Sunday, October 15, 2006

Jackass 2, Sushi (NOT), and Lightsabers

So, Saturday evening, October 14th, I had the (extremely guilty) pleasure of seeing Jackass 2.

I have honestly never seen Jackass 1. And I heard from friends that Jackass 1 had some scenes in it that were difficult to watch without becoming physically ill. Glad to say that although Jackass 2 has some very disgusting moments, I was able to keep down my Indian-food dinner, as was my husband.

Jackass 2... well the whole Jackass phenomenon... is just scary. I never really put stock into people complaining how computer games like Rockstar's Grand Theft Auto could cause little kids to become violent. I probably don't put much stock into it because, well, my husband and I used to be rather addicted to the game! And we have never felt the need to act on the game's violent imagery... uhm... much... :)

But this movie... I could totally see how it would influence young boys ages 8 thru ... ok, 28... to do things that are very likely to take them out of the gene pool.

I laughed my ass off during this movie. But I also cringed through it's entirety. And I still feel kindof dirty for having even seen it.

The movie was supposed to start at 7:20pm, We were meeting friends, R and L. And R brought a friend from work. At about 6pm we arrived downtown Santa Barbara, in search of sushi. There are plenty of sushi places in Santa Barbara. The ones that distinguish themselves from the crowd include Sakana (which is actually in Montecito), Pirana (whose main chef left to start Sakana), and Arrigato, which I am probably misspelling. So there we were, at Arrigato, with a 10 to 15 minute wait.

Husband took off the 2 blocks to the theatre to get tickets while I waited for our table. Then my pants started barking.

I pulled my cell phone out of my pants and answered it. [I have the ring tone set to our bigger German Shepherds bark.] My husband was on the line. "Theatre's actually more like 4 blocks down rather than 2. Maybe we'd better eat down here." I agreed, told Arrigato to cross us off the waiting list, and hightailed it in my "holy-shit-I-can-run-in-these" boots.

Whereupon we waited 10 more minutes outside the Taj for Indian food. The Taj is across from the theatre we were meeting our friends at.

Indian food wasn't what we had our hearts set on, but the Taj is an awesome place. But the waiter in question chose to memorize our order instead of write it down. So, one of our chicken dishes ended up being lamb, and we had to send it back. When the correct order arrived, but sans the raita (an awesome yogurt, onions, cilantro, and other good things dip/spread), we were reluctant to make further changes. As it was, we'd filled up on nan (a kind of flat bread... very good) and the dips that were leftover from the chips they'd served us.

Eating hot and spicy Indian food as quickly as possible is a very interesting thing to do. I was constantly blowing on the food, or drinking 7-up to try to cool my mouth down. And blowing my nose 'cause spices send my nose into a runny tailspin, even though I'm not exactly a gringo here when it comes to spices. [The tongue is willing, but the nose is weak.]

In spite of everything, we greatly enjoyed the meal at the Taj. FYI, they rarely make mistakes in orders like that, so cut them some slack, and go try out their food. :)

We made it into the theatre. The 10 minutes of previews were rolling. We probably missed the first 2. Our friends R and L saw us enter and flagged us down for the 2 seats next to them.

The theatre was not full, which was either because Jackass 2 had been out for 2 or 3 weeks, or perhaps because this theatre was far enough away from the college campus that the students weren't using it as their means of escape tonight. But that doesn't truly make sense because on any given Saturday night, I've seen tons of college students parading down State Street doing the "State Street Crawl"*, so... midterms? Maybe.

* The State Street Crawl is a time honored local tradition. It is literally trying to make your way from upper State Street to lower State Street, stopping in every bar along the way for a drink. People generally don't consider starting the crawl much higher up than Carrillo or Figueroa... the bars just aren't that thick above those cross streets.

I'm going to skip ahead now and talk about the rest of the evening. I am posting details on Jackass 2 below, under the spoiler alert. :)

So, we got out of the movie... maybe around 9pm? We were a bit dazed, and stopped by Borders for hot chocolates. I couldn't help but talk out loud to our friends, R and L, about my plans to escort S and R's daughter around for Halloween in my favorite Halloween costume, Darth Vader. I mentioned that I wanted to purchase the lightsaber that was on sale at the Borders in our neck of the woods, as my current lightsaber isn't red and is getting old. Then I noticed the girl standing in line behind my husband -- the one with the lip piercing -- who was looking at me like I was a space cadet.

It's kindof embarrassing to have someone sorta strange-looking stare at you like you're the strangest thing on the planet.

After R and L meandered to look around, I left my husband in line while I tried to quit dying of embarrassment at admitting in public that I, a grown adult, am jonesing for a replacement lightsaber. ;) [Ok, and that I'm looking forward to being Vader for Halloween.]

