today was elias' annual birthday marathon. i left for elias and amanda's place in cambridgeport around 11:30, traveling via bicycle. it was clear during the daytime with rain expected beginning in the evening and lasting until tomorrow night. i figured i'd get a little wet on my way home but it wasn't a big deal.
normally i'd park my ride around the house first then walk down to central square to get some wendy's, but because i had a lot to carry (2 packs of sodas), i decided to park in front of wendy's instead to save time. i got the number 6 spicy chicken with a serving of medium fries and a drink. i then wheeled the bike to amanda and elias' place with 10 minutes to spare before 12:00, the start of the first movie. mike kelly showed up shortly after i arrived.
this year's theme was a choice between 2010's favorites versus cheesy films. one man's cheese is another's classic. the 12:00 selection was scifi themed, with choices of either never let me go (2010) or the island (2005). i didn't even realize never let me go had scifi elements; i thought it was just your typical british period romance starring carey mulligan and keira knightley. i picked the island which was the winning selection. i'd never seen it before but knew it starred ewan mcgregor and scarlett johansson in some kind of futuristic dystopia. what i didn't know was it was directed by michael bay, master of cheesy big budget action movies. the film wasn't bad, with recognizable elements of scifi classics like logan's run, blade runner, and the matrix. even though johansson is in the movie, i'm actually not a big fan. the rampant product placement was pretty distracting, not sure if this happens a lot in other bay movies.
the 2:00 choice had something to do with criminals: i love you, phillip morris (2009, but released in 2010) versus con air (1997). i'd seen both movies before, and phillip morris won even though i voted for con air. when i first heard about phillip morris i thought it was about cigarette lawyers. the movie is hard to classify. it's definitely comedy, but portions play out like tragic drama. what distracted wasn't the unconventional love affair between steve russell (jim carrey) and phillip morris (ewan mcgregor), but rather carrey's massive forehead. he and william fichtner are in an escalating battle to monopolize the fivehead market.
4:00 scott pilgrim versus the world (2010) versus steven seagal's above the law (1988). i voted for above the law but scott pilgrim won. i'd seen both movies, but don't remember anything from above the law. is that the one with his wife kelly lebrock, of weird science fame? scott pilgrim is a likable enough film, but i object to the casting. michael cera? mary elizabeth winstead? brie larson? anna kendrick? it's like a who's who of young actors i could care less about. i also objected to the film because the fight scenes are a clear ripoff of the wii game no more heroes, specifically the idea of vanished foes exploding in a shower of coins.
6:00 choice was between inception (2010) and dreamscape (1984), but it was actually a red herring (i picked dreamscape), since neither movie would get played but instead an encore screening of hard ticket to hawaii (1987), that andy sidaris cheesefest classic. if you were missing items on your chezo card (given out along with the info packet), this was the movie to rack up squares (prizes were an assortment of hand-crafted fridge magnets with inspiring words of cheesiness). hard ticket to hawaii was shown 2 years ago; a crowd pleaser then, a crowd pleaser now. i would've liked to see a different sidaris film (malibu express (1985) with sybil danning would've been a good alternative), since he's got plenty more that would fulfill the cheese quota, but a repeat of hawaii was still entertaining.
also around this time pizza arrived and we all took a short break to get something to eat.
8:00 toy story 3 (2010) versus troll 2 (1990). i voted for troll 2, a film i haven't seen but recognized it as high in cheese content. toy story 3 ended up with the most votes. i hadn't seen toy story 3 yet but i had no doubt it was a good movie; it's just a shame we didn't get to watch the cheesy film, especially with a crowd. after seeing toy story 3, i'd say it's the standard pixar fare, well-made with a good story. i'm just curious how much more they can milk the franchise or will they stop on number 3.
at this point the result of the trivia contest was announced. mike kelly and i ended up tying. i took home a 12 movie boxed set of sidaris movies titled girls, guns, and g-strings.
the last film scheduled for the 10:00 slot was between true grit (2010) and young guns (1988). i voted for true grit but was expecting young guns to win given the leanings of our female audience members and this slew of 80's cinematic heartthrobs (including young charlie sheen pre-meltdown). so i was surprised when true grit won the vote. even though i'd seen this version of true grit a few times, as well as the john wayne version, plus reading sections of the book, i didn't mind seeing the film one more time. since it wasn't out on dvd yet, elias showed us a bootleg copy, which actually wasn't too bad.
it had already been raining a few hours prior to midnight. i pedaled home in the dark, a cold drizzle falling over the city. i didn't make it back until almost 1:00. the light in my roommate's room was still on but i didn't see him and he turned it off shortly afterwards. they must've been cooking something fierce because the house reeked of oil. i clenched my jaw and tried to ignore it to the best of my abilities, once more checking the calendar to see how many more days before they both vacate.