Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle (2004)

Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle: 2004, dir. Danny Leiner. Seen on DVD (March 4).
I know, I know. I am always complaining that I never have time to see wonderful little movies like Maria Full of Grace and The Cooler and whatever the hell is playing at Dobie right now … and yet somehow I managed to see Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle. Not only that, I deliberately and voluntarily rented this movie. I was not forced to see it against my will.
And I have to say that Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle was pretty funny in a dumb-dumb comedy kind of way. I usually avoid dumb comedies because, okay, primarily because I don’t find them funny. I am willing to forgive a lot of things if a movie makes me laugh, like Bad Santa.

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gimme some sugar, KLRU

I am pleased to learn that KLRU (the PBS station in Austin) is showing the controversial Postcards from Buster episode “Sugartime” tonight at 8 pm.
KLRU has posted a press release about this decision here and it is well worth reading.
The “controversy” in this episode centers around Buster (a cute animated bunny) travelling to Vermont to learn about how maple sugar is made. The children he meets in Vermont have two moms, instead of a mom and a dad. I know you are all shocked. The moms don’t smooch on camera or promote gay rights (I know you were expecting something naughty with a title like “Sugartime”), but they might as well be for all the ruckus this episode has raised.

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movies this week: what would Mom and Dad think?

My parents are visiting Austin next week. We don’t usually watch movies together. They go to the outlet mall while I’m at work. We sit around on the sofa with a golf game on the TV and talk about what we might want to do (and rarely do any of it except nap). Sometimes we sit on the patio and drink beer and tell very funny family stories. (My dad pulls me aside to tell me the ones my mom hates to hear, like anything to do with my grandparents.)
We might go to the Wildflower Center, but I’m not sure my dad will like it. He likes to go places where he can get snacks at regular intervals. (His favorite Austin restaurant is Taco Cabana. Don’t ask me why.) So perhaps we might go see the new Whole Foods, because that seems like a great place for him to procure snacks while we watch the chocolate enrobing station. We could go to the Westlake Farmers Market. We could walk to the Dairy Queen, or hang out with the cows at Amy’s Ice Cream. Who knows?
But we are probably not going to see any movies, especially not in movie theaters. My mom doesn’t like anything with crude language or even hints of non-marital sex. My dad loves movies with fart jokes or any kind of physical humor. (He would have felt right at home seeing those movies with the Fiji audience in Reel Paradise.) Usually he pretends to pacify my mom, or whomever else is in the room, by shouting, “That’s disgusting! What kind of filth is that?” and then laughing his ass off.
I will illustrate the difficulties in seeing movies with my parents by sharing my estimate of my parents’ reactions to some of the movies opening in Austin this week. I will leave you to guess which parent would say what.

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SXSW: the last entry, I swear

I realize I had a very movie-watching-focused experience at SXSW. A lot of people go to the film conference and attend panels, network with filmmakers and industry people, and get into all kinds of fabulous parties. All I did was watch movies. A lot of movies, for me (14 feature-feature-length plus 90 minutes of short animated films), although not nearly as many as I’d originally hoped:
The Chumscrubber, The Aggressives, Stagedoor, Tell Them Who You Are, The Puffy Chair, Kissing on the Mouth, A Hole in My Heart, Troop 1500, The Devil and Daniel Johnston, The Education of Shelby Knox, The Last Mogul, The Fearless Freaks, Reel Paradise, and Stephen Tobolowsky’s Birthday Party.
I’d like to write an in-depth review for every one of those films, but realistically I suspect I am not going to have time.

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SXSW: last day

Saturday was the last day of the SXSW film festival. It started out as a simply gorgeous day. The sun was shining, the birds were singing, and the cat was running around the house hiding my socks.
I didn’t have any movies scheduled until late in the afternoon. My boyfriend and I had a leisurely and very yummy lunch at Gene’s. I had a roast beef po-boy with some fries to help soak up all the delicious roast beef gravy. My boyfriend had smothered chicken and green beans and potato salad and his plate practically gleamed when he was done. I love Gene’s and I only wish the place was open later for dinner, although then I would have even more trouble buying clothes than I do now. (I am dying to try the smothered pork chops, but that means getting downtown for a Thursday lunch, which is not easy for me to do.)
The only problem with going to Gene’s for lunch was that I got home and accidentally fell asleep and nearly missed the movie. I blame the cat, because he snuggled up by me while I was reading and that added to my sleepiness. I woke up, realized how late I was, grabbed my notebook and purse, and dashed out of there in a rush to get to Alamo Downtown, and park, and walk to the theater in time to see Reel Paradise.

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SXSW: Thursday/Friday

Two excellent music-related documentaries that I can’t recommend enough:

Thursday was mostly a work day. I had to catch up on some projects in the office. Well, I tried to catch up, anyway. I found out that I would have to work on Sunday afternoon, which was disappointing but made good sense (it would keep me from stressing out about my workload on Monday).
Finally, finally around 3 pm I got to leave the office and headed to ACC to see The Devil and Daniel Johnston. I found a fabulous metered parking place right at Third and Red River. I fed it a bunch of quarters (which I had stolen earlier in the day from my boyfriend’s former Laundry Quarter Ashtray) and was just about to walk away when I noticed a peeling and faded sticker on the pole of the meter. At 5:30, the parking spot would be used for valet parking and my car would be towed. Can’t they post a sign for that, or something I could actually read? Arrgh. Fortunately, a non-valet metered space across the street opened up and I moved the car. I had just enough change to fill the second meter.

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movies this week: return to normalcy

I would like to do something fun that is not related to movies this weekend. I have seen plenty of movies recently during the SXSW film festival. It looks like I need to catch up at the office on Sunday, or else I would want to do something outdoors (weather permitting). Even yard work might be welcome … well, okay, that’s going a little too far.
Now that SXSW is drawing to a close, local theaters have scheduled a good lineup of interesting movies and movie-related events. Check the Alamo and Paramount listings for full details.
Oh, yeah, there are also new current releases in Austin. Some look quite good, depending on your taste: Born into Brothels for the documentary fans, Steamboy for the anime fans, Ice Princess for … um … figure-skating fans, I guess.

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SXSW: lucky Wednesday

More movies I would particularly recommend:

I heard that The Education of Shelby Knox will air on the PBS documentary series P.O.V. in June (details on the PBS site). I am hoping that Troop 1500 airs on PBS or at least plays in Austin again under the Texas Documentary Tour.
Wednesday did not begin well. It was rainy and chilly outside and I did not relish the idea of parking on the street to see a movie at ACC (Austin Convention Center, not Austin Community College). I didn’t relish the idea of doing much of anything besides curling up in bed with a mug of cocoa.

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SXSW: Tuesday with migraine

Tuesday was pretty uneventful. I don’t have a lot to report. I saw only one movie, despite ambitious plans to see three.
I don’t know if the movies are triggering migraines, or if it’s the sudden change in weather having a bad effect on my sinuses, or if I’m stressed at work in the mornings and then when I get to the movie theaters in the afternoons the sudden switch from work stress to theater happiness triggers a migraine. Or what. Maybe I need new glasses. But I sit down in the nice dark theater and I can feel the beginning of a headache. Or a migraine. Or something evil.
And this has been happening every single day. I am not supposed to take a migraine pill every single day, it makes horns grow on your head or your face turn into a blueberry or something.

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