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Scary movie and a scary man

First, the movie: I just got back from seeing Paranormal Activity, that scary movie I mentioned a while back. 1. If you haven't seen the trailer, DON'T. I think it puts too much in it, after having seen it. (I kinda hate when trailers do that.) 2. I felt a little deflated at the end, like, "That's it?" But the more I talked about it with the Mr. the more I enjoyed it and appreciated it.

  • they made this movie for 11 grand. That is INSANE. Crazy cheap. That's essentially the cost of the equipment and editing. Just about everyone worked for free, which, that's pretty cool.

  • it follows a "Blair Witch Project" style that really works. I loved TBWP, and thought the last few minutes are some of the most frightening I've seen in a movie.

(Oooh, the director's cut of The Exorcist when Regan is walking upside down like a crab on the ceiling is FUCKING SCARY.)

This movie is very creepy, and in some places, disturbing. Now, I have no belief in the supernatural, in the afterlife, etc. None. If I did, this movie would have jacked me up, like The Exorcist did when I was a believer. (Man, did that movie terrify me.) I think - overall - that I'm more terrified by my own imagination while reading something frightening than I'll ever be in a movie. Then again, I almost wet my pants during the pivotal scene in The Descent when the infra-red camera picks up OH MY GOD WHAT IS THAT THIIIIIIIING! over the girl's shoulder. GAH!! (I also had NO IDEA what that movie was about, which I always highly recommend for anyone going to a horror movie.)

In summation, I enjoyed my hour and a half, and I remembered that this was a low budget movie that looks very good and is very well acted.

Scary man: who watched Oprah's interview of Mike Tyson yesterday? I have to tell y'all, I've been a boxing fan FOR YEARS. Loved it. Saw Evander Hollyfield win the title in the 90s when I was living outside of Las Vegas, grew up watching Sugar Ray with my dad... loved it. I'd never seen someone work like Tyson did in the ring. The man was an absolute gladiator. A primal warrior, but do not ever make the mistake and think the man isn't smart. Mike Tyson is maybe the best boxer of all time, but will never be that because of his broken, broken mind. And if you didn't realize it, boxing is all about calculations. You can't be a dummy and fight well, unless you're Tom Cruise in a bare-knuckle boxing movie. Lol. Now, you can be KNOCKED stupid, see George Foreman. But Foreman trained to be a brick that could be hit and hit and hit, then, when his competitor was worn out, he'd throw a punch and win. He won by endurance. Yeesh.

[ETA] Here's a clip of Tyson's knockouts.

He talked about being terrorized as a kid, his dad beating the hell out of his mom. living on the streets (I think he had been arrested over 30 times by the time he was 13.) and I couldn't help but notice Oprah, her normal "I'm freakin' Oprah, people" bravado GONE sitting next to him. If you watch it, notice when she reaches over to pat his knee and her whole demeanor changes. The man is a brick, and I'm sure bundled energy, too. She shifted in her seat and wouldn't get any closer to him.

Regardless of changes he's made, regardless of how he's realizing the mistakes he's made, he's Mike Freaking Tyson. What do you do if he loses control? Run, that's what. He just made me sad, though. He thought drug dealers didn't come after him (he would dare them to try and take their money) because they felt sorry for him. And there was no guile, nothing, just "I am this horrible, pathetic thing, now." It's sad to see that the man is capable of intelligence, deep thoughts, no, really - but because he was never given the real tool of language, all he can do is stumble with words and try and communicate in his broken way.

There are moments when you hear him and you know what he's trying to say and know that he can't. He reminded me painfully of my ex-husband - same sad beginnings, same inability to communicate, same resorting to violence because there's no impulse control, and because you're taught that's what a man does. Absolutely fascinating interview and I'm definitely going to watch the documentary just released about him.

In the meantime, I have a plate of fudge I made and it's calling my name. I need some sweetness. (And I just got my copy of The Last Unicorn and The Neverending Story books - books I've never read! How is that possible??)


( 31 comments — Leave a comment )
Oct. 13th, 2009 07:10 pm (UTC)
I certainly didn't find PA to be the scariest movie ever, or however they're billing it, but it was definitely creepy, and well done, especially with regard to budget and the mockumentary genre. The only thing I didn't like was that the bigger production company (I think Spielberg was involved) added that moment of special effects near the end; the original ending wasn't quite like that. Still, pretty darn good, albeit not as huge as everyone seemed to be making it out to be.

The Last Unicorn is lovely, I need to get a new copy. I read TNS a long time ago--there is SO MUCH MORE in the book than in the movie.
Oct. 13th, 2009 07:13 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I was expecting "scariest ever" and forgot OH HAI MARKETING PLOY. :D But I very much liked it - except I would like to see the original ending!! I kept offering options to the Mr. as we drove home. (Like, a creepy shadow, malformed, following her.)

