatigues and a rifle, then not so badass when she fucks up and mopes around in a hammock and starts crying about how useless she feels. It's not you girl, it's the movie.

And I guess when they broke for lunch, Lola left the public park they were shooting this movie in to eat something at Quizno's across the street, and when she got there she bumped into none other than her Bourne co-star, Matt Damon. They probably did the whole "Wow! So nice to see you! How are you doing!" thing, then sat down to eat their subs. In between bites of his Prime Rib sandwich, Damon probably then asked Lola why she was dressed like she was going to war, and after taking a sip of her medium Diet Sprite, she explained to him she was shooting something at the park across the street with Steven Soderbergh. Damon was probably like "You're shooting something with Steve?" and hits him up on his cell phone, telling him "Dude, I'm sitting across from Franka here at Quizno's and she says you guys are filming something across the street". Soderbergh's like "Yeah. Do you have any free time?" and Damon's like "Sure, the wife and kids are visiting the grandparents, so I'm cool". And that's how you now have Matt Damon showing up for one scene as a German priest speaking Spanish to Benicio Del Toro in the second half of Che.

As you can see, I just wasn't so hot on this second half of the movie.

The thing is, Soderbergh shot these halves as two completely separate movies, which is how they will be released in late January. This special roadshow version was really just to qualify Che for Oscar consideration, I think. But he's NOT GOING TO WIN! ARGH!

I'm going to give it the benefit of the doubt and say the second half plays better if you dont watch it immediately after the first part. It really needs a time buffer of a day or at least a nice leisurely meal between viewings, not twenty minutes. But if you got the cash and want that snazzy program, then be my guest.

After the movie, I met with the lady at the lobby and I walked her to her car. We talked about the movie, Che Guevara and Fidel Castro. When we got to her car, she thanked me and offered me a ride to where I was parked. I politely declined. Then she left. I should've said yes. I probably could've hit that.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Kids don't want Cancer

I made the last minute decision to go watch The Curious Case of Benjamin Button because it was either that or sit at home. Plus if I caught the matinee, it would only cost me five bucks. That's pretty good nowadays, and it's a pretty nice place too, a former rundown grindhouse-type place all spruced up thanks to urban renewal. I miss the grindhouse experience, but right now I miss being able to afford ten bucks for a movie more, so there.

Of course, I screw everything up by not eating beforehand, so when I find out that it's going to be about three hours, I have no choice but to buy something at the concession stand. When did I come to hate the concession stand? Probably around the time when I had to start paying for my own shit. But there was also a time, when the movie popcorn used to taste good. This ain't some fuckin' rose-colored glasses bullshit, I mean it's fucking noted somewhere that they used to use the good stuff when making popcorn, stuff like coconut oil and anything else that clogged the fuck out of your arteries but tasted like Heaven, which is where you end up eventually, if you ate enough of that stuff. But I'm fine with that. I'm fine with being left to make my own goddamn decision whether I want go to an early grave as a fat disgusting corpse or whether I want to die at the ripe old age of 112 looking like Moby. Now everything is fucking regulated for Your Own Good, and the only choice you're left to make is what size you want -- even though they're working on taking that away too, since McDonald's doesn't even have Super Size anymore thanks to that asshole with the Fu Manchu mustache.

I'm hungry enough to know that I won't make it for another three hours, so I cave in and decide to buy popcorn. It's also because I'm a Fat Fuck. Thank God for the Kid's Combo; just enough soda and popcorn to get you by, and they even throw in some candy. Came out to four bucks even. I go to the self-serve topping area and put some of that fake-ass butter on the popcorn. Two kids run up past me, both with man-sized popcorn containers. The girl goes up to put fake butter on her popcorn and the boy stops her, saying "NOOOO, don't do that! That stuff gives you CANCER!". The girl's like "What?". Boy responds "Yeah, I heard that stuff will give you CANCER!!!" loud enough for anyone within 50 feet to hear clearly. So she shrugs her shoulders and off they go, to watch Benjamin Button and eat their dry popcorn. That boy's gonna grow up to be a fun dude, especially when someone near him lights up a smoke, or bites into a cheeseburger or does something else to ease the pain of existing on this planet.

So this movie's about a dude named Benjamin who is born old and becomes younger as he grows up. You should know this by now anyway, but there you go.

I was sober when I saw this movie, like I am now. Painfully sober is a better way of putting it. This was no more evident than in the first half-hour or so of the movie, with the baby version of Benjamin, looking like a miniature Old Dude from those Six Flags commercial. What I'm saying is that I got really teary-eyed during that section. Then I got teary-eyed in the last half-hour. I'm a weepy motherfucker, that's what it is, but I'm good at hiding it until I've got some privacy. The booze can bring it out more, like with Frost/Nixon, but it also slow-motions it at the same time, so I'm good. It just means I'll cry longer and stronger when I'm alone. Painfully sober means my entire body is fucking open nerves and shit, at least that's how it's been for the past few months, and that's how I was watching this flick.

