Ocean’s Twelve (2004, Steven Soderbergh)

Categories: 2004 and Movies.

So, it’s been a while I guess ince I’ve given you an update. Firstly, I’ve been spending a lot of time in Oakville looking after my dad and generally not doing work. I’ve actually been fairly busy and haven’t used the computer much. I guess that partially explains this lack of blogs. I’ve spent my time in Hamilton doing various things. Last night I marked 10 exams on the back porch. Today I marked another 40 or so at school over the course of 8 or 9 hours. Fun!!! But let’s just skip right to the goddmaned point: Ocean’s 12 Read More

Why it’s good when bands break up or have lots of side projects…

Categories: Music.

In the CD player: King for a Day, Fool for a Lifetime by FNM (yes, I know…) I was just thinking, it’s amazing the number of other bands and artists and various other people I’ve been exposed to because of one band I really like. For example: Mr. Bungle I don’t really remember why I first bought their debut album. Certainly, I think I was fairly young. I must have bought it for “The Girls of Porn.” Anyway, not only did the album significantly expand what I thought could be considered music (they’re more chaotic than prog rock…) but I Read More

TV

Categories: 1990, 1991, and TV.

In the CD player: Cult by Apocalyptica I think I have to add Twin Peaks to my list of best tv shows ever. I’m addicted to it. I haven’t seen an episode in a few days and it’s driving me crazy. This despite the fact that I know what happens since I’ve seen the prequel, Fire Walk with Me (possibly the weakest of Lynch’s features…though you may disagree, I think there’s a pretty good case for it). I know who the killer is, though I don’t know what happens after the murder is solved. But I still need to watch Read More

After the Sunset (2004, Brett Ratner)

Categories: 2004 and Movies.

I forgot to tell you that I watched After the Sunset last night, only because my roommate was watching it. The theft scenes were ludicrous. But aside from that it appeared somewhat better than I thought it would be for a while. But, aside from the formulaic plot and the ridiculously unbelievable horniness of the two stars, there was also a tone problem. There is a brief scene of violence that literally comes out of nowhere, because, for the rest of the movie, it’s a crime comedy. I freely admit I laughed at some parts. But that doesn’t make it Read More

New News Channel / Show

Categories: 2005, Journalism, Society, and TV.

We need a new news channel or show. One that ignores the main story everyone else talks about. PBS does their best, but they still mention it on occasion. I guess you’re not doing your job if you ignore a story. I would love to turn in to a news cast and have the announcer say, “In the next 60 minutes, you will nothing about Schiavo except for this one statement…And now: today’s top stories.” God, I’d love that. It’s one fucking human being. People are dying everywhere. FUCK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Now look what I’ve done. I’ve succumbed too!!! Ok, let’s forget I mentioned Read More

Deadwood

Categories: 2004 and TV.

Listening to Black Flag…trying to decide whether to burn it (cuz it’s such an important album) or not (I’m not huge into hardcore, though the song “TV Party” is awesome!). Deadwood is the best TV western I’ve ever seen. Not only that, it’s one of the best TV shows I’ve ever seen. Everything about it is awesome: The characters are all developed and ambiguous (that is to say, they’re like real people not like archetypes). It is the most realistic recreation (that I know of) of the west that’s been on TV. Everything about it, the buildings…the mud. It takes Read More

THX 1138 (1971, George Lucas)

Categories: 1971, Basketball, Movies, and Sports.

Been avoiding work like crazy so I haven’t been on my computer much. Spent the last few days watching March Madness. There have been some awesome games. The other day I was in the 87th percentile in ESPN’s Tourney Challenge, I have since dropped. Got nice and ripped on St. Patty’s day. Acted like a summo wrestler. Watched THX 1138. It has some great ideas in it but it probably would have been much better had somebody other than George Lucas directed it. Most dystopian sci-fi films from the ’70s seem to fit this mold. Not sure I ever saw Read More

The Thin Blue Line (1988, Errol Morris) and Paradise Lost: the Child Murders at Robin Hood Hills (1996, Joe Berlinger, Bruce Sinofsky)

Categories: 1988 and Movies.

Nothing in the CD player because it’s too early. Yes, I’m procrastinating again. (spoilers?) Taking what’s in The Thin Blue Line is much easier when you’re familiar with what happened as a result of the movies’ release. As the saying goes, it is perhaps the only movie to ever reverse a court decision. It obviously didn’t do it on its own, but it started the appeals apparently. Therefore, even though the movie is about injustice and it appears as though nothing can be done, you know (if you’ve read about the movie) that there was eventually a happy ending. (9/10) Read More

The Manchurian Candidate (2004, Jonathan Demme)

Categories: 2004 and Movies.

I usually hate remakes. I usually hate the ideas of remakes. I say to people, “How would you feel if they remade your favourite movie?” Most people say they wouldn’t be happy. And yet we constantly rehash and remake movies. The only movies I think should really be remade are those that had a great idea or two but sucked otherwise. And even then, why can’t we just leave the past alone? And sometimes, I’m just stupid. I thought the remake of Dawn of the Dead was equal to the original (in one respect it was actually better). So sometimes Read More

Deep in the Woods (2000, Lionel Delplanque)

Categories: 2000 and Movies.

In the CD player: Obscured by Clouds the soundtrack by Pink Floyd It’s too bad this movie’s so disappointing overall. The actual title is something like “Promenons-Nous dans les Bois” or something. Anyway, there are some fantastic shots and moments in this movie. You see them and you just think “Brilliant! Another Masterpiece!” like that art that in the Simpson’s episode where Marge paints Burns. Others you chuckle at the greatness. I think I said “I love it” like 8 times. The problem is, the movie’s horrible. The plot is more ridiculous than most teen slashers. The script (or at Read More

Friday night

Categories: 1973, 1979, 2005, and Music.

I’ve given up on my essay for today and I’m drinking “Austria’s Finest Beer” I’ve been listening to Pink Floyd a lot today and I can’t help thinking how great a guitarist David Gilmour is. Yes, there are far better guitarists in terms of say speed or innovation, but I think few rock guitarists rival his tone, aside from Clapton. It’s just ridiculous. And his solos are always exactly what the song / soundscape needs. While I’m on that, despite all The Wall‘s faults, Bob Ezrin is a brilliant producer. If you can fault The Wall, you can because of Read More

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