“Patience is bitter, but its fruit is sweet.”
I have been reciting this old proverb daily for the past couple months. It applies to many things lately, does it not? Obviously the economy, but personally for me, buying (or the PROCESS of buying) a house, this blog, and getting out of my current situation. Although, good things ARE on the way, more importantly for you, the readers, I plan on posting regularly again. Starting now.
New music and film commentary, along with interesting things I see throughout the day, and perhaps some personal posts (see below).
As I was sitting between my cousin and a Celtic fan getting unmercifully pummeled in the face (well, a couple sections away) at a Magic playoff basketball game, I realized something: the little things matter the most. I had family in town this weekend, my aunt, two cousins and their kids (1 & 3). Things I have been putting on a pedestal lately seemed so trivial and meaningless. The stress of finding my “perfect” house, usual 20-something insecurities, filthy habits of roommates, fair-weather friends: all deemed pointless. What does matter is family, the friends that ARE there, the simple things like listening to your favorite album on a rainy afternoon, spending a Friday night at home with a good book and a cup of green tea, or even simply watching a movie with your brother. We live in a complacent society, where all of our media outlets focus on everything negative, where good deeds are back page news. I guess the whole meaning of this is to point out the positive, hug a friend (tell them they’re awesome, the cat’s pajama’s, etc.). Enjoy the simple moments. We take everything for granted; we expect too much, get let down too easily, but never focus on when things DO go right. I probably sound like a babbling idiot, but I have felt like glorified zombie this year up until now. At risk of sounding like a complete nerd (who am I kidding), I will quote Steve Jobs (who is quoting someone else), “Stay Hungry, Stay Foolish.”
-Ant (follow me on Twitter @Cerv0)
I don’t think this is really a big surprise, but the Academy has once again given the best actor award to push an agenda (and to think otherwise would be pretty ignorant). Sure, Harvey Milk, as a figure, meant a lot for the gay rights movement, but really? Sean Penn for best actor? You ask the average movie-going populous (who keeps up with film), and everyone thought Mickey Rourke was a shoe-in for best actor. The leathery-faced warrior deserved the golden bald man for portraying himself Randy “The Ram” Robinson in The Wrestler. God help you if you don’t have the heart to route for Rourke’s comeback. A classic story (through both life and film): a fallen man, only to rise up again. The Wrestler couldn’t have come at a better time for Rourke. After years of flops, including cinema and a boxing “career”, you couldn’t help but route for him. It’s a shame the Academy couldn’t recognize the crowning acheivment of one of the best acting, and, well, human come-backs of all time. I guess that is the story of Rourke’s life though: “I don’t hear as good as I used to, and I ain’t as pretty as I used to be. But I’m still here – I’m the Ram.”
Now, if they only gave Oscars for performances instead of pushing a cause.
Getting fanboys even MORE excited, a new Watchmen trailer was released via yahoo. Exciting: Explosions, sexy Silk Spectre, explosions, more Rorschach, more explosions. Not so exciting: Dr. Manhattan wearing a mankini. They already apparently abandoned the giant squid, now no blue balls? I digress; at least we are seeing a Watchmen movie get made, finally. I hope this dispute between companies gets figured out by the release date, or you will have many-a-fanboy torching cities and screaming revolution resorting to re-reading the graphic novel.
Vodpod videos no longer available.
Guinness World Records and Netflix have moved into Time Square to host the world record movie watching marathon from October 2-7. To break the current world record of 120 hours and 23 minutes, the contestants will watch 56 films clocking in at a little over 121 hours, over 5 days of continuous cinematic bliss. The previous world record holder, Ashish Sharma of India, will be there to defend his title, along with winners of a contest held on the massive social network www.facebook.com. You would think that such film connoisseurs would be watching beautiful artistic films by Ozu, or cult classics such as Reservoir Dogs or Trainspotting, but so far the popcorn flick lineup has been: Iron Man, Best In Show, Ghostbusters, and The English Patient (wait, wtf?). Here’s hoping they choose some classics, after all, there are 52 films left. Pretty ingenious by Netflix; sponsor a Guinness world record event, and have your company name and logo plastered all over Times Square.
