the categorical days: Movies

March 03, 2009

The Wrestler

Esquire

Saw The Wrestler with my mom on Sunday night.

Helluva flick for sure—gets you right in the gut.

Seeing all those noxious fears of loneliness and regret made me a bit uncomfortable.

I suppose there's value seeing it up there on the big screen so you do your darndest not to see it play out in a mirror.

Next outing to the theater better have laughter or lasers just to balance it all out.

Wasn't all glum though, as my mom had homemade bean soup ready to take in afterward.

Good stuff.

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December 30, 2008

8 word reviews for the movies I consumed in 2008

In alphabetical order

I haven't been writing these down even though I seem to average 2 a month, which is entirely possible because I don't have kids or the wherewithal to learn CSS. Oh, and I don't pick favorites just because.

27 Dresses
It was free on a plane ride. Disposable.

Burn After Reading
Just okay, wanted to like more than did.

City of Ember
Darkly pretty but excruciating journey. For moody tweens.

Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Almost got old,ended on time. Moisturizer reminder.

Cloverfield
Ow, my equilibrium. What the? Ow. Huh? What?

The Dark Knight
The opposite of everything that is Spiderman movies.

Forgetting Sarah Marshall
Forgot the movie, yet left no bad aftertaste.

Horton Hears a Who!
Thoroughly enjoyed. I'd imagine Seuss would have too.

Iron Man
Kicked much ass. (and five other awesome words)

Indiana Jones and the Nuclear Fridge
You're kidding. I hate you. Color me suckered.

Journey to the Center of the Earth
I went for the 3D. It was fine.

Juno (2007)
Precious blessing from Jesus in this garbage dump.

.

Mamma Mia!
Wasn't near drunk enough, hated every other scene.

Milk
Sadly like now: bad sunglasses and hate laws.

No Country for Old Men
Made me squirm, a lot. Scary done right.

Sex and the City
A long episode. Seemed geared toward primetime. Fine.

Slumdog Millionare
Not a romantic comedy. Something heavier, and poignant.

Speed Racer
Expected visual orgasm, walked out with dull migraine.

Sweeney Todd (2007)
Burton works well here. Soundtrack bests Broadway version.

Synecdoche, New York
Layered. Meaty. Salty. Sometimes painful, like Taco Bell.

There Will Be Blood (2007)
Why do I suffer these assholes and their oil?

Tropic Thunder
Ben Stiller made me laugh. Downey continually impresses.

WALL-E
Want! Oh wait, wanting BAD. But so GOOD!

Zack and Miri Make a Porno
Solid choice for date night. Seth Rogan. Bubbles.

MOVIES I MISSED THAT I'M PUTTING IN THE RENTAL QUEUE:
American Teen - Australia - Baby Mama - Be Kind Rewind - Beautiful Losers - Cadillac Records - Charlie Bartlett - Choke - Day the Earth Stood Still - Flash of Genius - Four Christmases - Get Smart - Hamlet 2 - Hancock - High School Musical 3 - Harold and Kumar 2 - Kung Fu Panda - Man on Wire - Nick and Norahs Infinite Playlist - Prince Caspian - Quamtum of Solace - Rachel Getting Married - Role Models - Secret Lives of Bees - Smart People - Son of Rambow - Surfwise - W. - The Wrestler

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December 27, 2008

a tin full of cookies

all that remains are these images

The remainder of Christmas Day:

We caught The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, which is a fine enough flick. I didn't want Brad Pitt to get younger as much as I wanted to turn on some lamps around the set. Either it was a dark movie or the projectors at the Esquire were dim.

Afterward, Mom sent us on our way with—among other goodies—a tin full of cookies.

The contents did not last very long.

I'm not sure when my mother incorporated Chocolate Covered Coconut Balls into the mix, but it breaks with tradition and I will be petitioning to have them removed from holiday rotation. Luckily, few others share my distaste for coconut so it was easy to find homes for them.

