Sunday, March 13, 2011

Gym employees have no sense of humor, and if they do, it's an extremely wack sense of humor from another planet

So the doctor, he fixed my ear up; it wasn't permanent damage, just something a little antibiotic and steroids can fix. Feeling the sudden violent mood swings brought on by the latter drug, I wondered aloud if I should start beating the shit out of women while lifting weights or something. He said perhaps it's best to start incorporating some physical activity into my life, something more than just getting up to grab another Hot Pocket to toss into the microwave. Sure whatever, asshole. I mean, this doc, he was watching Hot Fuzz in his office, which happened to be across from the exam room where I was waiting inside for a long time. I could hear the unmistakable David Arnold ass-kicking music coming from the closed door and I was sitting there unable to even call a motherfucker because of the sign that said NO CELL PHONE WHILE INSIDE EXAMINATION ROOM. Also, my doctor looks like Guillermo Del Toro and he's giving me shit about my shape, so Double Dumbass on you, I say.

How do you really convince someone like me to visit a gym, to get a little of that physical activity he was talking about? You tell the asshole to visit one of these Gold's Gym joints and visit their "Cardio Cinema" room, a small darkened theater made up of a big screen, projector and treadmills in place of seats. They only play one film per day, played on a loop so if you come in late, you can catch up with the rest later if you're still running/walking/cycling by then. Sounded like an easy way to burn some calories; letting the on-screen events distract me as my heart-rate level was somewhere around 300 and all I was doing was walking. Fat fuck.

The guy at the gym explained how great the Cardio Cinema room is, and how it's outfitted with surround sound and IMAX. Yup, he said IMAX and it took every ounce, fiber, molecule, muscle, and belief inside me to not go right up to his face, look him in the eye, and go "BULLSHIT!!!!!" like Chow Yun-Fat in the English-dubbed version of Hard Boiled. Instead, I just nodded, pretending I was the kind of person who would buy that shit.

It's not like I was expecting The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie, but the choices are relatively "safe" middle-of-the-road fare, and maybe even "middle-of-the-road" could be considered too kind, if yesterday's choice is any indication: Killers, a movie I never wanted to see because it starred two people who I'm 99.7 percent sure are insufferable douchebags in real life. There's another movie called Killers, starring nobody you know and directed by the guy who ended up creating The Asylum production company, responsible for those quickly-made low-budget DTV cash-ins of films currently playing in non-cardio cinemas -- I didn't even like that movie but I was really hoping I was watching that one instead.

I guess I could've gone to a regular treadmill instead, but I've gone through that before, that shit makes me feel all too aware that I'm exercising and even the music or the closed-captioned televisions aren't going to distract me enough. I'm here, so I should try this Cardio Cinema regardless of today's fare, I said to myself. I'm going to do a quick rundown on this one, because you really shouldn't be worrying about spoilers on this shit, and it's not like you're gonna read this anyway.

So the movie starts with the Female Douchebag From Knocked Up on a trip to Nice, France with her parents, played by awesome non-douchebags Tom Selleck and Catherine O'Hara. I feel bad for O'Hara, strictly on a She's Better Than This level; I'm sure she makes a nice chunk of change doing these movies a favor by being in them, but it still stings a bit that she and other SCTV gods like Eugene Levy also have to appear grateful for that shit. No wonder Rick Moranis said Fuck That Shit and got out of the game. No wonder John Candy's dead. I hope at least the people behind movies like Killers, New York Minute and Surviving Christmas understand that the only good they provide to this world is affording Levy and O'Hara the opportunity to appear in better movies, like those improv joints from that asshole Christopher Guest.

Female Douchebag is recently single and she meets this guy who's good looking in a This Guy's A Major Tool kinda way, played by Punk'd The Douchebag. Punk'd is supposed to be a secret agent/assassin type, and I say "supposed" not because his identity is mysterious or something, I say "supposed" because we're supposed to buy that shit, that this douche can fuck up some tough Frenchie and snap his neck. Whatever, douche. If anything, I'd sooner believe that while they were filming this, Punk'd got a little too rough on the stuntman fighting opposite him and nearly got his ass handed to him as a result.

I can picture it; the stuntman steps back and says to him (in a Cockney accent) that one more stupid mistake like that and he's going to twist Punk'd's nutsack off and place it between his asscheeks, a position more becoming to him, he'd reckon. Then Punk'd the Douchebag starts crying to his army of bodyguards to get between him and Angry Cockney Stuntman, then and only then starting to feel tough. So yeah, Punk'd meet-cutes Female Douchebag after doing a hit (he blew up some helicopter, killing his mark and a most likely innocent helicopter pilot) and they begin a wonderful douchebag courtship while enjoying the nice beaches and nice vistas of, uh, Nice.

Selleck's character is overly protective of his daughter, even making sure her hotel room is adjacent to his. He's always going on about her safety. I want you to remember that for later. Anyway, Punk'd ends up turning down a hit from his boss, played by yet another funny actor slumming it and having to look happy about it, Martin Mull. The only reason I don't feel as bad for Mull is because Patton Oswalt once referred to him as being an asshole; it was one of those arguments for Don't Meet Your Heroes, and the flipside to that coin according to Oswalt, was that he then met Carrot Top (not a hero of Oswalt's) and found him to be one of the nicest guys ever.

