September 28, 2008

Burn After Reading (this post)

Saw Burn After Reading on Saturday. It was every bit as great and Coen-Brothersy as I thoguht it would be. It's hysterical. It's dark. You have to see it. Trust me.

Read More...

September 23, 2008

Jaque LeMure

I'm on a pretty serious new music kick lately, especially after seeing Maps & Atlases on Wednesday and Sunset Rubdown on Sunday. Both were great shows, although Sunset Rubdown played a whole bunch of songs I didn't know, despite being intimately familiar with their two most recent LPs, and The Maps & Atlases show was empty more or less.

Happymatic is an album by Hilotrons that I've been listening to almost every day for the past week or so. They're from Canada. If you liked the most recent Of Montreal (er, well not the most recent anymore but previously the most recent, Hissing Fauna, Are You the Destroyer) you need to find this album now.

This brings me to Skeletal Lamping, the new release/not yet actually released album by Of Montreal. It's weird and crazy and zany and everything that Of Montreal never was before Satanic Panic in The Attic. Get it.

A few other albums warranting much less discussion: The Walkmen released a new album that is pretty decent. Same with Arctic Monkeys. Right now I'm listening to Lunglihgt [sic] by The Shaky Hands for the first time and I'm digging it.

Read More...

September 3, 2008

Movies I need to see

1. The Dark Knight. I don't deserve to live without seeing this movie, although I never saw Batman Begins. Something about the Joker being in this one though. I was really close to seeing it on Opening Night but the theater was sold out 2 hours before the show I wanted to go to.

2. Pineapple Express. Got to. I love Seth Rogen and Judd Apatow (did he even produce on this movie)

3. Vickie Christina Barcelona. Looks hot plus in the past year Woody Allen has surged to my top 5 filmmakers of all time. Also how can you not want to see Javier Bardem playing the exact opposite role of the one he's known for?

4. Burn After Reading. Coen Brothers. Clooney. Pitt. Malkovich (Fucking Malkovich!) Tilda Swinton. Frances McDormand. 'Nuff said.

I'm also intrigued by the DeNiro/ Pacino flick coming out (the name escapes me), as well as the Ridley Scott-directed, Leo/ Russel Crowe pic. They look good. Don't you just love Oscar season?

Read More...

Sports Center Live? Bullshit

What's the deal with Sports Center Live? Biggest crock of shit I've ver heard of. I don't really see how this is somehow better than what we were already getting. Seems to me like another way for ESPN to talk about bullshit and sponsors instead of sports.

Read More...

August 11, 2008

The Olympics are finally here

Four years is too long to wait. In 2004 I spent so much of the Olympic fortnight glued to my TV, watching anything that NBC would show me. Swimming, track, basketball, and so on. Now that the world's greatest sports showcase is back, I'll be doing much of the same for the next 13 days.

There's some element that is rarely captured by the sports we get on a regular basis, but the Olympics thrives on it. I can't really say what it is. But there is something about competition in its purest form that I really love. It's a welcome break from the multi-millionaire athletes we're so used to.

Something else I love about the Olympics is the variety of sports that are almost never televised otherwise. Here's some that I find most entertaining:

Water Polo - It's a lot like basketball or soccer at a tenth of the speed.
Team Handball - Water Polo without the water. A very bizarre sport to watch.
Volleyball - Beach Volleyball is good too, but I find the indoor version to be much more captivating because of the possibility of long volleys.
Shooting - I have to appreciate the difficulty of shooting a six inch wide target traveling at around 60-80 mph.

There are a lot more sports worth watching, and I'm excited.

Also, before I go, I can't help but mention the finals in the men's 4x100m freestyle relay. When Jason Lezak touched out France for the gold, after being behind with 10m to go, I literally jumped out of my seat.

In short, watch the Olympics. It's the best thing on TV for the next two weeks.


Read More...

July 30, 2008

I remembered what 3 was supposed to be

I can't believe I forgot this, but today while wandering around campus (mostly in order to rack up hours without actually doing any work), this dude came out of a building, asked me if I wanted to earn some money by participating in an experiment for the economics department, and then a half hour later, gave me $35 essentially for realizing that if I type the number 1 instead of 0, I will earn a lot more.

Best thing ever, since I have been the most broke motherfucker on the planet lately.

Read More...

1 month anniversary

Wow I can't believe it;s been over a month since I've posted on here. A lot has happened btu I won't talk about it. Just a few points that I would like to reflect on because they are currently residing in my short-term memory.

1. My favorite current song is without question A Sentence of Sorts in Kongsvinger by Of Montreal, from the album Hissing Fauna, Are You the Destroyer? I have the urge to listen to it something like 5 times a day and every time I do, I end up with an ear-to-ear smile. My second favorite song right now is from the same album: Heimdalsgate Like a Promethean Curse. It has the same effect on me. My third favorite song, currently, is Paper Planes by M.I.A. from the album Kala. It took me nearly a year to warm up to this album but now I'm all about it. The song is also featured in the Pineapple Express previews. I can't wait to see it.

2. Random people have been leaving comments on my No Country For Old Men post from about 4 months ago. It's kinda weird.

3. Don't remember what 3 was supposed to be so instead I'll write a few totally unrelated sentences. This weekend I'm moving across the street. I'm flying in to Baltimore on August 15th, and heading to Outer Banks with Jay Berk and girlfriend on the 16th. This Saturday is "Chem Crawl" and all day drinking event involving 10 bars and roughly 12 hours of drinking. Red Sox fans better start getting scared about their playoff chances.

Peace.

Read More...

June 28, 2008

Gonna go back in time

It's official:

Back To the Future is my favorite movie of all time.

I just finished watching it on HBO, and I realized that no matter how many times I see it, I still feel all the same emotions exactly the way I remember the first time I saw it.

Read More...

June 25, 2008

Another Post, Another Toast

I eat toast in the morning. Sometimes I eat Cheerios. Grocery shopping sucks. Just seems like I have to do it too often.

I got some hot new music recently thanks to Chadwick (not to slight Dave, who made me a mix that I have yet to listen to).

At the top of the list of recent albums are:

Metric: Grow Up and Blow Away
Chromeo: Fancy Footwork
Broken Social Scene: You Forgot It In People
The Blow: Paper Television
Wolf Parade: At Mount Zoomer
Maps & Atlases: Trees, Swallows, Houses

I'd recommend any of these to anyone that I thought would like them.

Another recommendation is the amazing HBO crime drama The Wire. The show is absolutely phenomenal. I'm through 3+ seasons now and Christ! If you haven't seen this yet, move it to the top of your list.

Read More...

June 18, 2008

...

Well I want to say how little i can think of to write right write right write right write right write right now. I just though about Light Bright. What a great toy. I always made a clown.

Read More...

June 12, 2008

What to say

Not much. The people in my research group are nice, but i get the feeling that we won't be hanging out very much outside the lab. I did make some friends today in another group.

