Tuesday, January 12, 2010

One American dollar

Last night and tonight we watched a film called Wristcutters: A Love Story. We watched it in two nights because we couldn't finish watching it last night on account of being old people who like to go to bed sometimes. I'll cut right to the chase (ha ha): we didn't love it. I don't think we hated it either, but if it didn't come so highly recommended by colleagues, we would not have finished it, I don't think.

I said something in an off-hand way to Scott about the guy in Wristcutters being the same guy from Almost Famous.

At this juncture it's important to note that I am not a betting lady. I do not bet for money. I will very occasionally bet for friendly bets where we just shake on something and nobody wins anything. I am powerfully anti-gambling. It's leftover from Jesus and reinforced by my belief that a state-run lottery is the work of Beelzebub himself (he's got a devil set aside for me) and it causes me to refuse even the simplest and most pleasurable forms of betting, including scratch tickets. Although I must admit that on the rare occasion I'm at the Big Y, I will play their fake-o slot machine game. I never win a coin. Never. I think they know that I am disgusted by their jingoistic bullshit.

Anyway, coming back.

So Scott says, "That's not the same guy." I said, "It certainly is. Don't you recognize him?"

I mean, that kid's mouth shape is uniquely his. How can a person not remember it after that goofy grin he has in Almost Famous?

Scott said, "If it's him, I will give you a dollar." See? He knows better than to try to engage me in a bet. In fact, in all the times he's tried to engage me in a bet, I think he's only succeeded once.

I advised him that the Internet was available to help him on his quest. He went upstairs, returned a short time later, and handed me a dime - this to try to convince me that I was wrong and he was right. But I knew that I was right. I have eyes, for christsakes! I said, "Where's my dollar?"

"Oh, you still think you're right?"

"I know I'm right!" Incidentally, the guy's name is Patrick Fugit. The Internet just told me he was also in White Oleander and - attention, please, mother - a few episodes of Touched by an Angel (he was not an angel, sint frum Gud).

I'm the proud owner of a dollar coin which once belonged to Count Scottula himself!

Victory is mine.

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Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Sometimes a crappy movie (yields something a bit more interesting)

Over the weekend, Scott and I watched a terrible film called, Sometimes a Great Notion. It stars Paul Newman and Henry Fonda, so you would think it would be at least halfway decent.

I'll tell you what the problem was: the characters were all actual assholes. The only people who weren't assholes were the enemies of our protagonists. I guess they were the antagonists then. Whatever. They were the people with the compassion and the troubles. I need to be able to identify with the people I'm watching for two hours or I can't really get into it.

When it was over, I immediately got on the IMDB to see what other people said about it. Turns out some other people like it.

Question mark?

Then, on Monday morning, when I was deriding it with Ann, one of my colleagues shouted over the cubicle, "That's a great movie!"

I replied, "You're joking, right?"

"Absolutely not," was the reply. "Paul Newman? Henry Fonda? It doesn't get much better than that!"

"Actually, a compelling character would make it a helluva lot better," I didn't say out loud.

Its being wholly terrible is sort of a shock because it's based on a book by Ken Kesey, he of One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest fame. I really liked that book and assumed I liked Ken Kesey. I'll have to read this other book to find out for sure.

In any event, I was tooling around IMDB and clicked on the link for the fellow who played Paul Newman's brother, Richard Jaekel. I clicked because it turned out he was nominated for an Oscar for this role, which blew my mind because this movie was so suck. But it was so suck because of the story, but not because of the acting, so I'll admit that he did a great job. Fine. I concede.

Now this Richard Jaekel fella is somebody. He's made his living being the guy who's only on a TeeVee show for one or two episodes. Murder She Wrote? Check! Little House on the Prairie? Check! The Love Boat? Check! Baywatch? Check and check!

But there's a real jewel in his crown, I found, for in 1981 he was in a film called, Mr. No Legs or The Amazing Mr. No Legs in the UK.

Turns out that Mr. No Legs is a mob boss from the 1970s, and I'm forced to recommend that you read the IMDB comment from "Steven Nyland (Squonkamatic)", which you can find on this IMDB page. Alas, I cannot link directly to the comment. Please do a search for his name on the page and delight in his description of the film.

(Aside: Damien, please seriously read this. You may soil yourself from laughter.)

Jeremy suggested that AstroVideo will likely have this film in its archive. According to Jeremy, "If it's on VHS, AstroVideo has it."

We can only hope. I can hardly contain my excitement.

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Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Mini-break in Brattleboro

I had been on vacation since before Christmas, but we never left and went anywhere. I felt like it was the longest weekend ever. Since I was returning to work on Wednesday, it was time to do something. I needed to get the hell out of Dodge, so at the suggestion of my good friend Ann Podolske, Scott and I stayed overnight Sunday at the Latchis Hotel in Brattleboro. It's a little more expensive that the Econolodges to which I've grown accustomed, but it was well worth it.

The room was nice and clean and comfortable had linens made of cotton and furniture made out of wood. The shower alone made the whole thing worth it. I only wish I had discovered it before 10:30 a.m. (check out was at 11).

The hotel is attached to the Latchis Theatre. We saw two films: P.S. I Love You and Charlie Wilson's War.

P.S. I Love You was actually terrible. That I cried at one point fills me with such embarrassment, so much so that I can't understand why I'm mentioning it now. I need to give a hearty hats off to Richard LaGravenese, the director, who took such talent as Hilary Swank and Kathy Bates and made them party to just about the lamest movie ever.

I hadn't ever even heard of Charlie Wilson's War before I saw it on the marquee. When I found out it was Tom Hanks and Julia Roberts, I was dead-set against it. I softened a bit when I saw Aaron Sorkin's name on the bill. Even so, I have said a number of times that I am Julie Robertsed and Tom Hanksed out. A series of events found us seeing it in the beautiful theater (or theatre, as the case may be) and I discovered that this film is brilliant.

I'd like to say that again on a separate line so that you maybe will read it:

Charlie Wilson's War is brilliant. I think every American should be required to watch this film. You maybe already know about the recent history of U.S.-Afghanistan relations and why it's all in the shitter now, but you can learn even more in an entertaining, interesting and even amusing forum. You may leave this film really angry at the United States, but I don't think that's bad.

I do think Aaron Sorkin is a genius. He adapted George Crile's book of the same title to the screen. Also, Philip Seymour Hoffman is in it. I can't say this enough: see that film.

We puttered around in Brattleboro for a while on Monday and we kept going places that I definitely have been before, and even have been recently, but hell if I have any idea who I was with. It's been driving me insane in the membrane, and indeed insane in the brain. I can't imagine who I was with and what I was doing there. We even went into a little cafe to have lunch and I discovered that I had eaten there. With whom? It's anybody's guess.

(Aside: if it was you, please tell me; I really am quite out of my mind trying to remember who it was.)

Anyway, we had a nice time. I'd like to recommend Brattleboro for your next getting-the-hell-out-of-Dodge outing.

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