Script Doctor

That's Me

 This is a link. It is not SPAM. It does go to a fb page, but it isn’t a phishing site or any bullshit like that.

Enjoy.

A message of beauty.

I meant to rent “Videodrome.” You can’t always get what you want. SO sometimes you get something kinda like what you want. And it surpasses your expectations. My movie friend and I watched another Cronenberg film: “Dead Ringers” (1988). The basic story is about a pair of identical twins. Jeremy Irons plays both. I haven’t seen everything that he has done, but it is one of the best roles that I have seen him in. They are weird from the beginning, and it just goes creepy from there. They both get involved with the same woman, a french actress, played by Genevieve Bujold. I haven’t seen many of her movies either, but she was in “Coma” (1978). That is one of those movies that I wasn’t allowed to watch, and when I did, it scared the shit out of me. She does have an extensive body of work, and was in a film called “Sherlock Holmes and Saucy Jack,” (1979) which just sounds fun. I also tend to think women named Genevieve tend to err on the side of totally hot.

Irons acting is intense. If you can get over the late 80′s hair, fashion and decor, I bet you’ll like this one. It is LBcgi (life before cgi,) and I can’t help but think of the LOTR extras where one of the hobbits is talking about how had it was to act without looking at someone. Many of the shots are carefully designed so you don’t see the twins together, so it makes it even weirder when they are represented together. Parts of it remind me of “Fight Club.” (199) The polar opposite personalities, the fighting over the girl, the bizarre ways in which the men express and misrepresent themselves. Not to mention the stereotypical inability to accept love. But I digress. Dead Ringers explores the homo-eroticism of twins, acrid with the bite of incest. The twins, Beverly and Eliot, are involved with other women, but they are each others unquestionably primary relationship. Until she comes along and ruins it. Like any three way, the couple (of twins) both sleep (or whatever,) with the same person. But you’re not supposed to fall in love with her! Well shit happens, and sometimes it hits the fan. A dash of weird gynecological instrument fetish and other sexualized violence and voila!

Is this article a little short? Incomplete? I have been gone, and I am sorry, I was just so happy to finally access my blog I just wanted to put something out. Next: a film you have not heard about but should rent: “Super.”

work

2 comments

Why I stay in school.Whew. I have been eyeballs deep in work and sschool. Yup, it is no joke. Work is sporadic at best, but the river of schoolwork is never-ending. This was just scribbled down one night. I am sorry I don’t have time to write more.

“Sometimes when I work security at a door, I make up names for people in my head. This weekends winners:

Bra-on-backward

Ratt-hair

Young-amywinehouse

Drunkie (about two dozen people get that one every night)

Chinstrap

Shit-stache

Thriller-pants

Needs-to-eat

Mrs. Presedent

Grungebelushi

Bigbabyphat-pants

Midgetfarrell

Jail-tats

Boredgirl

Mom-dressed

Coverup

and some other names that I best keep to myself.”

Hope to write sometime soonish.

-Scriptdoctor

Whoah. Sorry, I have been gone for a bit.  Hey look at that. I know, it’s a hella big picture. Whoever said Asian men are not attractive was wrong. Dead wrong. This poster proves it.

A lady-friend of mine is real keen on Andy Lau, and this influenced my first decision in choosing the Filmzilla MSM.  I also have to admit that Takashi Sorimachi is more man-pretty than 20-something Johnny Depp. The winner is “Fulltime Killer” (2001).

Hong Kong cinema produces two kinds of action movies: Kung Fu and over-the-top-shoot-’em-up. Fulltime Killer is of the gun play genre, and so much more.  Because I can’t reference IMDB enough, they call Fulltime Killer an “existential action thriller.” I call it a sexy, intense, neatly-produced, interesting-time-of-a-movie. Sexy, crazy, cool.

My roommate asked me: “What kind of movies do you really like?” Without hesitation I said: gangsta movies. I like the story of the anti-hero, the flavor of  danger that film affords me. I like to watch the guy who is willing to think and act outside of the corporate-rat-race-box. The guy who is not afraid to stick it to the man. Bad boys/girls move in silence.

I can’t help but think of the explanations of the cultural and psychological attraction to these kind of films. Go back to Howard Hawkes’ “Scarface: Shame of the Nation” (1932). Ok, lets look at some context. In 1932, people were financially  depressed and couldn’t legally drink. (Prohibition of alcohol was 1919- 1933.) The great depression started about 1929 and ran through 1942. The USA is currently experiencing a recession/depression & people are definitely unhappy. Film is an outlet for people to momentarily escape the stress and bullshit of life. Modern hip-hop borrows heavily from this culture: the names of old gangsters (Scarface, Capone & Noreaga, Godfather, Luca Brassi, Bugsy,) catch phrases and movie quotes (Nas: The world is yours, and too many others to mention here.) Much like hip-hop, (and professional athleticism,)  people saw crime/rock-stardom/sports-contracts as a quick way out of  poverty, out of the ghetto, out from under the thumb of the man, forever.

In any low income neighborhood, the man who works every day of his life lives and dies on the same block as the guy that couldn’t ever quite hold a job. It clearly illustrates the futility of chasing the American dream. People live poor and die poor just the same. Better to live with some dignity and take charge of your own destiny. The gangster fantasy is the rags-to-riches underdog story. Gangsters circumvent the system. Gangsters don’t have to participate in a oppressive society that doesn’t give a shit about them. Gangsters don’t earn their American dream, they make moves and take it.

Excess always comes with a price. Both “Fulltime Killer” and the original “Scarface” had such a violence-positive message that alternate endings were shot. In “Scarface” Tony is caught by the police, tried and hung. Hawkes didn’t release the weaker ending. Fulltime killer released an alternate ending in Malaysia, because the Malaysian government wanted a clear message that crime does not pay.

Both of these movies are so intense that the milquetoast moral moderators tried to censor them. Funny, by today’s “Saw” (2004) standards, these movies aren’t even mean-spirited. If you like movies about mobsters and hit men, I highly recommend “Fulltime Killer.”

