Tuesday, August 05, 2008

If only George Lucas and Michael Bay would read this . . .

If you're often annoyed, as I am, by the "runaway" use of CGI in the movies today, I'd highly recommend that you read this post on Roger Ebert's blog. As he has so many times in so many ways, Roger hits the nail right on the head.


Monday, August 04, 2008

A sadly underappreciated song from the master . . .

I'll Remember You

I'll remember you
When I've forgotten all the rest,
You to me were true,
You to me were the best.
When there is no more,
You cut to the core
Quicker than anyone I knew.
When I'm all alone
In the great unknown,
I'll remember you.

I'll remember you
At the end of the trail,
I had so much left to do,
I had so little time to fail.
There's some people that
You don't forget,
Even though you've only seen'm
One time or two.
When the roses fade
And I'm in the shade,
I'll remember you.

Didn't I, didn't I try to love you?
Didn't I, didn't I try to care?
Didn't I sleep, didn't I weep beside you
With the rain blowing in your hair?

I'll remember you
When the wind blows through the piney wood.
It was you who came right through,
It was you who understood.
Though I'd never say
That I done it the way
That you'd have liked me to.
In the end,
My dear sweet friend,
I'll remember you.

-Bob Dylan

Copyright ©1985 Special Rider Music

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-k-q6siH2ZU&feature=related (the 1985 original studio recording)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZVXdksxvIpg (the 2003 acoustic version from Masked and Anonymous)

Friday, August 01, 2008


No matter how much money one spends on a car, the same birds fly over all of them.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Something of a fourish nature . . .

The Letter N and the Number 3

The hardest thing I ever had to do
Was look at what I thought I knew and admit
That I didn’t know it at all.
I meant well.
I was true.
But at the end of the day, I looked into the mirror
And the guy looking back said,
“Who are you? Are you the one who said he was true?”
Maybe I was wrong about that too.

What about the whoopers and hollerers?
Do they get a say?
Should they get a say?
In me and what I have to say?
I hope not.
‘cause their truth is something I haven’t got.
And it’s not something you can go to the store and walk out having bought.
Nope. Nada. Not!

Someone once said that if you don’t look where you’re going
You’ll never know when you get there.
This must have been a very wise person.
Except for one thing.
I haven’t been looking where I was going
And now I don’t know where I am.
So what’s left for me?
Which model am I supposed to be?
A, b, c, or d?
I’ve got it! E!

That’s got to be it.
A new way of thinking
And a new way of doing.
That’s the way for me.
Not to hold the same truth as the w’s and h’s
But to try to fly free on the wings
Of a big black bird

Yep, that’s the way.
I’m gonna be free.
At the end of the day,
When you see me go a-flying by
And wonder who I be,
Flying so happy and so free.
You’ll know the truth
(and it will most likely aggravate you)
It was me.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Something I was reminded of today that I've known for a long time

There are few things worse than being in the midst of a group of people that are really into something that you're just not into.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

It's been a long time coming, but I know a change gonna come. . .

I am seceding from society. You might find these five words to be somewhat impetuous and possibly even foolish, but, after a lot of thought, it’s what I think is the best course of action.
Now, I know what you’re probably thinking. “Adam, what are you talking about? Secede from society? You can’t do that!” Well, watch me.

All in all, I am tired. I live in a world where people are too blinded by their own perceptions and opinions about that world to take the time to listen to each other enough to learn about anything remotely foreign to them. I am saddened by the lack of respect for others that seems to be the prevalent attitude in a lot of people that I know from so many walks of life. I see it all over town, over issues of religion, politics, art, and . . . well, it might seem like a generalization, but I see it everywhere.

Why must a person who claims to be so firm in his/her conviction(s) feel a need to put another person down who disagrees? Is there no room for disagreement? I just don’t see it. Whatever happened to mutual respect? How about agreeing to disagree? I have a lot of acquaintances that I disagree with on a great many things, but that doesn’t mean that their opinion isn’t valid. It just means that I disagree. Why can’t people even try to think along these lines?

