Myke Johns and Kristina Ackerman discuss the trailer for The Grand Budapest Hotel.
More than most things, I want for Wes Anderson to stop.
This is exactly—exactly—why I never let strangers find out I’m having a party.
Obviously, unlike Paris Hilton’s parties, my parties don’t involve me leaving my six-million-dollar mansion unmanned while I snort champagne in another state or whatever, but the principle is the same. Word gets out about your party, things get weird.
For instance, I once thought it’d be smart to circumvent potential noise complaints by inviting all the neighbors over for my birthday. I barely knew them, but I figured they wouldn’t show up, and so what if they did—it was worth a few beers and some Chex Mix to keep them from calling the cops.
The trailer for the new Carrie movie finally made me curious enough to watch the 1976 original on Netflix.
Which completely spoiled the ending.
On the bright side, I no longer need to go out and see the remake, so Netflix basically just saved me $15—enough for like two more months of Netflix. (Your move, Hulu Plus.)
I’ve chosen to pay my $15 net savings forward by predicting the future of some of the stars of the new Carrie. I’m able to do this with the aid of data collected from the careers of the original stars, as well as an admittedly flawed sense of transitive logic.
Seth MacFarlane has made a movie about a kid who wishes his teddy bear to life, and 27 years later, when he’s ready to get serious with a girl, he begins to regret inviting a talking toy into his home.
J: In The Hunter, Willem Dafoe plays a mercenary who is hired to go into the Tasmanian wilderness to track a tiger believed to be extinct. I guess it really is true what they say about the wealthy, they’ll do anything to get their hands on exotic frosted flakes. Looks like at some point in the movie, Willem Dafoe finds a skull on the ground and picks it up. I dated a girl who kept a human skull on her writing desk. Her father found it on a pile of skeletons in Colombia and snuck it back into the United States. Sorry about ending up in a mass grave, Colombian skeleton. Hope your skull enjoys listening to Robbie Williams and watching Billy Elliot on my ex-girlfriend’s laptop.
In which Jason and Kristina of Knuckle Salad discuss the trailer for the movie Moonrise Kingdom.
J: Wow, this movie has it all. Little girls in bird costumes, old compasses, kids writing notes to each other on custom stationary and Ed Norton in a Boy Scout uniform. It’s like the deleted scenes from The People vs. Larry Flynt in an alternate universe where Hustler magazine is about the top sellers on Etsy. According to its synopsis, Moonrise Kingdom is about two twelve-year-olds who fall in love at summer camp, make a secret pact, and run away together into the wilderness. I had a crush on a curly haired girl at 4-H camp when I was twelve. She never smiled and got pregnant in the tenth grade. I guess she would have gotten pregnant even sooner if she hadn’t scowled so much.
In which Jason and Kristina of Knuckle Salad discuss the trailer for the movie “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.”
J: Wow, the trailer for The Hobbit has all kinds of stuff going on it. Pigs in harnesses, dwarves with spider webs in their beards, threadbare antique furniture—it’s essentially the video for the Nine Inch Nails song “Closer”, if Trent Reznor had eaten second breakfast on his eleventy-first birthday. The dwarves in this movie are short, hairy and have enormous ears. Looks like there’s going to be some a cappella dwarf singing as well. I usually feel uncomfortable if someone starts singing in front of me without musical accompaniment, but the other dwarves just put down their pipes and start singing along like the cast of Glee, if everyone on Glee was my grandfather.
In which Jason and Kristina of Knuckle Salad discuss the trailer for the movie “New Year’s Eve.”
J: First of all, it’s evident that we’re going to see some handsome men in New Year’s Eve attire with white scarves casually draped over their shoulders. Is that even warming their bodies at all? If I was the inventor of scarves, I’d be spinning in my no doubt yarn-lined coffin. And then my scarf would probably get wound around my skeleton throat. Unless the inventor of scarves is still alive. But maybe he still sleeps in a yarn lined coffin. This is a pretty dark way to start this review of the trailer for New Year’s Eve.
