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Monday, 27 October
Whites In Night Satan

Ah! Another weekend has passed! And I really don't have much to show for it. It was, I confess, full of unexpected surprises: for instance, the wife and I had no idea it was time to set our clocks back until our stage manager reminded us of this. Or, rather, since we had no earthly idea in the first place, one could say he minded us of this. Anyway. We're both a little fried with rehearsing (tonight was our first day without rehearsal in a week--as Equity rules disallow work on Mondays. Would that this obtained for my day job). The wife promptly responded to this direness by immediately getting sick, and spent much of today in bed. I'd like to blame this on our frantic schedules, but I suspect it has a deeper root: the movies we watched over the weekend.

When we got home from rehearsal on Friday night (after, of course, full days at work), the wife was pretty whipped, and already feeling kind of ucky, but I was kind of keyed up, so I began a hunt for some movie on cable that I could watch without fear of having to actually think about anything. Cable is good for this sort of thing--I reluctantly passed up "Bikini Squad" as being possibly too cerebral--and indeed I found a winner: Ballistic: Ecks Vs. Sever. Now, I knew going in that this movie was going to be fucking ghastly, but not ghastly like "I can't believe how ghastly this is!" More like a "I know exactly how ghastly this is!" It's hard to explain. For example, there are movies that I deem utterly ghastly even before I see them; I deem them ghastly when I see the ads. Examples of this a priori judgment include unspeakable debacles like, say, K-PAX and What Planet Are You From? I haven't seen these movies, and I never intend to. I pre-determined their all-encompassing worthlessness long before their actual release, and I stand by my decisions. They were clearly wretched from inception to releases, and there's little point in verifying this by actually watching the things. Garry Shandling as an alien? Kevin Spacey (also as an alien) enjoying large bananas? These themes are best explored by our nation's robust porn industry.

But B:E.V.S. (a happy acronym I didn't even notice until I just typed it) was of a different stripe: it was a movie that I knew I could watch despite its completely obvious emanations of pre-horror. I had no illusions that it wouldn't stink. Of course it would stink! It features two actors whose talents tend towards the monochromatic: Antonio Banderas, who takes sweaty, coiffed brooding to its logical extreme; and Lucy Liu, who will apparently die before expressing a non-steely emotion. (Can someone cast her in a spectacularly unwatchable tearjerker like Love Story some time, just to say they tried? It would be a great phenomenological case study of some sort. "Well, that was a disaster. Let's never do that again." "Agreed! What's next on the agenda?" "Mike Nichols has proposed a sequel to Sweet November with Chris Rock and Madchen Amick." "Whoa." "Mike agreed to direct, as long as he gets to jerk off in her trailer." "Let's get ink on that.")

As usual, I'm acres off, afield-wise. Suffice it to say that I watched that horrible film (the wife sensibly immediately fell asleep), and it was everything I couldn't want in a movie, except for the dumb violence. They even (SPOILER ALERT! And if a spoiler for B: E.V.S. is actual cause for alarm for you, may I gently suggest analysis?) included a CUTE KID IN DANGER! HE MAY BE KILLED! I genuinely wish for the day that they kill the cute kid. Like, in the opening credits. That would be something to talk about.

[Credits roll.] "A McG Production!" [Shot of cute kid playing on swings.] "INTRODUCING ECHIDNA VARGAS!" [Shot of cute kid being run over by Soviet tanks.] "Featuring Darius Rucker as AGENT GRACKLE!" [Shot of cackling evil black man.] "Salad services by HOLLYWOOD GREEN GROCERS!" [Shot of celery.]

But it was really also everything I was after: basically, a witless dogfuck of movie whose incomprehensibility amounted to a wholly undefinable kind of zero-divide of one's intelligence: no matter how you parsed its retardate conditions, it obstinately refused any attempt at honest analysis.

And you know what? The next night, we rented The Core.

It's all our own fucking fault.

