Is Johnny Cusack broke??

Is there any other reason (read that excuse) for his new flick, “Hot Tub Time Machine”?

hfautographed_high_fidelity_large_gifI am a Johnny Cusack fan; in fact, “his biggest fan”.

I have that in his own handwriting, on a copy of the DVD High Fidelity that I bought off E-bay in a charity auction.

Evidently when you pay ridiculous amounts of money for a flick you already own (and don’t even like) Cusack is willing to anoint you “his biggest fan”. ¬†Look closely, there it is on the left . . . in his own hand. “To Trace, My Biggest Fan”

I’m certain to lose my crown if he reads this piece. ūüôā

There may be some die-hard Cusack Fans who remember the Cusack Cult Website I had when I was really infatuated with all things Cusack . . . I had every Cusack movie up to 1408.  I lived on e-bay and amazon to make sure that I had all his vids.

I reviewed each and every one.  Lots of them were stinkers, but I really liked some of them: Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, and Grosse Point Blank, which he co-wrote and co-produced.

And, I really liked America’s Sweethearts, for which many of his fans derided him as a sell out.

As proof of my ‘cultism’ I’ve written two screenplays for Cusack (The Neptune Man and NightWindWoman); I tried to talk his publicist ¬†into an interview for the website for at least a year, complete with a fax of every review I wrote about him, and other seemingly encouraging words to get that damn interview. ¬†(Long story, maybe later); I even bought a copy of¬†The Davinci Code for him, and shipped it off to his production office with instructions that he had to do the film.

(Oh yeah, one can find ways to become incredibly annoying to other people.)

And, of course, he didn’t, Tom Hanks did, and then went on to do the sequel (crappy, by the way) Angels and Demons.

Really, Johnny, my advice is good . . . Tom Hanks, duh, is not doing stinkers like Hot Tub.

Somewhere along this point in the timeline Cusack got an injunction against a stalker, and I had friends who told me they literally were afraid to click the links to the articles because they were sure I’d finally pissed the guy off! ¬†I¬†disappointed¬†them . . . she was not me.

Not even close. ¬†I’d read some press he’d done about people on the internet (trust me it wasn’t complimentary) and I was more than a little agitated about the run around I got from the publicist who referred me to someone else, to schedule my interview, and they blew me off.

Why the hell didn’t the publicist blow me off?

I was bummed, irritated at the run around, and lost interest in the site, not to mention Cusack.

I did get one of his more recent flicks,¬†Martian Child, which died when it was released, but it was a really, really sweet movie. Based on a true story (I’ve read) the only truth that Cusack wasn’t willing to emulate in the flick was the author’s homosexuality. NOT going to do the Gay thing, ¬†(Too close to the truth, Johnny?) he had the script re-written for a straight guy who wanted to adopt a child. ¬†Honestly, it would have been more believable if he’d left it alone. ¬†I’ve never met a straight guy who would have gone to so much trouble with a troubled kid, and been so good at it.

And, Dammit, that was the real story.

Watch it.  Rent it.  Netflix it, or buy it at Amazon.  It is really good, it has Amanda Peet, who I love, and it is a good, sweet movie.

But this, Hot Tub Time Machine? Are you f~~n kidding me??

I am reminded of a friend from long ago, Buddy Maxwell, whom I met after he left the Marines just after Viet Nam.  He was/is a bubbly fun guy with an engaging, entertaining personality.  Off the wall, sometimes, and this would be that.  But he had an expression that comes to mind about this movie.

Dog Shit.

Not that I would use that phrase, mind you, but I will borrow it for this review, because there is no other way to describe how bad this movie is.

Surely the man is completely out of money.

And, likely to stay that way.


 POSTSCRIPT 4.25.12 The Raven

I’m planning on seeing the Raven as soon as it hits town, perhaps Johnny will have redeemed himself with it.

Download this post, or listen to it here.

My Mother was a Beauty Queen

Or, the demystification of the Magnolia-Mouthed Southern Woman

Really. I have an 8×10 of her with the Miss Vogel State Park Banner¬†across her borrowed bathing suit.

Later she was a contestant for Miss Georgia. She was beautiful. Like a 1940‚Äôs movie star, in the 40‚Äôs. And not the “I‚Äôm pretty and you better know it” kind.

bqWorse. She lived in the North Georgia Mountains, and she was recruited by sponsors because she was truly beautiful. People told her how pretty she was for the next twenty years.

They told me a lot, too. How pretty she was.

Now that may not mean anything to you, but being raised by a beauty means that things have a different value. Time, for instance. Promptness. Considered a virtue in some circles, my mother always insisted that I be fashionably late.

Think about it, at 15 you’ve lived every day for a week waiting for the party you’re going to on Saturday night.¬†Everyone else you know is also living for that moment.

And you cruise in 30 or 45 minutes late because you had something better to do?

