Friday, May 15, 2009

Republishing some of Y.P.R.’s most cryptic and sacrilegious conspiracies.

Title: The Da Vinci Code
Author: Dan Brown
Logline: It’s The Name of the Rose meets Thomas Crown Affair meets Scooby-Doo!

The book is just stupid popular, so consider the opening weekend to gross 80 mil, easy. And it’s a book destined for motion-picture adaptation if ever there was one. It reads tight and fast-paced, loaded with thrills, chases, and riddles at every turn. There’s highbrow art-history lessons in there, secret societies, and also some sexy European locales. The plot goes like this: Robert Langdon is this art professor dude who meets some hot French cryptologist chick named Sophie, and they run around solving Riddler-style riddles. Some wicked Christians are after them, too, and I think it’s got something to do with Jesus and da Vinci. Whatever, it’s practically a movie already. Get a load of this movie-ready dialogue:

Anagrams? I’d never have guessed it!

You’re the worst cryptographer ever!

I know! It’s like I’m retarded!

How about that? It sounds like genuine real-people-speaking dialogue, not fakey-phoney movie-people dialogue. The screenwriter who adapts this has got his work cut out for him. All he’s got to do is stick a couple of hard returns in there, and bingo! Oscar gold. Take this scene, where Sophie and Langdon are stymied by a missing ten-digit PIN to her late grandfather’s secret Swiss account:

Curses! So close! But alas, we’re stymied by the missing ten-digit PIN to my grandfather’s secret Swiss account …

It’s no use. We’ll never guess it. There’s ten zillion possible combinations. If only he left us a clue …

Oh, Grandpa! Why couldn’t you leave us a clue?

Hmm … ten-digit number … ten-digit number …

You don’t think—

Of course!

The ten-digit number he wrote on his chest before he died six hours ago!

I’m so stupid!

Absolutely fucking brain-dead!

Hell, if that’s not psychologically taut, suspense-building tension with a foreshadowing, character-expository big reveal, I don’t know what is. And then, as if this movie wasn’t already a certified blockbuster, the story really pays off with a super big twist Hollywood whammo ending. Right here, this is the money shot, where Langdon’s trusted ally Sir Teabing reveals his sinister plans:

Mmmmyes, ’tis I, the nefarious Sir Teabing! I’m the secret villain! You didn’t see that coming because it’s the oldest cliché in the book, my dear boy! Now, I’ll point this gun at you and force you to help me, despite the fact that you’ve enthusiastically helped me all along! Bwaaaaahahahaha!! How dastardly of me!

Goddamn it, if we don’t make this movie, we should just kill ourselves. Perfect starring vehicle for Kevin Costner and Julia Roberts. Plus, maybe Leonardo Di Caprio as Leonardo da Vinci? Maybe Jamie Lee Curtis would be interested in a cameo as the Mona Lisa, because of that man/woman thing.

Recommendation: Definitely consider.

[More Hollywood coverage here …]

Mona Beasa (La Zbornak)

Selected masterworks from The Golden Girls Exhibit, arriving at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art this September.

Mona Beasa (La Zbornak)
Leonardo Da Vinci, c. 1503
oil on paper

The Da Vinci Bandwagon

Now that The Da Vinci Code has become both a literary and cinematic success, you’ll soon be seeing other conspiracy-laden historical epics lining bookstore shelves and spinning through theatre projectors. Here’s a sampling of the latest projects in development.

The Rockwell Code
When a famed paleontologist carbon-dates the paintings of Norman Rockwell in a drunken stupor, he discovers that the American master’s works date back beyond the times of Christ and Moses put together. Rockwell’s take on Santa Claus is actually a depiction of Sumerian king Gilgamesh, who apparently had a thing for red suits and Coca-Cola bottles. Soon the paleontologist is being pursued by rabid art scholars, the Cult of Gilgamesh, and a legion of disillusioned children.

The Area Code
Remember Max Cohen, hero of the movie Pi? He’s learned that searching for numerological patterns in the Torah and/or stock market will only get you killed. In this ball-busting sequel, Max sets his sights on an even denser tome: the New York phone book. Making the startling discovery that each phone number begins with the digits 555, Max is riddled with paranoia. Is he trapped in a movie? Is a theatrical audience watching his every waking move? Are their cell phones and pagers turned off? It’s fun for the whole family as Max descends into another round of madness. From the bestselling author of Jersey City Telephone Directory and the Newark Yellow Pages.

The Original Codes of Comedy
Bernie Mac, Cedric the Entertainer, Steve Harvey, and D.L. Hughley get a new manager, a mysterious albino (Dave Chappelle) who believes their ribald gags may reveal the existence of the Richard Pryory of Sion, keepers of jokes so mind-blowing as to incite anarchy. The albino insists they start telling more innocuous jokes about airplanes and pool cleaners. The comedians become suspicious, and thus begins a dizzy thrill-ride of intrigue, leading to a “your mama’s the bigger ho” showdown at Blacula’s Castle.

National Lampoon’s Da Vinci Keg
Floyd Brotstein may only be an Ohio State freshman, but those football jocks have already given him four years worth of wedgies during frosh week alone. University is like high school all over again: any hope of a girlfriend is lost, until Floyd accidentally wanders into the Computation Cult, that most ancient of secret societies. Its members are sworn to guard the Da Vinci chalice with their very lives and/or pocket protectors. Drinking from this goblet will render the most socially inept more desirable than an elephant in heat. Prepare for two hours of booze, breasts, and belching! Inspired by historical events.

The Morse Code
Director Mel Gibson’s decision to shoot 90 minutes of actors speaking in high-pitched dots and dashes was praised for its authenticity, but many felt the film dragged. Cultivated a small TV audience erroneously believing this to be the lost episode of Inspector Morse.

