The Ghost Writer

Sunday, February 28, 2010 5:42 PM By Simon , In , , , , ,

Dear Ghost Writer:
I apoligise. From the bottom of my heart, I take back all my reservatiosn regarding your awesomeness. I apoligise for not seeing past the badly-Photoshopped poster, the Kim Cattrall factor, the Roman Polanksi controversy that all made be hesitent to give you the price of a ticket at my local arthouse/old person theatre. I'm sorry for forgetting my excitement all through your production, my glowering anticipation that peaked during my Ewan McGregor phase. I'm very, very sorry.

Well, alright then. Where to begin?

I went with my sister and my Guardian to see this lovely movie the other day. It was a settlement, really, because neither she nor she wanted to see Broken Embraces or The White Ribbon, both of which I've been trying for since last month. The Ghost Writer was my third choice, and I'm very glad I saw it.

Based off the book The Ghost by Robert Harris, 'tis the story of a successful (ahem) British ghost writer, who is never named--though you probably won't notice this until the end credits, where Ewan McGregor is credited simply as "The Ghost"--is hired to finish the memoirs of disgraced former Prime Minister Adam Lang. While his agent assures him it's the his best deal, McGregor feels a sort of foreboding, for reasons not excluding his predecessor's mysterious death by drowning.

First off, accents. I cannot go any farther with this review without saying something about the dreaded accents. Now, Ewan McGregor is not exactly renowned for his mastery of foreign accents (see: The Men Who Stare At Goats), but seriously,'re Scottish. England is so fucking close to where you're from. Otherwise, you're a beacon of straightman-in-the-dark, a fantastic case of curiosity-killed-the-cat, doomed-from-the-start, what-the-fuck-is-going-on act-ing, you are just so good here--but, J fucking C, you can't hire a goddamn vocal coach? Or even take a lunch with Olivia Williams? Seriously, for that one episode of Firefly, Summer Glau went on one lunch with the guy who played Badger and came back with a dead-fucking-on Cockney accent...

And. Kim Cattral. I don't like you, lady. It's not fair, but I don't. And you have no are English. You are from Liverpool. Yes, you moved to Canada or something when you were a baby, and you've spent much of your life in America, but you can't take a note from your parents? You have the shittiest accent ever, lady. Otherwise, I do appreciate your taking on a role of more introverted sexuality than your usual drag-queen-slut, Sex and the City stuff. As the assistant/lightly-implied mistress of Adam Lang, you exceed my expectations. Good for you.

Okay. Now. More cast.

Pierce Brosnan is good, maybe great, as the cocky, douchebag former Prime Minister, a man so used to getting what he wants he's prone to childish temper tantrums and a signature slimy smile. He, in his unspoken-influence by Tony Blair, makes you think about howhe ever got to be an elected official of anything (these suspicions, don't worry, work themselves out in a very clever way).

And Olivia Williams...what to say? I have liked you, been very fond of you, since Rushmore. This fondness grew in the duration of Dollhouse (RIP), but now, it's full-blown love. I love this lady. Here, she has such a tired, exasperated demeanor as the wary wife of Adam Lang. She takes everything you say with a pinch of salt. As my sister so eloquently put it: She has a "Oh, God, are you talking again? Didn't you do that yesterday?" feel to her. As if everyone she is talking to is absolutely ridiculous, which they are.

Overall...a solid political thriller. No sooner is McGregor assigned to the book is Lang slapped with charges of unlawful kidnapping of suspected terrorists and sending them to the CIA for torture, a war crime. As he digs deeper into the trail of clues left my the prior ghostwriter, he puts himself into increasing danger, blahblahblah. A certain...something hangs over the movie. Not quite a danger, not quite a mischief, not quite claustrophobia (though it's there...much of the movie takes place on the coastal US island Lang and co. have exiled themselves to). More like...a gnawing feeling that all of this is just a small part of the bigger picture...which it is, but time will tell. The score adds to this feeling of both danger and unimportance...oh, jeez, how to describe it...