So cut to three years later, and Punk'd the Douchebag is married to Female Douchebag and they live in a nice neighborhood somewhere in the tax-incentive-giving state of Georgia. Punk'd has some kind of job in construction where he works out of an office and occasionally visits a site to tell the Mexicans what's what while still dressed in his clean white corporate wear, probably getting that shit dirty and not caring because I'M AWESOME or whatever douchebag mantra is filling his mind at the moment (he learned from the smaller, less-popular sub-sect of Transcendental Meditation called DTM, and I don't even have to tell you what that shit stands for. Meanwhile, Female Douchebag works in an office or something.

It's quite a thing to watch Punk'd's interactions with others; his response to everything is to make a condescending Whatever Loser look after the other person is done talking. For all I know, the character in the screenplay is supposed to be likable, but because of the actor playing him, he just seems like the smarmiest, most-asshole-like, I'm Better Than You motherfucker I've seen in quite some time. I guess this is what fans of Punk'd like about him, this is why they spend their hard-earned money to go see his shit movies, they love watching this guy be an asshole because maybe they want to be just like him, and they've gone as far as the Ed Hardy shirt and the ironic trucker's cap, but that's it. They're still a cougar away from being him. That's the only thing separating those douches from this douche, because there certainly isn't a talent gap involved.

I mean, Lois Griffin from Family Guy shows up playing one of Punk'd's neighbors and she's doing the wacky neighbor thing and it's like Punk'd couldn't even play it like he's amused by her. Later in the film you find out she's a hired assassin and I think that's supposed to be a surprise except Punk'd is already treating her weird from the beginning -- and I don't think he's supposed to be playing it that way. It's like the director tried to pull Punk'd aside and explain to him that his character should be friendly with Lois Griffin because as far as he's concerned, she's just some lady. But Punk'd probably turned to this director and went, NAH THAT'S STUPID, BRO (Punk'd speaks in all caps) and then probably explained that his fans like to see him be a dick and not in an awesome Alec Baldwin/Will Arnett sort-of-way, it's more like he's a dick in the way that genuinely unpleasant people are dicks.

So suddenly in the middle of the movie, the Douchebags find themselves being attacked by friends and colleagues; Punk'd's co-worker attacks him in the kitchen with a knife, friendly deliverymen are firing machine guns at them, a horny sexed-up neighbor is trying to run them over. Now, Female Douchebag doesn't know why (she doesn't know about Punk'd's former life -- he confessed to her late one night about it, except she was asleep and didn't hear a word, and he thinks she did and took it rather well as a result) this is happening to them but Punk'd figures maybe it's related to his previous employment. Anyway, they start to bicker with the whole WHY DIDN'T YOU TELL ME/I TOLD YOU ALREADY deal, eventually leading into the I'm Pregnant plot point and along the way, many a product placement is made.

This is where I came in (and then stayed to watch the first half when the movie started over). I started working out halfway through the film, and I have to admit, it played rather well this way, not knowing why anything was happening. In fact, there was an almost Kafka-esque feel to it, watching this couple freaking out as all these people in this suburban setting try to kill them, and they can't even go to Big K-Mart to buy a pregnancy test without Usher showing up with a price gun and making Punk'd nervous that he might be One Of Them. There's a germ of a good idea there somewhere, in my unintentional reedit-by-way-of-watching-it-from-the-middle version. Not that it helps, it only made me want to go home and watch the chase scene from To Live and Die in L.A..

Usher's appearance, by the way, only made me wonder if this was set up by having Punk'd call his bros and ask them if they wanted to show up and have some fun. Most of them were out doing better things (probably out fishing with Mark Cuban, Chris Daughtry, Jeff Probst, Super Chef Bobby Flay and Adam Scott's character from Step Brothers). Damn. Usher seemed like an OK guy, but now I have to re-think that because of the company he keeps. It must've been unbearable on that set, those two bro-ing out while girls with no standards or self-respect were screaming and moistening their undergarments because OMG PUNK'D AND USHER ARE AT THE BIG K-MART.

The assassins are mostly played by people who unlike the stars of this film, are known for their comedic talents and sense of humor. They unfortunately are losers in the Who's More Attractive game against the stars, and that's where it really counts in Hollywood; Lois Griffin from Family Guy (shot in the head), some skinny dude (run over), some other skinny dude (neck snapped), real-life Marine Rob Riggle (who unfortunately probably had the decency to be nice to Punk'd behind-the-scenes, rather than putting him in a hurt locker -- his character gets crushed/impaled), Casey Wilson from SNL (shot in the head), and someone named Lisa Ann Walter (burned to death) who I remember from something for some reason. For a while, I thought the theme of this movie was Hot People Rule, Normal People Drool, but there is one hot chick who is trying to kill them, as well, she's like Punk'd's secretary or something, and she gets impaled by an antler chandelier that she was bitching about earlier in the movie, which I guess is irony or poetic justice or something.

