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Sunday, November 30, 2008

Cinematic Sunday Sixty-Five

Opened the window early so that this will post properly, but man is it late to be jacking with this...

Riddle Me This...The wife and I both slept in today, then met Morris and his Mother for brunch. Do you still call it brunch if you arrive at the restaurant at 1:00 in the afternoon? Whatever.

The wife and I grabbed a coffee on the way back to the house, and then I poked around online for a few more cheap bargains to kick off the holiday shopping season. I ended up picking up the Blu-ray edition of the Godfather Trilogy for a little over $40 bucks via an online sale Best Buy was offering, though their site did give me fits because the damned Reward Zone cards' account is evidently associated (in their online system, anyway) with the wife's log-in and shipping info. We eventually got it sorted out and rather than mailing it, we instead set it up for in-store pick-up. The wife wanted to grab some gift-cards for various family members, so we figured we'd juts run by there later in the day.

Morris wanted to go see Four Christmases, which I would say at first glance looked like a pretty typical Hollywood comedy and could totally wait to check it out on DVD, but I figured what the fuck, we've been seeing a lot of stuff in theaters this past month, why not really risk my sanity and brave a Holiday weekend crowd?

The movie turned out to be basically what I expected, though I did get more laughs out of it than I expected to and I'm not sure why virtually every critic on Rotten Tomatoes threw this thing under a bus, but I suppose I like the leads so perhaps I'm being more forgiving. I love Vince Vaughn's bitter shtick (though it is very one note, I can understand someone not liking that if it's not their thing), his delivery never fails to crack me up. He's got a line in this film about being trapped on an island and hunted by a crazy millionaire for sport being preferable to being involved in the typical family Christmas that just killed me. I'm debating a review for the BSL, it's not exactly what we usually review, but since what 'we' usually review has basically fallen down to what I review, I may go for it just because it's a film still in theaters and I'd like to keep that front page quasi-topical.

The movie got out around 6:00, so we headed back home for a few, then the wife noticed that we'd gotten an e-mail from Best Buy saying that we could pick up our movie, so we went to do that, as well as stop by the home offices of one of her charities to pick up some envelopes that needed to be stuffed. The in-store pick-up was pretty hassle-free, though the myriad choices of designs on the gift-cards offered soaked up waay more of our time than I expected it to. We finally got the hell out of there and drove-thru some Mexican food for dinner and headed back to the house.

Morris hung around long enough to watch the new episode of Dexter, a show he's never seen before but seemed to enjoy pretty well. The season is almost over and tonight's episode really amped up the tensions a bit, I'm very interested to see where it goes.

Morris split to go and chill at his Mother's and the wife and I watched the rest of our television programming for the evening, then she curled up to go to sleep while I headed to the web to finish up this.

I've not done any real browsing for trailers this week, so I'm not at all sure what will turn up this evening.

First up I wanted to mention Gran Torino, the new film starring and directed by Clint Eastwood, in which he plays a typically badass old man in the Eastwood vein who slowly and grudgingly learns to accept (God forbid) cultural diversity and rises to defend his neighborhood from encroaching thugs. He even gets to say "get off my lawn!" while holding a gun on someone, which has been a personal fantasy of mine since I was a wee child, so it's nice to see someone do it on film. Give it a look.



Next we have Duplicity, from writer/director Tony Gilroy. The tale of two ex-spies (played by Clive Owen and Julia Roberts) who attempt to run a con on a pair of major businessmen in their attempt to score big enough to finance their retirement into the good life, which will evidently run them somewhere in the neighborhood of $40 million dollars. It looks interesting, if only to see how many double-crosses they give you before you throw up your hands in disgust.



Finally we have The Great Buck Howard, which is directed by Sean McGinly and stars Colin Hanks as a young guy who takes on a gig trying to revive the failing career of a magician, played by John Malkovich. The trailer doesn't really say a lot about the film, but does have a few amusing moments, as well as Hanks senior, so give it a look.



I'm out, kids.

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Saturday, November 29, 2008

More Blather, Damn The Luck...

I got up late today, the wife had already started planning our agenda for the afternoon, so I hopped online and finished up last night's post and published that mother while Morris arrived and visited with the wife a bit.

We somewhat dodged a few text messages from Blather, whose idea of 'doing something' is to ask the wife to come over to her Grandparent's house and watch her wrap Christmas gifts.

I went to eat with the wife and Morris, then went by a hardware store to try and find a bolt to replace the one keeping the recumbent bike from being completely finished, as they managed to ship two bolts to hold the handles on, one of them with NO THREADS whatsoever. We found what I hoped would be the right size, since I had to settle for eyeballing it as I couldn't find a single person working the section to help me.

The wife and I managed to get into a half-assed argument on the way back to the house, which I'm sure was delightful for Morris, but we finally got that sorted out once we were back home. I went to the bedroom to see if the bolt was the right size and Morris went to the passenger side of the house to change out a light switch for a plug, which the wife had mentioned being a pending project and he had insisted he could do it for her. This project ended up going on for awhile, and ended up with him declaring defeat and putting the switch back in place because the damned plug would never work for him.

The Mother In Law came by, she was anxious to go and do some shopping, but Morris begged out of that, instead heading over to visit his Mother for a bit, and I stayed home to chill. The MIL and the wife went out to do some poking around on their own.

How Do You Trust The Prophecies Of A Man Who Bats His Head Against A Light Bulb All Night?I eventually left the house for a bit to pick up a Starbuck's and then settled back in to watch The Mothman Prophecies, something I'd picked up cheap a few months back. It was alright, though not necessarily anything I see myself re-watching any time in the near future. I was midway through a David Spade comedy special that I bought during the same sale when the wife got home with some Chinese food for my supper, so I ate while we finished the show.

