'Plaint of the Playwright

'Plaint of the Playwright

[ Friday, June 28, 2002 ]

Ten random movie thoughts:

1. Angel's Dance
Caught this on cable this week, and I may review it for UEreviews. Sheryl Lee (who deserves to be a movie star at least as much as Julia Fucking Roberts) plays a somewhat insane woman targeted by two hit men.

If everyone looked as good in body armor as Sheryl Lee does, more people would wear it, and thousands of lives would be saved.

2. Windtalkers.
I really love this movie, and no one's going to see it because no one really wants to see a World War II movie right now. That's a shame. Critics keep accusing John Woo of only caring about the battles, but I don't buy it. Woo cares about the friendships between the men.

People often think that The John Woo Moment is when the two guys point guns at each other, or when a guy fires two guns, or when someone fires a gun while jumping through glass.

That's not correct.

These are his trademarks, yes, that I'll give you.

But The John Woo Moment is that moment when a character looks into another character's eyes and decides that suddenly, their friendship is more important than anything. More important than duty, more important than honor, more important than country, more important than life.

When The John Woo Moment came, I started bawling like Nancy Kerrigan.

3. Mullholland Drive.
I'm reprinting this from a comment I made on Hot Soup Girl's page.

Interesting story I once heard about Lynch:

Before working on "Eraserhead," he got a dead cat from a medical science lab, and disected it, putting each of the organs in different jars.

The reasoning for this was that he wanted to see what emotions he would go through doing it.

So, in making "Eraserhead," a big part of what he was doing was trying to get those emotions out of the audience. Emotions that there are no words for.

It's an interesting technique--and I think that's why a lot of people resent Lynch's work; it doesn't go for "message" goals, but emotional goals. If you're looking for a message goal, you're going to get frustrated.

It's not that Lynch is pretentious--he just has different ideas about film language.

I think it's cool that people are finally starting to "get" him.

4. Minority Report.
Man, I tried not to like this film, but it wore me down with its coolness. It's a fun movie, and unlike some "Sci Fi Crime Dramas" doesn't just mean that it's the future and people are shooting at each other, it also actually works as a crime drama.

And I love the shocker guns that the Justice Department carried in the movie--the ones you recharge by doing the Chuck Connors/The Rifleman type spin. I want one!

A few quibbles.

I don't want to ruin it if you haven't seen it, so here's some "spoiler space." (Just highlight the text below to read it.)

1. Okay, so the only reason Tom Cruise is looking for Crow is because he saw the future image. But if he didn't find Crow, he wouldn't see the image! And if he didn't see the image, he wouldn't look for Crow! How the fuck did Max Von Sydow pull that one off?

2. If the other cops know that Crow is going to be the victim, why not also find Crow? They know his name, and they know that's where Cruise is going.

3. In all crime dramas like this, the killer is always the one who says to the wrongfully accused fugitive over the phone, "Well, where are you, now?" The killer also always says "Who else have you told?" Why doesn't anybody in these movies ever say "EVERYONE!"

4. Why doesn't Cruise's severed eyeball ever set off any alarms? And also...ewwwwwwww.

5. K-Pax.
My wife rented this. I'd already seen it in the theater.

Before walking in, I made this prediction that the movie would be exactly this:

He thinks he's an alien!

He's not an alien!

Maybe he is an alien!

I guess he was an alien after all...or was he?

And you know, I, uh, I wasn't wrong.

Notice I didn't put any spoiler space for that?

6. xXx.
As after we watched the trailer for this in front of Minority Report, my wife turned to me and said, "You're gonna go and see it right?"

My mind's telling me no, but my heart's telling me yes.

7. Josh Becker.
Go to Becker Films.

Check out his Evil Dead on-set journal.

Check out his movie reviews.

Then go to his Q&A section.


(I kind of have a love/hate relationship with this website.)

8. Being John Malkovich.
I like this movie a lot, and if you do too, check out the original script.

It's really, really, really different.

It's also damn hilarious.

9. Daredevil.
I saw the trailer for this movie, too.

Whatever you think of Ben Affleck as Daredevil, you've got to admit that Colin Farrell as Bullseye is pretty cool.

10. Frailty.
A great movie.

No one saw it.

Repent yourselves by making it a cult classic when it hits video.

posted by Rob on 11:35 AM | link
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[ Thursday, June 27, 2002 ]

Okay, WWDN problem fixed. Thank you, Loren.

All is well.

posted by Rob on 11:43 PM | link
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I just got this from fellow Wil Wheaton Dot Net soapboxer jbay:

I'm sending this out to a few people, in the hopes you'll telephone-tree it around...or email-tree. You know what I mean.

Here's the deal with WWDN:

Logjamming moved all of Wil's stuff to a new machine (a few other people were moved, too, I think) late last night (Thursday AM) AFAIK, the move went OK, but because rackspace.com, their hosting provider, has not yet updated the DNS records to point to the new hardware, nobody can get to the new machine (including me).