If you like the weird Asian action party, I am sure you’ll also like Japan’s:

“Battle Royale” (2000). 9th grade kids and a crazy Asian-elaborate game…    I’m afraid I already said too much.  Gory, over-the-top, yet somehow sexy. Oh yes. It’s damn good. Chiaki Kuriyama, who played Gogo Yubari in Tarantino’s “Kill Bil: Vol. 1,” (2003) is also in a schoolgirl outfit for Battle Royale. And I almost forgot, the master, “Beat” Takeshi, aka. “Bito” Takeshi (cute!) aka. Takeshi Kitano, has a small role in Battle Royale. Not to be confused with Takashi Miike, who also makes crazy-awesome, mind-bending, challenging films, Beat Takeshi is known for films like “Violent Cop” (1998) Brother” (2000) and “Sonatine”(1992). Tarantino liked “Sonatine” so much, “Rolling Thunder Pictures,” one of his production companies, released a version in 2000. An endorsement from Q is worth it’s weight in Kobe beef. Beat Takeshi is Japan’s (pre-comedy) Di Niro.  A bad-ass, a man of respect, a man of honor. Sometimes he’s just a rabid nut-job. Kitano’s always fun to watch, and you should check this movie.

“Suicide Club” (2001) won a jury prize at Montreal’s Fantasia Festival, (a genre film fest,) for what that’s worth. It’s named after the Japanese book it was based on: “Suicide Circle.” Explained to me as a movie about: “The Japanese underground being run by a group of grade-school girls.” I just couldn’t resist. I can’t say anything else besides: You must see this movie. Probably twice. It’s not for the weak of heart, it’s not for the weak of stomachs. Awesomely fuct, gory and funny, and full of schoolgirls. There’s a rated “R” version and there is an “unrated” version. I only recommend the latter. In for a penny, in for a pound. Right? Enjoy the film as the director intended it. Take a chance. Do it.

All of the above are available for pocket-change at:

Filmzilla, 2701 East Franklin Ave, Mpls.   (612) 813-0079

Free membership with cc deposit. Tell them the Scriptdoctor sent you.

I’m sorry, my faithful readers. I have been lax  in the blog production. The days of summer and four blogs a week are gone for the moment. It’s a lame excuse, but it’s the only one I’ve got: I have been ears deep in scholastic endeavors.  So, instead of ignoring you all, I am going to start publishing what I’d consider some of “Filmzilla’s Must See Movies.” I may just call it “FMSM: [insert subject/topic/writer/actor/director here.]”

(Btw: Netflix can suck it.)

Please, please, please give me feedback. Comment. I sometimes feel like I’m stabbing in the dark here. Not that I have ever done that. I’m crazy, maybe offensive, but I’m not stupid.

I will have something in a day or two. I promise it will be worth your while. Written in the scriptdoctor.me style you’ve grown accustomed to. Weird, insightful, with some historical context, and references to other films that may be interest you. Possibly humorous and a bit meandering.

Rest assured, I think about you everyday. I’m a giver, and I believe loyalty should be rewarded.

peas,

-m

Photo courtesy of:

http://perryscanlon.com/hollywood_sign_night.html

“Sometimes the thing that is the most difficult is the thing that you have to do.”

The direct Swedish translation of “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo”(2009) is: “Men Who Hate Women,” or “Man Som Hatar Kvinnor.” I’m told it makes more sense if you follow the whole trilogy. I don’t speak Swedish, and I don’t know the whole trilogy, but I got a good sense of it in the first movie.

I like the brilliant, awkward, damaged heroine, Lisbeth Salander, played by  Noomi Rapace. Pre-production, she really looks kinda… catholic school girl. The kind of catholic school girl who is about to turn bad, but is still figuring out all the things she isn’t supposed to do that she is wants to try.

Smoldering good looks help. Yeah, she is doing the “Napoleon Dynamite”(2004) mall photo session: “Put your hand on your chin, now tilt your head…” It’s the ‘glamor shots’ pose, but Noomi Rapace is kinda like the Swedish female Johnny Depp. No matter how you dress her/him up, you can still see the fast-running turbulence beneath the water’s surface. Deep and dark. Complex. Sultry. Enticing.

The movie follows the story of one man and his criminal research, but like any serial mystery, it’s the personal of the bare-bones investigator. Or steam punk computer hacker chic. This is a pretty challenging film to watch; gritty, urban, and often ugly. But it’s real. It’s brutality honest, and the honesty holds it’s own beauty in the raw truth.

Niels Arden Oplev directed this film. I looked at his body of work, and for some reason, it’s all Swedish. I haven’t seen any of it, yet. I wonder about the rest of the dragon/fire-girl trilogy. The fire theme echos the psychological environment of “Fire Walk With Me.”(1992) Semiotics: Fire is hot, it is dangerous, it also gives life. Multi-functional. Yin and yang. I understand why some people criticize David Lynch for being misogynist. I don’t care. I love David Lynch. I’m grateful for the unique slice of Americana that he has the balls/guts to deliver to us. “Blue Velvet”(1986), “Wild at Heart”(1990), “Twin Peaks”(1990-1991), “Mulholland Dr.”(2001), and “Dune”(1984). Woo. What a body of work. I think Lynch speaks a truth that makes certain people uncomfortable. Uncomfortable because they’d rather not ever have to think of anything unpleasant. Some people want a big, poofy cushion away from reality. That’s what the suburbs are for. Plastic shelter from rural and urban reality. Well, retreat to your suburbs if you can’t handle real life. This idea’s also expressed in the movie. The class war is clearly defined, as it is in America. Money is power, and if you have enough money, you can do what you like, and there are no repercussions, no consequences. Conversely, if you’re willing to do what ever it takes, beg, borrow or steal, you can accumulate all the money you need. Maybe an oversimplification, but I think it has it’s place in our economy and political climate right now.

One of the things I like about this movie: it’s harsh, but it’s a carefully and lovingly-crafted harsh. Sweden, as a county, is supposed to maintain higher standard of living than us. Oh yeah? Sweden still has ghettos. There’s still poverty and despair. There is a dark, fantastical element in this film that creates cultural connections to “Let the Right One In”(2008). Maybe it’s just a Swedish thing.  I’m afraid that  america’s adaption of “Let the Right One In” will be a weak shadow of the Swedish film. I still hold on to the hope that it might be good, or possibly close to the original.(?)  Let’s cross our fingers, kids. As I wait for that, I’m going to see “The Girl Who Plays with Fire.”