You follow Benjamin as he's raised by this Black woman at the old folks home she works in. Her name is Queenie, but they might as well call her Mammy, they way she carries on. That's not fair. I'm sure that's how Black women acted back then, the same way Mexicans from that time spoke like "MEEESTER, JOO GEE MEE DA MOHNEE OH I STAB JOO MEEESTER. TANK JOO MEESTER" or a Chinese dude spoke like "I RIKE FLIED LICE ON FLIDAY" or a White dude spoke like "Hi there. Would you mind telling me how I can get to Houston Street? Why thank you, Mister, I appreciate it. You have a swell day too!" But she's nice and really cares for Old Boy Ben, so it's all good. Another thing is that all the old white people are cool with Queenie. All of them. In the 1920's. I mean, a couple of these geezers HAD to have been fighting on the losing side of the Civil War, is all I'm saying. But I think when you're too old and weak to change your diapers, you pretty much make peace with whoever is wiping your shitty ass. Or that's their fucked-up version of twisted revenge; "Wipe my ass, darkie! Hee hee hee!".

One of the old ladies has a granddaughter to visit her on occasion, and she gets friendly with Old Boy Ben, which doesn't look right to the others. They don't understand he's really the same age as the girl, but because of his aged look, it looks less like playtime and more like a Very Special Episode of some sitcom where lovable Uncle Joe wants to play a secret private game with little Sue.

That girl grows up to be a ballet dancer type, and Ben grows up to be a crew member on a tugboat. He begins to experience life outside of the old folks home and becomes a man. He's banging whores, getting drunk, eating caviar & vodka with Tilda Swinton -- you know, Man Stuff. Tilda Swinton's my bro, by the way. I took a chance and bet on her in the Oscars, figuring it was ten bucks I'd never get back, but I got it back, and then some. So Tilda's my Girl-Bro. Somewhere along the way, Ben and the dancer chick cross paths and all that lovey-dovey shit starts again and three hours go by.

This movie is Forrest Gump for people who were too cool to like Forrest Gump. I have no problem admitting I loved Gump. If that shit's on tv, I'll watch it no matter what scene, and I'll probably end up watching the rest of it, like I do with The Godfather or Shawshank or Good Burger. I just didn't like all the stupid Gump Happens or Gump for President shit afterwards, that was lame and retarded. And I think we spent the last eight years with Gump as president, and that shit was no fun. But the movie is a classic, if you ask me.

Sure enough, in the end credits it says that the dude who wrote the movie Forrest Gump also wrote this one. It's not a complete rip or anything, it's more like he used the Gump template to adapt the F. Scott Fitzgerald shory story BB's based on. Instead of a feather, it's a hummingbird. Instead of Mama Gump, it's Queenie. Instead of shrimp, it's caviar & vodka. And tonight, the role of Lieutenant Dan will be played by Tattooed Tugboat Dude. But while Gump was about a dumb motherfucker doing some incredible things, Benjamin Button is about a relatively normal dude (aside from that aging backwards problem) living a relatively normal existence. There's a couple crazy things that happen to Ben, but nothing like meeting presidents or running across the USA or banging a chick with the HIV and coming out of it squeaky clean.

Also, despite my eyes turning gay a few times, I never really felt for the characters in BB. I felt like I was observing them, so it's like a Kubrick movie in that respect. Beautifully made, but ultimately a BYOE party: Bring Your Own Emotions. I wanted to cry for Gump because he was so happy his son wasn't going to turn out to be a moron like him. I cried for no one in Benjamin Button. I liked it, though. What I think got me worked up was the overall "time is a cruel motherfucking bastard who will fuck your shit up and laugh while doing so" theme, especially at this particular point in my life. And that shit's universal, I think. A lot of people will come out of this movie reflecting on their own lives, their own choices and what the future holds for them. At least those who liked the movie, anyway. I got an e-mail from a friend who thought it was creepy and sucked balls.

After the movie, I stuck around for the credits, digging the lovely music score. I noticed up front, hanging from the ceiling right above the front row section was that plastic covering for one of the big florescent light fixtures. I don't know the exact name for it, because I'm stupid. Using Fat Fuck Math, I would say it's as big as a pizza box. It's ready to fall down, I just don't know when. I asked one of the cleanup crew when they came in, if it's supposed to be like that. He said no, but they don't have a ladder high enough to reach it. So, if you go to theatre #6 of the (name withheld) don't sit in the center front row, or you dead. That's right, YOU DEAD.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

James Bond is kind of an OK dude

I'm on a fuckin' roll here, writing stupid bullshit on this blog. So I'm gonna keep on going and talk about how I decided to check out another Bond movie when I got home from Christmas with the family. I've never seen most of the Bond movies, so I checked out the first two to see if it's worth considering checking out the rest.

So I busted out the Maker's Mark and went to work on it while checking out the follow-up flick to Dr. No, called From Russia with Love. I wanted to see if this bastard Bond pays for what he did to my main dude Quarrel, who is currently in ash form and probably being gobbled up by guppies.