I’m not suggesting that I’ve reached some sort of perfection and don’t make any of these mistakes myself. That’s just not true. I bring up some of these things because I’m as guilty of them as the next person. What I’m questioning is the necessity of these attitudes to exist at all.

So, I said all that to let you know why I’m seceding from society. Hopefully, I haven’t come across like some silly junior high kid taking out his frustration on the world.

I haven’t drafted up the charter yet, but I’m going to start my own brand new colony, at least on the inside. I hope you’ll think about coming along. What could it hurt?

Saturday, April 12, 2008


This poem was written for my first love, America, because she broke my heart.

The Great American Novel


Sitting at table.
Tired now.
Page blank.
Hand strains.
Pen drops.
Eyes close.


I’m thinking that I’s stranded in a sea of somethin’ . . .


(I’m falling into a pool of white.
What is a pool of white anyway?
It’s got to be something important.
But what?)


I’ve been here before.
I know that much.
The lectern is strong and true.
My hands grip it tightly.
I, surprised to see this, am in mid-sentence, already talking.

You’re the only one here.


. . . And that’s what I or you or me or whatever it seemed to be was always saying anyway.
It’s good you finally took the time to listen to
the words,
the times,
the rhymes, and everything else that went on before in that time before times.
But now I want to know something.

(your gaze twitches. I speak more forcefully.)

You owe me that much.
(You settle back into your chair)

How does it happen?
How did it before?
Do we know the words at all?
Or have we always made them up as we went along?

(will you follow me with this, or will I lose you here? It might be a bit much, but it must be said.)

Are our paintings just eyesores floating along dead-end boulevards begging for a touch of the sweet hand of Mary-Jane as she stands outstretched towards the endless trance, watching as we dance the dance of those who have no hope?


All the same, it happens every time.
It never ceases
Never ends.

I never pretended to understand.
Why won’t you believe me?
I would never lie to you, though you’ve treated me so unkindly.
Or was that a result of those who stand as keeper of your torch
and guardian of your flame?
I don’t know.
Those . . . people have made a mockery of who you wanted to be,
The best of all your hopes and dreams.
I look at you and weep at what might have been.

It isn’t hard. Fooling yourself is simple.
You’ve done it all along.
You haven’t had the right to do half of the things that you have up till now.

But you thought you did.

You started to believe it as the trial dragged on and on.
“Look at me. I am mighty. I answer to no one,” you said
Your upturned hangman’s eyes haughty at the promise of what you thought you deserved.

But you didn’t.


So now I turn to you and speak softly,
Hoping that you’ll be quiet long enough

(I know that your mind has been racing up till now.
I don’t know if you heard anything before.)

to listen to the voice
Of someone that really loved you, way back when.
“There’s an ache inside that messes me up,
And I don’t know what to make of it,”
I say quietly when I think you are really listening.

I pause.

Are you listening?


What’s going on . . . (rubs eyes)

Where did you go? I was almost there too,
about to say what you needed to hear most.
But you’re gone now.
You were never here at all, were you?
(I am always within you, and you are always around me.)

I rise from my chair, and stand in the center of the floor.
I will finish my speech.

You need to hear it.

And I need to say it.


Dear, I think you’ve broken my heart, despite yourself.
If only you’d listened to your heart all along,
Maybe you wouldn’t be in this mess.

If you even had a heart to begin with. I don’t think you do.

They’ve taken everything, haven’t they?

(It’s time to finish what I started. I can‘t wait any longer.)


So, there’s just one thing left to do.
It’s time to write the great American novel.
I get my pen, my paper too
Sit at the table and think of you
Put my hands upon the page and think about the story
I’m about to make
Then quietly, without a smirk
Or trace of sarcastic irk
I write two lines on the glowing white.

“We stole it all. It wasn’t right.”

Saturday, March 15, 2008

IS is IS . . .

Hello Brothers and Sisters,

Well, my Oscar predictions were definitely better this year. Despite Tilda Swinton's win, (didn't see THAT coming at all!) for the most part, I was right on. I did a lot better than last year, that's for sure. I even won the office Oscar pool.

I'm going to try something this week that is fairly new for me. I'm going to go a whole week without chocolate. None. Nada. Zilcharino. I eat too much of the stuff, and I want to see, first, if I can do it, and, second, if it affects my body in a positive way.

