Sunday, September 29, 2013


I realize that at this precise moment in time we are all fascinated with the abomination of Miley Cyrus, grotesquely wriggling her way into relevancy with the industriousness of a shaved-headed mutant snake baby escaping from the circus, but that's actually not the reason I chose to watch 'LOL.' I have two better reasons. One, this movie has been at the top of the Netflix Instant for like 2 solid years - you know what I'm saying, right? It's ALWAYS there, on every single queue list, even 'British Thrillers With A Strong Female Lead' - and I perversely thought that maybe if I watched it, it would fucking go away; and two, it's a movie called LOL. LOL, an Inter Nets phrase that only Olds use anymore, as it's lost all meaning. A phrase that nobody knows how to pronounce, because it shouldn't be spoken aloud, and yet people actually say it - or title movies with it.

Now, don't get me wrong: I LERRRRRRVE shitty teen movies. Obviously, as I was weaned on the 80s, and even watched 'Dawson's Creek' on the regular, with gusto. But there are shitty teen movies, like 'She's All That,' a modern classique, and there are shitty teen movies, like 'LOL.' I mean, even that one Amanda Bynes movie had Amanda Bynes in it, back in her glory 'Lindsay Mean Girls' days (although I'm sure you'll agree that Amanda Bynes's best work was in 'Easy A'. Sensational!). This movie has Miley Cyrus, an "actor" with so little charisma that watching her "act" is like sitting outside the Orange Julius at the Glendale Galleria and watching The Kidz text each other on their phones, and Demi Moore, a woman whose vulnerable, appealing beauty morphed into a funhouse version of Aeon Flux. In a sensible casting choice, these two dewy blossoms replace the stunning Sophie Marceau and the vibrant Christa Theret from the original French film, which was mysteriously remade into AMERICAN by the exact same director.

In the beginning, we get a montage of happy-go-lucky teens with Bieber '08 hair and hobo style scampering around laughing and keepin' it real. As Shakespeare wrote, 'Comparisons are odorous,' so let's go right ahead and compare, using that Olympic champion of teen films, 'Clueless.' 'Clueless' begins the same way as 'LOL,' its monosyllabically-named heroine narrating in voice over about, like, whatever, but immediately the inferior film begins to suffer next to its far cooler antecedent. Here's Cher wondering why it's so hard to make a good film about teens. As if, it was WAY easy for Heckerling!

LOL's boyfriend tells her he hooked up with someone over the summer, and her response is to make a face that looks like she barfed up a bag of marbles into her mouth. I'm guessing we're going to see that face again. Feast your eyes, just so you're prepared:

What you can't see in the above photo are LOL's corn kernel teef, which I far prefer to the blinding veneers she's constantly running her sea slug tongue over nowadays. So LOL writes dramatically in her diary in her toneless voice-over about her mom, her ex, her preternaturally hot best friend who she's obviously going to hook up with later on, and whatnot.

Another comparison rears its ugly head. Can you guess what it is?

BOOOO, you whore! Nice try, LOL, but unless you're sporting a monocle and pondering murdering your best friend while journaling, you fail.

A whole bunch of boring scenes are kind of flung willy-nilly together: there's a Battle of the Bands, where both LOL's hot friend and her ex are in the same band, playing at a club whose logo is the Dharma Initiative (is there an incredibly complicated, nonsensical subplot to this movie I don't know about?); Aeon Flux gets picked up by a hot cop; a cunty girl at school acts cunty; and some kids IM each other. But this movie has a wild card, and that wild card shows up for drinks with Aeon's friends. One of those friends is Fisher Stevens (oh, shit! Maybe I was right about the Dharma Initiative!), one of the men on this planet who got to stick it into Michelle Pfeiffer, but even he doesn't compare to:

Gershon looks GOOD in this dungheap of a movie. Her face is a little bit busted, her arm tone is gone, and her hair is shaggy. Cristal Connors wouldn't approve, but I fucking love it.

