Friday, March 30, 2012

Jack and Jill, Adam Sandler, and a Live Blog

At long last I’ve seen it that gentle light flickering on the screen called: Jack and Jill. In the film, Jack (Adam Sandler) is a television commercial director whose sister Jill (Adam Sandler) comes to town. To find the last time Sandler played multiple roles we have to go back to 2002 in Eight Crazy Nights, in which Sandler took on the roles of Davey, Whitey, Eleanor, and Deer (which if I remember correctly is just “a deer”, not someone named Deer). I’d been saving Jack and Jill to see with my Uncle, however when we finally got together Jack was in the liminal stage between theaters and bargain theaters. It was released in bargains the week after I left Wisconsin. The 3% rating didn’t detour me and so this week I rented in on RedBox.

The following are my thoughts on the gender bending comedy:

Opens with a reference to Harry Met Sally with interviews with Twins, twins having their own secret language, these particular two talking like whales is like one thing I thought I would never see, but I’m so glad I did.

1st fart joke, baby farting in the tub, I love fart jokes and will mention everyone I see, O and I’ll keep track on gay jokes.

Regis has diarrhea in the first scene: Fart Joke 2

Dunkachino vs Al Pacino, this is the plot point, because their names sound the same, it is an obvious advertising ploy. He must get Al Pacino to work for Dunkin’ Donuts. This got me thinking, what are the other cases in which celebrity names and companies align for the perfect advertising campaign:
1.     Jack Nicholson and Jack in the Box
2.     Tom Cruise and Norwegian Cruise Lines- this has infinite possibilities
3.     Ryan Reynolds and Reynolds Rap- sex and metal sheets, what more could you ask for?
4.     Robert Downey Jr. and Downy Fabric Softener. Imagine for a moment if you will Robert cuddle up with a soft blanket in a field of yellow flowers looking, possibly in an adorable bear costume or with the body of a baby. Tell me you wouldn’t buy that?
5.     Washington Apples and Denzel Washington- An apple a day keeps Denzel away (mean Denzel, not Preacher’s Wife Denzel). Maybe not cheesy enough.
6.     Ford Motor Company and Harrison Ford- If Indy ran from Nazis in a Ford Fiesta, I would drive to work in a Ford Fiesta.
7.     Courtney Cox and Cox Communications- Friends and Communications make sense-Thank you to my brother’s girlfriend
8.     Mel Gibson and Gibson guitars- Did Mel Gibson ever play a rock star except in life? This is a perfect match.
9.     Adam Scott- Scott tissue paper.-Thanks you to my brother’s girlfriend

Missing scene: Did not have the classic shot where they slowly reveal in slo-mo that Jill looks exactly like Adam Sandler. You know the one I’m talking about, the slow turn around to reveal a character we’ve already heard so much about.  

Adam Sandler’s Jack seems like he’s not even trying, it’s good though; he seems relaxed like an authentic Adam Sandler.

3. Fart Joke- Parrot’s name is Poopsie

Sweat shadow- the sweaty residue you leave after you sleep on your sheets. Jill leaves this behind.

Adam Sandler’s Indian son likes tape.

Homeless guy is Adam Sandler’s college buddy: Allen Covert- he’s in Waterboy, Wedding Singer as Fonzie, Waterboy, Grandma’s boy

Otto, the homeless guy, played by Allen Covert- suggested It’s a Wonderful Life is actually Stars Wars. Movies I’ve mistaken for other movies:
1.     Are you kidding? I would never do that. Especially with an Imdb app. There is no reason for dispelling false movie information or names in today’s world.
2.     However, I did have a large and bitter argument with my family that the word “hen” was spelled “han” like Han Solo. I still spell “hen” as “han.” And I will until the day I die in block of carbonite.

(Sidenote: I just looked up to see what Han was frozen in and discovered Cliff from Cheers John Ratzenberger was desk officer Major Bren Derlin in The Empire Strikes Back: 

Indian kid- taped a chicken wing to his chest and now a saltshaker to his head. Jill just used the kid’s head as the shaker to put salt on her food

Jill thinks “Skype” sound anti-Semitic.  