The other good news is that the remaining three varieties (mincemeat, spritz, and thumbprint) rank as all-time favorite cookies, ever.

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November 16, 2008

I just saw Synecdoche, New York with my brother and mom

I bought these old glasses because I thought they were neat and funny.
Every once in a while, they are, but most of the time they're just sad.

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September 28, 2008

Making a movie about making a world

Shooting the action from above

Today I donned my first wireless microphone... you know the little ones they clip to your shirt for interviews? It was terribly exciting even if I was a bundle of nerves.

Here's how it went down...

In July I got a note from a fella named Steve Juras. He's working with a group of folks on a documentary about Ed Emberley's Make a World book.

Related sidetrack: I've fawned over this children's drawing book before, and also list Ed as a big inspiration in my life.

Steve was curious if I would be available to answer some questions about my experience with Ed's book.

Heck yeah I would.

Fast forward a few months and the day was upon us.

I got an extra large coffee this morning and met the traveling film crew at the studio. They set up the lights and cameras. I fuddled through questions and crossed my fingers that editing can do wonders.

Wendy, the other third of Wire & Twine and fellow Emberley disciple, came out to chit chat in the afternoon. We both got to dust off our skills and do a bit of drawing to boot.

All in all? The experience was fantastic. We got to hear about the process of getting the movie off the ground and stories of other folks who found inspiration in the book. We also learned a little about Ed and he sounds just as awesome as we would imagine him to be.

I think the best part is that a whole new audience is going to be introduced to his lifelong work. There can't be too much good stuff in the world.

To get in touch with the filmmakers, visit their pre-production page or join the Ed Emberley Fan Group on Facebook.

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July 16, 2008

Where I forget about the landfills

and buy the toy anyway [ alternate photo ]

It was a safe bet going into the theater. I've enjoyed every single Pixar release and I pretty much knew I'd like WALL-E.

I dig robots, hand-holding, and long walks in deserted areas.

The movie did not disappoint.

(sidenote rationalization brought on by green-guilt: I've stopped buying body wash in plastic containers, switching to bar soap. I don't think this makes up for my weakness in the toy aisle, but the little fella does make me smile)

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July 16, 2008

Where I forget about the landfills

and buy the toy anyway [ alternate photo ]

Review

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April 28, 2008

Into the Wild, and a quick trip west

Too many photos to sort, here's a well kept Pinto in the parking lot of Cracker Barrel somewhere off I-70

Last Thursday night I rented Into the Wild - a flick directed by Sean Penn adapted from a based-on-a-true-story book by Jon Krakauer.

Whoa.

I really liked it.

I wrote down a few quotes from this soul-searching roadtrip of a movie (most from Hal Holbrook's character):

"The core of man's spirit comes from new experiences."

"When you forgive, you love."

"I think good gets better."

Though it clocks in bit over two hours, I wasn't quite ready for the film to end.

--

Inspired—not to trek into the wilderness of Alaska, but to hit the road—I decided to visit my friends across the Mississippi. Dan had a booked weekend of performances, so it timed out well.

I packed a lot of good times (and good food) into less than 48 hours, and the being on the road felt great.

I'm looking forward to more travels this summer, but for now, it's time to hunker and get some work done.

Current music: Hot Chip "Ready for the Floor"


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April 15, 2008

No Matter How Small: A movie, a little politics, and crafts

A Seussian clover

I went and caught Horton Hears a Who a few weeks ago, and boy did I like it.

I walked out thinking, dag, that was quietly heavy in a good way. Todd Walters finds better words over at The Millions where he wrote Horton Hears a Who! as Political Theater.

"Horton also stands accused, like Socrates before him, of corrupting society's youth with his alternative vision of the natural world."

I'm one who looked at it more this way: "...for most viewers, Horton Hears a Who! will be nothing more than a colorful story about two imaginary worlds with a simple take-home lesson: Respect the rights of others regardless of their physical stature or societal position."