“The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo” is still playing at the Hopkins two-dollar theater, as of this post.

Or, you can rent it cheaper and watch it as many times as you like over 4 days at Filmzilla, our favorite independently run video store.

Until next time.

peas.

-m

This is an older blog & a quickie movie review. If you’re wondering what might be fun, cheap, and off the beaten path to watch this week.

Do you like fucked-up documentaries? Well this one’s a winner…

“Kiss my Snake”(2007) is about snake boxers from Ban Kok Sa-Nga in Isan, Thailand. There is a whole village of these guys that kind of dance around and antagonize these extremely poisonous king cobras. That’s snake boxing. It looks so much cooler than it sounds.  Ban Kok Sa-Nga has a special holiday unique to their village, where there are snake dances and snake boxing matches all weekend. There are a several violent snake attacks. People get the hell poisoned out of them. I won’t say anything else, but the people in this film are crazy. Crazy-brave. Oh, and there are village children putting snakes in their mouths, pants and etc. Five year old kids. I still think snakes are safer than Adderall.

The scenery is all beautiful, lush Thailand. Mmmmmm.

Yeah, I’m an animal rights person, but this film is amazing. It’s only a little over an hour long. It is so worth it. I promise.

A four day rental, for only $2.50; that is about .60 cents a day! Support small, local independent businesses for pocket change.

In the documentary section at Filmzilla, 2701 E Franklin. Look under the letter “K.” Tell them the Scriptdoctor sent you.

If it’s morally wrong to give drugs to children, why do doctors proscribe so much Adderall to kids? They haven’t done any long-term studies about the effects, but it is about the same as what happens to crack/meth/junkie babies. And it’s bad. Cuz young addicts grow up to be old addicts. And that is not a fun life, boy howdy. The rant of the day: Parents, with the help of doctors, are giving the little developing minds of their children, our future, the  medical equivalent of meth.

Adderall is medication in idea, but is narcotic chemicals to the brain. Adderall is worse and more insidious than meth. Why?

Because it is socially acceptable to be gacked out on “medication” proscribed by a licensed medical doctor. I know far more people that abuse meds than real drugs anymore. You can get pharmaceutical grade cocaine, oxycotton that is more addictive than heroine, and Adderall, stronger and cheaper than both meth and coke. One pillhead I know chirps: “Keeps you going longer.” Did we learn anything from the early 70′s and 80′s? Black beauties, white crosses, phenol barbs, reds & yellows? They were doled out by the cartload, but that is nothing compared to present time.

What is stupid to me is, why do parents wonder:

1.) “Why is meth so popular among teens?” and

2.) “Why is my child over-active and simultaneously exhausted?”

Because: Parents, you’re giving your kids narcotics daily. Meds are gateway drugs.

Holy shit. I just read this:

“Dextroamphetamine and amphetamine [Adderall] may cause sudden death in children and teenagers, especially children and teenagers who have heart defects or serious heart problems. This medication also may cause sudden death, heart attack, or stroke in adults, especially adults with heart defects or serious heart problems. Talk to your doctor about the risks of taking this medication.”

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0000166

What parents in their right mind would give Dextroamphetamine and amphetamine to their kids? People who have good insurance & can afford pills, but can’t afford the time to genuinely talk with their kids. With their kids, not to them. Most/all people have no business having kids in the first place. They can’t afford them, can’t take care of them and sure as shit can’t communicate with them. Yet 3 in 10 girls are pregnant by the time they are 20. The idea of having a baby is not the same as the reality of living and caring for one 24-7 for about 18 years. Glossy magazines glamorize pregnancy like overpopulation is not a global issue. Real responsibility is not taught to parents, and who suffers? The children.

For instance, one psychotic political person I know, let’s call her Sharah Balin, who is very pro-abstinence, had an (under-age) daughter that became pregnant during her presidential  campaign. Sharah is a bit of a selective christian. Maybe split personality-psychotic. It was publicly decided that the baby was a miracle, (not a product of her daughter banging some dude with no birth-control,) and the baby’s getting born. No birth-control, no abortion, no adoption. No choice for the mom, not much chance for the kid. Sad. Whoever made the choice, (thanks, grandma Balin,) the child was born, the father promptly split, and I am sure playing mommy has gotten boring, tiresome, & aggravating  by now.

What will happen to this kid when it is growing up? One projection: out of frustration, boredom, or because the parent(s) jumped on the kid-speed-chill-pill-bandwagon at some point, I can guarantee that kid will be on a lot of medication. Then rehab. And I am sure that will be some kind of celebration at that point. The people that support Sharah Balin don’t see any of this as hypocritical. The anti-drug/pro-pharmacorp or pro-life/pro-death-penalty people make no sense to me. This hypocrisy is common enough that most people can see the it. What’s really going to be a problem in the future is, all the kids who are used to solving their problems with meds will have problems that are not solvable with meds. And then, the shit is gonna hit the fan.

Maybe it’s a race/class thing. “Young girls can have lot’s of babies, be single moms,  and it’s wonderful, as long as they are white and rich. Because they can afford to raise/medicate them properly.”

I think that’s whack. And maybe that makes me an asshole. Then that’s what I am.

“I can still feel the breeze that rustles through the trees, and misty memories of days gone by. We could never see tomorrow. No one said a word about the sorrow…”

Sung by Al Green (1972) and written by Barry and Robin Gibb in 1970.

Solara: “I hate it here.”

Eli: “Then change it.”

Strictly speaking, I am wholly against book burning, and any type of censorship. I wanted to call this blog: “Anti-heros up to the eyeballs” but was told to use the title of the film in the title of the blog. True, I am usually not the kind of person that likes to be told what to do, but I am also not the kind of person to ignore sage advice either.

