Sunday, March 31, 2013

Self Observational Sunday: Dealing with Death Fear

Over the last week I've been having some insane anxiety and paranoia. One of the biggest elements in the last week has been the fear that people I love are going to die sooner rather than later. This isn't an entirely unheard of fear. I have at least 3 family members who are not doing well health wise. I don't handle death well. 

Yesterday I was driving around listening to music and I decided to visit an old favorite. Eels: Electro Shock Blues

For people who don't know the story of Electro-Shock Blues it all began in 1996 when Mark Oliver Everett (E) released Beautiful Freak under the moniker Eels. At the peak of the band's new found success E's sister committed suicide and his mother was diagnosed with terminal cancer. This meant E was about to be the last living person in his family bloodline (his father died in 1982). 

The first half of this album is heartbreaking. It even includes lyrics inspired by his sister's last diary entry. However the second half of the album becomes more hopeful. It builds to the conclusion with song P.S You Rock My World. The song breaks down and outlines E's return to society, finally leaving his house after dealing with his depression. 

There's one lyric that stands out above the rest however:
"And I was thinking about how everyone is dyin'/Maybe it's time to live"

For some reason the second I heard that lyric all those fears disappeared. It's amazing how affective music can be.

Also Happy Easter

Thursday, March 28, 2013

100 Movies That Make Me Love Film: 45. Stand By Me

45. Stand By Me

Stephen King will sadly only be known as a horror writer it seems. His short stories and his novellas are some of the best work he’s ever done. My favorite of all his books is Different Seasons comprised of 4 novellas. This is the book that contains the short stories that later became Shawshank Redemption, Apt Pupil and Stand by Me (titled ‘The Body’).

There has never been a better adaptation of one of his books than Rob Reiner’s Stand by Me. Only a part of the reason is because of King’s brilliant story. Much of the dialogue and narration is drawn straight out of the source material. King’s nostalgic look at growing up in the 50’s is at it’s best here (not unlike Stephen King’s IT!). The characters talk the way young friends actually speak to each other.

Mix in the hilarious narration from a grown up Gordie and a great soundtrack of 50’s classics there is little to dislike in this movie. 

Kids lose everything unless there's someone there to look out for them.”

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

100 Albums That Make Me Love Music: 45. Rancid: ... And Out Come the Wolves

45. Rancid: ...And Out Come The Wolves

When I heard punk music, it changed my life. Up until 3rd grade the only music I listened too was the music my parents loved. Stuff like Bruce Springsteen and Meat Loaf. However the second my cousin played me Green Day and Offspring I knew this music was for me.

In 1994-1995 there were four hit punk albums that signaled the revival of the genre. Bad Religion’s Stranger Than Fiction, Green Day’s Dookie, The Offspring’s Smash and this album. Rancid didn’t strike a chord with me the way Green Day and Offspring did, however I did enjoy their massive hits Time Bomb and Ruby Soho, then senior year of high school happened.

Without getting too into the shit of my childhood by my senior year all the friends I had throughout junior high and high school had basically crumbled in arguments and other issues. This lead to me beginning high school with a select group of friends (mostly through TV studio). In my film class I reconnected with another student Brian. 

I had met Brian in 9th grade with spiked hair wearing baggie jeans and torn shirt of a random 80’s punk band. To be honest, he kinda scared me but our shared love of punk music made us aware of each other. We became insanely close our senior year doing all of our video projects together. Brian LOVED Rancid and we’d listen to And Out Come The Wolves in his car whenever we’d drive around. At one point we even shot a music video for Maxwell Murder.

What shocked me about this album as I began to dive into it more and more is that it was 19 perfect tracks. Every The Offspring and Green Day couldn’t do this, and their albums were typically 12-14 tracks long. 

Rancid’s infamous 3rd album is packed with aggressive angry songs like Maxwell Murder but has just as many catchy tunes like Roots Radical and Olympia, WA

Full of songs about heartbreak or the nostalgia of youth Rancid was able to construct their longest lasting album. It seems ageless, unlike many other albums that came out in 1995. If you’ve heard this album it holds a memory for you, if you haven’t heard this album, prepare to have a new memory made for you.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Self Observational Sunday - The Unluckiest Day of the Year

So last week I discussed in great detail the Nightmare on Elm Street franchise. It is without question my favorite horror franchise. Since my apparent bloodlust remained unquenched so I decided to rock my way through all ten Friday the 13th films and follow it up with His Name Was Jason. I liked these films more than I ever remembered but Jason will never replace Freddy as my go to guy.

