Thursday, December 29, 2011

TRYING TO WATCH A MOVIE WITH HELPFUL NARRATORS SITTING NEXT TO YOU

Today I watched MISSION IMPOSSIBLE: GHOST PROTOCOL, so let's get that out of the way first: incredibly fun and, aware of its own preposterousness, doesn't take itself too seriously. Possibly the best in the series, and Brad Bird is the first director to rival De Palma's work in the first film.

It remained a fun film even with me sitting between two pairs of dipshits.

See, when I choose my seat in the theatre, I either pick a seat directly next to one that's already occupied, or at least two seats away from it. A lot of people go to the movies in couples, and one-seat intervals can condemn them to a far corner of the room, either too close to the screen or too far.

I've had reason to question this initiative a few times, but today was my breaking point. From now on, fuck couples. They want a good seat, they buy a ticket early.

I'm not intolerant with noise in movie theatres. It's inevitable, since some shithead not only allowed the world's noisiest snack (served in an equally noisy bag) to be eaten in the rooms, but outright encouraged it. I don't mind you having a persistent cough. I can even withstand you answering the phone quickly and in your lowest possible voice to say "I'm busy", even though you could just not answer it and send a fucking text message.

What gets me isn't the noise. That doesn't break my concentration. What gets me is the utter disregard for the person sitting next to you. That breaks my concentration because I start fantasizing about sticking a power line into your mouth and watching your eyeballs melt.

And this time I sat next to two pairs of the worst kind of moviegoer in existence: the narrator.

FOUR OF THEM.

I WAS SURROUNDED.

They spent the first half hour muttering to one another WHAT THEY WERE SEEING. RIGHT IN FRONT OF THEM. ON A HUGE FUCKING SCREEN.

At one point Simon Pegg said something distracting to Tom Cruise during a tense moment and the asshole to my right very audibly said, "That took out his concentration", at which point I let out my first serious "shhhh!" of the night. He giggled to his soulmate as if to say hahahaha we are bothering this guy isn't it hilarious

For the next sizeable portion of the film the couple to my left muttered to one another in a low but constant voice. I let out the occasional "shhh", trying to keep my attention on the movie and not on the many disturbingly inventive torture scenarios my mind kept conjuring.

The dickhead to my right reacted to nearly every single one of the movie's increases in tension with an "oh, shit". You might notice the girl who's with him had been pretty quiet so far, but I'm blaming her too for not telling him to shut up and also for being his girlfriend/wife. Or even sister. I'm really pissed off at this point. He still made the occasional obvious comment. I had the eerie impression Tom Cruise decided to beat him to it on the scene in which he nearly runs over a bunch of camels and helpfully tells the person he's with: "Camels."

And then the motherfucker ANSWERS A PHONE.

Not Tom Cruise, the asshole on the right. A FUCKING PHONE.

He covers his mouth with his hand under the impression that his hand is soundproof and says a very audible "hello".

When I heard this I was hunched over on my seat with my elbows on my knees. Before I knew it, my whole upper body was facing the dipshit, the horrors I wanted to do to him visible in my pupils. His next word was "no" and he hung up. I turned back to the screen and this time he giggled harder, but stayed quiet.

Moviegoers of the world: yes, you have a mouth. It's wonderful, isn't it? So many things you can do with it. Did you know you can do all of those things outside of a movie theatre too? Amazing! So for the two hours in which you are required to shut your fucking mouth, SHUT YOUR FUCKING MOUTH. By all means, laugh, cry, cough or eat the fucking popcorn but unless it's absolutely impossible to stay silent, SEAL YOUR FUCKING PIEHOLE.

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Sunday, December 25, 2011

DADDY LIES TO ME

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Dear diary,

kids need to believe the world is full of magic and wonder. So this Christmas, I became Santa. I let out my best "ho ho ho" and strolled into the living room with my red sack of gifts. I was so confident of my acting skills I actually decided not to wear the beard, and my daughter was fooled. She asked, "Santa, where is your beard?" to which I answered, "Oh, I decided to shave it off, it was getting so long I kept tripping on it!"

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deer diary,

tooday i was in the TV room waching TV and daddy apeared wearing a santa costume and telling me he was santa. i said if your santa where is you're beard. daddy was quiet. then he said santa decided to shave becuz the beard was geting to long and he was tripping on it.

