The Panama Deception (1992, Barbara Trent)

Categories: 1992 and Movies.

This film is interesting. It’s far from great. It’s not fully coherent and somewhat awkward. But it is revealing in terms of what happened in Panama, and it’s interesting to watch in light of later US foreign policy decisions. I was going to write a far more detailed comment about it but I have since been sidetracked by people on MSN. The bastards! 7/10 My brother wants you to check out this artist: http://www.designboom.com/eng/interview/cattelan.html Also, I read a horrible, horrible paper today. Here is a quote from it: “Hitler performed wonders for the German economy yet today as we look Read More

Hands on a Hard Body (1997, S.R. Bindler) Etc

Categories: 1997 and Movies.

The other day I watched Hands on a Hard Body. It was an awesome movie. Here is the best moment of it: “It’s like a movie that I once saw. It’s called Highlander. In the end, there can only be one.” Why this is funny…no, why this is amazingly hilarious: Until that point in the movie, despite the contest itself, there is still a pretty serious tone. This guy was serious. He didn’t get the quote right, it’s : “There can be only one.” Apparently immortals having swordfights (for some reason I can’t remember) is the same as trying to Read More

House of Flying Daggers (2004, Yimou Zhang)

Categories: 2004 and Movies.

In the CD player: the Georgian Festival Orchestra playing certain works of Mussorgsky (Pictures at an Exhibition, Night on Bald Mountain, and excerpts from Khovanshchina) What do I say about House of Flying Daggers? From what I can gather (and I have to admit right away that I have not seen enough period kung fu movies to really judge, but whatever), this movie is a bunch of cliches put together with a pretty incoherent story and some really bad editing (at the end…I won’t ruin it). Also, personally I’m getting a little tired with the wires. I know it’s fantasy Read More

Hotel Rwanda (2004, Terry George)

Categories: 2004 and Movies.

Well, I don’t want to get into too big a discussion about genocide because I will reveal how little I do for most of the human race. So, let’s take as our starting point that I’m a selfish asshole who helps allow people to die in far off places but isn’t phased by that very much. Hotel Rwanda is good film. It’s not, however, an absolutely great film. Now there are many good things to say about it so I’ll focus on the few bad things. This is just nitpicking. Possibly some spoilers within. You’ve been warned. Firstly, the story. Read More

Gross

Categories: 2005, Books, and Fiction.

By the way, if you want to read something extremely gross, check this out: http://www.seizureandy.com/stuff/guts.html Disclaimer: this is about the creative ways teenage boys try to get off and the consequences thereof. If that bothers you, don’t read. And like I said, it’s gross! So if you don’t like gross stuff, don’t read. Don’t blame me for you being upset. Read More

A Day Without a Mexican (2004, Sergio Arau)

Categories: 2004 and Movies.

In the CD player: disc 3 of the Velvets boxed set (includes White Light/White Heat album) I love mockumentaries. I think, when they’re done well and on some fairly original topic, they can be absolutely fantastic. Spinal Tap and Series 7 are just two great ones I can think of off the top of my head. Sometimes, though, they are horrible. A Day Without a Mexican is a case in point. This movie starts off with a pretty fantastic premise. All the hispanics (not just the Mexicans) in California disappear. A less fantastic part involves a badly done fog that Read More

Saturday…for lack of a better title

Categories: 2005 and Personal.

In the cd player: nothing, it’s too early I was planning on catching the 9:37 bus. Apparently my mom wants to come pick me up. This changes things substantially. I could have slept in. Oh well. I had no intention of going out last night. But I did. So why? Because Jenny’s friend, who’s been here twice before, was up and I have to say that I find her somewhat attractive. The way I’ve behaved around her in the past hasn’t been great either…I sat with her at a football game last semester and spent ages talking to the guy Read More

The Black Cat (1934, Edgar G. Ulmer)

Categories: 1934 and Movies.

