I know my thoughts can get lengthy, so I will spare you all my normal preamble and get straight to the point: go see Wall•E. It’s a great movie made by great people, who I can only assume are going to make a great deal of money off of this talking robot (maybe even enough to buy a gold-plated Johnny #5), and rightfully so. Sometimes, my entertainer-sense kicks in and I can tell that a movie is going to be good long before I see it. Wall•E was one of those movies (Pixar’s history of awesomeness doesn’t hurt, either). But even with high expectations going into it, Wall•E still blew me away. The visuals are spectacular on a level that only Pixar seems able to achieve, the story is as beautiful as Romeo & Juliet, and the plot keeps you interested for the entire 90-ish minutes — all this with only a few pages of dialogue in the whole movie (a real “F you” to anyone who’s ever whined about acting, writing or directing a non-dialogue movie…myself included).
-America’s Next Top…Friend-
So I was making one of my 472 daily visits to facebook the other day, and I noticed that the “Top Friends” application on my profile page was gone. Now, a little while back I pretty much banned all facebook applications because most of them are poorly made, ugly, or both (I don’t want to be a vampire, ninja, werewolf, pirate, zombie, Jedi, or Jet Fighter; I don’t want to join your mob; Bumper Stickers hasn’t ever worked for more than 14 seconds in a row; and I appreciate you giving me a title of nobility in your court, but I’m going to have to decline, Baron Jackass). The only exceptions to this rule are the Top Friends app (because nothing builds friendships like ranking people as if they were college football teams) and the NES Retro Gaming app (because seriously, it’s so awesome — it’s like having a Nintendo for your computer. Amazing). But like I said to kick off this paragraph, this Top Friends app mysteriously disappeared from my life today, so I was forced to find another Top Friends app to replace it. This in and of itself was a pain in the ass, but it also unearthed another problem: I need a new ninth-best friend. Don’t ask me why, but I like having the symmetry of three rows of three friends right underneath my main picture — and I recently decided to boot my previous ninth-best friend off the list, so this leaves one spot up for grabs. I should also mention that the ninth-best spot is typically reserved for a girlfriend or something along those lines, but since I’m single right now, that means it’s really up for grabs by anyone. Now I know what you’re thinking: “Dustin, how can I snag the coveted ninth-best spot on such a revered and elite list of people?” The answer is that frankly, I don’t know. I can’t say exactly what it will take to secure your spot at the bottom of my top friends, all I can say is that it when I see it, I will know. Until then, I just encourage all of you to try your best and be creative — and keep in mind that even if you don’t make it into the top 1% of my friends, that you still are my friend…and that’s winning in and of itself.
-LA Film Festival…AKA: the Best Fest in the West, No Jest-
I was fortunate enough to get into a couple screenings at the LA Film Fest last week, and in a word it was: festive. When you’re surrounded by as many struggling actors/writers/directors/producers as I am, it’s easy to lose track of the good and positive things that happen within — and as a result of — this industry. It’s so uplifting to see moviemakers who aren’t obsessed with the money and fame of the movie industry, but rather just truly care about making a good film. It’s weird for me to remember that movies didn’t start as superstar-laden cash cows whose sole purpose was to line the pockets of studio execs, they started as art. Sure, some of the LAFF’s contributors are pretty well-off, financially, and a lot of the people who had films screened at the fest will make a lot of money…but it still felt like I was closer to the original passion that spurred the first film-artists into making a “moving picture,” then lovingly winding their film through a projector so they could share their passion and joy (and their accomplishment) with their friends. And that’s a cool feeling.
-Are You Having a Laugh?-
I’ve always thought that the British —though superior at making teas and other flavorless foods — were awful comedians. Don’t get me wrong, I think it’s funny to laugh at them when they do stereotypically buffoonish things, but that really doesn’t count because it’s not intentional on their part. But the thing is, I’ve never been able to figure out why the British are so unfunny. The answer to this question has eluded me endlessly…until just recently. But lucky for you, I finally figured it out, and here’s my theory: Stephen Merchant (Gervais’ longtime friend and constant entertainment partner) is an alien. I’m not having a go at him when I say that, I really mean it.If you haven’t seen what he looks like, go google a picture of him, because this is what you’ll get: Stephen Merchant is about 11 feet tall, 135lbs, pale as the moon, and wears glasses to help mask his all-seeing alien eyes. Many moons ago, Stephen Merchant came to earth in his spaceship, and went from country to country having a laugh with all the people of the world. But when he got to England, he saw that the people there weren’t nearly as funny as the rest of the world. Rather than let the British people go without the laughter the rest of the world was already experiencing, Stephen Merchant used his superior alien technology to transfer all the humour and comedy of every British citizen into one man. And that man was Ricky Gervais. So now, despite not having the ability to be funny on their own, the British citizens would at least have the gift of true laughter and comedy delivered to them from the British Santa Claus of comedy, Ricky Gervais. The BBC version of The Office has long been hailed as comedic gold around the world, Ricky’s show Extras is the most underrated comedy of our generation, and Gervais’ stand-up comedy tours are definitely worth youtubing if you’re interested in giving your abs a good workout. Watch it, and tell them Dustin sent you.
Ok gang, time for me to go do some in-person real-life, one-on-one, face-to-face blogging with some friends (also known as conversations). I’ll let you know how it goes.