Friday Fives – movie anecdotes

Image result for 3d mandala

Of all movie opening scenes, what one sold the entire film the most?

I think ‘the Italian Job’.  But, that is likely because I think that movie is just perfect.  First off, caper movies are my absolute favorite. Plus, the cast is just insano amazing.  And… its a movie with Jason Statham where he never once kills anyone.

Great story, amazing cinematography… just a really great film.  And the opening scene sets up everything you need to know about just about every character.  Oh, and pretty much everything involving the Mini Cooper. Remember that other movie that had a chase scene where involving a Mini Cooper and a helicopter… kind of inside?  No, you have not. Here, I’ll link to the streaming version from Amazon.  Just watch it now if you haven’t already.

What’s the one horror movie that genuinely terrified you while watching it?

Generally speaking, i can’t and won’t horror movies.  I am too fragile. I vaguely remember one that involved (I think) Nicole Kidman, and an old house, and ghosts.  I started it at night, and I was so freaked out I had to stop watching. I had to finish in daylight. But sometimes a thoughtful thriller… like ‘Cabin the Woods’ or ‘Get Out’ are both super good.

What was your weirdest movie theater experience?

Long ago, as a kid, my bro Johnny and I would go see the $1.50 movies.  These were movies that have been out a few months, and left new release world.  I dare say this was before home video and VHS. You can imagine a theater that only shows old movies for a pittance, they weren’t the most cared for theaters.  I am talking about the one at 40th & Thomas, but you knew that. Anyhow, we both went in to sit down and it was already dark. My eyes hadn’t adjusted, so I was moving very slow.  The chair I chose didn’t have a back to it. I couldn’t see that, but everyone in the theater (whose eyes had adjusted) could see it. And since I was moving slowly, they get the show in slow motion.

What’s the most ridiculous thing you’ve brought into the movie theater?

A 3 year old

What used to be extra common in movie theaters that you just don’t see anymore?

3D.  It was a big thing in the 80s.  At least, it really was to me!  And you didn’t get these almost regular looking glasses.  No, it was one red lens, and one blue one. And it was awesome.  Oh, and back then they had 3D movies on TV!!!  No special TV or anything, but the networks would advertise it well in advance, and 7-11 gave away the free glasses.

Image result for 3d movie glasses

Friday Fives – ridiculous randomness

What is something you’ve always wanted to do, but feel discouraged because of Nicolas Cage?

Easy. You know how we are always talking about getting an original copy of the Magna Carta? You know how we always lamented that the documents sits in stuffy museums, guarded by big Document, and the big Document lobby. It belongs to the people, man.  All Power to the People.

We show up to the location where an original is being stored. For a myriad of security reasons, I can’t tell you where it is. Anyhow, we showed up with our most excellent plan.  The usual crew:  Mickey, Legs, El Deuce, Mr Pink, and Tiny.  Due to the success of the Cage movies, though, security had been tripled. Do you know what laser diametrics are? Of course you don’t. If you don’t know anything about laser diametric security, you sure as shit aren’t getting an original of the Magna Carta.

I could get into a LOT of trouble for this, but the people need to know.  Here is the original first draft.  This isn’t a joke, people.  This is about the enslavement of the Magna people, by the Carta regime.  At least, I am pretty sure it’s something like that.  Details aren’t my thing.

Did you know the original Carta was written entirely in piglatin, in crayons?  It was for security reasons.  This is just a small taste of what big Document has been hiding from us all these years.  Also lesser known, it was written on tupperware.  Fact!  It’s the origin of the term ‘an army marches on its stomach’.

Luckily, my crew and I well schooled in both laser diametrics, audioplasty recognition replacement, AND full hologram deterrence. Here is what we didn’t count on. Nicholas Coppola motherfucking Cage his goddamn self. Do to the fact that he has spent all of his money on castles and dragon bones… he is broke. Dude is working at the museum guard there. He tried to play it off cool, said he was researching a role. Then he asked if he could have a bite of my sammich, and his manager came out and yelled at him… and us. He kept asking us if we knew Jason Statham.

Heist thwarted… again. Thanks Nic Cage.

If you get into a heated argument with one of your neighbors, and you accidentally hit them over the head with your shovel and knocked them unconscious, would it be OK to borrow their power hedge trimmer while they are passed out? (Asking for a friend)

Assuming you are returning it in better shape, of course. I mean, fix it up a little. Look at it, he hasn’t oiled in ever, and the blades are all loose. This thing is going to kill someone. Plus, I am making the entire neighborhood nicer. With this baby, I can finally finish my lawn sculpture – Nicholas Cage, America’s treasure… in the nude.

