October 21st, 2009

Forget Me Now

It's Okay to Eat Fish 'Cause They Don't Have Any Feelings

Because this year's AMWA conference is in Dallas, I came in early to spend some time with my family. Because you know how much I love doing that.

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My mom is a fan of procedurals. This time, I watch my first episode of The Mentalist, which is not as identical to Psych as Steve Franks would have you believe. The main characters do share a gimmick, but everything else is different. Jane is more subdued than Shawn, and, if you can believe it, even more arrogant. And the team aspect is a big difference. Robin Tunney is a little less meh than she was on Prison Break. Owain Yeoman was wasted in the first episode I saw, but he had some good scenes in the second episode we watched. I like the Asian guy. And Van Pelt, the redhead, is so freaking pretty. I would watch the show for her if I did that sort of thing. Anyway, I enjoyed the episodes I watched.

I also watch some movies, as Cinemax is good for more than soft porn.

Doomsday: I...have not seen a movie with this many decapitations in a while. I loved The Descent and have been wanting to see Dog Soldiers, so it's disappointing that this movie is...not very good. Rhona Mitra is pretty badass, though. In one scene, she takes down an armored gladiator in her civvies. Later, she drives through a bus.

The Strangers: Holy shit, this is a scary fucking movie. It eschews most horror-movie cliches and opts for being creepy and terrifying in a very minimalist sort of way. The tension builds and it holds. You don't need big-budget special effects; you just need sounds and images and the viewer's imagination. I recommend seeing it if you never want to feel safe again.

G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra: My mom and I saw this for fifty cents, and it was totally worth fifty cents. We actually were a little late, and as soon as we arrived, things exploded for about ten minutes straight. The action scenes were at times incoherent, but they were also at times AWESOME. And they actually bothered to give characters backstories and stuff! Also, the Baroness is superhot and Rachel Nichols has red hair. The overall plot is less incoherent than that of Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, and it has fewer failed attempts at comedy (although I think the entire cast must have been embarrassed at any point they had to say a catchphrase). If I start to think about it, it is not very good, and, I'm sorry, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, but what the living fuck were you thinking. It does, however, have hot chicks and explosions, and I was sufficiently entertained.

Funny Games: Michael Haneke, director of Cache, a movie I absolutely hated, remade his original Austrian film with Naomi Watts, Tim Roth, Michael Pitt, and some other dude. I thought it would be a good follow-up to The Strangers, as it's another movie about people terrorizing a couple for no apparent reason. But it's not scary or terrifying. It's very...strange. And unnerving. And boring. The two antagonists are very polite, which is kind of amusing. I was intrigued by the reviews that mentioned how the movie broke the fourth wall, but there were only three or four meta moments, and although one of them is a pretty awesome mindfuck, they weren't enough to elevate the movie above its base premise.

Now, I am at my hotel. The original plan was for there to be a clear dichotomy in this trip: before the conference was for them and the conference time was for ME. I don't know why I thought that would work. My current potential future wife happens to be in town for a wedding this weekend, and they are trying to arrange a face-to-face meeting, which will likely mean skipping something at the conference. I have not even exchanged e-mails with this girl, and my parents do not have a good track record of finding girls who click with me. And every single time I was asked whether I would see them after I left for the conference, I said no, but my parents said yes. My dad wanted me to come home Saturday night, as soon as the conference was over. I give them four full days and they still want to monopolize my time. If I knew they were going to be this persistent, I would have scheduled my flight for early Sunday morning to get out of here as soon as possible rather than give myself free time to see people who aren't my parents.

This was supposed to be a good, fun conference. I'm giving a workshop. I'm sitting on a panel. Now I can't even enjoy it.