If it's crap ... We'll tell you
Man, this is truly a sad day for me now that Carlyle is leaving Spill as a regular Spill Crew member permanently. For the four years that I've had to watch, read, and listen to the musings of this fine and articulate man, he's been at my side for arguably the four most arduous years of my life thus far. Even though Spill was founded in 2006, I never really got exposed to the site until 2007 when I was interested in seeing reviews on YouTube in its VERY early days and managed to catch a short review of Spill's there (the episode was Blades of Glory) where I caught myself laughing and really enjoying myself. Later that year, I unknowingly ran into Spill again on YouTube again when they did their review of Transformers where I would be introduced to the man of the hour himself, Carlyle! Even though I was only 12 or 13 when that movie came out, even looking back at the age of 17 I think it'll hold up to me personally as being one of the best action movies/spectacles ever committed to film and yes, like Carlyle and Christopher Nolan, I am one of like six or seven people that actually loves Michael Bay for what he does best! What's weird is that even the way he was drawn with the purple shirt, the glasses, and the ballcap, I somehow knew that this guy was something else in the best way. There was something about him. His distinct radio voice, unique and uncompromising vision, and just his pure character that would later help change me forever.
When I was younger, I was diagnosed with Asperger syndrome and let me tell you that even as a mild autistic, life has been particularly tough for me. For many years, I've felt almost like Clark Kent: an alien from another planet that somehow managed to be raised in an environment where I've felt completely alone but some people around me expected that I would go on to do great things. A part of what makes a person with Asperger syndrome is that they have a particular obsession and that they would be great at academic things naturally and I have to tell you that movies are that one passion for me and that as far as my marks go especially whenever I go to act in drama class, write a review of a particular film for any other class, or even lend my stories or screenplay excerpts to a many good variety of people I know, I seem to have gotten the most positive feedback which gives me more faith in my goals in life. I've loved almost everything about movies since the very day I saw my first movie in the theatre which thinking back is probably The Lion King (and it's grown exponentially since then) ironically enough since we're talking about Carlyle.
In my early elementary years, I have to admit that I was a bully to many kids but I think that it was only because I was so lonely and in my own world that I didn't understand other kids and didn't care about anything. I pushed other kids around, I was cruel, and they did absolutely nothing to deserve it. Then I would move to another area in the third grade where I currently live now and everything was turned on its ear for me when I woke up to this blissful thing called karma and the notion of the real world. When I was the new kid, all of a sudden I was attacked. I was beaten. I was used as a big red target ring. I was yelled, cursed at, and picked on for being as different as I was without even knowing myself what was wrong with me compared to normal kids. Being overweight as a child probably didn't help either to add to my delay in understanding social skills (that most kids develop naturally), having some clumsy or uncoordinated motor skills, and difficulties with dealing with the real world. Then it was the seventh grade when I discovered Spill and therefore Carlyle and later in 2008, after seeing and hearing the Rambo review he did and the memoriam he did about Heath Ledger (who was my favorite actor ever since I watched A Knight's Tale years before his death), I fell in love with him as a fan! It was partly because I could identify with him so much on a more surfaced level! At that point, I hadn't seen or met anybody yet who was in love with film as much as he is or that I am and I still haven't found someone to replace him and probably never will in fact!
When Carlyle started to make an impact on my life at the end of elementary school for me, I was starting to gain a wider circle of friends, I was adjusting to the real world better, and I had managed to lose most of my excess weight at that point. The summer of 2008 when it came to being a movie fan was probably the best ride I could ever ask for and Carlyle of all people agreed especially when I saw The Dark Knight because that's probably one of my all time favorite movies and one of the most important movies of my life. When it came to Heath Ledger being my favorite actor and another one of my personal heroes to my life, A Knight's Tale reassured me that I wanted to be a movie star but it was his role in The Dark Knight that made me want to be an actor. Carlyle was important to me in that way because here was a guy who knew who Heath Ledger was well before other people did and we seemed to love and adore him the same way. Sadly, Ledger was my hero for the longest time and I couldn't wait for the opportunity to meet him and work with him but reality, as it sometimes is, came knocking and delivered the bad news that sometimes dreams simply can't come true the way you hope or want them to which made me kind of depressed for a bit. Carlyle's review for Forgetting Sarah Marshall that same year would also influence me in a big way in a later part of this story.
When I got to high school in late 2008, I started to become an active member of Spill and would later become more fond of the other Crew members. I would also start to get more friends and would become more popular, which actually believe it or not, made me feel happier about myself as I began to get more accepted by others and vice versa. By this time, I managed to really notice that people thought I was such a good actor that they kept telling me that they know that I will be famous and rich someday for it and in the oddest way, I kind of believe it (not to sound pretentious or anything). They loved particularly my Heath Ledger Joker impersonation because they actually think that I do it spot on and when I put on a Joker costume and do it that it’s almost uncanny. The tailend of that year would also be the year of my first love with a girl. As the Twilight films started to fill the pop culture and all corners of the known world, Carlyle and I would share pain and anger over the very cancer that it is and the thing that made it worse was the fact that this girl was frankly obsessed with the whole thing. In some strange way, it kinds of serves as symbolism for that part of my life. Then in the summer of 2010, I realized that this girl had put me in the friend zone for one and a half years which made me feel the worst I've ever felt. Despite all the names, punches, kicks, tackles, and lies that have tried to damage my morale over the years, just the fact that I was practically betrayed and been lied to by one of the people I claimed to love made me feel incredibly depressed and I beat myself up for the longest time but unfortunately for me, I didn't have Falling Down or Sky High like Carlyle recommended.