I've gotta say 2008 has gotten off to an awesome start. I saw an amazing movie, (There Will Be Blood) landed the internship that I wanted, started my final semester at CSUF, and, most importantly, have someone special in my life. (which still amazes me sometimes. I find myself amazed that someone could care about me, since I know me so well.) So, my life has been expanding, exciting, and challenging this year. I don't see it slowing down soon.

I've written a new poem, which should find its way here fairly soon. I might edit it a little bit more before I post it. On a similar note, I saw the coolest collection of Allen Ginsberg's poetry yesterday. I MUST HAVE IT!

Peace, Love, & Understanding,


Saturday, February 23, 2008

The Oscars are here again, and I've got the scoop . . .

. . . and a most interesting scoop it is. There are two categories that I think can be effectively "called." The rest is actually fairly open. I mean, we who make these predictions always think that some things are surer bets than others, but, sometimes, we're proven to be very wrong. One thing that's very important to remember whenever you're discussing Oscar predictions is that the Academy has a mind that is very much its own. Despite the usual indicators that point out who has the edge, such as the nominees/winners of the major guild awards, as well as the Golden Globe nominees/winners, all too often the Academy essentially says "screw you," and picks a completely different winner. I cannot overemphasize this point. Need I remind you of my picks from last year? So, without further ado, here are my picks in the major categories.

Best Picture

The nominees:

Michael Clayton
No Country For Old Men
There Will Be Blood

Breakdown: This category is a bit contradictory. One one hand, it's a no-brainer. No Country For Old Men has won almost all of the major awards going into Oscar night and has all of the momentum. It's been acclaimed as one of the strongest films of the Coen's already stellar filmography. But here's where it gets tricky. I think that There Will Be Blood might be the dark horse of this category. It received a ton of critical acclaim and I wouldn't be completely surprised if it pulls out a win on Oscar night. Personally, I'd be happy if this happened, as I picked this film as the best film of 2007. However, even if No Country For Old Men does get the win, I won't be that disappointed, because it's a great film and is, I think, also very deserving. Despite this, another scenario is completely possible. If the two aforementioned films (both of which are very similar in tone) split the vote between them, Juno just might squeak through and take the big one. I will be mad if this happens, because it's not so often that you have two knockout movies in the running. To see Juno win out over either one of them would be quite tragic.

Predicted Winner: No Country For Old Men
If I was voting: There Will Be Blood
Possible upsets: Juno, There Will Be Blood

Best Actor

The nominees:

George Clooney - Michael Clayton
Daniel Day-Lewis - There Will Be Blood
Johnny Depp - Sweeney Todd The Demon Barber of Fleet Street
Tommy Lee Jones - In the Valley of Elah
Viggo Mortensen - Eastern Promises

Breakdown: This is one of the aforementioned "sure things." Daniel Day-Lewis turned in of the greatest performances of his already storied career. There are performances and then there are performances. This is one of the latter. No one else stands a chance.

Predicted Winner: Daniel Day-Lewis.
If I was voting: Daniel Day-Lewis.
Possible upsets: None.

Best Actress

The nominees:

Cate Blanchett - Elizabeth: The Golden Age
Julie Christie - Away from Her
Marion Cotillard - La Vie en Rose
Laura Linney - The Savages
Ellen Page - Juno

Breakdown: Julie Christie is easily the front-runner in this category. So far, she's got a lot of momentum that may well carry her all the way to the podium. However, Marion Cotillard has received a lot of critical acclaim for her performance. I'm not sure if she will be able to overcome the fact that not a lot of people have seen La Vie en Rose. Ellen Page is also a dark horse in this category and might ride the tidal wave of goodwill that people have for her over-rated little film all the way to the victory.

Predicted Winner: Julie Christie.
If I was voting: Laura Linney.
Possible upsets: Marion Cotillard, Ellen Page.

