The Classic Cinema Society

I don’t think I’ve blogged about this yet, and that really surprises me since I tend to document most details of my life for all the Internet to see here.

Not every Friday, but most Fridays, a very special and extremely exclusive club meets to take in a classic film. That is to say, Rachel invites Eileen and me over to watch old movies. So far, we’ve watched:

  • “High Society”
  • “Rear Window”
  • “Wait Until Dark”
  • “Ninotchka”
  • “Laura”

Aaaaand last week we watched some crazy musical we agreed looked like two movies smooshed into one. I can’t remember the title. Am I forgetting any? Rachel and I also watched “Whip It” one night when Eileen couldn’t make it, and once we took the club to the Drexel to see “The Ghost Writer.” But more often than not, we meet at Rachel’s and eat dinner together and catch up on how our weeks went, followed by an old movie. Rachel has an awesome array of classic movies and old movie star posters and memorabilia. She’s always adding to the collection too, and she’s running out of room on her DVD shelves.

“I had to rearrange the genres recently and at that time Ryan had to let me know that ‘Midnight Cowboy’ is in fact NOT a western,” she said.

Last Friday I had the Flip Cam I got to borrow for my social media training, and I asked the ladies if they minded terribly if I shot some test video. They were both good sports, and were even more so when I asked if I could put the footage on my blog. And they each agreed AFTER viewing it. Below, see the CCS members try to select a movie from Rachel’s DVR.

I think we should do fake, snarky reviews of all the films we watch and have a series on YouTube. We could sit around looking pompous, drinking brandy and speak all indignantly about “cinema today, oh goodness!” …I have too much time on my hands.

Eileen and Rachel know much, much more than I do about old movies and they can gossip together about dead movie stars while I try hard to learn names and faces. It’s like my very own history of film class, really.

Tomorrow, while Eileen toils away on her masters thesis and portfolio, Rachel and I will be taking a field trip to the Shadowbox Cabaret. This is something I’ve been keeping quiet about, but I’m too excited to keep it in anymore. After the show tomorrow, I will speak with the head guy at Shadowbox about the possibility of an internship. Remember that sketch comedy writing workshop I raved about? He’s one of those guys. I e-mailed him a couple weeks ago to ask if the Cabaret ever takes on (unpaid) interns, because I would love to be a part of the production. He offered me two free tickets (for attending the workshop) and said to talk to him after the show. Tomorrow night I’ll set up a time with him to discuss about how, and where, I might fit in among the team at Shadowbox. I really hope I get to do it; if I really want to write comedy, the Shadowbox is absolutely the best place in Ohio I could learn. So, more on that soon, I hope. Wish me luck.

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Jury duty rocks

On Monday, we got to watch “Marley & Me”. Yesterday I opted out of seeing “Star Trek” again and watched a couple episodes of “Veronica Mars” instead, on Eileen’s high recommendation. They’ve got a couple seasons currently streaming on the WB website. It’s pretty good so far, and Eileen swears it starts out “meh” and then gets awesome.

Even with taking a couple customer service calls and answering e-mails for work, it’s been a pretty easy going couple of days. I haven’t seen the inside of a court room yet, but this morning that’s going to change. We’re permitted inside specific court rooms for one hour in the morning, from 10:40 until 11:50. I was going to go yesterday but then got a work call, but today, I’m going to check it out, even if just for a little bit. Yesterday afternoon some of us got a demonstration of the software they use to randomly select prospective jurors in Franklin County. It’s pretty awesome. We got a history lesson on how they used to do it, and it looks like it’s vastly improved. Oh, technology.

Jury duty begins

Today is my first day of jury duty. I will be here for the next two weeks, waiting to be put on a jury for municipal court. We had an orientation this morning, and it sounds like a pretty sweet deal. Yeah, you have to wait in a room for two weeks and you may never see a court room, but you can also take tours of the Statehouse and the Ohio Supreme Court, and they have speakers come in and educate you about different government offices. Okay, that last thing sounds pretty boring, but the walking tours could be nice. They also said they’ll be showing movies in the room, and I’ve got my laptop here. I am also working from here, so my boss will be sending me stuff I can do online, since this week is a pretty hectic week for me to be out. But, duty calls.

There’s two really nice people working here who make it clear that you are very much appreciated, and that they will do their best to accommodate you in any way. There’s a sweet cafeteria here, and they said the famous Katzinger’s Deli is close by. If I get on a trial, I won’t need to report until the afternoon on trial days. Everyone has to be here every day for the whole two weeks regardless if they sit on a jury or not.

In other news, Birthday Weekend was a huge success. I had dinner Saturday with a bunch of friends Saturday night, after a day of shopping and treating myself to a hair cut. I love the cut; they sort of thinned out my hair so it’s still as long as it was, but it’s curlier and the layers I have are more noticeable. Anyway. It was a really good day. A bunch of Caldwell people hung out late that night and my good high school friend Cindy took me out to breakfast Sunday morning. Later I went to see “Crazy Heart” with Owen and Eileen, and after coffee at Cup O’ Joe, I had dinner with my family at my aunt and uncle’s. My dad surprised me by coming to their house all the way from Caldwell just to see me on my birthday. It was a great surprise, and yes, I really was surprised! And “Crazy Heart” was so good. I recommend it.

