little_tristan: (Default)
Not my kind of service, though. She should be a hearing dog for the Deaf. I've never seen a dog react so consistently to such a wide variety of sounds. She's always right here to tell me when my phone rings or a programmed alarm goes off. And she loves dragging people to investigate strange, tiny noises that we don't hear until we're right on top of them.

She's an excellent fuzzy friend, but her talents are wasted here. If she didn't have kids to herd once or twice a week she wouldn't get to use her skills at all.

Too bad she hates the arch-nemesis. He could use an attention getting dog. His sister's calling me three times a week trying to reach him. He never hears his phone when she calls him. He tells me the problem is she's old and doesn't know how to work her cell phone. That makes me laugh. If he could work his phone, he could call up an iron kettle and tell it that it's black. But he can't. Lucky kettle.

I'm watching the Flight of the Phoenix remake. The writers didn't know much about pilots. It has a lot of weirdly bad scenes designed for high Hollywood drama but only one really bothers me. After the crash, when the girl is trying to talk the captain into being strong for his passengers, he says it's not a Girl Scout troop and he isn't there to hold anyone's hands.

Okay, it's not Girl Scouts. If it was, they'd have cookies. But those people are his responsibility until they arrive at their destination, not just until the plane hits the ground in some random piece of desert. He's still the captain, he's still in charge, and if hands need holding, that is his job. Unless he officially delegates it to another employee, but he still has to supervise.

In the end, he gets his own airline because he's such a famous hero. In reality he'd likely be unemployable after treating his passengers with such disdain. In the original, Jimmy Stewart just hauled cargo. He was good with people and knew his job. This guy needs to go back to flying metal pipes around.

Oddly, the designer who shoots the wounded enemy in cold blood could probably still get on with NASA. Fewer public relations issues there.

If you're wondering why I own the dvd and watch it repeatedly, I have a two word answer: Hugh Laurie.

The longer answer is that I just love the story. The book is excellent and I'll probably own every movie version they make during my lifetime, even though the 1965 will almost certainly never be equaled.
little_tristan: (Catloaf Catbread)
It was an act of pure desperation, signing up for the Publisher's Clearing House grand prize. It looked like a really easy way to get a million dollars. But now there's all this email. Every day. Piles of it.

But they did give me a great deal of Discover magazine.

Yesterday was remarkably fun. Russell was too tired and cranky for me to make him go to Sister's, and Mark was in an unusually good mood, so he went instead. The evil MiL was on the living room computer, wearing headphones, the whole time and completely ignored us. Sister's husband made dinner, which was as late as I predicted, but Mark had Big Bang Theory to watch on tv.

Sister even logged off to talk to me and we didn't even run out of things to say. After we left, I realized that it's been so long since I've seen her, she thinks we still have Steve. She warned me not to watch a movie called The Future (SPOILER/WARNING: it's narrated by a dead cat), and I told her not to watch Seeking a Friend for the End of the World. It was funny for the first twenty or thirty minutes, but the end had me crying for another hour. We ended up crying over it all, while finishing each other's sentences even though neither of us have seen both movies.

Probably we were both really crying because it was Thanksgiving and Mom wasn't there, but fortunately no one brought it up. It was much better that way than last year.

Then we talked about Jonathan Coulton songs. Unfortunately, she'd already found Space Doggity on YouTube. A 1000% NOT [personal profile] oddmonster safe song. But it turns out Creepy Doll is one of her favorites, too.<3

We also made all the plans for Christmas so this last minute thing won't happen again. It always happens. We were surprised to find that it could maybe be prevented by 10 minutes of planning. Weird.

I didn't get a lot of writing done. The morning was weirdly sad and chaotic, and in the evening I was way too tired. Possibly the first time I've ever been too tired to finish a sex scene. But it's better for waiting.

