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|09.07.06||Terror Thursday|| It's late, my late nite disc is playing... this is gonna be a pretty bloggy post. If you want to skip all the stupid this-was-my-day crap and get to the movie, I predict it will start two paragraphs from the end. scroll on down.|
So this was a pretty interesting night for me. It started off kind of good because the difference in traffic on mopac between 6:00 and 6:30 is like night and day... unfortunately, I guess all the people on the road at 6:00 got off downtown because I couldn't find any parking and due to time constraints had to break down and pay at a garage. Now, when I first moved here I paid for parking a lot. I kind of saw it as a measure of how long I've been here... how long in between having to pay for parking. So I think the last time I had to pay before this, not counting a few random quarters here and there, was SXSW. So that's pretty good, even though it cost me 6 bucks tonight and I now have to reset that clock. oh well.
So I was downtown to see the first episode of the fourth season of The Wire at the Alamo. It's a sneak peek because it doesn't exactly premiere until Sunday... even though it's on HBO On Demand already but whatever... hey, a chance to hear the end credits bass in a theater? shit... So The Wire is my favorite show on television I think. After revisiting Season Three a few weeks ago, I was firmly entrenched. Together with George Pelecanos books, I think it's the top shelf of current crime story... and thanks to HBO, every episode doesn't need to resolve something, they don't need to play to lowest common denominators, and there's the requisite time needed to explore every step of the way toward the headlines we might hear on the news about major drug busts or whatever. I'm not surprised that it comes off as too slow for some... and the turnout tonight kind of reinforced the fact that this will never be a really populist show... but for those other Wire fans that are out there... man are we blessed. This episode, much like the first episodes of every season, manages to set the entire season in motion with events that don't really seem too important now. Creator/writer David Simon always brings up the Moby Dick comparison, saying that in the first chapter of that book... you don't meet Ahab, you don't see the whale, you don't even get on the boat. However, that doesn't mean that nothing happens.
The Wire is basically a modern-day cops n' robbers tale. It's like Heat expanded into 12- or 13-hour visual novels... with drug dealers instead of professional thieves. The characters are so authentic and well-rounded though that you end up sympathizing for characters on both sides of the fence, as well as not liking people from both camps. Then throw into the mix a guy who specializes in robbing the dealers and you have a hell of a wildcard up your sleeve. So in this episode, the three-season arc that ended last season has given way to a new king of the corners... but the cops ask themselves how he can control so much terrotiry without dropping any bodies. Of course, some stuff goes down to get the cops on the case, but we also find out exactly why they've been quiet. They kill whoever needs killing in an abandoned boarded up row house, sprinkle lime on the body, and nail up the doorway. Just another hollowed-out shell of a dying Baltimore. It's both a genius routine for the dealers to avoid heat as well as a potent commentary on the city's neglect. Really great stuff. I can't wait for the next 12 episodes and I really really hope HBO greenlights a season 5 so they can finish the series as planned.
So anyway, I got to see an episode of The Wire at the Alamo! Yay for that! Unfortunately, a Boy Band Sing-along was in between that and the midnight movie... My parents were flying in and supposed to get into town around 8:30... Their flight was delayed though so I found myself with nothing to do for a few hours, waiting for a call to see if they were hungry when they did get in or just felt like going to their hotel. So... I started walking up toward the Paramount thinking I could maybe catch whatever they're showing there.
And then I run into an aquaintance of mine... completely random, out of the blue. We catch up a bit, it turns out she was midway between the Chronicle's 25th anniversary museum exhibit and the party down a few blocks at Copa. So we talk and walk back down thataway and I end up at this Chronicle party where A few of her aquaintences sit down and I'm suddenly surrounded by slightly-tipsy middle-aged women gossiping and talking about which high school is the best. Chronicle luminaries dot the landscape, I think I maybe saw Donal Logue for a second... I'm meeting the chronicle's publisher and thanking him for the Shot in the Dark page. I love reading the Shots in the Dark because they're so... passionate. Some of them come off as sappy and some as sad, but for the most part I think it's a cool kind of person to think enough about that random person to put it out in public. Whether or not anything ever happens, you at least did something... you got it out there, professed your love/interest/curiosity to anyone that would listen... and you never know. It actually somewhat connects to a story tidbit I've had for a while about a guy who leaves notes in his books and sells them used... collecting other books he finds with other people's notes, trying to connect in that way. Here's a random shot in the dark in this week's issue:
Pettite brown haired mustard stealer, I saw you repeatedly stick a mustard bottle in your purse. Mustard is the most sensual of the condiments. Can I ketchup with you?
