Spring Breakers is a fun, crazy movie with many moments of brilliance that will leave you feeling a bit dirty, but isn’t that to be expected of any Harmony Korine film? It’s an indie art-film disguised as a big-time-teen-party-action-crime-drama. Its unique, funny, engaging, & unapologetic from the very start. Many wise choices went into this film, and its probably the best film released so far this year and the director’s best by far. Though that’s like me bragging about being faster than a gaggle of Kindergarteners. That being said, it isn’t a totally perfect film, we’ll get into all the specifics in a second, but much like the device used frequently in the film, I’ve jumped ahead of myself and need to bring you up speed, like the movie does. This is about “going to the movies alone” afterall. I need to tell you about my trip to the theater and my own brush with the law that could have hampered me from attending the flick I’ve been eagerly awaiting for months…
It’s a Friday and I once again didn’t want to get out of bed. The new anti-depressants I’ve been taking for the last few weeks have been knocking me out at night and giving crazy, vivid, intense & realistic bad dreams or nightmares every night. In the last few weeks in my dreams I’ve been exiled from my family for being a cocaine addict (Im not, never done it.), got raped in prison endlessly, murdered a friend and had to cover it up, and committed all sorts of debaucherous sexual acts & crimes, all with gritty intensity, bright lights, non-linear edits, much like this movie. In fact towards the end of the film there is mention of “this all feels like a dream.” You might think that sounds awful, but I appreciate any change from the norm and I’ve almost begun to take control in an almost Inception-like way. I figure it must just be my anxiety & depression bottling itself up during the day when I’m feeling (slightly) better than I have in the past, and it releases itself into my subconscious later. But anyway…
After battling the snooze-button & my dreams, I got a late start to work though the rest of the day went by quick and smooth, except for my douche bag boss not paying me. I’ve had the house to myself the last few days and could have easily came home and just lounged around and been lazy but my recently renewed vigor to “get things done”, I finished work then proceeded to mow, edge, & pick weeds on my hands & knees for nearly three hours on the front & back lawn at the house. I was beat. I had just about given up on my desire to see “Spring Breakers” for the night and thought it could wait a day, or I could chill for a few hours and get fucked-up for the late-night showing, you know so I could really relate to it and all. But after showering & resting for about ten minutes, I realized I still had an hour to eat & make the 7:55 show.
Instead of staying home and getting a pizza as I has been considering, I cleaned up, threw on my creme-colored Return Of The Jedi sweatshirt and decided to give the new Cool Ranch tacos at Taco Bell a try. Even before I left the house I knew I was going to spill & stain my newly beloved sweatshirt but I wore it anyway.
Soon after leaving the drive-through and indulging in the Cool Ranch taco, I noticed a spot on my sweatshirt. How embarrassing, I knew this was going to happen! I try my best to suck it clean, while finishing my taco, not noticing that up ahead I’m driving straight into a DUI check-point and there’s no way out. This taco situation was actually a welcome distraction. Suddenly I was thanking God for this taco in my lap and stain on my shirt, because if not for that food I most certainly would have been smoking weed on my way to the theater (though go be fair I probably would way taken a different route off the main-roads like I normally do and would never have come across this roadblock in the first place). I was also glad I had decided against drinking first. That being said, I was still majorly nervous as all fuckin hell as I was literally about to be under the bright lights of a barrage of cops and I did have a pipe & a huge canister of weed in the compartment under my elbow and just my luck, my medicinal marijuana card just expired two days ago. I had gone to get it renewed on my day off, but the place I drove to was closed down. I figured I’d let it wait until this weekend. I was now fearing my procrastination & addictions were going to be the end of me. I’ve actively avoided checkpoints for years and now hear I stupidly stumbled into one. I come to a stop with the few cars in the line ahead of me and the cops disperse onto us like predators onto their prey. I roll down my window as the middle-aged Latino officer approaches…
“Where you coming from?” he asks authoritatively as I hand him my driver’s license.
Even though I’m really not doing anything wrong I nervously respond with, “My house,” then I add, “On my way to the movies,” hoping that the tacos act as my alibi and affirm the authenticity of my immediacy.
“What movie are you going to see?” he quickly quips back. Suddenly my mind is blank. I seriously forgot the name of this fuckin movie I’ve been dying to see!
“Uhhhhhhh…… Spring Breakers!” I finally recall. I think I’m dead for sure and onto the next more intense level of inspection. But… no!
“Aw, cool, hope its good!” he retorts with an almost small sense of recognition & honesty and waves me through. I guess I made it! That was close! Or was it? Is this shit all in my head? Considering the movie’s all about sex, drugs, killing, and unadulterated debauchery perhaps he didn’t really know it or endorse it, and I luckily talked my way through some shit.
