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FILM (permalink) 06.02.2017
mad and furious
a new (and super-young) friend of mine recently convinced me to watch a fast and furious movie. she named it one of her best guilty pleasures.

one night when i had some free time i watched the first show in the series.

less than two hours after that, got a speeding ticket while running an errand.

and i wasn't going just a tad over the speed limit. i might have been going quite a bit over the speed limit.

my friend laughed when i told her this happened. i asked her if there was some sort of "fast-and-furious" related defense available to me. she said i might be able to get the judge to see the humor in the series of events and take mercy on me in that regard.

i doubt marty will be laughing when she learns of this. the reason i'm not certain is she is going to learn of this when she reads it here on the website. it's not that i was hiding the ticket from her, our conversations just never wended themselves that way.

FRIEND, FILM (permalink) 04.05.2017
son, you got a panty on your head.
i have a friend who is a work addict. how addicted? he lives in colorado. i live in the mid-west. he lives a few hours from some of the best skiing in the world. i live a twelve hours from that same skiing. yet, i ski more every year than he does. that's how addicted he is to work. (and yes, he does like skiiing).

now i am not faulting him for being addicted to something. we all have our proclivities. i only faulted him for what he was addicted to—a corporate job. and every time we would get together, this would inevitably become part of the conversation, as uncomfortable and futile as we all knew it was.

but after better than twenty years, my friend recently broke his bonds of addiction and left the company that transfixed him all of these years. he was a different man overnight. and not only did he go skiing with bookguy and i last winter, he also took us to a college football game last fall.

while on my spring break vacation this year, he left me a voice mail. he said he need to talk with me. his voice was serious and he didn't give any additional details. i feared that something happened to one of his parents. i excused myself from our company, went outside and returned his call. the family was fine but his addiction was being tested. a new company had approached him with a very appealing executive job offer. the downside would be he would surely fall into his old ways of seventy hour work weeks and no off days. he confessed to seeing the peril at hand but explained that it was a very good job offer, one that lots of people would want and even more people would question his turning down.

we talked it through and found a position that showed how passing on it would in the end prove to be better career capital than taking it AND that it would allow him to continue enjoying his current life that offered more balance and leisure. we ended the call but just as you might worry about a more conventional addiction problem, i worried for my friend.

he was to deliver his decision the next day. i wrote him the following night and asked him how it went.

admittedly, this following exchange will only mean something for people who are RABID fans of the cohen brothers' film Raising Arizona. if you are not a huge fan of that movie, this may not mean much to you but if you revered it like me and many of mine did, you will find the close of this email exchange to be a great homage to the film and mighty clever response to the situation.
On Mar 20, 2017, at 8:47 PM, Troy DeArmitt wrote:
hey snake,
just checking in to see how things went today.

hopefully you navigated the chop without issue.


On Mar 20, 2017, at  10:26 PM, snake wrote:
I was actually just thinking of emailing you.  I told the company that I was going to decline their offer.  They did say they would hold it open another day if I change my mind, so I have had some anxiety tonight.  Thanks for the time yesterday.

On Mar 20, 2017, at 10:15 PM, Troy DeArmitt wrote:
stay the course.

put it behind you. it was the right decision today. it will be the right decision tomorrow.

and it will be the right decision if they call you tomorrow and offer you 30% more and a signing bonus.

but i get that it is hard.

good luck with it.


On Mar 21, 2017, at 12:03 AM, snake wrote:
Thanks man.  At ----- my job became my life.  I am still working on changing that mindset.  But as H.I. McDunough said to the Maricopa County parole board about his recidivist past "that ain't me no more."  

and marty mocked me and my friends who could and would perform whole swaths of that movie back and forth during long drives in the car ("nobody sleeps naked in this house!") or even over dinner ("what now little brother?"). she said that memorizing the lines from that movie would never come in handy. with such a bad eye for future value, it is lucky for marty that "she's a flower ... just a little desert flower."

FILM (permalink) 01.27.2015
you wouldn't find stiffer acting in a viagra-sponsored porn
i went to see american sniper but it was sold out. in fact, the next two shows were sold out. in scanning the wall of options i felt lucky to find blackhat still open. a michael mann movie about hacking and espionage. when the movie began, there was a light smattering of other viewers. i remember scanning the room with surprise and wondering where everyone was. then the movie began and i knew. they were intelligently and enviably somewhere else. it would be the second film i walked out of before it concluded (for the life of me i can't recall the last one, but i think it might have been heat).

since escaping that torment i've done some thinking and digging about this movie. there are a lot of folks speculating about why this movie did so poorly. they say that on paper it should have been a slam-dunk. people are pointing at directing, marketing, weekend competition. all of this is pointless and remarkably off the mark. this movie failed for one reason and one reason only: casting.

chris hemsworth is as believable in the role of a world-renowned hacker as i would be in the role of THOR. how social-media rich he is could not be less relevant to his ability to play this part. he is a handsome, muscle-bound guy. not only are neither of these assets helpful in this case, but by and large, they probably hurt any convincing arguments that of all the actors out there, known or not, he is the best suited for this particular character. if this highly obvious factor isn't in the math of the people charged with this decision, then those movie pundits could be replaced, professionally, by either of my elementary aged sons. hell, i would have found a present day sylvester stallone equally suited for the role if that helps paint a proper picture.

hence, this lack of insight makes the movie completely unwatchable. i just wish i was as quick at spotting this disconnect as others. admittedly, the fact that i don't watch trailers bit me here. but not enough for me to change my practice of avoiding plot-destroying, entertainment-stealing trailers. you just have to accept that you win most but will have to walk out of some.

KIDS, FILM (permalink) 10.03.2013
let's all go to the movies
late in the summer bella and i began a new father-daughter ritual. on saturday nights she and i, after the boys go to bed, stay up late and watch a movie. the original vision was to have them all be horror/suspense films, something bella holds ravenous interest in given her passion for writing scary stories. i'm sure i've previously commented on the great boon and surprise awaiting parents when their children get old enough to engage in more mature, globally entertaining activities. i sometimes had the sense i'd be stuck watching the buddies dog-movie franchise forever and ever. in a semi-related aside, a friend told me of a time he was parked on the couch watching tosh.0, a show that definitely falls outside of the sunday disney movie realm if you're not familiar, when his twelve year old daughter came in and asked if she could watch with him. he looked at her, then at the screen, then back at her and said, "you can watch until i get uncomfortable that you're watching, then you have to leave." there's a special beauty to honest answers that dancing around a reply can never match. but back to father-daughter movie night. thus far, we've watched:
  • poltergiest
  • the lost boys
  • the house at the end of the street
  • sixth sense
  • the others
  • getaway (seen in theater on our ms150 weekend)
  • in time
  • the little girl who lives down the lane
when bella was pushing for horror/suspense films, i agreed but said i got to set the initial tone as i didn't intend to dive directly into Saw or Paranormal Activity and wanted more of a natural buildup. so i chose what i thought was a safe but entertaining selection with poltergiest. bella did not like it pretty much from the moment the tree attacked the boy. it seems kids don't give much merciful latitude to dated-looking special effects. in my next pick i hedged with the 80's-boy-candy flick Lost Boys. it proved to not be much of a hedge because within minutes bella said, "vampires? really dad?". how exactly was i to know that vampires were so last generation? the cute boys bought me a bit of slack but not enough to save me from getting benched from picking our third movie. bella chose one she had watched with a girlfriend at a sleepover. my faith in a movie two sleep-deprived twelve year olds were giddy about was not high and i expected a totally re-done, predictable and second-rate tale. not only were my few "let me guess" predictions dead wrong, the movie had me tense and squirming like a tittering twelve year old at a sleepover. so in the end the score stood bella one, dad none. to restore my daughter's faith in my ability to select a movie i had to go to the big guns and pull out The Sixth Sense which, of course, completely blew her away (man is that movie masterfully done!). the next ones were nothing special until i stumbled upon this seventies film called the little girl who lives down the lane staring a thirteen year old jodie foster and youthful martin sheen. it was quite good but both bella and i had dropped jaws when jodie foster's character stripped naked and climbed into bed with her co-star. to bella's shocked face, i confessed i didn't know (1) there would be nudity from a child not much older than bella or (2) that it was even legal to show a child not much older than bella naked in a film in the first place. i believe bella's exact words were, "dad, i could see her little boobies bouncing when she walked. you made me watch that." re-benched.

