Archive for May, 2010


Road Signs

It is not unusual for me to spend a minimum of 80 miles in my car any given day. But I like it. It gives me some time to think. To think about the good times. To think about the bad times. To think about… the deer.

I like them. The deer that is. Deer are cute. Deer are likely stupid . But deer are cute. I wish I could say the same thing about people… That they are cute. Because generally they are not. But people are stupid. That’s a fact. And our posted road signs prove it.

Exhibit A: Deer Crossing. In a wooded area? No kidding. I surely never would have guessed it. Apparently deer hang out in forests. The signs say so. I find this is the most common location to find deer crossing road signs. I can’t even begin to imagine why. I must ask, however, do the deer know to wait for the sign to cross the road? “Oh cool, I get to cross now. Oh. No. That’s my buddy in the picture. Not me. I’ll wait for the next sign.” And the picture is always a boy deer. Am I wrong or does it seem vastly unjust that the girl deer simply are not allowed to cross to the other side?

Exhibit B: Perhaps the best, most informative deer crossing road signs are the ones that specify a distance below the prancing antlered animal. Apparently the deer stroll along ditch side awaiting the moment they see the sign that is blatantly allowing them to finally cross. They see these signs and know, at that very moment, that they have the next mile and a quarter to cross the road before a car will enviably hit them. After that mile and a quarter has passed, people get to stop watching. The sign told them to do it. The area still elaborately wooded miles later doesn’t suggest the obvious. Not at all.

Exhibit C: Deer road signs posted at insanely stupid locations. As I drove down a dimly lite highway I noticed a deer crossing sign. It wasn’t so much the sign itself that bother me. It was, again, the location of the sign. This sign was posted at the foot of a bridge. This bridge spanned 16 to 20 feet over the road below. I’m sure that deer can jump. But I am feeling rather confident that a leap that high would be a bit much for such a creature. And I’m feeling even more confident that the deer don’t take it upon themselves to first create a road block on the road below and second stack the stopped cars in a stair like manner enabling them to climb to the highway above and dart across in front of any and all unsuspecting cars. But, hey, I guess those of us on the highway above have now seen the sign. We know what those mischievous little guys are up to on the road below. We now know to watch for them. But, hey, the deer could have seen the sign and given up in realization that we are on to their game. That is why we don’t see this crazy act happen.

Exhibit D: Signs that should be posted. Owl Crossing. I have seen about three of these (owls) in the wild in my entire life. Two of them were sitting in two separate trees on two completely separate occasions. The third was flying across Route 25 in Carpentersville about 40 feet in front of my car one night at 10:47pm as I headed home from Chicago. It was flying from a side of the road where a mall sits. It was flying to a not-so-wooded area on the other side of the road. And so for those of us curious, that is what owls do at night. They shop. I bet you didn’t know.  I know I didn’t know. That’s why we need a sign. An owl crossing sign. An owl crossing sign outside of strip malls. Or a Coyote Crossing sign. To warn us of on-coming coyotes in highly populated, built-up areas where logic tells us such animals just do not cross. It was, in fact, just the other night I found myself in such an area as I drove down 90 (a highway) that takes me home from the city. Said Coyote darted across the west bound lands, hurdled the 3 foot median and successfully made it across the east bound lanes without harm. Such road signs may be appropriate to warn us of the unexpected.

After all, is that not the intended purpose of the road sign?

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A Nightmare in Crystal Lake

Put Simply: The new A Nightmare on Elm Street was, well, a nightmare.

Let me begin by saying that my viewing experience of this particular movie was not the greatest. From the very moment I stepped out of my parked car at the Crystal Lake movie theater parking lot, I was immediately reminded of why I hate this particular theater and why I typically refuse to partake in any activity involving this precise location. I was instantly surrounded by 17 -year-old-wanna-be-ganstas. Now I don’t usually like to generalize, but I must admit that they’re all idiots. And despite the obnoxious pre-movie conversation from the row behind me, I can honestly say that I really don’t care how large any of their packages are. I just don’t. And I’d rather not hear about them either. I wouldn’t lie. Not to you, at least, since you are reading this. I’m not sure that I received 20 seconds of peace from that row throughout the entire movie. I’d like to say that I clocked that fact, but, well, I was too distracted. I vote we raise the Rated R movie watching experience to a minimum age of 23. This rule should at least be applied at public movie viewing facilities.

Now on with the actual movie. I’d like to start out by saying my opinion of a movie generally changes the day after I first watch it. Because of this, I generally do not have an immediate comment but I feel as though this one deserves a word or two tossed in its general direction. To be blunt, it really wasn’t that great. And this upsets me a bit as the original was arguably one of the greatest movies ever written and produced despite its limited budget. I mean, I give this one credit for trying. It wasn’t horrible (it was no 13 Days). It just wasn’t that great.

A major complaint I have is that it severly lacked the charm of the original. I’m not one to get scared by movies. But I must say the conceptual idea was not portrayed in a way that left me thinking, “wow! That’s a creepy concept.” Was it the same basic plot? Sure. That’s more or less what makes it a remake. It just lacked that certain something that kept me thinking about the original for as long as I did.

I realize that a remake is never an exact replica of its original. If it was, there would be no interest. Not from me at least (I don’t know, though, the 17-year-olds might go for it). I must say, however, that this one lacked my favorite shot and moment from the original and that, well, just added to my annoyance of the row of morons behind me.

Anyone who has seen the original series of movies is going to find this comment a bit ridiculous, but let me explain. The graphics in this new edition really rubbed me the wrong way. Modern movie production can do better. Call me crazy, but I expect to see this “better.” There was about 20 second of the movie, towards the end, that stopped me from removing my self from the theater. I thought, “that was neat.” But then the blood shot out of the eye and I thought, “and we’re back to stupid.” Like milk does a body good, consistency does a movie good.

An issue I had consistently throughout the entire movie was Freddy’s face. Each time he appeared on the screen I thought to myself, “His face looks like a burned muskrat with a cat nose.” I realize that he’s not intended to be pretty, but I’m not sure I should have spent the entire movie relating him to a combination of animals. He looked cooler in the original.

I have one last thought before I hit the sack for the evening and hopefully don’t die in my dreams. The movie did have a few decent one liners. And had the movie been better, I might have been quoting these for the next few days. But who knows. Maybe I will anyway. And I must say that the scene where the girl flies around the room is as funny now as it was in 1984.

I’ll actually leave you with this: If you are looking for a genius remake, watch Halloween. A close second is the remake of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre.