“WAKE UP UNCLE BEN! I GOT A GUITAR! COME SEE!”
Those words were spoken to me by my niece who had bounded into my room in the morning. Only on Christmas Day do my nieces dare to wake me so early in the morning. I just hope they got a good night’s sleep. I remember finding it impossible to fall asleep the night before. These days, Christmas is more for the kids who wait in anticipation (and impatiently so) to open all the presents they got. Houses don’t get livelier than on Christmas it seems with my young niece galloping along my mom and dad’s infinitely varnished hardwood floor as she goes from one end of the house to the other in seconds flat. Do you remember when you had that much energy?
One thing I do have to say is that as you get older, the number of presents you get decreases exponentially it seems. Of all my immediate family members, I am more than convinced that I got the least amount of gifts this season, and I can’t quite get the feeling of jealousy and greed out of my head. It makes me miss being four and a half. But I certainly don’t want to appear ungrateful because I did submit a Christmas wish list to my family to give them an idea of what I wanted, just to make shopping easier for them (I wish they would send me one as well, but anyway). In the end, I am very happy to see that I got some of the things that I did want. So let us take a look at the best of the bunch, or maybe we can just look at the whole bunch of presents I got because they all are pretty cool.
“Forgetting Sarah Marshall” on Blu-Ray Disc
Alright! One of the best comedies of this past year now joins my every growing DVD library. This made me laugh harder than just about any other comedy I saw this past year with the exception of “Tropic Thunder.” Looking at the extras on the disc makes me all the more excited as it is filled with them. It is also a reminder that I REALLY need to check out the BD LIVE Center where I can download even more extras than what is on this disc already. With the last couple of Blu-Ray discs I got, I get so caught up in the sharpness of the image that I end up watching the movie over and over until I get sick of it and don’t want to watch it ever again. It then takes a year for me to get around to watching the disc again, and at that point I might actually bother to watch the extras.
Anyway, this disc has got a visual commentary with the filmmakers and cast which should be fun to watch. This seems to be an ever growing function on many Blu-Ray discs as it was featured on “Casino Royale” and also “Risky Business.” There is also picture in picture footage that plays throughout the movie with interviews, rehearsals, and behind the scenes stuff. And of course, there is a digital copy of the movie that you can download on to your iPod among other devices. Now I am just waiting for that 18 hour airline flight where all the in flight movies are crap and I will at least have this to watch, assuming I didn’t stupidly forget my damn iPod at home.
When it comes to making of documentaries for films, this film makes me especially interested because I don’t see many for comedies, and I would love to see how these filmmakers put up with the stress of making a comedy. Don’t ever let anyone convince you that comedy is easy to do, because it is not!
The Criterion Collection edition of David Cronenberg’s “Naked Lunch” on DVD
I got to see this earlier this year at the New Beverly Cinema in Los Angeles where it was playing on a double bill with “eXistenZ.” This DVD set is one I am really looking forward to checking out because I am curious to see how much Cronenberg’s movie resembles the actual book written by William S. Burrough’s. I haven’t actually read the book “Naked Lunch,” but I have heard that it is basically an unfilmable book. Watching the movie version of it, I am convinced that Cronenberg is probably the only one who could have brought to the big screen at all.
What I really love about the Criterion Collection is that they really do their research, and they always give you more than enough reason as to why they selected this movie for their special treatment. It features a London Weekend Television documentary about the making of the film, an illustrated essay about the special effects, and there is also an audio recording of Burroughs reading from the book as well. Criterion certainly paved the way for all these DVD special editions with audio commentaries and special features, and they still seem to do it the best of anyone.
“Naked Lunch” is a movie that I wanted to know more about ever since I saw it at the New Beverly. So you can only imagine how excited I am to check this out. I jokingly invited my niece to watch it with me, and she said:
Very smart response for a young girl who is almost 5 years old (my how time flies).
A black leather jacket from Calvin Klein
YES!! I have been meaning to get one of these for myself for the longest time, but they always seem to be out of my spending range (and that’s even when I see them at Costco). Putting on the jacket, I suddenly felt a rather bizarre change of character as I walked around like I suddenly owned the world or something. When I first saw that big white box it was in, I had a pretty strong feeling of what I was getting. This is probably the coolest of all the presents I got this Christmas. Hopefully the ladies will take notice.
Seriously, I always wanted a black leather jacket. I can’t believe how long that I have wanted one. My parents think I look like Brando in it. I’m pretty sure they are not talking about Brando in the later stages of his life. Maybe this thing is giving me an over inflated ego, but let me dream for a while okay?
$100 Macy’s gift card
Nothing says get some new clothes NOW then a gift card to Macy’s. I just hope their prices are a bit lower than the last time I shopped there. Of course, in the sorry economic state this country is in right now, they will probably invite me to name my own price for whatever they are selling. I could use some new shirts for work since they won’t let me wear my “Evil Dead” or “Office Space” t-shirts on a regular basis. Plus, it is getting scarier to witness how the colors on my shirts continue fading so quickly. Time to get some new shirts so I can witness how long it will take for the colors to fade on them.
Oh yeah, I could use some new socks as well. I once told my parents that socks are a pathetic gift to give anyone for Christmas, so you can imagine how they gleefully responded to that. But since they didn’t come through this year, it’s time for me to catch up in that department. I could use a new belt too…
So, Christmas 2008 has come and gone, and the next one will be around before we know it. Stop reminding me of how many shopping days there are because it will be here before you know it. Unless of course you’re an impatient child dealing with how long it takes to get anywhere.
But the biggest gift I really should say that I got this Christmas is to be with my family. I’m not sure how to say that without sounding remarkably corny, but there you go. Seeing my parents react with excitement over the gifts I gave them was great. Watching my sister-in-law almost break into tears when she realized that her dear husband gave her that iPhone she so wanted. Then there were my nieces, both excited about the dozens and dozens of presents they were getting, and both desperately trying to find one of the few gifts meant for me. Seeing my youngest niece jump up and down in sheer excitement over getting the things she ever so wanted brought a lot of contagious laughter to our house.
Of course, nothing could compare to that sweater my brother got my dad, and me silently pointing out to my brother that he forgot to take the price tag off of it. To his credit, my brother did snatch it away before my dad noticed.
My niece also said she wanted to marry me. Without getting into a lot of specific detail as to why, I politely informed her that it was not going to happen.
Merry Christmas everyone!