July 25, 2014

yesterday i went downtown to the embarcadero theater to see boyhood, richard linklater’s new film that i’ve been wondering about since i first heard of the concept. 

it was outstanding.

linklater has definitely made some films that i have not only not liked, but actively hated–suburbia, you eric bogosian piece o’ crap, i’m looking at you–but many more that i love.  his overt philosophical musings, his use of music, the way he shows people interacting in such realistic situations…everything that i’ve loved about him in the past is here in boyhood in such a pure and beautiful form, it really took my breath away.

it was so real that it was disorienting.  i found myself fixating at least as much on patricia arquette as on mason–it’s hard to describe the beauty of the understated performance and the canvas that the years painted beyond anything in the script.  the years she gains and loses weight through the marriages, the way her hair and clothes change, her demeanor as relationships begin and end.  and the boy, ellar coltrane, makes the dialogue seems so natural that it’s almost hard to give him credit for the work he does.  linklater’s daughter is the only slightly weak link and she can be fairly annoying–i remember how much i hated her in waking life, too!–but she’s like dawn in buffy the vampire slayer…she annoys the shit out of you, but she has her moments and serves her purpose.

i can’t wait to see this film again and again, and not in a cheesey “cats” way.  i felt like i had watched a child grow to adulthood, something i’ve never really done.  i see them from teen years on up, but not really how they start.  boyhood achieves a level of art and truth in showing these people live and grow that even terrence malick with his dinosaurs couldn’t touch.


funny and sad.

January 9, 2014

tonight i watched _we’re the millers_.  i’d seen it and really enjoyed it with maureen when it came out–it wasn’t the last movie we saw together or anything (that must have been _gravity_), just a fun time we shared, something that made us laugh and that we referred back to…forever, i guess.  for as long as we had.  anyway, it was kind of like stopping for mitchell’s ice cream the other night on the way home.  everything can’t be a funeral all the time,  everything happy shouldn’t always be sad, and the longer i don’t do things, the more they associate and get more and more epic.

_we’re the millers_ isn’t epic.  it’s just funny.  i laughed and i cried, and i’ll see it again and again.

i miss her so much.

i’m pretty sure i didn’t think it was a very good idea when i did it, but i put _it’s kind of a funny story_, the movie based on ned vizzini’s book about when he went crazy and didn’t kill himself that he wrote before he went crazy and did.  yeah, that’s a painful irony.

the movie is pretty good.  i liked the book better, but it’s always a little harder to have a precious character who isn’t too precious in a movie.  the suicide angle just makes it harder for me, now, but i’m sure i would have appreciated the movie fine without that.  i wondered while watching it why i didn’t hate it as much as i hate matthew quick and his rockstar playbook of barfing.


November 21, 2013

obviously i’ve been moping around in general and feeling genuinely sad.  it’s not that interesting or introspective, so i’ve just been keeping most of it to myself.  i’m at that numb point when it isn’t worth it to think or write or care about anything.

i can’t even get up enough gumption to slam that tedious _gatsby_ baz lurhman thing.  man, way to make me hate a great work of literature!  all the poetry becomes trite and tedious in his hands.  nick seemed a holden caulfield type in the worst way.

okay, i had a little gumption.  i think the pizza i ate earlier gave me strength.

and it looked so stupid that i laughed about it and made fun of it mercilessly until about this very moment, actually.  well, maybe not that *whole* time.


today i left school a couple minutes early to rush home and meet up with my partner in crime to pregame and rush downtown to see the imax 3D gravity…but there were muni issues, so we just ended up with regular 3D gravity and that was still pretty good.  cheeseball writing.  oh, my fucking god.  and they didn’t need to, either, because there was more than enough going on there because they were out in fucking SPACE.  are we really so jaded that SPACE isn’t good enough and we have to throw in a dead kid for extra pathos?!  anyway, i was easily manipulated and cried a couple times, but i couldn’t really respect the movie afterwards.  i think i have a more meaningful relationship with my shower…but a fun movie!

and, then, when that fun was over, we cabbed it to the hotel zetta bar to frolic with the unsuspecting public and such.  i very much enjoyed a lovely chartreuse and gin drink, which really is my favorite combination, should i be going the fancy cocktail way.  and i went that way, a couple times.

after we’d drunk our allowance and played enough plinko on the wall-sized game, we cabbed back home–weren’t we fancy ladies tonight?–and ate leftover pizza and watched a trashy ep of the OC–like there are other than trashy eps!

my morning kind of sucked.  it wasn’t the sort of day that makes me know teaching is my life and it loves me like i love it.  it was more a day that makes me think i could probably sell shoes and do as well for society…so, you know, fun times and  big flashy science fiction movies and drugs and alcohol and cabs and friends…it makes it all worth it.  even when it’s not that good.  and you probably shouldn’t.  and plinko isn’t even a game of skill.

