Bill is a bunny

Friday, December 16, 2005

King Kong

Okay, inspired by Chris Jay's remarkable review of CONTLTWATW I have elected to review the other big holiday blockbuster of the season: King Kong. Unlike Narnia Kong doesn't have the Red State/Blue State thing going for it nor does it contain uncomfortable situations involving adults (fauns) and children. However King Kong does contain one of the best love stories I've seen on screen since Punch Drunk Love. The fact that it takes place between a woman and a 25 foot gorilla doesn't detract an inch from its appeal (at least to a freak like myself).

What impressed me the most about the film (well, really this is a movie not a film, no matter what some of the more rabid fans would have you believe) was it seemed to be a true return to form for the director, Peter Jackson. I first discovered Peter Jackson when I was in fourth grade. There was an extensive production article on Meet the Feebles in the first issue of Fangoria I ever bought (it had a picture of a Gremlin from Gremlins 2 on the cover as I recall). I was blown away that someone halfway across the world could be making movies that we were talking about in the US for basically no money and involving some of the weirdest stuff I had ever heard of at the time (fourth grade, guys, fourth grade) I tracked down a copy of Bad Taste at the local Alfalfa Video Store (the chain was later taken over by Blockbuster but not before I bought my first GWAR album there)and proceeded to watch it with all my friends. I evntually bought that copy and still pull it out occasionally to remind myself why I loved Jackson so mch. He followed Feebles up with Braindead, still the most accomplished zombie comedy (or zomcom) ever made. It was certainly the goriest.

Then tragedy struck Peter Jackson's fans: he got a girlfriend. Fran Walsh moved in and basically ruined Jackson for his genre fans, pushing him to make films like Heavenly Creatures and something called Lord of the Rings. Oh, sure The Frighteners gave us a small taste of Peter's original charms but I knew it was over once I saw Fellowship of the Ring. Little fairies running about the New Zealand countryside trying to convince the audience that this really is cool. But I never bought it.

When I first heard that Kong was a go again I had some reservations. What if this becomes a neutered story of a devoted animal and his snuggle bunny blonde? I've already had a remake of Mighty Joe Young, thank you. Fran was on board again and I would be willing to bet that she is responsible for many of the new kong's more superfluous side tracks aboard the Venture as well as the mystifying subploy involving a black sailor and the young white kid he takes uder his wing. That subplot went absolutely nowhere and if his wife hadn't written it Jackson surely would have cut it.

But, but, BUT Kong works more often than not because Jackson is making a real monster movie here, not some ridiculous ode to middle earth.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

When it rains it pours

Rain, rain go the fuck away! My car's driver side window is stuck in the down position and it's raining outside. I tried to fix it with a plastic bag and duct tape but it did not work at all. This sucks wenus

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Ah! Relief is mine!

Well, I'm now out of the woods (I think) with regards to my crapulant sickness. The snot is still a-comin' but not with the full force gale it once was.

Yesterday I impressed one of the younger teachers here with my plans for Christmas. I'll be flying over to Houston to spend a few days with my ol' buddy Spencer and his family. Spencer and I went to Florida State University film school (at least I did for a year before being expelled from the university proper for my crappy grades in every other class not involving film). Spencer and I always seemed to be on the same page most of the time and I have missed him dearly. What impressed the young lady yesterday was Spencer co-host duties on one of her favorite programs "Design oon a Dime". I called Spencer with this news yesterday and he was less than impressed. I suppose I can understand. I imagine most of his "fans" are housewives he has little interest in meeting. But Spencer: she's hot! She's like the only hot teacher at this school! And she thinks you're cute (sadly, I am never the recipient of her affections). Ah, well, whatever.

To celebrate my new found health and vitality I drove over to Wal-mart on my lunch break and braved the crowds in order to purchase the extended cut of Sin City ( a movie I enjoyed thoroughly) and the King Kong Production Diaries. I'm intrigued by this last DVD set because the movie it details comes out tomorrow. All the material on the discs was once available online at the kongisking.net website. I watched a couple of the diaries online and found them to be pretty fun stuff. Just about anything involving Peter Jackson is pretty fun stuff actually. Last week I got The Frighteners on DVD and spent the better part of a weekend trying to watch it all. Peter Jackson is all over that disc and I'm beginning to look forward to his cherubic face on my TV. I still haven't fallen for the Lord of the Rings films. I saw them all and enjoyed them but don't particularly want to wade trhough 48 hours of extras regarding them, I just don't think hobbits are that cool. But giant apes? Brilliant!