Isn't that just great? And some of them are so wonderfully vague... I'm making this one up but it could happen:
Guy in red shirt, you were in front of me in line. I was too shy to say hi. Let me correct my mistake!
...I'm in lines all the time! That could totally be me. Some woman out there somewhere totally wants me for my personality. That's awesome!
So after hanging out with the heart of Austin's culture (in a way), we were off to a secret bar she knows that's up a few blocks. We park and we're walking to it, passing all these trailers. I see names like "pam" and "jungle julia" taped to the doors and figure it must be for Quentin's movie. Then I connect the links and see that we're maybe a block away from Texas Chili Parlor. That was actually my backup plan for if my parents were hungry. Good news that they weren't because we probably couldn't've gotten in. I thought they were wrapped at that location but whatever. So we walked through the trailers and down the steps into this bar.
My first thought was that scene in Jackie Brown (it may have been a deleted scene... I can't remember) where Sam Jackson takes Bob DeNiro to his favorite bar and they talk about a bar's atmosphere and personality. Of course it didn't hurt that we just walked past Quentin's trailers and the song playing on the jukebox was Al Green's Let's Stay Together. It's this tiny place though, moderately busy in a very chilled out way. Perfect place to take my beer-loving friends if they ever freakin come and visit me jesus christ. anyway, so we end up talking about erotic scenes in movies for an hour and I am proud to lay a little movie called Pretty Maids All in a Row on her brain. She flips from the description of it... and I didn't even mention Telly Savales!
So this weird little excursion makes me feel like it's 2am... I look at my phone and see it's 11:45! She takes me back down to 4th, drops me off, and i get in line for Terror Thursday... it's out the door. The boy Band Sing-along went along and along. They let us in and it fills up fast. There are some serious Critters fans in this town. Great! One guy even brought a huge Critter puppet that may or may not have been an original prop.. I'm not sure... he'd put sunglasses on it though, pretty sure those didn't come with it. So people are excited to see Critters, man. Some regulars are there, Aaron, Kaela and Eric are there along with Tim and Kier-La... good times, man.
The movie: It's CRITTERS! I saw this a bunch as a kid and... not once since then. Actually, a lot of the memories I had for it actually came from Critters 2... like the stuff with the easter egg hunt with the critter eggs, and the critter running under the bed at the kid's arms and stuff... but I also thought it wasn't until 2 or 3 that a big critter appears. I still think it's different... like in critters 2 they all huddle together to form a Voltron-esque big Critter instead of just a randomly big one like in the first movie, but who knows. I liked watching this a lot though... except one thing at the end bugged me. When the critters take off in their ship, they just want to be mean so they press a button and blow up the family's house. That's awesome, right? Well.. the bounty hunters give the kid (who later appeared in Band of Brothers and ER... another unexplained familiarity crossed off my list) some sort of interplanetary phone and says "call me" and they take off too.. OK, so I guess one of the hunters morphing into the playboy model is in the second one... but wait a minute, the phone thingy starts beeping and he hits a button and the house reforms. Splintered wood binds back together, shattered glass reforms, blasted burned embers come back to their previous state, paint and all... and it's a happy ending. That's bullshit, man! I have no problem buying everything that happens in the movie up till that point, but recreating their house is just a BS 80s copout move... like it'd be sad if they lost their house awwww. Never mind that pretty much every member of the family got a critter nettle to the neck at some point and probably still have critter toxin surging through their veins... their poor house was blown up (which was awesome) so somehow it has to be made right. Blah.
I love that they have a subtitled language though... and that they have wicked senses of malicious humor. That makes it like a meld between gremlins and the raccoons from The Great Outdoors. I also loved the bowling shirt... sort of a mint green with pink highlights and a Ghostbusters logo on the back except instead of a ghost it's a pin. Cool logo. I want one in slightly less gay colors.
So that was my thursday night. Writing it out like this, it doesn't seem like that much happened. I just reveled in the random flow of it... taking me places just because I was open to going... I'm sure that wouldn't happen every time I randomly walk up toward the Paramount, but it'd be cool if it did. It's wonderful how this is still a small town in many ways... especially among a few circles. Just a cool feeling...