Denzel, Denzel. Denzel slays me with his strong leads. I mean that in a good way. With much conviction I say: Denzel is not on bullshit. Intelligence and experience combined are wisdom. Wisdom is the message that Mr Washington  brings us. Denzel Washington’s filmography:

http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0000243/

I remember he played a doctor on the tv series “St. Elsewere”(1982-1988). His character was strong, smart, and kind. A complicated man, but a righteous one. That has generally been the type of role that Denzel represents. Denzel Washington is one classy guy.

There is some controversy about the religious content. Religion may always be a hotbed topic in this country; it is in others. Google: “Book of Eli religious controversies” if you’re into that kind of thing. Google has about 130,000 results you can dig through. I did find some interesting blogs about “Why a religious theme is so offensive” in this movie, but, I’m not going to go there. You just can’t please some of the people most of the time. Sadly, some people are only happy when they are miserable.

Did I like “The Book of Eli?” Yes. It was highly effected, a pretty movie, but it does have a lot of substance, an ensemble cast, nice narrative structure, polished writing, editing, cinematography and special effects; you can’t really label it something as simple as “eye-candy.” At the beginning of the movie, I started talking about the desaturation because it cast the perfect mood. I was shut down immediately with: “Shhhh. You’re ruing the movie for me, man.” I shut-up, but barely contained my enthusiasm for the effectiveness of the visual effects.

As an action/Sci-fi film, I knew in advance  that the martial arts community was excited to see this one. Guro Dan Inosanto did much of the stunt/action consultant work. Guro Dan trains many arts, and any students in his lineage can see the weaponry, trapping and kali influence there. “Book of Eli” is different, better than anything sci-fi I’d seen in a while. Hooked immediately. The weird colors, the saturation, the slow-mo HD that is a child of the “Matrix,”(1999) but Eli is more than just another weak pantomime.  This film stands on it’s own legs. I’m just going to list the supporting cast and some of my favorite productions they have been in. In no particular order:

Tom Waits:  Rumblefish (1983),  Down By Law(1986). Outstanding Weird Movie: “Fishing with John” a documentary series that includes Denis Hopper, Matt Dillon, Jim Jarmusch, and Tom Waits all going on fishing trips with John Lurie (who was born in Minneapolis.) The Criterion Collection has a nice version of this.

Gary Oldman:  Sid and Nancy(1986), True Romance(1993), The Fifth Element(1998). Outstanding Weird Movie: “Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead”(1990). If you want to see Tim Roth, Gary Oldman and Richard Dreyfuss do a Shakespearean period piece, this is the one to watch. It’s pretty clever. It’s Roth and Oldman. The two great tastes that taste great together.

Jenifer Beals: Flashdance(1983), L word(2004-09). Outstanding Weird Movie: Feast of All Saints(2001) A TV miniseries that is an adaption of an Anne Rice novel. Set in 19th century New Orleans, and it’s supporting cast includes: Ossie Davis, Pam Grier, Jasmine Guy, James Earl Jones, Eartha Kitt, Ben Vereen, Forest Whitaker. It is not a monster novel, but if you were into Anne Rice/Rampling/Roqulaure, you might appreciate this movie.

Ray Stevenson:  “Punisher: War Zone”(2008), “Rome” (2005-07). I haven’t seen enough of Ray Stevenson’s work to give him an outstanding weird movie, but I’ll say that Stevenson made me notice Titus Pullo. He was the reason I watched”Rome.” Yes, he played a big brute, and yes I am mixing a bunch of tv with film. Good acting is good acting, and something you can rent is something that can drive away the winter boredom. HBO does quality work, and as a brand, I like their products.

Milla Kunis: “That 70′s Show”(1998-2006), Meg’s voice (before she became Ron) on “Family Guy”(1999-present).  Outstanding Weird Movie: “Gia”(1998), when she played a young Angelina Joilie, and Angelina Joilie plays a crazy-lesbian-model-junkie.  Strange, because Milla is really starting to look like Ms. Brangelina.

There is a bit part with Malcolm McDowell, known for “Clockwork Orange”(1971), “Caligula”(1979), and “Gangster Number 1.”(2000) Mr. McDowell has secured himself a position in the cult anti-hero hall of flizzle, predominantly playing a sociopath and a rapist. He has also been in gems with names like “Wet”(2009) and “Suck”(2009). Outstanding Weird Movie: “Tank Girl”(1995) with Lori Petty, Ice T as a kangaroo gangsta, and Naomi Watts as a nerdish brunette.

Final note about the movie: I like the pragmatic character of Eli. Eli is not a perfect man, he is not a hero, he is a man on a mission. There is a difference. He is driven with that nagging sense of responsibility. Eli makes moral abstracts bleed into hard, bloody reality. Early in the film, Eli/Denzel Washington is portrayed as a wanderer, loner, walker. A reluctant warrior. He is the traveler in search of…   something.  Something more than he has, than he is. His character is nicely developed without being too fanatical.

I interpret this film to follow the dystopian lineage of “High Noon”(1952), “Animal Farm,”(1954), “Fahrenheit 451″(1966), “Mad-Max”(1979),  and “Equilibrium”(2002). In this film, a failed (and failing) government, corrupt politicians, and helpless citizens are reoccurring themes.  There is a message of spirituality and anti-censorship. {How liberal!} The government tries to secure control of emotion/knowledge, to keep the people down, while presenting an evolved and utopian government. It is a transparent lie, the people are tired of the lies, frustrated with the social system. Eli is standing on a revolution. The revolution starts with one man. The movie is about the heart and fortitude of that man. The protection of religious freedom. (Even if your religion might be anti-religion.) A warning about abuse of power. The inspiration of one man. The book is a metaphor for Eli’s spirit.

“It’s not just a book. It’s a weapon.” -Carnegie

-short story by mc m80

[I'm looking for feedback on this one. Or collaboration.]

“Abilities are like disabilities.  Sometimes you are born with them, sometimes you develop them, and sometimes they are dumped on you.