Eugenio Derbez my favorite actor from Rob on CBS just appeared, he plays Hector on Rob, he carries that show and is actually tremendously funny, he commits to everything and delivers jokes of stupidity with the utmost seriousness.

I wonder if Adam chose to play two roles in order to get paid twice? He deserves to get paid twice if he didn’t. His Happy Madison production company also produced it, so does he pay himself? Does he get a salary at all? I want the answers to all these questions.

Both Jack and Jill farted at the same time: 4th and 5th fart joke

Adam Sandler is wearing false teeth for Jill. I know this may come as a shock to you, but Adam Sandler is a method actor at least trained as one (full disclosure: we have both had the same Method actor professor). I wonder if he went out in public as Jill?

The conceit of this film is very different than most of the films that involve men cross-dressing as women. Juwanna Man, Tootsie, Mrs. Doubtfire these are all taking advantage of men being strong women in the world. In this, Sandler eliminates that aspect and asks us to take him seriously as a woman. But at the same time, the joke is that never for a second do we believe Sandler is a woman. His films contain so many cameos that the world of the movie almost doesn’t exist, it’s such a crossover into real celebrities and sport’s athletes that I’m not even sure this is really a movie. It’s more like a string of skits that are loosely held together, like Saturday Night Live, with guest stars in each bit. We are not supposed to accept the reality for a minute and there’s a delight in not having to take the movie seriously.

Cameos so far: Regis, Drew Carey, Norm MacDonald, Johnny Depp, Shaq, Jared, Michael Irvin, Shamwow Guy, Bill Romanowski, Billy Blades, John MacEnroe, Dan Patrick,  (wearing a wig, licking a ham. Let me mention that I think Steel is underrated, and Kazaam will be the first movie I show to my children)

Adam Sandler’s eyes as Jill are insane. They are at least as wide as Malcolm Mcdowell in A Clockwork Orange when he was forced to watch those brainwash movies wide.

Watching Al Pacino hit on Adam Sandler in Drag, surpasses all my dreams and wishes for this life. Never will I be…Johnny Depp’s wearing a Justin Bieber shirt may have topped it.

This movie is nowhere as bad as everyone said it was. It isn’t the best comedy of all time, but I have legitimately laughed every time Pacino was on screen.

Guessing game: What bra size is Jill (Adam Sandler wearing)?
I think at least above a C, there is a high percentage guess that they are DD. They’re real and they’re spectacular. It’s funny that in almost every movie where a man dressed as a woman they chose to have huge breasts. It is either to compensate for the size of their bodies or because they just still really like big boobs.

Informed that Jets coach Rex Ryan plays a Patriots fan in Sandler’s next film. Oh, I cannot wait.

Jill destroyed Pacino’s only Academy award. Here’s a list of what he should have won for: Scarface, Godfather, Godfather II, Godfather III, Dick Tracy, Dog’s Day Afternoon.

Eugenio Derbez also plays his Grandma in the movie and made a joke that at Mexican picnics one of the traditions is stealing “white people’s wallets”

Grandma has one tooth and got hit in the face with a soccer ball. God I love this movie. Now a bat. Rule of three says one more time… nope. Sandler broke the classic three-joke rule.

Pacino’s starting to go crazy and is now drying humping Jill’s sweat shadow. Pacino has giant balls to do this and he’s legitimately funny. He plays off the fact that we all think Pacino is a little crazy because he always yells. I can’t think of another actor who I would be more scared to be yelling at me of his generation, Nic Cage for his, Christian Bale for his generation and Zac Efron for his.

Jill just farted: fart joke 6.

Now taking a shit in the bathroom: 7

Sandler now wafting it away, lighting candle, kid’s holding their noses, parrot holding their noses, opening another door to get rid of the smell: Total: 12

Pacino just took Sandler’s call during the middle of a play. Pacino thinks he’s on the phone with Jill, but it’s actually Jack doing an impression of Jill. Brilliant! So Meta!

Whoa plot development: Jack is dressing like Jill to fool Al Pacino, the conceit is on.

A cheesecake in the shape of Al Pacino’s head.

Acting teacher Stella Adler once wrote we can  “figure out someone’s behavior by tickling them and how they react to it. “

Al Pacino hit a man dressed as a woman with a chair. He nailed her too.

