I rent a lot of movies. Some are movies I didn’t want to pay $8 to see in a theater. Some I just didn’t have time to see. Some I wish they would have paid ME to sit through.
There are lots of clerks at my video store but invariably I always get the same guy. He has an opinion on every movie I bring to the counter. And he voices that opinion. LOUDLY.
“Let’s see- ‘Friday’. That’s a good flick. Ice Cube plays against type in this one. I thought he would be all gangsta and everything but he plays a regular dude in it with a whole family with a Mom and a Dad and all. Now, Chris Tucker, he’s just his crazy regular self. I think he steals it. I’ll bet they saw him in this movie and said that dude is funny. Let’s put him with Jackie Chan and make a hundred million dollars.”
“Oh, yeah. ‘187’. That’s a good flick. Samuel L. Jackson. That guy is an actor. If you like that guy you should also check out The Negotiator. He’s this cop who is framed, right, and then he and Kevin Spacey have a duel of wits. Crazy. Did you know in ‘Do the Right Thing’ his screen credit name was Sam Jackson. Whatsupwiththat? SAM! Like, hey Sam. How ya doin’, Sam? What’s up, Sam? Good to see you, Sam. It just doesn’t sound the same as SAMUEL L. JACKSON.
“I mean, what if Robert DeNiro was ‘Bobby DeNiro’. It’s not the same, is it? I mean, Bobby was the kid on the Brady Bunch movies, right? You couldn’t have Robert DeNiro in a Brady Bunch movie, could you? I mean, Alice would yell at him for not putting the basketball back in the garage and leaving it laying in the driveway and then he’d say to Alice, are you talking to me, are you talking to me, are YOU talking to ME, and then he’d whack her with her own kitchen knife, am I right?”
He seems disappointed if I bring up a movie that was popular at the box office. “Armageddon? Oh, yeah, sure. Well, it had some good stuff. Great soundtrack.”
I’m just glad they don’t have adult videos. “Oh, Debby Meets the Copier Repair Man. That’s a good flick. We don’t have them all but there is a whole series. Debby Meets the Pizza Man. Debby Meets the Pool Guy. Probably the biggest seller was Debby meets her Evil Twin. Great stuff. You know what they should do.
“They should put Robert DeNiro in an adult video. He could play the Pizza Man. And then he goes over to this house and there’s a girl there who REALLY NEEDS A PIZZA if you know what I mean but then the Pool Guy is there and he really wants to CLEAN HER POOL instead of Robert DeNiro so the Pool Guy says get out of here Pizza Man, right, and DeNiro says are you talking to me, you know, and then he whacks the pool guy and throws him in the pool and then proceeds to deliver the pizzas, what do you think?”
Like everyone in LA he has written a screenplay: “I’ve got my own ideas, right? Like, I wrote a movie about LA called Final Days. What happens is that all the natural disasters that we have in Southern California happen all at once, right? First it starts to rain, then hail, then mudslides, then the Santa Ana winds come in which start big fires.
“Then a typhoon hits which creates a big tidal wave that crashes over Venice Beach and fills the LA basin with 65 feet of water. People are swimming for their lives. Angelyne is floating around on her breasts. Dennis Woodruff is floating down Pico with oars sticking out of his car. Then after 4 or 5 days of chaos Charlton Heston climbs on top of the Hollywood sign and he spreads his arms wide and he says, ‘Do not be afraid, my people, for I will lead you out of Los Angeles and down the 405 into Orange County where you will be free to vote Republican and own assault weapons’. What do you think?”
Finals Days? Yeah, right. Are you crazy, you video-store-clerk-half-baked- film-critic?
It’s going to be a hit.