After safely arriving at my destination I parked my car, finished my tacos and smoked a few bowls now that I was in the clear. I knew one of the biggest reasons I wanted to see this movie on opening day was to observe the shock & awe of mass of stupid teeny-bopper-Justin-Bieber-Selena-Gomez-Disney-Nickelodeon-obsessed girls that were going to have the minds blown and eyes raped. This is a Harmony Korine movie after all. Offensive is to be expected. I was right.
As a continued hindrance in my adventure into the theater, I had to wait frustrated by the automatic ticket machine while I waited FOREVER for my MoviePass app to load & work on my phone to credit my card to get in. While I was there, a pair of noticeably dressed-up girls awkwardly tried to navigate the machine only to get confused & frustrated and give-up when they were prompted to use a rewards card if so desired, retreating to the box-office line of lemmings twenty deep instead. Finally I get my tickets and concede that I’m going to be stuck in a deep line to the concessions and will probably miss a few trailers judging at the slow-rate both sides were moving. Even more unfortunate, I was bummed I was going to miss walking into the theater when it was bright so I could see all the young dumb girls in attendance about to get their minds fucked. As I waited, I did see a few more packs of chicks that were obviously naively navigating their way in ignorance toward the theater, and I wasn’t surprised when I saw a few turned away. When I approached the entrance to the theater I saw a security guard standing firmly in front of the door and a stern woman with a short, blonde, butch haircut stopping people from entering. “Are you girls still sure you still want to go in?” I heard her say. At first I thought she was just a disgusted customer prompting people for what the were in for, but later as I took my seat, I saw her standing by the exit and realized she was a manager on patrol preventing sneakers from entering. The little I was able to gather from here and there, I knew she dispised this movie and seemingly didn’t want anyone to see it as she egregiously orbited the exit in disdain. I found this amuzing.
The manager’s actions were only affirming my assumption that this movie was going to be fucked-up and not what the “target audicense” had in mind at all. This was confirmed as the film opens with an aggressive, no holes-barred montage of close-up, in-your-face party on the beach montage of topless college girls getting spewed on by frat boys’ beer-bottle pretend-cocks as if it were piss or cum. All set to a loud dubstep soundtrack. It was so funny watching the manager turn-her head away in disgust while shots lingered on crotches or zoomed-in on tits. It was so aggressive and unapologetic as if the director was saying, “Fuck you, I know what you thought you were in for, but no Disney bullshit here.” That was one of Harmony Korine’s many wise decisions at play. Let’s take some of the most wholesome stars in America and get them fuckin’ dirty! I feel like he really surrounded himself with great people on this one, another wise choice. I felt like there was a great team in place here. Much of his early stuff has been almost unwatchable (sorry Mike), but here a real sense of he knows what he wanted to accomplish was at play. I’m usualy not a fan of dubstep either, but hiring Skrillex to do the the score was a perfect choice, and the dude that did the rest of the score was really good too. The editing & cinematography were sharp and inventive. The use of lightning & color in this film was amazing. Korine has alwas had a knack for capturing a culture at their worst and there is no difference here. This is definitely from the same guy that brought us “Kids” and “Gummo”, just louder, brighter, a bit more polished, and dare I say, even (slighty) more mature. Sure there was still long, lingering, close-up, gratutious shots of girls’ crotches and breasts, but the uses of many different cameras, along with scenes & sequences being given to us out of order with creative editing, was very slick and refreshing. The robbery scene was ingeniously executed. And of course there is tons of humor, this is a Korine Pic after all. There is definetely tons of laughs all through-out, those most come from James Franco’s rapper/gangsta character, Alien. The dance routine that the ski-masked girls do around his piano while wearing bikini tops and holding assault rifles all while singing Britney Spears will forever bring a smile to your face if you ever hear the Pop Princess’ ballad ever again.
