Sunday, November 28, 2004

Netflix 19: Roger Dodger

Well, that was a disappointment.

I was looking forward to this, but I really wanted to watch the other movie I got from Netflix, "Igby Goes Down". Alas, when I removed Igby from the packaging, I noticed the damn thing was nearly split in half, so I have to return that one unwatched, and instead, I watched "Roger Dodger".

"Roger Dodger" is one of those dialogue heavy films about whiny yuppies. After the first 15 minutes, I found it to just grate on me. I get where it was going, and the point, it just wasn't fun getting there. The cinematography was horrendous. At times, there would be really nice shot that would be ruined by an awful camera move. I hope the director of photography was blind, because that would be the only excuse.

And Campbell Scott is just a second rate Steven Webber.


Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Netflix 18: Outfoxed: Rupert Murdoch's War on Journalism

How can the man who brought us "The Simpsons" be so evil?

I was skeptical of this documentary before watching it, as I am of all politically motivated documentaries, but this one did a good job of documenting Fox News's conservative bias. By providing footage of Fox News's journalistic atrocities, they do a great job of getting the point across. Sure, sometimes they're grasping at straws (such as saying that the fact that Holmes looks like a weasel is proof of Fox trying to push their conservative views), and I'm always suspicious of a documentary with 3 anonymous contributors.

It's worth a watch.


Monday, November 22, 2004

Another thing more popular than me

A few month's back, I started a rubber band ball at work. It started out small, and made completely out of rubber bands, all the way to the core. Soon enough the ball reached larger than softball size. That's it up there, with me.

This past Saturday, I went in to work to work on a freelance project, and the ball was missing. Sure enough, it showed up today with photographic evidence of it's wild night on the town.

Yes, while I was home on Friday night watching 10 episodes of The OC, the ball got to 2nd base.

If you recognize anyone pictured in this, please send them my apologies for anything the ball did on Friday night. He was probably heavily intoxicated, and on a few different narcotics.

He likes to party hard.


Sunday, November 21, 2004

Netflix 17: The O.C. Season One Disc Seven

I have conquered "The O.C."

And the verdict? I am hooked.

Why is the show so good? Because they creators obviously know how bad it is.

Also, the fact that one of the main characters is a comic dork, and comic books, and their creators are mentioned on a weekly basis doesn't hurt.


Friday, November 19, 2004

Netflix 16: The O.C. Season One Disc Six

"Do not insult Journey, alright?" - Ryan Atwood


Netflix 15: The O.C. Season One Disc Five


And I'm not sure if Seth Cohen is either the luckiest man on the planet, or just a big fucking moron.


Thursday, November 18, 2004

it's begining to look a lot like...

it's begining to look a lot like...

Finally found it, and the verdict is delicious!

Wednesday, November 17, 2004



i love freedom of the press.

i love freedom of the press.

Netflix 14: The O.C. Season One Disc Four

Best. Show. Ever.


Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Netflix 13: The O.C. Season One Disc Three


I totally wasn't expecting that.

Alright, I was completely expecting that.


gee, you knit?

gee, you knit?

I know I said I'd never drink Vitamin Water, but I couldn't resist an official 50cent beverage.The taste? Grapey.

Netflix 12: The O.C. Season One Disc Two

Julie Cooper is a bitch.


Friday, November 12, 2004

Netflix 11: The O.C. Season One Disc One

Yeah, he does that look a lot.

I've never seen a "bad boy" so good at doing the whole puppy dog look.


Thursday, November 11, 2004

Netflix 10: Fever Pitch

Remember all that hubbub about Jimmy Fallon and Drew Barrymore running around the field after the Red Sox won the World Series, and all of Red Sox Nation screaming about how it was sacrilegious to defile this moment in history just to shoot some movie? Well, that movie is "Fever Pitch," directed by the Farrelly Brothers, and is about one man's love of baseball, and more specifically, the Boston Red Sox.

Well, that movie has already been made, and it has nothing to do with baseball.

"Fever Pitch" was British film made in 1997 that starred Colin Firth, as a man who's life is ruled by his love for soccer (or as they call it in the film 'football'), and the Arsenal Football Club, specifically. Adapted by Nick Hornby, from his own memoirs, "Fever Pitch" is the best adaptation of a Nick Hornby novel I have ever seen. Due to the obsessive nature of his characters, Hornby has a huge following in the geek community, and as a card carrying member of the geek community, I am a huge fan of Hornby's work. I had problems with both "High Fidelity" (hated the girl who played the girlfriend, loved everything else) and "About A Boy" (just a little forced), but "Fever Pitch" captures the essence of a Hornby novel perfectly.

The book didn't really have much of a storyline, it was mostly just Hornby's recollections of growing up as an Arsenal fan in the late 1960s, and the next 20 years of his life, following the team. Here, Hornby fictionalizes the story, into a tale of an Arsenal obsessed teacher, who enters into a relationship with a woman who could care less about the sport as a potentially historic season for Arsenal begins. The movie follows their relationship during its ups and downs, and culminates with a big end of the year game.