Throughout the documentary His Name Was Jason (which is 20 minutes of recap, 10 minutes of interesting stories, 30 minutes of discussion and a 30 minute advertisement for the 2009 remake) they try to make Jason out to be a sympathetic character. Look I'm sad you drowned and your mom died,  but I can't feel sympathy for someone who murdered close 100 people. At least Freddy is pure evil. This is how I prefer to see Jason as well.

I will say this much, the franchise does a better job following a continuity than even the Nightmare franchise. With the exception of Jason Goes to Hell & Jason X we find Jason at the beginning of one film where we left him at the end of the previous film.

I do enjoy the over-all mythology (even in the bad films). For those of you who know of Jason but never watched the movies here's a quick timeline.

Part 1 - Jason Drowns, Camp Counselors are slaughtered the next year, camp reopens, counselors slaughtered again, turns out it's Jason's mother seeking revenge, Jason Jumps out of the water at the end.
Part 2 - A few years later the camp is reopened yet again. This time it's Jason. He is injured by not killed.
Part 3 - The Following Day (not to be confused with the actual film Saturday the 14th) Jason continues his murderous spree, he's not killed still.
Part 4 - It's the day after Part 3 and Jason's murder spree is continuing. Thankfully the young Tommy kills him.
Part 5 - Tommy is emotionally fucked up and lives with other crazy kids. One kid kills another and suddenly Jason starts popping up killing kids. Turns out it's not Jason just a copycat (It's a long story). We're left thinking that Tommy will take over where Jason left off
Part 6 - Tommy doesn't take off where Jason left off (mostly due to people hating Part 5). Instead Tommy can't accept that Jason is dead. He digs up  Jason's grave to make sure he's dead and accidentally revives him with lightening (so now he's a zombie). Jason is chained to the bottom of the lake (still very alive)
Part 7 - The Telekinetic Tina accidentally frees Jason. However she defeats Jason with help of her dead father who pulls him underwater where he belongs.
Part 8 - An Achor brings Jason to life where he's later killed by Toxic Waste in the New York sewer
Part 9 - Jason is unexplainably back however is quickly blown to pieces. The rest of the movie is his evil spirit being passed between different hosts. Jason finally returns and his pulled to hell.
Part 10 - Jason is back again. It seems unexplainable in theory but if you consider Freddy Vs. Jason takes place before this than it's not that unexplainable.

As with any franchise some are better than others. I love the original and parts 2-4 are lots of fun but my favorite is Part 6: Jason Lives. It's fun and has it's tongue planted firmly in cheek. It also had the most deaths in any movie (until he went balls to the wall crazy in Jason X). I used to hate Part 5 but I've learned to love it for it's little charms (the breakdancing, singing in a portapotty, the rednecks) and I even have a place in my heart for Jason Takes Manhattan (even though it's typically one of the two least liked by fans) due to it being the first film in the series I saw (same day that I saw Freddy's Dead).

There are two elements of fan opinion where I completely differ. I typically read about fans LOVING Part 7 (The New Blood) and hating part 9 (Jason goes to Hell). For me it's a complete flip flop. I hate New Blood and despite my love of how over the top Jason's decay is by the end of the movie I can't stand the movie in general. Meanwhile I love the Jason-less Jason Goes to Hell. It doesn't take itself too seriously and is full of excellent gore effects.

I also took the time to rewatch all of the Child's Play films but I think that's enough of these franchise breakdowns (however I've been working my way through all my teen flicks so who knows what the future holds).

Thursday, March 21, 2013

100 Movies That Make Me Love Film: 46. Napoleon Dynamite

46. Napoleon Dynamite

In the summer of 2004 I had lots of time on my hand. Every weekend my friends and I would go to the movie theater for the day. We’d see 2 or 3 movies (taking a break in the middle to get lunch). Most of these days are kinda forgettable but one particular day we saw Garden State and Napoleon Dynamite back to back. Both of these were life changing in different ways, I’ll discuss Garden State at a later date but Napoleon Dynamite gave me the same reaction that watching Clerks gave me ‘I could have made this with my friends’

Most of the time when people say this it’s a negative thing. “This movie sucks, I could have made it”. When I say it what i mean is that this movie is the type of film my friends and I would write. We were Napoleon Dynamite and Pedro, perhaps not as socially inept, but we were basically our own little circle of friends, we played D&D and talked about make-believe creatures like Ligers.

