Reviewing “Rango” and things that make me smile

Ebert gave this picture a rare 4 stars. Just in general, as far as the grading system goes, but also 4-stars for something animated. That must be something that only happens once in a blue moon.

Just because it was Johnny Depp playing the lead and because he makes a helluva cute chameleon, it wouldn’t be a bad choice to go to the movies for.
First off, the theater was probably the most packed I’d ever seen it. The majority of the audience I think was between the ages of 5 and 10, a lot of kids. Not that I’m not unfamiliar with this type of audience, but it feels like it’d been quite a while. It also happened to be in the same theater where twice, some guy has come in to sit in front of me and I had to shift one seat over.

Not the case this time, luckily.

Cutting to the chase real quick, I guess I can see why Ebert gave it 4 stars.
There are a mix of jokes in this movie for the youngin’s and the adults, but the tone of the flick was very adult. It was surprising, but given Ebert’s rating, I kinda understand why.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that it wasn’t quite what I expected. Sure, the animation is great and the characters are too, especially the lead and the little eye-eye (forgive the spelling, but it is pronounced the way I wrote it) played by Abigial Breslin.
It just dragged in some places to the point I was actually losing interest. It started out a little bit slow, then when Rango arrives at the town of Dirt, things start getting interesting. The whole plot stems from the fact that water is a precious commodity. The law of the land is that “he who controls the water, controls everything.”

Rango rolls into town and people are automatically under the impression he’s some kind of hero. He spins a yarn or two, completely fabricating his past. Which, as we all know, doesn’t always end well. Then there’s the whole corrupt politician cliché that gets thrown in there, though you kinda suspect something is up with the mayor. Sure, that’s going on even to this day, but do we really need to see it in the movies? A kid’s movie especially. Feels a little out of place.

Then we have this really odd cameo thrown in. The Spirit of the West, who convinces Rango to go back to the town and save it from the mayor and his hired gun, Rattlesnake Jake, is played by Timothy Olympant. He has the whole cowboy hat, poncho look going on and he has at least 5 Oscars in the back of his golf cart. I swear to God I thought he was Clint Eastwood.
I’ve heard the name before, but who the hell is Timothy Olympant anyway?

We see a couple of intense villians including a red-tailed hawk, hella scary Rattlesnake Jake whose rattle is modified into a gun barrel, and a large gang of all kinds of critters that fly on bats… bats in the daytime no less? (How did they figure that one?).
Its sure a good thing this wasn’t in 3D or Rattlesnake Jake coulda scared the bejeezus outta me. I mean, as far as animated villians go, he’s certainly up there. At least until Rango gains his respect and he turns on the mayor, who’s under the impression that gunslingers are a thing of the past.

Yep, all kinds of sheningans happen in this.
But honest to God, I’ve had enough dramatic films for a while. I’d been to the movies three times this year and all of them have either been dramas or action/dramas. My next trip to the movies has to be a comedy, if anything else.
Guess that means I want another dose of Tropic Thunder or Kiss Kiss Bang Bang… my dad’s heading back tonight, so the latter of the two is definitely in the future.

Right now, I’m trying to remember things that make me smile… these past few minutes have felt like an eternity, but something just ain’t sittin’ right with me.
Two things come to mind: the fact my dad’s coming home and therefore the whole pressure of finding employment and whatnot… and the fact I hadn’t gotten a reply. I sent the email yesterday morning about setting up an interview. I operate best through email so I really don’t want to have to call them up to see what the hell is taking so long. They were the ones that sought me out, so why make me wait? Does it have anything to do with the fact I’ve turned my cell phone off these past couple of mornings? Is that why they haven’t contacted me?
I’m under the impression that this position is as good as mine, but they gotta respond to me first… why the hell do I have to make the first move?
As much as I want to bask in the glory of my new favorite movies, its really getting to the point I really don’t want to be slugging around anymore. I’m sick of all the accusing looks and god knows what else.


Part of this somewhat of a depression could be PMS, who the hell knows.
But a tiny bit has to do with the fact I got little to no sleep last night.

Word of advice:
Don’t stay up after 1am watching movies and YouTube videos after having a couple glasses of wine.

We were up last night watching Merlin. I went upstairs and because of earlier events, I wanted to watch “The Karate Kid”… like the idiot I am, I went ahead and did it. My stomach was giving way at some points from the wine…
man, one thing I’ve been paranoid about lately is getting appendicitis. Every now and then, I’ll feel a pain in my side completely randomly and then after a few minutes it goes away. Sure, its a standard operating procedure, but the mere idea freaks me out a little bit.

So I was up watching the movie last night and I didn’t regret any of it. Why would I?
I think one thing that definitely got me going was the music. These 80’s movies have such awesome soundtracks that really put you back in that decade, one that I made no secret that I would love the chance to relive for the pop culture and such. Preferrably not in the Palm Desert/Palm Springs area of Beverly Hills where all kinds of drug-ridden sheningans go down.

My attitude towards the movie was half of seeing the same kid who played Johnny Cade get redemption in a much stronger role with a much better outcome… and the other half just admiring the hell out of Pat Morita. He was one of the greats and will be greatly missed just the same. You don’t mess with Mr. Miyagi.

One thing I should get around to doing is another run-down of “The Futurist”… now that I’ve heard it at least 3 times now. I’m doing my best to spread out how often I listen to it, but whenever I do, I handle it with the utmost care.
I’m not quite sure how long I will continue to do so, handle the CD so delicately, but it is still very much a precious commodity. There was a time I thought I would never get to have it, so of course I’m going to be exceptionally careful. I have it on my iPod, but haven’t listened on it from there.

