Wednesday, August 30, 2006

“Beer Beer Beer Beer…Beer!”

Well, what can I say about the movie Beerfest? I can say that I’m inexpressibly happy I didn’t have to pay to see it. Actually, working a long day and driving home only to turn around and drive half the distance back to a Landmark theater so we could see it for free was a bit painful; but, I’m still really happy I didn’t pay. Umm, what else can I say? Well, I think the guys who made Beerfest are geniuses, which I’ll explain later.

Beerfest is directed, co-written, and stars Jay Chandrasekhar, also known as “Broken Lizard”, who you may have seen in Arrested Development and Andy Richter Controls the Universe (I knew I’d seen him somewhere…I miss you AD), and of course, in 2001’s Super Troopers, which I haven’t seen but which Girl Kid and her B-Friend report is hi-larious. I saw the trailer for Super Troopers back in the day, and I figured I’d already seen all the funny bits, “We can’t pull over any further man, we’re as far over as we can go!” It’s one of those movies that stoned frat kids love, and I don’t have any pot, so there. No point in seeing it really. Beerfest is the, (dare I say it), sequel for grown-up’s. ‘Cause, you know, grown-ups drink beer.

Beerfest does for conspicuous over-consumption of America’s Favorite Beverage that ST did for Mary Jane—allow the filmmakers to imbibe to a prodigious degree and call it a career. This is where the genius part comes in—how many people can manipulate a film studio into financing a movie, use their mom’s house in New Mexico as a set, convince a bunch of breast-enhanced starlets to take off their shirts, and also employ all their friends to drink a lot of beer and call it “acting”? Not too many. Genius.

Let’s see, what else? For no apparent reason, this movie included cameos by some fairly recognizable stars. For instance, what the hell was Donald Sutherland doing in this thing? Granted, he’s only on-screen for three minutes, and is lying down the entire time (while drinking three giant mugs of beer which I suspect may have been filled with the real thing), but still, dude, what were you thinking? Cloris Leechman is more understandable, as that woman will do anything for money. She plays, not surprisingly, an ex-whore in this one; in fact she plays almost the same character she did in Young Frankenstein, dirndl and pigtails included.

Respected German actor Jürgen Prochnow also appears as the leader of the evil German beer championship team, and there is a running gag about “Das Boot”, which is an enormous glass boot of beer that must be drunk without spilling to win the competition. Because Jürgen Prochnow was the movie Das Boot, get it? Hilarious, right? Or, maybe not. There is a trick to performing the supposedly impossible task of chugging Das Boot that anyone who’s taken fifth grade science will immediately figure out, so this plot point is sort of wasted. (I said “wasted”, ha ha.) And one character dies in a giant vat of beer, but is immediately replaced by his identical but somehow better twin. I really thought that guy would be able to drink his way out of the vat. Kind of disappointing, actually. And there are a lot of hot girls, who as we all know, really love fat drunken losers. And Mon’ique is in the movie. Actually, in some ways she was the hottest chick of all. She does get the longer of the two sex scenes, and I did believe it when she said she was going to break that guy in half.

There are a few funny moments, such as the sublime scene where a comparison is made between how a very drunk Jay Chandrasekhar sees himself and how others see him…so, so funny. The Trojan Beer was funny, as was the Olympic-atheletes-entering-the-stadium re-creation. In fact, the movie does sort of grow on you. It’s amusing to witness such an unabashedly enthusiastic celebration of all things “beer”. Quality filmmaking this is not, but if you are in the right frame of mind, and are of a certain age, (even if only mentally), and if you love beer, and boobies, and bad acting and drinking games…and more beer, then this movie might just be for you. If you’ve ever played “coins”, worn a beer box on your head, or laid under a ladder while someone pours beer into your mouth, you may find yourself chuckling now and then. If you do go, try to be as drunk as possible; I think it might help. Personally, I could have lived without the frog masturbation.

Oh yeah, and this is the really important bit—don’t pay.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Things That Suck Monkey Mold Today

I don’t have time for a lengthy post today. If you want one of those, read my archives.

