Monday, January 31, 2011

I would love to live in the 1940's, but I'd have to change my name to something more Anglo and disregard my ethnicity, otherwise I'd probably be relegated to washing dishes or bagging me a funny redheaded actress

We had just watched either The Expendables or Machete, I don't remember which one specifically, but I remember it was at the Arclight Cinemas and as we headed down the parking garage, he handed me a DVD out of the blue, it wasn't even my birthday but there it was -- a DVD of Otto Preminger's film Laura, which I'd never seen or even talked about in front of him, but there it was and he was giving it to me. It was still sealed in the plastic and he was like "I thought you'd like this", so it makes perfect sense that I waited about 5 months to finally watch the fuckin' thing. Thanks, bro.

So Laura starts with this writer in his apartment, except he's a successful writer, so his apartment is much more than a fuckin' studio, it's more like a penthouse. In fact, I think it is a penthouse, but whatever the fuck it is, it's impressive. I was about to be all like Good Work Bro and raise my glass of Coke Zero to the motherfucker, but then, the first you see of Waldo Lydecker (that's his name) is him sitting in his large bathtub with a typewriter and then I was like Fuck This Guy, because really, are you that fucking good that you need to take your typewriter with you while you bathe?

I bet you this motherfucker, when he was struggling, he wrote with whatever was available and wherever he was able to. I bet you it wasn't until all the money, fame, and acclaim came his way and suddenly every fuckin' thought in his head somehow carried with it the stink of genius, every stupid quip out of his mouth was the Wittiest Thing Ever. This asshole, he waited until becoming famous to develop a stupid affectation such as having to have his fuckin' typewriter in the bathtub with him. He's so in love with himself, this asshole even thinks he's the star of the fuckin' movie because he starts narrating at the beginning of it.

That reminds me; I was reading someone's Facebook status about how he was writing at a Starbucks and felt like a douche for doing so, which I didn't understand. I don't condone that shit, but I sure as shit ain't gonna judge it. Some people need to find a place to write that isn't home, shit, maybe they don't have a home, and writing in a park is too risky and writing in a restaurant is too costly (if you're a camper and don't want to be hated by your waiter/waitress, you tip for every hour you and/or your party stays) so I guess Starbucks will do. That is different than choosing the fucking bathtub of all places to write, so this guy shouldn't be shitting on himself for writing in a Starbucks.

What I found more interesting than this guy's status update was the comments he received from his friends; mostly variations on how writing in Starbucks sucks because you have to deal with the inane babble from the people around you. And all I could think after reading those comments was Wow, I wish I could be like the people who wrote these comments, these blessed lucky few with the ability to distinguish their own inane babble from everyone else's and know the difference, these people who apparently learned their conversational skills from Mount Olympus. I guess what I'm trying to say here is that it's ALL inane babble. Yours and mine alike. Fucking cocksuckers.

Anyway, Waldo is busy typing away in his own watery filth when this detective named McPherson shows up to do some questioning or something. Turns out this broad named Laura took a fuckin' double-barreled shotgun blast to her face, which is already pretty fucked up because she was young and hot and whoever literally peeled her cap back deserves a fuckin' beating. This Waldo motherfucker (who was also her friend/kinda mentor) is like Go Find The Killer and when he realizes that McPherson is talking to him because he's also a suspect, I swear this guy's like "Whatever" because there's no way a High Society bon vivant could do something as beastly as murder, right?

McPherson is a pretty awesome guy, for a fuckin' pig; he's pretty cool and level-headed, or at least gives the impression he is, and tends to use up any spare moment by playing a handheld baseball game -- except this is 1944, it's not some PSP or Nintendo DS or even one of those shitty Tiger Electronics deals he's messing with, it's basically a small box with a picture of a baseball field and three ball-bearings to try to put in each base. You gotta use your hands? That's like a baby's toy! The only reason I think Lydecker doesn't completely wave away McPherson is probably because the detective is a noted Bad Motherfucker, but even then, Waldo's too full of himself to do anything resembling fawning over a Real Man, he's just like Get Me My Bathrobe, Slave.

I was ready to completely hate on Lydecker, but like the Transformers, there's more than meets the eye to this guy; there's a line in the movie where he talks about how the recently deceased Laura not only considered him the smartest, funniest and most interesting dude around, she also considered him a genuinely Good Person which I think fucked him up because he admits to McPherson that he agrees with the first half of that statement while trying his absolute darndest to become the second half. So I guess you can say Waldo Lydecker is like Melvin Udall and Laura Hunt was his Whoever Helen Hunt Played In That Movie because she made him want to be a better man.

Well, he certainly wasn't showing any progress by getting all up in her face whenever she had a man in her life; he was acting like her fuckin' father, telling her that this guy wasn't good enough for her and this guy's an asshole and that one's an idiot. It seems like no one was good enough for his Laura and while the movie is trying to get us to believe that it's probably because he's in love with her and he's really acting out of a You Should Be With Me tear, I can see between the lines, I know what the fuck is up. This Waldo Lydecker, he's probably good friends with J.J. Hunsecker and if you don't know what the fuck was up with J.J. Hunsecker, then you just don't fuckin' know, bro. You just don't fuckin' know.

