“Why Is There A Watermelon There?”

It’s the final week of the Clarion West Write-a-Thon and, coincidentally, my last week before vacation. Which means you probably won’t see me around much for a little while. Before I go, though, I have my second (and final) WaT reward essay to share. While last week we discussed John Carpenter’s Prince of Darkness (a film where Satan is a bunch of green goo in a vat, and bugs are fucking everywhere), today we’ll be shifting gears to talk about The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension, a film where a brain surgeon/comic book hero/test pilot/rock star/physicist saves the world with his buddies, the Hong Kong Cavaliers, from hostile aliens.

My friends, this movie is an experience.

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“You’ve Got To Laugh. Otherwise, You’re Gonna Go Nuts, Man.”

The Plan: Watch Lawrence of Arabia with dinner.

The Flaw: . . . wait, HOW long is it?

The Options: We could be good and continue forward with our nearly four-hour Oscar-winning epic, or we could watch that terrible looking horror movie on Netflix.

The Inevitable Conclusion?

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The funny thing is that Don’t Blink turned out to be a surprisingly decent low-budget thriller. Right up until the completely lackluster ending, that is.

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“Well, What Does She Expect? You Leave Your Navigator Lying Around, Naturally Somebody is Going to Run Over Him.”

Sometimes, when I’m not around to entertain her with my sheer awesomeness, Mekaela watches movies without me. These are usually movies I have little to no interest in, and if they end up being particularly crazy and/or dumb, I’m liable to get Puppet Recaps, as I did with Now You See Me and Machete Kills. (Okay, they’re mostly Stuffed Animal Recaps. I don’t own a lot of actual puppets, only the Wile E. Coyote one. Regardless, they’re very amusing. I’d record one for you guys sometime, if I thought my sister would let me.)

But sometimes a movie comes along that is so spectacularly insane, it cannot merely be recapped with plushy toys. It must be shared with your fellow sibling. It must be a bonding experience for the both of you. Or so Mekaela claimed when she told me I needed to watch Death Race 2000.

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For my part, I argued that Touch of Evil had been sitting on our living room floor for over a week, and maybe it was time to give that a try, since there are grave, grave Battlefield Earth level of horrifying consequences if I don’t finish watching my noir films by the end of the year. Problem was, we were being super classy with our choice of chili dogs for dinner that night, and, well. You just can’t be watching some critically acclaimed, black and white film noir when you’re eating chili dogs, right? Chili dogs are a meal best accompanied by ludicrous plots, terrible fashion, and unrepentant violence.

All in all, Death Race 2000 felt like the most valid choice.

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“That’s Not A Plan. That’s a Shit Sandwich Without Bread.”

Many years ago, I watched the original Red Dawn. I know I did. I actually remember sitting down to watch it. And yet . . . and yet it’s like the entire experience was wiped from my mind, like something traumatic happened that my brain overwrote to protect itself. Aliens, I don’t know. The point is, it’s all gone.

At some point, I may revisit that past trauma. In the meantime, I decided to just watch the remake instead.

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This probably doesn’t come as a shock, I’m sure, but it’s not very good.

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“No, My Place is Here . . . Corrupting the Young.”

A few weeks ago, my friend Cory recommended a movie that I had never heard of before called Plunkett & Macleane. Now, Cory and I seem to have fairly similar tastes in things — I particularly adored Scott Lynch’s The Lies of Locke Lamora, which he suggested I read  — but I always get a mite (unnecessarily) nervous when someone I like recommends a movie or book because, well, what if I don’t enjoy it? What if I think it’s pure, unadulterated crap? What if we lose respect for each other as people and OHMYGOD THE FRIENDSHIP IS DEAD.

Yes, well, I’m sure you’ll all be very relieved to find out that Plunkett & Macleane was a lot of fun, and the friendship is, as far as I know, still among the living.

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