the minus man (1999)

Before we start – I thought I would mention that I’m thinking of tinkering with the titles of my posts, mainly because I think it would be funny. At least in my head and to give a little synopsis before you start reading…. and by that I mean open the thing and see how dumb I can get…

The truth behind this movie is that a long, long time ago I had a friend who moved to Texas. One summer when I was languishing in the worst job I’ve ever had, I took a weekend off and drove down to see him where we dabbled in Texas beer, Valiums and sat down to watch Bottle Rocket. That was probably the best time I had that entire year so I still look back at Bottle Rocket as a good memory and my favorite Wes Anderson movie and I figured the two of us and the cast of BR were all good buds. Then my new friend Owen Wilson who I knew would want to drink beer with me and hang out popped up in Armageddon and I was suspicious that he was getting into things too big for his britches and I would have to go find him and talk to him a little bit about sticking to his roots and where he came from and don’t outgrow your friends and who did he he think he fucking was anyway and then I saw this movie one day. I don’t remember when. Maybe it plopped out on Showtime or something?

I still like Wilson (and his two brothers) although now he’s famous so it’s a different story but, in 1999, I don’t think he was ready to carry a film because this isn’t really that great. The tagline for this is “Don’t see it alone. Unless you like talking to yourself.” and I don’t think things could be more appropriate, intentionally or not.

In this thing, Wilson plays a drifter who never likes to settle down. He’s come from Oregon, see, to this nondescript town, see, and decides to rent and move into a room in Mercedes Ruehl’s character’s house, see. He has visions of being interrogated by two cops – one is Dwight Yoakum and one is the guy who does all of the All State insurance commercials here in The States. Everyone loves him, including Janeane Garofalo back when she was still super cute, because he’s laid back, slow talking and handsome. Oh and on the side, he’s a serial killer.

OOPS! Wrong movie!

“God has given me a gift. I can shovel and I can shovel well.” Oh fuck. No. Wait. Focus. “I’ve never hurt anyone” Wilson solemnly reflects over voice over, “They just go to sleep and they never wake up.” which is about what happened to me the couple of times I’ve seen this. This is one of the most boring things I’ve ever seen or done, I think, and my options when I was a kid at my dad’s parents were to: sit in a chair and look out the window or read a book about WWII airplanes.

A serial killer! YAY! He goes around poisoning people. Boo. He drives a pick-up much like the one I drove in the 90s. Yay! He sits in it and looks quietly and pensively out the window. Boo. Well – I guess it was the 90s. Weren’t people my age mostly pensive back then? In my case I was just lonely, I suppose. For a long time it was just me and my cat Sulu in this really old one bedroom apartment and then I got this girlfriend who seemed fun and nice and then she fucked everyone in town so then we were just lonely again. And cold during the winter because that radiator heater never really worked that great. I wonder if I can find any pictures of that place – maybe one or two would be more interesting than this movie.

Well – I went and looked and surprisingly I could only find a couple. One was of Sulu in my bed and the other was one of a girl I dated sitting on the toilet which wouldn’t be classy to share, even for this blog. The curious mind should know that the toilet person in question is not the female that I dated who subsequently fucked everyone on the other side of town but a girl who I would date later who, once we moved in together, would subsequently date other men while we lived together which eventually lead to dismissal and a subsequent living arrangement with my old BFF who I’ve written about a jillion times here and there. We mostly sat around drinking really cheap scotch and playing John Madden football and I didn’t give a fuck who he slept with except for the time he told me he balled [NAME REDACTED] on the back of my car and that was just gross. I mean – sex is naturally what it is unless it’s your ancestors but I didn’t need their sex juices on my car’s paint job.

Here’s one I found on the webs real quick – that was actually mine in the forefront at the top right:

That A/C window unit used to be over there closer to the parking lot though. Aside from all of the loneliness and the cold fucking winters, that was actually a nice place to live even if it was built back in 1934. Not that 1934 didn’t mean it wasn’t a solid construction or it was a shithole but it didn’t have central heat and air and the washing machine was down in the basement which was kind of creepy. For those of you who might remember such things, it also had a little porthole where, back when such things existed, the milkman could swing by and drop off some milk without intruding on your privacy.

But, I guess, back to the today’s topic.

So, our man, Wilson, is a serial killer who speaks softly and then kills people softly by poisoning them so they die softly.

