Musical Variations

Musical Variations

Speaking of original ideas for films, here’s something I can really appreciate. Much like the Blair Witch Project, this story is completely concocted with the intention of deceiving the public. A few of you may have heard this, and if not, you may have heard some of the songs. They (Hollywoodish people) invented a character named Chris Gaines who is supposed to have been a pop singer from the early 80s up through a few years ago. They got Garth Brooks to sing a whole bunch of songs that this guy was going to have allegedly written and recorded. They varied the tone of the song to sound like the time period in which it was supposed to have been recorded and varied the subject matter to match up with what they are going to say was happening in his life at the time. “They” are planning on releasing a bunch of songs out on the radio scattered around throughout the next year and hopefully, the public will start to get a rapport with this fellow. Maybe they’ll get the DJs to play up his character and tell stories about him or something. About a year from now, they’re going to start making a movie which is going to basically be an autobiography of this Chris Gaines character. Personally, I love the idea. I can’t think of anything that was done this creatively in a long time that spanned the medias like this. I just hope they don’t fuck it up, which is always a possibility…

Quote Of the Day 8/16/99

“You wanna know what I figured out today? Livin La Vida Loca is the best song to wake up to in the morning. Because not only is it happy and upbeat, but it really makes you want to turn it off.”
-Good Joe.

Leaving Latino Locusts,
De Fishy One.

Still Standing Right Here…

Review of The Blair Witch Project

Review of The Blair Witch Project

So what did Mr. Critic/Cynic think of The Blair Witch Project? Well, I didn’t know (because I chose not to) the background of the film going into it. I didn’t know if it was real or fake or what exact degree of in between it was. This movie definitely had me confused as to what to think of it going into the theater. I had heard from generally respected people that it was really the actual footage of the kids that died edited by whoever found it, that it was a reenactment of their footage, and that it was completely contrived. I also had people tell me that it sucked, and I had others tell me they were so scared that they wouldn’t ever go into the woods again. I didn’t know what to expect. The fact that it happened in my own backyard also didn’t phase me. But that might have been because I saw it in Jersey. But I doubted.

So what did I think of it? Horror isn’t really my forte, and The Faculty didn’t really have me wetting myself. So I was looking forward to being scared. It never happened. Maybe I’m just a rock, but I didn’t flinch once. I kept waiting for the climax to happen, and right when I thought it was finally about to, the credits came on. They didn’t really scare me either. So I didn’t think it was all that scary.

But was it good? Whatever it really was (which I now know), it was billed as the alleged actual footage of these 3 film students. They did a good job of making it look like a student film. Which is very easy. I have about 7 to prove it. I felt a few of the parts were a little to contrived, but mostly believable if you’re willing to suspended your disbelief. But that’s a kinda redundant sentence. I have problems believing that they went in a complete circle over the course of an entire day. My biggest problem is the fact that they would have thought it was a good idea, or at least worth their while to film and videotape themselves running away from the witches, ghosts, hermits, or whatever they were. I was a film major, and even I understand that there are times when you just put down the camera and run for your freakin life! But there are a few people I used to go to class with who would probably keep the cameras running through all that crap. Of course, these are the same people who would probably get off on being killed by a witch. But overall, it gave me the feel of a real student project. The characterization was very good, and the actors (yes they were) were also very good.

So overall, what did I think of it? Let me examine a few aspects of filmmaking which determine a film’s worth. All in all, I didn’t find it very entertaining. It wasn’t scary to me, which pretty much makes it fail as a horror. There were a few funny parts in it, but there are probably more funny parts in whatever we would have decided to do instead. It also wasn’t informative like JFK or Roots or anything. It was, however, very original. But that doesn’t mean I have to like it. I’ll give it 2 bugs, and that’s all for the hype that this little experimental film managed to accumulate on a budget that could probably go into the budget of the pod racing scene alone about 300 times. It was a good attempt, but not a successful one in my eyes. Wait for it to come out on video. You won’t be missing any special effects. Hell, they didn’t even use up the entire screen.

Carl, a ghost of rowing past that has been sited on the quote of the day few times years ago, stopped in and had a long talk with me about life, The Blair Witch Project, and proper techniques to herd cattle. He was letting me in on some of the background of the film. He had a pretty convincing argument that it was a completely contrived scenario. The whole “filmed on location in Patapsco State Park” was a convincing argument that it wasn’t the original footage. But he was also telling me that he thought it was completely made up…

Quote of the Day 8/13/99

“Well, they’ve had interviews with the girl that it was supposed to have happened to. Like she was on Letterman and everything. So I assume she’s not dead.”

-Carl

But is that REALLY proof? I mean who watches Letterman anymore anyway?

Living in fear of student films,

The head duck.

Still Standing Right Here…

Weird Al vs. Malcolm X

Weird Al vs. Malcolm X

Well, I finally got a chance to get to the nurse last week. According to all her specialized equipment, a throat culture, and an anal probe (which I’m still questioning the necessity of), I have been diagnosed with a possible sore throat.

I’ve already called the mortician.