Best Supporting Actor

The nominees:

Casey Affleck - The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford
Javier Bardem - No Country for Old Men
Philip Seymour Hoffman - Charlie Wilson’s War
Hal Holbrook - Into the Wild
Tom Wilkinson - Michael Clayton

The Breakdown: Javier Bardem has won every award under the sun for his performance, and I don't think that anyone really has a serious chance of catching him. However, if anyone has any chance at all, I think that Casey Affleck would be the guy. I really don't think that will happen though.

Predicted Winner: Javier Bardem
If I was voting: Javier Bardem
Possible upsets: Casey Affleck.

Best Supporting Actress

The nominees:

Cate Blanchett - I’m Not There
Ruby Dee - American Gangster
Saoirse Ronan - Atonement
Amy Ryan - Gone Baby Gone
Tilda Swinton - Michael Clayton

The Breakdown: This is a fairly tricky category to pick. Cate Blanchett's had the most steady buzz so far, but Ruby Dee has picked up steam, particularly as a result of her SAG win. Amy Ryan is somewhat of a dark horse, due to the early buzz that she generated, but it's died down a LOT. I think that it will most definitely be either Cate Blanchett or Ruby Dee, and I'm going with Cate.

Predicted Winner: Cate Blanchett.
If I was voting: Cate Blanchett.
Possible upsets: Ruby Dee, Amy Ryan.

Best Director

The nominees:

Paul Thomas Anderson - There Will Be Blood
Joel Coen and Ethan Coen - No Country for Old Men
Tony Gilroy - Michael Clayton
Jason Reitman - Juno
Julian Schnabel - The Diving Bell and the Butterfly

The Breakdown: This award is Joel and Ethan Coen's to win or lose. These guys have some of the most original voices in cinema today. A lot of people felt that they should have received their due back in 1997 with Fargo, but I think that, this year, they've got this one in the bag. However, there are a few dark horses. Paul Thomas Anderson's work was astounding, and Julian Schnabel has generated a lot of buzz. Despite this, I really don't see Joel and Ethan losing this time.

Predicted Winner: Joel Coen and Ethan Coen.
If I was voting: Joel Coen and Ethan Coen.
Possible upsets: Paul Thomas Anderson, Julian Schnabel.

Well, that's all, folks. Here's hoping that:

1. I'm able to rebound from doing such a poor job of predicting last year's Oscars.
2. Jon Stewart is actually funny this time around.
3. We get a great show.
4. We're not left scratching our heads too much.
5. Against all odds, Diablo Cody actually doesn't win Best Original Screenplay.
6. "Falling Slowly" wins Best Original Song.

. . . and, most importantly. . .

7. In such a strong year, Juno does NOT win Best Picture.

Enjoy the show.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Kaddish, Part 1