Best eight-legged creature? [defend]

  • Octopus
  • Squid
  • Spider
  • Cuttlefish
  • Led Zeppelin, 1975

Easy. Octopus. Those little monsters can change color. Look at this clip. You could be in the water surrounded by them and have no idea. All of the sudden – BAM. There they are. Bonus, if we are to go deep into Ringo’s entire cannon of Beatle work, this is some of his finest.

Zeppelin 75 is a very good choice, though.  This is Physical Graffiti era, where they were absolutely peaking on every level.  At this moment, they are the biggest band on earth, and rightfully so.  I don’t know what cuttlefish, but if this is going where I think it is… remember I am happily married.

What is your entrance music?

This song. This song is SO good. Or this song. Maybe this one.

What was your favorite school lunch day?

Tacos. You can’t screw up tacos. You would think the same with pizza, right? My lord did they ruin pizza. Look at this stuff. You have to cook with love and intent…. Every time. Tita taught us that in ‘like water for chocolate’. This pizza was always made by people who had just given up on every level. I think we might all be like that after cooking slop for ungrateful little bastards all day long for 30 years.

*** regarding Laser Diamtrics – yes, Majikwah.  We are running all fives, finally!

The Dennis Farina Syndrome®


I realize I often reference this in my work, but I may not have properly explained.  Once again, this is my claiming obvious shit and trying to pass it off as unique and introspective.  That’s my gig, bubba.

I am back to naming shit that had no name… like this one – the Gary Barnett Corollar®.

There is a group of actors who play ‘to type’.  This means, they have a niche, and they are stuck in it.  Think Jason Statham here.  Have you seen a Jason Statham film?  If so, then you have literally seen ALL the Statham films.  He plays a total bad ass, likeable criminal with exceptional driving skills.  You will be alarmed to know how many films this guy has with this character.  38 movies.  He has 38 movies playing this exact same character.

Here is the weird thing, though.  I love his work, and I love his character.  I have seen at least 10 of those movies.  I can’t say for sure, because every single one is truly exactly the same as the other.  There are others, too.  Most notably, Dennis Farina.  Dennis plays the exact same character every time.  He doesn’t bother to act, but he doesn’t need to.  I imagine he doesn’t even have to audition.  When a script needs a 50-ish bad ass organized crime mobbish salt and pepper tough guy… you hire Farina.

Al Pacino was famous for this, too.  Al did about 30 years of forgettable films playing the same shit.  He still can act, though.  See his work in the Kevorkian movie?*** he still has it!  Here is another example, Denzel Washington.  He is very well regarded, and even received an Oscar for playing Denzel.  Denzel Washington is over rated.  Really over rated.  Hell, he might be a great actor, but there is no way to tell.  He just plays the same guy in every movie.

Comedy has them, too.  Think of Vince Vaughn.  He had a pretty good ten year run playing one character.  Even though Statham is the poster boy for this movement, he is young enough to actually open to other roles.  Who else?  Man, there are tons.  For some reason, the Italian stereotypes thrive on the Farina Syndrome®.  How about Joe Pesci?  Frank Vincent

So, it remains the Dennis Farina Syndrome®

*** seriously, this is amazing.  Pacino actually stepped out and did something completely different.  Just look at this transformation.  It’s the real Kevorkian on the left, and Pacino on the right.

Drive – a once in a lifetime movie review

*** update  5.8.13 > see below in comments, but not before you read this

I love movies.  I especially love mindless action movies, and capers at the best.  I have never, in the 1,043 posts here in almost ten years, ever done a movie review.  That changes today!

So, I netflixed ‘Drive’.  It is a story about a stunt man driver, who was also a criminal wheel man on the side… who was also an aspiring stock car driver.  Sounds like a perfect way to break in my new bose stereo system with a big fat subwoofer.

Here is my problem with the movie.  It contained none of the things above.  It is possible my disc skipped, a lot.  I expected car chases… there was one.  Explosions?  none.  Criminal wheel man capers?  one.  Stock car driving?  none.  So, what happened for two hours?  A lot of dude brooding.  There is, literally, about 30 minutes of screen time of dude just brooding.

