17 July 2005



So I set out to write that aforementioned review of CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY, but I think I might go see it again before I try to wrap my head around - and find the words for - everything I'm thinking about it. Too much going on upstairs. I did want to say one thing about it, however: if you see any kind of review comparing it to the original with Gene Wilder, stop reading. There's no point whatsoever - these are two 100% completely different movies. There's zero reason to try to say which one is better because of this, and anyone even attempting to get close to doing so is guilty of excessive d*uchebaggery.

Alright, that got me thinking, and now I want to say another thing about the newest version: this is much more the awkward, disturbed Willy Wonka that the book created (Gene Wilder's version was made milder and far less dark so the first film could be turned into more of a cheery musical). But don't believe ANY of these *ssholes who are claiming that Johnny Deep channels Michael Jackson for inspiration in this role. There is nothing about the performance that calls up The Gloved One in any way, shape or form; the only (minimal) similarity is the pasty skin. You'll immediately note that the voice isn't at all similar either; in fact, what it reminded me of most was a more hyper, unfocused and verbose version of Edward Scissorhands. A lot of people have been saying that Depp is actually the weakest part of the movie, but...I just don't understand these people. But the Michael Jackson people are complete idiots - they're trying to create a controversial issue that just simply isn't there so they look really intellectual/Freudian/crack-addicted.

I'm not going to say much about WEDDING CRASHERS because my opinion has a professionally-charged bias. But I will say this without any affectations whatsoever: Vince Vaughn, long known to be an overly-capable comedic talent, goes into genius mode here. This is an absolutely superb comedic performance, and I'm not stretching the truth one iota when I tell you that it's on the same level as Steve Martin in THE JERK or Bill Murray in STRIPES; those are the only two I can even think of that are as transcendent (and here I'm speaking to the level of greatness in the performance, not a similarity in the way the part is performed). Imagine the characters he plays in MADE and OLD SCHOOL - but better. He's somehow daring you to hate him, doing everything he can to make it happen...and it's impossible. He has everything thrown at him in this movie. I don't want to say anymore. If you liked OLD SCHOOL and DODGEBALL and movies like that, you're going to f*cking love this. If you didn't like either of those I worry about you and you're not someone I'd care to be around anyway because you're a moron.

So I have two non-reviews of movies I saw this weekend, and I had tried to type so much already that, after I had deleted it all, I felt that I had to say SOMETHING about my trip to the theatre this weekend. In that, I figured it would just be a good idea to tell you about the horrific, confusing and disturbing two minutes I spent in the bathroom there.

I was with two friends and we had just walked in to CHARLIE when I decided I was going to make a break for the Water Closet. I step into the bathroom to find that the thing is packed like a meat locker. There are actually people standing three-deep in line at EACH urinal, and my bladder is stretching the bounds (quite literally) of its rather voluminous capacity. Luckily I look to my left and there's somehow an unoccupied stall with no one waiting. Figuring this is just good fortune and that everyone else had somehow missed the opportunity, I slipped in. Now I can't logically think that everyone else had some kind of preternatural sense to avoid that particular stall, but I also think there might have been some higher power working to place me in position for the events that next befell me.

I step in, open the fly, reach into my pocket for my tweezers, take between ten and fifteen seconds to locate my joke of a phallus, and begin to drain. I had sucked down roughly 80 oz. of soda that afternoon, and honestly, I don't think urine has ever exited my body with such ferocity. I'm pretty sure I could have knocked over a small horse with the fluids that were literally rocketing out of me. If you're a guy you know what a horribly satisfying feeling this is, and how sometimes it makes your eyes flutter and close for a few seconds out of sheer joy. Because of this I was a little distracted, and I have to think I was relatively close to a state of euphoria, because what happened next shouldn't have happened. In the middle of the deed - and at no point did my body move even slightly - the toilet begins flushing. It's on one of those automatic sensors, but they never actually flush until you walk away. So I look down, and I'm confused, and what I intended to just think to myself internally actually comes out of my mouth:

"Hey uh, toilet...what the hell are you trying to do, rush me out of here? Are you trying to get me out of here? Jesus."