obviously, if you know of any good, father-daughter (nudity-free!!!) suspense films we'd love the recommendations.

FILM (permalink) 06.05.2013
oh no!
a neighbor sent me an email with a link to a movie trailer for enders game. i guess he and i talked about the book at one of our neighborhood gatherings. those who know me know i did not click on the link. instead i sent him the following reply:
oh no! 

i think making a movie of this book does a disservice to all future generations.  


to which he replied:
I watched the trailer after I sent the link.  Oh no is right.  
no matter how good they make this film, and i'd wager it will not be good at all, their effort could not possibly be better than the millions of versions that won't be imagined in the young minds that will not read the book because they saw this film. most unfortunate.

KIDS, FILM (permalink) 06.07.2012
a better review could not have be had.
during alex's dad day this year, i planned for one of his events to be a movie. the day before i glanced at the movie listings and saw the film Pirates. every time we'd seen previews for this one made by the chicken run people, alex chuckled and tittered throughout so i knew he'd be glad to see it. after go-karting i looked for nearby theaters and showtimes on my iphone. i found there were no late afternoon or evening showings of that film (i even looked in neighboring cities - no dice). as i scrolled up and down the listings looking for a replacement alex, peering over my shoulder, told me to stop.

what's that one?

that's the avengers.

oh! can we go to that? morgan saw it and said it is awesome.

well, i'm afraid it may be a little old for you. and you haven't seen some of the earlier films that led up to this.

well morgan saw it. and you can tell me about the other films.

i could but the problem is i haven't seen all the earlier films either.

that's ok. i bet it will still be good.

what if you get freaked out?

just blood freaks me out and i can close my eyes if there is blood.

ok, i guess we can try it. if you get freaked out, we'll just leave.

part of the reason i was so easily sold on taking my nine year old to a pg-13 film was, well, because i had been trying to see it on a six day break from work and hadn't fit it in. and this was the last day of my break. so now i'm sure you're seeing why it was the right and mature choice. the other good side to deciding to see it were there were lots of showtimes to choose from. this allowed us to go out to dinner (lions choice) and look up the characters of the film while we ate. it even allowed us to sneak in our book store visit (where he gets a $20 credit for books) beforehand.

as for how the experience went, halfway through the movie, alex leaned over towards me and whispered, without taking his eyes of the screen, "dad. this movie is really good ... and there's no blood." win-win.

FILM (permalink) 05.11.2012
deliciously insidious
marty and the kids were out of town for the weekend. a co-worker asked what i was going to do. i said i wasn't sure but might take in a movie. he mentioned this one he thought i might like called tree of life. he said he didn't know much about it other than it was about a generation or two of fathers and had brad pitt and sean penn in it. i held up my hand, told him i was sold and he shouldn't say anything else. i've hit that age where i'm actually open and interested in hearing what older, more experienced folks have to say about things, especially when it comes to parenting.

the movie was playing in my favorite theater which is about a ten minute walk from my house. i arrived well on time, got some corn and a drink and settled into an out of the way seat. being saturday night and a talked about film the small theater filled in quickly. then the movie started. twenty minutes in i feared i'd made a tragic choice. i looked to my right. there was an older couple pinning my in (i had a wall to my left). i studied the couple. it looked like it would take them seven minutes to stand up if i tried to pass. there were people in the rows in front of and behind me so i was stuck there as well. i glanced back to the screen. it confirmed how screwed i was. it turns out i wasn't alone in my sentiment. when the credits finally rolled, a woman a few rows behind me exclaimed "thank god" in a most relieved tone.

since escaping that dark auditorium, my sense for the film has changed, dramatically. it has changed so remarkably that now, now i think it may be one of the best films i've ever seen. like ever. this re-consideration began as soon as my walk home from the theater. and since then, some five months later, images and thoughts from the film continue to roll through the projector in my head with great regularity. and the thoughts and emotions i'm left with are not just whimsical remembrances--they are powerful and moving. in hindsight i would call it an extraordinary work. and when the writing and directing and editing is done, is the resultant experience not the fundamental point of the medium, especially in this "entertain me" commanding society.

i won't tell you why or how this film proved so meaningful for me, unless you come and ask, but will say if you do give it a go, you need to give yourself to it. commit the ninety minutes. and i mean really commit. no checking your mail or answering the phone or watching some today and some tomorrow. you need to let it wash over you in one sitting. that's what was intended and the only way it will work. i think knowing that beforehand would have helped me as going in blind does not work so well in this instance.

and if you don't trust my sense (which would be quite wise) roger ebert just added it to his top ten films of all time (essay here) which is what reminded me to share my experience with this moving picture.

FILM (permalink) 02.23.2009
circuity (n.) A going round in a circle; a course not direct; a roundabout way of proceeding.
i'm been avoiding buzz about the slumdog millionaire for weeks now. i've also had multiple chances to see the movie snatched from my grasp just moments before the lights in the theater dimmed. very frustrating. so when walt and i had a friday night dinner engagement cancelled the day before, i pounced. we had the sitter. we had the evening. marty was too exhausted to voice an opposing opinion. it was on.

when we sank in the seats i couldn't believe how much effort went into seeing a simple film that runs hundreds of times a day in our city. as for the film, this film, we made it twenty minutes before walking out. a friend of marty's said we just needed to make it another five minutes and we would have been alright. this friend does not have a son that looks like one of the main child actors, so our stomachs didn't have five minutes in them. we instead went and had persian kabobs and talked and laughed and made it home at a respectable hour in that we were missing our kids after our bad movie outing and thought we might sneak in cheek kisses before they drifted off.

i spoke to bookguy a few days earlier regarding our annual ski adventure. he said he was reading three musketeers. i said i was reading three musketeers. he asked if i had seen slumdog. i said i had not yet but was hoping too. i asked why those were connected and he said they just were and he was fearful of saying more giving my neurosis about learning stuff about movies before seeing those movies. he did add though that seeing the movie would not wreck my ability to read three musketeers. we had both just started reading so we compared how far we had gotten. he said he had just read the translator's forward and was ready to dig in. i said i skipped over all forward and preface material and turned to the first page of the first chapter and started at the first word (because i like my books like i like my movies, unspoiled by insight and opinion). bookguy went on to say that the forward was interesting because the translator of his text explained how it was important to continue re-rendering and re-translating books even if this had previously been done in order to keep them semantically relevant and readable to contemporary audiences. i thought this was a sound insight but not worth risking a spoiler just pages before the real story begins.

then sometime after talking to bookguy (but before seeing slumdog) i was chatting with a colleague. they asked me if i do a certain thing. i said no i don't, i in fact avoid it like the plague. then i took pause long enough to know that i don't really spend much time avoiding plague so corrected my comment by saying i avoid it like i avoid syphillis, because i think syphilis is actually something i've actually tried to avoid in my lifetime. i think the person i was talking to wanted to say "too much information" but knew me well enough not to bother.

