August 11th, 2008


The Dark Knight Is Still Number 1

It will always be number one. By the time it stops being number one, it will have been so long since the first week's people saw it that they'll inevitably have to go again, thus rendering it ... number one.

I did NOT take a third stab at The Dark Knight this weekend, instead opting to put my hungover energies into Pineapple Express. I'm not gonna say I got a contact high from watching the marijuana silo go up in an inferno. I'm just saying that I came away from that movie with a major case of the munchies that prevented me from getting in a much-needed Sunday night run. But I prattle on.

I get the sense that the media is concerned about the whole Judd Apatow Dynasty we're currently embroiled in. Everyone likes to say it all got started with 'The 40 Year Old Virgin', but if you want to be technical about it, he produced 'Anchorman' a year earlier. Of course, the true diehards will tell you 'Freaks & Geeks' was his television masterpiece that put him down this road. Then again, the REAL diehards will look before to his work on 'The Larry Sanders Show' and even 'The Ben Stiller Show'. But forget all that, he's top of the pops now and look at this run of comedies he was involved in, whether writer, director, or just producer:

2004 - Anchorman
2005 - The 40 Year Old Virgin
2006 - Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby
2007 - Knocked Up
2007 - Superbad
2007 - Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story
2008 - Forgetting Sarah Marshall
2008 - Drillbit Taylor
2008 - Step Brothers
2008 - Pineapple Express

I've seen all but the previous three released this year, but that's not because I didn't want to. I just never got around to it.

Regardless, the point being: Judd Apatow is on the roll of a generation. We haven't seen this kind of run since Mel Brooks in the 70s and 80s or John Hughes in the 80s and early 90s. Only unlike those two legends, Apatow isn't trying to appeal to a mass audience. With the subject matter, the bevy of R ratings, the no-name actors, Mr. Apatow is making the kind of movies he and his friends find funny. If it just so happens that this kind of humor coincides with a sufficient segment of the American population, all the better to eat you my dear.

My only problem lies in these writers who worry of Apatow-overload. Why would you want to take a great thing and limit it? Don't worry, eventually Apatow and his cronies will sell out or lose their verve or whatever it is that happens when the John Hughes's of the world make their own "Curly Sue"s. But for now, enjoy the fucking ride! There's generally a small window for an artist's genius to peak! Would you rather Apatow have spent the bulk of that window fretting over every little thing to the point where he makes a movie every five years? These are comedies, he's not documenting genocide in Darfur; I say pump out as much quality work as quickly as possible and damn the naysayers!

That having been said, what's with Pineapple Express still not getting the number one slot in this week's box office? The Dark Knight was good, but damn man!

Fiction: Staying Busy, part IV - The Ritual

An indeterminate number of hours scrambled forth through the thick cheese of dreamless sleep, but however long it had been since his circuits lost power, it wasn't long enough to break on through. Kurt's left arm - uncomfortably stowed behind his head as an impromptu pillow - was completely numb. He coughed a wad of ink-colored phlegm into his palm, then wiped it on his shorts after inspecting it for blood.

Alone, reeking of vomitous booze, he crawled on the floor in a circle with a sense of purpose, though he had no idea what that purpose might be. Once he started to pant and sweat, Kurt stopped at a spot about three feet from where he first passed out and fell onto his stomach, with his head right ear-down. There, across the room, by the wall next to the door, Kurt noticed the gun. It took him a few seconds' worth of squinting, but there it was. Grunting with his mouth shut, Kurt pulled himself along the floor over to the piece. With his body in the shape of an arc, Kurt rolled onto his back and stared at the gun like an infant would his mobile.

Then came the overwhelming urge. He carefully inserted the barrel into his mouth, cocked the hammer back as far as it would go until he heard the familiar click, then leaned his head back against the hard cement ground. Kurt took one final meaningful survey of the ceiling, the lone dangling light, the messy table full of booze and glasses. Then, with his left thumb over his right thumb, Kurt jerked back the trigger until the cylinder rotated one-sixth of the way around. His arms fell back to their sides and at once he was gone.

Sometime in the late afternoon, Kurt's eyes opened bloodshot and aching. His mouth tasted like evil, a combination of rotten snatch and battery acid. He got up on one knee only to discover the Interrogation Room as raunchy as it was the night before.

Aaron had since retrieved the revolver. The same revolver for which they never bothered to buy bullets. The same revolver Aaron started leaving around whenever Kurt fell into the deep end of the pool. Kurt had no recollection of his suicide attempt.