Thursday, November 29, 2007

a pick-me-up

The Walken, dancing to, entranced and touched by, "Weapon Of Choice." A now-oldie but forever-goodie. This always makes me sweetly sad-happy, w moments of joy.

Keep on keepin on~

Sunday, November 25, 2007

watching BSG: RAZOR

"It's been revealed... Helena Cain, and Gina Invierre, are lovers. Brought to you by Quizno's. Mmm mmm, mmm mmm, mmmm. Toasty!"

Keep on keepin on~

p.s. Frackin' LOVE seeing the old-school new-school Cylon Raiders! =)

p.p.s. Starbuck: Don't you love it when a plan comes together?

Frackin' brilliant! Cuz, Thrace's character was played by Dirk Benedict in the original series, and you might remember that Dirk played "Faceman" of the A-TEAM (another Larson production), and the Colonel's thing was, "I love it when a plan comes together." (Also, in the show opening, Faceman crosses paths with an old-school "toaster" at Universal Studios. =)

Frackin' nerd pop culture jackpot!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

to pie. I pie. You pie. He/she/it pies...

The day after our housewarming evening, I was in the kitchen, chucking some stuff in the bin. I happened to look down into the trash can and saw a crunched up empty tin pie pan in the rubbish. The scene inspired in my so-called mind the PUNchline to a joke...

"Can't we just let pie-gones be pie-gones?"


Haven't come up with a perfect set-up for it yet, tho.

I was reminded of that brainwave by how I spent my late evening tonight...

I may try to knock another one off before turkey day. Just gotta see how my schedule, nonsomnia, and need for distraction work out, donchaknow.

Keep on keepin on~

Monday, November 19, 2007


"Grunka- lunka- dunka- di- darmedguards..."

"Honey comes from a bee's behind... Milk comes from a cow's behind... And have you ever used toothpaste?"

"Compadres, it is imperative that we crush the freedom fighters before the rainy season. A shiny new donkey to whoever brings me the head of Colonel Montoya... And by that, of course, I mean it's time for the worker of the week award!"

"Inanimate? I'll show you inanimate!!!"

Ever-lovin' thanks too all y'all cahootzers!



Keep on keepin on~

Sunday, November 18, 2007

things presented...

My material take this year (so far, at least =). Thanks to the JGs, the sis, and the all-powerful Zorky. Not pictured here are some very appreciated winter clothes from the parentals, and Cormac McCarthy's NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN, which I treated myself to.

In the digital category, we have...

Thanks, designfemme! I don't know that I'm worthy of taking Anton's spot in the image—I think I'm probably more gas station attendant than avatar of Death, maybe Bell's deputy—but perhaps, someday... someday...


Call it, friendo.

Keep on keepin on~

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

WRISTCUTTERS: it only works when it doesn't matter

site | trailer
WRISTCUTTERS: A LOVE STORY. Caught this at the Kendall tonight on my own. A charming bit of romantic misadventure in an afterlife reserved specially for those who have taken themselves out of the game. Enter Zia (Patrick Fugit, of ALMOST FAMOUS). Depressed, lovelorn, heartbroken by his lady, Desiree. He gets out of bed one day and decides to leave it all behind, but proper. He takes the day to clean house, chuck the trash, put everything in its place, dust-free, have one last look out the window at an otherwise lovely day out, and then slash the ol' handnecks.

And that's where the story starts. He finds that the afterlife, or at least, his afterlife, is pretty much like the beforelife, only crappier, more worn out, and even more joyless. It takes a while, but he's almost settled in and okay with this new non-life. He's got a crummy job, hangs out at bars in his time off, and has even made a best friend, Eugene, who in his previous life was a Russian immigrant and unaccomplished rock star. The one thing that haunts young Zia in his death is the one that haunted him in life—his lost love, Desiree. When he runs into an old acquaintance from life, he learns that Desiree went and offed herself a month after he did, which means his beloved, his reason for living, and dying, was sharing his sentence in suicide purgatory. With that, he hits the road with Eugene in search of Desiree, claiming he can "feel" her presence somewhere in the desert wilds outside of town. On the road they encounter many characters, and pick up a hitchhiker, Mikal (Shannyn Sossamon, of KNIGHT'S TALE), who is on a quest of her own, to find the People In Charge and plead her case and win a return trip back to the beforelife. Wacky fun ensues.

