I saw Earth the other night. It’s narrated by James Earl Jones, who says a lot of things like:

“BEHOLD, THE CIRCLE OF LIFE AS THE CHEETAH EATS THE ADORABLE BABY GAZELLE ALIVE IN SLOW MOTION.”

When you go see a G-rated DisneyNature movie, you expect adorable fluffy things! Awe-inspiring vistas! Slightly dull yet inspiring things about how some animal makes an incredibly long trek to its breeding grounds!

Instead this movie is basically one super-long Darwinian tragedy. James Earl Jones might as well have intoned “EARTH, WHERE LIFE IS NASTY, BRUTISH AND SHORT. QUIT CRYING, KINDERGARTNERS. YOU BETTER TOUGHEN THE FUCK UP OR THE GIANTASS SHARK WE JUST SHOWED KILLING THINGS IS GONNA GET YOU.”

Do not take your babies to see this movie (unless they lack empathy or hate their parents or are like budding sociopaths). Anyone else is liable to wake up screaming every night for several weeks, because many of the death sequences are basically about how someone’s dad died or someone’s baby died or somebody got mauled by a lion because they playfully wandered away from the herd. Or because of global warming.

***

Speaking of DARWIN, I want to mention how much I dislike the trailer for I LOVE YOU BETH COOPER. It’s one of those “Dweeby nerd gets the ultra hot cheerleader” teen movies, but it just pushes the limits of the genre into some kind of bizarroverse porn parody (as in, I feel like EVEN PORN PRODUCERS would probably go “Wait a minute, would the ultra hot cheerleaders really invite the hideous nerd into the locker room and then show him their boobs for no reason? WHAT’S THEIR MOTIVATION HERE?”) that for some reason outrages my sense of fairness. In fact, every time I see the trailer, I grumble loudly and think about how I’m totally going to go home and write a reversal of this where the cool guy is our hero and the dweeby nerd is actually an evil loser who must be brought down. And I get all “YEAH! THAT WILL TOTALLY ROCK!”

(And then I remember that I write action movies.)

***

I also saw Star Trek, courtesy of my friend C. (fancy!) It is pretty good. If you like watching John Cho SWORDFIGHT on a space platform, this is probably something you will want to see. Also if you enjoy going WAIT A MINUTE. THAT’S ERIC BANA! WTF. I FEEL LIKE A MORON. THIS WHOLE TIME I THOUGHT IT WAS SOME GUY WITH A LUMPY FACE.

Also, if you enjoy eyebrows. This movie is all about the eyebrows. Chris Pine’s, Zachary Quinto’s, Eric Bana’s…

Here is a link to the surprisingly entertaining google image search for STAR TREK EYEBROWS. I am too lazy to actually steal any of the pictures and paste them here, but they contain such gems as a comparison of Barack Obama to a black Vulcan, a Star Trek corset, etc. ENJOY.

Epic religious mystery

April 9, 2009

Over at the Cake Wrecks blog, there’s a post about Easter (or possibly Passover) lamb cakes that are smoking cigarettes. (I mean, the lambs are obviously not LITERALLY smoking cigarettes, on account of how they’re made of CAKE. But they have a Parliament jammed in their little cake faces.)

Nobody knows the deal with the smoking-lamb cakes. I just read all 150 comments to see if anyone had The Answer. Instead, there were several main (misguided) theories:

1) This is the Passover lamb, whose blood was used to daub the thresholds of the Jews. The “cigarette” is actually a brush. And apparently he’s using his own blood.
Why this seems wrong: I’m pretty sure that cake isn’t kosher for Passover. Also, the “cigarette” is actually a CIGARETTE. AN ACTUAL PARLIAMENT.

2) The “cigarette” is actually a scroll and this is referencing the whole scroll-and-lamb bit from Revelation.
Why this seems wrong: The “cigarette” IS A CIGARETTE, PEOPLE. And the end is on fire. And this is an ordinary cake lamb, and I feel like the lamb from Revelation has like SEVEN EYES AND SEVEN HORNS (which would of course make a fairly awesome cake.)

3) Jesus Christ is the Lamb of God who was sacrificed for mankind’s sins, and the cigarette is like when you get to light up before the firing squad.
Why this seems wrong: “Smoke ’em if you’ve got ’em”-style theology unconfirmed by experts in the field.

4) Sometimes people give up smoking for Lent, so Easter is like the signal to light up.
Why this seems wrong: On the one hand, I didn’t realize that Easter was such a jokey holiday. But on the other hand, the lambs are smoking Parliaments, the official cigarette of tacky people and ironic hipsters, so this just might fit.

…?????

Curbside intervention

April 6, 2009

I forgot to mention! Last night I was taking a walk and there was a little knot of young people walking behind me, having what turned out to be basically a mobile intervention.

Three young men were trying to convince a young woman to seek help for her apparently heavy drinking. It involved a lot of oddly-charming exchanges like this:

YOUNG WOMAN
I am not an alcoholic!

YOUNG MEN
(mumbling)

YOUNG WOMAN
An alcoholic drinks EVERY DAY. I drink ON OCCASION.

YOUNG MEN
(mumbling)

YOUNG WOMAN
You smoke weed every day!

YOUNG MAN
That’s true, I do smoke weed every day.

OTHER YOUNG MAN
It’s true, you do.

YOUNG WOMAN
That is what I am SAYING.