Say what you like about Gordon Ramsay—I’m sure you’re right—but I’m a fan. Sort of. I don’t dive for the remote when Kitchen Nightmares comes on, and when friends bemoan his intolerable cruelty, I make a half-hearted point about how he genuinely seems to be trying to help most of the time. When it comes to Gordon Ramsay, that’s more or less what it means to be a fan.
But for some reason, in spite of my noncommittal interest, I’ve kept up with Hell’s Kitchen as though it were a primitive religion. Nine seasons over six years, and I’ve seen every episode.
It’s a guilty pleasure, I guess. I watch it the way people watch Hoarders and Supernanny and other TV sideshows. It’s wickedly fascinating to view a terrible situation from a safe distance, and we all seem to justify it by imagining that we’re being educated on how to stay out of trouble. Never start collecting newspapers. Never let your children sleep in your bed. Never audition for Hell’s Kitchen, even if you’re a five-star chef with $1mil in gambling debt and the mob has just set your car on fire. Never. No. Stay in the car.
At least, that’s what I take away. It’s not that I think I couldn’t make it onto Hell’s Kitchen (although I don’t), or that I wouldn’t get very far (although I wouldn’t). It has nothing to do with the show. That part could be fun, provided you can stand the cigarette smoke. The problem is that if you make it to the end, you go to work for Gordon Ramsay. That’s the prize. After six years of researching him as an employer, I can confidently say that prize sucks.
I’ve ended my share of job interviews with a smile, a handshake, and the assertion that although I hope the company finds what it’s looking for, I’m not it. Once, it was because the interviewer asked me what I’d do if, having performed my job perfectly, I routinely found myself being screamed at for something beyond my control. Another interviewer spent so much time ascertaining the details of how I deal with stress that there wasn’t time in our 30-minute interview to discuss my qualifications. Thanks anyway.
That isn’t to say that I’ve loved every boss and every job I’ve had. I once worked across the hall from a business owner who watched porn all day on a little television beside his desk. And my last job involved a co-worker who was so mean all the time that the sound of her laughter made my mind go blank with panic and fury like some kind of angry possum. So for all my selectivity, no job has been perfect.
No one has ever called me a donkey to my face, either, so I stand by my method.
I mean, suppose that for some reason—call it brain damage—you really did want to work for Ramsay. Even if you win Hell’s Kitchen, experiencing the smallest amount of abuse, failure and public misfortune of all the competing chefs, you’ll still have had a bad service or two along the way. So now you’ve got this new job. But there’s footage that was broadcast worldwide of your new boss berating your and explaining precisely, and at an unseemly volume, why you are a useless, fat, disgusting cow who can’t even cook a simple risotto. True, the camera also captures your comeback, either via shaping up on appetizers or killing the next challenge, and the idea is that because you eventually win back Ramsay’s respect, it’s all water under the bridge of your professional development. Ramsay is helping you! He’s making you stronger! He’s like an emotionally-distant, abusive father, and you’re like a huge idiot on a TV show. But suppose that’s what you wanted. Fine.
Still, after a bad day at work, when entrees are sent back and somebody quits in the middle of service and you’re sweating all over the tableside carving station (what? real restaurants don’t force reluctant chefs to wander around the dining room with a push-cart? the hell you say), you’re going to think back to that video. You’ll recall the scene where a tuba plays as you deliver your subpar risotto, and Ramsay interrupts service so everyone can see him hurl the entire pan into the garbage, and you’ll wonder what the hell has become of your life.
Oh, sure, the winners of Hell’s Kitchen don’t work directly with Ramsay. But just because he’s not there to bring his furious palm down on an undercooked portion of halibut doesn’t mean he’s not your boss. And don’t think he can’t slap a fish at you over the phone. No. Best not to audition in the first place. Stay home with your flaming car and your terrible children and organize your newspapers. It’s safer.
Kristina Ackerman runs popular cooking and crafting blog Knuckle Salad, where seldom is heard a discouraging word— especially from Gordon Ramsay.