**1/2 out of ****
It's the return of the movie review! It's funny because I've definitely seen quite a few brand new movies in the theater the past couple months (including gems such as Juno and gag fests like Sweeney Todd), but I wanted to review the Kevin Bacon vigilante movie that I just watched and never even saw advertised. I have no idea if it was ever in theaters over here.
I picked up this movie for two reasons:
1.) Kevin Bacon in an action flick
2.) Kevin Bacon as a vigilante
And it was everything I thought it would be. ^_^
Premise: Mild mannered executive businessman Kevin Bacon has the perfect family. Beautiful, loving wife, star athlete teenage son, and... that other son. The one that could never live up to his brother's amazingness. Star athlete son Brendan and Bacon are on their way home from Brendan's hockey game. Stop at a has station. Brendan is brutally murdered as part of a gang initiation ritual. Commence deep burning rage and vigilante killings.
This movie... I have to laugh a little bit when I think about this movie because I never expected this to be anything more than a mindless action flick. It was much better than I expected it to be. It shows surprising depth when dealing with the aftermath of the favored son's death, and portrays Bacon's murder of the young man who killed his son in a realistic manner. After all, Bacon really is supposed to be just your average guy. The scene where he's looking for a weapon in his tool shed is great - he rummages through boxes picking up then discarding hedge trimmers, a rusty machete, hammers, etc. until he finally finds an old hunting knife and decides that this will be the murder weapon.
The movie goes on a little longer than necesary, I think, and the waiting for Bacon to finally shed his executive skin and turn into a complete badass gets a little frustrating. But man, is it worth waiting for!
**Spoiler Warning** There is a scene at the end that although sending the usual message of OMG he became the thing he hates 'you are the monster now' type thing, is still fairly powerful. After Bacon's rampage through the gang hideout, after his final showdown with the gang leader, they sit together on a bench, each bleeding from multiple gunshot wounds. Gang leader looks over at Bacon, taking in his newly shaved head and black leather jacket, and chuckles. "Look at you," he wheezes. "You look like one of us."
"Look what I've made you."
The writing is good, the acting is good, and the story is good - but even so, it's really just a canned plot action movie, which is why I didn't give it a better rating. Regardless, if you're in the mood for a decent action movie, this is definitely a good one to pick up. It's certainly not disappointing, and if you're expecting absolute crap (which to be honest is exactly what I was expecting when I rented it) you're going to be in for a pleasant surprise.
"I need to buy some guns."
Monday morning, around ten or eleven, my cell phone began to ring. I look at the caller ID and see Suzanne. My landlady.
Was she calling to tell me that she was going to have the tree growing right next to the window removed? Was she calling me to let me know that she was having a landscaper come out to clean up the nasty hedge? Or maybe calling to tell me that she finally decided to have the porch re-painted?
My landlady was calling to let me know that she was planning to put my duplex on the market. As in sell it.
This caused a brief moment of panic, as Suzanne (who I adore, by the way - she's awesome) carefully explained that she wanted this to cause as little inconvenience to me as possible, and that she didn't want me to worry, and that she would be drawing up a new lease for me so that I would be protected when the place sells (I was skating by on a month to month deal). Then she says that although she's told the tenants in the unit next to mine that the place will be on the market, she only wants to talk to me about having MY unit available for agents to show. Because, "I've been here so long, she knows me better, and we have a really good relationship." And she doesn't even care what state the place is in.
I told her that I had spent six years in real estate, and I know how important it is for a place to be available for show, and for it to be clean and show well. I told her she could put a lock box on the door, and as long as agents called me, I didn't care if they showed when I was at work.
Me: "Oh, and when is the place going on the market?"
TWO DAYS. TWO DAYS!
I am reluctant to admit it, but my place was an absolute PIT. And by "pit" I mean that you might not have wanted to walk in the front door without a bulldozer and a hazmat suit. Seriously. So this news didn't exactly come at the best of times.
Two days of serious cleaning were embarked upon. Two days of which Bob was absent for - At work the first day, which simply can't be helped, BUT in Seattle hanging out with a friend yesterday. Which could have been helped. And we really don't need to talk about it right now since I'm still pretty irritated and am liable to launch into a tirade. ^_^ Especially about the fact that I called him to find out when he would be home after I had to get off work early and was scrubbing soap scum off the bathroom wall, and he said "I'm hanging out on the Seattle waterfront in a sculpture museum..."
Every room in the house except the bedroom is spotless and ready for showing. But in the process of cleaning, I found some exciting things that I had forgotten all about, and in some cases didn't even know existed:
Item: Ninja Launcher
Location: On top of the refrigerator
Comments: This is a gun that launches inch long ninjas. No, I'm not kidding. Yes, it's awesome. ^_^
Item: Half full Amp energy drink can
Location: Upside down on my computer desk
Comments: Mess? Yeah.
