Wednesday, October 31, 2007

My Top 5: Movies That Scared Me The Least

A little more than a year ago I wrote a post about the 5 films that scared me--and continue to scare me--the most. Since it's that time of the year and all, I've put together another list: this one, contrary to the list from last year, is about movies that tried to scare the hell outta me but failed. And trust me: If they fail in scaring me, they ain't that scary.

'Cause truth be told, I'm a sissy.

Here is My Top 5: Films That Scared Me The Least:

The Birds (1963) : Birds? You mean, that film about regular birds annoying and bugging the locals? Birds with no special powers, or mutated abilities? Just a...whole lotta birds?

How's that scary?

The Amityville Horror (1979) : Flies? You mean that movie where regular flies descend upon and annoy the people who live in the house?

That movie starring Barbara Streisand's husband? The guy who gets annoyed with a whole lotta flies that have no special powers, or mutated abilities?


The Wicker Man (2006) : Someone wake me up when Nic Cage gets burned alive. I need to see that, as payback for watching the first 90 minutes of this flick.

Ghost Story (1981) : This one may have been scary, I'm not sure.

I saw it with my girlfriend a few weeks after we started car dating and parking. All I was thinking about during this movie was what was gonna happen once it was over.

Jeepers Creepers (2001) : Throw Ed and the other guy from that Macintosh commercial in with this monster and you got yourself a movie. As is?

Not so scary.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Embarrassing The Griswolds

The Film Geek family gulped down its dinner and threw the dishes in the sink Monday night. It's Pumpkin House time, baby, and we don't miss a minute!

The couple of nights before Halloween sees plenty of traffic at the house, as many as ten thousand each evening. So we took off just prior to dusk, hoping to beat the crowd. And the plan worked; I was able to find a parking place nearby on the street, avoiding this year the dreaded Kenova cops and pissy neighbors. We unloaded the van and headed toward the orange glow, along with several hundred more who had the same bright idea.

This year, though, we took the 12-year-old boy who calls himself my daughter's "boyfriend."

I'd been asked earlier to be on my best behavior, by both my daughter Maddisen and my wife. By "best behavior," of course, they mean be quiet and leave the poor kid alone. I promised I would, although I doubted I could.

For the first 15 minutes or so after picking him up, I didn't say a word after "hello." And neither did he. There was something strange and too unusual about my daughter having a date, even if it was more a quasi-date than a real one. I turned the radio up louder than usual, and settled into listening to Mrs. Film Geek talk to him about school, his grades and his family. The longer the quiet and polite small talk went on the more uncomfortable I became, until I blurted out in my favorite faux-dumb guy voice (which is similar in sound and rhythm to Karl Childers talking about his sling blade):

"Hey boy: you like some punkins?"

Nothing. The kid said nada. And no one else did either.

"I said hey, boy. You like some punkins?"
"I guess so,"
the kid said.

"I like me some punkins" my inner-Karl Childers said out loud. It was less a reply than it was a monologue. "Some like squash better 'n punkins, but I favor punkins. You can make lots of things outta punkins: punkin' bread, punkin butter', punkin' soup, punkin' jelly, punkin' wine..." The list went on and on like that shrimp guy in Forrest Gump. By the time we got to the Pumpkin House I had embarrassed myself, my wife and my daughter Maddisen. The only one who seemed to think it was funny was my daughter Griffyn, who seems to share my sense of humor.

We got out of the van, and the older kids split fast. I didn't blame them.

While walking around in the dark I was reminded of a terrific post by Huntington blogger Chris James, in which he touched on the difficulty he has with small talk. I share the difficulty. I can do it if I must, but it's always such a chore I'll avoid it when I can. Even if it means using a fake dumb guy voice and embarrassing my family.

Later that evening we were invited into the actual Pumpkin House to warm the kids by the fire. The house is 150 years old, and filled with memorabilia and items that have great, historical stories. My wife has been in the home many times, but the kids and I have not so we received a quick tour. It was dark in the house, and all the antiques seemed to glow a dull orange from the 3,000-plus pumpkins outside. After the tour was over, my four-year-old son Jaden tugged on The Pumpkin Lady's leg, and when she looked down into his sweet face he said:

"Your house scares me."
Just like his old man.

