30 June 2010

The Summer Movie Preview Halfway Into The Summer Movie Season

It feels like it's halfway over, doesn't it?  The cussed (that's pronounced cuss-pause-ed) thing started on May 7 so technically I guess I am correct.  What are all these shenanigans going on with the box office numbers?  The media frets "Ohh, the numbers are down - people aren't going to the movies!"  We both know why presumably:  Your Movies Suck.  In lieu of that and in light of the new Twilight movie there is some good stuff coming up.  I am like a kid fighting through dinner to get to the ice cream and just as impatient: Gimme gimme gimme some good freakin' movies.  No Shrek bullshit, no god-damned Tom Cruise movie with a cute title like Knight and Day (Get it?  Someone in the movie is named Knight and someone is probably named Day),  and no Adam Sandler crap where the best parts are in the trailer, a dead giveaway because the trailer wasn't all that funny.  The remakes and the sequels are out of their cages and now it's time for them to die and make room for some good and original stuff.  To wit:

Inception  -  It's got DiCaprio (watch Catch Me If You Can and The Departed and you'll be waiting for every next thing he does), Joseph Gordon-Levitt (he's gonna be an A-list movie star someday - watch Brick and (500) Days of Summer) and Chris "I-Directed-The Dark Knight" Nolan directing.  They steal shit out of people's brains while they're sleeping.

Dinner For Schmucks features Steve Carell as a pathetic loser and Paul Rudd as the guy who is exploiting him.  But something tells me that Steve is gonna go all Fatal Attraction in the most hilarious and uncomfortable of ways.

Salt featuring Angelina Jolie.  She might or might not be a secret agent.  Even she doesn't know.  What is it about her in an action film that is so compulsively watchable?  Besides her rack...

Get Low features the Greatest Living Actor Mr. Robert Duvall as a hermit who is planning his own funeral and Jimmy Stewart's Evil Twin Bill Murray as the undertaker.  There have been rumors of an Oscar nomination for Duvall.  I met him one time and I wasn't disappointed.

I can't wait to see The Other Guys which features Marky "when did I get so respectable" Mark Wahlberg and Will Ferrell as cops trying to bust a big case.  Ferrell is nerdy and deskbound and Wahlberg is given one last chance despite his short temper.  It's from the writer of Talladega Nights and the other Ferrell stuff.

If you grew up in the 80's like I did then you'll probably want to check out The Expendables just on principle.  It has (I swear I'm not making this up) Sly Stallone, the Governator Arnold Schwarzenegger, Bruce Willis, Mickey Rourke, Dolph Lundgren and Eric Roberts as well as some other people who were, like, ten when these guys were at the top of the box office.  How do you miss this one?

And maybe the movie with the most reliable built-in fan base is Scott Pilgrim Vs. the World.  Based on a popular graphic novel, this one has Michael Cera as a geeky (go figure right?) musician who has to defeat seven evil ex-boyfriends in order to win the girl of his dreams.  That sounds ok and might be enough to get me to a theater but what really puts it over the top is Edgar Wright (Hot Fuzz and Shaun of the Dead) directing.

Ok, that's about it.  Except for a Jennifer Aniston movie.  The good: if it sucks bad enough she might not ever make another movie again.  The bad: it has Jason Bateman who is borderline very good/awesome.  I have a feeling I'll be disappointed and it will be halfway decent and she'll keep making movies.

Is Your Name Craftsman? Because I Think You're A Tool

I hate these people. I downloaded the above photo from this thing called "Metromix" at the Democrat and Chronicle website.  The D&C is the Rochester newspaper published by the Gannett company.  In its desparation to maintain sales, Gannett newspapers have resorted to publishing photos of local people out on the town, most likely in the hopes that they will come to the website to look at their photos.  Pretty much the same thing as the weekly Wednesday section that features a town near you and what makes that town unique.  The D&C will post a little blurb in the paper looking for people to write in their stories.  This "Our Town" feature has been running for years now.  Let's say, at a minimum of three years mulitplied by fifty-two weeks a year, the result is one hundred fifty-six towns featured.  Do we have that many towns around here?  No.  It's the same towns featured over and over and over again.  It's easy to bash the D&C (and fun too!) but that is not exactly the reason for this post.  Look at the people in that photo and you will see signs of an epidemic among young people:  Why the fake gang signs?   Why the pursed lips by these girls whenever they get in front of a camera?  How much do these people spend on hairgel and tanning supplies in any given week?  It's like they're saying - Look At Me!  To The Extreme!!!!  Yeah, I know I'm old and out of touch but I've been out of touch with this type of stuff since I was in my mid-twenties.  Oh well.  I'll go put on my flannel shirt, turn on some talk radio and shut the eff up.

