Monday, February 23, 2009

Sign of the Times


Driving down the street the other day, I spotted one of those sign spinners, one of those guys who advertises businesses or housing developments. The thing is, this guy has a new angle. His sign read: SIGN WALKER FOR HIRE and his phone number.
Yeah, this economy's in the dumper. I even passed a Hooter's that has gone out of business.
I expect to see some bosomy homeless girl in dirty shorts and tank top holding a sign that reads;

"Will jiggle for food!"


The Oscars have come and gone. My batting average was damn good-SLUMDOG sweeping all the major categories making my "expert" predictions easier than a Joe Biden comb-over. I know how Hollywood works, so I wasn't surprised by Sean Penn winning for MILK (I haven't seen it. I'm not judging, but I did call it right) I still wanted Mickey Rourke to take the final gold, but that is a very unforgiving town. Those bridges he burned in the past are all part of that infrastructure and will probably never be earmarked for reconstruction. it's best Mickey stay in the indie circuit where he was welcome back with open arms and justifiably awarded for his brilliant performance.


Despite mega gaffes here and there (like the audible "Open the curtain!"after the opening number), the Oscar broadcast itself wasn't half-bad (except the big musical tribute. Pee-yew). The acting awards presentation did reach a new level of ass-kissery, as if the whole thing isn't just one big circle jerk to begin with, but it somehow came together. And Hugh Jackman made all the nay-sayers eat a collective bowl full of their pre-judgements.

Watching Clint Eastwood's GRAN TORINO at a theater in the burbs was a mistake on my part. What I thought would be convenient, a Regal moldy-plex five minutes from my home, became a royal pain in my ass thanks to a Yuppie couple (a Coupie?) that gave a running commentary throughout the film, apparently bothering no one else except yours truly, causing me to move too damn close to the screen to get away from their obviously inane chatter. (They didn't respond to my attempts to shut them the hell up)

However, they almost made the movie for me as they put me in the same frame of mind as Eastwood's character in the film. I growled every time he did, not out of sympathy, but out of empathy. When Clint snarled, "Get off my lawn!", I had the same reaction. "Shut your goddamn traps!"

I usually put more care in my choices of cinemas. Going out to see a film is becoming more and more of a luxury and I'll be goddamned if I'm going to just stay home in supposed retaliation, when it is just plain defeat.

As for GRAN TORINO itself, it is an Eastwood performance for the ages. I've been watching a lot of Gary Cooper films as of late and these two share a lot in common. I caught Anthony Mann's MAN OF THE WEST with an elder Cooper, about the same age as Clint and the similarities-the old world staying afloat in the new-are unmistakable. If you are an Eastwood fan at all, the ending of GRAN TORINO will tear you up. If this is indeed his last as an actor, what a way to go.

He said to get off his lawn...and he means it!

Now get out of my theater!
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