Sunday, December 28, 2008

Saturday, December 27, 2008

The Visitor

When my friend Donutbuzz calls to suggest a film to me, I listen. Usually, I add it to the "Hoyt Sez Watch This" list, and then Netflix the title when I get a chance.

But, when Mr. Chinchilla calls to recommend a movie, I run to Blockbuster real quick-like.

It's not that the Chinch knows more about movies than Hoyt. It's more that I'm scared of the little furry guy. He's cute and all, but he eats a lot of raisin-soaked tequila, and his claws are razor sharp. Add that he's recently lost his job, and you can see I want nothing to do with pissing off the Chinchilla!

The which-movie-should-I-rent? question is easier to answer when both dudes recommend the same movie. This time, it was The Visitor.


Enjoying a flick recommended by someone is awesome when said movie is as wonderful as The Visitor. It doesn't surprise me that Hoyt loved this flick. He's pretty consistent in his selection of quality film. Mr. Chinchilla, however, isn't. I hated his last recommendation:

Basic Instinct 2.

Man, I hope he didn't just read that...

Friday, December 26, 2008

Eartha Kitt

1927-2007

I know she was an accomplished dancer, singer and actress. But I have my own fond way of remembering Eartha Kitt, who died Thursday after a long battle with cancer.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Only, I Didn't Say Fudge: The Peter Billingsley Repeat (From November, 2007)

Dear Lurker(s):

First, let me say "Happy Holidays" to each of you.

Despite Bill O'Reilly's assertion to the contrary, my salutation is not intended to be part of any cultural war. In fact, it's the opposite. I see from Sitemeter that many of you come from places other than Huntington, West Virginia; some are even from countries other than the U.S. of A. So, I presume this open letter is going out to a fairly diverse group of people.

I'm nothing if not inclusive!

Anyway, as I mentioned, I have this Sitemeter thing which gives me data about how people find this blog. Although it's really useless information, I still look at it every couple of days because I'm curious. About the interests of other people, how those interests intersect with what I might have written, etc.

You get the point: I look at the data pretty often, and it tells me a lot.

Lately, I've been noticing a trend. It might be that the trend is due to the holiday season, I dunno. But I realized today I can save a great many of you a lot of time by telling you, right now, this small bit of information: Peter Billingsley, the child actor from A Christmas Story, did not work as an adult porn star.

Due to the heavy traffic of folks asking this question, I want to repeat this part again: "...he did not work as an adult porn star!"

Now, Jack Baker on the other hand...Well, Sitemeter tells me many of you know that already. Very, very well.

So, dear lurker(s), I hope the extra three-to-five minutes I've just saved you from frenetic Internet searching is valuable to you. Extra time in today's world is a rarity, so put it to good use. And think of it as a holiday present from The Film Geek.

For whatever holiday you observe.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Please, Make It Stop: Part 16

Who says you can't put a price tag on being a father?

"For helping his daughter through her turbulent period, Jamie Spears on Monday was awarded an additional $51,000 payout, reflecting an increase in his monthly payments since he took over his 27-year-old daughter's affairs in February. Jamie Spears had been receiving $10,000 a month for his work, but Los Angeles Superior Court Commissioner Reva Goetz increased that amount to approximately $16,000 per month and agreed to give him backpay."

My kid is in bed with the stomach yucks, and about an hour ago I cleaned up a pool of vomit off his bedroom floor.

For free.

I wouldn't have it any other way.

Monday, December 22, 2008

My Favorite Xmas Gift

I was never that kid who had a Wish List. I am, and have always been, pretty low maintenance when it comes to Christmas gifts.

You better believe I enjoyed the BB guns Santa brought me when I was a young 'un. The miniature pinball games my maternal grandma gave me most years on Christmas Eve I coulda done without.

One gift from my youth, however, really thrilled me. In fact, it's the only gift I can recall being really excited about using. And I used it a lot.

Tape recorders in the 1970s were cool.

Sure, these days you have your iPods, your Blackberry's, your iPhones, your personal computers, etc.

Fuck that bunch of nuevo tech bullshit.

None of 'em could touch the excitement of a 10-year-old and his brand new, mic'ed up tape recorder. Somewhere in a closet, my parents still have 20 minutes of me imitating Wolfman Jack.

Gifting is better when done simple.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

The Jacknut Chronicles' Sunday Edition: "I'll Take A # 2, No Pickle, No ZZZZZZzzzzzz..."

No jacknuttiness goes unnoticed by Stanton:

Man found passed out in Hardee's drive-through

SOUTH CHARLESTON, W.VA.
-- Police arrested a Charleston man after he passed out in front of a South Charleston fast food restaurant's drive-through window.

South Charleston Patrolman N.W. Harden was dispatched to Hardee's restaurant on MacCorkle Avenue Thursday after employees noticed a man who appeared to be passed out behind the wheel of his Buick LeSabre in the drive-through, according to a complaint filed in Kanawha Magistrate Court.