FILM (permalink) 02.16.2009
you can thank me later
if you haven't seen the movie Before the Devil Knows Your Dead, i'd suggest making the time.

absolutely, do not read any review. don't even skim over the plot description on the box or netflix page. that will for sure ruin the fun. just find it, rent it, pop some corn, sit back and let the two hour story wash over you.

FILM (permalink) 02.10.2009
i dug in after seeing the terminator 2 trailer
i was recently with someone and they started talking about a movie. i stopped them, telling them that i planned on seeing it and didn't want to know anything about it. they assured me what they were about to say wouldn't ruin the movie for me. they then proceeded to tell me about one of the plot-threads of the movie. i wanted to say with flared nostrils and wide eyes ... are you insane? have you lost your mind? what part of don't tell me about the movie was unclear to you?

watching trailers (especially modern-day trailers), reading reviews (which aren't much more thoughtless re-tellings of the film with an opinion before and after), and asking people about films is like finding out the outcome of a sporting event before watching it. it's as if you just sat down to watch the superbowl and someone tells you that the most exciting moment comes with 2:20 left and the cardinals take the lead for the first time but to not worry if you're a steelers fan because pittsburgh retakes the lead with just 27 seconds left. then they clap you on the shoulder and tell you to enjoy the game and walk away. how is blowing a movie's story-line any different than that?

so if you know me, if you see me, if you like me, and if you think you know a movie i might enjoy please just send me a note that says watch this, with 'this' being the name of the movie. i don't need to know the actors, the genre, the state it happened in or even the century it takes place. just the name of the film and that someone else walking around enjoyed it. that's enough for me.

KIDS, FILM (permalink) 12.03.2008
when you're a big brother the old man tales start early
marty had the boys up to the library. she was flipping through some dvd's searching for our next movie night candidate. she spotted alex eyeing a rack of video tapes thoughtfully. anthony was next to him watching him stare at the tapes. after a moment alex turned to anthony, motioned to the rack of videos and said ruefully, "i watched these in the old times when we had a BCR."

FILM, SOCIETY (permalink) 08.01.2008
one of the very last old, saint louis movie houses closed a few months back. several years ago it was absorbed by landmark when they came to town along with a few of the other small, privately held theaters. for several reasons landmark decided to cease operations of the hi-pointe theatre, originally built in 1922, and shuttered its windows.

but then, with the release of the new batman film, the hi-pointe's lights mysteriously came back on. while showing my support at a 10:15 viewing, i was told that a landmark employee based out of chicago quit his job, leased the space and is resuming operations of the historic theatre as a private business venture.

oh, and i was also told that next week is free popcorn week. so grab your girl or guy and take in heath ledger's farewell performance, which is worth seeing, in one of saint lou's last theaters with character. and i'd call about the popcorn. i may have heard that wrong or it may just be a few nights or whatever. i just don't want anyone getting pissy with me because i botched a detail. but, either way, at the hi-pointe you can actually load up at the snack bar for less than ten bucks.

and i have to comment on something said in the article linked to above. in it landmark ceo ted mundroff says that part of their decision was based upon the fact that "people prefer to go to multiplexes." i'm going to pause for a moment to collect myself before continuing. ok. almost there. alright. i think i can proceed now. let me start by saying HEY TED! SHUT THE HELL UP! and please, please, please don't ever again apply you imbecilic and self-serving notions about movie culture to me again. feel free to say your mother prefers multiplexes or your neighbor or some college frat brother, but don't ever imply that this is the true choice of the people. unless you are equating the sheer paucity of options left to the consumer after the corporations razed the land.

typically when i go to a movie theater i go to see A movie and i don't take my seat and reflect at how pleased i am that there are fourteen other movies playing at the same time in the same building as the one i actually came to watch. because you know what ted. the second i walk down the aisle of your multiplex theatre the first thing i feel is claustrophobic and that is because you shrunk and shrunk and shrunk the rooms so you could shoe-horn two or three or five more screens into the complex. but once i find my seat and sit down i'm welcomed by the inviting feel of a piece of fabric stapled to a piece of cardboard glued to a metal chair that is welded to a string of twenty other chairs so that when the four hundred pound guy eight seats away hefts himself out of his chair mid-film to refill his rubbermaid size tub of day-old, butter-it-yourself popcorn the whole row rocks because all the damn seats are connected to one another because the are cheaper by the dozen. but thankfully my mind doesn't dwell on this nuisance given the explosions and music and screams emanating through the wall of the films playing on either side of the room i'm in, movies, mind you, i did not come to see OR hear. so ted mundroff, someone may have put you in charge of a movie theatre chain and told you to do good but it is not because of your love of film or knowledge of the theater-going experience or even because you know what movie-goers like, want or need. it is because you know how to work a casio calculator and your gifts could just as easily be applied to shoes, valves or tampons. so again, don't ever pretend that you have my or any other customer's best interest in mind. it insults your patron's intelligence and reveals your lack of it.

and ted, there ain't a multiplex in this nation that has better: than the hi-pointe. you pompous douchebag!

WEB, GEEK, TELEVISION, FILM (permalink) 03.14.2008
the juice
sunday the everyman had 324 visitors. thanks to a link from a site called stumbleupon, monday saw a slight increase in interest to over 7,000 daily visitors.

and speaking of the power of the web, check this site out which went public wednesday.

this was one of my more entertaining finds so far:

and in the event you also live in a home without cable or television and haven't yet discovered this, it's brought many laughs to my house:

SOCIETY, FILM (permalink) 12.05.2007
in 1941 more than three million cars had been manufactured for the united states. only 139 more were made during the entire war. instead chrysler made fuselages, general motors made airplane engines, guns, trucks and tanks. and at its vast willow run plant in ipselanti michigan 67 acres of assembly lines under a single roof that one observer called the grand canyon of the mechanized world. the ford motor company performed something like a miracle 24 hours a day. the average ford car had some 15,000 parts, the b-24 liberator long range bomber had 1,550,000 parts. one came off the line at willow run every 63 minutes.

excerpt from the ken burns documentary The War

FILM (permalink) 03.16.2007
as chris rock says, men are only as faithful as their options.
i watched mr and mrs smith last night and can confidently say one thing about the film; it's apparent that jenifer aniston did not read the scripts her husband accepted. i don't want to say that brad and angelina flying away together was inevitable, but there really isn't another word in the english language to define what was bound to happen. you could have shown me nothing but the film's first five minutes and i could have picture-perfectly drawn the next six months in those people's lives. i mean from the word action they had angelina flitting around in a sheer white, see-through dress and then they made it rain. game, set, match and marriage.

another thing that struck me is how uncharacteristic this role was for pitt. combining this man's charisma and the young age he entered the industry, he's proven quite selective and diverse with parts, reminiscent of a young nick cage. seeing the lack of creativity and innovation in this film, i'd put money behind pitt (a) taking this role purely on the angelina-factor and (b) never having any intention of returning to aniston when the work was done.

aniston's mistake was that she didn't sit her ass on that movie set like a doting girlfriend. i know it seems insecure but consider who she's married to. i mean not everyone can be as confident in union as, say, marty, even if her faith doesn't stem from thinking i will never leave her as much as it stems from faith that no other woman would ever take me.