(Photo by Ric Griffith)

Monday, October 29, 2007

Porter Wagoner

I'm less a country music fan than I am a fan of songs that tell stories. And one of the pioners of modern story-tellin' songs was Porter Wagoner, who died over the weekend. His syndicated TV show--with which he was also a pioneer, ahead of Hee Haw and Country Music Television--was on one of the few TV channels I received as a kid, so I became a fan.

Dolly Parton, who got her big break in the '60s as a regular of his show, penned I Will Always Love You for him when she left the show. It'll be sung a lot this week.

Sunday, October 28, 2007


My Dad's friend, Brent Grose, was one of those guys who picked on kids to show them he liked them. You know, the "there's something behind your ear" kinda guy, except ramped up times 50, like: "Come over here, you little sissy," and "When did you stop sucking your thumb?" Phrases to make a seven-year-old kid laugh, and help the grown man himself avoid saying anything that's overly emotional.

My brother and I were conflicted with the taunting: on one hand we liked it, because it played to our aggressive nature, but on the other it really annoyed us, because it made us feel stupid.

One night, when Brent was visiting at the house, he started in on my seven-year-old brother, Jeff. Jeff had--and still has--a pretty fierce temper, and taunting him in any aspect is more than likely to send him over the edge. Brent was pretty merciless that night, and Jeff was retaliating with some small left jabs and even bigger threats as Brent sat on the couch yapping it up. Suddenly, Jeff ran from the living room to his bedroom, where he stayed for a few moments. We all thought he'd given up. Until suddenly he re-emerged.

Wearing a Superman cape.

He jumped on top of Brent and let loose a flurry of right jabs and left crosses. And one connected, Hard. My kid brother had broken Brent's right jaw! It was one of those rare moments in life where kids are able to feel some sense of power in an otherwise powerless existence.

Jeff and I have laughed at that moment for almost thirty years.

The Superman cape didn't grant my brother super powers, of course. But it did make him feel as though he could have them. He was no longer a powerless seven-year-old; he was a kid with a Superman cape, fighting like Superman would fight.

He was new, and improved.

I tend to think most of us want to feel new and improved. I certainly did (and sometimes still do) as a kid. When I was ten or so I recall becoming so immersed in fantasy about being a super-hero that I really did, for a moment or two, believe I was. I was happy as the kid I was, but the idea of new and improved was hard for me to pass up.

Sometimes, the fantasy of being new and improved can't be reached, and we are forced to come to the conclusion that we are who we are. Nothing in life will be new, nor will it likely improve dramatically. That imaginary world of capes and heroic actions can still exist somewhere in our head, but it gets crowded out by real life issues like employment, taxes and complicated relationships.

I suppose the two worlds--the fantasy one, and one based in reality-- can (and often do) co-exist peacefully, if we choose to allow them to. Allowing conflict to exist between them, however, often brings angst, anxiety and depression.

Unchecked, those can be overwhelming, life changing emotions.

George Reeves, the star of The Adventures of Superman and the subject of the bio-pick Hollywoodland, couldn't reconcile the stardom he thought he deserved, and the real-life career for which he was destined. It's that conflict that serves as the plot for this better-than-average film. It reminds us that happiness comes from living in the moment, and from recognizing the small-yet-important aspects of our lives. It's when we look past those toward goals that are unrealistic and unatainable that we suffer most.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Someone I Love Went To The Pumpkin House In Kenova, And All I Got Was This Lousy T-Shirt

As Jackie reminded me recently, it's that time of year!

If you've not been to the Pumpkin House in Kenova, WV, I recommend you visit this year. It's always a lot of fun, and the Griffith's put on an incredible show.

Each year, WSAZ typically runs a few stories about Ric Griffith's obsessive-compulsive punkin' carving. And because Sitemeter tells me a lot of people stop by The Film Geek after googling "the pumpkin house kenova wv" (the second highest google referral for this month, right after "Jack Baker porn titles), here's some of what WSAZ has been saying (my comments in blue):

The pumpkin house!!! Need we say more? It's become a priority-one Halloween tradition for thousands of families in our region and beyond! And every year we tell you about the pumpkin man, Ric Griffith, and all of his madness. Tonight, for the first time ever, we talk with the pumpkin lady!

Sandi Griffith will be the first one to tell you--her husband really is crazy.