The man, William Christopher Meadows, 49, of Sissonville Drive, had been passed out for about 10 minutes, witnesses told police. The Buick was in drive, Meadows' foot was on the brake, and Meadows had the money for the food in his hand, according to police.

Harden was able to wake Meadows and while speaking to him noticed the odor of alcohol on him, the complaint stated. Officers had Meadows step out of the car and perform sobriety tests, which he failed, according to police.

Meadows was placed under arrest and taken to South Charleston Police headquarters, where he was searched. Patrolman Parsons found a small bag of marijuana and a "one hitter" filled with marijuana, the complaint stated.

Meadows was charged with driving under the influence and possession of marijuana.

Friday, December 19, 2008

This Would Be Worse Than Nipples On The Bat Suit

Uh...

I'm prayin' it's a hoax.

From the Daily News:

"Comic book fanboys across the globe are all atwitter after fresh reports that Eddie Murphy will play the Riddler in the next "Batman" movie.


The Sun reported today that Christopher Nolan has tapped Murphy for the role in the follow-up film to "The Dark Knight," which is rumored to be titled "Gotham." The unconfirmed rumor contradicts earlier whispers that Johnny Depp would reinvent the role in the new film, which is slated to hit theaters in 2010. The Sun also says that Shia LeBeouf has been tapped to play Robin, and Rachel Weisz will portray Catwoman.

Said an insider to the British tabloid. "Eddie's a fantastic addition. Everyone's excited to see what he does as the Riddler."

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

High School Quotes I Remember: Quote #9

(I make no judgements about content. I'm simply purging some of the clutter that's been inside my head since 1983.)

" You are the most vain, arrogant and selfish person I know."

My former girlfriend, from junior high, to me during our final week of high school. She wanted to ensure I understood her opinion of me before we graduated. (She was our Valedictorian, so she probably knew what she was talking about.)

Friday, December 12, 2008

The Worst Generation

What the hell is it that's wrong with many young parents today.

Fathers shooting their kids in the head. More than six percent of all children in West Virginia (and more than that nationally) living in grandparent-headed homes, a phenomenon that saw a thirty percent increase between 1990 and 2000. Children being treated as accessories that can just be abandoned, or even thrown away.

I'm a pessimist, and always have been . I tend to expect the worst out of people. Many, many times I'm wrong. But I don't think I'm wrong regarding my belief that there's something unusually selfish about many parents these days. A selfishness that ultimately causes the devaluing and dehumanizing of their own children.

Am I wrong? Please, someone tell me I'm wrong.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

CSNY Déjà Vu

Co-written and directed by Bernard Shakey--known better as artist, rocker and social commentator Neil Young--CSNY Déjà Vu documents the reunion of Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young as they prepare for and carry out their 2006 Freedom Of Speech tour.

The tour and the documentary, built around war protest songs written by Young, are designed to facilitate a dialogue about the current wars in which America is engaged. Young and the band clearly believe the war is immoral and illegal; however, Young presents a fairly balanced perspective in the film. Negative reviews of the tour are included, comments from disgruntled fans are aired and concert-goers who leave arenas in protest when "Let's Impeach The President" is played get their say on-camera as to why they love CSN&Y's songs, but not their politics.

CSN&Y Déjà Vu is a well made film. If you put it into the DVD player expecting "Suite Judy Blue Eyes", you will be sorely disappointed. The harmonies are not as tight as you remember, and there isn't a new melody in the entire 90 minutes that sticks in my head.

If, like me, you watch enjoy watching artists display their talents with passion and a sense of purpose, this flick will satisfy. It is poignant, and thought provoking.

And, I thought, it's still relevent.




Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Sunday, December 07, 2008

I Remember Embarrassed

I was about 12 when my Dad pulled the Caprice into the parking lot of the Poke 'N Tote. It was the closest convenience store between our house and town, and Dad had a hankering for cinnamon-flavored jaw breakers. He handed me a $5 bill, and asked me to go in and get 'em.

"How many?" I asked.

"$5 dollars worth. Get as many they'll give you for five bucks."

I quickly counted on my fingers, and thought through my goesintas. I wasn't sure what a single jaw breaker sold for at the Poke "N Tote, but I knew the total amount would come to a pile. I tried to get out of it, and gave my Dad excuse after excuse. He deflected each and every one. I snatched up the $5 note and headed inside the store.

As I walked up to the counter, I quickly located the large bucket of cinnamon jaw breakers behind the counter. More angst hit me when I realized that they had to count out the candy. Several curse words flooded my head.

I handed the girl the $5 bill. "My Dad wants all the jaw breakers this will buy."

She didn't immediately take the money, and instead just stared at me as if she was hearing a new language for the first time. After several seconds, she said: "But, we sell 'em for a nickle apiece. That's 100 jaw breakers."

