Wednesday, December 22, 2010
The dog ate my homework
My friend Phil was kind enough to have a couple of us over last night to watch one of his 2010 screeners. Phil (not his real name) is in the Writer's Guild, and each year he gets a dozen or so screeners that are likely to get award buzz for their scripts. Because he's a sharing guy, he shared one with us last night, as he does every year -- even though it's probably against the rules.
Of course, he shared one with his dog first, before we arrived.
I just had to get a picture of this. He'd told me in a phone call the previous day that their dog, a new arrival in their home within the past year, had gone through a stack of screeners that had been piled on their table, and literally left some of them in shreds. It's clear no one is going to be watching I Love You Phillip Morris anytime soon. They actually already watched it, meaning I might have been able to borrow it -- but the dog removed any question of that. The dog also ate one of the ones they hadn't seen, Get Low, but no physical evidence of this was offered.
We had been scheduled to watch True Grit, which Phil and his fiancee had also already watched just two nights earlier. The reason given for their immediate repeat viewing is that they liked it very much, but had not been able to understand half of what Jeff Bridges (whom my friend calls "Old Marble Mouth") was saying. Okay, got it -- good movie, need to pay close attention.
But it never got to that. Much to his dismay, Phil's Playstation would not fire up True Grit a second time. It just wasn't recognizing the disc. Which is strange, because it played successfully on Saturday, and would play in his laptop right now. And other discs would play in the Playstation. Just not True Grit. Jokes were immediately made about the disc having orders to self-destruct after its first viewing. They're serious about screeners being watched only by the Guild members, who are actually asked to destroy these discs after viewing. But they haven't figured out the self-destruction yet. Good thing Phil's dog is available to lend a helping hand. Or, a helping tooth.
Phil tried his damnedest, but eventually had to give up. To salvage something to watch, we watched The Fighter, even though it was probably against various better judgments to start watching a 116-minute movie at ten of 10. Shorter movies were discussed, for example, The Company Men (104 minutes) and Please Give (90 minutes, and I'd already seen Please Give). Somewhere was not discussed, as it did not receive a second after I firsted it. But The Fighter was ultimately chosen, just barely, despite the fact that the consensus seemed to be moving irrevocably toward not watching any screener at all. But we made it through, and it actually seemed to be shorter than 116 minutes. Good performances all around.
That's the screener report for 2010 ... I'm Vance Tastic.