Friday, May 19, 2006

The Doobie Brothers ‘What Were Once Vices Are Now Habits’

I have my tickets to see The Da Vinci Code this evening at the Grande Theatre. Joining me will be my friend Kristina who absolutely adores the novel. She is the one responsible for me reading it.

For several summers, I remember seeing The Da Vinci Code on vacation reading lists. If I didn’t see it in the News & Record, I saw it elsewhere. And when I looked around, I could easily find a book here and there in the hands of people close by. I started seeing books everywhere. I heard people talk about it.

I didn’t pay close attention to what they were saying. I didn’t really care because I had been burned before. Too many times in fact.

I tried… Oh, I tried to read The Bridges Of Madison County to see what all the fuss was about. And sixty or so pages into it, I just couldn’t read it. I found it to be poorly written and for the most part… Crap.

I tried to read one of the Bourne books by that Ludlow guy. That too, I found poorly written and after about 60 pages into it, I decided it best to wait it out for the movie.

I found The Da Vinci Code to be a good read once I got through with all the French words. Yes, I almost gave up. The writing was good enough and it kept my attention, but I just couldn’t deal with all the foreign words.

I even called Kristina to tell her that I was about to quit and she wouldn’t hear of it. She berated and belittled me until I was a heaving mass of tears. And like any good Drill Sergeant, she built me back up and gave me the courage to finish it.

Seriously, she told me that the foreign words will lighten up and then I could enjoy it. And I did!

Although I didn’t feel that it was a great novel, it was a good read. So I’m not really expecting this film to bring me to an orgasmic boil. And on Monday, I should have a full report for you.

I got the chance to hang out with Brad “Hinzy” Hines last night. I sort of invited myself over with a 12-pack of Yuengling and a DVD. The DVD was my own copy of The Phantom Of The Paradise.

I remember the first time that I saw that film… It had to be around 1975 and it was on the CBS Friday Night Movie. I came in around the middle of it when Beef (a gay hard rock punker) was put out of his misery by the Phantom with a giant, neon lightning bolt. It was all part of a theatrical number that The Paradise opened with that had shades of Alice Cooper and KISS incorporated into it. And being 9 years old at the time, that really found a place in my sick little mind.

I never really saw it again until MTV ran it as one of their “Midnight Movies”. It was as great as I remembered and weird to boot!

It’s a great little cheesy film directed by Brian Da Palma. It’s filled with symbolism along with great camera shots. And the coolest thing about it… All the songs are the same songs. They’re just rearranged and made to fit the characters singing them. The classical types call it “a variation on a theme”.

It’s a musical, but yet it’s not. Sure, there are a lot of songs and the characters are singing them. But the songs do not perpetuate the dialogue between the characters like you find in The Phantom Of The Opera.

I dare you to give it a try!

Now, I’m not condoning anything... Watch it at home and remember to drink irresponsibly and / or have a few left-handed cigarettes when watching this film. You won’t be sorry.


  1. Anonymous11:34 PM

    'Phantom of the Paradise' is quite possibly the worst piece of crap you've ever tried to get me to watch. Within 20 minutes I was searching for a sharp object with which to gouge my own eyes out.

    Don't believe him - you *will* be sorry unless you first drink yourself into a catatonic state. And that may not even be enough to numb your pain. This movie is beyond awful.

  2. Please keep in mind that Christine doesn't like cheese.

    I clearly said that Phantom is a great cheesy film. And I stand by that. It's one of the greatest of cheese.

    Christine likes a lot of things that I don't agree with and likewise.

    Lets see what Brad K. says!

  3. Anonymous3:54 AM

    I am no Brad K, but I have a K in my name.. and Phantom of the Paradise is one of the worst movies I have ever had the displeasure of sitting through. (also on the list Female Trouble) Of course I do not drink, but I don't think there is enough alcohol in the world to make that movie good.

    I was originally going to post praising this new "reading"
    thing you're doing, but whenever that movie is mentioned, I am forced to drop all other thoughts and comment on how terrible it is.

  4. Kim... You're breaking my heart!

    You just don't understand... And I thought we had a connection. A much deeper connection.

    How wrong I am.

    Okay... Who's going to attack my tastes now?

    I now refuse to talk about my love of "bad" films like Showgirls or Plan 9 From Outer Space because I'm so hurt.

  5. Anonymous5:51 PM

    I liked Phantom Of The Paradise. It's an odd, quirky, funny and entertaining. Of course, I haven't seen it in about 20 years.

    Films of this nature should never be recommended. You should always let your friends discover it on their own.

  6. Anonymous8:05 PM

    Well let me be the first to say I've never seen this movie and from everything I'm hearing... I don't see it high on the list of watching in the future.

    My comment is for the new reading thing... if you liked Da Vinci, read Angel and Demons by Dan Brown. This is where you first meet Langdon and its a fairly quick read. I can't remember if there are alot of foreign words to decipher or not, but at least its in trade paperback for $7.99.

    Oh and if you want another cheesy and extremely bad movie... trick or treat w/that nerdy kid from ... $h!T the sitcom w/the Keatons, Mike, Malory and Tina Yothers... I'll remember the name at like midnight tonight... I want to say that Gene Simmons is in it too and music by Ozzy. Don't quote me on that because its been 20ish years since I saw it... the music was good because I did by the soundtrack.. On tape no less.

    Oh well... later days!

  7. Anonymous8:19 PM

    Heather, I think you mean Skippy from Family Ties. (I'm kinda embarassed to admit I knew that.)

    I just looked up the movie and Netflix has it.

  8. Heather,

    I had the displeasure of seeing that film in the theaters the night it opened. I can't really remember the details, but it had something to do with drinking and Tracy Thornton.

    Tracy really wanted to see the movie and I really wanted to drink beer. So we put our peanut butter and chocolate together and found the movie to be utter shit.

    The soundtrack by the group Fastway? F'ing AWESOME!