Tag: movies

Tree of Life

“Many films diminish us. They cheapen us, masturbate our senses, hammer us with shabby thrills, diminish the value of life.”
– Roger Ebert

Roger Ebert calls the film Tree of Life a prayer…not asking for something, not to someone or something, but a prayer for everyone and everything.  It most definitely is not your typical Hollywood fare.  It is a film that is beautifully shot and for the most part edited (I did think one sequence was a little long).  It is a film the plays with the idea of what the beginning and end actually are.

This isn’t a film for everyone though. Which in some ways can lead to that “I’m a genius film maker and smarter than you” vibe. The way it plays with time can make it difficult to follow.  In all honesty, I’m not entirely sure how I felt about it.  I mentioned above one sequence I thought could have been edited a little differently (I think it could have been a little shorter without affecting the impact of the sequence).  I do think that one of the ideas was to keep you questioning, both when and where you are, but how we are connected with each other and our world.

Permanent link to this article: https://www.rhinoblues.com/thoughts/2011/tree-of-life/

Cormac McCarthy novels in film development

Cormac McCarthy is one of the best authors of fiction about the American Southwest.  Film adaptations have already been made of All The Pretty Horses and No Country For Old Men, with No Country winning Best Picture at the Academy Awards for 2007.

repost from the powells.com blog:

Ridley Scott recently spoke with Empire Online about his adaptation of the Cormac McCarthy novel Blood Meridian.

“It’s written. I think it’s a really tricky one, and maybe it’s something that should be left as a novel. If you’re going to do Blood Meridian you’ve got to go the whole nine yards into the blood bath, and there’s no answer to the blood bath, that’s part of the story, just the way it is and the way it was.

“[C]learly the major esthetic achievement of any living American writer,” declares Harold Bloom in the New York Observer

With the adaptation of The Road due out next year, are there any McCarthy novels left that you’d like to see on the big screen?

Permanent link to this article: https://www.rhinoblues.com/thoughts/2008/cormac-mccarthy-novels-in-film-development/

Sketch 46

Friday was the big opening of the new Bond movie.  I went with a group of about ten folks to the 8:30 showing at the Cinerama Dome at the ArcLight.  The movie was full of action, but in the end a little disappointing.  Unlike pretty much every other Bond movie, this movie was a sequel of the previous movie (Casino Royale).  The movie doesn’t really stand up on its own, unless you’ve seen Casino Royale, and that is a problem in my opinion.  A big let down after the promise of the direction of the franchise given by Casino Royale.

With the fires in the surrounding areas of LA, the air quality was pretty poor over the weekend.  I ended up staying inside watching football all day on Saturday.  The Ducks held on in their game, the Beavers rolled over Cal, and the Trojans pulled away in the second half against Stanford.  So good results all around for my friends and I.

I’ve got all the ingredients to make my first batch of beer in LA, but haven’t gotten around to brewing yet.  I do need to figure out where I’m going to put the carboy while it is fermenting though.  I’ll prolly move some stuff out of my tiny closet as my room is generally pretty cool.  I’m going to try and motivate myself to brew tonight.

I also need to figure out what, if anything, I’m doing for Thanksgiving since I am not going home.

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Sketch 45

It’s been a full week since last week’s sketch (at least its felt that way).  Thursday night, I went to a screening of the movie Slumdog Millionaire (Trailer) with a friend.  It is the story of a guy from the slums of Mumbai who has made it to the final question of the Indian version of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire.  I thought the movie was great.  Plus the screening was at the Fox Studios lot, which was kind of cool to see.

Saturday night, I went to a LA Kings game at the Staples Center.  The game was fun, and I got to watch it from my companies luxury suite.  It was my first time seeing an NHL game live and seeing anything at the Staples Center.  Though the evening wasn’t without problems…I just didn’t know about them until Sunday. (see my post about it)

Other good notes from the weekend:

  • I think the AT&T U-Verse technicians have finally fixed my connectivity issues on my TV and Internet services.
  • The Ducks managed to pull off a last minute drive to beat Stanford.