The first scene of the movie is Bond being stalked by this buff dude who is probably Dolph Lundgren's father or something. I wouldn't be surprised if this guy also spoke German. We're talking Aryan superman shit here. What's really cool is that Bond doesn't look so smug here, in fact, he looks scared, so that's pretty awesome. He doesn't have time to piss himself though, because Dolph Sr. sneaks up from behind and piano wires this motherfucker something fierce. Yes! Revenge, baby! I'm like, this is awesome, the first five minutes and this limey fuck Bond is dead. Good. Say hello to Quarrel for me. Then they take it all away from you when you find out it's just a dude in a Bond mask, and this was all just a test to see how fast Dolph Sr. can find and kill J.B. should the opportunity arises. Boooooo! If I had popcorn, and I didn't want to eat any more, I'd throw it at the screen.

I really like the credits, cool shots of the names of the cast and crew projected against belly dancer types. The main theme is really nice too. I spent most of the movie humming it and making up my own lyrics. I can't remember them because I was feeling pretty good at the moment, loving that special glow that lovely, lovely booze can only provide. Being with a chick can also give you that glow, I've heard.

Turns out this is a revenge flick, except it isn't for Quarrel, it's for Dr. No. Really, who gives a fuck? Apparently, the evil agency he works for called SPECTRE does. So they get Bobby Fischer and this Russian lesbian to work on messing things up for MI6 (agency Bond works for) and to steal something called the Lektor. I think it's a code-breaking machine, like that Enigma machine that they made two flicks about a few years ago.

Russkie employs two other people to help out, the first being Dolph Sr.. It's pretty funny how obvious Russkie hates men; the first time she meets Dolph Sr., he's out sunbathing while some blonde cutie (who's kinda sweaty & oily, but I'm not complaining) is giving him a massage. Russkie is probably pissed that it's not her getting the shiatsu treatment by this chick, so she breaks that shit up immediately. And I guess his admirably fit male physique really grosses her out too, because her reaction to seeing this is to dry-gulch him with her brass knuckles. Jesus Christ lady, we get it. It couldn't get any clearer unless you started belting out some Indigo Girls song while you did it. Luckily, homeboy doesn't flinch and Russkie's is impressed, so he's on the job.

Next, Russkie meets up with this smokin' hot blonde Russian named Tatiana. I must be old school in my taste, because I find this chick a lot hotter than a lot of what passes for hot nowadays in movies. I mean, Keira Knightley has a cute face, but with that body of hers that just makes her the cutest boy I've ever seen, and that's wrong. I felt so bad for her when I saw her in Domino giving some gang members an attempt at a lapdance. There's some serious Oscar caliber acting going on in that scene, because when she takes off her shirt and is down to just her bra, the homies act like her flat DiCaprio-in-Titanic chest is painfully boner-inducing. Maybe if they had just gotten out of the joint, I can kind of understand that. If I have to go to jail, I would hope to have a cellmate that looked like Keira, otherwise, I'm not completely buying that scene in Domino or that moment in Atonement where homeboy gets so hard up thinking of her he's driven to typing out CUNT on a typewriter. I know, I know -- I would be lucky for someone like Keira Knightley to give me the time of day. But why do you have to kill my buzz? Sounds like you could use a drink more than me. When you're finished, we'll get back to Tatiana and Russkie.

Russkie interviews Tatiana, and by interview I mean she makes Tatiana take her jacket off and show off more of that lovely figure. It's pretty funny, Russkie ordering her to turn around and slow motion for her, remarking that Tat's a "fine looking girl". She even establishes dominance by beating her cane on the table whenever poor Tat asks her a question. You know, if Russkie wasn't such an mean old hag, I could probably hang with her. We could go out for beers and she could be my winggirl. Reminds me of an interview with some actor I read online, can't remember who or what but I'm not bullshitting, saying that he was at some function and was having drinks with Ellen DeGeneres. At one point, they started scoping out the ladies, and she was even goading him into pursuing a couple of them. Ellen seems like a really cool chick. She'd probably start dancing though, but she seems like she'd be cool with you busting her balls about it. You know, just two bros hanging out. Anyway, at one point Russkie tries to be all slick by placing her hand on Tat's knee, who reacts by going into Bad Touch mode, so Russkie removes her hand. A few moments later though, she tries again! She's all running her hand over Tat's shoulders, hair and face. This chick is such a dude.

At this point, the movie unfortunately remembers that this story is about that asshole Bond, so we go to him macking on some chick from the last movie. But it isn't Dummy McDumdum from Dr. No, instead it's that broad at the beginning he was playing cards with. It's pretty awesome though, because he has to take a phone call in his car and the girl won't stop messing around with him. Eventually he SMACKS THE SHIT out of her hand -- and she seems to dig it! The good old days!