Have you ever seen The Wire? Great HBO show about Baltimore crime. You need to see it. All of it. From the beginning. I can't recommend anything more right now. I'm almost through the 3rd season. It's awesome television.

Let's go Kobe!

Read More...

June 8, 2008

I've been in Indiana a few days now

This state is HOT! And in so many ways. I don't think the temperature has been below 90 once yet, and the humidity has been insane. Wednesday, as my dad and I were about to unload the trailer, the skies opened up, and torrential downpours and thunderstorms began. After about 30 minutes of hoping it would stop, we decided to venture out for some food. We were headed to the one place I know downtown from my previous visit, but the entire road was flooded. It was hilarious and terrifying all at once. I mean there was like a good foot of water on the road in front of Nick's.

Fastforward to last night. I'm at Nick's watching baseball and the next thing I know I'm in a conversation with this old man who was telling me things like Cleopatra overdosed on Asp venom. "She was used to cobra venom," he said, "but she couldn't handle the asp venom." The guy was, well I can't say nuts, but possibly one of the most interesting people I've ever met. He talked for a while and I just listened. Fascinating.

People in this state are very friendly in general. It's not like back east where so many people always seem ready to fight or yell "Fuck You!" at some one. I don't know. It's an interesting place.

Last night I had a dream that me and John were in a Spring-Break-home-game version of American Gladiators and we were doing the Eliminator. Davitt may have also been in it but he wasn't a factor in the outcome. John won by nose. Or actually I think it was an elbow. Then I woke up.

I miss everyone back home, but think I'm going to like it here, once I meet some people. I start work tomorrow. I have to go do some reading now and watch the game.

Peace

Read More...

May 21, 2008

Feels like it's been years

I haven't posted on here in about the amount of time since I last posted. I decided to write because of the tremendous anxiety I'm experiencing right now. Downstairs there's a collection of hot dogs and potato salads that I really want to eat. Trouble is, there's also a collection of American-Idol-watching weirdos that I don't want to have to as much as look at.

I feel trapped in my own bedroom.

I want to sneak down the stairs and out the front door, run to my car and speed off to anywhere other than here.

Read More...

April 21, 2008

Ignore this post.









Read More...

April 9, 2008

WTF?

I just found this posting on craigslist. The funny thing is that it was under lessons and not like the adult section or whatever.

Read More...

April 4, 2008

Paul Krugman on helathcare

Instead of telling you to read the whole article, I'll just put in this one snippet from Paul Krugman's column today.

And the international evidence on health care costs is overwhelming: the United States has the most privatized system, with the most market competition — and it also has by far the highest health care costs in the world.
So true.


Read More...

April 3, 2008

No more secrets at work

So as I mentioned, I recently gave my 3-and-a-half-weeks notice, and my last day will be April 25th (sighs in relief). Up until the other day though, I was keeping my grad school plans a secret from most of the people here out of fear that if they found out I wasn't interested in staying long term, they might find someone who was.

But now the proverbial cat is out of the bag. In many ways it's relieving, but in other ways, it's annoying. Specifically because I have to give almost everyone the same shpiel (sp?).

Them: What's this I hear about you leaving us?
Me: Well I'm going to grad school?
Them: Where?
Me: Indiana University
Them: Where is that?
Me: Bloomington
Them: What are you going to study?


And so on until I give them enough info so that they can walk away. Today alone I have done this to three or four different people. It's nice getting the attention from people who seem genuinely interested in my career decision. I think in another week everyone will know and not have to ask me any questions.

Read More...

April 1, 2008

Opening Day

Who knows when Opening Day is anymore. As far as I can tell, there have been as three opening days for baseball this season. The first was on the 26th when Oakland and Boston played in Japan. The second was Sunday night, when Washington and Atlanta played in Washington's beautiful new park. And the third was yesterday, when every team was slated to be in action (there were a couple rain outs, including my Yankees). The real Opening Day is tonight, when the Yankees will be in action (or will they? It's raining here is West Haven.) against the Blue Jays. I'm actually kinda glad it got rained out yesterday because now I will be able to see the game on TV.

I love baseball season, probably more than any other sport. I know a lot of you will argue football 'til the death, and I couldn't agree more that the NFL is the most exciting pro sports league, but what can you say to refute the fact that during baseball season, you can watch your favorite team 6 nights a weeks? Personally, I am super happy that I'm going to get to watch a solid 2.5 months of Yankee baseball. I'm almost regretting having Netflix because my turnover rate will most likely go way down because I'll be watching the Yanks most nights.

Read More...

T-minus 3.5 weeks

My life has seriously been filled with change lately. New car. Grad school. And now I only have 3 and a half more weeks at my job. I gave my notice today. My last day will be April 25th. Then I'm off for all of May. Just golfing and prepping for the big move to Bloomington.

Read More...

March 31, 2008

It's offical (part 2)

This is my new favorite YouTube video


Read More...

It's official

Today I officially declared my intent to enroll in the Ph.D program in the department of chemistry at Indiana University.

Exciting.

Read More...

March 27, 2008

I can't not post this article

I love reading Maureen Dowd's NYT column on Wednesdays.

Read it now.

Read More...

My new car is money

I got to see my new car last night. To be honest, I can't believe I own a car this nice. The guy that found it for me, Scott Wentworth, did an awesome job. Basically he saved me about $5000 compared to what a dealer was selling a similar car for. If anyone is looking to get a car soon, I can definitely give you this guy's number and he will hook it up for you.

I got the insurance today and tonight after work I'll go to DMV to get it registered- assuming 2 hours is enough time to do that at DMV tonight. Then finally I can drive it, er um, learn to drive it. (It's a 5-speed, and as of this posting, I cannot drive a 5-speed). HAHAHA

Hopefully I will have some pics to put up soon.

Read More...

March 26, 2008

I GOT A NEW CAR!!!!

Finally I got a new car. Black 2004 Volvo S60 with a beige leather interior. I can't wait to get home and drive it.




Read More...

I feel like I haven't posted in a million years

It's been a while anyways. 2 weeks. Maybe 3. It's definitely a while for me considering I was posting at least every other day.

Anyways, welcome back to the show.

Lots of things have been going on lately. I recently visited Indiana University for a tour of the department of chemistry. I liked it a lot. Enough that I might decide to go there instead of U of Georgia. The thing that really struck me was how willing Indiana's department was to have me visit on a weekend (Easter weekend at that), have professors in on Saturday for me to meet with, and find students to show me around all day. Professors from UGA won't even respond to my e-mails, and I feel like this is an indicator of what my future would be like there. IU's not bad. There's no doubt that Bloomington is a college town, even though the population is 80,000 not including college students. That's twice the size of East Hartford. Also, if I go to IU I might be able to do the North Carolina beach house thing since the semester starts a week later.

No matter where I go, my last day at this job is going to be April 25th. The day after my birthday, coincidentally. I'm going to spend the month of May getting my shit in order to move out (and without a doubt, playing a ton of golf), then at some point in June, I'm gone. I'm excited to go, but over the past year I've gotten to reconnect with so many old friends. It'll be hard to say goodbye again.

