I hope you all had a good Valentine's Day (or as us single guys called it, "Thursday.") I, for one, spent it the same way I've spent it the same way for over a decade--by going to Indiefest and watching movies.
First up was the Super-Secret Sing-A-Long. That's right, they programmed a mystery film and wouldn't tell us what it was going to be. I mean, I tried to figure it out from the online program, but that gave very few clues. There's a brief description, but it's so generic it could refer to any of hundreds of musicals released in 1984 in which a young Artist drives a purple motorcycle through the streets of Minneapolis. I was completely befuddled. And what's with that picture? A lavender square with a minimalist depiction of a cloud and raindrops on it? I don't get it, is it...LAVENDER CLOUDBURST? LILAC PRECIPITATION? VIOLET WATER-FALLING-FROM-THE-SKY? What could it be?
Well, in any case I took a chance and saw it, and boy was that a lot of fun. But I can't tell you what it is. I know teasing you like this will make you PURPLE with rage, and I hate to RAIN on your paraded, but I just can't. It's the PRINCE-iple of the thing.
All right, that was amusing but in all seriousness this was the first time I saw this movie. I was 10 when it came out, and when I was old enough to see it nobody cared anymore. So I could see it with my cynical 38 year old eyes and not be influenced by the weight of having seen it first at an age when it would've been most in sync with my hormones. So I can say that objectively...this movie sucks. The acting is awful, the plot is dull, and the hero is a misogynist. The music is good, I guess, particularly as a soundtrack for that specific point in time. But the villain's music is better than the hero's. And as far as a sing-a-long, the music is much, much worse if you actually think about the lyrics. The only thing I really liked is how when they formed a slutty-looking girl band starring the female lead, they called it The [Female Lead's Name] Six--because there are three of them. That still makes me laugh. Heh, heh...boobs.
In all sincerity, I understand how watching this movie at the right age with the right hormones coursing through you would make you like it. But that is not an endorsement of the movie as much as it's a condemnation of teenage hormones. I don't care if those hormones are necessary for the continuation of our species, if they can turn otherwise reasonable people into fans of this movie, our species is not worth saving.
Anyway...then I skipped the big Love Bites 80's Power Ballad Sing-A-Long (I've participated several times before and it's a great party, but it just didn't fit into my see-everything schedule this year) to see THE INTERNATIONAL SIGN FOR CHOKING, directed by and starring Zach Weintraub (BUMMER SUMMER) and co-starring Sophia Takal (GABI ON THE ROOF IN JULY, GREEN, ALL THE LIGHT IN THE SKY.) Hey, I met both Zach and Sophia at Cinequest a few years ago, so watching this movie was kinda like watching my Cinequest buddies play around. And, according to producer Bradley Smith (who was incorrectly introduced as Bradley Cooper, which became a running joke of the night) that's where Zach and Sophia met, too, so my reaction is entirely appropriate. Anyway, Zach (his character's name is Josh, but screw it, I can't see him as anything but Zach) is in Argentina looking to make a movie (BTW, this was made in Buenos Aires.) Much of the time he spends cooped up in his hotel room with the most vibrant, colorful wallpaper imaginable. At one point, while mindlessly tapping on the wall, he gets a response from the other side and meets Sophia (character name Anna, but to me she's Sophia.) So they start hanging out. They wander Buenos Aires. They meet fellow Americans in a bar. I...kinda dozed off for a bit (sorry, I had a few beers before the movie.) I'm pretty sure at one point I woke up and they were making out...maybe more (which, because of my perspective I just wondered what her husband Lawrence Levine thought of that.) I was actually told by some trusted friends that I didn't miss much. I wish I liked it better. I wish I had stayed awake. But at the very least, it was the best movie I saw yesterday, and the other movie I saw was a "classic."
Total Running Time: 191 minutes
My Total Minutes: 314,979