Monday, December 19, 2011

In which our blogger disappears up his own ass and makes a stupid decision

Hi guys. I just wanted to clear out my drafts folder in Blogger, to get a better count of how many of these fuckin' things I actually bothered to write. So I figured it would be amusing to post them here, for anyone who's interested to take a gander at. Keep in mind, I just quit while writing them, so some might just end mid-sentence, kinda like

Anyway, I've had some super-awesome people (and even an awesome movie theater) go as far as to retweet, link and share my stuff, and for that I am very, very, very grateful. But when you write like me -- that is, in what I suspect is a badly-written, off-putting, and antagonizing manner, you're gonna be even more of an acquired taste than fuckin' key lime pie; maybe that's why the hit counts never really changed. The few friends I made through this blog, well, I managed to fuck it up with half of them, so I get part of how this happened.

And what happened? I'm not burned out (even though my recent ramblings might say otherwise), because I enjoy writing these ramblings for the most part. It's just that I have a slight case of the Bummers realizing (from evidence real or imagined, I'm not even sure anymore) that I'm basically writing for a Void nowadays. Sure, I mainly write for myself, but it was always nice to know that someone -- for whatever reason -- was reading this and actually getting some kind of amusement out of it. But not a void, man; voids don't get amused by shit. Trust me, I've tried; I've juggled, sang songs, told racist jokes -- and not a single reaction from these fuckin' voids. It's like trying to make Joan Baez laugh, fuckin' with these voids. Me, I prefer people.

So I'm probably going to lessen my output by, like, a lot. So hit me up on Twitter, Facebook or e-mail if there's a particular flick you'd like me to write about, because I don't think I'm gonna write much anymore, aside from whatever Movie Of The Month they have over at The LAMB. Anyway, take care and keep warm. I'm gonna go back to the fetal position on the floor, sucking my thumb and crying for mama, because I'm a fuckin' crybaby little bitch boy because Waaah, I'm a douchebag and want attention, waaah.


You touch-a my car, I break-a you face (GONE WITH THE POPE, 7/27/10)

The job gives me a paycheck to pay bills with and medical/dental so I can get root canals & fondled testicles, but the schedule makes it hard to occasionally go check something out during the week. When I found out that the New Beverly Cinema was to going screen a Duke Mitchell double-feature (Eric Caiden and Brian Quinn of the Grindhouse Film Festival put it together, as they do twice a month for their, uh, Grindhouse Film Festival) of Gone with the Pope and Massacre Mafia Style, I was like whoa baby. So of course it was going to be held on a Tuesday night, the 2nd busiest night at my place of employment.

This Tuesday night conundrum came up the month before when the New Bev had a double-bill of De Palma flicks which also happened to be 2 of my favorite all-time movies. But I guess I was able to justify not going because at least one of those films was going to eventually get screened again somewhere. And while I'm sure Gone with the Pope would get screened again, I just didn't have the patience to wait. So I bullshitted my boss (who incidentally, I had yelled at the week before) and told him something about having to pick up my infirm grandmother from the hospital and that no one else was available for whatever bullshit emergency reason. He wasn't happy about it, but what could he do, say No Fuck Your Grandma? So off I went.

After making a stop at the new Rocket Video location nearby (Yay for browsing before waiting in line!), I got in line and looked at the different people waiting for tonight's entertainment -- many in geek-style shirts; I saw a Badass Cinema/Alamo Drafthouse shirt (best worn by Jordan Ladd in Death Proof), an I Got A Fever shirt with Walken's face on it, a Death Wish 3 shirt, a Hobo With A Shotgun shirt, a Hawaiian shirt which in this crowd is probably some kind of ironic statement, and a shirt with a glasses-wearing baseball player on it with Chinese writing on the top AKA one of The Dude's shirts from The Big Lebowski. There was a girl in the front, part of the Grindhouse crew; she had dark red hair in long pigtails, fingerless gloves that went to her wrist, tall boots and fishnets. I designated her as my imaginary girlfriend for the night. I imagined me and her geeking out to the on-screen proceedings, and I could see having a couple of drinks with her, and I could see her protecting my fragile ass against some rough ruffians picking a fight with me at the bar -- Little Miss Badass.