And at the 11th hour, health care reform passed in the U.S. House on my birthday. Hooray! Here’s to turning 24.

Movies I saw this year

Movies I saw in theaters in 2009, in chronological order, according to this list:

He’s Just Not That Into You (or, the last ten minutes anyway, due to a mistake on the part of the theater)
Fanboys
Watchmen (in IMAX!)
I Love You, Man
Adventureland
State of Play
Star Trek
Angels & Demons
Terminator Salvation
Up
The Hangover
Away We Go
Moon
Bruno
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Price
(500) Days of Summer
Funny People
District 9
Inglorious Basterds (x2)
Extract
Bright Star
Fame
Whip It!
Zombieland
The Men Who Stare At Goats
Fantastic Mr. Fox
It’s Complicated

Woah, 27 movies. I actually thought it would be more, although my 2008 list only totaled 23. It appears I saw 13 movies in the first half of 2009 (HJNTIY through Moon), and 14 from July to today (Bruno to It’s Complicated) so you can’t say I’m not consistent, I guess. Movies I wish I had seen include Ponyo, The Time Traveler’s Wife, Brief Interviews with Hideous Men, Coraline, The Hurt Locker, Paper Heart, A Serious Man, Pirate Radio, and a whole bunch of movies that are out now, like Up in the Air, The Princess and the Frog, The Road and Avatar. Brief Interviews came nowhere near me, so I’ll be keeping an eye out for the DVD release.

Best of 2009:

  1. The Hangover
  2. (500) Days of Summer
  3. Whip It!
  4. Away We Go
  5. Funny People

This list makes it obvious I am a citizen of hoodie nation, but whatever. Honorable mentions include Adventureland, Zombieland, Moon and Inglorious Basterds.

Worst of 2009:

  1. Bruno
  2. Angels & Demons
  3. Terminator Salvation
  4. The Men Who Stare at Goats
  5. Extract

Most of these were simply more disappointing then they were terrible. Goats was too hyped, and I was expecting another Office Space when I went to see Extract. I paid good money for movies that were way worse last year (Strange Wilderness, anyone?). Bruno topped my list because it tried too hard to gross people out and didn’t try hard enough to make them laugh.

I continue to believe that no matter how bad the economy gets, I will not give up going to the movies. I am truly happiest sitting in a theater waiting for a movie I’ve been looking forward to to begin.

Look, I blogged today

Tonight Brandon and I are going to go see “The Men Who Stare At Goats” at Studio 35. I have no idea what I’m getting into. All I know is Brandon cracks up every time they run a trailer for it on TV. Tomorrow I’ll be playing catch up around the house and Sunday, Brandon’s coming to Cincinnati with me for the first time to help out with the production of “Gnomewhere.” Pretty cool he’s coming along.

Wednesday was my dad’s birthday and so I talked to him on the phone for almost an hour about how I’m doing. Happy birthday Dad! I also celebrated his birthday by going to hang out with my brother and sister-in-law in his stead. Sigh; at least he got a birthday lunch with a friend.

I’ve worked out three nights this week and I’m going to the gym tonight, too. Brandon says he is proud of me for sticking with it. I still swear it’s the iPhone.

Whip It Good

I finally got around to seeing “Whip It!” yesterday, after I realized it was down to two showings a day at the AMC at Easton and about to fall off the roster altogether. I’d been wanting to see it for a while and I’m so glad I did. It was amazing. I told Brandon I wish it had come out at the beginning of summer so I could have felt slightly motivated to roller blade all season. But instead I saw it on the first day of November and it’s freaking cold out today. I need an indoor rink; I know there’s one close to I-71 – hopefully it’s not in the ghetto. Who’s with me?

Anyway. I heart Ellen Page. And Drew Barrymore. Kristen Wiig. That girl who plays Maeby on “Arrested Development.” I liked how the romantic interest wasn’t even a huge part of the plot, and that is was much more a movie about female friendships. Very cool change of pace. Had I seen this movie before Halloween, there is no doubt I would have dressed as a Hurl Scout instead of a fairy like I have for the past three years. I’m getting some real mileage out of those green Tinkerbell wings. Oh well, there’s always next year, when it will be far less topical.

Even Brandon liked it, although that may have had something to do with the scantily clad ladies beating the living crap out of each other on skates. I am so checking out the book the screenplay was adapted from. The author also wrote the screenplay, which is a pretty sweet rarity.

In other movie news, I am getting more and more envious of “Paranormal Activity” and its massive success. Brandon showed me an article about its budget, which mainly consisted of a camera, some equipment, tapes and catering. The director spent around $11,000 of his own money and was given an additional $4,000 to shoot a new ending. That movie made just a little bit more than that in profits. Just a little.

I don’t think you can justifiably make a horror movie if you are unable to sit through one. Just guessing. Brandon saw it with a couple of my friends from Caldwell, who made the trek to Columbus just to see it, before it was in wide release. I saw “Fame” with Eileen instead and that was fine by me.

Me and Brandon in Marysville

Me and Brandon in Marysville

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Abby and me, in costume (barely)

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Jake and Abby's dog Leo joined us