Napoleond Dynamite was a generally plotless film. The DVD plot summary says it’s the story of how Napoleon tries to help his friend Pedro win the school election, but Pedro doesn’t decide to do that until an hour into the 90 minute movie. More than anything it’s a series of shorts about a weird town where no viewer can tell what year it’s suppose to be.

I immediately fell in love with this movie, not for the outrageous quotes (for which there are many) but for the more bizarre elements like Kip’s smirk after saying ‘your mom goes to college’, or Uncle Rico’s scream when Napoleon throws a grapefruit at his van. 

Now when I first saw this movie, it was in an empty theater with just my friends. A week later we more friends to go see it and it was a half full theater. We attempted to see it a third time a week later and it was a sold out show. 

I should have been happy about this, but it made me more annoyed than anything. The people who were laughing suddenly weren’t laughing in a ‘oh man, I relate to this’ way, they were laughing in a ‘look at that loser way’. I felt like something I loved had been taken away from me.

I had to walk away from the movie for a few years. I recently rewatched it and it took me back to that magical place that I took me to 8 years ago. I was filled with nostalgia and joy. 

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

100 Albums That Make Me Love Music - 46: De la Soul - 3 Feet High and Rising

46. De La Soul: 3 Feet High and Rising

It took me a long time to start listening to Alternative Hip-Hop but when I did I immediately got into the Native Tongue stuff. I had been told for a long time that this was one of the best hip hop albums of all time. So when I found it for a dollar at a yard sale I knew I had to purchase it. At the time the only song I knew was their hit Me, Myself and I which was a fun little song but didn’t seem to have much substance to it lyrically.

However 3 Feet High and Rising is nothing if not lyrically amazing. In it’s hour and 6 minutes MCs Posdnuos and Trugoy rap about life, love and peace over top the incredible DJ styles of Mase. The band began to be called the Rap Hippies to their disdain and eventually changed their style in later albums. While the follow-up De La Soul is Dead contains some great material they never made an album quite as perfect as their debut.

The album is packed with lots of short rap songs and skits. Unlike most mainstream rappers De La Soul manages to actually make their skits humorous and satirical as opposed to nonsensical skits about sex and guns (listen to any skit on a DMX album to get what I’m referring to). However the SONGS that really shine are Magic Number, Eye Know and Tread Water. 

Magic Number is my favorite of the whole album however. The weird alliteration driven rhymes about peace and harmony are spell-bounding while the positive energy of Eye Know and Tread Water are irresistible. It’s not hard to hear what makes this album so well praised. If you’ve been avoiding this album for whatever reason, you need to make a change immediately.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Self Observational Sunday: Nightmare on My Street

So I’m unemployed (as made clear in my previous SOS) so what better way to spend time not working than watching the entire Nightmare on Elm Street series (except Freddy Vs. Jason) as well as the Documentary Never Sleep Again. This is my all time favorite horror franchise. It doesn’t mean I love them all but in general even the worst Freddy film (arguably Part 2 or Part 5) there are elements in the story that are quite interesting/impressive/etc.

There are elements about the film that are always sort of a pain in the ass. For starters the series seems to change it’s own mythology with each sequel in order to appeal to the story. The only movies that seem to follow the originals rules are part 3 and part 4.

I think like most fans Part 3 is tied with the original as my favorite in the series. In many ways I consider Part 3 (The Dream Warriors) the superior film but there is something to be said about how genuinely eerie the original was. Beyond that watching the documentary Never Sleep Again is full of so many interesting stories of the making of the 1984 original really makes the film all the more appealing to me. That being said the original did not contain a soundtrack by Dokken and a character who loves D&D so sorry Part 3 is my preferred viewing.

In the documentary Never Sleep Again there’s a lot of discussion about the original ending. Wes Craven was very anti-Sequels. He wanted Freddy dead and Nancy off to live another day while Bob Shaye wanted the movie to end with a Freddy is still around. It proposes an interesting concept about what is more satisfying. I agree with Wes that the symbolic statement is powerful ... the survival of Freddy is to overcome the fear of Freddy (something that they still try to propose in all the movies but due to new ending where Freddy is still around than it means that overcoming your fear isn’t actually what stops him so why keep trying?) however I always loved the absurd final shot of Nancy’s mother being pulled through that tiny window in the door.

