Thursday, June 28, 2007
I liked it.
It made me think.
It made me appreciate the relationship I recently got out of.
Yes, it is potentially misogynist, and a couple of reviewers thought so. I didn't interpret it that way at all. Just the opposite.
The acting was lights out phenomenal.
Samuel L. (Mother-Fucking) Jackson
Justin Timberlake - Ok, I can't stand him, but he was actually pretty good.
John Cothran Jr. (He was great!)
The soundtrack was so good I will probably buy it.
Ok - shit, ... here goes:
Black Snake Moan was a kick ass movie with an excellent theme of redemption and forgiveness.
It was told in an in your face southern, sultry and salacious manner, and frankly, that's what made it work.
Samuel L and Christina were lights out fantastic.
So, talk to me. Anyone see it? What did you think?
I really want to know.
I had a shitty, shitty day.
It started out bad.
I was tired, I stayed up way past my bedtime to watch a movie, then I went home and had to watch The Daily Show and The Colbert Report. (Thank you DVR) As a result, I was dog ass tired this morning.
The movie was excellent, but it really put me in a "damn I miss Rene', maybe we could have worked things out mood." (But that's another post.)
Then at work, all hell broke loose today.
Let me explain.
I work for a relatively small Engineering company. I have one client that is pretty much mine alone. When i don't have anything to do for that client, I fill in on smaller jobs for other clients.
I turned in (to my main client) the project from hell about three weeks ago.
Or so I thought.
Long story short - Let's do the front end loading that we should have done in January today.
Today. Three weeks after I closed the job out. the client wants to rethink basic design decisions that should have been decided before I ever received a scope.
Of course, at this point the client doesn't understand that this is outside the scope of the original job and will cost more.
Add to that, I picked up a couple of jobs for another client this week, thinking I was finished with that project.
By the end of next week, I have to deliver three projects and I will be out of the office Monday and Wednesday. That means Thursday will suck.
On top of that, the ex called today and wants to keep the kids until Thursday. (I was supposed to get them Sunday). I didn't have a compelling reason to tell her no, other than that now, my holiday is fucked up. So, I have to drive for four fucking hours Thursday after work, and still be in the office Friday morning.
I am going to have that drink now.
I wanted a Manhattan, but I'm out of Maker's Mark.
Scotch it is.
Tuesday, June 26, 2007
From the article:
According to a number of studies, homicide is one of the leading causes of death for pregnant women in the United States. Studies in Maryland, New York and Chicago determined that about 20 percent of women who die during pregnancy are murder victims.You read that right, the number one killer of pregnant women in America is homicide. It goes on to say the killer is almost always the father of the child.
My regular readers know I ended an unhealthy relationship earlier this year. I still love her, and had she ever been carrying my child I would have been elated beyond words. I can't fathom this. I know that violence against women is an often shamefully unreported issue in America. But this, this truly sickens me. To think of a man killing the woman he loves and his own child is just beyond my ability to comprehend.
The women the article points out are all white. I wonder how the actual numbers break down; is this a white phenomenon, or is the media just typically covering it in the "missing white woman syndrome" way. I suspect, as with serial murders, it is more prevalent in white men.
I thought I had a lot to say about this, but words fail me. They seem very inadequate.
I love the Farmer’s Market. This time of year it is an explosion of color, textures, and smells.
This weekend, Brave Sir Robin went to
We filled the car with crates of collards, lettuce, cucumbers, chiles, tomatoes, okra, sweet corn, melons, cherries, onions, green beans, papaya, apricots, strawberries and blueberries. The fragrance filled the entire car with the smell of an orchard, fully ripe and ready to be picked. We took our bounty back to their place and prepared an awesome dinner.
Dessert was an apricot and cherry tart with an almond crust.
(I forgot to take a picture of the tart.)
Monday, June 25, 2007
Pizza, French Fry ....Pizza, French Fry ......Pizza, French fry
Friday, June 22, 2007
I abhor the two party system, because our "winner take all" system has damn near destroyed our constitution. I am extremely disappointed in the Democrats. Make no mistake, they were given a mandate last November and they have not followed the wishes of the majority that put them there. I would cherish the opportunity to have a viable third (or fourth and fifth) party.
