Saturday, February 27, 2010

Ah Gits Weary

This has been a busy week for me. On Monday, Bobby decided it was high time for us to go all high-tech and had me drive him out to Chalmette (!) to buy an HDTV (that stands for - I think - "High Definition Television"). That done, I had to remove the old (very big and very, very heavy) television set and install the new very light and sleek little HDTV.

Very tiring.

On Tuesday, I had to get in touch with DirecTV to upgrade our service to "HD" so we'd be able to get our money's worth out of the new HDTV set. Little did we realize this would necessitate our getting a new DVR Receiver (that stands for "Digital Video Recorder") and a new satellite dish twice as large as the one we already had. All of which meant that a workman would have to come over to our apartment and put it all together.

Mentally, very stressful.

On Wednesday, I cleaned the toilets, swept the floors, dusted, and sprayed for roaches, not wanting the workman due to arrive the next day to think we lived like two old farts who never had any company.

Tiring again and hard on the back.

Thursday afternoon, the workman arrived and circled the block for twenty minutes until he could find a large enough place to park in front of our building because the new larger satellite dish was too heavy to carry from too far away. I think that was what he told me, but I can't be sure because he spoke with an accent that was either Italian or Russian. I couldn't tell which and was too shy to ask.

After he got the new dish hung up, he went out to his truck to bring in the new HD DVR Receiver. That was when he discovered he hadn't brought it and spent the next twenty minutes phoning around to try and find one in the vicinity so he wouldn't have to go too far out of the Quarter only to have turn around and drive back in because he didn't like driving downtown all that much. Luckily, he located one in the possession of another installation man who was only twenty minutes away. He'd be right back, he promised, and would phone me when he was near so I could hold his good parking space for him.

Forty minutes later, he was back. Well within an hour, we were hooked and ready and set to go. Bobby then left to go and play Ringo (which is Bingo with an R - don't ask), and I was left to figure out how all this new technology was meant to work. I got to watch an evening of Winter Olympics in state-of-the-art high definition. And you know what? Even in that state of state-of-the-art high definition crystal clarity, the Winter Olympics are still a pretty boring affair.

I apologize to any of my friends who might be fans of these winter sports, but, to me, athletics are just not athletics without a bunch of bros out hangin' loose and causing offense to old white people and Congressmen by not being properly deferential and respectful of our National Anthem while on the podium.

Nevertheless, I slept well Thursday night in my living room on my Barcalounger in front of a continuously-playing HDTV set. My sleep was filled with dreams of a Friday spent exploring the wonders of my more than 400-or-so High-Definition channels.

Sadly, these dreams were to lie forgotten and unfulfilled. Bobby decided to reward all my week's hard work by having me take him out to Harahan for a noontime showing of Shutter Island and refusing to let me fall asleep during the course of this (for want of a better word) movie.

I won't ruin this story for you if you intend to see the movie, but I will tell you, if you're anything like me, you'll see the ending coming at you from around the corner within the first five minutes of the opening credits.

It stars Leonardo DiCaprio and tons of other people you'll be sure to recognize. I have a problem with DiCaprio that I've probably mentioned in these pages in the past. I believe he is a profoundly gifted character actor who just doesn't cut it for me in leading-man roles. Leading-man clothes don't fit his frame. They're way too big for him.

In Shutter Island, he plays a U. S. Marshall being sent to find a prisoner who has escaped from an island prison from which it is impossible to escape. See the ending yet? The director, Martin Scorsese (who should probably stick to film preservation now that Robert De Niro is old and doesn't act anymore), shows that even he knows little Leonardo shouldn't be the lead in this picture by partnering him with Mark Ruffalo who plays another U. S. Marshall (albeit from Seattle - not Portland [don't look at me, it's in the script] - which means he doesn't have to speak with a Boston accent [why he's here in Boston and not back in Seattle-not-Portland, is the first of many questions this movie asks you to ponder]. Did I mention Shutter Island is an island off the Massachusetts coast?). Ruffalo is sadly miscast. He's miscast because, even though he looks a hell of a lot like Ricky Ricardo in this movie, it's obvious that the man has balls and a hairy sack while little Leo still doesn't have to shave every day.

There are pleasures to be had in this movie, don't get me wrong. Being Martin Scorsese still means you can get a cast of mighty magnitude. There is Sir (that's "Sir", did you hear me, "Sir") Ben Kingsley and Max von Sydow (although I still can't figure out what he's doing in this picture besides keepiong up his SAG creds). Elias Koteas is in it. He gives a great performance as Christopher Meloni in Universal horror movie makeup. I was thrilled by it. I could positively smell Christopher Meloni sweat oozing from the screen when he was on. I even believed he was Christopher Meloni until the closing credits revealed it was really Elias Koteas playing Christopher Meloni. Captain Stottlemeyer from Monk is in the movie, too, looking good and having fun. There are some women here, as well. Michelle Williams is cast as DiCaprio's dead wife in flashbacks so that we might believe he's all grown up now. Somebody named Emily Mortimer is in it. She plays a young Patricia Clarkson who, it turns out, is also in the movie. She is later discovered brandishing a butter knife in a cave (don't ask) and looking her age.

Kudos to the make-up or costume departments - I don't know which - but somebody was responsible for the little band aid over Leonardo's left eye. It's there for like four-fifths of the entire movie, and it shows the wear and tear a band aid will go through over a period of days spent in a hurricane, engaging in fisticuffs, and climbing cliffs. The continuity is breathtaking. But, hey, it's a Scorsese picture.

Still, I wish Bobby would have let me doze off a little. I was dead tired.


  1. Glenn,

    I am glad Bobby made you tired and took you out for this film because otherwise you wouldn't have wrote this text and I wouldn't be LOL right now ;-)

    I have to check out this band-aid journey!

  2. I hate the Olympics. Curling is a sport? Those guys should come sweep my house.

  3. "... sweep my house." Wouldn't do any good. They're too focused, never see the bigger picture.


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