FILM (permalink) 07.26.2006
my superman
i'm a big kevin smith fan. have been since i saw clerks in the theater.

here is a short film (20min) of him at a college speaking gig where he fields a question about his early involvement in the new superman movie. in the event you haven't seen it and like smith, superman or hollywood silliness you may enjoy the yarn.

may not be safe for work or your home depending where you live. watch at youTube.

PERSONAL, FILM, QUOTES (permalink) 03.23.2006
keep that eye on the ball
several folks asked about the subject line of yesterday's post:

michael, why are the drapes open?

the (i guess obscure) reference is from The Godfather, second installment specifically. this is what kay said to michael corleone moments before bullets rained through their bedroom window in an attempt on his life. the phrase has come to be synonymous with the importance of noticing the little things and how subtle shifts in these seemingly innocuous details can portend matters of great and grave consequence.

FILM (permalink) 05.20.2005
genuflecting the maker, george lucas

a review:

holy damn!

FILM (permalink) 07.13.2004
no, i just got something in my eye
movies that have made me cry ...
  1. the champ
  2. where the red fern grows
  3. life is beautiful
  4. fahrenheit 911
and, on that last one, i'm not talking about a welling up in the eyes but about full-on, cheek-streaming tears.

SOCIETY, FILM (permalink) 06.24.2004
it saddens me terribly
of the documentary-based movies i've seen recently (fog of war, super-size me) and am about to see (fahrenheit 9/11, like don't ya know) i must say that my majority feeling has been one of anger. well, and of course there's disbelief. and, i'd hate to leave out disappointment. and then you've always got good ole american apathy.

if only selfish-ass behavior was a reusable natural resource, this planet would be set for the next trillion years. assuming that the corporate or governmental agency charged with its control didn't totally screw the human race over for the benefit of the top three executives. and in considering that, go ahead and scrap the canning of selfish behavior idea because the power broker's record aint all that impressive when it comes to doing the noble and global thing.

and, don't think i'm not hip to how unoriginal this rant is. that's just how damn sad i feel about it all.

PERSONAL, FILM (permalink) 02.13.2004
you can't touch this
bella spent last weekend at the betty ford clinic, the grandparents house for any newcomers. with only one kid in our care this meant marty and i were free to light it up, get it on, tear it apart. if you're wondering what such an unbridled weekend looks like for such an unbridled guy, let me give you a glimpse into my full-throttle life:

friday night after work i ...
watched the italian job
and then walked up to the local cine to take in monster

saturday i ...
watched episodes 1-6 of curb your enthusiasm
helped to host a marty dinner party
watched episodes 1-3 of the west wing

and sunday i ...
watched episodes 4-8 of the west wing
read 20 pages of my 600 page book

i know, i know. crazy. and had i not had to participate in the previously scheduled dinner party i certainly would have gotten the star wars trilogy in, had i not watched it the weekend before which means i could have and would have watched the godfather trilogy.

without the dinner party i may also have read 30 pages of my book instead of 20.

and did you know that they are finally releasing freaks and geeks on dvd? as if it's not bad enough they had to cancel the show in the first place, they have to torture us with this embarrassingly latent release.

FILM (permalink) 01.20.2004
you can only spoon-feed them so long. strike that. you SHOULD only spoon-feed them so long.
saw mystic river. my only thought; the film should have ended at the whiteout of the gunshot.

no question.

our film industry's obsession with explicit closure has ruined so many movies. why can't anyone leave something, make that anything, for the audience to mull over and create themselves? set the scene, draw the picture and let millions of minds divine the finale.

it is unfortunate that the majority of decision-makers are so entirely disinclined to let the minds around them have any decisions of their own.

let the creative morass flow, finally.

FILM (permalink) 12.30.2003
and starring matt damon as gandhi
below is one of the explanatory tag lines for the new movie the last samurai.

"After examining the ravages of 19th century America in his Academy Award-winning Civil War drama "Glory", director Edward Zwick explores the birth of modern Japan in "The Last Samurai," a sweeping epic set in Japan during the 1870s. Tom Cruise stars..."

i have not seen this movie nor am i familiar with the full story it's trying to tell and if you talk to me a year from now, i hopefully will be able to say the same. i can't help but ruminate on the question; what could an american pretty boy, like cruise, possibly have to do with the birth of the japanese nation? i'm surprised the film is not costarring pamela anderson. or perhaps they're saving her for an epic about the beginnings of africa.

QUOTES, FILM (permalink) 12.12.2003
the man has got a way with words
you could have heard a rat pissin on cotton.
melvin van peebles speaking to how quiet the theater was during a showing of his movie sweet sweetback's baadasssss song.

FILM (permalink) 10.29.2003
needing more, of a couple of things
american beauty is a favorite film of mine. i learned last night (via luby) that moments before the movie's release, thirty minutes were cropped off the end. this is thirty minutes of fully edited and polished footage detailing a trial trying to pin lester's murder on the wife (if you haven't seen it yet, wake the hell up!). now while i totally love the ending as it is, i thirst for more of this story with every viewing. luby and i agreed that someone has this, somewhere, and that we need it. how in the hell is it not on the dvd? are they holding off for a second release to fleece their fan-base? does anyone know of this? has anyone seen this? as always, i pay top dollar for satisfaction.

in another movie note, i've been watching/listening to martha coolidge's audio commentary on the making of valley girl, another of the greatest films ever made. one of the things she discusses is how she was contractually mandated to include at least four breast shots in the film. she went on about how disgusted she felt, as a woman, having to meet this gratuitous and forced tactic just to guarantee ticket sales to a movie not, inherently, about woman's breasts. as a married, quasi-experienced, and internet-connected adult, i agree with her. it's a sad statement on the art of film-making in hollywood. but as a 13 year old watching this movie on HBO again and again and again i wholeheartedly agree with and thank the decision-makers of this film for piping those breasts into my home, again and again and again.

FILM (permalink) 04.28.2003
i found my moving buddy
a nighttime ritual in our home is after baths (bella's) we watch toy story for a bit before going to bed. this has been going on for some time and i've now watched the movie no less than fifty times. after these numerous viewings i have only one observation on the film:

little bo peep is a tramp.