I sent mail about it to one of the Logjamming guys this morning, and I received a reply around 11AM eastern saying they were aware of the issue and had submitted a trouble ticket to Rackspace for the change.

However, as of now (about 5PM eastern) rackspace's main DNS servers are still showing the old IP address for WWDN. So Rackspace still hasn't made the required change. When they DO make the required change, it will still take anywhere from 3 hours to a full day to propagate the information net-wide.

I have a backup of the soapbox running on http://bbs.brooklyn.com/bb/--I think it should work ok for people. The data that's on it is from Wednesday morning, so it's a little stale, but people are welcome to use it.

However, unless this outage stretches into the weekend, I won't be attempting to merge the database from new posts into whatever re-appears on Wil's machine when it comes back online. It's just too involved (plus the data I have is stale; if I'd known last night that they were going to try to do the move last night, I would have taken another data snapshot before they did it).

BTW, the version I have running has ONLY the subsilver theme installed; everyone's default has been set to subSilver because otherwise their login bombs out when they try to get online.

posted by Rob on 4:40 PM | link
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[ Wednesday, June 26, 2002 ]

I was just talking with Garrett, one of my teenage co-workers, here at the bank, about the show American Idol.

He sort of knew who Paula Abdul was, but I had to admit, that, although she was an 80's semi-star, I couldn't name two songs off the top of my head that she did.

I eventually remembered the song Opposites Attract, describing as a song where the video was the big reason why people remembered it.

She danced with a cartoon cat.

The cat was named "MC Skat Cat."

He had a solo album.

To assure Garrett that I wasn't kidding, I did a quick search and found this link.

posted by Rob on 2:49 PM | link
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[ Tuesday, June 25, 2002 ]

Hey, check this out.

Adam, aka "Media Yenta," has a few things to say about "It Lists."

And he's calling you out, dog.

That's right, if you've ever wanted to make it onto an "It List," let Adam know.

And tell him Rob sent you.

In the meantime, Betsy's teaching me how to drive.

posted by Rob on 12:51 PM | link
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[ Friday, June 21, 2002 ]

Okay, run, don't walk over to Lee's blog right damn now to see some pictures of me, Baker, and Lee, circa 1987.

And please don't bring up the similarites between this and this.

posted by Rob on 11:55 AM | link
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[ Wednesday, June 19, 2002 ]

Man, watching the show American Idol is like eating cookie dough. You not only don't feel good about it the next morning, you don't even feel good about it that night. Or while you're enjoying it in the first place.

However, at Misty's site, I learned about a Japanese reality show.

Homer Simpson was right. They're YEARS ahead of us.

In other news, I finished the first draft of Orange Murder Suit. What's interesting is that the show has really become scary, in a good way. The last scene is some of the creepiest stuff I've ever written.

Question for the day: Past or present, home, pc, or game system, what's your favorite video game?

(At the moment, by the way, mine's Max Payne.)

posted by Rob on 9:22 AM | link
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[ Monday, June 17, 2002 ]

You know what would be a great name for a band?

"Mrs. Nussbaum's Credit Card."

Okay, now, quick everybody, suggest a band name in the comments area.

(Let me guess. Comic Book Guy is going to suggest "Worst. Band. Ever.")

posted by Rob on 9:27 AM | link
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[ Saturday, June 15, 2002 ]

It may not be a hoax. There are thousands of kids who go "missing" all the time. Florida recently made an effort to locate all of the 4,000 missing children it has on record in response to political pressure put on Gov. Bush as relates to the Precious Doe case.


That's 4,000 in Florida.

4,000 on record.

Now, all of these kids are not homicides. Many are parents who run off with their kids for a week in some sick-ass spat/power play with their ex and then the state never follows up so it sits as a missing child even though the child was never really "missing" and is no doubt at home.

Still, most emails one receives regarding missing kids are almost certain to be a hoax.

Who perpetuates such hoaxes? World is chock FULL of sick fucks who just want to impact the planet in SOME WAY.

No BFD, Bobby.

Better to inconvenience a "few" (heh heh) family and friends by erring on the side of humanity than to be a bitter, jaded fuck who whines "you spammed my mailbox."


posted by Rob on 10:22 AM | link
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[ Friday, June 14, 2002 ]

I am easily duped.

Let it just be said now.

Today, I got this email from form Sitel buddy Jack Marino.

I am asking you all, begging you to please, forward this email on to anyone and everyone you know, PLEASE. My 9 year old girl, Penny Brown, is missing. She has been missing for now two weeks. It is still not too late, Please help us.

If anyone anywhere knows anything, sees anything, please contact me at zicozicozico@hotmail.com I am including a picture of her.