All this being said, even though this was a great movie, it definetely wasn’t perfect. There were a few missteps here and there that I easily noticed. I feel like there might have been a lot of improving going on, especially with Franco, and some of it was a bit ridicuouls, like the overuse of the word, “y’all”. Having Selena Gomez,-Mrs. Justin Bieber (or ex I guess)-as the moral anchor for the beginning of the story was a great choice and they really should have taken her further because once she’s gone the rest of the characters are really underdeveloped to the point of not even knowing their names, but now they are the main focus of the story like two unnamed Thelma & Louise’s strung-out on cocaine. I had to wonder a few times if Harmony sort of got-off on filming his wife naked so much and nearly gang-banged on screen. There were a few moments I chuckled to myself imaging the young teeny-bopper girls in the crowd turning to each other and asking, “Is this what porn looks?” But then I remembered that in this day & age, the kids probably aren’t so naive or shocked by much anymore. Unfortunately I think this film will be idolized & reveered for all the wrong reasons. Douche bag jocks, frat guys, and wiggers are all sure to love it for all the sex, guns, and drugs involved meanwhile, up-and-coming females will certainly try to emulate the behaviours of Vanessa Hudgens and the rest of their idols jumping headstrong into copious amounts of immoral self-indulgence. Hmmm, ok, well maybe that second part isn’t so bad, but really this movie should be loved for its art more than its substance. The music, the cinematography, the editing, the lighting, the humor, and the way it all ‘Harmon’iously came together is why this film should be treasured.
And so it begins… My year-long subscription with MoviePass has commenced and for the next 12 months I will be trying to see every major movie released in theaters that looks remotely interesting. All for 30 bucks a month. I was a little pissed when my card arrived and I was informed that you can’t see the same movie more than once since I had specially asked them about that before for I joined. It’s suppose to be “unlimited” but in reality there are a bunch of fuckin limits. No IMAX, no 3D, only one movie a day, and now apparently, no movie more than once. Best believe I’m going to find ways of squeezing out all I can to really get my money’s worth. But, besides all that, it is still a pretty awesome app & club to be in and can still get the theater club points for free drinks, popcorn, & more free tickets.
Worked great though, just showed up to the theater, signed in on the app on my phone, my club card gets credited, buy my ticket at the kiosk & slide in my MoviePass, BA-DA-BING, ticket printed, along with a free popcorn ticket which I saved for later since I was sneaking in gummy bears.
Seeing as it was a Wednesday evening and a pretty indie, not popular movie I figured it’d be pretty dead inside. When I strolled into the theater 5 mins before showtime, it looked like I had the whole place to myself. I smiled largely since i though that had never happened that I could recall, but quickly had to rescind the smirk, when I quickly noticed a young, hot couple sitting all the way at the top in the very back. Strange that they were in there all alone and chose to sit there, so I immediately begun to imagine that they must have had ulterior motives for their location choice and begun to imagine all the Alanis Morrisette-type escapades they had planned to engage in. I started to believe they were resenting me for walking in and stealing the lone theater away from them and putting a stop to the kinky fun they had planned.
I sat close to the front &idle as per usual and hoped my distance wouldn’t keep them from being naughty. Perhaps I was far enough away that they could still do what they wanted to do. Hell, maybe they wanted someone in there for the excitement of being caught or seen. Maybe I’d hear some strange sound & turn around. Or maybe it was all just in my imagination. A few mins later a few more couples strolled in and all hope of something weird happening was dashed.
The movie itself was nothing special. I’m glad I didn’t pay for it. It was short but felt painfully stretched out, especially James Gandolfini’s scenes and the constant attempts to connect & compare to the 2008 Economy Crash & Obama Election. So unnecessary. There were a few cool camera shots & editing, a little gore, Brad Pitt was good, but it mostly felt like a weird mix of a stage play & student film, not a great ganster, heist, or revenge flick. Strange that it got such a wide release. Power of the Pitt I guess. I think it would have much more memorable an experience if a chick was giving head in the back-row to her boyfriend. Well, I’ve got a year of “unlimited” movies, who knows what could happen…
It was Friday the 13th and I was bound to have bad luck. Ok, maybe that’s not true, perhaps just a bit of disappointment, though even that word seems a little wrong or harsh to use. However, it’s the first one that comes to mind.
I awoke this “holiday” not even aware that it was one of the infamous Fridays this year. In between multiple cycles of “snoozing” my alarm, I had heard the obnoxious buzz of my phone vibrating against the hard wood of my nightstand, around 7:30am, just 20 mins before I had to get out of bed for good. I figured it was probably my boss, so I chose to ignore it. But then my sleepy subconscious quickly deduced that one other person also texts early in the morning, so I might want to check it.
Sure enough it was a text from the pretty girl I’ve hopelessly attempting to court for the last few months. Once again she was rejecting my efforts at making a date, this time citing this cursed day itself as the roadblock to our romance. While her beauty alone is simply breath-taking, I find her neurosis & quirkiness far more compelling & oddly attractive, so this excuse was not much of a surprise. I tried to take it as a positive. At least she was thinking of me early in the morning.