Today, in case you have just emerged from under your rock to read this, is the one-year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. In fact, if you live in New Orleans, you probably are living under a rock. Why, after one year in the Greatest Country In The World would you be doing this? Because, unless they are super rich, George Bush doesn’t care about Americans. If you are an African American, well, he really, really doesn’t care about you. If you are poor, he probably couldn’t see you if you poked him with a stick. “What’s poking me? What’s going on? What’s my name? Where am I? Help, a pretzel is looking at me! Laura, read me a story.” Poor people, you are less than nothing to George W. Bush; which is why, one year later in the richest country in the world, you are still living in a FEMA trailer next to a concrete pad that used to be your house. That’s if you are lucky enough to have scored a trailer; otherwise, it’s the rock for you.

Who does The Dubya care about besides his daddy, Karl Rove, rich people, and the nice invisible voice who lives in his ear and tells him what to say in press conferences? He cares about Iraqis. And Iranians. He must, because he keeps giving them all our money, or is planning to give them all our money. (But he doesn’t care about North Koreans, no matter how many missile tests they conduct—because Koreans don’t have any oil; they only have cabbages. George W. Bush doesn’t care about cabbages.) Hezbollah is already rebuilding southern Lebanon, so why is New Orleans still a mess? It’s really shocking that a tiny band of Middle Eastern terrorists could provide better reconstruction services to the locals than our own government can provide to us. The education budget in the USA is being slashed, social programs are being cut, one in six Americans has no health insurance at all, and over half have less insurance than they need. During the recent fracas in Lebanon, even with all the war apparatus and equipment we have practically next door in Iraq, we were the last country to make arrangements to get our people out of there. And the list goes on. It’s a damn, dirty shame, and I’m embarrassed to be an American right now.

Well, that’s it for now. I’m all bummed out. I’ll try to be more cheerful and witty for you tomorrow. In fact, I’ll have a review of Beerfest for you, god help me. Girl Kid’s b-friend really wants to see this one-star flick from the dudes who brought us Super Troopers, so you know it will be pretty bad. There is just no explaining the mind of a teenage boy—I suspect lizards live in there. Well, in just a couple of months, I won’t be invited along anymore, because they’ll be able to drive off laughing to see R-rated movies all on their own…and I will be sad because my babies are all grown up. What are a few more heinous movies under the belt compared to that?

Monday, August 28, 2006

Ted Nugent is Bonkers, and Other Tales of Oregon Gone Wild

Things I Learned On My Vacation, Such As, Google Maps Cannot Be Trusted
Girl Kid printed out the instructions on how to get to our campground near Salem this last week, and I should have looked at it before we hit Portland. What can I say? Oregon doesn’t like to put street signs going both ways, so I frequently didn’t know what road we were on, just the ones that we were driving past at high speeds. Also—Google had us going on one tiny road to the next even smaller road until we were finally bombing up a dirt track that looked like it was going to end up in a cow pasture. I began to hear banjos. Remember all those movies where the carload of stupid teenagers is eaten or dismembered by backwoods bachelor nutcases? All I’m saying is that I kept thinking how good I’d taste roasted. Finally, we turned out onto a paved road; and when we arrived at the campground and described our travel method to the dude in the office, he laughed and laughed….

Camp Dakota Has Everything
If you have a burning need to drive off and go camping, but somehow forgot to bring any stuff, fear not! The good folks at Camp Dakota have literally everything you need stocked in their eeny-weeny office slash store, up to and including tents, tarps, coolers, clothing, books, beer, tongs for smores; and for no obvious reason, scary little dolls with eyes that follow you. Maybe you put these around your camp to scare away the chipmunks. Oh yeah, and they will deliver espresso to your campsite in the morning. Odd, but fun. And, Scotts Mills, which is the closest little town, is hella cute. I could live there. Maybe some cannibalistic bachelor whack job will ask me to marry him and help him with his Christmas tree farm. They grow a lot of Christmas trees around there.

