napoleon dynamite

directed by Jared Hess

starring Jon Heder, Jon Gries, Haylie Duff, and Efren Ramirez as Pedro

we were supposed to see Coffee and Cigarettes at the lemelle sunset but they were having this eating contest so we shared a plate of funnelcakes and watched the gorge fest.

apparently we had inadvertently crossed paths with the LA Film Fest. whatever. just living here is a gdamn film fest.

but a live eating contest, well thats entertainment.

the guy’s name was crazylegs and he had rounded up 5 people who were really good at eating certain things fast.

a hot dog eating guy

a guy who could eat a lot of boiled eggs

a spaghetti eating little kid

a guy who can eat a lot of pie

and a guy who could eat a lot of reese’s pieces

crazylegs beat the first guy pretty easily.

then he kicked the boiled eggs guy in the ass.

but then this little nine year old bobby brady lookin kid used his whole hand like a shovel and didnt mind getting dirty and destroyed the blonde dreadlocks bespeckled white dude named crazylegs.

people were shouting and cheering and this was a normal looking kid. a boy who just smiled in astonishment. everyone was staring and cheering and i was waiting for him to double over in pain but no, that amount of pasta hadnt affected the lad in the slightest, except for the slight staining around his mouth due to the sauce, nothing more than what a good paper towel and some mother’s spit couldnt remedy.

in the minute he ate probably five plates full of spaghetti and crazylegs, a grown man, who, youre right, did just eat about twenty hot dogs and thirty boiled eggs, but he is after all a professional.

after all that excitement we went up to the ticketbooth and saw that Napoleon Dynamite was playing.

The ads made it look stupid but what the hell, we had already received some free entertainment, the movie only had to be a little bit good and we could call it even.

Weird thing is, Napoleon Dynamite is actually a pretty good film. It’s outrageous, over-the-top, and very funny. and somehow, bizarrilly realistic.

Don’t miss the opening credits featuring a white stripes song.

three esthers.

dc pierson + treacher + i cant wait to vote

American Splendor

starring Paul Giamatti, Judah Friedlander, Hope Davis

HBO Films / Fine Line

directed by Shari Springer Berman & Robert Pulcini

the central problem with american splendor is its not very funny. its also disjointed and directionless. it also tries to do weird little tricks for no good reason.

once it works.

american splendor is a story about a bitter cleveland underground comic book writer named harvey pekar who made several interesting appearances on the david letterman show in the 80s.

for some reason the co-directors found it necessary to include the real-life pekar into the film along with the actor, paul giamatti, who is portraying him.

in one scene the real life co-worker of Pekar, Toby Radloff, is seen talking to the real life Pekar as the actors portraying the pair watch in the background.

i take it back, it didnt work, it sorta worked.

we want to root for pekar. he has a good story to tell. it’s interesting.

his relationship with underground comic book star and illustrator of some of pekar’s comics, r. crumb, isnt nearly as interesting as his relationship with his co-worker, radloff

its a nice suprise in the movie.

its not a bad film, its just in no way a 2003 top ten film.

why it was R-rated is beyond me.

Giamatti, who played Pig Vomit in the Howard Stern movie, Private Parts, is more than believeable in this film.

At times he is preferred.

in the Greg Vaine movie rating scale, i give American Splendor a Good-Good

e-nerve + superheros bleed + greg vaine