[In case you missed last week’s thrilling episode, “Returning a Video, Part One“, I had returned a video rental about a year late, and it was a movie I really, really hated, and I had just thrown myself on the mercy of Gil, the lucky Videorama employee on duty at the time, in a pathetic display of blubbering hopelessness, when, suddenly …]
…I continued begging and wailing in abject terror of the Lord High Police of Videorama or whatever, saying I didn’t have the money, “you can’t make me do this, not for this movie, NOT FOR THIS MOVIE! No one, nowhere, no time, would ever rent the movie “Gung Ho”, starring the always at least vaguely horrible Michael Keaton and directed by f-ing Opie, for chrissake, for more than two days, on purpose. I mean, have you seen this movie?”
At this point, I think my voice was starting to get a lot louder than I meant it to. “You should pay me for isolating it! That was one of the worst, most insulting, bleep bleep curse cuss splatter pieces of goddamn bleep bleepblip blip bloop-o cupcake expletive expletive bleeps I’ve seen in my whole darn life! You owe me! You owe me!”
I was getting a little worked up, and I inadvertently did a sort of a twirl into one of those small racks of movies on the ends of the bins, which dis-lodged entirely and clicked and clacked onto the floor. I knew I had gone too far, and I sputtered hasty apologies to Gil as I started picking up the videos off the floor, when I noticed, at the bottom of the heap, under an empty “Gung Ho” display box, a hand-written sign that read “Employee’s Favorites: Gil.”
I did the only thing I could do: I ran. As fast as my little legs could carry me, as far and as long as I could go, away from the scene of the crime, running, running, into my car; then drovedrovedrovedrovedrove, on and away into the night (home, in fact.) I no longer rent at Videorama, and i don’t think my relationship with Gil will ever be the same. I’ve seen him since once or twice, in town, but now his eyes have that hollow look; it’s obvious we’ll both be scarred.
Luckily, I don’t have that problem at “Video Super Mega World”, which is where I rent now. We’re still in the honeymoon period -they have no idea they’re dealing with a such loose cannon.
(By the way, I hope this doesn’t seem to be condoning the idea of renting bad videos for years at a time and never bringing them back and never paying for them; but on the other hand, if you’re really positive you’ve found a movie that I will hate, I fully authorize you to throw it in a pond immediately, and commend you for acting larcenously on my behalf; because, as we all know, there are some movies that no one should have to pay to see, ever. Or even just see, period. To think of getting some of the hours back, unblemished, that we might have dashed watching, say, “Dude, Where’s My Car” or “Chariots of Fire” or “The Vagina Monologues” is truly exhilarating.)
However, I am happy to say that all this is only a preamble to much gladder tidings: I have recently found a good movie, rentable not only at both Video Super Mega World and Videorama (and if you do get it at Videorama, please give Gil my regards and tell him how much I miss him and the gang), but at other popular chains like Bagbuster, Video Mortal Nuisance and Distant Marcel’s Great Cradle of Videography, called “Dinner Rush”, which features, among others, Danny Aiello and Sandra Bernhardt -actually, it’s a great movie, and there aren’t that many of ’em, so listen up.
It’s about a popular and newly trendy Italian restaurant in New York City with mob ties, and it’s greatest strength is that it captures this milieu -the snooty, high-tone dining room with a high-pressure, hot, crowded kitchen -perfectly. Fans of “Big Night”, another old favorite about the restaurant biz, might particularly enjoy it, even though it is less funny; in turn, it is more atmospheric and realistic, albeit still very romantic and cinematic.
The movie is beautifully shot and scored, at times reminding me of Bernard Herrman and his wonderful music for “Taxi Driver”, not to mention the dark, subdued neon look of the rainy city streets in the same film. “Dinner Rush” has interesting, believable characters and an elegantly scruffy soul; it might be the best thing we’ve seen since “Aberdeen” (and if you haven’t seen that one yet, well, hurry up, dammit -it’s at both Idle Times in Eastham (hi Jeanie!) and Down Under in Wellfleet.) (Not to mention Dr. Horse Video Emergency in Dennis, and Video Whoa Whoa Whoa! in Chatham -some of which are made-up places that shouldn’t actually be gone to -especially not in this weather.)
Getting back to “Dinner Rush”, though, I’d like to add that even Mrs. K (and by that of course I mean That Enchanting Goddess Who Watches TV More Than the Rest of The Planet Combined, and thus doesn’t have to like anything if she doesn’t want to; but still, surprisingly, isn’t nearly as jaded as you’d think someone might be under those circumstances) quite liked “Dinner Rush” and heartily joins me in recommending it to one and all, despite the fact that it contains neither canine nor equine appearances of any kind, oh well.