Friday, February 21, 2014

The Most Interesting Athlete in the World

Good Afternoon Ladies & Gentlemen,
Wednesday night, I watched “Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer” starring Michael Rooker on Netflix. I had this sitting in my disc queue for a while as I had heard it mentioned a few times before as kind of an underground slasher flick. So, here’s the story that I gathered. The movie was shot in Chicago in 1986 on a budget of like… $100,000. However, the movie was considered so dark & violent & graphic at the time… that it took almost three years of appeals to make it releasable to the public after its initial screenings at some festivals. The story is based on the confessions of serial killer Henry Lee Lucas (Rooker) and is directed by John McNaughton (also directed the legendary “Wild Things” & another movie I’ve been interested in checking out called “Mad Dog & Glory”). The plot is that there’s this guy Henry who becomes a roommate with an ex-con part-time gas station attendant named Otis & his sister Becky. They’ve all fallen on hard times, but make ends meet somehow (usually selling drugs) but Otis soon finds out that Henry… has a dark side. Sure, he knew before that he killed his mama & that’s why he was in jail… but apparently… it’s even darker. Henry kills… almost randomly… and never the same way twice… basically just for the thrill. Well, Otis is intrigued… and gets off on the rush of his first kill… and the movie goes from there. The movie is… basically just a cold, exact, calculated telling of Henry’s killings with no real need for reasoning as to why he does it. He just enjoys doing it… and even has a bit of a code… or does he? It’s actually done fairly well if you’re into creepy stories with seedy underbellies… you know, as opposed to stories with morality conflicts& happy endings. Even the awkward soundtrack that’s a mix of slow score, coupled with some synthesizers… and inserting some screams of terror or something along with it… really helps to create that atmosphere of just awkward observation, but with a little glimpse into the twisted mind of a serial killer. Michael Rooker (aka Merle from “Walking Dead”) acts the sh*t out of this… and yeah, I really liked it… but it’s definitely not for everyone. Watch with caution. Also, as far as the violence… yeah, it’s bloody & there are a LOT of slow establishing shots of murder scenes… but if you’ve seen any horror movies in the past 20 years, it’s nothing compared to those.
Thursday night, I watched a movie from last year called “Phantom” starring Ed Harris, David Duchovny, William Fichtner, Lance Henriksen (briefly) & Sean Patrick Flanery and written-directed by Todd Robinson (“White Squall” & “Lonely Hearts”). The movie is “inspired” by true events… but not really sure how much of it is real… but whatever. In the late 60’s, an epileptic Cold War Soviet submarine captain (Harris) is sent on a top secret mission on a moment’s notice. Along with his crew, there are a few extra “specialists” (led by Duchovny) who are testing a cloaking device known as “The Phantom” (title). Well, once they get out there… the specialists turn out to be KGB… and they take over the submarine, complete with a nuclear payload, and head towards the U.S. Naval Base at Midway to start WWIII… unless the captain and his crew can regain control of the submarine… and not die in the process. If you’re a big fan of “Hunt for Red October” or “U-571” or any of those kind of movies, then you’ll probably love this. Ed Harris gives an amazing performance as he’s prone to do. I like that they’re supposed to be Russian, but they all have the standard American accents, which is good… because I’m sure they’d all be awful to listen to. I love that David Duchovny is my elder doppleganger (hope to look like that in 20 years when I’m 53 as well) but… you know his acting style is… very muted. You’ve seen the X-Files and/or Californication. He delivers lines almost monotonically… with occasional yelling, but always maintaining the stoic face and immediately returning to almost utter boredom. Perhaps that’s his secret to eternal youth & banging cocktail waitresses… but aside from that, not the greatest actor in the world. Sorry, Filly! Overall though, the movie was decent… not great or anything… but like I said, if you like that kind of movie, check it out. If not, you’ll probably pass.
The Real Life Most Interesting Man in the World – So… I was watching the Today Show this morning… and I’ll be damned if I didn’t see a story that was just ridiculously awesome to me. Did you know there’s a 55 year old Olympian in these Olympics? His sixth? Oh… it’s more than just that too. His name is Hubertus von Hohenlohe-Langenburg… excuse me, PRINCE Hubertus von Hohenlohe-Langenburg… and he’s obviously skiing for Mexico. Obviously, right? Because he is… skiing… for the country of Mexico… in these Winter Olympics. Fact. More facts that you might find interesting (and possible straight out of a future Dos Equis commercial):
·         Born in Mexico City in 1959 (dual citizenship)
·         He’s a descendant of German royalty (hence the Prince)
·         Heir to a Volkswagen fortune
·         German pop singer under names Andy Himalaya and Royal Disaster
·         Gallery-level photographer & artist
·         Businessman
·         Six-time Olympic Alpine skier (1984, 1988, 1992, 1994, 2010 & 2014)
·         Flag-bearer for the country of Mexico
·         Wore a Mariachi-inspired outfit during his latest run (previously Goucho)
·         Currently resides in Liechtenstein
·         Speaks five languages fluently
Anyway, check out a few interviews with this guy… I think he’s on Piers Morgan soon & he’s been running the gamut the past few days. I’m just saying… he seems like he’s going to be okay when he decides to retire from skiing. Now he’ll have more free time to take pictures, bang 20-year old model-actresses, pick up another language (Swahili?) and release a few albums before living the quiet life. What? Ladies… he’s single… and here’s another article about the guy that takes a little different turn courtesy of the great writers at Grantland.
Anyway, that should do it for this entry. I should definitely have some more stories to share after this weekend… which includes a trip to Sacramento & beyond. Have a great weekend everybody!!!

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