When I realized how much wasn't in the movie, that's when I said, "Forget the flying beagle with the crappy motor-mouth, I MUST READ THIS BOOK." And just in time for cold, rainy weather tonight, yay!
Oct. 13th, 2009 07:37 pm (UTC)
I saw part of the Tyson interview yesterday. I thought Oprah looked scared for some of the questions she asked. You're right about what he was trying so hard to say, but was incapable. It's like he was fishing around to communicate his pain, while still trying to be what he thinks a man is.
Oct. 13th, 2009 07:57 pm (UTC)
Honestly, I don't think there was a "men don't do this" sort of mindset with him. I think he had a hard time talking because he was choked up, but he's being interviewed, and if he started crying for real, I got the sense that he wouldn't be able to stop. He went on to talk about how his training involved leaving all emotion behind, because you can't be emotional when you box. He said to Oprah, "no fear, no anger, no hate," essentially. And you could tell she was surprised by that - when someone looks the way he does and hits the way he does (jeez, I don't know how many fights you've seen, but NO ONE has ever hit like Tyson) you imagine all of that rage pent up. Nope, he just did his job. His rage was after.

It's just fascinating. And very very sad. (I don't know if you caught him talking about being bullied - my god, so shocking.)
Oct. 13th, 2009 08:09 pm (UTC)
I am really looking forward to seeing Paranormal Activity! Also, I just saw The Descent, and that part made me jump out my skin too! Although I was already practically hyperventilating from the scene where Sarah gets trapped in the tunnel. That was a bad movie for claustrophobics!
Oct. 13th, 2009 08:56 pm (UTC)
OH MY GOD I THOUGHT THE MOVIE WAS ABOUT CLAUSTROPHOBIA. So I was already hyperventilating, too!!! Then I had the lovely surprise of OH CHRIST ALMIGHTY WHAT IS THAT FACE DOING THERE?!?!?!?! Ahahahaha, awesome. I love being scared.
Oct. 13th, 2009 08:52 pm (UTC)
they made this movie for 11 grand. That is INSANE.

Not as insane as Rodriguez' "El Mariachi". $7000 (pretty much entirely spent on film for the camera).

If I did, this movie would have jacked me up, like The Exorcist did when I was a believer.

Yeah, same here. Apparently that was actually the purpose of the movie. The director was a Roman Catholic believer who wanted to encourage people to take religious ideas seriously (the idea being that if they can make you believe in demons, you could probably believe in God too).

Also, have you heard the story about philosopher A.J. Ayer outsmarting Mike Tyson?

At a party held by fashion designer Fernando Sanchez, Ayer, then 77, confronted Mike Tyson harassing the (then little-known) model Naomi Campbell. When Ayer demanded that Tyson stop, the boxer said: "Do you know who the fuck I am? I'm the heavyweight champion of the world."

Ayer replied: "And I am the former Wykeham Professor of Logic. We are both pre-eminent in our field. I suggest that we talk about this like rational men". Ayer and Tyson then began to talk, while Naomi Campbell slipped out.
Oct. 13th, 2009 08:59 pm (UTC)
Seeing as both movies I've been in I've done for free because of the really really REALLY limited budget, I'm aware that movies are made for crazy cheap (and Rodriquez is the BOMB, I love his movies!!) I'm just still shocked at how cheaply some movies are made, and how expensive others are that usually suck. :)
Oct. 13th, 2009 10:59 pm (UTC)
I have really been wanting to see Paranormal Activity. I did see the trailer, though - well, I watched most of it then went "Meep!" and tried to shut my browser with my eyes closed. I hope it's not too disappointing.
Oct. 14th, 2009 12:36 am (UTC)
Hi t!! Oh, I don't think it will ruin it, it's just always best to go in blank, I think. I enjoyed it, and am still thinking about it hours later. <3 u!
Oct. 13th, 2009 11:57 pm (UTC)
since you made this post, i hope it's ok to ask -

i don't know boxing. but i know who Mike Tyson is. i just got handed an assignment, which is basicly to write a profile of a famous/celebrity athlete and examine their communication skills, or lack thereof. apparantly, my professor has this idea that certain types of people are drawn to sports, and to careers in sports, because it's the one arena where their lack of communication training doesn't matter. professor isn't *sure* this is the case, and so he said to himself "i have 300 students, in 5 classes, who have to write a paper on *something*. why not this, and if it pans out, then *I* have a paper, and maybe tenure".