Morris, his friend S, as well as Blather and her Ex all ended up descending on our place around 8:00, courtesy of a series of text messages with the wife. I ended up boozing it up a bit with Morris and S while we chatted for a few hours, then everyone split for the evening. We've made tentative brunch plans with Morris and S for the morning, though we tried to keep it quiet for fear that Blather would try to horn in on it.

The wife headed to bed while I went into the office to get this turkey done.

Be seeing you.

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Friday, November 28, 2008

Just Under The Wire: Black Friday

I stayed up a bit too late looking at shit on Amazon to see if it got amazingly cheap for Black Friday; nothing really did, although according to a few DVD geek forums, I did miss out on a few deals here and there, like The Bank Job for $8.99 on Blu-ray, which is annoying, as it's something I might watch again, but oh well.

I ignored the alarm this morning, then woke up around 11:45 to hear the wife in the next room making lunch plans, so I got up and started moving around, checked e-mail and the web before we had to meet Morris and the wife's annoying friend Blather at a restaurant around 12:30. I dressed and checked e-mail quickly, then Morris arrived and we headed out to meet Blather.
Blather gave us the scoop on her impending divorce, which paints her soon to be ex as a loser who suddenly started stealing money from their business before she finally decided to divorce him. This completely glosses over the fact that he'd maxed out all his credit a few years ago to get married to her when she suddenly turned up pregnant (which may or may not have actually been an accident), then he sells his own business to help expand hers and she stopped fucking him about a year ago, so I suppose I could see why he thought it might be a good idea to start rat-holing money as a plan 'B' since the marriage was tenuous at best to begin with, so maybe he needed a way out.

Happily, she had planned to take her annoying child to a movie this afternoon, and had to split immediately after lunch, so we were able to shake loose from her after lunch and be vague enough about our evening plans that we didn't get fished into entertaining her.

Kosher DogsWe actually drove home after lunch so that the wife and I could change, as we'd both left the house in long pants and coats expecting something resembling winter weather for our Christmas shopping. We instead find it to be about 70 degrees and actually pretty warm indoors, so we headed home to change and then ran by a few stores to poke around a bit, including Petsmart, where I found Hanukkah toys for that Jewish pooch on my shopping list, which seems pretty fucking stupid on a lot of levels. Beyond the golden yarmulke, what's got this grinning blue bitch so happy anyway? All he has to look forward to is having his nose chewed off by my Yorkie if I purchase him, so why's he so giddy at the concept? He's grinning like the kind of guy who just saw your wife naked and feels superior about it.

We eventually hit up the sporting goods store and finally pulled the trigger on the purchase that's been brewing since my birthday, which was this elliptical/recumbent bike combo that's been on sale recently. I've been interested in trying to do something more aerobic, and the only option I have right now is the rowing machine in the garage, which I'm a bit gun-shy of considering the recent back issues, so I though that this might be a good compromise, considering I envisioned it in the bedroom, where I've been watching a lot of movies or television. I was hoping that this would get me up off the bed and doing something for at least a portion of that time.

We made our way through a few other stores, then eventually back hoe after making plans to see Robbb this evening after he got out of work. Morris and the wife chilled while I started putting the bike together, then he split for awhile and I finished up the bike while halfway watching 300 on cable while the wife looked around online for a bit.

Morris came back an hour or two later with his Beagle in tow, Bella and he played a bit, though I'm still not sure if the Yorkie actually enjoys their shenanigans, or if she feels like the larger dog could hurt her. She definitely seems to snap at him when she's had enough of his shit, so I like to think that she's in charge and not simply terrified by the situation. Robbb came by, Morris and the wife picked up pizza and another thing of Maker's Mark for the weekend and we chilled out and visited for a bit. Robbb had to call it an early night as he has to be back at work early, so we watched a bit of television before Morris and his pup split, then the wife headed to bed and I to the office to work on this.

At the midway point of this post, I began toying with the idea of blowing off posting this until tomorrow, just to get in bed earlier so that I could relax a bit instead of being up until all hours looking for links and whatnot.

I've decided that this is a very good plan and will get up and polish this turkey off tomorrow.

******************************************************************

Okay, I'm back, it's Saturday morning and I've finally put the finishing touches on this bullshit so that it can be posted properly.

Be seeing you.

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Thursday, November 27, 2008

If It Bleeds, We Can Kill It

This is true of the Predator, as well as turkeys the world over.

Guess Who's Coming To Dinner?Happy Thanksgiving.

We slept in a bit, then the wife started her cooking stuff, specifically a pumpkin pie she's watched Martha Stewart make in the past few days. I made coffee and checked e-mail, then retrieved the newspaper from the driveway and looked through all the Black Friday nonsense I've been previewing via the net for about a week. I think it's weird that I've never been aware of the leaked ads online before, but I was all over it this year, and had already basically decided there was little to no reason to do any shopping anywhere except online tomorrow. Amazon has apparently price-matched virtually any sale that my usual haunts like Best Buy or Circuit City has going, so I've been biding my time until the sales go 'live' to place an order and wait for the mailman instead of standing on some old lady's throat tomorrow for the last $10 copy of Transformers on Blu-ray.

Around noonish we loaded up the food stuffs and the Yorkie for the short drive to the Mother In Law's house. I unloaded the wife's stuff, we said hi and bye to Morris and his Mother, who had come by to drop off an ingredient that the wife had requested on their way to a family gathering, which they would attend, then come back later and eat with us. I left the wife to start getting her stuff on the stove and drove by the post office to mail a letter to ensure that it will go out and not be forgotten in the long weekend shuffle around the house.