(Which, as someone who pays taxes and doesn't get equal treatment from the government, I have to champion the message.)

But this post isn't just about a great animated movie, or how I pine for equal rights. This is about a little something I made for a 5 year old girl who went and saw the movie with her dad this weekend.

How to make a clover for your very own Whoville.

Easy stuff to find at a fabric or craft store

Materials:

- A small piece from a bright pink feather boa (one boa can make about 20 clover)
- An artificial flower (stripped of everything but the stem and a few leaves)
- and some stem wrap tape.

Cut the boa into a 3 inch strip, double it over the stem, and wrap about a half inch of the base with the green tape.

Now this isn't the most sturdy of toys, but when you hand it over, remark how careful one must be with such a potential world. It seems to work just fine.

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January 30, 2008

There Will Be Blood, Once

A scene from Once

Dag, how can I put all this down brief-like so I can feel like I captured the gist without taking away too much time from actually living (and sleeping)?

If you consider watching movies "living"—which I do, because movies are the only real thing I do outside of work and love that keeps me tethered to the world as I know it. Aside from music, eating food, and laundry.

I'd throw sleeping in there but I'm not sure that keeps me tethered to the world.

Recent viewings in front of screens:

There Will Be Blood - Saw it projected on Saturday by myself because my other half prefers brighter cinematic entertainment (and I can't blame him). This flick was one helluva character study. It's dark and rattles the stomach. I didn't enjoy it, but I was moved and it made me think. I'd probably go back for seconds after some time has passed. Kind of like White Castles.

Once - Home rental helped me score the shot from the TV (above). I wanted to record something to memory to remind myself of the movie. It surprised me like Murderball, and something else I can't remember but truly enjoyed. Mind you it had a little shaky camera like Cloverfield, but there was respite.

Speaking of that Cloverfield, you might have seen or read about the characters videotaping or using their cell-phone cameras in times of duress, and this is a reflection of society today. I say it would have been extra ironic and fun if someone had said, hold on, let me stabilize the camera and frame this shot nicely. I'll stop complaining about the lack of tripod now, forever.

Back to Once, I'd bought the soundtrack a while ago knowing that Glen Hansard of The Frames was involved. I still have a glow from his 2004 tour.

The soundtrack totally makes sense now and I am smitten with everything about this flick. I've heard reviews call it a new musical or refinement of music video, and maybe it is. I don't care, it's extremely genuine and made me feel all warm and stuff.

Also on the small screen, I've been watching Project Runway, but I can't add any more flavor than Dave White's weekly updates on The Advocate. Here's last weeks. His words make me laugh, and I got to ffffind this picture and remind myself that sometimes the show can be a hoot.

Current music: Coconut Records "West Coast"

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January 20, 2008

Camouflage cat

Again, if I could write LOLcat captions, this would come in handy

Unrelated to kitty: that movie yesterday, Cloverfield?

The only thing it needed was a strong anchor character with acting chops, like those of say, Andie MacDowell.

And a tripod.

Current music: The Worst Pies In London

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January 07, 2008

At the Showcase Cinema

Popcorn camouflage

Been lacking on the movie-going of late. Usually I squeeze in a good handful over the holidays, but either the calendar is fuller or options at the cineplex are less enticing.

Movie 1

I did catch Juno with my ma on the day when everything but the cinema is closed. Liked it so much I watched it again with friends visiting from California. Laughed out loud at the same point in each showing (Sonic Youth was involved.) I do feel a little dirty that a big movie studio tried to make it seem super-indie, but often times, I like to feel manipulated.

Movie 2

Just caught Sweeney Todd this past week.

After seeing Patti Lupone in the recent rework of the musical (picture from the trip to NYC), I was reticent to see this movie. Decided to go because I am enamored with Tim Burton's take on things in general.

Gritty pretty. Kept me rapt. And now I can't stop humming those songs.

