Half a Month There on Foot

You will find me at the corner of Speed and Power

Monday, April 24, 2006

Betrailered Park, Part 2: Eyes Wide Not-So-Funny-on-Purpose

Stanley Kubrick made, what, a dozen movies? I love 2001. Love it. It's not a movie I can watch every day or anything, but I really love it.

Dr. Strangelove, I could watch probably once a week. The script, the direction, the Peter Sellers.

Hell, even Barry Lydon is beautiful to look at. And in 1999, twelve years after a theatrical release I wasn't old enough to watch, Stanley Kubrick had made a movie with two of the biggest stars in the world: Eyes Wide Shut.

I graduated that year and tried to watch as many movies as I could over the summer with my friends, most of whom also really like movies. And some of us were going to see Eyes Wide Shut.

I gotta admit, I was a little concerned going into the movie. The advance press had been all about the sexual and moral ambiguity of the story, and the leads and supporting cast would be nekked and doin' it. I'm not a prude, but I'm also not a fan of watching the guy from Losing Itfigure out if he wants to have sex with multiple chicks/dudes and cheat on his wife. And the trailers looked like it might be a taut, mysterious, maybe even sexy psychological thriller of... Kubrickian proportions. The trailer gave me enough faith that Kubrick would at least tell an interesting story, even if I did have to watch nekked people with chick friends.

Have you ever been kicked out of a movie? I haven't, but I think with Eyes Wide Shut I came close. The acting, the plot, the "sexy bits," were all hysterically funny. I mean laughable. Out loud. Really loud.

So that's what I did. I laughed through this new "masterpiece" from ol' Stanley. Because it was pretentious and unsexy. Because it was a little too much. Because it made Nicole Kidman unattractive. The filming lasted 400 days, and the movie had to last almost as long.

I get that the movie is a big Kubrick theme of "dehumanizing man." I get what he's saying about our world and menaingless sex and not treating people as objects and primal evil and Hal sings "Daisy." It doesn't mean I liked it.

Free Ice Cream? What's the catch?

... the catch is I don't live near a Ben & Jerry's. But you might, so eat some free ice cream for me.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Betrailered Park, part 1: For Love of the Crap

You ever get duped by a movie trailer any more? With all the "MetaCritic" this, and "Cinecast" that I feel like I should know Benchwarmers is wretched and Capote is probably pretty good.

Think back to the good ol' days all those months ago... or so. You see a glimpse of something on TV, you catch the same trailer a few times in the theater the months leading up to the advertised movie's release. And the movie might pique your interest a little, or enough to check want to check it out. And you go to see the movie.

And the movie is crap. Like Benchwarmers bad.

Here, in a ground-breaking, slighty-more-than-links-to-other-website entries, at-least-two-consecutive-pieces, are some of those trailers that, like Ryan's mom, made you believe one thing then turned into Rob Schnieder.

Or "Schnider." Do we even care?

For Love of the Game

Sam Raimi. He was trying to go "mainstream," he was trying to branch out. After striking indie gold with Evil Dead and its subsequent sequels plus perhaps the ultimate (until the Raimi directed Spider-Man) comic book movie Darkman (ironically not a comic book from the start) Raimi made A Simple Plan. A Simple Plan was certainly a stylistic departure, lacking the angles, kinetic camera work and slap-stick of his earlier movies, and one that I really enjoyed. A tense character study of the effects of betrayal and trust with a stark white back drop in a small mid-western town.

Kevin Costner. Harlan Ellison says any story/movie about baseball is really about sons and fathers connecting, and Field of Dreams certainly lends some credence to that theory. Field of Dreams is a classic for a reason: great acting, great script, great direction and original material. Maybe it suffers some now from the "If you build it, they will come" reference, but it still holds up. And Kevin Costner plays the lead in a somewhat non-Costnerian way: really good.

Imagine my delight when I see this trailer: For Love of the Game. It's Sam Raimi AND Kevin Costner in a movie about baseball. A movie, if you've watched the trailer, that's going to be the story of this ball player's life told over the course of his very last game, the last time he has to do what he loves. He's got heartbreak, he's got pathos, there's pain, there's John C. Reily in a supporting role, there's everything-on-the-line... I'm an absolute sucker for "You've got one shot to make this right, don't screw it up."

It's the 'man versus his own mortality' bit with baseball as the framing device! Oh my gosh, put me in the front row, coach, I gotta see this!

Only I shouldn't have. The movie, to be kind, is mediocre. Maybe. Crappy. I mean bad. Like worse than Quick and the Dead. Hell, even Water World is watchable if it's on TNT and you're really tired.

But For Love of the Game is just a big ball of suck wrapped in some decent cinematography and an okay performance by Costner. The script is weak, Kelly Preston isn't used right or can't act, though I can't tell which. It's crappy bad. Like from start to finish it's not good.

For Love of the Game
can't be blamed for the marketing people cutting together a trailer that led me to believe one thing (that's the job of the trailer cutting people too, to get my butt in the sea). It can be blamed for plodding along at a snail's pace and giving me too little to care about. Too little to watch.

A half-realized mediocre execution of love/baseball/redemption/Water World story. For Love of the Game is just one of many movies purporting to be one thing, then showing up to the party as another.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Forgot my one line so I just said what I felt

Covers usually suck, unless you're on Coverville, and that batting average ain't always the best. Especially when it's a band you love.