In the CD player: nothing…but I’m listening to Faith No More’s cover of Burt Bacharach’s “This Guy’s in Love.” I just bought Peel Slowly and See, the Velvet Underground’s boxed set for only $50, tax included. I’m super happy. Even though I really shouldn’t have spent the money. Watched The Black Cat. It’s pretty crazy for its time (1934). There are some cool angles and cuts. The hero isn’t really all good. Interesting but not for anyone who doesn’t like 1930s movies. 8/10 Guess I don’t have much to say about anything right now. Reading Week has basically started (though Read More

Cross of Iron (1977, Sam Peckinpah)

Categories: 1977 and Movies.

It’s because of movies like Cross of Iron that, when I find a director I think is interesting, I try to watch all his movies, even those that don’t have good reputations. In the CD player: Wheels of Fire by Cream…listening to the live part. The first two tracks are great, the second two suck. What to say about this movie? I don’t know…”Wow.” The opening credit sequence is the best he’s ever done. The acting, I think, is uniformly good to great. But the movie’s a mess. And somehow it works. Sure, there’s the cliche dialogue…a fair amount of it. There Read More

Valentine’s Day & The Corporation (2003, Mark Achbar, Jennifer Abbot)

Categories: 2003, Movies, and Personal.

In the CD player: nothing cuz it’s far too early. I watched The Corporation yesterday. Interesting and entertaining documentary. I don’t necessarily agree with the filmmakers about everything, but it was worth watching. Personally, I don’t think direct democracy will help us much (it will certainly make it harder to protect rights.). It seems to me a major problem is the definition of a corporation as a person. Another issue is making life property. Anyway, I’ll leave it to the anti-globalization activists to discuss. The consistent ones. If I haven’t mentioned this before, people who scream about corporations but buy Read More

Things

Categories: Personal.

My computer pissed me off last night. So far I’m okay with it today. Maybe not my computer. Rather certain things that happened with my computer (whether it was to blame or not). In the CD player: Kind of Blue by Miles Davis. I’m on a jazz kick. Had some Coltrane on last night. This morning, Dave Brubeck. Life is good. Today I’m gonna try and do some more reading. But certain movies may become available and then reading will become less of a priority. I’ve decided today should be the day I try to make a pickle brine based Read More

Code 46 (2003, Michael Winterbottom)

Categories: 2003 and Movies.

In the CD player: nothing…I’m trying to make some kind of unholy dill-cream soup. Eww. Code 46 is a frustrating movie. There are a number of fantastic, possibly even brilliant ideas in it. For example, the way languages have blended into one. Yes, that one is English but the director and writer are English to. Get over it. The fact is, I believe this is a realistic approach to the evolution of our languages in the future (if you don’t know what I’m talking about, I’m sorry…I don’t feel the urge to be more specific). The near future is a conceivable Read More

Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia (1974, Sam Peckinpah)

Categories: 1974 and Movies.

In the CD player: Live at the BBC by (Peter Green’s) Fleetwood Mac. People only seem to know the famous, crappy Fleetwood Mac. It’s a shame since they were originally a fantastic band. It’s good to hear them live. I wish Canadian radio featured live or recorded live performances. It would be cool. They’re pretty eclectic on this set, though it does collect performances over the course of three or four years. I watched Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia yesterday. This is a film that many people have said is shit while Ebert has maintained it as a Read More

Unions

Categories: 2005, Personal, Politics, and Society.

Firstly, the party went very well. In the CD player: Help some charity album that some relative bought for me. Haven’t listened to it in ages, thought I’d give it a go. It’s various artists (all English I believe). I was at the union meeting last night. I was so angry at the end that I probably spent a total of two hours ranting to four different people about it on the phone. I don’t really talk on the phone. To begin the meeting, I was annoyed that our local had spent only 11 hours in conciliation. However, I was Read More

The American Friend (1977, Wim Wenders)

Categories: 1977 and Movies.

