I attended the world premiere of Mel Gibson’s movie Get the Gringo. I love when movies premiere in Austin. LA is just so overdone, don’t you think?
I picked up my press kit and staked out my spot in front of the step and repeat with my camera. The red carpet was packed with photographers and camera men, and when the stars arrived everything moved very quickly.
Adrian Grunberg and Stacy Perskie
I think these guys were on the soundtrack.
Mel Gibson laughing
Robert Rodriguez shows support for the film
Austin’s film buffs lined up in the hopes to get into the movie.
I got a seat in my favorite row, the back. Score. A nice cold Live Oak Hefeweizen and some popcorn and I was ready to watch the movie. I wouldn’t say I was dying to see it. Truth be told, I’ve been boycotting Mel Gibson for quite some time. Just earlier in the day, some audio footage of another of his rants was released. So things are not getting better in his personal life, to put it lightly. But I tried to keep an open mind about the movie.
The opening scene featured some Tarantinoesque violence and blood spattering. A clown was driving the getaway car. I was hooked. The movie was actually pretty good. Most of it took place in a Mexican prison filled with not just the prisoners, but their wives, children, and a booming economy. I’m not sure where my life is going to take me, but if I end up in a Mexican prison, I hope it’s like this one. You can buy tacos there. And eat ice cream at a wrestling match. And carry a gun.
Gibson’s character (Driver) befriends a ten-year-old boy (Kid) who is constantly bumming cigarettes. Most of the characters don’t have names. They don’t need them. There’s some conflict and a resolution, and in between is the appropriate amount of violence, empathy and humor.
Mel Gibson was the charming actor I remembered growing up. Funny, wry, the good guy with an edge. I wish I could go back an unlearn everything I know about him. As an actor, I like him. As a person, I loathe him. But should we really be judging a person’s talent by their flaws? It’s hard to separate the two, and I suspect that I would be sorely disappointed with the personalities of most of the people whose talents I admire. It’s better not to know.
After the movie there was a Q&A panel moderated by Harry Knowles of Ain’t it Cool News. I had a few questions ready, but alas, the questions answered were all sent in via email from fans watching in other cities. Pre-approved softball questions like, “When’s the next Lethal Weapon coming out?” And of course, Mel Gibson can no longer answer questions without prior approval, ever again.
Knowles asked why he chose Austin for the premiere, and Gibson responded that he liked Austin. But then his reason for liking Austin told me that he doesn’t know the city at all. He said, it’s got that “middle America” feel, but you can still get a cappuccino here. I’m insulted that he would assume that that’s a compliment to us. Garsh, mister, I ain’t never heard of one of dem fancy coffees before. I mean, where can’t you get a cappuccino?
So now my fantasy question for Mel Gibson might be something like, “Hey Mel, have you heard of South by Southwest?”