Tag Archives: blogging

“We all forget things. That’s what reminding is for.”

There was a “little” movie that you might’ve heard of in the early 90s called “Pretty Woman.”

…and a star was born.

Being a 13 year old boy, I had no interest in that film.  Mainly because at that point, my sister had a huge interest in it and I knew the kind of movies she loved when she was in high school: lame, comedy romance.  I avoided it…for a few years anyway…

Even though I had not seen it, pretty much every other person on the planet had, so there was no escaping it.  There were clips on “Entertainment Tonight,” trailers shown on every other television break, and trailers again whenever I went to a movie.  The scene that I remember is when Gere closes her hand in the jewelry box and she cries out her boisterous, yet feminine laugh.  I also remember seeing a scene of her singing in the bath tub to “Kiss” by Prince (RIP)…I remembered that because of the song.  She was America’s new sweetheart and she was not going away.


Man, I sound like I wanted her to go away…I didn’t, I just wanted “Pretty Woman” to go away.  Which brings me to my very first Julia Roberts experience; and WOW-was-it unexpected.

I remember thinking that she was beautiful, yet she had this very honest, kind, and gentle quality about her.  She gave the impression that she could be talked to by anyone.  She wasn’t goofy like I had been made familiar with through all of “Pretty Woman‘s” advertising.

In “Sleeping with the Enemy,” Julia plays a very timid, kind, and gentle housewife that is the victim of an abusive husband played by Patrick Bergin in a very aggressive, haunting performance.

The great thing I remember about her performance was the fact that the audience is not witness to an actual case of physical abuse until the end of the first act; yet her unease makes us feel like Bergin is a pitbull, just waiting for a reason to lash out.  We find out that he is and before we do, we are as tense as Julia is.  That is because of Julia (although Bergin did help portraying a total psychopath).

This movie wasn’t just a basic woman escapes a monster through “the system.”  It is a clever psychological thriller that tells us what we need to know, when the writer felt we were ready to know it.

This is the part where I remind everyone that I would hate to give anything away.  Know this, the moment of truth is EXTREMELY satisfying.

Julia, like Denzel, was another “new” star, that we all wanted to see more of.  The rest of America knew that a little quicker than I did re: “Pretty Woman.” Just like I did with Denzel, I looked for prior movies and got excited for new ones with her.  I later found that Julia had already made a GREAT movie that just didn’t hit it too big unfortunately.  For those of you that have not seen “Mystic Pizza,” put it on your list.  It is a great coming-of-age story told through the eyes of teenage girls unlike any other.  Keep your eyes peeled for a very young and fresh Matt Damon.  If you blink, you’ll miss him.

She had a very minor role in “Steel Magnolias,” which I watched a number of years later as that was labeled another “sister” movie (cue gag noise). That is a sign of my immaturity, not that the film was bad.  I thoroughly enjoyed it later.

Julia made A LOT of different movies that I enjoyed over the next twenty years…but I can’t tell you all of them at once.  I have to write about something, after all.

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“I’m the Party Pooper.”


Not at first.

Like most of Arnold’s films, we start out with a pretty nice action set.  He is searching for a bad man.  We’ve seen enough of his films to know that the people he’s about to interact with are in for a southern ass whoopen.  Much like the “Terminator” movies, he struts through a room of villains–very nonchalant–pulls out a shotgun and starts firing.  The difference here, he’s not seen killing anyone…huh?

He shoots up some of the room and scenery and scares a lot of shady people off and no one dies.


Again, unexpected.  He gets ahold of one of the shady characters and interrogates him there.  He is looking for a very bad man.  There was nothing worse than a villain on film in the late 80s and early 90s in America that was a drug dealer–unless there was a film with Nazis in it.

The snitch gives up some information that helps Detective John Kimble (Arnold) track a lead down to help him find Cullen Crisp.

Kimble gets assigned a new partner, Detective Phoebe O’Hara (Pamela Reed in a very brief and underrated comedic performance).  Of course Kimble is opposed to the assignment until he learns that the undercover op is as a kindergarten teacher.

Yes, “Kindergarten Cop.”  A very quoted movie and a great family comedy.

