Friday, June 7, 2013
Good Afternoon Ladies & Gentlemen,
Well, since last time when I got you caught up on the week with Jackie D, here are a few movies that I watched last week that you may be interested in checking out… or not…
First up was “ParaNorman” which is a CGI kids flick from about a year ago I think… but it’s on Netflix now. The story is about a boy named Norman who lives in a city that was cursed by a witch a few hundred years ago… and long story short, he accidentally raises the dead & now zombies are walking the streets. Basically, if you like “Shrek” & “Toy Story” and all those flicks, you’ll probably like this. I’m a kid at heart so I enjoyed it… even though it really wasn’t too memorable other than one of the last lines of the movie – “My boyfriend loves cutesy things like this.”
Next up was a documentary called “That Guy… Who Was In That Thing” that was a compilation of interviews from 16 actors who you probably recognize if you saw them… but probably not by name… and basically their respective stories of how they came to be actors, the audition process, experiences in the movie industry, typecasting, and the triumphs & hardships of the life they have chosen. I found it very interesting & being a bit of a movie nerd I kind of knew some things about the process but it was very intriguing to watch. I highly recommend this film for anybody who’s thinking about being an actor… whether to discourage them or just to prepare them for what their goal entails.
Next up was a documentary called “Cleanflix” about something that I kind of experienced firsthand while in Utah, the meteoric rise & controversy of Cleanflix & other companies that made “clean” versions of Hollywood movies. Basically, in the early 2000’s, a video store near Provo, Utah made doctored versions of movies that took out violence, sex, vulgar language, drug use & other adult situations and content that many of the customers in their area (Mormons) either couldn’t see because of their beliefs or just didn’t care to see. Thus turning an R-rated movie like “Schindler’s List” or “Saving Private Ryan” into a more palatable PG or at least PG-13 version… and the movie stores were able to sell for a modest fee… and business was BOOMING!!! Well, of course, once Hollywood found out… they stepped in & said they were pirating, destroying their product, copyright infringement & all that… leading to court orders to cease & desist. Well, some of them didn’t… and the battle went on from there. The movie was pretty good… and not gonna lie, it made me a little homesick… at least until they interviewed some of the people & then I remembered why I don’t want to live there. Check it out.
Here’s the thing about this movie… as a business man… my question is why the f**k didn’t Hollywood see this as an opportunity? I mean… yeah sure, cease & desist for anybody selling your product without giving you your cut but… if the consumer (in this case, the relatively small demographic of only a few MILLION Mormons across the globe) is saying “Hey, we want to see your movies… especially the ones that we hear about all the time like the Matrix, the Spielberg & Tarantino movies, the action flicks with the big cars & jets and all that… but we just don’t want to have to see torture porn & hear Samuel L. Jackson talks about people who have sex with mothers in a derogatory way. Isn’t there a way that we could do that?” I would think CHA-CHING!!! About a week later I’m setting up my own site for requested DVDs that can be made for not only Mormon eyes… but maybe you’re okay with the love scenes… but just don’t want the gore & blood… or you’re okay with the fight scenes, but just don’t want to hear them swearing during the dialogues. I know, right? “I realize you have to fight to defend your family, but be a gentleman about it for f**k’s sake.” It seems like once the backlog is caught up from past releases, you pretty much already have the system in place for new releases (on the Blu Ray version only of course) and then BOOM!!! You’re riding a Bentley to work like a f**king mogul!!! See, this is why I don’t understand how I’m working a 9-5. I need to get some startup capital and start my conglomerate.