Permanent link to this article: https://www.rhinoblues.com/thoughts/2008/sketch-45/

Synecdoche, New York

Last night I went to a screening of the new Charlie Kaufman film, Synecdoche, New York

Like his prior work, its a bit strange, but also amusing.  Originally conceived as a “horror film” for Sony, this is what Kaufman came up with.  A story about a theater director so afraid of death that he is misses life and the good parts of it.  I thought it was a fascinating film, and fit perfectly alongside the rest of Kaufman’s work.

My friend went with me said “near the end, I just wanted it to be over already.”  Not because it wasn’t an enjoyable movie, but just because it was getting long.  What I just realized though, is perhaps this was a good thing.  This is a film about living and dying after all.  For some people at the end of life, you wish for it just to be over, the suffering of pain, loneliness, whatever.  But for whatever reason they linger on, in pain, alone until finally the warm light embraces them.

Permanent link to this article: https://www.rhinoblues.com/thoughts/2008/synecdoche-new-york/

Sketch 39

It’s been a heck of a week.  Two more major banks have fallen (or at least been sold off at a discount).  The White House and Congressional Leadership have proposed a financial bailout package, that failed when it went to the House floor for a vote, and the first presidential debate happened (a draw for the most part).

In my neck of the woods…I had my car towed to the mechanic to find out what the damage would be from the car troubles I mentioned in my previous post.  Turns out it was the more expensive of the two options the mechanic mentioned over the phone.  So I had to call my dad to see if he could spot me the repairs for a few weeks while I deal with all the moving expenses.

Not much else has been going on as I prepare to move to my new place this coming weekend.  I did catch a screening of The Lucky Ones (another screening presented by Creative Screenwriting Magazine).  A nice take on the road trip movie and the disruptions of military life on families.

Permanent link to this article: https://www.rhinoblues.com/thoughts/2008/sketch-39/

Sketch 38

Sometimes I feel like I’m doing nothing, even though I feel like I’m quite busy at the same time.  I think I’m just at one of those points where I need to get away from the city again…but I won’t be able to until after the pending move.

Friday night I finally made it to Tropic Thunder.  Funny, funny movie.  Go see it.  Even if you normally can’t stand Ben Stiller movies.  This one is good.

Saturday, I headed down to Mr. Pocket’s in Manhattan Beach to catch the watch party for the Duck game.  Amazingly enough, the game (UO vs. Boise State), wasn’t on TV except for the Oregon’s local production.  Because of a new TV rights deal, Oregon games not carried by the Pac-10 contracts (ABC/ESPN, FSN, and VS.) are aired on the new Comcast Sports North West (also the new home of the Portland Trailblazers).  The problem with this is that since CSNW is owned by Comcast, most of the other cable/satellite/etc providers, do not carry the channel.  Normally, this would mean we were out of luck for watching at the bar, but the folks at Mr. Pockets hooked up the streaming feed from the internet, so we could watch it live after all.  The game was good (in the end), even though we lost.  Oregon played pretty cruddy for 3 quarters and its hard to win games like that (even though we almost came back).

I spent some time going through things in preparation for packing on Sunday.  Nothing is packed yet, but I’m pretty much ready to pack.  Just waiting on the rental agreement from the landlord to sign and I’ll be completely official.  I’ve already started changing my address with the various powers that be.

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Sketch 37

Oh my…its been a busy week.  Which explains why I’m a couple days behind this weeks sketch.

Most of the business comes from having to find a new apartment.  In the end, I saw nine different places.  I liked four of them (well I actually liked a fifth place, but the other people wouldn’t have been a great fit).  I’m moving into a place that is Mid-City, so pretty much right between the current location of my office…and the future location of the office.  I’m not sure exactly what there is within walking distance to it…but its pretty centrally located otherwise.

