Let’s see… Taco Tuesday involved a lunch of chicken tacos at work, dinner at Gaylord, a Thai restaurant in the Embarcadero Mall which was pretty good. I highly recommend it. Then we followed that up with a comedy show at Punchline with me, Jackie D, Tracy & Tracy’s cousin J. The show was actually pretty hilarious… and I don’t even think it required the two drink minimum… but you never know.
Wednesday, Splits let us know that she’s probably backing out of the roommate situation for another month… so yay, more interviews over the weekend. WTF? Not too worried though, because it’s a great situation for anybody who REALLY wants in. Rumor has it… we may even be interviewing another French woman… so $teve doesn’t mind at all. At this point, I think I’m about ready to just remove myself completely from the equation, so it can’t be blamed on me later on when Tracy loses her sh*t, because she already is a little… but she hasn’t done much except show up to the interviews half the time so… yeah.
One of the things about have three female roommates… is you’re going to watch a few chick flicks (as you may have noticed). Wednesday night’s edition was “Letters to Juliet” starring Amanda Seyfried & the timeless Vanessa Redgrave. Story goes… a young writer (Seyfried) & her fiancé go to Verona, Italy for a pre-honeymoon, but the fiancé is a bit of an idiot & spends the whole time checking out vineyards and cheese masons and all this other stuff for his restaurant… instead of hanging with his girl. Well, she wanders… and stumbles upon Juliet’s balcony (you know, from that Billy Shakespeare play) and sees all these crazy ass girls from around the world writing letters to Juliet asking love advice. BTW, does this REALLY happen? I grew out of writing to Santa Claus when I was eight… but then again, it’s not like Juliet’s a fictional character. Oh wait, yeah, I guess she is. Anyway, she follows this beautiful busty Italian woman (best part of the flick was watching her walk) who scoops up these letters & take them to a bunch of Italian ladies who write letters back to these chicks. I know, right? Well, she finds an old one behind a brick dated 50+ years earlier, so she writes back to it… and the next day (literally, the mail system in Europe must be AMAZING!!!) the lady that wrote the letter (Redgrave) is in town looking for her… along with her grandson, who’s a douche by the way, so obviously he’s getting laid later on in the movie (spoiler alert) and he had a sad story to boot. Apparently that’s all it takes. Be a condescending prick… then show a little vulnerability… or just be a pretty boy with an irritating accent. I’m not cynical. Do the research. That’s what movies are saying. Anyway, for some creepy reason, they go on a search for her long-lost beloved… and apparently Lorenzo Bertoloni is the John Smith of the Tuscan region so they have to find DOZENS of them only to find they’re not the same one… but again, young girl (who’s engaged by the way), douchy guy with a British accent, Tuscany, old lady playing matchmaker while searching for some guy she hasn’t seen since the Baby Boom, you can go from here. It’s a total chick flick… but not an entirely horrible one. I just don’t enjoy them… except for how easily mockable they are… and yes, I get the point behind them & the “morals” and all that… but really, I’m gonna say my piece and be good with it.
Or watch whatever I want once they go to bed too (i.e. “Cyborg 2” a few weeks ago). Last night, I did just that… and watched a horror flick that I had heard a LOT about the past year called “Paranormal Activity” which I remembered for a few very important reasons. Reason number one, the marketing campaign on it was pretty much viral… up until reason number two. What is reason number two? It was made for a few thousand dollars (like $30,000 I think) and it made MILLIONS its opening weekend at select theatres… and then MILLIONS more when it was nationally released. The profits were astronomical. Why? Was it the greatest horror movie ever made? Not at all. Why the astronomical profits? Because it was a horror movie… and they always have a great opening weekend… because people want to be scared… and it had a budget of a few thousand dollars. You don’t watch horror flicks for the acting or cinematography or anything. Reason number three, before leaving Tahoe, I watched this thing on a cable channel about the 13 Scariest movies of the last decade… and this one was #2 on the list. Really? Yeah… it just fell short of “The Ring” which I didn’t find that creepy. Anyway, that’s why I wanted to watch it on Netflix. The story is about a couple who are in their new house in San Diego… and strange things are happening… so they try to document it & get some answers. Long story short, there’s something, a ghost or a demon or the Devil himself, that’s been following the girl her whole life… and it’s found her once again. Throw in a Ouija board & tell it all from a Blair Witch / Cloverfield / Quarantine perspective… and boom, you’ve got a movie. So… I feel like I could make a fantastic horror movie… because it’s ALL about how you tell the story, not how much gore & whatever there is, but truly bone chilling horror has some very specific rules. This movie has a few of them…
- Lack of a soundtrack - Works great in setting a realistic context… but then again, with the right eery tones, it can make or break a big budget horror flick.
