Week in Review: No self respecting film nerd would miss an entire film festival like the one SF Indie sponsored, Another Hole in the Head. Even with all the DVDs I'm watching for this project, I couldn't pass up the full schedule of films. The one that caught my eye was called Meatball Machine.
Meatball Machine is made by the makers of the best zombie sports film ever, Battlefield Baseball. This film finds humans the subject of alien parasite infestation. The parasites make their hosts fight each other with strange machines called Necroborgs. There's lots of blood, gruesome gore, and unbelievable effects. I knew I wouldn't be disappointed.
There were some truly squeamish moments during the film, that made even a room full of jaded horror fans squeal with disgusted delight. Throughout the film, we were treated to disembowellings, non-consensual amputations, and good ol' eyeball puncturing. Did I mention the film is hilarious?
Sadly, this film is not yet available on DVD and I doubt it will have a traditional theatrical release. Catch it at a film festival, or not at all.
Pick of the Week
There were only two films that I considered for this week's pick. The first one I saw that I really loved was the British horror film Creep, starring Franka Potente. I would love to watch it again. But the one film I saw that made me regret not seeing it in the theater was the Tommy Lee Jones picture, The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada.
Written by Guillermo Arriaga, the writer of Amores Perros, 21 Grams, and the forthcoming Babel, Three Burials follows director and star Tommy Lee Jones as he tries to bury a dead friend in the deceased's hometown in Mexico. It's way more complicated than this, but I don't want to give too much away.
If you're a fan of the Tommy Lee Jones who was in Coal Miner's Daughter and The Executioner's Song, you must see this. It may be the role of Jones' lifetime. Although most people will remember him from The Fugitive or Men in Black, after 30 years in the business Jones has turned in maybe his best role yet.
My So Called Life
I was out a lot this week, much more than usual. Two nights that were exceptionally fun were Friday and Saturday. Friday was Parkerpalooza and Saturday I saw Matt Besser at the Eureka Theater.
I'm still not sure who this Parker guy is. I managed to meet him, but all I could get out of him was some vaguely hostile drunken mumblings. If I could've understood him, I may have been offended. The point is, for his birthday, Parker's been throwing an annual party, this year at the 12 Galaxies. Most of the bands were not worthy of mentioning, except for The Enablers, whose singer/reciter Pete Simonelli twisted and contorted his lyrical stylings for the crowd, for a really cool spoken word/music combination. About one AM, comedian Mary Van Note took the stage with the look of a Sunday school teacher but with material that would make Don Rickles blush.
If you haven't seen The Upright Citizens' Brigade, queue those DVDs now. The show didn't run for very long, but the UCB crew is still very much active in the world of comedy, sketch, and improv. Their theaters in LA and New York are the new hotspots of comedy. One of their members, Matt Besser, was in town to perform his one man show, Woo Pig Sooie.
Walking home from the show, I was stunned. I thought back to what I had seen and tried to figure out if it had been theater, comedy, or a conversation. Besser's style is rehearsed but yet interactive, unlike others who simply do the exact same show every time. Many other comedians recite an hour of material while sitting on an introspective stool under the guise of a one man show, but Besser's material was more like a lecture with laughs than standup with better lighting. Besser also talks to the audience rather than at the audience, as is the case with many spoken word artists. Most importantly, Besser's show was heavy on message, not just some kind of observational comedy; the weight of Besser's show dealt with the importance that people place on religion, and the possible dangers of such. The whole walk home I felt like I've never really said what I thought about anything, and I'm an opinionated egoist.
I didn't get 11 this week like I wanted to, but I got 10, which is good considering how much was going on. It was my birthday on Tuesday. My friends all offered to take me to the movies. Aside from Meatball Machine, I asked if they would take me to dinner instead. But I'm still on pace.
220 DVDs in 169 days. That leaves me with 280 more over the next 196 days for a pace of 9.99 per week. I dropped two discs in the mail on Friday night. I'm suspicious that that box isn't getting picked up on Saturday anymore. If I get those back on Tuesday, I may be able to get to more than 10 this week.