It makes for a very good chill-out album. Though it does get to a point 3/4’s through when my attention span starts to wane a little bit.
I don’t quite understand the meaning behind him including a cover of “Give peace a chance” but it kinda takes away from the overall impact of the album. At least that’s my current opinion. I’ve been proven wrong before.
At the moment, “Man like me” is running through my head and as much as its making me smile, I’m trying to bottle it up for the next time to listen to the album. A few things in later tracks irk me in bits and pieces the same way “Give peace a chance” irks me as a whole. It kinda feels like a roadblock, if anything else.

I’ve found at least 4 tracks that I love enough to stand by completely. There are bits and pieces of two other songs that I’m trying to sort through, understand the meaning of what doesn’t quite gell with the rest of it.

Man like me, Broken, 5:30 and Smile are those four… and I believe Details will also get a little more “recognition” overtime as I get to understand it better. Little Clownz is an odd little number in itself.

Sure, with any other album, at this point I would normally start looking through the lyrics in an attempt to memorize them. But for some reason, I really don’t want to do that with this. I want to get the full effect by simply listening to it multiple times. It’s kinda like every little nugget I pick up for the first time is like opening another present.

Mainly because of Thia’s performance on American Idol, Smile has definitely been catching my attention as of late. The lyrics are starting to gel in my head the same way “man like me” is really starting to look like a completed jigsaw puzzle.
Smile is a wonderful nugget of a song. If anything, it is a small piece of the legacy of a legend… who ironically made it so in silence.

Down the road, I’m sure Robert Downey Jr. will help me gain respect for a couple of different actors and movies. His insistence on renting “The Big Lebowski” to educate Indio on Jeff Bridges convinced me to buy it without even seeing it before.
Chances are very good that “Rain Man” will become another of those types of movies… in the Blockbuster MTV clip, he said something like “if you haven’t seen Rain Man in a while, see it again”. I had never seen this movie. I just know that it features Tom Cruise and Dustin Hoffman who “look retarded, act retarded, not retarded”. Hmmm… I wonder if that was in the script or RDJ put that name in there because he’s a fan of the movie.
I’m already a big fan of Benjamin Button, which he and his wife said was among the best movies of that particular Oscar year when Slumdog took best picture. It also was a great movie.

Prince influenced innumberable choices of mine regarding movies and music, and I doubt anyone else will be able to match up to that influence.

One thing I can already be grateful to RDJ for: educating me on Charlie Chaplin.
I had heard the name, I recognized “the tramp” character (though didnt know he was called that) and simply knew he was a HUGE part of silent films and the early days of slapstick comedy.
Guess that means I’ll have to track down some videos on YouTube just so I can make good on this.
Boy, what an undertaking that’s gonna be, but if RDJ can watch his films so many times so he could really nail playing him, there wouldn’t be any harm in me really getting into the clips.

And again, I think I’m just trying to give myself an excuse to watch Chaplin. It’s only been twice so far and the 2nd time was ill-advised. I gotta be in it for the closeness to the actual article than just RDJ portraying a role.
It can’t be tonight cuz my dad’s coming back tonight and I don’t want any interruptions. I dunno… it’d be best to do it tomorrow night after The Celebrity Apprentice… anything to distract myself from watching “Less than Zero” again. I managed to get out of the brief depression I was in earlier talking about my favorite actor… I’d rather not make matters much worse.

The only videos I watched on YouTube last night was Comic-Con footage in San Diego from 2009. OMG… it looked awesome. One of these years, I really ought to go to their comic-con to see how the big boys do it. Its sure to blow the doors of the Jacob Jarvis center in NYC
Also given that its on the west coast, there’s greater chances at seeing bigger celebrities than animé voice actors (though meeting Veronica Taylor was a HUGE deal for me, it believe it was a dream of mine when I was 13).

Such interesting stuff going on at the panel. No surprise, Robert’s getting asked all the questions. LMAO. I wonder if he ever gets sick of it

Something else I wanted to say in that rant earlier… RDJ’s probably got me 99% convinced in investing a little time and money on a few volumes of Sherlock Holmes short stories… dude… I gotta at least get into that a little bit before the Game of Shadows arrives in theaters in December.
Boy, my whole years is gonna go to waste cuz I’m so eager to see the next volume in this sure-to-be epic franchise.

There was one question at the panel that had me ready to fall out of my chair. A guy asked him about playing co-star to Jude Law’s mustache.
A little secret: Jude once shaved it off after doing a role and he was virtually unrecognizable.

One thing that keeps me going back to Sherlock Holmes is the bromance between Holmes and Watson… it certainly was one of the big things I got from the previews and why this was going to be a different take on this.
And who knew that Watson was a military man and on equal footing with Sherlock… and that Sherlock was the first Western world martial artist.
As to what is more impressive: his physique or his skill in the big fight scene… I couldn’t tell you. Both blew me away.

As unhealthy as it can be at times, Robert Downey Jr. makes me smile.

Some days are weirder than others, but one thing that bugs the hell of me is my sheer naivety at the mailbox everyday. I sent the fan letter over a month ago and am unforeseeably looking to see a reply in my future. I didn’t ask for an autograph, but merely a question or two. Mostly it was me blubbering about my love of his work and the fact he’s cleaned himself up after all these years.

I figure one of my next entries will be purely dedicated to The Futurist and it’ll be written as an open letter… a bit more level-headed than my fan letter, but it’ll be a one-way conversation just the same. I’m just looking for the right moment to completely give myself into writing such an entry because it would take the utmost of dedication.

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