Joey collects found name tags.  He started at age 8.  Walking to school, he found a Target cashier’s name tag with the name “Harley.” He always thought Harley was a cool, masculine name associated with motorcycles.  There was a book on etymology at the library with elaborate explanations of names. Their roots, the meanings and the origins. Joey was a geek, awkward, socially disabled. Even as a small child he was fascinated with etiquette, social sciences, psychology, anything that would clue him in on the alien world around him. He took name tag straight to the library and looked up the meaning of the name “Harley.”  It was English, meaning “hare clearing” from Old English hara “hare” and leah “clearing”.  A rabbit meadow.  A bunny field.  Not tough at all.  Yet, it sounded…  peaceful.

Harley’s parents loved each other very much.  They must have, because they screamed at each other all of the time, and stayed together.  When Harley got home, his parents were screaming.  His father was yelling and smashing things, his mother was screaming and crying.  Harley went into his room and put on the name tag.  He thought about a hare clearing.  It was sunny and nice, soft and quiet.  He imagined different hares lopping about, eating clover or what-not.

“BOOM, CRASH.”  The screaming, crying, and yelling suddenly stopped.

“BOOM, thud.”  Silence

Joey could never remember what happened after that.  He could only remember the rabbits.  They spoke to him.  They told him he was okay.  They told him they loved him.  He was safe.

Joey went to live with his aunt and uncle.  He had a cigar-box of name tags by the time he was eleven.

Joey is twenty.  He is moving and his friend who is helping him asks about the boxes labeled “Name Tags.”  He laughs.  Says it is a kid hobby.

Joey is thirty.  He is with his girlfriend.  He pins a nametag on her.  She looks a little uncomfortable at first, but plays along and kisses him back.  When they come up for air, she can’t hide the surprise on her face.  She smiles and kisses him back.

Joey is forty.  He has aged gracefully, but alone. His room is covered with nametags. When he turn on the ceiling fan they all tap and flutter. He has several books on etymology, and a computer.  A tank of catfish.  Several tags are in front of the tank, attached to pictures of the fish. He enters the room and sits in front of the computer. He pulls up an “Adult” website.

Alienated as ever. His closest, most trustworthy friends live in the fish tank: Charlie, Patrick, Gary and Wanda. Joey still functions as sort-of a split personality kind-of person. It is more of a fantasy that helps his functionality. One of the ex-girlfriends called it a crutch.  She also called him an emotional cripple. It was Harley who calmly but firmly told her to get the fuck outtta my house. Joey just let him.

Joey was off in his mind constantly. He wasn’t ever exactly comfortable in his own skin, but he had his friends.”

2701 East Franklin Ave, Minneapolis 55406

Nicollet Village Video has closed & moved. They actually transformed into Filmzilla. They have every Godzilla, Mothra, Baby Godzilla, King Ghidora, Rodan & Harryhausen film known to man. I just threw that last one in there. If you don’t know who Ray Harryhausen is, you best take your ass to school. Jason and the Argonauts.(1963)

\”Jason and the Argonauts\” Skeleton army battle @1:41.  [If you've played "Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess" (2006) you'll recognize how Nintendo bit/borrowed/stole/paid tribute to Harryhausen's "Jason & the Argonauts."]

Filmzilla also owns a copy of:  “Godzilla: Destroy All Monsters,”(1968) with the big battle scene at the end. If you’re not down with that, I just don’t know how to make you happy.

Nicollet Village Video was a staple of Loring, Elliot, Whittier, Stevens & other surrounding neighborhoods. I’d guess it’s the largest video store in the state. Not only in terms of volume, but of variety. They have the largest selection of independent, foreign, documentary, Anime, and Asian action films I have ever seen in one place. They also specialize in rare, out-of-print and hard-to-find films. “Everything from art-house to grindhouse.” 

I’ve been a renter there since 2001-2. My number of movies rented hovers under 3000. I still go there almost weekly. No matter where I move to. Where they moved to is of little consequence, unless  it is closer to me. And it is, so, score!

NVV has customers from as far as Texas, a trucker that had a player and would rent 4 movies for 4 days, $5. Sometimes he would just mail things back. Despite inflation, free membership & “4 movies 4 days, $5″ is the same deal NVV has had for over a dozen years. That’s less than 34 cents a day. That includes tax. That is how cool it is. You would think the move would affect the pricing. It hasn’t

With the fall of Cinema Revolution, Panorama, Hollywood, etc., Nicollet Village Video still scraped by. It was a standard of the neighborhood. Then, like many businesses of the neighborhood, they got fed up with greedy liars and broken promises. Yes, they had a slumlord. NVV moved.

The Seward Cafe is down the block.

The 27 block of East Franklin: the promised land. In the heart of the Seward neighborhood, Filmzilla is blocks from: the 25th street exit off of interstate hwy. 94, True Thai restaurant http://truethairestaurant.com/, Seward Cafe http://www.sewardcafempls.net/ (the vanilla cream cold process is vegan-liquid-candy-crack-AWESOME.) Seward Co-op http://www.seward.coop/, Zipps, and many other unique stores and shops. Off of the highway there is one crappy strip mall with a corporate coffee/sandwich chain, but most of the Seward is locally owned and operated. Old Hippie/punk/Wiccan/blue collar people know: independent business=Good.

The clerks there are usually knowledgeable beyond necessity. They are real live people, who will put the movie in your hand, that day. No mailbox waiting. Netflix has a policy of slowing down your mailings the more you rent. Due to a lawsuit, they had to change their promise policy of “guaranteed to arrive in a day”

Did you know: Netflix only carries films that are current and in print? Even with current films, they advertise films they don’t have, and, if not enough people put it on their queue, they don’t buy it. Some would call that false advertising, though I am sure it’s somewhere in the 9 pages of contract you agree to when you sign up for net-flex. Some people would call them liars, using the bait and switch. That means if you want to see anything that is not contemporary, modern popular film, forget it. But, Netflix will suggest you watch fifteen Hugh Grant films and “Sex and the City 2″ while you wait for your copy of “Ice Pirates” that is never going to arrive. I found a blog with a running list of films that Netflix doesn’t carry:

http://netflixcommunity.ning.com/forum/topics/1993323:Topic:33414

I assure you, as of August 2010, Filmzilla has all of the titles netflix doesn’t, except perhaps “Scent of Green Papaya.” They had it on VHS & it got stolen.  Filmzilla has a Free membership, & is dog friendly. They stock dog treats.

