Tag Archives: movies

Why You Should Stay for the Credits

20 Nov

I remember the Facebook post that changed it all for me.

It wasn’t a cat or a picture of someone’s dinner or an inspirational quote, life-altering as those can be. It was a miniature rant from a friend who had worked crew on a film and wrote how it was insulting to him that as text rolled after the movie giving credit to him and to his fellow coworkers who pulled long hours for months to make it happen, folks just gathered their coats, left their messes behind, and filtered out of the theater without paying them any mind. His bottom line? If you liked the movie, show respect for what and who it took to make it.

I’ll admit I wasn’t always a stay-for-the-credits kinda gal. I liked to get out the door and get to the next thing. I wanted to go get food (I always want to go get food) or talk about the movie, but I didn’t  want to sit there and read a bunch of nonsense about who did what when I didn’t know any of the people. And what the hell was a “Best Boy”, anyway?

After I read my friend’s Facebook comment, though, I started to feel kind of guilty. He had a point. If I liked the movie, I should show appreciation and look at what it took to get it made. So I forced myself to sit through them out of respect. And then, as often happens during the strange transition from being wholly against something to wholly for it, I found myself learning and taking interest in new aspects of the credits. I was starting to take note of actors who did their own stunts, and who required several personal assistants, hairstylists, and body guards. I could note how much of a movie required special effects and what locations it was shot in and how many people it employed. I noticed thank yous to local governments and organizations, information about underscoring, which actors also produced, and all sorts of tidbits that made my nerd cells shiver with excitement.

It’s actually kind of interesting when you know what you’re looking at.

Hey, I get it. It’s just words scrolling on a screen and you’re pretty sure you’re never going to care. Movie makers are pretty sure you’re never going to care, too, because they went from putting the titles at the beginning to mixing them in with establishing shots, to cutting them entirely and throwing them at the end. If you see a movie on television, they’ll shrink the screen the moments the credits roll, speed it up to four times its rate, and stick it up in a corner on the side of the screen so you can be entertained by commercials or get on to the next thing. They know you don’t care.

But I’m going to suggest you give it a try. Seriously. Sometimes it even pays off with a nice little cut scene at the end as a reward for your commitment. Sometimes you’ll learn that Industrial Light & Magic does the visual effects for basically everything always. Sometimes you’ll learn that someone who performs all the major dance moves for an Academy Award winning performer can be credited as a “stunt double” and “hand model”.

Sometimes you’ll realize how many jobs each movie brings to an area and that it’s important to pay attention to those details when you’re at the polls voting on whether or not to pass a film tax credit law in your state.

It helps, of course, to know what you’re looking at. If you’re using ignorance as a shield, please click here to acquaint yourself with some of the terms you face in the slow scroll.

Give it a try. Not just once, but a few times. You might like it. You might even get to see an extra scene. And in the event that someone in the audience worked on the film, you might even get to make someone proud. 

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This post was written for and reposted from my  recent contribution to a geekier, more collaborative blog, VStheUniverse. You can find all sorts of nerdy bits there, from theories on time travel to weekly nerd moments to nerdical musings both great and small. If that gets you all hot and bothered, follow us on Facebook and on tumblr. 

I’m Going to Have Tom Cruise’s Magical Forest Babies

20 Dec

I saw Tom Cruise tonight.

For realsies.  I have proof:

Maverick in the flesh

Maverick in the flesh

Dave worked on the movie Jack Reacher so he got invited to the premiere and I got to be his plus one.  It turns out that if you throw a dress on me and slap some spackle on my face, I can pass for a plus one.

By the way, if you go see Jack Reacher you can see what Dave looks like.  He’s an extra in the bus stop scene on the right.  Enjoy.

This premiere was a challenge for me.  You see, I have somewhat of an overactive imagination (shut up).  When I’m in a fancy store with china in it, I just imagine how awesome it would feel to bust everything – the fancy pitchers and the decorative plates and the wine glasses. My brain loves a good fantasy.  That’s why when I got to see Mark Hamill a few years ago, all I could think about was asking him for some of his Jedi sperm so I could make a Jedi baby (details here).  It’s also why when I saw Tom Cruise tonight I wanted to treat the premiere like a nerd convention and dress up like Lili from Legend.

Actually, Meg Mucklebones probably would have better gotten his attention.

For those of you who know Tom Cruise for his slew of box office hits and not for his contribution to cult classics with his work as Jack in Legend, allow me to regale you with its synopsis.

Legend is a beautiful British fantasty-adventure film  from the 80s starring Tom Cruise as a child of the forest, Mia Sara as Lili, a princess he is romancing by teaching her the language of animals, and Tim Curry as the Lord of Darkness who is hoping to destroy a unicorn horn to hold the world in eternal cold and darkness.

Doesn’t it sound perfect?  That’s because it is.