All of that being said. I am vehemently opposed to this; Ralph Nader may be running again. He has no chance of winning, he knows this, yet his narcissistic urges won't let him stay out. This is disappointing. Here is a man with true progressive credentials, yet he is poised to hand the Republicans yet another election by siphoning off the far left base.
Yes, our Government is a pathetic bunch of corporate whores on both sides of the aisle, but anyone who believes there is no difference between the parties isn't paying attention. The Republican majority has infiltrated every single branch of our Government, every level of bureaucracy, every function of every department has been gutted and sold to the highest bidder. Our justice department and the courts have become another arm of the party apparatus. Stalinist tactics to be sure. Party above all else .... except corporate profits.
Make no mistake, a vote for Nader (or Bloomberg) is a vote for Republican dominance for another 8 years and the final destruction of our constitution.
It's a crying shame Nader can't work within the system. Yes, the system is broken, but its what we have. I am a pragmatist. What will make America better? Voting "green" because of principle, or keeping Republicans out of office? For me, that's an easy choice. I have four kids. I want them to live in an America that defends its constitution.
Don't run Ralph, save what little is left of your legacy.
Thursday, June 21, 2007
I know I have been doing a lot of posts about film lately, it isn’t necessarily on purpose, it just worked out that way.
The AFI recently released the newest Top 100 (American) Films Of All Time List. As is always the case, these lists tend to lean toward critically acclaimed films and leave off more popular box-office hits.
I guess I’m ok with that. Film is such a wonderful medium, it can be didactic, it can be artistic, it can be escapist, it can be enlightening, and sometimes it can be just plain fun.
I tend to like small independent films that focus on character rather than special effects. That being said, I will certainly see the latest Harry Potter film on opening day. (I’ve read the books. While my kids are always there first weekend for big blockbusters, I have yet to see Spiderman III or Pirates III).
Some of my favorite (relatively) recent films are Whale Rider and Pan’s Labyrinth which of course are not American films and therefore ineligible for this list. I loved all of the Lord Of The Rings films, and I never get tired of watching
My DVD collection is embarrassingly large. I truly love film.
So, enough rambling, the point of this post is, there are some of these “Greatest Films of All Time that I just couldn’t sit through. There are some I’ve never seen. There are some I just don’t like. I don’t have time to go down the whole list, (maybe later), but what follows are some of the highlights. I will post the entire list; films I haven’t seen are in bold. I will comment on a few.
Please, feel free to post long rambling comments about this list. What is missing? What is over-rated? Would you re-order any of them etc…..
1 CITIZEN KANE 1941 I guess so. I wouldn’t necessarily put it first, but it is a solid film, and probably way ahead of its time in technique.
2 THE GODFATHER 1972 – A strong, strong case could be made for this film to be #1.
4 RAGING BULL 1980 – Boy, how did this one lose the best picture award? To Ordinary People? I mean really, the fix was in. De Niro was spectacular!!
5 SINGIN’ IN THE RAIN 1952 – Ok, start throwing produce at me, top 50? Probably. Top 20? Maybe. Top 10, no. Top 5? No freaking way!!
6 GONE WITH THE WIND 1939 – Perfectly cast, incredible camera work, moving and epic. A top 5 for sure.
8 SCHINDLER’S LIST 1993 – Just an incredible, beautiful, stunning film. So, so very moving. I could spend an entire post on how this film moved me, and I might some day.
9 VERTIGO 1958 – wev. A good, no, a great film, but not a top ten film.
10 THE WIZARD OF OZ 1939 – OMFG, I love Judy Garland!, (yes, I’m straight), and I love this film ….. but it is overrated and could have been much, much better. The editing is weak and the story line is choppy.
11 CITY LIGHTS 1931
12 THE SEARCHERS 1956 – Excellent film, way ahead of it’s time (thematically), but not half the film that Once Upon A Time In The West is.
