Saturday, July 28, 2007

For Big Lebowski fans

Via, Here's an essay Jeff Bridges wrote for the foreword to a new book on the Big Lebowski: Zen and the Art of Dudliness. If you're a fan of this movie reading this essay will make you like it even more.

Afternoon Movie Review: What Matters Most

I was really disappointed to flip to the Lifetime network today only to find I had missed all but 4 minutes of "Alone with a Stranger," described by my on-screen channel guide as: Willaim. R. Moses, Barbara Niven (2000) A woman holds identical twins at gunpoint while trying to determine which is her husband and which, his murderous brother. Myst./Susp. [TV-14) D, V [CC]. I turned it on just as the woman had to decide which identical twin not to shoot. The scruffy one ultimately saved himself by saying, 'It's like Lindsey said, 'It's broken, Mommy.'"

Maybe it was the disappointment of missing this gem, or perhaps there is some truth at the only intelligent thing National Enquirer EIC David Perel told me, "Lifetime is like crack for women," but I was soon sucked into the next feature: "What Matters Most."

This movie stars My Two Dads' Chad Lowe as a high school basketball player who gets a girl from the wrong side of the tracks pregnant. But they really love each other! You can tell because Chad's character, Lucas, plays the guitar for the girl. She says:"Lucas, you wrote that? It is sooo beautiful." And he replies: "My daddy don't think so."

To be exact, his daddy said (and I quote): "If you think I'm gonna let you go off to college to play the gee-tar like some homo hippie fag, you gotta 'nother thing coming. You're gonna have my grandchillin' and marry some girl, you hear me?"

After the Dad beats Lucas several times and Lucas and his girl have a Zack-and-Kelly's-prom moment and do some bubble-blowing, the young lady (who also happens to be a genius who works at a diner), confesses her news and Lucas proposes.

OK, so at this point I'm about to change the channel, but then Lifetime took ahold of me as~Shock!~in an Everwoodesque plot twist, Lucas gets hurt at a BB-ball game and goes into a coma.

When he awakes, he is unchanged except he walks with a crutch and talks like he has a giant jawbreaker in his mouth. Oh, and he has a baby his father is refusing to admit is his. The movie takes several completely weird and therefore unexpected turns as Lucas tries to kill himself, yells "don't loooook at meeee!" a few times (ok, that was expected), tells his parents he's going to marry the girl they want him to (I guess parents in the South are real keen on their kids getting married at 18), then there's a little switcheroo at the altar and the baby mama marries him instead. You see, it was all a ploy to get around the father's psychotic classism.

At the end of the movie, the Dad that had been beating his son for trying to call the mother of his child and so forth has the baby on his lap and is cooing, "Who's the greatest Grandpa?" And we all learn that it's OK if you brutally beat your child, as long as you allow your wife to drag you away from the wedding procession your crippled son just sprung on you.

Crack, indeed.

Friday, July 20, 2007

I'm sorry, but I still love Tom Cruise

Say what you will about Tom Cruise: that he's a crazy freak, that he never deserved Nicole Kidman, that he champions the strangest religion in America (and that's including the polygamists), that he and Katie Holmes have some kind of arrangement that has nothing to do with falling in love, that "Cruise" was kind of a strange last name to pick for himself, that Suri might be an alien...And you'd be right. But there's still something about him that's strangely compelling. You want to watch him on TV appearances, because he's totally fake but he's playing "Charming Movie Star" better than he ever has.

At this point maybe I should confess that in high school, I had a bit of a thing for Tom. I was on a quest to watch every Tom Cruise movie possible, and am slightly embarrassed to admit that there are fewer Tom Cruise movies I HAVEN'T seen than ones I have. My friends and I rewound and watched the "volleyball scene" from Top Gun over and over, and sneaked into Jerry Maguire by buying tickets for a movie that wasn't rated R (I'm sorry to say it was one of the most rebellious acts of my high school years). My obsession hit its peak when I went through all four years' worth of back issues of Entertainment Weekly I had stashed in my closet and cut out every single picture of Tom and made them into a giant collage, which I hung on my bedroom wall over my bed.

But before you write me off entirely, keep in mind that there are a lot of good Tom Cruise movies, and don't tell me that when you're flipping through the channels and see A Few Good Men, The Color of Money, Mission Impossible, or Interview with a Vamprie you don't stop to watch them. In fact, I bet you'd even watch Cocktail or Losin' It. Tom Cruise brought us the Pervvy Frank T.J. Mackey in Magnolia; he's still what a lot of people think of when they think of amputee veterans; and he gave us all of the idea to use an autistic person to count cards in Vegas.