YOUNG MEN
(mumbling in a kind of “Touche” way.)

FURIOUS ADVENTURELAND

April 6, 2009

This weekend I really wanted to see FAST & FURIOUS, but it was sold out. So I saw ADVENTURELAND instead. And I didn’t really want to see ADVENTURELAND, I thought it was going to be another one of those dull coming-of-age movies where “coming of age” always ends up meaning “A nerd gets laid by a really hot girl who has no real personality and who previously dated a fascist football jock, thus validating the nerd’s masculinity and proving once and for all that he is BETTER THAN THE FOOTBALL GUYS.”

But it wasn’t. It was funny and sharp and sweet and 100% spot-on accurate about that weird time when you’re out of school but not really an adult yet, and I loved it and I don’t understand why it didn’t make any money. COME ON PEOPLE.

(Also good about it was that the girls in the movie are real people, complex and sometimes unpleasant. In case you are one of the few people who cares about such things. But don’t worry, it wasn’t some kind of educational film or anything. It also contained lots of crotch-punching jokes.)

ADVENTURELAND is a story about growing up: by the end of the movie, the main character has left childish things behind and started to turn himself into a man. I know that all coming-of-age movies claim to do this, but that’s HORSEFEATHERS. Most of them are actually stories about how it’s totally cool for you to remain a little kid forever. (And about how cheerleaders definitely want to bone you.)

However, I still really want to see FAST & FURIOUS, because: EXPLOSIONS (almost certainly), VIN DIESEL (definitely), VIN DIESEL FLEXING THREATENINGLY AT SOMEONE (how could that not happen, come on), etc etc.

Here is a picture of Vin Diesel with some dogs! I thought I would add a hilarious Vin Diesel picture to the end of this post, but then I looked for such a thing and realized that Vin Diesel is INCAPABLE of taking a picture with his shirt on. Which alarmed me, because I am a Victorian Lady.

So. This is not hilarious, but does have DOGS:

vindogs

And here is one that IS hilarious: a picture of Vin Diesel as Mona Lisa. V. good.

Like most creative types, I am super-neurotic. If you’re looking for someone to worry about something irrational, I am your girl. Things I have worried about recently include:

1. Likelihood of being literally the worst writer in the world.
2. Global warming.
3. Earthquakes.
4. Not having an earthquake-survival plan.
5. Not even having a lot of bottled water on hand in case of earthquakes, oh my God, what’s wrong with me.
6. Crazy person transporting a ficus in their car who flipped me off for coming to a complete stop at a stop sign.
7. American milk cows way too closely related, just begging for some virus to come through and wipe out all delicious milk producers.
8. Financial meltdown inevitably leading to worldwide cannibalism.
9. North Korea.
10. Bangs: should I keep letting them grow out?

Perhaps strangely, the flip side of my personality is that I have literally almost no sense of self-preservation. I am not scared of things any normal decent person would be scared of. I say this not to brag – oh my goodness, had I mentioned how SUPER BRAVE I am?!? – but to make clear that something went wrong in the wiring of my brain, and so I am super-scared of cannibal day traders but not even a little scared of things I actually should be afraid of, GIFT OF FEAR-style. Like, say, getting shot.

CASE IN POINT.

So recently I was visiting my young man, who lives in a somewhat shady area of Venice. We were standing around in his kitchen at 9 PM, when suddenly shots rang out from just up the street. A LOT of shots. Like five or six. (Anything over “0” would count as a lot for me, but this really was a whole bunch in a row.)

“Turn out the lights!” I said.

“They weren’t shooting at us,” Young Man pointed out, prosaically.

“YOU’RE SUPPOSED TO TURN OUT THE LIGHTS WHEN THERE’S GUN PLAY,” I insisted. Because I have seen many episodes of The Wire.

Young Man turned out the lights, grumbling a little, and then suggested maybe we would also want to hide out in the bathtub. I sneered at him and peered out of the window with interest.

“Do you think we should go see if maybe someone’s bleeding in the street?” I asked.

Young Man looked at me.

“I mean– someone could be hurt! You know?” I pointed out, super-helpfully. “We could be Good Samaritans!”

He looked at me again. Realized that I was probably not going to shut up about this possibility.

“Stay here,” he said.

“I could come with you,” I hazarded.

Young Man pretended not to have heard this stupid suggestion and went outside to check things out.

(LEST YOU THINK THAT I AM A TERRIBLE PERSON, the cops had already been called, and there were no tires screeching away or screams or ensuing awful things, etc etc. Even the neighborhood dogs had stopped barking.)

Meanwhile, I kept my post at the window. READY FOR ANYTHING.

When Young Man returned, he looked up at the window. I saw him frown heavily from many feet away. EVEN IN THE DARK.

“So that was your plan,” he said in withering tones. “Stand in the window? Make yourself a really excellent target?”

“I THOUGHT YOU SAID THEY WEREN’T SHOOTING AT US,” I said. And then, belatedly: “…did you find anything?”

AND THEN, not waiting for a response and also like my full name was ELANA FRINK, GIRL DETECTIVE, I said: “Let’s go outside and look for shell casings!!!!”

“No and no,” Young Man said.

***

Here is a stop-motion video where inanimate objects in NYC speak out. I am not explaining this well at all- you should watch it anyway. (It’s a lot like CREATURE COMFORTS. Which is of course A++.)

The Lost Tribes of New York City from Carolyn London on Vimeo.