ReiBred Idol of the Day… The Return

After a long hiatus, we’re bringing it back to the streets! So, give a warm round of applause to Joseph Gordon Levitt, ReiBred’s latest (and greatest?) Idol of the Day. (Eh, probably not “greatest,” considering Tim Schafer was Idol of the Day just last month. And don’t forget Tuxedo Dog!)

I bet you’re wondering to yourself, “Obadiahstarbuck, why are you heaping praise on that squinty-eyed kid from that lame John Lithgow-as-an-alien sitcom? Don’t you realize that John Lithgow is just America’s bootleg version of John Cleese?” Well, first-off, smartmouth, I don’t think Joseph Gordon-Levitt should be dismissed just because of your entirely subjective and pathologically irrational hatred of John Lithgow. Secondly, John Cleese never starred in Harry and the Hendersons, did he? And need I remind you that Third Rock From the Sun kept Wayne “Newman” Knight on America’s TVs right up to the birth of the new millennium?

Well, I’ll tell you why I’m giving this kid so much free publicity (being that Idol of the Day is basically a license to print “fame stamps” to get “celebrity cheese” from the “Hollywood grocery store of the stars”). I’m bestowing this honor on Joe Gordon Levitt because I totally ripped him off. See, about last January, I was walking around town late at night, and my buddy Darryl was all like, “Man, you’ve got a really cool walk. I could watch you walk all the way to Store 24 and back a hundred times.” And I was totally, “Yeah, I’ve got a feverish case of ‘cool-itis.’ I should probably get a prescription for some anti-awesomotics from my doctor… Dr. Funkenstein. And maybe he can check out this inflammation while I’m there…” But what I really should’ve said is, “Yeah, I completely ripped this walk off from Joe Gordon Levitt in Brick. And do you think I should get this inflammation checked out?”

In Brick—which is sort of a southern California high school noir mystery (buddy cop women in prison musical in space western ballet) movie—Levitt plays a character, I think his name is Punchy Gets-Punched-a-Lot, or Brendan Frye, or something. He solves the mystery of his dead girlfriend in classic noir style: by being endlessly lucky, recklessly violent, and generally smarter and more-resourceful than everyone around him. He also gets punched a lot, and by the end of the movie he can barely stand up and blood is oozing out and everything. It’s a great movie, particularly if you like Dashiell Hammett’s Red Harvest (plot synopsis of Red Harvest: Go to “Poisonville,” join a bunch of gangs and mobs, make all of the gangs and mobs kill each other, shrug, go home kill everyone). I like Brick a lot. I’m not sure if I like it because of the way it juxtaposes depression-era-hepcat-patter and gumshoe moral ambiguity with the bloodthirsty milieu of a conventional suburban high-school, or because it is so casually violent. Joe Gordon-Levitt’s character brawls with about four hundred people during the course of this movie, and—every time—it helps him get closer to solving the mystery! I’ve never even been in a fight, so maybe I’m just romanticizing the idea that recklessly battling random people could make my life better. I work in a cubicle, and every day I run into some problem (Powerpoint keeps acting up! No, I’m not interested in hearing about your afternoon run! This new request makes it clear that my client has confused me with his favorite Bangkok prostitute!) that I wish I could solve with violence.

After I saw this movie, I walked around town, and eddies of cool just wafted right off me. Thank you, Joseph Gordon-Levitt. Also, he was wicked good in Mysterious Skin and The Lookout. I’m glad he built up this store of goodwill, because his next big role is as… Cobra Commander… in the GI Joe movie. Wha? Followed by a rumored part in a live action adaptation of Akira… oh my…

Update, August, 2009: Joe Gordon-Levitt can do whatever he wants. While he was in the GI Joe movie, he was also in (500) Days of Summer. See that movie before it disappears from theaters. It’s an educational film. It that tells you how not to act when you get rejected by a Manic Pixie Dream-girl. But even while criticizing the protagonist’s outsized reaction to being dumped, the movie remains sympathetic to him and the blithering, useless flesh-blob he becomes. With this movie—and Manic and Mysterious Skin—in his boot, JGL gets a lifetime pass.


  1. Posted April 10, 2008 at 9:17 pm | Permalink

    And do you think I should get this inflammation checked out?

    I think you have a social disease.

  2. obadiahstarbuck
    Posted April 10, 2008 at 9:19 pm | Permalink

    to feldspar: I think it’s highly improbable that you will ever find yourself in a situation that will leave you with a social disease.

  3. Posted April 11, 2008 at 7:34 am | Permalink

    I don’t know if that was an insult or a compliment.

  4. Grady
    Posted November 10, 2009 at 9:45 am | Permalink

    Brick is a movie of epic proportions. I only wish I was as cool as JGL…!

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