falling rock: the movie

What cartoonist hasn’t thought about who should play their characters on the big screen?  Movies, or films, or “moving filmed pictures,” have long held a fascination with me.  Sigmund Freud said that movies fulfill our subconscious desire to sleep with Thomas Edison.  Whether that is true or not, I remain an avid movie-watcher.

So who should play each character in the inevitable Welcome to Falling Rock National Park movie?  Here are my suggestions.

Ranger DeeZooey Deschanel

Zooey-Deschanel-park-ranger Zooey_Deschanel_park-ranger-2Everybody’s favorite park ranger is sometimes called* the heart of the comic.  Who better to play the emotional center of Falling Rock: The Movie than the girl who stole M. Ward’s heart?

Carver – Jason Schwartzman

jason_schwartzmanCarver the cranky owl needs a wry voice tinged with world-weariness.  Rushmore introduced us to a young Jason Schwartzman as a world-weary high school student.  Fantastic Mr. Fox proved he has the chops for voice work, and Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World proved he can play a great antagonist.

ErnestoTony Hale

tony-haleWho better to play the lovable clothes-wearing lizard than the actor who partly inspired him?  Tony Hale is better known to the world as Buster Bluth on the short-lived TV show Arrested Development.  I’m not actually sure why that show got canceled because everyone I know has seen it.  Timid, somewhat stunted, yet with the potential for catastrophe, Buster Bluth could easily pass as Ernesto’s human cousin.

Pam –who else? – Lauren Bacall

lauren_bacallPam, the chain-smoking retired schoolteacher, can’t be played by just any dame.  Pam needs to be played by a wiseacre, a mystery, a worldly woman.  I can’t think of anyone better than the living embodiment of noir: Ms. Bacall.

MelissaAni DiFranco

Ani DiFranco

Melissa the mountain lion was a difficult character to cast.  At first I thought Nicole Kidman.  Then my thoughts turned to singers.  Norah Jones?  Cat Power?  I heard Ani DiFranco interviewed on the Sound Opinions podcast and realized her voice would be perfect for the mellow but fierce cat.

Featuring a theme song written and performed by Bob Dylan, Jack Johnson, and Jeff Tweedy (under the name Wilbury & Sons), Falling Rock: The Movie will surely rake in Tom-Cruise-in-the-early-90’s money.  Oh, and it will definitely be in 3D.

*only by me

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i will never watch The Wolfman

wolfman-poster My wife Isis and I were watching television one evening when a commercial advertising the movie The Wolfman came on.  It was moody, and action-packed, and had a dude who turned into a werewolf.

“I’d like to rent that when it comes out on DVD,” I said casually.  I must emphasize the coolness with which I said this, because I was not hungering for The Wolfman.  I was not, in any way, lusting after the delicious, tender celluloid on which The Wolfman had been filmed.  I was merely, in my calm way, mentioning in passing that I’d someday be interested in viewing the movie that appeared so gracefully before us.

Isis’ reaction could not have been more surprising.

“WE ARE NOT GOING TO SEE THAT MOVIE,” she screamed.  “I’m tired of wasting my life watching terrible movies!  No more!  I’ve got better things to do than waste precious hours sitting in front of dreck like that!”

Stunned, I turned to look her directly.  Her face had transformed into something hideous.  Filled with rage, my wife had changed before my eyes.  I quickly checked the sky: nope, it was not a full moon.  What in that minute-long ad had turned my easygoing life partner into a vengeful monster?

I made the mistake of asking her that question.

“I’m just sick of wasting my life!” she said.  And that, it seems, was that.  I dropped the subject as other, less awful things were advertised.

I have not seen The Wolfman to this day.  I kind of wish I could.  What about that particular movie inspired such a violent reaction in Isis?  Was it the subject matter?  A man turns into a werewolf and terrorizes the locals.  She likes the Warren Zevon song Werewolves of London.  She likes dogs and real-life wolves.  I don’t think she has any problem with the actors in The Wolfman, and I know for a fact she likes scary movies.

Maybe the latter is the clue.  Isis likes scary movies, and we’ve seen a lot of them.  But we’ve made missteps.  Some of those movies have been bad.  Boring, or poorly edited, or uninspired, or all of the above.  Maybe Isis sat through her personal limit of bad movies, and if she sees one more, she will turn into a zombie.  We all have our limits.  I can’t eat tuna fish anymore, and I used to eat tuna sandwiches all the time.  Isis is afraid that The Wolfman will be her breaking point.

I’m content to let the issue slide, mostly because The Wolfman wasn’t a huge hit and wasn’t reviewed very well.  I don’t feel like I’ve missed out on a cultural touchstone.

Now, when they make a movie called The Wolfman Breakdances With Rashida Jones and Zooey Deschanel, there’s not going to be a discussion.  We’re seeing that in 3D.lonchaney_jr-wolfman

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park ranger dee

For the inevitable Falling Rock movie, my humble suggestion for the actress to play Dee:zooey-d-hat3 zooey-d-hat2 zooey-d-hat

Just sayin’.