Wednesday, May 26, 2010

The Great Big Mousebed 2010 Summer Movie Preview!

I work at a movie theatre, and as such I'm expected to have thoughts about the upcoming summer movie schedule. I don't.

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MAY 28

Sex and the City 2 – Unpleasant women crowing shrewishly about shoes and dick length. An instant classic.

Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time – Is nice movie, bro? Action movie?

JUNE 4

Get Him to the Greek – Finally, a vehicle for Jonah Hill to do some gross-out humor.

Killers – See, Ashton Kutcher uses guns and Katherine Heigl doesn't. Hoping for a Brandon Lee in The Crow style incident.

Marmaduke – Sorry, I'm holding out for the live-action adaptation of Heathcliff.

Splice – [INSERT JOKE ABOUT FAILED GENETIC EXPERIMENT VIS-A-VIS ADRIEN BRODY'S NOSE]

JUNE 11

The A-Team – Steven J. Cannell presents: The Losers!

The Karate Kid – Pat Morita's still got it, and I heard he's doing all his own stunts in this one.

JUNE 18

Jonah Hex – Josh Brolin in a western, eh? I knew No Country For Old Men was missing something, and that something was Megan Fox.

Toy Story 3 – Promises to be the best Tim Allen movie since Wild Hogs.

JUNE 25

Grown Ups – David Spade, Chris Rock, Rob Schneider, Adam Sandler, Kevin James – So who plays the title character?

Knight & Day – See, Tom Cruise uses guns, and Cameron Diaz doesn't. Hoping for a Katherine Heigl in Killers style incident

JULY 2

Avatar: The Last Airbender – Sheesh, it took James Cameron 15 years to make the first one, and he's crapping out a sequel in six months. Can't be as good as the original – avoid.

The Twilight Saga: Eclipse – I'm pretty sure in this one the sad girl gets tag-teamed by a sad Frankenstein and a sad mummy. Look for a cameo from Abbott and Costello!

JULY 9

Despicable Me – The Sarah Palin Story. [NOTE TO SELF: REPLACE SARAH PALIN PLACEHOLDER JOKE WITH SOMETHING THAT ISN'T FUCKING HACK]

Predators – Finally, the definitive documentary about Nashville's unlikely appearance in the 2004 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

JULY 16

Inception – A psychological thriller featuring Leonardo DiCaprio. All I know is it's a mental hospital. For the criminally insane.

The Sorcerer's Apprentice – The kid from She's Out of My League gets a bunch of buckets to mop his boss' house. The guy from Knowing is unhappy.

JULY 23

Dinner for Schmucks – Paul Rudd, Zach Galifianakis, Steve Carell – why, I haven't seen so many sure-thing comedians were in a movie together since Year One!

Ramona and Beezus – Double Fudge this.

Salt – Starring Angelina Jolie as a shitty joke about Lot's wife.

JULY 30

Cats and Dogs: Revenge of Kitty Galore – Not sure if I should spend my talking CG dog movie money on this or Marmaduke. Aw, hell – I'll splurge on both!

Charlie St. Cloud – Zac Efron in a surprising role as the weather girl on the DeKalb Channel 4 Action News team. Is that Oscar buzz I hear? (Yes.)

AUGUST 6

The Other Guys – The long-anticipated return of Anne Heche to the Silver Screen! Also, Will Ferrell uses guns.

Step Up 3-D – I'm hoping this will serve as the death knell of either dance movies or 3-D movies. Since it probably won't be both, I'll settle for dance movies.

AUGUST 13

Eat Pray Love – The remarkable true story of a bunch of shitty platitudes.

The Expendables – Should I wear my ill-fitting TAPOUT thermal or my ill-fitting AFFLICTION t-shirt? Oh wait, I'll just jack off into my own mouth – less humilating.

Scott Pilgrim vs. the World – Michael Cera can finally spread his wings as an actor in this role, an unassuming iGeneration 20-something who falls in love.

AUGUST 20

Lottery Ticket – Any day that I don't watch Ice Cube act is a good day.

Nanny McPhee Returns – Here's the cast, first names only: Emma, Maggie, Ralph (pronounced “rafe”), Maggie, Rhys, Ewan. Mon dieu! So many French people!

