February 20, 2010:
Jamal called me up and I went over to his place to hang out. I had to be careful today because I was very broke. I needed to be sure that whatever went down, that I had enough money to drive to and from work for the week. Everything else could be figured out on the fly, but gas was not one of those items. Luckily, hanging out with Jamal need not be expensive. In fact, we are both movie buffs and the line-up was going to be sporadic, especially with Ben joining us later. The first movie we saw was:
Time Crimes. Justin lent this movie to me a while back. I had yet to see it, and decided today was the day to watch it. Okay, I'm not going to wrap up my thoughts in mystery: I ended up being very annoyed with this movie. The concept is pretty strong, and how it was shot was very well done, but the overall story and lead character were f**king stupid. The main character is named Hector, and that's about the limit of personality or charisma that you will get out him. He has a name and he has never, ever, under any mutherf**king circumstances seen a time travel movie, nor heard of the concept. It was annoying how he didn't understand the danger he was in, even when a friggin' scientist explained it to him. And then one questionable moral decision after another and I'm not sure what I'm supposed to think about Hector.
I don't want to say anymore for fear that I give away the movie. But I do want to give the concession that this movie wasn't awful, because it comes down the viewer. If you (as I did) don't go along with some of the first steps of the movie, then Time Crimes will not gel with you. Check it out, if you feel like it.
Next up was Two Front Teeth. Ben brought it, and I was intrigued by the potentially awesome ideas that were listed to be in this movie: Vampire Santa Clause, little monster elves, ninja nuns, silly gore, and C-grade acting.
And amazingly enough, Two Front Teeth failed.
I watched the whole movie in shock. There was awful acting, but it was too awful. There were little leather clad monster elves, which were cool. There was a black cowboy that is never explained. The two leads couldn't have been more annoying or hateful. The ninja nuns (called the "Silent Knights" ho ho ho) would have been cool, but were gone in minutes. How the hell could a Vampire Santa movie not be an epic victory for me? I'm friggin' easy, damn it! I watched this movie with the mind set that it was a B-movie wacky fest, and I was still angry after the credits rolled.
Watch this movie if you want, but... I don't know. Watch it and let me know if I love for bad movies is slipping. Maybe I'm just not the sad little movie geek I used to be.
The next thing we watched was six episodes of a BBC show called The InBetweeners. The concept really couldn't be easier to explain. Basically, its an English version of American Pie, but as a TV show. Four horny teen aged guys looking for love/lust who are friends because they're the only ones that can stand each other. Okay, I'll be the first to cite them for going for the easy laughs, and its a concept older than the four lead actors cumulative age. But the writing pulls out some surprises. Nearly every episode ends the way that real moments in actual teenage life ends: awkward and pointless. But not in a dumb way, mind you. It just points out how High School issues are never neatly resolved or logical at all, and are funny because we were all that stupid once, or at least stupid enough to listen to stupid friends.
And the show did something that I thought was nearly impossible at this point. In fact, its one of my favorite bits in all of the six eps that I saw. The InBetweeners was able to capture a difficult moment. And that special moment is the retarded teasing that goes on in friendships. Not really hurtful, just stupid and funny because it was in the moment, and is ridiculously silly. One of the four lead characters refers to a guy that the others don't know as a "friend" and even goes so far as to give the unknown guy a double thumbs up. And for almost no reason at all, the other three start making fun of him for it. And its not really clever teasing. In fact, its the kind of bored, unnecessary teasing that friends give to each other. This struck me as the most amazing, funniest, and human moment in all the episodes. The thread goes further, but I'll leave that to you to watch.
After that, Jamal, Ben, and I headed to a bar called the "Pineapple Grill Tavern." (I might be wrong about the name). I wasn't sure what to think when I got to the front door. It was nestled between a Chinese fast-food restaurant and a Nail Salon, and couldn't look less impressive. But when we opened the door...
It was a friggin' TARDIS!
The place was surprisingly big on the inside, and looked really homey and well lit. Not at all the dive bar of broken dreams and lifetimes of horrid decisions that I had in mind. And even better? Karaoke. That's right, karaoke, comfortable chairs, and a full kitchen. How the hell was I not already three sheets to the wind and half-way through the song list? (It might have something to do with that being broke business).
Topics of Conversation @ Pineapple Grill Tavern(?): Questionable first impressions, mysterious friends, dating imaginary sisters, High School shenanigans, detention dodging, bad karaoke singing, hipster hatred, Evil Dead the Musical, putting things on Front St., etc.
So the night was winding down when one of the last karaoke singers sang a song that I didn't know existed. Its called "Strokin'" by a fellow named Clarence Carter. This song is every bit as bad as it sounds, and it doesn't take much clarity of mind to figure out the point of the tune. But what killed me, and I mean ripped me up with laughter, was the guy that was singing it. It was this black guy wearing a "TAPOUT" T-shirt, and this dude was feeling this song. He was humping tables, grooving to the lyrics, and asking the audience questions. He was the king of the karaoke hour, and we were his entertained subjects. I was almost crying from laughing by the time he was done. Best thing I've seen in a long damn time!