I think it’s no shock that the best of the series (The Original, Part 3 and New Nightmare) all involved Wes Craven’s involvement. I don’t consider him the end all be all of horror filmmakers ... he’s made some garbage in his career; but what’s important is that he always has a nice little dab of psychology mixed into his horror. His versions of Freddy taps into internal fears far stronger than some of the later films.

Freddy’s Revenge is many many things. One of the things it is not is intentionally good. The film was voted by as the Gayest horror movie of all time (something that is discussed in great detail in Never Sleep Again ... seriously, if you’ve read this far and never seen that documentary you should probably do that now). The film is really the worst possible way to follow up the power of the original Elm Street. That being said I must say it was quite the ballsy thing to do. They literally followed up a smash hit by doing something completely and utterly different. As poor as the movie is, I do have to applaud the gutsy aspect to that. As I said even the worst of these movies have elements I like. There are serious B-Movie/Troll 2 aspects to it (Mark Patton’s dancing sequence, killer bird sequence, etc) but there is one moment that is incredible. Jesse’s transformation into Freddy is a dark, gory and eerie moment with some impressive and innovative visuals.

I always want to like The Dream Master more. It’s got some really innovative moments (including my favorite death - the cockroach) but all in all it’s not a very good movie. However it’s far superior to Part 5 - The Dream Child. I think Dream Child is my pick for the worst film (although Freddy’s Revenge is a close 2nd). Dream Child suffers from an absurd plot and the censors taking out most of the gore and violence leaving us to deal with the bad plot line and nothing else. I almost always find myself zoning out while watching it.

Here’s where my opinion and fan opinion completely differs. I love the shit out of Freddy’s Dead. Now hear me out... this was the first Elm Street film I ever saw. I caught it on TV when I was just starting to watch horror movies. I had to face some “demons” as I remembered the trailer for Freddy’s dead scaring me as a child. I had to face my demons. Now I get that the movie is bad ... hell it’s terrible. In the beginning of this SOS I mentioned that the films bend and twist the mythos ... no film fucks with it more than Freddy’s Dead. It drops the logic in favor of cool visuals. When people fall asleep their body either magically disappears (someone falls through a table and doesn’t come out of it) or defy physics and have a complete and utter lack of control of their body. There are elements of this in previous films (Tina’s death comes to mind) but no one was punching through walks or simply floating in mid-air (cue Breckin Myers). 

That being said the movie was intended to be tongue-in-cheek and over the top. There’s claims that Divine was supposed to be in the movie (despite Divine dying many years before Freddy’s Dead). 

Regardless of the positives and the negatives throughout this franchise (for the record I’m just ignoring the 2010 remake) it will forever remain my favorite horror franchise. It’s demented, dark and innovative. Next up I think I’m going to work my way through Friday the 13th and while I’ll enjoy it I know it won’t captivate me the way Freddy always has.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

100 Movies That Make Me Love Film: 47. Brick

47. Brick

I don’t know why my friend Jeff and I decided to go to the Ritz theater to see Duck Season. It was a good movie and all but I honestly don’t remember what influenced our decision. Either way I’m glad we went because we saw a trailer for Brick. A month or so later a group of friends and I went and saw it and it blew our minds.

The movie is a film noir story told inside of a high school. Almost all the dialogue feels dated (but in a good cool way). Brendan is our hard-boiled detective trying to find out what happened to his ex-girlfriend who’s gone missing ever since she started with the schools various underground drug circles. Eventually he finds her dead body and decides he wants to put an end to the entire drug circle.

There are multiple twists and turns throughout the movie but the best element is the script. Rian Johnson covers every aspect of the 1920’s film noir genre perfectly but they’re all beautiful crafted into their high school setting seemlessly. This could have easily been played for laughs (and sometimes it does) but for the most part Brick takes it’s concept VERY seriously.