Current music: Sun Kil Moon "Space Travel Is Boring"

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November 13, 2007

Tissues und Brillen-Putztücher

Above the Ghetto in the bathroom

Back in 2003, I went to Europe with a fine group of fellas. It was about this time of year in fact. While there I ate excellent food, saw lots of art, rode a bike around, wrote the neatest things on scraps of paper that made no sense the next day (in Amsterdam), beer, camaraderie, all the good stuff.

I have few mementos 'sides the photos, but I did hoard a couple things. The first being the Tempo tissues pictured above. I've a dozen pocket packs to ration these past four years. I also bought a whole bunch of Brillen-Putztücher for cheap. Love ultra-clean lenses.

My stockpile is running out of both. It's time to think about Europe again, or go the boring route and get them online.

Two reasons I broke out the tissues: First the cold, it's getting better. Then we watched that Evening flick with Claire Danes and Toni Collette and Vanessa Redgrave and and and... It was better than The Notebook and I recommend it to moms and folks that appreciate a lady-flick.

Yeah, I got misty-eyed. But I'm proud of that fact.

Clears up the sinus passage, and I've been told tears make you live longer—just like laughter.

In other similar flick related notions: They're really going to have to clean up the language in Georgia Rule before it gets on Lifetime—though the commercials might liven it up.

Current music: Herbert Grönemeyer "Halt mich"

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October 24, 2007

Under new management

and running out of readerboard 3's

When I passed by the Holiday Auto Theatre back in January, it was up for sale. It has since sold and they're starting to shake things up—using off days to put classics on the drive-in screen (last week they had Re-Animator!) I think this bodes well.

I was going to pull in for a sharp shot, but a police car was on my tail and made me nervous.

In other news, I haven't seen a movie in a while.

Current music: Hooters "All You Zombies"

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January 14, 2007

Entertainment recap

The RAVE theater in West Chester

Children of Men this past week left me a little speechless. I haven't wanted to see a movie twice in a while. This might be that movie. I had a great phone conversation with my mom talking about the themes, the possibility, the look, and the way people treated their pets.

--

I'd assume Saturday Night Live is like most things — a rollercoaster of ups and downs. But lately they've had some really bright spots. Jake Gyllenhaal's opening bit last night was better than Showgirls. Powerful good, and such a great way to thank obsessive fans who can't get enough spy photos of his biceps (youtube link, thanks Henry). I was also a fan of Laser Cats 2, but the Shins as musical guest made me hotline sad.

--

After seeing the inaugural show for Grease: You're the One That I Want last weekend, I immediately signed up with Netflix. Really.

Current music: Prince "Dead On It"

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January 02, 2007

Holiday Auto Theatre

From their house rules: Common sense prevails

I pass by this drive-in (on the outskirts of Hamilton, OH) often on the way to work. Even posted a photo of their entrance sign last June.

The sky was particularly clear today, so I pulled in and made with the snapshots, wondering how much the place cost. It's for sale see. All nine acres plus the business.

I want drive-ins to be around for a while and I wonder how they could supplement income through the off season. I'm thinking for winter you could rent out chunks of time with console games projected from the snack bar. And cocoa. I figure it's been done before, buy hey, one can dream.

Speaking of movies, I went to see that Dreamgirls flick with my ma last night. I kept waiting for the big emotional song and all of a sudden the credits rolled.

Current music: Eels - "Trouble with Dreams (Live)"

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December 20, 2006

snowbot + the new dakota movie

It's like KITT, but more festive

The above electronic snowman robot (powered by USB cable) is available from Think Geek.

Many thanks to the 3 bears for putting it on my doorstep.

If you're curious to see it in action, I posted a grainy movie clip on Vimeo.

--

In other news: just got back from seeing Charlotte's Web and it was not displeasing. Pretty straight-forward re-telling of the story, but with Steve Buscemi instead of Paul Lynde.

I didn't realize Danny Elfman did the soundtrack, though I suspected his style during the web weaving sequences.