There’s a line that he recites a couple of times in this thing that might help me finish this up.

“When I was young I was lying in the grass and a spider crawled in my ear.”
pause for effect
“Then he crawled out. Nobody home.”

That seems about right with this one.


I also don’t really want you to think that I’m dogging 1934 because I’m not. I’m sure it was a great time even though I wasn’t old enough to celebrate it yet. I think my grandpa was running liquor and his not yet wife was probably helping keep up The Shrine of the Baby Jesus (yep). My Personal Creator wouldn’t be around until after The Big War so she wasn’t even a sperm yet so we have to just kind of float back and think about nice things like LaSalles and AM radio (which I still like). Mrs Film Miasma and I – well we don’t argue – but we differ about where we’d like to go vacation. She wants to go some place busy – and I like Seattle and L.A. and things but I want to go somewhere like Wyoming or North Dakota – to some small town and eat local steaks and maybe listen to a local band and then — DO NOTHING. I’d be instantly rebuked, beaten and publicly flogged but I’d even venture going somewhere where our phones didn’t work. GASP! SHIT!! CROAK!

14 thoughts on “the minus man (1999)

  1. Tom

    Owen Cunningham Wilson (born November 18, 1968) is an American actor. He has had a long association with filmmaker Wes Anderson with whom he shared writing and acting credits for Bottle Rocket (1996), Rushmore (1998), and The Royal Tenenbaums (2001), the last of which earned him a nomination for the Academy Award and BAFTA Award for Best Screenplay. He has also appeared in Anderson’s The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou (2004), The Darjeeling Limited (2007), The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014), and The French Dispatch (2021). Wilson also starred in the Woody Allen romantic comedy Midnight in Paris (2011) as unsatisfied screenwriter Gil Pender, a role which earned him a Golden Globe Award nomination. In 2014 he appeared in Paul Thomas Anderson’s Inherent Vice, and Peter Bogdanovich’s She’s Funny That Way.

    Wilson is also known for his career as an onscreen comedian and member of the Frat Pack including starring in such comedies as Zoolander (2001), Starsky & Hutch (2004), Wedding Crashers (2005), You, Me and Dupree (2006), How Do You Know (2010), The Big Year (2011), and The Internship (2013). He is also known for the family films Marley and Me (2008), and the Night at the Museum film series (2005–2014). He voices Lightning McQueen in the Cars film series (2006–present), Coach Skip in Fantastic Mr. Fox (2009), the title character in Marmaduke (2010) and Reggie in Free Birds (2013). He stars as Mobius M. Mobius in the Disney+ series Loki (2021–present). (Whoever is still reading this, lol, for real?)

    Wilson’s accolades include an Oscar and BAFTA nomination for Best Original Screenplay (for The Royal Tenenbaums), a Golden Globe and two SAG acting nominations (for Midnight in Paris and The Grand Budapest Hotel) and an Independent Spirit Award (for Inherent Vice).

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Tom

        We didn’t hang out because you keep asking me about my goddamn fucking nose man! It’s like, honestly, all it ever has been about with you is the nose. Nose this, nose that. Fuck off with my nose man!


      2. Tom

        I just thought maybe I had carried on a bit too much with my character there. Sometimes its hard to tell when I’m joking and when I’m not haha! #methodtyping #jaredletopersonality #relievedblouse #happytimes

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m mainly just shocked that you like a Wes Anderson movie! I don’t, but I admit I’ve only seen 3 of his films & Bottle Rocket isn’t one of them. Looks less annoyingly “quirky”, though! Even if it does still star Owen Wilson’s nose. 👃😊 Maybe I’ll give Bottle Rocket a chance one day. But not this one… Sounds boring!! 👎

    Liked by 1 person

      1. It’s actually been going ok. Although – now there’s something wrong with my fucking foot and I’m probably going to have to have surgery. Ugh. AND it’s not the one I had to have the tow cut off of. Somehow I broke the heel and nature isn’t healing it so…. Ugh…. For Pete’s sake.


        Liked by 1 person

      2. Ugh! That sucks!! Especially as it’s not the same foot again. Is this because we’re getting old?! 😭 I honestly feel like I’ve completely fallen apart in the last couple of years. I thought I’d have at least 20 more good years in me. ☹️


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