I try to not to really get caught up in superstitions, I think they only have power if you let them, that being said, they are still fun to play with. And so, for the most part, I usually enjoy the Friday the 13th & have fun and/or good luck, adversely of how it may work for others. So I try to embrace it. I leave the house in a giddy mood of the possibilities that still may lay ahead for this day & weekend. As I exit the house in my Dickies work shorts & white t-shirt, I see what looks to be a brigade of bulging grey clouds off in the distance. I check my phone; thunderstorms 100% certain today. I’m in luck after all, rainy days mean less work for me and I get done early. I race back inside and change into pants, long-sleeves, sweatshirt & jacket. Bring it on, rain. Soon. Please.
But it didn’t come. Well, at least not at first. As I progressed through the first few hours of my day, I eagerly awaited for the cavalry of clouds to strike with all it’s might, but was only greeted with mere sprinkles in the parts of town I was in. The pretty girl from earlier once again texted me to inform me of the status of the storm as it unleashed its fury upon Escondido. Thunder, lightning, 40mph winds, rain, & hail quickly engulfed the county, soon drenching me too as I invoked the classic “Splash & Dash” protocol and finished my last few stops. What am I going to do now? I’m off early, have no date, and it’s Friday the 13th. I’M GOING TO THE MOVIES ALONE.
All I knew about this movie going in was the less you know, the better. One of my favorite comedians & podcasters about movies, Doug Benson, had raved about it and kept re-iterating not to know anything when you see it. The mystery seemed compelling and compounded with the fact that it was getting a 92% on Rotten Tomatoes, my interest was more than piqued. It was a must-see.
After having done quick errand shopping after work, I braved the rain and traveled to the Kirkorian theater in Vista. I hadn’t been there in years, but always remembered it being nice. I needed to eat and was hoping for a slice of pizza, but had no such luck. The parking lot was packed every where. I decided to eat at 5 Guys even though I had already had a burger for lunch. I was nervous it might take a while to get my food and I was racing against the clock now. I got my burger and quickly scarffed it down. After lamenting the fact I didn’t have someone with me to make purchasing their delicious fries worth it and having to miss out on those treats, I embraced my loneliness and left, got centered, then entered the theater.
One of my newest pet-peeves (besides all these fast-casual burger-places making giant orders of fries that are impossible & expensive to eat alone), is the service at concessions at the movies. HOLY SHIT!!!! They are so fuckin’ slow! I was hoping it would be different here at a different theater than I’m normally use to going to, but it wasn’t. I chose the line with only 2 people in front of me and it took 15+ mins to get through. By the time I got in, I had missed a few previews. Luckily I made it in just in time to experience something new, I’ve never seen or heard before at the movies.
You know how every theater has an opening “Turn off your phone, don’t talk, enjoy the show” type video & song? Well they are no different here, but this song is so catchy and up-tempo that apparently if you’re a regular visitor here, you MUST clap along at certain key points in the song. There must have been lots of regulars in the crowd, because the theater erupted in unanimous claps here and there. Something to the effect of, “Dun-dun-dun-dun; CLAP! CLAP! CLAP!; dun-dun-dun-dun; CLAP! CLAP! CLAP!” Very entertaining and engaging, caught me off guard, though since I was sitting only three rows from the front and this enormous explosion of claps was coming from behind me before the movie even started.
Now its so hard to review this movie without giving anything away. Telling you whether I liked it or not, or comparing it to other movies will shed too much light on it and taint some of the mystery or intrigue. I’m not saying if its good, and I’m not saying if its bad. I’ll just say it’s a modern, unique take on an old slasher-story and has elements of lots of movies in it. It was funnier than I expected and I was entertained throughout, but it wasn’t as mind-blowing as I thought it was going to be. Perhaps I set my expectations too high, as I often do in my life.
As I left the theater, I realized it was still somewhat early and the storm was now only intermittently doing its damage. I considered pressing my luck and trying again to see if the neurotic object of my affection had re-considered leaving her fortress of safety, but thought better of it. Instead, the thought of a few drinks and doing some writing began calling my name, so I headed home to begin work on this here blog, typing away as I listened to the sounds of wind & rain release the rest of their fury to finish of this Freaky Friday.
What? You wondering why I went to see this CGI Transformers knockoff? Don’t worry, it’s not because I thought it looked good. It’s because it’s directed by Peter Berg, the writer and director of one of my FAVORITE MOVIES OF ALL TIME Very Bad Things (1998). Because of Very Bad Things I will now go and watch anything he makes, even if it’s the next Garfield sequel in 3D, because If I keep showing my support for him (voting with my dollar) he may make something as awesome as Very Bad Things. I know it’s a long shot, but we all have to have dreams.
