Friday, November 20, 2009

FixFlix 21

I totally forgot about this one.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Stupid Thing of the Month

So, I was briefly babysitting yesterday, my one year old nephew running around and destroying things as usual.

We were putting away Halloween stuff, when he grabbed the green hairspray I bought thinking I'd color my hair to be the Joker (I ended up just wearing a wig), and kept trying to open it with his teeth.

To deter him, I sprayed it on his hair to show him what it was for. Instead of getting upset, he laughed and said, "More!" so I said, "Okaaaaaay" and proceeded to paint his whole head green.*My sister seemed to think it was funny (her husband probably felt differently, since he washed it out immediately upon seeing it), and because it was a dumb thing to do, I probably won't ever do that again.

Oh, who am I kidding? I'll probably do much worse.Rish "World's Worst Babysitter" Outfield

*Okay, this isn't entirely true. I did ask his mother if it would be okay before I did it. But that makes the story less good.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Closing "-house"

Well, the day everyone expected a long time ago finally arrived: FOX has canceled "Dollhouse." I don't imagine any of its fans will be surprised.

If they were like me, they tried to hold the show at arm's length, because it was highly likely it wouldn't last long. While I personally know no one who loves the show, this sort of thing is always sad for those who do.

And while I've complained quite a bit about FOX and "Dollhouse" (though more about the former than the latter), I have to tip my hat to the network for bringing back such a poorly-rated show, and I'll also throw a nod Joss's way for the excellent last episode they aired.

And you know, FOX is still going to air all the remaining episodes, which is more than can be said for a lot of series. Plus, Joss HAD to know that there was a high chance he'd not get to shoot beyond the thirteenth episode, so surely he tied up the loose ends to give us a satisfying (or at least somewhat-satisfying) last episode. And I'll keep watching through till then.

I hope it's not too long before Joss graces us with another series. Or a movie. Or a comic book. Or a comic movie series. Or a sequel to "Dr. Horrible," 'cause I'm certainly not going to start watching "Glee."

Sunday, November 08, 2009

new acquisition

In 2004, a coworker friend of mine named Mat got himself a convertible. According to him, his wang grew three sizes that year.

Well, due to some kind of inexplicable madness, I picked myself up a convertible yesterday.

It did not come with a tape measure, unfortunately.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

"V" For Nostalgia

So, "V" is back, sort of.ABC and Warner Bros. have brought us a 2009 updating of the seminal NBC mini-series (followed by another mini-series, followed by a series) "V," which, if you recall, stood for either "Visitors" or "Victory," depending on whose side you were on.

I've been anticipating this greatly ever since I heard Morena Baccarin was cast in it. At Comic-Con this year, there were tons of promos for it, and they even had a couple of screenings of the pilot. ABC has advertised it up the wazoo, so it was no surprise to me that millions of people watched it on Tuesday.

I think I've mentioned my love for "V" before, but maybe that was only to my imaginary girlfriends. When I was a lad, and the original mini-series aired, my DAD of all people was the one who told me about it, who encouraged me to watch it, since it had aliens, spaceships, and monsters, three things I loved (the first two due to E.T. and STAR WARS, the last one due to my having been infused with the DNA of the Wolf Man, who died the same day I was born).

Anyway, I encouraged people to watch it so we could talk about it, hoping it would be as riveting as the 1983/84 version was, or at least as much as "Fringe" is in 2009.

I watched it with Jeff, but you know, it wasn't nearly as magical as the old one was. As a boy, I adored the lizard-creature aspect and the scariness, but as an adult, I most responded to the Nazi parallels and the well-drawn characters. I guess there's a bit of the former in the 2009 pilot, but absolutely none of the latter.

I'm not sure how thrilled I am by their brilliant idea of turning the Visitors into Cylons, but one or two of their new twists worked alright. I could see where they were going with some of the characters, but some of the choices didn't work for me, and some of the changes seemed like they had been made just for "modernization" reasons. And don't get me started on the irritating mother-son relationship at the heart of the show. Being a Mama's Boy, that should have resonated with me, but it did quite the opposite.

I wonder if I have a biased opinion because of how much I loved the "V" miniseries as a kid, or if everybody had issues with it. Obviously a ton of people watched it, and I'll continue to do so to see where it goes . . . but you should have been there on the school playground twenty-six years ago, to hear the kids talk about what we had seen the night before, and where it might go the next night. I kind of doubt that was going on in elementary schools this time around.I've become somewhat friendly with Kenneth Johnson, the creator of the original "V" mini-series (who had three credits at the beginning of the 2009 one), so I emailed him to see what he's been hearing.

He thanked me for caring, and said many people had written him with sentiment similar to mine. He's still trying to get a big-screen remake of his script made, though I can't imagine how that can happen now (though there is still talk of a Bryan Singer "Battlestar Galactica" movie, so you never know).

As I said, I'm willing to give it a chance, and as long as the show doesn't bore me or piss me off, I'll watch at least the three more episodes they're airing this year (oh, and that's another thing not to like, that these guys thought they could get away with only programming a show that airs during Sweeps Months). I had planned on blogging it, since I stopped blogging "Dollhouse" and didn't have another replacement handy, but now I think I won't. If they really grab me later in the season, like "Heroes" did when it was new, I may regret that.

But mostly I just regret getting old. And leaving L.A..

I wonder if those two are related.

Rish Outfield

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Death on pale wings

As I drove to Jeff's new house up in the hills tonight, I kept seeing floating white objects in my headlights. At first I thought they were moths, but there were far too many of them, so I decided they must be falling leaves.