We hung around a Borders for a while, then left R and L, and headed, ironically, for the Borders in our neck of the woods. Husband bought a cool book, and I went to the counter to check on the price of the lightsaber.

It was gone! Sold! Aigh!

Well, so much for price comparisons with ThinkGeek. Which is where I ended up ordering my new Sithly blade from. ;) Probably just as well.

Ok, and on to the actual movie:

I suppose I should say "spoiler alert" at this point.

**************** SPOILER ALERT ****************






Ok, that's probably far enough.

How do I describe this movie? Well, did any of you ever see the South Park movie in the theatre? It was like that, but with a different kind of shock value. And it was really funny, although South Park made me laugh much harder.

But it was also extra disgusting. I mean, granted South Park touched on some pretty disgusting things, but it was all drawn in cartoon form. It's hard to be grossed out by a cartoon talking poo. A real poo, however, in the right context, can make you physically ill.

So, let's see.

The movie started out with everyone being chased through some suburban streets by cattle. The expressions on their faces were priceless. This was one of about 3 or 4 stunts involving cattle. Most were surprisingly funny, especially the one where all 4 of them are on this see-saw like contraption, and whenever the bull was running at them, the person in the "line of charge" would kick himself high up into the air, usually even drawing his legs up onto the see-saw to be safe! The goal of that see-saw prank was that the last person on the contraption won. And yes, eventually they were all knocked off, or wisely ran out of there.

Then there was a guy wearing a sock-puppet mouse over his penis. He pushed his penis through a "glory hole" wall opening into a cage containing a snake. Someone had a small string tied to the puppet, and used that to manipulate the puppet into eventually antagonizing the snake to strike. Which it did. That was one of 3 different snake incidents. *shudder*

We had several rocket-propelled-items-trying-to-fly-over-lake incidents. There was a wheelchair, a bike, a shopping cart, and an actual rocket at one point. [And yes, there was a person riding or sitting in each item.]

We had a beer bong in the anus incident. That's... probably as much as I want to say about that.

There were multiple stunts involving poo. Horse poo was eaten at one point, which caused some vomiting, ironically not by the person who was eating the poo. Horse semen was swallowed. [I thought I was going to lose it on that one...]

Four of the guys were duped into thinking they were going to a photo opportunity. Once the limo stopped, the other guys ran over, opened the skylight, dumped bees into the limo, and closed the skylight back up. The doors were rigged so the people inside couldn't get out. Marbles were placed next to one of the doors, and after a sufficient amount of screaming and flailing (and window-kicking) had occurred, someone opened up the door nearest the marbles. And yes, everyone scrambled out, slipped on the marbles, picked themselves up, and continued to run and swat at bees.

What got me was the cameraman who sat in the limo with all those bees, calmly filming the entire incident in spite of getting stung. [Hope they paid him well!]

What also got me was that on several occasions, they broke one of the cameramen. Either they grossed him out so that he vomited, or they cracked him up so that he was unable to do his job until he'd finished laughing. :) The latter was very cool.

There were several funny stunts where some guy dressed up as either an old man or an old woman. As an old man, he would be obnoxious on purpose to people to the point where you thought someone was going to hit him. At one point, he had his "grandson" with him, and while he was sitting buying some food for him, kept slipping his grandson something to drink out of his flask, and also offered him a cigarette. Some poor guy tried to save the kid from such a bad role model by asking the "old man" if he really should be giving the kid something to drink. Or smoke.

I was told that if a face was fuzzed out, that person did not sign a release to be in the film. The guy above did not have his face fuzzed out. So I think the poor guy above, who nearly came to blows with the old man at one point, got to find out it was all a joke, and that the kid wasn't really being given booze to drink. Uhm, I hope.

Another guy decided to be "bait" for sharks. He pushed a fishing hook through his cheek (I am not making this up), then jumped into the ocean to swim around. They had footage of a Mako and a Hammerhead hanging out. There were at least 2 divers in the water with the guy, one holding a camera, and the other was actually attracting sharks at one point with chum. I couldn't help but imagine the agreement they must have hashed out with the Jackass crew:

"Yes, we will do everything we can to save this guy from truly being eaten by sharks. But if he does get killed, it is NOT our fault, and we are not liable."

Oh, and the guy survived. The Mako made a pass, got kicked on the nose by the guy, and the guy with the hook in his mouth decided he'd had enough and got back on the boat.

Incidentally, for you scuba divers out there, the Hammerhead was very pretty. Not too large, though... probably a juvenile. Maybe 5 or 6 feet. Couldn't tell about the Mako... don't know how big those guys get. But he was maybe... 7 feet.

