Monday, June 1, 2009
DRAG ME TO HELL + Dolsot Bibimbap + Guitar Hero = Happy Birthday
My perfect day? Pretty damn close. I don't get too worked up about birthdays but birthdays are an excellent excuse for selfish digressions.
Gift one: Drag Me to Hell
This year, May 29th was on a Friday, and I felt like films were opening just for me! And in my area of the world, that meant choosing between Up, Adoration, Rudo y Cursi, The Song of the Sparrows and Drag Me to Hell. Hidden within these choices is probably an excellent personality test: Which film do you most identify with? In my case, I am firmly, with no hesitation, a Drag Me to Hell girl. Equal parts guilty pleasure and sheer joyful entertainment, Drag Me to Hell was an excellent birthday gift.
Much has been made in the past few weeks about Sam Raimi's journey from cult horror hero to indie innovator to blockbuster salaryman. Whatever. Raimi marches to his own drum whether it is huge or small, great or schlocky. Ironically, Drag Me to Hell seems to be the amalgamation of all those things in the best possible way. If Drag Me feels like a return to Evil Dead, it is because the balance between scary, funny and completely offensive is perfect. But for better or worse, Drag Me has control and gloss that Raimi did not possess 28 years ago.
Raimi, fully aware of genre expectations, throws the handbook out the window. Scary things happen only at night? Forget it. Our poor heroine, Christine Brown, is taunted by demons during the day. Aren't you men tired of being the maniacal horror film menaces? Well, you can rest easy this time: it is an old lady who is turned into one of the creepiest characters you will ever have visit you in your dreams. Think horror is all about torture these days? Aw hell no. Raimi does more with mucus, maggots and nose bleeds than Eli Roth can shake baseball bat at. And lastly, don't be so friggin' serious! Let's have some kitten sacrifices, some crazy girl fights with biting (sans teeth) and hair pulling, and corpses that fall out of their coffin and spew embalming fluid all over the place. Yeah! And as for the good girl never dying...you're just going to have to check out the movie to find out about that one.
Gift two: Dolsot Bibimbap
Actually to be a little more precise: haemul pajeon, kimchi jeon, dolsot bibimbap and a big can of Sapporo beer at the best Korean Restaurant in the Twin Cities: Kings. If you live in the area and you haven't been to Kings, I suggest you go there as soon as you can. Don't let a strip mall in Fridley fool you: this place is a hidden gem. (Vegetarians beware: the wait staff will have a hard time not laughing when you ask for suggestions that do not have meat or seafood.)
Gift three: Guitar Hero III
I got a PS3 a while ago for Blu-Ray capabilities only. As much as I love playing video games with my nephew, I need another distraction like I need a swift kick to the head. So I have been resisting the game option that the PS3 offers (while silently perusing the video games at Target.) Best way to not feel guilty about playing video games? Receive them as a gift! My friends got me Guitar Hero III and NBA Live so I can get away from all those movies and join the real world occasionally. We spent a good part of the evening practicing "Barracuda" and "Talk Dirty to Me." Seriously fun and seriously funny. As for NBA Live, I am looking forward to deluding myself with a video game that Minnesota has a good NBA team.
Until next year (its a big one!), happy birthday to me.