Everyone in Oregon is Fat
Whenever I hear in the media how fat Americans are, I look around and think, “Eh…maybe.” In Seattle, I’m frequently the only Big Girl in the room. In Seattle, there are just not that many truly fat people, so naturally I thought the Liberal Press was making it up and that fat people didn’t really exist. I was wrong. When we got to the Oregon State Fair on Friday, we spent a few hours before The Nuge show looking around. We saw cows. We saw a hundred varieties of chickens, including some huge fuckers with very feathery legs that made them look like they were wearing Hammer Pants. I kid you not. And we saw a whole lot of fat people. I was suddenly not alone; I was among My People, (if my people included rabidly conservative Christians). Just about every one of the thousands of people we saw that day had at least a fairly significant hunk of junk in their trunk, and I’d say at least 40%, (and maybe more), were double the size they should be, or even triple or quadruple. Yipes. And not a single one of them keeled over with a heart attack, even after downing deep-fried Oreos and Twinkies, so there. By the way, Girl Kid thought she wanted to try a fried Oreo, and then she got closer to where they were making them, and changed her mind. Gross.

The Oregon State Fair Hires The Unemployable
America, if you can’t hold down a job, if you don’t have the mental skills to give simple directions, or if you are unclear on what the meaning of “up” is, the Oregon State Fair has a job for you. What will your job requirements be? Well, apparently, wandering around in a green shirt and hat and being no help to anyone at all. When we got to the fair, we immediately asked where Ted Nugent would be playing. Nobody really knew, but each official-looking person we asked pointed vaguely into the distance (in different directions each time), and pronounced it to be “over there somewhere”. After three hours of wandering around, eating bad Mexican food, and hiding out in the Oregon Conservation Exhibit (which was the only quiet and shady spot), we decided we were ready to go get in line for the show. By the time we figured out where it was, there was a line a mile long (I am again, not kidding). We spent at least a half an hour walking up an down this line, which was spiraling in and around the Fun House area in big loops, trying to find the end. Because of the whole looping thing, people were jumping the line and milling around, and no one seemed to know where we were going. For all we knew, we could have been in line to be turned into deep-fried Oreos. There was a chatty guy in line next to us, who was moaning and complaining to everyone around him. At one point I said to him, “Well, who knew Old Ted could still bring out such a large crowd?” Everyone in earshot stopped talking, spun around on their heels, and glared at me. It was a sign of things to come.

When we finally did make it into the pavilion, The Nuge had been on stage for more than half an hour. On the plus side, that meant less Nugent for me, and that turned out to be a good thing, because….

Ted Nugent is Insane
I knew The Nuge was a survivalist crackpot hunter type, but I didn’t know just how bad he really was. Now, I’ve been to a lot of concerts in my life, but this was the first time the headliner brought an arsenal to the show. He had several rifles, a compound bow, and a 50-caliber machine gun on stage, all of which he kept waving around and aiming at the audience. For one blinding second I thought, “Oh god, someone’s going to get killed!” He also kept going on and on about how he loves his “blood brothers” in the armed services, and sang a love song to George W. Bush. I wish I were kidding. Ted also thinks that what he and his band plays is “soul” music, which was an opinion he announced at least 37 times in an hour and a half. The people waving Confederate flags around in front of him didn’t seem to find this at all ironic. Ted also sported an animal tail pinned to his butt, and I have a bad feeling it was not a fake fur costume prop. Nevertheless, if you are in to that sort of thing, the old dude can really squeeze it out. My eardrums are still ringing.

Nugent Fans Are “Special”
Oh. My. God. Now, the Oregon State Fair boasted at least a bit of diversity, mostly Hispanic, but there were no brown people in sight inside the Nuge concert. All white, mostly aging, and all definitely drunk, or rapidly on the way to being drunk. Plastic cup after plastic cup passed by me, over me, and on me during this thing. Hey people, when pumping your fist in the air and yelling “Fuck Yeah!”, try to remember which fist has the beer in it, umkay? At one point Ted announced that he hates “drunk drivers and dudes who take methamphetamines”, and all the drunks yelled “Fuck Yeah!” again. Slosh, slosh, spill, spill, drive home and beat the wife later. Ironic, right?