I've learned to quit complaining. If you look at power boxes, he kept blowing breakers so he got electricians in to put in boxes... To do more.” said Sandi. “I've got timers on everything so [I] don't blow the fridge which she who one must obey appreciates,” said Ric.

He jokes, but for Ric Griffith, the real challenge behind the pumpkin house has been keeping Mrs. Griffith happy.

I complained because we didn't have any storage and I came home one day and we have this two-story building. I complained about the yard, but I won't say too much about that because I'm afraid he'll concrete the yard over.” said Sandi.

Sandi Griffith sounds like a reluctant partner in all of this…

I'm not a fan of messes or crowds so I don't have much choice about that,” said Sandi.
But, when you carve out the chaos and Ric is somewhere out of earshot buried deep in his work, the pumpkin lady fesses up.

I would probably not admit it to him and want to make sure he can't hear me, but I love it. It's like our town's homecoming because we see people we haven't seen all year and people come from around the world,” said Sandi.

So, from the late 70s and only 4 pumpkins to today and more than three-thousand: Ric says at this point, the only way it will all end is with his death.

I said (to my wife) what will you do if I die before you and and thousands of people show up looking for pumpkins? She said, I'll put up a sign that says, "he's dead, go away!" said Ric.

As funny as that is, they're not joking. They fear that will be the only way to get the word out to the thousands of devoted followers. Some new things to look forward to: The wall of pumpkins is one-third larger than it was last year, and expect some singing pumpkins.

Just be careful where you park!

Here's a YouTube clip from The Griffith's appearance last year on the Ellen DeGeneres Show. For those with eagle eyes: Mrs. Film Geek walks through the background of Ric's interview at about the 1:39 (or so) mark.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007


During what I recall as my 6th grade year at Zela Elementary in Nicholas County, West Virginia, a new school was being built on the same property as the old one I attended. The new school was nice; carpeted and tiled floors, spacious classrooms and air conditioning.

It was a world away my day-to-day learning environment.

One of the neatest things about the new school building was that we boys could sneak inside once in a while to engage in exploration and mischief. We never vandalized anything, but we made real nuisances of ourselves. It was fun to hang out in there, mostly because it was a different environment.

Once--and it was a very warm day, so I'm guessing it was in late Spring--we boys jimmied the lock and crawled through one of the easy to open back windows. A young boy named Conard was with us, following behind as usual. Conard had it doubly tough: not only was he a bad student, but most of the guys made fun of him because of his name and because he was poor. He was powerless and we knew it.

Worse, though, was that Conard knew it.

The bully of the group--Flavia, also oddly named, but such a bully that no one mentioned it--lead us down the hallway. Once at the farthest end of the darkest part of the hallway, Flave and several other boys grabbed Conard and shoved him into an unlocked janitor's closet. After tying him up with some rope-like materials found near-by, the boys left Conard alone in that closet for more than ninety minutes.

And I stood and watched.

While I could have helped him, I didn't. Although I could have reported the bullying, I didn't. When Flavia told the teacher Conard went home with his dad, I could have pointed out the lie. But I didn't.

Just like in Rendition.

There was no dramatic repercussions that resulted from the bullying of Conard, I suppose. He was released from the closet unharmed, the bullies--including me--were not severely disciplined and no one spoke of it after that day.

Also just like Rendition--all's well that ends well. If, that is, one can live with one's actions.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Michael Clayton

One of the things I enjoy most about blogging is the community that comes with the activity. I've enjoyed making some new friends, and emailing back and forth about movies and other interests.

Spike Nesmith, a Charleston WV blogger and radio personality, commented about the newly released movie Michael Clayton recently on his blog, Blog! The Musical. I like the kid's moxy, so I invited him to review it here.

And the bastard took me up on it!

Here it is, unedited and as-is. It's an entertaining read, unless you are a WQBE fan.

First off, thanks to The Film Geek for allowing me to hijack his blog! He and Jedijawa are the bloggers I'd like to be when I grow up.

It's not often that I believe movie reviews. In fact, I make it a point to ignore them as much as possible. Having been a former "showbiz" commentator myself, I know that sometimes one takes a contrary position to what one actually believes for the good of the joke, or to create a more interesting or compelling review. Negatives are, invariably, what gets a review noticed. Hyperbolic negatives, a billion times so. However, having seen on 'The Google' that George Clooney's new movie, "Michael Clayton", hadn't dipped below an average of three stars - and from some usually reliable sources - I was suitably intrigued enough to read a few in my search to find some weekend entertainment.