I give up. The character of The Ghost, I must say, is very subtly an actual Ghost. No, the movie has not hightailed it into The Sixth Sense territory--but it's not just the name. Early on, he mentions he has no family. His only connection to outside life is his literary agent and an unnamed, unseen not-quite-girlfriend, not-quite-partner mentioned in relative passing. Whenever his name or past is brought to subject, it's subtly shrugged away, so that you don't even notice. As played by McGregor, he's absolutely unnotable. Had I seen him on the street--well, I would look twice, because I'd be seeing Ewan McGregor, but in the movie universe--you wouldn't look twice at him. He always introduces himself as the Ghost or the ghostwriter, not out of obscurity, but because anyone bothering to ask his name would only be interested in what his business was. And, sometimes, especially at the end, he can be so...fucking...baffalingly stupid. Just, that one action is so incomprehendable. "What the fuck is he doing that for!?!" is my head screaing.

Okay, what else...Timothy Hutton is in this, which was a nice little surprise.

Polanksi has not lost his touch for good storytelling. He has created a tightly plotted, engaging, keep-the-fucks-on-their-toes satire/thriller, smart and sometimes dryly funny, with a genuinely surprising turn-out, and a haunting final scene. Go see it.


11:20 AM By Simon , In

Suicide for Hire

Nedroid Picture Diary

Schlock Mercenary


Pictures for Sad Children

Nothing Nice to Say

The Order of the Stick

More later.

Arkham Tales Online Literary Magazine

11:07 AM By Simon , In , ,

Is here. It's very good.

Also, here's the best opening credits ever:


10:14 AM By Simon , In , , ,

Cop Out (2010) Kevin Smith's first venture as a director-for-hire, but really, since when has his direction been the most noteworthy thing about his movies? While the performances are good, and Tracy Morgan is funny enough (even though I can't understand a word he's saying half the time), it feels like Smith is just bored with any given action/plot scenes. A bit too quick, lazy, one too many "How the fuck do they get away with this shit!?!" moments, but if you want 90 minutes of lowbrow-funny dialogue, go see it. I'm happy to say, I didn't hate it.

Saturday Night Live "Jennifer Lopez" (2010). I fell asleep after Weekend Update, but what I saw was...well, I'm not very interested in anything but Weekend Update and the Digital Short these days. Now, I could go on about how SNL absolutely sucks panda sack these days, but I'm above that. I could rant about how I'm fucking sick of fake-sports broadcasts and fake-gameshows and fake-talk shows, but I won't. But I will say that Jennifer Lopez is fine enough, but is certainly not the best host ever, and is not very notable. I will say that I don't like her singing, and that I'm sick of hearing about the Bronx and how she's still down to earth and blahblahfuckingblah. The sketches were middling and lazy, mostly because I can't stand these sports broadcasts and interviews. The Digital Short, about flags, was good, dare I say cute, one of those things people will send to their friends fifty times a week, in case they forget about it (I will be one of them). Weekend Update was okay, but nowadays I wonder why Seth Meyers is never in any actual sketches anymore. He's certainly developing a Jon Stewart feel, isn't he?
Again, I fell asleep after that.

Metafiction (Checklists)

9:24 AM By Simon , In , ,

Good ol' Wikipedia defines 'metafiction' as: a type of fiction that self-consciously addresses the devices of fiction, exposing the fictional illusion. It is the literary term describing fictional writing that self-consciously and systematically draws attention to its status as an artifact in posing questions about the relationship between fiction and reality, usually irony and self-reflection. It can be compared to presentational theatre, which does not let the audience forget it is viewing a play; metafiction does not let the reader forget he or she is reading a fictional work. As, really, when has Wikipedia ever been wrong?

I really do love this subgenre. It's much trickier than Breaking The 4th Wall, because you've got to play around the Wall. Often associated with modern or postmodern fiction. It's not so blatant and obvious. Here are some example situations, as helpfully explained by (yeah) Wikipedia:

A novel about a writer creating as story (mild)

A novel about a reader reading a novel

A novel that features itself as it's own prop or plot device (see: Hitchiker's Guide to the Galaxy)

Story within a story (Sophie's World)

A story referencing the specific conventions or tropes of a story (characters, title, paragraphing, plots, etc.)