Item: Various electronics chargers
Location: Scattered throughout the back room
Comments: I still have no idea what half of those chargers are for.
Location: Underneath my drafting table
Comments: This is a sketchbook from when I was like thirteen or fourteen. Pretty much hilarious. And comforting to see how far I've come in my drawing skills. ^_^
Location: By the window in the dining room
Comments: No, I'm not kidding. Unfortunately. However, this was an extremely recent thing. It's not like I've had poop in my dining room for weeks. I promise.
Item: Papers detailing the damage to my car from 2005
Location: On top of the refrigerator
Comments: From when I hit a deer going 60 mph down Highway 308. It was kinda funny/scary reading the two page list of things that had to be fixed. Reminded me to be grateful every day I wake up in the morning.
Item: Dead spider
Location: Curtains in the dining room
Comments: All kinds of fun things in the dining room apparently.
There were lots of other things that I found, but this is a pretty good list for now. ^_^ Tonight Bob and I will be cleaning the bedroom. Until we finished, I thought I could just keep the door closed and put a sign up that says:
The Scene: I'm getting ready for work at a slightly less frantic pace than usual, and have a chance to chat with Bob, who has the day off, before I duck out the door.
Me: So what's on your agenda for today?
Bob: My hidden agenda, or my regular agenda?
Me: *pausing to consider* Erm... both. Regular first.
Bob: I'm going to spend the first half of the day relaxing. I want to play some World of Warcraft and clean. Then after lunch I'm going to take a look at your car.
Me: Sounds good.
Bob: But my hidden agenda... I'm going to play World of Warcraft for the first half of the day... maybe do a little cleaning. Then I'm going to take a look at your car.
Me: *well, at least he's still planning to look at my car, which is making weird noises when I turn. I am convinced that it's going to blow up* How nefarious. I'm really glad you're going to look at my car today. I'm coming home for lunch, do you want to just drive me back to work and take the car? Or will that leave you enough time, if you have to pick me up at six?
Bob: It'll be fine. I just need to look at it so I can order parts.
Bob: Don't worry, it's not going to be expensive.
Me: How do you know? You haven't even looked at it yet!
Bob: Because your car has a simple suspension... blah blah blah Car Speak, front suspension blah blah Car Speak joint, blah blah blah Car Speak blah blah....
Me: *eyes glazing over* Oh. Uh huh.
Bob: *begins singing* It's got a top! And a bottom! And a turny turny turny! It's your suspension!
Me: OOOOH! Now I get it!
The Scene: It's 1 o'clock in the morning. I'm in the bathroom getting ready for bed, and I make a horrible disocovery. I bounce into the bedroom and hop onto the bed where Bob is already tucked in and reading TIME magazine.
Me: Bob! Guess what I forsee in our immediate future!
Bob: *suspiciously* What?
Me: A trip to the market!
Bob: Like... how immediate?
Me: Oh, like NOW.
Bob: WHAT? Why??
Me: I'm out of tampons.
Bob: You're out of tampons? There are none under the sink? Do we have to go out now?
Me: Yes, I'm totally out! All gone, no more! And yes, we have to go out now! I'm on my last one, and I'm going to need more tomorrow morning!
Bob: Well, how long do those things last?
Me: *I embark on a long lecture about the dangers of Toxic Shock Syndrome* ........so I can't just use one for that long, which means we need to go out NOW! God! And you have to come with me, because I don't want to go all by myself! MAN, I can't even BELIEVE you! "How long do they last" indeed!
Bob: OKAY! I didn't know these TSS things, I don't use tampons!
Me: Okay, let's go! *bouncing around on the bed impatiently*
Bob: *groaning* I can't even believe this. I'll go with you, but damnit Becca, you're buying TWO boxes this time! This is NOT going to happen again!
So..... I am lucky enough to be with an awesome guy who (even though he gives me some shit about running out of tampons at one o'clock in the morning) will crawl out of bed, put his jeans back on, and go with me all the way to the market so I don't have to go alone.
How many women can say that?
My favorite human being whom I have never met is......
From his bio: Mark Morford is a columnist for sfgate.com and the San Francisco Chronicle. He also teaches yoga, subscribes to magazines, admires trees, detests shrill alarmism (including his own), sleeps naked. He has not seen your blog, but is sure it's amazing. He never wears sneakers. He writes about politics, pop culture, sex, music, design, a wry and punch-drunk universe, vibrators, scotch, media, spirituality and small European cars. And sometimes, genital grooming.
Morford's articles are wickedly funny, unapologetic, witty, occasionally brutal, and of course Morford himself is.... oh, how shall I say this....
Seriously, though. He is a brilliant writer. Whenever I read one of his articles, I am either laughing out loud, or I get the overwhelming urge to leap to my feet, stab my finger in the direction of the computer screen while yelling, "YEAH! WHAT MARK SAID!" He is, quite frankly, awesome. So visit his archives and enjoy.