This is another short one folks, this is a fun movie to discuss with people who’ve seen it but since many people don’t know this film exists I’m going to have to just insist you check it out ASAP

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

100 Albums That Make Me Love Music: 47. "Weird Al" Yankovic - Bad Hair Day

47. “Weird Al” Yankovic: Bad Hair Day

I think most people remember the first time they ever heard “Weird Al” Yankovic. I remember being in 4th grade in the kitchen while my brother was watching the Box in the living room one afternoon. Suddenly I heard Gangsta’s Paradise playing. Suddenly I heard the lyrics and they were very different from the one’s I remembered. I ran into the living room and I was introduced to the wonderful world of “Weird Al” Yankovic.

The next day at school all anyone could talk about was “Weird Al” Yankovic. One girl told me that her brother had a copy of the new album. I asked her for a copy of it and was excited the next day when she gave me a cassette tape. I remember listening to it on the bus ride home and I couldn’t believe what I was hearing.

I quickly started writing my own parodies (though they all sucked) and quickly collecting his albums and a VHS tape of all his music videos. Yankovic has become one of the biggest influences in my life not just as a comedy song writer but as an inspiration of doing what your dream is and not listen to people when they say that you’re a one-hit wonder.

This album still remains my favorite “Weird Al” album despite it being one of his more poorly received albums. The parodies aren’t important to discuss, most of them don’t hold up well, this isn’t because they’re not funny but Al always has to assume a song will be a hit. Songs like Cavity Search (based on U2’s Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me) and Syndicated, Inc. (based on Misery by Soul Asylum) are hilarious but are parodies of songs that don’t nearly have the longevity of some of earlier parodies like Girls just wanna have lunch or Like a Surgeon.

To truly appreciate weird al you have to look at his original songs. This album contains Everything You Know is Wrong, which is my favorite Weird Al Song of all time. The style parody of They Might Be Giants is musical perfection. It tells 3 stories of our main character which get increasingly more and more bizarre and contains such classic lines like “I was just about to mail a letter to my evil twin when I got a nasty papercut/And, well, to make a long story short it got infected and I died”.

Every original song is well crafted and songs like “I’m So Sick of You” and “I Remember Larry” are so addictingly catchy that had they been released by any other artist in 1996 they would have been huge radio hits.

Another classic on this album is Since You’ve Been Gone. In just a minor 86 seconds Weird Al and his band created an a capella song about heartbreak with the twist ending of “I feel almost as bad as I did when you were still here”

“Weird Al” deserves your respect.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Self Observational Sunday: Unemployed and Enjoyed

Last week's SOS (what a convenient and slightly accurate abbreviation) I mentioned that my current job let me go last week. I'm not going to dig into the details about it. I'll simply say that they decided my position was no longer needed and I was free to go. The only major issue I had was being "let go" on the 27th, being told to call HR the next morning and then finding out my benefits ended at the end of the month (aka on the 28th). Thanks guys.

All in all I was pretty okay with the way things played out. The Hospital I work at has been very accommodating and I've started walking dogs again. In roughly a month I should be making the same amount at my two part times as I did with my one full time (for less hours not to mention stuff that makes me feel at peace).

I can't reveal anything major right now but I am working on building my own company, being my own boss and thanks to the writers group I joined two months ago I find myself working on my screenplay more and more.

This is admittedly a pretty short Observational Sunday but almost everyone who read last week's blog was asking me about more info so I figured I'd put those 3 people's mind at ease.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

100 Movies That Make Me Love Film - 48. Do The Right Thing

48. Do The Right Thing

The first time I ever really knew of the movie was on the Evening With Kevin Smith DVD. I’m sure I had heard of it previously in an obscure reference but it was when Kevin Smith said that Clerks was originally inspired by the movie. Now that I think about it, it might not have been Evening but instead the Clerks 10 year anniversary DVD. 

Regardless of where I heard it, I netflixed the movie shortly after that. I knew a little bit about the movie from the I Love the 80’s TV specials. Regardless of how you feel about Spike Lee as a writer, director or a person I think most people agree that the message of Do The Right Thing is the director at his best and least judgmental.

The film follows Pizza delivery boy Mookie on a hot day in New York. Racial tensions are at an all time high. The film contains a snapshot of a small inner city life. It’s packed with funny moments and lovable characters. 

There’s a lot of good the movie’s trying to say. Sadly the words and actions of the director make people already approach the film with a closed mind and a desire to hate it. For me this is Lee’s best, every element works. 

It’s definitely not for everyone but it comes highly recommended by me.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

100 Albums That Make Me Love Music - 48. Mewithoutyout: It's All Crazy! It's All False! It's All A Dream! It's Alright!

48. mewithoutyou: It’s All Crazy! It’s All False! It’s All A Dream! It’s Alright!