Let's be honest here; modern movies, for the most part, are rubbish... but some are enjoyable rubbish. "Things Exploding III" is to the artform of cinema what peanut butter on a chocolate cookie is to nutrition; it fills an immediate hole enjoyably, but has little to no longterm benefits. Does it make them less valuable? Perhaps, but no less enjoyable in the moment. If I paid eight dollars to see "The Third Man" and eight dollars to see "Transformers", I'd be perfectly happy that sixteen dollars (plus tax, minus popcorn) had been well spent. So on the rare occasions that I have access to a babysitting service (thanks, the Spike-in-laws!) and feel like a trip to my friendly neighbourhood multiplex, I tend to be attracted to movies where people might swear or hit each other and don't burst into song or have wisecracking animal sidekicks, and that usually ends up being one from the "Things Exploding" franchise by default. Let's be brutally honest, what other choices are there around here?

I choose my movies in the same way I shop for a car. When I go car shopping, I go in with the knowledge that I'm probably going to get lied to and ripped off - the key is to minimise the ripped-offedness and try to ignore the lies, so I do my best to research beforehand rather than falling prey to seduction-by-title-alone. Where most multiplex movies are awarded high marks based on how much T&A is flashed, how many cars are asploded and how many hilarious wisecracks the big-name star rattles off (not that there's anything wrong with that), I went in expecting to try to decipher what, other than those three main multiplex ingredients, would attract me to "Michael Clayton".

For a start, I knew nothing about this movie. I had seen it advertised on TV a few times and had remarked to Mrs Spike that no part of the plot had been revealed whatsoever. Turns out that that was probably on purpose. Far be it from me to claim superiority over ANYONE, but "Michael Clayton" isn't a film specifically aimed at the slack-jawed, gum-chewing lumpenprolitariat. It's no "Fast And Furious 2, Tokyo Boogaloo". It's a smart movie - slow at times, complex at times, incomprehensible at times. If you have a WQBE sticker on your car, chances are this movie's not for you.

I'll spare you the plot details, you can find that out anywhere else, what I will tell you is that I was shocked. Not a Casablanca-style sarcastic-shocked (SHOCKED!), genuinely shocked that a major studio had made a film for grown-ups. A thickly-plotted, slow-moving film that leaves plenty of questions unanswered. It doesn't patronise its audience by having legal terms translated in unconvincing ways, it trusts us to be able to follow along in context, it babys us only very slightly in its demonstration of what Clooney's eponymous character actually does for the law firm. And only one explosion. And a relevant one, at that!

The performances are what *really* make the film, though. Say what you want about Clooney, but the boy has an acting instinct and uses it here, acting from the inside out. He doesn't have to say "I'm weary" or "I'm in trouble" or "I don't know how to handle this situation" out loud, he acts it. He's not a sex symbol in the movie. He's not a super cool suave bastard surrounded by a bevvy of swooning extras, he's a regular guy who has a crappy job which he hates but needs. Surprisingly, Clooney is not the stand-out here. Inasmuch as his performance is perhaps the best of his career (at least as good as in "Syriana"), the real talk-aboutable performance is from Tilda Swinton, whose character swings convincingly between sharkish and super-confident corporate chief council to a frightened, imperfect, self-confident mouse. I said this elsewhere, but I'll say it again and on the record now that I'm on a blog that people actually read: it will be a damn shame if Clooney doesn't get an Oscar for this. It will be a travesty if Tilda Swinton doesn't. I've never seen her in anything that convinced me she was something other than a competent performer, what she is in "Michael Clayton" is an *actor*. If all I got to see for my eight bucks were her scenes, I'd still be happy.

The direction is unintrusive, the script is razor sharp with dialogue that is nothing other than almost completely convincing, the other performances are all great to fantastic and the final payoff is fist-pumpingly tremendous. My only complaint, referenced on my own blog, is the "homage" shot at the end. 'Oh sure,' I hear you cry, 'one man's homage is another man's rip-off', but it's at least fair to say that the closing shot to "Michael Clayton" is an awful lot like Bob Hoskins' in "The Long Good Friday"; the difference being that one is in little doubt over Hoskins' character's fate where the future of Clooney's Michael Clayton is entirely mysterious - and therein lies the beauty of the performance and the bravery of the shot. Had it been a lesser movie, I would have stomped my little feet and cried foul - here, it acts as an effective cap to a thoroughly enjoyable two hours. But if he says "the Mafia? I've shit 'em!" or "pig-eyed micks" or "get 'im a decent stone" in the sequel, I'll know it was less than homage... Damn, I love that movie.

