Monday, March 17, 2008

A Weekend Of Watching Stuff

It has been a weekend of sore throats and ungodly things coughed up in the morning. It has been a weekend of only leaving the house to buy a new pair of pants. It has been a weekend of drinking beer, orange juice, and hot toddys while enjoying Girlfriend's onion-y, cheesy homemade omelets. But mostly, it has been a weekend of sitting on my fat butt in front of the television, consuming the entirety of our Netflix shipment in a manner that shouts "Grumpy Hermit!!!" in much the same way that groups of fleeing Japanese people shouted, "Godzilla!!!"

Herewith, because I've literally done nothing else of interest over the past three days, the judgements passed down on all that I have watched...

The Apartment - I have no idea why it's taken me twenty-seven and a half years to see this wonderful, classic film, but it has. There was probably just always something good on TV, or maybe I was constantly distracted by a large plate of nachos, but really I don't know. Anyway, it's Jack Lemmon and it's Fred MacMurry and it's Shirley McClaine (who was a total babe back in 1960), and they form a love triangle that makes your heart crack into several pieces that mope around and listen to the saddest songs from Sinatra's back catalogue. The baseline emotion for The Apartment is an aching loneliness, but filmmaker Billy Wilder presents it to us with a glossy sheen of optimism and daffy humor; you're dying for the characters a little bit as you laugh a whole bunch. No easy feat. Oh, the plot! Doye, sorry... It's about a bachelor (Lemmon) who, in a bid to move up in his soul-crushing insurance job, lets all the company executives use his apartment as a place to bring their mistresses and assorted whores. Naturally, he ends up falling for a girl (McClaine) who just happens to "belong" to the Big Boss (MacMurry, a loooooong way from Steve Douglas). So, yeah... great flick, well-crafted and it packs an emotional wallop like a Sonny Liston roundhouse. Check it out if you haven't seen it and then send me a thank-you card with $20 inside. Don't forget the money or I'll hunt you down.

Monster Rain - This was an hour long stand-up special from comedian Jim Norton. I'm actually not entirely sure why I rented it, but it was good for a few laughs. Nothing groundbreaking, though, and I wasn't at any point gasping for breath but... you know... entertaining enough, as it goes. It should be noted that he's really not a comedian suited to the tastes of the general populous. Filthy, filthy humor... again, generally pretty funny, but still... if you're not comfortable with in-depth discussions of sexual perversions, then you might want to look up some old Bill Cosby DVDs or something. So... yeah. Basically, it's an experience that's best described by using the phrases "I guess" and "if you're into that sort of thing" a lot.

The Ten - This was a movie by the guys who did the balls-out hilarious Wet, Hot, American Summer, and it consists of a bunch of short films based on the Ten Commandments (the actual list, not the Charlton Heston movie). It was okay. I get the impression that it was fucking hysterical while they were writing the film, and really, really funny while they were shooting it, and by the time it made it's way to my DVD player, it was just kinda, sorta, occasionally-I'd-chuckle, witty-would-describe-it-better-than-funny, whatever, whatever, whatever. It's certainly different, I'll give it that. Definitely not as good as the aforementioned and now-acronymed WHAS. But there are lots of cool, hip, indie cameos to go, "hey, it's that guy/girl" at, and you get to see Winona Rider simulate sex with a ventriloquist dummy, so... you know... it's got those things going for it... for what it's worth... um, yeah...

The Complete Denis Leary - More stand-up, this time a DVD that included Leary's No Cure for Cancer and Lock n' Load, both of which were big influences on me as a high schooler with authority issues who took comfort in screaming, angry entertainment wherever I could find it. Watching them today... um... yeah, they don't really hold the appeal that they once did. They, and he, just aren't funny anymore. Now, admittedly, I feel this way partially because I've since learned of Leary's never proven (though hard to deny) plagiarism of material from God-amongst-comics Bill Hicks. But mostly, it's just that I've gotten to the point where a comedian has to do more than yell really loud and be a spaz to get me to laugh. Really raunchy sex jokes usually do the trick.

Sorcerer - Let me get the negative thing out of the way first. The title comes from the word itself that happens to be painted on the side of one of the trucks used to transport dynamite through the jungle. It is never referenced by the cast and it only shows up on camera a couple of times. Director William Friedkin claims that the film is titled as such as a way of acknowledging the "wizard of fate" that controls the characters actions. This is, and I'm sure you'll agree, completely retarded. Girlfriend suggested that they should have named the movie "Boom Trucks," and she's dead-on; I'd see a movie called "Boom Trucks" again and again and again, as would the rest of America. At any rate, dumbass title aside, Sorcerer was actually a pretty great film. It does, however, take a little while to get going; there's four... four... prologues, and they don't even get to the actual plot of the film until about the 60min mark. Still, though... worth your valuable time, particularly if you're a fan of manly, brawny flicks that splash around testosterone like so much Brut in a YMCA locker room. Roy Scheider, looking like a gristly strip of cheap, diner steak, gives his usual solid performance, and there's this whole big sequence where they try to drive the trucks over a rickety, rotting suspension bridge that's just totally out of control. Worth a look, for sure, but maybe bring a book or a Rubik's Cube to mess around with until the part where the oil refinery blows up.

