||"Pernicious nonsense! Everybody could stand a hundred chest X-rays a
year. They ought to have them, too." -- Parnell, Repo Man|
Excused From School
Hey, all you movie folks! I know, you've been sitting there saying to yourself, "What's with The Doc here lately? He's not keeping up like he usually does." Truth of the matter, people, it's kinda hard to keep up with all the movies flying out of LaLaLand when your computer fries.
Yes, folks, I had what some might call a "meltdown" with my computer. Some might call it that. I prefer to say, "it blew up like an M-80 in a redneck's hand." It was my own fault, I guess, seeing as how I never bought a real personal computer. I was trying to do everything out of a laptop, a slightly off-brand laptop. For those of you that own a brand-name computer, I'll spare you the details. If the other four people that currently own a Yamacraw 800 Notebook Wizard are reading this, the planets must be aligned, 'cause that's the only way the Yamacraw 800 Notebook Wizard seems to work without a hitch.
The ol' CrawBook did me okay, I guess, considering all the jerryrigging and stuff I got Junior Billings to do for me down at the ElectroMart. And, all was well and good until the fateful day that The China Syndrome took place. Either I hit the wrong combination of keys, or Orson slobbered on the keyboard while he was looking over my arm, I'm not sure what happened. All I know is I was typing away about The Perfect Storm (a very good movie, by the way) and something under my fingers made an ungodly sound. The closest thing I can compare it to is the pop a particularly huge moth would make if it landed on a bug zapper and quick-cooked.
I took it down to Junior to see if anything could be done to resuscitate dear ol' CrawBook, but, alas, it was history. So, despite all my jawing and complaining, I ordered a top of the line computer, complete with new printer, scanner, a DVD, microphone, I mean everything. Take that back -- I told Junior to hold the WebCam. My inner desire to be watched 24-7-365 as I walk through the house in my drawers will just have to wait until I get on that dumb CBS TV show (which will happen about the same time that a certain weather front settles in over Hell.)
I managed to get a few things out to you folks, thanks to Junior, who let me borrow one of his ElectroMart floor models. But I had to get there while the store was open, which was a drag, and sit there trying to do my thing while everyone was watching, which was a bigger drag. I did what I could, but it just wasn't working for me. My other option was to use Junior's laptop, but it comes from a certain company whose name I am not allowed to say, but if you were to guess some sort of fruit that "keeps the doctor away," you'd be correct.
Now, though, I finally have my top-of-the-line Hurricarana 9X, and it's all set up and flying. Junior got me going, and set me up in my old e-mail system, and, good giggly-wiggly, I had a ton of it built up. I have answered most of it, but there were a few that I thought deserved a public forum. Hence the following:
I'll allow the people to go nameless, lest they get e-mail bombed and try to blame me. I will, however, share one message in its entirety, and tell you that there've been a dozen others right like it:
"Dear Dr. Dummy,
How DARE you talk bad about Dirty Dancing! Just because you don't understand romantic movies does not give you the right to make fun of such a wonderful movie! The music was great, the story was sad and funny and it made me laugh and cry at the same time. If you don't like a movie, fine, but that shouldn't allow you to mock a classic like this. And Baby's real name was Frances, by the way. If you had watched this movie with any degree of caring, you would know that. Keep your opinions to yourself, you big jerk!"
In case you're wondering, this is in reference to a piece I wrote about the re-release of the movie that marked the beginning and end of Hollywood's "Swayze Era". Anyway, I got messages like this from females from 15 to 40. All were highly ticked off that I'd spoken badly of this film. Question is, now, do I want to respond to these females, and all those who will agree with them? Darn tootin'.
Using the message above as reference -- I dare to call Dirty Dancing one of the dumbest movies I've ever seen because it IS! Understanding romantic movies has nothing to do with this because this is a two-hour excuse for a soundtrack album and nothing more. Understanding romance itself, you might have me on that, but understanding the romantic movie is another thing. While speaking of "wonderful movies," let's consider Dirty Dancing and its place next to Brief Encounter, An Affair To Remember, or even Casablanca. Dirty Dancing -- a classic? Please don't reveal your complete lack of judgment quite so blatantly. As to Baby's real name, or any of the other questions I had about that movie, feel free to not answer them. I've lived a blissful life knowing as little trivia about Dirty Dancing as possible. And, lastly, I did not watch this movie with any degree of caring because I stopped caring about it roughly ten minutes into it. It's hard to care after your brain has been numbed into a stupor by insipid plot setups, mindless dialogue, and ridiculously wooden acting. If that makes me a jerk, then I wear the title graciously. Dirty Dancing has, and will always, stink like a three-day possum skid on Highway 109.