While Inception helped me with my writing when it came to opening my imagination even further, The Social Network would be the movie that would be most critical to my life thus far but unfortunately Carlyle's voice wasn't there to share and compare which in a way was good for me. I had to make that movie out for my own mind and now it's my favorite film and Jesse Eisenberg is a new hero of mine for creating the most realistic portrayal of a person with Asperger syndrome ever! As I left that movie, I was changed as it was such a cathartic and transformative experience for me. After that movie, I would go on to reveal the truth about the situation of this girl and I which would be met with much hatred initially but would work to my benefit in the end because it turned out that in physical terms, the characters from Forgetting Sarah Marshall were reversed in my story (I was comparatively like Kristen Bell and she was like Jason Segel in terms of "attractiveness" from an outside perspective) but when it came to personalities of the characters and in terms of a break-up story, I was exactly like Jason Segel and she was more or less the Kristen Bell character in my eyes. Even though Swingers was the movie that helped me get through the aftershock of the pain left by this disastrous attempt at love and a relationship, revisiting that scene where Jason Segel performs "Dracula's Lament" in Forgetting Sarah Marshall after this hard heartbroken period of my life made me not only respect and love the movie for what it was about but I was able to finally close that part of my life permanently and come full circle as a stronger and better person when like in Swingers, she tried to come back at me when I had completely forgotten about her and I have to thank Carlyle so much for pushing that movie especially on me and sharing his fondness for 10 Things I Hate About You because it pretty much saved me from my own insanity.
Much has changed in the four years that Carlyle has been a huge influence on my life now that in the coming months, I will be entering my final year of high school as a person reborn from the ashes. I am a free man with a self-confidence and self-concept that’s now stronger than I ever thought possible, I am now sure of what I have to do, what I need to do and what I want to do with my life, I have been made into a person that everyone seems to care about me now (whereas I don’t think anybody as a child would care about me), I performed in a school play where I kept getting compliments from strangers for at least a week after telling me in some cases that I was one of the best actors in it, and I can even start to grasp more abstract social concepts which I couldn’t do before. Over that time, I managed to gain much more weight but thankfully I had quite the growth spurt (now up to 6’2” or 6'3") to even things out as to have me look like I was when I was a kid but now I’m at a point where I’ve lost 15 pounds in all of two and half months or so and I plan to keep going down until I get to a healthy weight. Also, I had a terrible period with acne and later when I accidentally mixed medications which made it worse temporarily but now my face has cleared up so much. I’ve managed to write two screenplays, plenty of film outlines, tons of movie reviews (which gained me a lot more acceptance by people), and am currently writing the potential play for my school’s drama production class next year. As far as a social life in school, it seems as if I am now one of the popular people (although I’m the popular kid that everybody likes because I’m not arrogant and I treat people fairly) and have plenty of friends which makes me feel so lucky to have had social mobility like that in a place like high school where that kind of thing is rare. Before I encountered Carlyle, I was perhaps at one of my lowest lows and now when Carlyle is leaving Spill and online film criticism behind for good, I am almost at my highest high at this point and I think the common element of these interlinking events has been Carlyle on Spill which says a lot about how he’s now my all time personal hero.
The first time Carlyle affected my life was the summer before my final year of elementary school and it was because of Transformers. The exact middle of this four year interim was met with Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen which doubly made us foam poison out the mouth and piss with vinegar as we unleashed our loathing of that movie which was followed by that massive heartbreak afterward for me. It just seems freakishly appropriate that I ended my junior year one or two days ago followed shortly by Carlyle’s Spill Dot Con finale and concluded with potentially his last review as an online film critic with his AICN review for Transformers: Dark of the Moon where he concluded with:
“It’s not the best film he’s ever made, but it is the best TRANSFORMERS film he’s ever made; in fact, this is the very best TRANSFORMERS anything ever made. And it is a spectacle that has to be seen to be believed.”
I know that I might be getting ahead of myself with this blog but I live by a very different existential outlook on life about how these tiny little things affect our lives and this is one of those moments for me. I think I’ve just been taken on a Hero’s Journey and now I’m finally entering the rebirth stage of my life. What’s also weird is that I am seeing Transformers: Dark of the Moon myself tomorrow on its opening day. I don’t know about you but the world works in the most mysterious ways sometimes along with perhaps my own brain for thinking all this up for myself. Either way, I wish nothing but good luck for Carlyle on this new stage of his life which hopefully is better than I ever saw with his days as online critic. He has been a teacher, a prophet, a friend, an older brother, a comic, a poet, an inspiration, and a hero to me in ways that I can never repay. He’s perhaps the reason I’ve changed so much in my mind at least and for the better. I just hope that in the next stage in my life that we can work together at some point for either a film or novel. Good luck, Godspeed, and goodbye.