Showing 11 - 20 of 88 posts found matching keyword: trey

I was in a lousy mood, so instead of watching something new, I turned to an old favorite: UHF.

I can't speak for everyone, but some movies I have a personal relationship with. For example, I remember where I was and who I was with the first time I saw The Princess Bride, The Adventures of Ford Fairlane, and Robin Hood: Men in Tights. For UHF, I remember the first day I didn't see it.

"Weird Al" Yankovic's foray into movies hit theaters in the summer of 1989. The weekend after my brother and I returned from camp (Trey from Camp MacIntosh and me from Boy Scout Camp Burt Adams) in July, Mom and Dad took us to the local multiplex. I wanted to see UHF, but the rest of the family voted for Honey, I Shrunk the Kids. I remember selflessly offering to let the others watch their movie while I watched UHF alone in a different theater. Mom said no. I wouldn't get to see the film until it was rented from Blockbuster a few months later.

UHF was — and still is — a brilliant piece of comedy film making. Most of the film is commercial and film parody in the style of Kentucky Fried Movie overlayed with a plot combining The Secret Life of Walter Mitty and the work of Harold Ramis (where the plot isn't as important as the jokes). The space between the parodies is filled with plenty of good, old fashioned Marx Brothers-style screwball and wordplay. Yankovic is no Danny Kaye, but he's supported by a sterling cast including Michael Richards, Fran Drescher, Kevin McCarthy, Victoria Jackson, Billy Barty, Anthony Geary, and Emo Philips, among others. If you're not laughing at UHF, you have no sense of humor.

Unfortunately, the movie was a flop. I think this may in part be due to its incredible competition. In addition to Honey, I Shrunk the Kids, UHF was up against Batman, Lethal Weapon 2, When Harry Met Sally, License to Kill, Dead Poets Society, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, Ghostbusters 2, Weekend at Bernie's, The Karate Kid 3, and Field of Dreams. Ye-ouch. Hell, about the only movie that was out that week that I still haven't seen is Spike Lee's Do the Right Thing. (I've been thinking that it's about time I corrected that oversight.)

The performance of comedies are notoriously unpredictable, making financing difficult. I doesn't help when your comedy is dumped in the middle of the summer blockbuster season. Therefore, it's no surprise that there was never a follow-up. It may be a shame that the world was denied more of Yankovic's madcap antics on the big screen, but at least we'll always have UHF.

Thanks, Al.

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December 2 marks the one year anniversary of the last time my brother spoke to me — or communicated with me in any way. He has ignored my telephone calls, emails, and texts. He moved out of the state, and I don't even know where he lives now.

I had been convinced that at the end of a year, Trey would break his self-imposed silence and make an attempt to communicate with me. It now appears clear that my conviction was unfounded.

Oh, well.

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Today is the 5 month anniversary of the last time my brother spoke to me. I don't have anything new to say on the subject. I'm just marking time.

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This is for Trey, who hasn't spoken to me since December 2.

Don't argue with Captain Marvel, Trey. He has the wisdom of Solomon.

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For the first time in 38 years, I opened no gifts on Christmas Day. Mom and I celebrated on Christmas Eve so that I would have plenty of time to get Dad to the hospital by 6 AM this morning for his scheduled angiogram. He'll likely be in the hospital until tomorrow, which is also his birthday. That's my birthday present to him; I figure a trip home from a hospital stay is probably as good a gift as any.

Not that our Christmas Eve celebration was exactly a big deal. Mom and I had a brief gift exchange and some homemade hamburgers (we forgot to make the french fries we had in the freezer) before working on a jigsaw puzzle. Other than the case of 20-oz Cokes given to me by my new bff Randy, everything I got for the holiday fits in a single, moderately-sized cardboard box. And not a single video game! A quiet evening with mom and no video games? I must be getting old.

I should probably point out that fewer people gave me gifts than ever before. I used to get presents from my aunt, but earlier this month she declared that she is in financial straits this season and wouldn't be exchanging gifts with anyone. I was worried about her until she showed up at our house with the brand new Kindle Fire she bought herself. The worst part was that she only came over because she wanted me to teach her how to use the Kindle. Add that to the time I spent installing Dad's new Blu-Ray player last weekend, and it's been a very Tech Support Christmas.

