Wednesday, July 28, 2010

I would like to take this moment...

...to feel sorry for myself.















*sigh*












OK. I'm good.

...

So I started watching Eastbound & Down tonight, which seems enjoyable enough, although probably better off for being only 6 episodes long since its main redeeming quality is... well, the lack of redeeming qualities in the main character. Which I would think would probably get old after a while.

ANYWAY. What really surprised me was that the show actually used this Tindersticks instrumental in two out of the three episodes I saw. Which is really weird, if you didn't know. I mean, the show has some pretty nasty and dark overtones but it is sort based off the archetypal Will Ferrell movie... which doesn't really lend itself to a morose British rock band.

In essence, listen to this song:



And try to imagine it set to this video:



And that's sort of how I felt.

You could even play them at the same time if you wanted to.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

About Inception...

I have a really hard time keeping track of character's names in films.

I'll get to why I'm mentioning this in a bit, but the crucial bit where a character introduces the name of another character always seems to elude me somehow. So in this movie, I just refer to Ellen Page as "Ellen Page," Joseph Gordon-Levitt as "Joseph Gordon-Levitt", and the Indian guy who looked like the Indian guy from "Drag Me To Hell" as "the Indian guy who looked like the Indian guy from "Drag Me To Hell". It usually works, but when another character exclaims something like "dammit *character name*, he took my VCR!" in what seems to be a crucial part of the plot, I get super confused and suddenly wish I would pay attention to small little details... like character names. You know that Ellen Page's name in this is Ariadne? What the hell kind of name is that?

Anyway, the reason why I mention that is because THE ENTIRE MOVIE makes me feel like a huge idiot.

Reading all the various recaps of what went down in the movie has made me forget exactly everything I was confused about, and I don't want to say anything in case anyone actually reads this and might get upset by a little bit of spoilers, but let's just say the movie is dense. And I wasn't trying to key in on every single detail, but rather just go along for the ride, but that backfired multiple times as something happened and left me confused as hell. It's not necessarily a bad thing, and I appreciate the fact that Nolan decided to pen a very dense script for an action blockbuster. But yeah... I'm not going to pretend that I'm someone who necessarily "got" the movie. Cause I didn't.

What I liked:
-Again, very audacious to make a film that pretty much demanded repeat viewings. Also liked that they didn't spend 20 minutes explaining all the characters and what their jobs were and just dropped the viewer right in. It's probably because they needed to spend a lot of time setting up the "inception", but still.
-That it essentially boiled down to a heist movie, except that it took place in the subconscious instead of a... museum, or whatever.
-The performances were pretty good, even though only about 4 characters had any sort of depth to them. And despite the fact that it's a huge action summer movie, it felt small, since there was pretty much only 8 characters through the entire film.
-Last shot = kind of brilliant.
-It kept me entertained.... (which is an incredibly astute thing to say, I know. But, I mean... I liked it, despite its flaws. And it was decidedly better than The Dark Knight for that matter as well. Just saying this before I talk about how much it SUCKED.)

What I wasn't crazy about:
-The point of the heist is sort of... well, it doesn't really pay off in any sort of way. I was kind of expecting that we'd get a bit more on whether or not inception is acceptable after a key plot point introduces this question, but no... it just sort of concludes. Also, the stakes of the inception didn't really get you invested. It was all for some dickhead businessman... which may have been the point, but they didn't really accentuate it very well. Or maybe they did... I could have missed it. (I feel really stupid trying to criticize this movie, for the record.)
-Any sort of thematic weight the film had seemed to be overshadowed by the complexities of the plot. Meaning, at the point where Leo DiCaprio reveals a crucial bit of information to Marion Cotillard, my reaction was "oh, so that's why this and that happened" instead of "oh, so that's why DiCaprio has been so angsty and crap." I don't know.

Anyway, to recap: Cool movie, better than guys in superhero outfits pretending to be in a "real crime drama" all while reciting some of the most amazingly stupid dialogue one would ever muster for a "serious" film, I didn't understand what the hell was going on, this post suffers because of it.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

I haven't seen Inception yet, but I'm trying to keep an open mind about it. To the point where I've actually been somewhat excited to see it.

