who dat? contest.

(yo stee. i know
who dat?)

last game:

actress rusty schwimmer
a lovely woman and currently in
a perfect storm

first correct answer:

amy melissa dunlap

2000 in film, so far

Yesterday I was telling a friend about a silly thing I do - well, just one of the many silly things I do. I have a list on my computer that I've kept since the beginning of 1990 with every movie I see at the theatre (rentals don't count) and who I saw it with and what I thought of it, etc. I don't think I've missed one in ten years but it's possible. (I also do it with books.) Generally I end up averaging close to four or five a month. Yes, I see a lot of movies. It's what I do. I can justify it with all sorts of shit about needing to be up to date on the business since I write for it and about it and act and everything, but the truth is I just love movies. I love going to the movies. I love the smells and the trailers and the moment when the lights go down. I can do without the talking and people kicking the seat and such, but I love almost everything about it. I love holding hands or more in the dark. I love putting my feet up in a near empty theatre. I love sneaking a diet coke or sometimes a beer in. I love going by myself when I realize I have a night free. I love to sit in the dark and laugh so hard I'm crying, or cry so hard I can't breathe. (OK, that only happened in Schindler's List - call me crazy but the mass murder of Jews just gets to me every time.) I love to whisper to the person I'm with. I love to realize the thing is nearly over and feel sad. I love to walk out of the theatre surprised that it has become dark, that the sun has set while you were suspended in time, inside - in another world. I love that movies can do that. Sure, it's escapism, but so is reading or exercising or fucking, when you think about it. And like the others, movies can change your life. Movies can make you realize you've been stupid and make you go and ask that person if they might go out with you. They can make you quit your job. They can make you adopt a puppy or take that trip or buy a denim jacket or never ever ever go camping by yourself ever again ever. At their worst, mindless crap. At their best, life-altering pieces of human experience.

This year I seem to have seen a whole lot more of the first than the latter. To be fair, I just haven't seen that many this year, period. Yes, it does have a lot to do with losing the person with whom I went to 95% of my movies, but there also hasn't been that much that's inspired me yet. And the summer is almost over. First, we had the dumping ground of late winter, spring, where a film can make 9 million and take first place. I love summer movies, but this summer has been fucking miserable. I haven't been excited to see anything other than A Perfect Storm, and that's mostly because my friend is in it. Seriously, it might be me - might be my headspace - but I really haven't been jazzed by anything. Even smaller films like the Tao of Steve that during Sundance I was dying to see, I'm lukewarm on. In current release, I was psyched about The Original Kings of Comedy, but I've grown wary. In the top ten, the only other thing I would even consider paying money for is Bring it On, and I'm sure I can hold off. The last thing I saw was X-Men, which I liked, but I could have done without it. It didn't match the fun I had at a similar movie last year, The Matrix. Both were dumb action movies I saw alone on a whim, and really enjoyed. In fact, in the top twenty right now, the only movie that is added to my "want to see" list, is Scary Movie. Thirty: Tao of Steve. Maybe Croupier. Forty: I'd only add the Cirque du Soleil IMAX movie, but again, only because my friend is in it. Fifty: Blood Simple - but that's not even a new film. The Eyes of Tammy Faye. Siegfried & Roy: The Magic Box, but only because they had the gaul to name it that. Sixty: Love & Sex. I'm the One That I Want. Seventy: Chuck & Buck. Anyway, you get the point...

You know, without my list in front of me, I can barely remember what I've seen this year. I liked High Fidelity a whole lot. Even saw it twice. Hated Gladiator. Enjoyed the Minnie Driver baboon heart movie only the degree to which one can possibly enjoy a Minnie Driver baboon heart movie. Um, similar feeling with Leap of Faith. Erin Brockovich was enjoyable, but hardly life changing. I wanted to see Ghost Dog, a lot. Somehow I missed that one. Road Trip was cute, but no better than any movies of that ilk. Good titty scene. That helped. What else? What else? U-571 was fine. The Virgin Suicides, pretty but cold. American Psycho, good but ultimately disappointing. That's about it.

Let's see what's coming out of video right now. See, this is what's come out this year so far: shit like Reindeer Games. The Whole Nine Yards. Whatever It Takes. Supernova. Scream 3. Romeo Must Die. The Ninth Gate. Here on Earth. Drowning Mona. The Beach. Mission to Mars. The Next Best Thing. I Dreamed of Africa. I mean, really. Really, people.

Perhaps I've just grown cynical this year. Maybe things have been so crazy for me in 2000 that it takes something extra to please me now where I was easy before, when things were calm and I was at least fairly content. Maybe I would have rushed out to see Mission to Mars or Reindeer Games in previous years. But I doubt it. I really think this has been a shitty year thus far. Last year was so good, I thought, that maybe everyone just blew their wads, and are tired. I don't know.

All I know is that I am foregoing heading to the movies, choosing rather to stay home and read or go out with friends or even watch The fucking Edge on cable. And maybe it's me, but I think it's you, movies. Shape up. You have a huge opportunity soon...

Tomorrow: Upcoming Fall/Winter Releases. Oscar Bait = Stee Bait?

(The Forum)

Talk about everything under your mom, including
2000, the year in film so far.

The Anna Nicole Smith Happy Song Corner

Now somewhere in the black mountain hills of Dakota there lived a young boy named Rocky Raccoon. And one day his woman ran off with another guy. Hit young Rocky in the eye. Rocky didn't like that, he said "I'm gonna get that boy." So one day he walked into town booked himself a room in the local saloon. Rocky Raccoon checked into his room. Only to find Gideon's bible. Rocky had come equipped with a gun. To shoot off the legs of his rival. His rival it seems had broken his dreams. By stealing the girl of his fancy. Her name was, Magil and she called herself Lil. But everyone knew her as Nancy. Now she and her man who called himself Dan. Were in the next room at the hoe down. Rocky burst in and grinning a grin. He said "Danny boy this is a showdown." But Daniel was hot, he drew first and shot. And Rocky collapsed in the corner, ah... speaking of which. Y'all. My daddy used to read to me from Gideon's bible. I would sit there as he read about people begatting each other, and I always wondered who Gideon was, and so I asked my daddy one day. And he was all, "That's the King of Berlin, and he gave me this bible when I was the Duke in his court." And I never knew my daddy was a Duke! And after that night I looked up to him more than I ever had before. Until one day I learned the truth - there is no King of Berlin. My daddy must have meant Bangkok or somethin'.
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