Still no word from my brother. Presents are wrapped and waiting for him and his new bride, should they ever decide to communicate with us again. Trey's defection from the family certainly remains a bummer, but on the upside, a small holiday gathering of just Mom and me prevented a recurrence of our dysfunctional family's most cherished tradition: our annual shouting matches. I have to say, it was a kind of a nice change of pace.

For the record, this post isn't meant to describe how shitty my Christmas was. In fact, I quite enjoyed myself. It was certainly among the best holidays I've had in the many years since Santa Claus stopped visiting. I only list these things and point out that they combine to something of a high-water mark in my experience so that you, my dear reader, can establish a metric by which to compare your own Christmases to mine. It is my dream that one day we can all have better Christmases through Science. It's what Jesus would have wanted.

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I heard via someone who saw it on Facebook that my brother got married. Apparently Facebook has some value after all.


If you would have told me in November that my brother would get married before the end of the year without telling me or anyone else in our family, I would have called you fucking crazy. Shows what I know.

Congratulations, Trey and Melissa. I hope that the two of you will live happily ever after.

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While watching the Bulldogs lose the SEC Championship last week, I angered my brother by alienating his fiancée. Trey hasn't exactly told me that he's not talking to me, but I figured that he was mad because he wasn't answering my phone calls. I now also hear through the grapevine that I won't see him at all this Christmas, as he has chosen to avoid me and my mother this season. (From what I hear, Mom gets the blame because she did such a poor job raising me. Talk about holding a grudge!)

We all already know that I'm an asshole. Certainly, I resent that Trey won't spend any time with me now that he has a fiancée. I hadn't intended to insult her, but my resentment coupled with my natural anti-social behavior made me even less warm and fuzzy than usual. If that's even possible.

I know that I must be in the wrong. In a romantic comedy, I'm the character that starts out as a friend of the protagonist, but my reluctance to adapt to the circumstances resulting from the initial meet cute causes friction between me and the protagonist. My character becomes sidelined and eventually either A) comes to accept the new status quo, appearing cheerfully smiling as a member of the wedding party, or B) is revealed to be a sub-human wretch who gets fired from his job, falls into some dog shit, and is arrested in a comedic case of karmic mistaken identity for a child pornographer. Obviously, I'm working with my agent to land the part in script A.

So, I've been having a bad week. It's for times like these that I have a poster on my desktop. You know, that one with the cute cat and the motivational phrase? Yeah, this one:

I don't even like cats.

Thank you, Frowning Cat. You always know how to cheer me up. And Trey and Melissa, if you read this, know that I am trying.

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I was been super busy in September, and as a result, I had the impression that my monthly movie count would be very low. Counting them up, I'm surprised to see that wasn't remotely the case.

213. Horror Express (1972)
Peter Cushing, Christopher Lee, and Terry Savalas fight an amoral alien menace in an early 20th-century trans-Siberian train. This B-movie was far more entertaining than it had any right to be.

214. Cowboys & Aliens (2011)
If Horror Express was more fun than it ought to have been, Cowboys & Aliens was far less fun than it ought to have been. This big-budget bore-fest started strong before petering out slowly over its final hour. Stay away from this stinker.

215. Portrait of Jennie (1948)
Another recommendation by Grimmy, and, as usual, a worthwhile watch. Part Harvey, part Ghost and Mrs. Muir, it's hard to classify this gothic romance story, a fact that certainly works in its favor.

216. Shark Swarm (2008)
I have no idea how Armand Assante, Daryl Hannah, John Schneider, and F. Murray Abraham wound up in this terrible, 3-hour long tv movie about how evil capitalists are destroying the environment by creating extra-hungry sharks! Well, okay, I know what John Schneider is doing here, but F. Murray Abraham won a Best Actor Oscar once! (If you haven't seen Abraham's tour de force performance in An Innocent Man with Tom Selleck, do yourself a favor and watch that instead of this.)

217. Salt (2010)
I told my brother that I had missed the dialogue at the end of this film because I had to go to an online meeting, so I couldn't tell if she was fleeing or sanctioned. But he said that he saw it 2 years ago, listened to the dialogue, and couldn't tell then, either. So maybe the ending is just open to some interpretation.

220. 42nd Street (1933)
The prototypical "we're putting on a Broadway show" movie. Fun but not deep.

