Two Movies You Probably Missed

By , July 17, 2013 10:41 pm

My wife, step-son Joe, and I were talking movies tonight, and I mentioned two that neither had seen. You probably haven’t either: Trent Harris’s Reuben and Ed and John Candy and Eugene Levy’s little mocumentary gem, The Last Polka.

A spoof of The Band’s rock documentary, The Last Waltz, The Last Polka tells the tale of the Schmenges, Polish brothers who become famous for their polka music. Told with a very straight face, the film includes interviews with 60 and 70-something fans camped out on city sidewalks, hoping to score tickets to the Schmenges’ last polka performance. Catherine and Mary Margaret O’Hara also star, along with Rick Moranis.

Reuben and Ed is harder to describe. The cast includes Howard Hesseman, Karen Black, and Crispin Glover at his weirdest. In an effort to save his marriage to Black, Hesseman has signed up in a multi-level sales company and is desperate to find people for his down line. Crispin Glover agrees to become his first, but only after they bury his dead cat that has laid frozen in his freezer since its death. Once you’ve watched the movie, you’ll never forget the multi-level’s mantra: Power through Positive Real Estate. And you’ll laugh every time you think of the scene in the desert with Hesseman, Glover, the dead cat, and a cooler.

And I’ll leave it at that.

Playing Cops and Robbers–Then and Now

By , July 17, 2013 4:22 pm

When I was a kid, my neighbor friends and I formed a kind of mounted police to patrol our little domain on the west side of little Powell, Wyoming. We set up a medium-sized canvass tent on my lawn next to the street to act the part of the police station. It had a window on the side facing the street. Our dispatcher sat in the tent and, speaking through the window, gave us assignments when we drove up on our bicycles to ask for instructions.

We had attached long dowels to the back axels on our bikes–think antenna. I can’t remember for sure, but I wouldn’t be surprised if we wore some sort of uniform or badge, or something besides the dowels that would tell the people of our neighborhood to be careful because we were watching.

I remember driving down Carey Street on my bike that day and noticing some branches lying in the street. A man was walking on the sidewalk nearby. I must have assumed that he had left the branches there because I ordered him to pick them up. No, he didn’t obey my command. Being a good cop, I picked them up and reported my good deed–and he man’s disobedience–to the dispatcher.

I thought of this experience as I read this story today.

Kids do and say the darndest things all too often. And then there are the times they do great things. This story is about one of those times. The two 15 year olds deserve a medal and then some–though the hugs Temar Boggs (and I assume Chris Garcia) received for his efforts are worth quite a bit.

Update: Another video on the incident.

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