Battleship the movie may have cost me more then my discounted (I’m a Grand Theater Card Holder) ten dollar movie ticket because I ran a red light to get to the theater in time, and I saw a bright flash! Did this movie just cost me over a hundred dollars to see?
Every red light, including the one I ran, no parking in lot had to wedge car between two cars and create a spot and hope to not get towed, ran from car, running up escalator, already five minutes late if there is a line I’m screwed, only one person ahead of me, I think I’m going to make it…
I, a little out of breath and just short from wheezing, say “one for Battleship please.” She says “Do you have a Grand Card?” I say “Oh yes I do! Also, has the movie started yet?” She replies “Still have eight minutes of trailers.”
Eight minutes! Holly jeez! I get to pee!
The theater is suprisingly full. I pace the front looking up at everyone, trying to find that perfect spot. Nothing. Damn, looks like I’m going to have to sit next to that guy, oh wait, what I’m I doing? I don’t sit up there! I turn around and see five rows of empty, all to myself seats! I try the middle fifth row. Still to far back. I hurdle over into the fourth row, perfect. Feet up, time to relax. Entertain me Peter. You’ve got to have some dark humor thing in this somewhere.
Funny intro. An almost reenactment of a viral video that was going around about a guy breaking into a convenience store from the roof. Good job Mr. Berg.
Then lots of shiny CGI, lots of screaming, lots of explosions, the end. Oh, and surprisingly It did have a battle at one point based on the 1931 released Battleship Board Game. “B6?”.
Drove home, cooked some lamb chops and mashed potatoes, and decided against my new strange overwhelming propaganda induced feelings to join the Navy.
While at the movies with a friend to see The Rum Diary (2011) (Side note: The Rum Diary is directed by Bruce Robinson, director, and voice of the boil, of the must see, and if you haven’t you must, movie called How to Get Ahead in Advertising (1989)!) I noticed another movie playing at the same time called A Dangerous Method. Why haven’t I heard of this movie? Probably because it’s crap. I walk over and check out the poster for the film, glance down to see who’s the director, and it’s David Cronenberg! What! Now I’m really thinking why haven’t I heard of this film! I make a mental note of it’s times, and already begin planing my future venture to see it before I’ve even finished buying the tickets for my current show.
The next day I get the opportunity to go to the theater alone and see this new David Cronenberg film. The theater is abandoned as usual for it’s midday on a workday. The best time to be at a theater.
I buy my ticket, but turns out I am forty five minutes early, much to early to just sit in the theater. Time to find food.
The theater only sells candy and soda, they even call it a candy bar instead of snack bar. No hotdogs? What crap.
Chinese buffet? To much hassle.
Generic restaurant? Let’s see the menu. Generic food, outrageously high prices, nah.
Coffee shop? I need more then a sugar pastry.
Ah, Subway, “eat fresh”, let’s see how fresh. Wow, great prices for Australia. She asks “6 inch or foot long?”, I know I just need the 6 inch, I reply “Foot long please.”.
I take my sub to the car, wrap it in a sweater, then back to the theater to eat it in my theater seat while waiting for the movie to start.
The young Megan Fox lookalike rips my ticket, I’m in, then this muscle head, big buff guy with a grumpy “this buff thing is a lot of work and it’s still not getting me laid” look on his face stops me and asks “What’s in the sweater?” I say “Subway.” He says “No Subway.” I turn to the girl and smile and say “Oh sneaky”, she laughs, joins my plight, and gives the buff guy a moan of disagreement. Good job buff guy, you just showed this girl you are “the man”, no Megan Fox for you. (Side note #2: I’m just jealous of his biceps.)
Sitting in my car I take a big bite and then remember I just had a tooth pulled, so it felt really weird, and it sends subway chunks up my unhealed gum hole. Ruined my appetite. I just wrapped up the rest of the sandwich, left it in the car, and went back inside.
The movie starts and a middle aged chubby librarian looking woman and myself are the only two people in the theater. She has no food with her. Excellent.
Keira Knightley was not quite believable, I don’t think it was because of her performance, I think it was just because I couldn’t stop thinking “That’s Keira Knightley.” Michael Fassbender was less recognizable, but his performance was pretty bland. Not his fault though, that was his character. Viggo Mortensen does a decent job like he always does. But he’s much better as a psychopath, which you think he may actually achieve a few times here, and that’s what makes his performance the best. A Cronenberg film you will see, be pleased with, and then soon forget.
The drive home my car smelled like a school cafeteria. What’s in that Subway? I threw it away when I got home and made a PB&J sandwich.