Ratchet LOL gets in an awkward fistfight (very loose term) with her ex, which precipitates a deep conversation (very loose term) with her mom and another montage of running around. A girl trying to get with her trig teacher (I was wrong, there IS a complicated subplot!) fists a chicken on a webcam, which confuses her mom, played for some reason by Sweeney sister Nora Dunn. LOL parties with her grandma, played for some other reason by That Girl, who's had so much work done her nostrils are fused shut. How have only 40 minutes passed in this movie!? It feels like I've been sitting through that Warhol film about the Empire State Building for 9 hours! OK, sorry, back on track. There are some asinine misunderstandings which allow LOL to stomp around "acting" and barfing up more marbles, and some sharp dialogue:

Hot guy's dad: You know what this report card smells like? No more music. Merry Christmas.
Hot guy: Merry Christmas to you too.

 LOL doesn't care about her boyfriend's problems, she's going to Paris; and as a going-away present Aeon gives her a single bead in a disproportionately large black box. I'm assuming it's some kind of really expensive bead, or maybe a bead that allows you to teleport, or something, because the camera lingers on it for an awfully long time. Can't you get beads in Paris? Isn't Paris the center of fashion? Why are they arguing about packing a sweater if LOL is going to the center of fashion? I'm confused.

Oh my fucking giddy aunt! There's another running around montage in Paris - set to a French version of 'Alright' by Supergrass! THIEVES!!!!?!?11!!

This is some BULL-SHIT.

When LOL comes back from her trip ("nothing special," according to what she told her mom, which, coincidentally, is always how I refer to my trip to Paris), her mom finds her diary, which is full of sex business, and they have a fight. In another movie this might be a catalyst for an actual story, but in this movie it is a catalyst for exactly nothing, just like every other scene. At this point I'm gagging for a scene of Aeon Flux and Cristal Connors fisting a chicken together, for chrissake! Instead I get a Battle of the Bands at the Dharma Initiative where the hot guy's dad has a come-to-Jesus about how terrific a musician his son is. And that, my friends, is the end of the fucking movie. Yet another stellar example about how NOT JUST ANYBODY should "act," even if that anybody is the super-famous daughter of a country music star from the early 1990s.

I know, Cher. I know.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Never mind! Fine! Just - fine!

I'm giving in. To myself. It's not like anyone actually was, like, "Why are you fighting it? Just go there," and I was, like, "No! I shouldn't! I shouldn't!" That argument was completely in my mind. So, fuck it.

Let me start by saying I recognize the bloom is long off ol' Julia, and the days are long gone when everyone would swoon whenever she spread her big yawp to bark out some loving anecdote about Mel Gibson, but, rather like a weird sloppy cousin with impetigo who shows up to Thanksgiving with an expired can of cranberry sauce, you just have to deal. I'm of that generation which asks the world, "You work on commission, right? Big mistake. BIG. HUGE." I will always have Julia's back. That, and I'm also a redhead, so, solidarity.

However, I acknowledge that part of Julia's charm is in having made all that shit back in the nineties, when Hollywood was all "How many blockbuster movies can we make that involve her hair and a 60s song/dance number!?!?11?!"  'Sleeping with the Enemy" is part of that oeuvre; in fact, it's the alpha and the omega. You might argue that the earlier 'Mystic Pizza' has a couple of 60s song/dance numbers, and it does, but that is an ensemble movie, just like 'Satisfaction.' Which is one nonstop song/dance number. Oh my god. Maybe I should teach a Learning Annex class about 80s and 90s Julia Roberts movies. Hang on, lemme go write that down. While I'm doing that, check this out, because, cowbell:

Unsurprisingly, I digress. 'Sleeping with the Enemy' is a real piece of crap dressed up as A REAL FILM, which it is definitely not. It's apparently based on a book that you can get from Amazon for $.01, so maybe you should hurry and grab yourself a copy. In this movie, Julia plays AN ABUSED WOMAN GASP married to that dude who was an IRA terrorist in that one Harrison Ford movie about IRA terrorists. He does a pretty good American asshole accent here, I'll give him that, plus his porn stache is style! The whole story is about her escaping him, finally getting a proper snog and then murdering him. OK, now to the good stuff.

Some enterprising soul has very thoughtfully compiled all of Julia's 'Sleeping with the Enemy' hair into one JPEG for us (except that critical boy wig is missing...hmm). This is some NSA-level investigation, people. Shall we?

