Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Valentine Viewing (Dis)Pleasure

A few nights ago, we started watching the 2001 smash hit (for the weekend that it came out, at least) "Valentine", starring David Boreanaz from the WB's Angel, Denise Richards &, for a few minutes at least, Katherine Heigl from Roswell. What did I think of it? Let me put it to you this way: If I think that a movie is really, really bad (& not in a "good" bad way) - that should tell you something. I mean, my cinematic tastes are not that different from my culinary tastes (Squeeze cheese or potted meat product, anyone?). I'll give pretty much anything a whirl. We didn't even make it through the second half, even though I didn't have to be up early the next morning & could've stayed up for the whole thing. It didn't make any difference, though. As I found out this morning when I looked up the plot synopsis online, I found out that I'd ID'd the killer long before they even got to that point.

The plot is your generic revenge story. In sixth grade, most of the characters are terribly cruel to one of their less socially gifted classmates, going so far as to pour red punch on him at a dance (Hmm...red punch...school dance...sounds a wee bit familiar) & then strip him to his BVD's & beat him savagely on the dancefloor. Well, about as savagely as a bunch of eleven year olds can manage. One of the spectators is wearing a cherub mask. In fact, he's the only kid wearing a mask. Since the rest of the kids weren't even wearing costumes, it's safe to bet that this wasn't a masquerade ball. Either that or someone forgot to tell the kid that the theme of the party was changed from "Halloween" to "Carrie." Cherub Kid watches the pummeling & as he does, blood runs from the masks nose. Which would mean that his nose would have to have been mashed up hard against the mask in order for the blood to make its way out of the hole. Why he started bleeding, well, you got me.

Flash forward to the present. One of the girls at the dance, Shelley (Katherine Heigl), is on a really bad first date with some schmuck. She ends the date & heads back to the comfort & safety of the autopsy room of the med school that she's attending. She sets to working on Chad (that's the name they gave 'im), a donated cadaver, covering his face with a sheet so she won't see the killer has switched places with the corpse so she won't see his face while she's dissecting him. She hears a sound in the adjoining locker room & goes to investigate. A jumper scene (just one of many scattered throughout the movie) ensues when some guy, whose name I can't remember, startles her. After a brief exchange, he takes his leave of Shelley. As she turns to leave, she finds a Valentine card taped to her locker. In it, there's some disturbing prose about how she's going to die. She shrugs it off & returns to Chadaver (that's the name I'm giving him).

She readies her scalpel to make an incision in Chadaver's (Aren't I clever?) abdomen. As she touches blade to skin, she notices that Chadaver's breathing (Gasp. I did not see that one coming. Nope.). Abracadaver! (I am on a roll here, people!) The "corpse" starts moving & Shelley jumps back (Checks herself! Hey!) near a closet. The closet door has a window in it & who should be peering out but our good friend Chadaver, who comes a'tumblin' out when Shelley opens the door. Shelley, scalpel inhand, beats a hasty retreat from the lab & runs down the stereotypical horror movie long-dimly-lit-hallway-full-of-locked-doors, because, of course, the door to the locker room where she was talking to the other guy, (who, by the way, unless he was running reeeeally fast, couldn't have been too far away) is locked (Gasp. Shock. Surprise.).

Shelley finally finds an unlocked door & makes her way in. This is apparently the only door without a lock on it, because she makes no attempt at securing it. I dunno. If it were me, I think I'd lock the door if possible. This room is full of bodybags with corpses in them. Now, maybe I'm thinking a bit too hard about this (something that cannot be said about the person who wrote the script), but, wouldn't a) the corpses (corpsi?) need to be refrigerated? & b) if this was a refrigeration room, would the door to it be an old, two inch thick wooden door with a big two by two & a half foot frosted glass window in it? I mean, the place would be pretty rank smelling, I would think. Anyway, wisely choosing to not look for another way out (Would they really wheel the bodies down the main hall & store them in a big closet?) & foregoing even looking for a phone, we see our victim damsel in distress panic &...