Oh, and he killed a couple of guys.  Who gives a fuck.  I didn’t buy a movie to see you kill people, I bought a movie to see you DRIVE YOUR FUCKING CAR.  Ryan Gosling owes me two hours of my life back.  You know what?  I don’t even want that name, Ryan Gosling, used on my blog until he apologizes.  Going forward, his name is simply Not Jason Statham. What an asshole.  Someone get me Jason Statham on the phone.  Oh, and how was Statham not cast in this?  This is the ONLY movie he does.  He is a bad ass criminal driver.  Seriously, he has 6 movies under his belt with ONLY this premise.

You see, this is the ONLY thing Jason Statham does.  We are way past type casting.  He makes one movie.  bad ass criminal driver with a short temper… but a gift behind the wheel.  Let’s look at the Statham cannon, shall we?

killer elite
the mechanic
the transporter
the transporter 2
the italian job
crank 2
transporter 3
death race
the bank job

Each one of those movies is completely interchangeable with the other.  I am not complaining, I have seen almost all of them.  I love the Statham movies.  They deliver, unlike this piece of shit.  Also, I am hurt that they had the great Bryan Cranston and just wasted him.  If you get Bryan Cranston on your set, you give him EVERY role.  That guy is amazing.  Also, Jason Statham is going to kick Not Jason Statham’s ass.

Friday Fives

1.  If you could give out Best Picture, Best Actor/Actress and Best Director Oscars to any movies (not necessarily all from the same year) to people/films that haven’t won, what would they

I think the most under recognized actor currently is Paul Giamatti.  I am still pissed he didn’t get an oscar nod for Sideways yet Haden Church did.  It mystifies me.  Giamatti is the kind of actor I like, a character actor who toils in details.  Before him, it was Phillip Seymour Hoffman, and William H Macy.  I like the actors who will take the bit parts and just embrace them.  The guys who aren’t on the posters, but make every movie better by their presence.  Of course, that doesn’t last.  All of them are super stars now.

so, I was looking for a new guy to follow.  Briefly, it was Jason Statham.  He is the handsome British guy that has less acting range than Vince Vaughn.  I mean, every single movie he has ever done is the exact same role.  EXACT:  transporter, crank, Italian job, snatch.  There are three or four of each of those, and he keeps playing the same guy.  And… not the same ‘type’ of guy.  I mean… there is only one roll.   He is always the driver, he is always the bad ass.

I haven’t been so disappointed since Colin Farrell.  Remember how we all thought he would be a HUGE star?  They compared him to Leo.   He couldn’t carry DiCaprio’s shoes.  Who else disappoints me as an actor?  Pacino, of course.  He has played the same character for about 30 years now.  I call that Dennis Farina syndrome.  David Caruso, of course.  The reason why I super hate Caruso is that I think he probably can act.  He chooses not to.  He sickens me and represents everything people hate about America.  Hubris!

Oh, Denzel is another one who is super overrated.  Why does everyone love him?  Because he is good looking?  Because he is black?  Because he ALWAYS plays slightly compromised characters?  He hasn’t acted since Malcolm X.  To be fair, though, he really knocked that one out of the park.

2.  What is your favorite genre of writing (short stories, novels, nonfiction…)?

as a writer, I personally prefer short fiction.   As a reader, I prefer biographies.

3.  Are there any CDs to which you know every word? Movies?

yes, almost all of them.  I am the biggest rock dork on earth.  Allow me to say this, in all truthfulness, I know more about rock and roll than anyone you have ever met, nor ever will meet.  If you know me well, you also know this is true.  Above me, there is only the sage… and no one else.

as for movies, yes:  A Fish Called Wanda, and the Princess Bride

4.  If you could write and cast your own movie, what would it be about and who would you cast?

it would star Paul Giamatti as me.  He is short and schlubby* and yet lovable.  Bingo!  The movie would be full of songs that turn into cameos… like what Jonathan Richman did in ‘something about mary’ or that guy from Men at Work does on Scrubs.  Scenes like this would unfold all over the place.  Like a Blues Brothers for lame white people.

5.  What’s the best song to wake you up? Put you to sleep?

what relaxes me to sleep is actually tv.  Especially something super vapid like TMZ.  It is entertaining to watch, but never puts me in a situation where I feel I need to be conscious for more than a minute or so.   As for waking up, Brett Saunders voice brings me great joy.  He wants me to stay awake (and little does) because he is so compelling, and the best interviewer on earth.

* a closing note.  according to the auteurs here at WordPress, ‘schlubby‘ is not a word.  I submit their programmers have never met me, and so remain ignorant of a blissful type.