All prayers are appreciated!! It only takes 2 seconds to forward this on, if it was your child, you would want all the help you could get. thank you for your kindness, hopefully you can help us.

I left it in my mailbox, but I didn't delete it. What ate at me was my fear that it wasn't a hoax.

But it's always a hoax.

But what if it were my kid?

You don't have a kid, dumbass, and if you did, we wouldn't be having this conversation.

I found this logic faulty, so I forwarded the email.


Although I did add the phrase: If this ends up being a hoax, I'm going to kill someone.

Soon--within minutes, actually, I got several emails from friends--some of whom I haven't heard from in a while--filling me in.

From my friend, Seth:
> If this ends up being a hoax, I'm going to kill someone.

Then you're not gonna like this:


Doesn't seem do any harm, though...

I had done it again.

I sent the following out to everyone:
Of COURSE it's a damn hoax.

Of COURSE it is.


I mean I only emailed EVERYONE on my address list.

This includes my buddies from high-school.

This includes my friends at UnrealisticExpectations.com.

This includes some of my ex-co-workers.

This includes my parents.

This even includes Wil Freaking Wheaton.

So, yeah--why wouldn't it be a hoax?

Okay, so maybe I should've done my research before spamming everyone I knew.

Maybe I thought the idea of a missing child was something that was unassailable.

That some sick pervert wouldn't build a hoax out of that.

Who does this?

Who derives pleasure from this?


So, uh, don't bother emailing me. I know now.

How everyone else seemed to know before I did, I'm not sure.

So, uh, feel free to forward THIS message to everyone you know.

Pray I don't find you, you hoaxing bastard.

Happy Father's Day, everyone!

Soon, I got the following:
You shouldn't feel so badly, Rob. How could you, as a normal, decent, human being even consider "that some sick pervert wouldn't build a hoax out of" a missing little girl.

You're a good person, so it wouldn't occur to you that some people will exploit anything.

Maybe, you "thought the idea of a missing child was something that was unassailable." It should be. The idea of a child kidnapped and/or missing is not something anyone should cry wolf about, but they did. With what happened to Elizabeth Smart still on everyone's mind, it's no wonder you took this seriously.

You forwarded the message with the best of intentions. I'm sure everyone else who received this from you doesn't consider it Spam, any more than I do.

I call on those who know you better than I to convince you not to be so hard on yourself.


Fellow Broom Street playwright Brian Wild had this to say:
This brings up an interesting Nonprofit Dot.com opportunity, though. How about a legitimate organization that specializes in sending missing person items out via E-mail so that everyone knows it's legit? The internet would be such a great tool to use this for, and sick people who perpetrate these hoaxes are using this tool irresponsibly.

What a world...:(

Whereas Wil Wheaton merely asked the question on everybody's mind:
>This even includes Wil Freaking Wheaton.

Who's Wil Wheaton?

To which Buck answered:

Wasn't he that guy with the weird hair and the piercings in "Python"?

So in a funny way, this managed to bring us all together, if for no other reason than to laugh at my dumb ass.

And isn't that what it's all about?

posted by Rob on 11:22 AM | link
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A few new things on Unrealistic Expectations worth checking out:

One, The brand spanking new Beverage Reviews section, led off this time by Roughy. Some smart drinking, right here.

Two, The new Library Book Review by Shell. "Library Book Reviews" aren't of new books, but of less recent ones you may have missed that are worth a look. Some great Summer reading finds, right here.

Three, Lee Potcher's ultra-long review of Tori Amos' 1991 album Little Earthquakes. Labor of love, right here.

saving my stuff, of course, for last, is my Rental Rejects review of Hobbs End. A really shitty movie, right here.

I think I should probably set a regular date for my reviews...and suggest everyone else do the same, so no one reviewer gets buried under a ton of other reviews.


Here's a thought to grow on:

"We believe that people of conscience must take responsibility for what their own governments do - we must first of all oppose the injustice that is done in our own name. Thus we call on all Americans to resist the war and repression that has been loosed on the world by the Bush administration. It is unjust, immoral and illegitimate."

That said, I'm seeing "Windtalkers," tonight.

But you probably already guessed that, huh?

posted by Rob on 10:53 AM | link
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[ Wednesday, June 12, 2002 ]

Last night I made a new Spudnuts mp3. This one's called The Threeway.

Unrealistic Expectations got Farked this week. If you don't know what Fark is, that probably sounds like a bad thing, but it's actually good.

In other news, I'm about 3/4 done with my latest script for Broom Street Theater, Orange Murder Suit.

Also, please go and see Tracers or My Four Fathers this weekend. I haven't seen Tracers yet, but I have it on pretty good authority that it's kick-ass.

My Four Fathers is also quite good--it's the kind of thing that made Broom Street great in the first place. Personal, breathless, brilliant.