Now I'm watching Defending Your Life. If this was the reality of the universe, I think I could live with it. This lifetime has been pretty well dominated by fear, though. In the next one, I'll try to discover the movie earlier. I'd like to review my failings honestly and stop being a little brain.
little_tristan: (Shaun)
I watched Stripperland yesterday. It was surprisingly bad in ways that I’ve never encountered in a movie before. Like, the sound editing was—well, they probably didn’t have sound editing. Everything inside the cars was hollow and echoey, like they were all shouting into cardboard tubes. And no zombie traditions were respected. They were killing zombies by blowing holes in their guts and cutting off single limbs. (The special effects were indescribably bad, of course.) And everyone in the movie had seen Zombieland. They made occasional stabs at deconstructing it, but mostly just went with imitation. In virtually every way, except that Stripperland just wasn't funny. There were also a few jokes borrowed from Shaun of the Dead, Dawn of the Dead, and, oddly, Star Wars. (Because every movie needs a Star Wars reference?) And I think there were some quotes from 28 Days Later, but they weren't jokes. That movie just wasn't funny.

But. It also said some interesting things about women, strippers, and feminism. Nothing too profound, but enough that I kind of felt like the guys who made the movie, at least, weren’t as dense as other aspects of the film might lead one to believe. So it had sort of a worthwhile, if somewhat heavy handed, message.

However, and this is why I watched it, it also had Thom Bray. And why not? It was filmed in Portland (hilarious goof: they stop at a mall in another state, and after getting back on the road, see a sign that says Oregon 20 miles; but the mall was Jantzen Beach--they didn't try to disguise the sign or anything--which is in Portland) and he does love to do bad horror movies. Usually none this bad, but still... Anyway, he played the sole non-zombie bad guy, a sort of generic evil doctor with a severe Oedipal problem and no respect whatsoever for women as human beings. He was experimenting with zombie strippers to try to calm them down and train them in wifely arts, the idea being that since they can't think for themselves, they're already nearly perfect. He got as far as teaching one of them to sort of do a manicure (Thom with nail polish--pause for hand porn), and then one thing led to another and they ate him. Being an over-the-top bad guy, this is not a sentimental loss. Not like in Prince of Darkness, where the look on his face as he dies always makes me cry. (If you don't follow Thom's horror movies, be advised that he always dies. And he's usually really cute first, so it's sad.)

Anyway, not even Thom could make this funny, but he still did an awesome job. The kid who was the primary character/narrator/maker of rules was a decent actor, too, but they were the only ones. He's lucky he got to work with a master at the very beginning of his career.

(Interesting side note: the only reason I knew about this movie was because it was listed on Thom's IMDB resume. It was there as recently as last week, but it's gone now. And he's no longer listed on the movie's cast and crew page. So you'll just have to take my word for it, I guess.)
little_tristan: (Charlie Bartlett)
Since I haven't posted about much besides books lately, here's the scoop on everything else:

It's been hot here. Not terribly so. Not record-breakingly so. Or ever average-meetingly so. But still hot. (Yes, I'm making up words, Sarah Palin-like, but I'm an artist. I'm allowed. She's a politician. She's supposed to be clear.) So anyway, it's hot.

On Monday I took Doodle, who is a miniature Spitz (AKA American Eskimo), to the vet for a rabies shot. It's a long walk for a little dog, but she's been shaved recently and it was early morning so it wasn't too hot. Also, she's only four, which is the peak of strength for yappy little ratbags like her. (Ratbags is so a term of endearment. Watch Flight of the Phoenix. The good one from the sixties, not the new one.) Anyway, she hadn't been in since last year when she ate the insulation of the side of the neighbor's house, so they gave her a quick exam and found a minor infection around one tooth. She had a lot of plaque built up and the gum was receding. Basically the dog needed periodontal work. So in the interest of not letting it get worse, she went back yesterday to have the teeth cleaned so that hopefully the gum would reattach. Unfortunately, when they got all the crap off, they found that the tooth was cracked and full of holes all the way up into the root, so out it came. Apparently it was caused by all the ice the arch-nemesis gives her. He can't control the flow from the dispenser in the fridge door so a lot of it ends up on the floor, where the dogs eat it.

