Note: My smart-ass comment about tiny houses in yesterday’s post prompted a great comment from my stepsister, which in turn led me to write this. Not quite what she was asking for, but I like it.
HAUNTED TINY HOUSE
EXTERIOR – NIGHT: A dark, cloudy moonless night. The wind whips through the trees surrounding a clearing. In the clearing sits what looks like a child’s playhouse.
INTERIOR – NIGHT: We’re inside of a tiny house, 8 x 10 if that. We enter through the door and into a kitchen/living area, with a tiny fridge and a tiny stove and a tiny table. The camera tracks left and up a tiny ladder to a tiny loft where a white hipster couple — CLEMENTINE and DJANGO — sleep. Clementine has dark black hair cut into a bob. Django has red shaggy hair and a giant beard. Both have multiple piercings and tattoos.
A LOUD BANG IS HEARD — awakening the CLEMENTINE, who sits up too fast and bangs her head into the ceiling.
Since Cara and I moved in together a hundred or so years ago, my consumption of horror movies has increased exponentially. She likes them. And, truth be told, the genre has grown on me, partly due to some pretty quality stuff being released in the last decade or so. There’s also some outright garbage that can be enjoyable in its own right.
Last night, I watched E.T. from start to finish. I can’t remember the last time I did that. I do remember that the first time I tried to watch E.T., things didn’t go so well.
I freaked out right around the time E.T. was found sick in the ravine, white and almost dead. If memory serves correctly, I ran out to the bathroom and barely succeeded in puking up a box of Hot Tamales and soda (25% chance it was Dr Pepper, 75% chance it was Mr. Pibb, way back before Pibb Xtra was a thing).
I’ve always chalked it up to being scared. I was a scaredy-cat as a kid. I’m told that when the family went to see King Kong at the drive-in, I hid in terror on the floor of the back seat. I could be misremembering someone else’s memory there. But the point is, I was a chicken. And I just fueled my imagination with books about Big Foot and ghosts and aliens.
In the 1980s, a rag-tag group of misfits band together for an underground adventure in order to save themselves — and their town! Come for the journey, stay for the laughs — and the scares! You’ll laugh, you’ll scream — you might even cry! I’m going to type a complete sentence — and then set off another related sentence with a dash!
You may have heard of the runaway success of this small indie film, “It.” It’s based off of one of the less-well known works of a relatively obscure short-story author who sometimes dabbled in horror and science fiction. Previous successful movies based on his work– “Stand by Me,” “The Shawshank Redemption,” “Misery,” “The Green Mile” — came mostly from his more literary work.
One thing writers like to do is cast the movie version of their own books. It’s especially fun when you have absolutely no sign of a movie deal on the horizon. At any rate, people have asked me before who I’d see playing various people in The First Annual Grand Prairie Rabbit Festival. And I’ve typically been stumped with the part of Father Steve.
Vicky, I always sort of saw as Jennifer Aniston. Don’t judge me.
But Father Steve? George Clooney’s too old and John Krasinski was too tall (and goofy) for my liking. Then, yesterday, while walking up Third Avenue, I saw a movie poster and Paul Rudd’s face was on it.
It’s totally him. I think. Someone make that happen.
Anyone else who read the book, who’d you cast in the various parts?
Miss Rita’s tough as well. Only person I can kinda come up with is Alfree Woodard. Someone who can play older and pull of comedy as well as gravitas. Problem is I picture Miss Rita as pretty skinny. (One Facebook, someone suggested Wanda Sykes, which I kind of dig. You know how comedians like that crossover dramatic roles)
Brother Paul. Hmmm. Robert Duvall. But he’s getting up in age. Maybe John Goodman?
But the only remake you’ll be lining up to watch next year is Piranha*. That remake will star Ving Rhames, Christopher Lloyd, Eli Roth, Elisabeth Shue, Dina Meyer and Paul Scheer.
Oh, and Richard Dreyfus.
The pity here is that they’re not remaking Piranha* Two: The Spawning, in which the piranha* have been genetically modified into FLYING piranha as part of a military experiment GONE HORRIBLY WRONG. Then again, perhaps they were afraid to mess with a movie that was directed by James Cameron. (Go on, click on the link if you don’t believe me.)