Phoebe is to be the Kindergarten teacher for a classroom of kids that may be the son of Crisp.  The detectives believe that Crisps’ ex love interest has changed her name, fled to a small town, become a teacher, and has a son in kindergarten.

After a fit of sudden illness, Kimble has to step in for Phoebe and fill in as the new Kindergarten teacher.

What could possibly go wrong?

Not the best first day, to say the least.  A lot of chaos, yelling, and crying.


The appeal to the movie is definitely not the plot–very simple and predictable–the appeal comes completely from Arnold and his persona.  I feel that it was a VERY brave decision for him to take this project on…the only other person I would probably want to see do this would be Clint Eastwood circa 1985-1989 after “Sudden Impact” but before “Dead Pool.” Those huge “manly-men” personas give this delicate comedy that human touch that it needs as a tough guy is forced to become compassionate, organized, and vulnerable.

This “bull in a China shop” has to deal with a lot of interesting personalities that are his students.  Another allure is that the kids are not just backdrop and scenery.  The writers were very skilled at giving us a lot of dynamic child characters with very little lines and screen time.  Quite a feat.

There is eventually some drama, a bit of a romance with Crisps’ ex, and a decent suspense sequence at the films climax as Crisp and his bat-shit mother step into the frame; but the draw to this movie is the comedic sequences that Arnold is put through as a large man that has to learn how to be delicate with fresh young minds.  Not to mention some comedic moments from Linda Hunt as his principal Miss Schlowski.  I don’t think it was an accident that the director chose to surround our giant with small children and a very small statured boss too.

He has to be bigger than life..so that when he does have to come down out of the clouds and relate to people, it’s both challenging and charming.


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Links for everyone.

So, I’ve made it easy for Americans to access my book.  I feel like a jerk for not including my loyal readers all over the world.  Just click on the link below and you should be redirected to the correct amazon store in your part of the world:


For GET BACK: rxe.me/9K35K2


 For GROWING UP MOVIES…: rxe.me/0998113018


Also, if you type “Clintington” into Amazon’s search bar, it’ll take you straight to my books.

Thank you all for reading.


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First…and last.

Sorry to disappoint anyone, but this is not a post on Talladega Nights.  Its just my weird way of letting you know that this will be the first and last time that I will burden any of you with the announcement of my first work of fiction being published and available on Amazon:

Yes.  The wait is over and I wanted to let all of you know that I appreciate all of the support that I have received from all of you these last two years.

You continue to read my work and engage with me on social media and it is both encouraging and flattering.

I hope that you enjoy it.  If you do or don’t, I’d love to hear about it.  Please take the time to give me an honest review on Amazon.

Once again, thank you.


Please join my newsletter #Clintington on Film Dope Sheet.

“I love you, dream woman.”

Oh, freshman year.


Poor hygiene.

An inability to wear current fashion trends.  Yes.  I was an uncomfortable teenager.  I know…shocking, right?  I feel that the majority of us were/are.  We are/will be able to admit it 20 years later.

We all have our best friend at that time…thank you Jared.  But we have no opportunity for a social life, generally.

All of us have a refuge…mine was SNL.

Most agree that Sean Connery is the best James Bond.  He was the first. He set the standard.  He made five Bond films before another actor attempted that role and then made two more before he decided to hang it up.

Like Sean, “Blues Brothers” is the gold standard for movies made based on characters that originally aired on Saturday Night Live.  It was the first movie made based on “SNL” characters, it had a massive budget, they went all out on guest stars, car chases/crashes, sets, and musical renditions.

I’m not arguing…

This next one is a distant second…okay, for me, closer than that.

There was a time that I didn’t know who Queen was.

Wayne’s World” changed that notion.

It’s the first time I ever heard “Bohemian Rhapsody.”  I may be naive, but I thought it was a cool new song written by a hot new band that made it specifically for this movie…

…then I watched the movie with my parents (who also loved it).

I remember them talking with their friends who had watched it too.

“I loved the rocking out in the car to Bohemian Rhapsody.”

Me: You guys know the name of that song?

Parents: We had that record.