You can use this as a key to refer back to whenever you need to get a sense of Julia's emotional state at any given time. In the beginning, when she lets the terrorist tell her what White House/Black Market dress to wear and when the bulk of her dialogue is about baby peas, she has straightened extensions to illustrate how sad she is. We also learn what a nightmare he is because of the towels. The towels, you guys. Just this morning I was hanging a towel on the oven door handle and I was, all, in my mind, What if I don't hang this evenly enough? An entire generation of women paranoid about towels. That's what this movie did to us.

Julia has good reason to be afraid of the terrorist. That guy has a backhand like Bjorn Borg. Seriously, I can't wait for her to murder him! First, he's going to play some Berlioz ("...and does eat oats, and little lambs eat ivy...") and basically rape her, gross. That creepy-assed Berlioz will come in handy later on, when we need to be hit over the head with meaning, btw, so pay attention. Julia's finally had enough, so she cleverly escapes him, but as she does, she does THE ONE DUMB THING THAT WE KNOW IS GOING TO BE HER UNDOING WHY THE FUCK DID SHE THROW HER RING IN THE TOILET. I don't get it, I really don't. Symbolism be damned, take the ring and throw it out the window of the bus you're taking across the country when you go across a bridge spanning a raging river! What the fuck is wrong with you? Don't you know it won't go down the bendy pipe? Clearly Julia has not tried to flush enough heavy things down her toilet.

During this interlude Julia wears that broke Louise Brooks wig that makes her look like a comparative lit adjunct at Smith in the early 1980s.

But thank god she goes to a flyover state, where the light is always golden and there's a conveniently furnished Victorian house just lying around on every corner waiting to be rented for like four dollars a month. The Theatre Nerd who lives next door is such a fucking early 90s cliche, I can't. He has similarly big hair, a sculpted beard, rolls his sleeves up over his elbows, does fun girly shit like picnic and go to parades, and he gives Julia the opportunity for the following:

That mess of an Armani is THE WORST, as is that brown Clinique lipstick I totally wore to dances at camp because all the cool prep school girls were into it. The point is, I was looking for the picture with the biggest hair, because through osmosis Julia's hair gets big around the Theatre Nerd, so we know he's the guy for her. But wait, there's more that Theatre Nerd provides:

Sister to the Gettin' It Together montage, the Wacky Closet Dance montage is a staple of the 80s and 90s, and Julia is a fucking Grand Master at it. Cue the Van Morrison! Here she is in an outfit that reminds us of Kim Basinger fingering herself in '9 1/2 Weeks.' Her hair is so big in this sequence that it needs its own zip code.

The terrorist finds her, BECAUSE SHE DIDN'T GET RID OF THE RING PROPERLY, and he sneaks through her house organizing her towels, because that's what terrorists do. Once that Berlioz starts playing from a boombox inconveniently placed in the middle of the hall, we know:

The Theatre Nerd is essentially useless in the end, which is good, because we're rooting for Julia's hair to take the terrorist out, and it doesn't disappoint! We then get that 'Fatal Attraction' ending where the dead terrorist comes back to life to fuck with us, but Julia puts that baby in the corner.

And then the last shot of the movie is the ring. The fucking ring! WHY did you not properly dispose of the ring. It's a worse cinematic offense than going down in the basement because you hear a noise and there's probably a rapist zombie or Cthulu down there that you just want to check out. Come ON!

But, you know, at the end of the day I don't even care. I love this piece of shit movie like a schoolboy loves his bag. It's one of my go-to Netflix Instants when I need noise in the background while I'm exfoliating or whatever. Julia always delivers!

Thursday, September 26, 2013

I'm trying to avoid writing about 'Sleeping with the Enemy.'

It's only a matter of time before I cave, but in the meantime I'm trying to distract myself by instead bringing a shining star of the 80s to your attention.

This picture of Einstein being psyched about astrophysics is better than all the pictures of Mark Twain looking bored, so I'm using it instead. The point is: 'An American Summer' is a derpy movie about surfing and murder (and no, I'm not confusing it with 'Point Break' - do you think I'm stupid?) based on Twain's most famous works. How is this possible, you ask? Well, it almost isn't. And yet, here we are.

