I: THE FILM
I sat through the second half of Passengers this evening. Yeah, it took us two evenings. It might not have, except my wife got called off to a birth. And I doubt I would have watched it, except my wife expressed interest in seeing "that guy from Everwood" and Sony lobbed a free screener at me. So we sat through it, my email address in one corner and "FOR YOUR CONSIDERATION" in the other, while drinking and doing computer shit. Me? Bullshit Facebook. Her? regulatory. Both of us? Unengaged.
And here's the thing. I've been a fan of Chris Pratt since he was literally "that guy from Everwood" and a fan of Jennifer Lawrence since Winter's Bone. I remember when this script came out - it was a Blacklist script in 2007, it was sci fi, and that was the year I schlepped my ass down to Hollywood. It was the bright and shining future, even if back then blacklist scripts were the ones that everybody read but nobody bought. It's sci fi. It's hard sci fi (or pretends to be). And it's shit. It's pure shit. It hockeysticks from slow to stupid without passing through entertaining for even a minute.
It took ten fucking years for this piece of dreck to become cinema. It stars two of my favorite actors of all time (I mean, I wrote parts for Chris Pratt back when he was "the guy from Everwood") and it is so shit. It's two doubles of 50% off rum shit. Excuse me, I need a third.
II: The old-timer
I've got a number of interesting friends. Acquaintances, really. People I used to party with. Facebook friends, of course. And while watching the-dreck-that-is-Passengers I read a post from one of them. See, he had to move his Panera shift, because he needed a new coffee maker and he could get one for 20% off at Target during certain hours or something, but then it didn't fit in the bag, so he had to get another bag because he's riding his bicycle, but that bag didn't fit, so he had to carry his coffee maker to Panera and now it's sitting at his feet while he makes sandwiches.
This guy has FOURTEEN fucking screenwriting credits on IMDb. This guy was the editor of a screenwriting magazine. This guy has twelve books on Amazon right now about screenwriting. This guy... This guy moved his shift at Panera so he could save twenty percent on a fuckin' $20 coffee maker.
III: The very next post
I shit you not. Back to back. Another acquaintance. Went to parties yadda yadda. Facebook Friend. Announcing that it was five years ago today that Amazon released his Amazon Studios screenplay as an animation and while he's still working on it, it's cool to see and oh, by the way, could someone grab a copy and send it to him on DVD?
This is troubling on many levels. First of all, I never submitted to Amazon Studios because I discovered my wife's receptionist was a reader for Amazon Studios and I didn't trust her to give me menu advice. Second of all, that horrorshow was five years ago and lo and behold, no magical wondrous talent appeared from it. But primarily, HOLY SHIT YOU MEAN THEY MADE YOUR FUCKING MOVIE AND YOU DON'T HAVE A GOOD ENOUGH RELATIONSHIP TO GET A HARD COPY FROM THEM? WHAT THE ACTUAL FUCK AMAZON WILL SHIP YOU A GODDAMN LAWNMOWER FOR FREE BY THE END OF THE DAY.
I mean, I know it's bad. Buddy of mine with screenwriting credits on summer blockbusters has roommates. As in, lives with three other dudes in the Valley. A producer I used to work with (and like) has a movie in development at Nickelodeon and is staff on like Sponge Bob or some shit. Remember me bitching about my horrible neighborhood all summer? He rents up the street. The horrible shithole I deign to slum around in while saving scratch to feed my fambly? That's his fuckin' apex. Muthafuckin' bikejackings and dead heroin addicts along the river and he's fuckin' arrived.
Know what I'm going to spend the weekend doing? Helping to install HVAC. Why? Because I went with the friend of my contractor, and he's hungry for cash, and I don't want him fucking up my walls. And by going with him, I'm saving three grand, and yeah, when you're saving three grand you're spending a lot of money and I don't expect to work particularly hard but who wants to spend their weekend hauling linesets over ceiling tile and shit?
I was venting about this to a buddy and he said "so basically you're making double your dayrate to help install HVAC."
There's this part of me that realizes I never did the whole screenwriter struggle thing because fuckadoodledoo I'm not the least bit interested in putting up with that degree of degradation. There's this idea that you have to suffer for your art and guilty as charged - I ain't putting in the suffering.
But I mean, it'd be one thing if you struggled all your goddamn life and when you finally got it made, it was Unforgiven. I mean, David Peeples wrote that five years before Blade Runner and it finally got made in '92.
But more often than not, it's fuckin' Hancock. Did you know that script has been banging around Hollywood since '96? Twelve goddamn years to get Surly Will Smith and you forgot that film existed until I reminded you of it just now.
I spent four hours in Pro Tools today. Compiling and organizing a goofy little $50k feature a friend of a friend put together. It's not great. But you know what? It's exactly what the guy wanted, he had total artistic control, it is 100% his movie, nobody else's, and the most he can lose is $50k.
And he doesn't have to change shifts at fuckin' Panera to buy a goddamn Mr. Coffee.
There's a lot of griping around here about how movies suck these days (paging JTHipster, who I am most assuredly channeling). I don't disagree. But I felt like sharing that in amongst all the shit you watch, there's an absolute torrent of shit the creatives suffer getting it to you. And it's getting bad, friends. It's getting real bad.
Fuckin' goobster wants me to sit through another goddamn fellation of Philip K. Incoherent I Hate People Fuck You and Your Need For Plot Dick and I honestly don't know if I can do it.
I'm so fucking sick of Philip K Dick.
I'm so fucking sick of Nazis.
I'm so fucking sick of Amazon Fucking Studios.
And this is a series shot in my own goddamn back yard, was the inspiration for one of my favorite movies and is everything I should love and I just.can't.get.my.elbows.out.of.the.mudonit.
I'm at the point where I'm pissed off Sony sent me a free movie.
And if that doesn't illustrate a certain discontent towards filmed entertainment, I don't know what does.
The DVD tale reminds me of this video clip.
Donno how I missed it, but you mention "The Beast" in that rant. I saw The Beast on a shitty overused VHS on a boat in an ice flow in Alaska back when I was digging out from the hole my life had descended into. I know no other person in real life that has seen this movie; for a while (and without internet you used to have conversations like this) I wondered if the movie was real or not. I remember the movie as it was the palette cleanser after the shitty piece of crap that was Titanic. And if you want a surreal movie experience, imagine watching Titanic on VHS after a 20 hour shift knocking ice off the rigging of a boat at 64°N in an ice storm where you cannot sleep due to chunks of ice hitting the side of the ship.