Pacino gave a heartwarming speech about why he loves Jill. And is singing as Don Quixote. Redeeming.

Al Pacino’s house has torches, like medieval torches.

WOMBMATE a term for twin. That’s awesome. I can’t stop laughing.

David Spade plays a hooker with huge boobs as well, they look real.

They just made fun of “hooking up with Rob Schneider”, are they fighting at the moment? Rob was one of Sandler’s friends who was not in this movie. Rob also has his own production company that produced Rob.

Why can we say an actor is “on that show”, but not “on that movie”? I think it has to do with the medium. The phase “on television” explains the difference.

Will they go for the gay kiss like Tootsie did? He didn’t do it I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry. They didn’t do it. Most of Sandler’s fans are teenagers and I think that is why Sandler chooses not to show “gay kissing” he doesn’t want it to be associated with the gross out moments that underlies most of his films. I’m very proud of Sandler for this artistic choice and not stooping to depths that most critics accuse him of.

Dunkachino video of Al rapping “must never be seen by everyone”- Al Pacino

The Hollywood Defender   in Dedication to Uncle Chang (still alive)

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Tangential Scenes and a Theory on Why Dr. Malcolm Has an African American Kid in JP2

A cop is trapped in the trunk of a police car with bullet holes in it so he can breathe. A Rastafarian rides his bike up to the car. He walks to the trunk, smoking a doobie. He blows his doobie smoke into the hole. The scene ends.

Can you guess what movie this is from?

The answer is Thelma and Louise.  

But what does this scene have to do with the movie? Nothing really. It doesn’t advance the plot, it doesn’t tell us more about the characters, and doesn’t pay off in the end. It’s purely tangential.

I have compiled a short list of tangential scenes that I love because in order for them to get into the movie, someone must have felt very strongly about their presence in the film (even if I don’t quite understand their reasoning). This is a dedication to those that fought the good fight:

Singin’ in The Rain: Broadway Melody
The scene begins with Don Lockwood and Cosmo pitching the idea for a musical to the head of the studio. Then we drift off into that musical for around 12 mins. 

We return and the studio head says, “Well, I’d have to see it on film.”

The musical scene doesn’t need to be there at all, but it is because it showcases Kelly’s dancing and adds another number to the film. Of course, it does completely separate the audience from the narrative for 12:42  minutes, but at the same time is a fascinating piece of excess.

My true favorites are the tangential scenes that carry on for a long period of time and actually make up the entirety of the 3rd act.

The Lost World: Jurassic Park
Besides flipping the usual “Original title-colon-sequel name” sequence it also disrupts the previous two acts with its third. After Dr. Malcolm escapes the raptors with his African American daughter (since we never met another black character in the first film besides Samuel L Jackson, who died, it is blatantly obvious that once Malcolm returned from the island in the first movie, he felt it was his moral obligation to visit Jackson’s wife in order to break the news of her husband’s death by raptor. Eventually they had a child, but his wife was killed when Alien’s attacked on Independence Day or simply left him for Will Smith. This ties up any lose ends and possible confusion about this character and her race)... 

Anyway, the T-Rex is transported back to San Diego, where it kills a dog, drinks from a swimming pool, and looks for its child. I can remember as a kid I was terrified during this movie and was so relieved when they escaped the raptors unharmed on the island, little did I know the movie would continue in San Diego. I am not sure I opened my eyes during the rest of the film.
(Sidenote: I can’t believe the T-Rex sent a bus through a blockbuster to destroy posters from the Francis Coppola classic JACK with Robin Williams.)

Blazing Saddles actually plays upon this with its ending going from the Wild West to Hollywood. Yes, the film traversed the line between the old west and reality, but then it shatters the wall between them with the closing sequence as it zooms out in an aerial shot revealing the small western town right next to Warner Brothers Studios. It’s tangential fun as cowboys destroy musical numbers, Hitler’s lunch at the commissary, and Grauman’s Chinese Theater.

Tangential scenes and sequences may seem unnecessary, but they do have a point. I think.

The Hollywood Defender

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

My Mom talks MISSING on ABC

 What better way to watch a show about a Mother hunting down her son than watching it with your own mother, a first grade teacher, who most certainly would hunt me down and leave threatening notes sketched in crayon (Granny Apple Smith Green) to my captives (Mom corrects my word choice: “No not your captives, your kidnappers.”)

