So, I watched quite a few movies in October and I myself find that hard to believe. But I did. In fact the last movie I saw in October, Bone Tomahawk (2015), I intentionally excluded from my October list because I couldn’t think of anything sensible to write partially because this movie is both slow and shocking. No, I am slow and I was shocked. It’s a horror Western, awright, with the horror part not being sci-fi or supernatural-based, but involves natives/cave-people/Troglodytes. It stars Kurt Russel, Patrick Wilson, it has cowboys vs. let’s-call-the-natives-Troglodytes-not-Indians. It’s brutal, it has sex and violence and the final third of the movie is shocking and gory as fuck. As in AF. So, what’s not like? Maybe the slow part, maybe for squeamish, the gore (one hapless guy gets bisected! Oh Lord please help us). Me, I don’t mind. Westerns are generally slow-paced, right?
Come November, I watched another Western, an acid Western as they say, and it’s from director Alejandro Jodorowsky. Yes, I watched El Topo, but wasn’t able to finish it before my location transformed from that traffic-infested metropolitan tropical jungle into this liquor-free oil-rich arid desert somewhere near the Persian Gulf. And speaking of desert, isn’t this the same setting as that in El Topo? Is this why it’s called acid Western? I’m probably dreaming. Or hallucinating.
Except I’m not. Because I clearly remember boarding that plane and watching Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon A Time… In Hollywood on the small screen while enjoying two beercans of Heineken. And I can vividly recall what happened next. More vivid than Tarantino recreating the old Hollywood on screen.
Once Upon A Time… In an Airplane Over the Sea
This is what happened next: Let me start by saying that, the problem with drinking beer during flight is that after I finished drinking, I had to hold in my pee for about 15 minutes. Probably more. Yes, my seat was in the middle. And I waited for the guy on my left, to finish his meal. But by the time he’s done, I still couldn’t pass thru the aisle since the flight attendant was there with her cart, taking out the trash and politely offering each passenger coffee or tea (yeah, people, enjoy your tea or coffee while me and my bladder wait in hell). I am Jack’s poor full bladder.
I am Jack’s utter dismay to this flight attendant’s perfect timing.
This would not have been a problem if the restroom on the other end wasn’t out of order. I also tried to cross to the other side but there’s a baby sleeping on a basket effectively blocking the walkway. Which I didn’t notice until I saw and heard someone saying “Baby. Sleeping”. Yes, I was actually about to walk sideways and squeeze myself between the sleeping baby and those seated in front when the guy called my attention. Next thing I know, the guy (the baby’s father) was standing in my way and he’s wearing a cowboy hat. He cocked a shotgun, shook his head and said, “Don’t even think about it”. So, I just walked away.
And that led to the longest 15 minutes of my life. Felt longer than the whole 161 minutes of the latest Tarantino, which is probably among the director’s weakest movies. So what if it has Leonardo Di Caprio and Brad Pitt playing aging actor and stunt double, saving Sharon Tate (played by Margot Robbie) from The Manson Family in that fateful night at 10050 Cielo Drive? Watching Brad Pitt kick some ass was fun, but it was nothing compared to the cathartic release I had inside the restroom after 15 minutes in hell. Compared to Once Upon a Time‘s third act, it was like achieving nirvana, or watching a really good Paul Verhoeven movie.
Lessons learned: next time, ask for wine or cocktail. Have you ever tried the famous Singapore sling?