Yeah. I know. Count 'em out, lady.

The lady took the money, and started counting. As she piled the jaw breakers on the counter-top, she kept track out loud:

"12, 13, 14..."

Someone got in line behind me, with nothing in his hands to buy. I figured he was getting smokes. I remember hoping he was patient.

"27, 28, 29, 30..."

A customer stepped inside and asked the clerk to turn on the gas pump. She stopped counting to flip a switch, then stepped back to the big candy bucket. "Where was I?" she asked.

How the hell did I know. I wanted to run.

"43, 44, 45, you're Dad really likes jaw breakers, huh?"

The guy behind me starts shifting his weight.

"86, 87, 88..."

There were people 4 deep behind me at that point. I was sweating, and sick to my stomach. It seemed like I was watching the count take place in slow motion. Then, I realized after she counted out the 100, she had to bag them all up. I grabbed a paper bag from the stack beside the cash register and started throwing them in myself.

She reached 100, I tossed those into the bag and headed out the door. I threw the bag in the front seat, and crawled into the back.

"Thanks!" my Dad said. "You wanna jaw breaker?"

No, I didn't. And I'm not sure I've had one since.

Saturday, December 06, 2008

The One Where She Tells Me I Was Wrong (But Still Forgives Me)

(Continued)

Daddy,

Well, thank you. I appreciate it, and I forgive you. (;

But what bothered me the most was that I asked you not to talk to him, and you did it anyway. Then, you talked to him in front of all my friends. So, for the rest of the night, I had to deal with all of them telling me how weird my dad is! Which is not true, by the way. (;

But anyway, I really wish you hadn't talked to him. And yes, you were wrong to do it. It embarrassed me, and I'm sure him, too. And nobody wants that, especially in front of everybody.

But thank you, and I love you. (;

-Maddisen!

Friday, December 05, 2008

Get Smart

Get Smart's funnier
Than The Brady Bunch, I guess.
But not The Nude Bomb.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

"Dad, You're Embarrassing To Me!"

Never, in her 12 years of living, had I heard her say it before. Sure, I expected to. I anticipated it would happen, sooner than later. But I wasn't ready for the sting.

Sting isn't the right word. It was more than that, really. It was a blow. A hard right to the jaw that dropped me to my knees.

After her sorta-boyfriend broke up with her on the telephone by pretending he was someone else (kids today!), I was really angry. Not about the break-up; my 12-year-old daughter doesn't really date, she just sorta "likes." And if the guy likes her too, then I suppose it's a relationship of some sort. But relationships end, and when this one did, she was fine.

I wasn't. It wasn't the rejection that bugged me, but how it went down.

"[The kid] broke up with me," she said. The weird thing was, he called and pretended to be his brother. Like I wouldn't know the difference."

I wanted to find the kid and punch him. To make her feel better I said something to her about calling him out for being a goof. She laughed, and I gave her a hug.

A few days later, she realized I would soon be in the same room with him at a sports banquet, and worried I may have been more serious about calling him out than she first thought. She asked me not to talk to him. I hedged a bit, although she probably didn't realize that because of the subtle way I did it.

I wanted to leave the door open, just in case.

The boy and I had a nice chat at the banquet. Well, I thought it was nice. He, as it turns out, thought I was a jerk and spread that opinion among his friends who were there. Of course, 30 minutes into the event, my daughter heard the news.

"Dad, you're embarrassing to me!"

It wasn't the voice of a kid who said that. It was, instead, the voice of a young woman who was truly embarrassed. She was horrified, and should have been.

I was wrong.

(To be continued)


Wednesday, December 03, 2008

King Of California

Growing up the daughter of a mentally unbalanced, institutionalized, weed smokin', self-obsessed father is a tough existence. But 16-year-old Miranda, played by Evan Rachel Wood, gives it all she's got. She works double shifts at McDonalds, saves every extra dime and has definite plans for her future.

Plans that get stalled when her father is released and moves back in with her.

Charlie, played by Michael Douglas, has a Bipolar disorder and an obsessive desire to find a cache of 400-year-old gold doubloons. It's his focus and his mission, even more so than getting to know his daughter again. To salvage the relationship, Miranda realizes she has to become a part of her father's delusion. Through that effort, the two make a connection both needed desperately.

King Of California is a small budget flick that had ran a limited release in the United States. The performances are tops shelf, and the writing by first-time screenwriter and director Mike Cahill is fine. The pace of the movie is a bit slow, but the ending is worth the wait.

One man's delusion is another man's reality, sometimes.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Film Scenes That Matter: Christmas Vacation

We all know a Cousin Eddie, don't we?

(And maybe, truth be told, some of us are Cousin Eddie.)



Monday, December 01, 2008

Film Scenes That Matter: A Christmas Story

"Fra-gi-lay...It must be Italian."

There's no better scene to start the Christmas season off right.