If you go in to the movie theatre open to longueurs, ready to pay attention and not expecting "Things Exploding", you will - hopefully - be just as impressed as I.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Gone Baby Gone

One of the hallmarks I hold for determining the greatness of a film is whether or not I can't stop thinking about the movie after I've seen it.

I laughed for weeks when I'd recall certain scenes from Borat, and I talked with an unusual accent for more than a couple of days after seeing Fargo. Schindler's List moved me in ways I can't adequately describe, but I remember walking around in a bit of a stupor during the weekend after I caught the flick. Movies just effect me in dramatic fashion, particularly when they are great.

And Gone Baby Gone is great.

Adapted from a novel written by Dennis Lehane (who also wrote Mystic River), Gone Baby Gone is co-written and directed by Ben Affleck. The film is Affleck's first as a director, and he delivers a movie that is complex, honest and riveting. Affleck portrays Boston's neighborhoods and culture almost as a character in this film; as a result, Gone Baby Gone is a suspenseful thriller with all the twists and turns, but is grounded so completely that it connects on a realistic level with the audience.

Casey Affleck, the younger brother of Ben, plays private detective Patrick Kenzie. Kenzie is a neighborhood guy, a private dick who knows everyone and often uses those relationships to carry out his work. He and his associate/girlfriend Angie, played by Michelle Monaghan, get by mostly on finding deadbeats for creditors. After a young girl is discovered missing in his neighborhood, Kenzi reluctantly becomes involved. The decisions he makes as he works to find the missing girl--and the outcomes and aftermath of those decisions--is the real meat of this movie.

I can't go into the decisions for fear of giving away the plot twists. But I can say with certainty that after seeing this film, you'll find yourself debating Kenzie's decisions for days.

Baby also is remarkable in how it illustrates our current disconnect from children. Quietly, it reminds us that we adults have become too often obsessed with our own lives and the needs we have--or think we have--that our own children become something less important. Inconvienences, maybe. Something that gets in the way of our having those needs met.

This aspect is chillingly portrayed in the film, and sometimes even hard to watch.

In addition to the remarkable directorial debut of Affleck, the acting in Gone Baby Gone is terrific. Casey Affleck's performance is one of the best I've seen all year, and worthy of recognition at award time. The supporting cast, including Monaghan, Ed Harris and Morgan Freeman, also give top-rate performances.

I keep wanting to talk about this movie! If you see it, send me an email and tell me what you thought.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Film Scenes That Matter: Say Anything

It feels a bit vulnerable to break kayfabe and talk honestly about things like love, relationships and wedding anniversaries on a [ahem] blog.

Talking honestly and openly about feelings is something I struggle with anywhere, really. The words sometimes just feel too far inside for me to reach. It's much easier to write about Oprah blaming her 20 pound weight gain on an unbalanced thyroid (Please, make it stop!), or how the movie I watched taught me a life lesson.

It's only slightly easier after 16 years of marriage. I remember early on writing in a card I bought for her the phrase: "You're one hell of a woman!" And I meant it sincerely. To me, that was one of the most important complements I could give her. It meant I valued her independence, her humor, her strength of character and her life perspective.

(Oh, and her legs! They were important too.)

So, while the phrase I wrote meant all that and more to me, I didn't realize until later that it didn't mean the same to her. It meant, simply: "You're one hell of a woman!"

Well, she is.

And even though she pretends she doesn't read this blog, we both know she's lying. So, here's a Film Scene That Matters to both Kristy and to me. We loved this movie as kids. Even though the scene is simple, it demonstates without words the power and passion of love.

What Lloyd Dabler's
trying to say is:
"You are one hell of a woman, and I need you in my life."

And so am I.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

One Stop Shopping

All the lists say it's supposed to be something called silver halloware.


After 16 years, I've grown tired of the stress that comes with anniversary shopping!

(At least that's my excuse!)

