Friday, September 09, 2005
Irregular Feature
For the second week running, I have no Movies I Have No Intention of Seeing pseudo-review to offer you. These are the dog-days of late summer where we've switched from blockbuster releases to burning off inventory of shit that's been lying around under couches and behind stacks of old pizza boxes in studios and distribution houses all over the country. For instance, did you know that an $80 million sci-fi effects-heavy action movie called A Sound of Thunder starring Ben Kingsley and Edward Burns was released last week? No? Neither did anybody else.

From what I read, this film was shot in the Czech Republic in 2002 based on a Ray Bradbury short story. Most of the set was destroyed and shooting delayed by catastrophic floods in and around Prague that year. Then the original director walked off the film. It was finished by another director and then... the world waits with bated breath, their cranky Burns-Kingsley-dinosaur-hunter-movie jones uncomfortably unfulfilled.

This is the kind of thing that gets released late August/early September. See, in order for me to put any kind of time or effort into a proper Movies I Have No Intention of Seeing, I have to be presented with something that at least has some kind of pop cultural currency in order to make it interesting. Sure, most of the time I title something MIHNIoS and spend 8,000 words talking about my kids or Barbara Bush or celebrity genitalia, but the point is in order to warrant the actual title I have to at least be aware of what exists.

This week the only movies I'm aware of are the Sam Jackson-Eugene Levy formula craptacular The Man, something about an exorcism of Emily something and that one (which I just heard about for the first time yesterday) about the hard-luck girl finding redemption with some grizzled old dudes starring Robert Redford, Morgan Freeman and Hillary Swank Jennifer Lopez. Even my dream pairing of Redford-Lopez, the co-star billing I've been fantasizing about since I happened across the Encore channel's back-to-back double-bill of All the President's Men and The Wedding Planner a few months ago isn't enough to draw even my satiric eye. Like everything else I dream about, the realization is sure to be a bitter disappointment.

It's just like the time I ran into Richard Simmons in line at the Dairy Queen in Huntington Beach. First of all, I was kicking myself for not wearing my home-made "Sweatin' to the Oldies" tribute T-shirt so he could sign it. But there he was, just as I'd imagined him: dolphin shorts, tank top, giant orange afro, man-boobs a-blazin'. The first thing that hit me was that he just seemed so... small. You expect your heroes to be larger than life and it can be a shock when you realize that they're actually under 5' tall.

I went up to him and introduced myself. I started giving him my "I was a fat kid too" testimony. And just like I promised myself I wouldn't, I started to cry. The part of my life story when I was in fourth grade and I ate 4 pounds of straight butter because I had no friends always gets me no matter what. Hang on...

...OK, back.

I expected some words of encouragement, some empathy tears, some soft white lighting and tinkly piano music in the background, but you know what I got from Richard Simmons? Nothing. He just kind of sighed, walked up to the counter, ordered his extra large mint Oreo Blizzard and wandered away.

The little fucker didn't even try to hit on me. I got bupkes.

At that point I couldn't even eat my child-size vanilla cone. As the glass door closed behind him, I screamed--I mean screamed, Howard Dean-style--after him "Your Deal-A-Meal infomercials are a total lie!", ran home sobbing and didn't get out of bed for a week. I've never eaten so much butter in my life.

Want to know how I got better? It dawned on me: that Mr. Fitness motherfucker was gorging himself at the Dairy Queen. All my illusions were shattered and thus was I disabused of my preconceptions and began to heal.*

I imagine any viewing of An Unfinished Life would be roughly on that scale. So I refuse to consider it.

Besides all that, we've got our first soccer games this weekend, the NFL season starts (Chargers vs. Cowboys, Sunday at 1 PT), my sister is moving, we've got a mouse in the garage that is trying to get into the house AND I think my dog just ate a lizard. I just don't have time for you people right now, is that OK? Six posts per week and still with the demands. They can't all be gold, people. Pace yourselves.

This post on the Narcissus Scale: 7.9


*= Of course a little later I reasoned that maybe he was just in there getting something for an invalid friend, like a fat person who couldn't fit out their own door anymore whom Richard would then talk out of eating his extra-large Blizzard and take the first step to a healthier, more furniture-friendly future. Try as I might, I just can't stay mad at Richard Simmons.


Powered by Blogger