Please.¬†Even adults recognize it as a ruse.¬†Or just bad manners. But she trained me well.¬†I couldn’t tell you how many bosses I’ve had who didn’t appreciate the “fashionable” part of late.

Looks are a big thing.¬†You’d have guessed that I suppose.¬†Looking attractive to men was a REALLY big thing.¬†I liked men’s shirts and blue jeans when I was 15 or 16.¬†I rode horses.¬†I knocked around and I wanted to feel comfortable.¬†My mother would shriek – “Don’t you want to look attractive?”

I didn’t have the guts to tell her that teenage boys are attracted to teenage girls.¬†Period.¬†Or that I was tired of fighting off boys who wanted a hand up my shirt or down my pants.

The beauty queen was so strident about looks, I didn’t wear yellow until I was thirty.¬†She said it made me look sallow.¬†Actually I look pretty good in yellow, but I still have an aversion to it.

Then there was the thing – if you want to be attractive to men, why?¬†To ATTRACT, right?¬†But, when men were attracted, you had to say “NO”.¬†So that when I met a guy to whom I was attracted (REALLY¬†ATTRACTED) saying no wasn’t what I wanted to do.¬†Being attractive to him and then going, “Oh no, just look at me!”

Attract Men?

Being attracted only left him feeling teased and me wondering why women would bother.¬†It wasn’t honest.¬†And it wasn’t what I wanted – I wanted it all!

Now, it wasn’t that my mother and I hadn’t talked about sex.¬†When I was in the sixth grade and saw the training films in Health Ed I went straight home to tell my Mom.¬†Those were the days when I shared everything with my Mom.¬†That may have been the day I quit sharing.

She wandered into the bathroom, and spoke to me through a closed door. That was our conversation about sex. Left me more than a little curious. . .

When I found out about sex, I mean really found out about sex (and it wasn’t with a 17 year old boy – it was with a 21 year old guy when I was 15, and my Mother was right – they are too experienced for 15 year old girls) guess what?¬†I knew why all the guys liked it!¬†I liked it too!¬†Oh, horrors.¬†The beauty queen wasn’t gonna be happy about this, was she?

The irony here is that I’m sure she liked it, too. But ya know, Southern women didn’t act like that.¬†They acted like they wanted it, but then they acted insulted if a guy really believed they wanted it.

No wonder men have a problem with women. It is how they act.


Now, other than the late thing and the attraction thing, the only other thing was LIFE PREP. I took Algebra early. In high school I took Chemistry, Geometry, Calculus. I also took typing. And when I got out of high school where did my parents send me? Secretarial school.

HD-OBSESSION-258X95Secretarial School. The path to marital bliss. . . a husband who will provide for you and take care of you. Except I had a taste for muscles and glistening sweat and a penchant for guys with long hair who rode Harleys too fast. Then there were cowboys … in black hats.

I think I was about 40 when I realized if a guy didn’t come across as dangerous, I wasn’t interested.

I tried analyzing that for a while, then I was 45, and anybody who was dangerous wasn’t interested anymore, so I don’t really have to stay out of trouble now. I haven’t seen trouble that I wanted since baby number four. There are six of them now. . . babies, that is. So the trouble in my life is a new generation.

Was Secretarial School the path to marital bliss?

Hell, No! Secretarial school didn‚Äôt get me a husband who would take care of me ‚Äď It got me incredibly stultifying work that helped support my first husband. And my second. And my third. I never did find a guy that made me feel like he‚Äôd take care of me. Or make me feel safe. . .

The beauty queen had a degree and worked as a secretary. She married an engineer who was independently wealthy and, financially, he took care of her. Till they divorced. Then she went back to work as a secretary. And she hated it as much as I did.

College would have been a good thing. . . . If I could have gotten past being late, and being attractive, but not really interested in anything else.

As it was, I tried living the Southern Magnolia dream of husband and baby, and when it didn’t work, I tried again. And again.

The really worst part is that it wasn‚Äôt just my Mom. It was her generation. Rigid beliefs about behavior and incredible over-the-edge reactions to “what other people might think.”

You know, they must have had a lot of time on their hands. I not only don‚Äôt care much about what other people think, I don‚Äôt have the time or inclination to speculate. . . That’s been with me since I was about 15.

What to pass on to the next generation?

I do sometimes wonder how my children will describe me. My nineteen- year-old calls me “Tha bomb.”

left-quoteTha Bomb.

That’s a compliment. My sixteen-year-old complains that all he wants is a normal life and normal parents. I stopped apologizing for not being able to deliver normal in the eighties. I still haven’t discovered it.

And he hasn’t bought into my theory that normalcy is a relative thing. Evidently he wants someone else’s normalcy.

Maybe he wants a real Magnolia-mouth for a Mom. . . And, frankly, my deah, I think we’d all be bored to death.



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