Judging by the new take Lucero gives my beloved 'Mats b-side If Only You Were Lonely I'd wager I'd like their original material too. Check 'em out if you're in the mood for alt-country with a mix of Johnny Cash, Weakerthans, and The Replacements. Guitars beating the crap out of stuff then telling you about it with heartache. And then beating the crap out of stuff again.

Hi Kiba!

On top of yesterday having the shit theme, our dryer is kind of dead. Well, not really dead, but after analyzing the dryer, having carefully taken it apart, we decided it wasn't going to be worth repairing.

I am many many things, but a dryer repairman I am not. Now, armed with quite possibly the best website on Earth, I rise to any appliance challenge with honor. And kick-ass pictures of our freakin' Speed Queen Dryer.

I give you: Fix It Now and Samurai Appliance Repair Man.

It's like Car Talk, but for all appliances.

This is why I love the internet. And I love Samurai Appliance Repair Man.

All hear this

So I just had a hearing exam for a minor thing and I was in a waiting room with one of the most text-book cases of bad parenting. I'm not a psych major (or sign language. Or journalism and public affairs. Or German/CS) but this kid hit all the notes right:

- nuthin' was his fault
- "Hey mom, there's somebody at the door? Did you hear that?" even though we're in a doctor's office
- he knew mom was not going to do any kind of enforcing
- mom had no follow through
- mom kept calling him "baby" even though he was clearly at least three

I loves me some doctor's officing.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Loved Monkey

So the show Ed was on playing another guy named Some Guy was on VH1 this weekend, starting with the pilot. I'm pretty sure Love Monkey is gone the way of the latest Andy Richter show, and I'm not really missing it.

What I have been missing is stuff on Tivo, and as I was eating dinner (fruit and Doritos as it's Easter and close to midnight) so I watched Letterman from something like March 19th. David Spade got the fast forward, Sarah Vowell got watched, then I left the room for some cookies as musician Teddy Gieger made his TV debut. Only it wasn't.

Teddy played a guy on Love Monkey, a bold new talent discovered on the pilot that allowed Ed to have a fighting chance once he got fired from his job and moved back to Stuckeyville, only this Stuckeyville includes a fat Jason Priestly. And Love Teddy Monkey is a musician who looks and sounds exactly like Teddy and, oh yeah, his debut song is the same song that he played on Letterman.

Weird weird meta advertising.

Next post, no kidding, will be full of shit. About shit. Mostly shit. It's a theme post.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

That's my bit!

Somebody was playing croquet on the Quad today, and it wasn't me. I feel like I've been replaced by not-nearly as cool guys...

C'mon, some of you remember that right? When you used to make an effort to keep in touch? I mean play croquet?

Web on phone? Chocolate AND peanut butter?

Do you guys download content to your phone, like TV or web stuff? I'm curious. Leave a post if you do.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Casey at bat... or rugby

I'll try to write up my weekend of heavy metal, video production and wide-eyed college kids soon, but first this guy: Casey Templeton.

Casey is a SMAD student, and the most talented photographer I know. I met him for all of ten minutes and he's affable, humble, and owns the room as soon as he walks in. I think I'm going to hire him for an hours worth of picture taking at the Digico, so once he's super-expensive I can say " I could afford him when."

Friday, April 07, 2006

We did this right, back in the year 19Dickity3

Ladies, gents: I'm old.

I'm volunteering for a SMAD (my old JMU major) senior level project this weekend, helping the kids with audio and cameras and holding a shot. After the way too long meeting, the crew I'm with was talking through the schedule. Lauren, the producer for our segment, is twenty-oneish, with wide-eyed "I'm in SMAD and it'd be cool to work at a post house" dreams.

After we wrapped up the planning, she asked "So, what year did you graduate?" "Well," I said, "all the way back to the year ninety-nine."

"Huh," she said. "Wow."

"Yeah, okay, so you can stop right there with that," I said.

"No, but I mean, you're like the... veteran of the group. That's good!" she said.

"Right. Good," I said.

I'm more tired now than last night. And tonight I'm totally making police log for streaking campus. I'll be the guy with the cane.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Yesh! Mutts: The Trailer

Here's a trailer for the Mutts PVC figures currently being produced by Dark Horse. Mutts is my favorite comic strip in production, and you wouldn't think they'd translate as well to PVC, but they do.

And there's even a Stinky.

Screw Jack Bauer, this is the longest WEEK of my life

Alright, not totally true, but man, I'd love to sleep.

The last few days have been a blur. I've committed to helping out with my ol' SMAD department this weekend, Friday and Saturday night specifically, so Sunday moring should be full of sleep.

Not to be construed as bitching, by any stretch. Most of this is kinda fun, but I'm kinda tired.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Digico in the News, Handsome One Not Pictured

Check this out!

Other Gleason Bears All... but With Running

Amy did her ten miles in 2 hours and 2 minutes, which is AWESOME. Compound her hectic training schedule with re-injuring her injured knee right before the race, and I couldn't be more proud of her time.

You'll have to ask her to tell you about all the people, the beer and donuts, and the gospel choir.