I interviewed her after watching it, what follows is her responses.   

How would you try to find me?
We talked about that, I would get Liam Nelson (Neeson), (Her edit: “At least say that guy from Taken. I don’t think I said Nelson). When your brother went, the whole time, we were watching Taken, we were like “why did we let him go to Europe?” Or your Dad’s FBI friend.

How many texts before you decided I wasn’t just ignoring you and was actually kidnapped?
With you normally pretty often, you don’t answer calls or pick up. I try to give you a little space. If I didn’t hear from you for a week, I would probably worry. But I would call and say, “Call your mother.” But we didn’t hear from your brother every week when he went.

SO you like me better?
Well we understood, cause he would tell me, “ we will be here, and I can’t call, and then I’ll be there.”

Do you think I could make it after I was sold into sexual slavery?
I think that’s horrible. I wouldn’t want to think about that.

If Dad exploded in a car and I was young, how long before you explained what happened to me?
I would wait until you asked questions about it. And try to give you as much information as I could to satisfy you. Who was trying to kill the dad? Why did they want to kill the dad in the show?

How would you do it?
I would answer your questions and not go into more detail than I needed. I can remember one time when I was pregnant, and a little kid asked me, “how was I going to get that baby out of there?” I said, “A doctor’s going to help me.” … But you have to hear the whole thing. The kid was riding a bike around, and he padded my stomach, and he said, “What’s in there?” And I said, “a baby.” And he said, “No it’s a basketball.” And I said, “No it’s a baby.” So he took another lap around and then said, “I don’t care what anyone says, I think it’s a basketball.” But no it wasn’t, it was your brother. You have to give them enough info to satisfy their curiosity, but not too many details.

Do you know what a helicopter Mom is?
Yes…Am I one? No? Ok, maybe a little. (time passes) I think I give you space. Don’t you think I give you space? Why are you laughing at me?

Sean Bean gives his kid great hugs, why doesn’t dad give me great hugs?
Dad’s not very good at displays of affection.
How would you describe Dad’s hugs?
Forced. But he like hugs you goodbye, when you go back to Berkeley. He does the pats on the back, they are brief.

What would your CIA covert name be?
What’s hers? I don’t have one. I’d be too scared to death to be in the CIA. I’d probably talk to the guy and say, “You don’t really want to kill me, what benefit would there be for you? Mind your manners.” I’d probably try to talk him through, like, “use your words.” I’ve been teaching 1st grade too long… OH! My E-bay name is MamaMia__________. I chose Monica for my confirmation name. When I studied her, I found out she was an alcoholic, but she prayed and that’s how she was cured.

Mom in show didn’t know who the best soccer player in the world are, can you name any of the best players in the world in any sports?
Yes. I can. Now do I have to do it? Brett Favre was a great quarterback, so is Aaron Rodgers, so was John Elway, Dan Marino. Pelé for soccer. Football: Joe Namath, Terry Bradshaw, Bart Starr, Paul Horning, he was a crook, he bet on the games.Kareem Abdul Jabaar, Magic Johnson, but he couldn’t guard a door. That Love guy that played tonight, is a very good basketball player. Wayne Gretzky. Babe Ruth. I’m trying to think of different sports and cover them all. See do I know my sports or do I know my sports?

Sidenote: Mom’s eyes bulged when Sean Bean exploded in the car.

Does every mother long to hear the words “I’ve got something to tell you?”
That was sarcastic.

What’s the farthest I could live from you without you worrying?
You just always worry as a Mom. You know you’re in my own household, and I worry about you being stressed, people being mean to you, wondering if your hair will ever grow back in.

Ashley Judd says “I always protect you, it’s my job” is that straight from the Mom Bible?
Covered in motherhood 101. It’s the mother bear imagery. Anybody lashes out. I can remember when I broke up with my boyfriend in college, and my mom put her arms around me. It’s you would rather have it happen to you than your kid. You know? Once you’re a mom you just, would do, accept any pain so that your child wouldn’t have to endure it. If you could just hug it away or take it away.

