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Monday, October 31, 2011

Again With Halloween ... III

October 31, 2011: Ah, so the dark season is once again upon us ... and as I sit here in my devil's costume, enjoying the remnants of snow and sunning weather, I can't help but think of all the strange and superficial things that Halloween (and peripheral autumn) means to me ...

Of course, it's mostly about pumpkins, and the color orange in general. I like orange, even though I was kicked out of Princeton (or at least asked to leave after I visited my friend there and took my shoes off in his eating club). Contrary to popular belief, orange is NOT a combination of red and yellow, but a blend of yellow and blue. (Some people think this is green, but I know better.)

Which brings me to my very favorite seasonal movie of all time -- Halloween III: Season of the Witch. I watched this classic once again last week, and I'm never disappointed. Tom Atkins, who plays the rugged, oft-drinking hero Dr. Dan Chalice, remains my perfect ideal of a film hero, despite how ugly he looks with his shirt off. The story itself is a minor gem, and had it been written by Poe or some Poe derivative, it would continue to be hailed as a classic, and not relegated to the dusty shelves of B-movie accidents. I consider Tommy Lee Wallace, who wrote and directed the film, an unknown gem of a man (See "It" and "Fright Night 2" if you don't believe me!), and while he never responded to my letter back when I was living in L.A., I'll never hold a grudge because for me, he created the quintessential Halloween experience with his delightful story of a mad male Celtic warlock, his demented Halloween mask factory in northern California, and all the shenanigans that ensue.

There's a lot more I have to say, but I'm suddenly realizing I probably said it LAST YEAR, so I urge you to begin rereading my old Blah-ugh! posts ... Tell your friends about them ... Tell ME about them, and maybe I'll stop writing them!

Anyway, the evil Connell Cochran tells Dr. Chalice before he leaves him to suffer the awful pains of wearing that scary skull mask before the twisted television transmission, " ... and Happy Halloween!"

Thursday, October 13, 2011

The Scents of Smells

October 13, 2011: I was just thinking about what an acute sense of smell I have, and how it's both a blessing and a curse. I was also thinking about Angelina Jolie and how she grosses me out, but I'll get to that in a minute.

Specifically, I was thinking about this woman I know who has the most tragically horrendous breath you could ever imagine. It smells like a decaying mouse that was left in the filthy boot of an old Irishman for seven long weeks. I've been in a room with this woman and could smell her breath from 20 feet away, that's how rippingly offensive it is, and perhaps how acute my smell is. (You see, I had to leave the room, while others stayed. Did they not smell this vile stink? Were they immune to the aromatic assault of this unfortunate woman's decaying gob?)

Cigarette stinks, bilious foods, bad breath, and the acrid, sour pew of all the awful aromas plaguing mankind are always quick to find their way up my virulent (and obviously eager) nostrils (despite the ever-increasing forest of thick black hairs that keep growing there). At the same time, however, I'm also blessed with a great ability to pick up on the subtlest scents earmarking sweet beauty -- like spring lilacs from a great distance away, or the grand, pungent smell of my wonderful decaying autumn as it sends it lithe, ancient reek out across October (and November too). You see, it's a blessing and curse and, I guess (like so many things) ... It just is ...

Which brings me to this somewhat weak Angelina Jolie movie I'm in the middle of watching called "The Tourist," featuring the perpetually hard-trying Johnny Depp, whom I like very much, despite his sometimes questionable facial hair.

In all fairness, Jolie is probably a fair actor, but she's apparently been marketed to such an absurd point now that filmmakers (probably because of the marketing departments' insistence) must completely prohibit her performances by encasing her in a series of supposedly stylish (albeit sadly sophomoric) specially staged shots aimed at making her appear alluring and charmingly sexy in some poorly contrived version of Hollywood sexiness.

Now, for starters, she is actually rather bizarre looking, and seems to appear more and more so as time passes -- a kind of botox Barbie, with a vaguely misshapen head, eyes much too big for her ample forehead, and lips that become less and less alluring, and look more synthetic, with each passing frame and hour. It's also become her trademark requirement -- and who knows, this all may be HER doing -- to shine this same supposedly sexy expression in almost every scene, as if it's all a commercial for her magnificent face, or her brand, and it's making the entire film feel like an inadequate apportionment of softcore masturbation fodder for Angelina Jolie fans (who must be a sorry lot, if the truth is to get out).

On top of everything else, I really find her name annoying ...

Meanwhile, Depp, who I've lauded here before, is making a fair effort of a rather weak story (although he's starting to fall back on some of his Jack Sparrow schtick, and probably isn't too proud of it). I wonder how an artist such as he sits through production of such a minor debacle, and whether he finds Jolie's big, bulbous lips somewhat disconcerting after having to look at them close up all those weeks.

To tie this whole Blah-ugh! piece together, we can only imagine what Jolie's breath must smell like, let alone some of her other parts. I'm sure there are fans who will enjoy speculating, but I'm somewhat proud to say that not one of them ...

NEXT TIME in THE BLAH-UGH!: "What wonderful, subtle scents might linger about Kiera Knightley at any given moment?"