I woke up this morning thinking about how I was going to see TDKR in a couple hours and that it would be a good day. Then I read the news and felt like I'd been hit by a truck. I couldn't believe what I was reading. Throughout the day, the more I heard about the tragedy in Aurora, CO, the more anger & sadness I felt. The events of last night have stirred me more than any other similar event in the past; keep in mind I was in high school during Columbine. It resonates in me because for all intents & purpose, I could have been in that theater.
As a devout cinephile, I spend plenty of time (often by myself) in movie theaters. Just this week alone, I went to four different theaters to see a film. I spend more time in theaters than most people do in church or their local bar. You see for me, the theater is my sanctuary because film is my passion. There's nothing in this world I enjoy more than watching a film. The theater is my place to find peace and for some worthless piece of shit to contaminate that makes me utterly sick to my stomach. Most people go to the movies to escape. I go to the movies to connect, to connect with different ideas & emotions, to connect with art, and to share thoughts with people who have similar interests.
It's really belittling to say, "oh it's just a movie." No one that waits in line for a midnight screening is "just seeing a movie." These people spent nearly a year looking forward to this event. They purchased tickets months in advance and waited patiently in line for hours in anticipation. For someone to destroy that joy is just gut wrenching. Badass Digest pointed out that these victims are our kin. They are people like you & me who love going to movies. They are our community and need to be remembered & honored.
I don't want to give the piece of shit responsible for this senseless act any recognition. I don't care to know anything about him or why he did this. Absolutely no explanation is reason enough for destroying so many innocent lives. I won't stop going to movie theaters and neither should you. No one stopped going to school, malls, Luby's, or McDonalds after tragedy affected those places in the past. This vile piece of shit is NOT gonna take away what I love. He does not get that satisfaction.
It's cliched to talk about how precious life is, but we should always live like it is. Let this be a reminder to not take anything for granted.
Friday, July 20, 2012
Thursday, July 19, 2012
I’m not going to call out SPOILER ALERT because there is nothing in this film the average fanboy/girl did not already know about (myself included). So I was fortunate enough to see THE DARK KNIGHT RISES two days prior to its release at a special screening at The Bob Bullock Texas History Museum. Special thanks to Chris P for hooking me up with a ticket. I have never seen a film in IMAX and it was truly a remarkable experience. I wanted to reach out and touch the screen; it was so close and encompassing. Over an hour of the film was specifically shot in IMAX. You never really noticed the scenes that weren’t IMAX which was amazing. The cinematography is just sensational! I really wanted to like this film and for the most part I do. I have a love hate relationship with Nolan, but I am interested to see what he does next. I made it a point going into this film to not judge it by continuity, but by the actual nature of the film. On the surface, it’s a really good film. There are some truly amazing actors (Oldman, Cotillard, Bale, and JGL), it’s visually stunning, and the story fairs well. Now to the meat of the matter: I don’t necessarily think this is a film strictly about Batman or his rumored demise. I think Nolan is trying desperately to make a statement about the socio-economic climate in the US which is an interesting concept coming from an English fellow. Keep in mind this film started shooting a little more than a year ago when the Occupy Movement really started gaining momentum. We had already seen the stock market crash (which is a huge plot in the film) and bank bailouts take place. In the film, the key phrase is, “there’s a storm coming.” All across the world, there really was a storm approaching. As much as this film highlights these events, it also misses the mark at times with dialogue that can be construed as a bit trite. So what happens when the 99% take back what’s there’s? According to Nolan, pure anarchy ensues. This is where I disagree; you cannot divide the world into two categories: good guy/bad guy. People are a lot more complex than this. Wherever your opinion stands on the Occupy Movement, there are a million other presumptions about it. Like Nolan’s assessment, they should all be taken with a grain of salt.
