10.17, 8:20 am: Landed at Dulles at 7:10 am. Currently enroute to Middleburg in a snazzy black Lincoln provided by Dulles Executive Sedans, and driven by a nice guy named Mido. You can taste the moneyed, honeyed Virginia culture immediately. The topography is slopey, hilly…farms, Colonial architecture, sprawling estates, horse stables NBC. Fall foliage has begun, but the Technicolor hues won’t kick in until Halloween.
Wednesday evening, 10.16: Later tonight Tatyana and I are catching an Alaska Airlines flight to Dulles (IAD) and the four-day Middleburg Film Festival. Departing at 11:20 pm, arriving at 7:20 am — exactly five hours. If you can somehow manage to nod off for a couple of hours, a red-eye flight isn’t so bad. I intend to try this time by way of over-the-counter pills.
Because I was running around today, I didn’t post a review of Zombieland: Double Tap (Columbia, 10.18). Okay, I’m lying somewhat — I didn’t want to write about about Ruben Fleischer’s film because I despised it from the get-go, and I didn’t want to wade into that.
I was totally down with the original Zombieland (’09) and especially loved Bill Murray‘s cameo, but the newbie is lazy and glib and way too self-regarding. I was hating it by the ten-minute mark. I want credit for staying to the end.
Zombie comedies aren’t funny. They never have been. Social commentary or satire has always been the point, but the only way to go is to take flesh-eating ghouls seriously. My all-time favorite is still George Romero‘s Dawn of the Dead.
This seems like a sensible projection on Jenelle Riley‘s part. I won’t be seeing Little Women until next week, but I’ve been hearing since last summer that Florence Pugh gives a standout performance. I happen to be a special fan of Penelope Cruz‘s work in Pedro Almodovar‘s Pain and Glory.
Even I, a more or less dedicated non-Star Trek fan, fell for Galaxy Quest. I didn’t just “like” it — I laughed and chortled and pretty much fell in love. Not when it opened on 12.25.99, but on cable a year or two later. I am therefore totally into Never Surrender: A Galaxy Quest Documentary (Fathom Events, 11.26), a fan-propelled celebration of Galaxy Quest‘s 20th anniversary.
Boilerplate: “Featuring archival, behind-the-scenes footage and exclusive interviews with many Galaxy Quest cast members and produced by the people behind ScreenJunkies, Fandom and Honest Trailers, Never Surrender is an independently produced documentary that explores the growing fan community behind GQ, which was comically inspired by the Star Trek franchise and its passionate, core fanbase, yet has developed its own rabid fanbase over the years.”
In the trailer Galaxy Quest producer Mark Johnson notes that certain parties at DreamWorks, the distributor, didn’t really get what the movie was — not a kid-friendly thing but an inside-baseball, wink-wink comedy for semi-adult fans of the Star Trek TV series and feature films.
I never did any reporting on the backroom politics, but I’m presuming that this alleged “what the hell is this movie?” attitude came at least partly from DreamWorks honcho Walter Parkes.
I’m offering this supposition because Parkes didn’t get Cameron Crowe‘s Almost Famous either. He was the guy who pushed for several unwarranted cuts while the theatrical cut of Crowe’s film was being prepared; the longer Director’s Cut (or Untitled) version was a much more satisfying film iMHO.
Which is why, if they would just pay attention and flush their heads out and confront the unfortunate possibility that The Beast might be re-elected if his opponent is Elizabeth Warren (even though it seems deranged that anyone would vote for Cheeto over Elizabeth), they’d realize that Pete Buttigieg is the most sensible-sounding, practical-minded, forward-looking Democratic contender who isn’t enslaved to the SJW white-guy-hating progressive left. On top of which he’s the only candidate among the top four who’s below retirement age.
Is Droopin’ Biden slippin’ and slidin’ and most likely fated to lose to Warren? That seems to be the general impression. Nobody is expecting him to bounce back, that’s for sure.