Sadly, the movie received next to no attention here in the US, since I guess the studios were afraid Americans wouldn't get a soccer movie. Instead, the movie was banished to video (where for somereason, the cover features a nearly naked woman and something the looks like it may or may not be the side of the back of Colin Firth's head) where it really has only been enjoyed by those weird women who write webpages dedicated to Colin Firth, and people like me who searched it out, and have a lot of free time. Which is a shame, because the movie isn't about soccer as much as it is about being a sports fan, and as a Yankee fan, I could empathize.

The movie makes a point about how a team, and their community of fans is like a family, and I can see that. There's a great feeling to standing in a stadium, with thousands of people, all pulling for the same thing you want, and aching when you don't get it. The a weird group mentality (I've hugged random people after Yankee games, and to tell you the truth, I've never initiated it)

But, for the kids who rented the movie based on it's R rating, the naked chick on the video cover, and it's horrendous tag line ("There's More Than One Way To Score!"), I hope they at least rented something else, starring Shannon Tweed, or Shannon Whirry, or anything from the "Erotic Thrillers" section of the videostore, because this movie ain't got no boobs.


Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Netflix 9: Saved!

It's weird. A movie the goes all out to show that everything in the world isn't black and white, but in the end, the movie ends up being black and white.

It's a fun movie and all, but it wraps up way too cleanly.


Tuesday, November 09, 2004

Steve saw The Polar Express and The Life Aquatic

It was a banner day for Steve. I took the day off of work to go to the movies, and was able to take two people off the list of director's I had to meet.

First off, I saw "The Polar Express" this morning. I wasn't expecting much from this movie. I never read the book as a kid, but I saw a copy sitting in Toys R Us last week, so I read it. I finished the whole book in under 10 minutes, and I was confused as to how they could flesh out the story enough to fill a feature length film. Luckily, that was one of the film's high points. Unlike the colossal blunders "How The Grinch Stole Christmas" and "The Cat in the Hat," the added story points to "The Polar Express" actually make the film work. Where the film fails however, is the incredibly photo realistic CGI, and the use of motion capture technology. I can't understand why you would hire Tom Hanks (who does the voice of no less than 5 characters) to do the voice of a cartoon that looks like a photorealistic Tom Hanks (who looks more like a Tom Hanks wax figure). Motion Capture makes sense in situations like Golem from LOTR, where you capture an actors motions to create something that couldn't be made in real life, but capturing an actors motions just to create a life like human is rediculous. The music is great, the action sequences are enjoyable (at times, the movie feels more like a theme park ride) and the story works, but the performances just come off as creepy. I feel the film would have been more successful if it was either all CGI animated feature, or maybe a "Sky Captain"-like CGI backgrounds mixed with real humans combo.

Afterwards, I was able to meet Robert Zemeckis, who confirmed my fears that any hope of further Roger Rabbit adventures are dead.

Next, I saw "The Life Aquatic." I am a huge fan of Wes Anderson's films, and this movie didn't disappoint, but it didn't break any new ground for me. The cast is great, the movie is funny, and the story is interesting, but the movie isn't anything really new for Anderson. I think, in my eyes, he will never top "Rushmore" unless he does something completely stylistically different. Not that his usual is any bad, it's just becoming the same.

And after all that, I finally met Wes Anderson, who says the he wants to do a Bottle Rocket special edition DVD, but Sony has to sign off on it first, and that hasn't happened.


Sunday, November 07, 2004

Netflix 8: The Office Series Two

Still as funny as everyone says it is.

Yet, still not "Benny Hill."


Thursday, November 04, 2004

Netflix 7: The Ladykillers

Shit, Marlon Wayans can actually be funny.

I never would have thought that.


Netflix 6:Human Nature

While I know a lot of people really liked "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind," nobody really remembers that it was actually the second collaboration between director Michel Gondry and screenwriter Charlie Kaufman. The first was 2001's "Human Nature," which sort of got lost in the Kaufman heavy 2001 (which also brought us the much better "Confessions of a Dangerous Mind" and the great "Adaptation"). It's Gondry's feature length directorial debut, and has some nice moments, and some really great lines. But it has the feeling of someone who's almost there, but didn't quite get it. Similar to "Sunshine." it basically tells the tale of human relationships, and the problems that come. It has similar elements and themes, but it doesn't bring it across quite as well. It's still worth a watch, though, just to see where they are coming from.


Wednesday, November 03, 2004

Political Aspirations

In my Junior year of college, I ran for President of the student government.

When I first went to school, I became very active in student government. I was new, and by myself, and especially since I lived off campus, I didn't really know anybody. Luckily, I found people who had the same beliefs and hobbies as I did in the student government. I worked in the office as a student worker. Our main job was really to throw parties, trips, and other student activities, but we also dealt with policies that affected the students. We had two great people working for our school who worked as the liaison to the Executive branch of the school, two people who I admire to this day, and they were basically our bosses. At the end of my freshman year, I helped three other friends of mine run for the government, and the next year, I worked for them as the office manager, which basically put me in charge of the staff of student workers.