First of all, IMDB, that Wiki-esque bastion of correctness, lists this movie as having been birthed into the world in 1991. That is impossible, as in 1991 I WAS IN COLLEGE, playing '90210' drinking games and hanging out with the guys from Extreme. I'm guessing it happened on TV sometime in the nebulous 80s, as Brian Austin Green looks vaguely pubescent in it and there are all these bizarre fades-to-black that might be explained away as edited commercial breaks. It's clearly an early-80s period piece, though, because the radio announcer in the beginning refers to Beijing as 'Peking', which feels eerily racist, the main character has that Farrah poster on his wall, and everyone is rockin' the OP. I would sell my soul for some of the OP stripy shirts you see in this movie.

Deal with that, haters. So Tom Sawyer's mom - in a fucking weird series of Bergman-esque closeups of her ear - tells us she's sending him to California, because she doesn't love him anymore. After some abrupt edits which become the cinematic hallmark of this work, Tom Sawyer ends up in LA, where he sees an edgy punk girl waiting in line, a homeless lady in a driveway and a black man bustin' it on rollerskates, clearly defining California as WACKY AS FUCK. Luckily for him, Meredith Baxter Birney is his Aunt Sally (I know she's actually the other blonde mom from Growing Pains, but what with Brian Austin Green setting the triple-name trend, I'm sticking with that), and it's her job in this movie to cook okra and generally be a bitch. Even more luckily for Tom Sawyer, he meets a preternaturally bouncy Brian Austin Green, who teaches him about coffee. Ready?

Brian Austin Green: Two javas.
Tom Sawyer (belligerent): I hate coffee!
Brian Austin Green: ...
Tom Sawyer: ...
Brian Austin Green: ....
Tom Sawyer: Look, you want my coffee?
Brian Austin Green (irate): Drink it! Every grownup drinks java!

Calling coffee 'java' is like calling San Francisco 'Frisco.'

Brian Austin Green's not just here to talk about coffee. He's here to motivate that hodad Tom Sawyer to learn to surf! What d'you think is the ultimate purpose here? TO WIN THE SURFING CONTEST DUH. In the movie industry we call this plot structure 'Gettin' It Together.' OK, no, we don't, we just call it that in my house, but it's pretty descriptive of every 80s movie, right?

During the Gettin' It Together montage, the underdog learns A New Way of being awesome, rather than just being a hodad. He Gets It Together through a series of Karate Kid (or Rocky, depending on your personal preference)-esque trials, learns some knowledge, and then saves Grandpa's farm by winning the boat race, or whatever. Why didn't Mark Twain think of that as a plot device?!

Hang on a second, I'm getting ahead of myself. First, a guy has to get murdered, because it's important that this movie faithfully follows Twain. What is it with cheesy 80s teen movies and murder!? There's some complicated dialogue involving the DA (Brian Austin Green's dad, conveniently), a long series of scenes where Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn build booby traps while kooky music plays, and then, finally, the Gettin' It Together montage, punctuated by repeat shots of Tom Sawyer flopping on his bed (yikes). Meredith Baxter Birney gets in a few bitchy digs, pointing out that the me generation "worships John Travolta prancing around a disco", and Tom Sawyer looks awesome wearing a variation on this t shirt:

I'm telling you, the costumes in this movie deserve their own Taschen coffee-table art book. You WISH you had that t shirt.

Some other heavy stuff involving Tom Sawyer's house getting TP'd, Brian Austin Green's family all dying in a car accident (!?!) and Jackson Pollock happens, and then we come to the surf contest. Thanks to Brian Austin Green's Mr. Miyagi-style tutelage, Tom Sawyer shreds pipe (or whatever you do in a surf contest in the early 80s). The surf contest is run by the guy I believe told Heather Chandler (RIP) and Veronica Sawyer (no relation) in 'Heathers' during the lunchtime poll that if he won $5 million in the Publishers Clearinghouse Sweepstakes he'd slide that wad over to his father, because he is, like, one of the top brokers in the state. What a pillowcase!