Just watched The American Friend. I didn’t realize this, but Ripley’s Game that movie with John Malkovich that didn’t do swell, and the former movie are based on the same book. It’s quite interesting. Wenders doesn’t explain a lot of the backstory and there’s a real sense of randomness, which I think is something not always emphasized in film noirs (it’s often quite the opposite). Dennis Hopper is Ripley and he’s quite different than the one version of Tom Ripley I had in my mind before (Matt Damon). The star is actually German, Bruno Ganz. I’ve seen him in other Read More

Trip (1999) by Chris Colepaugh and the Cosmic Crew

Categories: 1999 and Music.

In the CD player: Trip by Chris Colepaugh and the Cosmic Crew I now remember why I don’t listen to this CD at all…he puts on a good show in a small bar. But wow, he’s so unoriginal it’s not funny. Every bridge or break and most of his lyrics are Beatles, Santana or Zep cliches. Some songs sound directly lifted from classics (the drum solo that’s one of the bonus tracks is pretty much Starr’s solo from “The End”). Anyway, he’s just brutal. I’m glad I bought this from them at a show so I feel like it’s charity. Read More

The Assassination of Richard Nixon (2004, Niels Mueller)

Categories: 2004 and Movies.

I saw The Assassination of Richard Nixon last night. It’s a pretty bizarre story based, to some extent, on actual events. A guy tries to kill Nixon by flying a plan into the Whitehouse back in ’74 (or ’73, I don’t really remember). Sean Penn was quite good. But I don’t know if I totally bought the transformation. If it had been a little longer, maybe it would have seemed to make more sense at the end. But in a way, I guess that’s the point. It doesn’t make sense. He’s crazy. I’m revealing too much. Anyway, it was the director’s Read More

Movies

Categories: 1987, 1988, 1994, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, and Movies.

One of the things I did in Florida was watch a lot of movies. Because that’s what you do in Florida when it’s dark and you’ve got crazy American cable with 30+ movie channels. That’s not to say that’s all I did (though this list will give you that impression), but I definitely watched a lot. The pictures of what I did will be up once I get them developed (that reminds me!). Shallow Grave Danny Boyle’s certainly got some interesting movies out there. This is one to check out. I liked how it was so claustrophobic. That is to Read More

I’m angry again!

Categories: 2005, Politics, and Society.

Wow, that’s a relief! What ever could you be talking about, Riley? Well, now that you’ve asked… Firstly, it’s the anniversary of the discovery of one of the death camps (I don’t know which one). People are claiming this latest generation does not know about the Holocaust whereas the WWII generation had said “never again.” So, what about Stalin? We’ve totally forgotten about him and his minions countless times and no one seems to care. While we, on our high horses, we’re pledging “never again” millions of people were dying in Russia. And of course, genocide has occur ed all Read More

Last night, I was slightly ragified

Categories: 2005, Personal, Politics, and Society.

Last night, before I returned my dad’s car to his house (I had it for the past 6 days or so) I found out that the “Mac TAs” had voted in favour of a strike. Yet I do not know the voter turnout (though I know people who “forgot”…people don’t take anything seriously eh?…I mean I’ll joke about this strike thing, make fun of it, but you gotta vote…) and they won’t tell me the percentage of yes votes. That is to say, I don’t know how small a minority I’m in. If it comes down to it, I may Read More

The Village (2004, M. Night Shyamalan)

Categories: 2004 and Movies.

When I think of the Village, I think of the Prisoner. And, in a sense, it’s appropriate. But not really. I tend to think M. Night whatshisname is very overrated and just a little too pretentious for his own good. I generally find his movies to be interesting (in that they’re better and more creative than a lot of other stuff) but bogged down by the occasional pandering and other things. In short, I don’t believe he’s the great film maker some people make him out to be. I have yet to see his pre-Sixth Sense movie(s). So I can’t Read More

Woops!

Categories: 2005, Personal, Politics, and Society.

Holy shit! I totally forgot to tell you about what’s happening! There was a strike vote for the TAs last night (it continues through today and tomorrow)! I went to my first union meeting (for this particular CUPE) and then voted. I voted no. Here are some reasons why: We get paid double our tuition, which is nice. But I believe we are quite overpaid anyway. And I do little actual work. If there are other University employees who need money, maybe we should take a pay cut. Maybe we should take a pay cut to keep some of our Read More

I want to burn Rice, but I won’t…hopefully someone else will

Categories: 2005, Politics, and Society.

