It was a whim. Still in recovery from last week's medical thing (that landed me in the hospital and will be written about once the neurologist has a diagnosis), there was a recognition that going to meet "the guys" at Truck Stop or the Eagle Beer Blast or Metropolitan's Sunday barbecue was maybe a bad idea. Escape was needed though as cabin fever was achingly abundant. I walked myself to the subway station entrance and sat on a bench debating going for "just a couple of beers". Then came the call from a best friend in Atlanta on business that brought the scold of "having no business carousing in your condition".
The subway station is two blocks from the multiplexorama, so a quick check to the Flixster iPhone app brought the antidote to my situation: The Final Destination, 3-D.
The ($15.00!!!) ticket was purchased with a medium Coke Zero and peanut M&M's. (How can you they be out of Twizzlers? How is that even possible? Also? Were it not a whim, outside purchases would have been made.) A near perfect seat was chosen. Then the horror began.
First the Father arrived, securing three other seats. Then came the Mother. And the four-year-old Son (two seats from me). And the tween Daughter (next to me). A quick glance confirmed that any available remaining seats were inferior. "Tough it out" demanded the inner bad-ass. Then the lights went down and the surprises began.
After traveling the world on the film-festival tour, A Jihad for Love is finally premiering in New York this Wednesday. Review to come, but learn more here. Trailer post-jump.
Coming in from a bright Sunday into the dark Bijou sex club, my eyes take a long time adjusting. My mind is on finding an appropriate space to talk to people attending this event, the beginning of a Sunday salon series hosted by Daniel Nardicio. This week is a screening of Caligula, one of the best worst movies of all time.
Still blind, I have no idea who has suddenly grabbed me while I'm still scouting out locations to interview people for Gawker. Tons of spots are found for B-roll. The bar where Dimitri Santiago is posing for a life drawing 'class'. The booths of course. The crowd watching the movie. Turns out my grabber is Daniel himself who is amazed that I have jumped a foot in the air post-grab.
He introduces me to a few folks. A "pass-around party bottom". Sean Van Zant from rentboy.com. The Tangle, who had filmed Daniel's pilot. Others. Then I settle near the pool table, waiting for my video guy to arrive.
Suddenly, I switch into "obnoxious guy in sex club with iPhone" mode, having to answer texts and emails relative to the event. Over ten times, I step into a hallway to give instructions or clarify time.
Returning to my 'safe place' by the pool table, the scene where Caligula is testing the virginity of an engaged couple is on the screen. I've been joined by this guy Jono that has no idea that he's completely my type (see pic above or video). To the point that it makes me nervous. (Or maybe it's Caligula prepping to fist some poor guy. Or maybe the fact that the fistee isn't arching his back.) Jono's even dressed in what I have decided for myself to be perfect attire for the evening, a zip-up hoodie with no shirt beneath.
When videographer Alex arrives, we tour around. He shoots some good B-roll. I then grab Daniel to have a chat in a better-lit space. A locker area is lit in a way that, both being 40, we reject. Eventually, I convince Daniel to sit on the bathroom floor with a trash can behind us and a plunger in between his legs. And as we begin to have a discussion about what is dirty in New York these days, passersby chime in and magic happens.
We have this great little conversation with people joining us on the floor. In the bathroom. Of a sex club. And it's all on video.
Movie: Blades of Glory
Cast: Will Farrell, Jon Heder, Amy Poehler, Amy Poehler's husband
Circumstance: Preview Screening
Accompaniment: A second date. Ran into some other folks also attending.
Overall review: Too soon after the NASCAR movie (which although I didn't see, seems very much like this one). Also, nowhere near gay enough.
Favorite moment: The skating finale is fun and has some nice effects and stunts. Also, the chase scene between Farrell and Mr. Poehler.
Internal dialog: "Wow, John Heder really has milked out that Napoleon Dynamite thing out. I mean, he's pretty one-note in my view, so he's kind of like the Roseanne Barr of this sort of thing, just playing the same character over and over. I guess it's good that he started it on the big screen, but the guy has
WB CW sitcom written all over him. Or maybe Fox. Because he's typical of that kind of actor that the baby-boomers controlling Hollywood are able to pick out and say, "Oh, he's very representative of that generation," which he may or may not be. But an actor he's not."
Laugh: Yeah, totally. I love gross-out humor, even if it's has inklings of homophobia. Doesn't mean it's good or bad, but I got my chuckles on.
Cry: Um, no.
Accompaniment's opinion: Unsure. It's like, sometimes you're out with someone and wondering if they're trying to please you or if you just agree on a lot. Assuming that we are of similar mindsets, then I'd say his opinion was similar.
Generally: What's up with ice skating and being so freaking closeted? I don't get it.
No, pervs, this is not a story of me in an omnisexual pangasmic party, but read it anyway. Somehow, be it timing or fate or just dumb luck, Shortbus never graced my eyes. Which is unfortunate as someone that appreciates the stylings of John Cameron Mitchell, but isn't one of those JCM slaves that you will from time to time see at the occasional party or East Village bar. Sure, he's a friend of a friend or friend of a friend of a friend, but so is Kevin Bacon; it's a small town.
But on the theme of friends of friends, two months back a couple of friends invited me out for no other reason than to see a friend of theirs perform at Pete's Candy Bar. And when you go to the show of a friend of a friend there's always the "OhGodPleaseLetThisNotSuck" brain refrain. So there we are in the packed room and Scott Matthew takes the stage. A tall, beardy, and sort of angelic creature starts to sing and play guitar and there I am, saucer-eyed, spell-bound. Needless to say afterwards, my fist is in my friends chest pounding playfully, "You're supposed to tell me about awesome things, fool."
Fast forward to the past weekend, and an advance copy of the DVD is on the coffee table. Still sick like an ought-to-be-slaughtered animal, in goes the disc and on screen is the movie. To provide a synopsis is an insult to the movie, as it is so much more than a mere literal story. It's a memory poem, a love lyric, and a reminder of a few things.
It wasn't a weakened state, or a sentimental moment, but by the end there were tears. Of joy and hope and thrill. (And a little of "Why do I have to be sick and watching this alone? This is bullshit!")
And Adriana Barraza.
And Rinko Kikuchi
And my left testicle smells like honeysuckle.
Cast: Adrian Brody, Ben Affleck, Diane Lane
Circumstance: DVD Preview
Overall review: A really nice set piece and great background on George Reeves, the actor who played Superman on the 1950's television show, but a bit slow at times.
Favorite moment: "Can you see my penis?"
Internal dialog: "The thing about an industry movie is that everyone gets so very 'actorly'."
Laugh: Just on the inside
Cry: Nah. Is it narcissism that tears in a film only come from viewing an experience similar to something personally experienced?
Accompaniment's opinion: n/a
Generally: The three leads all give strong performances. In general, the screenplay tries makes far too much effort to tie the downfall of Reeves with that of the investigator looking into Reeves' death. The costuming and set design are spot on. As a someone who watched the repeats of this series every Sunday morning growing up, my nostalgia was high, but the movie still proves itself on its own merits.
February is that one month of the year where comics and comic characters are talked about around here. The fact that it is also the month of the New York Comicon is no coincidence. To start the month off right, here's a comics-related contest.
To the winner goes my review copy of Hollywoodland DVD, which will be nationally released February 6. Hollywoodland explores the mysterious death of George Reeves, who played Superman in the 1950's television show. (The review of the movie will be up by Monday.)
To win, put a comment on this post using the word "Super" in a sentence. The winner, like most things around here, will be chosen at random. Enter once or often.
After the jump, the trailer and some clips from the movie.