13 STAR WARS 1977 – I saw it, I loved it, Empire Strikes Back was a better film.
14 PSYCHO 1960 – Great film, I can’t complain about it being here.
15 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY 1968 What makes a film American? This is a seminal work, but why is this one better than A Clockwork Orange? Not Top 20 material.
16 SUNSET BLVD. 1950 – Might be in my top ten. Best Noir film ever.
17 THE GRADUATE 1967 – Made Dustin Hoffman a star, and has a terrific theme song. Very quotable as well, and who could forget the poster?
18 THE GENERAL 1927
19 ON THE WATERFRONT 1954 – Ok, I’m embarrassed as hell that I haven’t seen this film!! I plan to remedy that, really, I do!
20 IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE 1946 – I’ve seen it about a hundred times and I still cry.
22 SOME LIKE IT HOT 1959 – Can you give a film 10 stars?, How about 8 thumbs up?
23 THE GRAPES OF WRATH 1940 – Not bad, but the book was so much better. I know it’s hard to take such a large book to the screen, but not top 100 material.
24 E.T. THE EXTRA-TERRESTRIAL 1982 – Cute, groundbreaking, and way over the top. Maybe in the 80 to 100 range, but not #24.
25 TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD 1962 – Excellent.
26 MR. SMITH GOES TO
27 HIGH NOON 1952 – About as good as a non Ford or Leone western can be. (But rated too high)
28 ALL ABOUT EVE 1950 – Ok, this is the type of film I should love!!
29 DOUBLE INDEMNITY 1944
30 APOCALYPSE NOW 1979 – A whole post is needed. In my top 5
31 THE MALTESE FALCON 1941 – Pretty much everything I said about
32 THE GODFATHER PART II 1974 Should be much higher.
33 ONE FLEW OVER THE CUCKOO’S NEST 1975 – Great adaptation!! Should probably be rated higher.
34 SNOW WHITE AND THE SEVEN DWARFS 1937 – Creepy. The dwarves are great, but Snow White herself always creeped me out. Also, this scared the hell out of me when I was a kid. Not even Disney’s best. Way too high.
35 ANNIE HALL 1977 Top ten, at least. Even thinking about the therapist scene makes me laugh.
36 THE BRIDGE ON THE RIVER KWAI 1957 – American film? I guess, whatever it is, it is terrific!!
37 THE BEST YEARS OF OUR LIVES 1946
38 THE TREASURE OF THE SIERRA MADRE 1948 – Excellent. About right.
39 DR. STRANGELOVE 1964 – Boy, I love Kubrick, but I am not a huge fan of this one. It’s good, but not #39 good.
40 THE SOUND OF MUSIC 1965 – Only #40? It was robbed!!
41 KING KONG 1933 – Top 20 for sure!
42 BONNIE AND
43 MIDNIGHT COWBOY 1969 about right.
45 SHANE 1953 – Pull out the tomatoes, I’m not wild about this one either.
46 IT HAPPENED ONE NIGHT 1934 – Terrific!! Top 25 maybe.
47 A STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE 1951 – I’m going to get shot for this one. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this play. The movie is good, but it comes off as a bit dated to me in a way that the stage version never has. It should be on the list, if just for Brando and Leigh. I know I’m going to get massacred for this, but I really liked the TV version with Jessica Lange, Alec Baldwin, John Goodman, and
48 REAR WINDOW 1954 – I’ve actually never seen this straight through. I’ve seen bits and pieces (mostly on TV), but never the whole thing. I will, I promise.
49 INTOLERANCE 1916
50 THE LORD OF THE RINGS: THE FELLOWSHIP OF THE RING 2001 – As discussed before, LOVED IT!!!! The best of the three for sure. Top 20 at least.