White People Can’t Dance, But They Can Stampede
Does anyone remember Elaine’s “dance” on Seinfeld? Well, a woman in front of me did an amazing rendition of that dance, all while sitting down. White people really are retarded in the rhythm department. Also, boys and girls, matching Hawaiian shirts are for losers. Oddly, despite the fact that the place was packed, I sat in a widening circle of empty seats, my hostility draining off of me in cresting waves. I promise I said and did nothing to annoy anyone (because I was afraid they would hurt me), other than to sit there with a look of incredulity on my face. I could have gone outside…but it was like watching a train wreck. I had to see what bonkers thing The Nuge would do next. Awful. And when the crowd went wild and started jumping up and down and hooting to get the band to some back and do an encore…well, you remember how I mentioned how fat everyone is down there, right? The sound of millions of pounds of American Beef pounding up and down on what was now looking like not-so-stable stadium seating was awe inspiring indeed. But, we lived, and Girl Kid got a T-Shirt. Dude.

Oregon is Bigger than it Looks
The next day we decided to drive over to the coast to come home…and it turned in to a twelve hour tour of Beautiful Scenery, High Winds, Bad Food, and…Barfing. Girl Kid got food poisoning at the Imperial Schooner in Ilwaco, Washington. You’d think in a town that was all about fishing boats and fish processing plants that you would be able to get fresh seafood. You would be wrong.

And, a Movie
Yesterday, home at last and ready to regroup and relax, Girl Kid and I went to see The Illusionist. This movie has some very subtle acting, and is worth the price of admission for that alone. As always, Paul Giamotti is A God. I even liked the perfectly cast Edward Norton, who often annoys me. While she was definitley the weakest link, Jessica Biel wasn’t too bad as well; although she keeps her clothes on for most of the film, so that may put off her main fan base. There was one badly filmed and totally unnecessary sex scene that took me right out of the movie. Bad director, no cookie. It was a reasonably good flick though, even if you can figure out the twist ending in the first thirty minutes. That doesn’t matter, it’s all about Paul, and his deliciously understated performance and voice-over work. Give that man an Oscar already. Well, he won’t get one for this, but he should. Don’t pay more than matinee prices for this one though.

And now I need to get back to work. I need chocolate. Damn.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Some People Like…To Put Their Television Down…We Are Just Good Friends….

Girl Kid, her B-Friend, and your intrepid correspondent (that’s me) are going to Oregon tomorrow to see Ted Nugent at the Oregon State Fair. Pity me. Not only do I hate “The Nuge”, and most of what he stands for (Republicans, killing animals for sport, raising your kids to be serial killers, and hair flipping), but Girl Kid will be driving most of the way, so I will not be having a fun time at all. I may not be able to get my fingernails out of the armrest by the end of this trip. God help us, and if you see a giant white van bombing down I-5 with Betty The Beast stenciled on the hood, please be kind. And I’ll let you know how “The Nuge”, the fair and camping in the woods with two teenagers went on Sunday or Monday.

I Love TV
I do more than spend my time in a lot of darkened movie theaters; I also watch a tremendous amount of TV. I am a Ginormous Fatassicuss Couch Potatocuss, genus: Americanus. So sue me. So, what’s on the ol’ TiVo this week? Let’s see, shall we?

While Hell’s Kitchen II is done and gone, with the squishy-faced bawl-fest that is Heather surviving the bombastic attacks of Britain’s latest Asshole Export, Gordon Ramsey to win the big “prize” of her own restaurant in Las Vegas, (a dubious reward, if you ask me), it’s still possible to occasionally see the much better show Ramsey’s Kitchen Nightmares on BBC America. Yes, Mr. Gordon does swear a lot, and he does yell, but he won’t devour your soul like he does on HK. By that we know that American television producers are the Devil’s Own Spawn, who goaded The Gordon into even more histrionics than is his usual fare, and that’s not really necessary. He’s already pretty much over the top and down the other side, we don’t really need to see his head explode and rotate around 360 degrees. Or maybe we do. At least on Hell’s Kitchen, Mr. Ramsey does not continually remove his shirt, which he does do on RKN. I also don’t believe that guy is 38; because he has a bad case of Old Man Chest…I can accept 48, but not 38. I think Our Mister Gordon is a liar, as well as a giant screaming ass (who can also cook). However, I do obsessively watch both of these shows when they are on, like the guilty little slut I am.