Anyway, as much as I wanted to dress up in costume and accost Tom and thank him for the work he did in the 80s, I owed it to Dave to seem like a well-adjusted citizen and opted instead for a little black dress and to sit politely in the second row while he addressed the audience.  

When I do well in public, Dave gives me cookies.  It’s an excellent and effective motivator for feigning normalcy.

Since I did get to see the premiere, perhaps you’re wondering what I thought of the movie.  And I’m thinking what everyone thinks; Tom Cruise is not Jack Reacher.  The posters all keep saying that, but let’s get real.  I’m not even talking about the physical description, though Tom Cruise is probably the most opposite you could get from the Lee Child novel, which notes that Reacher is 6′ 5″ tall with a 50-inch chest, weighs between 210 and 250 pounds with ice-blue eyes and dirty blond hair.  

But that’s not what bothers me, really.  What bothers me is that Tom Cruise is not Jack Reacher in any way.  In his defense, I found the script to be pretty terrible altogether, particularly in its characterizations and dialogue.  But I’ve seen a lot of cheesy action movies and have still loved the actor in the lead because they sell the hell out of it (Demolition Man, anyone? Running Man? Other action movies that end in man?)  I’d say the primary problem here is casting.   At one point when Jack Reacher is, like, super duper serious, he says “I mean to beat you to death and drink your blood from a boot” and it’s really hard to see that as believable.  Cause, you know, it’s Tom Cruise.  And its a bloody rotten line. 

They’re all rotten lines.  I should give a tip of my hat to one Mr. Robert Duvall, who somehow manages to deliver his with a slight nod to the audience acknowledging the corniness.  Like in this little gem:

Cruise: Can you take him out?

Duvall: To dinner, you mean?

Ugh.

So yeah I didn’t like the movie.  You might.  I’m kind of a jerk about lots of things.  Maybe that boot bit really got you interested.  If that’s true, you have my blessing. But now that my review portion is out of the way, I would like to note that someone brought a baby to this movie.  I don’ t know if the baby was a plus one, or if the baby had worked on the movie or what the baby situation was entirely.  I just know that it cried when Tom Cruise began to speak before the movie and cried again any time Jack Reacher began to speak once the movie started.  I wanted to slap its parents silly.  I also wanted to slap the guy to my right, who had two huge bags of popcorn and two drinks to himself and managed to text, crunch, and spill his way through 130 minutes of my pure, unadulterated rage.  

I guess it’s comforting to know that people make terrible audience members even when Tom Cruise is there.

So I suppose I can add “attending a movie premiere” to my list of anti-hermit adventures. You can find it over on my “What’s Lollipop Tuesday?” page, along with a review of everything I’ve tried to date.  Maybe next will be actually dressing up as Meg Mucklebones and actually accosting him. 

Besides, if he has any forest magic left from the 80s, I could capture his sperm and use it to give birth to a forest child who will rise up to conquer the Lord of Darkness.

…And drink blood from boots

Sometimes a Punch in the Jugular Is the Best Medicine

28 Mar

I swore at some little kids the other night.

I don’t know how little they were, per se.  They were littler than me.  Adolescents, I suppose, is the technical term.   All I know is they were scrappy, yippy things and offended almost all of my sensory organs and so I dub them little kids.  Rascals.  Hellions.  Forged of muck, mire, and obscenities.

Granted, I’d willingly ventured into their pit of idiocy when I made my way out to the midnight showing of The Hunger Games.

Don’t judge me unless you’ve read the books.  Seriously, just don’t even start.  I’ll brawl.  Don’t think I won’t.

Anyway, I took the plunge into the hysteria about a week ago and openly admitted it in last Wednesday’s post.  My entire life was consumed with angst and every moment of exertion became just another thing I had to do before I could read again.   Since this led to devouring all three books in just a few days, I figured why not go ahead  see the movie.   I wouldn’t let Dave see it before he’s read the books and since I took the following day off work, I bought what I’m sure was the last ticket for the midnight showing in a 30-mile radius and ventured out into the wilderness of excited adolescents.   Alone.

I don’t really know why I go to the movies anymore.  I honestly can’t remember the last time I truly enjoyed it.   I suppose there’s that time I took myself on a date for a Lollipop Tuesday last year, but it’s important to note that in that scenario, I was the only one in the entire theater.  Maybe that’s key: I absolutely cannot have any other humans around me.  When I do have humans around me, I contemplate murder.