It wasn't until the beautifully rendered end credits rolled that suspicions were verified. I was hoping to find who did that bit of animation, but my search-engine powers are a bit drained at this hour. If there isn't a movie credit 'blog, there should be. All I found on the IMDB was that the real Christopher Glass was involved, and he also worked on House of Wax.

Current music: Arm of Roger - "Down with the Animals"

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December 10, 2006

Banana ketchup, Wympee, & The Holiday

Inside and outside the Wympee burger [ not quite a Mazda jingle: zoom, zoom ]

I've been to downtown Dayton proper only a handful of times. More and more recently.

This week I had dinner at Pacchia. Sadly no photos as I loathe the flash, but there wasn't a way I could've documented the excellent conversation, or the portabello fries with banana ketchup (essentially, banana puree). Also recommended: the salmon. A jazzy duo lent background music with favorites like "Over the Rainbow."

Next up, I went looking for an Army Surplus store yesterday, and found a reseller of Army type gear instead. Luckily I forgot my wallet, but it wasn't a total wash: I had enough change in my ashtray to eat breakfast at the Wympee burger. This place oozes classic, even with the new mexican food menu. If I was a bolder behind the lens, I'd spend an entire day there for the people. Paying with dimes was de facto, but the vibe was bright and cordial.

Unrelated to these fragments of the Gem City, I went with friends to catch Cameron Diaz in her sequel to "In Her Shoes" last night. Jude Law had an impressive tan. Jack Black almost throttled the creepy. Cameron has really awesome hair genes or special shampoo. And I still think Kate Winslet can do no wrong, even when she dances in bed to modern alt-pop-rock. Otherwise, this is fine fluff for any season, but two bathroom breaks makes me think a.) some more fluff should have made it to the cutting room floor, b.) This movie will be better with commercial breaks, or c.) I need a stronger bladder.

Current music: TKD6K "Nice"

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November 24, 2006

wishbone, Bobby

Loveland, Ohio

Thanksgiving was good.

I woke up early enough to watch the Macy's parade kick off. I quickly remembered how all the lip-synched musical numbers made me anything but thankful, and pined for a version without hosts and more float coverage.

Then I met up with my mom and the brother I seldom get to see, and we headed over to my cousin's house for the feast. His place lent a fine backdrop for milling around the kitchen or the football game.

I filled up on all the good stuff and drove back home for a nap, waking up to catch a late showing of Bobby. You know, that new movie not about Bobby Kennedy.

I finally lost interest in the Star-studded Emilio-Crashtacular when I saw the Crisco and Dole fruit cans in the stockroom of a kitchen scene. They had new Crisco and Dole logos — clearly not from the late 60's. I then derided myself for being too critical by noticing this minutiae.

Don't get me wrong, there were good bits, namely Sharon Stone and Demi Moore looking all normal with wrinkles covered by caked on makeup. But their dialog was indicative of the films major flaw: it was like the editors of Saturday Night Live were involved - losing the ability to know when to cut to the next scene.

All the ingredients for greatness were on the table, but the whole flick left me feeling empty.

Thankfully, the meal earlier in the day, did not.

Current music: Puffy AmiYumi "Thank You"

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October 23, 2006

Marie Antoinette

This is not the Pepsi Generation

Dan and I found the local cineplex this Sunday and caught the Sofia Coppola flick. They sold pizza at the theater which seemed good because we hadn't eaten dinner.

The pizza looked better than it tasted, and paled in comparison to all the food (porn) on the big screen.

Such pretty food.

And there was Kirsten Dunst, she was pretty too. I consider her the Sigourney Weaver of the generation after me: part of that MTV Generation, the Boomerang Generation, or Generation Y.

Mind you, Sigourney Weaver is not in my generation, Generation X, but a Baby Boomer or part of the Beat Generation.

Just thought I'd make that clear because I know it gets confusing.