Now, then, to the youngster who got angry with me for making fun of Gymkata...
I am truly sorry that I hurt your feelings. If Kurt Thomas is your coach, that must mean you have some sense of what makes someone or something better than another. You claim I have no right to make fun of Gymkata because Mr. Thomas is an athlete, not an actor. Well, if you'd paid attention to exactly what you were reading, you'd know that the piece was about the waste of pushing athletes with no acting skills into a theatrical feature, just to get bucks off of the name. I know Mr. Thomas is not an actor. Anyone who has seen Gymkata would know that Mr. Thomas is no actor. I agree with you that the pommel horse in the middle of the village square was funny, but not for the same reasons that you laughed. You found it humorous because you saw someone using gymnastic talent to "beat up the bad guys." I found it hysterically funny because it took some bonehead to think up a way to build an "antique stone" pommel horse to make it look like it belonged in the middle of the village square. Then I found it even funnier that some idiot had to do this to give Mr. Thomas some way of reminding everyone that he is a gymnast and not an actor. Basically, I understand your loyalty to your coach, and I agree that Mr. Thomas is a sports hero and a gifted athlete, but you need to understand that he need never attempt to make another movie, because his athletic gifts do not include acting talent, and the movie Gymkata sucked like a Souped-Up Eureka Upright.
To the girl who asked about my latest success with the ladies -- nope, yes, and my lawyer advised me not to discuss it....
To the guy in Indiana who asked if I have some favorite "guilty pleasure" movies, the ones I shouldn't like, but I do. Aside from my gold medal winner Harley Davidson and the Marlboro Man, I also freely admit to multiple viewings of DeMille's The Greatest Show On Earth, Re-Animator (an unsung masterpiece of unreality), and, of course, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. And, for the record, if you haven't seen Dennis Hopper in Chainsaw Massacre II, you MUST! His performance was so over the top, he earned orbit stripes from NASA.
To the young kid from Philly who wondered if I like Japanese animation -- yes, the quality stuff, I do. I liked Golgo 13 a lot, and Vampire Hunter D. I was amazed by Akira. Oh, and I like Speed Racer, if that counts. That Pokemon and Digimon crap? Not even close....
To the older man in San Antonio that asked me, if I had to show an example of a "hidden treasure" of a film, what would it be? How about One Two Three, starring Jimmy Cagney, directed by Billy Wilder? Few people remember it, but it is one of the funniest things Cagney ever did. Or, if you need something more dramatic, how about a movie originally made for HBO called By Dawn's Early Light, starring Powers Boothe and Rebecca DeMornay? Need a sports movie? How about Dead Solid Perfect, another made-for-HBO film starring Randy Quaid?
To the woman from St. Petersburg who asked me what actor's passing I considered a tragic loss. Ma'am, there's two ways to answer your question. One, losing legends like Jimmy Stewart, Walter Matthau, and Henry Fonda is sad, because their contributions to film were so important. But, in a truly tragic sense, I think losing people like John Belushi, River Phoenix, and even John Candy are all the more tragic. Why? Because, in all three cases, we'd only glimpsed the depth of talent that was there. I honestly believe that Belushi had enough talent to win Oscars. Same for Phoenix. And, Candy? If he had continued on in the same vein as he acted with in Only The Lonely, he could've ultimately been viewed as one of Hollywood's most versatile actors.
To the gentleman from Las Vegas. No sir, I can't oblige you by stopping in next time I'm in town. A certain agreement with local officials forbids me from visiting out there for another 18 months. But, just for the record, I didn't know that dancer was married to a Mob Boss, and the fire only consumed two hallways and a ballroom, not the entire casino.
To the lady from LaGrange, Georgia who asked about my personal "Book of Lists" for films -- Look for it soon... I may make it a Christmas present to you wonderful folks, and thank you for the idea!
Okay, people. That clears up a lot of stuff. And I'll get to the rest of it as soon as I can. For now, though, consider The Doctor back in business and ready to run... Summer has officially jettisoned itself, BUT Oscar Season is about to launch, and I wouldn't leave you friends and neighbors out in the cold, now, would I?
Get "reel" soon!
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