A story where the narrator intentionally exposes themselves as the author.

A novel where the book itself seeks interaction with the reader (see: House of Leaves)

Anything non-linear

Narrative footnotes in a story or novel, commenting on the story while furthering it (see: Everything is Illuminated)

A novel where the author (not the narrator) is a character (see: JPod, Everything is Illuminated, A Series of Unfortunate Events, Life of Pi, anything by Kurt Vonnegut (Jr.)). This is not to be confused with an autobiography or memoir, as this character is, again, not the narrator.

"A novel in which the author/narrator spends the entire book comparing life notes with an author-ghost from another era"

A parallel novel which has the same setting and time period as a previous work, and many of the same characters, but is told from a different perspective (see: Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, in parallel with Hamlet)

Any situation that features magical or illogical scenerios appear in an otherwise realistic setting (One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez)

Some examples of metafilm include: Adaption., by Spike Jonze, Fellini's 8 1/2, anything involving Charlie Kaufman, anything involving the creation of a movie, anything by Michael Winterbottom (especially Tristam Shandy: A Cock and Bull Story, itself adapted from The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy: Gentleman), TV shows where the theme song is whistled, hummed, or sung by a character, anything that "directly references another work that internally references the first work" (like: Weird Al appearing on The Simpsons, while he himself sings Simpsons-referencing songs).

Characters aware they are in a work of fiction (Stranger Than Fiction, where the whole plot involves Will Ferrell finding out he is in a work of fiction)

Characters in a film or a television series who mention and/or refer to the actors or actresses that portray themselves.

Characters who do things because those actions are what they would expect from characters in a story (Scream)

"A real pre-existing piece of fiction X, being used within a new piece of fiction Y, to lend an air of authenticity to fiction Y" (Wes Craven's New Nightmare frequently discusses A Nightmare on Elm Street, while actors from the latter play 'themselves' in the former).

A story where the author is not a character, but interacts with the characters (Breakfast of Champions)

A story within which the very story itself (or a story based on it) is a work of fiction (I don't know, the Supernatural novels or something).

None of this is to be confused with meta-referential, which would, for example, be a blank page in a book that says "This page is intentionally left blank". Then, of course, it would not be blank, but that's a whole new ballpark.

Kiss Kiss Bang Bang is riddled with meta.

The Hitman movie has the eponymous character diving through a window, only to find two children playing the Hitman video game.

Funny Games might be this, or it might just be Breaking The 4th Wall. I'm leaning towards the latter, though.

Last Action Hero, but ugh.

the term "metafiction" was first coined by William H. Glass, author of The Tunnel, in the 1970 essay “Philosophy and the Form of Fiction”.

I would look into books and movies of this type, as they are kind of awesome. Especially books by Jasper Fforde.

Repo! The Genetic Opera

Saturday, February 27, 2010 8:15 AM By Simon , In , , ,

Have you ever seen a movie that's destined for cult following? The cheapies that hope to be the new Reservoir Dogs or Paranormal Activity or The Rocky Horror Picture Show. That, no matter how hard it tries, it'll never be accepted into the 'cool crowd' of the weekend boxm office, but will find life anew in DVD release? Midnight viewings, novelty costumes, the whole shebang?

This isn't really one of them. The budget's too big. That's not to say that a cult movie can't have a large budget, but here, it feels like they're expecting a Midnight-crowd cult following, feel entitled to it. It's, in fact, trying very, very hard to get a cult following. It may succeed, it may not. But the whole point of a cult movie is that the filmmakers don't expect, or want, cult fame. They are just trying to make a movie.

