What a drag, to see this guy again. And what a bigger drag, to hear him speak. Decision Points, Decider, makin’ decisions, blah, blah, poop. His decisions still suck. I’m with Michael Moore: run “Fahrenheit 9/11″ on NBC to counter the George W. Bush Rehabilitation Week. I don’t need to be reminded but there are shitloads of dumb-asses who do, for sure.
Matt Lauer actually asked one good question in that interview: “Would it be OK for a foreign country to waterboard an American citizen?” Bush’s response: “It’s all I ask is that people read the book.”
What else would a war criminal say? The truth?
Well, it’s Oscar week, so let’s get it going. I finally got “The Hangover” from Netflix but I don’t see that as a nominated movie so that’s unfortunate. No, it’s not Oscar-caliber but…I’m just glad to see an R-rated movie that doesn’t relent in the end, the way that “40-Year-Old Virgin” and “Wedding Crashers” did. I mean, yeah, they made it back in time but it didn’t get all sappy…well, I don’t want to give it away for those who are as behind as I am.
Anyway, I have seen four of the ten (!?!) movies nominated for Best Picture: “Up,” “A Serious Man,” “The Hurt Locker,” and “District Nine.” Why ten? Bad idea. That’s just too many movies. Of those four, I’d say “The Hurt Locker” is the only one that deserves to be in such a high honor. I hope “Inglourious Basterds” or “Up in the Air” are great movies because so far I’m just not seeing it. I understand that the Coen Brothers movie has to be in there simply because it’s them but that movie was no “No Country for Old Men.”
“District Nine” for Best Picture? I liked it but it wasn’t that great. A real stretch, as far as I’m concerned. “Moon” would have been more appropriate a choice.
What I’m wondering is, where is the classic? Where’s the “There Will Be Blood” or “Lost in Translation” (neither of which won of course). Maybe it’s just me, but I haven’t seen a movie that deep, emotionally, or well-written, in a while. And so I just checked the queue and once again I have been passed up on “Inglourious Basterds”! Coming next: “Paranormal Activity.” No Oscars for that one.
I finally got around to reading that Esquire profile of Roger Ebert. I didn’t need to read it to understand what he is and where he is–I’ve been praising him here since the beginning for his writing and I read his journals and reviews fairly regularly–so there’s no huge revelation or anything. But, wow. What an article. What a life.
He writes like a madman on Twitter, posting again and again and again, and so I follow that now too. I don’t know what else to say about this guy, but what a writer. Here’s his journal about the Esquire article. Amazing. I want and hope for him to keep on writing for a very long time.
You gotta love the title, and so I read this article in Salon but it bored me quickly. Then it reminded me of this other article I somehow landed upon a few days ago, a crazy one about how Stanley Kubrick faked the moon landing and then gave clues to it in his version of “The Shining.” Pure whack-job stuff but I was into it. I can’t really describe it in a way that will do it justice so I suggest you read it and then try and tell me the moon landing wasn’t faked!
No, I’m not much for conspiracy theories, but it’s interesting anyway, and as Fox Mulder used to say, “I want to believe,” even if I don’t. If you don’t want to get into all that, read the article about the article, which is like a sane person writing about a crazy person and kind of being convinced a little.
Yep, I could be writing about all the crazies in politics but this is where I’m at instead.
The man’s enlarged my mind. He’s a poet warrior in the classic sense. I mean sometimes he’ll… uh… well, you’ll say “hello” to him, right? And he’ll just walk right by you. He won’t even notice you. And suddenly he’ll grab you, and he’ll throw you in a corner, and he’ll say, “Do you know that ‘if’ is the middle word in life? If you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs and blaming it on you, if you can trust yourself when all men doubt you”… I mean I’m… no, I can’t… I’m a little man, I’m a little man, he’s… he’s a great man! I should have been a pair of ragged claws scuttling across floors of silent seas…
Roger Ebert writes about his inability to eat or drink or speak. Sounds awful. But he can write, very well, and I’m thankful for that. Of special note in this post are the references to Cormac McCarthy (the great writer), Dublin and Trinity College (where I visited a few years back), and the Old-Timer’s Restaurant on Lake Street (where I used to go when I worked over there–a great old pub). Can’t say it enough: I’m very glad Ebert is still putting this out, despite his condition.
As usual, I have avoided year-end and decade-end lists, but Roger Ebert is the Man, so I read his. The best film of the decade, according to Roger, was “Synecdoche, New York.” Fascinating choice, and I agree that it was a great movie. I don’t know if it was the best but damn good anyway.
I couldn’t help but notice, though, the absence of “There Will Be Blood” on his list. I have not even thought this through, and I don’t want to make a list, but it seems to me that if I were to make that list, TWBB would be at the top. I mean, what a film! I can’t think of one that tops it. Well, now I’m gonna have to do some research…
On a side note, the comment section of Ebert’s post has me now wondering about the whole decade thing, and whether it should end in 2009 or 2010. If you start with Year One…then 10 would mark the end of the very first decade, yeah? The end of year 10. So January 1, 10 begins the second decade. And so on. Hence, we have one more year to go, yes?
But the other side of the argument seems to be that the 2000s begin at 2000 (makes sense) and therefore January 1, 2010 would mark the start of a new decade. So. You have your 90s and your 00s and now we’re in the 10s. That makes sense in itself, but…the problem with that is Year Zero. It does not appear to exist. The first year was One. Right? So…I think we have a year left, unless I’m missing something. Mmmmm, pull out the bong and figure it out, eh?