Back at the MIL's house the women were in the kitchen doing their thing, so I retired to the living room and turned on one of the music channels on the cable and flipped through the customary pile of catalogs for a bit. Eventually our guests trickled in a short list that consisted of Morris, his Mother, Anastasia Beaverhouszen and her hubby Kno1. We got Grandmother a plate to keep her from crashing on us, blood sugar-wise, and she basically blew us off to go to the living room to watch the Cowboys play. Morris' Mother joined her because she felt bad that no one wanted to watch the game with her, which is amazingly nice because I certainly couldn't be bothered with it. The meal was good, Anastasia threw herself into helping pick up because she's sweet like that, I caught up with Kno1 for a bit, then they split to go see his mom for the evening, Morris and his Mother also headed out to another family thing and the wife and I eventually excused ourselves in favor of going home and getting back in the pajamas.

The wife caught a nap, I spoke to Macguffin on the phone about his recently received early Christmas/birthday gift of a Blu-ray player, which he's quite happy about. I ended up just watching the first thing I ran across on television that was starting at 7:30, which was Predator, a film I hadn't seen in a long time. It's silly here and there, but seems to hold up pretty well after all these years, one-liners aside.

Not really having anything else going on, I stayed put for Predator 2, which came on immediately following and was a film I'd never watched before. I quickly found out that I hadn't missed much. The film is essentially Danny Glover versus a bunch of cartoonish drug dealers that I thought only existed in the Detroit that Robocop takes place in, then an almost low-key Gary Busey and his government goons shows up trying to capture the Predator who has been making short work of all the heavily armed drug lords. There's a lot of stupid shit in this movie, though it was fun to heckle and was what the wife described as the perfect Thanksgiving movie, as it's nothing you really want to see, but would say what the hell to if you're tired of dealing with the relatives in the afternoon.

I hopped online afterward to poke around for a few things that'd gone on sale and the wife retired to the bedroom to look through some more catalogs before bed. I'm currently debating staying up REALLY late and catching a sale that goes live at 4:00 AM our time; I'm leaning towards saying fuck that noise and going to bed.

I'm out kids.

Be seeing you.

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Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Pre-Turkey Jitters

I lie in the title, I just thought it sounded amusing but there are no jitters to be had today, things were happily laid back and relaxing.

We slept in a bit today, then I got up and made coffee, then got online for a bit to see what was up in the world. The wife had a single errand to run, so I called in some Thai food that she could pick up on her outing. The wife and the food arrived, we ate lunch and watched a few re-runs on the TiVo.

The mail arrived, which included Hancock on Blu-ray from those rental throttling pricks at Netfux, so we retired to the bedroom to check that out. Aw, Hell Naw... The wife's friend from DC is in town briefly for the holiday, leaving tomorrow with her mother to head to San Antonio, so she dropped by in the afternoon. The wife had been napping, so I invited her back to lay in bed with us, watching some television and visiting. We don't stand on ceremony around here, as you might guess.

We gave her a tour of the somewhat finished product that is the Library, then chilled at the kitchen counter while the wife started working on a sweet potato dish for tomorrow. Eventually our guest had to split to spend the evening with her mother, so the wife and I also stepped out to pick up an early dinner and poke around at Big Lots, as I've been very curious lately as to what they'll get in next in their cheap DVD racks. I found nothing there, so we just grabbed some chicken for dinner and came home to finish up Hancock. The flick was actually pretty decent, and the complaints I've read in several reviews about the film losing its way halfway through the storyline weren't as glaring as I was led to believe. I really enjoyed it, especially Jason Bateman's PR guy trying to salvage Hancock's image, the fucking scene with Smith tossing the whale into a sailboat still makes me laugh.

I popped in The Animatrix afterward, since it was one of the discs I never got around to looking at when going through that new Blu-ray set, and I was curious just how well it has held up considering I haven't watched it in years. It looked great, I have to admit I was somewhat blown away, especially by the first short, Final Flight Of The Osiris, it looked amazing.

Speak of the devil:



On a side note, The Matrix and The Animatrix are officially the only titles I've double-dipped on thus far when buying Blu-ray stuff, just because I never owned the third movie and figured the trilogy was worth owning as a set complete with all the bells and whistles they offered. Otherwise, I've been forcing myself to stay away from anything I already own, no matter how tempting (Natural Born Killers, I'm looking at you...) in favor of owning new material instead.

I headed to the office to work on this and the wife to the kitchen to throw a few main ingredients together for tomorrow, just to save some prep time in the morning.

I'm out kids.

Be seeing you.

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Tuesday, November 25, 2008

The DVR Is Thwarted Yet Again

Well, long story short for anyone who was curious about the weird guy turning up at our door late last night: We survived with no incident. Go us.

I got up with the alarm this morning, checked e-mail and then went back to bed and lay with the wife and Yorkie for a bit. I got back up, dressed and went to pick up breakfast burritos, something we rarely do, so that was a nice little treat. We ate at the kitchen bar and I read through the newspaper.

The wife got ready for a handful of meetings that she had in the late morning and afternoon, so I hopped back online and submitted a couple of reviews for the Big Suck Loser, just to make sure there's new stuff up there for the holiday, as I doubt I'll have a chance to get back to it before early next week.

I got a call from Robbb, who inquired about lunch, so I asked him to come by while I finished up my writing. We visited for awhile, ended up inviting our friend EL over to join us, then I drove us across town to meet one of Robbb's co-workers at a Chinese buffet. Somewhere in the middle of that I spoke to the wife, who reminded me of the Orthodontist appointment that I had at exactly the same time I'd made lunch plans, so I rescheduled that for early next year, getting added to the cancellation list in case they have an opening earlier and figuring that since we're actually friends with the Ortho in question, if I have to I'll bully my way in if need be.