FILM (permalink) 04.24.2003
a troy dearmitt production
darkman clued me in on a new film coming out, winged migration. it is from the makers of microcosmos but dedicated to birds instead. cosmos was a phenomenal film focusing on the greatly overlooked insect kingdom. it had two hours worth of super-duper-close-ups of insects doing what insects do which is remarkably similar to what we all do. but, the real wonder of this film is in its technical achievements. how they captured what they captured is simply incomprehensible.

my favorite scene from cosmos followed a dung beetle as it rolled a tightly packed ball of, you guessed it, crap to some private place. the sphere was about twice his size and he would stand up on his hind legs and use his front legs, arms, claws, not sure, to roll the orb from the top. during his trek he inadvertently impaled the ball on a small branch sticking out of the ground and it became totally stuck. this little guy worked his crunchy little ass off kicking dirt out from his back legs. he finally backed up and studied his parcel and i swear he looks just like your dad as he might eye a flat tire in a midnight rain. perplexed the dung beetle walks around the ball and discovers the problem. at this point he shook his head, and i mean he literally looked down at the ground and shook his head. if his little paw could have reached his forehead he would have slapped it and if he could speak he certainly would have muttered "am i a dumb ass or what." he then got up on the front of the ball and pushed it backwards off the twig, waddled back to the other side and, pushed the ball around the branch and continued his journey.

i've always said that if i won the lottery, i'd fund the arts, as i know the arts. i'd give the secret cajun band piles of money to continue making music that makes me smile. i'd financially support my cousin who can draw everything from battleaxe-wielding, cleavage-ridden warriors to chaotic sporting scenes with great realism. i'd also fund bookpimp's potential film making career, but his stipend would come with a condition. he'd have to make a film styled after microcosmos but focusing on the odd and private things about the human body. imagine a super close-up of your mother plucking her eyebrows or your college roommate pinching a large blackhead from his greasy cheek, the cloudy cartilaginous plug filling the whole movie screen as it was forced through the infected pore. and you know that if troy dearmitt's name appeared on the produced by line, there would have to be a fifteen minute montage dedicated to 'the magic of flatulence'. like i said, the arts as i know them because i'm dead certain there is an untapped fortune behind what isabella excitedly refers to as 'juicy-gas'.

WEB, FILM (permalink) 02.18.2003
television ain't what it used to be
it started with a search for this and culminated in a search to this.

i'm sure that i don't need to launch into a dissertation at the number of things wrong in the world when one of the better shows on television not only gets cancelled after a single season but can't be released to the public when the content offered on the latter link is, on dvd nonetheless.

but, as the saying goes, if you can't beat 'em, join em. and i'll assume that revealing my discovery of this unique video explains why i haven't been posting a whole lot as of late.

FILM (permalink) 12.11.2002
it'll gross at least $7.50
drumline.jpghave you seen the trailers for the new film drumline? have you wondered who on earth they made it for? let me help you out on that because they made this film for me, specifically for me. oh my gawd am i bristling to see this. i know some of you (darkman) think i just go for those arty, non-english, low-rent movies. not so, entirely. i rented bring it on, twice. ok. so it was three times. and, once i got a late fee because i couldn't bring myself to return it as agreed. so can you imagine bring it on with cool-ass band drums instead of bounding attitude ridden, haughty girls. i know, i know, too good to be true.

so, anyone who wants to attend opening night with me, i'm planning on getting in line at 6am as to ensure a seat.

FILM (permalink) 12.05.2002
i've never felt more typical
if you've not seen the movie/film/documentary, trekkies, you must see it. my mouth is still hanging open from the experience. wide open.

my favorite guy is this youngish kid who possibly mispronounces more words than he says right. listen for curious renditions of the words adamant, plethora and debacle when viewing. and, i'm plenty sure you don't even have to be an english snob (as i was recently told i am) to catch them. oh, and if that isn't enough, when not defiling the english language he passes the time by designing his own starfleet uniforms to be used in the star trek movie he is making, mostly on his computer.


FILM (permalink) 11.07.2002
is there a cooler name than johhny knoxville?
even though there's a gob of movies out i'm jonsin' to see (comedian, bowling for columbine, fat greek wedding, auto focus), i've been drawn into two that weren't on my list. first i went to red dragon with elove b/c he wanted to catch it before it left the theaters. as a rule i dislike remakes of movies i like and i've been a longtime fan of the original manhunter (starring to live and die in la's, william peterson) so was suspect of this treatment. but, red dragon is what a remake is supposed to be about. mix it up. make it different. respect the original. dragon handled all of this quite splendidly. kudos.

the second film i didn't really think i'd catch, in the theater at least, is jackass. bomber convinced me to go with about two hours notice, on a weeknight, with he and King. not having the cable i've seen approximately seven minutes of this show so knew the basic premise but am not a closet fan or anything. and surprisingly to all i tell as well as myself, after all the antics these guys went through, the one that sent me scrambling over people's knees and out of the theater was their bit with intentional paper cuts. aaaahhhhh! my back tenses and cramps uncontrollably even thinking back to it. i couldn't cope. the guy drinking his own urine in the form of a snow cone came close, but could not touch paper cuts in the corners of one's mouth. damn. Damn! DAMN!

and the four guys sitting behind us said "oh man, that boy's trippin'" approximately 46 times.

FILM (permalink) 10.15.2002
i'm your beauty school dropout
there's no funk that the release and subsequent acquisition of the Grease DVD can't cure.

man, i thought it would NEVER come out.

and, re-watching this reminds me that i've always parked my car in a different garage than most. in Grease everyone raves about olivia newton john. some even for the trampy stockard channing. but me, i was always a didi conn (frenchie) man, pink hair, lean ambitions and all. give her an overbite and i may have been stalker material.

FILM (permalink) 09.06.2002
did you know you can rent the anna kournikova work-out video
i recently rented a film called the suburbans. i rented it for the same reason bookguy and i almost rented the straight-to-video triumph 'tart'. it had a beautiful and desirous girl on the very shiny-glossy cover. the starlet in the suburbans is none other than the ultra-fabulous and near-perfect jenifer love hewitt.

five minutes into this flick the grave error in my judgment revealed itself. 20 minutes later it hurt less after seeing HER in a flitty summer dress. a full 47 minutes later my rental paid for itself given a modest but rewarding scene which i do not trust myself to discuss. (drool. slobber. guttural moan. wince. punch face.)

as the credits ran and i was back to feeling low and sad and sorry and a tad lecherous, i swore to never fall to such juvenile frivolity again. part of the therapy included walking the video back to the store (spine down so no one could spy my weakness) and returning it. i rented a replacement video that just happened to catch my eye. the new film, heartbreakers. sure love hewitt is in there and sure i said i wouldn't do this again. but so is sigourney weaver and while she's no jamie lee, i didn't swear off sanity altogether. but whatever, i don't care what y'all think. this looks like a really good and well executed film with high entertainment potential and plenty of cooky zaniness.

[2:07 hours later]

yeah, so i'm back to never doing that again. and i mean it this time. oh. wait just a minute, i didn't know love hewitt was in munchie. i've been meaning to see that. really.

FILM (permalink) 07.17.2002
keep those digits crossed pal
been away again. this time i was off auditioning for the part of tubbs on the soon to be produced miami vice feature length film.