*To get the full effect, you should be pronouncing piranha in faux Spanish/Portuguese Pee-ron-ya. Even better if you use Beavis’ Cornholio voice.
So last night I went to see District 9 at the United Artist Court Street Stadium 12. If you’ve been to this theater, your probably already know where this is heading. This, after all, is the same theater where I’ve witnessed:
1) A family bring in a full Chinese takeout meal consisting of soup and noodles, which they slurped throughout the movie. Oh. The movie was “United 93.”
2) A woman bring in six kids under the age of 12 to watch “The Watchmen.”
So last night I watched Terminator: Rise of the Machines and Terminator Salvation (you know it’s deep because they purposely left out the colon … from the title, I mean. I don’t know if they bothered putting colons in the robots. It didn’t come up).
I predict that if you sat through the first two Terminators and enjoyed them, you’ll enjoy these enough. T4 and T3 were pretty much equal in terms of quality. If however you thought the first two were some sort of achievement in cinema and feel vaguely about them the way some people feel about Star Wars, then you’ll likely be gravely disappointed. As with the original Star Wars, I believe there’s a bit of nostalgia-tinged critical inflation for the first two. They were good, yes, but they’re much better in our memories than they were in reality.
And I didn’t find T3 or T4 anywhere near as awful as Lucas’ attempt to revive Star Wars.
Spoiler alert a couple grafs below.
What the critics have said about T4 is mostly true: humorless, dark, noisy and silly. Of course, all of these movies were silly. Giant robots from the future! Further, Christian Bale and McG need to quit taking themselves so damn seriously. They both did a passable job, but Bale should lose some of his auteur points after all these press interviews in which he admits he forced them to rewrite the movie to make the role of John Connor bigger. And McG? Well, McG should perhaps shouldn’t set his sights in higher than Fastest and Furiosest or some such.
All of that said, I enjoyed both movies fine. I like seeing how these things unfold–even if they are silly. And I appreciated all of the little reverse Terminator touches in T4. For example: We sent a robot from the past! That robot may be more human than the humans! John Connor ain’t anything like the leader of the resistance.
Anyway. I didn’t hate it. And that’s all I gotta say about that.
That’s right, I watched the Watchmen … so that you don’t have to. I read the book only three weeks ago and, coming at it as a 35-year-old who never was really into comic books, I’m going to call a spade a spade. It was an interesting pastiche of adolescent philosophy, misanthropy and half-hearted America-bashing done as only a bitter, shaggy Brit could. I enjoyed the book for what it was. And the movie?
I don’t know what to say. It’s an interesting spectacle for those who read the book. For those who didn’t read it? I can’t imagine them caring enough to get it. Listen, the flashbacks and plotting aren’t nearly as intricate as comic book geeks make it out to be. Lost is about sixteen trillion times more complicated. The movie–like the book–plods alone slowly, complete with the hackneyed writing and teenage deep-thinking you’d expect from the stoners you went to college with.
Oh, and graphic violence. Plenty of that. Indeed, while I don’t mind blowing 11 bucks to sit through three hours of pop culture dross, I found myself getting pissed off during the extremely graphic and gory fight (and torture and rape) scenes not because of the movie itself, but because of the mothers of the year who’d dragged their babies and kids into this movie. I saw one woman walk in with six kids under 12. I’m sure they’ll be having nightmares tonight about arms getting sawed off, people exploding, dogs chewing on a little girl’s leg, giant blue penises and whatever it is Silk Specter and Night Owl were doing when they took their clothes off and wrestled. Even better? When the lights went up, I noticed a stroller in one of the aisles. I’m sure three hours of mega-decibel explosions, screaming and cursing do wonders for an infants hearing and development.
Anyway, if you liked the book, you’ll probably like the movie. If you didn’t read the book, you’d probably be better off seeing Paul Blart: Mall Cop.
Dead Serious says he won’t be watching the Academy Awards this year. What does it matter? Dead Serious watches movies like other people breathe air. Dude LOVES movies. But he doesn’t love crap. And he doesn’t love to see crap being rewarded. I’d bet a hundred bucks that if the Academy had gone with Dead Serious’ picks over the years they wouldn’t see a huge erosion in ratings — and they wouldn’t have had to sacrifice artistic integrity either.