"Why won't you let me touch you?"

Day 34
Scream 2


Ok, so before I get started on Scream 2, here are some updates:

1) Telling Lies in America is not available to physically rent from Netflix, but at the moment, it is available to "Watch Instantly." I'm more than happy to do this, however...

2) Dell has again, for the second time now, delayed the estimated delivery date of my new laptop. And as much as I'd love to sit at my uncomfortable desk and watch an entire feature-length film (no!), I think I'm just going to wait until I have my laptop...

3) Also, this past week/end I watched Clint Eastwood's first big Western, Fistful of Dollars, as well as his last, Unforgiven. I've heard Luke Wilson is a big Clint Eastwood fan, and I can now see why...Which is really just to say, I can see why I really liked these movies, so I could understand why anyone else might, too! They're pretty damn entertaining. I plan to at least watch For a Few Dollars More, The Good, The Bad and The Ugly, and probably one more before it's all said and done. We only had time to watch just a few clips of each of these films when I took Wilmott's Intro to Film class and I've been wanting to watch the full films ever since.

4) Ok, and lastly, just because this is my blog and because I can, I would also like to tell you that I had the chance to see Blitzen Trapper and The Walkmen live within the past couple weeks and they were both amazing. I highly recommend checking out both!

Alright. On to Scream 2....

First of all, I either need to a) not drink with Jenna while watching these movies and/or b) take better notes. : ) Let's see if I can't make sense of what I've got written down here...

I have to admit--I do not like "scary movies." Horror has to be my very least favorite genre of film. With all the very real, very scary things in the world, it never made much sense to me that a scary movie would even really be necessary.

But there does seem to be that sub-genre of horror film. The one that is able to poke fun at the entire concept of a scary movie while still being one itself. Not unlike Scream. At any rate, I've always had a soft spot for Scream. The slashing and the screaming aside, these movies were always more about suspense, plot twist and even a good deal of humor rather than actual "horror."

Randy (Jamie Kennedy, again) is probably my favorite Scream character, in Scream 2 especially, for these very reasons. Being the horror film aficionado, Randy breaks it all down for the viewer; the cliches, the "rules," all the ins-and-outs of surviving a horror flick. And he and Dewey (David Arquette) together make for a very entertaining pair in Scream 2.

Luke Wilson's character also literally had me laughing out loud. He plays Billy Loomis (for maybe 30 seconds) in Stab, the fictional movie based on the Woodsboro serial killings of the first Scream. Basically he plays Skeet Ulrich. It's excellent and surprisingly, it really made me want to watch the first Scream all over again.

Watching Scream 2, I found I was really in need of a Scream refresher-course altogether. This film was what I had remembered as being Scream 3. Now I wonder what actually does happen in the third film! I can't even begin to remember it....And as I said, I'd really just sort of like to watch the first one again. For nostalgia's sake. Heck, even just for Matthew Lillard's sake! (I loved Stu!)

Perhaps for the sake of the upcoming Scream 4 I can organize a Scream-marathon watch party? Anyone? Yes? : )

If nothing else, watching this movie definitely felt like a little time-trip, way back to the 90s. The characters in the film even joke about things being too "90s!". If nothing else, it was a fun flashback to upper elementary school, watching movies in my friend Heather's basement.

So 90's. In a good way.
(Sandwiches welcome...well, unless blood makes you squeamish!)

Up next...
Dog Park


"It's our wedding present..."

Alright, The Merethon has officially hit its first snag.

Does anyone happen to have a copy of Telling Lies in America? Yeah, I'd never heard of it either. It stars Kevin Bacon, if that narrows it down any ; ) ...It's not at the library, not on Netflix and even Liberty Hall is without it. I mean, I guess I could check Blockbuster, but that seems even more unlikely. Maybe I'll give 'em a call, just in case. In the meantime....

Day 28
Best Men

I somehow convinced Matt to watch the next flick on the list, Best Men.

When we started the movie, I was under the impression it was going to be a comedy. Unfortunately, aside from a few moments of mostly unintentional humor, this was not a very funny movie.

Andy Dick was in this one, too, but he was definitely not as endearing as last time and I'm already regaining my disdain for him. But, on the brighter side, this movie was a considerable improvement over the last one!

There was a plot! Even fairly interesting themes and subplots about homosexuality, honor, friendship, etc. Unfortunately this movie was also riddled with cliche. The whole estranged father (sheriff) pitted against wayward son (bank robber) by circumstance of chosen professions. Then, of course, there's that inexplicably-angry-at-the-world-FBI-honcho-man who rolls in to town to take over the robbery/hostage situation and generally be an ass to everyone, especially those who run the small-town sheriff's department. It's all there.