The Comics Code
Fredric Wertham is a good, clean, wholesome psychologist who soon learns of a shocking conspiracy: the authors and illustrators of comic books are rotting the minds of children across the nation and turning them into criminals. Batman and Robin are gay! Wonder Woman is an S&M freak! Superman is Jewish! Frederic needs to protect America’s children, and fast. A Senate subcommittee hearing led by the good, clean, wholesome senator Estes Kefauver brings these perverted supervillains to justice, and an authoritative body is established to keep comics clean.

The Da Vinci Load
Educational film examining human reproductive activities in minute detail. Notable for its sublime musical score and crowd-pleasing “money shot.”

The Dante Code
An ordinary librarian (Colin Hanks) discovers that he is the descendant of Dante and thus in line to inherit his ancestor’s 700-year-old locked trunk. The combination is made up of the coördinates of the Bermuda Triangle. Inside, he finds a fourth canto of The Divine Comedy in which Virgil takes Dante to the lost city of Atlantis. Accidentally dripping holy water on the pages reveals a map. After stealing a recently unearthed Nazi submarine full of gold, the hero and his girlfriend (Britnee Tautou) travel to Atlantis where they find it destroyed … except for one scrap of paper which turns out to be the missing movement of Schubert’s Unfinished Symphony. When played upon Dante’s accordion, which was also in the trunk, the music causes a compartment to open, in which is carved the location of Area 51—Death Valley. Fighting his way through armed guards, the hero breaches Area 51 and discovers the final, terrible secret: it’s where they keep people who have seen the Pope with an erection.

Jeff Szpirglas not only teaches children, but also writes books for them, and, according to his parents, excels at acting like them. He gets an A+ in screaming rages, but a C- in penmanship.
Michael Rottman does not teach children, but can get one for you cheap. His work has appeared in Opium.print, Grain, and The Fiddlehead, and online at Y.P.R., The Morning News, and McSweeney’s.

Donny Most, Happy Days’ Ralph Malph, Leaves Ron Howard a Message on His Voicemail

Ralph Malph!Hey, Ron. How’s it going? It’s Don. Most. Donny Most from Happy Days. I’m just calling to check in and see how things are going. I had to call Henry Winkler to get your number, because the one that I had for you was out of service. I guess you had some problems with people calling you too much or something. I have the same problem. The ladies just won’t stop calling Don Most.

It’s cool that you didn’t get around to giving me your new number. You probably left me off your e-mail distribution list by accident too. That happens all the time. My second ex-wife does the same thing.

Oh, so, I’m really calling because I had this awesome idea for a movie. I know you’re touring for The Da Vinci Code right now, so you’re probably totally swamped. I’m pretty busy too. I just landed this great role. I’m going to be playing the adult son in a commercial about incontinence for Depends undergarments. It’s a little bit of a stretch since my dad abandoned us when I was a kid, so I don’t know what it’s like to watch the person who raised you retire into his golden years. I’m really researching the role though, getting into the head of the character. I spent some time at a place called Shady Acres last week and really got a feel for what old people do during the day. By the way, when I get to be that age, I’m totally signing up for one of these places. They’ve got shuffleboard, bingo, all kinds of great activities, and they eat THREE TIMES A DAY! God, I can’t remember the last time I had three meals in one day. And it turns out these diapers really work! I don’t even have to waste all of that time going to the can anymore.

Anyway, about this movie. Basically, it’s the story of three best high school buds. They do everything together. They learn about life, play basketball, hang out at a local burger joint for some sodas. There’s a streetwise quasi-hoodlum with a heart of gold that gives them true life advice too. Oh, and it’s set in the year 2134, and robots police the whole place. And it’s up to the three buddies to help overthrow the evil robot state and free mankind from the shackles of android tyranny. The hero of the whole thing is a short, nebbishy redhead with rhyming names, who goes on this killing spree when his buddies are captured in the second act. He also has this steamy love scene with Erin Moran. There’s partial frontal nudity, but it’s tasteful.

So, let me know what you think about the film. I think it’s got good potential. It’s in development already at, um, a major studio, um Sony … aramount. Sonyaramount. Yeah, they’re really an up and coming studio. They’re working with people and we’ve got the inside track to get some really huge names attached. Anyway, I figured I’d call and see if I could get you lined up before you start thinking about next projects. Oh, and also, I’m going to have a little BBQ at my townhouse next week. Nothing huge, just some of the old gang. Anson Williams is busy, so he can’t make it, but Scott Baio said he might come. And in a strange coincidence, Tom Bosley was actually at Shady Acres, so I got his R.S.V.P. while I was there.

That’s it for me. Don Most OUT! That’s how I’m ending calls now, by saying Don Most OUT! I think it works.

Don Most OUT!

Geoff Wolinetz cannot be found on IMDb because the Hollywood community refuses to acknowledge the production of his seminal masterpiece Come What May, a gritty psychothriller starring a guy who kind of looks like Billy Baldwin and Erin Gray (formerly of “Silver Spoons”). If he were to be found on IMDb, his name would fall between “Geoff Witcher” and “Geoff Wood.” In addition to his imaginary film career, Geoff also maintains an imaginary career as a baron of industry, is lead singer of the imaginary band Kick Ass, Falco, holds an imaginary Olympic gold medal and is an imaginary Pulitzer laureate in the field of journalism for his investigative piece on the albinos of Alaska.

A Note to Our Dear Readers As you may have noticed, 2009 has found your humble journal moving at a snail's pace ...
Smothers Day Republishing Some Mother's Day Material for Dear Old Mom
Beatrice "Bea" Arthur, R.I.P. May 13, 1922 – April 25, 2009

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