The Master and other movies

For whatever reason (boredom actually), I saw two movies this week: The Master and Perks of Being a Wallflower.

Once, when I was really depressed, I watched Paul Thomas Anderson’s film “Magnolia” 17 times in a month. One day I watched it and started it over. And yet, I’ve never successfully sat through “Boogie Nights” a movie that I admire and yet find extremely dull in its presentation.

I have this thing when I go to movies where I laugh at innapropriate times, especially when I find things dumb. At the (sold out!) screening of The Master, you would have thought I was watching a comedy. It’s not that I thought it was dumb necessarily. I just found it extremely funny. Was I supposed to find Freddie Quell anything but comedic? I liked the parts when Freddie just raged out of nowhere and acted innapropriately. There were also some increadibly dumb lines of dialogue that cracked me up.

There was a couple sitting next to me, and every time I laughed, they laughed. Soon, our whole section of the theatre was cracking up. At The Master.

This excillerating public connectivity made this movie a lot more fun than I think it was meant to be, but I left the theatre feeling really good, and thus I liked the movie.

If I were to watch this movie at home alone, I would have been asleep in ten minutes.

The Perks of Being a Wallflower on the otherhand was funny because of how bad it was. My pal Sheena gave me a copy of this book once (2007), and I read it and remember thinking it was just okay. The movie adaptation is straight up terrible and I laughed and laughed at every dumb moment of this braindead movie.

Keep fit and have fun.

 

 

Its watching you and me…

I was pointed to THIS today. Full length movies, with no download, no fuss. They have a pretty good television selection as well. New stuff… I am watching the classic Seinfeld episode “The Wink” right here in my shitty office. “PULP CAN MOVE BABY!”

Zodiac

I saw Zodiac tonight. It was the kind of movie we just don’t get enough of; namely, it kept me in its world for the entire running time, and I was sad to have it end.

“All good things must come to an end / the bad ones just go on forever”

One scene in particular was of note: the Zodiac killer is tying up a young couple lying on a beach. The woman tries to negotiate with this man, dressed in black, with a bag over his head (see picture below: the scene was very creepy). She says, of her male companion:

“He can help you…. He’s a sociology major!”

I can say that this line proviked rawkus laughter from myself and my two collegues (who are both sociologists). After the man and woman were tied up, they were both repeatedly stabbed. Can I have on record that I don’t want to die from being stabbed to death? It seems like a terrible way to go.

For whatever reason, the sociology line stuck with me through the remainder of the film. I started to see it as a metaphor for what I do: chasing something that I can never get my hands on, to the point that I start driving everyone in my life away (in a variety of ways) as part of an obsessive quest for… well, I am not sure of what. At a certain point, it becomes something bigger than a carreer.
This provoked the following questions: What drives me to push myself? What do I get out of it? Where is this going to take me, and how far will I get with it? What am I even chasing? If I find “it” – what then? Do I get to go home?

I am sure that these questions will haunt me until I die. I hope I remember to keep asking them.

Hannibal: Rising

Hannibal: Rising might be the worst movie I have ever seen. I don’t feel the need to qualify that in any way.

Yes I have seen plenty of bad movies. For me, right now, this is the top of the heap. Hopefully I forget about it in time for the next worst movie that I have ever seen (which, interestingly I have yet to see…)

What sets a movie likeHannibal: Rising apart is that it was trying (so hard) to be a “good” movie. Too bad that no one bothered to read the script. The movie was laugh out loud funny whenever anyone spoke. My favourite line (by far): “There are just no words to describe him… he’s a monster!” Many others. . . (while carving a giant M on a guys chest with a samurai sword): “M is for Mischa!!”Also, every time someone said his name “His name…. is…. HANNIBAL LECTOR!!!!”

Terrible.

Air hockey afterwards was fun. I am terrible at Air Hockey / life.

Shit I hate: Movies of 2006 Edition

I have been going through year end movie lists this week, “aquiring” them, and binging the good life.

Of the half dozen or so movies that I have seen in the last week, I can highly reccomend that you check out “Half Nelson,” “United 93,” and “The Proposition.”

Dear reader, I could waste precious energy heaping praise on these quality moving pictures, but as you are aware, I am preserving my brain cells for the maration four months ahead of me.

A self-truth is that I tend to like movies that I watch. That is possibly because I have a half-decent “bullshit” detector that allows me to steer clear of bad movies… though sometimes the “bullshit” detector doesn’t go off until after I have paid my cash and it is too late.

Thus, a list of the movies that I hated the most this year.

