God Bless Ozzy Osbourne

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Last night, my friend Jeff and I went to see the documentary God Bless Ozzy Osbourne at the AMC Theater at Newport on the Levee. The show is a two-night-only affair that was being shown at one time only each night. The first showing was last night at 7:30. I bought tickets online expecting a big crowd. I apparently thought too much of Ozzy, because there was only maybe 15 people in the theater last night. It was an eclectic mixture of middle-aged guys who listened to Blizzard of Oz when it was first released, and some younger kids who probably hadn’t even heard of Ozzy until they caught The Osbournes in reruns on MTV.

The number of people in the crowd doesn’t denote the quality of the show, however. The documentary was produced in part by Ozzy’s son, Jack. This had made me skeptical of the whole production, going into it, but with the help of another producer, Jack managed to put out a pretty damn good movie about his father. Most retrospectives about Ozzy focus entirely on the drugs and crazy antics of his. God Bless eschews a lot of those stories (although some stories are present in the film) for more stories about Ozzy’s childhood, comments about working with Ozzy from Sabbath members and fellow musicians, and a lot of stories about Ozzy as a father. In fact, I’d say the theme of this movie is that Ozzy was a terrible father when he was drunk, and how he overcame his addiction (seemingly through his own will alone).

Should you happen to check out the second showing of God Bless, be sure to stick around after the credits because there’s a ten minute interview with Ozzy and Jack after the credits finish rolling. It’s very different from the rest of the film, in that there’s more direct questioning of Jack and Ozzy. If you like Black Sabbath and Ozzy, or if you are interested in how an addict overcame his addictions late in life and managed to hold onto his family after nearly destroying them, you might want to check out God Bless Ozzy Osbourne.

Banjos and Mothers

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There’s a beautiful moment in Cool Hand Luke where after hearing about his mother’s death, Luke is left alone in the back of the bunk area and he pulls out a banjo and starts singing a song called Plastic Jesus. (Video here)

I don’t care if it rains or freezes
Long as I got my plastic Jesus
Sitting on the dashboard of my car
Comes in colors, pink and pleasant
Glows in the dark because it’s iridescent
Take it with you when you travel far
Get yourself a sweet Madonna
Dressed in rhinestone, sitting on a
Pedestal of abalone shells
Going ninety, I ain’t scary
Because I got the Virgin Mary
Assuring me that I won’t go to Hell

It was kind of weird to see it, because when I was a kid, my own mother gave me a banjo. I never learned how to play it though, so I don’t think I’ll be able to pull off Plastic Jesus when it’s time.

Outrage

I’m watching Outrage, a Kitano Takeshi neo-yakuza movie. The yakuza are blackmailing the ambassador of a fictional African country and they make him bury the body of a guy they killed. They leave him out in a industrial area and tell him to walk back home. Then, all in English, the ambassador says, “It’s dark. It’s dangerous.” And the yakuza replies, “It’s dark, you’ll blend in.”

No, the Japanese know nothing of racism.

High Plains Drifter

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I watched Clint Eastwood’s High Plains Drifter last night. I had been told that Eastwood’s character in the film was similar to that of his character in the “Man With No Name” trilogy (Fistful of Dollars, For a Few Dollars More, and The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly]), except he’s nothing like that guy. The man in Fistful was an honorable guy. He tried not to take advantage of the old guy at the store and he saves the family at the end of the film. The guy in High Plains Drifter rapes a woman at the start of the movie for giving him a hard time. It was kind of unsettling. He fucks with the inhabitants of the town at every turn after they give him run of it. He changes the mayor, sheriff, and has a man’s barn dismantled.

In the end, the bad guys that Eastwood’s character is supposed to save the town from gets their just desserts, but the methods are less than admirable. More harm is done than good. So I felt a little let down by the film. I’m not saying it’s a bad movie. It’s got moments of ridiculous humor, the shootouts aren’t bad and Clint Eastwood is always great.