Rice’s confirmation hearing is today. She mentioned this “Town Square Test” (the name of the academic she name-dropped is not important, though I would like to give credit to him or her) that determines whether a society is a “fear society” or not. Apparently, an individual enters the town square and speaks his or her mind. If the individual cannot do this because of the use of force or general fear of the threat of force (or other fear I suppose) then it is a “fear society.” What I wish I would do, but I won’t (because I lack the Read More

Random list time!!!

Categories: Movies.

To paraphrase BadBoy, “who’s procrastinating? Nooooooooooooooooooobody!” Sorry, that was really truly weak. I apologize. And yet I can’t guarantee it won’t happen again. Christmas movies that I think are worthwhile watching at Christmas (“But I can’t tell you why…” wow the Eagles suck): A Christmas Story (the GREATEST xmas movie EVER…and it’s Canadian! Go figure!) Scrooged (it’s just a little cheesey but I’ll take it over a lot of other stuff) Those claymation cartoons! Die Hard (possibly the only action movie I can stand watching more than once…well, don’t quote me on that) Black Christmas (possibly the first slasher movie Read More

Um, God, tv sucks…please do something

Categories: 2005 and TV.

God should really do something about the CSI explosion. If he existed, he would not allow it to exist, let alone for it to become this popular. I’ve caught bits and pieces of CSI for a number of reasons. It’s on all the time so it’s hard not to occasionally catch a snippet. Showcase now shows it when I think a movie will be on and I always accidentally tune in. My roommates love it. They really do. One of them insists on watching it every week (though right now she has a night class so she can’t) and the other Read More

A crisis of faith…

Categories: Movies.

Well, not really. The remake of The Lady Killers is a bad movie. I must admit it. The Coens have made a bad movie. I don’t know what to do. I can no longer hold them in such high esteem. Intolerable Cruelty was forgivable because it made me laugh (even if it was nowhere near as brilliant as anything else they’ve done). But this latest effort is just crappy. Yes, there was the odd funny moment. But, to paraphrase someone I read on the net today, Hanks just shows off…and it gets really annoying. Yes, he can fully get into this character Read More

The Eve of Christmas Eve or Xmas Eve Eve…

Categories: Movies.

I don’t really know. It’s one or the other. Maybe. A parental figure of mine is listening to Easy Rock. Surprised I haven’t pulled an Xmas suicide yet. Bad Dreams was a a major waste of money. It’s more a “psychological horror” movie than a horror movie. And it blows. It blows goats. Oh it sucked. The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension was pretty awesome. Not quite as awesome as it sounds but definitely fun. Lots of fairly famous people in it too: Peter Weller, Ellen Barkin, John Lithgow, Jeff Goldblum, Christopher Loyd, Dan Hedaya and a Read More

We care a lot…

Categories: Music.

Just had to mention…”Do They Know it’s Christmas?” or whatever the hell it’s called is the worst song ever!!! The hypocrisy of it is just maddening. I bet the line Bono sings “Well thank God it’s them instead of you” could only have been sung by him because no one else is that self-righteous. I’m not usually a pre-Mike Patton FMN fan but their parody / attack of “Do They Know it’s Christmas?” and other celebrity aid songs, “We Care a Lot,” is worth listening to. As much as their old lead singer (Chuck Mosley I think) wasn’t very good, Read More

More movies, more movies, more movies

Categories: 2004 and Movies.

So I went to rent Shaun of the Dead and it’s only on DVD. No player in this house. Rats. Watched: Far From Heaven which was decent but I don’t have enough of an appreciation for classic Hollywood melodramas to truly get it.  The General which was awesome and I highly recommend it! John Boorman (Point Blank, Hell in the Pacific, Deliverance, Excalibur, Hope and Glory) directed it. That guy kicks ass. It stars Brendan Gleeson (who I have been known to confuse with Ray Winstone on occasion) and it is truly fantastic. The Irish accents take a few moments Read More