Friends (at the same time): We used to rock out to it in OUR car…8 track.

*raised eyebrow/blown mind face*

Yes, I did buy the soundtrack…on cassette. Jealous?

I had it in my car (72 Buick Century) tape deck around the clock.


I fell in love with Wayne and Garth on SNL.  What is a lonely male freshman to do on weekends?

Can’t drive, friends can’t drive, girls liked Juniors and Seniors (yes–THAT’s why they didn’t hang out with me–*shakes head*)…again, SNL = refuge.

When they put out a movie, I was all in.  I even went to the theater…what?

I know.

Outside of the epic soundtrack and a smoking hot Tia Carrere, there was witty dialogue, a Rob Lowe comeback, and great cameos.


I was grateful for the laughs, the wit, and the star that was born in Mike Meyers, but I loved the music.  A huge part of the lore that was Wayne and Garth was their legitimate love for great music.  This was a part of the true core of both Meyers and Carvey (decent musicians in their own right).  Not only were they able to deliver a great interpretation of their material through an original script, they reminded a nation of 90s kids that the music of the 70s was more than valid.

Always remember, “No Stairway…denied.”

Advice that’ll save you a lot of money if you try to use that song on your next movie.


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Oh what a night!

Last night (09/22/16) I had the pleasure of appearing on The Imperfect Podcast from Heckler Kane Creations.

It was an honor and a true pleasure to just shoot the shit and talk movies with these guys.  I feel like I didn’t shut up much to give them a word in edgewise as I babbled on.  I tend to carry on when it comes to movies…





The experience was nothing less than joyful for me.

Joe, Dan, Wayne, and Sal were humble hosts and made me feel like a million bucks throughout the entire interview.


If you haven’t had the pleasure of experiencing their podcast, catch up with them here:

Youtube= https://www.youtube.com/user/hecklerkanecreations

FaceBook= https://www.facebook.com/hecklerkanecreations/

Twitter= https://twitter.com/hecklerkaneinc or @hecklerkaneinc

Instagram= hecklerkanecreations

It’s a bunch of good people talking passionate about film.

I hear Monday night is going to be a great podcast…wink wink.

I hope you all check it out and subscribe to their show.  You won’t be disappointed.


Please join my newsletter #Clintington on Film Dope Sheet.

Another frakking publishing update?

Another quick update to my fellow loyal readers.

Bare with me…

GROWING UP MOVIES is officially up on amazon.com.



Here is where I am asking “Please”…

For those of you that have been loyal readers of my blog for the last two plus years…please take the time to give my book an honest review.

It is this blog’s content and you are all the experts on the material.

I highly value your loyalty and would appreciate it.

Thank you for your support.

I’d be nothing without all of you, sincerely.


Growing Up Movies… The Compilation…

This will be a very quick announcement…

I wanted to get the word out that my compilation of this blog (and all its glory *wink, wink*) is now available as a nonfiction book on Kobo.

I cannot thank all of you enough for joining me on this journey and would love to invite you all to enjoy this free book as my gift to you. (You will only need the free Kobo e-reader application available on PC, Mac, Apple & Android).

This “thank you” also has a “please” attached.

Please–if you have already taken the time to enjoy my blog or if you plan on downloading and reading my book–take the time to write a quick honest review.

Again, thank you for your support.  I would be nowhere without it.

My First Chapter Sneak Peek

I’ve had a number of people over the last month ask me about my novel.  I know, it doesn’t seem like I’m ever going to publish it.  I assure you I will–in full–in November.  That doesn’t mean I shouldn’t share a little with you right now.

Those of you that have signed up on my email list were given a sneak peek (although it was just a paragraph) a while ago.

