Monday, April 24, 2006

Does Whatever A 2nd Unit Can...

Ok, so today (Monday) turned into a pretty pleasant day. Drove downtown in the afternoon to check out the filming of Spider-Man 3. A sizable stretch of East 9th St. was closed off and transformed into a makeshift New York City. Anything identifying Cleveland was taken down in the cordoned off areas, and stuff like signs for Columbia University were put up. Regular pedestrians (like myself) were allowed to walk along the street (since the stores and companies were still open for business), we just had to stay out of certain areas and couldn’t cross the street at times when the cars were driving by. They were rehearsing a quick driving scene when I was there. A station wagon drove along and pulled to a quick stop at an intersection, the camera truck made a big swerve (as if to avoid hitting something) and the extras along the street acted surprised and shocked. It was actually very cool to watch, and they rehearsed it a couple of times. Sometimes with a taxi involved, sometimes with some other cars. They even had a truck drive by and wet down the pavement to make it look like it rained or something. I don’t think I’m spoiling anything important to the movie. However, I feel invested in the movie now. I’m gonna be going into the theater and keeping my eyes open for it. Oh yeah, spoiler alert: There was a guy with a saxophone. Hope I didn’t ruin the movie for you. Don’t believe me?

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Pure Hollywood magic, baby.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Annual Rituals and Such

100 Girls is one fun little movie. If you haven’t heard of it, don’t sweat it; most people haven’t. Its not particularly well known, and didn’t do too well when it came out in 2000. But, if you haven’t seen it yet, I do recommend tracking it down. Basically the plot boils down to the story of Matthew, a college Freshman in search of his kismetic destiny after a one night stand in an elevator in a blackout. To do that, he’s got to go through an entire dorm full of women to find the one of his dreams, exploring the wacky nature of relationships. And there’s a lot of sex jokes along the way. I think its funny and watching it has become something of an annual ritual for me.

A little context might explain. I was introduced to this movie sophomore year of college at a time when there was a whole mess of drama going around and this movie just kind of put everything on hold for a little. It also provided more than its share of inspiration with the climactic soliloquy Matt gives to a dorm full of women expressing his love. It turns out, doing something similar doesn’t necessarily work in real life, but it sure is a confidence boost. What can I say? It was springtime, love was in the air…

But I digress. Ever since then, our little circle of college buddies has been quoting that movie and watching it annually whenever possible. Its not perfect, its probably not a classic, but damn if its not entertaining, and makes me sad that flicks like American Pie can spawn franchises while stuff like 100 Girls fades into near obscurity.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

April 16 (Happy Easter)

So I've got this hyperactive imagination that kicks in when I see something a little odd. You know those bumper stickers that say "Jesus is my Co-pilot"? Those are kind of odd aren't they? I mean, you kind of worry what would happen if the driver of that car were to all of a sudden take their hands off the wheel and let Jesus have a go for a while. It seems a little arrogant to think that Jesus would manifest himself in physical form to help you drive your car just so you can take your attention off the road to look for old Hardees wrappers. But then I got to thinking, what if Jesus really was driving with me, what kind of car would it be? I've decided that it would be one of those hot rod convertibles, probably white with red flame work. You know, Jesus would call me up in the afternoons, ask if I wanted to go to Arby's, and I'd say "Hell yes, I want to go to Arby's with Jesus!", and Jesus would be like "Sweet mang, I'll be waiting for chu outside," and he'd honk his horn from my driveway. Then I'd be like, "Oh you!" and I'd go outside and wave to him. I'd Say "Hey Zeus!" See, if we hung out all the time, I'd call him Zeus, since we'd be buddies and he'd get the irony of the play on the Hispanic pronunciation of “Jesus” which, if I have to explain it, isn't nearly as funny. So as I'm saying "Hey Zeus!" as I'm walking out to his car, he'd be smiling back at me, wearing some big aviator shades. Then he'd hit the hydraulics on his car. Vwww Vwww. So then I'd get in the car and we'd go cruising around town, we'd go to Arby's and order at the drive thru window, get some roast beef sandwiches and curly fries with root beer. The root beer's for me. I'm not quite sure what Jesus would drink, but it wouldn't matter, since he could transubstantiate it into whatever he wanted. And then, when we got about a block away, I'd look at my roast beef sandwich, and be like, "That's not what I ordered," and Jesus would look at me, wink and say "Oh yes it is," and I would look and say "Thanks Zeus!" Some of you are going, "I don't know about this. It seems blasphemous." and you're waiting for the lightning bolt to strike me, but come on, don't you think Jesus would be totally sweet to hang out with on the weekends. I mean, he'd probably be all generous and make a coffee table for you, and you'd be like, "Aww, Zeus, you shouldn't have." But he'd say, "You could use it my friend," and that would be the end of that debate, since he'd be right about the coffee table, since I could use one, but I didn't want to impose on him. Then we'd probably drive off to the park and play Frisbee golf, or something like that.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

April 13 (Anybody Want a Peanut?)

Its funny, I don’t think I can name a single person under the age of 30 right now who doesn’t love “The Princess Bride.” If there’s one movie my generation unquestioningly loves, that’s got to be the one. The worst I’ve heard about it is that someone heard from someone else that they thought only girls like that movie. But no, it is no chick flick. Oh sure, there’s romance and kissy stuff, but they cover that in a very meta sort of way in the framing sequences. The movie just has so much else going on that its impossible to pin it down to one gender demographic. Its got swordfights, razor sharp dialogue, rats of unusual size, peril, magic, death, miracles, footage of a Commodore 64 game on camera, shrieking eels, Columbo, Fred Savage and Andre the Frickin’ Giant. I never watched wrestling back in the day, but even I knew who Andre the Giant was. Seriously, what Transformers watchin’ kid is going to turn down watching Andre the Giant in his finest cinematic role ever? I didn’t think so.
And the movie’s aged really well, all things considered. Oh sure, some of the effects might look a little lame now (I’m looking at you giant rat) but overall its not bad in the context of when it was made. Bet you didn’t know the soundtrack was by Mark Knopfler, better known from Dire Straits (No, that’s not something I naturally know, it was on the DVD bonus features) Hell, if there were more “chick flicks” like this out there, male/female relations would be set forward 300 years or so.
Damn, all this writing about the movie just makes me wanna go watch it. Inconceivable!