NOW we’re gettin’ somewhere. After my last post on Craigslist, in which I asked a myriad of questions, I received a deluge of responses. I’d forgotten how much women like to drone on and on about themselves and my questionnaire gave quite a few that opportunity.
However, even though it seemed that I was coming closer to my goal of finding Ms. Right, the lady whose attentions I decided to favor, from my gaggle of responses, pushed the wrong button on a bomb that’s wanted to explode for quite some time. In the grand scheme of things, the broad isn’t important, what is important though is the horrible act that she asked me to commit. After we ate dinner, she asked me to take her out to see Transformers 2. She may as well have asked me if I wouldn’t mind shoving her fist up my ass.
When I asked her why she wanted to see that particular movie, and I REALLY wanted to know, she told me that she loved Megan Fox. I have GOT to stop dating chicks under 25. I promptly drove her home and dropped her off after a quick hand job, and I now look forward to never speaking to her again…all because of her choice of film.
And do you know why? Because I’m a movie snob and fucking proud of it.
I did end up seeing Transformers 2 after my best friend Mike and his girlfriend dragged me out to the theater. Why? Maybe from some sort of spiteful inner hatred towards me, or it could be the same reason most of America saw this steaming pile of hammy shit: because they don’t know any better. When I was a kid I actually liked the Transformers cartoon, and I had many of the toys. However, the fucking animated movie from 1986 had a better story and a more interesting history as it marked the final roles for both Orson Welles and Scatman Crothers. Today I cleansed my movie going palate with ‘The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly’. The comparison in my mind made me realize JUST how much films have changed over the years.
I don’t claim to be a film scholar, but I think I know some shit. My friends won’t even attempt to play Trivial Pursuit: Pop Culture with me because I’ve forgotten more Hollywood knowledge than most people will learn in a lifetime. Hell, I’ve created many an awkward silence by saying things like ‘I’m about to get luckier than Marisa Tomei at the Oscars’ while on a date. The invariable look I get in return for a comment like that is somewhere between ‘who’s Marisa Tomei’, ‘what’s an Oscar?’, or ‘How do you spell ‘luck’?’
I’ve always been critical of film on a personal level because movies had so much to do with my upbringing. When I was a kid, my mother’s way of dealing with me when I was forced to go home on the weekend from military school was to walk me over to the mall at ten A.M., flash her badge to the manager of the movie theater, and leave me there to watch every movie until midnight so she could go tie one on at the local shithole cop bar.
On the many weekends that I DID spend on campus, I would be allowed to walk down to the Washington Square movie theater and see a flick. Sometimes the dean of our school would have movie nights on Wednesday in the library. I didn’t have access to film like I have now, but I know that I looked forward to those nights more than any other while I was there. We would often watch blaxploitation flicks from the 70’s because my military school was about 70 percent black, and even though Super Fly has the same effect on black kids that Rocky has on Italians, making them beat the shit out me for being ‘the man’, I was enthralled by the soundtracks and in love with those cars.
But sitting alone in the movie theatre on Saturdays, Harrison Ford, Michael J. Fox, R. Lee Ermy, and Steve Martin were my baby sitters and I could count on them more than I could count on my own family. Movies made me laugh, they inspired me to want more from life, and showed me that anything is possible…even writing a book.
Some of my fondest memories happened around film. The first movie I saw in a theater was Risky Business with my cousin. Little bit of an adult theme for a kid my age, but I fucking loved it. I was too young to have seen Star Wars in the theatre, but The Empire Strikes Back brought a whole universe of wonder to my brain. I remember the comradery I felt when I went to see Popeye with my mother on opening night and people had to stand in the back because the theater was so crowded.
When I got out of military school in ’86, the Beta-max war had just been won by VHS. This was in a time before Blockbuster, Hollywood Video, and Red box, when the neighborhood mom and pop video store reigned supreme. With eight months to wait until I was to start going to a public high school, I got a rental card for my local video store and rented 3 movies almost every night for a year. Because my mother worked midnights, I would stay up until 2 or 3 in the morning watching everything from Rodney Dangerfield Presents comedy specials to movies I had absolutely no interest in seeing. I would have theme nights where I would watch every movie with Jack Nicolson, Harrison Ford, or William Shatner. I even tried to teach myself Esperanto after seeing the only film ever made in that language: Incubus. I’m sure that by the time I was 16, I had grown up way too quickly. My vocabulary had quadrupled in that short time since military school, and I had learned how to cuss quite effectively.