In other news, I am so close to buying a car. In fact, it could happen today, in only a few hours. A guy I know through my mechanic/ semi-uncle (father's brother's wife's brother) is at the East Windsor car auction today. There is a black 2004 Volvo s60 and a color-unknown 2005 Volvo s40, one of which could be mine by day's end. I slept with my fingers crossed because through the auction, I'd be getting either one of these cars at a steal price. I'm just real excited to upgrade from the 1991 Buick Shitbucket. (It only looks like a shitbucket. It runs well for a '91).

That's it for now. I watched a movie last night that I'm considering reviewing, but you'll have to check back later to find out what it was.

Read More...

March 13, 2008

No Country For Old Men: A somewhat complete analysis

Disclaimer: If you haven't seen No Country For Old Men, first of all I'm sorry for you. Go to the movie store and rent it immediately. Second of all, you probably do not want to read this post. I will discuss many important parts of the film including the ending.

Last night I saw No Country For Old Men for a second time, and I have to say that I enjoyed it even more. But before last night, I still thought There Will Be Blood was the better movie. I think I was wrong. No Country is as close to perfection as I think a movie can get, although many people hate the ending for some reason.

The movie opens with Tommy Lee Jones' character, Sheriff Ed Tom Bell, talking about sheriffs-past in different areas of Texas. Many of them didn't carry guns because in those days and places, packing heat wasn't necessary. The camera shows us the gorgeous vistas of West Texas (the movie was mostly filmed in New Mexico). The movie immediately takes on a Western feel. One review I read described No Country as a new school Western, a fitting categorization. It has all the elements of a Western- "the ultimate badass" outlaw in Anton Chigurh; the bareness of the wild west; the gun fight in the empty city streets. The Coen brothers masterfully bring that sense of lawlessness to a time when supposedly there is law and order.

The standard film elements- shot composition, cinematography and editing are flawless. Every image is crisp and beautiful, every transition seamless. For example, early in the film, while Moss (Josh Brolin) is out hunting, he spots a hobbling dog. Cut to the far away shot of four or five pickup trucks with open doors and no people. Cut to Moss at the scene amongst the dead bodies (and a dead dog). Then begin my favorite sequence. Moss starts heading along the tire tracks which you can faintly see amongst the tall grass, cut to him spotting a tree where he believes the man with the money would've stopped, cut to him at the tree, standing over the dead man. From there he is instantly at his car, instantly home, and instantly inside talking to his wife. Not a second is wasted. It's glorious.

This is so crucial throughout the movie. The camera never at any point shows us anything we don't need to see. In the beginning every detail of Chigurh's killing is shown to us, but by the end we know what has happened, and the insignifcant shots of the killings themselves are left out. First Carson Wells (a name directly from the wild west, and also played by Woody Harrelson of all people) is shot on screen, but we aren't even sure he's been shot until the blood starts creeping across the floor towards Anton's feet- the immediate cut to him nonchalantly leaning back and putting his feet up to avoid getting any on his shoes is priceless. In one of the final scenes, Chigurh meets Moss's wife, asks her to call the coin toss, and is then standing outside checking the bottoms of his shoes, indicating that the deed has been done.

So why does this movie have the title it does? Well I think that if you imagine Sheriff Bell as the focal point it makes a lot more sense. The opening scene he tells us that it used to be a real easy life. His demeanor throughout the film emphasizes his old-school attitude. He shoots the breeze with everyone, even when he's trying to get information. When he and his young deputy enter Moss's trailer, the deputy with his gun drawn asks Sheriff Bell why he doesn't have his gun drawn. He says he doesn't need it because he's not going in first. Eventually, Bell does draw his gun, just before he enters the motel room where Moss has been murdered, because he fears Chigurh is lurking inside. I think it is at this moment that Bell realizes that the world of 1980 is too much for him to bear. (Whether Chigurh was inside or not, is debatable. It is possible that the cut of Chigurh hiding behind the door is simply a visualization of Sheriff Bell's thoughts, because when the door opens, it opens all the way to wall and Chigurh is nowhere to be found, but this entire scene is debatable).

The final 20 minutes of No Country appears to revolve around fate. A variation of the line, "a man cannot escape what's coming to him," is spoken several times by numerous characters. It leads up to the final scene in Sheriff Bell's house. He's talking about his dreams. He dreamed of his father, who died at 20 years younger than Bell's current age. I think the dream he describes is a metaphor for death, but more so, the death of the old way of life. The life that he knew.

Read More...

March 11, 2008

My ADD just hit...hard

Wow. I've gone through periods where I couldn't focus, but just now my ADD went into overdrive. I can barely focus on writing this. I'm not sure why but the most work I can get done right now is basically staring at nothing. This is kind of a strange feeling, being acutely aware of my total inability to concentrate on my work right now. So many people want to buy Yankees' tickets. So many people have called me today. I think I'm going to golf soon. Very soon. Like maybe next week. If that happens I will be as happy as two peas in a stapler. Or whatever they say. Wait, I know what they say:

Don't scratch your own back with the hand that wipes your butt. Or is it ass?

Read More...

Steve McQueen invented the bucket seat

Saturday night on my way to Ryan, Rich and Mike's party I picked up Davitt. And wouldn't you know that the first thing Davitt says to me when he gets into my car is, "Steve McQueen invented the bucket seat." If anyone other than Davitt were telling me this I would've thought it was odd. But Davitt is the guy that knows those kinds of things so I've come to expect to hear interesting/bizarre bits of information whenever I'm with him. (Who knows what I'll learn during an entire weekend in Michigan.)

So to make a long story short, I was watching Jeopardy! last night like I always do. Final jeopardy came up. I don't know what the category was but the clue literally baffled me. It was something like, "This actor of the 60's didn't win an Oscar, but he was awarded a patent for inventing a racing style bucket seat."

SERIOUSLY?!

I yelled, "Oh My God! Davitt just told me this the other day!" And of course I remembered it was Steve McQueen.

I immediately determined that this was more evidence to support the Brains-in-a-vat theory of reality. I.e. nothing is real, I'm just making it all up or someone is making it up for me by poking my brain with a stick of some sort. It reminded me of the time that I got that Bazooka Joe comic, and before I had a chance to read the fortune, Jeff snatched it away from me and read aloud, "This is not your fortune."

Why does the world play tricks on me like this?

Read More...

March 10, 2008

You can't make this up

This story in the New York Times today is just too funny. Apparently the state of Montana can marry people through something called double-proxy weddings. The bride and groom don't even have to be there. Instead they just have two random people who accept the vows and say, "I do," a judge, a lawyer and a witness.


Read More...

March 6, 2008

Some more bullshit

I'm getting a new car soon I think. I ran the numbers and i think I'll be able to afford it while I'm at school, making $22K a year. Luckily I'll be in Georgia (most likely) where most things are dirt cheap.