Cut back to the hallway, where we find the man of the hour, the Cherub Masked Slasher, strolling down the hall, completely clothed. I bring this up because he was naked when he was on the gurney in the lab. Forget the fact that all of the previous events have taken place over the course of maybe, oh, thirty seconds. And that Shelley was running (well, tripping, really) down the hall. Offscreen Teleportation, I guess. Apparently, he teleported directly into his clothes, too. Not bothering to check any of the doors in the hallway, he walks directly to the room that Shelley went into.

He unzips the first bag be comes to & finds a pasty old guy who's already been autopsied. Figuring this to be quite the time consuming endeavor, CMS then starts driving his butcher knife (Cripes, did the writer have The Horror Movie Writer's Primer next to him as he wrote this?) into the body bags.

Three guesses as to where Shelley's hiding.

At this point I was growing tired of the long, drawn out chase scene & started yelling at the guy to just look for the bag with the most noticeable protrusions from the the chest area. Finally, he opens a bag &, lo! & behold, heeeeere's Shelley, who apparently Offscreen Teleported into the bodybag, because there was obviously not enough time for her to get the body out of the bag, crawl in & zip herself up before Chuckles shuffled his way into the room. One scream, a slit to the throat & exit one med student.

The rest of the movie pretty much follows the same path: Girl gets disturbing Valentine, girl gets aced, next! Two of the girls that share an apartment receive a card & a box of chocolates. It's not addressed to either of them, so one of them opens the card, which reads something to the effect of "You are what you eat" & then proceeds to bite into one of the chocolates, which is infested with maggots. Yum. Y'know, I don't care what it is - chocolate, pizza, a 4x4 from In-N-Out - if it's just left on my doorstep by some anonymous person, I'm not going to eat it. It's just a dumb thing to do. But, I'm doubting that anything remotely resembling intelligence had anything to do with this movie, so, whaddya gonna do?

In another scene that had me saying "Wha...?", one of the girls is shot by CMS with an arrow. From across a room. With his mask on. Dead on in the gut. And, to top it off, he shoots her again, near the same spot, while she's doubled over! William Tell's got nothin' on this guy. One more shot sends her reeling over a conveniently placed handrail, tumbling about three floors into a dumpster.

Yeah. It's about as dumb as it sounds.

By this time, I'd already figured out who the killer was, played out the rest of the movie in my head & just wanted to go to sleep. A little research the next morning confirmed my suspicion. The revelation of who the masked man was was supposed to be some kind of big "twist" ending, as it's not who the writer wanted you to think it was (Duh!). The only thing twisting was me, trying to get comfortable under the blankets as I went to sleep. The writer threw out more red herrings than a dolphin trainer at Sea World, in a failed attempt to throw off the viewers. It was blatantly...nay...pathetically obvious who the killer was. By the time I'd figured it out, I had lost interest (Well, what little interest I had left after Ms. Heigel's departure.).

The good parts of the movie? Lessee...there were the first ten minutes or so featuring Katherine Heigl & a tanktop. Once she kicked the oxygen habit (Can someone please explain to me why you'd stop to climb into a bodybag instead of running for the door - or using a phone? Oh, right - IITS), the movie carreened downhill. I haven't seen such a paint-by-numbers horror movie since Halloween IV. OK, I probably have, but that's the first one that came to mind. I could swear that I saw little name badges on the actors that said "Hi! My Name Is Vicitim # __."

Bottom line, I've coughed up scarier stuff. "Valentine" does not even rank "craptacular" status. It was just plain crappy.

Rating (One to Five Eyeballs): Are you kidding? This thing made me want to gouge my eyeballs out!

Monday, February 14, 2005

I Always Feel Like Somebody's Watchin' Meeeeeee

Call me paranoid if you wish. I don't care. Something rather unsettling has happened here at work:

Someone put a basket of artificial flowers in the men's room. A big basket. One big enough to hide, oh maybe...a camera!

I've gotten to where I throw my jacket over it or I turn it on its side, just in case it is secretly taping me in my private moments.

Hey! It could happen!

Quit looking at me like that...

I hate Valentine's Day.