Strange now to think of you, gone without corsets & eyes, while I walk on
the sunny pavement of Greenwich Village.
downtown Manhattan, clear winter noon, and I've been up all night, talking,
talking, reading the Kaddish aloud, listening to Ray Charles blues
shout blind on the phonograph
the rhythm the rhythm--and your memory in my head three years after--
And read Adonais' last triumphant stanzas aloud--wept, realizing
how we suffer--
And how Death is that remedy all singers dream of, sing, remember,
prophesy as in the Hebrew Anthem, or the Buddhist Book of An-
swers--and my own imagination of a withered leaf--at dawn--
Dreaming back thru life, Your time--and mine accelerating toward Apoca-
the final moment--the flower burning in the Day--and what comes after,
looking back on the mind itself that saw an American city
a flash away, and the great dream of Me or China, or you and a phantom
Russia, or a crumpled bed that never existed--
like a poem in the dark--escaped back to Oblivion--
No more to say, and nothing to weep for but the Beings in the Dream,
trapped in its disappearance,
sighing, screaming with it, buying and selling pieces of phantom, worship-
ping each other,
worshipping the God included in it all--longing or inevitability?--while it
lasts, a Vision--anything more?
It leaps about me, as I go out and walk the street, look back over my shoulder,
Seventh Avenue, the battlements of window office buildings shoul-
dering each other high, under a cloud, tall as the sky an instant--and
the sky above--an old blue place.
or down the Avenue to the south, to--as I walk toward the Lower East Side
--where you walked 50 years ago, little girl--from Russia, eating the
first poisonous tomatoes of America frightened on the dock
then struggling in the crowds of Orchard Street toward what?--toward
toward candy store, first home-made sodas of the century, hand-churned ice
cream in backroom on musty brownfloor boards--
Toward education marriage nervous breakdown, operation, teaching school,
and learning to be mad, in a dream--what is this life?
Toward the Key in the window--and the great Key lays its head of light
on top of Manhattan, and over the floor, and lays down on the
sidewalk--in a single vast beam, moving, as I walk down First toward
the Yiddish Theater--and the place of poverty
you knew, and I know, but without caring now--Strange to have moved
thru Paterson, and the West, and Europe and here again,
with the cries of Spaniards now in the doorstops doors and dark boys on
the street, firs escapes old as you
--Tho you're not old now, that's left here with me--
Myself, anyhow, maybe as old as the universe--and I guess that dies with
us--enough to cancel all that comes--What came is gone forever
every time--
That's good!That leaves it open for no regret--no fear radiators, lacklove,
torture even toothache in the end--
Though while it comes it is a lion that eats the soul--and the lamb, the soul,
in us, alas, offering itself in sacrifice to change's fierce hunger--hair
and teeth--and the roar of bonepain, skull bare, break rib, rot-skin,
braintricked Implacability.
Ai! ai!we do worse! We are in a fix!And you're out, Death let you out,
Death had the Mercy, you're done with your century, done with
God, done with the path thru it--Done with yourself at last--Pure
--Back to the Babe dark before your Father, before us all--before the
There, rest.No more suffering for you.I know where you've gone, it's good.
No more flowers in the summer fields of New York, no joy now, no more
fear of Louis,
and no more of his sweetness and glasses, his high school decades, debts,
loves, frightened telephone calls, conception beds, relatives, hands--
No more of sister Elanor,--she gone before you--we kept it secret you
killed her--or she killed herself to bear with you--an arthritic heart
--But Death's killed you both--No matter--
Nor your memory of your mother, 1915 tears in silent movies weeks and
weeks--forgetting, agrieve watching Marie Dressler address human-
ity, Chaplin dance in youth,
or Boris Godunov, Chaliapin's at the Met, halling his voice of a weeping Czar
--by standing room with Elanor & Max--watching also the Capital
ists take seats in Orchestra, white furs, diamonds,
with the YPSL's hitch-hiking thru Pennsylvania, in black baggy gym skirts
pants, photograph of 4 girls holding each other round the waste, and
laughing eye, too coy, virginal solitude of 1920
all girls grown old, or dead now, and that long hair in the grave--lucky to
have husbands later--
You made it--I came too--Eugene my brother before (still grieving now and
will gream on to his last stiff hand, as he goes thru his cancer--or kill
--later perhaps--soon he will think--)
And it's the last moment I remember, which I see them all, thru myself, now
--tho not you
I didn't foresee what you felt--what more hideous gape of bad mouth came
first--to you--and were you prepared?
To go where?In that Dark--that--in that God? a radiance? A Lord in the
Void?Like an eye in the black cloud in a dream?Adonoi at last, with
Beyond my remembrance! Incapable to guess! Not merely the yellow skull
in the grave, or a box of worm dust, and a stained ribbon--Deaths-
head with Halo?can you believe it?
Is it only the sun that shines once for the mind, only the flash of existence,
than none ever was?
Nothing beyond what we have--what you had--that so pitiful--yet Tri-
to have been here, and changed, like a tree, broken, or flower--fed to the
ground--but made, with its petals, colored, thinking Great Universe,
shaken, cut in the head, leaf stript, hid in an egg crate hospital, cloth
wrapped, sore--freaked in the moon brain, Naughtless.
No flower like that flower, which knew itself in the garden, and fought the
Cut down by an idiot Snowman's icy--even in the Spring--strange ghost
thought some--Death--Sharp icicle in his hand--crowned with old
roses--a dog for his eyes--cock of a sweatshop--heart of electric
All the accumulations of life, that wear us out--clocks, bodies, consciousness,
shoes, breasts--begotten sons--your Communism--'Paranoia' into
You once kicked Elanor in the leg, she died of heart failure later.You of
stroke.Asleep?within a year, the two of you, sisters in death.Is
Elanor happy?
Max grieves alive in an office on Lower Broadway, lone large mustache over
midnight Accountings, not sure.His life passes--as he sees--and
what does he doubt now?Still dream of making money, or that might
have made money, hired nurse, had children, found even your Im-
mortality, Naomi?
I'll see him soon.Now I've got to cut through to talk to you as I didn't
when you had a mouth.
Forever.And we're bound for that, Forever like Emily Dickinson's horses
--headed to the End.
They know the way--These Steeds--run faster than we think--it's our own
life they cross--and take with them.