What's the deal with spider solitaire having points? It seems that every time I win, I have a point total in a range of about 200 points, about 1100-1300 points. I don't get it.

I've got some more material for Comedy Night. I hope it happens soon.

Read More...

March 4, 2008

Fantasy Baseball

If you want to be in a fantasy baseball money league, please let me know and give me your e-mail. It is mostly people from Drew but don't hesitate if you're not. We're playing for $40 or $50 probably and the winner will likely get $400-$500. Last year was a lot of fun.

Read More...

Something I don't understand

The lede of the lead editorial in the New York Times today was both poignant and disturbing, but ultimately true.

From San Diego on the Pacific to Brownsville on the Rio Grande, a steel curtain is descending across the continent. Behind it lies a nation so confused and conflicted by its immigration problems that it has decided to wall itself off and wait for things to fix themselves. This country once was a confident global magnet for an invigorating flow of immigrant workers and citizens-to-be. Now it is just hunkering.


The article goes on to say how the building of a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border is utterly ridiculous- which it is. I just don't understand the people who are in this odd group- Conservative Republicans- that is hell-bent on chasing down all the illegal immigrants in America, giving them a firm scolding, and then sending them off to wherever they came from, er, well, anywhere outside the U.S.

The idea of actually removing every illegal alien from this country is sort of amusing. People are missing the point that when they're gone, the country will be a lot less economically productive simply because they are doing jobs that most people don't want to.

Anyways check out the article. I strongly advocate reading the editorial section everyday.

Read More...

March 3, 2008

The mystery of hockey

I thought of a real conundrum of the sports world over the weekend. Isn't it ironic that ice hockey has been the retarded brother of the football, baseball, and basketball in this country forever. Yet America's single greatest sports moment (and single greatest highlight as determined in a completely valid bracket-style tournament of highlights on ESPN) is from a hockey game.

Does that seem weird to anyone besides me?

I'm referring to the 1980 winter Olympics of course. The legendary game known as the "Miracle on Ice." I wasn't even alive in 1980, but the awe associated with that game literally gave me goosebumps as I typed out those words. If you haven't seen Miracle, I think you should.

Read More...

February 29, 2008

Oh God this is funny

This is hilarious

Read More...

Prison Blues

Americans apparently have a prison fetish. Why do I say that? Because more than 1 out of every 100 American adults are in jail. There are more people in American jails than in Chinese jails - 1.5 million- total, and there are 5.5 times as many citizens.

The thing that is most appalling is that 1 out of 15 black people are in jail and even more sickening, 1 out of every 8 black men between ages 20 and 34 are behind bars, and 3.5 times as many black women age 35 to 39 as white women. Last night I was told that there are more black men in prison than in college.

I'm not sure how to interpret this. Is the system that screwed up? I knew it was fucked when I read last year about the population growth of American jails and the overcrowding in them. But seriously, if a black person is 6 times as likely to go to jail than the average American, something is wrong.

Read More...

February 27, 2008

The way Al Pacino says "Fuck You"

It's as distinct as the smell that wafts off a computer nerd who hasn't showered in days. It's like a combination of "Fuck you," and "Fock You," and the way Al rattles it off sounds like FuuUUckk You." It's beau-tee-ful. And he always says it the same way in every movie, and he says it in every movie. God talk about a one trick pony. Guy's whole career is really based on the way he can say "fuck you."

Hearing Al Pacino say fuck you makes me want to go to the mall and buy a black Scarface T-shirt that comes down to my knees, and while I'm walking I'm definitely gonna pick up one of those photoshopped pastel psuedo-drawing portraits. That's real art man.

Anyone remember the old days of MTV cribs when Sisqo said, "You gotta have the Scarface in the DVD collection,"?

Read More...

February 26, 2008

Terri Five-0

There is woman at work named Terri, and very frequently she gets paged over the intercom. some thing like, "Terri five-oh, Terri 5-0." But every time the receptionist says that over the intercom, all I hear is Terry Schiavo. Not the kid from Drew though. The coma lady.

Also sometimes she pages Walter Berk or possibly Berg.

Read More...

My visit to Georgia Tech

If given the chance- i.e. I haven't actually been officially accepted to GT yet- I will be heading there in the fall. Hopefully sooner.

I could tell you about the program, but you probably wouldn't care. The weather was great. 65 and sunny on Monday. They say it gets hot and humid in the summer, but they also tell me you can play golf year round. Count me in.

Hotlanta + Me = Hotlanta!

The prospect of 4 pro sports teams is great. May be I can get Falcons tickets. Maybe I can get Braves tickets. Georgia Tech has an 82,000 person football stadium and a much smaller basketball stadium. All I'm saying is, admit me, and am I'll be in Atlanta ASAP.

Read More...

February 22, 2008

The best movie you've never heard of

It's called Glengarry Glen Ross. Maybe you have heard of it It was a box office megabomb (grossed $10M, cost $12M to make) but was critcally well received. Al Pacino, Kevin Spacey, Jack Lemmon, Ed Harris, Alan Arkin, Alec Baldwin and Jonathan Pryce.
Like what you hear so far?

Glengarry Glen Ross is based on a play by David Mamet, and the movie is a lot like a play on screen. The script is like a gift from heaven, and the actors make it sound like a poem or a jazz concert. Al Pacino is the hotshot salesman with a knack for swindling people into buying property they can't afford. Jack Lemmon is the veteran who's fell on a string of bad luck. Ed Harris plays a rogue emloyee who plots to rob the office. Alan Arkin is more of a straight shooter and a yes-man than anything. Kevin Spacey is the hard ass office manager, and Alec Baldwin is a young executive sent by the company presidents to motivate the sales squad. There isn't a single female character. I think that's supposed to show that it's a man's world or whatever.
Some reviews I read on Netflix say that the film will only be interesting to people who find sales and Wall Street and the like interesting. I couldn't disagree more. Glengarry Glen Ross has as universal of a message as anything I've seen. It's about desparate actions in the face of adversity. It's a movie for anyone who works for a living.

Who am I kidding? I don't know what it's about. I know you you should see it though.

Read More...

February 20, 2008

How Grandma Views the Remote

I found this image on Digg- a great compiler site for internet garbage- the other day. I immediately thought of Grandma being totally baffled by the remote control. This picture has made me laugh uncontrollably.

Last night I was over Jeff's. He was telling me about helping Fleury's mother use a computer. She apparently has never used one. I just got to thinking, what would it be like to not be able to use a computer? Sort of like thinking what it would be like to not be able to read. The mind is a crazy thing, and it seems crazy the older people have such difficulty grasping something as simple as a remote control.

Read More...

February 18, 2008

Crash

It's sad how racist America is, even after all of the trials and tribulations of our country's history. Crash is a movie that emphasizes this, but shows us that with every day we grow a little more as people.