I saw my main dude (relatively speaking, I've only spoken to him once and it was something like "Hey, that was a pretty cool movie, huh?" and he looked like he wanted to get away from my creepy ass) Clu Gulager talking up a couple ladies near the front. At one point he made a sweeping arm gesture, probably telling a story, but I liked to think he was telling the chicks to get the fuck out of his seating area. Marc Heuck was talking to some people, and he always seems in a better mood when he's not at the Nuart, probably for the same reason I'm in a better mood whenever I'm not at work. He was telling some people about the film Acts of Violence, an awesome movie in the same way that Dangerous Men and The Room are awesome. I caught it back in May, and like most movies I watch nowadays, was too tired to write about. But that shit's playing the New Bev in August, so I might second chance that bitch. Anyway, I think he was telling someone that he caught it with only 4 or 5 people in the entire theater, including Max Landis' girlfriend, or something like that, and something about Junior High School Musical? I don't know. It's all random snippets and words coming from different directions, and I'm like Kevin Bacon in Stir of Echoes, my motherfucker's on Receive and I can't stop the voices, yet if you're standing 2 feet away from me and ask me something, I'm all like "Que? Como?". Oh, you're gonna be in a coma, all right.

The show sold out, and people were desperately trying to find seats to the point that some couples and friends had no choice but to separate and take whatever empty seats they could find, no matter how far apart they'd end up. It was some sad Titanic life-boating shit going on. But either Brian or Eric, the guy in the striped shirt and glasses, he would go around trying to help roaming seat-scavengers find a place to sit. Lots of seats were taped over, reserved for special guests, I guess. A couple in the back had cameras set up over them, ready to record the Q&A for posterity? Or a DVD? Whatever the reason, it was interesting to watch the people in the reserved areas stand around freely in their areas, chatting with friends and having a good time while everyone around them tried their best to find a spot for themselves to sit.

The movie started and there were some trailers that I can remember

Untitled (TRON: LEGACY, 12/17/10)

The thing that sucks about the IMAX (the real one, not that fake shit they have at the AMC Theaters) is that it's even more difficult to try to get good seats on opening weekend. It's not like the Arclight where you can reserve your seats and show up a minute before the lights go down with no problem -- you have show up early and wait in line, and while there used to be a time when I dug waiting in line for a movie (getting all hyped up), I think my increasingly alarming sense of my own mortality is making me more antsy about time spent doing nothing. Plus, I have a decreasingly alarming amount of friends (about 3 now, I reckon) so that means more often than not, I'm by myself, so it's not like I have people to talk to while waiting. I guess what I'm trying to say is that waiting in line sucks dick -- a dick you have to suck after waiting 90 minutes in line.

Which is why I love it when my local IMAX will occasionally add an extra 2:30 am showing following the opening Thursday midnight screening. I saw Star Trek like this, and boy oh boy, was it awesome to watch an IMAX movie at an ungodly hour with, like, 8 other people, knowing that in about 12 hours or so, this same practically empty auditorium is going to be packed with motherfuckers. See, this is completely different than the time when I went to see Speed Racer at the IMAX on opening weekend at an 8pm show and found myself to be the only person in attendance. That was simultaneously awesome and sad. True story. But in the case of the movie I watched a few hours ago, Tron: Legacy, there were more people than you'd expect at 3am on a Friday morning (Christmas break, I'd guess). I still got a good seat, though.

I went to the restroom so I can relieve the ol' bladder and noticed the urinal was one of those waterless no-flush deals which are cool for 2 reasons -- one, they save water; and two, you can gaze at the collection of various pubic hairs that would normally be washed away but instead remain in the urinal. Black, White, Asian, Hispanic, terrorist -- this group of short & curlies is the closest thing to united racial harmony the human race will ever get to (next to a graveyard, of course). As I washed my hands, a group of guys came in and one of them said to his friend "That was disappointing" and his friend asked "Yeah?" and the disappointed guy confirmed it with a "Uh-huh". Then another guy came in and said in a surprised manner, "It smells like pee in here".

My pistola and chili-cheese omelets (HEREAFTER, 3/25/11)

In his review of Hereafter, some critic called Clint Eastwood "overrated" as a director and I didn't hold it against the guy because I was in his house, so to speak; I clicked on the link, I knew what I was getting into. Nothing wrong with sharing an opinion, even if it's the lone dissenting one (as long as the shit's genuine and you're not getting your rocks off being a fuckin' contrarian). It's the same thing here, if you're reading my ramblings, you're looking to see what I thought of a movie and for the most part, I like everything, but if I don't like it, I'll fuckin' say so.

But sometimes, in a non-forum forum, I don't know, sometimes I think it's best to keep your fuckin' mouth shut if you're looking to be the Debbie Downer in a room full of happy motherfuckers. I mean, if I'm talking to a friend or stranger and they bring up a movie they like but I think it's a piece of shit, I prefer to err on the side of not raining on the parade by focusing on something I did like about that garbage or I'll just change the subject. But more often than not, I just let the person go on, because I like hearing people go on about stuff they dig. Never got what you get out of jumping in and being all Well I Thought It Sucked. What was it Tarantino once said, "don't talk to me about what you don't like, talk to me about what you DO like"?