I think it’s safe to say that out of my myriad of pet peeves in this world, the one I hold near and dear to my heart is being rude during movies.   I don’t really know who the target audience is for those commercials that happen before the previews in the movie theater.  You know, the ones that feature some audience member being rude and ridiculous?  There’s the one of Steve Martin’s cell phone vibrating him off the seat.  There’s the one where people are watching The Notebook but all the dialogue is replaced with a story about puke, courtesy of the people having a conversation beside you.  I thought the target audience was the people who do those things, but those people still exist so I don’t know if it’s an effective campaign.  Oh, and there’s the one of the Lorax that played the evening I was trying to watch the Hunger Games, but unfortunately my offenders entered too late to notice it.  Maybe that’s the problem: rude people enter too late to see them.

To my surprise, I had secured a seat in front of an exit row, with plenty of leg room.  I had a big blank section to my left where no seats were installed in the event that wheelchairs were needed there, and had only one seat to my right, which no one had ventured to sit in, despite the fact that I had bathed that morning.  For the first time in a long while, I thought I might actually enjoy being at the movies – and one of the most anticipated movies in a very long time, even! A midnight showing! The luck!!

That’s when the gaggle appeared.

Just before the previews, when the lights were beginning to dim and the audience was settling into silence, a squadron of chirping adolescents piled up at the entrance to the theater.  Realizing that they were complete morons to have gone to the concession stand before scoping out seats, they found themselves unable to acquire fifteen seats all together and refused to watch this much-anticipated theatrical event in separation.  As they tried to balance their 6 dollar sodas and popcorns, they looked to the leader for orders.  That’s when she marched right over to the open (and chair-less) section to my left, and plopped down cross-legged on the floor.  Her minions followed suit, stacking into two rows in which they rested on each others’ limbs, greased with popcorn butter and reeking of trouble.

I almost immediately went to management.  Are you serious?! I went from having an almost guaranteed enjoyable evening to being the only person in the theater that has to directly deal with this group of doofuses.  I don’t even enjoy the movies when there’s only one seat beside me and now I’ve exchanged that one seat for 7.5 humans sitting on 7.5 other humans.  It was obvious to me that halfway through the movie they would get sore or tired of laying on each other and need to shift around.  Not to mention the chomping and slurping and chatting.  Oh, the chatting.  

But I told myself that it would be a great memory for them.  They could look back and reminisce about the midnight showing of the Hunger Games, when they broke all the rules and sat directly on the floor.   Stop being a bitter old hag, Jackie.  You’re only in your twenties.  Save the stifling of a younger generation for your thirties.

So I let them go.  

Five minutes in, my left ear had already been accosted by some of the worst obscenities in my vocabulary.  They were weighing in on what the movie was presenting versus what they imagined in the books, they were upset that Effie didn’t seem like they thought she would, and a variety of female characters had been likened to a slang term for a female’s genitalia.

I began to get upset.

I thought about the time I saw Alice in Wonderland in 3D and got so enraged at the girls who weren’t even making an attempt to use their inside voices in the front row that I walked over, crouched down behind their seats, and spat out that since they talked all the way through the movie, they could at least do me the favor of attempting a whisper for the rest.  I thought about the time I saw the silent film The Artist and a 60-year-old lady behind Dave and I read all the captions out loud.  (I still have scar marks from him taking out his tension by squeezing my leg instead of crushing her face.)  But above all, I thought about how they were seated where there weren’t even seats and by all counts should have already been ousted by an usher except by my good graces and my convincing myself not to be an old coot. And yet they sat there, carrying on.  

It was when Katniss finally got launched up the tube to the battlefield that I realized I could endure them no longer: something had to be done.  I didn’t devour all three books in the series and pull myself out into the wilderness of a midnight showing to have them banter and giggle through the most intense part of the movie.  No sir.  And honestly, I wasn’t sure that watching a movie focusing on taking the lives of adolescents was the best stimulus for me in my situation.

So I leaned over and abandoned my inside voice, saying  – Hey, do you think you guys could shut up for the rest of the movie? Seriously.  Thanks.

But there’s this amazing pretend shield that stupid kids think exists between you and their mockery of you.  The girl directly below me to my left was under such a delusion when she blatantly mimicked me to her friends.  There was some head bobbing, some finger wagging, and an exact replica of the tone I took with them.  

That’s when I called her a dick.

I did.  I just dropped all pretenses of good Christian behavior and called her a dick.  In fact, I called them all dicks and told them to shut the hell up.  Because if they didn’t, I was going to have an usher scrape them off the floor and shoo them to their lonely little islands – seats beside old people, fat people, ugly people, gruff people, and maybe even in the middle of rows.  They’d have to navigate it all in the dark by themselves.  And everyone would stare.  And call them dicks again.

They didn’t talk for the rest of the movie.

I darted out of there the moment it was over, annoyed that I’d ventured out into society again.  I thought about how they’d all pile into their mothers’ cars and talk about the old lady that nagged them and called them names.  They’d leave out the part where they were using worse language than me even though they’re half my age.  They’d leave out the part where I already told them to zip it before I unleashed the Richard on them.  They’d leave out the part where they encompass everything The Lorax tried to prevent in the previews.