Lunch was decent, Robbb's buddy headed back to work and we came back to the house and chilled out for a bit, visiting a little more before the guys split for errands of their own. I took a few moments to try and even out some of the soil in the front flowerbed, as every new planting throws the lay of the land out of whack and funnels the soaker hoses into flooding the driveway and leaving the kale to die a sad withering death. I think I evened things out a bit, but I'll wait to see what happens the next time the sprinklers run.

The wife got home, spent some time fielding phone calls while I poked around the web, then we chilled in the bedroom and watched a few of the new Cathouse specials off the DVR, then the new episode of Fringe, which typically cut off about a miniute before the Goddamned show ended (This happened with Heroes last night as well), presumably thanks to the new habits all networks have of starting shows late or running them over a few minutes to insure the viewer is pressed to the screen in an effort to not miss the climax of the episode. Bah.

I headed to the office to work on this while the wife Christmas shops on the laptop in the bedroom.

Be seeing you.

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Monday, November 24, 2008

A Quantum Of Family Dinner

Briefly, because I'm tired:

I had made plans to meet Macguffin at his place in Odessa to go and see Quantum Of Solace this afternoon at 1:00, so I got up early, checked the e-mail and drank a few cups of coffee. I had a Chiropractor visit scheduled for 11:00, so I left a bit early and went to get the oil changed in the car before I had to drive to Odessa.

The oil change took very little time since they weren't busy at all, so I had about 29 minutes to kill before the appointment. I stepped into video store close to the Chiro's office to kill some time, finding nothing interesting.

The Chiro visit actually went fairly fast (though there's no end insight for him wanting to see me, which is alarming), and I was on my way to Odessa by noon, listening to last week's Night Of The Living Podcast on the drive. I met up with Mac at his house, and we headed out to hit his bank to pick up some cash, but before we walked out the door I checked the movie times with the iPhone on a wild hair to confirm the movie time, only to find out that there was no 1:15 showing, which was the reason I was in Odessa. Frustratingly, the next showing wasn't until the late afternoon, so we ended up driving back to town to catch a 1:15 showing here instead, then driving back to Odessa afterward.

Follow Me Into The Desert, As Thirsty As You Are...The movie was fun, though not as engaging as Casino Royale had been, and the villain wasn't all that menacing, but it was a decent little flick. The only odd thing was the people who came in late with their infant, who didn't seem all that interested in the movie. They were up and down several times taking the kid in and out to quiet him, which was quasi-considerate, but why bring a child that old to a theater? You're just an asshole for doing it, no matter how you slice it, and if it's not even a kid's movie, you win the asshole jackpot for sure.

The wife had mentioned that the family wanted to have dinner in Odessa at Red Lobster, so I ended up hanging out with Mac and Blancodeviosa until the family arrived at the restaurant, knocking back a few Guinness that they had hanging around their fridge while I waited. We visited and watched a few things on television until I got the call, then I headed around the corner to meet them for dinner.

Having not eaten all day I was a little buzzed from the beers, so a nice large meal was just the ticket, and it was fun to have a chance to get to know these out of town relatives. The situation didn't involve as many people as the meal last night, so we could actually visit a little bit instead of trying to not get hit in the face with scalding hot shrimp. The wife and the Mother In Law rode back to town with me, and we reconvened at her house for a bit of relaxation and more chatting, it was nice.

We headed home late, I started pecking at this on the laptop while we watched tonight's episode of Heroes, then I moved to the office after the show was over.

I'm typing away, the qwife is half asleep when our doorbell rings just after midnight. I go to see what the fuck, as the house is completely dark out front except for the security lights at either corner of the home: We don't look like we're open for business and accepting callers. The Yorkie is barking and freaking out at the door, so I sidle up to the doorway and kick on the porchlights, see a skinny 20-something looking kid in a yellow hoodie with a goatee and ballcap on. I crack the door, to keep the dog in check and see what the fuck he wants without being inviting in the slightest.

"Yeah?"

"We ran out of gas just right there..." he indicates the street behind him "And were wondering if you had a gascan with just a splash of gas in it that we could borrow?"

"No man, I'm sorry. I don't."

"We're just right there man..." again, indicating the street behind him.

"No, I honestly don't even own a gas can (True, BTW, I'm not lying to the guy). Sorry." I shut the door to get the dog to fuck off from trying to edge her way to the front and to indicate that our business is done, even if they're "right there" or whatever he kept saying.

So I'm of course a little weirded out, because who the fuck rings doorbells at midnight besides home invaders? I mean, I understand doing that if you're in a remote as fuck area and you're hoping to not have to walk 15 miles into the next Bumfuck, Nowhere town, but we're talking about a residential area with a 7-11 about a mile away, tops. Why are you theoriticaly waking people up on the off-chance that they're feeling like a Samaritan?

I'm also thinking that I basically now have to sit up for at least a few hours to ballbat the fuck out of any asshole who I hear creeping through our squeaky side gate, so that's annoying. Actually, come to think of it, we have that new set of cutlery, I think a fat, scared guy in pajamas holding a shiny new cleaver and willing to kill your ass rather than let you hurt him will at least give the average man pause if they come a knockin' again.

I'm also telling you this in case this is the last I'm ever heard from, maybe a description of the guy and his white SUV can be useful to the police.

Be seeing you.

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Sunday, November 23, 2008

Cinematic Sunday Sixty-Four

4:45 PM: Opening the window to the Blogger world early, because who knows what the evening holds? I've been drug into an extended family dinner that's gone from a fairly low-key dinner at the Mother In Law's house to a dinner out with presumably two tables full of relatives at a steakhouse. Shoot me twice in the face.