But it was different, one of our bosses was transferred to another department in the school, and the other quit. The school was dissatisfied with the policies of the student government, and wanted a change. The people they hired to replace them became my arch-enemies. We butted heads on everything. By the end of the year, everyone was sick and tired of dealing with them, and nobody I knew ran for student government. Three people I didn't really know ran, and won, and we all turned our back on student government for the year.

As my junior year was winding down, I was utterly dissatisfied with the way the student government was being run. Nothing they ever did appealed to me, and I was running into opposition every time I tried to do something with them. They also had plans to change things within the school that I thought were fine just the way they were. A few friends of mine agreed, so we got together, and challenged the incumbent party as they ran for reelection.

I thought we ran a decent campaign, and the incumbent party ran a lousy campaign. As election week came, I grew hopeful, it appeared that we had a slight lead. People appeared to support our attempt to bring back things to the way they were. Also, it appeared the school was full of people apathetic to student government as a whole, so all we had to do was enthuse a small amount, and it would give us the election.

Election day came, and things grew shady. Polling places around campus didn't open like they should have. A shady online voting system was put in place. The incumbent party broke a few rules, and the student constitution went missing. But as the first day ended, I was still hopeful, things appeared to be swinging my way.

That soon changed.

As the days went on, the numbers seemed to be swinging the other way. The exit polls (well, really, what people seemed to be saying as they exited the cafeteria) weren't in our favor. As voting finished up, I grew despondent. Finally, as I sat in the office, watching the polls being counted, which turned out to be 70% or so not in our favor, the hard truth hit me.

A majority of the school didn't agree with me.

That's what yesterday felt like.

But, actually, yesterday felt a lot like two weeks ago, when the Yankees lost to the Red Sox. It hurt for an evening. I tried to figure out what went wrong, but in the end, It had nothing to do with me. I did all I could, and realized that the world isn't over, Christmas hasn't been cancelled, and new comics were still in stores today.

What hurts most is realizing that a majority of the disagrees with me, and that was never going to change. You think it could've, but, hey, I guess people just like things the way they are. Am I scared? A little, but I can't just cower in fear, you got to be strong, and do whatever you can to convince people that things can be better. And if they disagree? Well, they have the right to.

"The Incredibles" comes out on Friday. Maybe the future can be ok.

God, I hope so.


Netflix 5: The Punisher

I usually don't miss any comic book adaptations that hit movie theaters. "The Punisher" became an odd exception, when it was released the same day as the first Yankees/Red Sox match-up of the 2004 season. While all my comic-dork friends decided to go see it on opening night, I decided to watch the game. The game was a disaster for the Yankees, and foreshadowed the end of the season. I never got a chance to check out "The Punisher" theatrically.

Now that I have seen both of my options, did I make the right choice?

I dunno, while the game was awful for the Yankees, Tim Wakefield pitched a beauty of a game. And while the movie had it's moments, it also had it's ridiculously stupid moments. The best moments of the movie are when they adapt elements from Garth Ennis run, but the elements created for the movie are pretty terrible.

First off, Tampa isn't a great setting for a crime drama. Part of the joy of the Punisher comics is that they are so New York. Also, they changed the Punisher's origin. Instead of his family being gunned down by stray bullets in a mob fight, instead it is a planned hit, revenge of Frank Castle for accidentally causing the death of the villain's son.

The cast is so-so, Tom Jane is serviceable as Frank Castle, as is John Travolta as the bad guy, Howard Saint. Where the film lacks is in it's bit players. The crew of loners and society's cast-offs, led by the Stamos-less Rebecca Romijn, who take Frank in as one of their own, is completely bland, and not as interesting as their comic book counterparts. Though, Kevin Nash is hella awesome as the Russian, but his role consists of no lines, fighting, and dying.

The stupid moments are plenty, especially the very end, where Frank Castle appears to have caused a parking lot full of cars to explode in such a manner that it forms the shape of a giant skull, which appears to be homage to the ridiculous flaming D's in Daredevil. Also, what starts off as a really great line of dialogue at the end of the film between Jane and Romijn goes on 2 sentences too long.

And, in the end, it finished with now standard main character narration at the end of the film, which has become the standard of all modern super-hero flicks.

Well, at least he actually wears a skull on his chest in this one.


Monday, November 01, 2004

The Phantom Stranger Goes Shopping

I was lucky enough to document the adventures of the mysterious Phantom Stranger as he ventured out to run some errands.

First, it was off to Wendy's.

The Phantom Stranger enjoyed a hearty meal.

Next, we stopped by Walgreen's, where the Phantom Stranger had to purchase a certain item after a incident with lady of the night.

After that, it was over to the greeting cards section, where he perused the offering for just the right card.

We ventured to Brookstones, where the Phantom Stranger considered purchasing a stair master to to work on his thighs.

Finally, he relaxed after a long day of shopping.