Thursday, March 29, 2007

Movie Log 2007 #23-24

There are about ten movies I need to write up.

This Film is Not Yet Rated
- about how the MPAA, a studio tool, generally puts the screws to independent filmmakers. Distributed by Red Envelope, an arm of Netflix -- which itself did away with its "mature" titles years ago and will capriciously pull films from stock. The most interesting revelation to me wasn't even dealt with: the fact that Kirby Dick's appeal board included the head of the Landmark Theatres chain, which specializes in indie/arthouse films. The private investigators seem more competent after listening to the commentary, but the film isn't the expose it wants to be. If you want recommendations of movies with decent sex scenes, this film gives you plenty of options.

The problems of the artists in TFINYR seemed so insignificant after watching The Lives of Others the next day. I still don't know how it stacks up against Pan's Labyrinth, but this was solid and suspenseful throughout.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

"with bubble liquid from his body..."

The recent plodding gravitas of Battlestar Galactica has been so unentertaining that I have the three latest episodes sitting unwatched. And this when the two other shows I keep up with are on March hiatus, so there's less fighting for my time.

I appreciate the show's general competence, but when it's trying to be earnest and about big weighty issues, I simply cannot take it seriously. Not when I've had this earworm ratting around in my head for nigh-on 30 years...

Yay! Happy toy! Happy toy of genocidal toasterbot! Yaaaay!

Sunday, March 11, 2007

One last interview

I'd been sitting on Alma's questions for a while, and had some time yesterday...

1) I really liked your apartment decor- I thought it said "you" all over, and if I had walked in not knowing who lived there, I would definitely have wanted to meet you and your wife. What three things in your apartment best say "Greg," and why?

The movie "posters" -- though the decor is a collaborative effort, I've decorated with various movie items since I was a kid. it's amazing how cheap frames can class up old pics from out-of-date calendars.

The room full of games - I've had a decent-sized collection most of my life, but really grew the stash in the past six years or so, given some leisure time and disposable income.

The clutter - my desks as a kid, my room as a kid, my desk at work-- there's a unifying theme here.

2) When I ask "What makes you angry?" what is the first thing that leaps to mind?
social conservatives. I don't feel like elaborating further.

3) Tell me the funniest story you have about something you've done.

Here's the story of my attempt to get a fake ID. In the summer of 1990 I was at home from college and Public Enemy was coming to town later that summer. My buddy T. and I somehow got it in our heads that the 21+ show would be somehow more interesting, or at least longer, than the earlier all-age show. So this would require fake IDs. Through some friends, T. had access to a state seal of some sort. He had been able to procure an official state ID card from the DMV using a doctored birth certificate stamped with this seal.

So now it was my turn. My summer job that year was driving an ice cream truck around a posh suburb. There was a DMV facility on the way to work, connected to a county library. I would stop here (taking care to park my truck far away so that no one would see that I had just driven up to the DMV in order to get a non-driving ID card), get the ID, and go on my route.

It's not that crowded. I think, this isn't going to take long at all. I get up to the counter, the woman takes my stuff and goes back somewhere.

Then she's looking at it funny.
Then she's showing it to someone else.

I think, okay, going to the 'burbs was a mistake. T. went to the downtown facility, where they're swamped and harried and just want you out. Here, she's got more time on her hands.

They're still going over it.

Oh, shit, I could go to jail for fraud or something.

Upon making this realization, my next thought was not how going to jail could put my personal safety at risk. Instead, I thought:

If I go to jail, all the ice cream will melt.

Anyway, I'm trying to be as calm as possible, though I'm sure I looked like the incompetent criminal I was. She returns to the counter and explains that the cert was stamped with a notary seal, not an official state seal. As such, they couldn't take the cert as valid documentation, so I'd have to come back with something else.

Whew! I was leaving empty-handed, but not in cuffs. I ended up getting into the show on the fake birth certificate. Once in, I didn't even bother ordering a drink.

4) What five movies would comprise your perfect, all-dubious-hits-all-the-time, B-movie Saturday lineup?

Howard the Duck
Repo Man - a little palate-cleanser: not a bad movie, but definitely B.

5) If you could call back in time to your high school self and give him one piece of advice or insight, what would it be?
Don't be so cocky. In a few years you'll be surrounded by people who are better than you at nearly everything.

Sunday, March 4, 2007

Movie Log 2007: #19-22

Chandni - A downside of having 500 movies in the Netflix queue is you forget just how some things got in there. This Bollywood film starred none of our favorite actors, and the musical numbers were nothing I would have seen on Namaste America and filed for future reference. So it must have been an "if you liked..." suggestion. It wasn't bad...predictable, yet entertaining through its 3 hours.

Sophie's Choice - It's nigh-impossible to watch this and accept Kevin Kline's role after seeing A Fish Called Wanda. All the Meryl Streep worship makes sense, though.

A Face in the Crowd - Fans of The Andy Griffith Show should rent this to see their boy play a total SOB, a hobo who gets transformed into a Will Rogers-esque homespun pundit/political tool. It's in the vein of Network and Sweet Smell of Success. Few extras, but it was a bit shocking to hear Matlock drop an F-bomb in the featurette.

Klute - Everyone talks about Jane Fonda's performance, but the film itself is suspenseless. Characters other than Bree & Klute are so underdeveloped that the whodunit becomes obvious early on.
i made the funny/ridiculous realization this week that, while I'm known in my qb-related friendships as a cantankerous old man, I am apparently a trusted voice of a new generation at the curling club. It's all relative, I suppose.