Click: What the hell was I expecting? Mr. Sandler, the last thing I need from you are “life lessons” about “what is important.” You just stole $10 out of my pocket; eat glass and die.

Poseideon: I will admit to having a soft spot for the original (Red Buttons!!), but this amounted to two hours of climbing… and little else. Booooo!!!!!

X-Men 3: The Last Stand: I HATED this movie. The first two were good, and then this new director comes along and decides the best way to proceed is to KILL OFF every single major character, one by one, FOR NO REASON!

The DaVinci Code: “You are the last living decedent… OF JESUS CHRIST.” If I hear one more person tell me that they are a “History buff” because they “like Dan Brown novels” I will go postal.

Date Movie: I went with a group of people thinking this would be a “so bad it’s good” movie, and it turned out to be “too bad to be anything but torture.”

Hostel: Though I can appreciate a good horror film, this movie made me feel bad about being a human. Ugh. Humans suck.

Superman Returns: What a huge disappointment this was. Tepid “by-the-numbers” CGI-fest.

Mission Impossible 3: There is a scene where Tom Cruise is running very fast for about ten minutes, really fast. This visual produced laughter from the audience. Enough said.

Flags of Our Fathers: American’s are so brave, so patriotic; so terribly boring.

Blood Diamond: Feel good about the white guy who just slaughtered a dozen black militia children so he could get his hands on a diamond! Yesssss! Feels good to be whitey, moraly superior even when he isn’t.

What were your “most hated” films of 2006?

The Pick of Destiny

So after a hard afternoon (and with a long night ahead) of manning this very keybord, I decided to take in some fine cinema in the form of Tenacious D: The Pick of Destiny.

A few things first:

I came into this film a fan of the D, dating back to their Mr. Show appearances. Secondly, I totally identify with these guys. Which is both awesome and sad at the same time.

The thing about The Pick of Destiny is that there is nothing new about it. These two have been milking the “D” for almost a decade now. However, this is fine with me as the “D” have never failed to make me laugh. Throughout this film, I laughed a lot, and a few times, I was crying with laughter.

However, when I looked around the half-filled theatre, I also noticed that 90% of the audience was not getting the humor and were playing with their phones or sleeping or praying for death. In fact, there were a few points where I was laughing loudly, and then realized quickly that I was the only one doing so. This actually kind of sucks.

Take that as you will: if you are a fan going in, you will probably have a few shits and giggles, and if you are not, I probably wouldn’t reccomend it. Also, your enjoyment of this movie will be directly proportional to your tolerance of Jack Black.

Even if Dave Grohl is playing Satan.

here is a clip from the movie:

R Kelly – Trapped in the Closet, Chapters 1 through 12

 Watch, and then discuss: is this the BEST thing you have ever seen, or the WORST thing you have ever seen? I know that I go on and on about this all the time, because I think it is the BEST thing I have ever seen, but I would like to hear why I am wrong. R. Kelly, the sicko that he is, is a fucking genius.

Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

Chapter 5

Chapter 6

Chapter 7

Chapter 8

Chapter 9 (*my favourite part!)

Chapter 10

Chapter 11

Chapter 12

*Bonus – Live at the 2005 VMA’s (has to be seen to be believed…)

On: Borat

After an agonizing trip to the dentiststats lecture, some of my compatriots decided to blow off some steam and catch a matinee of Borat. More people were supposed to come than did come, but this is because those people are quanties with no sense of humor.

Without spoiling it (it is expected that it will open “wide” this coming Friday), I honestly laughed for almost the entire movie. It is unbelievable, and there is one scene where… well, lets just say I now have a mental image that will haunt me until my death.

This thread from ask.metafilter is interesting in light of seeing the movie… it is from the friend of one of the people who appeared in the film and now have “unwanted celebrity” status, because they were “tricked” into revealing their true bigoted selves.

Which is, of course, the entire reason why Borat is important: the point of Borat, the boarish, sexist, anti-sematic, animal rights hater etc. is to squirrel out those things in Americans so that we can laugh, uncomfortably, at how ugly and stupidthese things are when said out loud. This is not the pointless mookery of Jackass or even the hilarious, but often socially irrelevent mocumentaries of Christopher Guest and crew (Spinal Tap, Mighty Wind, Best in Show, etc.). Borat is important as he is funny.  

When you get a chance to go see this, don’t blow it off. Trust.

