Now In Theaters: “Get Out”

getout
“Wish I’d stayed home with Rod and Sid.” ~ Chris, probably

The IMDB description for Get Out is comprised of eleven hilariously understated words:

“A young African-American man visits his Caucasian girlfriend’s mysterious family estate.”

Eleven words that anyone with a pulse and/or functioning intellect would understand to be incredibly complex and full of subtextual nuance, especially in the USA.

Chris, a successful photographer in New York, takes a weekend trip with his girlfriend Rose to meet her family at their estate in the country. The trip is off to a troubled start when he asks if her family knows he is black, a point she glosses over as unimportant. She just can’t believe her family would care about such things! Obviously Chris, having a little more experience with such things, has misgivings.

Yeah, he’s right.

Lots of people will go into the theater expecting a horror movie. They will get one, and walk out sated on violence, witty dialogue, and thrilling suspense. It has a 99% on Rotten Tomatoes (I feel very proud that I guessed the one bad review was by Armond White). They will also get a brilliant and subtle psychological thriller that unpacks a variety of racial tensions in the US without doing a disservice to the audience’s intelligence.

Although the action and violence are well-done, for my money the awkward social situations were where the movie really came to life, particularly the dinner scene with Rose’s prep-school/ivy league psycho brother. So did a heartbreaking and also terrifying scene with the family maid, Georgina. Overall the tone in the film is tense and foreboding, and although there are jokes, they are of the nervous laughter type and mostly come from Chris’s interactions with Rose’s vast number of elderly white relatives or Chris’s best friend Rod.

You should totally go see Get Out. Great performances and tight writing all around.  I suspect it will be a sleeper hit, and I cannot wait to see what writer/director Jordan Peele, of Key and Peele fame, does next.

And just because it’s Friday, here’s one of my favorite skits of theirs, which showcases the utterly bugnuts flavor of their comedy, if you are somehow unfamiliar.

My new life goal is to become a character actress just so I can play a creepy white person in Peele’s next movie. I think I’ve got a pretty good shot at ‘scary bar hag’ at least!

 

 

 

If You’re Blue…

… And you don’t know

where to go to,

why don’t you go

where fa-shion sits… 

 

I needed something to cheer me up, and this classic is perfect. I wanted to watch Haunted Honeymoon last night but apparently I didn’t own it, or lost it somewhere, I watched Young Frankenstein a few months ago, and don’t own Blazing Saddles either. I AM A FILM ENTHUSIAST FRAUD. But I have seen countless others of his – The Frisco Kid, The Producers, The World’s Greatest Lover, and of course, Willy Wonka.

I’m not going on some tirade about how 2016 is the worst year ever or something. It’s not. As our generation ages, more and more of our icons will pass. Think about how grandparents don’t read gossip magazines about actors and actresses of their generation – there are only a handful left, most of the time. It’s just part of aging.

But it still sucks.

For an indication of Wilder’s intelligence and thoughtfulness toward every role he played, look no further than his notes on the Willy Wonka costume, helpfully displayed on the blog Letters of Note a few years back.

I’ve just received the costume sketches. I’ll tell you everything I think, without censoring, and you take from my opinion what you like.

I assume that the designer took his impressions from the book and didn’t know, naturally, who would be playing Willy. And I think, for a character in general, they’re lovely sketches.

I love the main thing — the velvet jacket — and I mean to show by my sketch the exact same color. But I’ve added two large pockets to take away from the svelt, feminine line. (Also in case of a few props.)

I also think the vest is both appropriate and lovely.

And I love the same white, flowing shirt and the white gloves. Also the lighter colored inner silk lining of the jacket.

What I don’t like is the precise pin pointing in place and time as this costume does.

Read the whole thing – the man was a genius in every way!

Anyway, let’s drag this back out of ennui. I hope your Tuesday is great, and the rest of the week even more so!

The Men Who Battle Fish

This is a video a co-worker sent to me about carp hunters.

Basically, someone introduced an invasive, Asian species of carp into the fresh waters of Illinois. Not only is the fish damaging the local ecology, it has the incredibly bizarre habit of LEAPING out of the water at boats. Which would be fine, if it wasn’t a 5-lb piece of spiky lean meat. I have personally been finned by smallmouth bass, and can only imagine how suck it must be to encounter one of these flying fish.