Well, on with the show. Repo! is about a dystopian future where, after an epidemic of organ failures, humanity is saved by business tycoon Rotti Largo (Paul Sorvino), who comes to town with his business, GeneCo, to provide organs to the needy populice. 26 years later, Shilo Wallace (Alexa Vega), is exiled in her house by her father Nathan (Anthony Stewart Head) and by her rare blood disease, which she inhereted from her dead mother Marni. She is sought by Rotti as a possible heir, as his own children, hotheaded Luigi (Bill Moseley), surgery-addicted Amber (Paris Hilton) and Pavi (Ogre), who always wears women's faces, he sees as unfit. All the while, Shilo's godmother, Blind Mag (Sarah Brightman) is in danger of loosing her eyes, on loan from GeneCO as long as she sings in the Genetic Opera. Oh, yeah, and Nathan is secretly the Repo Man, who, you guessed it, takes back the organs from people who've missed their payments. Because organs have become a trend, that you make payments on. Yeah.

Warning: When they say 'opera', they're not fucking around. It's not two scenes of dialogue, then a chereographed song-and-dance number. Almost every line in this movie is sung, to various degrees of talent, with just a few words that could be written off as small beats. The dancing isn't dancing so much as stylized, over-the-top movement. Okay?

Surprisingly, though, there's only two people who are either opera singers or are very good at faking it, Sarah Brightman (former) and Paul Sorvino (latter). Everyone else just kinda muddles along. Especially with mixed-results is Alexa Vega, who's fine in the more pop-y numbers, but struggles with the more bigvoice-oriented scenes. Paris Hilton is, of course, a big fat mess, but she has surprisingly few scenes that you can disregard, though she does manage to fuck up the otherwise gloriously earwormy and awesome number, 'Zydrate Anatomy', with the Graverobber (Terrence Zdunich), who serves as our host of sorts, breaking the fourth wall (with music!) for the mid-point and at the very end, and just basically hangs around being awesome. Bill Moseley and Ogre are both over the top, to various degrees of success, especially in their introduction song, "Mark It Up'. Anthony Stewart Head, too, is over the top to a ridiculous level, but it's cool, because a) he has a good voice, b) he's tortured after supposedly killing his wife (but it was an accident, caused by Rotti), and c) he's the Repo Man. He coddles his daughter, doesn't want to loose her, blah blah, it's actually very sweet. Sarah Brightman mostly sings, so she's fine.

On paper, this is the strangest cast ever: a Spy Kid, the lead singer of Skinny Puppy, an heiress who's noted for her suck, a former vampire slayer, an opera singer, a Devil's Reject, a Goodfella, the creator of the musical, and Joan Jett (cameoed in the song 'Seventeen'). But they pull it off, especially at the climax, the eponymous Genetic Opera, where everyone 'testifies' about how GeneCo saved their lives, it mixes between the rock-opera of the rest of the movie, and a bit of classical opera by Sarah Brightman.

Another somewhat glaring flaw is: they explain background information through living comics. Then, right after they finish saying what they need to say, they say it again, in live action. Seriously, they might as well not even have the comics, because they are repeated word-for-word with live reanactments.

The plot's a mess, the cast is mostly out of their element. Bu the songs are so awesome, and the Repo Man is so deliciously twisted (he plays macabre puppets with one of his victims), and the Graverobber is the greatest Master of Ceremonies ever. Everything is so over-the-top, and goth, and looks designed between Rocky Horror, Blade Runner, and Hot Topic. It's sci-fi, it's horror, it's comedy, it's musical, it's fucking sick, and, even if they tried very hard to have a cult following, I think they will succeed.

I Have a New Template!

8:13 AM By Simon

Thanks, sis, for ninja-hacking my account.

But you are not thanked for thinking you totally snuck around me when I was asleep.

your welcome

Friday, February 26, 2010 11:58 PM By Simon , In

you can thank me later

Perrier's Bound Trailer

1:10 PM By Simon , In ,

If there's two Irish people I love, it's Cillian Murphy and Brendan Gleeson. Hereyago.


Thursday, February 25, 2010 3:39 PM By Simon , In ,

Are, in my opinion, the greatest invention ever made. Fuck difibilaters and ozgen and blogging and paper and shoelaces and ironic T-shirts. Motion Pictures, literally, stills and frames of real things moving and working together to move in front of your eyes. Memories preserved, a whole new medium of entertainment, a barrage of new jobs for the world. Films are truly the greatest thing to happen to mankind since paper, in my humble opinion.