---Okay, we're back and it's many hours later, so let's recap the shit out of this day, shall we?

The wife and I both slept in until around 11:00 today, then she made this little pigs in a blanket breakfast we like, which is simple enough as you just pop the little pre-made tray in the oven for a few and you're good to go. I made coffee and checked e-mail so that the wife could have access to the computer for the afternoon to get some work done. I left her to do that and read through the newspaper, then started gathering up all the various recycle stuff we had to drop off for the week. I loaded up the car and dropped that crap off, though I did have to make two stops with the plastic bin being completely full at the first place I went.

I'm not sure how the recycling evens out when you consider the extra driving I had to do to try and save the Earth, I probably came up short on that one.

Fuck me in the carbon footprint.

I headed back home, the wife was still hard at work on the office, so I dicked around in the media closet a bit, re-arranging the DVD's in there to a more suitable configuration that allows for the sections to be expanded more easily. When I first put the new shelf in there, I just shuffled everything over a bit and left it, but the more I looked at it, I began to think that I could tweak the arrangement of the various categories a little bit to make them 'flow' better, so I took the time this afternoon to make that happen, so now the larger sections are easier to add to without having to move around major chunks of movies to make room for new stuff.

The joys of being a packrat.

The wife finally finished her stuff up and decided to rest her eyes for a but before the family dinner we had plans to attend, so I hoped online and did a little Christmas shopping for her to catch a couple of sales that are happening right now.

Around 5:00 we both got dressed and headed out to the extended family feed that the Older Sister and the MIL had orchestrated at Shogun's. A Japanese steakhouse where they do the food prep in front of you, complete with bursts of flame and the cook flipping shrimp at your face, it's quite the spectacle, I think they were thinking that the kids would enjoy the production. The food was good, though our large party of 12 or so did take awhile to get settled just because they're short-handed on cooks and had to leave us waiting until someone was available.

The wife and I grabbed a coffee at Starbuck's afterward, then came home and watched our customary Sunday night television programming, several of which were season finales.

I come to the web at long last to finish up here and pick out a few trailers for you nice people, but I've been taking notes as the week wore on, so I already have a few things in mind.

First up we have The Wrestler, the new film from Darren Aronofsky. It stars Mickey Rourke as the titular character, a down on his luck type who has a last desperate chance at a comeback along with a new relationship with an exotic dancer played by Marisa Tomei. Evan Rachel Wood co-stars as his estranged daughter. This one is getting great press, I'm really looking forward to it, give the trailer a look.



Next we have Black Dynamite, a throwback Blaxploitation flick starring Michael Jai White. I have to pause and comment that I saw what I can only assume is a typically much more mainstream website blurb the newly released trailer with the following: "What is Black Dynamite you ask? You know what exploitation films are, right? Well, Black Dynamite is a Blaxploitation film at its finest. Believe it or not, it's an actual genre." If you run a movie website that is so whitebread that you have to explain what Blaxploitation is, or clarify that it even exists when talking to your readers, you may want to try to expand your horizons a bit as a film fan and webmaster. Just sayin'. The film looks like a lot of fun in the Grindhouse vein and is set to premiere at Sundance early next year. The trailer is red band, so beware the occasional titty and "mother fucker!" if you're at work.



Finally, we have a comedy I got an e-mail about earlier in the week, the new film from Greg Mattola, director of Superbad. Adventureland tells the story of a young college graduate played by Jesse Eisenberg, who finds himself left with few prospects after he leaves school. He ends up working at a theme park, along with an assortment of nutty characters, including Twilight's Kristen Stewart, Ryan Reynolds and Bill Hader. It looks to be amusingly reminiscent of the lousy job we all had at one point or another, but kept because of the people you met while working there. Give it a look, the film releases in Spring of next year.



I'm out kids.

Be seeing you.

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Saturday, November 22, 2008

Chauvinist Apocalypse

I have so little to relate about the day that I came close to skipping this fucker altogether.

We slept in today, then lay in bed petting the Yorkie for a bit once we did wake up. I checked e-mail while the wife started sorting through a project she had to work on. I called in an order for some lunch, then picked it up, an uneventful trip. We ate and watched last night's episode of The Soup off the TiVo, along with some other random shows just to keep that thing cleaned out.

I decided to watch the two random movies that had sneaked their way to the top of the queue and arrived courtesy of those rental throttling pricks at Netfux in the afternoon. Amusing Misogyny At Its Finest Going Places is a puzzling comedy by Bertrand Blier, who I've seen a couple of films by in the past few months, including the one reviewed over here. Today's film is concerned with two scruffy criminals who basically run around committing petty crimes and totally creeping out any woman they come in contact with, molesting them in one way or another, including nursing from a mother who is breastfeeding her kid on a train. Another of these women, the gorgeous Miou Miou allows these idiots to kidnap her, and eventually goes on the lam with them, involved in a strange threesome relationship in pursuit of her first orgasm. The film maintains a weird chauvinistic tone that is strange considering it's billed as a comedy and the two leads keep doing all manner of shitty things, particularly to the women they encounter, it's a strange watch. Actually, all of Blier's films that I have seen thus far have proved to be fairly odd, in that their stories are incidental to moving the characters to the next set of strange situations, and this one is no exception. Little in his films seem to make a lot of logical sense, but I find myself drawn into them just to see what the next weird fucking thing will be.

I poured myself a cocktail at some point after the film, the wife and I puttered around the house a bit, then ordered in a couple of sandwiches for dinner and watched the other flick, which was 20 Years After. In a total change of pace, 20 Years After is a post apocalyptic film set (duh) 20 years after the conflict and follows the first girl to be pregnant in 15 years and the fractured groups and factions who want to find her, some to protect, others with more sinister plans. Honestly, it was okay, but the hour and a half running time actually seemed to drag a bit towards the end.