Usually, that would be the end of the movie, but this movie goes on for like 30 more minutes, because, Mark Twain. Tom Sawyer and his girlfriend fight Injun Joe (yikes), who's trying to kill them with a pickaxe (!?!), and then he gets some wisdom from the DA, who tells him to get the hell outta town "because you can't just run away from things" (even though he was sent to California against his will). At the end Tom Sawyer goes through the Wizard of Oz goodbye lineup, wherein we get the feeling that the DA and Aunt Sally are secretly doing it, and Brian Austin Green gives Tom Sawyer an exquisite baby blue baseball hat with yellow pom poms on it.

And now, I'm going to watch 'Heathers.'

Monday, September 23, 2013

It must be good, if Luc Besson Presents.

You know it's going to be awesome from the parade of shady European production house logos at the beginning. 'Luc Besson presents'? Does that mean Luc Besson was driving his vintage Aston Martin along the Riviera while getting head from a Swiss prostitute in trashy lederhosen one sunny afternoon (which is how I imagine a director like Luc Besson spends his spare time) and got a phone call from a guy he knew from poker night who yelled, "Luc! Can I put your name in the credits of my movie so it looks legit?" And Luc, who was somewhat occupied, yelled back, "Oui! Fine! Whatever you say! Oui! Oui!! OUI!"

'Lockout,' or 'Lockdown' (I can't remember which one it is), is a science-fictiony movie about the always ineffably appealing Guy Pearce HAVING TO RESCUE THE PRESIDENT'S DAUGHTER FROM A SPACE PRISON. That plot definitely deserves to be in all-caps. OK, I lied. I said that shit about Luc Besson just to plant an image in your mind. Luc Besson wrote this movie, he didn't just agree to be in the credits because he owed a guy money.

This movie succeeds (by my personal definition of success) for two solid reasons. The first is the sparkling dialogue.

Dude from 'Fargo': "Who was the mystery man on the phone?"
Guy Pearce: "Uh, his name was fuck you."
Dude from 'Fargo': "Really."
Guy Pearce: "Yeah, he was Asian."

As Luc Besson would say, "OUI!" I wish all dialogue in the movies was like this. It reminds me of pleasant days after junior high spent playing Crystal Castles against my younger brother, swapping pithy bon mots. But forgive me for digressing yet again; let's return to the plot. The President's daughter, played by the most irritating character on 'Lost' (and that's saying something), ends up escaping with Guy Pearce by dressing like a convict and wearing the wig Julia Roberts wore in 'Sleeping with the Enemy':

I acknowledge that showing a picture of Julia Roberts in a wig from 'Sleeping with the Enemy' has nothing to do with this, but I'll take any excuse to talk about 'Sleeping with the Enemy.' Anyhow, they're trying to avoid getting raped or killed by the second reason this movie succeeds - the super awesome scenery chewing insane with insanity character covered in tats with facial scars and a fucked-up eye played, of course, by a crazy British guy:

Hee hee hee hee. One of the most important character design cliches is when you create a villain, give him a fucked-up eye so we know he's a villain. If you don't, we might not know that he's a bad guy. Luckily, in 'Lockout,' he has one (as you can see from the top image), so you don't have to work too hard. Because this movie is concerned with the truth, at the end Guy Pearce and the girl from 'Lost' solve all the story's problems by blowing up the prison. They escape by jumping into outer space and landing tidily on a freeway overpass, only to find out that SPOILER ALERT THE GUY GUY PEARCE THOUGHT WAS HIS FRIEND WAS ACTUALLY THE BAD GUY O NOES END SPOILER. But he didn't have a fucked-up eye! That is some tomfoolery on Luc Besson's part. He did, however, have a terrible American accent, so maybe that should have been the giveaway. Then our heroes walk into the sunset together swapping sexytime witticisms in a much-needed riff on the ending of 'Casablanca.'

As a bonus I had some semi-respectable members of the visual effects industry who shall remain nameless inspect this movie for quality control. The unanimous consensus was that the effects in the beginning in particular - when Guy Pearce is running away from the cops on a godddamned unicycle - were the worst ever in the history of cinema. Ever. In the history of cinema.

Them's fightin' words! Luckily, I agree.