Bond arrives at MI6 and engages in some flirting with this chick Moneypenny. I actually started to feel a little bad for Bond here, because you get the sense that Bond thinks this lady is really into him. He thinks he's such a charming dude that EVERY girl digs him in that way. Such is the fallacy of men. Moneypenny is probably just humoring the poor chap. I mean, she's fond of him and all, but she can't completely respect a slut like Bond. I can see her making light of the dude while she's out having lunch with her girlfriends, the entire group cackling away while she tells them the latest dumb thing that came out of his mouth, or how he still thinks tossing his hat at the rack when he enters the room is charming.

So Bond goes on assignment in Istanbul (not Constantinople) and meets this dude named Kerim Bey, played by Mexican actor Pedro Armendariz. Pedro Armendariz? Orale! We got raza in a James Bond movie! But you know what that means. You KNOW what THAT means --

Homeboy's gonna die.

He eventually does die, even though the movie plays with our hearts by having him survive an attempt on his life early in the film. You think, "Hey, maybe he's going to live" and then fucking Dolph Sr. kills him on a train. Fuck you Dolph Sr.. Your son Dolph Jr. is awesome, and I even liked his Punisher movie, but you just made my shitlist, making Bond cool with me in the process. Remember, Bond treated my boy Quarrel like shit, had him killed, and never broke a sweat about it. Now he's all right. That's how badly you fucked up, bro.

Somewhere along the way, two gypsy chicks fight over the love of one man. Pretty awesome. They still have fights like this, even in American society, only they all happen on Jerry Springer and the chicks look exactly as you'd expect a guest on Jerry's show to look. Not the same thing at all.

Eventually our girl Tatiana falls in love with Bond and wants to live the rest of her life with him. The poor deluded girl is pouring her heart out to him, making such an ass of herself. You'd think she was a drunk co-worker at a Christmas party, the way she carries on. It's made worse because Bond humors her, even buying her clothes and playing husband & wife with her. But you know that as soon as the mission is over and he finds out if the carpet matches the drapes, he is Out Of There. That is so fucked up. J.B.'s okay with me now, but he can still be a real dick sometimes, you know? I mean, Bond is going to mess up that chick something awful, and the next guy she hooks up with is going to pay for it.

Dolph Sr. attempts to kill Bond on a train but it turns to fightin' time and Bond does to Dolph what Dolph did to the Bond imposter at the beginning of the movie. That's ironic, right? I don't even know anymore. Does anyone? Pretty cool fight scene, by the way. They do something here you don't see much of anymore in movies: the filmmakers try to communicate to the audience what's happening in the fight by making clear choices in shot composition and editing. You can actually understand what's happening. It's weird and kind of scary, really.

Well, whaddya know -- the plan is foiled and the head of SPECTRE, this asshole named Blofeld is pissed. He has Bobby Fischer killed, which serves that anti-Semitic piece-of-shit right, and warns Russkie to get her shit together or she's next. She doesn't, by the way. Her attempt at attacking Bond in his hotel room, using poison-tipped knives in her shoes, fails when Tatiana busts a cap in her ass, sending the sapphic Russian to that big Lilith Fair in the sky.

There's shootings, explosions, shootings that lead to explosions, screaming motherfuckers on fire and lovely dinners of grilled sole with white wine -- and yet I nodded off every now and then. I blame the liquor and lack of sleep since all I hear about is how this is supposed to be a pretty damn good flick. It is, but Dr. No was better in my humble drunken opinion. From Russia with Love has a better theme song, though. Dr. No just has some Jamaican dude singing a bullshit version of Three Blind Mice. Fuck that noise.

Friday, December 26, 2008

At least I wasn't shot in the face by my father who was wearing a Santa suit on Christmas Eve, so thank you God

After Dr. No, I had a few hours of sleep and then forced myself up to get ready to see the family for Christmas Day. I skipped Christmas Eve, but I figured I'll do this one. Actually, I need to do this one. I'm feeling more worthless than usual, and maybe seeing my folks and my sister who have no reason to think I'm worth a shit but they do anyway will do me a little good. So I called my mother to ask her who exactly is going to show up, that way I could properly prepare myself (read: drink before or after I get there -- one prepares you for some bullshit and the other you do for fun).

She runs down the list and mentions an uncle-in-law that I'm not too big a fan of; a few years back, he called me to try to sell me insurance. First of all, I thought the dude was a podiatrist or something, now he's moonlighting as an insurance salesman? Or is everyone wearing the proper footwear and making things tough for homeboy? Second, it was real creepy because he was talking to me like he would talk to other potential suckers, he couldn't just talk to me like the relative he was (albeit one by marriage, not by blood). He sounded really desperate, and that just added sadness to the creepiness which just equals Double Creepiness. Figure that out.

I gave him some excuse and eventually was able to get off the phone with him, but since then, I want NOTHING to do with the motherfucker. This guy smiles a lot, and since that phone call, his smile is the creepiest fucking thing I've ever seen. Try explaining that to my mother, which I did. She sighed, as she always does in reaction to my nonsense; she probably made peace with the fact that her son is a weirdo a long time ago. Anyway, I told her I might show up late, hoping Shelly "The Machine" Levine will be gone by then, since he always leaves early to catch a game of something anyway.