FILM, SOCIETY (permalink) 07.02.2002
do you have a mr. microphone back there?
the last several years has witnessed significant innovations in audio technology, especially as it relates to film. however, dolby surround, dts or even the latest digital systems are impotent to compensate for a single oaf with a large bag of popcorn and a 64 ounce soda. didn't your mother ever tell you to chew your food with your damn mouth shut? i swear. and as far as getting the popcorn out of the tub, what the hell are you doing? it sounds as though your trying to catch a live rat in a cellophane bag with your bare hand. you were given an opposable thumb for a reason, if even by accident, so do us all a favor and try using it.

and, while we are on the topic of mothers and the most mundane of things you should have been taught as a youngling, kicking the back of my seat falls on like ground. and don't worry, i'm kicking myself plenty for sitting anywhere near your loud and hyper-active self.

simply count yourself lucky that our society has not yet implemented the sorely needed Respect Police.

FILM (permalink) 06.27.2002
tu madre es muy bonita
several, and i mean several, people have told me to see y tu mama tambian (most since mulholland drive by the way). and, i?ve never heard more disparate reasons surrounding such a plug; it?s funny, sexy, moving, interesting, beautiful and riddled with flatulance jokes. suffice it to say that all kinds of glowing descriptors were applied to this subtitled foreign flick by all sorts of glowing people. and, after seeing it last night, i agree. i agree with everyone. and would simply add that this was one of the most authentic and sincere portraits i?ve seen on any topic, time or place since ang lee?s ice storm.

so if you haven?t yet seen it, allow me to throw my sombrero into the bull ring and suggest you take a whack at this cinematic piñata. and speaking of whacking ? well perhaps you should just see it for yourself.

FILM (permalink) 03.25.2002
two birds with one stone
every year i watch the oscars and every year i get up from the table pissed off. while some good things happened (finally) i still must somehow digest the fact that  Pearl Horrible left the night with an award and Amelie did not.

i?m sorry but like halle, i can?t continue.

FILM (permalink) 01.10.2002
Is this glowing enough bomber?
I have been asked when I was going to post a retraction about my earlier rip on the lord of the rings movie (11.05.2001) in that I?ve since admitted to liking it. So I guess I may as well get this second serving of crow, potter being the first, out of the way so I may return to my strict diet of never admitting I?m wrong when it comes to affairs of the cine.

I liked the film, I liked it a lot. My favorite part was the first 15 minutes. My least favorite was the last 15 minutes. Everything in between was well above average and proved to be a very visually entertaining film, which did the book a great or respectful service. In fact, potter and rings are probably two of the better movie adaptations I can remember seeing. Kudos to both teams and for any who haven?t yet seen them, go see them. but, don?t mess up and see titantic on accident because I?m still championing that boycott and am accepting new recruits even today. Be strong and rent a better movie, like corey feldman?s Rock 'n' Roll High School Forever. And, tell them troy sent ya. You and they will not be sorry.

FILM (permalink) 01.02.2002
it's pee-wee hermione
there is a definite buzz on the street about the film Amélie (pronounced like emily but with an 'ah' at the front). the necessary movie equation for this film is beyond my capabilities, call it chaos math. nonetheless, the film rightfully earns its murmer and i would recommend it to any who who go out of their way to be visually, audibly and mentally tantalized by their cinema.

note that this is a far more grounded work than the director's previous City of Lost Children for any who may feel deterred by that minor detail. it's the best of both worlds.

FILM, QUOTES (permalink) 12.19.2001
damn, man! this guy will knock you on your ass!
There IS NO tomorrow!
There IS NO tomorrow!

Apollo Creed to Rocky Balboa in Rocky III

FILM (permalink) 12.04.2001
spare no expense, as long as it's under $100
while i don?t want to be the ever-reliable nay-sayer (because those people suck), i am going to crawl onto a limb here and say that i fear the worst on the lord of the rings trilogy, the first installment at least. i saw some of my first pr in regard to the effort and was surprised to get a glimpse at the fellow who was supposed to be frodo. i may only be halfway through the book, but nowhere in there do i get the impression that he is one of the n?sync boys. what?s up with this lanky male version of kate moss playing the lead to this epic. did they snare the costume guy from battlefield earth who magically transformed travolta (terl) from someone who looks like a new york slumlord to someone who looks even more like a new york slumlord. while i?m very much into the minimalist thing, i do believe there is a line. say a prayer for rings.

FILM (permalink) 11.29.2001
what's eating troy dearmitt
i heard someone recently talking about how they just saw tombstone and thought it was pretty good. i'm your huckleberry, i'm your huckleberry, i'm your huckleberry, they kept saying. no, you're the pain in my ass that keeps saying i'm your huckleberry. catch up arnie grape and call back when you've at least hit the mid to late 90's.

FILM (permalink) 11.23.2001
i can eat some crow, or owl in this case
saw potter and was impressed. it is one of the more respectable movie translations i have seen. while i don't want to say a whole lot about it, i feel compelled to recant my earlier allusion that it was doomed to suck. now let us hope that the lord of the rings shows up with an equal effort.

NEWS, FILM (permalink) 11.05.2001
here we go again
"As Warner Brothers prepares for the release of "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone" at more than 3,500 North American theaters on Nov. 16, it is tightly controlling and protecting his image ? not allowing him to drink soft drinks, for example ? as it walks a tightrope in the marketing of the movie and of the wizard himself."

Excerpt from the 11.04.01 NY Times

This film, unsurprisingly, looks like it doesn't stand a very great chance getting out of the blocks. Originally the work of a single-mom inspired, it is about to be devastated beyond her wildest expectations (which are pretty wild) by those who devised the likes of jar-jar binks. I'm just glad that shakespeare got his words on paper before it had to be co-branded beside a McDonald's happy meal or box of tacos. With that said, don't misunderstand me, this film will most likely do well in the box office, much for the same reason films like pearl harbor and coyote ugly made a dime and titantic ravaged the world. I will not get to into the particulars behind this phenomenon because I'd rather not offend the masses, but those who know what I'm talking about, know what I'm talking about. It just saddens me.

FILM (permalink) 10.04.2001
i won't forget
Do you know what today is? Today is the 978th day that I've boycotted the movie Titantic. And, if there was an inkling of weakness in me, Pearl Harbor restored my resolve.

FILM (permalink) 10.01.2001
mr bean makes me titter
See Rat Race.

FILM (permalink) 09.24.2001
driven to a labotomy
I am a believer in film. All film. The slow, the stupendous, the horrendous, the clean, the brash. Simply said, all film. Because, without the tripe there would be no good and without the flawed there would not be the Hitchcockian, etc. etc. etc. This weekend I partook in a film that to the untrained eye may appear to be just another piece of flotsam lining the shelves of our local blockbuster. But, an eye studied in the ways of classic presentation can pluck from the rack an undiscovered morsel that has much to offer despite its minimal fanfare. One such film is none other than Stallone's latest opus, Driven.

