In which the writer describes his weekend succinctly. Hopefully.
This one was a real doozy, folks. A genuine three day weekend. The Holy Grail. This time because of a holiday called Memorial Day. Which, as I understand it, is like Veterans Day, only for dead people. It's a great opportunity for those among us who blindly support the military-industrial complex to stick a bunch of flags in things and to use a variety of hashtags to show they care about those poor souls who gave their lives to secure our freedom, which now manifests itself in the form of an overwhelming sense of existential dread. Smell that, son? That's freedom!
Me? I would like to take this opportunity to personally thank Donald Trump and his glowing orb for their dedicated service to this nation.
Even though the holiday itself is designed for the purpose of paying respects to our most honored dead, three day weekends are, in fact, for the living. And I am alive. And somehow, against all odds, so too is Harrison Ford. So instead of paying respects to the aforementioned dead people, I instead watched Andrew Davis' The Fugitive (1993).
Harrison Ford is a genius, but I don't know if he's ever really tried to be one. Nowhere is that more evident than in Star Wars or Indiana Jones. Han Solo and Indy are his most famous characters, but they're really just Harrison Ford with a twist. Just cool, mostly-capable dudes you'd like to go on adventures with. Just ask Shia LaBeouf. Of course, this is not a new observation, it's been said before (most recently by my friend Matthew Hibbing, who should really get himself a website so people can read his writing), so I won't get into it, except to say that Ford's play-yourself-on-TV technique works better than any of the other guys who come from the same school. Leonardo DiCaprio, who people like for some reason, just does Leo With A Mustache or Leo With A Sort Of Boston Accent, but he'd be much better at his job if he would just try and do Leo As Harrison Fucking Ford.
There's nothing fancy about The Fugitive. It's got a murder mystery with a bad guy you can see coming from a mile away. It even has one of those last minute villain motivation sequences to explain why the bad guy is such a piece of shit, but again, you don't need to be a genius doctor-cum-detective like Ford's character Richard Kimble to know that Jeroen Krabbé is the villain behind everything. That guy's everyday look is "I just hired someone to kill your wife." But what The Fugitive lacks in bells and whistles, it more than makes up for in excellent performances from Ford and Tommy Lee Jones and finely choreaographed and clearly filmed action sequences, one of which was so good that Hideo Kojima put it in the classic Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater, which I guess makes it double-iconic.
Mid-budget movies like The Fugitive are really what's missing from cinema these days. I'm not sure we'll ever get them back, but then again, we'll probably never have another performer like Harrison Ford. All of the talk of Chris Pratt as the new Indiana Jones is irrelevant--there's only one Indiana Jones as far as I'm concerned. And when he's dead we should not resuscitate.
Speaking of Doctor Kimble, Harrison Ford was almost the Michael Douglas character in Steven Soderbergh's Traffic (2000) which I also watched for the first time this weekend. And like Ford, Soderbergh is also a genius. He should have never retired and unretired--that's such a rapper move. Stay in the film game as long as you can, Soderbergh! You ain't a rapper!
My favorite part of this movie, besides the performances which are wonderful, and the script which is rich and complex, is the way Soderbergh chose to film the movie. First of all, he literally filmed this movie. Like, he was the dude holding the camera. That's nuts (not that nuts actually)! Secondly, he chose to shoot on different film stocks and color grade the footage differently depending on which characters were on screen. This helps to take Stephen Gaghan's script, which feature a metric fuck-ton of plots and sub-plots and characters, and make it easy to follow. But it also produces an unique look for the film.
It may be too early in my life to call it, but if I die before my time it will be important to have a record here so I'll just come out and say it: Soderbergh is a Jakob Free Top 5 Director, a most coveted title. Feel free to @ me!
In addition to all the paying of respects and the watching of the movies and the being consumed by massive bouts of cosmic panic, I also learned that a former lover of mine was wed to her current life-mate. This marks the third such occurrence in the last twelve months in which a woman I've had semi-carnal to fully-carnal relations with has voluntarily and legally bound herself to a man. I know writing about it on the internet doesn't serve to buttress my next statement, but I am mostly apathetic about these kind of things. I have to wonder however if this is something of a unique experience to be having at the tender age of twenty-nine. Does it say anything about me? I don't know. But it's something to think about.
And now the Witching Hour draws near. I'll say goodnight to you now, my children. Until next week. Gild your lilies. Find your center. And most importantly of all, contemplate the answer to this question: If a snake is an asp in the grass, is a grasp on the ass a goose?