Whenever I felt alone or depressed, I’d just ride my bike down to the video store for some much needed escapism. Was it a healthy way to deal with life? Hell no, but movies were there for me when no one else was. I’m sure that if you ask a lot of directors, producers, actors, gaffers and key grips…they’ll all have similar stories that inspired them to work in the film business. It makes for a cute sound bite, and chicks really eat that shit up. The problem I have is that it seems that any asshole can now walk out of a college and get behind the camera to make a shit film, no matter how fucking untalented he/she may be.
I take film as seriously as some people take the American Flag. To them, the flag represents freedom, their rights as a citizen, and an ever ending loyalty to the great nation that keeps them close to her bosom. When I see a movie like Transformers 2? It’s like someone just shit on my American flag.
I understand that they call it ‘show biz’ for a reason. It’s a fucking business, but the business of show has lost its heart, it’s lost its soul, and it’s lost my fucking mind. Before special effects became the big thing, a movie needed a good story, good actors, good camera work, good production, and good editing. NOW, Jerry Bruckheimer gets a shit script penned by illiterate 3rd graders and throws a 100 million dollars at it like he’s throwing a softball at ‘good taste’ in a dunk tank. Then his lackeys bribe worthless shithole magazine writers, who aren’t even critics, to pen a blurb about it, and through the magic of YOUR wallet, and YOUR stupidity…Hollywood art is created. Fuck that.
Jerry Bruckheimer…my arch rival…my nemesis. He is my William Randolph Hearst. I’m actually WRITING a screenplay right now, and the protagonist is named ‘Bruck Dickheimer’. This man is to film, what BP is to The Gulf. I always hear ‘but Mike, his movies make millions of dollars’, yes they do, but for the SAME reason that the human centipede eats shit…because it doesn’t have a choice.
Jerry Bruckheimer will be responsible for the downfall of intelligence in this country. His films are so mind numbingly bad, that you have no CHOICE but to say you liked them, because if you gave yourself the time to really think about what you just watched, you’d put a shotgun under your fucking chin. I haven’t seen the public fall SO in love with such racist, sexist, misogynistic idiotic diatribe, and irrelevant, badly written, shitheadedness since Germany in the 40’s. Fuck you Jerry Bruckheimer…you’re a bad, bad guy…you go to hell.
Look, films influence young people. ESPECIALLY kids whose fathers are less available than Sid Vicious in an Opium den. When my father was a kid he had Clint Eastwood and John Wayne to teach him how to be a man. They were American role models who taught people to stand up for what’s right, take responsibility for their own actions, and treat other people with respect. In the 80’s, my generation was brought up with Stallone, Schwarzenegger, Russell, and Willis. The values they taught us were much the same but with a bigger emphasis on being tough. What do kids have now? Whiney pasty faced Vampires who walk around with a puss on their face because they have super powers and women who are famous for no other reason than that they have big tits. What are the values that Megan Fox is inspiring in your kids? That if you get implants you can be in movies with giant robots?
With so much potential in the world having its mind hammered flatter than Calista Flockhart’s tits, it’s hard to ignore the repercussions that film can have on society. Movies very often influence children to become students, to become politicians, to become Columbian drug lords, and recently? To become incredibly stupid. Kids need an Eastwood or a Stallone to show them right and wrong. There’s ALWAYS been crime in the world, but the fact that it keeps getting more violent and horrific HAS to correlate to the fact that movies keep getting shittier and shittier.
Don’t get me wrong here; I’m not advocating less violence in film. Hell, Kubrick, Kurosawa, and Eastwood are among my favorite directors and I imagine that just SAYING their names makes Bruckheimer wince like a vampire does when the curtains are drawn back suddenly at noon. What I AM advocating is that you tell the fucking story better. It’s irresponsible to slap this shit on a screen with no forethought as to HOW the god damned thing will be viewed. The FIRST fucking person’s name that should roll up on the screen during the closing credits is the writer. That way, we can collectively applaud his style and intelligence OR form a mob and go after him like the villagers in Frankenstein for pandering to the lowest common denominator.