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Dear Diary,

Today the bag of stupid that I married decided to disguise himself as Santa to surprise Abby. I watched the fucking idiot grinning as he filled a red plastic bag with socks and stuffed Abby's present as far down as he could. I decided not to point out he'd forgotten the beard, so he let out a "ho ho ho" -- failing to get even that right -- and walked into the living room. Abby, who miraculously did not inherit his brainlessness, said "If you're Santa, where is your beard?", at which point Steve froze, because he can't think and do anything else at the same time, and after five seconds or so the best he could come up with was "I... decided to... shave it off, yes, shave it off, because I kept tripping on it! Hahaha! I mean, hohoho! On my beard! Can you believe that?!"

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I sat on an armchair and said, "I need to know if you've been a good girl this year." Abby, so innocent, replied with eyes full of childlike wonder, "But you live with me!" She thinks Santa lives in her house! I told her that no, I live in the North Pole with my magical elves.

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daddy sat and said i need to now if youve ben a good girl this year and i said but you live wit me and he said no i dont i am santa

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The jackass sat down and said, "I need to know if you've been a good girl this year." Abby arched an eyebrow and said, "But you live with me." Which again proved too much for Steve to handle. "Wh -- what do you mean? I am Santa! I live in... in Alaska with my dwarves."

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I set the sack of presents on the floor and said, "I have a present for you if you've been a good girl," and Abby, probably thinking of her auntie's terrible Christmas gifts, said, "I don't want socks!" I let out another "ho ho ho" and said, "Don't worry, I have no socks here. You have to be really bad to get socks!" Funny thing is, I had filled the bag with socks!

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daddy showd me a bag and said i have a present for you here if youve been a good girl and i said but i dont want socks and he looked at the bag and at me and at the bag and said but i dont have any socks daddy lies to me

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The stupid bastard didn't notice it was a translucent plastic bag, so when he showed it to Abby she was terrified. He said, "I have a present for you if you've been a good girl." She said, "But I don't want socks." Steve looked at the bag, let out what he thought was a chuckle but actually sounded like someone being throttled, and actually said, "There's no socks here."

I married this man.

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I said, "I've been talking to your daddy. He says you've been good, but I need to be sure. So I need you to tell me what a good girl you are." And Abby said, "But you're my daddy!". I was so filled with emotion a tear almost slid down my cheek. She wants Santa to be her daddy! What kid doesn't, really. I smiled and said, "No, no. I just look a lot like your daddy."

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daddy said ive been talking to youre daddy and he says youve ben good but i need to be sure so tell me wat a good girl you are. i said but your my daddy and he got upset and said no you're daddy is you're daddy i just look a lot like you're daddy. daddy keps lying to me

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The imbecile said, "I've been talking to your daddy" -- I swear to God he said that -- "and he says you've been good, but I need to be sure, so I need you to..." and he started to wonder what a good test might be. "I need you to tell me what a good girl you are." Wow. Abby, of course, said, "But you're my daddy!" and Steve immediately started to cry. "I'm not your daddy. Santa is not your daddy. Your daddy is your daddy and he loves you very much. I just look a lot like your daddy, goddamnit."

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I pulled her present out of the sack and said, "I can see you're a good girl! Here is your present!" She stared at me with wide teary eyes, and said, "But... you're my daddy!" I let out a "ho ho ho" and said, "I love all nice kids as if they were my kids. Until next Christmas, my dear! Be good!" and I took my sack of presents and went back into the bedroom.

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daddy put his hand in the plastic bag and showd me a present. he said i can see your a good girl so here is you're present. i said thank you daddy. daddy got very upset and i didt undertand wat he said

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The dipshit fumbled with the sack until he found the present, spilling out several supposedly nonexistent socks in the process. He showed her the present, which he'd wrapped himself and thus it looked like the origami of an explosion, and said, "You know what? I can see you're a good girl, so here's your present. Here you go." Abby took the present in her little hands and said, "Thank you, daddy."

"I AM NOT YOUR DADDY! I AM NOT YOUR FUCKING DADDY! I AM SANTA! MY FLYING ANTELOPES ARE WAITING RIGHT OUTSIDE! YOUR DADDY IS STEVE DONAHUE AND HE GODDAMN LOVES YOU! I AM JUST A FOLKING STUPID FUCK MYTH!"

And he stormed back into the bedroom.

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I came back to the room dressed normally, put on my best innocent expression and said, "So! Did Santa visit you guys?" Abby said, "Yes!". This time I couldn't hold back the tears and I hugged her.

Mission accomplished!