But what do we do to thank Thomas Edison for his brilliant invention?

Apocalypse Movies (Guest)

2:04 PM By Simon , In , ,

This list is done by Tony D of the lovely blog Ruminations from a Movie Geek , because I'm lazy, and he's cool.

Apocalyptic movies have run the gamut of mass destruction (the resume of Roland Emmerich) to sci-fi dystopias (any movie based off a Philip K. Dick book) to gritty darker human drams (The Road). Considering the wide range of films dealing with the end of the world can be difficult to whittle a list of favorites. I have managed to narrow down an eclectic list of ten. Many of my movies take place future dystopias than being explicitly about the end of the world. What you will not see on my list is The Road and Metropolis (I have seen neither). Neither can you find 2012 or any movie with Godzilla. I’ve also passed on The Omega Man (no urgency), Knowing (comparing 8 year olds to mating babies?), The Stand (tv movie) or I Am Legend (too reliant on CGI). Anyway feel free to disagree, but these are the ten I like.

10. Independence Day (1996)
Back before the White House was destroyed three times over and Will Smith was still known as the Fresh Prince, Roland Emmerich embarked on a “modest” quest to destroy the world. Of course this is the movie that set forth Emmerich’s path of self indulgent disaster porn movies, and allowed Michael Bay to embark on his brain dead PG-13 thrill fests. Yet, despite all my ribbing Independence Day is chock full of fun from Will Smith’s one liners, destruction of cities, Jeff Goldblum being brainy and Randy Quaid flying up a spaceship’s anus, Independence Day offered the best in the long line of nameless disaster movie of the last fifteen years.

9. Children of Men (2006)
Not quite the masterpiece many people attach to this dystopian tale where women no longer bare children. Regardless of the film’s stature, it still delivers a thrilling ride. Alfonso Cauron masterfully directs a story that is little more than a chase movie. His use of using a single-shot in several key action sequences help ratchet up the tension, which is needed since the majority of characters aren’t very well fleshed out. The strongest performance comes from the always reliable Chiwetel Ejiofor as a conflicted man that has lost hope in humanity, but also struggles work against a corrupt government. The movie rightfully ends on a more ambiguous note as the future of humanity still remains in question.

8. The Road Warrior (1981)
Like Independence Day, The Road Warrior isn’t as thematically deep as other movies on this list. It still presents a bleak vision of a post-apocalyptic wasteland of a future. Never having seen Mad Max I can’t compare it to the first, but by all accounts this is superior to the first movie. The Road Warrior is a thrilling action movie that once it kicks in rarely lets off the throttle. Also featuring memorable characters and exploring the need for human interaction, The Road Warrior is a superior post-apocalyptic movie. And any movie that has a kid throwing a lethal boomerang is cool in my book.

7. The Matrix (1999)
The Matrix has lost some of the luster it originally attained over ten years ago, mostly due to its lackluster sequels. However, the story it told isn’t as original or fresh as one might imagine, its storyline does parallel the Allegory of the Cave very closely. However, the enthusiasm coupled with groundbreaking effects created one of the most thrilling action movies from the past ten years (ok 11 years). Like many other action sci-fi movies The Matrix focused on a world controlled by machines, where the very essence of humanity is quickly being destroyed. Filled with imagery, a killer soundtrack and Keanu Reeves acting appropriately confused, The Matrix still stands as a crowning achievement.

6. Dr. Strangelove or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964)
Stanley Kubrick’s only foray into comedy, Dr. Strangelove is a master satire on the nuclear scare. A movie that could have easily aged is still hilariously and frighteningly relevant today. One hopes as the world crashes down that things don’t play out like they do in this movie. Distracting the audience from the threat of nuclear annihilation are great performances by George C. Scott, Slim Pickens, Sterling Hayden and Peter Sellers (three great performances really).