I burned with a fiery rage, kicking myself for paying 10 dollars to see something I could have rented on Netflix in a few months and watched in the comfort of my own home, where I’m safe from society and all the ways it makes me want to cuss and commit crimes.  I’ve told myself so many times that I’m done going out to the movies for this very reason.  I just haven’t come up with a good system yet where every time I’m tempted to go see something on the big screen, I have the better sense to punch myself in the face instead.

Maybe I should just start a service where for a free movie ticket, I will sit on a stool near the exit of the theater and if my ears or eyes are offended by the presence of anyone in particular, I walk up and deliver one solid slam in the jugular.  I get a free movie, people get a better theatrical experience, and audiences begin to be respectful out of fear.

Sounds more effective than the Lorax campaign to me. 

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MISSING: Ten Dollars (and My Dignity)

3 Dec

I’m mortified by what I’ve done.  I’ve hidden it from you all this week, and I feel awful about that.  It’s time to come clean.

I watched all the Twilight movies.

I did – every single one.   I even paid genuine American dollars to see the most recent installment in the theater.  I don’t even go to the movies anymore.  I have Netflix and use Redbox for a quick fix.  And when I don’t want to do either of those, I use Amazon instant download to rent something. All of that is far less expensive than nursing my movie habit in the theater.  Not to mention less dangerous, because every time I spent into the movie theater, a chatty teenager of the female persuasion giggles, talks to her friends, makes comments out loud throughout to the movie, and texts and plays on her phone.  That kind of behavior makes me want to slaughter people.

But I paid ten dollars to see this movie and was sad and disappointed.  Sickened even.  I feel dirty inside.  

This was all a sort of accident, really.  I started out by forcing myself to watch the first movie for my Lollipop Tuesday this week.  I found it to be awkward, poorly written, and not at all well done overall.  I really honestly felt like they had all the trappings for a good storyline but did a terrible job of throwing it together.  Then a few nights later, Dave and I were joking about what to do with some free time and bantered that we should watch the next Twilight movie.  I laughed, he laughed, and then we both realized that the other was kind of not joking.  Like we were curious if it got any better and still wondering what the hype was with everyone.  But when I pushed play, the storyline didn’t make any sense.  It was like we jumped in the middle of things and didn’t know how we got there.

Turned out I downloaded the 3rd, not the 2nd.

And we couldn’t just go right to the 3rd without having seen the 2nd.  That’s preposterous.  And since I didn’t want to watch it out of context but didn’t want to waste the money by not ever watching it at all, I downloaded the second.  Naturally.

So that’s how one through three happened.  I’m still kind of embarrassed by the whole thing.  But here’s the kicker: the third one was

I've endured your terrible acting and your unwillingness to open your mouth when you speak far too long. You owe me ten dollars. And my dignity.

actually kind of good.  Not like, a good movie.  But it followed all the rules of good movie-making (sans finding good actors, but they’ve stuck themselves there) and there were lots of awesome vampire fight scenes.  

They might sparkle like little fairies, but they fight a fast, gory fight. 

So I was left with the third movie, thinking that maybe the third one was what had everyone excited.  It was a lot less about Bella’s relationships and a lot more about killing stuff.  Then tonight, Dave and I decided to take a long walk.  Well, really, we started looking for a bus that took us to a different part of town and never found it – so we just started walking toward where we wanted to go.  About 6 miles later, we ended up there.  I was tired, I wanted to rest my feet, and I thought a movie would do us both good.  But looking down the list, I got to choose from Arthur Christmas, Happy Feet Two, Puss in Boots, Jack and Jill, Twilight, and the Muppets.  Oh, and 3 of those also came with their 3D counterparts.

I should have chosen the Muppets, I know.  But I feel strange paying to see a Muppets movie.  I feel like you rent Muppets movies.  There are no actions scenes, there are no awesome graphics.  I can see the Muppets on my own television and be just as satisfied.  I know now that this was a mistake from which I can never recover.

So that left Twilight.  And hey, I’d already seen the other three.  I could just see this fourth one and then be able to actually argue with people about why Twilight isn’t worth all the hoopla because I’m no longer ignorant.

It sucked.  Sucked in the kind of way that made me sad that I ever started it all or thought that I saw a glimpse of hope in the third movie.  Sucked in the kind of way that made me wish I’d seen something else on the list, even if it wasn’t Muppets.  I kept hoping something awesome would happen and that they’d embrace the almost-cool parts from the third installment.  But they didn’t.  Ever.

It ruined all its potential, and that’s the only thing I was holding out for.  I thought that maybe after four movies, they could realize what they have the ability to do and whip up something acceptable.  But they trashed the storyline, made half the movie a wedding and honeymoon (You get to see a nipple in a PG-13 movie.  Nipple! PG-13!), and made me want to strangle the writers and director even more than I wanted to strangle the teenage girl in front of me, chatting with her friend and flashing her phone around the front row like a torch lamp.