Also, though I've yet to see Dog Day Afternoon, Matt explained to me that this movie seems to draw heeeavily upon that film. One character even makes reference to it somewhere in that often unnatural-sounding dialogue spoken by the would-be-groomsmen-bank robbers and their hostages. (Why, yes, there's even Shakespeare!) At any rate, I think I need to see Dog Day Afternoon.

Luke Wilson's part as Jesse, the groom, was an interesting one. Although he seemed like the focal point of the film, he really hardly does or says anything throughout. The one major piece of dialogue he did have just made me really uncomfortable, honestly. It was intense. Maybe it just seemed awkward because I was still holding out hope for a comedy at that point...Anyway, the entire bank robbery is more or less staged in Jesse's honor, but having been paroled only hours beforehand, he winds up with the most to lose when it inevitably goes awry. Not to mention the fact that he misses his own wedding. (Drew Barrymore was so very, very upset!)

We also said at least 5 times during this movie, "Where have I seen that guy before?!" in reference to Sean Patrick Flannery. Apprently in Powder or Boondock Saints. Wild....

This movie did not end in a manner even remotely close to what I would have expected. It was almost really disappointing. A nice twist at the end made it, well...less disappointing. It was satisfying if still completely outlandish....Yeah, we'll leave it at that.

One thing's for sure, those guys really know how to ruin a wedding...

MERE'S OFFICIAL RATING: 2 out of 5 Stars
Sandwich-appropriateness remains questionable.

Up next...
Scream 2

(Yeah, I don't remember him being in that movie either!)


"I fell in love with a baked potato..."

Day 20

Wow. Where to start...

First of all, thank you to Liberty Hall for actually having this movie! And even more so, thank you for not visibly or audibly judging me when I went up to the counter to rent it. I was pretty embarrassed to have to rent with my own hard-earned money a movie whose cover consists of a giant close-up of some girl's jean-short clad butt. I mean, that's just never a good sign, right? And I can't for the life of me even begin to figure out how it actually relates to anything in the movie! But a Merethon is a Merethon....

Anyways, I felt this movie also warranted an attempt to round up the first ever Luke Wilson Merethon Film Review Panel! Unfortunately it was a very last minute idea and pretty much everyone already had something else better to do than watch Bongwater! (Shocking!) We did manage to field a small but feisty panel and it was a great success!! So, don't fret if you missed this gem of a flick. I will be calling upon you all again soon enough as the Merethon progresses.

I have to say, this was not the worst movie I've ever seen. In fact, it was able to do something that I didn't think was even possible!...It made me like Andy Dick.

Even if only for a couple hours, even if only in this one film, I was none-the-less shocked and pleasantly surprised by how much I genuinely enjoyed him in this movie.

And even fellow cast member Jack Black wowed me with one of his signature ridiculous, non-sensical songs. In fact, I had to break precedent with the title of this blog post and use part of his lyrics, as opposed to the usual quote from a Luke Wilson character.

Sadly, though, this is about where my appreciation for the movie stops. Ok, ok, I cannot overlook the fact that this film really seems to mark the beginning of Luke Wilson's golden-age era of attractiveness. Having lost the too long haircut of Bottle Rocket, he does quite well for himself here. But I digress...

I was shocked to see that Mark Mothersbaugh also contributed original music for this movie, too. Sadly, however, aside from picking up on a Marcy Playground track in the background of one scene, I can't say I really recall anything else about the music of this film.

It is also surprising to see so many actors in this movie that have since gone on to at least mildly successful acting careers. That they were able to find work after this movie at all is, well, surely a testament to something. Jack Black, Brittany Murphy, Jamie Kennedy, that guy who we all recognized, but each of us for a completely different reason--Jeremy Sisto. Personally, I recognized him from Law & Order. However, the fact that I haven't run across the faux-red-headed Alicia Witt-lady is, if nothing else, a great relief. She's just terrible.

Her character, Serena, is especially loathsome. The fact that the director, cast and crew actually expected an audience to believe that there's anything even remotely resembling a love story or "chemistry" at all between her and the Luke Wilson character, David, is really just insulting. It left the movie with little on which to hang a plot.

At this point I had planned to write about the reactions of the inaugural panel members, but Jenna, I honestly can't hardly read the quotes of yours that I wrote down!! Wait...ok. Here we go: "Somebody paid money to see this movie?! YOU paid money to see this movie!" Ok, two things: John did some research and I believe he said it never made it in to theatres. Secondly, it was a 99 cent rental at Liberty Hall ; )

Now, your second quote is the one I can't read and I'm really sorry because it sounds hilarious! It starts out with "Yeah, 'cause that's not a felony!" but, unfortunately I cannot remember what this is meant to reference!

John said at the end, "They didn't even need to tell you that this movie was taking place in Portland. Just watching you think, 'This seems like something that would happen in Portland."