51 WEST SIDE STORY 1961 – Boy I loved this film a lot. Where to start? The music, the gritty, yet carton colored
52 TAXI DRIVER 1976 – Why is this rated so low?
53 THE DEER HUNTER 1978 – Christopher freaking Walken!!! Great cast, probably an important film, but it really bores me.
54 M*A*S*H 1970 – So much better than the TV show, and I LOVED the TV show.
55 NORTH BY NORTHWEST 1959 – Great!!!!!!! Maybe my favorite Hitchcock.
56 JAWS 1975 – Loved it. Saw it over and over and over. But the book was better.
57 ROCKY 1976 – Actually a very good film. But how the hell did it beat Taxi Driver?
58 THE GOLD RUSH 1925
60 DUCK SOUP 1933 – YES, YES, YES!!!!!!! Top Ten
61 SULLIVAN’S TRAVELS 1941
62 AMERICAN GRAFFITI 1973 – Good, but not top 100 good. (Sorry)
63 CABARET 1972 – Top 20 For sure!!!!! Are you kidding me?
64 NETWORK 1976 – It should be on the list for the money-shot quote alone.
65 THE AFRICAN QUEEN 1951 – Way too low. Best acting Bogey ever did.
66 RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK 1981 – About right.
67 WHO’S AFRAID OF VIRGINIA WOOLF? 1966 – Wow, how did this end up so low? I guess many people don’t understand it. If you’ve never seen this, please do. If you like great acting this is your film!! All four of them are great, but
68 UNFORGIVEN 1992 – It gets a lot of flak, but I liked it.
69 TOOTSIE 1982 – Cute, but not top 100.
70 A CLOCKWORK ORANGE 1971 – Better than 2001 or Strangelove.
71 SAVING PRIVATE RYAN 1998 – wev. War, blood, gore. If you need a great WWII film, Bridge over the River Kwai or Midway is better.
72 THE SHAWSHANK REDEMPTION 1994 – Excellent. Maybe too low.
73 BUTCH CASSIDY AND THE SUNDANCE KID 1969 – about right.
74 THE SILENCE OF THE LAMBS 1991 – Pretty damn good adaptation. In fact, I’ll go so far as to say it was better than the book.
75 IN THE HEAT OF THE NIGHT 1967 – I know, I know, I know….
76 FORREST GUMP 1994 – I guess. Everyone seems to think so.
77 ALL THE PRESIDENT’S MEN 1976 – Good film, but even more important because there are probably a lot of people who wouldn’t otherwise know the Watergate story.
78 MODERN TIMES 1936
79 THE WILD BUNCH 1969
81 SPARTACUS 1960 – sort of homoerotic, don’t you think? Oysters anyone?
83 TITANIC 1997 – Yes, Celine Dion aside, it was good. Leo is finally getting his due, and I love Kate!!! It doesn’t hurt that she has curves and a real woman’s body!! Are you listening Kiera Knightly?
84 EASY RIDER 1969 – A fine film which I never need to see again.
85 A NIGHT AT THE OPERA 1935 – No Duck’s Soup, but great.
86 PLATOON 1986 – Best Vietnam film ever. (Apocalypse now isn’t really a war film. To quote Giles, “It’s about the journey”.
87 12 ANGRY MEN 1957 – Better on stage, but ok.
88 BRINGING UP BABY 1938 – I suppose so, but if it is here I can think of several of its genre that should be included. Where are any of The Thin Man films?, How about Hudson/Day films? Hmmm? Pillow Talk anyone? Hate to tell you. I think Hepburn is over-rated. I really do.
89 THE SIXTH SENSE 1999 – Good, but out of its league on this list.
90 SWING TIME 1936
91 SOPHIE’S CHOICE 1982 – this was an American Film? No complaints.
93 THE FRENCH CONNECTION 1971 – About right.
94 PULP FICTION 1994 – Top 25 or 30 in my book.
95 THE LAST PICTURE SHOW 1971 – Top 20 for sure!!! His best film by Far. And Holy FSM, Cybil Sheppard was beautiful!!!! (She looks a lot like Rene’L)
96 DO THE RIGHT THING 1989 – Sorry Spike, not top 100.
97 BLADE RUNNER 1982 – No complaints here, but the Director’s cut is much better.
98 YANKEE DOODLE DANDY 1942 I love musicals, just not this one.
99 TOY STORY 1995 – WTF??? If you need another animated film, I can think of MANY others.
100 BEN-HUR 1959 – This movie is about 5 hours too long. (So is this post)
So, I hit every film on the list. It’s hard to say what has been left off because it is so hard to know what makes a film “American” I would have sworn 2001 and A Clockwork Orange were English. Why is there only one Woody Allen film here? What about Reservoir Dogs, Bull
What do you think?
