Monday, December 17, 2007

Of Eternal Moonshine of the Simpson Mind

Last night's episode was pretty funny but this scene took the cake. He is pushed off Suicide Bridge and looks back on his 39 years...

Of Weekends and Legends

Another weekend has flown by and Christmas will soon be upon us. I have yet to purchase (or create) presents for loved ones, but I am working on something I plan on giving anyone who wants it. I'll wait for it to be complete before I ask if anyone wants it, simply because I'm afraid it won't be done before I leave for winter break.

My brother was kind enough to send me Super Mario Galaxy for Chanukah, so I have been playing that of late. A lot of fun and rather addicting, but I have a hard time finding moments to play.

Friday evening, (after I futzed around with Galaxy) Shannon and I basically hung out at the house. Made some dinner, caught up on some television and just relaxed. After driving all day, I really couldn't ask for more.

Saturday was spent drawing (for me) and running some other errands. Listened to some Ricky Gervais podcasts which made me laugh so hard I almost drove us off the highway. I can't think of the last time we laughed that hard. We caught I Am Legend that night and we loved it. A great blend of art house direction and big budget looks. Not perfect by any means (CG still looks like CG no matter how you slice it) but it was an extremely tense and (emotional?) distraction.

Sunday we complained about being lazy. We made a delicious breakfast (pancakes and eggs!) then tried to get out of the house. Went to Petco, saw some kitties (our weekend ritual) then tried to see how close we could get to the mountain range. Saw some huge houses, found a few parks, drove on the mountain then headed back. We lounged watching television, movies (Bewitched still sucks) and I drew a lot. That night we watched 30 Rock we missed that Thursday (it is quickly becoming my new favorite show) and Curb your Enthusiasm until we were exhausted.

I now have four days to finish the project, assuming I can do the copying, stapling and mailing on Friday/saturday.

I am looking forward to vacation. I fly out of LAX on Saturday and arrive in West Hartford on Sunday. Sunday I have lunch with family then drive up to Boston to spend Christmas with Shannon and HER family. On the 26th I drive back down to West Hartford and hang out with my family for the rest of the break. On the 29th we're going to see Sorkin's new play, the Farnsworth Invention and on the 30th I fly back out to LA. Brian and I are going to try to shoot some of "Keys," a sequel to Cloth and directly involved in Rhiannon Stories. Hopefully shooting that will spark some inspiration for the comic.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Of Juno and Reviews of Juno

An article sent to me by my beloved pretty much summed up my feelings on Juno. I have copied and pasted it for your behalf.


I Really Wanted To Like Juno
by Emily Gould

When Juno, the 16-year-old heroine of the movie being marketed hardest to my generation this holiday season, tells her best friend she's pregnant, the friend's first reaction is, "Honest to blog?" CLUNK. But in spite of being forewarned about that line in the movie's ubiquitous T.V. spots, and in spite of David Denby's New Yorker rave—"Juno is a coming-of-age movie made with idiosyncratic charm and not a single false note"—I still held out high hopes for alternastripper memoirist turned screenwriter Diablo Cody's collaboration with 'Thank You For Smoking' director Jason Reitman. But guess what? There are false notes aplenty in this trytoohardy movie. Honest to blog!

When we're first introduced to Juno, she's taking pregnancy tests in a convenience store bathroom and dispassionately blurting the results to everyone within earshot, including Rainn Wilson, the clerk, who calls her "homeskillet." Never having met Juno before, it's tough for us to tell what's behind her oversharing. Are she and Rainn longtime pals? Is she acting studiedly blase, or is she catatonic with shock? David Edelstein has theorized that Juno's just acting her age, or more specifically, acting her demographic: "she's a poster girl (or will be) for the Facebook Generation--the one with zero sphere of privacy."

But later in the film, we see her sweating out her decision to tell her parents about the pregnancy and worrying what kids at school will think. Tone-deaf slang aside, this contradiction is the film's biggest flaw: is being pregs a big deal to Juno, or is it all just a "shenanigan"?

It's also hard to believe in Juno's feelings for her impregnator and One True Love, Michael Cera's Paulie Bleek. True, he is played by Michael Cera, he does wear running shorts pretty much throughout the film, and he does have the 'endearing' habit of eating lots of orange Tic-Tacs. Based on those attributes, and on his, like, three lines, we're meant to root for his and Juno's romance and to understand when, towards the end of the film, Juno apologizes for having been "a bitch" to him.

Huh? Honey, you told him you were pregnant and he stood there across the yard from you all blank and George Michael Bluth-y! A little bitchiness was in order! This kind of missing emotional nuance undermines every moment in the movie that's supposed to be moving, and no amount of heartstring-manipulation from the twee soundtrack can pick up the slack.