Magnificent, mourned no more, marred of heart, mind behind, mar-
ried dreamed, mortal changed--Ass and face done with murder.
In the world, given, flower maddened, made no Utopia, shut under
pine, almed in Earth, blamed in Lone, Jehovah, accept.
Nameless, One Faced, Forever beyond me, beginningless, endless,
Father in death.Tho I am not there for this Prophecy, I am unmarried, I'm
hymnless, I'm Heavenless, headless in blisshood I would still adore
Thee, Heaven, after Death, only One blessed in Nothingness, not
light or darkness, Dayless Eternity--
Take this, this Psalm, from me, burst from my hand in a day, some
of my Time, now given to Nothing--to praise Thee--But Death
This is the end, the redemption from Wilderness, way for the Won-
derer, House sought for All, black handkerchief washed clean by weeping
--page beyond Psalm--Last change of mine and Naomi--to God's perfect
Darkness--Death, stay thy phantoms!

-Allen Ginsberg

Sunday, February 17, 2008

You go girl!

I've been meaning to post something about how glad I am that my girl Amy Winehouse cleaned up at the Grammys, but just haven't done it yet. She should have gotten Album of the Year too. I have respect for Herbie Hancock, to be sure, but come on. Album of the Year? I think not . . . I think that the whole thing about her not being "worthy" of getting awards because of her personal problems is ridiculous. She made one of the best soul albums in recent memory and deserved to be recognized.

In other news, I've been working on a new poem. It's sort of mostly finished, I guess. I'm really not sure. I'm going back and forth between thinking that it's done and thinking that it needs to be a lot longer. I'll post it here once I decide it's finished.

I'll be posting my Oscar predictions here probably at the end of the week, so don't forget to check to see if I can rebound after the debacle that was my set of predictions for last year.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Here it is . . . finally.

A while ago, I promised you a review of There Will Be Blood. Actually, it's been over a week since I saw it, but I didn't want to review it until I'd seen it again. Well, I did that a few days ago, so, as I promised, here's my review of the film . . .


In November, I saw the Coen Brothers' No Country For Old Men. I didn't think that I'd see a better movie from 2007, and, as such, I named it the best film of the year. However, you might remember that I left myself an out clause. This clause consisted of these words: "Personally, I’ll probably be rooting for it come Oscar night, unless some other film comes along and knocks me sideways." Well, it happened. Another film came along and knocked me around. Now, while I still think that No Country For Old Men is a terrific film, and one of the year's best, (and my favorite Coen Bros. film) I'm going to have to take it back. Paul Thomas Anderson's There Will Be Blood is my pick for the best film of 2007.

There Will Be Blood is unlike any film I've ever seen. This is strange, because, on some levels, it's a fairly straightforward epic film, with many of the genre's conventions. However, I think that this film takes a step further and trancends the categorization of only functioning as mere entertainment, which most films never do. Don't take this to mean that I don't think that the film's entertaining, because I think it's quite entertaining. I think that there's really just one way to to say it: There Will Be Blood is art. Yes, art. The film has an amazingly immediate, visceral quality to it. Once the film ends, you're left to struggle to put it together in your mind and decide what it "means." I've seen it twice already, and, both times, the people I was with (and myself too, but much more so the first time) found ourselves almost dazed when the movie was over. It's a lot to take in, and is a total trip.