So now I'm all dressed up with time to kill. You know what that means? Movie time! Like always! I have no life! Yay!

But I want to change it up a bit, I want to go *out* to see a movie, not stay in like I have been the last six months or so. I take out a little of what remains of my precious, precious money and head out for the local cinema with a bottle flask of Jack Daniels in my coat pocket. I decide to substitute my Latin family celebrating Christmas for another and buy one ticket to something called Nothing Like the Holidays, which appears to be the Puerto Rican answer to last year's This Christmas, which was the Black answer to every other cliched holiday-set dramedy. You see, people? All races CAN come together when it comes to creating mediocrity! Yes We Can! Yes We Can!

In the movie you have Freddy Rodriguez, Vanessa Ferlito, Jay Hernandez -- holy shit, half the cast of Grindhouse is here! You got Alfred Molina and Elizabeth Pena as the parents and you got John Leguizamo as the oldest son. Oh wait, there is also of course the God Amongst Men himself, one Sir Luis Guzman. If you don't know who The Guzman is, then you just don't fucking know, bro.

They also have the Token White, who actually doesn't feel token at all; she's played by Debra Messing who was in that Gays Are Wacky! show Will & Grace. Messing plays Leguizamo's Jewish wife and what's really cool about it is that the film treats her the same way the rest of the characters are treated, like human goddamn beings. I know how it feels to watch the token ethnic in other films treated like some fucking comic relief, while everyone else can laugh at how superior they are to this silly Negro, or Chinaman or dirty Hispanic, and I don't like seeing that happen to anyone. I prefer my horribly racist humor to be kept confidentially between you and your friends and me and my friends, not on the big screen for everyone to see. I know you hate me and I hate you, but let's just keep the illusion that we don't, ok?

We also have the Token Mexican, played by Jay Hernandez. In real life, a friend of a friend of a friend of mine is Jay's sister. That makes Jay Hernandez my bro, despite having never met him. He plays a former thug now on the straight and narrow, working at Alfred Molina's store. He starts to court the Ferlito chick and you pretty much know how that ends. I like Jay Hernandez. I don't know if he's a good actor, I just like him because he's my bro, like I said earlier.

You know what, I take back what I said earlier about no jokes being made at the Token Ethnic/Other's expense in this movie, because there's a little bit here. There's kind of a fucked-up attempt at humor where Luis Guzman brags to my bro Hernandez how Puerto Ricans are unlike Mexicans because PR's are all legal. Yeah, easy for you to say. So fuckin' smug with your bullshit. So why don't you let the U.S. claim you as the 51st state, then? Can't have it both ways, you know. No? Then shut the fuck up. I'm not hating on the Guzman, just the bullshit line he delivered too fucking well. This is a joke by the way, what I said earlier. It's all a joke, along with my blog and my fucking life. But if you want to go ahead and angrily leave me a comment like "BORICUA BORICUA BORICUA BORICUA ROSIE PEREZ BEST ACTRESS EVER FUK MEXICANTS", go right ahead, if it makes you feel better. It's just that I'm just in a bad mood, that's all. I'm hungover like always but I'm also in need of someone to love. And a pizza.

Oh yeah, there's also an old black dude who is a rip of the Chris Rock character in I'm Gonna Git You Sucka. So yeah.

You know what else I like about these kinds of movies? The food. Quite a few shots of food being prepared, cooked, eaten. I tried swigging a few extra belts of J.D. to kill the hunger until later, but it didn't help. I ended up having to buy their cheapest overpriced popcorn to stave off the starve. Ugh.

John Leguizamo dances twice during the flick, and you just fucking KNOW that was his idea. The motherfucker just loves to dance. I was sick of it when he had his Fox show House of Buggin', where he also doubled as his own Fly Girl. Our man Guzman was in that show too, so that made it palatable.

The main chick in the movie, Vanessa Ferlito, I haven't made up my mind about her. She looks...interesting. It's the nose. There's something odd about that nose. She seems nice though, and she sure looks better than in Grindhouse, when she was getting a fuckin' muscle car facial.

I'm so glad I don't have a mother like the one in the movie, always getting on my case about making her some grandkids. That's probably because I made it clear to both her and my dad as far back as when I was 12 that the bloodline on my side ends with me. Sorry. I'm a complete mess of an individual, WHY would I want to infect this overpopulated planet with another basket case failure of a man? Plus, I don't like kids, so you got that going on as well. Hang out at Walmart for a couple hours and you'll probably come down to the same conclusion.

It's a nice movie. No great shakes, but entertaining and it puts you in that holiday spirit, ready to see your own family, welcome them into your heart and love them unconditionally. Because that's what it's all about. Loving Your Family. After the movie, I called my mother and asked her if my creepy ass uncle-in-law is still there. Yes, she told me. Goddammit. My uncle sucks. Guess I'm watching another movie.