I don’t know what came over me this past week.  I’m really quite mortified.  I was going to try to keep it a secret from everyone I know, but I don’t think I’d be able to sleep.  I have fallen, my friends.  I searched and searched for some redeemable quality to a terrible movie saga, and came up empty and feeling foul.  I’ve made a huge mistake and I fear I’ll never be the same.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go take a shower and try to wash away the dirt that can never come clean. 

I Forced Myself to Watch Twilight

29 Nov

Another tween sucked into a hole of unhealthy relationships. Pity.

I feel icky inside.  Angsty, even.  I didn’t want to do it, but that’s exactly why I had to, don’t you understand?

Happy Lollipop Tuesday, kids.

I see some new faces.  I really don’t know how you find me, but I’m flattered that you hang out.  As a result of your fresh, sparkling smiles, I am obligated to direct you to the top of this page where it explains what exactly a Lollipop Tuesday is.  It doesn’t have much to do with Lollipops.

Moving on: I watched the Twilight movie.  It doesn’t feel any better saying it the second time.  I still haven’t really come to terms with it.  I did it because I have this thing about judging things that look stupid without ever actually having an interaction with them.  It’s this awful personality trait that convinced me I hated the movie Garden State until I realized one day that I hadn’t even seen it. 

I had the same problem with kickball and banana peppers.

I was perfectly happy to go on with my life having never experienced the angst of Bella and Edward and their incredibly effed up relationship.  But I started to feel like everyone I know has seen it.  This past week one of my highly respected chick friends mentioned that they were going to go see the most recent installment at the theater.  I was shocked.  Then over Thanksgiving, my brother made an off-handed comment about Dave being a Jake, not an Edward.

I was in a flurry of confusion and discomfort.

So I sat down and rocked myself through it.  I was over it about half way through.  Or maybe when they said her name was Bella Swan.  And not in the “oh Twilight totally sucks” kind of way.  The baseball scene was pretty groovy.  More like a “this is really awkwardly acted, written, and not entertaining” sort of way.   I also have some pretty strong feelings about how it reinforces completely unhealthy relationships for tweens.   Come on – she lies to her family, runs away from home, completely blows off would-be friends and high school experiences for a guy who says he’s bad for her, will hurt her, and ultimately wants to feast on her flesh.

There’s something about the way she was ready to give up her entire life at the age of 17 if only it meant she could be with this one guy for the rest of forever that made my stomach feel all funky.  I imagine it has the same effect on tween girls but the funky feeling is a little farther south.

And that makes me sad.

But hey: angsty vampire-loving girls will be angsty vampire-loving girls.  Let their nether regions be tickled by whatever creepy love stories they please.

You know what the real downer to all of this is?  I was going to go see the most recent one at the theater because I have a few free movie passes sitting around. But the cost of the bus back and forth for Dave and I was the same amount as buying the movie online.

…So I bought it.  Now I own it.  It’s mine.

That’s real heartache. 

Movies: The Ultimate Survival Guides

18 Sep

I watched 127 Hours last night.

For those of you who are unaware, 127 Hours is a movie based on a true story and stars James Franco.  It focuses on the 127 Hours that a real guy spent stuck with his hand lodged between a rock and, well, a bigger rock, in the middle of nowhere.  **SPOILER ALERT** At the end he cuts off the portion of his arm that has him caught and with basically no food and water, drags himself to help and survives to live a long and lovely life.

I’m assuming that wasn’t a spoiler for most of you because it came out a long time ago.  But I don’t live in movie release time.  I live in Redbox and Netflix release time.  Sometimes it takes me a while to catch up to everything but boy do I save a bundle.  In fact, last night was the first time in a long while that I’d stopped by a movie theater.  I didn’t go in; I just stood outside with Dave pondering whether or not to drop 10 bucks to see The Lion King on the big screen.

Apparently the only time I consider spending money at the theater is when I’m offered to see something that I’ve seen several times and came out over 15 years ago.

Anyway none of this is my point. My point is that the dude cut his arm off.  And though by that time in the movie I was totally rooting for him to be free from his canyon of sorrows, I don’t think I could ever do it myself.   I couldn’t even watch James Franco pretend to do it – I had to turn away about half way through the hacking and ask Dave to tell me when it was over.

This concerns me.  I think about this sort of thing a lot.  Would I be able to cut a piece of my own body off if not doing it meant certain death? The answer every time is no.  Honestly, no.  I don’t think I can hack my own flesh up so much that I actually detach a limb.

