There are more things in heaven and earth, Harris, than are dreamt of in your philosophy


I watched one of my favorite movies this evening.

I love L.A. STORY. There’s not a minute of the movie I don’t love. There’s not a line that doesn’t make me smile. Even if this were the only thing Steve Martin ever did, I would love him for it. If you’ve never seen it, you should put it in your queue right away.

I decided to write about it tonight because I realized something about myself during tonight’s viewing. Or maybe I’ve always known it, but tonight I experienced a moment of clarity about it.

There’s a scene in which Harris (Steve Martin) shows his love interest Sara (his then real-life wife Victoria Tennant) the sights of Los Angeles and they stop by a cemetery to visit the grave of William Shakespeare. (Yes, THAT William Shakespeare. Just roll with it.) They hear a noise nearby, which they investigate, finding a gravedigger (Rick Moranis) preparing a new plot for a recently deceased woman.

What follows is an exchange that may sound a bit familiar to those who paid half a lick of attention in sophomore English…

Gravedigger: Here’s a bloke that’s been around 35 years, I bet!

Harris: Who was he?

Gravedigger: The magician. The Great Blunderman. Not so great now, is he?

Harris: The Great Blunderman … I knew him. He was a funny guy. Taught me magic.

Sara: A fellow of infinite jest…

Harris: Yeah

Gravedigger: That’s it.

Sara: He hath borne me on his back a thousand times?

Gravedigger: She knows, she’s got it.

Sara: Where be your gibes now? Your flashes of merriment that would set the table on a roar?

*One of those “magic movie moment” winds blows. Leaves rustle on the trees and the twinkling of chimes fills the surround sound speakers*

Harris: Ordinarily, I don’t like to be around interesting people because it means I have to be interesting, too.

Sara: Are you saying I am interesting?

Harris: All I’m saying is that when I’m around you I find myself showing off, which is the idiot’s version of being interesting.

Man, if that doesn’t peg my game (or lack thereof) perfectly, I don’t know what does.

One of these days perhaps I’ll learn to stop trying to be witty and just be myself before my feeble attempts at charm start to irritate the ever-loving crap out of whomever I’m crushing on.

Then again, perhaps that *IS* myself.

Then again, maybe that’s just how we big, dumb males are.

Reminds me of one of my other favorite films:

Carrie: What do you do? Straight.

Bo: I just go from place to place and … do what I do best.

Carrie: What’s that?

Bo: Show off.

Carrie: Yeah. You do do that well.

Cars Movies

Go Speed Racer Go! (Yes, the movie freaking rocks!)

My buddy Dave took me as the +1 to the press screener of Speed Racer this evening.


Yes, I’m shouting. I don’t care. This flick was everything I had hoped it would be.

You have to understand, that when I was knee-high to a grasshopper there were two shows that I DID NOT MISS. One was Speed Racer. The other was B.J. and the Bear. Hmmm … both shows prominently feature driving and chimpanzees. Coincidence? But really, this tells you just about everything you need to know about how the mind of a seven-year-old boy works.

And if you are, or ever have been, a seven-year-old boy, THIS IS THE MOVIE FOR YOU. With Speed Racer The Wachowski Brothers have created a world where racing is king, the laws of physics don’t apply, comic violence is art and Willy Wonka’s choice of color palettes would be considered “understated.” There’s no shortage of rocket powered cars, cool gadgets, explosions or monkey poop gags.

Seriously, if you even remotely remember what it was like being seven years old, you can’t help but love this movie. (I’m not even ashamed to admit that I cried.)

The kids in the audience clapped at more than a few moments. The critic sitting next to me even gasped “YES!” under his breath when the trademark saw blades popped out of the front of the Mach 5. Yes, this movie totally scored with those in its two core target audiences: Those seven year olds, and every 30-40 year old geezer in the audience who remembers watching the show every afternoon they could.

Seriously, this movie was perfect. (OK, not quite perfect … the Black-Eyed-Peas-esque song over the closing credits practically chased me from the theater.)