The Closer
If you are not watching The Closer on the TNT network (Channel 54 in my neighborhood), then you are missing out. Keira Sedgewick is delicious fun as a thick-accented “gosh darn it” Southern girl heading up the Priority Murder unit of the LAPD. It’s in it’s second or third season now, and is America’s best answer to all those amazing British crime shows which are so much better than most of what we here in the ol’ “US of A” have to offer. While this show is no Prime Suspect (and what could be?), it is really, really fun. Watch it. All those CSI shows have gotten hella stupid anyway. This is much better.

On Tuesday, we have been watching…god, I’m embarrassed to admit this…Rockstar: Supernova, or as I like to call it, Rockdolts: Super Troopers. We started watching this idiot reality show last summer for the sole reason that my friend Frey made it into the last fifty finalists for Season One. He might have even gotten further, but his ex-girlfriend didn’t pass on the message that the producers had called until three weeks after the fact; which is justifiable grounds for homicide, if you ask me. Anyway, it’s pretty impressive how well the show’s contestants can sing, but if I have to endure much more of Dave Navarro’s creepy Dirty Old Man routine, or the word “Awesome!” much more, I may just run amok. Plus, this year’s edition includes Tommy Lee and his “I’m just a cute little boy with excessive tattoos” sideways hat. Tommy and his hat bring up chunks in my craw every week. If you made the words “Dude!”, “Awesome!”, “Rockers” and “V CAST phone” into a drinking game, you’d be dead by 11 pm is all I’m saying. Really, does no one speak English anymore? And ever since sexy minx and spandex Ziggy Stardust imitator Zyra got given the boot, I’m not really all that interested anymore. Who will win the (again, very questionable) prize of fronting Tommy Lee and a bunch of other losers? Will it be the Midget Raccoon, David Blaine, The Guy Who Can’t Keep His Shirt On, or Portland’s answer to Celine Dion, Storm Large? (And that’s actually her name.)

Also on Tuesday is the very excellent ex-Showtime offering Dead Like Me, being re-run now on the SciFi channel. This show is a bit beyond description, but it involves the daily lives of grim reapers. They have day jobs and everything. Watch it. And that brings us to….

Um, Rockdorks: Super Troopers, The Elimination Show. Find out who sucked large the night before, and who has a vast network of MySpace friends all willing to phone or text in to vote for them. “Awesome!”

Also on Mr. TiVo: Mythbusters. What crazy explodies will separated-at-birth-and-by-time-and-temperment twins Adam and Jamie get up to this week? Ice bullets, frozen chicken cannons or do-it-yourself quicksand? Good times, and educational too.

Project Runway: what can I say, despite all evidence to the contrary, I’m a girl. Or a gay man; the jury may still be out on that call. This is the best reality show on television, and the contestants have actual skills. Want to see someone make a functional gown out of cornhusks all while trash-talking the other contestants and bursting into tears? Well, now you can. This show is why television is the greatest invention since Louis the XIV toddled out of Versailles in his four-inch platform heels. If you haven’t seen it yet, I’ll bet you can rent seasons one and two on DVD. Fun stuff.

The Office, my home-boi and God’s answer to the mustache Jason Lee in My Name Is Earl, and for right now, Who Wants to be a Superhero?. I think Major Victory totally deserves to win…what a crazy, mixed-up man in skin-tight red pajamas he is. I love him. (I’m kind of rushing here because I need to get back to work.)