I'm not sure if Maria Antonia Josefa Johanna von Habsburg-Lothringen (aka Marie Antoinette) had a fun generation name. I always thought the French (and Austrian folk for that matter) were too pragmatic for such nomenclature.

Anyway, Kirsten Dunst was less like Sigourney Weaver, and more like Jim Carrey in that Eternal Sunshine movie, meaning, she wasn't annoying and I felt sorry for her predicament.

Good flick, but next time we'll eat beforehand and skip the pizza.

[ See all the supposed names of American Generations dating back to 1701 ]

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August 19, 2006

dorks on a polaroid

Newport, KY

“The Brown” had 2-for-1 movie passes.

We went to see that one with the snakes.

Maybe I was in a gullible mood, but I threw popcorn in the air on at least three occasions, and grabbed a hold of her arm a few times to boot.

Fun gratuitous scares.

Outside the theater a fella was selling 5 dollar polaroids with his pet.

Good times.

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August 14, 2006

Little Miss Sunshine

clouds, as seen in the parking lot across the street from the theater

Sneak preview passes for Little Miss Sunshine at the Esquire tonight...

Finally, summer yields a flick that pulls all the right strings (at least for me).

A hat tip to Amy and Bryan for making it happen.

Good post-movie conversation over a few beers - talking about stuff like how technology can mask a weak point (and not just in movies, but in everything from photography to music to websites). And conversely, how craft can sometimes elevate even the thinnest premise.

Back to the film, it was just lovely. I snorted, smiled, and enjoyed looking at the normal prettiness of it all.

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July 27, 2006

I'm sorry I didn't like Monster House

the dreaded Bermuda crevice of car seats

Sure cupholder technology has advanced greatly, but can some auto manufacturer tackle the problem of dropping things (like one's mobile phone) between the seats?

In other news, I found my copy of The Incredibles sandwiched under the passenger seat.

After catching Monster House this week and feeling miffed it was completely flat (even with all the nice textures), it was nice to revisit the Pixar adventure and remember that animation can have style and a heart.

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July 21, 2006

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest

The entrance sign to a drive-in on the way to the theater where we actually saw the movie

Sure the movie was long, but wow on the animation for Davy Jones and his tentacle beard.

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June 23, 2006

Cars

I almost needed Kleenex®

I snuck in a viewing of Cars this week.

I didn't rush out to see this one, and maybe that's because of Larry the Cable Guy™ or the NASCAR associations. Now I wonder how I could have passed any doubt over Pixar.

I'm not sure why it has a PG rating (correction: it's G), but it might be tough for little ones to sit through the 2 hour length.

Aside from that minor squabble, it is beautiful and has the right touch of nostalgia and heart to make it another animated favorite.

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March 29, 2006

rhubarb

Good with milk

So with my mom's new kitchen in place, I went over for dinner the other night with a couple movies in tow. As we scratched our heads over Junebug, she snuck off to heat up some rhubarb.

A simple concoction, cutting the stalks into chunks and bringing them to boil in a skillet with about half an inch of water and a handful of sugar. Over biscuits, it ranks up there with one of my favorite things.

We continued our double feature watching The Prizewinner of Defiance, Ohio with happy stomachs.

And now, short oblique movie reviews...

Junebug — At one point a lady stands on her lawn with her hands on her hips in the most unattractive of ways. She's just watching her neighbors. That pretty much sums it up.

The Prizewinner of Defiance, Ohio — I just realized Woody Harrelson's first name is an adjective for his acting abilities. If his character wasn't so lame, this might've been a great flick. As it stands, it's a Lifetime movie with better production values.

Last Holiday — Though it was worth both dollars I paid for admission at the discount theater, this would have been much better with commercial breaks and homemade food.

Walk the Line — The only thing I could think of when watching this DVD was that Felicity Huffman was insanely better than Reese, which is sad, because this might've been a fine movie. I just didn't see it.

Hustle & Flow — Not bad, but the ending sorta ruined it for me. I could post spoilers, but that'd be like remembering the name of the man who shot John Lennon.

