Sunday, April 22, 2007

For Your Consideration (2006)**
While there are many funny moments in this picture, after it is all over you get the impression that this was not a comedy at all. Maybe it was Catherine O'Hara's brilliant performance that seems to take over the tone of the film. Kind of a disappointment.

Thursday, April 19, 2007 - Schulman pumps up Mandalay
"A highlight of the Mandalay Pictures’ slate at Universal is the remake of Alfred Hitchcock’s 'The Birds', scheduled to be in production by early fall. 'We think we have a very contemporary take' Schulman said. 'In the original, the birds just showed up, and it was kind of like, why are the birds here? This time, there’s a reason why they’re here and (people) have had something to do with it. There’s an environmental slant to what could create nature fighting back.'" know, Cath, the pointlessness of the birds' behavior in the original is PRECISELY why the picture is a masterpiece. To change that and just make it some sort of slasher picture with crows...oh never mind. What an ass.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Kurt Vonnegut 1922 - 2007
"I say in speeches that a plausible mission of artists is to make people appreciate being alive at least a little bit. I am then asked if I know of any artists who pulled that off. I reply, 'The Beatles did.'

"It appears to me that the most highly evolved Earthling creatures find being alive embarrassing or much worse. The funniest American of his time, Mark Twain, found life for himself and everybody else so stressful when he was in his seventies that he wrote as follows: 'I have never wanted any released friend of mine restored to life since I reached manhood.' That is in an essay on the sudden death of his daughter Jean a few days earlier. Among those he wouldn't have resurrected were Jean, and another daughter, Susy, and his beloved wife and his best friend, Henry Rogers.

"So it is not one whit mysterious that we poison the water and air and topsoil, and construct ever more cunning doomsday devices, both industrial and military. Let us be perfectly frank for a change. For practically everybody, the end of the world can't come soon enough."

Excerpted from Timequake.

Friday, April 06, 2007

Americans offered 'aggressive patrols' in Iranian airspace | Iran | Guardian Unlimited:
"In the first few days after the captives were seized and British diplomats were getting no news from Tehran on their whereabouts, Pentagon officials asked their British counterparts: what do you want us to do? They offered a series of military options, a list which remains top secret given the mounting risk of war between the US and Iran."

But I'm sure they exhausted all diplomatic options first, right? That might have taken the first day or day and a half maybe. God help us. If you want to know just how close we came to war with Iran, read the whole article. Scary, scary stuff.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Stranger Than Fiction (2006)**
I did not enjoy watching this film, except for the performance of Dustin Hoffman. However I give it 2 stars because any film that has me thinking about it for several days after I see it deserves at least 2 stars. I just had the feeling that, while it had a lot of nice ideas in it, you have to do more than just throw ideas on the screen. I was not drawn to the characters at all and never found them believable. I never understood whose story was being told so I could never get involved with the narrative. It is possible that that was the intention, that this was some sort of meta-movie about the whole idea of film itself or the human need/desire for narrative but the film never resonated with me at all. So I admire those ideas, ideas which I often find in the works of Charlie Kaufman who CAN create intricate, detailed, tightly wrapped meta-narratives expressing those ideas and be entertaining at the same time. But having a good idea is not enough.