OK, I did a quick look over the films that I gave 5 stars to on Netflix and then pared it down to this list. Very difficult. The top 5 or so are in order I guess, but then the rest I can’t give numbers to. This still doesn’t solve the decade problem, though.
There Will Be Blood
Lost in Translation
The Royal Tenenbaums
The Diving Bell and the Butterfly
Kill Bill vol. 1 & 2
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
The Life Aquatic
And then if we want to be official about it, here are the documentaries:
Man on Wire
Bowling for Columbine
Suddenly I’m in a Dewey Cox kind of mood!
I wouldn’t normally call this to attention but one of the first messages I received for my birthday (today) came late last night from Thax Douglas, the famously not-dead poet, who sent me this bizarre youtube. I don’t know how he finds these things or why, but I thought it was nice anyway.
Just watched these clips of Michael Moore on Hannity, man, I don’t see how you can watch his show and not feel numb with stupidity. It’s funny when Moore asks him what the sermon was about in church two days ago and Hannity can’t remember, then fumbles and says he went Saturday, not Sunday. Such an obvious lie. But a bigger point, if Hannity can’t remember a sermon from two/three days ago how can he expect to indict Obama for sermons he may or may not have heard twenty years ago? Well, nice to see Moore go on Fox and make them look silly.
In lieu of a booze photo today, we have a little Jack Nicholson moment from “Easy Rider.” Here’s to old D.H. Lawrence:
A pic from last weekend at Buffestalo. What happened was, there was this big water tank or something sitting out there and some people started talking about “Yellow Submarine” and how it could possibly look like that if it were painted right. Next morning I woke up and Eric was cleaning it and then the paint came out of the garage and people were doing it up and by the afternoon it looked like this:
Which was pretty impressive. Here’s the original:
There’s not a more poignant reminder of flying’s innate precariousness than a good walloping at 35,000 feet. It’s easy to picture the airplane as a helpless dinghy caught unawares in a stormy sea. Everything about it seems dangerous. Except that, in all but the rarest circumstances, it’s not. For all intents and purposes, a plane cannot be flipped upside-down, thrown into a tailspin, or otherwise flung from the sky by even the mightiest gust or air pocket. Conditions might be annoying and uncomfortable, but the plane is not going to crash.
Good to know. That’s just one of the many interesting things in this Salon article about the plane that crashed this week. Or, I should say, allegedly crashed. For all we know it may have broken in half and landed on a mysterious island somewhere in the middle of the Atlantic, with survivors now trying to fight their way through jungles and smoke monsters and polar bears while some Other island inhabitants stalk them. They very well may be Lost!
By the way, I just happened to watch a movie on cable the other night called “Flightplan.” All of my goodwill toward Jodie Foster slipped away while viewing this disaster. Annoying film. Everyone on that plane needed to be punched, Peter Saaaarrrrrrssssgard included. Didn’t Foster just make this film a few years earlier, called “Panic Room”?
Last night I watched “Taken,” the revenge fantasy hit. Entertaining, sure. Moments of cheese sprinkled in but have to admit I laughed when Liam Neeson kept kicking people’s asses. They had it coming, so it felt good. Normally I’d give it two and a half stars but in Netflix’s half-starless world I am forced to up it to three. And so that’s my movie round-up for today.
I can’t really explain why, but I am glad to see positive reviews of the movie “Adventureland.” It’s a movie that I want to like, based solely on the trailers, so I guess I’m happy that it doesn’t appear to suck. The way it looks, visually, has a nice nostalgic feel and maybe it reminds me of Kiddieland on 1st Avenue.
Or maybe this is it: the way it looks to me makes me think of Evel Knievel for some reason, which has nothing to do with anything, but it taps into that part of my brain. Yeah, I have a real big Evel Knievel section in there that has all kinds of cool shit floating around. Looks cool to me at least.
Wow, this was before I even read this other review in the Trib. That it is reminiscent of “Diner” and “Dazed and Confused” is music to my ears. And this:
Your response to “Adventureland” may well have a lot to do with your feelings about any of the following: a fine and mellow musical score by Yo La Tengo; the choice of “Bastards of Young” by The Replacements as the title sequence tune; and Eisenberg’s exquisitely self-effacing comic timing, similar to Michael Cera‘s but drier.
I swear, I haven’t seen anything as diabolically funny in politics as Rahm Emanuel’s anointment of Limbaugh as uncrowned leader of the Republican Party…since Fox News chose Alan Colmes to represent liberalism against the *visigoth Hannity.
I just got through watching Letterman: “What about this bonehead Rush Limbaugh? Honest to God, I mean, what is going on there?” Funny. This whole thing is gold, Jerry, comedy gold! If he is or if he isn’t the public face of the GOP, it doesn’t matter; it’s a lose-lose situation for Republicans. But he is. So that’s funny.
U2 was not so funny, by the way. They’re on all week promoting a new album, and judging by the song I just heard…eh. Not so much. Jimmy Fallon takes over for Conan, and I couldn’t really watch it. Awkward. Uncomfortable. Even Van the Man can’t save it, but I turn back to watch him do an Astral Weeks song. Great album. Jimmy needs to work out the kinks. Meanwhile I watch the last half hour of The Sixth Sense. That guy has never made a good movie since, has he? Ah well. That’s all for Monday night. It is now Tuesday.
* Oh yeah: Visigoth - A member of the western Goths that invaded the Roman Empire in the fourth century a.d. and settled in France and Spain, establishing a monarchy that lasted until the early eighth century? From the context, I thought maybe it meant asshole.