What if I find myself in this kind of situation sometime?  I don’t do a lot of canyon traversing, but there could be a similar scenario.  And then what has a movie like 127 Hours taught me? Nothing at all.  I’ll die a stupid fool who will wish she spent every moment from the time she saw James Franco to the time she died learning how to psyche herself up enough to tear into her own flesh.

I think I watch too many movies because I spend most of my idle time thinking through these sorts of scenarios.  When I’m at work, I walk through what I’d do if someone had a gun in the building and was going on a terror spree.    At the store or bank, I walk through several robbery and heist movies.  

If I’ve seen it in a movie, on TV, or read about it in a book or the news, I’ve thought through what I’d do in my life if faced with similar circumstances.  A car flashes its high beams at me, I don’t flash them back, and then they drive after me and try to kill me? Check.  I stop my car at an intersection and a crazy killer opens the passenger door and holds me hostage to drive them somewhere?  Got it covered.  I’m walking down the street at night and the person I casually cross on the sidewalk turns around and mugs me?  

Well, I’ve thought that one out but it usually ends in me giving them my money.  So I try not to carry anything.  But then I’m afraid they’ll hurt me because they’re angry I’m poor so I usually just cross the street before people get to me.

It’s quite a predicament.  And don’t even get me started on how much the Saw movies messed me up.  When I saw the first one I had to sit in the theater afterward to recuperate.  Absolute mindexploder.

I read a book called Hatchet in elementary school and made sure to remember that if I’m ever stranded in a remote area and need help and a helicopter or airplane flies overhead, I can take anything metal I have on me and try to reflect the sunlight up to them so they come check it out.  I also read a book called Julie of the Wolves and now know how to stay warm on a cool wintry night on the tundra so I don’t freeze to death.  I even made to sure commit to memory the logic that Sarah uses in the movie Labyrinth to tell which door is lying about the correct path and which door isn’t so that I know how to get through the maze to the goblin king, David Bowie, and save a member of my family he has kidnapped.

You know, just in case.

You can't fool me, goblin king.

Let’s hope these writers did some research because I’m really clinging to these methods.

So right now the scenario I’m playing over and over in my head is whether I could hack off a body part to save my life.  I don’t know how to psyche up for that.  There’s gotta be something I can do to prepare myself.   Maybe I can hunt down the real life guy whose story was featured in this movie and try to get some tips.

After all, I’d sure hate to be in a similar pickle and think of this blog post and how I’d be able to gnaw off my foot if I would have just committed to figuring it out the day I wrote it. 

I’m in Harry Potter Denial.

6 Jul
Keep Calm and Harry Potter

Photo by "emilyonasunday". Click to check out her Flickr Photostream. Stuff in the photo by "Nan Lawson". Check out Nan's Etsy page here: http://www.etsy.com/shop/NanLawson

 

Every year a new Harry Potter movie comes out I pretend not to care, but I totally do.

I’ve pretended not to care from the beginning.  Not that I have anything against standing up for wizards, and magic, and other nerdgasm ingredients, (My Dad’s a Dungeon Master), I just feel kind of silly getting as excited for it as I do.

But I do.  I really do.

I get less excited than I was for the release of the first World of Warcraft expansion, and less excited than I was for any of the Lord of the Rings movies, but nonetheless, I get excited.  I could pee my pants when I think about trying to avoid Facebook from the midnight opening until I get to see it.  Pee.  My.  Pants.

I’d go see it at midnight, but I promised my dad I’d see it with him and old people can’t be out after midnight or they turn into goblins.

I kind of struggle right before a big release like this because it usually inspires a lot of social media chatter about that parts will be included or left out, and I don’t know anything about all that jazz because I didn’t read the books.  Sometimes I feel like the only person on earth who didn’t.   I started reading a little bit of the first book back when I was in high school but it occurred to me that it would be quite a commitment to start them because I had no way of knowing when they would stop being written.

I don’t just blindly sign up for that sort of nonsense.

So I instead waited for the movie to be released and loved it.  I’m not a Potterhead or anything.  I don’t buy the capes, I don’t grimace through the gross flavored jelly beans just to laugh at eating something that tastes like earwax, and I don’t get excited about the relationship between Hermione and Ron.

To be honest, I always thought Hermione and Harry had a pretty clear thing going until a loyal reader showed me the error of my ways.  

But I’ll admit that I’ve watched the trailer a few times just to dry to quiet the soft, persistent thunder of excitement in my belly.  I almost don’t care that someone will unwrap candy during the movie, talk right behind my ears, and get up to go to the bathroom in my row in a very intense scene.  Or that someone within my field of vision will emit a strong glow from their cell phone as they text throughout the movie.  …or that there is inevitably someone near me explaining the movie as it’s happening to someone right beside them.

Actually, you know what?

Maybe I can wait. 

Today’s RAK: some inspiration for a friend who needs to reach a goal.