Would you let me go to Rome to study architecture after my Dad exploded there? What would I have to do to convince you?
No!!! I am not sure you could ever convince me. And if I was paying for it, you wouldn’t be going. I don’t care how old you are. I mean how did she ever let that happen, because she knew it was related to their jobs, and CIA work, is there a statute of limitations there? You know like, after you can’t file charges in the law, so did she think there was a statute of limitations? It seems very personal, they must want her for something. Besides her being very good at punching them, strangling them, and being good at all that. She should have never have let him go. She even says she didn’t protect him. She wouldn’t have let him go. But right now you don’t see that in her personality that she’s taking blame for it, a real mom would feel guilt-ridden about it. Doesn’t seem like she is, maybe she’s too angry.

How often do you adjust your purse on your shoulder, this seems like a Mom thing?
I don’t put my purse on my shoulder so much. I just have it on my elbow. I try to put it down as often as possible because it’s so heavy.

Mom frustrated that Ashley Judd wasn’t crying enough after son left.  How long did you cry that after brother and I left for college?
I cried the night before and half way home and couldn’t believe that your dad called them. But I’m really bad at goodbyes. And then you set me up, you had us drop you off at the sportscenter at Cal, at a stoplight, we dropped you off at a light in the middle of the street so I couldn’t. And I know you did that on purpose.
But I wasn’t as bad as some moms. I didn’t go sleep in your bed so I could smell you. In the show she grabs the soccer uniform and smells it, yuck, soccer uniforms are as stinky as can be.

How far do you have to hold your cellphone away from you in order to see it?
Well she must not have been wearing her bifocals. I don’t have to hold it very far. I don’t know how far. Some people have good vision, but then when you get older there’s an actual physical thing about it, I can’t remember what it’s called though. And you have to hold it farther away, even if you have perfect eyes, you’re reading up close. I still read without my glasses, at night ands stuff. I always take mine off. I remember the doctor said to me, “Aren’t you glad you have long arms?” so you could hold it farther away.

We could do video chat on our Iphones.- Mom, (I’m now regretting this show)

If something happened to me, would you go to Rome to find me?
I would have called the American Embassy first.

Mom points out that Ashley Judd starts to clean son’s room in Europe, even though he’s missing. –Mom Gold

Do you smell my clothes when you miss me like Ashley Judd does?
(Shakes her head, thinking it is really weird).

Ashley Judd uses a coat hanger and an electrical chord, hypothetically what household item do you pick in a jam when you have to knock a robber out?
I don’t knock people out. If I had a baseball bat. Do you think my knitting needles? I don’t know what you are looking for kiddo. Let me think… in the kitchen. Probably a fry pan. Or you pick up a big knife.
If you hadn’t told me she wasn’t in the CIA, you’d think she was a housewife, kind of like Long Kiss Goodnight with Gena Davis.

Would you get distracted in searching for me in Europe because you would want to  go sightseeing since you’ve never been to Europe?

No, First of all there, you’re forgetting that I would send people, I would be a wreck, they would have to sedate me and put me in a padded cell. I used to wake up in the middle of the night, when you guys were sick, or  had the flu, when you would throw up. I could never take something like that. I don’t even like to go to scary movies, cause I wouldn’t want to subject myself to that.

You’re a member of the PTA right, but not the CIA?
Yes, and ours is the PTA not the PFA like in the show, the PFA is not real. They don’t have PTA’s in high school, they said that in the show. It’s inaccurate. And she had all those bruises and she’s up and at them the next day. And then in that place she had quiet feet, but later her shoes were loud.

Have you ever interrogated one of mine or my brother’s girlfriends?
No. But I’ve interrogated 1st graders, though.  

If you had been in the CIA at any point, would you have told me by now?
Can you? Do they have some kind of… I mean, maybe there’s some kind of code or something. If it wasn’t something that I couldn’t share, obviously I would have.  