14 Comments:

Blogger Lioux said...

Oooh.

I hope you didn't cough up anything you might need in the future.

And [gasp] did you have to buy new pants BECAUSE of the mystery illness?!

I hope you're feeling better today.

8:55 AM  
Blogger Bill From Gainesville said...

You have a very large amount of movies in your netflix account -- I know they say its not the size that matters, but the quality of the movie itself, but I still find myself in AWE of how large your netflix account is... Signed a TWO MOVIE NETFLIX ACCOUNT OWNER, WHO IS FEELING ALL PUNY COMPARED TO YOUR FIVE MOVIENESS

9:00 AM  
Blogger Clinton said...

Lioux... Nah, I just needed new pants. As for me feeling better, eh, sort of. My throat is still sore and I'm still horking up goobers, but I'm not quite as miserable as I was during the last few days. I hope to be back to 100% by Wednesday. Thanks for askin'!!!

Bill... In the interest of complete honesty, I should tell you that we actually have *two* Netflix accounts at our house; one for me (a 3x acct.) and one for Girlfriend (a 2x acct.). It was decided early on that we'd each keep our own account when we moved in together, otherwise one of us would be dead by now. It's best for everyone this way.

9:46 AM  
Blogger J-Money said...

I had the same reaction when I pulled out some old Sam Kinison stuff on a road trip a few weeks ago. His bit about Jesus as a caterer still holds up but alot of the stuff wasn't nearly as cool as when I was hiding a cassette from my parents in middle school.

Also, I'm on the $6.95 Netflix plan so thanks for gloating, Rich Uncle Monopoly Guy.

9:47 AM  
Blogger jason quinones said...

sounds like a good weekend to me. couch/movies/whiskey. sorry you had to get the plague to do it though.

i've been meaning to see the apartment as it looks like a funny old classic. i just recently saw jack lemon in the Out of Towners. hilarious old take on tourists in nyc in the 70's.

if you liked The Ten i recommend checking out The Baxter and the short lived series from comedy central Stella.

The Baxter was a movie written and directed by mike showalter who is 1/3rd of the Stella comedy troop and is great funny flick which i think can be appreciated by girlfriend. that is if you both like romantic comedies that are actually funny.

9:57 AM  
Blogger Clinton said...

J-Money... Rich? Pshaw. I just have my priorities straight. Having movies is more important than eating healthy food or paying back my bookie.

Jason... I totally dug Stella when it first aired on Comedy Central; should probably rewatch it since I think it's on DVD now. Also, The Baxter is already on my queue, so I'll probably be seeing it sooner or later. You should definitely check out The Apartment, though... it's top notch.

10:05 AM  
Blogger jason quinones said...

the first (and unfortunately only) season of Stella has been on dvd for a while now.

i'd like to know what you thought of The Baxter when you get around to it.

10:09 AM  
Blogger Digital Fortress said...

I still trudge up to Blockbuster when I feel the need to rent a movie and then only to get angry when they don’t have it available in Betamax. I must seem like a Neanderthal in comparison to you all.

Thanks for the review of “Boom Trucks” (the mention of the new and improved title had me doing a spit-take); it sounds like another Roy Scheider classic.

Sunday I caught up on some movies I missed at the theaters - “No Country For Old Men” and “Rendition”.

10:21 AM  
Blogger Clinton said...

Jason... Totally, dude.

Digital... Nope, you're just not as lazy as the rest of us. As for Boom Trucks, yeah, it's much better if you just pretend that that's the title.

10:32 AM  
Anonymous chris w said...

The title Sorcerer is even more retarded when you consider the movie is a remake of a French film called The Wages of Fear. Jesus Christ! That's such an awesome title, and Billy Friedkin had to go all stupid and retarded.

10:51 AM  
Blogger surviving myself said...

dude, i had no idea about leary! I'm gonna have to look that up.

10:58 AM  
Anonymous Jesus Christ®™©™ said...

I know. Right, Chris W!

11:49 AM  
Blogger Clinton said...

Chris... Just on the title, though. The rest of the movie was spot on. And sorcerer-free.

Surviving... If you click on the word "plagarism" in the post, it'll take you the wiki entry about it.

12:08 PM  
Blogger surviving myself said...

nice! You're one of those smart bloggers.

5:43 PM  

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