Monday, January 17, 2005


  • Long weekend - Needed (don't know why it was needed so soon after the holiday, but it was. Maybe I'm confusing 'needed' with 'badly desired,' but the line is just too fine to bother with the debate).

  • Potential Sleeping In Days this weekend:
    Saturday (10am -- very good)
    Sunday (7:45am -- very bad, but church starts early)
    Monday (bonus holiday! 8:30am -- fair. Wanted to sleep later, but there were things to do).

  • Movies - Finally watched my NetFlix copies of (a) Garden State and (b) Collateral. (a) was very enjoyable, especially for a first film from an actor turned writer-director. I'm a big Scrubs fan, so I was not surprised that I liked this. I thought it was surprisingly visual for a first film, not to mention an independent (though that label means less and less with each passing day; the actors in this were hardly stars, save perhaps for Portman, but there were many 'faces' in the film). (b) was mesmerizing and terrifically well-acted. Mann has great confidence and ability when it comes to letting two good actors just talk. He really makes those scenes work (by staying out of the way). Though I liked it, I found myself ruminating on the plot machinations, the thought processes that lead Tom Cruise's Vincent character to require this one driver for the night, no matter the inconvenience... the fact that he doesn't kill him when he obviously should. The reasons given don't work. The film, as a whole, does, but those holes still bug me. Also, the coincidence of Vincent getting in the same cab as one of his future intended victims is, come on, a bit much.

    So Cruise is Vincent here, and he was Vincent in Scorsese's Color of Money. So I wonder if this is THAT Vincent years down the road, after he has finished hustling pool. That Vincent, Scorsese's Vincent, was too much of a goof to be this cold, calculating killer, but it's fun to think through these connections and see if they work.

    To be honest, my opinion of these movies was likely affected by my rush to watch them. I've had them from NetFlix for over a week, and I've been dying to watch them (with very little time to do so). So I had some time on Friday (Garden State, in my office) and some surprise time today (Collateral)... but with constant interruptions from the kiddies today and etc. I couldn't tell you the last time I watched a movie without interruption or without feeling rushed. Even when I get to the movies these days (most recently, to see The Life Acquatic), I always feel like I'm on the clock and have to return to whatever it is I'm supposed to be doing, whether it's parenting, working, etc. I'm dying to see The Aviator, Ocean's Twelve, and a few others, but who has the time?

  • Dinner - Mexican food. Good, greasy, Mexican food. I feel like the guy in that old Alka Seltzer commercial: "I like Mexican food, but it doesn't like me..."

  • Classes - Fairly easy day tomorrow, with a class I've already prepped for (still have to review my notes again) and another where I'm basically showing a film (for use as a discussion tool through several lectures, so I feel like it's justified).

  • Currently Watching...: 24. I love this show. Plot holes large enough to drive a truck through, on occasion, but it's terribly entertaining. Very few shows actually make me tense. So glad this is going to play out without repeats or multiple weeks off. I hated waiting this long for it to come back, but now that we're here in January, I'm going to enjoy the ride.

    Can't think of anything else at the moment. Honestly, I'm only writing today so I can get the little "<--" or "pop" next to my link on your blogrolls. I get jealous when I see everyone else "popping" and mine is just there. Poor little blog. No one will visit me unless I "pop." But really, who can keep up with Profgrrl and the Chutry Experiment. I'm not nearly as prolific, nor do I have anything half as interesting to say.


    At 9:37 PM, Blogger chutry said...

    Actually I'm pretty excited that you're doing film reviews (or to see your reviews). My takes on Collateral and Garden state were much different, as you may recall from my reviews. I found GS to be a little shallow, though entertaining (and visually impressive). I love Mann, especially in his use of Los Angeles. His films are so beautifully cold, although, yeah, there's a plot hole or two in Collateral. I think we'll be talking about his films in twenty or so years like we talk about noir now....

    At 6:35 AM, Blogger TerminalMFA said...

    I got lost and forgot to say that I thought Garden State was a little shallow as well. I liked it in spite of it's shallowness, because it was visually appealing and went places I didn't expect it to go. But I thought it was trying too hard by the time they got to the guy living in the boat in the dump at the edge of 'the abyss' - maybe this is a real place and they wanted to capture the weirdness of it, but it seemed like a fake.

    Nevertheless, enjoyable. Not great.


    Post a Comment

    << Home