I mean, here's the thing: I kind of actively disliked The Dark Knight for reasons I've probably elaborated on before, The Prestige annoyed me, and Batman Begins was kind of just there. So in terms of Christopher Nolan, he's batting 0 for his last 3 with me. At the same time, though, I recognize that he has tons of talent (i.e. Memento) and that he's capable of producing something that I might actually like...

So yeah. The movie opened to some great reviews, plus it hasn't had a bunch of people proclaiming that "this isn't a superhero movie, this is art" which annoyed the hell out of me when The Dark Knight came out. Plus it has a pretty excellent cast (mostly Joseph Gordon-Levitt, who is pretty awesome. DiCaprio is really hit or miss with me), and all that has canceled out my disappointment with Nolan's last movie to place my expectations at a very reasonable position, which is good.

Then I logged into IMDB and saw that it was ranked as the #3 film of all time.

Not that I should be giving IMDB's top 250 much credence anyway, but still... a good majority of the films on the list are of pretty good quality. So when The Dark Knight climbed to #1 back when it came out, it made me expect some sort of unrivaled masterpiece that, while perhaps not the best film of all time, might stand as one of the best of my generation. Yeah, that didn't work out.

I'm now expecting the same thing from Inception, despite my full awareness of the stupidity of the IMDB top 250. I can't help it.

Dammit.

Oh, and because I'm bored, here's my rankings of the 2010 films I've seen so far this year. To sum it up, I've seen a lot of crap this year for God knows what reason.

1. Toy Story 3
2. Shutter Island
3. Hot Tub Time Machine
4. Macgruber
5. Iron Man 2
6. Shrek Forever After
7. Youth In Revolt
8. Greenberg
9. Runaways
10. Sorcerer's Apprentice
11. Spy Next Door

Number three and four were guilty pleasures Iron Man 2 and Greenberg were huge disappointments, and for the other films on the bottom of my list... I don't even know how I saw most of these.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

It's been hard to update, honestly. I haven't had a whole lot of free time, and work is stressing the crap out of me. I'm trying to find other employment, and I actually had an interview a few weeks back, but I don't deal with rejection well, so I haven't really looked for much since then as I'm trying to get out of this funk.

Anyway... I saw Sorcerer's Apprentice yesterday. It actually could have been a lot better. And I really don't get Hollywood's obsession with the current "total nerd ends up saving day and getting the girl." Cause I'm pretty sure any actual nerd would rather see some badass win at the end of the day instead of some lame attempt by Hollywood to cater to their demographic. Cause while you're making these lame dorks save the day in the end... you're still making them lame.

Basically, it needed more Nicolas Cage and Alfred Molina. Less Jay Baruchel trying to woo the girl he was heartbroken by when he was 10 YEARS OLD.

Anyway. The reason I'm writing this is because this last trip to the multiplex marked about the 5th time in my last 5 moviegoing experiences that my phone started ringing.

The reason why I am mentioning this is because I never receive phone calls.

I mean, I do. But usually it's when I'm expecting them. As in, if I'm hanging out with my girlfriend, and she's wondering something... or if she's calling me before I go to bed. That's it.

There's a few explanations for it.

A) I am the unluckiest person in the world.
B) There is a conspiracy.....

Either someone wants me to discontinue my patronage of fine movie theater establishments, and is using my cell phone as a long term plan to get me kicked out of every theater nearby.

OR. Someone just wants me to turn off my cell phone during movies. I used to never have this problem, since my old phone just vibrated all the time, and my new phone... even when I have it on vibrate, makes a loud noise when it wants me to know I missed a phone call. Which usually doesn't affect me... cause again, I never get phone calls. Except when I'm in the theater.