When I bought the ticket for the last flick, I used my MovieWatcher card and ended up getting a free ticket out of it for future use. Well, thanks to my fuckin' uncle, the future is now, so I go back and redeem it for the next flick playing in five minutes: Frost/Nixon. I really go to work on the flask during the previews, leaving about a 1/4 of booze left for me to sip on during the movie.

I was feeling pretty goddamn good from the J.D., when the movie started, but I'm sure that even without the booze, Frost/Nixon is Kick/Ass. It's a lot more even handed than you'd think, even though there is the occasional moment where you wonder if they added it just to give Nixon an extra touch of the Asshole. Who knows? Maybe he did respond to hearing about how David Frost almost married Diahann Carroll with "she's black". If so, then Nixon's my kind of bro.

Seriously though, I don't think I've ever seen such a sympathetic portrayal of the man on film/tv before. Of course, I've yet to see Oliver Stone's Nixon, so I understand that's a pretty big gap right there. I'm just saying that two of the saddest scenes in the movie for me involved Nixon so that's quite an achievement, if you ask me. No, I'm not some fucking liberal, but c'mon -- broham wasn't some fucking angel, either. Later on, Dick drunk dials Frost and they talk about cheeseburgers, the fuckin' haters, and that the interview can only end one way, and that's like muthafuckin' Thunderdome: Two men enter, one man leaves.

David Frost is kind of a douche in this movie. But he's pretty honest about his doucheyness, so that's cool. There's a scene, I think (booze!), where his producer asks Frost why he's so hard up to do this interview, he's all "It's not like you're a political dude, and you got a pretty good thing going on in England and Australia, interviewing hot actresses and asshole escape artists -- why do this to yourself?" Frost tells him yeah, he's famous in England, Australia and some other place that doesn't matter, but he wants to be famous in America again. You see, homeboy had a taste of it a few years back when he hosted a show in New York City, but I guess the United States was like "No thanks bro, we have The Beatles and we have Monty Python and we don't need you", so they cancelled his program. But he knows that American fame is something else entirely. He wants the table at Sardi's, the red carpet premieres at the Cinerama Dome, and fuckin' Neil Diamond singing songs about him -- and maybe asking Tricky Dick some on-camera questions over the course of four days will take him back there. At least he's honest about the end game. You'd never catch Olbermann or O'Reilly admitting to that shit, they'd bullshit you about how they're just looking out for you. Whatever, cocks.

The movie gives Frost the underdog slot, and runs like a mutha with it. In one scene, Frost has just finished taking it up the ass for a second day in a row from Nixon, and his crew is all over him, giving him grief about it. They tell him that he's getting his ass kicked, letting Nixon steamroll all over him and that he has to hit harder and not give the motherfucker a chance to breathe. Frost takes it all in, then invites them to a restaurant for a celebration. One of the producers is like "Is you for real, muthafucka? Celebrate what? Nixon making you his bitch?". Frost looks like he wants to scream or cry or do both, but being a Brit, he gets all stiff-upper-lip and tells them it's to celebrate his birthday, and he wants his friends to join him. He leaves and everyone else is left standing feeling two inches tall. I don't know about you, but I think getting the shit beat out of you on your birthday must really suck.

I'm telling you man, there's some genuine sympathy for the Dickster in this flick, and I was feeling for him just as much as for Frost. I'm sure it was the booze, but I almost lost it late in the movie when Nixon has just finished getting his ass handed to him by Frost (who recovers from his beating, Rocky-style). He exits the house where they were taping the interview, and is being escorted to his car outside. He stops and walks over to some lady with a dachshund and pets it. It's like the dog is the only thing left that isn't judging him at this moment. His only friend in the world. There's something so beautifully pathetic about that moment that I couldn't help but feel for the poor son-of-a-bitch. Dude, forget that pineapple and cottage cheese your fuckin' doctor calls a Hawaiian burger -- treat yourself to a triple combo at Wendy's. You earned it, bro.

You know you're watching a good flick when despite all the blah blah blah going on (I think it's called "dialogue"), you're leaning in closer to the screen. I hardly ever do that nowadays unless there's blood or titties involved.

Afterwards I finally made it to see the family, and thankfully my creepy uncle was gone. We did the Christmas thing, and because it's a Mexican-American Christmas, many tamales were eaten. My two favorite gifts were money and booze. It's all I really need to get by at this point in my life. Then I went home.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

James Bond is a punk bastard

I skipped Christmas this year. Instead, I watched movies -- so it's like any other day really. Except with a lot more booze and a lot less faith in myself.

I put on a movie called Dr. No, a tale about a simple fisherman named Quarrel who decided to make a few extra bucks by taking some Englishman named Strangways out on his boat to collect some rock samples. You can't blame a dude for trying to score some extra dough. Next thing he knows, he finds out Strangways has disappeared, along with his attractive "secretary". Quarrel knows he's in something deep, and this is proven when homeboy from Hawaii Five-O shows up and tells him "Guess what? You're working with the C.I.A. now, bro". Keep in mind that even though they're in Jamaica, this IS the early '60s, and you know what *that's* all about.