So, here is my first chapter.  I hope you enjoy it:


Matthew Bryerson

December, 1996

That scrawny looking guy that looks out of place amongst all of these people having a good time.  That’s me.  Not the one that lost his map to math lab and took a wrong turn, he is wearing a sweet orange vest though over that nice collared long-sleeve black shirt.  Go B’s!  The other guy standing next to him with the beer in his hand; the guy with the glasses and the short ratty hair, that’s me.  I’m the host of this god awful festival if you can believe that.  Look at all of those debauched little fools dancing around like its Mardi Gras.  Well, at least I get to make sure the music is good at my own party.  Once “Free Bird” hits the ears I know that it is time to jet.  You won’t hear that shit kick’n’ piss tonight.  Look at all those assholes and elbows banging together to some alternative tune that half of these people don’t understand the words to or recognize.  They have no concept of who the artist is, the name of the song, or why the poet wrote it.  All they know is that it has a good beat to slam into each other with in unison so that no one falls over and gets trampled.  I enjoy this kind of music for different reasons.  Right now I just want to listen to the words and try to understand why this song is speaking to me in this moment.  I don’t know why he titled it “Lithium”.  Maybe it was because that is how he felt after taking it.  Maybe that is how he thought he might feel if he took it, who knows?  “I’m so happy…I’m so lonely…Sunday morning is every day…Light my candles in a daze….YEAHHHHH!” Every time I hear it, I try to see myself doing and being those things that he describes.  I never can relate it to Lithium though since I’ve never taken it.  Besides, I think an upper would be more appropriate.  I might act like these guys and enjoy myself.

I used to have fun at these things, but lately I don’t have that much to cheer about.  Now, before I continue, I’m writing this so you get a perspective of what it’s like to be an average guy digging through a trough.  I’ve hit some peaks, but as I write this, I tend to be in what I am hoping is a small gutter with low flow.

That girl’s alone.  I should go talk to her.  I hate this part.  This is the shit that I have never been good at.  She’s alone and waiting and I’m bumbling around with my hand in my pocket trying to think of something clever to say.

Oh, man.  Asshole spilt beer all over me!

I didn’t need that.  It’s one thing to be witless and dry, the wetness adds an anxious bonus.  Now, before I take this plunge, I should probably give you a little back-story so that you get to know me before I make a total and complete jackass of myself while trying to woo this innocent girl with my evil man powers.

Four months ago my life changed…

September, 1996

I woke up to an empty bed and my unhappy girlfr—ex-girlfriend—was packing the remaining portion of her stuff.  What the hell, right?  Well, I kind of saw it coming, but no one—I’m talking no one—wants to go through what those days offer.  So I got up and watched her finish packing.  Yes, it was stressful and I did take my glasses off and rub my temples.  You’ll find that I do that a lot when I am trying to think of something clever to say.

She just kept packing that damn box and didn’t act like I was even there.  The packing kept getting louder and louder with each object that hit the bottom of that box.

Thump!  Thump! THUMP! THUMP!

“Don’t go.  Please, I know how hard it is to live with me.”

That’s about as clever as it gets when I am stalling—pathetic, but honest.

She just kept packing that goddamn box as if I had not said anything at all.


“Just…Can we talk some more?”


“I know we hashed the hell out of this but….”



THUMP, went one more item as she crossed her arms and glared at me.  I may have come on a little strong with that last request, but I got the result.  It was probably the first time I had her full attention in the last six months.

“Thank you.”

I had to stop and think for a second before I lit the fuse.

“Now I refuse to believe that this entire time that we’ve been together you weren’t happy.  How can you be with someone seven years and not tell them that you’re unhappy?”

Question of fucking Questions if you ask me.

“We had fun.” PRESENT TENSE, PRESENT TENSE! “We have fun.”  I stumbled over that one.

“I love Thursday mornings.”

On Thursdays, we alternated making breakfast in bed for each other.  We hadn’t missed a Thursday in the seven years we lived together.

“You’re a great cook.”


“That’s our catch up day.  I love breakfast.  I . . . I love you.”

Stalling again.

“Don’t you see that?  Now, I know that I am miserable, but I have always loved you.  You’re the only one I’ve been with since high school.  If that ain’t love, I don’t know what is.”

You can’t see her face right now, but she is mentally slitting my throat; bad time for a joke.

“Seven years.  Do you really believe we’ve been wasting our time?  We can work it out.”

When she stood up and picked up that box, my heart crushed my balls.

