Monthly Archives: March 2011

Diversion

55NoN has been delayed. First, because of an apartment hunting trip. Secondly, because work has been exhausting (in a good way). Third, because my son has reached double digits, and we spent an evening celebrating with chocolate cake and Pokemon. Fourth, because I decided to watch a few episodes of Avatar (the last airbender) tonight, with my son curled up beside me. We laugh at the same things.

My new apartment is fantastic. I’m very happy about that. My new job is fantastic. I’m very happy about that too. I’m not unhappy, but the ground seems unsteady under my feet. Everything is changing. I cleaned out my office today, and all my plastic plants and paperclips are in a pile on the floor of my computer room. In a week, I will pack all of my belongings and then I’ll be a real, live resident of the OC.

I don’t know how I feel about this.

What I do know, is that I’m currently listening to Sigur Ros, lying in bed, alone, with a couple of technical books next to me and no idea what my future will hold. My arm feels like it’s on fire, because I burned it earlier… in music, the metaphor of burning, and being on fire, is always so compelling. The idea of burning up seems passionate, delightful. In real life, it just hurts.

I’m very tired.

55NoN: Movie the fourth, Lost Boys

The Frog brothers were the stars of this film. Comic-book shop kids, talking about killing vampires, dressed in camo. You think they’re full of crap, until you watch them calmly stake a vampire through the heart while he hangs upside-down, sleeping. Nice.

Someone pointed out to me, and I agree, that the problem with this movie, as a vampire movie, is that the vampires are absolutely not sexy. Not a shred of sexiness. They’re sweaty, dirty, stinky-looking punks that go around being jerky and annoying, and occasionally murdering people. Vampires should have sex appeal.

Brad Pitt is a sexy vampire. Alex Winter, not so much.

I give this movie four stars (out of ten). But. There’s a character named “Star” in the movie… so that’s five stars, total, I guess.

Musical high point: Syncopated fun-ness while driving down to the vampire’s abandoned hotel/cave hideout.

55NoN. Movie the third: Career Opportunities.

Not just one 80s roller-skating montage, but TWO. Two 80s roller-skating montages. There are other, non-rollerskating-related 80s montages too. You like a good 80s montage? This movie is just full of ’em. The primary setting is a Target store, in the middle of the night. Jennifer Connelly has a thin, thin tank top in this film. Also in this film: a chicken leg dipped & twisted into a jar of peanut butter. Maybe an image I’ll never forget.

This movie is a little like Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, but with a less likable hero, and a less solid plot. It starts off with the main character getting fired from (yet another) job. You get the idea he loses jobs a lot. So he gets a new job as the “night cleanup boy” at Target, and you think it’s going to be a scene at the Target, and then maybe move on… after he loses this job, too. But no. It just… stays there. At the Target. For the rest of the movie. So about halfway through, you realize this, and settle in to the idea of staying at the Target for the whole movie, thinking to yourself, “Okay, we’re in a kind of coming-of-age film now. They’re going to have some solid character development inside the Target, and maybe have a nice kiss at the end, or sleep together with some 80s music in the background. Probably with saxophones.”

And then the greasy gun-toting, semi-incompetent thieves arrive. (?) How they got into the store is not explained… since previously there was a plot point about how the main character was LOCKED INSIDE the Target and COULD NOT GET OUT. What they’re doing inside the store is also unclear. Are they just there to steal things? If so, why are they wasting time messing around with the two people who are inside this store? Why not just tie them up, or kill them? Instead, they interact with them. Probably because Jennifer Connelly is impossibly hot.

Anyway, I give this movie 5-1/2 stars. Mostly enjoyable.

Musical high point: A rich, languid electric guitar & strings motif while he smokes a cigar while sitting in a Target lawn chair.

55 Nights of Newman, movie the second: Gung Ho.

What a whole lot of pro-American, sentimentalist bullcrap. Premise: American factory gets shut down. Japanese executives come in to run the factory and Michael Keaton is sort of a liaison between the two. Lots of ugly stereotypes, lots of ugly characters. Michael Keaton’s character is repulsive. One truly outstanding scene where George Wendt’s character harasses the wife of one of the Japanese executives in a supermarket, and keeps her from reaching the shelves by waving his butt in her face.

I give this movie zero stars.

HOWEVER, I did notice one very lovely moment–a brief, passing theme, maybe a measure or two, that had a syncopated rhythm with flutes, very similar to the “Repair Ward” track from Wall-E.

55 Nights of Newman, movie the first: Desperately Seeking Susan.

A few memorable moments.
“Oh my… I’ve heard that 4/5 prostitutes are lesbians.”
“Don’t you think I would know if my wife was a lesbian?”
“Why? You didn’t know she was a prostitute.”

Also: Aidan Quinn in the 80s. Nice. Very nice.

There wasn’t that much material by Mr. Newman, really. A few selections here and there… it was funny though, even more than 20 years ago, there are rhythms & chord structures that are familiar. Maybe people don’t change that much. Maybe the chord structures are in there, and 20 years later, they just manifest a little differently. More complex. More intense. Same basic pieces.

Rating: I would give this movie 2 stars (out of 10), but it gets an extra star for Aidan and an extra star for the righteous 80s outfits… those were worth at least one star all by themselves. So… 4 then. 🙂

Till tomorrow then.