To combat this, some local gentlemen decided to do battle with these fish in possibly the MOST American way they could – by donning spiked football helmets, taking up swords, and being pulled behind a boat on water-skis. It does my heart good to see people following their bliss, whatever it is, with such gusto. Possibly I’m also moved because of all the time I spent water-skiing as a child, which were experiences equal parts fun and terrifying.

Please enjoy.

For a wonder, this is not happening in Florida. But since I sent my dad this video it’s probably only a matter of time before it is.

Mr. Church

I want Eddie Murphy to go the Bill Murray route, and be in a string of brilliant comedies with a profound emotional center that win all the awards and set him up for the legacy he’s worked so hard to create.

I’ve been working on an entry on Eddie Murphy for a few months now, so when I saw that he was going to be in something new I got really excited. “Oh gosh! This is so timely! He must be making a comeback!” Yay!

Then this trailer happened:

As happy as I am to see him in a big film that’s getting a lot of coverage, that is how disappointed I am to see him in a film that is actually about a pretty blonde girl. I cringed as I ticked off the boxes below:

Magical Negro Roll Call:

  • He is nobly self-sacrificing
  • He makes all problems go away
  • He has no wants of his own
  • He’s basically a eunuch

I want Eddie Murphy to make a comeback in a huge way, and be in some amazing film that blows our minds and returns him to the forefront of American cinema. I want Eddie Murphy to go the Bill Murray route, and be in a string of brilliant comedies with a profound emotional center that win all the awards and set him up for the legacy he’s worked so hard to create. He’s smart, savvy, and a great entertainer. I do not want him to be taking shit from a snotty little girl. I do not want him to be the supporting character to a little girl’s journey of self-discovery.

Maybe that’s not what this movie is! Maybe it’s too complicated to be summed up by a trailer, so to get people into the theater and talking about it, the filmmakers went with the ‘Well let’s do the tearjerker Mom Dies Of Cancer angle! That’ll get people to buy tickets!’

I want to believe! I want to! 

Anyway, I hope that you’re having a great week, and that you have a great weekend. I went outside to see if I could spot any meteors from the Perseid Meteor Shower last night, but the sky was pretty overcast and I didn’t see anything. Maybe tonight’s the night!

A Desperately Needed Laugh

I don’t think I’ll be doing a Game of Thoughts this week – I spend a lot of time scrolling through my Facebook feed and wondering what the hell people are thinking when they post insane shit about Pulse.

A friend of mine lifts heavy. He is also a brilliant artist, rapier wit, and all around awesome human being. He showed me a Craigslist ad he wrote for a truck tire he’s selling, and it provided me with a much-needed laugh.

 1
When you play the game of tires, you flip, or you die.

Here’s a GIANT TIRE for all your tire flipping macho needs. If you can flip it, you’re significantly more macho than I am. I’ll use this smaller one and just suffer through the taunts and jeers of neighborhood schoolchildren – unlike you, He-man Thunderthighs.

If you can fit your lower torso into a vehicle to come to my house, you can easily throw this immovable object into your man-hauler. I will not help, as I thought of moving it across the yard earlier to retrieve my purse and ended up getting a hernia and my beard fell off.

For the low-low cost of $30 I’ll cower in fear and point at the tire in my backyard and you can drag it to your truck, or just farmer’s walk it back to your cave. For $35, I’ll wipe my tears off of it first.

Seriously, though. For $30, it’s a steal and you know it. I think it’s roughly 500lb, but I can’t be sure. I can arguably and unprovably deadlift 400 and that thing about made my eyes fall out. Bring a truck and help. If I have to help, I’ll need you to pay me a couple grand to cover blowing my intestines out my belly button.

Call or text show contact info If you call, I won’t pick up and will screen voicemails. I’m avoiding the local schoolkids jeering at me for about dying when I purchased this monster and dropped it and my broken dignity in the backyard. If you’re reading this, it’s still available – and I’m still soaking my ego in epsom salts. Help me. …in the picture, the tire has plastic on it to prevent small animals from mocking me further by setting up a home in it’s sturdy and immovable interior.

Here is a link to his website, for some of his AMAZING artwork! Enjoy!

SteveNedley.com.

I don’t think I’ll be doing a Game of Thoughts this week – I spend a lot of time scrolling through my Facebook feed and wondering what the hell people are thinking when they post insane shit about Pulse. I’d rather just post two episodes next Monday. Day by day, we get a little bit back to normal, whatever that normal was. I will quote Catlyn Stark though – “Laughter is poison to fear.”

Thank you for keeping Orlando in your thoughts. I hope this gave you a laugh, too!