“You seem content.  But, if you ever had a feeling at all that we weren’t doomed from the beginning, you’ll empty that box and talk to me.  But if you leave, that means you never really loved me.  It was just words every time you said it.”  Heartless manipulation, I know, but she was leaving with the last box.  

There was a blissful moment there when I looked up into her eyes and I thought for a split second that I had her, but her mind was made up.  When she slammed the door behind her, it was a slap to the face.  I got up and had to say something.

“Seven fucking years!”  I shouted at her.  “What a cliché!”

It’s unfortunate that I am one of those “has-to-have-the-last-word” kind of guys.  Even though she didn’t say anything the whole time, that door slam was louder than any of those expletives I yelled at her.  So I tried to slam the door louder than her a couple of times, but it just never seemed to get as loud as hers no matter how much force I put into it.

I don’t remember a lot of the details that day, except when I broke the news to my “friend(s)”.  You have to tell someone.  They’ll find out eventually and it’s just better to get it off your chest.  It was after practice, and I had a shitty practice.  Everyone noticed.  My best friend Billy sat down next to me after practice when we were taking our cleats and shin-guards off.  I only had what happened with Randy on my mind, as you can imagine.

“Whew, I am one sweaty bastard,” he said.  “I think that was all right for me any way.  You okay?”

No, my girlfriend left me.  How are you?

I really said, “Randy left me.”

I thought that he was going to throw up.  I guess that’s how best friends react.

“Fuck you, serious?” he asked.

I just gave him a look and he understood how serious I was.

“Fuck, sorry man.  What happened?”

I was surprised by all the expletives.  He doesn’t curse a lot—especially with the “for unlawful carnal knowledge” word.  I didn’t know that I had it in me to make him swear so much.

I couldn’t answer his question.  I needed more time to think about it, but I didn’t particularly want to be alone, either.

“Let’s go to Emery’s and we’ll talk about it.  I don’t want to do it here.”

Just a side note, Emery’s is my favorite sports bar.  Wonderful food, any beer you want, and—it’s locally owned so there are no corporate douche bags worried about sales and expanding.  Fucking Cheers man.

Anyways, as I invited Billy to the bar, I didn’t notice the tall drinks of water standing behind me; Davy and Brock.  I would call them friends, but  with friends like these—well, I guess all best friends give each other shit, that’s why they’re your best friends.  Musketeer wise, Davy is to Aramis as Brock is to Porthos as Billy is to Athos.  Yeah, I’m fucking d’Artagnan.  I’m telling the story, I’m d’Artagnan.

So, not noticing them, they heard “Emery’s” and their ears perked up.

“Emery’s?  I’m down,” said Brock.

Before I could say anything, Billy blabbed, “Randy left him.”

“Fuck off man.  Serious?” asked Davy.

I couldn’t describe the look I threw Billy.  I don’t think he felt comfortable with his back facing me the rest of that evening.

“Well, let’s go get some pizza bombs,” suggested Brock.

“And beer,” Davy added as he looked at me and shook his head.  “Shit man.”

We made it across the street and started talking after we sat and ordered our food.  I was definitely ready for sympathy night, but Brock and Davy weren’t selling.

“She basically told me she never really loved me,” I continued.  “I know I’m a fucking asshole, but come on, I made some sacrifices for her.”

That was the point at which I hoped the conversation would lead to my “friends” reminding me of all the sacrifices I did indeed actually make, but they weren’t going to tug on that line.

“Like what,” asked Brock.

I wanted to knock the smug bastard off the back of his bar stool.

“Like staying here instead of trying out,” I quickly reminded him.  “I went to school because she wanted me to.  I wanted to go try out for the Foxes…didn’t happen…I stayed here for her.”

“You were really going to try out?” asked Davy, raised eyebrow in tow.

What the fuck?

“YES…as sure as you’re sitting there.”

I couldn’t let him think that I wouldn’t.

“So go try out now man, you’re free,” said a positive (and appreciated) Billy.

“Next year man.  I missed this year.  Next year.”

Brock shook his head wearing a pompous smile, “I think that’s your problem right there.”

“What?” I asked.

“You’re always putting shit off. There’s no decision making, just excuses.”

