Saturday, November 24, 2007

As promised . . .

Well, I promised a review of the new film by the Coen Brothers, and a review you shall get. Here is it, folks, No Country For Old Men is one of the best films of the year.

What’s really interesting about it is that it doesn’t have a lot of the typical Coen weirdness. If you’ve ever seen one of their films, then you know what I’m talking about. There’s usually one scene (at the very least) in the film that makes you wonder what in the world you’re watching. In Fargo, for instance, it’d have to be the woodchipper scene, among others. With Intolerable Cruelty, it’d have to be the courtroom scene. (which, by the way, is so zany that I think it achieves a form of brilliance. Ah, I digress . . . ) This is what makes No Country For Old Men so unique. There really aren’t any scenes that belong in that category. It’s almost as though Joel and Ethan decided to focus exclusively on the storytelling, without embellishing it with their usual antics. As such, the direction is not particularly flashy in the way it goes about telling the story, but you never for a moment doubt that they know exactly where they’re going. The writing is great, and, from what I understand, is a faithful rendering of the novel. The acting is uniformly strong, with Javier Bardem deserving extra notice for his work as Anton Chigurh. I have to mention that No Country For Old Men is not really a film that lets you figure out how it's going to end. I thought that I had a decent idea, but there came a certain point at which I realized that all bets were off as far as the "ending prediction business" went.

I think that the film will garner multiple Academy Award nominations. If I had to guess, I could see the film being nominated in the following categories: Best Picture, Best Director (although I don’t know if they would nominate two people for the same award), Best Actor (Josh Brolin), Best Supporting Actor (Javier Bardem, and maybe Tommy Lee Jones), Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Cinematography, and Best Editing. Personally, I’ll probably be rooting for it come Oscar night, unless some other film comes along and knocks me sideways. Here’s hoping that Joel and Ethan finally win that little gold guy that a lot of people felt they should have gotten for Fargo . . .

Saturday, November 17, 2007

It's just too heavy for Superman to lift . . .

OK, so it's the grand old time of 1:10 AM as I post this. I have to work early tomorrow morning, I'm tired, and I should be in bed. Yet, despite this, I'm writing at my computer so that what I'm about to say will be broadcast into the cyberexpanse.

It is a very interesting time to be me right now. Academically, I'm really ready for the current semester to be over with. I have about had enough of one of my teachers. Seriously. Long term, I graduate in the Spring, and I have no idea what's supposed to or is going to happen in my life after that. Socially, I probably have more friends/pals/acquaintences than I've ever had, but things are still extremely interesting on that front. My family's been in the midst of some "stuff" too. It's not that anything's necessarily wrong, but it is our supreme wish and prayer that things STAY that way. I really can't go much more into it than that. At work, I'm still plugging along and enjoying myself, which is nice. I have reached a certain point at which I can relax a bit more than I used to. (I'm basically one of the managers just under the owners)

I think what gets to me most is the uncertainty. I would feel a lot better if I had some kind of clue as to how things are going to turn out. I know that that's not really possible, but that doesn't stop me from wanting it, you know? Part of me wants to go back to simpler times when all I had to worry about was whether or not the bookstore had the book I wanted, or if the computer was free for me to play my games on it and such. But, unfortunately, (or perhaps quite fortunately; the jury's still out) that's just not the way life works. I guess that that's a good thing, in the end. I know that we're supposed to treasure the journey, but I really want to know just where it is that I'm going to.

Thanks for listening.

Peace, Love, and Understanding,

P.S. I'm going to go see No Country For Old Men on Sunday. It's supposed to be great so I'll try to post a review here eventually.

Monday, November 12, 2007

The Eleventh Commandment

"Thou shalt not think for thyself."

You won't find this one anywhere, but far too many follow it anyway.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Another bit of punchable narrative poetry. . .



You see, I do not recommend dying
For I tried it once.

Above all, it was frustrating,
filled with sounds.
Sounds both happily terrifying and alone.

It might be the idea of many that the dead cannot hear at all.
This is wrong.
Hearing does not lessen upon the closing of the eyes
and the rotting of the flesh.
It magnifies and becomes more intense.
It is not that the dead hear nothing, but EVERYTHING.

When I was dead, I walked and sometimes flew,
or maybe I floated the whole time, I’m not sure.
It is so hard to remember.
I passed by the homeless man sleeping
the sidewalk with a
knit cap pulled down over his ears.
I passed by the woman walking to work in her
cold in the morning air.

But I felt no cold.
I felt no heat.
I felt nothing.
That is to say, absolutely nothing. (very like a ghost)



I digress.

Let me tell you how it was . . .


There are things I wish I understood
And death is one of them.
When I was dead, I thought I would
understand it better.
I did not.

I passed by a man who was walking
toward his doom and I tried to stop him.
But I couldn’t.
He passed through me when I confronted him.
Like I was a mist,
a shapeless thing
unfelt by
anything and
I shouted at him,
but he did not hear me.
But it wasn’t that he wouldn’t.
He just couldn’t.

It was then that I wished
that I hadn’t shouted,
because it (my shout) howled
through my ears without pity or mercy.
The sounds around me,
of men walking their dogs,
of women on phones,
of children at play,
these were nothing.

These I could have dealt with.

It was the thoughts that I could not manage.

The truth is,
the dead can hear thoughts
clearer than they hear
the spoken word and other sounds.
The thoughts are relentless.
Putting my hands over my ears did nothing,
for I can’t be sure that I really had ears to begin with.


So, in my state of
I tried to make some sense of it all,
but nothing worked.

I couldn’t wrap my mind around it.

The sounds wouldn’t leave me alone, unrelenting.
I couldn’t even pray for death.
Do you have any idea how terrible it is to not even have that consolation, at least?

I do, for I experienced it.

I don’t know how I came back to tell you this
Perhaps I wasn’t really dead.
Perhaps I was only dreaming. (though I doubt this)
Maybe I was in that place between sleep and life
where the dream creeps before your eyes
and you see, almost, the truth behind it all.

So, take my word for it:

I do not recommend dying,
for I tried it once, and it was bad.