29 June 2010

Very Random Thoughts

Here is a pic of my awesome Jeep.

I haven't written in almost two months.  I started to get tired of hearing my own voice droning on about trivial and derivative stuff.  Plus I put my Jeep on the road.  I'm in love with it.  It's red with a sunroof, a 10 disk cd player, and a big ol' hatchback where I can stash my summer gear.  My summer gear consists of a fishing pole, my fishing vest stuffed with tackle, and a canvas bag that's packed as if I was going to the beach every day.  Believe me, if there was a beach around here I would be at it every day.  Since I got my new wheels I have been like a teenager skipping class and just as happy.  I go see friends, I stop off at bars for a quick beer (and to see the US lose to Ghana), I drive to the park and sit in the sun and read.  This has to be my favorite thing to do, maybe ever. 

I should have written about the beautiful time of year when the days are longest, when the end of the day seems to linger endlessly and the mornings come early.  I think this is my favorite time of year, but choosing a favorite time of year is alot like picking your favorite musical artist or record.  Or book.  The first cool Fall evening is pretty neat as is the first thaw of Spring when green grass is peeking out from the snow and there are endless mini-tributaries that run-off into endless pools filled with the demise of Winter.  But the beginning of June has such nice, pleasant weather.  It's been a perfect time to feel free and loose.

I read The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo which I thought was pretty good and made me wish I could hack computers.  The closest I get is typing "hack" or "how to hack" into the Google search bar.  I am really computer illiterate.  But I liked Tattoo.  The Girl was an interesting protagonist and I felt weirdly protective of her as I was reading. 

I burned through a book about Laurel Canyon in about two days.  I think it was called....Laurel Canyon!  Laurel Canyon is in Los Angeles and was home to the hippie movement of the Sixties.  Joni Mitchell and Graham Nash lived there in a house (Our House), Mama Cass introduced Crosby, Stills and Nash to each other in her living room.  Frank Zappa had a sort-of compund there (No Drugs Allowed!) with his family and a big stone fireplace.  Apparently the Hippies were too hopped up on goofballs to notice that Charles Manson was a weird guy but Zappa's wife noticed ("People say it came as a shock but not to us.  For those with clear heads, you could see Manson was a strange guy").  Stills and Crosby were apparently grade-A egomaniacs and that was before the coke.  Warren Zevon's wife Chrystal lived there and adopted two kids when she was only twenty and the kids four and six (?) or something like that.  They were abandoned and she took them in.  I thought that was pretty interesting and I would like to know what happened to them. 

Right now I'm reading  Rip It Up And Start Again: Postpunk 1978-1984 and James Michenor's SpaceRip It Up is about music after punk rock and before....what?  Maybe before corporations reclaimed the business of the music business.  I graduated in 1984.  It was the year of Prince, Bruce and Madonna and they were huge: Puple Rain, Born In The U.S.A and Like A Virgin.  This book, however, concerns itself with stuff like "Tainted Love" "Don't You Want Me" and bands like Bow Wow Wow, Depeche Mode, New Order, etc.  Just go to Amazon and search the Pretty In Pink soundtrack and you'll get the idea.  I liked some of this music.  Some of it is too new-wavey for me but some of it is good.  I have gained a new appreciation for the Cure as I've gotten older.  Music history is interesting.  I don't know how long I'll stick with Michenor's Space.  I bought it at a garage sale (a great place to meet women) and it came without a book jacket but I think it's about the beginning of the Space program.  It might get me interested in the stars.  Or maybe the stars will just be a passing fancy like WWII reporting (I still want to get those books).

Ok, that's it.