Zathura — It was better than Jumanji, and that isn't hard to do.

Corpse Bride — Pretty to look at, but found myself bored.

Crash — After hearing so many polarized opinions, I decided to watch Brokeback's nemesis and see what it was all about. Though it falls into a predictable formula, I found it to have a lyrical quality that moved me. Then again, I can listen to Kelly Clarkson.

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February 25, 2006

Bubble, American Movie

Bubble

I didn't get to see this in the theater, which is sad, because I craved a really big fountain soda the whole time.

Slow pace.
Beautiful in an ugly way.
Better than what I'd guess CSI is like, and just a bit disturbing in the reality department.

American Movie (site)

The photo above makes a bit more sense with voice-over: “Shot 37. Where my head goes through the cupboard. This was the one shot where i hoped we got it right the first time.”

I'm not sure how I missed this flick back in 1999 — the story of Mark Borchardt trying to get a movie made. It's a lot like Bubble in that it's a little slow, beautiful in an ugly way, and just a bit disturbing in the reality department. Seeing that it's a documentary, I suppose that makes sense.

Mark's buddy was a scene stealer in my book (here's a pic). His flat loop of a laugh coupled with his done-too-much-lsd blankness was the epitome of loyal. Which is sorta what this movie is all about.

Loyalty that is, not the bit about blowing your mind out with drugs.

Though I did crave a PBR the whole time.

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February 18, 2006

2 duds + random photos

If you can't read the Post-Its®, the text is below

Dear Bughouse -

Sorry these 2 movies (Wedding Crashers & Dukes of Hazzard) are late.

I will pay the fees, but in the future — if anyone is upset these movies are NOT available, please inform them that both movies are terrible anyway.

I’m embarrassed I even rented them, but Bubble was checked out.

On a different note, there've been lots of photos that haven't found a home yet:

PhotosLeftovers (so far) in February

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January 07, 2006

movies I forgot to mention

A future antique outside the Erlanger Showcase Cinema

I may have mentioned these in passing, but I didn't record any impressions.

In Her Shoes - Better than expected, and I can have really low expectations.

Wallace and Gromit - The CGI was terrible and choppy. Everything else was a hoot. Fun for all ages.

Batman Begins - Worth more than the two dollars I paid. Superhero brooding at its finest.

Primer - Fascinating even after the last bit where I got confused. Fascinating.

Narnia - Prettier than a Creed video, but somehow felt hollow. It'd be great if I was a 9 year old.

Harry Potter - I didn't pee myself. A little too deja vu. More lasers might have helped.

Jesus is Magic - This white hot jew's rollercoaster of snarfs ends at just the right time. My sides were hurting.

King Kong - Get the really large popcorn. Big screen fun even with Jack Black's eyebrows.

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January 04, 2006

Pride and Prejudice

Cue Enya music

I jumped into work for 2006 with energy, finishing early enough to do something random for the evening. I had gift certificates for the movie theater in my wallet, so I went to see the latest adaptation of Pride and Prejudice.

I figured it won't be on the big screen too much longer, and Queen Latifah's holiday flick hasn't opened yet.

On to the movie...

I can't imagine a life where I spend my days selecting ribbon and writing letters. Or, on some journey, randomly pop in the mansion of some rich folk and view their art collection. This all sounds very nice. Wrap it up in extremely pretty scenery (even the pigs and dirt seemed majestic), add a little misunderstanding, and you have an excellent departure from an evening of—um—selecting ribbon or letter writing.

Dug it.

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December 22, 2005

Murderball

An unexpected great movie

I rented movies this past week, at a store, that I drove to, and walked around.

On the last day before the due date, I hadn't seen Mr. and Mrs. Smith or Murderball.

There could only be one.

I watched the latter and I'm glad I did.

I had expectations, they were exquisitely passed. It was shot beautifully. The soundtrack was great. They didn't even pander to a big arena rock song during the final game. But they did throw in a little bit of cheese more comfortable in a reality TV show. But just the tiniest bit.