- No big stars – Sure, no one minds seeing some full frontal nudity of a Hollywood starlet… but it’s pretty much a dead giveaway that the big star is going to make it through the movie… because sequels are essential. The star of this movie… is probably also the director, writer, cameraman, caterer, whatever.
- Tease the Audience – Think about some of the great horror movies of all time. At what point did you actually SEE the “Monster”? Alien, Predator, Poltergeist, Jaws, Friday the 13th, Halloween, sure you’ve heard some of the back-story maybe… or seen the trail of destruction left in their wake… but you have no idea who or what is doing this… or even if it’s human. Sure, it may seem REALLY slow if you’re out with your friends, got a good buzz going, and all you hear about is lame ass back-story about the main characters… and some legend about a guy a long time ago that blah blah blah… but if you’re able to make it past all that & attention is properly maintained throughout… then about ¾ of the way through the movie, introduce the Monster. BOOM!!! Granted, this doesn’t work for sequels, because once the Monster has been introduced… then that’s pretty much the reason you’ve come to see it… and there’s no reason surprise… or IS THERE??? (Dun dun duuuuuuuh…)
There are of course other rules for an effective horror flick… but these are the key ones that this movie brought out. Perhaps I will share more with you later on… or maybe you can just wait until my horror flick comes out & you can repay me with $12 a pop on a fantastic movie that cost me a few paychecks to make & leaves me laughing all the way to the bank… I mean, shivering all the way to the bank… with a trail of urine… because it’ll be THAT scary. Anyway, here’s some news…
Zombie Update - If you thought “House of 1000 Corpses”, "The Devil's Rejects" and "Halloween" remake director Rob Zombie couldn't get darker, think again. Hitting the UK for a round of interviews, Zombie told Empire that his upcoming film "Lords of Salem" is set to be "the bleakest of all my films." The story follows ancient witches who unleash havoc on modern day Salem. Zombie elaborates: "There were twenty people that everyone knows about - obviously all innocent - executed as witches in Salem. The basic premise of the film is that there were a further four who actually were witches, who were killed secretly, and vowed one day to return to wreak havoc on Salem's descendants. That's when the movie jumps ahead to the present day and things start to go wrong." Shooting is slated to kick off April 18th. In the same interview he also confirmed he's opted out of the remake of "The Blob". So… I’ve seen Rob Zombie’s work… and I like it a lot. He builds more on the fear brought upon by the pure lack of emotions like compassion, mercy, etc. whether it’s a gang of insane rednecks or an unstoppable killing machine. The pure randomness of the attacks from these forces are enough to cause anybody to lock the door at night. Now, for him to say that his new one is the bleakest may just be a marketing ploy to make sure his loyal fans go to opening weekend… but bleaker than the other movies would definitely be an accomplishment… because yeah, sh*t is crazy. Now to switch it up a bit…
Operation Lion Ark - Twenty-five Bolivian circus lions rescued from poor conditions arrived safely in the United States, bound for a Colorado wildlife refuge. Dubbed "Operation Lion Ark," the 14 males and 11 female cats arrived at Denver International Airport last week on a jet chartered by Animal Defenders International (ADI), a British-American venture that advocates circus animal rights. "This has been a dream for so long, to empty a whole country of its circus animals," ADI president Jan Creamer told a crowd of about 100 who assembled at a United Airlines hangar to watch the event. Former game show host Bob Barker, a longtime animal-rights activist who funded the relocation, was on hand to welcome the cats alongside actress Jorja Fox of TV's CSI franchise. Workers unloaded the animals in individual crates amid applause from animal-rights advocates in attendance. Veterinarian Mel Richardson, who accompanied the animals on the 11-hour flight from Bolivia, pronounced them in relatively good health ahead of their move to The Animal Sanctuary in Keenesburg, Colorado, about 40 miles northeast of Denver. The sanctuary is constructing a biosphere on the 80-acre site so the lions can weather the cold Colorado winters (since I know that was your first thought too). Their long-term care will be paid for by ADI. The cats were taken from eight circuses after Bolivia passed a law in 2009 outlawing use of animals in circuses. Many were found emaciated and in poor health, and the animals underwent rehabilitation in Bolivia before the trip. After passing the law, Bolivian government officials gave circus owners one year to cease using animals, even domesticated ones, in their acts or face criminal penalties. ADI rounded up the animals from the circuses, effectively shutting down the industry in South America's poorest nation (so now they can get back to focusing on making cocaine). The cats will be kept in four prides to keep them close to family members as they adjust to the new climate and altitude. Cute story, right? See, I still have a soft furry side… don’t judge me because I despise ridiculous romantic comedies.