Also, I know I've been knocking the governmental powers-that-be a lot, lately, and that some people seem to think that criticism equates with hating the country somehow (KOFF-KOFF--my own mother--KOFF-KOFF)...well, here's an answer to that--from a Brit, no less. Thanks, Buck.

I know I've told you about them before, but, well, I'm telling you again.

Why do people think that people who believe in conspiracies are nuts?

Oh, yeah. That's right.

posted by Rob on 9:33 AM | link
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[ Monday, June 10, 2002 ]

An odd thing happened today to me, on my way to work.

The bus was a little earlier than it's been lately, and I was a little later, so it went cruising by me. I ran after it, yelling and cursing, even though that specificaly what "Miller's Crossing" tells you not to do.

So I'm walking up to the next bus stop. It arrives in about five minutes, and it's at least a ten minute walk to the stop, now that I've missed the first bus.

Suddenly, I hear a car horn.

I look over in the Griff's parking lot, and see a guy in a car.

He's waving at me.

I look around.

Nope, he's waving at me, alright.

He gets out of his car as I walk over.

Because I still haven't accepted that I'm a grownup yet, I have that But He's A STRAAAAAANGER vibe run down my back.

"Hey," he says, "what bus were you taking?"

Um. I was trying to get the 50.

"Are you gonna make your connection?"

Well, my connection's at Watts. I usually catch the 7 from there.

"You gonna make it?"

I look at my watch.

I'm not sure.

"Because I can give you a ride."

Just to Watts?

"Sure. Going that way anyway."


"Get in the back, there, I got stuff in the front seat."

I do.

We take off.

"I saw you running after the bus there, I was kinda suprised the driver didn't stop."


Jeez, if this guy saw me running and cursing, and he still wanted to give me a ride, pencil him in for sainthood.

He drops me off.

Thanks again!

"No problem! You have a good day now."

The bus shows up.

I'm thinking about how, for once, I'm glad I work at a bank. As a result, I'm wearing a white shirt and tie with dress pants. With my backpack on, I look like a Mormon. I even shaved this morning. There's something to be said for looking like an honor student, even if you're not.

As I listen to my walkman (a cappella version of "Creep" by Radiohead) the bus driver takes a call, saying: "What? A laptop?"

There are only two other passengers besides me on the bus.

The bus driver say to us, "hey, can you take a look back there? Some guy thinks he left his laptop on the bus."

The guy across from me gets up and looks around.

I decide to look behind me...and I find the laptop.

I bring it up, as the driver is telling whoever it is, "Awp! We found it. So, does he want me to meet him somewhere, or is he gonna pick it up..."

The guy across from me notes that it was a good thing I found it--a laptop's a terrible thing to lose.

You know, I almost didn't even make it on here. I missed the first bus and some guy gave me a ride.

"Huh," the guy says.

So, some stranger helps me out, and I help some stranger out.

"Yep," the third passenger says, "what comes around, goes around."

And I feel so good that I don't even point out to him that he's got it backwards.

posted by Rob on 10:40 AM | link
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[ Sunday, June 09, 2002 ]

It's dorky of me to think in these terms, but I'm always astounded when people I've never met dig my stuff.

A post I wrote on a total whim got me a little extra attention from a few other people, like Sarcastic Cheese and Lady Raven at Chronicle Corvidae, who says in this entry:

Rob Matsushita is a playwright. I've read some of his stuff on the net and have been rather intrigued with it, but nothing pulled me in like this little bit he posted in his blog. Tell me if that doesn't get you to smile, at least a little bit. It's dark humor, to be sure, but very well written.

In the meantime, check out the comments area of my review of the film "The Strangler's Wife." One of the producer of the film dropped by and we're in sort of a neat discussion of the film itself.

One last thing:

Over at some other guy's site I discovered this Make your own South Park Character Flash thingee.

Here's the South Park me:


posted by Rob on 6:47 PM | link
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[ Tuesday, June 04, 2002 ]

I totally forgot to mention that I have a new Rental Rejects review up, for the shot-in-Boston cheapie, The Strangler's Wife.

I feel kinda bad that I wanted to open up some minds to good-but-easily missed movies, and yet all I'm finding is...


Check out the review.

Oh, yeah, by the way, two shows you're gonna want to check out are opening ths weekend.

The first is First Banana's production of "Tracers," a play about the Viet Nam war that a lot of my friends are in. That starts on the sixth and goes to the 22nd.

The second is my good buddy Scott Feiner's autobiographical "My Four Fathers," at Broom Street Theater. On my trip to Disneyland, I read most of the script (Scott gave me pretty much everything but the ending), and I really liked it.

And...oh, yeah.

I'm a character in it.

All I will say is that he got me, dead on.

Go and see it to judge for yourself. It opens this Friday, and runs for six weekends.

And tell Scott that Rob sent ya.

posted by Rob on 5:41 PM | link
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