. . . And Scene

I was just thinking about this yesterday.  I thought to myself that it’s always been a dream of mine to be an actor, but it may not happen like I thought it would when I was a kid.  I wanted to be an actor like Arnold Schwarzenegger and beat up all the bad guys.  I’d seen enough of his films that I could reenact his fighting movements.  I could even do the entire scene from “Total Recall” where he kills five guys by himself.  The only problem that seemed to stand in my way was that I have an unusual name, and when I asked people many of them said that I was going to have to change it.  As if American audiences weren’t going to see movies where the lead actor’s name was a food.  I guess everyone thought it was unappealing to the big shot producers in Hollywood, their prime example being the obscure D-lister Kevin Bacon who could never seem to get work.

I wouldn’t want to be the producer, and not because of their prejudice against me, but because I don’t really know what a producer is.  According to Wikipedia, it is not one particular job but many, and those jobs depend on the movie itself.  If I had to explain it to someone using the analogy of the human body, the producer is like the mouth of the movie making machine.  He or she is in charge of “selling” the movie to the public so they have final say in what comes out of the mouth.  The more I read about all these jobs and responsibilities of these jobs, it’s a wonder to me that a movie gets made at all.  So many potential conflicts of interest between writers and editors and actors and producers and directors.  Seriously people, if a movie is good, that’s a modern miracle.

My second choice would be director, because I like being in charge.  However, I would need to learn more about what a director does before I take the chair.  I know I can sit in the chair with the headphones on and watch the actors do the acting.  Also, I can say the words “Action”, “Cut”, and “Lunch” with authority.  But how am I going to know which order to film things in?  How many takes in a day is considered excessive?  Am I allowed to berate the PAs personally, or is that something I have to delegate?  Honestly, I think I could get the hang of it with practice, but I haven’t been practicing in front of my bathroom mirror since I was a kid so I could stand behind the camera.  I need the spotlight.

Now what if I pull a Mel Gibson and decide to do all three?  There was a time when that crazy Aussie was turnin’ out the hits.  In 1995 he Produced, Directed, AND Starred in “Braveheart” which won best Picture and Director.  I guess that says a lot about the talent of Mr. Gibson if he can take all of that added pressure and still make a decent movie.  It probably helps when you’re your own boss.  And now I’m picturing Mel Gibson arguing with William Wallace on set in front of everyone, and no one wants to interject because they are afraid of what will happen if they do.

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “The Show Must Go On.”


Free Write 2

Sometimes I like to watch movies I know will be absolutely horrible.  Like worse than “B” grade.  If you remember anything from Freshman English, you’ll laugh at how poorly these stories play out.  There are characters that no one can relate to or care about and situations that could never happen.  They’re seriously like train wrecks; it’s so horrible but you can’t look away.

But from practice I have learned that the experience of these movies is exponentially enhanced by your company.  The more people you have over, the better.  So, by that reasoning, if you’re alone it sucks.  I decided to watch a gem last night called “Rumpelstiltskin”.  This cinematic masterpiece was made in 1995 and stars no one you have heard of.  It’s kind of a fish out of water type tale where Rumpelstiltskin emerges from a thousand year slumber into modern day Los Angeles and tries to take someone’s baby.  But in this story he doesn’t spin straw, he’s allergic to it.  That’s how they kill him . . . or they turn him back to stone which was how they found him.  It’s just weird on so many levels.  I knew it would be crappy when I queued it up, but I didn’t realize how boring it would be to watch it alone.  You see when you are alone, there is no one to share your commentary with.  When there are other people in the room, you can all pick apart the flaws and add your own silly dialogue like in Mystery Science Theater 3000.  When you’re by yourself, you just end up talking to yourself.  It’ll drive you crazy after a while.

I haven’t seen that many movies I hated in the theaters.  The trouble there is that you can’t add commentary, because you have to be courteous to others (unlike the dude that was quoting the Lion King line by line while I sat next to him).  But the theater has it’s own way of tricking you into believing that the movie you are seeing is worth the 10 bucks you paid for the ticket.  It must  be the screen.  Part of your mind is convinced that there is a standard for these kinds of movies.  I mean that’s why they have the straight to video flicks, right?  Then again, some of the worst movies of all time have been on the big screen.  (i.e. Batman & Robin, Bucky Larson, Gigli, Shazaam, Laserblast, etc.)

I saw a movie recently that wasn’t bad enough to be in the “waste bucket” category, but it wasn’t as good as I had hoped.  “In Time” staring Justin Timberlake.  For one thing, Justin Timberlake isn’t the most compelling actor.  Maybe he will get better, but I wasn’t moved by his performance.  I could give him the benefit of the doubt since the movie wasn’t that good to begin with.  I liked the concept, though.  That’s what interested me in the first place.  (If you don’t know, it’s a futuristic movie where the currency is time and everyone has an internal clock that counts down when they spend time on rent, food, and other necessities.  When your clock is zero you die.  The rich have the most time and they live forever.  Justin Timberlake is poor, someone gives him a decade worth of time, he becomes a Robin Hood, and so on.)

Also, I’m aware that fiction doesn’t always need an elaborate explanation, but they didn’t even bother with the history of why things were the way they were.  In fact, the opening line is something like, “We don’t know why, but it’s always been this way.”  That disappointed me a little.  I would like a little background.  They didn’t give us any.  And speaking of background, the villain had none.  Well . . . they hint at the fact that he used to be a poor person, but that’s all.  What about making him relatable to the protagonists in some way.  Like he sympathizes with their cause, but he has to fulfill his duties in spite of that.  That’s what I think they were trying to do, but they didn’t pull it off.

So my advice is to check the reviews on Rotten Tomatoes.  Most of the time, they accurately reflect the quality of the movie.  But not every movie is meant for everyone.  Some movies only appeal to a certain group.  You have to be able to make your own opinion.  But . . . I’ve already seen “In Time”, so you shouldn’t see it until it comes out on video.  Now that you know it’s less than good, you should RedBox it and invite the homies over.  Don’t watch it alone.