Monday, July 16, 2012
The Thing to pick up my all time favorite pistachio nuts. To my surprise, I got a call from Visa Fraud Protection asking if I was really buying $40 worth of nuts in New Mexico. I appreciate them looking out for me, but I do not appreciate being judged. Austin Books), antique malls, and of course Eegee’s where I indulged in the legendary teagee & ranch fries. At one particular antique mall, there was an entire booth devoted to religious artifacts. I’m pretty fascinated by religious memorabilia to begin with so imagine my delight when I set eyes of this giant bust of Pope John Paul II. We had a lovely Fourth of July with our dear friends Kevin & Daniara. They always have unbelievably delicious vegan treats. Maybe I can finally convince them to move to Austin so we can brunch it up and hunt for corgis on a regular basis. The Loft Cinema which is Tucson’s answer to The Alamo Drafthouse. There are doing this summer series of “movie bad girls” with a bunch of classic films starring Joan Crawford, Bette Davis, and Ann-Margaret. We got to see STRAIT-JACKET which was really fun. I felt a bit of sadness because The Loft reminded me of how the Alamo used to be in the old days on 4th & Colorado St. Before everyone was talking about the Magnited States, it was our own little secret here in Austin. Back when we had the QT Fest, Fulci Fest, and Spike & Mike. A time before a bucket of Lone Star cost $21.50 and a couple potato skins cost $9. I’ve always loved and supported the Alamo, but lately I feel like our relationship has become severely strained. In recent months, they raised ticket prices and food/beverage prices. At The Loft, you can still get a bag of popcorn for $3 and if you’re a member, it’s always free. I read a lot more about the membership benefits to The Loft. The lowest tier is $50 a year and you get special pricing, occasional free tickets, and ALWAYS free popcorn! I often spend $50 on two trips to the Alamo. How come The Alamo never did anything like this? Because they’re too busy being greedy capitalists with their bourgeois priority seating. Guess what Alamo? There’s no priority seating at The Loft! Everyone is an equal, there’s no silly class distinction! Not to sound like a total ingrate, the Alamo is truly an amazing place. And now with their well known reputation, it has afforded them the ability to draw in bigger events and special guests which I appreciate. I just sometimes wish it was back to being my little theater that catered to true film fans. I really feel like they’re too focused on appealing to fans on a wider scale, like people who see MAGIC MIKE or ONE FOR THE MONEY. The old Alamo would have never screened something like THAT’S MY BOY, but they did at the Ritz. I’m just glad that places like The Loft exist around the country. The world needs a little variety. La Condesa. They had a delectable salsa bar that had about fourteen different salsas ranging from pecan salsa to strawberry salsa. Every one that I tried was tasty. We also got to visit Lulubell Toy Bodega in Tempe. They have a lot of Japanese Kaiju toys. This place is a mecca for serious vinyl toy collectors. I was only hoping to see their infamous pug Winston, but apparently he was off work that day. The highlight of my trip was visiting Rooster Cogburn Ostrich Farm. It's right off the highway between Tucson and Phoenix. They had donkeys, deer, goats, ostrich, ducks, and lorikeets that you can all feed. Ross got bit by a donkey and one of the ostrich (barps) almost took off my pinkie finger. All the animals are super cute and fun, but be careful not to get bit. I told Ross to help me get this lorikeet off my head before he pooped on me and he just said, "wait let me take a picture first." Thanks a lot Turkey. Bookmans in Tucson. They have several stores around AZ and are the equivalent of Half Priced Books in TX. I think Bookmans is a bit more reasonably priced and they have a wider selection of other media. I picked up three books for $8 a piece which probably would have cost $12-14 each at Half Priced. Their selection also hasn’t been picked over by Hyde Park hipsters looking to decorate their brand new IKEA shelving. The best pick of the week for me was this one of a kind Justin Timberlake action figure (doll) from the “Bye Bye Bye” era.
Monday, July 2, 2012
I didn't see this film in the theater because I had a bad feeling about it. Once again, my gut was right. We went to a special screening of WET HOT AMERICAN SUMMER last year with Joe Lo Truglio and he mentioned this film that David Wain wrote. He said he was playing a nudist at this hippy commune. I wasn't sure what to make of it. The State people are probably the funniest group of comedians I have ever seen. Most of the time their films are gold, i.e. THE BAXTER, ROLE MODELS, and THE TEN. Unfortunately, this film did not measure up to any of those films. I really hope this next project (THEY CAME TOGETHER) Wain is working on turns out better. WANDERLUST is filled with asinine jokes that totally miss the mark. This was the only funny part: I'm just gonna go ahead and say it: Jennifer Aniston was the weakest link in this film. I've only seem a couple films in which she starred and she's the same character in each. The attractive yet sardonic love interest. She played the same character in OFFICE SPACE and LEPRECHAUN. It was very obvious that she was the odd man out in this otherwise incredible cast. It also pains me to think that as a result of this shitty movie, Aniston developed a relationship with the beloved Justin Theroux. I generally try to avoid actors/directors personal lives. However, while researching various films, I tend to come across a lot of this fodder. I've been a big fan of Theroux since MULHOLLAND DRIVE so I have developed an affinity for him that supersedes other actors (he's no Gary Oldman though) I enjoy. He was an accomplished writer long before Aniston came along. I just can't support an artist who built their name on a haircut (a very bad haircut at that).