221. Real Steal (2011)
They finally remade Over the Top with robots. Sadly, this is not a better movie.

222. Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close (2011)
Trey said I shouldn't be allowed to count this movie because I missed the beginning and the end, and what I did see I openly criticized as pointless and unsatisfying. But he had to admit that I had at least been present for most of the movie and could recite the story, even if I didn't like it.

I've got as many more to go, and I'll get to them later in the week.

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Sorry, no post yesterday, but I have an excuse.

See, I was going to go to the UGA game versus Florida Atlantic University with Trey. However, I simply couldn't make myself care about spending 5 hours in a car (not to mention the $40 in gas and $20 for parking) to witness the Bulldogs beat a 43-point underdog. The only draw for the game was the ceremony to officially declare Russ, the UGA fill-in mascot for the past 3 years, as the official UGA IX. I'm not really big on ceremonies, so at the last minute, we decided not go.

Our plan was instead to sit around the house with Mom and watch the Florida/Tennessee game on one tv and stream the GA/FAU game on the computer. It sounded like a good plan. Unfortunately, the football gods frowned on my passing up stadium seats for the couch, and the cable went out. Since we have a cable modem, we couldn't watch football on television or the web. What a disappointment.

I don't think I'd do anything differently in repeat circumstances. Georgia went on to win 56 to 20 without my participation, I still have those 60 dollars in my bank account, and I'll definitely be back in Sanford Stadium next week when an actual SEC team finally comes to town. Maybe there is a lesson to be learned in this experience, but I guess like any good bulldog, I'm too stubborn to learn it.

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The third dozen movies seen this July (and the month isn't quite over yet!)

187. Alice Adams (1935)
Drew Barrymore recommended this movie on The Essentials on TCM. Credit where it's due, this is a much better movie than most Drew Barrymore movies.

188. Bride Wars (2009)
Everything about this movie is ridiculously contrived. I know that as a guy, I'm not supposed to "get" weddings -- a fact the movie quickly and frequently reinforces -- but I don't even get this movie.

189. The Sweetest Thing (2002)
This movie recycled so many of the same crude jokes in its desperate bid to be Something About Mary II, the producers even cast Cameron Diaz in the lead role.

190. In Time (2011)
Justin Timberlake as social-crusading action hero? Yeah, sure, what the hell.

191. Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps (2010)
Let me open by saying that I really enjoy the original Wall Street. It is the only Oliver Stone film I will admit to actually liking, and that statement includes this sequel. All the unnecessarily arty cgi and what feels like a tacked-on feel-good ending dilute the movie's "fuck the system" message. I was left wondering why I had bothered to watch a 2-1/2 hour movie starring Shia LaBouf. Joke's on me, I guess.

192. Slacker (1991)
I distinctly remember being wildly curious about this film when I first saw it on the shelves of my local Blockbuster in 1993. I didn't watch the film then, and that's probably a good thing. There is no way I would have appreciated the message then. I've long been under the delusion that all people get crazy as they get older. This film clearly illustrates that people start out crazy.

193. Peyton Place (1957)
Mom talks about Peyton Place as being quite taboo when she was a youngster growing up in a small town. And no wonder. It's a good, big screen soap opera, with family discord, rape, murder, and an over-bearing orchestrated score.

194. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2011)
I'd seen the original Swedish movie already, and I looked forward to comparing the two. The American version looks good and builds its story well, but I was very disappointed in its spoon-feeding the resolution to the audience. Now I'm going to have to read the book to find out which was more loyal.

195. 200 Cigarettes (1999)
Think Empire Records but with less emotion and worse dialogue. And for a movie named after cigarettes, why doesn't anyone in the film look like they enjoy smoking them? (Only in the finale does Ben Affleck even looks like he knows what to do with one.)

196. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004)
Screenwriter Charlie Kaufman is brilliant, but I don't think I could stomach multiple viewings of any of his films. (One more note: I found Kate Winslet's character completely unlikable. That means I spend this entire movie yelling at Jim Carrey to shut up and get over her. He didn't. I'm not putting myself through that again.)

197. The Big Year (2011)
Reviews of this movie gave me the impression that it would suck, but a cast of fine character actors injected this bittersweet comedy with a lot of life. I liked it.

198. D.O.A. (1950)
I liked this, too. The protagonist solves a typically convoluted film-noir plot by process of elimination. Careening clumsily from one suspect to another like a runaway pinball, he solves his own murder only after all other possibilities are eliminated. Deserves its place among the film-noir classics.

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To be continued...