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Archive for the ‘Mockery’ Category

I like Netflix. Scratch that, I love Netflix. Okay, so I spend more time with Netflix than I do some human beings. So sue me, they’ve got that nifty “Watch It Instantly” feature that I f’love. Don’t judge me.

My friends often ask for movie recommendations or do the thing I used to get when I worked at Blockbuster: “I’m looking for this movie and it has that dude from that TV show a while back with that chick from the one movie with the sword…” While they find my movie freakness amusing if strange, sometimes they are like, “Whoa, Caitlin, you lost me there.”

I told one of my friends that “if Netflix has a queue limit, I’ll be the first to find out”. (It’s 500 movies, incidentally.) One of the reasons I like having several friends that find my movie obsession a bit weird, but acceptable, is that they kind of rein me in at times. Upon looking at my Netflix queue, a friend exclaimed, “Are 473 movies REALLY NECESSARY, Caitlin?”

Of course, I was instantly on the defensive. “Of course it is!” I exclaimed. “I need to watch all of these! I mean, some of these I’ve been waiting to watch FOREVER. I’ve got the three at a time plan and I mail back a movie every day, I’ll get through it in no time!”

Ha! Famous last words, friends.

Upon deciding that my next ten movies in line held no interest at the moment for me recently, I started going through my queue to see what in the world was worth watching. Oh my god. WHAT WAS I THINKING.

I practically had the collected works of Ken Burns Netflixed. Seriously, self? There is NO WAY I could get through ten plus discs of Baseball, no matter how much I was interested in learning about the game even though I don’t even like baseball.

Then there were the movies that had been languishing in my queue for god knows how long that I had actually bought that I had never remembered were IN my queue.

My queue was sad enough to contain a Brittany Murphy movie. What? I hate her! What is that monstrosity in there?

This is why I need someone to intervene every so often and say, “Caitlin…just…stop.”

I’ve paired it down to an extraordinarily reasonable 405 movies, down from 500. Hey, I made all the changes I could, okay? Don’t ask me to give up Murder, She Wrote: Seasons 1 and 2. I love Angela Lansbury, especially as Jessica Fletcher. Those darn mysteries! She’s such a crack sleuth! I’m reliving my childhood! (Shut up.)

And there’s no way Animated Soviet Propaganda is coming out of my queue. Have I mentioned my Russophilia?

Nevermind the master works of Jean-Claude Van Damme there, either. Let’s pretend you never saw that, because if I had willingly put that in my queue, hypothetically speaking, it would be because a life without having seen Bloodsport is a life not yet lived. Or something like that.

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With any major author these days it seems to be inevitable that their books will be made into movies. See: J.K. Rowling, Stephen King, etc. (Not that this is new, but it’s picked up in the last 20 or so years.) Tom Clancy is no exception. In fact, we already have four movies based on Tom Clancy books all centering around Jack Ryan.

In the order they were filmed and released, they are:

  • The Hunt For Red October (1990)
  • Patriot Games (1992)
  • Clear and Present Danger (1994)
  • The Sum of All Fears (2002)

(Side note: I actually own all of those. And due to my Russia-fixation, The Hunt for Red October is my favorite of the four.)

You actually have three very solid movies in the list. Harrison Ford was probably the best Jack Ryan, but I think we can all agree The Sum of All Fears was a waste of time. Seriously? Ben Affleck? I can imagine the conversation right now between two people knocking around the idea of restarting the Ryan franchise. “Dude. It’ll be awesome. We’ll cast Ben Affleck. And we’ll take it BACK into the timeline before The Hunt For Red October! It’ll be awesome.” Then the two put down the bong and managed to go get the sucker greenlit.

It’s no secret that Hollywood’s trying to revisit the Ryan franchise. I, for one, actually don’t have a problem with this. Clancy actually has an extended body of work that involves Jack Ryan that one could use, although it becomes less believable as time goes on, as half of the Congress, most of the executive branch and a whole bunch of people get blown up and Jack Ryan becomes president, who then creates a secret organization to fight terrorists. And his kids are involved in running said organization. (Yeah, WTF, I know.) Heck, Hollywood even has the notorious Rainbow Six cashcow, which focuses on John Clark, Jack Ryan’s CIA spook buddy. It’s made an awful lot as video games, so why shouldn’t it translate more into success as a film?

Then there’s all the crap Clancy has allowed to be released under his name that’s been written by different authors.

You have a lot to work with here.

So when I started hearing rumors that various people wanted to revisit Jack Ryan but not directly use Clancy material and just use the Ryan backstory Clancy had created. And then I read this, via Ain’t It Cool News:

The plan, apparently, is to have [Sam] Raimi direct a whole series of movies focused on a Ryan even younger than Ben Affleck. The first could hit cinemas as early as summer 2010.

 

What the heck? What the heck happened to Jack Ryan before he runs into the Soviets that is remotely fascinating? Who cares! Isn’t part of the Jack Ryan appeal the fact that he’s a quiet CIA historian who gets muddled up in world affairs, eventually becoming deeply entrenched in the CIA? Aren’t we missing the point here?

I trust you, Sam Raimi, just not like this.

I may have to pretend that only the first three movies exist. Again.

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“Hi! I’m noted film and television actor John Travolta! It’s a great day, isn’t it?

Listen, I’m here to talk to you about something very important to me. No, no…it’s not Scientology. I’m here to talk to you about acting.

Acting, obviously, is the main thing that I do. I’m proud to say that over the years I’ve developed my own system, my own method, if you will. I call it ‘The John Travolta School of Acting’. It’s really quite easy, you see.

There’s a couple of steps. I’m only willing to share a few with you here; you’ll have to attend my super-exclusive seminar to hear the rest, but this should get you started on your path to acting superstardom!

Now, many of you out there may have never taken an acting class in your life. That’s okay! The John Travolta School of Acting was designed especially for people who have no idea how to act. In fact, we don’t want you at The Travolta School if you have any idea how to act. All you have to do is show up, and follow a few quick and easy steps.

Step One: Maniacal Facial Expressions

All you need for this is a mirror and some of my movies. Two of my “Maniacal Facial Expression” piĆ©ces de resistance are Broken Arrow and Face/Off. See here?

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Note the serious expression! The partially raised eyebrow! And then, when you’re actually moving and not standing still, you just need to act like a hybrid of Jack Nicholson and Nick Nolte. It’s easier than you think! Go, right now, and try it out on your husband or wife. I guarantee they will hide in the bathroom out of complete and utter terror. (Travolta Safety Tip: Make sure all sharp objects and firearms are locked away safely before you try Step Number One.) If your husband or wife will believe it, your average American moviegoer will!

Step Two: Speak Loudly With Your Hands

Take a look at Basic. Enjoy Broken Arrow again. What you can’t say with your face (or what your face won’t let you say) you can always say with obnoxious, overly large hand gestures.

Want to reinforce the fact that you’re a maniac? Grabby hands! Want to seem especially sarcastic? Jazz hands! They’re not just for dance anymore!

Now, you’re capable of playing a bad guy! Want to know how to play a good guy! Well, you can attend my seminar for only $999.00 this weekend to figure out the rest, and soon, you too can star in Urban Cowboy or Saturday Night Fever! Half of the proceeds go to the Church of Scientology! Wait, no, I haven’t won an Oscar, now that you ask — where are you going? Wait…come back! Come back!!!”

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