Or SciFriday. The end of the week is all about Stargate SG1 and it’s poor cousin Stargate Atlantis. Who ever thought that a barely-seen James Spader vehicle would turn into ten years of intergalactic weirdness and running around shooting things in the woods right outside Vancouver, B.C.? Not James Spader, that’s for sure. I’ll bet he’s worn his teeth to nubs fretting over lost residuals “That Are Rightfully Mine” by now. And I’m not sure I can survive until Battlestar Galactica comes back on the airwaves. Is it just me, or is Starbug the bitchin’-est female character ever created? I want to be her. But Doctor Balthazar and his fuck-tastic ways give me the creeps. That guy is “all man”, and not in a good way. Yeesh.

Also on Fridays, when and if Survivorman ever comes back (new shows I mean) on the Science Channel, I’ll be there with crampons on. This is the best "how not to die" show ever, because you can actually learn how to survive in The Nature, in case you somehow accidentally end up in it some day. (I lived in the Yukon for four years when I was younger, so I may be biased towards this show. I love it enough to have watched each episode of Season One at least four times.)

The Weekend
Nothing is on TV on the weekends, other than The Soup, which catches me up on shows I’d rather not really see, like The Flavor of Love….yeeegh. Flava Flav is god-awful, who on earth could bring themselves to plant lips on that man, let alone fight for the right to do so? Not me, but I may not be the right demographic. No, for me the weekends are reserved for The Daily Show with Jon Stewart and The Colbert Report, both of which I cannot live without. I get all my news from these shows, because CNN et al make me want to gouge my eyes out with a spoon (Anderson Cooper, I’m not looking at you with gouged-out eyes, you sanctimonious crud you). And don’t get me started on local news. How those people all don’t just commit suicide on the spot right now is beyond me. So, Jon and Stephen, take all the vacation days you want, just never go off the air.

Oh yeah, and we love Good Eats on the Food Network. In fact, Boy Kid is teaching himself to cook based on that show alone, (because god knows I almost never do it). Alton Brown is the Muskrat of Love.

And yeah, I also read books. But enough about that, because pretty soon someone is going to catch me doing this, and then I’ll be whining about not having a job again, and nobody wants that. Ta ta.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Why I Am A Zombie, and 5 Movie Reviews

What have I been doing with my spare time lately? Watching more and more movies of course, followed by large doses of Mr. TV. My excuse for this egregious display of laziness? I’ve returned to the world of the working, AKA, The Land of The Damned. I actually kind of enjoy the job; but after my nine-plus hour shift and 1.5 hour commute (round trip, don’t freak), trip to the grocery store, whatever chores may wait me…. What I’m saying is, that by the time I get home and can sit down, I’m a card-carrying zombie. I’m sure people in Tacoma and Everett can hear my butt hitting the couch each night like a rolling thunder, followed by a groan that could fill the Carlsbad Caverns. Dogs bark, birds take to the air squawking, and babies drop their pacifiers and look to the sky and cry. Once down, I need mindless entertainment, and lots of it. On the weekends, I need at least one movie. Fortunately, since Girl Kid started working at the Crest, we can go to any Landmark theater for free, which is a Good Thing.

What Have We Seen? The Kiss and Tell Version, Movie Edition, and In No Particular Order
Lady in the Water
I love’s me some Paul Giamatti, but damn, this movie makes no sense at all. In fact, it’s stupid as hell. I know it’s too late, but if you can, avoid this stinker. M. Night Shayamalan-a-ding-dong proved he is out of ideas with The Village, and this one is not even as good as that. The earth includes magical moon creatures that arrive via your pool but leave via special Eagle Transport and who have a Very Special Message for us? Are you kidding me? And when the killer dog made of grass that can lie very flat and look like the lawn (also not kidding) keeps hanging around and eating people…why did no one think to mow the lawn, or use weed spray or something? I wish I were making this shit up. M. Night gave himself a major part in the movie, and while the boy can act and is pretty cute, he shouldn’t have given himself the role of “Very Important Writer Who Will Save the World”. I mean, dude. That’s taking hubris to new levels, even for you. Prediction? M. Night probably can squeeze funding for at least two more movies out of Hollywood, and then he’s outta here.