I remember the first time I heard mewithoutyou their weird screaming poetry over indie rock sound immediately captivated me and I fell in love with their style. So when I bought their third album Brother, Sister I was very confused to find that their screaming was gone and their heavy sounds were more folky than anything else. That being said I didn’t dislike the change... it was just different and unexpected. Somehow that didn’t prepare me for their next stage on their 4th album. 

I bought It’s All Crazy! It’s All False! It’s All A Dream! It’s Alright! without hearing a single track off it. The only thing I knew about this album was that it was going to be “folkier” and produced by Daniel Smith of the Danielson Familie (one of my guilty pleasures), needless to say I knew I was going to like the album so what was the point of hearing tracks out of context? The best part of the mewithoutyou experience is hearing the whole album at once as the songs mix into each other creating a 45 minute song instead of 12 individual tracks. That being said this album doesn’t do that at all.

There is an element of story still, but in the context of individual parables (mostly from the perspective of various animals). The only single “The Fox, The Crow and The Cookie” is such a fun blend of folk and Indie rock with amazing sing-along lines, weird instrumentations and falsetto vocals (one of many background vocals added by Daniel Smith) that it’s hard to believe this was the band that gave us Catch For Us The Foxes a few years earlier.

The experimental instrumentations and melodies are what really grabbed me on this record. They take simple lyrics (or la la’s) but put a nice twist to them. The song Timothy Hay is a gorgeous and upbeat song which ends with a beautiful repetition of “What a beautiful God, what a beautiful god, What a beautiful god there must be!” 

That album also is one of the most religiously explicit album the Indie rockers have ever put out ending on the song Allah Allah Allah which simplifies their religious beliefs and the bands personal desire to accept everyone (singing ‘it doesn’t matter what you’ve done’). The album always manages to put a smile on my face, makes me want to roll down the windows and sing-along as loud as I can, not bad for an extremely spiritual folk album from a former post-hardcore band.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Self Observational Sunday: Losing the Dream (Part 2)

So last week I left on a cliffhanger. I was hired at my job at a video store (in the quickest and easiest hiring process known to man) and I left you knowing that I would end up fired. Since writing the first half of this Self Observational Sunday two parter I was “let go” from my current job. I’m pretty certain that the two are unrelated but that’s just a fun little fact. The future of Matt Kelly will probably pop up in next week’s article.

About a week into me working there my boss Dustin asked me if I’d like to be the Assistant Manager. He was putting in his two weeks and making the current Assistant Manager the manager. I accepted immediately. 

Working at the video store was everything I wanted it to be. It was like working in a club house. We’d watch movies all day, eat subway and chinese buffet (we’d worked out a deal of free rentals for free food) and things were going great. The owners never really came in so we had run of the place.

Than the owners started to come in more frequently. First once a week, then twice. Eventually they were coming in four or five times a week. They’d come in and look at our numbers, take inventories and not so subtly hint that we were closing.

We had all concluded that they were going to close the place for good that month and everyone was on edge for the day we’d show up to boarded up windows and a changed lock. 

It was close to closing on Friday night when one of the regulars (I can’t even remember his name) who was the old assistant manager from before I was hired came in. He walked around and asked if he could use the bathroom and then leave through the backdoor (he’d done this many times). I told that was fine. He went into the backroom. I heard the backdoor ding and about 15 minutes later I locked up the shop and called it a night.

That Sunday I got a phone call from the manager. The money from Friday was missing and shop was found completely unlocked Saturday morning. I was being accused of either stealing the money or purposely leaving the building unlocked for someone to come in and take the money. I couldn’t figure out what happened until someone told me that the previous assistant manager was fired when they caught him stealing money to buy drugs. While I had no evidence it seemed to make sense.

The owner’s never changed any of the passcodes and safe combo. They just took away his key to the store. I believe that he hid out in the bathroom, shut down the security system, unlocked the safe and left with the money. He wasn’t able to lock the doors again (hence them being unlocked the next morning). When I explained this to the owner’s they said “while that seems plausible they were still firing me for letting him into the store because I shouldn’t have trusted him” (keep in mind this is a person who they had also let use the bathroom and exit through the back multiple times). 

Joke was on them though. Netflix helped kill their store a few months later.