Another thing that pisses me off is that there are people starving in AMERICA, in our home, hell down the street from you, there is a war going on right now that is bleeding us dry, jobs are gone, murder and mayhem run rampant through our streets and there are commercials which show me one eyed cats and dogs on scooters begging for change. WHILE all this is happening…Hollywood has the nerve to put a hundred million dollars into ‘Transformers 2’. WTF? Transformers 2 is to film what mimes are to comedy.
If your ONLY purpose in telling a story is to have Megan Fox running from place to place with her titties more crammed together than New Yorkers in Time Square at 11:59 P.M. on December 31st, then JUST do that. DON’T hide it behind an epic tale of giant fucking robots. How bout for 120 minutes, you JUST have Megan Fox run from one side of a room to the other with 43 inches of cleavage swinging around like King Kong’s nut sack. You save money on actors; you save money on post production, hell the only people you’d have to pay are the location scout, the ‘tit’ makeup artist, and Megan fucking Fox. I guarantee that you make JUST as much money at the box office, and with the dough you saved on production you can open up a nice Zoo to put homeless people in.
Look, I get capitalism, I UNDERSTAND the need to make a buck. But DON’T put a horrendous actress with big tits, and a kid who got famous for making an ‘oh no’ face in a movie about giant robots and have the nerve to call it ‘art’ of ANY kind. It’s NOT art. Its art in the same way that a ‘performance artist’ dipping pictures of Jesus in tubs of urine is ART. Entertainment? FINE! Pure entertainment, like when I put tape on my cat’s paws or put a quarter stick of dynamite in my asshole neighbors’ mailbox.
It positively boggles my fucking mind when they plaster on the posters ‘Transformers 2 is the most well written film since Dr. Zhivago’, or ‘Transformers 2 is 2009’s Citizen Cane!’ And then you whip out your electron microscope to view the ‘small print’ which looks like it was written using an ant’s dick, and it says ‘Raves Paula McNumnuts San Francisco Penny Saver’ or ‘Claims Jack Twat, Barely Legal Magazine’. Who the fuck ARE these people?
Your opinion matters WAY more than theirs, but Hollywood doesn’t have the balls to take REAL criticism. You never have, and you never will hear an HONEST opinion of a movie because Hollywood OWNS the fucking critics. Hell, I found out that if you want to join the critics association, you have to have, something like, 7500 reviews PUBLISHED, and THEN pay 100 grand just to be considered a ‘real’ voice. Then you get hired by Disney and they scrape any kind of intuition and originality you have out of your brain pan, and replace it with conspiracy riddled false adulation for their films. Just ONCE I’d like to hear, without any meandering or posthumous boot licking, that a movie just plain fucking sucked. These pussy critics out there tell you that the ‘cinematography was poorly crafted’, or the acting was ‘sub par’, but they do it in a way as to kiss ass at the same time. Just say “I’ve taken shits whose wafting odor filled my mouth with better taste than ‘Saw 4’” or “Besides having a name like a dickhead, the only acting career that Shia LaBeouf should have is as that asshole dressed like the Statue of Liberty outside of a Liberty Mutual Tax joint in a strip mall.” Be honest to US; DON’T pander to the fucking studios.
I dabbled in the ‘film critic’ seat myself for a time. My friend Smart Jim and I worked at our local cable access studio in order to learn how to use the equipment so we could put out our OWN half hour shit show and talk about just how crappy we thought movies are these days. The premise of the show was that we would first talk about WHY a new film was horrible, and then tell you about an older film of the same genre and why IT was so fucking good. Sure nobody watched it, but it was fucking fun to say what we had to say, and everyone who DID watch it loved hearing the opinion of someone who didn’t treat them like a fucking child.