“Nice Brock,” said Billy.

At the same time I said, “What the fuck man?”

All Brock could muster at that point was, “Hey, I’m just saying.”

My steam whistle was getting ready to go off.

“Do you have to say it now? Dickhead!  My girlfriend just left me after seven fucking years.  The only woman I’ve ever been with.”

All three of them sipped their beer and ate their pizza.  I lost my appetite.  It was very uncomfortable.  Davy broke the silence.

“Brock makes a good point though.”

“Don’t encourage him,” said Billy.

Davy replied, “No, hear me out.”

He looked at me and smiled, I didn’t want to hear what he had to say, but I knew I was going to.

Davy continued, “When did you finally declare a major?”

Low blow.

Everyone knew I didn’t want to be in school, so how the hell was I supposed to pick a major.  I replied honestly.

“When I had to.”

I wanted to call him a dickhead, but I don’t think he would have heard me.

“How many times did you switch majors?”

The fucking questions! I just wanted them to eat and leave.

“Five times.”

I couldn’t look at them.  I just looked up at one of the televisions and drank my beer.  I didn’t care what was on; it could’ve been “Beverly Hills 90210 for all I cared.  I wasn’t going to look at those assholes.

I could feel their eyes on me for a split second. I know those two bastards shared a smug glance with each other.


Damn silence.

“What kind of friends would we be if we didn’t point out the obvious,” asked Davy.

At least the douche bag broke the awful silence.

“The kind that do it later,” said Billy.

I could have kissed him.  He took the words right out of my mouth.

He continued, “Like not the day that someone’s been fucked over.  I know he’s an asshole—hell he does.”

“I do,” I said.

Please continue sir.

“It doesn’t mean he needs to hear this shit right now from you assholes.”

They ARE assholes! I don’t know why I hang out with those two.

“Well he needs to hear this,” Brock spouted off.

“I’m sitting right here,” I wanted to hit him.  No one likes it when they’re being talked about like they’re not there.

“You need to hear this,” agreed Davy.

Motherfucker!  I want to kick his ass too.

“You guys are out of line,” said Billy.

Speechless for too long, I got sick of the silence.  I did what every guy I know does when he is having a conversation that is going nowhere and he no longer wants to have it.

“I gotta take a piss.”

And I did.

I didn’t see it, but I imagine Billy shook his head like he always does when he’s disgusted beyond words.

I don’t think I’d do that to them if they were in this circumstance.  I don’t think they know better….but sometimes, friends feel that being self-righteous is the only way to be a true friend.  That’s Brock and Davy.

So the day after my friends reminded me of what an asshole I was, we had a game.  The game was not one to be remembered, but what I do recall was very interesting—I “shared a moment” with someone at that game.

Okay, that sounds weird, I know, but I’m banking on it’s not what you think.  I’m not the kind of guy to get sappy and write about what a wonderful, kooky experience I had and how it changed my life for the better.  As much as it changed me, I don’t have a gift of visions where I go from town-to-town helping people change their futures. Like Kane from “Kung fu”…that would be badass—but…no, not that kind of “moment.”  I don’t write those stories.  I write what I know and I know that it was a perception, but it was a little more selfish than the average, uh, “gift.”  That’s probably why I don’t write those kinds of stories.  Yet again, we are aware that I’m an asshole; well established.

I remember the whistle clear as day as the ref called a foul on Billy for tackling from behind.  The next thing I know me, Davy, Billy and Brock are setting up the “wall”.  Davy was on my left facing the ball.  Billy was on my right facing the ball.  Brock was next to Davy with his back to the ball as he looked to our keeper for directions.

I always get jazzed up when I’m standing in the wall.  It is one of the few experiences in life that can be generally physically painful, but emotionally rewarding at the same time.  It was different that day, my mind wasn’t in the game.

I remember looking into the stands for any sign of Randy.

I also felt that was a great moment to share my pain and frustration aside to Billy.  I’m not sure why, but when you feel shitty, you just want to talk about…a lot.  To anyone that will listen.

“I can’t believe it was all a sham.  I thought she loved me.”

Billy humored me.

