Sunday, May 26, 2002

Nolan's Insomnia

Just back from seeing the new Insomnia. Though I never saw the 1997 original and had no expectations based on an admiration of the source material, I was a big on Nolan's Memento and had high hopes for this one. While hardly a sophmore slump of Stone Rosesian proportions (straining to make the link here, I'm glossing over the fact that this is actually Nolan's third film), I left feeling like Nolan hadn't gotten any more out of Pacino than Mann had in Heat. Not that Pacino was bad in Heat; I just expected more. As a point of comparison, the scene in Heat where Pacino (the cop) sits in a coffee shop and has talk with DeNiro (the baddie) has a bit of an echo in Pacino's chat with Williams's murderer aboard the ferry in this flick. I don't mean to say the situation is the same or serves a similar function, just that we've got the 'good guy' and the 'bad guy' talking things over without a chase or shots being fired. Pacino's cop in Insomnia, the dilemma he faces ... the ingredients were there for the scene to be at least as effective or memorable -- it just doesn't quite happen. Not bad. Just not remarkable. Nolan does a great job restraining Pacino from engaging in his usual bug-eyed scenery chewing and even managed to get Williams harness his inner Mork. The two canned hams give solid performances. Nolan handles the filming of the insomiac's affliction well. (I flashed back to my experience on one the more brutal stretches of I-90 through PA as I did the nonstop CT to WI trek during one scene to the point where I jerked alert just like I did behind the wheel after being hypnotized by the back and forth of the wiper blades.) I can't fault the script, the cinematography, the actors, the direction ... I just didn't get engaged the way I'd hoped. Soderberg was listed as one of the executive producers; I almost wonder if this material wouldn't have been more suited to his style? I'm glad I saw it and I appreciate the skill with which it was crafted, but I can't rave about it. I hope this doesn't mean I'm so conditioned to the standard over-the-topness of the usual dreck that a movie with realistic, human characters in a plausible story told at an unhurried narrative pace leaves me craving bullet-time f/x and cartoonish Willem Dafoe style villainry?

Saturday, May 25, 2002

Friday, May 24, 2002

Fast Foodie

This is sort of apropos of nothing, except maybe the exploding chicken sandwich below, but Wendy's now has really good salads. At least one anyways. I had the Mandarin Chicken salad (with mandarin oranges slices and almonds) the other night and I was pleasantly surprised by how good it was. I ordered it expecting it not to be enough to keep me from feeling starved at work that night, so I got a Jr. Bacon Cheeseburger and a Frosty with it, and couldn't eat them. I couldn't even finish the salad. It bordered on being monstrously huge. I wish they'd cut the size (and price) about in half and I'd eat there nearly every day.

Buffy Rumors

Britney on Buffy?! Mega, get your mind out of the gutter. I haven't seen this season's finale yet, but everything I've read about it makes me think I'm going to be glad when I do. [link via xkot.net]

Don't Think of the Cartoon Circles

Most people who've tried juggling, but say they can't do it, just don't get the concept. It's not that hard, physically; even the uncoordinated can do it. It's just a matter of getting the idea of it down. I'd be willing to bet that if you can figure out how to play this game, you can teach yourself to juggle in real life within a few minutes. [link via The World According to Rick]

Freestylin'

The #1 download at PeterJun.com is a pretty hilarious freestyle rap battle remniscent of Abdul-Jabaar v. Bruce Lee in Game of Death. [link via Big Blue Blog]

Thursday, May 23, 2002

Bedtime Rituals

New get your war on. Now I can go to bed. Where, by 'go to bed,' I mean do a couple of quick shots and sit here playing Max Payne for another couple hours so as I can stumble to work tomorrow like a brain-eating zombie.

Triumph

Conan O'Brien sends a puppet dog to interview Attack of the Clones fans. Hilarious.

Wednesday, May 22, 2002

Hipsters

It is one of my most earnest desires that every black frame glasses-wearing hipster dunce record store clerk read, and meditate on, my man Mark's spot-on essay Wrecktheplacefantastic over at Popmatters. It's important that everyone read it. It is especially important that record store clerks and grad students do so.

Monday, May 20, 2002

Spin has a lot of nerve.

Pavement one of the Top 50 bands of all time, yet no mention of the Fall? Pearl Jam better than Husker Du? I don't even know why I bothered looking at the list. I knew it would just irritate me. At least Fugazi got a mention.

Thursday, May 9, 2002

What Is Wrong With People?

Group (of idiots) opposes Peter Jackson's use of The Two Towers as the name of his movie based on The Two Towers. Hmmm, I wonder who in this whole scenario is really trying to milk something out the World Trade Center tragedy?

Tuesday, May 7, 2002

Pez Prescriptions

Placebos outpace anti-depressants in "curing" depression in some trials. [msnbc]

Saturday, May 4, 2002

Spider-Man

Pout no more, Bonedaddy, there's a superhero movie out you can enjoy ... spins a web / any size / catches thieves / just like flies ... That's right, the Spider-Man movie ain't half bad. In fact, between liking it a bit and Ebert giving me more fodder, I even decided to pick up the long neglected metareviewing pen to mark the occasion. Spidersense tingling ... here 'tis: the Spider-Man metareview.

Follow up: the trailer for Ang Lee's The Hulk is up at the official website. It doesn't show much, but you can see Bruce Banner and a hint of the transformation process.

Frontier House: Reality Done Right

Frontier House is really a different breed of 'reality' show. Where Big Brother, Survivor, Temptation Island, Road Rules, etc... are about whoring for the cam and wallowing in the lives of the self-absorbed, the decadent, jerk-offs and sluts, Frontier House actually managed to be entertaining by being educational and challenging. And, hey, if you want decadent jerk-offs, there's always the Clunes.

Thursday, May 2, 2002

IDYM

UConn student TV show making some waves. (It's called I Did Your Mother.)
Kingsley, who came up with show's title, strongly denies he does not respect women especially mothers.

''I respect my mother more than anyone on this earth, I just happened to have something called a sense of humor that these protesters do not,'' Kingsley said.

His own mother, he admits ''is not a big fan'' of the show.

''She is eagerly awaiting my graduation,'' he said.
Thanks to Kevin F. for the heads up on the link.
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