Another annoying Hollywood side step is the fucking actors that REFUSE to say anything bad about working with one another. Look, I’ve worked with A LOT of people in my lifetime, and I can tell you shit for days about why each one of them is an asshole. And that’s just standing around in a fucking store. These actors work with each other on locations for months, in shit conditions sometimes, for 12 to 20 hours a day. Then Christian Bale gets in front of an E! News camera and starts hamming it up about how ‘working with Liam Nelson was truly an inspiring experience…during filming one scene, I had accidentally cut my hand off and Liam peed on my stump…4 minutes later my hand grew back. I understand that his snot also cures cancer’ FUCK YOU! Who are you kidding Bale? We’ve ALL heard the fucking ‘lighting guy’ tape…we KNOW you’re an asshole…so ‘asshole’ it up for fucks sake. I want to hear what you REALLY think of the people you work with. Being a ‘star’ is a category within the realm of human beingery…you don’t belong to a separate fucking race so give us your inner asshole…you’re a man, not a puppet.
I know the difference between ‘good’ and ‘bad’ when it comes to film, but sometimes a flick can fall in the middle. A perfect example of this? ‘Predator 2’. I recently purchased P2 on bluray and was shocked to find that the incredible transfer to HD did nothing to improve the shit acting in this film. If anything, it made it worse. The thing is though, that I STILL love it. I could watch Predator 2 over and over and never get sick of it. WHY? When I KNOW it’s a bad movie? Because it was a good idea, although poorly executed. But I like the premise of the movie enough to overlook the overacting and hammy dialogue.
Bringing a Predator to a CITY? That’s a good fucking idea to me. I always wanted them to bring the Aliens to downtown New York or Chicago because in my mind it just looked so fucking cool to have these things crawling all over buildings in huge swarms just as the sun was setting. Even though they brought me to the precipice of this dream at the end of Alien 4, they never delivered on the cliffhanger promise of Aliens crash landing on Earth. So Predator 2 was all I had.
The franchise that pisses me off the most now? The Twilight Saga. Look, I love vampire shit. I grew up reading Anne Rice and I almost shit all over myself from excitement when ‘Interview’ finally hit theaters. One of my favorite television shows right now is ‘True Blood’, and I’ve seen every incarnation of Dracula since Nasfuratu a hundred times (ESPECIALLY ‘Abbot and Costello Meet Dracula’). But this Twilight shit has got to fucking stop. First of all, I’ve never seen kids with super powers or girls DATING kids with super powers so fucking miserable. Second, the premise of these films is that a 109 year old guy is trying to fuck a 16 year old. Hello? Chris Hanson, can we get a ‘Dateline: To Catch a fucking Predator’ crew over here…NOW.
The MOST annoying thing about this garbage is that these aren’t even fucking vampires! I can’t think of ONE time in those movies that I saw them drink blood; in fact I defy you to tell me ONE scene IN these flicks where someone even fucking bleeds. They don’t even die in sunlight. Look, I’m not the most intelligent man on the fucking planet but it SEEMS to me that if I WANTED to fuck a 16 year old? Showing her that I look like a diamond in the sunlight would be the way to go about it. THIS Pattison mother fucker though, is afraid it would freak that chick out. Either this author is INCREDIBLY stupid…or she thinks YOU are.
Night Shift is a great vampire story, and Steven King even brought one of the characters from that novel into his Dark Tower series which I consider to be an EPIC and incredible piece of literature just ripe for a film. One of the ONLY times I’ve ever heard one famous person ‘mother fucking’ another was Steven King bitching about Twilight. I couldn’t have been more in his corner. This guy laboriously came up with one of the best vampire stories written, and here comes this chick and shits all over the very idea of vampires. Kudos King. Who loves ya?
The sad thing in today’s film industry is that often times TV shows are now BETTER than movies. Hell, Deadwood, Arrested Development, and Lost are some of the most well written and best produced things I’ve seen since ‘Unforgiven’ in 92. I’ve read stories about how film makers tend to look down on television directors, writers, and actors…and I can see why. They’ve lapped you in the talent race.