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daddy came back with his normal clothes but he kept the boots and he asked so did santa visit you guys. mommy looked at me in a very strange way so i said yes and daddy hugged me.

what the fuck

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Steve came back, having forgotten to take out the boots, and yelled in a desperate display of enthusiasm, "So did Santa visit you guys?!" I concentrated every fiber of my being on hardstaring the word "yes" directly into Abby's brain and it worked. Steve started crying again and hugged her.

Then he took me into the bedroom, sat down on the bed with me and said, "I know things haven't been... that great between us. Maybe we need some time apart. So, based on that... the captain gave me a job and I decided to take it."

"What job?"

"I'm going undercover in the Mafia."

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(c) André Navarro 2011

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

BRAM STOKER'S DRACULA

Yesterday I started watching BRAM STOKER'S DRACULA, directed by -- and I have trouble believing this -- Francis Ford Coppola, and within the first five minutes I already suspected what I was in for. So I began to live-tweet the experience. I don't think it's spoilery, but if you want to watch it totally unprepared, don't read this, and God have mercy on you.

Watching BRAM STOKER'S DRACULA and was already thinking "this is awful" before Keanu Reeves opened his mouth.

The entire castle seems to be trying its hardest to get a facial expression out of Keanu Reeves.

... a naked Monica Bellucci was just vomited by a bed.

They finally got Keanu Reeves to show some emotion by biting his cock. How come no director ever thought of that before?

Gary Oldman just hovered into the scene and Monica Bellucci imitated a spider and I just burst out laughing.

Two bite marks just faded into the eyes of a wolf. Mildly surprised there was no intertitle reading "BITE MARKS: BAD".

Gary Oldman just gave the camera a check-this-shit-out-I-have-red-eyes look.

I just need to pause for a moment to remind myself: this is by the man who directed APOCALYPSE NOW. Okay, done.

"Come here, Mina. Ignore that I just tried to rape you. Pet my doggie."

Scene transition: an eye fades into a cup that is then filled with absynthe. Okay. Makes sense.

Sir Anthony Hopkins seen on the side of the frame apparently sleeping throughout a scene.

Gary Oldman yelling "Vinds! VINDS!" ("Winds! WINDS!") in a room seemingly made out of candles.

A happy Sir Anthony Hopkins dry-humps some guy. To those who haven't watched BRAM STOKER'S DRACULA: I am not making this shit up.

I just can't tell the difference between this film and DRACULA: DEAD AND LOVING IT anymore.

Keanu Reeves is so bad in this movie even his hair is incapable of staying the same color.

Sir Anthony Hopkins carrying a bunch of decapitated heads and screaming.

And the movie ends with one of the funniest depictions of a person's eyes going dead, ever.

Friday, December 16, 2011

BILL HICKS' 50TH BIRTHDAY

Yesterday one could watch the House Judiciary Committee arguing about the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), more specifically about whether or not due process would be needed before shutting down a website accused of copyright infringement and whether or not the accusers would receive immunity.. Several if not all attempts to rein in the unilateral power granted by the bill were shot down, and while the hearing was inconclusive and postponed to an unspecified time in 2012*, it was still terrifying to watch Darrell Issa, Zoe Lofgren and Jared Polis offering sensible arguments against SOPA and receiving ignorant answers from Lamar Smith, Bob Goodlatte, Howard Berman and David Scott, all unshakeable in their determination to pass the bill as it is. In Smith's case, this article offers a good explanation as to why.

Furthermore, a few days ago, President Obama announced that he will sign into law a bill that makes it legal to imprison any civilian accused of terrorism or of supporting it -- be this civilian American or not and located anywhere in the world -- indefinitely and without trial.

Of all the presidential candidates who have risen in opposition to a president who has proven himself unworthy of the hopes his country had for him, only Ron Paul comes off as even mildly sincere/not a dumbass, and that's about the highest praise I can muster for him in my pessimism regarding American politics.

Also -- one can't reiterate the absurdity of this enough -- pizza is a fucking vegetable now.

I always miss the presence of Bill Hicks in the world. Today more than ever.
















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* (update) Goddamnit.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

RUSH HOUR ABSURDITY

I take the subway in Rio de Janeiro quite a bit. I don't commute, but I often use it to get to Rafael's house, where we shoot some of our films and drink some of his wine and call each other idiots.

On one of those occasions, me and my friend/co-worker Otavio arrived on Cantagalo station during rush hour and climbed the stairs to the exit, but halted when we heard a commotion below; a crowd had gathered in front of the tracks waiting for the oncoming train, which was already packed with people.