Saturday, my friend had a birthday celebration at her house in Whittier.  We were celebrating a bunch of us who had birthday’s at the beginning of the month (including me).  There was scuba lessons, football watching (Oregon pulled out a squeaker), lots of conversations, and millions of bubbles.  It was a great time (and totally worth the drive to Whittier).

After church on Sunday, I had lunch at Papa Cristo’s, an LA institution that has been open since 1948.  Another LA landmark crossed off the list.

Tuesday, I went to a screening of Rachel Getting Married.  By the time I got there, the line was pretty long and I ended up sitting pretty close to the screen.  That ended up not being a good thing.  The movie featured lots of hand held camera work, which made for some jittery shots.  By the end of the movie I was feeling pretty nauseous.  This coupled with the fact that it could have used to be about a half hour shorter (at least) meant that I bolted as soon as the film was done (again skipping the Q&A session).

I took my car into the shop on Wednesday morning.  My car is interesting, because it has a vacuum system that controls the “power” locks as well as the engine cut of switch.  Well somewhere in the system there was a leak, which was causing the engine not to shut off when I turned off the car and removed the key.  This wasn’t a huge deal for awhile, as there is a cutoff switch on the engine itself, so I only needed to pop the hood and press the switch.  At least until the little tab that helped un-latch the hood broke over the weekend.  Suddenly opening the trunk involved a little more work (and needle nose pliers).  Anyway, I took it in to see what it would take to fix it and get an oil change.  Well it turns out, that I also needed new brake pads and rotors.  So that was almost $450 I wasn’t expecting to be spending.  But again, I can’t really complain, my friend did give me the car.  Picked up the car this morning and the car shuts off as its supposed to do.  Right now the “power” locks don’t work on the right side of the car, but I can get that fixed later.

Permanent link to this article: https://www.rhinoblues.com/thoughts/2008/sketch-37/

Towelhead (the movie)

Last night I went to an advance screening of the movie Towelhead.  The movie is directed and adapted by Alan Ball from the novel by Alicia Erian.  The story is about a young Arab-American girl, coming of age during the time of the first Gulf War, in Texas.

The movie was pretty amazing.  It was uncomfortable, funny, hopeful and disturbing at various times.  I guess I shouldn’t be that surprised coming from Alan Ball, who didn’t shy away with uncomfortable topics in American Beauty or Six Feet Under.  I was actually kinda bummed that I wasn’t able to stick around for the Q & A session after the screening (it was late).

Its going to be interesting when this film is actually released.  From looking at the official website for the movie, it looks like they are going to be doing a bunch of screenings around the country before its wider release.  Of course the title of the movie is going to be controversial.  The film makers (and original author) address this a bit on the website, which I quote beneath the cut.  I encourage ya’ll to see this movie when you can, its the best movie I’ve seen all summer.

Continue reading

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Sketch 34

Well I seem to be having a string of luck with electronics lately.  On Saturday I came home from running some errands to a dead computer.  It was off, and the little light on the power button was flashing yellow.  Not good.  Anyway, I’ve picked out something to replace it…for the moment at least.  Its a Dell Inspiron 1525 laptop at Best Buy for $599.  Of course I need a couple weeks to come up with the funds to purchase it, so it’ll be at least Sept. 5th before I can get it.  At least I’ve got the web at work to check my email and stuff.

I went and saw Hamlet 2 on Sunday after church.  Kind of a ridiculous movie, but then that’s what I was hoping for.  The movie took its own sweet time to get going, but the last half of the movie was pretty funny.

With the lack of a computer at home meaning no DVD watching, I’ll probably be doing a lot more reading over the next couple weeks.  Should help me catch up a little in my quest for 52 books for 2008.

I met one of my friend’s mother and sister over the weekend as well.  That was pretty cool.  We all went out to eat at The Kettle on Friday night and then went over to my friend’s aunt and uncle’s place in Hermosa Beach for a BBQ on Saturday evening.

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