Category Archives: The Chest Desire

Yo. Uh. No.

Earlier I mowed the front part of the lawn and by the time I was finished, I saw the fog roll in. By tonight, I won’t be able to see my lawn so, what was the point of mowing the lawn again?

We saw the movies ‘The Mist’ and ‘Invasion’ yesterday. ‘The Mist’ (a Stephen King adaption), was mediocre: the acting was bad but it actually got (visibly) better after the first half hour. Obviously, the main theme of the movie became more visible too, which is that the main threat against humans are humans themselves. So, generally, it was a mediocre movie with a not-happy-end. This is the funny thing: bad movies and not-happy-ends seem to balance each other out.

The Invasion stars Nicole Kidman and the movie is a remake of the original ‘Body Snatchers’ movie. I mean, how many Body Snatcher movies have been made by Hollywood now? Three, Five, Eight or None? The main theme in this movie was (you never guessed it): Nicole Kidman! Yes, this movie was all about Nicole Kidman! I saw Nicole in bed, in underwear (I didn’t look, but my wife did!), in the kitchen, on the cellphone, in the hallway, on the street, at the table, on the subway, in a car, at the door, in the passenger seat, behind a desk, on the floor, in the washroom, in the train and my favourite part: Nicole in the helicopter! Oh noes: I just spoiled the end for you! So, to summarize, she looks absolutely fantastic it makes you forget that this was all about body snatching people who are, well, how can I say this appropriately, body-snatching people!

What definition?

Yesterday, while watching Dream Warriors’ “My Definition of a boombastic jazz style” video-clip, I was amazed about the visuals used in that video. The clip prominently features (besides a lot of colours and pantomime) the (artistic) use of a focal depth of field. I didn’t have to look too long to find the director’s name: Tarsem Singh. Apparently, he also directed R.E.M.’s “Losing my religion”, which features similar used techniques as the one made for the Dream Warriors. Like it or not, both video clips are amazing and compelling works.

I also found out that Tarsem Singh is the man behind the movie “The Fall” (2006), a movie which video trailer was just recently released and (I believe) the movie will probably be showing in a theatre near you really soon now. As expected, “The Fall” has all those features that made the previously mentioned videoclips stand out. Reviews are mixed: from good to bad.

The TeleTube

My TubeTrek started with this thread on MetaFilter (which disappeared from the frontpage) with links to all the episodes of ‘Little Mosque On The Prairie’ (CBC, Wikipedia). It’s not an overly funny sitcom: it’s (at times) preachy and maybe this is the right word, idealistic. The cast is at times flawless, more so than the cast of ‘Corner Gas’.

Later on, I watched a couple of episodes of Season 2 of ‘The IT Crowd’ (you can find them on Google Video). Episode 1 is hilarious, however, having seen last year’s season finale, I was surprised that it actually didn’t follow-through.

Alfons mentioned that he actually liked the 1UP produced ‘1UP Show’, which I haven’t had time to watch yet. I assume it’s about games and geeks and they appear to have a popular following in Olde Country too (Dutch link, with Dutch subtitling, I think). And it appears that if you’re into photography, Magnum Photos has excellent video podcasts (once again via Alfons).

The Soviets are here

I was Red Dawn promotional photogoing to write an anecdotal posting about that ‘Red Dawn’ movie (earlier) after I saw it mentioned (or referenced to) in a ‘Scrubs’ rerun (‘Wolverines!’). Yeah, uh, no, I don’t think I’d like to think of that movie.

The reason for my hesitation is that, since the movie is so anchored in the Cold War political climate, it feels out-of-time when watching it today. After all, we all know what happened to the former Soviet Union: they were not even this close to invading the US. So much for the ‘Red Threat’.

The other day, I was watching the ‘Sick Humour’ documentary (Google Video), which is about our gift to tell sick jokes about current tragedies. Yes, 9/11 comes up too and that specific section (jokes about 9/11) reminds me of a discussion that took place after I linked to an image of a guy on a tower and a plane (you know which photo that is). Our (human) ability to make fun of mishap and terrible tragedies is a way to get us past the incomprehensible.

