Hey there ‘Redheads… Welcome to the first installment of 2008. It’s a new year, full of promise and ripe with hope. This is the time for resolutions, high expectations, and big plans. You’re gonna do it this year. Whatever it is you haven’t been doing. You’re going to quit that go-nowhere job and grab life by the horns. The world is your oyster and you plan to shuck it, cover it in tabasco, and slurp it down your smiling cake hole. Schlemeil, schlamazel…Hassenfeffer Incorporated, you’re gonna do it!! At least for the first week or so…then, you’ll most likely slip back into the same rut you’ve been stuck in since you resolved to stop procrastinating in ’03. C’mon, seriously, you can make all the half-assed resolutions you want, but if you had to wait for the ball to drop to get your shit together, odds are you’ll be using the leftover ass cheek to rehash the same resolutions next year.
Uplifting, ain’t it? Well, I speak from experience. I’ve been happy to let the calendar pages fly past like a complacent flip book. This year, I’m hoping I can muster up the gumption and the drive to do all that crap I mentioned earlier. Next week marks six years to the day that I got canned at DC101 and started on the path that has me where I am now. That was a life changing event that ended a chapter in my barely spell-checked life. The page numbers on the next chapter got printed when I had another life changing moment last week. Something that struck me. I was– what’s the opposite of inspired? –insulted, yes, I was insulted to take action. I saw Alien vs. Predator: Requiem. I was excited to see this movie. It had the potential to be a great sci-fi action flick that could get fans excited about the mythology of the two creatures and make up for a string of disappointing and mishandled sequels. It could’ve been Alien vs. Predator: Apology. They fixed the prime mistake of the first AvP and amped the rating to R, allowing the film to take the kid gloves off and give the people a proper showdown between the two R rated franchises. I saw this very promising trailer online…
It couldn’t possibly suck, right? *sigh* Oh, the wrongness. The trailer lied to me. LIED. It was a wretched, rancid, festering, steaming pile of skunk shit. Just awful. One of the forgotten elements of a good monster flick is an emotional investment, however slim, in the humans being picked off. Either you root for the hero to make it or you root for the villain to get his comeuppance. Go rent Pitch Black or Dog Soldiers or, the best of the bunch, Aliens to see it done right. The characters here were paper thin and poorly developed cattle. You’re given just enough background to know that they exist, then they cease to do so. That could’ve been forgiven if they were given some snappy dialogue to spout before they get impaled or disemboweled. Fat chance. If I had brought my cliche dialogue bingo card, I would’ve won big. Allow me to give a few examples:
A military official, after giving orders to nuke the town (sorry for the spoiler), “God help us all.”
A young child to her mother, after surviving the ordeal, “Mommy, are all the monsters gone?”
And the classic, “Get to the chopper!”
But, you don’t go to these movies for dialogue or character development, so both of those could’ve been forgiven if the action were half-way decent. You had an army of Aliens and an Alien/Predator superhybrid facing off against a lone Predator. The Alien swarms against the Predator’s high tech battle savvy. With modern day special effects, it would at least be great eye candy. Snake eyes on that roll too. The action was so dimly lit that it was impossible to tell what the hell has going on. All you see are some flailing dreadlocks and oozing fangs. I’ve seen better fights between Rock ’em Sock ’em Robots, which’ll probably be adapted for the screen this summer. Plus, in most of the scenes, the Predator is invisible. Dreck, top to bottom. Don’t even get me started on the previews they showed before the flick.
I walked out of the theater angry…muttering to myself angry. My expectations were limbo champion low, and I was still disappointed. I was sure of one thing. I could do better. So, in 2008, I plan to try. I’ve had a story kicking around in my head for a couple years now, and I hope to hammer out something resembling a screenplay in the next couple of months. I’m telling you guys this now, so I’ll be more motivated to actually get it done. This isn’t exactly writing it in stone, but it’ll do. Excelsior and whatnot.
Ok, with that out of the way, let’s get to recapping my New Year’s Eve. After a quiet dinner of spaghetti and chicken meat lumps with some friends, we hopped in the car and went down the rabbit hole of DC to Wonderland. Usually, a pretty cool bar and home to Kostume Karaoke. That night, it was home to Massive Fire Code Violation: The Musical. The place was packed. Six pounds of drunk in a five pound bag. We made our way through the masses and staked out a patch of dance floor up front and proceeded to shake our respective groove thangs. I thought the night was going to take a fun little turn, when a hot chica shimmied up to me and said, “Hi, I’m bold. I figured we’d end up dancing together anyway.” Score. I was on my way to being a part of some girl’s last bad decision of ’07. Well, she was retrieved by one of her friends shortly afterward and we got separated in the crush of the revelers who continued to stream in. Every odd couple of seconds, some drunk pushed past us to get to the front of the room. Wonderland was starting to live up to it’s name, because the phrase “Eat me” kept flashing through my head. After the countdown, my first resolution of ’08 was to do this…
There are some other things that happened in the last throes of ’07, but that’ll be covered in the next blog. I wanted to get this stuff in here before the memory and the motivation ebbed.
If you’re up in Columbia Saturday night, come check out the show at Taglines. I’ll be up there with Freddie Vernell, and Mike Shader.
Also, happy 5th anniversary to DCStandup.com. My buddy, Chris White, has built one of the finest comedy resources of its kind on the web. I was one of the four comics on the list when it launched. Here’s to ya.
To be continued…