Be warned, there are several graphic depictions of suicides. I guess this film would be categorized as a "dark comedy," but really, for me, it's charming fantasy quirk. That's what this film has got. A few people off themselves. It's not the end of the world! Sit back and enjoy it! The premise of an underpowered more-of-the-same afterlife is a simple what-if creative winner for me, but throw in a love reunited by suicide, a commune for trivial miracle workers, essay questions at the gas station, a self-proclaimed messiah (played more by G.O.B. Bluth than Will Arnett, but that's a good thing =), and a black hole in a station wagon, well, what more could you ask for?

The eclectic and talented cast of suicide players has many fun familiar faces, including Leslie Bibb (Shannon, from LOST), Jake Busey (STARSHIP TROOPERS), and Tom Waits (Tom Waits =).

It's sweet to watch Mikal rebel against the joyless, smileless nature of the place by vandalizing warning and direction signs everywhere she goes.

I really like the portrayal of Zia's last hours of life. The whole cleaning thing. It's very respectful, you ask me. The notion of suicide came up in conversation a couple weeks ago and it's exactly how I thought it should be done, if you're going to be proper and just plain civil about it, y'know? I thought his very last moment was quietly frickin hilarious. Ask me if you want the details. It's not a huge thing, but I really appreciated it and don't want to spoil it for anyone else here.

Gotta say, the filmmakers found some amazing sites to shoot to push the run-down setting of the suicides' afterlife. Along the roadside, you'll find husks of cabins, sprawling power stations, massive electric towers, and deserted cars, half buried in ditches. Desolate, but kind of picturesque (there's a lovely, and ultimately funny, moonlight scene). The movie has got the style of this afterlife nailed.

A little bit of movie deja vu... WRISTCUTTERS reminded me of SIX-STRING SAMURAI somehow... In texture, or flavor. The spent world of an environment, the road trip thru desert wilds, and the stops along the way, and probably the rock ballads by the Russian rocker playing on cassette in the car. Not a bad thing to be reminded of.

Just say yes to the kooky premise of WRISTCUTTERS's concept of the afterlife, and everything else about the movie will fall into place. You'll dig this dead buddy picture/road movie. The Kendall only has it thru Thursday night, so get over there quicklike to check it out.

Keep on keepin on~

Saturday, November 10, 2007

NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN: Coen Brothers brilliance, aka Death and Texas

site | trailerSaw NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN tonight and I was smiling almost the whole way through. It is some kickass Coen Brothers greatness. A FARGO, relocated, regionalized, even, for Texas. Ray explained to me a bit about the strength of the author of the original novel, Cormac McCarthy, and I'm definitely gonna hafta start eating up his stuff on my commute.

Gotta say, this has been a brilliant week of moviegoing. Caught EXILED on Wednesday night with In, Monette, Joe, and Ray. Saw AMERICAN GANGSTER on Thursday night with In. And tonight, COUNTRY, with a grand crew: In, Jen, Tricia, Kim and Jeff, Heather and Jason, Larry, and Ray. Ray tagged in for Joe, who was along for dinner earlier, but couldn't make it to the late show.

The film follows a regular good 'ol Texas cowboy, Llewelyn Moss, played sure and steady by Josh Brolin (between this and AMERICAN GANGSTER, he's having a damn good week!). While out in the plains, hunting, he comes across a blood trail that doesn't belong to any wounded game. It leads him to the scene of an apparent drug deal gone bad. In the aftermath are a dozen dead bodies, a truckbed loaded with dope, and a suitcase full of money. Llewelyn carries off the cash, intent on securing early retirement for his wife Carla Jean. Unfortunately, as the movie's tagline says, "There are no clean getaways."