My point is that we’ve all had different experiences in life that have left an indelible mark on our psyches. Our experiences are what make us who we are as individuals and what makes one man weep in a film, may make another laugh. Where you see Twilight as a romantic adventure, I see a movie that talks down to me. Where I see an explosive sexuality in True Blood, you may see the fantasies of gay men. We all have different taste, but taste creates opinion and MY opinion of a film isn’t any more valid than anybodies. You have to form your OWN opinion. Just watch the fucking movie and decide for yourself. DON’T listen to critics, DON’T read the blurbs on the movie poster, and most importantly DON’T fall for Hollywood propaganda media bullshit.
Look, I like to read about the good days of movies, when REAL artists vied for a table right next to Hollywood’s kitchen. These were true innovators who had a story to tell, and they did it with class, dignity, savoir faire, and charm. They made you walk out of the theatre THINKING. Now, you go see a flick with more product placement in it than a 7-11, and you DO walk out thinking. Should you get the ‘peanut m&m’s? Or the regular? Most films are 68 minute commercials.
If a movie IS any good, the producer goes down to the editing basement which looks like Freddy Kruger’s hospice, smacks the editing dwarf on the back of the head with his ‘Saved By the Bell, Aren’t I cool Cause I’m Retro’ trapper keeper, and tells him less ‘emotion’, more ‘Pepsi’.
The reason why movies are so short is so they can fit MORE viewings in a day at the theatre. They actually edit out the good parts, the parts that DRIVE the story, and maintain the arc so the theatres have a chance to sell you 43 dollar bags of popcorn SIX times a day, instead of FIVE times a day.
THEN they shove it down your throat when the DVD comes out. ‘FILLED WITH EXTRAS’, and ‘DELETED SCENES’, shit, you’re OWED that deleted scene. That deleted scene cost you 14 bucks for a box of fucking whoppers. You already paid for that deleted scene. Not to mention the Nike’s you bought after you were brainwashed like Alex in ‘Clockwork’, before the movie even started.
If you want to show commercials BEFORE the movie starts? Fine. But DON’T have the newspaper say the movie starts at 9:05, and I have to get there an hour ahead of time, wait in line like I’m trying to get toilet paper in the old U.S.S.R., knock old ladies down, try to pee so fast that my stream hits 88 miles an hour and sends me back to 1954 soaked in piss, and then when I finally DO climb over smelly, nacho infested, sticky, pierced teenage mothers of 3 on their SECOND date with their ‘baby daddy’, I’m plastered to the front of the screen like Wile E. Coyote when he lands at the bottom of the canyon. Only to find out that the movie doesn’t ACTULLY start until 10 because there’s an hour of Nike, Sanka, and Breast Cancer commercials before the projectionist stops playing online poker long enough to punish me with whatever shit flick my girl friend has sexually coerced me into seeing.
Even though the first TRUE movie theatre was created in 1896, there weren’t any movies to show yet. Most viewers were treated to various travel scenes like what your Granpa Touchisnuts shows you in the basement when you’re dragged to his house for a holiday. Over the years, as theatre’s morphed into huge viewing arenas called ‘Movie Palaces’, the idle wilds created by men as hobby for other’s to view, transformed into an industry sprouting profession, education, and expression of idea that we are unlikely to see come about again within our lifetimes. The most significant era of film came in the early 30’s when its importance was divided between entertainment and escapism. During the Great Depression, audiences gloried in spectacular fantasies of high society and easy living that they would never know. The zany characters of Screwball comedies could afford to be screwballs, while the average American could not. For an hour or two, though, they could all pretend to be Cary Grant or Katharine Hepburn. Movies inspired hope in the individuals who had lost everything and they made people forget, if only for a few hours, how downtrodden the outside world had become.
They would sit in a CLEAN theatre, with curtains, and a real sense that they were someplace special. Someplace where their problems couldn’t get them. The curtains would open in a spirit of ‘showmanship’, and they would watch a short news clip, that actually informed and amazed them because they were seeing things that they might not have ever seen. Then the lights would dim, and these people would watch with wonder and awe as beautiful, but seemingly REAL people unfolded a story full of romance, hope, and inspiration. These films had a purpose to entertain and offer escape, and they were DAMNED good at doing it.
