Thursday, September 24, 2009

Dallas Cowboys, District 9, Robin Williams -- Nothing in Common

Like a little angel, my Favorite Food Critic, and former-colleague (and one of the few fine folks I miss from Up North), sent me a note sometime last week to the effect of:

"Lady Grice, big news: your old employer ["The Blerg"] has sprung for a big trip down your way for my column. Any interest in going to the opening Dallas Cowboys game on Sunday? See the new stadium?"

"I'm sorry, I just read that aloud to my brother," I began in response, "I believe he must've swallowed some mosquitoes just now -- he hasn't picked up his jaw from the floor. Are you serious?"

"Tell Brother Grice he's welcome to come, too."

So, Brother and Sister Grice took another trip, flying past little tiny Texas towns until we came upon that snobby city 4 1/2 hours to our north. Dallas.

Food Critic had to be driven to an anonymous-looking building to get the tickets; we drank cocktails from glass cowboy boots. It was an unforgettable trip.

(Thank you, again.)

I won't lie and say I'm the hugest football fan; every Friday night growing up was spent at my high school stadium, but the moment I'd sit down, I'd swing my feet around the bleachers in an about-face to talk to my buds -- always ignoring the game in full.

But even I knew how big a deal this whole Dallas event was, and how Bro G would appreciate the weekend. So, we went, we ate, we saw, we cheered, we swam, we toured, we ate...and ate, and ate.

And then we saw those old Cowboys let the Giants shame them.

Dawson wouldn't have wanted Tony Romo's life this weekend, I'm sure.

A whole month (to the day) since the last post. I don't even remember how to write on this old bloggle.

Leeeeettt's see. I was bogged down with a bunch of editing (I know so much about Texas teaching standards these days ... fun stuff, she says, lying through her teeth.), but I've managed to keep up the movie watching.

"District 9" -- I was so late in the game on that one. Mama Grice saw it and told me that she didn't care for it because the aliens were "ugly"; for some reason that deterred my better judgment for some time, delaying my viewing for well too long.

I really, really enjoyed that film. It felt a lot like the "28 Days Later"/"28 Months Later" movies, which I liked perhaps too much. It had the same sort of realistic-feeling special effects, not ruined by slap-you-in-the-face CGI bologna that's wrecked so many could-be/would-be good movies. The social allegories were also welcome, and a fun twist on traditional sci-fi fare.

And I really adored the South African government agent Wikus Van De Merwe (Sharlto Copley), who hopefully has more up his sleeve.

Importantly, for the past several weeks, that movie has inspired me to speak in clicks and twitches (a la the alien "Prawns") -- something that might've been frowned upon before this film's arrival.

My Friend and I were at a movie loss recently and decided to head to the Houston Angelika to see a more indie-trendy film and stumbled upon Robin Williams' recent "World's Greatest Dad" ... hmmm.

Williams plays Lance Clayton (great name for this role), a somewhat depressing yokel of a man who's a creative writing teacher -- who's never published a thing. He's the single dad of a jerk teenager whose ... "extra curricular activities" are rather unsavory; his teacher-girlfriend toys with his heart. Etc. When a tragic (ahem) event takes his son's life, Lance is suddenly thrust into the public eye -- which leads to some counter-intuitive outcomes.

It's good, but not great. It feels as though writer-director Bobcat Goldthwait needed just a few more months of tweaking to make it a little funnier, poignant, dark ... something. And, perhaps a few more months to find a better actor to play the son's character (Daryl Sabara).

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