For a good portion of the running time, there was an older Asian couple on the treadmills next to me. They seemed to really enjoy the movie, and good for them, I'm not holding it against them, I just wish they knew that the star of the movie is probably the kind of asshole who would wait for them to leave so he could start going Ching Chong Ching Ching Chong behind their backs, then high-fiving his bro about it ("now let's go date-rape some chicks!").

I wish the Asian couple didn't leave, because then this fat guy (fatter than me) in a red polo shirt and sweatpants stepped in and decided that he was going to let everyone know what he thought of this movie. He didn't seem to mind that people around him left their treadmills while he was trying to MST3k the feature. It was probably his way of working up the nerve to do an open-mic night at the local Chuckle Hut and bomb horribly with his observations about women until out of desperation he starts making jokes about those goddamn Mexicans and their Mexican music (this Chuckle Hut is located in Orange County), then they'd all laugh and he'd feel Awesome and now fully charged, he tries to pick up chicks with his shit Chris Farley impersonation -- and succeeds!

You cannot escape the talkers, even in the movie theater gym. I felt that even though this was a shit movie, this is still a movie theater setting and he should take that shit somewhere else. Nobody is forcing him to watch this. As for me, I was running in spite of the assholes on-screen -- I was running OUT of spite. I'm a spiting motherfucker. Besides, as shitty as the movie was, it still managed to distract me from the plain and simple fact that I was actually running. Running! For more than 10 seconds! It's probably even easier if you're doing it to a movie you like!

It got to a point that we were the only two left, and I sure as fuck wasn't going to leave, I had a good run going. Eventually, a cute girl got between me and Fat Guy In A Polo Shirt and he decided to give his running commentary to her, rather than me. I can sense her Oh Man, I Picked The Wrong Treadmill vibes and I'd feel sorry for her, but since she'd probably never give me the time of day, I felt nothing but a major amount of Serves You Right For Being Cute toward her. Instead, I cooled down and switched to another machine, leaving her with Mr. All My Friends At Work Say I Should Be A Comedian.

So at the end of the movie, it turns out that Selleck's character used to be a secret agent/assassin/whatever himself, and he was the original target that Punk'd The Douchebag was supposed to take down at the beginning. He thought Punk'd was after him, so he assigned sleeper agents to pretend to be Punk'd's friends and neighbors until they got the word from him. There was a misunderstanding when Martin Mull's character recently contacted Punk'd, and Selleck assumed the hit was back on, so he alerted the assassins and that's why Punk'd and Knocked Up spent the second half of the movie trying not to get killed. This from the guy who was nervous about the idea of his daughter sleeping in a hotel room that wasn't adjacent to his.
But now that everything is settled, and all the assassins are dead, it's all water under the bridge, I guess. Turns out Selleck's as big a douche as his daughter and son-in-law.

This was an asshole movie made by asshole people and starring a couple of assholes. There is the occasional cool person involved (some of the supporting cast, the cinematographer shot True Lies) but other than that, it's an asshole production. But I saw the whole thing, so that makes me the biggest asshole of the bunch. You know, I'm being hard on Katherine Heigl, I know people don't like her, but I'll let her slide. I take back all the Female Douchebag talk about her because she never hosted a prank show, she never called herself and Sean Combs "the new Rat Pack". I'm sure in between doing movies, reading scripts and raising her kid, Ms. Heigl probably likes to chill out by reading my blog, so I just want to make it clear that I don't really have a beef with her. But you're sure as fuck on probation, Heigl.

The action was OK, but it's more of that pre-Bourne old-movie-star style of action choreography where you don't believe for a second that Punk'd could fuck a guy up like that. People get shot and blown up, it's a touch more brutal than you'd expect from a no-blood PG-13 movie, and it probably hurts more to watch because it's happening to people you want to see accomplish their mission and live. Instead, Punk'd and Knocked Up win the battle and live on to have an asshole baby. Meanwhile, I'm sure some of these assassins had families at home who are going to receive either a phone call in the middle of the night, or a visit from Ben Foster and Woody Harrelson. And for what? Because fuckin' Magnum PI was afraid of dying from the very same sword he lived by? What a fuckin' asshole.

This movie made me sad. The only thing that makes me sadder is if they took the same script, same director and the same cast but replaced Punk'd and Knocked Up with, oh, I don't know, Matt Damon and Amy Adams, I'd most likely give this shit a pass, even though this is without a doubt, a shining example of a Piece Of Shit movie.

I don't know if I'll do it again, I mean, I like being sedentary and dying a slow blubberous death, but as far as yesterday goes, I adapted rather easily into this new world, this gym world, walking around and exposing my fat upper body and juicy man-titties in public. What I wasn't ready for was the odd mixture of guys who trot around naked in the locker room with those who are trying to save themselves a little decency by using a towel. I guess that's where the thousand-yard-stare comes into handy when you're now living with civilians who look at your man-bitch-tits while their wangs are flopping around too close to the hair gel.