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Tony Clifton lives!

Posted by Mick on March 3, 2010 – 7:03 pm

How do you solve a problem like Maria?
How do you catch a cloud and pin it down?
How do you find a word that means Maria?
A flibbertijibbet! A will-o’-the wisp! A clown!

That song, or at least the chorus to that song, has been stuck in my head for many, many years.  It’s not a constant thing, thank the lord.  It’s a recurring thing.  I would say it pops in at least once a month.

And that’s not the sad thing.

The sad thing is why it’s in my head.  I’ve seen The Sound of Music more times than I want to admit, because my mother loved it and we watched it every time it was on TV.

I DIGRESS:  Kids, I know this is hard to believe, but there was a time when we didn’t have DVD’s, or even VHS tapes, in our homes.  You watched what was on TV, or you didn’t watch anything.  Until I was 9 or 10, here was no such thing as cable TV.  We had 5 channels, and one of those was a UHF station (you don’t want to know).  And then cable came along, and there were 10’s of channels.  Actually, I think there were 20, but that is two 10’s, so there.  There was a Channel 100, but that was just a name, it was not actually channel 100.  Channel 100 was an early version of HBO, but it only showed movies, there was no Sopranos or Big Love.  And you had to get up and go to the TV to change the channel.  And the volume.  My Mom had a remote control, in that she made me get up and change the channel to what she told me to change it to.  Which was often The Sound of Music, but not always.  sometimes it was Gone With The Wind.

I’ve seen The Sound of Music many times, but that’s not why it gets stuck in my head.  Who can I blame?  Well, I could blame you, but that wouldn’t be fair.  Unless you’re Paula Poundstone.  Are you Paula Poundstone?  I’m going to assume that you are not, but if you are that’s so cool!  I loved you on the first five episodes of Home Movies.

Paula Poundstone had a bit in her stand up routine where she suggested that the perfect way you could annoy someone is to follow them around, at a respectful distance, and sing “How Do You Solve a Problem Like Maria”.  All day long.  That was it.  Short, sweet, simple.  I actually hear her voice every time I think of the song.  It’s in there.

See, even at a young age I was already a budding instigator.  I heard this and thought it was brilliant.  BRILLIANT!  I wanted to do it, or something very much like it.  The idea of doing something so very annoying, and at the same time so very nonsensical… that’s what I wanted to do with my life. 

I’m proud to say the dream is still alive.

Last night, we finally saw BIRDEMIC: Shock and Terror.  I am happy to say that it was one fo the funniest things I’ve ever witnessed.  It’s bad, horribly horribly bad, in the best possible way.  The editing is atrocious.  The sound is horrible, I don’t think anyone on the film knew anything about ADR.  You may not know what ADR is either, which is cool unless you’re making a movie.  The script is bad.  The dialog sounds like it was written by an Oriental person for whom English is a second language, probably because it was.  The actors give line readings that sound like they were coached by an oriental for whom English is a second language. 

Extras?  Fuck that, we don’t need extras.  There’s nothing wrong with having our two leads be the only people in the diner where the large black man is singing a soul song about his mother cooking dinner for the family and they get up and dance.  Of course, they dance badly, but that’s to be expected.  They’re white, and we all know white boys can’t dance.  Excuse me, we all know straight white boys can’t dance. 

But what about John Travolta?  Yeah… what about John Travolta?  I’m not saying anything.

If BIRDEMIC has a screening anywhere near you, you must go.  We laughed, oh how we laughed.  If you can’t find a screening, don’t worry, Severin has picked up distribution rights to the film and will be releasing a DVD soon.  I will most certainly keep you informed, because I’m buying one.  You can also visit the movie website.  In fact, you SHOULD go visit the movie website, because it’s every bit as wonderful as the movie itself.

My friend Matt actually felt a little bad after the movie.  The director was there, and I guess to a certain way of thinking it could be seen as a director’s worst nightmare.  He seemed to have been very serious about this movie.  The crowd laughed the entire time.  We were essentially mocking his work.

And to that I say Balderdash!  Yes, we were making fun of his movie, but we were enjoying it.  I can see how it would be horrifying to have a crowd react differently to your movie than what you intended, but I can also see that it would certainly lessen the sting if they enjoyed it.  How many movies have you watched and hated.  HATED.  I was angry when I walked out of Seventh Moon.  I will never see it again, I will not buy it, I will never recommend anyone see it.  Birdemic, on the other hand, I’d go again tomorrow.  I would have paid money to see it again last night.  I will buy it, I will encourage everyone I know to see it.  It was fun, it was enjoyable, it made me happy.  I’m sorry it wasn’t good in the way he intended, but at the end of the day I cheer this man because he lived the dream, he got his movie made, he got distribution for it, and it makes people happy.  That’s a win any way you look at it. 

How many movies did YOU make last year?  How many of them had a premeire in LA, hosted by Tim and Eric? 

Then again, Matt still believes that this is all a hoax.  He thinks Tim and Eric actually made this movie, James Nguyen is an actor, and all of this is an elaborate ploy of Kaufman-esque proportions.  Part of me wants this to be true.

You may notice there are two, yes two, postings going up today.  Read the other one, Snow Day, for an explanation. 

Be good to each other.


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