So yeah, this guy was reviewing Hereafter and that's what got me started on that shit. Me, I really liked this movie. Usually, I'm pretty good about catching a Clint Eastwood joint in the cinema but I don't know what the fuck happened that caused me to miss that shit, I have no excuse, really. But I'm glad I finally got around to it. The reviews weren't the best on this one, but maybe it's because they expected this movie to be about Life and Death and were disappointed it was really about life and death, the lowercase version.

I mean, I don't know how Eastwood and writer Peter Morgan managed to pull this off, but they took a story that involves 3 different countries, 1 federal republic, a tsunami, a terrorist bombing, the White Light people go to when they die, Jay Mohr looking old and made it feel small and personal. From what I understand, the promotions for this movie made it seem like The Sixth Sense II and that's what disappointed many a moviegoer -- they did not expect a relatively quiet and somber (something Eastwood's been specializing in for a while in his old age) character study on the human need to believe in an afterlife.

I always try to catch a non-DTV Amy Adams movie on the big screen, and it's the same thing when it comes to Clint Eastwood, that guy's one of my favorite directors. Even when I don't totally dig on his movies, I still dig his simple but effective style, especially in the last decade when he got all moody and somber with his shafts of light and pools of darkness with that motherfucker Tom Stern. I ended up missing Hereafter in the theater because I'm lame, but I remember the reviews not being so hot for the most part.

Untitled (SCREAM 4, 4/18/11)

(This one, I didn't even get to the movie. I just lost interest. - EFC)

So I was reading an interview with Reese Witherspoon -- I mean she was the interview subject, not that she was reading it beside me -- and she was talking about her new movie with Robert Pattinson and I was like Right On, because Reese is like 35 and Twilight's like 24 and I'm sure they're supposed to be banging. Between that and The Adorable Amy Adams playing Lois Lane to some other younger Superman, I like seeing the paradigm shift a bit when it comes to May-December coupling in movies and that it's not treated like She's Old And He's Young And They're In LOOOOVE. I mean, we've seen guys like Sean Connery and Michael Douglas embarrass themselves by hooking up with chicks young enough to be their daughters and I think it's about time the ladies get some of that young stuff in movies. I guess it was going to happen sooner or later after all the Cougar bullshit in our culture, plus you have Punk'd and Demi Moore shopping for lube in real life. Anyway, that's not what I'm here to talk about. I'm here to talk about a bunch of people trying to prove their relevancy in Scream 4.

He pronounces "Homicide" as "Homocide", that's why (BLACK COBRA, 3/6/11)

My ex-con friend has been out of the clink for over a year now and thankfully our interaction has been minimal; we went to the gym a couple times and a couple times he'd invite me over and I'd smoke a fat one before going over, that way I can withstand the crushing boredom of hanging with a man who lives for the gym and not much else. Me, I live for doughnuts.

So this guy, he invited me over for some carne asada this past weekend and to see his latest proof of I Don't Use Condoms aka his newest newborn son (kid #5 from baby mama #3, I believe) and the problem is that while he managed to luck himself into finding a house, he's also sharing said house with others -- others with 3 punkass pugs who shit all over the floor and going to the backyard doesn't help because the pugs go out there too. That's where the grill was, the backyard aka the China Of Flies because there's gotta be about a billion of those sons-of-bitches out there. Then one of my buddies' sons jumps into the pool and splashes water on the pugs, and here they come, jumping all over me, getting smelly wet dog on my fresh clothes. It was like having a barbecue at Critical Bill's place, and the worst part was that I was absolutely, painfully sober for it all.

Terrible -- both the place for being what it is, and me for writing about this shit behind a motherfucker's back. I am scum, I know this so don't act like you're dropping heavy knowledge on me, I've wasted nearly three years of my life rambling about my various scum-baggeries on this here blog, a blog I mostly write from my own place, a place that reeks of feet, weed, pizza and jism -- but you don't see me kindly forcing my preciously few friends over to my abode to suffer through that shit. I know all this, trust me -- I know.

Hey, if I use your full name and you have issues with it, let me know and I will correct it but do me a favor and don't be a dick about it. I was reading someone else's blog and he namechecked the person who inspired him to make that particular entry, and in the comment section she basically made this guy look an asshole with her words, fuckin' chiding him like some kid pulling some shit he wasn't supposed to pull. At least put a fuckin' smiley face or something at the end, that way that shit can't be misconstrued by overly sensitive cunts like Yours Truly -- the most overly sensitive cunt in the world (but I do try -- Lord, do I try -- not to be, which is even harder now that I've dramatically cut down my pot-smokage).