Things get worse when this smug English asshole named James Bond shows up. They introduce him playing some French card shit with this hot foreign chick. She tells him that her name is "Chick....Hot Chick" (I can't remember her actual name) and he fucking mocks her back when he tells her his name: "Bond...James Bond". What an asshole. But this dude must be a big deal because even H5O kowtows to his Royal Highness. I'm telling you this guy would be completely insufferable if it weren't for the fact that he's got a way with the ladies -- his way. Really, Bond gets around. He's old-school too; he doesn't ask or plead, he just takes a woman by the hand in a manner that seems to say "Listen girl. I'm the man and you're the woman. Never forget it", and they don't either. They completely go for it. Supposedly back then, there were a lot more men around like this, and women dug it. Now every guy tries to play the sensitive card, and every woman wants to be "independent", whatever that means. I have a feeling there were a lot more home cooked meals being made back in the good old days.

That reminds me of a pretty awesome scene in the movie. Bond has just finished banging his third or fourth broad of the day, this Asian chick. She's putting on her makeup and he's lounging back in bed, like the stud he is. He tells her he's hungry. She offers to cook him a home-cooked Chinese dinner. Because she's Asian. He declines, inviting her to an Italian restaurant instead. She's says she wants to stay home and order in. Bond's like "Listen Yoko, I said I want to go out for Italian". She stand her ground, and he gives this shrug like "Whatever bitch" and calls a cab for her. Holy shit. I've never seen "my way or the highway" taken to such a literal level. You can't hate a guy for being a player like that.

But you *can* hate him for ordering around our man Quarrel, which he does after smacking him and his alligator-wrestling friend around. You know how sometimes a kid will stand up to a bully, and next thing you know, the bully's his best friend/lapdog? Well, I've heard stories about that kind of thing happening anyway. Or I saw it in a movie. But it happens with Quarrel. Rather than telling Bond to go fuck himself afterwards, he becomes his partner, if you can call indentured servitude a partnership. It's pretty messed up. He gets to be the token Negro, hanging with Bond and H5O on their little adventure.

They end up hanging out at a nightclub, and everything seems cool until this chick does a piss poor job of trying to sneakily take a picture of Bond. J.B. thinks he's such hot shit, like he's Brangelina or somebody, and gets upset about this so he orders Quarrel to get her and the camera and bring them back to him. Now check this out: Bond is actually a few feet closer to this chick, so why can't HE get his white ass up and take this chick? Plus, he's James Bond; all he has to do is grab her by the wrist and give her the I Own You look, like he does to every chick and she'll be too busy wondering why her panties are percolating and he can grab the camera. Noooo, this asshole has to show that he's the boss and tell Quarrel to get up and get her, even though he KNOWS Quarrel's going to have a harder time about it. At least be nice about it when you ask, jerk. To add injury to insult, the chick smashes a photobulb into Quarrel's temple, which he just laughs off, wiping off the mixture of blood and smashed up glass from his face, even though you know the guy is crying on the inside. I wouldn't blame you, if you just let it out, Quarrel. Shit like that can make you feel like the loneliest man in a crowded room.

So Bond, H5O and our man Quarrel get on a boat and head for this island called Crab Key suspecting there's some bad guy nonsense going on there, even though Quarrel is scared shitless of taking them. He explains that no one goes to Crab Key because there's a dragon there. Bond and H50 give each other a look like "Ha ha, what a silly Negro" and make him go anyway, dismissing that dragon crap as horse shit. Just island superstition.

As they get near the island, the boys set up a raft when H5O suddenly pulls some "I can't go with you because my presence will cause an international incident" shit or something, I don't know, I was getting pretty hammered at this point to remember. But you know he just couldn't man up. Maybe if his balls were as big as his bulletproof hair, he might have gone. But no, this guy is really yellow under all that red, white and blue. So Bond's like, "It's cool. I'll just take the Expendable Negro with me" and you know all Quarrel's thinking at this point is "Fuck, I should've stayed in school". I know the feeling, Quarrel. Don't I know the goddamn feeling.

They get to the island and take a nap on the beach for a while, or at least Bond is, and he probably has poor Quarrel keeping watch the whole time. It's not all about YOU, motherfucker. Bond changes into some faggy blue getup and creeps out this chick who's collecting seashells by the seashore. I didn't catch her name, but I would wager it's Sally. She's a healthy girl, this Sally. I miss it when hot chicks used to have honest-to-goodness bodies, and would occasionally eat a cheeseburger and allow nature to take it's course, rather than using their fingers. That reminds me; Scarlett Johansson is in that new Spirit movie that just came out. She's pretty fit, but I think I'm going to have to wait to rent that on DVD rather than spend precious, precious money on it in the cinema. That flick's been getting TERRIBLE notices and it's not like she gets naked in it anyway. Damn it. Nobody gets naked anymore, except guys in Judd Apatow movies. Fuck Judd Apatow.