We skimmed through a few more television shows and then called it a night. The wife headed to bed to go through the pile of catalogs that've started stacking up as we get into the holiday season and I hit the office to get this out of the way.

Be seeing you.

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Friday, November 21, 2008

Movies: One Good, One Bad, Another Good...

I was up a little late last night watching The Kid Stays In The Picture, a bio-pic about producer Robert Evans, who worked on many of the most successful films of the 70's. Frank Sinatra Was On The Horn and Baby, He Wasn't Crooning... The film was narrated by the man himself and detailed his rise to fame as well as the rocky years of his later career. The whole film was like a live action issue of Vanity Fair, with all the visuals composed of archival footage and photos from the era, it's an interesting looking film.

The wife ran the Yorkie to the groomer this morning, then went to run a few errands of her own, so I got up, made coffee and started working on a couple more reviews. I've been trying to bank a few more back in case the coming holidays begin to take away from the writing time, so I was still working on that when the wife got back home shortly after noon.

I left her to use the web herself while I ran to pick us up some lunch and drop something off at the post office. The wife had been quasi-guilted into going to Fort Worth this evening, so I figured we should spend the afternoon together until she had to leave.

Y'see, the Mother In Law has been enamored of this guy that we met in Arkansas when we went to a wedding last year. The dude is around our (the wife and I's) age (meaning about 40 years younger than the MIL), and aside from his 'real' band he also performs solo as an Elvis impersonator.

The MIL is very enamored of this dude's Elvis shtick, and has actually brought him to town to play at Grandmother's birthday last year (which was totally for the MIL and not Grandmother, sadly, she could care less about the guy) and also under-wrote his check to have him perform at one of the arts festivals the wife is involved in earlier this year. Long story longer, this fool is playing another Elvis show in Fort Worth this evening, so the MIL actually CHARTERED A FUCKING PLANE to fly to the DFW area and go see this idiot, conning my wife and her (the MIL's) Sister In Law into going along for the ride.

Funnily enough, the MIL was actually surprised that I didn't feel like going with them?!? I mean, just because I somehow can't muster the enthusiasm for a guy doing the same fucking Elvis act I barely cared to see 8 months ago, she's shocked? The wife basically felt bad because the MIL had even conned Morris into driving to Fort Worth to meet her for the evening and decided to join her for the trip, because it's literally them flying out this afternoon at 3:00 and returning around 11:00 or midnight. Morris actually called me in the afternoon to ask if I was coming, as I'd make it more fun, but I held my ground.

The truly asinine thing about this strange day trip just to see some scrawny guy shaking his hips is that the MIL also has family arriving in town this afternoon to visit her for the weekend, yet she's running off to the Dallas area for most of the day.

Whew, I'm done, but seriously, what a dumbass situation.

The wife out of the house for the afternoon, I watched another flick I have to review, a puzzling action film called Fighting With Anger. It co-stars Willie Nelson, who also co-produced (!), and is a REALLY predictable low budget action flick that I had hoped would include Willie doing some martial arts, but mostly consisted of the female lead fighting dozens of assailants in stagey fights. I was pretty underwhelmed.

I got the call that Bella was done at the groomer, so I went and picked her up, listening to this week's episode of Cinema Diabolica on the drive.

What's Up Big Red?Once I got back home, I decided to chill in the bedroom and check out the Blu-Ray version of Hellboy II: The Golden Army, so I fed the dog and then headed that way. The wife had given me the movie for my birthday earlier in the week and I had actually intended to watch it sooner but got distracted with other crap time and again. I really enjoyed the flick, though I was surprised by how much of it felt very episodic, as if it were a television show that I'd missed an episode of, so I'll be curious to see how different it feels on subsequent viewings now that I know what the tone of the film is. The film looked amazing, Del Toro's creatures are amazingly well-realized and so is the world in which they live, great stuff.

I decided to head to the office to get this written since most of what I have to write abut was simply bitching about the MIL acting like a school girl with a crush on some dude with silly hair and twitchy hips.

Be seeing you.

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Thursday, November 20, 2008

Three The Hard Way?

Sorry, I don't fuggin' know what to call tonight's post, just because with increasingly less going on each day this week, I have less to write about and thus less material to draw a title from.

How The Fuck Did Marc Forster Get His Name On The Poster?I got up later than I intended, then gave Macguffin a call, as we'd made tentative plans to see Quantum Of Solace this afternoon, but was unable to get him on the phone. The wife was on the computer in the office, so I took the laptop to the kitchen bar area and started checking e-mail there while I drank coffee and tried to wake up.

The wife had errands to run and was going to run by the grocery store afterward, so I eventually put the laptop away and moved into the office. Mac eventually called me back to confirm that he was indeed canceling on the film, which was fine, as I had originally planned to try and watch something else to review this week anyway.

I got sucked into the interweb for longer than I intended, then washed some dishes and picked up the kitchen a bit while listening to the latest episode of ShowShow.

The wife arrived with groceries, which we unloaded and put away before making a late lunch of hamburgers and fries. We ate while watching the first disc of Sold Out: A Threevening With Kevin Smith, which I'm set to review for Pop Syndicate. The wife caught a nap mid-film, while I finished it off and moved on to the second disc. Smith is as amusing as ever, although I do think some of his more blatant vulgarity in the intros and special at times feel a bit forced, as if he's perhaps pandering to the fans of the dick and fart jokes anxious for him to make the next graphic and leering comment, but maybe I overestimate the man and he's just a genuinely low-brow fellow. Personally, I'd like to think that's not the case.