Think you could sit through 121 hours of continuous film for $10,000 and world record fame? I would have to catch a cat nap during the scheduled 10 minute bathroom break in between films.
This was foreseen; Paul Newman finally passed away from his long bout with cancer. Paul Newman was always a mainstay in my household growing up. Only now being in my mid-20’s, my generation is probably lost on many of Paul Newman’s greatest works, which is a disgrace. Many bonding moments were shared between my father and brother while watching Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, Cool Hand Luke, The Sting, and even Slapshot. Fact is, we will never see this kind of performer again; his charisma, intimidating screen presence, deadening stare with those baby blues, comedic timing, commandeering all his films, and simply pushing his co-stars further than they could ever go by themselves. Aside from his brilliance as an actor, he was also a philanthropist; with his brand of foodstuffs, Newman’s Own, he donated 100% of profit to charity. An incredible loss for Hollywood. It was rare for such a humble man to exist within the industry. I will end this homage with a couple comedic quotes from the man, the legend:
“If you’re playing a poker game and you look around the table and can’t tell who the sucker is, it’s you.”
“I picture my epitaph: ‘Here lies Paul Newman, who died a failure because his eyes turned brown.'”
Persepolis is a biopic of sorts, about an Iranian girl, Marjane, during the Iraq/Iran war and the conflicts of the Shah regime and their control of the Iranian citizens. A very heavy subject matter for a film that is animated, but it is done beautifully, with the nuance and charm needed to perfectly meld animation with the devastation of war. The film begins in 1979, with a precocious Marjane filled with optimism, striving to one day become a prophet. She is filled with such hope and innocence, she tells her grandmother in one scene that in the future, pain and suffering for the elderly will be illegal, when her grandmother asks how, Marjane simply replies, “it will be banished.” The first Act of this film is filled with these cute and sincere moments, and it is not until her uncle, Anoosh, is released from prison, when the dark nature really starts to come through.
The western influence in Iranian culture is evident throughout the film, and while illegal, you see teens trying to rebel by buying black market cassette tapes of Michael Jackson and Iron Maiden, wearing “punk shoes” Nike sneakers, and even wearing the sewn adage “punk is not ded” on the back of a denim jacket. Marjane becomes enthralled with western culture, as one scene shows her head-banging to Iron Maiden in her room. As any concerned parent would do, Marjane’s parents send her away to Austria once danger becomes all too real when a bomb strikes down a family friend in the adjacent apartment building.
The film takes on many dark subjects, from unqualified “leaders”, to hypocrisy within the public perception of men and women, and Marjane’s realization that the rest of the world takes their freedoms for granted. For the most part, the animation is black and white, to portray the arbitrary outlook of the Iranian regime. It is a shame that the Iranian government boycotted this film. There must be too much truth for them to handle. The film succeeds in showing you the loving and nurturing side of the Iranian people, and how they only want to protect their families and change the situation they are in, but what can you do when you have others to think about? Do what you are told, and conform; happens every day. You can’t change where you were brought up, or what nationality you were born into, but you CAN create your own future.
[Persepolis is available on DVD.]
What do you do get people thinking about Spiderman again after the abysmal third instalment of the lucrative franchise? You set up an eBay auction for a meet and greet with the cast, an invitation to the premier, and a chance to be in the movie. Let’s add the cherry on this preemptive viral sundae, it’s for charity. Sony Pictures, you sly dog you; creating buzz before Spiderman 4 is even greenlit, and showing you have heart, how precious. Frankly, they need to do all they can to wipe that taste from my mouth about the dancing emo Peter scene in Spiderman 3, which was probably one of the worst movie-going experiences I have had in the last five years. /Film found a nifty stipulation:
“Slyly, included in the fine print is “If experience cannot be fulfilled, Sony Pictures will provide alternative set visits/premieres based on the provider’s availability”. How pissed would you be if you spent tens of thousands of dollars and they changed the film to the Goosebumps movie? The current high bid (as of this writing) is $5,000 and the auction ends on September 5th.”
How much would you pay?