Now, I walk into a theatre and I am instantly stuck to the floor. Seriously, what the fuck could a theatre serve you that if you spilled it, would cause a super glue type chemical reaction with the leather of your shoe? Shouldn’t someone call OSHA? Then as our societal courtship with etiquette has been stomped out like Tiger Woods’ sex life, there is inevitably a lonely ‘cat’ lady sitting in front of me, with an Aldi bag in the seat next to her, who has to laugh at EVERY unfunny pun; just so people around her THINK she gets the joke.
And my BIGGEST movie theater pet peeve? I swear to Christ, I’m going to call out a DCFS swat team the next time some dimwit brings her fucking infant to the midnight showing of ‘The Bad Lieutenant’. Why the fuck would you bring your wailing bar accident to a movie theatre for the midnight show of a Rated R movie?
I understand that as a human being, you WANT to see ‘Kill Bill 2’, but it’s not always feasible to pay for a babysitter. YOU have the same rights as anyone else if you want a little escapism. But GO SEE THE 2 o’clock show! WAIT for the DVD! MAKE your man where a fucking condom! Why should I be punished because YOU were too drunk to make Dash Mc Deltoid put on a Jim hat? THIS mother fucker cost me 10 bucks!
And Mexicans? I love you, I really do, but you have ovaries like a fucking dickhead. Keep the caravan at home. I went to see ‘Avatar’ recently, a THREE hour movie, and I kid you not a Mexican family came in to the theater TEN FUCKING minutes AFTER the film started, SEVEN children deep, and I don’t know how but they were all only 6 months apart. They ALL sat in ONE seat RIGHT in front of me piled up like a fucking cartoon totem pole! Quit pushing out social security numbers just so you can start a new fucking cell phone account. It’s a human being, NOT a fucking bill collector dodge.
Again, I work in retail, in a mostly Mexican neighborhood; these kids have the attention span of an end table. You expect ONE Mexican kid to sit still for 3 hours, you may as well expect to meet a kind respectable individual who has a job, his own home and a running car on Craig’s list…much less SEVEN.
I got up and left. Why waste my time? The evening could ONLY end in one of two ways: I leave and wait for the DVD, or I get my ass kicked by 7 Mexican kids for asking them to shut the fuck up.
Bottom line? It’s only when WE, the public stand up and demand that our movies be GOOD, that Hollywood will have NO choice but to comply. How do we do that? DON’T go see Deuce Bigalo 8: Deuce is a CAT, Don’t ask Santa for the Twilight toilet seat cover, and DON’T buy the 300 dollar Star Trek Collectors Movie Sponge REAL Replica Kirk Hairpiece Special Deleted Scene of Scotty Taking a Shit Tribble Edition Boxed Set.
Demand more from your entertainment, if not for you then for your kids. Where is THEIR Godfather? Where is THEIR Blade Runner? Where is THEIR Never Ending Story (first one, NOT the second). These were films that helped to shape a generation’s definition of ‘cool’ and inspired a flood of genius upon the gates of tinsel town which has been replaced by corporate shilling, irresponsible writing, and beauty mistaken for acting. MY choice of best film?
You’ll find out in ‘The Movie Snob Part 2: Electric Boogaloo’…coming soon to a Book store near you.
I’ll leave you now with THESE acclaims that I’ve received about my posts to Craig’s List:
“A Post-a-matic ‘tour de force’, with the writing style’s of Hemmingway, Chaucer, and Burroughs but BETTER!” – Screams Vlad Von Studebacon of Wild West Magazine
“This man is to Craig’s List posting, what Einstein was to Relativity!” – Chants Candice Flabergast of the McDuffy’s men’s room stall!
“If our founding fathers were alive, they would READ THIS POST!” – Validates Chip Deltoid of a gay pamphlet with a rainbow on it!
“The most important thing anyone has had to say since Martin Luther King!” – Thrown with feces by a crazy man on top of a 57 Chevy Impala
“NOTHING has been this good EVER, not even Mother Theresa! Not Even Ghandi! It’s SO good; I’m going to sacrifice myself to it so that it will love me more!” – Rush Limbaugh