Tuesday, June 12, 2018

The Art of Making Bad Movies

Started off the morning with one of the earliest Backyardigans episodes, "Knights are Brave and Strong." Queen Tasha sends Uniqua the Pink to deliver a message to King Austin. On the way, she encounters nervous Moose of the Mist Tyrone and Pablo, the Guardian of the Gate, and shows how strong she is when she figures out a way to get across a smelly swamp. If they can deliver the message, Uniqua and the guys will become knights, complete with feather-topped helmets.

Worked on writing for a few hours while Charlie fussed over the window behind me. Palpatine uses his newly-acquired magic to transform into an even more powerful dragon than before. He taunts the voiceless Han, telling him how he'd turned his father into a mouse and eaten him while in the form of a lion. Han tries to attack him, but Chewie gets there first, then the Ewoks attack him. They distract him long enough for Han to aim his bow and arrow at him...

Broke at 11 for lunch and to get ready for work. This time, the Backyardigans are on a "Secret Mission" to deliver an unusual object to the Treasure Museum. Tyrone, Uniqua, and Pablo have to work together to evade the security traps, and then figure out where the piece goes and how to make it stay there.

Work was quiet when I arrived, and wouldn't be even remotely busy until rush hour. While I did the trash inside and out early-on, gathered baskets, bagged briefly, and helped a nice couple get their two full carts to their car, I was mostly outside, pushing carts and enjoying the glorious weather. It was sunny and windy, with a cloudless bright blue sky. It was too nice for most people to spend the day shopping, or for me to spend the day inside. Besides, the head bagger was around for most of the day. I was only alone for the last hour and during her breaks.

It was also too nice for me to eat dinner at home. Besides, Charlie was still cursing and fussing over the window outside. I changed, got a quick drink of iced tea, grabbed my purse, and headed right back out again to have pizza at Phillies Phatties.

They'd changed a great deal since the last time I was there. The counter was now a fancy black granite and tile, and the walls had been painted bright Phillies red. While their pizza is still delicious (and their slices are huge), their prices have gone way up. A can of soda and two slices of pizza used to cost $3.50. My slice of pepperoni, slice of broccoli, and can of Cherry Vanilla Pepsi cost almost $6.50. This is likely to cover the cost of gourmet pizzas like chicken and broccoli drizzled with cheddar cheese. I'm disappointed. We have two perfectly good gourmet pizza places around here, and while they are cheaper than Tu Se Bella's, they're probably at least on a par with Cafe Antonio's. I think I'll eat at the much-cheaper Capitol Pizza from now on.

Played some Lego Star Wars: Clone Wars after I got in. Managed to get two more pieces on "Gungan General" and one on "Defenders of the Peace." (I finished the latter a little too quickly and didn't give myself the chance to explore further.) I need to look up how to find the Sith and Bounty Hunter characters. A lot of bonus areas with extra pieces require one of those types of characters to enter, and I just can't figure out how to get to the ship where the villains are.

Finished the night after a shower with The Disaster Artist. Tommy Wiseau (James Franco, who also directed) and Greg Sestero (Dave Franco) meet during an acting class in San Francisco. Neither are very good, but Greg admires how Tommy really digs into his parts. They end up going to LA to become movie stars...but Hollywood is less-than-interested in their (lack of) talents. Fed up with getting doors slammed in his face, Tommy opts to write and direct a movie of their own called The Room. He hires a full crew and even springs for expensive digital shooting. The shoot proves to be difficult, thanks to Tommy's paranoid and thoughtless behavior. He insults everyone around him, insists they're all against him, and even refuses to provide water for the cast and crew. Greg finally gets fed up and takes a role on a sitcom, to Tommy's dismay. Tommy does invite Greg to the first screening of their magnum opus. Audiences react with shock, then laughter...and Greg and Tommy end up laughing all the way to the bank as the movie becomes a surprise midnight cult favorite.

Let me start by admitting that I've never seen the infamous The Room. I never even heard of it until I read about this movie in Entertainment Weekly last year. I hope it's half as interesting as the movie based on its creation. Both Francos turn in excellent performances as guys who may not be great actors, or even great people, but have a great desire to get involved with movies no matter what. Lots of fun cameos, too - look for Sharon Stone as Greg's agent and Melanie Griffith as their acting coach in San Francisco, among others.

I'm not sure how well this will go over with people who aren't that into movies or making them. It did get an Oscar nomination for Best Adapted Screenplay. For lovers of unusual comedy, the real The Room, or movies about making movies, this look behind the scenes at one of the most bonkers films of the 21st century is worth checking out.

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