Five Pounds

I went to see the latest Will Smith Oscar-bait opus, Seven Pounds, on cheapo Tuesday. I only saw five pounds worth.

To go with cheapo Tuesday, my friends and I also went out to the nearby cheapo buffet. I’d been there four or five times before because there aren’t too many places on the east coast where you can get all-you-can-eat sashimi. Sure, I’d been warned off eating dodgy raw fish before, and a buffet isn’t the most likely place to find top-of-the-line salmon, but if it’s raw fish and it doesn’t already have flies on it, it’s probably going to make my mouth water.

Flash forward half an hour and we’re in the theatre. The tone of the film is morose, because morose is how you win Oscars. And I start wondering idly to myself, “Why do I feel like I’m dying?” I mean, the movie isn’t all that depressing. I’ve seen harsher stuff. I’ve seen harsher stuff this week. Eventually, I realize it isn’t the mood of the movie, it’s the mood of the sashimi. The salmon wants to return to the sea. Now.

While I was in the bathroom, having an experience not entirely unlike what John Hurt had in Alien, I got to wondering what key plot points I was missing in the theatre. It was easy enough to piece it together after I returned and assured my friends that I was just fine, thank you. Still, I never consider I’ve seen a movie until I’ve seen the whole thing.The salmon was off.

Luckily, we live in an age of rampant piracy. Another friend had told me a few days earlier that he had already seen every single film conceivably up for an Oscar this year thanks to the miracle of bittorrent and Academy screeners. Screeners get sent to Academy members around this time of year, and it was only last week I had to physically restrain myself from snatching one member’s DVD copy of Gran Torino I saw just lying around unopened on a coffee table, its “Call If Broken” security tape still intact. Despite draconian security measures like…well…a bit of sticky tape, Academy screeners always get leaked to the online pirate sites, giving the whole world access to pristine widescreen copies of movies currently in cinemas, marred only by an occasional “For Your Consideration” blurb at the bottom of the screen.

By the time I got up the next morning with a newly settled stomach, I had a fresh copy of Seven Pounds waiting for me on my hard drive. It was quick, it was easy, and it was even cheaper than a five-dollar ticket price and sixteen bucks’ worth of bad fish. One day, somebody smart in Hollywood is going to figure out the correct business model for video on demand and then we can all stay home and order in films and food poisoning whenever we want.

*

Surfing the web, I stumbled upon this way-cool trailer for Kid vs Kat. There are plenty of shots from my episodes in the mix. I remain eager to see the completed cartoons. Somehow I think it’s unlikely the actual show will feature the great but overused trailer music that accompanies Coop and Kat’s warfare here, but it sets a nice mood for two minutes and thirty-five seconds.

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