So that’s all they could come up with, a sore throat. “Don’t worry, Mr. Henson, it’s just the flu. Take some Tylenol.” Well, without the funky bowel movements, it’s really just a mild annoyance. I’m not supposed to yell really loud or sing for a while. So my mild annoyance is everybody else’s virtual nirvana. But as long as I can still type, I can still piss off a lot of people. ;)

Well, Weird Al is at it again. He’s got another album called Running With Scissors. I have all the songs on MP3 format at work and the kids love them. To the point where it’s REALLY annoying. Well, one of the kids told us that he’s doing a report for school on Weird Al. Heidi (fellow child abuser) and myself didn’t really think this was justifiable material for a biographical report for an 8th grader. Craig, in his own attempt at a defense for himself, muttered that a lot of other kids were doing reports on stupider people…

Quote of the Day 8/12/99

“Well, this one kid is doing that guy… uh, uh… some Malcolm X guy.”

-The reason 13-year-olds get a bad rep

Now, don’t get me wrong. I agree that Weird Al has done more good for the world than Malcolm X (especially black people), but I might save that for oral presentation.

Good enough for now,

Dustin.

Still Standing Right Here…

Humor is a Funny Thing

Humor is a Funny Thing

I feel an explanation is in order to those of you who are new to the quote of the day and the whole Mr. Dustin experience in general. I consider the quote of the day a sort of humor column, and I’m its author. Now whether or not you feel I deserve to consider myself a humor columnist is up to you, but that’s how I see it. So like other humor columnists do (I imagine), I try to make the subject material funny, which involves a lot of catering to the crowd. Passive isn’t funny, active is. Cute isn’t funny, frustrated is. Forgiving isn’t funny, bitter is. Agreeable isn’t funny, opinionated is. Of course, you could make an argument that one of those four things is funny, but you’d be wrong. (I just incorporated all of the 4 other things into that one phrase, by the way.) And I embellish a lot of what I say because exaggeration is also funny. So is blatantly lying too. I don’t stalk women’s volleyball teams. Or redheads. Or 12-year-olds. Hell, I haven’t even seen Star Wars yet (kidding again). In some ways, I’m almost an actor playing the part of a guy who is a lot like me. That’s actually, confusingly enough, how I am in real life most of the time. Now please don’t take this to mean that I have to mask my tears with a comedic face or anything, I just like making people laugh. Just like Jim Carrey. I’m like the Cable Guy. Now most people know when I’m kidding and when I’m not by now, but I know some of you out there don’t. I was told by someone the other day that I “take comedy too seriously.” That I “sit down and actually consider the tone of something before I consider whether or not its funny.” Whereas this person would “just write something and see if it’s funny.” This person honestly meant it as a character flaw, but I took it as a compliment. A few years back, I wrote a “research paper” on the subject of comedy. Mike, Good Joe, Kevin and I used to joke that we critiqued humor and the styles and techniques of it so much that we should write a book (again, please keep to yourselves whether you think I’m qualified to write a book on the subject). So I actually started a while back, but as I am a generally unmotivated person, I didn’t follow through with the idea. But just recently, Mike figured out a good title for it…

Quote Of the Day 8/10/99

“Dustin and Mike: We’re so serious about comedy, it’s not funny.”

-Mostly Mike

Humor is a very funny thing…

Just a guy trying to make pudding come out of your collective noses,

The Quorax.

Still Standing Right Here…

Whole People

Whole People

Remember that pesky bacterial strep I told you guys about before? Well, it’s probably not strep, but it’s definitely bacterial (refer again to my medical background to figure out whether you want to believe it or not). It’s having more fun than strep throat. I thought I was over it before when I had a badly sore throat and then had way funky stomach problems for a day. But I wasn’t. Actually, I went through the same exact cycle last week, after I thought I had shed it. It’s currently on its third lap. I think I’m gonna need to break down and get some antibiotics. I’ve been drinking water like it’s the medical equivalent of duct tape to an amateur maintenance assistant. “Oh, I’ll be fine if I just drink enough water.” I drank a pint of water every 10 minutes for 2 hours before I went to bed a few weeks ago. I had to get up twice during the night to piss, and I still wet my bed afterward.

But enough about my bowel movements, let’s talk about economics. Tony, in case you didn’t know yet, has the job of “bank examiner.” This entails a lot of exciting stuff, like, well, I don’t exactly understand what. “So, Tony, what did you do at work today?” “Uh, well… we… you wouldn’t understand. Let’s play worms.” And that’s fine. I think everybody knows how to play Octopus Tag, so I don’t need to explain my typical day either. But he did share one thing with me because he had to share it with somebody, and at the risk of sounding egotistical, I think Tony would be hard pressed to find anybody else nearby who understood what he did on a daily basis. I was just in the car at the time. So anyway, he had a job in which he had to total up numbers for a certain bank in all these different categories, such as “# of local ATM machines,” “# of loans over $5000,” and boring bank type stuff like that. Well, he thought one of the categories was so funny (for an accountant thing), that he wrote it down word for word, and showed it to me…

Quote of the Day 8/9/99

“Number of full-time equivalent employees at end of current period (round to nearest whole number)”

-Some bank examining thing

So what constitutes a non-whole number employee? Severed limbs? Below average height? General incompetence?

Running around my gerbil wheel,

#4,362.836

Still Standing Right Here…