Friday, August 19, 2005

Things to do with your favorite freak.

- I don't know about you, but I plan on seeing THE 40-YEAR-OLD VIRGIN as soon as possible. I mean, Steve Carell is funny and all, but the fact that the film was co-written and directed by FREAKS AND GEEKS co-creator Judd Apatow is as much of a selling point. I'm all about the FREAKS AND GEEKS love, if you've never spoken to me before. (Watch it. Best. Show. Ever.) Heck, even Seth Rogen is in the movie, and he's featured in two "Things to Do ..." items I'm mentioning this week. Seth Rogen rules.
- Fran├žois Ozon, the guy who made the trippy, weird, excellent movie SWIMMING POOL a couple years ago, is back with 5 x 2, a movie examining a French marriage from its end to its beginning. From the previews, I'm not able to discern much about why the marriage ends, but Ozon's twisted storytelling usually comes to a point where all of it makes as much sense as it's going to. So I'm looking forward to it. It's at the Landmark.
- In honor of THE ARISTOCRATS, the documentary where many, many different comedians tell variations on the same dirty joke, I was going to have this week's question to the populace be about your favorite dirty jokes. But then, at my bookstore this week, a couple customers filled my ears with bad language as they went into elaborate details about their sex lives, which I didn't ask them about. So I've already had my share of obscenity this week. So, um, I'm not going to ask for any dirty jokes on the comment board. (If you've got a good one, though, I can't stop you from sharing it.)

- My cousin Holly's in town this week. Last night, we went to Jillian's, and I got to play more games of Skeeball. It's like this entire month is carrying a Skeeball theme. Jillian's Skeeball, for me, was a more difficult game than the Skeeball at last week's trip to Chuck E. Cheese. I'm more adept to the Chuck E. Cheese playing field, and I felt out of my element. I guess now I know how professional athletes feel when they play away games.

- It's been far too long since we had a good Wes Craven horror movie to see. (No, I didn't see his Christina Ricci werewolf movie CURSED, though I was tempted to see if it qualified as "so bad it's good.") So I'm happy that this week, Craven takes on the friendly skies with the thriller RED EYE, starring Cillian Murphy and It-Girl Rachel McAdams. Even though it's not a slasher movie, like Craven's best, the buzz off it has been pretty good, and I'm in the mood for a good thriller.
- I don't generally read fantasy. On occasion, I've been known to pick up a sci-fi or fantasy book and attempt to read it ... before I get frustrated and give up on it again, but eventually I'm sure my reading range will expand to include a really good fantasy novel or series. (Heck, I read C.S. Lewis' THE CHRONICLES OF NARNIA when I was in the fourth grade.) George R.R. Martin's A GAME OF THRONES is the latest epic fantasy novel to gain my attention, and what I've read of it so far has me intrigued. Apparently, Martin has no qualms whatsoever about killing off central characters and heroes at random in his books. Fans of them have told me that the death scenes are merciless and violent. Martin's got a new volume of his series coming out in the fall, and the paperback of GAME OF THRONES has been really, really marked down at Barnes & Noble in anticipation of the new book. So I'm going to try and read it.

- UNDECLARED, another cancelled TV series from the creators of FREAKS AND GEEKS, debuted on DVD this week, so, if you're feeling a FREAKS AND GEEKS void, you should watch it. UNDECLARED, which examines dorm life in college with uncanny accuracy, was cancelled by Fox after less than a season a couple years ago. It starred Seth Rogen, MILLION DOLLAR BABY's Jay Baruchel and Charlie Hunnam from the British QUEER AS FOLK. Oh, and Adam Sandler and Will Farrell were in a couple episodes.
- Nellie McKay's GET AWAY FROM ME, which I bought about a year ago, is one of the weirdest albums I own, and I own some pretty odd stuff. McKay's music is, like, Doris Day meets Eminem. She's perky and blonde. The background music sounds like it's suited for a piano bar. And yet she's angry, and she's rapping. It's really weird, but the music's surprisingly catchy, even if some of it's more than a little precious. It's unlike anything you've ever heard or likely will hear.
- Do the usual chores.
- Check last week's list.
- The planning for author Hunter S. Thompson's memorial service has been going on for months now. I mean, he shot himself in the head months ago. The service won't feature any sort of wake for the "gonzo journalist" who wrote FEAR AND LOATHING IN LAS VEGAS, but it will have live bands, stars like Johnny Depp and Thompson's ashes getting shot out of a cannon. Really. Thompson's final wishes were for his remains to be cremated and shot out of a cannon, and Depp himself made a donation so that the cannon shot could be done. All of this, for me, begs the morbid question: How should my funeral go when I have one? What do you want your funeral to be like: quiet or quaint or New Orleans-style with hired Italian mourners? Are you guys planning for your final goodbye or last hurrah? Have you got your cannon lined up? Do you, too, want to go out with a bang?

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