Don't get me wrong - I love showering T with love & affection every day. I love telling her how much I love her & how special she is & how much of a blessing to my life she is every day. What I hate about the day is that it feels like you're forced or obligated to do something that, if you truly love someone, you should be doing already. Every day.

The ghosts of V-Day's past don't help matters much, either.

This morning, T & I exchanged cards & The Boy gave her a card & a candle. Then, he asked if there was a card for him. Even though he had a bagful of cards from his classmates, he'd also expected one from us, I guess. So, all morning I've been mad at myself because it didn't occur to me that he'd feel like I had for so many years - left out. I hated that feeling way back when & I hate that my son felt that way this morning. In an attempt to try to set things right, I asked T to take him for a "Valentine's doughnut" or something to that affect before she took him to the ex's. I'm sure he wasn't emotionally scarred by my little faux paux, but still...it bugged me.

You spend the first few years of grade school making sure that you gave everyone on the class list a card, always making sure to not give any that might be misconstrued to anyone that you didn't like. I remember getting one in sixth grade from a girl that I've known since kindergarten. It had a fish in a bowl on it & said something to the effect of "Drop me a line." On the back, the girl, in an effort to make sure I didn't get the wrong idea, I suppose, wrote "I don't really mean what the card says on the front."

Yeah, thanks for the head's up.

Anyway, you finally reach junior high & the holiday becomes a bit more exclusive - if you had yourself a steady sweetie, you were in the club & received a card. If not...well, you just kinda sat there & acted like you didn't care (even though you secretly hoped that one would make its way to you). Pathetic, yes?

I was never a member of that elite little club, either through fate or my own blindness to the vibes being sent out by a few girls. One girl in particular, who was my best friend, in fact, had warm & squishy feelings for me, which I didn't catch on to & only found out about it after we'd graduated. And even after that I waited too long & she ended up marrying someone else.

It seemed that I always had a girl "friend", but never a girlfriend, that hung out with me when I was in school. I remember being asked numerous times by the guys if so-&-so & I were an item & replying with a "No - are you kidding?", as if they'd asked me if I was dating my sister. The thing is, these chums of the female persuasion were not unattractive by any stretch of the imagination. But, like so many of the main characters of various John Hughes movies, I was always looking toward the cheerleader or the popular girl (which, given the size of my school, was pretty much any girl besides my friends), never noticing that the girl who sat with me in every class was right there waiting for me to come to my senses. The one that sat with me at lunch everyday. The one that leaned her head on my shoulder. The one that laughed & made up silly words & phrases & laughed at the jocks with me & was there for me when I was down & who I was there for in return. Just waiting for me to see them as more than just a friend.

Cripes, I was dense.

I have since been blessed, as you all know, with the most wonderful woman that I could've hoped for. She's everything I could ask for & more. There's no doubting that she's the one that I'd been searching & waiting & asking the Good Lord above for. I guess my school years were preparing me, in a way. Teaching me patience or something like that. Goodness knows I needed a few lessons. Once again, I have someone who sits with me in this class known as Life 101. I have a person who'll sit with me at lunch as often as we can get together. One that leans her head on my shoulder. One who laughs & picks up on my silly words & phrases (I've even got her using the word "craptacular"). There's not so many jocks around to laugh at anymore (except that weird guy who sells fitness tapes on cable), but she's quick to help me make fun of the foibles of celebrities. She's there for me when I'm down & I am there for her in return. She is my best friend, but she doesn't have to wait fo me to see her as more than just a friend.

I love you, Beautiful.

Wow...this post turned out better than I'd expected!

Friday, February 11, 2005


I had a great post that I'd been writing over the past few days all written & formatted & ready to go. Until Blogger lost it.


I'll try again later.

Tuesday, February 01, 2005


Never, EVER, under any circumstances, scratch your nose after cutting up Serrano chilis.

The results are not pleasant. At all. As the five alarm fire that broke out in my nasal cavity can attest to. I thank the Good Lord above that I didn't follow through on taking out my contact lenses as I had planned to do at the time.

Oh, & don't try stuffing ketchup up your nose in an attempt to extinquish the nuclear pepper induced conflagration.

Just trust me on that one.