The film operates on many different levels. On one level, it's a dark character study. On another, it's primarily a struggle between two men. On another, it uses symbols to tell the story of America itself, and forces that have helped to shape it into what it is. The ending is literally mind-blowing. (and is now one of my favorite endings of all-time) Despite its coming from the proverbial "left field," I don't think the film can really end any other way. Besides, there's this really great line about a milkshake that I don't think anyone who sees the film will EVER forget.

The performances, in particular, are excellent. Although it's been said many times already, Daniel Day-Lewis is AWESOME. He doesn't just act in this movie: he EMBODIES Daniel Plainview, who, I think, is one of the most complex and memorable characters in recent cinema. He will win an Academy Award for Best Actor for this role; you can bet money on it. Paul Dano also turns in a great performance as Eli Sunday, who is so creepy that he almost makes my skin crawl.

Jonny Greenwood's score is intense and, I think, points to an exciting new direction in film scoring. I know that the music has divided people as to its quality, with some people really liking it, and others thinking that it's too abrasive. Personally, I think that it's really cool, and really adds a unique quality to the film. If he hadn't used part of a previous composition of his as part of the score, I think that he would have been a serious contender for the Academy Award for Best Original Score. It's certainly the year's most innovative.

Until now, I'd never seen any of Paul Thomas Anderson's films. Now, I want to see all of them. His direction is wonderfully confident. I can only think of one shot in the entire film that bugged me as not really "fitting." Aside from that, each shot flows into the next almost seamlessly. In the end, There Will Be Blood is a challenging, frightening, awe-inspiring, and vibrant work of art. It is not a film that can be easily comprehended, and asks a lot of the viewer. However, I think that it's well worth the effort and is an experience that lovers of the movies will not want to miss. This film's one for the ages, folks.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Please . . . stand . . . by . . .

First things first: I haven't forgotten my promise to post a review of There Will Be Blood. It's the type of film that one needs to see more than once in order to really grasp. So, I'm going to see it again in a few days with a certain special someone who didn't get the chance to see it when I went with Team 100 last week. I won't give away my opinion of the film yet, but I will say this: it's a rare thing for me to find a movie that I actually want to go see more than once in theatrical release.

I'll also be posting my take on the recently announced Oscar nominations, as well as which films/actors/actresses seem to be front-runners. There are a few races that I think can effectively be called already. So, until then . . .

Peace, Love, and Understanding,


Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Words of Wisdom

Waltz (Better Than Fine)

If you don't have a song to sing
You're ok
You know how to get along humming
If you don't have a date
Go out and sit on the lawn
And do nothing
-Cause it's just what you must do and
Nobody does it anymore
No, I don't believe in the wasting of time
But I don't believe that I'm wasting mine
If you don't have a point to make
Don't sweat it
You'll make a sharp one being so kind
(And I'd sure appreciate it)
Everyone else's goal's to get big-headed
Why should I follow that beat,
Being that I'm
Better than fine

-Fiona Apple

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Funny thing happened last night . . .

. . . and here's the scenario. I was driving home on Saturday night (actually, it was technically Sunday morning) after a terrific evening, and a strange sensation hit me. For the first time in a long time, I actually felt content. You know, that thing where you feel like everything's all right the way it is and everything that's not quite right will be all right in time. It wasn't that a lot of things had changed in my life, (although some things have) but, instead, my attitude about those things was what changed. Think about it, I still have another semester of school left to go. I still have people in my life that irritate me. I still don't think that very many people really understand me and how I think. I still don't quite know what the future holds after graduation. I still have questions about how to handle certain situations with certain people in my life. But, despite all this, I felt like things were all right, and I felt like I could handle them. For example, there's one person in my life that I've never really "gotten." As a result of this, (and this person's lack of understanding of personal boundaries) this is someone I usually try to avoid. Get this: this morning, I actually made the effort (like a big boy) to talk to this person, (who I even hugged!) instead of the avoidance tactic I usually use. Now, this might sound simple, but, for me, this is HUGE.