It takes me three or four seconds to realize that I've said this aloud...and at a rather high volume. I'm going to go ahead and assume that the relative endorphin rush that I was getting due to the pee evacuation caused some kind of barrier to break down in my brain, wherein synapses misfired and the filter between my brain and my mouth - the same one that seems to fail me when I am drunk and/or talking to women - broke down temporarily. Regardless, I'm sure people waiting outside have heard me. My hope was that they would just pass it off as a random act of idiocy. No such luck.

All of a sudden the guy in the stall next to me - and just so it's clear...we're separated by a thick sheet of metal - goes, "Who the hell are you talking to in there?"

My brain begins scrambling for an explanation, ANY explanation, and Jesus Christ say something, anything to make this less troubling, but all I end up getting out is, "Yeah, it's that...I mean...I'm sorry."

Just to recap and make sure you're still with me: I've now just apologized to a person I don't know and can't see on the other side of a metal toilet stall for talking to myself while I'm peeing. Confused? Me too. Let's press on.

I zip up, hoping to get out of the bathroom with whatever shred of dignity I have left and wondering to myself why I'm even worried about what's happened. Don't people talk to themselves in the bathroom all the time, even around strangers? Just like you, I immediately realized they don't, and a sense of complete and violent self-consciousness - a feeling I'm not really familiar with - sets in and hits hard. How do I leave this stall now, knowing that as soon as I walk out everyone's going to be staring at me, forever connecting a face with a new mental illness that will be known nationally as Stall Self-Perception Syndrome? It's at this very moment that the fates align and I am saved any further indignity.

The guy in the other stall, who just seconds ago had been accusationally questioning me, begins coughing violently. It's that disgusting, wet cough that long-time smokers with Vesuvian levels of phlegm spasm with in the mornings; that awful, smacking sound like a damp steak makes when it hits a concrete floor. It's that...but just several decibles louder than it should be for any human. I mean this guy sounds like the sickest, most violently afflicted dragon in the cave. After he hacks for like five seconds, there's this horrific flat splashing sound that can only signal one thing: projectile vomit.

This continues for like twenty seconds, the duration of which I'm staning in my stall, totally frozen: hack, hack, HACK HACK HACK, sploosh-splash-splish. This is by far the most painful-sounding and violent regurgitation I've ever heard in my life. People have easily died from less, and I'm immediately concerned that the strain he's undertaking is going to cause this man to lose an eye. As soon as there's a break in the storm I sense my window and bust out of the stall. Of course the second I step out everyone's looking directly at me, and it occurs to me that, in a hard, sterile, large bathroom with no plush surface to absorb the sound, the noise coming from the adjoining stall has not only rocketed striaght into the ears of everyone in the place...but it's impossible to tell which stall the cacophonous spewing is coming from.

So now I'm not only the Self-Talking Pisser, but I'm the Violent Vomiting Vigilante.

Thankfully, after only a few seconds (and me holding my hands up like I'm about to be arrested in mock "don't f*cking look at me" fashion) the *real* Violent Vomiting Vigilante goes into an even more impressive - we're talking an operatic-level - bile-rejection ceremony. Everyone realizes that the offender is not me, casts a rueful glance to the other stall, and shudders. At that moment all of my transgressions are forgotten and there's a ridiculous mass exodus from the Men's Bathroom like salmon swimming upstream; I tell you, it was a comperable struggle for survival.

For the next ten minutes I wasn't myself and I was totally unable to enjoy the previews before the film. The only consolation I can take is that I was too distracted to get angry at the f*cking g*ddamned jackassed Fanta advertisement that runs before every movie at The Grove. What the hell just happened to me? Why did a very, very sick man question my sanity? What are the relative bounds of my own dark lunacy? Who REALLY shot J.R.? These are questions that, sadly, I have yet to find answers for.

Just thinking about this has put me in a bad place mentally, so...I'm going to watch ENTOURAGE and take a nap before our Sunday Night Poker Game.