As I drive to the theater I’m wondering why I’m going to see a sequel to a movie that sucked? I rationalize it’s for the mere eye candy pleasure of it. I also wonder why I’m going to see it in 3D since the last movie I tried to watch in 3D (Ghost Rider 2) I walked out, not because the movie sucked, I never got that far, but because the 3D sucked. I also remember complaining (with the rest of the world) about how Clash of the Titans (2010) did their 3D in post, which made it suck even worse, and that was hard to do. So with all this sucking, and none of it the good kind, why I’m I going? I don’t know.
Early afternoon, the theater is deserted of employees and patrons. I flag down a girl with eye contact and a hand gester, she is opening boxes off in the distance, she looks at me suprised, and then runs off into another room. Strange. Then a man appears in front of me seemingly out of thin air.
I ask ”Can I get one for Titans 3D please?” He responds “Now?”.
Holy crap was this movie awful. Not for the lack of it being Hollywood, everyone knew how to do there jobs on the set to create a product marketed as a movie, but this was just a job, a paycheck to everyone involved, what crap. How can so much shiny action cause so much yawning?
But you know what? The 3D was superb! Excellent! The glasses were different. Not all glasses are created equal apparently. This was the Warwick Grand Cinema in Australia, my go to 3D theater now. And I must write down the details of thier 3D so I can check other theaters to make sure it is the same. I will post the 3D specifications soon!
“I’m not happy…at all.”
I awoke this gloomy Saturday morning, not wanting to do much. Maybe it was the weather or the previous night of drinking & disappointment at the bar, but I had little motivation to leave my bed. Though that’s usually true every weekend. “Why am I awake?” “Why am I not dead yet?” are usually the first things I ask myself. Once I figure out a suitable-enough answer, I formulate a plan. I discovered my scheduled date for the night was canceled (not really to my surprise) & I knew I had the house to myself all-day so that compounded upon my desire to do nothing. Well, except smoke bowls and listen to music.
I spent the next hour or two smoking weed and bumping music on Pandora & YouTube, which eventually gave way to a marathon listening of Enya tunes. Yeah, that’s right, Enya! It must have been the music and the weed and the incense and the overcast skies, but that shit left me feeling somber & nostalgic.
Eventually my stomach began to growl, so I decided I needed to leave to get something to eat. Instead of listening to Pandora like I normally do, I embraced my reflective mood and listened to my old music on my iPod instead. Really bringing me back and keeping me in that certain place. I ate at where I’ve decided is the shittiest SubMarina in town, and probably won’t go back, then decided to follow through on at least one of my errands I had planned for the day and went to get my haircut.
I got my haircut like I always do by Jamie, an old friend & high-school sweetheart of one of my oldest & best friend’s, Mike. She always does a kick-ass job and I never have to tell her what I want. And she gives the best hair-wash/head-massage I’ve ever felt. We always reflect on old friends and how’s so & so doing, and she tells me about her husband & baby. Everybody’s doing great. Everybody has moved on with their wonderful lives, I’m just the loser 30 year-old stoner who lives with his mom. Which brings me to the movie…
After leaving the haircut place, I decide to check movie times. I’ve got nothing else to do and I know I need to make an entry for this site. I was close to San Marcos and to my surprise, “Jeff, Who Lives At Home” is now playing there. I had been planning on driving down to San Diego to see it playing in Hillcrest soon, but now I wouldn’t have to! And even more serendipitous was the fact that it was playing at 4:20! It was now 3:05, just enough time for me to quickly stop by Wal-Mart for some new deodorant & windshield wipers and get baked before taking in this film about a 30 year-old stoner who lives with his mom. I thought I might relate to it a bit, but holy shit, I had no idea it would speak to me the way it did.
I got high, got my ticket, got my soda & snacks and found my seat in the second row back up the stairs. I thought it was a good seat until a couple old ladies came sitting behind me and incessantly chatting. Why does this keep happening to me?! The annoying old ladies always seem to find me! Luckily they aren’t as bad as ones from one of the last movies I saw, but I’m contemplating sitting alone real close to the screen like my colleague on this site does. There were a couple promising trailers, namely a thriller called “Sound Of My Voice” and Wes Anderson’s new film, which honestly looks like it could be his best.