We watched some television after the Smith thing was over, tonight's episodes of The Office, My Name Is Earl and 30 Rock, then called it a night. Since it's finally getting cold here the wife decided to try out the new gas logs in the bedroom fireplace while I headed to the office to get this over with.

Be seeing you.

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Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Absolutely Nothing To Write About

Yeah, I know, it's never stopped me before.

The wife was up an hour before I was this morning, working on stuff on the computer in the office, so I started coffee and asked her where the hell the maid was. Not that I was really concerned that she wasn't here, but I've just become accustomed to her ringing our doorbell at 9:00 AM sharp before I even have the sleep out of my eyes, and here she was over an hour late today. The wife told me that she had called and was running late, so I started reading the newspaper and drinking my cup of ambition in an effort to wake up a bit.

The maid arrived, the wife finished her stuff online, so I moved into the office as the maid started her maid stuff that she does around the house and the wife moved into the bedroom to return a series of calls.

I wrote several reviews that I had been putting off, clearing the desk of the small pile of notes from the past week or so, pausing in the early afternoon to eat lunch that the wife was kind enough to go and pick up for us.

We had several different people come and go, finally picking up all the junk from the two parties last week, which is nice to have out of the house, and then the lawn guys even came and did their bit, giving the Yorkie something else to freak out about. The maid finally split around 3:30, and the wife and Yorkie retired to the bedroom to chill and watch some afternoon trash TV.

Gorgeous, Just GorgeousI finally finished what I was planning on getting done today, so I popped in a Blu-Ray that'd arrived a few days back from those rental throttling pricks at Netfux. I'd been excited to see The Fall basically ever since the trailer hit the web, and I honestly can't say why I didn't pick it up when it came out, perhaps money was an issue that week or something, but the film looks simply amazing. The lush, vibrant colors and ample use of the widescreen format really make for an amazing viewing experience. The story, juxtaposing a suicidal actor telling a story to a young girl in the hospital, and the girls' imaginative visual interpretation of the story is very well executed, drifting characters from the real world into the fantasy with interesting results.

The wife woke up midway through the film and seemed to really enjoy the rest of it, I'll definitely be willing to give it another look with her later if we end up buying it.

I made us some pasta for dinner, something we've been doing a lot lately, then we settled in and watched Ghost Hunters and this week's episode of Fringe, which actually managed to build a little more directly on what happened last week, which is a welcome change and has me interested in the next episode, if only to see if they ignore the ongoing mystery and head off in yet another direction.

And now here I am, doing this song and dance again.

Be seeing you.

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Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Older, Never Wiser...

So I had a great birthday yesterday, I spent it running around with the wife and doing some shopping for a few winter clothes, which for our area means when it gets into the 50's every now and then for a few months. Our weather in West Texas is generally so mild it makes owning coats annoying, as you can only really get some use out of them maybe a week out of the year.

Never The EndWe caught a matinee of Saw V in the afternoon, which is a franchise I'm still getting some enjoyment out of even as they fall victim to the laws of diminishing returns. The traps seem to stay somewhat interesting, but they keep stretching the believability of their continuity by adding in characters that we're supposed to believe were just off camera in earlier films. While I like they attention to detail and continuity, it's become harder to swallow with each film as they shoe-horn more intricate genius into Jigsaw's machinations, which evidently managed to account for any number of variables, right down to the letter. In short, it's getting increasingly silly, but the tine of the films is maintained, as are the gruesome deaths, so I still figure it's worth a matinee ticket.

Oh, and the wife actually likes these gory fucking movies, I don't know exactly why, but she's been down to watch them since we caught the first one in the theater years ago, so I figure why rock the boat.

Oh, and there's new stuff at the BSL of you haven't been by there lately, check that out if you have lots of free time.

Hard, Hard To Find.Today was almost more of the same, as the wife actually had some time with no non-profit organization meetings, so she and I took advantage of that again and went to an early lunch together, then hit Barnes & Noble to look around at the magazines. We ran into Robbb, visited a bit with him, then he split, we bought a couple of magazines and then went down the little strip to Best Buy because we needed to exchange the copy of Casino Royale that the wife had bought me for my birthday for the 2 disc version. They were of course out of it, so I picked up a couple cheap Dimension Extreme titles instead and we headed across town to our final stop: the books music and video place that I once worked at that I feel like I incessantly talk shit.

It Shouldn't Be This Hard To Buy This Stupid Movie...The whole shit-talking thing? Today will be no different, this store sucks out loud.

I was looking to purchase Tropic Thunder on Blu-Ray that was released today. I had a giftcard from selling some DVD's to them, so I figured I could use the $20 or so towards that and pay the difference. I check their new release rack, there's nothing except the standard def disc, so I ask an associate, she begins looking into where it might be. Over the next 15-20 minutes, no less that 6 employees all searched the store for the alleged 9 copies (!) of this film that they have in their inventory, yet can't produce. At one point, 4 employees are all standing together, rubbing elbows in front of the new release rack as if the fucking things will appear if the right number of idiots gather at one time.

Still Not In Stock?This isn't the first time this has happened, most recently I attempted (unsuccessfully) to purchase War Inc. on Blu-Ray from them, another title featured in their weekly ad, which to my knowledge (I even checked the rack today out of curiousity) they have NEVER FUCKING RECIEVED. I eventually gave up, found the single copy of the Casino Royale 2 Disc edition they had and bought it instead, taking time to pick up a customer comment card on my way out so that I can express my frustration to their home office. That's one thing I never do, but to try to shop this store on more than one occasion and be greeted time and again with such ridiculous lapses in service, I mean give me a fucking break. It's one thing to not carry some obscure foreign film that 8 people in America have heard of, but to habitually post ad titles and not even get them into your fucking stores, or to lose them once they are recieved, what the fuck, over? How is this glorified garage sale still in business?

