May 22, 2004

Lord of the Rings and Buffy the Vampire Slayer fans unite! Now you can have your cake and eat it too. Or, if you prefer, have your Ring and slay it too. People with far more brilliance (and time on their hands) than I have combined the musical episode of Buffy with the epic story of Lord of the Rings. I present an excerpt of Once More With Hobbits. You really must see it for yourself. Then you really must hear it for yourself. There are MP3s! Squeee!!

(Excerpted from I'll Never Tell from Once More With Hobbits)

LEGOLAS:
He's short
GIMLI:
He's pretty
LEGOLAS:
He thinks his jokes are witty
GIMLI:
He hums some elven ditty
As we run along

LEGOLAS:
He's gross, and hairy
GIMLI:
He acts like he's a fairy
LEGOLAS:
He's stubborn and contrary
Stupid and headstrong

GIMLI / LEGOLAS:
This chase
Is really wearing
GIMLI:
No one taught him about sharing
LEGOLAS:
He thinks wearing brown is daring
GIMLI:
He can be so overbearing
GIMLI / LEGOLAS:
But it's all very well
'Cause I swear I'll never tell...
In honor of the May 25 release of the Saving Private Ryan D-Day 60th Anniversary Commemorative Edition, I present for your reading pleasure my abbreviated version of the script.

Saving Private Ryan
Gabrielle's Shorthand Script

EXT. CEMETERY - DAY

AN OLD MAN WHO CERTAINLY WON'T TURN OUT TO BE MATT DAMON IN LATER YEARS
My friends are buried here. I remember how they died...

DIRECTOR STEVEN SPIELBERG
This is going to be an epic. Not that I make any other kind of film these days, but seriously... if you thought Schindler's List was a weeper, this will knock your socks off.

EXT. BOATLOAD OF SOLDIERS NEARING BEACH - DAY

SOLDIER
*vomits*

TOM HANKS
Let's go get my Oscar, boys! Er... I mean, let's go!

The SOLDIERS and TOM HANKS descend onto the beach but are all brutally slaughtered before getting there by FACELESS EVIL GERMANS.

FACELESS EVIL GERMANS
We're left over from Schindler's List. Grrrr... are we bad-ass or what?

SOLDIERS
*dying* ...glug, urk...

Limbs fly and SOLDIERS die. Bullets zing and grenades explode. This is repeated for hours. Eventually everybody is dead except TOM HANKS and his BAND OF MOTLEY SOLDIERS including TOM SIZEMORE and BARRY PEPPER.

TOM HANKS
That was a brutal assault. War is brutal.

TOM HANKS steps over some random limbs and wipes blood off the camera lens. He surveys the scene with a tearful eye. A limb falls from the sky.

DIRECTOR STEVEN SPIELBERG
War is hell. See? War is hell.

TOM HANKS
War is hell. See? War is hell.

TOM SIZEMORE
War is hell. See? War is hell.

VETERANS IN THE AUDIENCE
War IS hell. It was so hideous. *they cry*

TEEN BOYS IN THE AUDIENCE
What the hell? I thought this was supposed to be violent.

TEEN GIRLS IN THE AUDIENCE
Where's Matt Damon? He's soooo cute!

RANDOM GENERAL
We need to save Private Ryan. Otherwise this film's title won't make sense. Send Tom Hanks. And his band of motley soldiers.

TOM HANKS addresses his BAND OF MOTLEY SOLDIERS. They are worn and bloody because war is hell and because they are a motley band drawn together in adversity. We know this is true because there is no other reasonable explanation for the other badass soldiers taking ELLIOTT from E.T. along with them. Except directorial nepotism.

DIRECTOR STEVEN SPIELBERG
What are you saying?

TOM HANKS
*addressing his motley band... not to be confused with Motley Crue* Guys, we need to find Private Ryan.

The RANDOM GENERAL rushes in with a script and whispers in TOM HANKS' ear.

TOM HANKS
Er, make that SAVE Private Ryan. We need to SAVE Private Ryan.

BARRY PEPPER
Why?

TOM HANKS
Because.

BARRY PEPPER
It makes no sense to risk eight guys to save one guy.

