Friday, June 27, 2008
Hanging Out At Broadway and Irving, Rock Hard Pizza, A Stolen TEC 22 Pistol, "The Interpreter" Is An Awful Movie, And North Side Marketing
So I did have my interview with the North Side Marketing Task Force at 1501 West Broadway (Broadway and Irving) and it was actually kind of fun. I won't say anything about what was discussed, because...
...keeping board matters within the board is apparently a priority, as well as separating one's board roles from one's other roles.
Rock Hard Pizza and Building A Civilization
I will say that Jake and Gabe of 612 Authentic were with me, still making their movie about the mortgage crisis in which I am something of an amusing personality engine pulling the train. Jake and Gabe weren't allowed to film but it was pretty cool having them along like a "posse."
HACC Chairman Peter Teachout was kind enough to watch my son while I interviewed, and when I came back they were intensely involved in some kind of "building a civilization" simulation on Peter's laptop computer.
I paid Peter back for his childcare services with a "big box" meal from Taco Bell, but when Peter didn't finish everything I managed to score a big bean burrito and cinnamon crisps. Some of the Little Caesar's pizza we'd enjoyed together a few days ago was still hanging around, grown too hard to be worth microwaving except in more desperate situation, so when I walked across the street to check the security of my house I gave it to a roving pack of squirrels.
"The Interpreter," What Were The Movie Producers THINKING?
While I watched "The Interpreter" on Peter's DVD, there was constant drug dealing on the street outside. The intersection of 30th Avenue North and 6th Street was a [expletive] pharmacy with gang members in distinctive clothing, sitting around and dealing dope.
In regard to "The Interpreter," the movie had points of interest but was so intent on throwing psychological twists and turns at the viewer that it grew confusing. There were numerous points at which I found myself disappointed or openly scoffing, including:
1.) Secret Service agents seemingly being given the run of the United Nations building. As if--!
2.) The made-up African nation with made-up traditions and customs. Whenever the movie needed Nicole Kidman's character to be more complex, they just pulled more of this made-up crap out of a hat from the imaginary African nation where she supposedly grew up.
And then, oh, yeah, right...she was the girlfriend of the rebel leader and ALSO took up arms back in the (imaginary) African nation, but then she moved to New York and became--from what we see in the movie--a rather fragile little urban woman riding around on a vintage motor scooter, sipping wine in her apartment.
3.) The leader of the made-up African nation being allowed to bring his trademark pistol into the United Nations building. Ridiculous.
4.) The would-be assassin was a dying AIDS patient. Surely this guy must have been a complex character with complex motivations, but the movie just uses him like a minor pawn who can be disposed of easily to move the plot forward. Other characters were treated in a similar way while the movie lingered over conversations, interrogations and/or verbal S&M between Nicole Kidman and Sean Penn.
The verbal sparring was apparently supposed to be full of smoldering sexual energy. But it wasn't.
There were actually characters brought up and violently disposed of who WEREN'T EVEN IN THE MOVIE. Nicole Kidman talks about shooting a boy while she was taking up arms on behalf of her rebel boyfriend.
Cries out for a flashback, I say. This isn't a television sitcom, this is a movie. GIVE ME A FLASHBACK. Hey, there was a flashback of Kidman's parents being killed, so how does it make any sense she would talk about the incident of killing a person in combat and there wouldn't be a flashback?
5.) I can't believe Sean Penn's Secret Service character put up with Nicole's constant lying, withholding truth, double-dealing. It makes no sense how Sean Penn's character didn't blame Kidman's character for causing his security team to be on a bus--following her around, while she won't reveal where she's going, what on earth is she doing--when the bus was BLOWN TO SMITHEREENS.
I would have thrown her ass in jail for obstruction of justice fifteen minutes into the movie. And a whole lot less people would have died as a result.
6.) Why do I say "Sean Penn" and "Nicole Kidman" instead of using the names of the characters? There is something about the movie which makes it impossible to buy into the characters. So the viewer can never put aside the identity of the actors.
Nicole is playing the same beautiful but freaked-out fragile urbanite she plays in most of her movies. Sean Penn is in a role which doesn't fit, which requires him to compress his amazing on-screen energy, and it just doesn't work.
I loved Sean Penn in Casualties of War and I've always found Nicole Kidman ethereally pretty and convincing enough when she's acting terrified, which she so often is. I am not in the habit of ripping on these actors. I blame this fiasco on the producers of the movie.
7.) There is no way in hell the African leader would have just sat there and let two armed people bicker about whether or not to kill him. He would have made a move for one of the two loaded guns, neither of which was firmly controlled at all times. Ridiculous.
8.) An American citizen can't be deported. No, not even one with dual citizenship. Kidman's character can't be deported. No, not even if she is agreeable to the situation. Therefore, the end of the movie makes no sense. Are audiences now expected to be so dumb we can be depended upon not to know stuff like that?
9.) It is unfair to the audience to set up this whole "smoldering attraction" thing with Kidman and Penn, but then not clearly resolve whether he will follow her to Africa to pursue a relationship once he is done mourning for his wife. (Violently disposed of off screen without so much as a flashback, AGAIN)
If a future relationship is implied, it's not implied clearly enough. Talking on a phone while she lies in bed is the closest the movie gets to delivering the little somethin' somethin' it appears to be lavishly promising the audience. OK, Sean Penn used to be married to Madonna, so I can understand why Nicole Kidman might be reluctant to put her mouth on Sean Penn's mouth but COME ON. This is why Kidman gets paid the big bucks.
It's certainly worth paying $1 to rent "The Interpreter" from one of those DVD dispensers at your local McDonalds, if you enjoy mentally slicing a movie to ribbons as much as I do.
A "Charming Event" At Broadway and Irving
While I was killing 15 minutes out in my car, waiting to be interviewed about the North Side marketing matter, I noticed I was in a rough part of town. That area could have used a lot more paint and a lot less hanging out.
The next day, Gabe sent me an email with an image attached of a TEC 22 pistol. What could this be about, I wondered?
Gabe wrote, "Just stumbled across this charming event from last Saturday. It was at Broadway and Irving, where we were hanging out today. I didn't know what a 'TEC 22' was, so I Googled it. Attached is a picture for your enjoyment. Happy times!"
Here is the police report Gabe is alluding to:
BROADWAY & IRVING SATURDAY 2019 HOURS 08-186067
Stop Officers were checking at DIST call with a possible PERGUN. ("Person with a gun" but what is "DIST?") Officers stopped a group of suspected and confirmed gang members and recovered a TEC 22 w/ 100 round magazine, a Cass County stolen.
Males were wearing shirts clearly displaying their gang involvement and support for fellow gang members currently incarcerated. Arrested were Dashawn Jenkins, Gregory Brown, Marvale Murphy, Thomas Banks (!!!!) and Henry Moore, 21, 18, 19, 20 & 18 year old black males with 25, 26, 34, 6 & 32 CAPRS. Marvale Murphy was later found to be a non-compliant sex offender.