January 7th, 2004


Random Movie Review: Hiding Out (1987)

Features John Cryer, Annabeth (X-Files) Gish and John (West Wing) Spencer.

I got the feeling that they wanted to cast Christian Slater and Phoebe Cates in this. John Cryer plays a stockbroker from Boston who hides out in his cousin's high school when the mob tries to keep him from testifying in court. Standard fish out of water, chased by the mob, twenty-nine year old class president story.

And of course, he falls in love with the prettiest girl in school (Annabeth Gish).

John Spencer is an FBI agent blah blah blah. I didn't watch this movie for the plot - I just wanted to see Gish and Spencer around a decade before I really became aware of them. Ok, I just did the math. Gish was 30 when she first appeared on the X-Files. She's 16 in this movie. No wonder she looked so much younger.

John Spencer, on the other hand, looks about like West Wing fans would expect.

Bottom line: Don't seek this movie out unless you're an Annabeth Gish fan. If it shows up on TiVo and you're an 80s nut, you have my permission to watch it. Dig the clever placement of "Catch Me Now, I'm Falling" during the rollerskating scene. Ah, such clever filmmakers we had in the late 80s.

The weather outside is frightful

No, not really. But it's worse than folks around here are used to, which cause two sets of problems.

One: people don't know how to do day-to-day stuff in the snow, like drive, or shop, or whatever. A college buddy once made the observation that people run to the store to buy milk before a storm. People that haven't bought milk in the past year choose the night before a storm to load up on calcium, it seems. I didn't witness that this time around, but a couple inches of snow throws everybody into a tailspin (some more literally than others).

I came in to work yesterday, partially to get more of a feel for how my car behaves in such conditions, and I learned a few things to avoid - how steep a hill is too steep to go down too fast before losing the ability to safely stop, and so on. As I drove in, I passed people going down the highway at an angle. I think they started to spin and had marginal control over their vehicle, but couldn't quite line up the nose of their car with the actual direction of movement. Reminds me of Asteroids now that I write it down.

Two: given that it doesn't snow much around here, I imagine that much of the infrastructure is built without accounting for the cold. For instance, many places place power lines underground. Not us, no sir! Right up in the air where rampaging trees can have their way with the lines. And by the way, if you just bought your year's supply of milk, aren't you glad there's a power outage?

So, yes. It's a winter wonderland here, and I only half mean that ironically. I'd be much happier if my home had electricity and heat, but it's absolutely gorgeous outside. And there's not much to do at work, so I could go home without consequence...

It occurs to me that I have become spoiled. There's a woodstove in the house that I haven't used in the entire time that I've lived there. I own candles. I have plenty of non-electronic forms of amusement and embetterment. (It is too a word. Well, it should be.) There's no reason for me to be hostage to electricity.