In other news, I'm now an intern at the Newport Beach Film Festival. It's actually pretty cool, because this was the internship that I wanted, and it ended up being the only internship that I even interviewed at. Not bad for a day's work . . . So far, my job has consisted of reviewing films for possible inclusion in the Festival's line-up. Of course, it's not like I have any kind of defining "say," but I am part of the process nonetheless. I was told going in that the vast majority of the films that I'd be watching would be terrible, but, so far, out of the 5 films that I've watched, 3 have been very good. One in particular was pretty terrific. I really want to tell people about it, but I signed a confidentiality agreement. I'm going to try to talk to my supervisor to find out how much I can say to people, because I really want to spread the word about this film. It's really funny, and, in its own way, maybe, somewhat brilliant. I'll be starting work in the Festival's office the first week of school. (next week)

This is somewhat of an unusually sunny post for me, since I usually talk about how I don't know where my life's going and all of that encouraging stuff. But, you know what? There are a lot of great things happening in my life and one thing is for certain . . .

. . . I have so much to be thankful for.

Peace, Love, & Understanding,

P.S. I'm finally going to see There Will Be Blood on Saturday with the gang. I'll post a review here afterword.

Monday, January 07, 2008

Awards season is kicking off early this year. . .

. . . OK, I'm not a member of either the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences or the Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, but I'm not going to let that hold me back. Behold, my friends, my choices for the best (and worst) in music and movies for 2007, with some additional commentary. I'm going to limit my choices to movies that I've seen, obviously, so don't sue me if I miss something that you might feel was pretty obvious.


Best of the Year: No Country For Old Men.

I went to see approximately 18 movies in theatrical release in 2007, and liked some, loved a few, and hated some too. In a year recognized for a lot of great movies, this one stands out as the best of what I watched this year. However, I've heard a great deal of positive buzz about There Will Be Blood and Atonement, both of which I haven't seen yet.

Worst of the Year: Spider-Man 3.
Honorable Mention: The entire summer movie season.

Spidey 3 was the first film that I actually went to the trouble to go see at midnight on opening day. I don't know if I could have made a worse choice. The story was bloated beyond hope of recovery, MJ and Peter were both whiney brats, the Sandman should have been completely axed (or totally revamped), Venom was sadly underused, and whoever had the idea of turning Peter Parker into an emo kid should lose his/her job. After the brilliance of Spider-Man 2, it's hard to believe that the mighty could have fallen so far.

In a broader sense, the whole summer movie season was terribly disappointing. As I already said, Spider-Man 3 was terrible. In addition, Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End was DESPARATELY in need of an editor (or maybe 2 or 3 editors) and was, overall, a big letdown. It was better that Dead Man's Chest, but that isn't saying much. (although, I must say that the Keith Richards cameo was just awesome) The Bourne Ulitmatum was good, but I wanted so badly for it to be great. I mean, come on, this trilogy practically screamed "huge ending," and I was left asking "THAT WAS IT?" Ocean's 13 meant well, and was entertaining. In the end, however, it was still a letdown. On the bright side, Ratatouille, Live Free or Die Hard, and The Simpson's Movie were all good, with The Simpson's Movie being one of my favorites this year.


Best of the Year: Radiohead - In Rainbows.
Honorable Mention: Bruce Springsteen - Magic, The White Stripes - Icky Thump.

Yes, I was one of those nuts who got up the first day and downloaded In Rainbows via the whole pay-what-you-want scheme. (I paid 3 pounds) I had a mid-term that day, but I didn't care. I wasn't leaving until I had that record in hand. At first, I was disappointed by the record, and wondered if this had really been worth the wait. But, the trick to listening to Radiohead's music is patience. Their music often isn't something you really get until you've heard it a few times. But I can tell you this: if you do give it time, it will reward you in ways you never dreamed were possible. There isn't a bad song on the album. In fact, some of the songs (particularly "4 Minute Warning") that didn't make the record would easily be the best songs on other people's albums. Seriously, has Radiohead ever written a song more direct (or lovely) than "House of Cards?" In Rainbows isn't as experimental as some of their past work, but it is one of their most accessible, vibrant albums. I know that I will treasure it forever. I don't feel like I really got this out in the best way that I could have, so, I guess what I'd advise you to do is get it and hear it for yourself. Radiohead's music has changed my life. Who knows? It just might change yours too.