do you know of any books, about Tyson or boxing in general, that you would recommend? everyone else is working on basketball or football players - i like to stand out a bit. i have the interview recorded (i haven't watched it yet - but your post has, all by itself, sparked some ideas for me :) thanks!). and since you say there is a documentary about him, so i can find that, too. (honestly, you gave me the idea to use Tyson, i was flailing around looking for a something...)
Oct. 14th, 2009 12:35 am (UTC)
Everything I know about Tyson I know from watching him over the past 20+ years. You're gonna have to google books, etc. M'dear.
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Oct. 14th, 2009 03:25 am (UTC)
There's definitely something tragic about Tyson - he's always had both the charisma and certain pitiable qualities that made him compelling and sometimes even sympathetic even as he was doing monstrous things. And he's certainly in the crowd of larger-than-life athletes from my youth - Tyson, Jordan, Bo Jackson - men you could imagine doing anything in their respective field. Save that Tyson just wasn't built to be functional.
Oct. 14th, 2009 11:52 am (UTC)
We definitely grew up in a time when athletes were redefining their sport. "Tyson just wasn't built to be functional." That's it precisely.
Oct. 14th, 2009 04:39 am (UTC)
Ahhh TLU and TS were such great books!
Oct. 14th, 2009 11:54 am (UTC)
I'm so excited, and have my kids excited to read them, too. I just can't believe I've never read THOSE. I mean, fantasy (and scifi) are my favorite genres! So many books in the world, so little time...
Oct. 14th, 2009 05:23 am (UTC)
I don't like to watch interviews with Mike Tyson because I always feel terrible, for the opportunities had and lost, the waste, the sheer waste of a life. And he's still relatively young, isn't he?
Oct. 14th, 2009 11:54 am (UTC)
Well, not for boxing. He's retired twice now after losing a few matches in the late 90s. Boxers are usually done by their 30s. He's 42? 43? Something like that. Mid to late 20s is your prime.
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Oct. 15th, 2009 02:24 pm (UTC)
Anne, I had to force myself to open my eyes in the shower yesterday, I couldn't get an image out of my mind. Ditto when I went to bed last night! THAT is a great movie. Nothing really gory, it's just... it plays on those "what was that?!?" fears so well.

I am so excited about reading it!! I'll add the other book to the list, too, I've always enjoyed your recs!
Oct. 15th, 2009 07:13 pm (UTC)
Have you at least seen the TLU movie? I was pleasantly surprised when I read the book at how faithful the movie was to the characters and tone of the original; but then, P. S. Beagle did write the script as well... And apparently Christopher Lee (who played Haggard in English and German) went to the recordings with his personal copy of the novel, having underlined passages he insisted be included word for word in the movie. It's a phenomenal, underrated, philosophical book. You will cry. Beagle's sequel short story, Two Hearts isn't necessary to read, but it adds (SUPER SAD! BEAUTIFUL!) closure to the novel (and depending on the edition you've just bought, may be already in there). Needless to say: bawlfest.

But then, that unicorn bastard made me cry watching STAR TREK, so, yeah. Fucker...

The Excorcist and Antichrist movies scare the shit out of my ultra Catholic mother and grandfather. You can't play the tinkly end music from the Excorcist anywhere near my mom, forsrs. I was most traumatized by the crabwalking and the crucifix masturbation/rape scene (I was 12 when I saw it), but the rest was kind of humorous to me. I haven't seen a lot of horror because my mom's such a weenie, but I'll keep an eye out for Paranormal Activity and The Descent.

Mike Tyson's story about being bullied was heartbreaking. D:
Oct. 16th, 2009 03:54 pm (UTC)
Paranormal Activity
Hey Stoney Love!

How is every little thing? I just wanted to put in my 1 cent...since I cannot afford 2.

Long story short...Paranormal Activity was a complete waste of time, effort and hype. If I had not been able to see it for free at a Press Screening...I would have been the one SCREAMING bloody murder.

Paying taxes and remembering that Bush JR. was our President for 8 years TOO LONG, scared me more than this horrible excuse of a movie.

The only thing that was scary about this movie was the fact that the boyfriend thought he could act...SCARY!

Love ya.
Oct. 16th, 2009 04:29 pm (UTC)
Re: Paranormal Activity
LOL, but how do you really feel?! Hee hee.

I actually enjoyed it for what it was. Scariest movie ever? No way. Not by a long shot. But a fun creepy movie that kept me from doing chores around the house? Yep! I do wish the ending was a little different, though.

(Like, it would have been cool to see her walking off and the shadow on the door being completely different and demonic, or her walking down the stairs and his body following her. Something creepier, in other words.)

Glad to see you popping in!
Re: Paranormal Activity - laurenceegibbs - Oct. 16th, 2009 04:42 pm (UTC) - Expand
Oct. 18th, 2009 03:28 am (UTC)
I've lurked around your journal for a long while now. Found you through the twilight stuff, stayed around for your wit and geeky humor. Love Love LOVE! But seeing your last post about the I'll love you forever book ( I was lucky enough to be read that by my mother, who meant every word she read) and The Neverending Story, I felt I needed to comment.

Very excited to hear what you think of Neverending Story. Excellent movie, but the book will always beat it. This book inspired me in ways I could never imagine as a child. I had never really enjoyed reading until this book, and it gave me a thirst that will hopefully never be quenched for always seeking out more amazing stories. This is one that awoke confidence in me, as I was a shy child, and I hope you enjoy it.

Sorry for the long post. But I do look forward to your entries. Always great!
( 31 comments — Leave a comment )


Are You Actually

Reading this? I'm just curious. Because that's really detail-oriented of you. Feel free to stop reading. But you can see that there's more here, so are you going to keep reading? Really? That's pretty dedicated. I'm impressed. No, really. I'm not being sarcastic, why do you get like that? See, this is the problem I have with your mother - yes. YES. I'm going there. It's time we put all of our cards on the table.

I love you, why are you doing this? After all we've been through? You don't have to be like this. You know, still reading. You could be baking a pie. And then sharing it with me.

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