__________________________

Work is starting to pile up as the semester enters it’s final sprint. In the next four weeks, here is what I have to contend with:

75 or so annotations for my RA work this semester

2 Statistics Exams

4 Statistics Assignments

1 Statistics Paper (“How Internet Use is Related to Cultural Capital”) 10 pages

1 Deviance Paper (“Been Caught Stealin’: Accounts of Shoplifting in Blogs and Popular Media”) 15 pages

1 Institutional Ethnography (Which has no title yet, but will explore how group home workers “do” and how they should be doing their work according to the policy and procedures manuals) 15-25 pages.

 Excuse me while I go hide under a blanket….

On: Flying into a rage (Borat edition…)

So, I come home to Deathbridge (Hellberta), and I fly into a rage. It’s not because the head gaskett may/may not have blown on my drive home from the suburban nightmare hellscape that is Calgary (Hellberta), which may/may not cost me “around a thousand dollars.” (when the going gets tough, the tough go shopping… and how).

I fly into a rage because… Borat didn’t make it to shit city (aka: Lethbridge). You know what we “got” instead?

Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause.

 

 

The dissapointment is crushing. It’s like that time when I was a little kid and my cousins thought it would be funny to try and burn the face off my Curious George doll (and which my Noni “fixed” by sewing it a rad little plad “hat”).Lethbridge, for all its folksy charm, is a cultural wasteland.

(Mostly.)

Dial a cliché

So… 130am, and I was planning on staying up all night to write a paper for my narrative analysis class, but these things take time (and I know that I’m the most inept that ever slept). I am writing on Morrissey and his stories (presented throughout the major themes in his discography), and how his rabid United States based Latino fan base have formed their subculture around these stories. How, for example, some stories are selected and related to (Morrissey’s songs about poverty, alienation, being an “outsider”) and some are ignored (Specifically, the fact that Morrissey’s love songs are written to other men, as well as his sexual ambiguity, and I am going to relate that to the Latino concept of “machismo”). This theme is presented as a device for me to explore some of the big ideas in narrative analysis that I want to contend with and/or challenge.

 

 

Thus, I have spent the last many hours reading about Morrissey’s Latino fan base. I find it truely fascinating, in that I myself have self identified as a Morrissey fan since I was 12. In fact, I am going to begin my paper with the story of how I first came to hear Morrissey…

Either way, instead of writing, I have been reading (which is good), and trying to decide if this is the right paper to write (my alternative is to play it safe and discuss issues relating to my field of research). Also, I need to finish this paper by Monday, so I am running out of time. I have a massive amount of materials now, so I think that when I wake up tomorrow morning, I am going to sit down and get to work, and just write the damn thing

xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxox

 

I just took a break, and saw a trailer on the telly for what appears to be the greatest film ever made by anyone outside my own brain:

Dial a cliché: I want to see this movie.

Tell us old lies again / when it comes we never have a chance

So I spend my entire morning in stats class, right? Uv course, those who know me know how much I detest this stuff. I am always understanding it… barely. I think I would be fine if I would be able to concentrate long enough on what Dr. Wanner (a dyed in the wool stats guy) is so exuberantly teaching. It isn’t for the lack of his trying, I am just morally opposed to reducing society to numbers, and thus I am not invested in what is going on. Oh, and wireless Internet doesn’t help matters.

So, I am in stats today, and I got an email with my cell bill, which managed somehow to end up at about $500. For real. Apparently, when people call me from out of town while I am in Calgary, it costs me long distance. God damnit anyways,

So, uv course I leave stats this morning, and I am just sick and fucking tired of the shit , so I decide to fuck off and go see a matinee of Martin Scorsese’s new film The Departed. Damn fine acting in this film – especially Matt Damon, who is amazing in his role as the detective that had been groomed by the mob since he was a wee lad. Not my favourite Scorsese film, but a lot better than The Gangs of New York or The Aviator.

After, I stumbled upon a used book store, and found myself a copy of Mcsweeney’s Quarterly Concern Issue #16.

Issue 16 presents new stories from McSweeney’s regulars like Roddy Doyle and Denis Johnson, and exploits a never-before-seen tripartite format to bring you a hilarious Ann Beattie novella and a special deck-of-cards story from Robert Coover, one of the great masters of American experimental fiction. This issue uses more cloth than any issue to date. Also, it comes with a comb.

Yes, you read that correctly. It comes with a comb.

___________________________________________________________________

I know this should go without saying from me, but the new Robert Pollard album Normal Happiness is amazing. I liked his last album From a Compound Eye quite a bit as well (released last April, though I had a copy since summer of 2005, so I consider it a 2005 release).

From my listening pattern, I think that I like Normal Happiness a little better as an album, though nothing compares to the song Gold from FACE.