_don jon_

October 4, 2013

i’ve always really liked joseph gordon levitt–possibly not enough to make sure i’m spelling his name correctly, but you know who i mean.  he was charming and funny on “third rock from the sun” and i’ve almost always liked him in movies, even when the movies are a little weak, like that brick one or the 500 day thing.  he was always compelling in some way, even if what he was working with wasn’t exactly golden.

there are a lot of things i liked about _don jon_ tonight. overall, i enjoyed it and will likely watch it again on dvd at least once more in my life–not sure if i’ll like it more or less the second time, but i’m interested to find out.

first off, though it seems like a backhanded compliment, i really appreciate that jgl made a movie that was an hour and a half long.  that was how long it should have been.   it didn’t need to be any longer than that, even if everyone does make two hour and counting movies these days, particularly as first movies.  i felt like the local color element of the movie was a little overdone and caricature-like, but maybe that’s what new jersey is really like.  i have no idea, and it worked for me as comedy, at least.  i thought scarlet johanssen was not very good in about half the scenes and pretty bad in about another quarter of the movie.  she was obviously not comfortable with the gum chewing and didn’t do a very good job, petty criticism as that might seem.  i liked that jgl looked ridiculous.  i think he’s hot as can be, but liked that he made himself look like a schmuck.  julianne moore can do anything and i’ll probably love her, so, you know, i loved her here, too.

i don’t like to read about movies before i see them because i like to be surprised.  now that i’m done with this one, i’ll check it out and see how people liked it.  i can see a few things people will likely fixate on thematically, but i’m more curious about the strange fucked up focus and weird hand held and how people feel about that.  some of it seemed clumsy and i can’t tell if it WAS clumsy or if it was something he was goin’ for.  overall, jgl is totally dreamy and i’m interested to see what other movies he might want to make.

yeah, that’s some messssed up shit.  i grouped it with _whatever happened to baby jane_ in my head because they were two crazy bette davis movies, but i didn’t realize they were both directed and written by the same team.  i was falling asleep with a food coma for the last third, but made of awesome.


fast times

September 21, 2013

just read this interesting essay on _fast times at ridgemont high_ that articulates many of my thoughts about the movie.  it was never one of my particular favorites, but i certainly remember watching it, too young to have anything but the most theoretical ideas about most of what was going, probably with my sister, though i can’t remember for sure.  i remember going to a lot of teen sex comedies back then, and they were all…just, you know, SEX.  adult/teen relationships? teacher/student?  hooker/teenager?  suggestive teenage noise-making during tennis?  oh, yeah, all that, and much, much more.

i also read a few strange pornographic novels when i was young, but that was actual pornography–here i’m just talking teen comedies.

anyway, i was just completely bombarded–and totally sought out, when i thought i could get away with it–all these representations of sex all over the place, but i wasn’t really *doing* very much.  occasional heavy petting, or whatever.  third base?  i’ve never understood the base system.  doesn’t matter.  i’m not saying no one was gettin’ it on at an early age, but the statistics back up my memory that it certainly wasn’t everyone and not even most of us until you got to the upper classes. 

these days, teen comedies are so saccharine–geeze, is that another reference like sniffing dittos?  do people still know what saccharine is?–that no one has sex without consequences, we’re shocked if we see skin, it’s all less explicit than the last dance i had to chaperone…and that’s it.  most of those kids, even the sophomores!  god, the awkward, awkward sophomores!, are pretty much rounding third base on a pretty regular basis, at least given the opportunity.  crazy.

it’s not like i think that one thing caused the other or anything like that.  we’re all rounding third more often, these days, given the opportunity, because it’s a changing social standard.  i just think it’s funny how prudish the movies have become. these days rules about smoking in movies are so strict, it’s ridiculous.  we are getting so far from reality in our policy making and i’m getting so far from my point…it’s all just making me tired.

mostly, just wanted to mention that essay and remember to think about it later.

was sick for freakin’ ever, totally sucking up my vacation and the week after and probably more of that if i tack on general doctor visits, as well, and blah blah blah.  what a crap month, basically.  but it’s over now!

went to see _warm bodies_ after my MRI the other day.  it was pretty amusing, honestly, though a little smarmy.  i find that nicholas hoult kid to be pretty charming in most cases, and this was no different.  plot isn’t much to stand up to serious thinkin’, but the set design and general fun of the movie made me not care very much about that.

pleasant diversion after an hour-long MRI, in any case.

_in bruges_

February 23, 2013

yesterday, in my cold- and other-medicated state, i finally sat down to watch _in bruges_, which has been lingering around my apartment for a while, waiting for me.

unsurprising, as is usually the case if i take the time to order something, it was good.  it was really, really sad, which i also expected and which is why i put off watching it for a while.  that and the fact that i couldn’t remember if it was in english or not because, you know, i don’t like to read about a film right before i watch it and i forget titles almost instantly.  every day is an adventure for me!  every day a new day!  the joys of faulty memory.


so i’m watching this fine movie and thinking that it’s a shame that movies like this always have to be about hit men because i don’t want to watch movies about conflicted hit men, for the most part.  i do like that the violence and action element might trick people into paying attention to the whole morality play thing, i just wish my fictional world didn’t have to be quite so full of people killing other people.  my real world is more than full of that as it is.

but i digress.

it’s the cold- and other-medicated state talking again.

many awesome players in the cast.  a few inconsistencies that bothered me at the time but i can’t remember now.  i laughed, i cried…i probably wouldn’t watch it again and again, but i’m glad i saw it now, so good enough.  colin farrell is never who i picture when i see his name–he reminded me of young, hot treat williams in _hair_ in this one, for whatever reason.

okay, time to go re-medicate.