Say My Name, Bitch!We headed home, I checked e-mail and ordered Tropic Thunder online as part of a discount sale Deep Discount was having right now, because fuck trying to shop locally. I enjoy recieving packages in the mail, it's like a mini-Christmas, isn't it?

The wife caught a nap before her evening meeting and I watched the copy of Beetlejuice on Blu that she'd bought me, a film I hadn't seen in many moons. I'd expressed interest in it because I was curious how much difference the hi-def transfer would make on an older film, and it was noticeably better, but still obviously not as clear as something newer which is shot on digital video.

Crusader?While the wife was at her evening meeting I watched a documentary I have to review for Pop Syndicate called Larry Flynt: The Right To Be Left Alone, which covered his various battles over free speech, both over pornography and politics, and despite not having a completely clear through-line (it jumps around a bit), I really enjoyed it and want to re-watch the Milos Forman bio sometime soon.

The wife came home in time to finish that with me, then she and the Yorkie headed to bed while I went to the office to work on this.

Be seeing you.

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Monday, November 17, 2008

Once More With Increasingly Less Feeling

The wife and I are going to have some lunch after I hit the Chiropractor this morning, then try to take in a Saw V matinee this afternoon. I Went For The Fudgie The Whale Cake Instead Of This We may also go and poke around at the mall or whatever to do some shopping for some more wintery clothes, as my shorts and flip flops routine will soon run me into a cold or the flu if I'm not careful.

I think I'm otherwise taking the day off today, unless I get a wild hair to come back on here and update this with more details about the day later this evening.

Be seeing you.

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Sunday, November 16, 2008

Cinematic Sunday Sixty-Three

The Yorkie woke me up around 10:00 AM, happily showing no signs of problems after tying one on last night, so that's a relief. The wife was also up, though she seemed more inclined to go back to bed than I did, so I left her chilling in bed and made coffee and fetched the newspaper from the driveway.

Church Innuendo Is FunnyI started to look at the DVR in the bedroom, which I've been using primarily to grab Hi-Def movies on the upper tier of movie channels and the various HBO and Showtime series that we've been following and noticed that it was getting full, so we watched a couple of things on there in an effort to clear it off.

The latest episode of Fringe was okay, but I'm getting two vibes from the show: A) It's one of those that's better served being watched in a marathon when it hits DVD just because all the cryptic shadow organizations might make more sense if they're fresh in your mind and B) They really need a different shtick than to say that virtually everything they encounter was originated by the crazy old doctor 30 years ago. I can buy that 'easy out' solution to their problems once or twice, but it feels like practically every weeks' conflict is being righted by this old loon when he suddenly realizes that he created the problem back in the 60's, and it's just asinine.

I also watched the new Ricky Gervais special that premiered on HBO this weekend, it was pretty amusing, I wish they'd release the stand-up stuff he's done in Britain over here, I believe there's at least a couple of specials that aren't available with no plans in the works to release them Stateside.

The wife napped a bit and I found myself feeling pretty inspired by the pot of coffee, so I finished cleaning up the house after last night's party, putting away all the borrowed serving stuff (we re-used the items from the caterer from Thursday's gathering, if they aren't going to pick it up, fuck 'em) and gathering up all the various stuff we had to recycle. It appears that I'm the kind of idiot that goes to volunteer at a recycling thing yesterday and doesn't remember to bring his own stuff with him to drop off. I dressed and ran that to the bins at the grocery store, then came back home, started laundry and took out the trash, did some dishes, all the usual household nonsense that needs to get done before it gets out of hand.

I decided to get an early jump on this just so that I'm not up til the crack of dawn fooling around trying to find trailers and whatnot.

Here's what I ran across this week:

First we have the trailer for Giallo, the new film from Dario Argento. The darkness of the trailer isn't exactly conducive to YouTube's already pixelated presentation, so the quality is fairly murky, but I'm getting something about a series of mutilations and Adrien Brody and his nose being hot on the trail. Give it a look and tell me if you can discern anything else, trying to ignore the voice-over guy, I found that really distracting.



Next we have The Lodger, from director David Ondaatje, which adapts the same source material as Hitchcock's original film. It stars Alfred Molina, Hope Davis and Simon Baker as the Jack The Ripper wanna-be in question, and might be worth a look, I'm kind of on the fence with this one right now. Give it a look.



I'm not sure about a release date for Johan Renck's film Downloading Nancy, but I'm intrigued by the trailer, which features some female nudity and strange sexual situations and should thus be considered NSFW. It stars Rufus Sewell as a jilted husband, whose wife Nancy, played by Maria Bello leaves him for a relationship with Jason Patric, a man she met online who is willing to fulfill her more sadomasochistic urges. Beware your spouse's travels on the interweb and check out the trailer below.



Finally, I'm posting another Watchmen trailer, from director Zack Snyder, if only because someone reading this may not have visited any other sites on the web this week, as EVERYONE is posting this fucker. I actually like it a little more than the first trailer, as it gives the lay person more of an idea what the film is actually about, versus the first one which felt geared towards the comics crowd who read it in the late 80's. I'd also comment that I actually like Rorschach's voice, as it's the affected guttural voice of what's essentially a small guy hiding behind a mask, but I can't stand Billy Crudup's silly 'human' voice as Dr. Manhattan. I expected something more grand from that character, hell even something James Earl Jones-ish and I get a voice that sounds like my dentist or something; it's disconcerting.



Be seeing you.

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