At one point they had skateboarders trying to run the gauntlet of swinging padded objects. Tony Hawk was watching the whole thing, which was cool. I can't remember if he tried to run it himself. Oh, and there were a few skateboard incidents involving jumping off houses. Well, one that I can remember for sure. :)

I can't really do this movie justice in talking about the stunts and pranks. There were way too many, and are really better viewed than described. Just know this is NOT a movie you should take little kids to. There is nudity, there is foul language. There is ALOT of poo. But worse, kids are going to want to repeat some of this stuff. Especially the skateboard stuff.

Or maybe the poo stuff.

And no, I'm not going to go into detail on the poo stuff. I started to try to write that up, but couldn't finish it.

I also tried to write up the final gag, which involved in a small part alot of pubic hair, and I just... couldn't go through with it.

Anyway, your children should not watch this. They will repeat it.

There were two little kids, between the ages of 10 and 13, who somehow got in to see this movie. When we left the theatre, they ran past us, carrying their skateboards. They had a crazed look in their eyes.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Bruce Campbell Book Signing

Last week, Saturday, September 23rd, in Santa Barbara, at Metro Entertainment, Bruce Campbell sat to sign books, pictures, and other paraphernalia. The line was both surprisingly and unsurprisingly long. [Surprisingly long since he is a self-proclaimed B-movie actor, and unsurprisingly long as he's a VERY GOOD self-proclaimed B-movie actor.] The line had somewhere between 175 and 200 fans of the B-movie actor in it. I managed to get to be #120.

Bruce was only signing for 2 hours, and thankfully had a known rate of 100 people/signatures per hour.

Here's a picture of my fellow Bruce Campbell obsessed fans.

The lady on the right dragged one of her daughters to the book signing. She also confessed to having forced her daughters to watch everything that has Bruce Campbell in it. She has the DVD set of The Adventures of Brisco County Jr. She has seen all of his Xena: Warrior Princess and Hercules: The Legendary Journeys episodes where he plays the character Autolycus, i.e., the Prince of Thieves. She went on and on about how he is at his best when he is playing against himself.

In the movie "Army of Darkness", Bruce plays the reluctant hero Ash. There are scenes where Bruce is the only actor on screen, but he's playing opposite himself... sometimes multiple versions of himself. She mentioned those scenes in particular, and I had to agree with her that those scenes were priceless.

In one of those aforementioned scenes, Ash is fighting with an evil incarnation of himself. He shoots the evil incarnation in an act reminiscent of Raiders of the Lost Ark, where Harrison Ford kills the swordsman with the gun rather than duel him. Then Bruce blows the smoke from the end of his shotgun and says, "Good Ash, bad Ash, I'm the one with the gun." ;)

Here's a picture of myself in line, with 2nd book ready for a signature.

His first book was quite good. It was called "If Chins Could Kill". His could. ;) Here's a picture of the two of us, with him graciously smiling for the camera.

I intended to get my copy of "If Chins Could Kill" signed by him, but I couldn't find it. My helpful husband suggested I simply have him sign my boobs! Whereupon I explained, as graciously as possible, "I like Bruce Campbell, but I don't like him in that way!"

I'm sure that's just what a tired B-movie actor needed just then... a computer geek exposing her cleavage in hopes of a permanent marker signature being placed thereon. And having that deranged look on her face that would suggest to him that I intended to "never wash that boob again". ;)

Anyway, I "settled" for purchasing his new book, and having that signed. Much less dramatic than a boob-signing, but I think he'd prefer he not have too many horror stories to tell his wife and kiddies once he's done with this book signing tour!

Bruce was very funny in person. Unfortunately, I was doing a little of the "deer caught in headlights" thing, and so kept responding in very literal-minded, deadpan fashion. This would have been good if we were working comedically together, but since I was in fact the audience...

Our conversation went something like this:

BRUCE: What's happening?

I shook his hand.

SNOOPY: Nothing much. Uhm, can you make it out to husband's-name and my-name. I'm my-name.

BRUCE: So where is this husband slacker of yours? Why isn't he here?

SNOOPY: He had to work.

BRUCE: So, what do you do?

SNOOPY: I'm a computer programmer.

BRUCE: Yeah, well, those computers do need to be programmed.

SNOOPY: Yeah...

I think I told him thank you and said goodbye. I think.

I had all these wonderful, brilliant, witty conversations with him... in my head, before I got there. I had wanted to tell him that I loved his work. And teasingly say that my husband and I are his B-fans, i.e., he's a B-grade actor, we're B-grade fans... yeah, yeah, I know, very dorky. But hey, as I said, I'm a B-grade fan. ;)