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Monthly Archives: March 2008

spiritual


spiritual, originally uploaded by Mister Wind-Up Bird.

A gathering of spiritual friends on the Kommune mantlepiece.

A prize for whoever can name them all!

this week’s trifecta of manly, manly films


manlytrifecta.jpg

manly, manly movie Deliverance The Thing Predator
year 1972 1982 1987
director John Boorman John Carpenter John McTiernan
the all-male group of manly men suburban outdoorsmen antarctic researchers and support staff mercenaries (but, you know: buy clomid in australia online good guy mercenaries)
biome Appalacia the antarctic central american jungle
ultra-macho alpha male Burt Reynolds Kurt Russel Arnold Schwarzenegger
most ludicrously macho action of leader bow fishing, talking like a survivalist blows up the entire fucking base, while growing a manly, mountain-man beard everything. every goddamn thing he does.
far less macho guy who almost dooms them all by cracking under pressure Ned Beatty Wilford Brimley Bill Duke
the initial threat that turns out not be too much of a threat blister-inducing banjo duels Norway vaguely-defined Central American guerrillas
the actual threat inbred rapists, the incompatibility of macho values with modern society freaky alien shapeshifters freaky alien trophy hunter
the internal threat indiscriminate cathartic murder, bad lying skills freaky alien shapeshifter the CIA, in the form of ace spy Carl Weathers. also, insufficient machoness.
good-guy survival rate 75% (but they’ll carry those scars forever…) 0% Arnold
bad-guy survival rate 50% 0% (maybe) 0% (probably)
innocent people killed by the good guys 1 at least 3 none, but they do accidently kill a pig
female speaking roles 2 (but blink and you’ll miss them) 0 1
future US State Governors in cast 0 0 2
message stick to the suburbs, city boy, because poor people probably want to tie you up and make you squeal like a pig there is no problem that can’t be overcome with science, logic and generously-applied explosives big guns and big muscles are cool. also, don’t trust Carl Weathers.
inane IMDB message board threads inspired by the film “Ned Beatty kinda deserved to be buggered” “other woman-free movies?” “Do Predators lay eggs or bear live young?”
overall manliness levels moderate high extreme

Fengrun Atonement (2007)


atonement_snip.jpgAm I too much of a hipster douchebag and/or inveterate lowbrow to really appreciate buy Pregabalin 300 mg online Atonement? Maybe. Probably. But I didn’t.

Atonement is not a bad movie, but it’s a prestige movie. It wants you to be impressed with its impeccable credentials (adapted from acclaimed novel = “deep”). It wants to show you the wealth and breeding of the British aristocracy, and also fabulous photography. It wants to show you with how smoothed down the rough edges are. The grittiest sequence, the English army on the beaches of Dunkirk, didn’t impress me with its originality or emotional impact. It impressed me with its expense and logistics. I’m not saying the movie is insincere — I don’t think it is. But Atonement doesn’t want to enlighten or educate you as much as it wants to congratulate you on on your good taste in taking the time to see such a high-minded film.

Having said that, though, I do think it’s a well-made film, and I did enjoy a lot of it. Particularly the parts that had Keira Knightly in a soaked, see-through slip. But I doubt I’ll ever go out of my way to watch it again. The, uh, rest of the film, that is.

february: less of me than there was before


Well, it’s going slightly slower than I had expected, but I’m on the right track. Since January 1, I’ve lost 9 of the 20 lbs I’ve been aiming to shed, and aside from giving up butter chicken and occasionally having to force myself to go to the gym after a ten- or twelve-hour day at work, it’s really hasn’t been too hard.

jan1tomar1.jpg

Hopefully, by the end of March, I’ll be down to 170 lbs, at which point, I think the self-experiments will start.

As for my other resolution, to improve my guitar skills: well, I still intend to. One day. Soon… ish.

Be Kind Rewind (2008)


I’m starting to think that while Michel Gondry is a competent director and a master stylist, the only great film he ever had in him was by Charlie Kaufman.

Be Kind has a premise that plays directly to Gondry’s DIY aesthetic: Jack Black gets magnetized and erases the all-VHS stock of Mos Def’s video store, so the two of them start to remake the movies the customers request, using not much more than cardboard, paint and neighbours. These parts are perfectly aligned with Gondry’s hipster whimsy — Ghostbusters, Rush Hour 2, Driving Miss Daisy and The Lion King all get “sweded”. And it’s awesome. It’s clever and hilarious and inspiring — hell, it made me want to make my own films again. Unfortunately, somebody decreed that there had to be an actual movie around those scenes, with a storyline and characters and everything. And that very concept, I think, is the opposite of what Gondry is really about, or at least what he’s good at. I don’t mind seeing the seams in the actual filmmaking process, but the jury-rigged story (bless its French-accented little heart) is trying to say something about who owns culture, but instead unravels into a mess of undefined characters and loose ends.

Plus, the fact that it supposedly cost $20 million makes the whole thing seem disingenuous and perplexing. After watching the amusingly “sweded” videos on YouTube (including Gondry’s own home-made version of the trailer), I wonder if the end result would have been better had it been made for a quarter of that budget.