Next up was a documentary called “Being Elmo” that chronicled the life of Kevin Clash, the puppeteer behind Elmo & many other creations throughout the years. Kevin grew up in Baltimore, Maryland in the 1960’s and from a very young age he knew what he wanted to do… he wanted to be a puppeteer. Even as a child he built his own puppets, developed shows & background stories, and basically by the time that he was a teenager, he was already brought on board programs like Captain Kangaroo & the Great Space Coaster… and then eventually into the Muppet Show & Sesame Street. It’s actually a pretty incredible tale about a man who has an overriding passion to do what he does every day. It felt a lot like “Jiro Dreams of Sushi” but with puppets instead of sushi. It’s an incredible tale & I hope that you’ve all seen it already. My only major problem with it… was that it was narrated by Whoopi Goldberg… and it was awfully distracting because she wasn’t particularly good with it. I’m not saying that it should have been narrated by Morgan Freeman or Oprah or anything but… just not Whoopi. Sorry. Ooh… Fun fact, Kevin Clash was also the voice of Splinter in the TMNT live action movies of the early 90’s. You’re welcome…
Lastly, I leave you with the 80’s masterpiece that is “Over the Top” starring Sylvester Stallone & Robert Loggia. Sly stars as Lincoln Hawk, a truck driver who surprisingly picks up his estranged son (maybe 10-12 years old) from military school to drive him across the country to meet up with his mother (dying of cancer or something) & the rest of the wealthy family that raised him. Along the way, two things become clear, one… his son is kind of an arrogant prick… but a little fatherly advise helped with that… a little bit. Secondly, maybe I just didn’t get it. Okay, the character Lincoln Hawk had a relationship with this woman of financial means… they have a child… and then he disappears, presumably because the father didn’t want him around & all that jazz, whatever. Now that the mother is dying… she wants him & his son to hit it off or something… and the father/grandfather (Robert Loggia by the way) doesn’t want that to happen because… well, he’s a f**king truck driver who hasn’t been around for over a decade while the boy was being raised. I can see that. Furthermore, I haven’t even mentioned that Lincoln is also one of the greatest arm wrestlers in the world. Why? Because it really doesn’t matter in all honesty. Okay, so… spoiler alert, the mother dies just before they meet up with her, the son blames Lincoln for not driving fast enough or something, runs off to his grandpa (who raised him & lives in a f**king mansion so… yeah) & Lincoln walks away. But wait, he wants to have a relationship with his son… so what does he do? He goes to see him at the mansion… and drives his truck (his livelihood by the way) through the front gate, through a giant fountain, through the porte cochere & into the foyer of this mansion. Okay so… you’re going to jail, whether he presses charges or not… for destruction of property, reckless driving, attempted vehicular manslaughter, whatever all of the above… also, you just wrecked your $200,000 truck that I’m guessing you’re leasing from somewhere or still making payments on… and also, I don’t know of anybody who’s going to go “Wow, dad just drove his semi into the front room, I guess that means that he loves me… or that he’s bat sh*t crazy.” It’s the latter. So then… Lincoln’s in jail (gasp) & basically the grandpa says leave us be & you won’t rot in jail, the kid’s like “Dad, what the f**k?” but he gets out of jail in time to go to the arm wrestling championships & make it all right… if he can win.
Okay… that’s just what I kind of have wrong with this movie up through Act 2… and there’s plenty more that I haven’t brought up, just I feel like I have to have you watching it with me, otherwise all is lost. Act 3 is full or crazy stuff too but… anyway, the movie is pretty horrible… but laughably so. Perhaps I’ll have to do some kind of Adam Carolla inspired “Basic Cable Commentary” for this flick one day because… well, Dizzy seems to think that my blog is pretty amazing (despite viewership being on the low side) and perhaps the way to go is with an accompanying podcast as well. So keep an eye open for that…
Also, big news... I'm going to be visiting Utah in July!!! There will be hanging with family... as well as former coworkers kind of having a nice reunion where there will be barbecue & beer & reminiscing about the good ol' days I'm sure. I'm really excited about it... and Dizzy is too because she's going to along for the ride. We're also trying out Allegiant Airlines for the first time. I'm a little curious how that's going to turn out... but we shall see.
Anyway, that'll do it for this entry. Have a great weekend everybody!!!