Bond tries to croon his way into Sally's heart, but she's not having it, because the chick's packing a filero. I was like "Good for you, don't fall for it like every other girl", hoping she would maybe give our man Quarrel a little taste instead. It would serve that limey bastard right. But no, if anything, she freaks out even more and jumps into Bond's arms when she sees Quarrel. What the fuck? Get over yourself, girl. Just because you're a hot blonde doesn't make every black dude O.J.. Bond doesn't even help. Instead he says to Quarrel, "fetch my shoes". I'm not kidding. He makes Quarrel run halfway down the beach to pick up his stupid ass footwear. What an asshole. He might as well call him "boy" to complete the package.

So later on, as they all get to know each other, Quarrel brings up how scared he is to be on this island because of the dragon. Just as Bond is about smack the superstition out of homeboy, Sally not only agrees, but claims to have SEEN this dragon. You should see the look on Limey's face. Before, he was able to dismiss that dragon story because it was a black islander telling it. But now he's got this hot chick, a white chick at that, saying she's seen this dragon in the scaly flesh. Bond is able to handle it though, because a couple exchanges later he realizes she's a bit of a loon and not the brightest bulb in the socket either. Example: Sally tells a story about some guy who wouldn't leave her alone (probably a black guy, which would make sense with Ms. Aryan Dingbat over here), so she leaves a black widow spider to sting him, leading the unwelcome suitor to die over the course of a week. Bond gets all Dolemite and goes "Biiiitch, are you for real?" and she seems genuinely confused and asks him if that was wrong to do. Bond's like "Girl, the only wrong thing you could do right now would be to say No....Dr. No".

They get further into the island when they hear something. Quarrel takes a look and freaks out, saying it's the dragon. Bond checks it out and finds that it isn't really a dragon, but a tank with painted teeth in front and huge headlights for eyes and two flamethrowers on the side. Bond immediately takes action and tells Quarrel to shoot at the headlights, while he and Sally hang out somewhere safer and pretend to try shooting at it. Fucking asshole doesn't even try to explain to Quarrel that yes, it's deadly but it ain't no dragon. He's just like "shoot it, boy". The tank gets closer, firing its deadly jets of fire toward homeboy. Quarrel shoots at it over and over again, proving he's as skillful with a firearm as Michael J. Fox is with a game of Jenga.

Eventually the dragon gets close enough to Quarrel's fucking horrible. You can see the fright on his face as he realizes that his life is about to come to an end. The dragon exhales genuine Satan Breath from the pits of Hades and engulfs poor, poor Quarrel with it. We hear him let out one final, long painful scream as the fire burns him alive, giving him a taste of Hell before he goes to Heaven. Despite his constant begging and pleading not to go on the island, despite the many warnings of this dragon he and fellow fishermen fucking KNEW existed, the same dragon those two evil, evil white men mocked him for, he couldn't escape his fate. All he wanted was some extra cash. Who among us, especially during this tough financial crisis our beautiful country is suffering through, wouldn't sympathize? He didn't even get to bang a chick, either -- you'd think Bond would've let him have some of his sloppy seconds. Now, all that is left of him is a flaming crumpled up pile of fisherman.

Christ. Guy started as some mother's son, lived life, and now look at what remains. Shit. I mean, what will be left of us, when our time comes? We're all human beings and shit, and we all become fucking dust in the wind? Is that what that fucking song in Old School is about? God, I don't even want to think about it. Excuse me, while I take another drink.

Ok, that's better.

Anyway, you figure at this point that the movie has ended. Our hero is dead, and there is no reason to continue. But continue it does, for another half-hour or so, as we follow this piece of shit Bond and his dumb blonde as they are taken prisoner by Dr. No's henchmen. You figure maybe the movie will give what the audience wants, and have Bond suffer for sending poor Quarrel into a situation he was ill-equipped to handle. Unfortunately, the most we get is a kind of half-assed Silkwood shower, and even then, Bond seems to dig it. He meets this Dr. No, foils his evil "toppling" plan, defeats him and ends up blowing up the godforsaken island of Crab Key -- so now even Quarrel's family can't visit to pay their respects at homeboy's final resting place. Nice work, douche.

The ending is pretty fucking revolting; Bond and Stupid McDumbchick are making out on a boat when from out of nowhere H5O cruises up in another boat with a bunch of Marines to congratulate him. Damn, if only those Leathernecks knew what a pansy H5O was, and how he sent a civilian fisherman to do Man's work, they would probably tie him down and beat the yellow out of him with bars of soap wrapped in towels. I think even Bond's lost some respect for the dude, because when H5O offers to give him a tow, Bond unties the rope. It's almost symbolic, like he doesn't want to be connected with a metrosexual who punks out when the going gets tough. It could also be symbolic for England not wanting to be connected with the United States. Sure, it's real easy to talk shit like that after we kicked your ass and won our independence; "oh, we never wanted to be part of you people anyway". Go screw, you bunch of cigarettes.

Tonight, I'm going to pour some of my drink on the ground for my man Quarrel. Rest in Peace, bro. See you at the crossroads.