Everyone’s been moaning about how this one was not as good as last year’s Matchpoint; and while that is arguably true, it was fun anyway. I’m not even upset that Woody Allen put himself in the movie. He was right for the role. And, I have to say, Scarlett Johansson is pretty much the biggest cupcake in the known world. Her poolside red bathing suit scene almost gave me a boner, and I don’t have the equipment. (Plus that would be really weird, because I’m probably old enough to be her grandmother…if her mother and I were both total sluts with no birth control.) I’m very happy that Ms. Scarlett has so far successfully resisted the urge to starve herself to death, Hollywood-style. Verdict? Fun enough for Saturday afternoon.

Army of Shadows
Jean-Pierre Melville’s restored 1969 masterpiece about the French Resistance takes place from 1942-43. The movie is slow to develop and includes loads of long pauses and moments where not much is happening. But, don’t let that put you off, this all adds to the dread of the film. The director was in the French Resistance, and the film is “semi-autobiographical”, so you feel like you are really there. The aging (she was 47 when the movie was filmed) Simone Signoret proves almost without effort why she was the sex-bomb of her generation. Those eyes…damn. Verdict? It’s not playing everywhere, so catch it if you can, but leave the children at home. (Boy Kid, now almost 22, loved the movie; Girl Kid, now almost 17, hated it.)

A Scanner Darkly
Another cool Photoshop animation from Richard Linklater and based on Philip K. Dick’s 1977 novel of the same name, but this one creeped me out, not because of the movie itself, but because Robert Downey Jr. ’s performance reminded me too much of my ex-husband…who also had a big jones for PKD. When we walked out, all of us said almost in unison, “That was cool, but Robert Downey Jr. reminded me too much of….” Yick. Verdict? Not for everyone, but a really good movie anyway, my stupid ex not withstanding. And if you go, you’ll see what I was married to, sort of. Add in some hitting, spitting, swearing, belittling and pouring water on you at 3am and you’re there.

On the face of it, this one is your standard Stupid High School And/Or College Flick, a al…hmm, well, there are lots of them that ought to come to mind, but don’t right now. Old School maybe. Everyone and their duck is complaining about how stupid and what a waste of time, money and resources Accepted is. Well, in some ways, the nay-sayers are right. It does star Justin Long, who is nerdy and adorable (you know him as The Mac in those Apple Computer ads you’ve been seeing all over), and a bunch of other people who may well be acting for the first time. The plot is basically, a popular smart-ass with a lucrative bathroom fake ID business pranks his way through high school only to discover that’s he’s forgotten to develop the grades and extra curriculars that will get him into the college of his choice…or any college for that matter. Naturally his parents will be destroyed; so what does our hero do? Invents a pretend college and sends himself an acceptance letter, while his more talented BFF whips up a plausible web site to fool Dad. Then of course the parents want to visit said college and other things spiral out of control, and before you know it our rapidly expanding band of intrepid losers have a fully-functional college with courses like “Taking a Walk and Thinking About Stuff 101” and about a million dollars in tuition money provided by parents so freaked out by their useless spawn that they shell out $10,000 checks before dropping off junior and driving off at high speeds. You know, real parents. A really stupid movie, right?

Actually, I thought the whole thing was a fairly enjoyable look at our whole “American Dream” concept of what education is supposed to provide, and what kind of life you want for yourself and for your kids. My own ideas of child rearing have tended towards the “I just want them to be happy” and “child led, un-schooling” methods of the more out-there home schooling movement. Boy Kid was home schooled his entire career, and it worked out for him. Girl Kid announced she wanted to go to “real” school around the third grade, and so she went to a crazy moon school where they sang songs around a candle in the mornings. She started real “real” school in seventh grade when she entered the public school system. All I’m saying is, Accepted addresses some of the issues I’ve spent the last twenty years thinking about and living—how do you raise kids who can still think for themselves, who arrive at adulthood with their creativity and spontaneity intact, and who will not just live their lives as unthinking cogs. Verdict? You may think this movie is a big waste of time and money, but it was okay in my book. Nobody gave props to Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure either, which was a movie that could have saved the world, had anyone paid attention. So there.