Support choice. Support your local independent everything. Visit Filmzilla.

And be nice to the clerks.

“Show your patriotism by buying a bracelet”

This was the actual copy of text from a Facebook advertisement. I saw it yesterday and today.

Is it just me, or are advertisers getting more stupid?  Do they think the American audience is that dumb/medicated/not-paying-attention? Oh wait.

Mickey Knox, (therefore, I have reason to believe this originated from Quentin Tarantino,) in the film “Natural Born Killers” once said: “A moment of realization is worth a thousand prayers.”

This reflects my realization: “American audiences are that dumb/medicated/not-paying-attention. Because pay-triotism is not about buying shit.”

I know that some economists would disagree, but screw them. Showing  national support? I know a veteran who hates the “Support the troops” ribbon-stickers . What people say and how they act aren’t always consistent. He said: “I’ve talked to some of those people. When I tell them I was in the military, they start to treat you like an imbecile, or a leper. F—ing hypocrites.”

Oh, Hypocrisy in America, can you ever give it a rest? No? Well, thanks for at least being consistent.

Last March in lecture, a professor of mine brought up the statistic: “68% of Americans don’t get American-made, Hollywood movies.” Sad. How dumbed-down can they make Hollywood? Is that why the movies with no plot and big explosions/robots that turn into cars SUCK? Is even asking you to think about this just too much?

How many Americans understand all/most of the advertisements they see- at an average of a bout 3000 or more a day? Beyond the message: “You are insufficient as a human unless you consume our products.”

http://answers.google.com/answers/threadview?id=56750

If Americans have problems understanding Hollywood movies, and advertisements written to sell you garbage, how many Americans understand a complex abstract like patriotism?”

Is patriotism buying stuff? Is it a sticker/flag/ribbon you put on your car? Doubt it. Patriotism is participatory. Patriotism is paying attention. Community. Voting. Freedom. Questioning. Recognising diversity. Patriotism is Stephan Colbert. At it’s inception, America declared a separation of church and state. Wtf happened to that idea? Structurally, patriotism is about checks and balances that our forefathers put in place for the people; not the nation of corporations, not the 1% of rich bastards running the world, not for the martial law of the ”patriot acts” taking away our civil rights.

Patriotism is like any relationship. It’s love/hate. We want to do better, but we don’t want to leave. So we commit. We live here. We are Americans. We are proud. We buy so much $hit, we must be love our county!

America, F#*k Yeah!

Hey, The Blog has a new format, links, pics, tags, blogroll & stuff. (Thanks Matt L.!) Here is a quick but opinionated post:

The ugliest/dumbest/so-trendy-they’re-played-out trends of the millennium:

1.)  Mustaches, like myspace, are so 2007.  (A little known, but frequent orgasm-inhibitor.)

2.) Plucking/shaving their eyebrows and replacing them with a drawn line that is s 1 to 3 inch long line in it’s place.

The best/coolest/socially-advancing trends of the millennium:

1.) Cougars

2.) Obama

Any questions?

I gave in, to the hype. Some of my most trusted technical advisers were saying good things about “Inception.” I felt like I missed an important day of class. I had to see it if I wanted to participate in the discussion. I had to see it, sober-ish.  

Not like “Avatar.” Too wasted, too quickly in the theatre.  It must be called “wasted” because it wastes a lot of time (over three hours,) and money ($7-$10, I can’t remember exactly.) Oops. No regrets.  Don’t judge me. 

Side note: I really don’t advocate getting irresponsibly intoxicated, especially before watching movies. It’s usually counterproductive to the experience, but I had a host of excuses: it was winter in Minnesota, someone had hit and run my car.  It was smashed up and looking at it made me sick to my stomach. I was extremely bummed out. Home-girl dragged me outta the house because I was stuck in a rut. “You know what a rut is?  It is a grave with the ends knocked out.” -Dr Lawrence Peter. That’s another story.   

Inviting a friend to go to “Inception,” he warned me that he likes to be early, really early, to get good seats at a show. I was happy to hear it. I didn’t want to miss one second of “Inception.” I heard that a very respectable, multi-talented, young director I know actually wept at the close credits.   

Trailer Park Boys

 I mostly went to this movie because I wanted to see how and what Ellen Page was doing.  I first saw her play Mr. Lahey’s daughter on several seasons of the super-funny Canadian TV series, “Trailer Park Boys.”(2001-2008) 

 ”Hard Candy” (2005) is also a good one. I am not sure if it’s officially listed under the genre “thriller/horror” or “thriller/drama,” but it is a good movie. It also came highly recommended by my tattooist, as an exchange recommendation for mine of “Shortbus,”(2006) which I loved. Still love.  

In “Hard Candy,” Ellen Page plays a fourteen year-old. She lures a pedophile home, roofies and tortures him. It’s gut churning and sometimes very uncomfortable to watch. A mixture of Todd-Solondz-uncomfortable and ”Hostel”(2005) uncomfortable. The violence is not as quantitative as your average action or horror movie, but it is more personal. Personal and deliberate.  That’s what makes it so uncomfortable. You can’t really sympathise with a pedophile, but a disconcerting empathy starts to emerge, and is suppressed by a confused sense of morality. Watch it, if you are ok with those kind of challenging moments.    

Then there was “Juno.” I don’t know one Minnesotan who didn’t go to see that film. My grandma saw that with the grandkids. “Juno” is like “Fargo.” It’s like The Twins Baseball team. Or Grain Belt/Summit/Schell’s. Atmosphere. It’s  Minnesota-made. Minnesota is proud of it. There are a bunch of Minnesota-made films out there. Aparantly the taxes are hella high for filmmakers to shoot here, though they say “Minnesota is the next Hollywood.” That would be nice.  If we could keep some money in the arts and public schools. Sorry. [Off the soap box.]    