I do feel like they dropped the ball with the end credits, though. This is one of those movies that desperately needed a gag reel running in the credits. That, or a post-credits bonus scene to make us think there's going to be a sequel. Maybe a quick scene of Leeloo and the crazy British guy re-enacting 'My Dinner with Andre'? Something like that.

Here's a good one. And by good, I mean the opposite of good.

Yeah, you thought I was talking about 'Pretty in Pink'? You must be high. 'Pretty in Pink' is not Netflix dreck (although thank god it is avail on the Instant, as is 'The Breakfast Club', 2 of the 4 basic 80s food groups - the other two being 'Fast Times' and '16 Candles'). I just really liked this grab of Steff being all cunty to Andie, when what he really wants to say is, "I've got a suite, even though it's only 400 bucks a night. Be my prom date!"

No, I'm talking about 'Tuff Turf'. (If it isn't already obvious, I can't be bothered to learn how to do my own screen grabs, so I just use whatever I trip over on the Google even if it's only obliquely relevant.) I kind of went into a James Spader Netflix dungeon by starting with 'Stargate' and spiraling all the way down to a Canadian TV movie he made where he runs around town with a hot alien bitch who wears her collar up. However, on the way down, I fell into this cinematic gem, and as it gave me the special tingles, I thought it was definitely worth a writeup.

First, examine this image:

...and rejoice. I cannot get enough of coked-up RDJ from back in teh day where he looked like he railed a fat one, wandered into the makeup trailer and slopped on a shit-ton of mascara and lipstick. He was like this in 'Weird Science', too, if less sweaty. But in that movie he was just a generic douche, whereas in this movie, he plays the drums in a bitchin' New Wave band wearing only suspenders, a Ray-Bans choker and leather pants!

I digress. The shining star of this movie is Steff. He plays a 25-year old high school student who was in prep school "in Connecticut" (I'm guessing Choate, by the way he clenches his jaw when he's fakin' it at the country club halfway through the movie), but got kicked out. Now he's doing donuts on his Schwinn in a tuff-guy jacket at PUBLIC SCHOOL GASP, where he doesn't fit in, probably because he's 25. The plot involves some greasy hoodlums, the hot girl hoodlum that he's going to get with when she stops using her tuff-girl vagenda against him, a weird digression into the hot girl hoodlum's psyche and then a bunch of straight-up attempted murders at the end. What!? An inordinate amount of time is spent in this film focusing on Steff's bike. Riding the bike, parking the bike, having conversations around the bike, staging a turf war because of the bike, etcetera. I guess the crack team crafting this film figured The Kidz would understand, because our lives revolved around our bikes in the 80s since Instagram hadn't been invented yet. I guess. My best friend always gave me rides in her '68 Mustang, so what the fuck did I care.

There are more important things to discuss, though, like the love interest's crimped hair. That girl WORKED THAT HA'R. It's, like, beyond. It must have been so hot on her neck and her back. Did she ever accidentally sit on it when she had to drop a deuce? These are the things that concern me.

Here she is picking up an old dude as part of a tricksy scam she and her hooligan gang run on The Streets. She is giving me serious baby prostitute vibes. However, her crimping is fucking varsity, you guys, as is her headband-and-knotted-pearls game. The costumes for the girls in this movie basically rip off Madonna circa 1984, but they do it well.

The most important scene in this movie is the country club scene I mentioned earlier. You might argue that there are more important scenes, like the one where we learn that hot girl hooligan feels sad about her mom dying of cancer, or the one where Steff's dad gets shot and is left for dead on The Streets, but no. Those scenes pale in comparison to the scene where Steff and his friends swap clothes and crash singles day at the country club. They steal lobsters and baguettes, discuss blow jobs and finger sandwiches, and Steff hijacks the piano in order to serenade the hot girl hooligan with possibly the most delicious ballad ever, 'We Walk the Night':

Oh, oops, sorry. You get the picture. So what happens at the end of this movie? Oh,come ON. 'Tuff Turf,' ladies and gentlemen!

Saturday, September 21, 2013

OK, since I mentioned 'The Skulls'...