When the doors opened, anyone with the intention of leaving had their hopes and their feet crushed by a shapeless mass of crazed human beings pushing their way in. They seemed to get quite a kick out of it too, chanting "whoooooa" as they squeezed into every possible gap until it looked like the traincar would explode if anyone so much as coughed.

Me and Otavio were quite stunned by this display of human savagery, and filed it away as something fairly rare.

Yesterday, I learned this is regular rush hour in Rio de Janeiro.

See, the previous example was in Cantagalo station, located in Copacabana. It's nothing compared to what happens at Centro -- our downtown district where most people go to/leave from work.

Me and a friend were downtown and on our way to Tijuca. She suggested the subway. I warned it would be quite crowded -- not yet aware of just how ridiculously right I was -- but she argued a cab wouldn't even move in the rush hour traffic jams, which was true. To the subway we went.

All along the tracks, crowds of people were gathered in front of where the train doors would stop. They seemed calm, even bored. The first train wasn't heading our way, so we just watched it stop, every traincar absolutely full of passengers.

And the crowds went insane.

As soon as the doors opened, they all forced themselves inside somehow. The train got so packed people didn't have to hold onto anything to stay upright. They could barely move their hands, and nearly every inch of their bodies was pressed against six other people's. It truly is a disservice to comedy that they don't open the doors on both sides of the traincar, allowing us the pleasure of watching people going in through one and being pushed out through the other, then vice-versa, repeatedly and with increasing anger.

The Laws of Physics finally had enough and nobody could get in anymore without causing some kind of nuclear fusion, so the ones who only got their leg or arm into the traincar removed them and started waiting for the next one as the double doors kept trying to close over a passenger's arse.

I looked at my friend, who was just as stunned as I was. "Let's go get a cab."

"A cab will not move at this time. Let's wait for the next one."

The next one was our train, but it came just as packed as the previous one. The crowd was even more ferocious this time. We tried moving with them but it was like hoping to fit into a squirrel's arse. All we could do was get to the front of the crowd and watch the double doors close in our faces and start moving to the right, followed by a succession of windows displaying an almost homogeneous blob of passengers, most of them perfectly calm with at least four pairs of thighs pressed between their buttocks.

"We should have taken a cab," I repeated.

"A cab will not --"

"It must be better than this. Wait... the next train is probably not our train. And we're in front of a crowd of maniacs."

My friend went white. She has a perfectly understandable fear of standing on the edge of a subway's train tracks. A fear I was sharing.

Suddenly a voice on speakers helpfully reminded those of us in that uncomfortable position to stay behind the yellow line for our safety, as if it was just a matter of taking a step back and phasing through the horde of psychopaths behind us.

"Maybe the next train will be our train," I said, and then I saw the oncoming train. "Move."

We shoved our way out of the crowd just in time to escape their collective impalement of the passengers within. One guy unable to go all the way in had the doors close on his shoulders, and people outside had to help him by planting their hands on his back and pushing him in with all their might. Another girl, obviously not experienced at this, started crying as her veteran commuter friend fitted her into the traincar by pinning her against another woman's armpit.

"Simply amazing," I said. "I have an idea. The trains going on the opposite direction are emptier. What if we take one, get to a calmer subway station, and take the right train back and all the way to our station?"

"We can't switch directions in this station without paying."

I remembered the fucking turnstiles upstairs. "Fuck. Okay. The next train isn't ours. Let's get into this crowd, and go along with them slowly until we get to the double doors, and stop," I paused to wonder at the possibility of achieving that last bit. "And when the next train comes, we go right in."

The next train came, and we moved with the crowd and actually managed to stop at the double doors. With growing anxiety, we watched the next one stop in front of us, predictably full to bursting, and I muttered, "We won't make it," but my friend pulled me in. It was easier than I expected, since the mass of people behind us helped us break through the mass of people in front of us until we were all packed so tightly we could have collectively passed out and still remained upright.

The doors struggled to close again and off we went, and I have to say, it was strangely comfortable once the pushing and shoving was over. That is, until we stopped at the next station and a desperate old man inside the traincar pushed everyone aside and dove out of the doors in fear of not making it through the crowd peacefully. He trod on my friend's foot in the process and nearly fell down on the floor of the station.

That desperation is rare, though. It's actually amazing how calm everyone looks throughout the stages of this experience. Before pushing into the train, as I waited for it to stop, I looked at the people around me -- everyone perfectly calm at the prospect of burrowing into a wall of total strangers.

Working downtown just breaks people.

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