271 – Not-So-Lazy Sundays

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excellent photoshop courtesy of Megan Baker

Sundays are the worst. The entire day is mired in the inevitability of Monday, and the return to work or school that it heralds. Unfortunately for me, Sundays mean that I have to go back to work AND school. Because they’re the same thing, you see. So I think I can be excused for trying to take it easy on that last day of freedom. I was expecting today to be as lazy a Sunday as I’ve ever had – so lazy in fact, that I would almost write the same review twice. But life has a way of surprising you.

My standard weekend tends to consist of sleeping a lot and watching a bunch of movies. Don’t worry guys, I did a significant amount of that over the last couple of days, but then Sunday threw me for a loop.

I was going to start the day with a double feature of The Boxtrolls and The Equalizer, because I love movies whose titles start with a definite article. The best opportunity for that dub feetch presented itself at the Pacific Theater in Culver City. For those of you who aren’t LA-based it takes about 30 mins to get there from Hollywood – already a big commitment. But once I arrived in Culver, I realized that I didn’t really want to be the solitary adult in basketball shorts at the earliest screening of a children’s movie. Plus, I don’t have that Training Day history to support an interest in the new Antoine Fuqua/Denzel Washington movie. So I called it early, and got back in my car.

That’s one avenue of laziness thwarted by apathy (another issue entirely). As I drove back to Hollywood (another 30 minutes, Middle America) my mind drifted to the Alien Quadrilogy boxset resting on my desk. What a perfect time to correct a large hole in my movie-watching history. So once I got home I popped in the original Ridley Scott film. This may be controversial, but I liked it a lot. I was worried I wouldn’t just because I was already familiar with so many of the plot details just by being exposed to the cultural zeitgeist, but Scott’s movie is anchored by a strong ensemble cast and some well-composed scenes. Now the question is how far into the quadrilogy (not a real word, by the way) do I want to go.

So I watched a sci-fi classic. Sounds like my day is getting lazier. Well hold on to your butts, because I followed that up by actually watching Training Day. Yes, I filled the cinematic gap that prevented me from seeing The Equalizer, and I’m glad I did. I got into a debate about whether Denzel really did deserve the Oscar that year over Russell Crowe from A Beautiful Mind, and I stand by the Academy’s decision. Denzel is crazy in Training Day, but in a more interesting way than Crowe’s run-of-the-mill, schizophrenia-flavored crazy. Turns out that Training Day is a really good movie that gets a little undermined by a ridiculous coincidence near the conclusion. Still, you can’t deny everything that comes before.

Follow that movie up with a nap, and all of a sudden the title of this review is pretty suspect. “That sure sounds like a lazy Sunday to me, Steven,” you say to me in an unnecessarily accusatory voice, “that’s exactly the kind of stuff Andy Samberg and Chris Parnell were singing about back in 2005.” Well did they wake up to remember that they were supposed to be hosting an improv practice that night? I thought not.

The Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre is preparing for Harold Team Auditions, and that means all of the hopeful candidates are scrambling to get in as many reps as possible in the next two weeks. Despite a general misanthropy, I have managed to make a few friends that try to include me in such pursuits, so last week I offered to host one of these practices in my apartment. Tonight. That means making the place presentable after a weekend of living up to the nickname I gave it three-plus years ago: The Hostel. We sometimes collect weary travelers looking for a place to stay, and the last couple of nights were no different, as an old college buddy slept on the couch. He picks up after himself, but that doesn’t mean I can just let 8 new people into the space without doing a little picking up.

Practice went well. My neurotic fixations on the Harold Audition process probably warrant a separate review, but I’m getting a little more comfortable with the whole thing. It should go a lot better than last year.

And so, I finally get all of those improv refugees back on the street, and just when I’m ready to get back to being lazy, I realize I have to write this. What a nuisance. More trouble than it’s worth, I say. But with less than 100 days to go, you can bet your ass that I’m gonna finish. Even if all I want to do is curl up on my bed and watch Alien vs. Predator.

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