Just a few short months ago, I lived literally two minutes' walk away from a gym. It was cheap, kinda gross, and small, but it had the essentials. And.... I mentioned it was two minutes' walk away, right?
There was a problem with a gas leak or something caused by the gas station across the road that drove my gym out of it's current facility and into a lesser facility that I didn't really care to drive to. Besides, it's impossible to turn left out of that parking lot! So, when I have a "oh Dear Lord I've gained another 12,000,000 pounds I HAVE to start going to the gym!" moment, I am forced to seek alternative torture chambers - I mean... gyms...
Basically in this town if you're not going to the cheap gym, you're going to the expensive gym. Unless you want to drive twenty minutes or so away. So I printed off Expensive Gym's free week trial membership coupon and figured I'd go check it out. Bob was down to go with me, so last night we trotted off to Expensive Gym. Of course, to be honest, it took at least twenty minutes of Bob pushing and me yelling and throwing a tantrum to get me to go, but hey, whatever works, right?
I had high expectations for Expensive Gym. I had been there once, but had immediately gone upstairs to their massage rooms, and didn't get to see the rest of the facility. But they have a cafe, and a pool, and a huge weight room, and expensive personal trainers, and... and... it's so expensive! It's gotta be nice!
Well. I was wrong.
Bob and I walked in, and the guy working behind the counter was someone Bob had graduated high school with, so I stood in the background and tried to discreetly peer around. When Bob was finished chatting with his old high school buddy, he decided to go to the weight room, while I wanted to get some cardio done first. I started off down the hall, passing the cafe as I went. I glanced over.... and was surprised as the amount of crap that had been left all over the place, though the cafe was clearly closed. Wow. I spared a moment to think, 'man, they could make more of an effort to clean up when they leave since this place is right in public view,' then I was in the cardio room.
I immediately started looking around for the sanitation spray bottles and rags that both of the other gyms that I had gone too regularly provided. You know, for wiping down your machine before and after you use it? I did two circuits around that room looking in vain for some sort of sanitation spray, until people started giving me strange looks. During my circuits, I noted to my distress the giant stains on the carpet (and just what the hell happened to create those huge brown stains, huh? HUH???), the water fountain with pieces broken off of it, the crap lying around in the back hallway leading out of the room.... I cautiously approached a machine.
Yep. It was gross. If you just glanced at it you would think it was okay, but look a little harder and you see the old encrusted dirt and grime indicating that these things haven't been touched with a cleaning solution since they arrived. Great. As I worked out I looked at the machines to my left and right, and they were in the same condition.
When I finished my cardio I didn't even want to go into the weight room. I waited for Bob to finish up, and fled. Immediately. Far away into the night. NEVER TO RETURN.
Bob said, "but they have a pool!"
My response? "Can you imagine what the LOCKER ROOM looks like???"
I'll stick to my $100 a year gym. It's freaking CLEANER than the $500 a year gym! And I'll take cleanliness over all the pools, personal trainers, and massage facilities in the freaking world!
The Scene: I'm taking a quick break from work and calling up Bob to chat. We talk for a few minutes, and Bob mentions that he's going to take his car over to his parents' house to fix an oil leak.
Me: So how long do you think that's going to take?
Bob: I have no idea. It totally depends.
Me: You must have some idea. I really want to see the new Aliens vs. Predator movie tonight, and I'd kinda like to know when we could go.
Bob: *laughing* Oh, really? Well, if everything goes smoothly it should only take a hour or two. If there are problems it could take way longer. Like if blah blah blah Car Speak happened, it could take way longer, and if blah blah blah Car Speak pins broke off I would have to buy new blah blah blah Car Speak, and then I wouldn't be able to drive my car."
Me: *eyes glazing over* Oh.
Bob: It's a really messy job.
Me: Why? *I realize suddenly that I've made a huge mistake, but by now it's too late*
Bob: Blah blah blah Car Speak, blah Car Speak blah, coolant, blah blah Car Speak...... etc. etc. etc..... (for several minutes) .....then burp it to get the air bubles out.
Me: *out of the whole conversation, I recognize maybe two words and terms* Bob, you tell me these things, but I don't know what they mean and as soon as you tell me I forget what you said.
Bob: Well, you know what coolant is, right? Cools the engine, it's green....
Me: I didn't know that it cooled the engine, and I didn't know it was green.
Bob: Well, it's-
Me: Bob. If you try to explain, I will instantly forget. Do you know what I do with cars?
Me: I push the gas pedal and make it go. I can even turn the headlights on. And sometimes, if I'm feeling really adventurous, I'll push the back window defroster. But that's kinda scary... it's pushing it a little.
Bob: Your back defroster is on all the time.
Me: What? My God! It's broken!
Me: So, what are we having for lunch?
For the record, I'm really not that bad. I can pop the hood, refill my own windshield wiper fluid, and pump my own gas and everything!