However, when I got to his house (he'd left all the outdoor lights on for absolutely no reason at all), I found that there were not dozens, not hundreds, but literally THOUSANDS of little grey moths attacking the lightbulbs and covering the sides of his house like they were stucco. I'd never seen anything like it.

Jeff wouldn't let me in. As I often like to relate (and I mentioned on my podcast recently), Jeff has an inexplicable, nearly violent fear of moths. Well, this would be like a ophidiaphobe being dropped into the Well of Souls.He explained that, because it already snowed a couple of weeks ago where he lives, then suddenly, there was Native American summer the last several days, that the--what? Should I comment on that? It was a joke, alright?--that the insects thought that spring had come and came out in droves. Now, he's much smarter than I am, so I'm willing to accept that explanation, but wow, it was totally cool.

I went out with his daughter and we'd blow on the wall and the moths would swarm like bees all around us. I even had one fly up my nose. Unfortunately, when we went back in the house, several had clung to our clothes and hair (I had them in my sleeves and under my hat), sadly subjecting Jeff's new house to an infestation of fluttering moths.

They may never get the urine stains out.

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Three Things

After trick or treating in their home town, my sister brought her one year old over to play and show off his horse costume. The man across the street decorates his yard unbelievably, and the boy wanted to go see the "monstahs." I love that he's not even two yet and he already speaks with a proper British accent.

So, I took the boy across the street and then, amid the hundreds of flocking children, figured I'd take him trick or treating around the block. It was pretty awesome, carrying him to the porches and then letting him receive the candy on his own.* Often, they'd let him pick a candy from a bowl, but he would grab a handful, or take a piece then go back for seconds. With only one exception, everyone let him have the extra candy.

Weirdly enough, though, the child kept wanting to abandon this free sugar shit and go back to see the "monstahs." And I obliged him.

I don't imagine I'll ever have any kids of my own, but if I did, I highly doubt any of them would be as much like me as this boy is.

So, when I finally brought the child back in the house, his hands and face now dangerously cold, my sister informed me that she was going to see PARANORMAL ACTIVITY, and I was coming along. I told her I wasn't interested, that it wasn't my thing, and that I crap my pants enough without going to movies that will cause me to do it.

So I loaded into my brother-in-law's truck and we went to the theatre. For some reason, we had the showtimes confused, and arrived a half an hour early. That turned out to be good, though, because since it was Halloween, the movie totally sold out and there weren't enough seats for everyone that arrived after us.**

The theatre was completely full, and the stranger who sat next to me proceeded to cuss out the girl in the row behind us when, after a scare, she kicked our seats. No one, however, cussed him out when his cellphone began ringing later in the movie.

As anybody who knows me is very aware, I am a giant coward. So it will come as no surprise that I was scared by the movie. It's told in that pseudodocumentary style that Jeff so hates, and was really realistic as far as that went (with the camera being intrusive, inconvenient, and action actually happening offscreen because the characters forgot to take the camera with them), and I felt myself getting swept up in the narrative, which consists of a lot of waiting for something to happen, then reaction when something does, and then more waiting.

Even so, this was probably the tensest moviegoing experience in memory. Every time the darn characters went to sleep, my jaw would clench and my body would tense up like a Bjork song was playing somewhere. I am so scared of ghosts and strange nocturnal noises that the "What was that?!" techniques used here really got under my skin. I never quite forgot that it was a movie (partly because of how consistently made up the female protagonist was), but I enjoyed and admired it as it went along.

Oddly, just after mentioning DRAG ME TO HELL in my last Top Five post, I couldn't help but compare this movie with that one. I think, ultimately, DMTH was scarier to me, because of the constant loud noises and things jumping out, but PA was a slow, unpleasant knot in the stomach that went on for ninety minutes***. At one point, I think I cried a little due to the tension, which surprised me. And at the end of the movie, I tasted vomit.

That doesn't usually happen, since I don't see Paul Greengrass movies anymore.

During the drive home, my sister chilled my very blood by relating a story of an experience she had when she was pregnant with my nephew which parallels PARANORMAL ACTIVITY in a disturbing way. She had gotten an ultrasound of her unborn child, and that night had something between night terrors and a vision, awakening to "see" a presence in the room. Her husband's attempts to calm her were dampened by the fact that he claimed (then and now) to also see something in the darkened bedroom.

I couldn't believe I had never heard this story before, and my brother-in-law corroborated it with a "What're you gonna do?" sort of attitude.

As I've said in the past, my imagination is so overactive, and my sanity is so tenuous, that if anything even remotely similar were to happen to me, I'd be typing this with my arms strapped to my chest.

The next day, we got together with my mom for Sunday Dinner, with my Uncle John and his wife and kid along, and we talked about the movie. Then I urged my sister to tell the story again of what happened to her. She told it, but it didn't have NEARLY the same impact as it had the night before--especially with my uncle knocking holes in it with his irreverence throughout--and I sort of wished I hadn't told her to tell it again. I guess there's a life lesson in there somewhere, that some stories are better left private, or that my uncle can be a tool when he's not center of attention, or maybe that things are simply scarier in the middle of the night than they are in the light of day.


Rish "All Hallow's Steve" Outfield

*Now, of course, you with children are now shaking your heads because you've all been through this many times with your real offspring, and you have to stifle your eye-rolls to get through this since I can't possibly know of the real joy of true parenthood. To you I say: "Die."

**Okay, there probably was enough seats, but not enough so that people could sit together.

***Or a hundred minutes, in the version my Uncle John was telling me about at dinner today. He got a bootleg of the 2007 version shown at festivals, with a bit more footage and a very different ending.