Thursday, October 1, 2009

A Harvey Wallbanger with a side of General Tso Revolutionary Chicken and a slice of Crazy Bread

I can't wait to see the just-announced remake of Harvey, directed by Spielberg and set to star Robert Downey, Jr. as Elwood P. Dowd. I just caught the original on HBO this morning and had forgotten how much I really did love this movie growing up. HBOSE is showing classic cinema from the first half of the 20th century during the early morning hours all this week - perhaps it's a regular thing and I have just been ignorant of it (it was dumb luck that I had shut the TV off last night tuned to this channel and there it was when I flipped it on again upon waking up).

Harvey reminds me of my father.  Not because the character of Elwood is anything like him (though they do share a powerful taste for strong drink).  Elwood is a friendly loony tune whose best friend is an invisible 6 foot tall rabbit named Harvey and I don't believe my Dad had such a companion (though he likely made friends with a number of pink elephants and creepy crawly things in his day).   No, it reminds me of Dad because he enjoyed the movie so much.  I recall him getting jazzed when he saw a listing for it in the TV guide and remembered watching it on a few occasions with him.

Harvey is a sweet, whimsical story and Spielberg would seem to have the right sensibility for it (as long as he avoids the sappy side of his nature; the story has enough of that built in).  Downey also in theory should be perfect as Elwood, the lovable lush.  He didn't get all those second chances (in career, in court, in life) without having an extraordinary reserve of charm.  And Elwood sort of had a Chaplinesque quality to him that Robert knows well.

Still, remakes are in the end remakes: they're rarely anything but a dim reminder of how much better the original was. And it speaks to the dearth of original, quality stories out there that those holding the purse strings want to take a chance on.   Since they're making it regardless of my objections, let's hope this is an exception to the remake rule.

Speaking of China (well, I am now), I see they just celebrated 60 years of Mao-style Communist rule.

Why is it that totalitarian regimes always put on parades featuring missile-toting trucks and tanks, along with a shit load of goose-stepping soldiers?  It doesn't matter if they're dictatorships borne of the left (Soviets, Cuba, North Korea) or the right (Iran, Libya, 1930's Nazi Germany and Fascist 1930's Italy).

No Macy's Float, no flying Snoopy balloons, no Mickey Mouse, no Regis Philbin and Kelly Lee GiRipaford waving from the grand marshal's convertible.  Usually it's the 'el Presidente' waving from safe inside a bullet-proof vehicle with tinted windows (funny how most dictators seem to have the title of president or chairman, how corporate).  I'll give it to China: their pres was waving out in the open (riding Regis-like in a rag top).  Of course, when all the parade participants are armed to the teeth and parade watchers are way off in the the distance, you can afford to be a bit bolder.  In a novel twist, our future eastern overlords threw in a female militia packing machine guns and dressed in red miniskirts and shiny white go-go boots to entertain the throngs.

But that didn't cover the gaping hole that separates freedom from tyranny. How do you spot a democracy? Regis and Kelly Lee (+ Mickey), of course. Sans missiles.

Speaking of Glenn Beck (can I really have a post that mentions Mickey Mouse but not Glenn?), I see on his show yesterday he was playing some sort of game in which he strings various convoluted leaps of illogical lunacy together in order to link the Obamas to various shadowy corrupt individuals who are working the presidential puppet strings behind the scenes in order to line their own pockets.

According to Glenn, "they" directed the Obamas to Denmark in order to lobby for Chicago in the bid for the 2016 Summer Olympics.  "They" are various commies, terrorists, liars, cheats, and outright criminals. "They" apparently include Oprah (because she really needs her pockets lined).

Glenn tied together his "think piece" by holding up a can of Copenhagen snuff.  Copenhagen, Denmark and Copenhagen tobacco - see the connection?  He then reads off the cancer warning on the side of the tin before putting up a big "may cause cancer" sticker next to Michelle and Barack Obama on the 1970's era chalkboard he was using to map this conspiracy of 'Olympic' proportions. His "map" on the chalkboard was set up as a sort of nefarious organized crime org chart - the kind you see in RICO trials, with Michael Corleone's photo on top.  Similarly, Glenn had both Barrack and Michelle looking down from on high atop this organization of evilness.

Ah, Glenn.  Just when I fear I'm not getting my recommended daily allowance of 'Coocoo for Coco Puffs', you fill me up with crazy goodness.