Really, though, both of you should consider leaving a comment below, because I'm definitely not doing either of your opinions justice!! I blame the beer. Next time I will be more prepared. Written reviews from all panel members from here on out! : )

Alright, I think that's everything. Again, I'd stick to Mr. Burton's advice and check it out for yourself if you've really the mind to! Reality Bites it is not, though, so don't get your hopes up! It's at least good for a few laughs.

MERE'S OFFICIAL RATING: 1 out of 5 Stars
Bring a sandwich! ("As many sandwiches as you can carry!")*

*For those of you who may not know, this is in reference to the Sandwich Scale by which movies are rated on the level of sandwich-appropriateness. A person must ask him/herself, "Can I bring a sandwich to this movie?"

Or as John adds, "By reverse logic, could you rate a sandwich by whether or not you would take it to a movie? 'I love this turkey bacon ranch so much, I want to take it to the movies."

Up next...
Telling Lies in America


"The only thing I've learned so far is that crime does not pay."

Day 13:
Bottle Rocket (full-length)

Thanks to the helpful advice of the always friendly people at AT&T, I learned that a faulty power cord was actually to blame for my "defective" modem. Two phone calls, one trip to the AT&T store, ten whole dollars and one brand new power cord later, my modem is good as new and we are back in business!!

I halfway think maybe even my modem could tell how anxious I was about reviewing this particular movie. Like it was trying to buy me some more time to get my thoughts together. I just have this horrible, unsettling feeling that my modest writing/analytical skills won't--nay, cannot--do this movie justice! (Even the opening title and accompanying sound effect just seem...iconic!) And I hate that, at worst, my attempt to write about this film might turn someone off from ever watching it! Terrible!!

That being said, in the immortal words of Levar Burton, "don't take my word for it!" Really, just watch the movie! And then definitely watch it again.

I honestly remember nothing about the first time I watched this movie. I can't even say whether I liked it! Granted I was younger and dumber then. Not the intelligent, interesting, discerning media consumer that I am now...or something. At any rate, I can tell you that I love this movie more and more each time I watch it.

I just think there's a lot going on that might have made it hard to digest the first go around. I feel like I notice something new every time I watch it. It also moves especially quickly at the beginning. And on top of that, the two main characters, Anthony and Dignan, literally talk simultaneously half the time.

Once you are finally able to take it all in, though, the dialogue does not disappoint. Even better than in the short film, it is enormously entertaining and has quickly infiltrated my everyday conversations. The subtle humor, the dialogue that takes place just off screen--I love all of it.

I've taken two whole film classes my entire life, so please forgive that I can't adequately express why, but, the photography that makes up this film, the cuts that transition the story from scene to scene, I find them nothing short of awesome. How the dialogue leads meaningfully between cuts, as though to add an additional level of comedic timing. And Anderson's constant use of that close-up shot-- it seems so much more effective than it has any right to! Brilliant.

Now, Luke Wilson's character, Anthony Adams, is easily in the top 3 on Meredith's list of All-time Favorite Luke Wilson Characters. (No, I don't actually have like, a tangible list that I carry around!) He represents the voice of reason and logic in this movie, but also the voice of loyalty and friendship. You just can't blame him for humoring Dignan. I can't, anyway.

Dignan's energy throughout is just contagious. He's endearing, though surely exhausting. Even when he's down, it's never long before he's begun his next plan. I'd definitely give him "the spirit award" in this movie. "Say what you will about him, he's no cynic and he's no quitter..." He and Bob Maplethorpe surely alternate between the top two spots on my list of favorite Wes Anderson characters. (Ok, Kumar is definitely up there, too. Damn, I love this movie!)

I can't help but love the bilingual love story, as well. Inez is adorable as the "little girl from Paraguay." And speaking of little girls, I love, love, love Grace. I sort of wish every older brother had a little sister like Grace.

And let us not forget the soundtrack!! As with any Wes Anderson movie, the music is so much a part of the movie, it may well be a character itself. It is essential and highly successful in setting much of the mood for the movie. I personally love the Proclaimer's track. And "2000 Man" at the end!! Yes!

Well, if I've now convinced even just one person out there to give Bottle Rocket a first or second chance, then this whole blog will have been worth it. (Man, if nothing else, just do it for the scene with Dignan on the motorbike. I literally laugh out loud every time!)

Suffice it to say, I really, really love this movie.

But there's still much more to come as the Mere-thon continues! "Here are just a few of the key ingredients: dynamite, pole vaulting, laughing gas, choppers - can you see how incredible this is going to be? - hang gliding! Come on!"

MERE'S OFFICAL RATING: "6" out of 5 stars.
Fact: my favorite. By far.

Up next...