Saturday, December 6, 2008

What I did when I wasn't eating

While on vacation, I caught up on some of my movie watching. Granted, these aren’t a bunch of classics that I’ve been meaning to see since my film-noir phase during college (of which, there was none). Mostly, these were movies that my wife and I picked up while wandering through an Orlando Blockbuster that fell into the “didn’t want to go to the theaters, but still thought it might be worth a look” category.

The first was Rattaouie..wait…Ratatoieel…Ratatouille. You know…the Disney movie about the rat that can cook. Hey, Disney movies are mandatory viewing while in Orlando. Anyway, I loved this one. Considering all the monsters, blood and general deathery I tend to write, this may come as a surprise to some folks. No matter how many bad-ass creatures wander through my brain, I just wanted to pick up that little rat and pinch his wittle bubble-gum nose!! Too far? Yeah. Still a very entertaining movie.

Next was The Kingdom. I think this was my dad’s attempt to shake me back into the real world by showing me some good old fashioned terrorism and the bleak, never-ending cycle of violence that goes along with a war that’s been raging for hundreds of years. Thanks pops. This was also a great movie. Jennifer Garner was in it and although she didn’t throw on one tight dress or hot, straight-haired club wig ala Sydney Bristow, she and Jaime Fox were excellent. It’s about an FBI team that goes over to Saudi Arabia to investigate a bombing and it shows how local law enforcement deals with terrorists over there as opposed to the American style. I didn’t even realize Jason Bateman was on the team until about 75% of the way through. That’s not a slam, but more of a compliment as to how non-Michael Bluth he was in this.

Then there was the Love Guru. Oh sweet Jesus, this was bad. My wife is a huge Michael Meyers fan and even she knew this one was gonna suck when we saw the first previews over the summer. We thought it was worth a rental and boy were we wrong. Just typing about it makes me feel dirty and wrong (not in the good way).

We also saw Hancock. I’ve heard mixed reviews about this, but I really enjoyed it. Of course the effects were cool, but Will Smith did a great job of being a hero and a jerk at the same time. That’s a tough trick to master. Just ask Steve Carrell while he’s in Michael Scott (The Office) mode. My dad asked who that blonde woman was in half the scenes.
Me: “That’s Charlize Theron, Dad.”
Dad: “Who?”
Me: “Charlize Theron. She’s won awards and has been in a ton of movies. You know. Charlize Theron!!”
Dad: “So she’s famous?”
Me: “Yes.”
Dad: “Oh. Whatever you say.”
I’m really not trying to give my dad any grief here (maybe just a little), but this was part of my movie experience. Plus, it was during Thanksgiving, which is all about family, right?

Speaking of family, unless your family is extremely cool with rampant swearing and jokes about limbs getting blown off or people getting obliterated by land mines, don’t watch Tropic Thunder on the couch with yours during Thanksgiving. I tried this and it was. . .interesting. I hadn’t seen Tropic Thunder (Jack Black, Ben Stiller and Robert Downey Jr in a comedy that’s like The Three Amigos meets Rambo), but I really wanted to. My dad likes comedies, so I thought this would be fine. Despite Tom Cruise saying he was going to shi*t down someone’s eye socket or Jack Black’s hilarious cocaine withdrawal, my dad refused to laugh. I, on the other hand, couldn’t stop laughing which made me look like a foul-mouthed ghoul sharing a couch with a resident of the Magic Kingdom. To be fair, I shouldn’t have expected this to be a family-friendly comedy. My fault there. I thought Tropic Thunder was funny as hell in a stupid, raunchy sort of way. That’s pretty much where the movie’s sights were set, so it was a success. I gotta hand it to Downey for pulling off black-face comedy in a way that somehow didn’t seem racist. At one point, that white guy in black makeup had to put on a disguise that was more white face makeup. Moronic? Sure. Funny? Oh yeah.

Also saw Kung-Fu Panda (I don’t go to see animated movies in theaters anymore, so I tend to catch up on them in mass rentals). I could relate to the overweight dude collecting action figures. Saw Incredible Hulk again (Smash GOOD!!), as well as Get Smart (Steve Carrell playing Maxwell Smart was inspired casting. Yeah, I used the word “inspired” when talking about a movie also starring The Rock). We also rented Jumper, but didn’t get to see it. My dad and I actually share pretty similar tastes when it comes to sci-fi sort of stuff and he said he couldn’t make it through the first 15 minutes when he’d rented it earlier. Even if I could tolerate twice as much, that’s not very good. I took dad’s advice and passed. Of course, he may have just been trying to get me off the couch to help drag Christmas decorations down from the attic, but I digress.

This is what happens without editors

I'm Marcus Pelegrimas, author of the SKINNERS series. Here you'll find various ramblings about movies, video games, TV, and...oh yeah...those books I write. If there's anything you'd like to discuss, just let me know. I try to update whenever the mood strikes me, so feel free to leave comments. There may be some occasional foul language, but anyone who's too easily offended probably doesn't read my stuff anyway.

Free Stuff

Here's how it goes. As usual, I've got my truckload of promo covers from EOS Books. I'll be going to some conventions, so I hope to see you there and I'll gladly sign your books. If you can't make it to a con, just email me your name, address and any inscription so I can send you a signed cover.

BONUS ---> If you would be so kind as to write up a review for any or all Skinners books and publish it on a site like, Barnes & Noble, Borders, or any other major review site, I can send you something extra. I made up some bookmarks (which I'll sign) and I've even put together some Shimmy's VIP passes (which I'll also sign). Can't guarantee the passes will get you into a real strip club, but I think they look pretty cool. Send me a link to your review along with your name, address and inscription, and I'll get these out to you as well.