Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Everybody Loves a Holiday. Especially Me.

New Reviews at NightsAndWeekends.com Since Last Time:
Exiled (Fong Juk)
Death Sentence
El Cantante
Balls of Fury
September Dawn
Resurrecting the Champ

After a wonderful long weekend on the beach, I’m tanned and happy and ready to face a new week. But first, let’s talk about last week, shall we?

We started the week with a Monday night screening—which meant I got to have a Slim Fast Bar dinner in the car, as I drove from my kids’ knitting group to the theater. We were all in rare form for a Monday, though. Or maybe we were all just excited about seeing Christopher Walken. But we were laughing to the point of tears before the movie even began. It could have had something to do with the attendance of both of our favorite regulars. Hazel is the crazy old lady who claims to be press—even though no one knows her. Somehow, though, she’s figured out how to get passes to all kinds of screenings—and then she shows up early with her very own made-up press badge, to harass the reps. There’s also Chester, the homeless guy—though we’re pretty sure he’s secretly a multi-millionaire, and his scruffy look is just a cover-up. But our giddiness on Monday night also had something to do with an absolutely brilliant idea that popped into our heads as we were waiting for the movie to begin. I can’t talk about it right now, but I’ll just say it’s brilliant. Really. Just trust me on this one.

After all the giggling before the movie, we couldn’t help but giggle through the movie—even though it wasn’t nearly as funny as some of us had hoped it would be. I, however, went into it with very low expectations (I expected nothing but a little bit of Christopher Walken hilarity). So I wasn’t disappointed.

We topped off a fun night with a post-screening outing to Champp’s (a restaurant that annoys John to no end, due to the extraneous P in its name). Since I didn’t have dinner, I inhaled some chicken fingers and a beer as we celebrated Bill’s new (and much better) job. The food was good and the beer was, too, but the company was the best of all.

After Monday’s screening, we had Tuesday off. Then came Wednesday, when we once again headed to the theater to see In the Shadow of the Moon. This time, we actually got to see it—and I’ve been recommending it to pretty much everyone ever since.

Thursday was the big day of controversy—but not because of the morning’s screening. We all knew we were going to see The King of Kong. There was just no skipping the documentary about competitive arcade gaming, as it relates to the arcade classic Donkey Kong. We’d all heard great things about it—and all those great things were right. It’s pretty troubling to see how important video game championships are to the guys in the movie—but the result is absolutely hilarious (in a totally sad but really, really funny way).

Thursday night, as you may recall from last week, was the night of the Great Back-to-Back Screening Challenge. As of Monday night, Kevin, Neil, and I were still talking about doing the double-header. I told Kevin that if he could procure a getaway vehicle to pick us up at the first theater and take us to the second, I’d be in. But no such vehicle was found—and Kevin decided to do his own kind of double feature, by going to the 9:00 screening of Death Sentence before catching the midnight showing of Halloween. The rest of us decided that Kevin has clearly picked up a crack habit, and we ended up choosing one or the other.

Since I wasn’t exactly thrilled about Rob Zombie’s remake of Halloween (which was screening at 7), I opted, along with David and Neil, for the 9:00 Death Sentence screening. I read a few of the guys’ reviews of Halloween today, and it’s pretty obvious that I didn’t miss anything there—but the payoff wasn’t all that great. Instead of skipping a really bad movie for a really good movie, I ended up skipping a really bad movie for a stupid movie. I got to see Kevin Bacon running like Mr. Bean. I got to see a totally unbelievable story and some painfully bad acting. On the bright side, I did not get to see Kevin Bacon’s butt. And I got to laugh quite a little bit. But when it was over, I just looked at David and said, “I am way too dedicated to my job.”

After the screening, we decided that we, the members of COFCA, really do need to get matching flasks, engraved with our logo. Does anybody know where we can get good (and cheap) customized flasks? Anybody?

Fortunately, there weren’t any screenings scheduled for Friday morning—because I had more than enough to keep me busy. Though I had every intention of staying up on Thursday night to crank out my review, it was nearly midnight by the time I got home, and I was tired, darnit. So I got up on Friday morning to write two movie reviews and edit a few book reviews (all of which had to be done before I left—because they were scheduled for publication over the weekend) before throwing some shorts and T-shirts and swimsuits into a bag and heading out the door for my parents’ cottage.

The weekend away was just what I needed. It was hot and sunny, and I spent the weekend either (a) eating, (b) in a chair on the beach, my face in a book, or (c) eating some more.

Fortunately, this week’s screening schedule isn’t an especially demanding one—so I may stay somewhat relaxed for part of the week. We do, however, have another 9:00 screening tonight, so I’d better load up on caffeinated beverages. And, while I’m at it, I think I’ll do a little flask shopping…

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