Man, the 80's were fuckin' awesome and I kinda wish I could've been Of Age back then, but then again, maybe not -- knowing me, I'd probably be spending that time speeding down the freeway in the middle of the night, blasting "Tonight, Tonight" by Genesis on my brand new Blaupunkt tape deck while pounding bottles of Michelob in between doing bumps of Pure Bolivian Flake off my dashboard in my fuckin' Honda Civic hatchback, headed for yet another party where I wouldn't go home with a girl (hence my saving some of the coke for showing off later).

Untitled (CLIFFHANGER in 70mm, 12/16/11)

Renny Harlin came up on stage, looking trim and very director-ish (expensive leather jacket over a t-shirt & jeans ensemble) to introduce the second film of the evening at the Aero (following Last Action Hero and also in 70mm), Cliffhanger. First he wanted to give a shout-out/props to the director of the previous film, one badass muthafucker named John McTiernan. He mentioned how his film came out in May 1993 from Tri-Star and McTiernan's came out the following month from Columbia -- and today, they are both owned under the umbrella of the Sony people.

Mr. Harlin then called us all nuts for being here at 10pm on a cold Sunday night to watch an 18-year-old film. Thankfully, he was not one of those directors who find it hard to put two words together (and yet somehow are able to command a crew of hundreds on a film); Harlin had plenty to say and was also very aware of his garrulous nature, because he kept apologizing to the audience for constantly having "one last anecdote" about working on the film. He was actually a pretty funny dude, made even funnier with his deadpan monotone-ish delivery; that voice, by the way, lent itself to a pretty impressive Stallone impersonation (which he did quite often, to the audience's approval).

Here's some of the stories I remember:

-- Janine Turner has a phobia of helicopters. This became an issue after she brought this up on location, where her character has a couple scenes in and around helicopters.

-- Stallone is afraid of heights. Again, something he brought up rather late in the game, which is also an issue when the movie is called Cliffhanger. Harlin ended up doing some macho head-games to convince to do stunt scenes like the opening sequence, where he's hanging 8,000 feet over the ground; Harlin went out himself on one of those harnesses and basically did one of those "See, it's very simple and easy" and Stallone figured if this fuckin' Fin can do it....

-- Michelle Joyner (playing the chick who ends up hanging for dear life in the opening sequence), gave such an incredible audition that both Harlin and the casting director were in tears by the end of it. The second audition was with Stallone, who also ended up teary-eyed. Harlin didn't want a stuntwoman to play the part, because in his opinion, stuntmen don't make the best actors (I hope Zoe Bell isn't reading this). In the end, Joyner performed her own stunt, hooked up to a rig that would drop her 20 yards down the 8,000 foot length. This means that Michelle Joyner has bigger balls than I can ever hope to grow.

-- Harlin convinced the studio to purchase about $300,000 of weather insurance, given how unpredictable the weather was over in the Italian Alps (where they shot most of this flick). In the end, after all the lost shooting days were totalled up, the studio ended up saving $8 million (which the insurance company had to pay).

-- One of the head muckety-mucks at Tri-Star (Harlin: "I'm not going to tell you that it was Mike Medavoy") strongly suggested that the best way to close the film would be to cue the Motown hit "Ain't No Mountain High Enough" over the end credits. Harlin was able to successfully forget to take that suggestion.

He told a story about the premiere of Cliffhanger at the Cannes Film Festival; he was nervous because he felt a Stallone action joint felt out of place at this supposedly classy location, but by the end of the film, the entire audience gave the flick a standing ovation. As he exited the theater with his mother, fake snow was being pumped out onto the steps of the massive theater and Trevor Jones' majestic score blared through the outside speakers -- it was one of those I'm King Of The World (woo) moments, like something out of a movie.  Stallone then leaned into Harlin and said something to the effect like "Remember this moment, Renny. Because it'll never happen like this again." Harlin then told us, that yes, he was right -- nothing like this ever happened for him since.

I dug that he mentioned how this was his last feature to be shot with anamorphic lenses; even though he's continued to shoot in the 2:35.1 format, he's gone on to using Super 35. He does admit that the anamorphic lenses did have a "classic" quality to them that the Super 35 lenses did not, because the latter has great depth of field while the former's depth of field is shallower than Jerry Seinfeld and Brett Ratner chilling out at the kiddie pool. Whatever. Nowadays all I see is shallow depth of field, because everything on the street's being shot with those fuckin' HDLSR's.

I liked that Harlin was both friendly and talkative, with just the right wicked amount of passive-aggressiveness -- he said that he would take questions, if they were "genius" questions, which basically to me sounded like "Don't ask me something lame and waste both our time". One guy asked Harlin why the film was rated NC-17, which confused the Finn because he was pretty sure Cliffhanger was rated R. Well, they're both right, actually: the film had a lot of juicy squibs cut out to get the R-rating.


OK, that's it.