That brings me back to that image of Russians posing in front of McDonalds: If the Russians had invaded the Western world, do you think there would have been a Russian obesity problem? For some kind of reason, that thought makes me laugh.

The Tele and then that

I read that CBS’s Evening News is falling behind in rates (originally via Alan). Some media reports blame this on America’s first (female) anchor, Kate Couric.

And a recent Gallup poll reinforced the notion that Ms. Couric had become a polarizing figure: 29 percent of respondents said that they did not like her, as opposed to 51 percent who said that they liked her.

I’m not sure about the polarizing part, but just this last weekend I saw an episode of Larry King with Katie and was utterly surprised that this time Couric was actually interviewing Larry King on his own show instead of the other way around. How low can you go? And what is that with those softball questions?

I have been ignoring TV recently and that’s not because of Couric: what’s on TV is nowadays not all too interesting because it appears that most commercial broadcasters seem to play on ‘safe edu and entertainment’. You know, ‘safe programming’. Maybe it’s just my imagination, but it seems that only public stations are willing to broadcast the controversial stuff, or rather, in-depth (and generally, independent) reports. Take for example PBS’ ‘America at a crossroad’, the BBC’s Scientology report (Panorama) and their landmark Planet Earth series. And we can all laugh about the silly Eurovision Song festival, but, if you think of it, American Idol: that’s a classic example of brainless entertainment. Brainless entertainment is fun, but if everything else on the TV is of the same quality, what do you do?

That said, I think I mentioned before that I frequently check out ‘Smashing Telly’s list of online videos (great set of interesting documentaries). Earlier this weekend, I decided to give up on YouTube and move on to ‘DailyMotion’. I assume that since this site is set up by a French company, it has less reasons to fear for the wrath of the media corporations..

America at a crossroad

All week, Burubudurthe PBS has been broadcasting an excellent series about the challenges we face in the world, particularly the conflicts between the religious and the secular worlds. Watching the series, I thought that the name of the series was a bit unfortunate: The majority of the independently produced movies do not all concentrate on specific US affairs. Yesterday, the series kicked off with an hour long documentary by Irshad Manji.

The second part was dedicated to Indonesia, in which the country was held as an example of religious tolerance and moderation despite the general view Westerners have of that country. That was apparently until (ironically) the fall of the Suharto dictatorship in 1999. That page linked above, points to some excellent background information on Indonesia (NYT!).

Back & Subtitles

Yesterday, I found out that the History Channel was showing ‘Das Boot’, which is one of the movies I can watch a multiple times in a year (earlier). Let me guess: in the Summer of 2007, History Channel will repeat this movie as part of their ‘Submarine month’. That said, I start to get pissed off at ‘subtitles’. This is good in a way.

This morning, it also appeared that ‘April Fool’s day’ was full in effect. One of the best ones was this WiiMote, only because I’m still not sure if it is joke or not. It will work ofcourse, but it’s a ridiculous idea. Brilliant. On the other hand ‘GMail paper’ is brilliant too.

Consider this: in another 10 years, only computer users will be celebrating this particular day because it’s easier to prank other people online than it is in real-life.

TenSpeed

I learnt Ten Speed and Brown Shoethat Jeff Goldblum is starring in a new TV show, ‘Raines’. I think the show is on NBC, every Friday night. I read the show is about, wait, let me pull a quote from the site mentioned earlier:

Eccentric LAPD Detective Michael Raines (Goldblum) uses his unique imagination to focus on every murder case in such a way that the murder victims actually begin to take shape in front of him. At first, he thinks he’s losing his mind, but he then uses the constantly evolving hallucinations — which are figments of his imagination and not ghosts — to help him discover the victims’ killers.

For some kind of reason, that sounds like the kind of role Goldblum has been playing for ages, like for example, in the show ‘Ten Speed and Brown Shoe’ (1980). I bet a lot of people don’t remember that show, but, when I hear Goldblum’s name mentioned, it’s that show that I always associate him with (and of course the movie ‘The Fly’). If I’m not wrong, this show also showcased Goldblum’s character’s amazing bookreading skills.

