Wednesday, October 21, 2009

films old and new

Work.. it consumes us, surrounds-- no, that's not how I meant to start. I have been pouring myself into work, a mould I am familiar with: staying late, stressing about deadlines, focused in my coding and procrastination. So many lines have passed through my mind and fingers, but to what end they will achieve is yet to be seen. I am not (yet) proud. I am a little worn.

Movies! Lessee...
  1. Where The Wild Things Are (2009). I liked it. Not for kids, I'd say, though sure they'll enjoy parts. The look of the film is wonderful; I couldn't imagine it done better.
  2. Paranormal Activity (2009). Awesome. Enjoyable. Made me laugh at how good it was. Even now I smile thinking of how masterfully they've managed to tap into fear, to draw it out and run with it. Dude, just go see it.
  3. Some Like It Hot (1959). Pretty funny! Marilyn Monroe, Tony Curtis, Jack Lemmon. I did find that I get uncomfortable watching beautiful women climbing over each other. How very odd.
  4. Bullitt (1968). An incredible, jaw-dropping car chase surrounded by a flimsy plot. The car chase could be the best I've seen.
  5. Adventureland (2009). Entertaining, with plenty of familiar, talented faces. I do find Jesse Eisenberg to be a little too similar to Michael Cera in, well, just about every way except hair. Martin Starr is filling out the "dishevelled-sarcastic-nerd" role quite nicely.
  6. The Queen (2006). A film I'd been meaning to see for a while and finally getting around to. I avoided the hoopla that went on when Princess Di was killed so I learned quite a bit from this film, on top of the insights into the private life of British royalty. I may fail to make it sound interesting but I was surprised to find myself quite liking it.
  7. AGO staircase
  8. Zombieland (2009). Fun. Some gore. Again with the Michael Cera/Jesse Eisenberg thing. Woody Harrelson seems to have been created for his role.
  9. The Graduate (1967). I liked the film, but I'm not sure I understand its impact on American film. Perhaps a second viewing is called for. I did find Ebert's two very different reviews (1, 2) to be quite insightful into what I might be missing. It is pleasant to hear so much Simon and Garfunkel.

What else.. oh, some dude broke into my neighbour's car. I'd always thought of our back alley to be quite safe from such acts. I surely hope this is not a sign, that it's merely a blip to be soon forgotten.

And... I've been feeling low, but that's nothing new, ha. Oh that's right; I had a coldsore and those damnable things always bring me down. Such an ego you have, Mr. Wolf. OH YEAH and I went to the AGO. On a Saturday, no less. But I went in the morning, before the crowds had time to accumulate and choke up the floors and doorways. I quite enjoyed it, the new architecture quite fine to behold, quite fine.

Monday, October 05, 2009

Nuit Blanche, odd hours, lots of movies

This year's Nuit Blanche was marred by large crowds and mundane exhibits. Is it my old man syndrome speaking thus? It's how I feel and I am certain that there are some who feel the same as I do. Certainly the size of the throngs cannot be disputed; I believe this year attracted the largest numbers yet. It wasn't all bad, I guess, but my dislike of line-ups was taken to its limit Saturday night.

Sunday I stayed in, having gone to bed near 6 AM and getting up around 4 PM, groggy with a broken Circadian rhythm. I watched the first season of Party Down, an excellent new comedy. The next following I woke up feeling awful and was plagued with a malaise I had not felt in ages: a decidedly colitis-like sensation, only without the sharp abdominal pain. I plan to retire by 11 so that my body can get some extra rest.

I guess I've watched a few other films since I last wrote, including:
  1. Wet Hot American Summer (2001). It has quite the who's-who cast in comedy, and the movie is very funny though its wackiness may put-off some. My personal favourite scenes: when Garofalo's character makes Paul Rudd clean up his mess, the trip to town, anything with the crazed cook, the "new way" training.
  2. Vertigo (1958), which you may be surprised to know I've never seen. But golly what a movie! It gives me shudders. The intro sequence sends chills up my back. "... he wanted to penetrate to the heart of obsession." I don't want to spoil a drop of this delicious, intoxicating brew should you have the pleasure of seeing it for the first time in front of you. Suffice to say, I envy you.
  3. North by Northwest (1959), another classic Hitchcock film. My enjoyment of this film differs from Vertigo; I found the former haunting while this latter one was simply entertaining. I really only found the soundtrack to be memorable.
  4. The Manchurian Candidate (1962). Intense from start to end. Hasn't aged a bit. I heard the remake was not as good but I will still seek it out for comparison's sake.
  5. Silent Running (1972). I saw this one after it was mentioned to be a source of inspiration for Moon. Slow, with ups and downs but I liked the ending so overall I enjoyed it.
  6. Moon (2009). "'Moon' is a superior example of that threatened genre, hard science-fiction, which is often about the interface between humans and alien intelligence of one kind of or other, including digital. John W. Campbell Jr., the godfather of this genre, would have approved. The movie is really all about ideas. It only seems to be about emotions. How real are our emotions, anyway? How real are we? Someday I will die. This laptop I'm using is patient and can wait." -- Roger Ebert. Me, I loved it.
  7. The Iron Giant (1999). I can't remember why I wanted to see this film. I mean, I recall wanting to see this film back when it came out. I enjoyed the visuals and the art-style. It's a good kids movie, don't get me wrong. I guess I just wanted to satisfy a very old itch.
  8. The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou (2004). Another film I'd meant to see in the theater but was too forgetful to get around to doing. Too forgetful, or maybe just too hermit-like. I liked it a lot! It's a shame it didn't fare better. A fun, quirky film.
  9. The Hangover (2009). Yeah it was funny. I laughed. The best of this movie? Discovering Zach Galifianakis: that dude is hilarious.
  10. All Quiet on the Western Front (1979). I watched this by accident, meaning to see the original 1930 version. This remake was fairly ho-hum.
  11. Role Models (2008). Funny with a flash of heart, as these Rudd/Apatow films are.
  12. Forgetting Sarah Marshall (2008). Also funny, but I've never found Jason Segel to be all that amusing.

I actually saw those last two some time ago but I neglected to mention it at the time.

I said I would go to bed soon but I lied, it would seem. Typing these things up takes time! Well folks, I guess that's it for now. I had also wanted to talk about the new Curb and The Office and that new Jason Schwartzman show, but I tire of my voice. Later!