always love the one you hurt

Link rundown for the week:

#: The L.A. Times had an online feature about best celebrity pranks. They include Sarah Silverman’s “I’m Fucking Matt Damon” video (which no one will remember five years from now, funny as it may be), two entries for George Clooney, and Bill Gates getting a pie in the face (which I don’t think is technically a prank). The illiterate bankruptcy of our entertainment media astounds me. How can you talk about celebrity pranks and not include the greatest celebrity prank of all time – Raoul Walsh stealing John Barrymore’s corpse from the undertaker and propping it up on Errol Flynn’s couch before Flynn got home from attending John Barrymore’s funeral? Top that with a god-damned text message, George Clooney.

#: Is the EconoLodge in Jersey City, NJ the worst hotel in America? If not, submit your own nominations!

#: Stop Making Movies About My Books – Dr. Seuss (c/o The Onion)

Did you learn all but squat from The Cat In The Hat?
Please tell me you fired the prick who made that.
I would have stopped writing, maybe sold Goodyear tires.
If I knew one dark day I’d costar with Mike Myers.

#: After serious consideration and some useful input, I’m leaning most heavily toward the Canon HV20. It shoots in high-def (HVD format, which Final Cut Express 4 can handle), it shoots in 24p (the standard format for professional film), it’s got an accessory shoe (so I can slap on a mic) and it records to MiniDV (which, as outdated as it sounds, is still the least lossy medium available). Five months ago, when Wired gave it its highest recommendation, it cost $1100. Today you can get it for less than half that. This industry’s crazy.

#: Apparently, Teller (of Penn & same) has put together a production of Macbeth that’s going up at the Folger Theater in D.C. This guy’s review draws attention to (1) the masterful illusions used in the production – ghosts and weapons appearing and disappearing, etc and (2) the dark comedy brought out by careful timing. Macbeth* never struck me as a funny play, but re-reading it uncovers a few laugh lines:

LADY MACBETH
What’s the business,
That such a hideous trumpet calls to parley
The sleepers of the house? speak, speak!

MACDUFF
O gentle lady,
‘Tis not for you to hear what I can speak:
The repetition, in a woman’s ear,
Would murder as it fell.

[Enter BANQUO]

O Banquo, Banquo,
Our royal master ‘s murder’d!

LADY MACBETH
Woe, alas!

#: “At the age of 19, Murat Kurnaz vanished into America’s shadow prison system in the war on terror. He was from Germany, traveling in Pakistan, and was picked up three months after 9/11. But there seemed to be ample evidence that Kurnaz was an innocent man with no connection to terrorism. The FBI thought so, U.S. intelligence thought so, and German intelligence agreed. But once he was picked up, Kurnaz found himself in a prison system that required no evidence and answered to no one.” [Sorry – this was the unfunny one]

* Macbeth, Macbeth, Macbeth, Macbeth, Macbeth, Macbeth, Macbeth, Macbeth, Macbeth, Macbeth, Macbeth, Macbeth, Macbeth, Macbeth, Macbeth, Macbeth, Macbeth, Macbeth, Macbeth, Macbeth, Macbeth, Macbeth, Macbeth, Macbeth.

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14 Responses

  1. I know where the Econo Lodge is in JCNJ. Avoid it, anything within three miles of it, and saying the name aloud under an open sky.

  2. What’s funny is that I don’t think either of the ones listed is as good as Clooney putting Julia Roberts’s name in the Ocean’s 11 credits as “And Introducing: Julie Roberts.”

  3. * and this is why you will die alone. Tempting the theatre gods like that. Now turn around in a circle three times and spit. Sheesh.

  4. I’m sorry, Macbeth? I couldn’t Macbeth you over all the Macbeth. You’re going to have to Macbeth if you want to Macbeth Macbeth, Macbeth Macbeth Macbeth.

  5. Ah, the Barrymore corpse prank. You forgot a few details:

    1) Barrymore’s corpse was holding a drink.

    2) The other victim of the prank was one Ronald Reagan.

  6. The prank was so effective, it scared him rightward.

  7. “The ashtray in our non-smoking room said it was from the Hampton Inn.” – Wow. That may win a prize.

  8. The article probably should have clarified itself as being about Contemporary Celebrity Pranks, or something like that. But the core demographic that reads that stuff probably doesn’t know the word “contemporary”

  9. And they’re not even pranks! Drew Barrymore flashing David Letterman is not a prank! It’s an awesome Thursday.

  10. Raoul Walsh should be listed as an EP on Jackass and/or my Cousin Vinny. I had forgotten about that story.

    Worst motel ever= the Worcester City Motel. Our sheets had cigarette burn marks on them, and there were 9 cans of beer under the bed.

    Or this Howard Johnson’s in Denver. WE went to our room, and it was full of garbage, and had what looked like blood on the wall. needless to say, we ended up elsewhere.

  11. From one of the hotel reviews:

    As soon as I pulled up I was greeted by what I can only assume was a prostitute who offered her services.

    Some people would consider this an amenity! If the EconoLodge was smart they’d simply list it as “Room Service”.

  12. A New Jersey prostitute is an unambiguous bad.

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