So. I saw this film for Ellen Page. Heck yes, Ken Wantanabe is awesome. He can play an Asian, Latino, Native American, or Pacific Islander. He is that good. And yeah, I can say that. I’m Korean. Back to point. I also like Leonardo DiCaprio. Remember “Gilbert Grape,”(1993)? C’mon! Don’t hate because he got branded with that Celine-Dion-song-movie.   Joseph Gordon-Levitt won me over in “Mysterious Skin.”(2004) though he had definitely out grown his “3rd Rock” Tommy-personality long before that. Marion Cotillard, who I know as Billie Frechette from “Public Enemies,”(2009) is pretty, creepy and classy as Mal. I also really liked “Public Enemies.” If you haven’t seen it, do it. The extras on that disk were great. It explained the work that went into making it an accurate character/period-piece. I didn’t really know who Tom Hardy was, but I kinda wanted to kiss him on the mouth-at-first-sight. He has a purdy mouth, and I won’t appoligize for saying it, becaue it’s true. I was reluctantly informed that Tom Hardy previously played “Praetor Shinzon” in one of the Next Generation “Nemisis.”(2002) films. The role was the human clone of Jean-Luc Picard. IMDB confirms this:  

 http://www.imdb.com/character/ch0001488/   

If there is one thing I believe on the Internet, it’s IMDB.     I didn’t know Luke Hass, Tom Berenger, Michael Cain, & Cillian Murphy were in this mega-production. Pete Postlethwaite who played Kobayashi from “Usual Suspects,”(1995) has an almost non-speaking role. I am surprised they didn’t bring Marlon Brando back from the dead for this one.      

“Inception.” My film-partner-in-crime and I had a pre-movie session at the house. We started bullshitting about: film, hype, expectations, blah, blah, blah…  We lost track of time, missed two yellow lights, and were ten minutes late. With much hyperbole I say: “It was the worst ten minutes of my life.”   Ten long, uncompressed minutes of information, crucial information, gone. Gone. Crap. As we walked in, it was a little confusing anyway, because, like I said, we had one-only-one beer before we went. (I did not want to have to run to the can in the middle of the movie.) I am told that all I missed was the confusing part anyway. So it’s ok.   

The story unfolds for about 2 1/2 hours. It was a near perfect movie.  Chrisotopher Nolan consistantly produces quality work. We like him a lot. I think “The Prestige”(2006) was really underrated as a film.  I is worth a view if you haven’t seen it. And “Memento”(2000) was one of the first neo-alternate-reality films of the genere.       

I heard ”Inception” is in the top four grossing films ever: “Avatar,” “Titanic,” “Dark Knight,” are 1-3.

I looked it up on IMDB and they told me “Inception” was number 219, as of the twenty-sixth of July, 2010. As I said before, IMDB would never lie to us. Well, 4 compared to 219 is a large error margin, duder. Maybe I misheard. Perhaps the dude who told me this was referring to the first week gross or something else. I also wouldn’t be surprised if “Inception” does get in the top three or four. It’s PG-13.

http://www.imdb.com/boxoffice/alltimegross 

If you look at those lists, all the huge money-makers are crossover (kid/adult/family) films.  Starting at number one and working your way down, it isn’t until “The Hangover” @number 47 do we see a film geared at “Adults.”(AKA: rated “R.”) The top 46 films are kid/family/fantasy/sci-fi films. Harry Potter with his witchery is questionably for children.  Kidding.  Really though, almost all of the movies that are top grossers are PG-13 or G. They’re geared at kids and families. Groups of people.

Expectations.  My expectations were high for this one. It was pleasantly surprising. It did not disappoint.  More than not disappoint, it delivered the goods. It was refreshing.   

Ok. I have a SPOILER ALERT. If you don’t know what a spoiler alert is, (Mom,) I’ll tell you. A SPOILER ALERT is an alert to let you, the reader, know that I, the writer, is about to publish information about the end of the film that might spoil the movie for you, the reader, if you haven’t seen it. Sorry. I know I said none of that SA-ing here, but, if you haven’t seen the movie, stop reading now. Stop reading and go see that movie. Today.  

I was told that it is a “Spoiler-proof” film.  You need to explain it all to spoil it, and you need to see it to kinda understand what is going on. I’m not so sure of that. I will see that movie in it’s entirety this week. I politely  invite feedback on this one:    I have a theory that The “Saito” character was a projection, or possibly an Inception.  He was the catalyst to get the ball rolling to basically get Cobb back to Mal. He could conveniently do things like buy an airline, make all of Cobb’s legal problems disappear with one phone call, and was the one who Cobb “really” went looking for in limbo, where they both shared the sentiment (inception[?]) about fear of becoming old men, full of regrets, lost in a dream world. Wasn’t that the point? That it’s not real anyway? Cobb got what he wanted in his alternate reality. He got his children, Mal, whatever and whoever.    Here is and interesting idea about time. I think it relates to the compression of dream-time in the film:  

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A3oIiH7BLmg

And with that, I am out. 

peas,    

mc m80

A long, long time ago, in a country far, far away…

There was Bass.  (Pronounced base.) Bass begot the rhythm, and it was good. Fast-forward to disco/electro/hip-hop. No, fast-forward to: not so long ago, and pretty close to here. Q&A by some of my favorite performer/DJ/MC/now-famous-hometown-dudes.  It was unusual, to have a Q&A in the middle of a hip hop show. This kid asks: “Who Killed Hip-hop?” MC and beat-boxer, “Carnage,” (ever eloquent, polite, & generous in person,) started asking the audience questions.  Questions like:

“Raise your hand- who here has bought a hip-hop CD in the last three months, six moths, year?”

The hand count was less than a dozen. I figured some people were just too scurrd to raise their hands in public, in a bar, at a show. I knew what he was getting at.  The next question completed my thinking:

“How many of you have downloaded free music or burned a CD for free in the last three, six, twelve months?”

A lot of people actually raised their hands. (Shame!) I walked away and went back to work. That’s what killed Hip Hop. I get it. Simple economics.  Money going into it, no money coming out of it. It is the same complaint many filmmakers/artists of any kind share. To make money you have to sell out to a big corporation who is going to back you, to make your work producible and distributable.

I know this producer/director who was cursing Michael Bay. I told him not to hate on a guy because he’s successful. Said director countered by saying he didn’t hate the success.  He hates Bay films because, other than being eye-candy, they are complete, total and utter garbage. I thought that was debatable. I asked him:

“If Michael Bay came to you and said he had 250 million US dollars to produce your dream-film project, would you say no?”