The Horrors

Yesterday, we watched ‘Contact’ (1997) and ‘Silent Hill’ (2006). Quite the combination to watch on a stormy Fall night.

Contact, starring Jodie Foster, is an adaption of a novel by astronomer Carl Sagan and features good effects and a compelling storyline about the struggle between faith and science (Wikipedia synopsis + trivia).

Silent Hill apparently is an adoption of a horror videogame (I’m joking) and features an almost all-female cast. I hear that many Silent Hill fans were disappointed about how the movie strayed from the games. As someone who hasn’t played any of the Silent Hill games, I was surprised about the movie: it’s actually well-shot (colourful) and has a fairly good storyline for a horror movie (without too much gore). Some ‘monster stuff’ was overdone and probably could have been left out.

The bulge, huh?

Last night, The History Channel showed ‘The Battle of the bulge’, a typical 60s/70s war movie depicting the 1944 hard fought battle in the Ardennes. Typical, because it features many big screen stars in a story that is not soo close to the truth. Obviously, back in the days, most of the effects were filmed in the studio using miniature models and that.

Maybe the essence of these kind of Hollywood movies is to have people look up the actual stories behind the film (Wikipedia).

Which reminds me that Eastwood’s war movie (‘Flags of our fathers’) is supposed to be in theatres really soon. ‘Flags’ tells the story of the soldiers that raised the flag on Iwo Jima. Eastwood also directed a movie telling the other side’s story (which is now in postproduction).

Fire walk uh

Earlier this morning, I decided to watch the first couple (5) episodes of ‘Twin Peaks’ (You Tube). Watching the series (conceived by David Lynch), I was surprised how good the first episodes are: I find older shows typically boring nowadays so I was pleased that some scenes still could ring some shivers through my spine. Killer Bob is obviously not dead, yet.

I was watching (older) episodes of ‘So you think you can dance’ (earlier on xsamplex), and this time I decided to stick around for no particular reason. Hey, I must admit I saw some really good breakers.

Update: I just discovered that the role of Annie Blackburn was played by Heather Graham, something I suspected for years.

Amsterdamned !!?

For no particular reason, I was reminded of the movie ‘Amsterdamned’ (1988, IMDB description), a fine Dutch thriller / horror about a scuba diver with a large blade. Or something like that. I can’t really remember the details except for that the title song was sung by a (Dutch) band called Lois Lane (Dutch site here). The titlesong was a hit then too, with the following brilliant lines:

You can’t hide
From the monster reptile, ooohooo, yeah
Amsterdamned, Amsterdamned, oho
This is Amsterdamned

Not brilliant then, but at least it’s catchy, right? And then there is this Washington Post review (1988) that says:

The story is hopelessly stale; even the hairstyles seem time-warped. Supposedly, the film was something of a sensation in Holland, which perhaps says more about the cultural life of the Netherlands than about the movie. The notoriety, I would imagine, is due to some of the director’s more garish touches, like the murder of an attractive, scantily swimsuited young woman in a tiny inflatable boat.

Hey, bud, we’re talking about Amsterdam here: it’s all about boats and scantily dressed people. And scuba divers. Lots of them.

Not completely related: I saw David Lynch got a honourary lifetime achievement award at the Venice film festival. The festival also showed Lynch’s latest movie, which ‘includes hallucinatory scenes and a rabbit voiced by Naomi Watts’. Lynch apparently baffled critics by saying that the movie (Inland Empire) ‘made perfectly sense’. I think, I’d like to see this movie.

V for uninspiring

Two movies today: ‘An unfinished life’ and ‘V for Vendetta’.

The first one had the unlikely combination of Redford and Lopez (Jennifer that is), which ended up to be a match that, well, didn’t match Lopez. The story itself was interesting, slow at times, but enjoyable.

V for Vendetta was uninspiring and frequently felt ‘too fast’ and shallow. Interesting are the anchors to several ‘current’ events and characters. And Portman did a reasonable job, particularly when her hair was cut. I read that she was actually looking forward to that scene.