Chris Walsh (chris_walsh) wrote,
Chris Walsh

Imagine this read in a voice that could make a wolverine purrrr: Anchorman at the Bagdad

In news that will delight half of my readers and make the other half go "Huh?," I kind of slightly lost it last night at Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy. Laughed the laughs of LOLsteenia, or something. Especially at the end.

A good time was had by all. For most of the time.

That said, LIGHTS OUT IN A THEATER MEANS YOU DON'T TALK CONVERSATIONALLY ANYMORE. For real. Even in a theater-pub. I sat between one group of people on my right who kept having a conversation after the evening's projected entertainment started (more on that in a moment) and a couple of other people on my left who were growing increasingly annoyed at how loud that conversation was. To the point of this conversation:

PERSONS ON THE RIGHT: [general koffeeklatching]
PERSONS ON THE LEFT: [increasingly exasperated looks]
PERSONS ON THE RIGHT: [still koffeeklatching]
PERSON ON THE LEFT: "Please, stop. Talking."
PERSON ON THE RIGHT: A pause. Then "I thought it was still the preview."

I avoided saying to that person on the right "Why would you even talk during the previews? And it's not even the previews." (As you know by now, I avoid saying a lot. I'm non-confrontational like that. Sometimes too much.)

Here's how, well, eclectic Friday night's programming was: before Anchorman's 11 p.m. start, the theater projected the fourth season premiere of Battlestar Galactica. Before that, it showed the stunningly edited and often hilarious "What the Frak Is Going On With Battlestar Galactica?," summing up the show's first three seasons in eight-and-a-half minutes. Jaw-droppingly good -- the fast-patter narration is a thing of beauty -- and showing that the program's producers have a sense of humor; I knew of BSG's reputation for not exactly being a bundle of laughs.

I was in and out of the theater during Battlestar, as I have yet to see an entire episode of the series and I didn't want to jump into the show at that point, even with the recap. But I was impressed with what I saw: vivid, a good kind of complicated in its storytelling, and GRIM. It is about a population of humans trying to avoid total genocide; and beyond that, the show has to live down the silly nature of the original Battlestar Galactica. So the producers avoid that handily. (Plus they cast Michelle Forbes in a significant role at one point, and I'm happy about that.)

Before all that (wow, this is a strangely structured entry), I hung out in and around the Bagdad. I showed up early, same as I did at The Princess Bride, before the 7 a.m. start of the evening's events. (Oh, and on the way there -- again with the backwards recounting, Chris! -- I got off the bus at the 12th and Hawthorne Burgerville and saw my LJ friend lovelyangel taking pictures. I reintroduced myself -- we'd only met in person once, at a s00j house concert -- and we had a nice chat before heading our separate ways.) I had dinner (chicken sandwich) and then killed time at various stores nearby. I leaned my head in for parts of Cort and Fatboy's live broadcast for KUFO from the Bagdad lobby, but I'd already decided that this show would be better to listen to on their podcast later, so I didn't listen too much last night. When David Walker showed up -- he does a Friday night segment for them called "The B-Movie Minefield" -- we visited; then Pat, the husband of coffeeinhell, snagged Walker for a visit with him and her, and I tagged along in their wake. Conversation commenced about writing, radio, how grim things are work-wise for a lot of us (though coffeeinhell shared good news for her on that front, to which I say "Yes!"), and how I kind of sort of look like Gene Wilder. I'll have to ponder that... I also was glad that coffeeinhell and Pat were able to make it; I'd hoped they could get to one of these screenings. Yay for being social!

Here's another reason I was in and out of the theater during Battlestar: I realized that in some way I felt "off." I felt filled with a nervous energy, like I was picking up on an odd and not all that pleasant vibe. I wasn't yet to Happy Fun Time, in other words, and felt potentially snappish. I don't like feeling like that. I made an effort to calm down: closing my eyes, breathing more regularly, centering myself. I wanted to have a good time, and I wanted to get rid of impediments towards doing that. And I reminded myself that after BSG, I could, and would, laugh. And laugh I did. (Gee, it's good I didn't think Anchorman sucked, or I might be out of sorts again...)

Anchorman melted my brain. In a good way. My brain's since reformed, but the film's over-the-top silliness and oddly opulent dialogue ("It smells like a diaper filled with Indian food" or "Milk was a poor choice" or "These are a noble people!") tickled me and did a lot to restore my good mood. (Though I actually yelled and cringed at what Jack Black did on the Coronado Bridge. HOW COULD YOU??!!) I enjoyed how much Christina Applegate looked like a Seventies version of Veronica Lake. I can watch Fred Willard brings his oddness in almost anything except Date Movie (which I already know to avoid, so I'm ahead!). I thought it was wonderfully bent to have real news guy Bill Kurtis narrate the whole shebang. And I can see what people see in Will Ferrell; I'm not as up on his work as some people I know, but even some people who don't usually like him liked him in this film. It's a strange kind of special, Anchorman is.

And that's a good chunk of my Friday night.

Next month, Friday, May 2nd: KUFO and Cort and Fatboy host their third annual late-night screening of The Big Lebowski. People who show up in a bathrobe get, er, something. I shouldn't spout off without knowing for sure. But I know The Dude abides.
Tags: film reviews, midnight movies, portland, radio

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