Takers – This is the companion piece to that film where Liam Neeson tries to find his daughter in France, told from the perspective of the kidnappers.

Untitled Vampire Spoof – I'm thinking they'll just settle on “Vampire Movie.”

AUGUST 27

Going the Distance – Cake documentary, right? Gotta be.

The Last Exorcism – I'm hoping this will be half as good as The Final Sacrifice.

Piranha 3D – It took what, nine months for the sequel to Avatar, but 29 years for James Cameron to make the follow-up to Piranha 2? What gives?

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Tune in three months from now, when I'll be reviewing the holiday lineup. Until next time, this is Josh Grimmer saying see you at the movies. (I'll be the one in the uniform.)

Friday, May 21, 2010

And I thought I didn't like him!

Now it's over, I'm dead and I haven't done anything that I want
Or I'm still alive and there's nothing I want to do.

They Might Be Giants - Dead


The other day I got a call from my wife. She told me that one of her friends had died. Later, we found out it was suicide. She took it fairly well, suffering only a minor, semi-unrelated breakdown the next morning when her boss told her she needed to buy new work shoes. She and another friend who knew the deceased decided they ought to go out tonight and have dinner and discuss his life, and maybe try to figure out why he killed himself. This, on its own, is fine. The real problem is that she wanted me to come too. I'm okay with death – it's strangers I'm not great around. Social anxiety isn't a huge problem with the dead.

While listening to my wife and her friend talking about a guy I met one time – and am unlikely to meet again – I was stuck with my own thoughts. Chief among them is the fact that nobody close to me has ever died. No suicides, no freak accidents, no overdoses. Only a couple grandparents with whom I was never actually close. I think maybe the two deaths that really got to me were George Harrison and Mitch Hedberg. George had cancer, so it was a matter of time, but Mitch Hedberg came like a hammer to the skull. It was easily the nicest day Bridgewater had seen in months. Everybody had taken their couches out of their dorm rooms and put them on the lawn. People were tossing around frisbees and footballs, there were a couple of Wiffle Ball games being played. Somebody had turned their stereo speakers out the window so we could listen to the radio broadcast of the Red Sox game. I got the call from my friend (later girlfriend, then fiancee, then wife), who told me that Mitch Hedberg had died. I had the unenviable task of telling everybody else in my dorm. Party over.

That's basically it, though. I've never had to deal with death. Not the deaths of people, at least. I've had a few pets die on me, in various sad ways. Not a lot of fun, but I can't imagine it's worse than the death of a friend or loved one. Again, I got to thinking – whose death would really fuck me up? Really nobody in my family. Maybe my dad or brothers, but more because if my dad died, that would mean my mom would have to take care of them, and that's too awful to contemplate. My brothers, of course, are just so young that their deaths would be sad and tragic.

Who else though? My wife, certainly. A few of my friends, sure. Probably a dozen or so? If that? I feel like I should care more, and about more people. Is my problem that I'm too much of a solipsist for the deaths of others to affect me? Then again, if I were truly a solipsist that would serve to explain why nobody I know has ever died. I'm keeping all of you alive through sheer force of self-absorption. I'd like to think that my relative calm about death comes from faith in an afterlife, but I never really think about that. I figure I'll worry about the afterlife when I'm there. If my friends and family are there too, then great. I want to be affected by death. I feel like there's something inside every truly good person that aches as a result of a loss of life. If I don't feel that ache, does that mean I don't care for my fellow man? Does that mean I'm fundamentally broken?

Yeah, probably.

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For the first hour of the dinner, my wife and her friend talked about the deceased. I picked at my shepherd's pie, making a point of eating slowly so I wouldn't run out of food, my excuse to not talk. Later, I was chided into joining the conversation. We talked about other stuff. Living people. Twitter. Anything but the dead guy. The fact came up that neither my wife nor myself own a car – or even a bicycle. My wife's friend told us that her boyfriend sells bikes, and even recently sold one to the dead friend. I refrained from exclaiming “Hey, free bike!” and my wife decided not to make a joke about how he killed himself because he couldn't make the payments. I'm happy to know that if somebody close to me does die, I'll be able to write some really solid material for the eulogy.