Sent to recover the goods are several gangs of thugs with machineguns, and one cold-blooded, merciless, methodical, killer, basically, Death, with long hair, blue jeans, and vacant-to-wild eyes, played with inexhaustible menace by Javier Bardem. Tommy Lee Jones plays the down home Texas sheriff who's two steps behind the ensuing carnage. Happy times follow.

Jen put it very well when she said she couldn't recall another big screen villain whose presence was so relentlessly scary. About halfway thru the film, I realized that this guy was an equivalent of a curse, from the JU-ON/GRUDGE films, given flesh and blood form. Unstoppable, amoral, governed by unearthly and inhuman rules. More a force than a person.

He's the freakin smoke monster on the LOST island.

Javier Bardem is freakily good at playing the role of a light-sucking black hole. Quite a change from the last role I saw him in, from GOYA'S GHOSTS, a corrupt and transparently opportunistic intellectual bishop (or whatever) of the Spanish Inquisition, who plays at being an untouchable spiritual and then revolutionary leader, but under it all is a selfish, unprincipled, dirty dog of a man.

(I forget if I ranted on that film already, but given everything that it was supposed to be, and should have been, w a cast including Natalie Portman, Stellan Skarsgaard, and Bardem, well, it was a turd. Bleah.)

Llewelyn does a remarkable job staying ahead of the hired guns, for longer than he had any right to expect, but over the long run, he can't outlast Death, who deals from one hand with a pneumatic piston, capable of punching holes in both steel locks and human flesh, and from the other with a deadly *silenced* shotgun.

The FARGO-ness of the film is pretty strong, once you adjust your brain to register it, like looking at one of those 3-d pattern pictures, y'know? It's in the characters, the stark setting and region, the patterns of the amateur outlaw, the professional killer, and the keen cop-detective. The Pepe Le Pew-ness of the pursuit, at many levels. The quiet, silent, building of tension, leading to violent release. I also tasted a little bit of THE PLEDGE, in Tommy Lee's trailing of the killer, and as I said, the unlikely flavor of JU-ON. That's just my so-called brain, y'know.

But it's not derivative. This story and its characters are OF themselves, y'know? They're not bizarro knockoffs. The comparisons happen to be there. That I can see and make them is more revealing of what the C Brothers appreciate and know they excel at than any indication of, I dunno, pandering or shortcut taking.

Ray confirmed that much of the dialogue seemed to be lifted faithfully from the original writing. I can immediately see why the Coen Brothers chose to adapt this. The words that come forth from the characters are already uncannily Coen-esque. Short, playful, dialogue, between wife and husband, recapping their days to one another, and even between sheriff and deputy, reconstructing the timeline of a crime while sorting thru the aftermath. Matter-of-fact delivery, at times, almost without emotion, with just about every line delivering information about the subject at hand, but also about the history and relationship between the two speakers. That sort of thing always knocks me out. The matching of the Coen Brothers cinematic skills with McCormac's story is a conjunction of stars.

A quick doff of the hat to the animals in the film. I've gotta say, this film features some amazing canine acting and stuntwork. I can't give up the details here, but I think you will be suitably impressed and aghast.

A beautiful shot...

Death has tracked the money to a room in a motor inn. He gets a room of his own to set up shop. We see him take off his boots, and then pick up his weapons, gas cannister in one hand, silenced shotgun in the other. Next, there's a cut to him padding stealthily outside the rooms. The shot is framed centered on his socked, shoeless feet pacing in measured steps on the concrete, flanked on either side by the silenced muzzle of the shotgun and the butt end of the air tank. This is Death, coming for you. Feckin cool.