See, this Lydecker, I thought he was just a jerk but he's probably just a scared closet-case who never acted out on his true feelings and has to hide behind the Wall Of Being An Asshole and that must really suck for the guy. I mean, somewhere along the way he fuckin' gave up on tappin' dat (man)ass and started playing the Celibacy game because he couldn't risk that shit getting out in the open. Me, I'm celibate too, but it has less to do with my possible homosexuality and more to do with telling all the ladies out there You Can't Fire Me, I Quit.

Anyway, this guy, he makes a living writing shit about other motherfuckers in newspapers and then makes another living doing radio shows where he talks about other things like he was a fuckin' expert at them. One day, eating a typical lunch alone, this hot dish comes up to him politely -- demurely -- asking if he'll endorse a writing pen that her company is doing ads for; Lydecker doesn't even look at the fuckin' dame, and every word that comes out of his mouth is dripping with poison. The message is pretty clear: leave me the fuck alone, bitch. This is how he first met Laura Hunt.

At first, I thought he was just a fuckin' player who knew what the fuck was up but was acting like a jerk because Chicks Dig Jerks and that's how a motherfucker like Waldo Lydecker gets some. But then I'm slowly realizing, this guy looked at this beautiful girl and probably got instantly jealous because she's comfortable with her sexuality and even though she probably makes in one year what he makes in a week, she lives a far more fulfilling life as a result of knowing who she is. He doesn't even know her and that's what he figures, because I bet to him all women are the same. He also brings up that she's probably some fuckin' Okie girl and that's when we find out he's one of these city assholes who sees everyone else from out of the city as primal sludge and probably wants Obama to take away my guns but I'm not gonna live in a socialist/communist society because I'm all about AMERICA, MOTHERFUCKER. Meanwhile, this poor girl just wants the guy to endorse her stupid fucking pen.

So Waldo is about to write her completely off and she straight up fuckin' calls him as she sees him, calling him lonely and saying that she feels sorry for the motherfucker. At least she didn't say she felt sorry for his mother, because for all she knows, he could also be a closet O-Dog and BLAM BLAM BLAM comes next -- or maybe he *is* a closet O-Dog and that's what happened (he's one of the suspects in her murder). Anyway, her giving him the pity business works -- either that or Chicks Dig Jerks -- and he ends up becoming her friend. I watched the extended version on my DVD, and it included a longer sequence where he basically molds her into his version of a lady while helping her make connections (as well as a name for herself in the advertising business), and in between nights out on the town, they would eat salad together and listen to records and have Girl Talk.

Everything's fine and -- ahem -- dandy between Waldo and Laura, but then awesome fuckin' Vincent Price comes in and sweeps Laura off her feet and Waldo isn't happy about it. He doesn't want to lose out on being with Laura because if she runs off and gets married to a dude, that will cut at least 50 percent out of any possible hang-out time between him and Laura. 50 percent less Girl Talk.

I'm gonna stop here and cut this one short because I want to go see a movie tonight and plus, there's so much more in Laura that I don't want to spoil, but I'll say this -- if you haven't seen this movie, you probably should because it's pretty fuckin' good. The acting is that old-school style of emoting you see in these black & white deals and there's a lot of fuckin' awesome dialogue in it. That Waldo Lydecker is kind of a douche, but damn near everything he said made me want to pin a medal on his chest for Excellence In Being A Dick. The guy who plays McPherson has a girl's name and is really solid, especially at the halfway point when you realize that even though he's a Bad Motherfucker, he's also kind of a softie and eventually starts to fall in love with the dead girl. All he knows about her are the stories from witnesses and suspects, and all he's seen of her is a painted portrait, and yet he's absolutely smitten. The girl who plays Laura has a guy's name is not only very pretty to look at, but she (and I guess the writer & director as well) does a great job making the viewer (by viewer, I mean Me) kinda understand why McPherson would want to share a milkshake with this swell corpse, even though it would require a seance to pull something like that off.

It's also a good mystery in that they do a good job of creating suspects and giving you reasons for each of them to want to off Ms. Hunt without giving you any of that red herring bullshit. I hate that shit -- look over here, nope, killer's really over here! Fucking assholes. Even though I had guessed the halfway twist way before it happened (I had seen a Burt Reynolds movie and a Silk Stalkings episode with a similar plot, way before ever watching this flick), there was still a lot more to keep me interested while wondering about the motherfucker (or motherfuckers) responsible. It's got a pretty girl, snappy writing, nice music, and I was pretty high when I saw it, but I have a feeling the movie is just as good (if not better) than if I wasn't. Would the film feel just as dreamy post-THC? I don't know, all I know is if you smoke like I smoke, then you high like everyday. But if your ass is a buster, 213 will regulate.