Monday, October 20, 2008

Quick Hits

Jab, jab, jab, body blow, right cross. (That's the joke.)

---Okay, Trev, I'm sorry, but "Dune" is probably one of the worst movies I've ever seen. Like, "Manos Hands Of Fate"-bad. I will admit I didn't finish watching it, and I'm sure the book is probably a lot better. But, DANG, dude. So horrible. The acting. The dialogue. The way it was shot. The plodding self-importance. I really wish I could hear an MST3K-ing of the film. Because that would be the greatest thing since sliced water.

---Signs you need to pray more: When you're cycling through your friends' status updates and profile pics on Facebook, and more than once you have the fleeting thought, "It'd be pretty cool to make out with her." It's a dangerous time for a heart on a wire, my friends.

---Even though I know it's not as much of a foregone conclusion as most media types would lead you to believe, I still can't shake the feeling that Obama is going to win the election--maybe not a landslide but by at least 5 points. And (big shock) I'm not pleased with this. But that's what democracy is about; to paraphrase Hunter S. Thompson (i think), ya buys yer ticket and takes yer ride. And the thing about democracy is, the people get the leader they deserve. You can take that to mean whatever you want it to. I guess I'm just tired of politics and politicking. Let's just get back to life as soon as we can, yeah?

---Brown Bag Poetry comes back this week, if for nothing else than to please that lanky kid up in the Pacific NW.

---My coworkers all left to go vote early. I want to go home early to vote, too. But only if I can "vote" for pizza and sleeping.

---It's already the back half of October. Where's the time gone? I had plans for the last four months of the year, and all a' none of them have been begun. (How about that sentence construction?) Silly Dave and his unfinished plans.

---Capsule Video Review time!

The Lookout: Starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Jeff Daniels (Rated R for language, violence, brief nudity, implied sexuality)
Plot: Chris was a kid with a bright future until a stupid choice left deadly consequences, including the death of a friend and his surviving with a brain injury. The injury, while not totally debilitating, limits his advanced mental functions and makes daily life difficult for him. He's left working as an overnight janitor in a smalltown bank, and most of the time he feels angry, like he lost his chance at a normal "life." Much to the concern of his blind roommate (Daniels), Chris befriends Gary, a former classmate of Chris' sister. Gary draws Chris into a dangerous circle of friends and a criminal plot that ultimately turns deadly.
Review: Joseph Gordon-Levitt is a criminally-underrated young actor. You probably know him from the TV show "3rd Rock from the Sun" or the film "Ten Things I Hate About You." But he's grown into an impressive dramatic lead. I've mentioned his movie "Brick" before (seriously, go rent Brick!), and he continues that vein with "The Lookout." I liked the film, overall; it frustrated me, but in a way that kept me dialed in. Meaning, I got frustrated at the characters and their choices. The theme of the movie seems to be about facing consequences, which is why, in retrospect, the film's denoument pulls its punches. But it's a good suspenseful drama with pretty solid performances. Daniels was a scene-stealer. Check it out if you like crime dramas or darker character studies.

[Unrelated side note: JGL is going to be Cobra Commander in the GIJoe movie?!? What the crap?!?]

Run, Fatboy, Run: Starring Simon Pegg, Thandie Newton, Hank Azaria, that mumbling book thief from "Notting Hill" (Rated PG-13 for language, sexual innuendo, nudity (dudity!), and gross/rude humor)
Plot: Dennis panicked and left his pregnant fiancee at the altar, and ever since has been kind of a pathetic man. While his love for Libby never died, it also never motivated him enough to change. When he finds out that his ex is dating Whit, a wealthy financier, he decides he's got to do something to show that he's just as good as his new competition. Whit runs marathons, so Dennis decides he'll do the same. Couldn't be that hard, right?
Review: I watched this because it had Simon Pegg. That's pretty much it. If you like Simon Pegg, that may be enough justification. For everyone else, I'd say it's a mixed bag. It's funny at times, and seems to have its heart in the right place. But ultimately, it's a rude, slapstick-y, gross-out comedy. It tends to push the boundary of its rating, but the gross/rude stuff is all on the boys' side. (Meaning, any sex is implied/discussed instead of shown.) But there is dude-ity, including at least 3 naked male backsides. Overall, I like the fact that the story is about a guy deciding to grow up, keep trying to be a good dad, commit to something, and try to earn the respect of the woman he loved but had done wrong. The rest of the stuff in the movie just brings it down. Meh.


Okay, that's the bell. Back to your corners.

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