Speaking of. I should see about closing my eyes and getting some shuteye. There's a lot of Good in this movie, particularly if you are a Coen Brothers admirer. I may hafta revisit it in a future spoilery post. Overall, it was a fun night w some loveable characters... and that was just dinner before the movie! Heh.

Except for some non-optimal seating arrangements, it was a good night out w a fun crew and an amazing film. Has me even more wired than usual, I guess. Frack, it's almost 4.30am. Bleah.

Keep on keepin on, friendo~

the giving T

Friday morning at the Central Square T stop... Looking for some commuter reading material? Check out the turnstile lending library...

Cannot confirm any affiliation with the giving tree stumps.

Keep on keepin on~

it's beginning to look a lot little like...

At Downtown Crossing this evening, a big tree went up by Macy's. Guess Filene's won't be sporting one this season, eh?

Keep on keepin on~

Thursday, November 01, 2007

How d'ya like them apples?

Poor, stupid, pretty apples...

(Kudos to my sister for cluing me in to the above shot. I almost never sit on that side of the dining room and just didn't see it.)

They don't even know...

Huzzah! It's a pie! My second, now.

Did I mention that I'm hard-wired for bacon...?

Fry, little piggies! Fry!

What? You never heard of pork chops an' apple shaushe?


Keep on keepin on~

an empty theater

I hit the Kendall last week, Wednesday night, to see SLEUTH, an alternately stark and charming one-upsmanship duel between two eccentric characters played by Michael Caine and Jude Law. When I got into the theater, just as the trailers were ending, I found I was the only one in the room. Granted, it was a Wednesday night, but I'd been there for many a weeknight show for all kinds of films and was never the lone viewer. Then I remembered my walk home from the T thru the even more ghost town-like than usual streets. World Series fever, duh. =)

Well, being alone in the theater, I figured I'd take a random snap to remember the occasion...

If a dope sees a movie and no one is around, does it make a sound? Or something...?

Or maybe this is more a Schrodinger's Cat situation...?

Which baseball games at Fenway are so great that they demand the fighter jets fly over? Is it only World Series games? It feels like I've been surprised by the roar of those engines more than a half dozen times in the past few years, but y'know, it is the last few years that the Sox have been World Series contenders and winners, eh? Well, when I'd heard them before from inside my apartment, wherever I was living at the time, I thought of it as the worst kind of noise pollution. Talk about disturbing the peace! This may sound ridiculous, but post-9/11, the roar of engines overhead, close or powerful enough to rattle windows, is far from a relaxing and welcome sound, donchathink? Of course, if I'd been a better Bostonian, a Red Sox citizen as it were, I would've known they were coming and been prepared, right? Yeah, I suppose. Well, this time around, Wendesday night, before hitting the Kendall, I was outside, walking from Kendall Square towards Inman. A quickly growing thrum of a sound snapped me out of my walking-home zone and drew my eyes up.I was in this courtyard between two buildings, an apartment complex and some genetic internet pharmaceutical borg, and I had a clear view of the sky for miles, to the north, I think. I saw four jets, flying directly toward me, given how well I could see them, at low altitude. I could feel the thrum now, in the air, growing. When they were practically on top of me, I saw these white balls expand behind the engines of the planes and then turn to orange triangular trails. This was accompanied by a huge boom which diminished to a roar. Afterburners. Or whatever (like I know =). And in a split scond the jets were gone, zipped out of sight towards the city in a split second. Pretty cool.

A second later, out of the glass walled lobby of the tech co building stepped a security/concierge guy, wide-eyed and holding a cellphone to his ear. He saw me and asked, "What the hell was THAT?!"

To that I offered, "There's a game tonight, isn't there?"

"Oh shit, yeah!" And he went back to his phone convo and retreated to his desk. As I walked out of the courtyard area, out of view, I could see him clicking a remote and shuffling thru channels on one of the monitors in the lobby. Heh.

Keep on keepin on~