But no doubt, there are plenty of people who will probably hate this film, or at the very least should not watch it:
1. People who get motion sick
2. People who may be epileptic or seizure-prone
3. People for whom everything must “make sense”
4. People who can’t appreciate a good monkey poo joke
5. Anyone else who can’t see the world with the wide-eyed wonder of a kid

It’s 3:30am and I’m still totally jazzed about the movie. It may be late, and I may be a little giddy from the lack of sleep, but there are three things I know for certain:

1. I’m going to have to go see this again in the theater.
2. I’m totally jealous of this guy from Road and Track.
3. I need a girlfriend who can fly a helicopter.

Geeky stuff Movies Nostalgia Tuesday

Nostalgia Tuesday: Goonies never say die!

I wish I still had this t-shirt. (Not that it would fit.)

Cars From the hip Movies Sports

Likely winner of Sunday’s race?

Greetings from the race track! Go Lightning McQueen!



Tonight I watched ROBOCOP for the first time in about 10 years.

I have three observations about the experience:

First, I didn’t think it was possible that I could have any lower of an opinion of Paul Verhoeven’s directorial abilities than I already had. I was wrong. When I first saw this movie those however many years ago, I didn’t realize how corny it was. (I was just a teenager who thought robots were friggin cool.) But watching it now, I spent most of the time laughing. They let this guy direct movies after this? Well, they got SHOWGIRLS and HOLLOW MAN out of it, so I guess they got what they deserved. (HOLLOW MAN is the worst movie of all time, IMHO.)

Second, it’s hard to take a villian seriously anymore when he’s played by Kurtwood Smith. I love the guy, and I think he’s a cool actor, but he’s now forever set in my mind as Red Forman on “That ’70s Show.” I just kept waiting for him to call Murphy a “dumbass.”

Third, I hadn’t noticed that it was filmed in Dallas. It’s set in Detroit, but apparently, their skyline wasn’t cool enough. I grew up in the DFW area, but just never noticed this before now. (When I was a kid I was too busy looking at the cool robots.) But this time around I noticed that there was a building in the background that looked remarkably similar to the Trammell Crow Center. I just shrugged it off to similar architecture until the final showdown in the OCP Headquarters (which looks remarkably like Dallas City Hall). Out the window of the board room you get a great view of Fountain Place, a building I worked in for nearly three years. (My view from the 22nd floor was pretty sweet.) So there’s your film history lesson for the day.

Law Movies

Communication Breakdown

People don’t think about this sort of thing when they’re talking about copyrights. Usually the topic centers around how music labels are losing money or screwing consumers. Or how movie piracy will put a makeup artist on the streets. (Even though digital editing of films might do it anyway.)

Forgotten in the argument are documentary films, which provide an incredibly valuable service in educating the public … especially in (of all places) schools.

Because of copyright extension laws like the Sonny Bono Act, it’s not only harder to make a documentary today, but to even reissue documentaries that have already been made. Some will soon be lost along with the Betamax tapes they’re stored on.

Check out this link from BoingBoing (which contains a link to a much longer article that’s also worth the read if you’ve got the time to kill): How copyright is killing culture

Movies Politics Religion

‘Twas grace that taught my heart to fear

Right now, I’m watching a documentary on the life of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, and I tell you, it’s fascinating. The film, Bonhoeffer (2003), is fascinating.

Bonhoeffer was a protestant theologian and Nazi resister who was hanged shortly before the end of WWII. Add this documentary to your NetFlix queue. Order it from Amazon. This is truly an amazing man.

Here are a couple of quotes from his writings:

On the waning of The Church:

Christ is really present only in the community. The church is the presence of Christ, just as Christ is the presence of God. But our church today is bourgeois: the best proof is that poor working classes have turned away from the church. Whereas the bourgeois, the petty officials, the artisans, and the merchants have remained. When the community is split, is Christ himself divided?

On the failing of man to act on Christ’s teachings:

We have been silent witnesses of evil deeds: we have been drenched by many storms; we have learnt the arts of equivocation and pretence; experience has made us suspicious of others and kept us from being truthful and open; intolerable conflicts have worn us down and even made us cynical. Are we still of any use?