Saturday, May 29, 2004

A Day's Worth of Brain Clutter

Apparently a giant tidal wave is supposed to flood Manhattan, and then I guess the whole thing's supposed to freeze over. It looks utterly devastating. This, though, is the only information I've been able to glean from the television commercials. But I guess the concept intrigued a whole lotta people more than it did me, because the movie's expected to rake in $100 million at this weekend's box office. In somewhat related news, the city today was absolutely gorgeous, not a cloud in the sky. Probably the best weather day of 2004. So I'm thinking this movie is gonna be kinda bunk (I've rarely used the word "bunk," that is until a recent political scandal saw the Governor of Maryland refer to multiculturalism as "bunk").

Big budget disaster flicks are usually a recipe for artistic and entertainment disaster. I mean, Deep Impact contained armageddon themes and featured serious natural destruction, but it was arguably one of the worst blockbusters ever green-lit. OK, I'll even give you a 16-year-old Elijah Wood outrunning a hundred-foot tidal wave on a motorbike with his new bride on the back pegs. But a black president? C'mon, at least make it a little realistic, fellas.

Speaking of black presidents, I watched about twenty minutes, maybe a half hour of Black Spring Break 2: The Sequel on Friday. I'm serious. We tuned in late, but apparently a poor man's Shaq with Down Syndrome lied to this spoken word poet, whose poem was entitled "Please Don't Lie to Me." Then a pimp came out of nowhere to give Slow Shaq's depressed buddy a handle of gin. Slow Shaq's depressed buddy proceeded to drink the whole bottle. As he's leaving a video suicide note in his hotel room, the "Love-Making Maid" broke in and sexed him up real good. Oh, then the pimp somehow finds his way to Slow Shaq's hotel room and gives a heartrending monologue about the meaning of friendship. The budget for this movie was most likely in the $240-$275 range, and somehow it still kicked the shit out of Deep Impact.

It's Fleet Week in Manhattan, and all of a sudden every woman in the city is attracted to men in uniform. I heard even the waiters at Friday's are getting laid at will. That was my sorry attempt at a new and improved joke about Fleet Week (and I know there's an honorable discharge in your face joke in there somewhere)...I'm ridiculously tired of the "I'm thinking about renting a sailor's costume to score some chicks" routine. Last time I laughed at that joke was the mid- to late-80s. And here's a quick public service announcement, while I'm feeling salty about this issue: Work on some new material, folks, some of you are atrociously unfunny. I'll miss a joke here and there, it happens. But some people out there look like John Starks in Game Seven of the '94 NBA Finals, chuckin' shit up there, nothing's fallin' down. Let's raise the bar, folks.

I answered a burning question this weekend: Just who is the ultimate "That Guy"? Is it J.T. Walsh? Is it Dan Hedaya or Peter Stormare? Occasionally some of these folks will come along and transcend the phenomenom altogether. Somehow you'll never bother to learn their real name, but you'll always call them by the character's name with which they're most associated. Classic example: Shooter McGavin. Who the fuck cares what this guy's name is? Shit, Shooter McGavin thinks his fuckin' name is Shooter McGavin. But after thinking about this for like eight or twelve hours, I discovered there really is clear-cut champion here. And that man is Stephen Tobolowsky. Raise your hand if you can accurately identify Stephen Tobolowsky. Exactly.

But Tobes is actually the King of the That Guy realm...he's Shooter Times Three. Some people know him well as Ned Ryerson. Ned! Ryerson! Needle-nosed Ned, Ned the Head. Case Western High, Ned Ryerson! I did the whistling belly-button trick at the high school talent show. Bing! But other people know him as the strangely sexy Mary McDonnell's prey in the underrated film Sneakers, Werner Brandis. Hello, my name is Werner Brandis. My voice is my passport, verify me. And then there's the cult of Memento, who consider Tobolowsky's Sammy Jankis character as one of the keys to deciphering the movie's meaning. Personally I'm a Ned Ryerson guy, it doesn't get better than that character for me. He's one for the ages...just thinking about his well-delivered dialogue makes me smile downstairs. I don't really know what my point is here. But I do know that Stephen Tobolowsky should be a celebrated man, in a freakishly popular Christopher Walken kind of way, and I'm just trying to get the ball rolling. (Also, check out the man's the IMDb trivia page -- he turned down the role of Al on Home Improvement and he was almost murdered twice in one week by different people. Classic Ryerson.)

When was the last time Mike Fratello even looked at a fuckin' telestrator? How can Marv Albert still be recognizing this guy as "The Czar"? Is Marv just Fratello's personal state-owned mass media, I mean, when he's not wearing women's panties and biting the backs of kinky lovers? I'm boldly predicting that a popular uprising among the telestration proletariat will strike down Fratello and anoint Cris Collinsworth the new Czar.

Who the deuce ratified the Taxi Rider's Bill of Rights? And are the Cabbies working on a Cabbie PATRIOT Act that can deny your right to a "courteous, English-speaking driver"?

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