Tuesday, October 16, 2007


"Hey, Daddy. Did you know you're listed on something called Rate My Professor?"

Ah, my eldest had discovered the joys of Google.

"Sorry, what did you say?" I heard her the first time, but I needed to hear it again. This was my chance to let her know I'm more than just a semi-hippie, comic book readin', movie lovin' guy who keeps two blogs in between trips to gymnastic practice and cheer-leading competitions.

This was my chance to shine, baby! My time to make sure the kid understood a portion of what her old man did for a living.

"It's a place called Rate My Professor, and you're listed on it. It names all these different college professors, and your name is there with comments by students from your classes."

"Really." And I say it with extra surprise, just for effect. "What's it say about me?"

"Well, mostly that you talk a lot, and let students out of class early. It also says something about you being only 'somewhat' hot."

Where'd I put that latest issue of The Justice League?

Monday, October 15, 2007

The Jacknut Did What?

The problem with having a couple of blogs is sometimes knowing on which blog to put the damn information! For example, a story recently sent to me from my friend, Cara, from the Daily-Mail.

Is it a tale of jacknuttery? Or, is the guy just a goofy film geek?

You decide.

"Man takes 4 children for spin in boat pulled by lawnmower"

Beckley police would have no problem with a man taking his grandchildren to a drive-in - if he weren't driving a lawnmower with a motorboat hooked to it and four young children inside the boat.

Just before 4 p.m. Saturday, police were called because a 61-year-old man was driving a lawnmower on North Vance Drive that had a 15-foot motorboat attached, Patrolman Jamie Blume said. Four children, all about 4 years old, were riding inside the boat.

The man and the children were found at King Tut Drive-In on North Eisenhower Drive, Blume said. He told officers he only wanted to take his grandchildren "out for a spin" and to treat them to food at King Tut. The man had driven from his nearby residence.

The man was not cited, Blume said, and he was not believed to have willfully put his grandchildren in danger. However, he was given a verbal warning because the children were riding unsecured and near an area known for heavy traffic. He was also driving an unregistered, uninspected vehicle on city streets.

UPDATE: After cross-referencing the King Tut Drive-In with the WV Hot Dog Blog, I now understand the place is an eaterie, and not a movie drive-in. My bad.

So, the answer is: he's a jacknut!

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Flashback! Bad Movies That Haunt Me: In Search Of Noah's Ark

In 1976, the single-screen Groves Theater in my hometown of Summersville ran Rocky for six consecutive weeks.


The flick sold a lot of tickets, so I can understand why theater management held it over for so long. But The Italian Stallion was bogartin' the screen, and holding me back from my entertainment options!

It probably didn't matter much anyway, because Rocky wasn't a movie my parents had an interest in seeing, or in making sure their eldest 11-year-old son saw. Nope, The Film Geek's parents weren't really into the PG scene, so the few movies we did attend as a family typically had "Disney" in the title, or involved religion.

Although I liked
Gus, I would have preferred Rocky.

One of the worst movies I recall seeing with my family at Groves Theater was In Search Of Noah's Ark.

With the tagline: "The greatest discovery of our time," In Search Of Noah's Ark was really a documentary in which producers tried to intertwine myth and science to produce tangible results to validate their beliefs. But there were serious flaws with the production:
1. The science was bad
2. The theology was bad
3. The special effects were bush league
4. The film relied on exaggeration and innuendo to make it's point

I hated Noah's Ark, but not for the reasons listed. Getting out to see a movie with my family was a pretty rare occurance, and something I really looked forward to doing. And although I watched it with buttered popcorn and Goobers, watching this movie was less like family time and more like attending a church service.

And I did enough of that already.

I'm still haunted by it.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

You're Still Here? It's Over!

The title's my favorite line from the movie Ferris Bueller's Day Off. It was the first time I can remember sticking around through a movie's credits, and the scene still makes me laugh out loud.

The "with which movie character do you most identify" generated some interesting comments. Among them:

My friend
Hoyt says:

"I've been thinking of the movie character with whom I most identify, and after much consideration I'm going to go with Greg Focker from "Meet the Parents." I'm sure there are other characters I might think of if I had another month to consider, but Greg best typifies my experiences with my in-laws, especially as it involves the religious issues. Of course, my father-in-law has never hooked me up to a lie detector machine--yet, but I know I would fail if he asked me the same questions DeNiro asked Greg. "

Now I gotta go back and read the script to find out what those lie detector questions were. (Although, I seem to recall one was about porn.)

