Sometimes, The Wheel is on Fire

Sometimes, The Wheel is on Fire

Thursday, April 12, 2012

It's Alright, I Guess

During this year's Blogging From A to Z April Challenge, I'm highlighting things more people should know about. For the most part, I'll be ignoring the most popular and widely known items (and sometimes my personal favorites) in order to promote the unfamiliar and underappreciated.

Let's kick this thing off right...


FILM
Kiss Kiss Bang Bang
Robert Downey Jr.'s best film. Val Kilmer's best film.1 A small-time crook who lucked into an acting job (Downey) is on a stakeout with a P.I. (Kilmer) to research his role when they stumble into the middle of a murder investigation involving his childhood crush. Fantastically witty, dripping with sarcasm, and playing on traditional action movie clich├ęs, this film is perfect for when you've had enough drama for one day.
TELEVISION
Kids in the Hall
Sure, most of you probably already know of this five-man sketch comedy show. But I contend they're underappreciated, because they've been off the air for 18 years, and because they're Canadian. Besides, arguing with me won't do any good; if you try, I'll just crush your head.2
GAME
Killer Bunnies and the Quest for the Magical Carrot
Warning: This game is not for serious gamers. Try to kill your opponents' bunnies with weapons like European Robotic Titanium Termites, Bittersweet Chocolate-Covered Anti-Matter Raisins, and Ebola. Try to keep your bunnies alive with the Magic Spatula or a Large Prune Danish. And even if your bunnies survive till the end and you've collected the most carrots, it may all be for naught, for the winning carrot is chosen at random. Because it's not about winning. It's about how you play the game.3
MUSIC
Kaiser Chiefs
They're a band from Leeds (that's in Britain, for my geographically challenged readers) named after a South African (that's in Africa) football (as in soccer) club (something to beat people with). It's fun Britpop with great energy, and why am I still describing it? Have a listen and make up your mind for yourself.
LITERATURE
The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness
Todd Hewitt can hear other people's thoughts. But then again, so can everyone else in town. When he gets close to finding out a terrible secret they've been keeping from him, he flees with his dog (who also thinks aloud), and comes across an eerily silent creature: a girl. The first he's ever seen. He's scared by her silence, she by his noise. But they must work together as they run for their lives. This is the first in a trilogy, and surprisingly, each book is better than the one preceding it. Ness gives us such nuanced, duplicitous characters,4 and such neat plot twists, the books are practically unputdownable. What? It's a word.


1 I say it edges out Iron Man and Top Secret!, respectively. You may disagree, but I don't care.
2 I also contend that 1994-95 saw the end of nearly all great sketch comedy on TV. That time saw the exit of (in my opinion) the last cast of SNL worth watching, as well as the end of Kids in the Hall, Exit 57 (my E show), The Vacant Lot (a similarly short-run affair), and another favorite of mine I'll be covering on S day. What's come since... Mad TV? Meh. Portlandia? Pass. Its-a-Sketch? Imaginary. I rest my case.
3 And, how many bunnies you kill. With the Nuclear Warhead, for instance, you might be able to take out every bunny on the board. Including your own. Good times.
4 Plus, twice in the series he made me care for a character I'd disliked originally, only to cause me even more pain. Novelists could learn a thing or three from him.

18 comments:

  1. A very entertaining post. i think Val Kilmer might be allergic to Rober Downey Jr. He's all puffy in that film.

    mood
    Moody Writing
    @mooderino
    The Funnily Enough

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    1. Ooh, I think you may be right! I always just assumed he'd eaten one of the extras before filming started.

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  2. Must head directly to Killer Bunnies...

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    1. Okay, but be careful... they're armed.

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  3. The only one of these I'm familiar with is the film. Great movie.

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    1. Fantastic film. I wish I were watching it right now. (Unless you're a genie. Then I rescind that wish and provide others.)

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  4. You made me laugh with your post to my blog so I just had to become your newest fan, Nate! Anyone ever tell you you're really witty? I am friends with anyone who loves Robert DJR as much as me. I like Kids too...the rest are new to me but I will check them out!

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    1. I suppose a few people may have told me that before, but I'm not a good listener. They may have actually said I was really pretty, or a steely kitty, or like Conway Twitty. I find them all to be suitable compliments.

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  5. Kids in the Hall! Used to watch that show all the time.

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    1. All the time? I think that's a slight exaggeration. Unless you've mastered sleep watching. I bet you have, haven't you. What's your secret? Tell MEEEEEEE!!!

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  6. Well, for the first time, I have no first hand experience with anything you've mentioned here. But the movie, at least, is in my Netflix queue.

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    1. Judging from some of your other favorites, I think Kiss Kiss Bang Bang will be right up your alley. Wait, do you even have an alley? Okay, well here's what you need to do. First, get an alley. Then, wait for Robert Downey Jr to show up in it. (You shouldn't have to wait long.) Then you just sit back and enjoy.

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  7. I love Patrick Ness's trilogy. I'd put off reading it (for no particular reason) but I was desperate to blaze through all three once I started the first.

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    1. The friend who recommended the series to me said I'd want to blaze through it like you did. Just to prove him wrong, I waited a couple months between books 1 & 2. I'm not usually one to brag, but I have amazing willpower.

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  8. Was KKBB the cocaine Robert Downey, Jr. or the later one (who may still use coke for all I know)?
    Thought he was great in Sherlock Holmes and Iron Man.
    I think I'd like to see this movie, though.

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    1. I believe KKBB was one of his first roles post-rehab and after his time on parole. At least, I didn't notice any ankle bracelet or white powder on his nose during my multiple viewings...

      And yes, you'd like to see this movie.

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  9. You forgot the part in Killer Bunnies where your wife forgives you for killing all her bunnies, but not for stealing Flo, her favorite carrot.

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    1. I don't steal Flo, I liberate her. Besides, since you always tell people I make you lose, I have to live up to that claim or else I've turned you into a liar. And that's just not my style.

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