I (Heart) Drug Addicts.


Well, as you may have guessed, life around the House o’ Troupe is quite busy these days. Little Jake is growing like you wouldn’t believe. He’ll be 4 weeks old on Wednesday and he’s already wearing clothes made for 3 month old punks. Sheesh. The kid is going to be a brute.

But, we’re adjusting fairly well since his arrival. I’m really happy to report that very few people are asking me if I’m getting any sleep. You see, Laura and I have a pretty good system. She goes to bed early, I stay up late and there’s usually a period where we’re both actually asleep for a little amount of time.

I do have to say that being up late with a little guy to feed and hang with has been a boon to my movie/tv/dvd watching. It’s insane, actually. And the thing that’s the most insane? I’ve found that I’ve been drawn to movies and shows about drug addicts. Strange but true.

Here, for your consideration, are a few brief reviews of the crap I’ve been watching whilst hanging with the littlest of Troupes:

Intervention – It’s not like I’m new to Intervention, but I’ve recently gotten myself caught up on last season’s episodes I had stuck on the ol’ DVR. I can’t get enough of seeing these people with rotten, evil addictions. The sorta hot model chick who loves drugs and cheating on her boyfriend? Wow. How about the poor-man’s Britney Murphy who goes out to Baltimore to ‘perform’ for scum-bags to get $60 for more of her mouth-watering meth? Nice! Or the hobo kid with the serious beard who just can’t seem to get enough crack? Uh-oh! The only disappointment I have is that Jeff VanVonderen doesn’t seem to be working for the show anymore. He was my favorite interventionalist. A cursory Google search tells me he had a brief relapse into addiction of his own. Oh, man…

30 Rock (Season 1) – Okay, I admit it. I was wrong about Tina Fey. I was always one of those guys who remained stone-faced during her Weekend Update stint with that uber-boob Jimmy Fallon. I just didn’t think she, solo, or together were very funny. I also didn’t think her Sarah Palin impression was much to write home about. But 30 Rock? It’s classic quality of the highest order. After the first few episodes, I was like: “It’s funny, but if Tracy Morgan and/or Alec Baldwin left, it’s curtains. By mid-season, I began to understand the appeal. By season’s end…I had a mini crush on ol’ Liz Lemon. I’m so easily swayed, it makes me embarassed to show my face in public sometimes. Regardless, I’m saving Season 2 for a special occasion. It’s that good.

Black Snake Moan – Another movie with a drug addict. This time it’s in the form of a dirty and really skinny Christina Ricci. Seriously. Is that Wednesday Addams? I hardly recognize her. In case you’re wondering, yes…this is the movie where ol’ Sam Jackson has Christina chained to his house with a…well, chain. It’s directed by the dude who did ‘Hustle & Flow’ and I thought it was pretty decent. It’s REALLY rough around the edges and doesn’t exactly leave you feeling all that great about life. And, hey ladies, it features my arch-nemesis Justin Timberlake in the biggest cry-baby role of his life. It’s funny to watch him act tough with that high, squeaky voice of his. Worth watching? Sure. Worth buying? Eh… I got it for a measly $6.

Little Miss Sunshine – So sue me. I hadn’t gotten around to watching LMS before a couple weeks ago. My parents thought it was garbage (then again, my mom hates every movie she’s seen, except Chicago and Seven Pound) but it was one I always thought I’d dig. It has, you guessed it, a drug addict, in the form of Alan Arkin. I thought it was pretty damn good if you want to get right down to it. Steve Carell was brilliant and pretty much everyone rocked my performance fleeced socks off. It’ll be interesting to see what the producers and directors of this do next. Just don’t expect me to see it until, like, 3 years after everyone else.

Tropic Thunder – Yeah, yeah. Another drug addict in this movie. Jack Black plays a dude who can’t get enough of that delicious, lip-smacking heroin. But to put it bluntly, this was easily one of the worst comedies I’ve seen in a long time. There were like 3 jokes in the whole thing and it broke the cardinal rule of comedies. Thou shalt not make a comedy feature film that exceeds 90 minutes in length. I was soooo bummed. Almost everyone I knew who saw it (except my bro) thought it was good quality. Ugh. They should’ve called it ‘Tropic Caca.’

SherryBaby – Maggie Gyllenhal (too lazy to spell check) plays a…yes, you guessed it, drug addict, ex-convict who wants to reconnect with her estranged daughter. And…sheesh, she’s really rough around the edges and will do anything (wink, wink, nudge, nudge) to get herself back on track. It’s a really pretty dark movie, but dang if ol’ Maggie doesn’t completely dominate the screen with her performance. You totally believe she’s this poor, messed up woman who just can’t seem to do the right thing. I don’t know that I’d recommend it to everyone, but pretty moving stuff, yo.

King of Kong: Fistful of Quarters – For the nerdy video game player in me. This is probably one of the craziest and most compelling documentaries I’ve seen in a while. It’s about Steve Wiebe (wee-bee) who is a family guy who’s been laid off from his job. To while the time away between interviews and job searches, he plays Donkey Kong in his garage on one of the old-school stand up arcade machines. He decides he’s going to take on the long-standing high score held by a guy I’m convinced is the anti-christ. Even if you don’t care about video games, you got to watch this flick just for the people-watching alone. Plus, there are no drug-addicts and it’s a mere 83 minutes in length. Perfect!

Half Nelson – A movie about a drug-addict school teacher and the unlikely friendship he makes with one of his students. It’s got an Oscar-nominated performance by Ryan Gosling and while he’s pretty good in the flick, the story itself just kind of meanders and doesn’t really go anywhere. I finished it last night and was like. Really? That’s it? Did their budget run out?

Anyway, that’s been my life in the wee hours as of late. I’m still in awe at how awesome it is to have Netflix, not only because they farm movies out to you on the cheap, but because you can set up your Xbox 360 to pull movies into your TV instantly. Seriously. It’s the coolest thing ever. I’ve got like 15 flicks in there, just waiting for me to burn away the time while I pump stinky milk into my newest kid. If you have the means, hit a soon-to-be-closing Circuit City and buy yourself an Xbox 360 for a reduced rate and get on board.

Best. Movie. Watching. Plan. Ever.

Oh…and about the drug addicts? I don’t know what it is about me. I’ve never used an illegal drug in my entire life, and yes, I’m talking about the marijuana, too. Even so, I find myself oddly drawn to shows, movies and books about people who abuse drugs like it’s going out of style. Maybe I was a user in a previous life or something, but dang if I’m not fascinated by their lifestyle, choices and consequences.

Anyway…I’m sure I’ll embark on a new movie watching theme sometime soon. I mean…there are only so many flicks with drug addicts in ’em, right?