Willy D said...

"I like Slater from Dazed And Confused. Check ya later man."

By the way, thanks for stopping in Willy D. And say "hey" again sometime, dude.

Elvis Drinkmo, a blogger whose talent I really admire, asked:

"What was the name of the movie where Danny DeVito played an unemployed college graduate who ended up teaching an adult learning class or something? That's the one character I always felt like I could relate to."

I had to look that one up, Elvis. It was Renaissance Man. (Not one of Danny's best.)

My WV Blogger Board tape mix parter
Rebecca Burch says:

"I probably identify with Molly Ringwold's character from "The Breakfast Club" a lot. I wasn't the most popular girl in the school like Claire Standish, but I had a very sheltered childhood, and I was somewhat of an over-achiever-good-girl. A Saturday spent in detention would have totally ruined my life.

I wish I would have been just a little more like her foil, Allison Reynolds (played by Ally Sheedy.) Allison was a free spirit to a fault. She was flaky (literally... as illustrated by the "snow scene" in which she uses her own dandruff to create the snowing effect) and a compulsive liar, but she was comfortable in her own skin. She knew she was weird and played it up just to see what people would do.

I wouldn't want to have been that far out of control in high school, but I wish I had had been more comfortable with who I was in high school. Looking back, I was a pretty cool chick, but I spent way too much time worrying about what other people thought of me."

Man, didn't we all.

Don't Print This blogger Bill Lynch says he most identifies with:

"Jerome Morrow from Gattaca. The character really becomes the thing he wants through sheer determination."

I'd expect nothing less from Bill.

All Click adds, with his he-sure-sounds-smart British accent:

"I say this a lot, but Peter Gibbons from Office Space is who I identify with. It's like they filmed my life for a year and my thoughts and then brought in some actors to play it out.

...Oh, and
Batman..the new kick ass Batman. That's sooo me."

You wish!

Rebecca, who blogs at
J and C and Me, says:

"I think I'm going with Bridget Jones. Because she's flighty, goofy, and always saying the wrong thing."

You, always saying the wrong thing? I'd have never thunk it. Now, "goofy" on the other hand... :)

And my friend Jackie, from Saved By The Torso says he identifies with Porter, from Payback:

I can really relate to his his singlemindedness in that movie. Whether it's work, a relationship, or even some project around around the house whenever I get something in my head it stays there. All other thoughts or ideas are burnt away by my dogged insistence to stay the course and finish what I started...for the good or bad. Some people call it stubborness, but I choose to look at it as "doing what you say you're gonna do". There's a sign at work says '"Success is usually determined by your ability to stick to your plan no matter what." That pretty much sums me up, and hence my character choice..."Porter".

It's a terrific philosphphy to live by. (I wish more people did.)

Thanks folks! That was lotsa fun. Now, go home!

Friday, October 05, 2007

Shake It Up, Baby

There are a lot of movie characters I love. The Dude, the Jeff Bridges character in The Big Lebowski is a favorite, as is Ratzo Rizzo (Midnight Cowboy) and Donnie Darko. As much as I love these characters, though, I have very little in common with them, which makes identifying with them difficult. Identifying with a character really enhances the movie experience for me, and it's those I identify with most that are usually my favorites.

My personal, favorite-all-time-movie-character is Ferris Bueller.



Yep, the perpetual slacker from the 1986 hit Ferris Bueller's Day Off is a movie character I identify with, for several reasons. He's a pretty smart guy (go with me here) who lives in the moment, enjoys play more than responsibility and has a youthful distaste for (or at least a youthful rebellion against)responsibility.

Shake it up, baby!

I never skip work to hang out with my friends. You wouldn't find me forcing a friend to steal his father's classic car in order to tool around town. I'd never manipulate authority figures simply to amuse myself. (OK, that one I would do.) And sing and dance in a big-time parade just 'cause it would be fun to spontaneously do it?

Nah, you'd never see that from me.

But I want to...

And I'm able to every time I watch my man, Ferris.

So, I'm curious: With which movie character do you most identify? And why? Drop a comment about it if you want, but if you send an email I'd like to publish your comments in a future post.