While I, or any, could pedantically describe its faults for the duration of the indy 500, few could highlight the positive elements this flick possesses. For instance, the creators of Driven have developed the ability to make a guy, a single guy, sweat profusely through the whole film. While the rest of the cast maintains a cool and dry demeanor, this guy is soaking wet like he's just been taken from another movie set where he was disarming a bomb. No small feat here guys and you just know the das boot boys are quite jealous. Secondly, many, if not all, of Hollywood manufacturers have attempted to meld the flash of action and wispiness of romance with modest success. But, to attempt this even when only equipped with the acting equivalent of a fork/spoon combination from KFC shows true and admirable grit. Lastly, I never, never, never thought it was possible to see a film that made me wish I was watching Days of Thunder. And, that's saying not a little since Days of Thunder made me wish I was front and center for the opening night of Stroker Ace. And never mind the fact that Stroker Ace made me wish I was at the celebrity pre-screening of Six Pack.

FILM, SOCIETY (permalink) 06.17.2001
Does Fredrick's make a Kevlar lined brassiere?
Saw Tomb Raider tonight. And I once thought Angelina messed me up in Girl Interrupted. I am a simple, simple man.

I told someone I was going to the show and they actually said to me, ?Ah, I wouldn?t see it, the reviews are terrible.? Really! No kidding! Get out of here! You don?t say?!? Of course the reviews are terrible, they are supposed to be terrible. This is yet another film generated for the sole agenda of accumulating money and art created in that vein will always suck. It takes a work like Clerks or Priest to slap you in your junior mint eating face because those guys are making the film for the love of the process, not the collection of teeny boppers allowance trimming here or there and getting gutless everywhere so they can lower the MPAA assigned rating as to dump more seats in their seats. So, go and buy your ticket, order your concessions, sit down and make your mindless faces at the pretty lights on the wall cuz that it was it is there for. It?s television you pay for and watch with a bunch of ill-mannered people you do not know. Wake up already and smell the day old popcorn.

FILM (permalink) 06.09.2001
(see movie's alternate title)
movie: swordfish (also credited as the movie where halle berry is topless)

should you see it: (see movie's alternate title)

best part: (see movie's alternate title) & explosions is fun.

worst part: when this 300+ git did a very ill-advised Nestea plunge into the seat in front of me. This scene mesmerized me to the point that I sat wide-eyed, watching him free-fall through the air and roughly crash into his chair. While gazing upon this escapade from my quasi-stadium seated seat I overlooked the possibility that the back of his chair would dip so far in its duress that the top of it would come crashing into my knee-cap, my bad knee mind you, setting me back about 2 months in my rehabilitation. Flying big guys suck.

PERSONAL, WEB, FILM, MUSIC (permalink) 06.01.2001
Godspeed 2001
Tonight Marty and I will be attending the graduation ceremony at the high school she teaches at. Each year at this time we watch as a fresh crop of students jet off for the exciting and frightening unknown that is independence, responsibility and free form decisions. While I am hopeful of the experiences they will enjoy, the selfish lobe in my mind desires them to remain, For me, the therapeutic benefits of my interactions with many of them is marked.

David Lienemann possesses a quiet and refined maturity rarely seen in a person of his age. I regularly marvel at his view and interpretation of the society around us. With gifts in the form of photography, music, business, and human nature, it's more than hard to remember he cannot legally drink. One of my first conversations with him involved this website and he told me it seemed pretty good but that it needed more pictures. I asked if he was suggesting I put up more of my pictures or publish some of his. "Yes", he replied and days later supplied me with a block of photos from a recent trip he had taken. That was many months ago and I have just recently completed the feature and invite you to visit California in Reason to see the work of a future photo great.

Jessica Campbell, known by many as the gay sister in Election and/or the hermaphrodite in Freaks and Geeks, will be departing to hone her skills on the big screen. I don't really know Jessica but regularly saw her at various school functions and events. These encounters always weirded me out given how much I enjoyed and remembered election and freaks. I have spoken with Jessica a few times (Stalker! Stalker!) and she is an intelligent, lovely and spookily centered young woman who is traveling in the first class section of the success concord. She has already filmed her next picture, The Safety of Objects, starring Glenn Close, which should be coming out this summer.

The Amen boys, the departing ones at least, represent my most selfish loss. These gifted acapella entertainers have provided me with more hours of enjoyment than they can conceive. Whether tapping a toe to Elliot's remarkable rendition of the Streets of Philadelphia (philidelphia.mp3 - 4,387kb), slapping a thigh during Roundy's energetic Basketcase (basketcase.mp3 - 4,100kb) or getting dizzy watching the Pennington twins lead the always randy Instanbul (instanbul.mp3 - 3,154kb), these guys will be sorely missed and prove to me that life is in fact not fair given the unreasonable amounts of natural charisma and talent dealt out to each one of these young men.

My social microcosm will certainly feel the loss of these and other students but humans across the country will have the benefits of making their acquaintance. Treat them honestly and well because they make me smile. And for those of you who do not have access to our exceptional youth allow me to confirm that while the bad ones are getting worse (ala columbine), rest assured that the good ones are absolutely getting better.

FILM (permalink) 05.30.2001
still not done
pearl harbor is superficial, melodramatic and too long -- and that's the good news.
toronto sun

would WWII sailors use a phrase like "you the man!"?

call it WWII lite.
palo alto weekly

the dialogue is so unrelentingly banal as to make one reconsider whether...titantic was really all that bad.
kansas city star

I had to take a shower after the film just to get all the damn sap off of me.
michaelcosm reviews

sure, it'll be this year's titantic. funny, 'cause it sinks just the same.
e! online

perhaps they should have called this bore-a, bore-a, bore-a.
washington post

the kind of crap that deserves to be slapped silly.
flick filosopher

Pearl Harbor could be viewed as educational, but only by the same people who were surprised to learn, via Schindler's List, that many Jews died in camps during WWII.
jam showbiz

now i'm done.

FILM (permalink) 05.29.2001
I'm not done yet
Let the lambasting continue.

FILM (permalink) 05.28.2001
Oh Ben, Ben, Ben. Whatever were you thinking?
Pearl Horrible was as much about the historical event it's named after as Leprechaun was to good acting. I'm afraid to launch into a discussion about the insulting nature of this film because I have to be back at work in two days and don't want to be late. But then again, why choose now to start showing up on time.

Historical Accuracy: Had to look at my movie ticket to even remember what the subject was.

Character Development: the show Small Wonder bested this film's finest moment.

Storyline: I kept waiting for Maverick, Goose, Viper and Iceman to round the corner.

Special Effects: Very good but they would have had to dunk you under water and whiz bullets past your head to compensate for all the other flatline areas.

Equation: (((Days of Thunder / 10) + (Independence Day x 2000) + (Halloween x 2)) x 3.14) - ((Saving Private Ryan x 4000) - (JFK / 100) - (Das Boot + (infinitiy))) = Pearl Harbor

Best Moment: When someone in the theater pulled the fire alarm forcing an evacuation.

Worst Moment: That they didn't pull the alarm five minutes into the film, instead of five minutes from the end.

Good Gracious!

FILM (permalink) 05.27.2001
don't crazy people take showers anymore
I watched Girl Interrupted tonight. I found the movie disturbing on multiple levels. While it is unreasonable to be bombarded with images of Winona Ryder and Angelina Jolie running around in slumber wear and being chastised in bathtubs by an afro-sportin' Whoopi it is entirely unreasonable to have them exchanging an adolescent kiss while riding in a VW Vanagon. Come on guys, no hitting in the face.