Take your time, post as long as you want.
Wednesday, June 20, 2007
Tuesday, June 19, 2007
I planted my garden very, very late this year.
I was distracted.
Most of the garden doesn't look so good. The squash and zucchini have been pretty disappointing. The tomatoes are doing ok but the sweet corn is practically wasted space this year.
My main herb garden is in a spot where it gets a lot of late afternoon shade. This makes it a slow starter in spring, but as the days get longer and hotter it really starts to thrive. Perfect for late summer peppers, and pesto.
I love basil, so every year I liberally scatter basil seeds among the other vegetables in the garden. I use it as it comes up and by the time it's petering out the shady spot is producing. This year, we had a longer and cooler spring than usual so everything is a little behind. This year in my small plot the basil is almost choking out the peppers, as you can see in the photo, ..... so.... It's pesto time!!
Tonight for dinner I have some pumpkin tortellini that I really love. It comes frozen, but it is really, really good. (Central Market Anne, you're going to miss it!) I will throw some basil into the mortar and pound it up with some garlic, olive oil and Parmigiano-Reggiano. I don't have any pine nuts, but I do have some pecans in the freezer and I think that might go well with the pumpkin in the tortellini. I'll let you know.
I will also chop up a tomato and some chili to add in at the last minute. To go with, I will slice a couple of tomatoes and sprinkle them with a chiffonade of basil and some salt and pepper and drizzle it with a very floral olive oil.
Fresh pineapple for dessert.
I can't really cook like this when the kids are here, so I'll make it while I can. It helps to keep me busy and keep my mind off of other things.
I wish you could join me, Brave Sir Robin hates to eat alone. But that's another post......
Monday, June 18, 2007
I have no idea what it is, but the Boston Police just shit themselves.
Travel Myth #5788:
"All experimental Theatre is about gay cowboys eating pudding."
more to come, keep checking back.
Tubing, smoked chicken and BBQ baby-backs, great friends, and my family together at their bay house.
It was an excellent Father's Day. To all of you who are Father's - Happy Father's Day.
To all the single Mother's who take care of your kids day after day without a father - Happy Father's Day to you as well.
Sunday, June 17, 2007
When I was a Lad my all time favorite cartoon was Speed Racer. I suppose someone geekier than me (as if!), might know if this was the first Japanese cartoon to make it big in America and usher in the current wave of Anime. I don't really care. I'm not a huge fan of Amine, but Speed was my hero.
I can remember rushing to the back room at my Grandmother's house to watch Speed. You see, I grew up in the country, that is, a few miles outside of town. Back in those days, (ewww, did I just use that phrase? I am officially a pretentious old fart). Anyway - In the late Sixties and Early Seventies if one lived more than a mile or so outside of town there was no cable TV. I lived about 3 miles outside of Town so we only got over the air broadcast. Most days, the channel Speed Racer was on didn't come in very clearly, if at all. However, a couple of days a week my Grandmother would pick me up from school and I would get to watch TV at her house. Well, Speed came on at the same time as one of my Grandmother's Soap operas, or her "Stories" as she called them. That meant I was relegated to the back bedroom to watch Speed Racer. Far from being annoyed, I was thrilled!! I was all alone with my hero and my imagination. In my mind, I would drive the Mach 5 and Trixie was my girl! Yes, even at such a young age, Brave Sir Robin fancied himself a ladies man, but that is another post.
So imagine how excited I was to see this:
That dear reader is the car that has been created for the Speed Racer Movie coming out next May. Well, if that wasn't enough, Christina Ricci has been cast as Trixie!!!! (Swoon), and Susan Sarandon has been cast as Mom Racer!! (double swoon) I realize this is along the same lines as the last post, but DAMN!!!! They better not screw this up!! I really, truly hope they just play this straight and don't try to dumb it down as they did with Josie and the Pussycats, or apparently as they have with Nancy Drew. First of all, not everyone who will go to see this film will be 13, and anyhow, kids are way more sophisticated than they often get credit for. It is not necessary to turn every film into mindless cliche'.