About that soundtrack: besides a couple of Tigermilk tracks, the movie is almost entire scored to songs by the alt-folk band the Moldy Peaches. Those jangly duets—clever and catchy at first listen, clearly in love with their own cleverness and rough edges, decreasingly charming upon repeated listening—suit the movie perfectly.


The review can be found on this site:

Honest to blog!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Of Films to Look Forwards To

My list of movies I can't wait to see is rather brief.

In no particular order:

Be Kind Rewind
I Am Legend
Sweeney Todd
There Will Be Blood
The Diving Bell and the Butterfly

To a lesser extent:

Jumper (because I read the book over and over again)
Margot at the Wedding
National Treasure 2

The first movie is not great, but I saw it again recently and didn't want to stab my eyes out with sharpened pencils. In fact, I was pretty entertained. Hence why I sort of want to see it.

Wow, that list was longer than I expected.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Of Movies

No Country for Old Men was incredible. Juno was merely good. Clerks 2 was not as bad as Shannon and Brian said it was (because there were a few moments that I sincerely dug) but it was still pretty awful. There was one line that I thought was brilliant, but it was so cliched and predictable. Where is Dogma Kevin Smith!? Where is edgy with a reason Kevin Smith?! Moving on.

I just finished blasting through the American Elf archives. Wow.

Also, 30 Rock has been really growing on me.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Of Weekends and Rolling Stones

Another weekend passes. Event-less really, but I will recant them to you regardless.

Friday night hit and I actually cannot remember what we did. Oh! I bought liquor and orange chicken to make (I've really been getting into cooking) so we delved into that while watching Angel. We finished Season one and made our way through Season 2. Saturday morning I woke up and gamed a bit while Shan slept. She awoke, I made up breakfast and we explored a bit. There's an old hardware store that is closing down and I hoped I'd find some cool steam punk stuff. To no avail. I did pick up a cool little mileage counter (I think) that I'll use for something. We then drove out to West Hollywood to Laser Blazer. On the way we saw kitten adoptions at the Petco and I swerved the car to park. There was an adorable little kitten that I wanted to hold, but lady Shannon wouldn't let me, afraid that I'd take her home with us. She was even named Shayna, a sign to be sure, as we were talking about how our old friend Mu Ge would mispronounce Shannon's name as such. Dejected, I drove us to Laser Blazer.

Laser Blazer had recently consumed Jay and Silent Bob's Secret Stash into it's store and I was curious. They have an excellent selection of DVDs, but I couldn't justify a purchase. Shannon got Dylan's doc No Direction Home. Then, for the first time ever, I got a Christmas Tree.

Sure, it was at Target, but a tree is a tree. Shannon bought tons of ornaments and lights and away we go! Headed home and set up the tree, put on Sufjan Steven's Christmas CDs and put ornaments on with Carter. I have never done this before; it was a lot of fun and quite the uplift since there were no chanukah swag to be found in Target and for once I was actually looking for it. The ornaments finished and Carter went out to a club. Made us some dinner, tried to decided if we were up to going out and figured we should stay in, seeing as neither of us felt up to braving the "cold." Threw in part one of No Direction Home, which was great, then promptly passed out.

Sunday. I woke up early, gamed a tad, made breakfast. Decided to go to the flea market across the street. We each got some awesome swag! Shannon picked up a new slick Smith Corona with 70's carrying bag while I got:

1. Nautical compass
2. Piano music for those Pianos that play themselves. They look like map parchment.
3. A golden pocket watch that doesn't quite work anymore, but was pretty cool regardless.
4. Two vintage Christmas ornaments.

Got lunch/dinner at Denny's (the first time in months) then drove to a Petsmart to look at adoptable kittens. This has become a new pastime. Saw an adorable half-Siamese, although he looked bored. Went to Best Buy to look for deals/Futurama movie. No go. Drove to Lake Street to walk around. We went into Penny Lane to rent some movies.

1. Futurama: Bender's Big Score
2. Surf's up
3. La Vie en Rose

We got home and made dinner, watched the Futurama movie with Carter.

What a disappointment. Funny, but not as great as I hoped. I'm extremely glad I didn't buy it. I'm sure a second viewing would make me feel better about it - the show is still far more clever than Family Guy. We then watched new Simpsons (funny!) and braced ourselves for Tin Man, which we hated. Tried to make it a drinking game (every time we rolled our eyes, take a drink) but we didn't have nearly enough alcohol. We couldn't even finish the drek and we were both half-watching it - Shannon was rocking the Sims while I hit level 21 with a troll. Still, the bed looked like a better place to be. Crashed at about 10.