Thursday, October 29, 2009

Not Another Scary Movie

Okay, I think I get the premise of the movie “The Box”. Guy comes to your house and says, “Push the button. You get a fat wad of cash. Somebody dies.” How do you get a feature film out of that? The automatic response should be “Get the hell out of my house, you giant freak.” Roll credits. That’s a short film, at best.

And even is you were a little on the sociopathic narcissist side and inclined to accept such offers, you’d say it any way in this movie, cause the guy with the box (ahem, smutty contradiction duly noted) is Frank Langella. When has any offer ever made by Frank Langella ever in the history of filmdom ever, ever turned out well? He’s the new Peter Cushing. Dracula. Boris Balkan. Nixon. Any of this ringing bells? He’s not playing a kindly old gentleman. If he offers you a piece of butterscotch candy, you say “No, thank you, Frank Langella. Believe I’ll pass on the hard candy and keep my soul, if it’s all the same to you. Get out of my house, you giant freak.” It’s a cinematic given.

The only thing that I can see that would stretch that plot to even a half hour is the chance to stare at the pretty, pretty James Marsden. But if he doesn’t sing, it would be a long half hour.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Not necessarily full disclosure,198530

So, Andre Agassi used meth back in the day.

You know, I'm lookin' at the light bouncing off that chrome-domed fivehead of yours, Andy, and mees a thinkin' maybe there might have been another controlled substance that you might have forgot to mention. Looks like you've got a serious case of the Hulkster Hairline, buddy. Juice shrinks the winkie. But less acknowledged is the devastating consequences of performance enhancing drugs to a mack-daddy fro-mullett like the one Agassi was sporting back then.

I'm thinking anabolic steroids could also explain the hairline erosion experienced by Michael Bolton. Another magnificent fro-mullett sporter of yesteryear. I haven't actually seen anything that relates juicing to power vocals. But 'roid rage would certainly explain "When a Man Loves a Woman."

You know, Barbara Streisand is the missling degree of separation between Michael Bolton and Andre Agassi. Hmmmmm. I'm not implying anything there. I'm just saying. Hmmmmm.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Definitely not my Family Guy

I’m just going to throw this out there. I don’t get The Family Guy. Not my thing. Not anywhere near my thing. And I can say with a lot of certainty, I wouldn’t want Seth MacFarlane anywhere near my thing either. But since Microsoft got in the news for distancing themselves from the

I’m just going by the show. I can’t tell if he’s a complete misanthrope. Or just a raging misogynist. Or, actually, is that a misogynist or just a misanthrope? I don’t know whether hating one part of a group or the whole group is the lesser of two evils. Hating just women is discriminatory. But hating all humans is just a whole lot of hate. I’m not sure which end of that calculation is loaded.

Anyway, women or the whole of humanity, I qualify on both counts. And I actually don’t think being a big old hater is actually wrong. Per se. His choice. I'm not actually that much in love with the human race sometimes either, collectively speaking. But I don’t actively dislike them either. Much less hate. The only thing worse than being stuck on this crowded planet would be being here completely alone.

But if Seth MacFarlane can sell his mean spiritedness and his flaming mommy issues on TV, that’s the open market. As we’ve all learned, if you don’t have anything nice to say, get paid to do it at Fox. I just don’t really feel the need to let some stranger vent their spleen at me. I’m not saying he’s not funny. I’m just saying that he’s not funny enough to quite cover up the air of bile that floats around that show. Just cause you have a cartoon dog pee on my leg doesn’t mean I believe you when you tell me it’s raining.

Vampires, Skeletons and Jung, Oh My!

So, I’m talking to my niece last night about Jung. No, really.

I'm playing Auntie Dearest and staying with her while her mom's off on a business trip. So we were sitting around chewing the fat after work. It started with talking about her being excited about New Moon coming out. I know, I know. I there’s nothing I can do about the Twilight thing. But anyway. She said something about every culture having some sort of vampire myth. And I asked her if she had heard of Karl Jung and archetypes? She thought a bit and came up with “Is he that guy who came after Freud? The collective conscious guy?” And we talked about mother images and heroes and how most people have the same basic concept of those. I suggested that there may be something in the vampire that responds to one of those iconic images that we have rattling around in our heads. And she really seemed to think about that.