It's weird, because when I was going in to the movie yesterday, and I thought it might be wise to turn off my cell phone, because you know... I've been having troubles with it in the past few times I've gone into the theater. Then I thought "WAIT, I NEVER GET ANY PHONE CALLS. WHAT ARE THE ODDS THAT IT WOULD HAPPEN AGAIN?"

Which was beyond stupid.

So whoever is orchestrating this plot against me and my ignoring the "please turn off your cell phone" warnings... you win. My phone is going to be off, it's going to be on vibrate, it will be in a sound-proof case I will build for it in case for some inexplicable reason it still rings. I'm sorry if I have ever pissed anyone off, it will never happen again... or at least, it will never happen inside a movie theater again. Unless if the movie is particularly bad, and I can't help myself from making fun of your enjoyment of it. But I probably won't do that either.

So yeah.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Lebron James can most likely go to hell

(Note: none of this has any kind of actual insight. It's just me realizing that I'm going to most likely be cheering against Mr. James now)

For those who aren't following basketball... here's the thing. Lebron James is the best (arguably) player in the NBA. He's been playing for his hometown Cleveland Cavaliers for his entire professional career. Cleveland loves him and he's pretty much the only thing preventing the town from economic ruination (or so tells me that Cleveland tourism YouTube video). Well... he's been flirting with free agency for a while, and many teams have been saving money in the hopes of signing him once he actually becomes a free agent. Now he's a free agent. And now it's all over the news.

It's actually kind of interesting even though my current interest in the NBA is mainly based on the fact that it pretty much fixes games. Not only could an entire city kill itself, but the possibility of a SUPERDYNASTY emerging after this offseason looms pretty large. Here's the thing, though... I think Lebron is kind of screwing over the Cavaliers. The franchise/city has done pretty much everything to make him happy and make sure he stays, and yet he's still most likely leaving. So in pretty much every scenario, Lebron becomes my least favorite player.

Let's list the scenarios that might occur:

LEBRON JOINS BULLS--WHO SIGNS ANOTHER BIG FREE AGENT TO GO ALONG WITH ROSE--OR LEBRON JOINS HEAT ALONG WITH DWYANE WADE AND ANOTHER BIG FREE AGENT:

This is the most likely situation I would suppose, since I would assume the reason why Lebron would leave is because he wants to win a championship and wants to give himself the easiest time to do so. Which isn't *really* a terrible thing... but since I hate the Yankees for signing every big free agent every year in the hopes of giving themselves the best chance of winning, I can't not hate them. Also, the "leave the only team to join a loaded team in the hopes of winning a championship" move seems only acceptable to me as a last resort, i.e. you are aging and your team isn't going anywhere... or if your team just sucks. Lebron's in the prime of his career and can easily take the Cavs to the finals. So winning a title isn't going to make people think you're on the level of Michael Jordan if you're winning it with Dwyane Wade on your side.

LEBRON SIGNS WITH THE NEW YORK KNICKS:

...which would mean that championships is secondary to money and the spotlight to Lebron. If that's the case, then f*** him. I mean, the Knicks *might* be decent, but I doubt it'll be a marked improvement over his current situation with the Cavaliers.

LEBRON SIGNS WITH THE CAVALIERS... BUT ONLY FOR THREE YEARS, WHICH MEANS WE'D GET TO GO THROUGH THIS ALL OVER AGAIN:

This is the "Lebron is a pussy" route. If he signs for three years, it'll mean he just wants to maintain his savior status in Cleveland without ACTUALLY committing to stay. Which means that the first sign of trouble, he'll be thinking of bailing... which, you know, will most likely give the Cavs that extra boost that'll finally bring them a title.

Basically, if I were Lebron... I'd sign with the Cavs longterm. And if the team completely derails or if it's 6-7 years down the road and there's no sign that the Cavs will be contending for a championship soon, then you can reassess and go to a better team. But commit to the damn team first, you know? Cause it's not going to be a happy marriage if you're keeping your options open making the team scramble to make moves in an attempt to keep you here.

LEBRON SIGNS WITH THE TIMBERWOLVES:

... well, I guess I'd be OK with that.