The old ladies behind me proved just how dumb they were when the film began, it started with a quote on a blank screen. First, there was one line, I don’t remember exactly what it said, but the woman behind me said, “I always loved that quote” then the rest of the quote finished and was noted as being said by Jeff, the fictional main character. I laugh to myself at her stupidity. The gist of the quote, however, was something to the effect of looking for signs in life to find your fate. This theme was then further hammered in by an opening monologue by “Jeff”. He used the movie “Signs” as a metaphor for finding signs in life. Everything happens for a reason and follow the clues, left in movies & life to speak to you. This was a BIG theme of the movie so I dove right in. I related to it even before I stepped in, but then I really got caught up in on it. So much of his feelings & philosophies are exactly the same as mine. I am this man. So it was even much more of a shock, surprise, mind-fuck and fun-ride when I quickly discovered what the plot of this movie is! This aging, sad, lonely, stoner, after receiving a wrong-number call for “Kevin”, goes on a quest to discover just who Kevin is! WHO IS KEVIN?! He spends the whole movie searching for the mystery & meaning behind who Kevin is. The same thing I ask myself every day. Sure, I was high as fuck, just as he was, but it sucked me in and spoke to me in a way unlike I think it could to anyone else on the planet. I’m the lost 30 year-old, lonely, sad, stoner searching for Kevin. I’m trying to follow the signs. I’m trying to discover my fate.
As I said, Mike is one of my oldest & best friends, however, I haven’t seen or spoken to him in almost 3 years. We’ve had our ups & downs, and he’s had some troubles, which is part of why he lives in Baton Rouge now, but lately we’ve happily reconnected again through Facebook & Internet blogs. But that’s it. Until today. Imagine my surprise as I exited the theater, after indulging in this magically emotional mirror of film, and pleasantly feeding on its message of fate, meanings, and signs, only to look down at my phone and see a text that reads, “MIKE FOGERTY: What are you up to tonight?” HOLY SHIT!!! Can this get anymore surreal? I tell him about the movie I just saw and the amazing parallels I took from it. A little while later he calls me up and I hear my best friend’s voice for the first time in three years. We laugh & talk like nothing’s changed. And, in many ways, nothing has.
I woke up from my afternoon nape on the couch. Quick car errand. Some internet time. Then off to Grand Cinema Warwick. I found out the other day a movie called The Raid was playing there. Never heard of it. I did see a poster for it that claimed it’s “The best action movie in decades”. So hell, why not.
I get to the theater at 6:30pm, the movie starts at 6:45pm, I’m not as early as I’d like, but I got a feeling this movie will not be busy. Up the escalator I find a huge line for tickets, oh crap! Then I remember why I didn’t think it would be busy, Hunger Games is out and everyone, EVERYONE, wants to see it. I too am curious for the mere fact that the films concept reminds me of a Japanese film I love called Battle Royale (2000). If you havn’t seen Battle Royale I’m sure you’ve seen one of it’s stars, Chiaki Kuriyama, in Kill Bill: Vol. 1 (2003) as Gogo Yubari (the Japanese school girl who attacks Uma Thurman).
“One for The Raid please.” And he replies, “Just one?”
I’m allowed into the theater with my one ticket, theater number four, time to pee first, then into the theater. As I enter the theater I see the screen, weird, the screen is really high up. It looks like they used a smaller theater screen in a bigger stadium seating theater and just raised it off the ground a story to trick us stupids.
Two couples in the theater so far, not bad. I find a good seat as well, good. Then more people come in. I have one buffer seat from me and the loud talking guy behind me (which I hope he stops when the movie starts) and I’m right at the edge to to close to the screen, so no one should sit in front of me. Each couple that enter I watch them hoping they leave this area alone. Four couples, a group of guys, and so far so good. Then the movie starts, one more couple dart in, sit right behind me, and start playing with plastic crunchy plasticy loud plastic!
The movie starts with no credits, no title cards, no distribution company logos, just the lights dim and we see a man praying quietly to himself in the wee quiet hours of the pre-morning, when everything is silent, except the man two rows back from me still talking loudly as if the trailers were on! Madness!
He finally queues in, shuts up (kinda), and as if they planed it, the plastic wrapped couple start up. Now I’m talking the first ten minutes or more of this movie is so quiet, which is cool, you really get the feel for how everything around the character is still asleep, you just here the very slight noises he makes, very effective, except for the self proclaimed film producer behind me who has decided with his infinite wisdom that the movie needed some mysterious figure off camera crunching up plastic grocery bags during this mans morning routine.
Whoa! The character in the film just started talking to his wive and it’s subtitled! I didn’t even know it was going to be! Hahaha! I have no problem watching subtitled films, but it’s funny to find out in the theater 15 minutes into the movie! No idea what language they are speaking.
Just Googled it, it’s an Indonesian film in Indonesian language set in Indonesia staring Indonesians and written, directed and edited by this guy:
Crunchy plastic couple sitting behind me, your killing me, oh, a van just pulled up in the film and BAM! Crazy music blasts so loud in contrast to the silent beginning I feel like its cleaning out my brain and washing away everyone around me!