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Here in Australia, summer time started last weekend at midnight on Saturday. We all know each year because the local Sunday paper produces some icon and sidebar which says; Guess what stupid! it is later than you think! the government has stolen part of your life! So of course we change our clocks... but this year..

The paper forgot. They just forgot. So we didn't know. We went to the market - oy vey, caramba, it is geshutten (hey, we run a multicultural society here..) There was a sort of subtle chaos, spreading and drifting like some really big bad smell which could be the drains, or maybe everyone in the world had started to fart together..

I of course, being an internet geek, rushed home and looked up the online edition - O very 21st century, I must say. And you know what? The local paper had put up a headline some time in the day to deal with this. it was after all visible everywhere there was a public breakfast menu. (its LUNCH TIME. no, it isnt..)

They told us that daylight saving started at midnight on Sunday. True dinks. In a sad, sad way, that takes style. And its not even a Murdoch paper.

Comment number: 003799   Posted by: david on October 28, 2003 06:55 AM from IP:

"True dinks"? Fair bonzer, mate, and stone the bloody chooks, eh?


Comment number: 003800   Posted by: sennoma on October 28, 2003 08:05 AM from IP:

I'd like to see Roger Ebert review a movie like that: "...basically, a witless dogfuck of movie whose incomprehensibility amounted to a wholly undefinable kind of zero-divide of one's intelligence: no matter how you parsed its retardate conditions, it obstinately refused any attempt at honest analysis. I give it a thumbs up!"

Comment number: 003801   Posted by: craig on October 28, 2003 08:13 AM from IP:

Sorry you had to endure, "The Core." If it makes you feel any better, a friend of mine dragged me to it when it whas in the theatre just so he could watch JLo.

Talk about your wasted $7.50.

Comment number: 003802   Posted by: dave on October 28, 2003 08:19 AM from IP:

Dave, I think you must be referring to "The Cell," which is, I agree, a vile, inhuman dicktwister of a movie, but is vastly different from "The Core."

Comment number: 003803   Posted by: Skot on October 28, 2003 08:25 AM from IP:

At least you didn't have to think. That's always a plus after a long week.

Comment number: 003804   Posted by: Stacey on October 28, 2003 09:59 AM from IP:

"genuinely wish for the day that they kill the cute kid. Like, in the opening credits. That would be something to talk about. "

Go rent Hitchcock's 'Sabotage':

Comment number: 003805   Posted by: mike whybark on October 28, 2003 10:36 AM from IP:

Ah! You're quite correct!

Well, "The Cell" was definitely bad. Nope, didn't see it. The commercials for it, as I recall, vaguely reminded me of "Journey to the Center of the Earth," and I really wasn't prepared for another horrible remake of an old movie.

Comment number: 003806   Posted by: dave on October 29, 2003 07:33 AM from IP:

Ballistic: Ecks Vs. Sever

Oh good ghod! I actually do not know if I have seen this movie or not now. I remember my wife wanting to see it, I even remember driving to see it, but I do not remember the movie. If I did see it, and now have no memory of it, it means I have wased part of my freaking life. That is even worse than sleeping late.

Now I am sad.

Comment number: 003807   Posted by: Johnny on October 29, 2003 08:11 AM from IP:

I actually enjoyed The Cell - as long as you remember that it's not really a thriller -- it's a costume drama, created to show off the set designs and costumes - it's worth the cost of a video rental (though not cinema prizes).

On the other hand, I watched The Core two weeks into a course in geology. Bad move. Very bad move. (And bad movie. Very bad movie.) It wasn't even bad in an amusing way, like, say, Hackers or The Net. Just dire, lousy, and bad.

Comment number: 003808   Posted by: cd on October 29, 2003 12:48 PM from IP:

There's a great Ebert book called something like "I Hated, Hated, Hated, Hated This Movie." It's a collection of his negative reviews that's well worth checking out.

Comment number: 003809   Posted by: Vidiot on October 31, 2003 07:29 AM from IP:

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