Tuesday, June 28, 2005

After Hours

I am a record-setter. Of course, I don't think Guinness will be calling any time soon, because my only unique achievement is admittedly dubious. According to the publisher of Athens' own Red & Black newspaper, I worked there longer than any writer in the publication's recorded history. As he handed over a longevity award on my last day, he reminded me I had worked there from January 1995 until that day in late December 1998.

Mind you, this paper was founded in 1893, so this isn't like Jose Guillen setting the all-time Washington Nationals home run mark. It's more like Crash Davis hitting the most minor league dingers - it's certainly an accomplishment, but what does it really mean?

I don't work for a newspaper anymore. I barely write, though I am trying to rectify that. Basically, all I can think of is that I had acquired a wildly inflated reputation of being an in-office Lothario. I say "wildly inflated" because I still hear the legends of my conquests years later, and quite frankly I wish even half of them were true. In reality, I feel like a black guy when somebody goes, "Man, you must have a big dick." What am I to do, correct them?

Where am I going with this? As always, I have little idea, except to say I want to introduce a new Tuesday feature here on Ye Olde Martians Attacking Indianapolis. My pride and joy at the R&B was our weekend section, called After Hours. I would list every movie playing in town, alongside brief synopses and witty commentary. Toward the end of my tenure, I pretty much dropped any legitimate information and just became a smart-ass. It was my finest work to date.

In 1998, though, I would have seen nearly every movie playing at the local multiplex. In 2005, I have seen exactly two. So instead of listing every movie out there, I'll review each movie I've seen in a given week, whether the viewing was in a theater or at home on DVD. Of course, why you would care is beyond me. Movie critique is mostly word vomit anyway, and there's certainly no shortage of it on the Internet. But I need to get my brain a'workin' in different directions, so you're stuck with it. Or you can just go to another webpage.

Be Cool (2005) This "Get Shorty" sequel joins the ranks of "The Blues Brothers 2000," "Vegas Vacation" and "The Whole Ten Yards" as the laziest, most pointless sequels in recent memory. A plot description would only make me angry all over again (I am a big fan of the first film); let's just say John Travolta's performance here does more anti-Scientology legwork than Tom Cruise could do in a month of "Oprahs." (D-) DVD

Eraserhead (1977) Alright, I love David Lynch. "Twin Peaks" still ranks as my all-time favorite television show, and "Mulholland Dr." is up there on my "best movies" list. However, somehow I had never gotten around to seeing this, his 1977 debut. And now that I finally have - boy, it's awful. I mean, I'm all about Lynch's "weird for weird's sake" philosophy, but at least his most recent mind-benders seemed to have solutions to the puzzles. (Do check out the Lynch's nearly 90-minute monologue included in the special features - it's much more entertaining than the film). (C-) DVD

Hostage (2005) A bit of a surprise. It took me watching this film to realize I haven't seen a Bruce Willis film in theaters since 2000. Though this didn't do much in the way of box office, it's a bit of a return to form for the "Die Hard" star. He plays a small-town cop who has to save a family from some thugs who have taken them - well, look at the title. (B-) DVD

The Jacket (2005) Keira Knightley is so absolutely, exquisitely British, hearing her speak in an American accent is off-putting to say the least. The rest of the movie is "Jacob's Ladder"-lite, a mind-bending drama starring Adrien Brody as a (perhaps?) murderous Gulf War vet sentenced to a mental institution. "The Jacket" has a dynamite first hour, only to peter out when it has to explain itself. Bonus points for a little Keira boobage. (B-) DVD


Doug said...

This post could have contained nothing but the words "Keira boobage" and you still would've had my undivided attention.

Ever seen "Network"? I bought the VHS tape of it like two years ago and only got around to watching it just last night. Freakin' fantastic.

Riley said...

You broke my record. I started Fall of '94 and lasted until December '97.

NETWORK is terrific, by the way.