Disclaimer: I have watched this film like 4,2957,32,908 times. Why? Who the fuck knows. It's like a bag of stale Halloween candy. You know you should just chuck it and go to Rite Aid and get another bag for like two dollars, but instead you keep eating it. Like a dog. Until you barf.

So this movie is about secret societies (which is a phrase that should always be spoken while doing a butt wiggle, a la Selma Blair's character in Cruel Intentions) and how they're all corrupt and ancient and secret and part of the government and the po-lice and stuff, and how Pacey's going to overthrow the oldest and secretest of them all, the Skull and Bones at Yale. I mean, sorry, the Skulls at Movie College University.

As with all movies which follow this formula, once things get all car-chasey and plot-turney, I lose interest and start checking my email. I'm a first-fifty kinda viewer. After fifty minutes the story starts to grind, the main characters have already fucked, there's going to be some kind of shouty confrontation and then who gives a shit. So let's concern ourselves with the fun stuff, which is more fun-er, anyhow.

The 5 viable reasons I think this movie gets my repeat attention:

1. It has rowing in it. As a former oarsman I find all cinematic rowing hilarious. Rowing is incredibly difficult and the movies should always just have doubles from the Olympic team doing it, rather than trying to make actors look like they're good enough to row at Yale or Oxford. I'm lookin' at you, Rob Lowe and the guy from A Room with a View. When Pacey's trying to work shit out he goes to the boathouse and sits on a rowing machine from the twelfth century that looks like a rack and he flails around like a motherfucker while shafts of light pour over him.

2. It has Pacey in it. Or, Peter, whatever.

3. It has Gil Grissom in it. He plays a smooth Original Flavor Skull with a predilection for underaged poon. I love that the poor bastard tries to make his character, like, complex and layered. Is he a bad guy or isn't he? So long as he gets what my husband and I academically refer to as a 'griz' in there, I'm satisfied. The 'griz' is when Grissom purses his mouth, tilts his head and raises an eyebrow like he's acknowledging what a n00b you are at solving crime, and how he solved the crime like twenty minutes ago by using a jar of bugs, a severed pig's head and a lunar calendar. He gets in a griz or two in 'The Skulls,' mainly when he's fronting against the evil overlord named Mandrake (WAH HA HA HA).

4. It has the dude equivalent of a romantic comedy montage where the poor guy gets a Breitling watch, a closet full of clothes, a bunch of elegant punani, a vintage Thunderbird (which, by movie rights, is a cool car, but not as cool a car as the one the hot antagonist gets, which is a Ferrari or something) and bonus admission to a whole passel of law schools.

5. It has 'witty repartee', which is how all Ivy League students talk while they're hanging out in their massive dorm suites eating pizza, surrounded by tons of musty tomes and old leather sofas. Totally makes me nostalgic for my own college days. Reminds me of the time I was drunk and taking a bunch of antibiotics so I peed all over the floor of my dorm room in front of all my friends. Twice.

These might all be good reasons for YOU to give 'The Skulls' your undivided attention for fifty minutes, too. While you're doing the laundry. Or your taxes. It's worth it!

Friday, September 20, 2013

The Netflix Instant: Praise!

Fuckin-A, Netflix. How were my days filled before ye? What was the world like before I could watch 'The Skulls' without having to go to Amoeba and humiliate myself in front of the blase hipster working the counter by buying a nine-dollar used DVD of it? THE WORLD WAS BULLSHIT, and you know it. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for providing me with a seemingly endless parade of quasi-pornographic, bewildering anime, of terrible action films starring Casper van Dien I only watch three or four minutes of, and of blessed favorites from my past like 'Can't Hardly Wait' and 'Class.' Oh yeah, and thank you for 'Down Town Abbey,' too.

Well, here's how I give back. When I have time, which, for the Netflix Instant, is always, I will watch a real shitbomb and write about it. This will help flex my writing muscles. It's a far better use of my time as an author than a)working on my Master's degree, b)working on my job writing teaching lectures, or c)working on posts on Gawker. As you can tell, I probably don't even need the Master's degree, as I'm syntactically skilled - what's it called when you list things like that instead of actually properly crafting a sentence? Anyhow, this is going to be a really good way to spend an afternoon, I can feel it.