TOM HANKS
Forget about it and I'll give you a role in my next film, The Green Mile. Also sure to be an Oscar contender.

BARRY PEPPER
Right. Saving Private Ryan. Here we go.

EXT. OUTDOOR LANDSCAPES OF THE WAR-TYPE VARIETY - DAY

TOM HANKS and his BAND OF MOTLEY SOLDIERS head into the thick of enemy territory to find MATT DAMON. Along the way many men die bloodily and needlessly, further reinforcing the idea that WAR IS HELL. The SOLDIERS are distraught and many die. TOM HANKS is distraught but in an Oscar-friendly way. It rains and bullets fly and in general it would appear that WAR IS HELL.

DIRECTOR STEVEN SPIELBERG
See?

After a lot more death and the flying of more limbs, TOM HANKS and his now-severely-depleted BAND OF MOTLEY SOLDIERS find MATT DAMON.

TOM HANKS
Your brothers are dead. You've got a ticket to ride.

MATT DAMON
I'd rather stay.

TOM SIZEMORE
Suit yourself.

TOM HANKS
No! *affects tearful voice and striking pose* We came all this way to find you and bring you home. War is hell but we endured it and many of us died just so you could have freedom. My men died for your freedom. This is not a blatant plug for the film's message. It is true. Many of we who are yet strangers to you died for your freedom, never having met you and without personal cause to do so. We suffered the hell that is war and died for you. Now let's go.

MATT DAMON
Although I now understand the film's message, I think we should stay and fight. So that more of you can die for me and thus make this point even more poignant.

TOM HANKS
Ok.

DIRECTOR STEVEN SPEILBERG
Are you taking notes?

AUDIENCE
Yeah, yeah... war is hell... freedom costs...

TOM HANKS and MATT DAMON and whoever else is still alive stay and fight more FACELESS EVIL GERMANS. Much blood and hellish brutality follows. It is obvious to even the most clueless audience member that war is hell. Everybody who does not have lines dies along with everybody who does, including TOM HANKS.

TOM HANKS
... I'd like... to thank the... Academy... eerk, gurgle... war is hell.......

MATT DAMON
Wow. Everybody including Tom Hanks is dead. I bet nobody in the audience saw that one coming. War sure is hell. And a lot of people sure did die for my freedom.

THE ACADEMY
This deserves an Oscar. So does Tom Hanks. He's always good. We love him. And war movies are incredible. Just like Steven Spielberg. Let's nominate this film for every category and then snub it by allowing Shakespeare In Love to win.

EXT. CEMETERY - DAY

OLD MAN WHO TURNS OUT TO BE MATT DAMON BY PROCESS OF ELIMINATION
All my friends died for my freedom. For my family's freedom. War is hell and freedom costs.

DIRECTOR STEVEN SPIELBERG
See? See?

THE ACADEMY
We love you, Steven Spielberg.

The End

May 18, 2004

Troy.

I quote Peter Travers of Rolling Stone:
"One of the film's highlights has Paris foolishly taking on Menelaus in hand-to-hand combat and then crawling to safety at the feet of his older brother, Hector (Eric Bana). Public shame adds character to the young prince, and Bloom acutely registers the change. Bana, the Aussie actor who was so good in Chopper and so lost in The Hulk, gives the film's strongest performance, nailing the nobility in Hector without making him a paragon of dull virtue."

(speaking of...) Virtue Number Three

May 17, 2004

Troy.

I quote Stephen Hunter, Washington Post Staff Writer:
"Petersen is an old pro. His is a narrative sensibility, and he's capable of keeping the story moving and subplots straight. He's got an eye for beauty too, though mainly of the male kind. He so loves the image of the helmeted, husky warrior boys, bulgy of bicep, lean of loin, aglow of sweat, eyes feral and fierce in the slits of their art-deco steel pots, that he hits it over and over and over. Many a gay man will consider this the ultimate date movie."

Virtue Number Two

May 16, 2004

Troy.

They say a picture is worth a thousand words so rather than force you to read, I'll extol the many and wondrous virtues of Troy visually.

Virtue Number One