 

The Tree of Life: A Courtesy Warning

26 Jun

I have to admit: the only reason I walked into the movie theater last night to see The Tree of Life is because the preview was beautiful.

It didn’t tell me anything whatsoever, but it was beautiful.  I gathered something or other about the American Dream, something or other about Brad Pitt playing an abusive father, and Sean Penn wandering outside of it all.  That’s about all I got.

I suppose I take it for granted that if a preview is gorgeous and mysterious, that the mystery will be a pleasant surprise when it is revealed to me.  I somehow think that I can trust the preview.  That it won’t show me anything in an attempt to lure me in.  That it won’t make me sit in the movie theater, debating whether or not I should leave.

My trust has been betrayed.

Last night I sat, staring at the screen and feeling like I’d been duped.  I didn’t know what I was looking at, what I suppose to get out of  it, or why someone would want me to sit through it.    It started out kind of normal, but after ten minutes all bets were off.  Suddenly I was staring at strange, abstract images and a voice was whispering to me.  

For ten minutes.

And once that was over, I got a visual walk-through on evolution.  No lines, no narrative, just scattered whispers.   And a lot of intense opera music.  After the fifteenth minute of trying to wrap my brain around this forest of confusion, I let out a small, uncontrollable giggle.

Right there in front of everyone.

Now in a typical movie, I’m sure I would have been shushed.  But two girls behind me had lost their patience long before me, and the couple in front of me were whispering to each other about what the hell was going on.   In fact, after ten minutes of staring at what looked like a computer screensaver, I started to think that perhaps the movie was just one big joke and somewhere, someone was waiting for one of us to stand up and shout “WHAT THE #*(% IS THIS?!”  

I made up my mind to brace and grimace through the movie just when a teenage girl came sprinting up the aisle from the from of the theater.  She raced to the back of the room and out the door, where, once it was closed behind her, she let out the loudest, most hysterical laugh you can imagine.

Apparently I wasn’t the only one wrestling with hilarity.

Don’t get me wrong – there is a part of this movie that I appreciate.  I tried very hard to wrap my head around the movie and to think through why it was laid out this way.   I got the whole sensory images thing.   I admit that there were certain sections that entirely grasped the sense of childlike innocence and real growth that happens in life, and that’s pretty impressive.  And I even reached so far as to see the points the movie was trying to make about how life is so much bigger than one event and the cyclical nature of, well, nature.

But I have my limits.

And so since I found this movie to be generally quite preposterous, and because I felt somewhat duped, I feel inclined to break it down for you.  You know, just in case you got lured in by the preview.  

Truth.

This really isn’t a joke.  I wish it were.

You’re welcome. 

Today’s RAK: Baked goods. For everyone.

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Vagina Dentata!

22 Feb

Ladies and Gents, Happy Lollipop Tuesday.

This Tuesday, I took a reader suggestion.  If you mosey on over to “What’s Lollipop Tuesday” under the comment from “Caitlin”, you’ll find this gem: “Read a book or watch a movie you swore you’d never read/watch”.

This will be great!, I told Dave.  It’s an excuse to kick back and watch a movie!

Unfortunately, I had to be honest with myself and seriously do the challenge.  I had to face something I swore I would never watch.  Something I would have otherwise had to have been held down by brute force with my eyelids taped open a la A Clockwork Orange.  At first I thought it might be a flick I saw at West Coast Video years ago (back when you had to go to the store to rent a movie) called Killer Condom.

But after some hard, honest thinking with myself, I couldn’t ignore that there was a movie I feared far more than Killer Condom: a cinematic wonderland of abuse, pornography, and horror called Teeth.

Teeth is the story of a high school girl named Dawn who gives speeches and organizes rallies for purity.  She wears a red ring to symbolize her commitment to chastity.

It isn’t really necessary because her unicorn shirts are a dead giveaway.

Unfortunately for her, everyone in Dawn’s school really wants to bang a pure girl in a unicorn shirt and so she finds herself faced time and time again with rape scenarios.   But by a stroke of luck, it turns out that Dawn is the proud owner of a case of “Vagina Dentata”.   With its roots in ancient Greek myth, Vagina Dentata is a rare affliction where one finds herself full of teeth on the inside.   Sharp, penis-gobbling teeth.

I’m sorry but it’s the truth, and I’m using anatomically correct terms.  I don’t know how to make this any better. 

I have to admit that when the movie started, I giggled from time to time with the awkward pauses and the poorly timed beats throughout the film.  But as soon as I realized the movie was actually going to show the effects of Dawn’s affliction – complete with chocolate syrup blood and dismembered…members… my smirk reverted into an expression of horror and disgust.