This is about as human as film can get.

(and the Moldy Peaches song was awesome)

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November 14, 2005

Things that don't make sense

This entry is actually a movie review

1.
Yellow Freight System trucks are actually more of a tangerine.

2.
Why on earth did I go see Dreamer: Inspired by a True Story last night? And why are flicks starting to build a tagline into their title? The only saving grace was making cheap incest and horsecock jokes throughout the entire calculated, pitiful blight. I am ashamed of myself.

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November 08, 2005

good night, and good luck.

The movie that smokes more than two packs a day

My gym teacher made us sit on the side of the pool and splash ourselves with water to get acclimated — to avoid shock, he said.

I remember hunching over hoping the roll of fat in my midsection (that gave me the shape of a pear) would be obscured by my flailing arms.

S'funny how what embarrasses me has changed over the years.

Good Night, and Good Luck has no cursory acclimation—jumping right into the battle between Edward R. Murrow and Senator McCarthy, or journalism and politics from a broader perspective.

It's timely, excellent, and marks another fine history lesson at the cineplex in less than a week. The black and white was more than fine and I wasn't even bothered by the use of Helvetica.

There's an extra layer of thrill seeing a local boy do good as a director. About the time I realized I was never going to win the olympics in breast stroke, I was watching George Clooney's dad on the tube as our local anchorman. He was the one that delivered reports with a smooth baritone and a dose of personal opinion.

They even mention Cincinnati a few times throughout the film, sifting through papers to get information for their broadcasts. I smirked a little thinking, who the hell cares what the Cincinnati Enquirer writes now?

It's embarrassing—as is the current political climate and the perception of the country I want to love.

This spare tire I carry around seems like nothing in comparison.

As I mentally stack what next to read in order, I'm going to put Murrow in front of Capote, as his words struck so many chords that give me strength to fear, less.

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November 05, 2005

Capote

A film much too quiet for the noise of a shutter firing off — a snapshot of a poster in front of the theater would suffice.

I didn't know of Truman Capote like my mom did. I didn't make a special point of catching his appearances on Johnny Carson. And I didn't know why he was famous. So I'm either at a loss for understanding his character or the perfect audience for this cinematic portrait.

At times I felt like I'm missing out on some part of who this guy was, but more than likely, the picture seemed complete. A smartly dressed man with inexplicable twisted charisma who fidgeted when the topic wasn't himself. Shot in a pretty drab palette and unnervingly quiet, it was engaging and exhausting at the same time.

I've some pang to read his book(s) to see what the fuss was all about. More so however, I sorta wished I would've seen him on the couch next to Carson.

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September 12, 2005

The Aristocrats

Waiting for the movie to begin

On Sunday I went with my mom to check out The Aristocrats—the movie about a donut of a joke where comedians fill in the middle with offensive whatnot. No real spoilers here.

It was okay, and relatively disappointing. Certainly nothing that requires a big screen.

Much of the film has comedians talking about the joke, not telling it. So much set-up that I almost felt like it was a spoof. When they finally get around to digging into the meat of things, most comedians used the same schtick.

Incest and fecal matter get real old after a while. Whoopi Goldberg did bring up some good points that what offends folks is changing. Her rhetoric was brief though, and probably for the best.

The true gems were the folks that put an original spin on things: including Billy the Mime, Sarah Silverman (though she seemed tame), and this one guy I can't name, but sounded like he was imitating Carol Channing Liza or something. His delivery had me wiping tears away. The South Park clip that's been circulating the 'net for a while pretty much does a better job of folding all the other variations into a compact piece.

Some nice discussion with my mom on the way home though, reliving childhood memories when she bought us kids these Steve Martin head band/clip things that made it look like an arrow was through your head.

Postnote: Taking pictures during a movie with a digital SLR that has a loud shutter is cramping my style.

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