Hypothetically, how many men or women do you think an average CIA agent kills?
(She shrugs). 72. Cause that’s the year I graduated from high school. It’s not that many, is it that many? It’s either that or 5. Cause 5 is my lucky number.
Maybe 26. That’s my anniversary. What was the right number? You ask me questions you’re going to get answer.
I want you to google that and find out the right amount. I guess 72 is probably too many. How many years are you a CIA agent? Cause then you could break it down per year. Cause look in Bourne Supremacy, is that the name of the movie? With Matt Damon? Look, he kills that many in an afternoon. So if a CIA had a 20 year career, I don’t know, maybe what? 3.5 per.
I know what can determine it! Did the CIA agent work in the office or the field? Cause if it was in the office they didn’t kill that many. Now you got me thinking, I’m mathematically powerful, maybe I can figure this out. Ask how many they kill? (Me: They can’t tell you that). So why did you ask me? So CIA agents aren’t the killers, so FBI then? Why did you come up with that question?

Spy Car of choice?
(she laughs) Probably a Jaguar. But I like those little… yeah a Jaguar. I always said when I grew up I would get one. I was going to tell you a PT Cruiser, but I decided that was too goofy.

Would you feel bad about breaking the speed limit in a car chase?
No, if I was a CIA agent… I broke the speed limit taking you guys to soccer practice. If I could do it safely, I’d be Ok.

Were you concerned Ashley Judd wasn’t wearing a helmet when she was on her mo-ped?
No. This show is entertaining, but maybe a little too much shoot em up for me.

Response to Ashley Judd bruises after a fight:

Like Ashley Judd, when I’m not around how often do you stare at pictures of me?
Well that’s cause she found them, but I have pictures of you in the laundry room, so when I do laundry I stare at them, or on the fridge. Well if you were gone, absolutely, and when you send them to me, I put them right up on the fridge. Remember the one of Joe on the Bus? I used to worry about you taking the BART cause they’re weirdos. I would worry about you walking home from classes unescorted, when you did that crazy shift at the radio station, when you were Dr. G? Or your name was? Mr. Gazzolo? Was that it? Don’t be writing this down too. I used to worry about you going there.

They can track you with an Iphone?- Mom comment. Definitely has the makings of a spy.

If I was kidnapped, was there be anyway you could possibly use a computer to help find me?
Yeah you could. I could probably look up the police’s phone number. Maybe the CIA. On the computer. But you won’t let me be your friend on facebook.

Which programs on a computer do you know how to use?
The word processor, I can email, I can google. I can do mapquest! If they told me where you were maybe I could drive there. Cause I’d have a mapquest.

And how much would you pay for my ransom?
Oh, as much as I could possibly gather? I’d cash out every option, kiddo.

Even Kohl’s giftcards?
(She looks at me disappointed as if I’m very silly)

The Show kept you from knitting for more than half of it, so you liked it?
Well ,I was afraid you were going to ask me a question I couldn’t answer, so I paid attention. Kind of violent, far fetched, but entertaining.

How many guys do you think she’ll kill before the season is over?
How many has she killed so far? 3? Wait, wait let’s see, let’s figure this out, we have to figure this out. One right away, and then she did one in the wear house, she only did 2 right? If you don’t remember why are you asking me? You take two and then you figure out how many episodes are going to be in the season? I personally think this isn’t going to last because you can’t have the kid be gone for that long. So we’ll give them 10 shows. Do I have to guess 72 again? I’ll say she’ll average between 2-5 every show, maybe 2-3. If the season is 10 shows long, 2 per show, that would be 20 son, in case you didn’t follow my logic.

Favorite Spy movie?
Oooo…favorite spy movie…well that’s not really spy, it’s terrorists, Well, I was thinking of Air Force One. Well I like the Bourne Supremacy one, well that was more like Hitmen, they send people out to kill people. I guess James Bond…wait is he a spy? I guess… Bond, James Bond (in British accent). I like James Bond ones. But think about it Son, Air Force One, they weren’t spies they were terrorists, would you consider that a spy movie?

Would you watch the show again?
Will I watch the next episode? Aren’t I going to watch it with you Thursday night? Isn’t it a date?

Yes Mom. Yes it is.

The Hollywood Defender

403.5 Mile Road Trip for Nic Cage

 So Matt and his pot smoking friends with their 900 mile trip to get a Doritos taco shell, which I heard is too salty anyway, and many have pointed out may just be a commercial for the legalization of marijuana. 

