Sunday, August 26, 2007

Movie: Spider-Man 2.1

I can see why it was widely considered the best "comic book" movie ever.
I just don't quite share the conclusion.

Yes, well done in all ways. ...yet, the long periods of eliciting sympathy for poor ol' Peter Parker, loser extraordinare, coupled with the over-the-top bad guy's invention, just made for an enjoyable couple hours I'd rather have spent watching something else.

Movie: Lord of War

Serious guy movie: weapons & business. Lots of weapons, business at all costs.

Sociopolitically, it's both pro- and anti-gun, depending on what the eye of the beholder chooses to see. I saw a lot of bad guys being armed, and will become armed regardless of laws, versus a lot of good people who need arms as their last chance to stop the progression of evil.

Movie: Speak

Heavy teen drama about rape and openness. Pretty well done and viscerally satisfying, but probably not what you're looking for when picking a movie. Unless that's your thing.

Movie: I'll Sleep When I'm Dead

OK, what is it about modern British action dramas that are really slow on the action part? and really dreary on the drama part? I can't say this tale of a gent finding his brother's murderer is, well, er, bad exactly, but c'mon - an awful lot of time is spent mulling over awful, mundane truths. Maybe, on reflection, it is actually quite realistic & believable ... which isn't necessarily what paying audiences are looking for.

Movie: One Night with the King

The Biblical story of Esther brought to life. Well done, well told.

Few movies are good enough for me to see more than once. This I did, in short order.

Movie: How to Make an American Quilt

This "American quilt" is the mixed pieces of old ladies' love stories, blended into a romantic quilt for a young woman seeking her own story. Gentle, sweet, very deeply a chick flick.

Movie: Kingdom of Heaven

Big bold epic about the Crusades and control of Jerusalem. Director Ridley Scott pulls off another fantastic grand film on the vast scale of Gladiator, Blade Runner, and Alien. Does an excellent job of fairly balancing the competing cultures.

Not for a light amusing evening's viewing.

Movie: Open Season

Hysterical animated tale of a domesticated bear's return to the wild. ...and the wild's difficulty in coping therewith. From story to animation details, all was done surprisingly well.

The river run scene ended with me falling off the couch from sheer overwhelming laughter. It's been a long time since I laughed that hard...

Movie: Out of Africa

Marvelous grown-up love story about a woman who finds herself running a coffee farm in Africa, and the professional hunter who she falls for. Great acting, spectacular photography. A chick flick that guys will appreciate (safaris and struggles in the Veldt).

Movie: Dark Water

Descent into madness. No, it's really not a fun concept to contemplate. Start with a lady finding a new (as in "another", not "fresh") apartment in a bland, mundane, decaying part of NYC. Add a missing girl, ambivalent clues about her existence, a curious child, vandals, and a plumbing leak that won't quit, and let all that slowly push her over the edge. ...or is something supernatural going on? Whatever the truth of the ending, it's not a recipe for a good time.

Doesn't help that the key tragedy in the plot was all too similar to a real-world crime that ended somewhere I worked. Look up Kali Ann Poulton if your morbid curiosity is too much, and you don't mind movie spoilers.

Movie: I, Robot

Good meaty sci-fi high-action flick for when yer in the mood for such a thing.

Not to be confused with the book of the same name by Issac Asimov, which features the same "3 Laws of Robotics", a robopsychologist named Susan Calvin, references to "positronic brains", and a whole lotta pontification about what the 3 Laws really mean in the real world. Really, they're not even close.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Food: Wild Wings Cafe

Jalapeno Cheddar - very pleasant moderate hot (not to be confused with "medium"), with good pepper and cheese flavors. Texture and moisture are very appealing.

Hot-lanta - slightly sweet, nice flavor. Hot. I mean beads of sweat rolling down my face, fight-or-flight visceral aggression inducing, lips swelling, gotta-fight-thru-another hot. Worth the price paid the next morning.

Music: Okie Dokie (The Orb)

After leaning toward pop, The Orb leans back to their nifty off-center, melody-agnostic, found-sound, sleepy-eyed surrealism that I like so much. Pieces are still short, unlike the groundbreaking 40-minute Blue Room that grabbed me years ago.

Listeners expecting melody, harmony, and rhythm should buy other material. This is more like observing a Jackson Pollock and Andy Warhol art exhibit while eating a great big bowl of your favorite ice cream after a really long nap on a sunny afternoon. ...with mosquitoes.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Movie: Pride and Predjudice

The best love story I've seen on film. A little hard to follow due to the fast complex dialog (turning subtitles on helps) - but such is a witty intelligent work. Excellent work all around. Emerging from the social issues, earnest worries, hearts broken and mended, and sheer confusion, it is pervasively funny - few films have kept me chuckling for so long.