Good thing that hydrogen peroxide incident from earlier last week didn’t actually disintegrate my eyeballs because I had shit to watch this past weekend!
First up was “Us,” which was playing at our local theater that’s a five-minute walk from the house and if that didn’t wasn’t there, I would likely never see movies in the theater because it’s a struggle for me to get motivated just to sit somewhere for 2 hours! I like watching movies at home because I can pause that shit and move around.
Anyway, I allowed Janna and Chooch to accompany me and on the way there, it occurred to me that the last time I saw a movie in the theater was “Get Out,”….two years ago almost to the day. With the same people! So, I guess I only leave the house for Jordan Peele movies now. Super niche.
Inside the Hollywood, which is now owned by different people insistent on making this a mainstream House of Action Flicks, the ticket lady reminded me that it was an R-rated movie.
“I know, it’s fine,” I said, handing her my credit card.
“OK, I just wanted to make sure you knew that this was a horror movie. There was someone who brought a bunch of kids to an earlier showing and they left after 10 minutes,” she continued her attempt hard sell me into a hard pass, and I half-expected her to hand me a waiver to sign at this point. This was almost as awkward as the time I was carded for Scream at the Denis Theater in the 90s. Like, look, do you want your money or not? I can’t remember ever being there to a packed house so TAKE MY MONEY WHILE I’M STILL BEING NICE ABOUT IT.
I explained that he was basically born and raised on horror and that seemed to appease her but I was getting ready for her to administer a DNA test to verify I was his mom, shit.
We claimed our favorite spot in the balcony and then the Hollywood subjected us to three rounds of the same four commercials, one of which was for Taco Bell nacho fries. Is this the shit I’ve been missing since I stopped watching TV? Wow.
Then they only showed two actual trailers before the movie finally started. I won’t get into the nitty-gritty of it but this movie was EXCELLENT. At first, I won’t lie, I wasn’t sure that I was going to like it only because it looked like it was going to go in one direction which displeased me but then it quickly took a turn and I was back on board to the point where my final verdict was: “BETTER THAN GET OUT.”
And you have to know that I thought Get Out was a fucking excellent film, even beyond the genre of horror. Jordan Peele’s ability to weave in ultra-relevant social commentary within a trope-less horror script is so impressive.
- There’s a pretty vague/obscure Lost Boys reference in the very beginning that I may have actually missed if my friend Nate hadn’t alerted me about this beforehand. I was watching some “things you missed” YouTube video after watching “Us” and when the narrator mentioned this part, she prefaced it with “Fans of the 1980s vampire movie Lost Boys, but really, how many fans does that movie really have” or something along those lines and I was PISSED.
- The Luniz “I Got 5 On It” makes an audio appearance twice in the movie and it legit made me so happy and nostalgic because that was my JAM back in the day and I still have my (super-oversized) Luniz shirt shoved in the back of a dresser drawer. It features a cartoon condom on the front so there’s not many places I can wear it, really. Next time I have to go to the school office, maybe?
- Coincidentally, Chooch and I have been watching Umbrella Academy, and Mary J. Blige is in that. I actually saw her, along with the Luniz, at this huge concert at Civic Arena in 1995…I think it was called The Phattest Hip Hop Show or something. I went with this guy Ken who I was friends with but turned out to be so toxic, and also his favorite song back then was Nikki French’s cover of “Total Eclipse of the Heart” so….Anyway, we had seats right on the floor and Puff Daddy (that wash is name then!!!!) threw cash monies into the crowd and I was so close to snatching a bill out of the air. So I was telling Chooch these things the other night and when I mentioned Biggie Smalls, he cut me off and cried, “YOU saw Notorious B.I.G.?!” He hates learning more facts about my golden childhood/teen years and I LOVE TELLING HIM ABOUT IT.
When the credits started to roll, Chooch slowly applauded and then stopped and looked around. “What? Doesn’t anyone clap at the end of a movie anymore?” He sounded like such an old man!
Janna and I had an impromptu photoshoot in the ladies room while waiting for Chooch to use the mens room. He made us go downstairs to the restrooms with him because he was scared, lololol.
The next day, Henry, Chooch, and I went to see Kara’s son Harland in his elementary school’s production of Willy Wonka Jr. We were more than happy to support not only our friend’s kid but also a city school. See? Sometimes I care about those kid things.
Here’s Henry meeting his culture quota for the year.
Before the show started, the people in front of us came back with WILLY WONKA CANDY BARS and Chooch and I started whining about how we wanted one too so Henry reluctantly slinked off for the concession stage. Then he came back and said HERE, YOU CRYBABIES. I DON’T KNOW WHAT THE BIG DEAL, THEY’RE LITERALLY JUST HERSHEY BARS WITH A FAKE WILLY WONKA WRAPPER.
I guess we were expecting some chintzy elementary school rendition of Willy Wonka, rife with stuttering, missed lines, and questionable costumes fashioned from pipe cleaners and garbage bags, but apparently this school is like Fame Junior, so it was half-past chintzy, more toward glitzy. I mean, the girl who played Willy Wonka started the show by entering through the back of the auditorium, spot-lit and hitting us with her beautiful falsetto, and then people from the balcony showered her with handfuls of confetti.
The kid who played Charlie should have a contract with the Disney Channel and there two little girl Oompa Loompas in particular who stole the whole fucking show for me. I was goddamn obsessed with them and their urban sass. Oh, and Mrs. Gloop reminded me of when I was Zsa Zsa Gabor for a class project in 5th grade and I couldn’t stop cracking up at her adorable accent!
And then Harland, also an Oompa Loompa, casually wheeled across the stage on his unicycle, which was hilarious!
So this Urban Impact place across from the school assisted with the production, including the set design, and it was like…the real deal, man. Lightyears beyond crepe paper and cardboard, you know? There were giant golden tickets flanking the perimeter of the stage and each one would light up with the kid’s name who had just found a golden ticket. It was nutz0rz.
(Cats and Pizza applied to protect the innocent.)
Chooch’s school doesn’t have anything like this at all, but there is a CVS across the street so perhaps in the event they ever decided to put on a musical, they could paper mache their sets with the mile-long receipts we get with every CVS purchase.
Sigh. School shame. All we get at Chooch’s school are bi-annual no-frills performances by the “band” and the chorus.
I really, really liked that prior to the show starting, the Principal came out to do some rule-rapping and one of those rules was to implore everyone to not take pictures or videos during the show, that there would be photo-ops afterward and DVDs are even going to be available. So it was really nice, and also extremely unusual in the year 2019, to be able to sit back and just enjoy a damn show without having to watch it through the screen of the person’s phone in front of me, so kudos to all those parents who actually listened!
This was a real treat and I’m glad that Kara told me about it. It was awesome getting to support Harland, and Chooch was so stoked to cheer him on, too. Aaaaand, Henry didn’t even fall asleep!
What a great weekend. 뿅!