Monday, April 25, 2011

Abridged Print Edition for 04/29/11

Needless to say, the last couple of weeks have been less than productive for me- except for the whole “healing and not bleeding to death” part. I was even becoming bored with the butt groove on the couch (which, of course, I managed to deepen as I convalesced).
After 20 days out (and no pay) I went back to work this Monday. It took all of half an hour for me to be ready to get the fuck out for another 20 days.
There are only so many times you can pep talk yourself with “be thankful you have a job” before you start to want to bitch slap that Pollyanna of a thought right out of your head. Can you dig it?
I mean, I didn’t expect any major work to get done while I was out- but I did at least figure some of the small stuff might get taken care of. Yeah- fuck that.
And, I come back to not one, but two broken air conditioners in my work areas. It was 82 in both rooms when I left Monday afternoon. Oppressively hot? No. But one of my workspaces (the one I spend the most time in, of course) is enclosed- except for the door. Even with the little box fan running on “High” I have exactly zero air circulation. And then there’s the other room- where I kind of require a clean environment to be able to work (clean being relative in my business). Which, of course, means that when I get there Monday morning, the mental midgets had left the doors propped open so all the sand, dust and grit from the shop could blow in.
Yep- I’m ready for another 20 days…

Most of my convalescent time I spent watching movies. As I mentioned previously, thank goodness for Netflix.
The majority of what I watched was a mish-mash of dumbass horror movies and lame comedies (with the sheer  volume of titles I had in my queue, I knew I was in for more than a few craptaculars), but there were some standouts. Among them:
“Surveillance“ starring Bill Pullman (the guy who played the fighter pilot president in “Independence Day”- a movie worth watching only for the explosions, because the rest of it is just so stupid), Julia Ormond (a lovely woman whose first starring role was alongside Sean Connery and Richard Gere- no, that’s not a typo- in that steaming pile of cinematic shit known as “First Knight”- which almost single-handedly managed to kill any hope of a decent King Arthur movie ever being made again) and Michael Ironside (he’s one of those “you’d know him if you saw him” guys).
The movie’s worth a look, with Pullman and Ormond playing FBI agents on the trail of a pair of deranged killers- and the three separate tales they get from witnesses to the killers’ latest crimes. I’m always pleasantly surprised when movies aren’t overly formulaic or predictable, and this one delivered nicely.
“The Crimson Rivers” starred Jean Reno and some other French people I didn’t recognize. You may remember Reno from his turn as the title character in “Leon: The Professional” (which also introduced the world to Natalie Portman- judge that however you want). Reno plays a cop investigating a series of bizarre murders in a secluded town in the French Alps. A good mystery yarn, with some strong supporting performances. It’s in French, with subtitles, though (so you may want to skip this one, Mike- ‘cause there aren’t any explosions, either).
“Mutants” and “Bloody Mallory” also hailed from France. The former is about a pair of ambulance drivers trying to radio the army to rescue them from an abandoned hospital where they’ve holed up to a) get out of the blizzard and 2) escape the title baddies, who are suffering from a “Night of the Living Dead”-type virus that is spreading. To me, it’s always interesting to see foreign filmmakers take on the Romero-style zombies.
“Bloody Mallory” was a different sort of movie. That’s the only way I can really describe it. Part supernatural horror, part comedy, part love story. This thing was all over the place- and that’s not an insult.
The title character and her band of buddies (who include a priest, a mute child who can “possess” and control others’ bodies and a 6’6” drag queen) take on a band of demons who are out to break the seventh seal and get the ball rolling on Armageddon. (Please don’t write in and correct my faulty theology. I haven’t read the book of Revelation since eighth grade.) 
“Bloody Mallory” had me laughing the whole way, and wishing they’d made a sequel (and that’s truly rare for me).
Then there was “Grimm”, from the Netherlands, starring no one I had ever heard of. This movie was unique, to say the very least. The movie used the Brothers Grimm tale of Hansel and Gretel as a stepping off point- except they renamed the lead characters Jacob and Maria, made them adults and- instead of them running into a witch who wanted to eat them, they had to deal with a shady benefactor who was playing nice just to steal a kidney for his ailing sister.
There’s also a goat and a donkey. Bizarre, but worth the watch.
Now, just so you don’t get the idea that I sat and watched strictly subtitled movies (I didn’t- I watched all of those last week, when I wasn’t on quite as many painkillers), there was also a little gem called “Primal”, from Australia.
“Primal” is the story of a student archeologist who’s doing his dissertation on some previously undiscovered Aboriginal cave art when he and his friends find some other things best left undiscovered.
It’s not overly gory, though it has a few gross moments- but it is a good scare and a fun watch.

Something else I watched a couple of time was John Carpenter's "The Thing"- which, even now (almost 30 years later)- is one of the most brilliant creature features ever made. For some reason, it seems to run every other Sunday night on whatever “free” movie channel we get…

I put together the Lego star fighter that the Iron Horse gang got for me as a get-well present. Remember when you were a kid- and Lego toys were simple to build? I mean, I was more of a Lincoln Logs kid, but still- I don’t remember Lego needing “how-to” guides. This thing must have a few hundred pieces…

While I'd personally never shop there, the Wal-Mart commercial with the old man firing off an air horn to wake up the two kids is just flat out funny to me. I wonder how long it took before the reactionary asshat brigade started whining about “how dangerous that is”, and how it’s “bad parenting”  and blah, blah, blah, whine, whine, whine, bitch, bitch, bitch?
It’s funny. Get over it…

I was watching “The Cleveland Show” a couple of weeks ago and happened to catch one of the Fox "green" promos, featuring the star of the show- Mike Henry. And no matter how many times I see him, it cracks me up to hear Cleveland's voice coming out of that dweeby white man…