Director pauses. Think on that. You could take it, and start your own company. Companies. Is that selling out, or is that survival?

I don’t want to get into a long discussion about economics. I just want to say:

If you want to have choices in life, you need to economically support alternatives to the mega-multi-national-corporation/department-store choices that monopolize then control the free market.

“Support your local Independent Everything” is the sticker on the old Nic Village Video, before they moved down Franklin ave and became “Videozilla.”

Support your music/film/arts. Support the little guy, the underdog. Support your local independent everything.

So this person I know smashed out his girl’s windshield.  It was a nice night in June. A lot of people saw it. At least three or four.  

Thank god the cop didn’t talk to the neighbors across the street.

Drink and dial. Crisper-stash beer. One solid beanbag set. What is this summer coming to?

Sorry if I have not been posting. Trust me, I have several drafts in the work. The truth is, I am going on a short-short vacation. This is not my emo-blog.  I am writing daily, but these things need to be looked at by a sober person before I post it on the net, in front of the world and everyone.

I have an image to protect.

It isn’t that bad.  It has been worse.

I have a plan.  It is pretty standard.

I am drowning my sorrows in self-medication. 

Then I will start working out.  A lot. I will find my center, and happiness in independence. 

I may meet someone who likes that about me. 

We will get involved.

It will throw off my routine, because we will start to spent too much time together, hopefully in bed.

I will be conflicted between my personal life shared and my private “me” time.

I will cease being happy.

They will wonder what happened, probably leaving me first, “for my own good.”

I will go back to a vacation.

The cycle will begin again.

If it weren’t for the tortuous shitty parts, life would be so simple!

If your name starts with “Q,” you better hang on to that shit. 

If by some bizarre cosmic coincidence, you acquire the nickname “Q” (esp. if there is no letter “q” in your name [Claudia, you lucky duck,]) you should try to retain that throughout your life also.

Q is a bad-ass moniker.   

Which leads me to my next subject: I (still) love Quentin Tarantino.  Honestly, I had to watch “Inglorious Basterds” three times to get through it. The first few times I saw it, I couldn’t/wouldn’t focus. The movie seemed cliche QT, but not grandiose-in-that-fun-way that he does so so well. Brad Pitt’s accent was a bit forced, some of the violence was luke-warm (I like my violence icy cold or burning hot.)  I wish the Pitt charachter was played by Uma Therman in an anti-Ilsa-she-wolf-way.  Purr.

I should preface this by saying I have a deep love and admiration for Quentin Tarantino’s film.  He has a reputation for being very professional, but nice to the people around him.  Cool to work with.  He tends to work on schedule, and keep things under budget. Or so I hear.  

“Reservoir Dogs” changed my life. It really did.  It is one of the reasons I do film. The first time I saw it was on pay preview. I was mesmerized like I never had been before.  Ok, “Star Wars” (episodes 4-6, duh.) is close, but different.  Nostalgia love is different than love of something fresh, something novel, something that’s still shiny and new.  After my first viewing of “Reservior Dogs” I sat and watched it at least two more times.  Reservior dogs.  It’s like that. And that’s the way it is.

 

Everyone is a critic. It’s hard to be original & creative with everything produced, all the time.  It is said, if you really love something, you should look at it occasionally with critical objectivity. I wanted to like IB. I loved the characters, but the first few viewings didn’t really take. I didn’t like all of the action.  I’d seen much better, ultra-violent, sadistic, torture-y scenes by Tarantino: Roth screaming in Keitel’s back seat; Madsen cutting off the ear; Walken interrogating Dennis Hopper; Gandolfini seriously beating the shit out of Patricia Arquette; Samuel L.’s Big Kahuna Burger “What?!” conversation; Ving’s pawn shop red-neck-rape, the Bride coming out of a coma & Buck, any given scene from the last half of “Death Proof” or the “Sin City,” segment he directed…  I’m sure I’m forgetting a bunch of them.  (I have to wash out my brain now.) I always thought Mr. Tarrantino a master of the craft, a genius at retelling stories.  He made action violent and violence pretty.  Sexy, aluring, perfect violence.  That’s what I expect from QT.

No one is perfect.

I think I have a healthy distrust of anything the Academy of Motion Picture Arts gives a lot of attention to.  The voting process seems, as many things are, drenched in BS & politics. I don’t mean to badmouth the Academy, but who sees your film & votes for it depends on which films have the money to distribute their work to the Academy voters.  Many of the voters of the Academy are older.  There are a few interesting articles about the process:

You have to click on the tab, top-right side of the page, but this is the best article I found:

http://seattleactingschool.com/faqs.html#votes

This one is okay:

http://www.yesmagazine.org/people-power/the-oscar-for-best-voting-system-goes-to

So you see why I am a little sceptical of anything the academy celebrates; I usually think of those movies as stuffy, boring, or just plain lame. 

Just a little patience, yeahhhh, yeah. 

Josh Walton said: “One of the things that differentiates humans from animals is the ability to reserve judgment.” 

Paraphrased, but, I’ll always remember that. 

I watched ”Inglorious Basterds” again. I must say, the end justifies the means. I won’t ruin it. No spoiler alerts here, EVAR. Over all, it was pretty good, definitely worth the watch. 

That’s all I hope for with most movies now-a-days. Sometimes I’m pleasantly suprised.  I’m less disapointed when I am disappointed. Don’t get me wrong. I love movies. Movies are fun.  Movies are transformative, psychologically, intellectually, spiritually. Movies are magic.

Thank you, Quentin Tarantino, (wherever you are,) for making me something complex, cool and thoughtful. Pretty and weird. Luscious and dirty.     

-mc m80

If you’re wondering why I chose this weird non-sequitur layout, I didn’t.  My design-y, web friend did.  It is cool, for this reason: just downsize the window, make it really narrow, then expand it again.  The columns re-arrange themselves, like magic!  Supercool!

Really doe, I am looking for specific feedback about this layout.  If you look at the dates, they posts are not in order.  It really doesn’t matter to me.  Does it matter to you? Please let me know! 

-mc m80