Most Paused Movie Moments – Now this is more like it though. Sharon Stone's infamous leg-crossing scene in "Basic Instinct" has been named the most-paused moment in movies in a poll from movie subscription service Lovefilm. Nudity was a big draw on the list Jennifer Lopez's naked bottom in 2010's "The Back-Up" coming in at No. 2, Jamie Lee Curtis flashing her breasts in "Trading Places" at No. 4, a flash of a penis in "Fight Club" at No. 6, and Nicole Kidman naked in "Eyes Wide Shut" at No. 10. Geek moments also ranked high including a Stormtrooper whacking his head on a door in "Star Wars" at No. 3, Captain America's shield appearing on Tony Stark's desk in "Iron Man 2" at No. 7, and a brief appearance by Pacman in the original "Tron" at No. 9. Rounding out the top ten are two subliminally sexual animated film moments - Jessica Rabbit's dress flapping up in "Who Framed Roger Rabbit" at No. 5, and the shot where the letters 'S.E.X.' appear in the sky in a scene from "The Lion King". So what does this list tell you? People who enjoy films & the internet are sexually frustrated geeks. SURPRISE!!! So wait, J-Lo went bare-ass in a movie last year? How did I not get the memo? Also, the Pacman in the original Tron was news to me… but I fell asleep halfway through it when I finally watched it a few months ago. My bad. So what’s your favorite pause moment? Anybody? I kinda like the ghost girl in “Three Man & a Baby” myself.
Tarantino Update – Basically any moment in a Quentin Tarantino movie is pretty good too… and rumor has it, another one is on the way. Talking with Deadline at the Weinstein Company Oscar after party, filmmaker Quentin Tarantino confirmed that his new Western project is moving along nicely with a draft already complete. At present he's aiming to deliver the script within two months and get the film in front of cameras later this year. Unlike his "Inglourious Basterds" and "Kill Bill" screenplays, this one "came together much quicker and just flowed out of him". According to /Film, Tarantino previously hinted that the film's setting wouldn't be the American West but rather the American South which would allow the inclusion of slavery as a topic (and a role for Samuel L. Jackson?). Being a big fan of Westerns, I’m obviously a little excited about this one… but time will tell. I know it usually take QT about four years to hash out a movie… and last year was “Inglorious Basterds” so I’ve got some time to fester & wait. No need to rush, good sir.
Anyway, that’ll do it for today. You’ll never guess who called me in the middle of the night last evening & was pretty much too drunk to tell me where she was at… and then I basically had to drag her into her bedroom. I’ll give you a hint… you’ve heard this story many times before. That’s right, four-time DBOY Bubbles… who apparently had a bad day at work (for some reason) but she got home safely, which is what’s important. So with that in mind, I might be turning in a little early tonight… but it’s okay, because we’re doing pulled pork sandwiches, Coronas & a Movie Night with the roommates. Also, did I tell you about my road trip next weekend? Jackie D has never seen LA… so she & I are going down to LA to meet up with Lilie, do that thing, then Laguna Niguel for some R&R… and Carmen may be joining us too… so yes, another epic road trip is well in the works. I know you’re jealous… as well you should be. So this weekend will be preparations such as oil change & tune-up… as well as I’m hoping to get a GOOD haircut & take some portrait pictures for my lovely mother, who has been bugging me for some pictures of me from this Millennium that don’t involve a drink in my hand (like on Facebook). So yeah, I’m willing to really step my game up for her… because she’s worth it… and I’m worth it. Anyway, have a great weekend everybody!!!