The movie details the lives of numerous people over the course of 36 hours in Los Angeles. A District Attorney and his wife, the trigger-happy LAPD, two carjackers, a convenience store owner, a locksmith, a movie director, their families, and the racial injustices they each face on account of one another. Paul Haggis' direction is really marvelous. He molds each character into full-fleshed human beings from racists and criminals, so mush so that you end up caring about each one of them just as much as the other.

The first day sets up the importance or visibility of race in L.A. Many of the characters appear to be defined by their race. In many cases it seems like these characters' race defines them more than any other aspect of their lives.

At some point during the second day it appears that there is an attempt to turn over a new leaf. Some of them appear to be ready to pay reparations in a way for what they've done wrong. Each character goes through something very personal which is why each person undergoes this transformation.

But just when it appears that all is going to end well, many of them return to their old habits, very much like a battle with an addiction. And it's upsetting because, well, racisim is upsetting.

Somewhere on Netflix someone wrote that the ending is climactic. It isn't. At the end we get the sense that not everyone has changed but we are left with hope. Hope that tomorrow will be a better day for the people in this country. Hope that we can eventually all live together in peace.

Oh almost forgot. Tony Danza makes an epic cameo. Relatively.


Read More...

Charles Barkley...sigh...

I am a huge Charles Barkley fan as in, I think he's hilariously dumb. I just watched this video on YouTube where he is interviewed by CNN about politics.

WTF? Why the hell is anyone interested in his opinion on anything other than basketball or food. Complete video is below followed by my favorite retarded moments.

"I'm rich like a Republican. I've never voted for a Republican. I'm actually an Independent. I supported John Edwards last time."

"Whoever the president is, he's gonna have tons of advisers. It ain't like the president get to make decisions on his own."

"The word 'conservative' makes me stick to my stomach."

"I'm gonna vote Democratic no matter what!"

Charles: I promise you I will run for Governor of Alabama in 2014.
Wolf: And when will you run for Governor?
Charles: Explains rules for being governor of Alabama

"They're not supposed to judge people but their the most hypcritical judge o' people we have in this country, and it bugs the hell outta me..."

"They can't do anything to me. I don't work for them."

They should read the part about where they're not supposed to judge other people."

Read More...

February 17, 2008

All-Star Festivities

Fred just told me he thought the Dunk Contest was lame. WHAT?!



Unfortunately this video didn't even show the best dunk, where Howard caught tapped the ball off the backboard with his left hand then dunked it with his right.

Jason Kapono won the 3-point contest. As someone wrote on a message board on ESPN, he'll probably keep playing 10 minutes a game.

I watched about 10 minutes total of the actual game, because Breaking Bad, my new favorite show was on (Sundays 10:00, AMC). I read that LeBron James was MVP. Lame. This is what happens when you let people vote for this stuff. They probably could've just given him the trophy at the beginning of the season.

Anyways, just 30 more games before the NBA is interesting again.

Read More...

February 15, 2008

A post from Ted's blackberry

Ted got gay new blackberry and has been showing it off like a real homo. So now we're in this sweet mexican joint and I decided to post this. Service here is great.

Arriba-derchi!

Read More...

February 14, 2008

Who gives a fuck about an Oxford comma?

Just got the self-titled album by the band Vampire Weekend. Listened to it three times today it's so good. I can't describe how much I love this album. Laid back, melodic. It's great. Get it as soon as you possibly can.




Read More...

February 13, 2008

Semantic Satiation?

You will get it after reading this Wikipedia entry about why "Buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo" is a grammatically correct sentence. Thanks to Baseball Toaster for the link.

Read More...

The past few days I've watched too many movies

A Sunday followed + being home sick on a Monday = lots of movies watched.

On Sunday I watched Stand By Me. I was expecting a little more because in 10th grade Dave Deyette told me it was his favorite movie. Notwithstanding, I thought it was a good flick. Four young boys go on an adventure to find the body of a dead kid who had been hit by a train. The acting by the young stars was way ahead of their years. River Phoenix, Corey Feldman, Jerry O'Connell and Will Wheaton were magnificent. John Cusack and Keifer Sutherland also have roles, and I think the face of Jack Bauer really kept me from loving this movie. I just couldn't get over the fact that even as a kid, Keifer Sutherland only played badass characters. Anyways great movie. See it.
Monday morning I watched Carlito's Way, starring Al Pacino as a Puerto Rican ex-gangster Carlito Brigante, fresh out of jail and looking to right his path and stay clean. But at every corner his past was haunting him, trying to drag him back into a life of crime. Sean Penn is terrific and nearly unrecognizable as Carlito's coke-head lawyer Dave Kleinfeld. Penelope Ann Miller plays Carlito's former lover Gail, he desperately wants what Carlito wants, a clean life free of drugs, violence and crime. One scene that reveals so much of their past and foreshadows his future involves Carlito and Gail arguing over why he has to help Dave break one of his clients out of prison. Carlito smashes the bathroom mirror with his hand. Gail helps him wipe the blood away and says, "This is the last time I clean your blood off of you." Viggo Mortnesen's very brief role was great as well. Another "See it."

I slept about 3 hours Monday afternoon and then watched Super Size Me, the documentary of Morgan Spurlock's 30 day McDonald's binge. I wanted to puke so much watching him eat all that garbage. It made a lot of points about how dastardly the food industry is (I work in it), how despicable the lobbyists are, and about how America's kids eat so poorly in school. Not to mention how fat Americans are. You can't help but cringe when the images of women's cellulite-infested asses are shown. Barf. See it.

Finally last night I watched Misery. Kathy Bates was horrifying, even more horrifying than her nude scene in About Schmidt. And that was severely fucking disturbing. Her ability to go from sweet to weird to crazy to possessed was incredible. I think I may have prayed for James Caan while I watched. And the scene where she "hobbles" him by bashing his ankles with a sledge hammer made me sweat. See it.

Read More...

Movie Drinking Games

I just found this site that has a pretty huge collection of drinking game rules for many movies

Read More...

February 12, 2008

ESPN, you make my heart cry

Maybe I should've known what I was getting when I decided to rent The Bronx is Burning on Netflix. Has ESPN ever made a worthwhile TV show? Of course not, although Archer will try to convince you that Playmakers was good (haven't seen it yet). But then again, who wouldn't love a show where the main character is a pain-killer-addicted Omar Gooding. Yes Omar Gooding from Wild and Crazy Kids.
Really the only reason I liked The Bronx is Burning is because it was about the Yankees. Other than that, the show was trash. 8 episodes is too little time to cram that whole year into, especially when way too much time is being spent on Son of Sam and NYC mayoral elections. I was so happy when they finally caught David Berkowitz, because it meant that some air time would actually be devoted to the 1977 baseball season.