Well, I really ought to get back to work. I’m playing hooky, which is the only way I’ll be able to stay in regular touch with you, my dearest readers. I love you all. All twelve of you.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Motherfucking Movie on My Motherfucking Mind

Snakes on a Plane, what can I say? I can say that the only way to see this movie is for free at 12:30am on a Friday with 100+ rabid, and hyperactive Landmark Theater employees tanked up on beer and donuts. Can’t see the movie that way? Sucks to be you. And it sucks to be the party of young men who, as guests of an employee, abused the the honor by hooting, climbing on the seats, and flinging food, only to go from the happiest boys on earth to the saddest when they were unceremoniously kicked out. As the manager said during this operation, "It's okay to come to this thing drunk, just don't act drunk." Wise words indeed.

What else can I say? Either this movie is the greatest and subtlest piece of ironic moviemaking in the history of cinema, or it really is a horribly bad C-grade horror slash comedy extravaganza that escaped from 1974.

Eeegh, this movie has it all—big ginormous snakes of all types and colors biting people everywhere and doing every gross thing anyone has ever imagined in a quiet moment of terror whilst peeing into an outhouse hole on a dark night in the woods…only on a plane. Did I mention that some of the larger snakes growl? Now, I did not know that snakes had the vocal cords to growl, but apparently I am a dumbass; because as we all know, movies tell nothing but the truth and the whole truth, so help me Bob.

Still, Samuel L. Jackson is a God among men--a walking, talking, swearing epitome of what is means to be a masculine hombre stud beef. What a guy. That man is so cool you could hold a warm beer against any part of him and come away with a nice cold frosty one for your efforts. Dude, he’s the motherfucking most on motherfucking toast.

During the movie, I did in fact close my eyes a few times; so, among other things, I missed the bit where the anaconda squeezed the asshole British guy to death. Still, my brain could easily fill in the details just from the “aaahh….eeeeww, eecck, ha ha ha” sounds the other audience members were making. Yeesh. I also can’t understand why a woman sucking venom from a toddler’s swollen, puss-y and red arm would be a turn on, but based on the reaction of Kenan Thompson’s character, it totally is. That was maybe the grossest part of the movie for me—first aide on a child doesn’t seem like a sexual moment to me; but then again, I’m not a guy. (And thank Bob for that.) Still, snaps to the producers for giving ol’ Kenan a job so he can take a breather from washing windows and begging for change on Wilshire Avenue; because that Nickelodeon money must have run out long ago. I also don’t think that [spoiler alert] a wind strong enough to suck a giant python out a window would not also make short work of teeny, tiny Julianna Margulies as well. Yeah, I know, she had a belt strap wrapped around her wrist, but it was not even tied off or anything; after the “event”, she just whips it off and walks away smiling and with her hair still beautifully coifed. I think she’d have been sucked out the window too, or at least had her hair messed up a bit. Oh yeah, and inflatable lifeboats make great snake blockers; ‘cause, you know, a giant snake that can bite through your neck could never get through one of those. Never leave home without one.

There’s a backstory that explains why there are snakes on a plane, and why those snakes are so very very angry, but it doesn’t really matter. In fact, at the end of the movie the producers and writers have wisely forgotten all about the killer generic Asian guy and his evil minions. They just don’t matter anymore.

The Lessons Learned?
What profound life lessons can we take away from Snakes on a Plane? Snakes can growl, Samuel L. Jackson is the man; this flick will never be your in-flight movie; the Mile High Club is going to have a lot fewer members; the poor shlubs who’s job it is to force those floral leis on people in Hawaiian airports are going to have a much tougher time of it now (what with all the screaming, sucker punches and running away, etc.); while there is really no way to make a sequel to SoaP, there will be one anyway (Moose on a Train…anyone?); the porn version will be called Snakes in my Pants, and the 1970’s are cooler than ever. Mother fucking yippee kai “Aaay!” motherfucker.