“She fooled all of us,” he said, a little distracted.

Yeah, my head was not in the game.

“Man, seven years.  All on one girl,” I said as I turned to Billy.  “One fucking girl.”

“Well,” he replied lowly, “you have to admit, you haven’t actually been beating them off with a stick my friend.”

I jerked my head toward him and glared.

Startled by the abrupt and honest comment from Billy, I heard the ref blow the whistle and as I turned back to react, I remember seeing a white and black checkered sphere spinning toward me as blackness flashed.

Yes.  Right in the forehead between my eyes.

It all happened in slow motion when I thought about it later. I remember being able to read the Adidas label on the ball right before it struck my head.

Billy told me I was out for over a minute.

The light faded in and I opened my eyes.  I woke up to Billy’s out-of-focus mug standing over me.  He was smiling like he just got laid.

“Bright side—you saved a goal,” he said.

Like I’m concerned about the score—we were getting our asses kicked.  I sat up, moaned, wiped the drool/snot from my mouth and felt that red spot on my forehead.  When I stood in the mirror later I could read sadida.

“Bad news—I think you gotta concussion dude.”

Billy helped me up and I don’t remember walking off the field.  I was thinking that it was going to be a late night talking to Billy because I knew that asshole wouldn’t let me sleep if he thought I had a concussion.

I guess everyone clapped when I got up and walked off.  Funny thing, the biggest cheer I ever got while playing was when I had to leave the game because of an injury (I didn’t score a lot of goals).  Billy helped me off with one arm over his shoulder and I made my way.

Now, I don’t know why, but it was like the sun was a perfect spotlight on that girl I saw in the stands.  She stood up from her seat and began walking down the stairs, all in slow motion of course.

I made it off the field as she was making her way down the stadium steps when our eyes met.  She stopped and I felt my heart race.  My head was heavy.  Something was going to give.  Billy lost his grip on me and I hit the ground, knees first.  My head followed as it slammed into the track that enveloped the barrier of the field.

I remember what I saw when I was out again, but it was difficult to describe.  I was in my apartment, it was dark, and there were a lot of people.  I couldn’t hear anything, but everyone looked like they were having a good time mingling, and some were jumping and dancing to the music I couldn’t hear.  I was floating through the crowd, not flying above them, just hovering through them.  I was drawn to a light that was coming from an open door.  Everyone else there didn’t notice it like I did.  I know because I checked.  I felt invisible.  I walked through the door.  I saw the girl I noticed at the stadium as I passed through the doorway and the spotlight hit her at the end of my tunnel vision.

I wanted to find out who she was.

I know that I was “awake” at the game, but everything was fuzzy and I didn’t start to remember anything until after I got home.  Billy was there to make sure that I was okay.  Good guy, but I remember being annoyed because I was tired and wanted to sleep.  He wouldn’t let me.  Like I said, I had an awesome new forehead tattoo. He went and got an ice pack ready and told me to put it over my sadida.

I was inebriated and I just started talking about whatever came to mind.  Of course I talked about her.

“Did you see her Billy?”


“I’m not sure, some girl.”

I felt so tired and wanted to doze off.  Billy humored me; allowing me to babble on.

“She was so…so pretty.  She…was sweet looking and gentle.  I noticed her leaving as I fell.  She had her hair up in a ponytail.”

“I love the ponytail,” he said.

“Me too,” I replied.  “It’s so…so cute.  She had this delicate little smile.  Her hair bobbed up and down as she descended the steps.”

I remember seeing her face in that moment.

“There was this holy glare about her as if she were the only one that stood out among one-hundred people.  I wish I would’ve gotten her number.”

“Okay,” he said.  “You got hit really hard.”

I did.


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“I can’t lie to you about your chances, but… you have my sympathies.”

I have to do a “two-for” every now and then.  These are definitely worthy.

The evolution of this story, like so many others, started with my mother.  I remember her always referring to the first movie in the series as the “scariest movie” she’d ever seen.  She mentioned it in passing when I was about 5 and I never forgot it.  I was not allowed to watch it at that time given my age.