And speaking of eating, the vet also told me that Doodle is overweight. She weighs 24 lbs and needs to weigh more like 18. Which means she needs to drop a quarter of her body weight. (Hey, so do I.) Doc, the Border Collie, is already arthritic and needs to lose a third of her body weight, so I came home determined to help them for real. They're Bruders dogs and he feeds them (Doodle eats upstairs, so I don't know how much she gets, but Doc gets the diet Dog Chow in huge amounts), and adorably enough, he thinks food is love. This is part of why I'm fat, too. Until we started dieting together and actually talking about it, he would thwart my attempts to eat less by constantly making my favorite fattening foods. But now that he's lost 20 lbs and feels 20 times better, he's more prepared to give that to his dogs, too.

So when I got home Monday, I checked the feeding suggestions on the bags, factored in the vet's advice, and got a measuring cup to dish out just the right amount. Then I hunted down containers that only hold those amounts so there won't be any mistakes. (I know him. If he had measuring cups and had to read the numbers every time, he'd get tired of it and start just filling them full. Both of the boys are only precise at work.) For Doc that means a cat food dish that's too small even to feed three cats overnight. And Doodle now gets her servings scooped out with a yogurt container. Although after she's lost the weight, she'll probably go up to a higher amount for maintenance. Doc is too sedentary for that. She'll be on a diet for life. And I'll be watching the arch-nemesis every time he goes into the kitchen to make sure he doesn't give them scraps and leftovers. Ranger, who is an active dog and a sensible eater, has to be tied up in the living room all day to protect her from his fuckwittery (he used to seek her out, as the thin one, to feed crap to, not realizing that that's how they stop being thin), but the other two won't stand for that. Doc thinks it's punishment and Doodle chews through the leash.

I found some more Perry King movies recently. Sadly not up to the standard of some of the first ones I watched. (Mandingo was not that bad.) The Lords of Flatbush was okay. He didn't get the girl, but the 50s Elvis hair and leather jacket helped console me. Andy Warhol's Bad was pretty terrible, though. It's the story of a woman who runs a beauty salon out of her home, and maintains a harem of young woman who kill for pay. She only wants women, because they're more vicious, but somehow she's convinced to take in Perry's character, LT. Here be spoilers )

A slightly better movie, but not by much, is 2005's The Perfect Neighbor, a made for TV flick where Perry plays an almost perfect husband and father who becomes the object of some nutty chick's obsession. She moves in next door, fixates on him in the first five minutes, and starts scheming and killing to get rid of his wife and take her place. Sort of a Hand That Rocks the Cradle thing, with cheesier lines and a lot less plot. But Perry's so pretty, and really adorably clueless, that it was still kind of fun. He always brings a certain amount of cluelessness to these roles that I love. A total lack of recognition of his own value and appeal that makes it really hard for him to imagine that his next door neighbor would kill his assistant with a tire iron because she suspected they were having an affair, and wanted her job. Over little ol' me? Aw shucks. That can't be right. Yet it is. And he's twice as cute for not catching on.

Moving on from Perry, I watched a movie yesterday called The Car. This had to have been the inspiration for Christine. Stephen King had to have seen this mess on late night TV when he was stoned out of his gourd and said to himself I can do that right. Because yes, the car was scary. It drove around killing people, acting on its own, yet with deceitful intelligence. And James Brolin (quick note: Semagic is suggesting I mean Karolina rather than Brolin here; it's obviously never seen the movie) was surprisingly hot, with a 1977 mustache and haircut that made him look exactly like his son does now. But there was no explanation. No history of the car, no point of origin, and no reason for how or why it chose its victims. The ending, which I believe Stephen King referred back to in Desperation, implies it was simply Satan, but that still wasn't satisfying.

Also, our next door neighbors are moving. I'm sad about that. But I think I've gone on long enough.

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