The movie then slows down, quiets down, and introduces some new characters. I can hear plastic again. A slow ease to the apartment building (the one featured on the films posters) using some average shots and borderline acting. A few average shootouts.
Then holy crap. Holy. Crap. Actor Iko Uwais (the guy in the beginning morning quiet scenes, and on the poster) gets into a hand to hand fight with some guys. WHAT! Now the action has started! And does it start, wow. Nothing matters around me anymore. I am in awe. When his fight ends you can hear everyone in the theater sigh in relief! NO JOKE! NOT KIDDING! We all heard each other, then we laughed with amazement at what we just saw! I could feel the permagrin on my face, it felt good, I knew more was coming, I was happy, this was going to be fun. And it was.
The ending unfortunately was as average as the beginning. But I still walked out grinning. Got in my car and drove it like a race car home. If their was a rating system for action films this would get the highest rating, the highest.
Got up at 4:30am. It’s still dark. I shouldn’t be up. My alarm seems to think I should, so I obey. Zombie like I dress, brush teeth, pack leftover scrambled ostrich egg from the night before into a plastic container, put it into my backpack with a banana, oat bar, and a half drank small oj. I’m I awake? Or are these just primal instincts at work and I’m just dreaming, sleepwalking? Feels painful, in my eyes, must be real then.
I am dropped off a Bikram Joondalup, teach the 5:45am class, then close shop and shower. It’s 8:00am and I think I am awake now.
The movie I plan on seeing doesn’t start until 9:45am, so I eat my ostrich, oat bar, banana, and oj. More time to kill. I have started reading a book a week after being inspired by a blog post on inoveryourhead.net. So I take out my book (History’s Forgotten Milestones by Joseph Cummins) and read the required amount of pages I’m supposed to to fulfill the page quota for today. It’s 9:00am, time to leave.
The mall is a quick walk across the street the the studio I’m at. Entering the mall I pass by half open shops, people I question in my head as to why they are here shopping so early, and store employees with expressions that give away the fact that they are not fully awake yet and are having a rough time coping with the upbeat techno music their shop is blaring, especially because it’s mixing with the neighboring stores upbeat techno morning music.
Exiting the other side of the mall to the movie theater I pass through a group of teenagers throwing candy Runts at each other (Runts consist of miniature hard candies shaped like bananas, apples, pears, etc.). A banana or two come very close to bouncing off me, and my rage machine kicks in, I instantly hate these kids.
The theater is still closed, so I sit and watch the teens chase each other around in circles, giggling, play fighting, throwing more runts, why can I only think about my strategic ways to hurt them in an all out attack if one confronts me, or a banana hits me. Why do I hate them. Why do I want them to be quiet and calm. That would be boring. I’m I boring? I’m I that cranky old man I use to hate? I use to be just like them.
The theater opens. I enter hoping to not find the teens in the ticket purchase line as they have ran in before me. Good, they are playing shooting video games. “One ticket for 21 Jump Street please… Yes… Just one.”
As I pee in the theater bathroom I notice my pee is pretty dark orange and I don’t pee for long. Good. Means I’m dehydrated and as long as I don’t drink anything more I will not have to pee in the middle of the movie.
Theater number 4. No people. Small theater. Strange? The movie just came out and is advertised excessively over the top here in Australia, even this theater has two life sized displays plus multiple posters hanging about. Oh well, at least I get the theater to myself, a perk of coming to the early early show. And if the teens were coming, at least one of them would be here by now, the movies about to start, or at least the next twenty minutes or more of trailers are.
Last trailer, movies starting! Oh, I just heard someone enter! Damn, almost made it. Who the hell comes to see a movie at 9:45am in the morning? What is this person doing here? Awesome! They are opening some sort of plastic wrapped thing! Oh, and every time they retrieve a new treat from it the same plastic wrap noise! This person can not go an hour and a half without stuffing LOUD food into their face? Do they have a medical condition that requires this? And why such a loud food? Why pay money for an audio visual experience and ruin half of it? Are they also wearing funny sunglasses to muck up their sight? Or maybe they are such an emotional person that they need something to dim down the emotions the movie will convey to them, so they may feel just like us regular feelers.
The first half of the movie is so funny I forget about the plastic wrapped person behind me! I’m laughing out loud, I even fall over in my seat holding my stomach at one point! This movie is awesome! Then it slows down for the second half, then it fades off and ends. But boy was that first half funny! Worth it just for that! It sets itself up for a sequel, and I’ve read online a sequel is in production, so I have another half a movie to look forward to!