That’s one of the things that I like about the kid. On any old Monday night, I might find myself scratching through the mental attic to dig up my old textbooks and find that chapter I once read about archetypes. And tonight we’re going to attempt pan de muerte for Dia de los Meurtos. I think we’ll attempt the wreath with the crossed bones. I’d really like to try for a skull. But I’m not at all sure that would come off.

Good stuff for late October.

Monday, October 26, 2009

The Branson Rundown

Well, back from Branson. And when it comes to a travelogue, I quote Inigo Montoya, “Let me essplain. No. There is too much. Let me sum up.” We may not have done Branson from the rooter to the tooter, but we did get around. Here’s a quick look at the highlights reel.

Silver Dollar City: SDC is Disney for hillbillies. And I say that with love in my heart. It’s rides and music and a liberal dose of shopping in the hills of MO. The best part of any trip to SDC for my parents is the live music (mostly bluegrass, country, western swing and gospel that would make Mother Theresa turn atheist, IMHO) and you can do 5 shows in a day, easy. The best show of the day for me was a band called Big Smith (after the overalls brand), who did new-grass country, with a few swing tunes and some funny songs like “Ten-inch, three-speed, oscillating fan.” I’m not a big new-grass fan, but I’d pay to see them again.

Shopping: We lucked into the War Eagle Mills craft festival, which is one of the biggest craft fairs in Missouri. And it was amazing. Dozens of huge tents filled with artisans selling handmade wares. I went a little nutty buying hand-carved wood toys for my nephews. But what are nephews for if you can’t buy them a hand-carved cricket pull toy? And it was nice to see so much genuine craft work. Too much of what sells at Branson’s “craft” malls (which I started to call crap malls) is imported country/cutesie crap that you could get anywhere. I prefer my crafts made by real people, thank you kindly.

I also found a real candy store in old town Branson. AH-ah-AHHHH! Candy heaven and a sugar freak’s dream. They had taffy in a bout 50 flavors (popcorn, butter rum, pomegranate, cappuccino). And they had genuine Squirrel Nut Zippers. I had heard of them because of the band by that name, but never seen them in real life before. If you haven’t had them, get you some. They’re kind of like a cross between a Bit-O-Honey or a Mary Jane and a caramel. Mmmmm. They’re my Pop’s new favorite. Of course he calls them Squirrely Nuts.

The Big Shows: On Wednesday we went to the Oakridge Boys. And they put on a big show. I had forgotten how many of their old songs I really like. I used to love “Y’all Come Back Saloon” when I was a kid. And darned if I didn’t still know most of the lyrics – “She played tambourine, with a sliver jingle, and she must have know the worlds to at least a million tunes . . .” Love it. And in the second half they did a bunch of songs from their new album, before segueing into Elvira and Bobbie Sue and American Made. The first new song they did had me saying “Oh, no, they di-n’t!” But damned if they didn’t cover 7 Nation Army. For real. And it was dang good. The bass singer did the “bahm, buh, bahm-bahm, buh, bahm-BOM” part. And he can still get wwwwwwaaaaaaayyyy down there. What a kick.

Then on Thursday, it was Roy Clark. Roy is in his 70s, and his voice isn’t what it was. But he can still pick the hell out of a banjo and a guitar. And he surrounds himself with a truly talented backing band who can step up and sing a few songs so that Roy can sit and play back-up for a tune or two. The real stand out was Justin David, who was apparently the 4th place finisher on Nashville Star. And if he came in 4th, I’m scared of whoever was first, because he was just amazing. A demon on mandolin, fierce on the fiddle, and he could play the guitar and write his own songs. And he was right purdy too. If he doesn’t make it big after apprenticing with Roy Clark, country music can just shut up about appreciating talent, cause it’s all talk. Kid deserves to be a big star.

Then, back home, it was another Roger Clyne and the Peacemakers show at the Dallas House of Blues (and by the way, kudos, HOB for adding Guiness to the fine, fine libations you offer). Ahhhh. Sweet. They are brave, brave men for opening up the show to all requests. Peace Corps fans are a vociferous bunch. But, as always, an immensely satisfying show. [On a sidebar note, when you carry a big bag to a show, and like to dance, after the 10th time your purse slaps me in the ass, you should at least tell me “good game”.] It was like that final shot of tequila that you raise with your friends to cap a great night. And finished my vacation just right.

Sigh. Back to the salt mines.

TIME: Quotes of the Day