If you happen to share my passion please enjoy this:
So, tell me. What book/comic/tv show etc.... from your childhood would you love to see on the big screen.
Degree of difficulty: The Hobbit goes without saying, but only if Peter Jackson does it.
Wednesday, June 13, 2007
If you haven't shame on you!! It is unlike anything you have ever read before, I promise you.
I was very excited to see the film version is getting underway. I hope they don't screw it up. I hate it when a favorite book gets made into a terrible movie.
So, question of the day .....
What film do you feel best captures the essence of the book?
Which is the worst? The one that just pissed you off?
Worst first - Dune.
Totally screwed up movie. I love David Lynch, but I have never forgiven him for that film.
As for the best, The Age Of Innocence.
They did just a terrific job of capturing the attitudes of the book. Every screen writer who wants to develop a screenplay from a novel should be required to watch this film.
William Butler Yeats was born on this day in 1865, in Dublin.
Do you have a favorite Yeats poem? This one isn't my favorite, but it always comes to mind.
The Lake Isle Of Innisfree
I WILL arise and go now, and go to Innisfree,
And a small cabin build there, of clay and wattles made:
Nine bean-rows will I have there, a hive for the honey-bee,
And live alone in the bee-loud glade.
And I shall have some peace there, for peace comes dropping slow,
Dropping from the veils of the mourning to where the cricket sings;
There midnight's all a glimmer, and noon a purple glow,
And evening full of the linnet's wings.
I hear lake water lapping with low sounds by the shore;
While I stand on the roadway, or on the pavements grey,
I hear it in the deep heart's core.
I always loved this show, and my geeky little self would plop down and watch it whenever possible.
I am always amazed at how many scientist claim him as the reason they went into the field. I wish I could have found a better video. If anyone finds one, let me know and I'll post it.
Saturday, June 9, 2007
All Buffy, all the time.
Summer is a little difficult here at the castle. The kids split time between me and their mother, in two-week stints. We are just wrapping up week one of “my time”.
We have a bit of a tradition here in the summer. We start every summer with a “Buffy Fest”. We own all seven seasons on DVD, and we watch them all, pretty much straight through until we are done. Along the way we mix in a bit of the Buffy board game. (BTW – If you run across a copy of this game somewhere, buy it! It is fun, well thought out and clever.)
Anyway, I haven’t watched a significant amount of Buffy since last year’s Buffy-Fest. I am always struck by the excellence of the writing, the breadth of the story-arcs, and the superb character development.
For those of you who never watched Buffy, or dismissed it as “one of those vampire/sci-fi/teen shows, well, I’m sorry for you. Truly, I am. Joss Whedon did so many things right with this show it is hard to know where to begin. He obviously was interested in strong women, and I don’t mean physically. He also understood the dynamics of high School, the intricate balance needed to be yourself while trying to fit in.
It would take a year of posts to detail all of the great things about that series, but I think one of the most important things he did was to let his characters grow up. He recognized that a sophomore wasn’t the same as a junior, or a senior. The characters grow and we were all along for the ride.
What a ride it was.
You owe it to your self to run out and buy or rent the first two seasons. Watch them in order. If you aren’t hooked, you don’t have a soul.
If we could live without passion maybe we'd know some kind of peace... but we would be hollow... Empty rooms shuttered and dank. Without passion we'd be truly dead.
Thursday, June 7, 2007
Monday, June 4, 2007
"It's shirts and skins Bitches!
You gonna play Bocce, or are you gonna run home for the sun screen? "
Sunday, June 3, 2007
Meanwhile, we all know how prolific Bob Dylan was, but what I wasn't aware of is the fact that he wrote every single pop hit of the last 35 years!
This impersonation is just spot on.
Enjoy, and Brave Sir Robin hopes to see you here all week.