On a less serious note, this was one of those sequentially disjointed films I know many of you abhor. But, don't sweat it because the networks know your pain given the tv version of the Godfather II where they cut all the interspersed flashbacks and put them in sequential order to ease the wear and tear on their living room audiences. You can't sell ad time if the viewers don't understand the picture show. Conversely though, I think it would be interesting to take a film that was presented normally and muck it all up, turning it into one of these time-challenged pieces. How many whos in whoville could follow Beastmaster 2: Through the Portal of Time if the mall scene came after the sword fight...It was worse than I imagined.

I also wish my first name was Wings.

FILM (permalink) 05.13.2001
I want my five dollars
What has Christian Slater, Patricia Arquette, Dennis Hopper, Val Kilmer, Gary Oldman, Brad Pitt, Christopher Walken, Samuel L. Jackson, James Gandolfini, Chris Penn, Tom Sizemore and successfully achieved what Heat could not?

If you answered True Romance, you?re not half the slouch one would think given your practice of reading this website. While not for the sleight of heart or those who did not enjoy films such as The Bad Lieutenant or Blood and Concrete: A Love Story this modest work successfully made use of its preverbal who?s who of Hollywood?s more unique brand of player.

FILM (permalink) 03.13.2001
I?ve been waiting ... for a film like you
I do not understand the general public?s expectation of film. Many people seem to want something familiar, not leaving their room of experience, therefore understandable and by god it better have closure and that closure better make sense. My definition of film has always lived on the other side of the protractor. Take me for a ride, show me something I?ve never seen, challenge my neurons, etc. Magnolia took my passion to heart and then opted to get zany.

In addition to challenging vanilla-viewers plot-wise expectations, magnolia does not conform to the 90 to 120 minute format. It views kind of like bill murray?s groundhog day but groundhog spans an hour and twenty minutes while magnolia eats up a staggering three hours and eight minutes. Difference is one watches like a bad date and the other like a too-long vacation (Yeah, sucks to be you).

After seeing this film I?m still not entirely sure what it?s about or what its purpose was, but I absolutely feel like I?ve realistically viewed lives that I otherwise would not have. It was beautifully acted, dementedly inspired and concisely organized into one fluid work. However, do not misinterpret me, I?m certain most of the free world would absolutely detest cruise and company. And given this, I would refer only a handful of people to its door. As a final note, I?d pay tall money to see a collaboration between magnolia?s P.T. Anderson and the Wachowski brothers, of matrix fame. I think theaters would have to post medical staff at the exits.

FILM (permalink) 01.01.2001
it should win awards on the title alone
so many movies coming out of hollywood today attempt to blend action, romance and humor into a fun-fest to be enjoyed by all market groups. never has anyone succeeded in this task like ang lee, (of ice storm fame) in his latest opus crouching tiger, hidden dragon. the cinematography is incredible, the acting sincere, the humor well-crafted, the gender-roles discarded and the fight-scenes absolutely mesmerizing in this classic homage to such films. all elements in this work were so concisely fused, i think any willing-minded person (subtitles, complex plot, fantastical) could enjoy it at all levels.

and, in the previews, i spied the trailer for the coen boys next film, o brother where art thou and it looks like they may be up to their old tricks.

FILM (permalink) 11.11.2000
i'm looking for the least possible amount of responsibility
i watched american beauty last night for the first time since falling in love with it at the theater. seeing it again reminded me how thoroughly i enjoyed the plentitude of heated discussions it spawned. the most special of these revolving around how differently men and women perceived the flick. a great majority of women dismissed it as a serious work claiming it to be too outlandish and farcical while most men deemed it a stellar effort and just short of a documentary on the american male.

this is obviously one arena where we are not all on the same page.

FILM (permalink) 10.28.2000
the next macaulay culkin
when seeing jim carrey and ron howard's latest project How the Grinch Stole Christmas this holiday season make sure to look for Little Cindy Lou-Who. I see her most mornings on my way to work waiting to go to school in that she lives 2 doors down from me. aint nothin' to have celebrity on the block. kudos taylor.

FILM (permalink) 10.18.2000
another lost art
ever wonder why something called a 'trailer' comes before the main event? well, once upon a time the feature presentation preceeded the coming attractions. sure it makes sense, but like so many other things being forced down our throat (notice how tv commercials have made their way into our paid movie watching experience) , there they are in the forefront.

the most unfortunate modification to this mini genre has been that the pre-release teaser has become a cliff notes version of the movie. for this reason, on any movie i may hope to see you will find me with plugged ears, looking down and moving my jaw around (helps drown out the noise). i wish the decision makers in this field would stop dumbing everything down and take a crack at something creative and truly tantalizing. i serve up the following efforts as evidence that it is in fact possible:

  Alien (8mb)
  easily one of my favorite trailers ever
  Mission Impossible 2 (1.8mb)
  hard to go wrong with the ska-based theme
  Titus (?mb)
  lots of beautiful footage to work with

FILM (permalink) 10.07.2000
be Desirous, be Excellent, be Gone
The new arthouse effort The TAO of Steve effectively eradicated the stench that the SKULLS left on my soul. Like any Kevin Smith or Quentin Tarantino film, this flick handles modern conversation with the skill of a Woody Allen restaraunt scene. with a smart eye for dating philosophy this should be a requisite see for any single folk out there. Is it any wonder that a guy named steve suggested i see it. he was absolutely right and i should've known because he is reputed to take care of his kids. thanks brother.

FILM (permalink) 10.05.2000
And the nominee for worst film of 2000 is
The Skulls. Although, if I had the mental strength to see the certain atrocity Coyote Ugly , I may have to re-tally the votes. But this extension of wednesday night television will certainly serve as a hands-down winner. This was one of the most agonizing movies my VCR has had the misfortune of tracking. What in the hell were the producers of this film thinking? After asking where the logically amiss laugh-track was, I'd demand a full and absolute refund. I've seen lesser crimes tried on court tv.

Furthermore, what is with this Joshua Jackson tool. You can at least assimilate why most teen-beat phenoms are on the cover of said rag, but this guy baffles me. I haven't seen so many exagerated bullet-proof, mensa-bound and hyper-sensitive traits on a water-retented adolescent since, well, bruce willis mastered the ludicrous type-cast in each of his films starting with die-hard. At least the Terminator was an android.

BOOKS, FILM (permalink) 07.22.2000
The Best of ... whatever
In my list of the best things to come out of the new millennium, all of the BEST OF lists rate as number one. There was a "Best of" list for every conceivable topic around. See how you fair against myself in exposure to what the pundits say we should have all read or viewed. On paper, I'm not half the renaissance man I thought I was.
And, make sure to check out the readers poll. You wanna talk about people being all over the map. I wouldn't try to make sense of it, cuz it just don't add up.

   AFI's top 100 films
   AFI's top 100 comedy films
   Modern Library's top 100 novels
   Radcliffe's top 100 novels
   Modern Library's Readers top 100 novels
   NEA's Top 100 Children Books

FILM (permalink) 05.10.2000
The Castle
The Castle is for anyone who has ever had a family...which is most of us I hope. It was a few years old before making it to the states (Australian made) but tore through theaters and then video stores with great rapidity and fanfare.

Raising Arizona + Vacation - My Cousin Vinny = The Castle

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