But Tom's real contribution to the landscape of American cinema is that he is the embodiment--if the not the very creator--of an American ideal we may not realize we have: being cocky is acceptable, even likable, as long as you are a handsome guy with heart. Whether it's a cocky fighter pilot, a cocky lawyer going up against Jack Nicholson, or a cocky, scrappy Irishman trying to fight his way into a enough cash to make it Out West, we find ourselves rooting for him over and over again. Cocky teenager who turns his parents' home into a whorehouse when they're on vacation? Awesome! Cocky sports agent who wins the heart of a single mom? I know I should be cringing but I'm tearing up instead. Cocky Upper East Side doctor who gets caught in a web of sexual desire? You know you want to stick around to see that orgy scene.

Maybe where Tom went wrong in his real life is trying too hard NOT to be cocky. Because it's the attempted earnestness that turns everyone off. If instead of jumping up and down on Oprah's couch proclaiming "I love her!" he simply said, "Katie Holmes is a hottie, my religion may be weird but so is Christianity, I'm an Oscar winner, and p.s., I'm rich, bitches, so shut the hell up," THEN flashed that movie star grin, we'd fall for him the same way Charlie does in Top Gun.

But even if that doesn't happen, I'm still with ya, Tom. If things don't work out with Katie you just give me a call and I'd be happy to live in your mansion and have your babies. Just as long as Nicole doesn't mind.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

You had me at "part-time dad juggling his wild L.A. lifestyle"

I just read the description for the new David Duchovney show:

Bachelor Hank Moody's (David Duchovny) got it made: he's a sexy best-selling author who's irresistible to the ladies. But as a part-time dad juggling his wild L.A. lifestyle with grown-up responsibilities, this say-anything writer's at a loss for words. This smart Showtime comedy also stars Natascha McElhone (as Hank's ex-girlfriend), Madeleine Martin (as Becca, his 13-year-old daughter), Madeline Zima and Evan Handler.

Am I just a sucker for good ad copy? Or is it that the name of the show, Californication, reminds me of how tight David Duchovny's pants were in the 1993 film Kalifornia (um, and the Red Hot Chili Peppers, of course)? Because I really want to see this show, and since it's going to be on after Weeds, it almost makes me want to pay the outrageous sum to get Showtime.

I do have some questions, though:
1) How much do you wanna bet that Evan Handler (who you may know as Charlotte's bald husband from Sex in the City) plays his "wild" best friend?
2) How much you wanna bet that his interpretation of this role comes nowhere close to Johnny V's brillance in "Scott Baio is 45 and Single"? (to be fair, Johnny V is not acting. You can't make that kind of assholery up).
3) Do you think Showtime tapped DD to do this show because they loved working with him such much on The Red Shoe Diaries?
4) Will Minnie Driver be making a guest appearance? Her and DD had so much chemistry in that monkey heart movie.
5) If I subscribe to Showtime, will it just be a slippery slope, whereupon I will soon find myself with HBO, Encore, and a DVR?

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

In case you're really bored....

I've added some of my favorite videos from youtube at the bottom of this page. It's like having me in your living room, flipping through the channels, except you won't have anyone mooching off your drugs and booze. Enjoy!

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Better than Esteban

My favorite alien expert, veep, and developer of homegrown kitchen hints, Bruce Lubin, presented on HSN tonight.

Running commentary via text message between my friend and me:

are you watching? where the hell is bruce lubin.

Ooh thanks for reminding. Finding it now.

This is painful. I don't think blubin's been on yet

Totally painful.

I would never buy an air purifier from that lady, she just declared kool & tG never cooler

Who is this wingnut?

not bruce lubin that's for sure

[Bruce appears and we watch for his 10 minutes, mesmerized by his performance.]

Was he holding his blackberry?

He was. He is on the dvr for my housewarming party.

3500 sold! Should I stick around for the purse party?

No! Run away!

Buy Bruce's book of amazing tips he and his loving wife have been developing for years here.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Movies My Mother and I Both Rated Five Stars on Netflix

Billy Elliot
Body Heat
ET: Theatrical Rerelease Version
Back to the Futures I and II
The English Patient
First Knight
Waiting for Guffman
Citizen Kane
Arrested Development (seasons 1–3)
Far from Heaven
Being John Malkovich
David Bowie: The Best of Bowie

Movie We Both Rated 4 Stars