What really upset me, which I know is classic ESPN fashion, was the hideous use of authentic footage at all the wrong times. It's OK when you are showing scenes of people looting stores during the blackout of 1977, but it's not OK when you want to put Daniel Sunjata (as Reggie Jackson) on top of scenes of fans in the stands. It made the whole thing look a lot less authentic. Which leads me to my next point. Why were there some moments when it appeared that the video editor had used Microsoft Movie Maker in order to [poorly] make the video quality look old and worn, and other times when the quality looked like The Revenge of the Sith, THX Lucasfilm shit? Bush League.
The show is about the tumultuous bizarro love triangle of Billy Martin, Reggie Jackson, and George Steinbrenner. Unfortunately, none of the other team members were developed enough. There were many hints at possible side-plots, but none of them were ever seen through.

Argh. I was incredibly disappointed by this. I rated it three stars on Netflix only because I love the Yankees. Maybe I would've appreciated it more if I'd lived through it.

I geuss we'll just throw this one in the bargain bin with the likes of Tilt and that movie about Dale Earnhardt.

Read More...

The 50th Post

This is the 50th Post. Yea!

Read More...

The Office vs. The Office

I've seen all 12 episodes of the original, BBC version of The Office, all of what was made besides the 2-hour special that came out after the series ended, and I've seen about 85-90% of the episodes of the American version. The American version is probably one of my favorite shows to date. Pity only half of this season's episodes have been made.

Pretty much everyone knows that the American version was based on the UK version, and the pilot for the American was created directly from an episode of the British. Despite their similarities, the shows are immensely different.

First off, the British wit of the UK version of the Office is what I would typically expect from the Britons: dry. There were plenty of times when I wasn't even sure if I was supposed to laugh at something. A lot of the punchlines are muttered and if you aren't paying close attention, you might miss something. On the other hand, the NBC version is mostly up-front jokes, obviously because the Brits are a much smarter breed than us.

The UK version and the American version (first three seasons) more or less have the same storyline. The UK version is about 40 episodes less however. This comes at the expense of side character development (where are the Creeds and Stanleys of the BBC version) and pop-culture references. These are some of the most important aspects of the American Office.

The UK version is much more awkward, and in a way, painful. The boss, David Brent played by Ricky Gervais is incredibly lost. Much like Michael Scott in the American version, he is offensive to almost everyone and yet totally unaware of it. David Brent though, is almost never lovable like Steve Carrell's character. Most of the time I wanted to punch him in the face, to put him out of his misery and to spare the sanity of everyone else.

Garreth Keenan, the British equivalent of Dwight Schrute is pretty hilarious.
I guess he's a more believable character than Dwight. I mean, I don't think a person like Dwight exists, at least not as a part of the work force. Garreth's sexual innuendos lack any innuendo. He is blatant and stupid and the result if pure comedy. One instance is at the bar one night after work. Garreth has been making out with some woman all night, and eventually he asks who the chap is theat's been staring at them the whole time. The woman says it's her husband and they want to bring Garreth home. Garreth's response is pure gold and I will paraphrase: "No way. Maybe if it were two women but definitely not two guys." GENIUS!And that smirk that David Brent has on his face the whole time is pretty creepy.

The American Office has one vitally important thing that the British Office doesn't: Jenna Fischer. Sorry UK, Dawn is gross. Pam is hot.

If I had to pick one, my completely biased decision would be the American version, but that might just be because that's the one I watched first and came to love.



You can read all about the history of the show on Wikipedia.

Read More...

February 11, 2008

This man's name is Max Irving

I was talking to Max last night about how LA is. He told me he met Tim Robbins and Susan Sarandon, and that now he's going by Max Irving, so if you see him in a movie someday and then see his name is Max Irving, laugh at him.

I think it's bloody hysterical

Read More...

February 10, 2008

I finally got to ski

I went skiing with Matt yesterday at Ski Sundown in New Hartford. I've wanted to go skiing since last winter, and it was the first time I've been since I snowboarded on a ski trip in 8th grade.

I am incredibly, but not surprisingly, sore today.

Skiing was so much fun. I actually wasn't too bad and for the most part felt really in control. I spent a good amount of time on the bunny slopes and after I did that a few times without falling, I went up to the summit for a litter green circle action. The trail was mostly flat until the end when it got really steep. I tried that steep part 5 times over the course of the day and sadly never made it down without falling at least twice.

I'm excited to go again. If anyone wants to go, let me know and we'll hook it up.

In unrelated news, when I got home I ordered Chinese for dinner and paid the delivery man from Momo-Taro with $4 in change. HAHA.

Type rest of the post here

Read More...

February 8, 2008

Mitt Romney: Republican Party savior?

Yesterday Mitt Romney...

Wait a second. What the hell kind of a name is Mitt? He must be a Mor-mung. His son's name is Tagg which is equally weird. His father's name is George which is a pretty normal name.

Anyways, yesterday Mitt Romney gave the Republican party a huge leg up on the Presidential election by throwing his hat out of the ring into the stands like the Rock right before delivering "The People's Elbow." That's right, Big Mitt is out of the race. Now John McCain is the Republican nominee-apparent unless Tenet can gather some support for Ron Paul by publicly announcing their endorsement. Just remember, Ron Paul is a psychopath.

This move could potentially be terrible for the Democrats. Obama v. Hillary has a long course to run before we even have any idea who will be the nominee. For the time being, McCain will be like a baseball bat-wielding maniac attacking babies in the nursery ward of an empty hospital. Totally unopposed, he will be able to bludgeon them like Rudy Giuliani bludgeoned the poor.
Conservatives hate John McCain because he's too moderate. But don't think that Rush Limbaugh and Ann Coulter are heading to the polls and voting for Hillary Clinton. I'm hoping that this Democratic race wraps itself sooner than later because the longer it goes, the better the chances are that we'll have Republican in office for 4 more years and we'll be in Iraq for another 10. I'm all for Obama, but I'd rather see Hillary win soon than Obama win in August. I think there's a better chance for a Clinton/Obama ticket than an Obama/Clinton ticket anyways, even though I'd like Obama/Richardson the best I think.

Read More...

February 7, 2008

2 hours and 45 minutes of my life spent scratching my head

This is really what I was doing most of the time while watch Once Upon A Time In the West last night. First of all the move was way too long. So much of it was spent in a silence, characters making very slow, subtle movements. Suspense that never paid off.

I didn't have the foggiest idea what was happening almost any of the time. The plot was very complicated, so much so that even by the end, you don't really have a clue of why any of what you just watched happened.

The only redeeming quality was the epic scenery (most of the film was shot in Arizona and Texas I believe).

I wouldn't recommend this unless you are a Westerns buff. If you are, please recommend some for me.

Type rest of the post here

Read More...

February 6, 2008

As far back as I can remember

I saw Goodfellas last night. I'm pretty sure I was the last person on the planet to see it. I'm not even going to review it because everyone has already seen it. I feel like a great weight has been lifted.

Read More...