Perhaps my favorite part of the movie was a scene from Anatomy class, where the anatomy of the penis was discussed with pictures and in full detail and directly thereafter the male teacher tries to move on to the female anatomy, but cannot bring himself to say “vagina” in front of the class.  When the students turn the page to examine the female anatomy in their textbooks, they find that it is covered with a large gold sticker, which, when removed, tears the page to pieces.

But that’s not my favorite part. 

My favorite part is when Dawn takes the book home and soaks the page in water, slowly removing the gold sticker and revealing to herself what a perfectly normal vagina should look like.   There is a look on her face of wonder and amusement – as if an entire world lay before her that she didn’t know existed until exactly that moment in time.

Of course, Dawn’s world of wonder and amusement turns out to be more like a world of murder and dismemberment.  

You see, Dawn has a terrible home life.  Her half brother lies in bed smoking pot and cursing his father for marrying his stepmother, thereby making Dawn (the woman of his dreams) his sister.   He lives in hope that she will someday mosey over to his pot den and have sex with him.  

No one can resist a chick in a unicorn shirt.

As Dawn slowly comes to realize that her curse is actually a superpower and that she can slowly rid the world of disgusting, rapemongers, she seeks out scenarios where she can have sex with sex offenders in order to bite off their… offenders. And each and every time, I got to see the after effects of the dismemberment.

I’m traumatized.

I ate a thin mint girl scout cookie directly afterward, hoping that its innate wholesomeness would help restore my mind to a state of purity, but it didn’t.   I now fear that nothing can wipe these visions of lacerated male genitalia or the absolutely awful acting from my mind. 

It was supposed to be a nice, relaxing Lollipop Tuesday.  A reward, even, for my adventurous spirit in last week’s challenge – but unfortunately that was not the case. 

 I’m not sure how many thin mints it will take to cleanse me, but I’m determined to find out.  

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Devil Candy: My Descent into Worthlessness

29 Jan

Movies always make me want to do ridiculous things.

I saw True Grit last night and immediately left the theater thinking I should really know the proper method for extracting venom from a snake bite.  I’d hate for someone to die because I don’t suck it out the right way.

Sometimes I play the ending of Live Free or Die Hard over and over in my mind wondering if I would be able to work up the courage to shoot through my own body and into a terrorist’s in order to gain the element of surprise and have an epic win. 

The worst offender by all counts is The Notebook, which was singlehandedly responsible for me breaking up with my high school boyfriend.  Well, that and he was a weak speller. 

I just can’t be with a weak speller.

But I recognize this hold that movies have over me and have taken the necessary measures in my life to avoid disaster.  My Netflix queue is a very carefully chosen art.  Watching too many movies within a certain theme can lead to some seriously bad life decisions.   Unfortunately, Dave is just as easily inspired by them.  I accidentally followed up Into the Wild with The Last of the Mohicans last week and I’ve been spending the last two days trying to convince him not to leave society for a simpler, more noble life in the trees. 

My queue is not the only thing that pressures me.  In fact, I have a very strained relationship with Netflix overall.  At first I invested in it because I only get basic cable and can rarely justify spending 20 hard-earned American dollars to go see a movie.  It seemed like a good, sound investment.  And at first, I admit that it was.  I am a Netflix watching machine.  It comes in the mail, Dave and I watch it regardless of whether or not we’re in the mood, and we send it right back.   I can chew up and spit out about 10 discs in a month.

The real problem is Instant Netflix (let’s call it Devil Candy).   Devil Candy is like a fun bonus feature that you get for having a membership.  For no extra fee, you can go online and watch all sorts of movies, cartoons, and TV shows.  Sometimes there are a bunch of old stupid ones that nobody cares about, and sometimes you’re nicely suprised by how fast something relatively new is available.

When I first started Devil Candy, I had to put a disc in my PS3 in order to access its mystical wonders.   Sometimes, this was enough to prevent me from partaking in its pleasures.  Because regardless of how much I like a good movie, it’s probably still not enough to make me get up from the couch when I’m really comfortable.

Unfortunately, Netflix later announced that the disc was no longer needed and that Devil Candy was available simply by turning on my PS3…which has a remote I can use to start it.  My life has been a downward spiral ever since. Last week I stayed up one night and watched 18 back-to-back episodes of Arrested Development

Notice this is not a “we” scenario.   See, Netflix started as a way to have a cheap date indoors with the love of my life.  Ever since Devil Candy came out, it’s just me curled up on the couch pumping out as many episodes as I can before Dave returns.  It’s a sinful, self-indulgent parade of worthlessness and it must be stopped.

Then again maybe not.  After all, I’m going to have to have something to do while he’s out in the wild, living in an old VW bus and fighting to stay alive as the Last Mohican.

Image above is property of THE MICO, an awesome digital cartoonist.  His works can be found at DeviantArt.com by clicking the image above, or you can stroll on over to his blog.  Give him  some lovin.
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