Approximately 6 years later, the sequel was the Sunday Night movie on ABC (I think–one of the big four networks, anyway).  My father was very excited when he found out and started queuing up a tape.  I remember the ominous score at the beginning as a very small spacecraft was docked onto a larger one.  The speed with which the engineers cut through the metal doors is an image I will probably never forget.

This was my first exposure to what would be the greatest hero I have ever seen captured on film.


I both loved and hated Sunday Night movies.  It gave me plenty of opportunities to be exposed to a number of different movies and it was edited for television, so my parents generally always let me watch them.  I still had an 8 o’clock bed time and that meant I never got to finish the movies unless we recorded them.  I got an hour at most (more like 40 minutes of real time due to the commercials) and I always slept poorly on those nights because I wanted to know what was going to happen next.  I remember being able to vaguely hear some of the louder action scenes from where I laid in my bed that night.

The last scene I remember before having to go to bed is when Bishop did the famous “knife trick” over Hudson’s hand.  There was much that I was already confused about, like when Ripley discovers that Bishop is an android and she loses her shit on him and the rest of the command crew, why she was having nightmares, etc.

The next day, I decided rather than finish this movie, I’d rather watch the original.  I was already getting my arguments ready for my mom in my head right before I asked her.  I didn’t need them.

“You’re old enough now,” she said.  “You have to watch it with me and your father though.”


My mom was not lying.  “Alien” was a creepy trip.

The quiet, anxiety tone that they create builds the perfect tension for later “jump” scenes.  The concept of a “birth” occurring and unleashing one of the greatest murdering-machine villains of all time is beyond creative.  It was unlike anything I had ever heard of.


My mom told me after we watched it why it was so scary for her the first time around.  My dad took her to this movie blind.  She knew nothing about it, had not seen any previews, and did not know what to expect.  She was not mentally ready for what she was going to view.

Luckily, she was kind enough to give me 6 years to mentally prepare for my first viewing.

I mentioned that Ripley is the greatest hero ever seen captured on film.  That wasn’t bullshit, or an overstatement.  She is my favorite hero to watch to this day.  She is smart, calm under pressure, inventive, and does not like to take any chances (listening to her discuss their options with the rest of the crew is one of the best bits of acting and dialogue in this well written feature).  She is willing to do everything necessary to keep herself and her crew alive.  Unfortunately, her foe is just as crafty, and about 100 times stronger in a physical contest.  Watching Ellen Ripley develop from a “background” character into the leader and survivor that she becomes is a joy.

aliens sleep

The sequel, “AlienS,” is a very appropriate title.  Our heroes, a crew of marines, go to the planet that Ripley and her original crew found the first alien on.  The planet is now inhabitable and has a small town of people mining the resources there…that is, they thought they were and have now lost contact with them.  Ripley is eventually convinced to go and tries to warn everyone as to how things are more likely to go poorly before they get better.  The prideful female marine, Vasquez, interrupts her warning and arrogantly lets her know that if Ripley shows her where they are, she will take care of the rest.  Ripley wants to believe her, but we can see and hear it in her voice that she doesn’t.

Remember how I said “AlienS” was an appropriate title.  They didn’t bring enough bullets.  Their first encounter is a disaster and more than half their company is wiped out. Maybe three aliens get killed in the process, one of them by Ripley when she takes charge and drives their RV into where the retreating marines are, to extract them.  Whatever confidence the marines had is now lost and people start to take Ripley seriously.

I love both of these films for very different reasons.  “Alien” is an imaginative horror story all about mood and tone and begs us to ask “what is going to happen next?”

Aliens” is a very well written and acted action extravaganza with amazing set pieces, props, special effects, camera tricks, and a well developed multi-dimensional calm and collected Ellen Ripley.

Aliens” also has one of the best action scores ever written.  I made mention of James Horner when I wrote about “Krull” and listed “Aliens” among the best of his work.  It holds up today and ad agencies still use it in their trailers.

For those of you that have not taken the time to watch these, prepare yourselves.  Dedicate some time and watch them back-to-back, preferably with someone that has already seen them and loves them.

Is there a greater way to watch a movie new to you?


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