February 5, 2008

Super Tuesday

Today's been a crazy day. I've never felt so down at work. Since I woke up this morning, it's been like a huge weight has been pressing down on me. I've had no energy all day and I've felt extremely pessimistic. The weight's name is Watson Inc. I've never felt so much anxiety about this job, and wanted to be here so little. I'm sick of this place. What a massive drain this job has been on me today. I've wanted to leave since around 10 am (at that point I'd only been here for an hour and a half) and the hours have dragged on since then. I can't believe it's only 3:30.

A couple things have happened this week and last week that are making yearn for grad school so much. Last week I spent the majority of the week using a make-believe test to determine a certain something of a certain something. Monday, half my work had been erased from my computer and then other half was done (supposedly) incorrectly. Now when i say incorrectly I mean to my boss's liking. What a stickler for details!

I hate this job. If I didn't need the money I don't know what I'd do. I'm just tired of spending all day being miserable about being here. It's not healthy, and it certainly doesn't help me get through the day. I can't wait until April 15th (give or take a few days). My contract at this God forsaken place will be up and I'll know which school I'm going to.

Anyone got any jobs you can give me?

Read More...

February 4, 2008

The best football game I've ever seen

Super Bowl XLII will no doubt go down in history as one of the greatest games of all time. I can only think of one other game, the 2006 Rose Bowl between Texas and Southern California. But that game was missing one crucial factor, defense. Both the Giants and the Patriots played tremendous defense, which probably goes without saying since the score was 7-3 after 3 quarters.

Super Bowl XLII was epic on every level.

So many great stories came out of this game. Eli Manning finally got out of his brother's shadow. The Giants' pass rush was absolutely dominant. The best QB in the NFL struggled. Randy Moss was silenced by a backup. Michael Strahan and Amani Toomer finally got their rings. The dreams of 19-0 came crashing down in just 60 minutes.The most overlooked aspect was the great tackling by both teams. How many times did New England run that HB screen to Lawrence Maroney, or a short pass to Wes Welker (who've made names for themselves through their ability to break tackless) only to see it shut down for a short gain? How many times did a Giants receiver make a catch just shy of the line to gain, only to be shut down by Rodney Harrison short of the first down? Tackling is so important in the super bowl because of the level of talent of most of the offensive players. Maroney was able to run wild on San Diego and Jacksonville but the Giants held him to just 36 yards on the ground. It was plays like Sam Madison's shoe string tackle on Kevin Faulk that were such a huge factor.

Tackling is what won the game for the Giants, especially tackling Brady in the backfield 5 times.

When the Pats had the ball with 4 minutes to go and threatening to score I thought the game was over. I thought the Giants were going to have to use all their timeouts before the Pats did the inevitable and put it in the endzone. Even when the Giants took over with 2:30 to go, I didn't think they'd pull it off, until the play of the game happened. I'm not sure which end was more spectacular, Eli evading five guys, and staying on his feet long enough to get outside the pocket, or David Tyree's insane catch using only one hand and his helmet.
I'm glad the Giants won. I'm glad the Patriots lost and their perfect season went down the shitter. More than anything, I'm glad I got to watch an amazing football game.

P.S. I didn't really care for Tom Petty. I'm a fan by all means, but I thought he was boring and unoriginal.

Read More...

Your favorite Super Bowl commercials

Which Super Bowl commercials were your favorites? Mine were:

The Audi ad with the scene straight out of The Godfather introducing this incredibly sexy Audi.

The Planters cashews commercial with the unibrow chick who with the cashew fetish.

A Saab commercial (possibly Audi) with a screaming squirrel, Alice Cooper, and Richard Simmons.

E-Trade had that one with this vomiting baby.And I can't forget that Victoria's Secret ad with this sexy lady.

Post your favorites here.


Read More...

February 3, 2008

Hate to say I told you so...

...but I told you so.

The best offensive line in the game was manhandled.

The best QB in the game was outplayed.

The best coaching staff in the game was outcoached.

The best team won.

Read More...

Balloon creations

This site is awesome. Pictures of awesome balloon creations like a clown makes. My favorites are the Snow White costume and the thing with all the hands.

Read More...

The Third Hike

Jeff put a link to this video in a recent comment and I thought everyone should see it.

Read More...

February 1, 2008

"Care for a little necrophilia?"

If you've seen 12 Monkeys, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, or Monty Python, you've seen something made by Terry Gilliam. I had no clue who he was until about 5 minutes ago. If you haven't seen Brazil, you are missing out. It's a dark comedy about a dystopian future society filled with red tape and bureaucracy.

Man seems to have lost all sense of responsibility. Every action is determined by a strict set of rules and paperwork - which of course must be filled out in the proper manner. In society's quest to perfect living, they have seemed to only make things more error prone, but the characters refuse to believe that mistakes are possible. One error, caused by a bug falling into a printing press of sorts actually leads to a man's execution. People only seem to be held accountable for maintaining inconsequential pleasantries.

People are terrified by the threat of terrorist attacks, but explosions are so commonplace people don't seem to mind them. My God, there were so many explosions. Steve and I hypothesized that the producers had money left over in their budget and decided to blow some shit up.

The main character, Sam Lowry, played by Jonathan Pryce, is an aimless member of this society. He's content with his mid-level job with the Ministry of Information, and isn't inspired to become anything. His only dreams are the ones he has while asleep, but these start to blend with real life and eventually become his real-life aspirations.
It's a pretty typical post-modern society like 1984 or The Matrix where everything is run by a central entity. It also reminded me of Fight Club. Lowry's hopes to escape the monster that is Brazil requires him to reject all of the systematization and documentation in order to escape and find out the truth about himself.

It's one of those movies where you really have to think a lot. Everything is symbolic in some way, and analyzing all of it while keeping track of myriad characters can be daunting at times. It is almost a good idea to pause it a couple times to discuss what the hell has been happening.

Robert DeNiro has a bit part as a renegade heating engineer. Boivin and I found ourselves yearning for more of him.I loved it because it made me laugh, and left me thinking. I would recommend it to most people.

Read More...

January 31, 2008

When "moments" are not actually moments

Some mornings before I leave for work I pop on ESPN2 to watch Mike and Mike for about 10 minutes. I used to listen to them much more, but slowly became totally fed up with their, as Jeff put it, forced chemistry. Not to mention they are both idiots.

This morning they were doing a countdown list of the Top 25 Super Bowl Moments. These two love talking about lists because it makes them feel like real sports experts. So they're going through number 6-10. Scott Norwood missed that field goal. Jackie Smith dropped the EASY TD pass in the endzone. John Elway's helicopter manuever.

And then they get to "John Riggins rushes for 166 yards." OK, the first three I mentioned were moments. Plays. This one was over the course of an entire game. And it made me realize that whoever's writing this shit for ESPN has mushed bananas for brains.

Saying John Riggins rushing for 166 yards is one of the great Super Bowl moments is like me saying Kindergarten was the greatest moment of my life. I understand that 'moment' can mean many things. But let's be serious here.

