Friday, March 25, 2011

This Week in Nelson, number 5, volume 12

We’re back, and with only a week and a half between. And, honestly, I really intended that first TWiN to count for last week. So, today, this week, and still on track.

So, something that’s been up with me lately is I’m GMing a Star Wars roleplaying game (GM being their version of DM since there are little to no literal dungeons in the old, faraway galaxy, excluding Owen Lars’s sex dungeon, of course. Got 7 people playing and 1 coming in May (with a few names interested on the waiting list), so I’m afraid if anyone’s interested in getting in on that, I have no room at the inn for now.

But, anyway, I’ve been working on that, which has turned into something of a part-time job. Most everyone playing is new-ish to the game, and rpgs in general, so I’ve been simplifying and combining the rules and info from a few books and making rules tweaks and putting all of it together (because Lucasfilm controls their properties with a Vader-like grip, online resources are a little lacking and 3rd party heavy). We play Tuesday nights. Tuesday went well. Escape from a crippled transport. Pile of dead stormtroopers.
Postgame, Willie and I killed some zombies as we’re lately want to do (Left 4 Dead 2). And after that, I just went on a near two-day bender of smoking, working the GM thing and watching/“watching” movies. What movies did I watch? Whatever was on the movie channels I get. Often, whatever was on after what I’d been watching. And it ended up being kind of an odd mix. I feel the need to share it. They were, more or less, the following:

-Bourne Ultimatum: I really like them Bourne movies. Want to watch the three back-to-back sometime soon. Haven’t seen the first one in a while. Good stuff.

-Scary Movie 2: Woke up and it was on. Only watched the last half. Laughed a few times, but mostly felt glad that I’d missed the first half. And felt bad that David Cross was in it. But I understood. Then I felt bad that we live in a world where David Cross pretty much has to be in Scary Movie 2.

-Masters of the Universe: The live-action He-Man movie. I’d actually been wanting to watch it again lately, so it was kind of fun that it was on. Does it hold up? It does and it doesn’t. It is both more and less odd and ridiculous than I remembered. My one question, where was Trapjaw!?

-The Cassandra Crossing: Have you heard of this movie? Crazy 70’s Italian disaster movie, with a super-plague outbreak on a train. The government sends commandos to take the train over and divert it to an old, abandoned concentration camp so the virus can’t spread, but the train has to pass over the Cassandra Crossing to get there, a rickety-ass old bridge that hasn’t been used since the war which will most likely collapse when they hit it. The passengers get wise and try to retake the train from the commandos before everyone dies on the bridge. It’s fucking crazy, and it has a fucking crazy 70’s disaster movie cast. Sophia Loren and Richard Harris as the leads, a successful, divorced couple (both toting a pair of machine guns and turtlenecks at one point), a young, long-haired Martin Sheen as a gigolo mountain-climbing drug smuggler and Ava Gardner as his sugarmomma, Burt Lancaster as the sinister Army colonel running the government show, O.J. Simpson as a priest with a secret, and Lee fucking Strasberg as a Holocaust survivor watch salesman. Equally ridiculous and at times legitimately exciting. One of the best metal girder through a dude’s chest scenes I’ve seen in a movie. And everyone knows I have a six minute chest girder compilation I have to watch to get an erection.

-Groundhog Day: Bill Murray is pure fucking A-game. If there was a zombie apocalypse I’d go to his house, too.

-G-Force: Yeah. It was about fifteen minutes in before I realized it was actually on. Yeah. I took a shower in the middle. I lost none of the plot. Yeah. I feel a little bad about pretty much everyone who was in this. But mostly the live action people. I feel like being in a shitty movie isn’t so bad if it’s a kids movie and you only have to do a voice. That’s like driving your buddy to the airport and getting paid scale for it.

-The Karate Kid: The new one. I had both misgivings and hopes for that movie since I’d learned of its coming existence and then read and heard things about it. I’ll say, they should have called it The Kung Fu Kid, mostly cause that’s what it is. Remakes and reimaginings of good movies are a sword of many edges. Even when they’re good, they’re good with a handicap. And when they’re bad they deserve a special place in Hell. I understand they want to capitalize on the existing past product. But I don’t know why The Kung Fu Kid doesn’t do that in a way that better reflects what the movie is and in a more, if not clever, then at least winky way. Regardless, I liked it. That kid’s supergenes are working. He’s got his dad’s charisma, swagger and physical prowess. And that may be Jackie Chan’s best acting job ever. He’s no Mr. Miyagi, naturally, because no one’s Mr. Miyagi, but he’s Mr. Han and it works. And, legit, there’s some pretty sweet martial arts in it.