My pilgrimage was much more sacred, it was something real. It was a journey to see Nic Cage. As I previously lamented, Nic Cage’s newest release Seeking Justice was not within 100 miles of Berkeley, so I had to make a choice whether to sit and bitch or make something happen. I was stuck in a cultural jail cell, but here’s “how in the name of Zeus’ butthole” I got 403.5 miles to Southern California.

The key was to make this trip as “Nic Cage-a-licious” as possible. I was making the road trip to see his film, but I wanted to make the trip as if he were in the passenger seat next to me talking about his own acting style “Noveau Shamanic” and his plane flights with Charlie Sheen.

The trip began with me standing with my eyes closed as “Low Rider” played, I could hear Nic’s words rolling off my tongue: “Low Rider Donnie… Donnie Low Rider.” And then when I had heard enough, I shook my hands next to my head and said, “Ok, let’s ride.”

I tried to recreate the scene as best as possible, however, I don’t have friends, so I had to improvise. I circled myself with his DVDs instead. The meditation during Low Rider leaves you feeling centered and ready to drive. I suggest this for any form of travel, especially long distances, the song has the perfect mix of excitement and laid back ease.

As I walked by many nicer cars than my own, I had trouble not jumping one and driving off in a Prius. But I made it to my baby, my version of the Shelby GT 500, my Eleanor, which is actually my red 2000 Mercury Villager. 

When you have seen as many movies as I have, whenever you are starting your car, you assume it is going to explode on ignition. But because I had listened to Low Rider, this had slipped my mind, I started the car. No explosion, luckily.

As Eleanor put-putted down the 5, I took in the long stretches of nothing as Chris Isaak’s Wicked Games looped on my Ipod.

 The song elevates your travel especially down the 5, where there are long stretches of nothing and after that nothing. It transforms your inner being, you feel like a modern cowboy riding the lonely terrain searching for answers to life’s perplexing oddities and then deciding at the end that “Nobody loves no one.” Well I came to that decision approximately 98 times in the course of my 6:30 minute trip. If this song ever escapes my unconsciousness, I’ll feel I wasted that time.

When your tank runs low, you come to a very scary part of your Nic Cage road trip. Because Gas stations or convenience stores never turn out well in Nic Cage movies: Knowing, Red Rock West, The Family Man, Con Air, Seeking Justice (as I found out), and of course Raising Arizona. Well, since the apocalypse was out of the question (Knowing) I had to pull a Raising Arizona: I had to hold up a station. 

Well, of course, I wasn’t really going to do that, but I had to steal something at least. I walked in thinking the ultimate thing to steal would be Panty Hose, which he wore on his head during a robbery, but they were out. I looked from shot glasses to t-shirts, trying to find something small enough and relevant to my journey. Needless to say, I chickened out. But I did, however, take a ridiculous amount of  paper towels than I needed, which I will go to my grave saying is a great reference to Cage’s cleanliness in Matchstick Men.

In honor of Leaving Las Vegas, I tried to drink as much as I could throughout the trip, not alcohol, but I loaded up on Arnold Palmers, which due to my weakness meant many road detours in order to relieve myself, which isn’t so much Nic Cage as it is that Old guy in Con Air hiding under a truck.

Most of my time on the trip was spent trying to perfect a Nic Cage impression, over and over I tried to get a hold of all of his facial and vocal ticks. My favorite of his is the lip smack before saying a line. Despite my practice I do not think I shall ever achieve this level of greatness. 

(starts at 1:09)
I finally arrived after 403.5 miles. I'd made it. I felt accomplished in every sense of the word. One of my finest moments by any stretch of the imagination. I had seek-ed justice for Seeking Justice and I found it  across my state. 

 But in the end, what did this trip mean? Was this simply an act of wild behavior? An unfocused, undetermined act in excess? Maybe. But... 

I hope it inspires as it inspired me. 

When I reached the theater today, I couldn’t help but feel like Ben in National Treasure, I found a treasure that people have simply stepped on or ignored for years. I had found a theater that showed my favorite actor in a new movie, my own national treasure. I even got to see him wear a Mardi Gras mask and charming the shit out of January Jones. 

I walked out of the theater today, from the darkness into the bright lights, and couldn't help but think  that for once the journey and the destination were equally amazing.

The Hollywood Defender