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8:40 p.m. - 2010-05-01
Random Death

Hey Kids! It's time for another of those wildly popular entries y'all just rave about:

Random Shit on My Mind

Scene-of-the-accident roadside memorial shrines. A southern custom that's inexplicably wended its way up here during the last decade. Over the past few years I've seen these tatty and tacky things cropping up ever more frequently and I have to wonder about people's need to be outlandish in their grieving. Invariably the most lavish and ridiculous of these roadside memorials are the ones dedicated to people who died from their own stupidity. I could see it (maybe) if the victim was taken out by a horrible accident not of their own doing. A marker of sorts to honor someone unfairly killed. But it's rarely, if ever that. Nope, it's always some fool whose own jackholery put him in the ground. The gaudiest and most lovingly tended of our local roadside 'shrines' is one dedicated to a complete shithead whose blood alcohol was 3 times over the legal limit and wiped out doing more than 100mph through a residential neighborhood. Four years now and there's still fresh flowers and balloons and poster-sized "We love you, (Dead Guy)!" signs being nailed to the tree that dipwad smashed into on his drunken careening speed rally. There's an engraved marker too. It reads: 'Forever our hero, (Dead Guy)' and has his birth and death dates on it. Hero? The only 'heroic' thing that asshole did was managing not to kill anyone else when he CHOSE to get pig drunk and go ripping along a residential street at nearly the speed of sound.

Another new piece of gaudy ghoulishness is the rear window memorial cling film thingie. You roll up behind someone at a light and there emblazoned across their back window is what's basically an advertisement for some dead guy. To me this puts the deceased on par with lawn mowing services and Amway products.

'Dedicated to:
'John "Big Dude" Grobnik'
'June 14, 1978-July 5, 2010'
'Rock On, Buddy!'
'For more info call: 555-9999'
'Reasonable Rates, Fully Insured'

Yes, I'm kidding about the last two lines, but seriously? Window clings? Blech. It's one thing to want to honor and remember a dead loved one, it's quite another to turn your vehicle into a rolling headstone. Who is this for? Not the dead guy, that's for sure. He's not up in Heaven looking down and going, "Sure, dying sucked, but damn I'm digging having my stats on the back of Joey's SUV."

I don't get it. Never will. Please, when I get dead, especially if I did something selfish and dumb to get that way, no roadside shrines or window clings, okay? Please? Thanks.

Now to continue on our jolly theme, a review of 'Death At a Funeral'.

Saw it this afternoon after the day had turned off beastly hot and we decided sitting in the Regal's nicely air conditioned auditorium was a better idea than hanging out here at home sweating our butts off.

(It's fricken May 1st and it's 91 goddamn degrees? That's just wrong on so many levels.)

This movie is the American remake of an English movie of the same name. I'm not sure why a remake was necessary, especially since the British one came out in 2007 and couldn't possibly need 'updating'. And as I understand it except for a few cultural references that were switched out to Americanize it, the script was a line by line copy of the original. The main cast was switched from an all white cast to one that's primarily black, but the fabulous Peter Dinklage played the same role in both movies, so again the cast change was nothing more than an attempt to make this version more 'ours', I suppose.

In any case the movie is hilarious. No matter what type of humor tickles your funny bone I guarantee this flick has at least one bit that will make you laugh out loud. Saucy word play? Got it. Slapstick? Yup. Gross out potty humor? Oh yeah. Drug humor. Riffing on death. Classic sibling rivalry, vicious mothers-in-law, cantankerous old dudes who refuse to curb their nastier impulses anymore, everything, this movie had everything. While no one can ever top Neil Simon when it comes to snappy comedic dialog, Dean Craig comes pretty darn close to Simon's genius with this screenplay.

Interesting was how Chris Rock played the straight man. The put-upon protagonist Good Son. He did it really well too. No secret mugging at the camera when everything about the funeral slowly went fubar and then sailed clean over the edge into absurdity. Chris Rock stayed in character and dealt as best he could in his earnest everyman guise as each new calamity unfolded and what had once been the solemn funeral for his beloved dead father took a rocket sled trip straight to (hilarious) Hell.

Try to catch this while it's still in the theaters if you can, next week starts the cycle of summer blockbusters and I know 'Death At a Funeral' is going to get the bum's rush to make room for another screen of 'Iron Man 2' or 'Robin Hood'.

Random within a theme, ~LA

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