-Hollywood Homicide: I really like this movie. I always have. I really like Harrison Ford. I always have. Legitimately, I always have. You know, I’m a big Star Wars guy. Obviously. And to be honest, part of it might be that some of my earliest memories involve Star Wars. Reading Star Wars comics in preschool and seeing Return of the Jedi in the theater are two of my very earliest memories. I like the way Harrison Ford can walk the line between cool as fuck, on top of his game and broken down, barely scraping by. And, yet, even when he’s broken down, he’s still got this, “well, fuck it. I’m still gonna own it” attitude. Love that motherfucker. Still the best doughnut-infused sex scene in movie history.

-The Runaways: Eh. Kind of seemed like teenagers trying to act cool more than the Runaways who were actually cool. Also seemed like a weird excuse for people to get to watch Kristen Stewart and Dakota Fanning make out. If that’s your thing, then check it out, I guess.

-Extreme Movie: A weird sketch comedy movie about sex that wasn’t anything amazing, and was largely derivative and expected, but that was actually legitimately funny more often than I would have ever guessed. Matthew Lillard especially had a few good one-liners in a recurring “the more you know” kind of segment.

Something I fell asleep to which I don’t recall.

-Hellboy: Ron Perlman, I like. No bullshit. Woke up halfway through. Seriously, though, if I ever get to make some movies, if I have some kind of big, gruff, beastly character, especially one that takes no shit and kills some monsters, but he takes no shit and kills some monsters with a heart of gold. You know the type I mean. Like a Ray Romano type. Anyway, I’m gonna be like, “Ron Perlman? Is there any way?”

Side note, typing this, a funeral scene popped on tv, and the priest was saying as he eulogized, “As Viggo the Carpathian said in Ghostbusters II, ‘Death is but a doorway. Time is but a window. I’ll be back.’.” When I die, find this man. Gaus, add it to the will.

-Good Will Hunting: I’m a fan. Hadn’t seen it in years, I think. Missed the first twenty minutes or so. Had kind of woken up not sure about just leaving one channel on for a while any more, so I actually looked for the thing I wanted to watch most and hit the Damon again. But then I just left the channel on and ran some errands, and when I came back I didn’t give much of a fuck and first up was:

-Bad Company: The Chris Rock, Anthony Hopkins action spy comedy gun shots. I may not have chosen it, but sometimes I do enjoy a little, I’m funny and I’m in a ridiculous and dangerous situation, joke, gun shots, joke, “why are you being so hard on me?” “because you’re the only hope we have,” joke, more gun shots, joke, a lot more gun shots, hostage taking, this is no time for jokes, more gun shots, explosions, tense joke, we’re all gonna die, we made it, joke, “you know, you’re all right and we’re friends now” “you have earned my respect,” joke, music swell, credits.

-Bandslam: It was on next. I actually kind of legitimately enjoyed this. Which, aside from O.J. Simpson showing up as a priest (did the impact of that actually hit you when I said it earlier) may be the most surprising thing of the marathon. It wasn’t amazing, and there were a few rough edges on the script, and there was some of that, it’s delightful, you’re an individual in a sea of popular kids who are really losers and your individuality actually makes you cool but in five years you’re gonna be that kid in college where everyone cringes when they raise their hand in film class and then in ten years you’re gonna be that hipster douche going on and on about what you think art is, I mean, what it really is, you know, down the bench from me at the Pig while I’m like, who’s this hipster douche, but you’re still in high school so now you’re secretly cooler than all those other kids thing going on. But it was fairly clever, and fairly funny, and I actually kind of liked it. Weird.

-Spy Game: Robert Redford / Brad Pitt spy movie. Hadn’t seen it since the screening, I think. Not bad.

Then it was back to killing zombies. Not a bad couch, movie, stoned sometimes working on things odyssey. Thank you for letting me recreate it for you. Hopefully this TWiN is working. I realize that things were bad and I fought back with a TWiN and then we get Japan, so maybe I made a mistake. But now there’s a lot less Charlie Sheen, so, you know, maybe it’s working.

Maybe TWiN has defeated Charlie Sheen.

Maybe I’ll start putting that on my resume.

See you next week.

 N.

PS- Go Jayhawks!

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