Thursday, April 14, 2011

The Big Empty

My friend Thomas called me earlier. He is driving from Knoxville, Tennessee to Atlanta, georgia this weekend. As we negotiated time and opportunity to meet, his cell phone lost signal. It's likely you know the words that he spoke next, "Can You Hear Me Now".

In late 2001, a 31 year old actor from New Haven Connecticut name Paul Marcarelli tried out for a commercial. The company was up and coming Verizon. They were looking for an everyman to front clever ads promoting their call phone services. Marcarelli was looking for a decent paying acting gig and thought Veirzon would be a one shot commercial job, then he'd find film work. A few months later he stood in front of a football stadium with 85, 000 people, more famous than the President of the United States.

When the pop culture history on the first ten years of the 21st century are told, the most remembered face may be a bespectaled, average man who carried the main communication device of the time. Cell phones have connected the world in ways we could never imagine. You may not remember the company Paul Marcarelli worked for. You certainly won't remember his name. But that face, those horn rimmed glasses, that goofy grin, that phone in his ear, and that phrase, "can you hear me now", will be a signpost for the Naughts. Or is it the Oughts? Or is it the 00s?

Paul Marcarelli made a lot of money, but he paid a price for his well paying opportunity:

Can You Hear Me Now

A few days ago, Paul Marcarelli checked his email and received word from Verizon that they were releasing him from their ad campaign. Unless his film career is successful, this will be the last we hear and see of him. One of my friends, John, aka @CounselorGa suggested At&T hire Paul and title the ads "How ya Like Me Now?"

I just think people will be hearing Paul Marcarelli saying "Can You Hire Me Now?", a lot.

Before we get to today's song, a couple of things I want to address...

Warner Brothers is remaking The Crow, the iconic comic book movie from 1994, that starred the late Brandon Lee. Bradley Cooper is rumored to be taking the main role of Eric Draven/The Crow. This is a bad idea to redo the film and a bad casting decision.

The Crow is one of the finest movies of the last twenty years. The imagery, the mood, the set pieces, and Brandon Lee's performance are so vivid that anything else would be unsatisfactory. Brandon Lee died on the set as a result of a misfired handgun prop. This is just dancing on his grave to me. Cooper plays heroic douchey rogues with fake tans, six pack abs, and fashionable clothes. Eric Draven aka The Crow is the opposite of all of that. Also, nerds, on and offline will reject this casting. You don't mess with us, I mean them.

Please read over the story episodes I have been dropping on you all. We are 13 entries deep. I will write another 700 words or so this weekend; likely Saturday, in between yard work and the Georgia Force Arena League football game. Bobina and I have free tickets.

here are the episodes:

1) synchronicity
2) personality crisis
3) serendipity 6
4) Hot Dog Harbinger
5) Goodbye Stranger
6) House of Irony
7) Connection
8) Dead Man's Party
9) Hope Springs A Turtle
10) Drown
11)  Toyed
12) Fever
13) The Girlfriend Experience

The song for today comes from Stone Temple Pilots. It appeared on The Crow soundtrack and became a huge modern rock hit. It probably reveals Paul Marcarelli's mood and the feelings of die hard Crow fans. Here's The Big Empty. Go ahead, play your air guitar. I can see you now.


  1. I agree.. remaking the Crow = terrible idea. Bradly Cooper = worse idea.

    I have never seen these commercials of which you speak.

    Much love for Stone Temple Pilots.

  2. Just want to add.. maybe if people on the whole stopped flocking to terrible rehashes of classic films, maybe Hollywood might give some up and coming screenwriters a fighting chance.

  3. YOU SIR! Are my hero! That movie is fantastic and that song played as they are driving in the movie is what got me into STP ....

    sorry to hear about the Verizon dude....yeah, he had better saved up.

  4. What research you put into your posts! Mine are more like: I stepped in a puddle of mud and got my birthday shoes dirty.

    I don't mind Bradley Cooper. Maybe now we'll get to see if he can really act.

  5. I agree on both counts, bad decision on remaking The Crow, can't mess with perfection and Bradley Cooper? Don't get me wrong, I wouldn't kick him out of my bed but I don't want to see him in this movie. Oh, and STP is perfection. The end.

  6. That poor Verizon dude. Maybe he can get a gig on Dancing With the Stars.

    I agree with Random Girl. Bradley is fine fo sho, but not Crow material.


    I will NOT go see it. I will convince others not to as well!

  8. I'm a comic book Bruce Lee nerd who named my second born after Brandon Lee. You are damn straight I think remaking The Crow is a dumb idea. C'mon Hollywood, have you always stunk this bad and I just didn't notice?

    EXCELLENT song choice. I still watch the closing credits of that movie just to finish it off with that song. A great addition by the movie makers.

  9. As I grew out of a goth teen into a dark adult (ha! I sound so emo!), I'm saddened to say that I've re-watched The Crow and was disappointed by the movie-not the imagery! The dialog and acting.

    That being said, there is NO WAY they should do a remake. NO WAY. That is Brandon Lee's legacy.