Something else that pisses me off in much the same way is on Sundays or Mondays or whatever day, when Chris Berman does his Top 10 plays. Half of the "plays" are entire games, and he just sits there and screams "WHAAP" in a pitch that no man should be able to reach.

I'm sick and tired of ESPN. Most of their programming is horrible. If there were other options I'd probably explore them, but I can't deal with the piss poor video quality of Fox Sports Network. Just wait til the day that ESPN has the rights to the Super Bowl! It's not enough that they took MNF. In reality, it's no better than the NFL Network, except that most households already have cable and thus ESPN.

Read More...

Van Buren Boys

Jeff just reminded me of one of the greatest punk bands ever from East Hartford, The Van Buren Boys. We had three songs, two of which were just covers. The other was an original. The performance was taped by Sarah Hut-Hut-Hikeler, and it took place in my basement at my 17th birthday party. The concert was totally impromptu and featured full sets by While Preparing Dinner Edna Accidentally Opened Up a Can of Whoopass and Robot Clean.

That was the best birthday party ever.

Read More...

January 29, 2008

I'm writing a book

It's called How to Waste 10 Minutes of Your Life.

The only page will say, "Ask my boss any question."

I have now lost all motivation to get anything done today.

Read More...

Why the Giants will beat the Pats

M-O-M-E-N-T-U-M. The Giants have it. If I had to name two NFC teams that I thought had a chance of beating the Pats before the playoffs started, I would've said Dallas and Green Bay. Guess what. The Giants just beat them both back-to-back.

So far no one I know has said they thought the Giants have any chance of winning Super Bowl XLII. As a matter of fact, Boivin said with full conviction that no only do they not have a chance, but they are going to get blown out. I disagree.

On paper, New England is no doubt the best team. Best QB, best WR core, 4th ranked defense, arguably the best coaching, and a beast of a RB. No question there. They're 18-0, he first team ever to start a season that way, and probably one of the three best teams in the history of the NFL.

But the game is played on the field.


It's just plain stupid that the Pats are favored by 12 points.

The G-Men have all the components that a team needs to win a Super Bowl, but more importantly, to beat the Patriots: A killer pass rush anchors a defense that has been playing so tight. A terrific running game featuring the biggest, bruisingest RB in the NFL and a speedy, home-run hitting rookie. Receivers that have taken advantage of some of the NFL's best pass coverages.

And Eli's been playing pretty well too.

There's a good chance I'll end up eating these words, but there's a good chance that I'll be right too. And although it doesn't really matter, I'm always glad when I see on the Bottom Line on ESPN that only 59.5% of "Sports Nation" thinks the Patriots will win.



Read More...

January 28, 2008

A day of movies

Yesterday I saw two very different movies. The first was Rescue Dawn, the Werner Herzog-directed Vietnam feature, starring Christian Bale as a U.S. bomber pilot turned P.O.W. The second was There Will Be Blood, nominated for eight academy awards including best actor (Daniel Day-Lewis) and best picture. I loved both.

Rescue Dawn was great because very rarely does a movie evoke such a wide array of emotions at their extremes. Happiness and grief, sheer terror and anger. Christian Bale is fantastic and inspiring, and Steve Zahn is equally wonderful as a prisoner-gone-mad.

There Will Be Blood was one of the most amazing movies I've seen this year. I mean in the past year, not in 2008. I've pretty much seen 3 movies in 2008.

Danieal Day-Lewis was amazing. His character, Daniel Plainview is a heartless and ruthless (without Ruth, my grandmother) businessmen with an incredible mustache. It reminds me of Citizen Kane, whose title character, Charles Foster Kane is obsessed with his material possessions. But Kane longs for Rosebud, his youth, which is not a part of Plainviews' M.O. in the least. Plainview only desires for more. More wealth. More land. More oil. And at any expense.

Day-Lewis's portrayal is stunning. He creates a character who on his facade is an honest man who prefers "plain speaking," and often, Day-Lewis makes us believe that. But so often we see Plainview go to great lengths, including personally humiliating himself in front of a congregation. This was one of the most poignant scenes, although it was hilarious. Plainview agrees to be baptized. He accepts the blood of Christ and admits to abandoning his son. At no other point in the film do we believe that Plainview is being fully truthful, but we come to find out otherwise. Daniel Day-Lewis's ability to make his character seem honest and dishonest, good and evil, all at once is remarkable.It can't go without saying that the film's original soundtrack, composed by Jonny Greenwood (the guitarist from Radiohead), is paramount. At the opening it is overly cacophonous, giving the impression of impending doom. Throughout Blood, the music makes us feel as if we are constantly building towards something, with great tension. At points, the soundtrack is so crucial that without it, we might not even get a sense of what is coming. It's an inner monologue of sorts, because without it, we would only be seeing Plainview's strictly-business front.


There Will Be Blood is not only about Plainview's thirst for fortune. His foil, Eli Sunday played by Paul Dano (who is originally from CT) is a young man interested in spreading the word of God and using Plainview to help procure money for his church. In their final showdown, Paul Thomas Anderson (who also wrote and directed Magnolia which I highly recommend if you can spare 3 hours) reveals to us what he thinks of human nature: that we are all, even the holiest among us, are greedy, self-indulgent beings.

I couldn't help but draw parallels between this movie and the 21st century world. There are obvious notions of America's ravenous thirst for oil, which many people have at one time or another thought was the reason we are fighting a war in Iraq. (I don't know what the real reason is. I don't think many people do). There are parts that seem to symbolize the war between religions, and the pressing of religion on the people, as the U.S. government seems to do more and more these days. If I had to guess, I would say that Paul Thomas Anderson is a liberal.

I've now seen 3 of the 5 films nominated for best picture, and am hoping to see the other two, Michael Clayton and Atonement, this week. At that point, I just might do a Best Picture post, but the three I've seen, No Country for Old Men, Juno, and Blood, have all been great. See all three if you haven't.

Read More...

One of the best written news articles I've read in some time was in the New York Times today.

You can read it here.

UPDATE: I was wondering why this post looked funny and realized it has no title.


Read More...

January 26, 2008

Tennis players must love God

Have you ever watched tennis? OK probably not. Well just to give a brief background, tennis is a sport that was created by Welsh farmers in the 16th century that were trying to herd sheep.

But, what I really want to talk about is that inevitable moment at the end of a match, usually the finals of a tournament. You know where I'm going. Immediately after the last point, the victor, in a moment of pure bliss and happiness drops to his knees and screams/ cries/ masturbates.

Andre Agassi probbaly thinking about how much he loves Canon cameras


Bjorn Borg


Maria SharpovaMaria again, for good measure.


I mean, it seems to happen at the end of every tournament, Grand Slam or otherwise. Is there a rule I don't know about? I just happened to see the highlights from the Australian Open final on Sports Center and needed to ask the question.

I think if I were in such a position, I would maybe lay down and make a snow angel or something. Or maybe I'll just start dropping to my knees in celebration at inappropriate times, like after checking out at the grocery store, or after getting the mail.

Read More...