Speaking of that giant monkey, I'm going to buy my ticket for King Kong after school today. I've been looking forward to this for a while (not as much as the Kill Bill movies but still quite a bit) I expect to cry my little eyes out when he climbs that skyscraper. Every man is that big ape with his woman swiping at biplanes in his heart. Every man.

Friday, December 09, 2005

From the depths of my illness-I snot at you!

As you can gather from the above title line I am still sick. This has not kept me from merrily going on about my way in the world. Lately I've been trying to put together a list of movies to contribute to the school library here. I've decided on Dragonslayer, Jason and the Argonauts and Clash of the Titans so far with King Kong (the 1933 version) and Tron on the waiting list. I'll also try to locate some cheapo copies of Miyazaki films for a dash of anime flavor. The kids like the anime.

If all goes well I'll be going to Shreveport this weekend for the King Hippo Dirtfoot show at Sullies. We'll be enjoying the show and casing the joint for future gigs. Lil Joe's has become kinda interminable of late now that Benedict isn't at the helm. Too bad.

We auditioned a new keyboard player last night and he really clicked with the band. Good improvisation skills and a real sense of groove. It was cool to hear what he did with George's Daughter and Levee. He didn't have that genteel feeling I sometimes got from Corbin's playing (and he didn't tend to dominate the songs the way Corbin occasionally would). I'm digging The Vidrines without keys right now but it might be nice to have another whack at them.

It'll be good to see Chris Jay again. I miss that monkeyman.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Snot is fun!

My illness has abated somewhat allowing me to return to work, however its symptoms continue to plague me. In the interest of making lemonade out of metaphysical lemons I have attempted to find new and clever ways of using my mucus for entertainment purposes. I really haven't gotten much further than marveling at the various qualities and quamtities of the stuff though I find I can still blow a fine snot rocket. My "mouth mucus" has a hearty consistency and rolls off the tongue like an Irish brogue (sp.?). My cats have had to remain on their toes to avoid my frequent volleys of projectile cruddola, since I miss the garbage can 9 out of 10 times. Ah, life! Glorious, don't you think?

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Back in the saddle again...

Gosh, it's been a while hasn't it? Sorry about the lack of updates lately, I've been battlieing a fierce December cold that had me bedridden for two days (three if you count the weekend, the crappiest days to get sickly). I spent the time reading a swell Spy Magazine (remeber those guys?) mock Cliff Note volume of 1980s "edgy" literature. You know, Lesss Than Zero, Slaves of New York, Bright Lights Big City all that hooey. I loved those books when I was in high school and early college but have since looked back at them and wondered "What the fuck was I thinking?" I still hold that this genre (Spy makes a good case for genre here, tying all of these books together with collegiate Yankee types doing drugs, behaving badly and mourning the loss of a dead mother. Seriously ALL of these books had a dead mother) is entertaining as hell and serves as cautionary fables for the unfeeling generation. But man they sucked too. I mean, EVERYTHING sucks on one level or another but these things really do suck. Hard. But that's why I loves 'em.

I also reviewed Romper Stomper still the best movie ever made about racist skinheads (I haven't seen The Believer yet) and Harmony Korine's early script effort Kids. Man, Kids (I'm not doing any more itaclics, sorry) still makes me a happy monkey. I know it's supposed to be a cautionary fable but I never bought that for a minute. It's a celebration of everything shitty about my generation in our adolescent years and it ROCKS! $7.95 at Target, it cannot be beat with a skateboard to the face. I need to find the soundtrack post haste. It brought back many fine memories. I just hope my students are having as much fun. And that they don't give each other AIDS.

Hmmm, what else? Hopefully THE VIDRINES will have a couple of shows before the big New Years Blow Out. I found a stash of old Vidrines shirts in my ex-roommate's closet and they will be on sale for $15 a piece. I know that sounds pricey but these are the last of their kind and will never be reprinted so deal with it. Front and Back, B&W, sizes Large and X-large. Rare Jason Byron Nelson print on each side. All y'all tubby bastards need one of these things to show how hip you are over the holiday season! Chris Jay, if you are reading this, please return my calls. I miss you and want to know why you hate me now.