5. The Terminator (1984)
I’ve always found the original Terminator superior to its fun but overblown sequel. While the sequel does a great job of exploring the meaning of humanity, its premise isn’t as strong. The battle between man and machine was far more compelling in the first. Not to mention the emotional aspect of the first is greater than that of the sequels. The sequels are also less hopeful than The Terminator, which opens up a more hopeful future. Granted the movie’s set pieces are dated, but its emotional impact has not. That combined with terrific action sequences along with one of the 80’s most memorable villains makes The Terminator a must see.

4. Koyannisqatsi (1982)
I first watched Koyannisqatsi in my Freshman year of college. Walking into my campus’s small little “mini” theatre that generally featured just released movies on DVD. Having never heard of the movie and intrigued by its strange title, I entered the movie with little expectations and an open mind. What followed was a barrage of connected and disconnected strung together by different moods. As I continued to be entranced by the images on screen, a narrative unfolded about the disconnect between nature and technology and the potential dangerous outcomes of that. Koyannisqatsi translates to “life out of balance” in the Hopi language, an apt description for the filmmakers’ vision of the current world. As the images unfold the movie’s images and music describe a world out of control hurtling towards its destruction. I rather not comment too much on this movie as it really requires an individual viewing to connect with the images and devise one’s own meaning.

3. Dawn of the Dead (1978)
My personal favorite of George Romero’s Dead series, Dawn of the Dead chronicles how the world adjusts after the sky has fallen. Romero always manages to bring his movie above your average horror movie clichés by infusing his films with social commentary. Dawn of the Dead does this best by taking on consumerism, but also looks at small group dynamics and even the creation of the family unit. Whether it’s our small band of heroes surviving in a shopping mall or the group of marauding bikers Dawn of the Dead explores these groups with keen insight. That the movie delivers laughs and plenty of thrills certainly help the overall experience.

2. Brazil (1985)
No one has ever accused Terry Gilliam’s films of lacking vision or atmosphere. A movie very similar to Orwell’s 1984, Brazil presents a dystopian society that’s far more comical than Orwell imagined. Like 1984, Brazil relies on its bureaucratic protagonist to fuel the plot. Like many other stories on this list, humanity has abandoned much of our logical processes in the name of technology and other tangible objects, knowledge and wisdom are no longer sought. Humanity has reached the point where men and women are a slave to processes they know nothing about, thus very little now separates man from the machine. Also of note is Robert DeNiro’s terrific small role as an air-conditioning repairman.

1. Blade Runner (1982)
Perhaps my favorite pure Sci-Fi movie outside of 2001 (a strong argument could be made that belongs on this list), Blade Runner like Brazil features striking set design, varying themes and most importantly a terrific story. Blade Runner explores all the same ideas of humanity, while also ruminating on the nature of the value of life. At what point do we become human? Do our memories make us distinctly human? Are we human if someone else makes our memories? After all memories whether recalled or repressed shape our very perception of our identity. What about identity? Are humans the product of design like replicants or do we exercise free will? These themes are also explored in Dark City (another movie that could easily make this list). What makes Blade Runner stand above the rest of these movies is the Deckard’s (our protagonist) own journey to self-discovery. Is he a replicant or isn’t he? Does it matter? In the end Deckard chooses his own path, in the process he is reborn.

The Pussy Generation

10:48 AM By Simon , In , ,

Let's face it. There are no real men anymore. At least, you never see them. And here's why--

This is not to disparage guys who aren't bigbeefy steroid slaves, this is to disparage the people raising my generation, the generation before, and the upcoming generation.

You, the current People In Charge...what the fuck are you doing? In your mad dash to be politically correct, to not hurt any feelings, and to be 'cool' you not even consider the consequences of raising kids on the internet, on reality shows, on constant lectures on how, exactly, to look at everything. You end up with MTV without the 'M', you end up with more crappy emo bands per capita than the offices of AP Magazine combined, you end up with Kardashians, you end up with the triumphant return of wearing sweaters around your shoulders, and Hot Topic, and My Chemical Romance, and kids so retarded they don't know how to run a country when the reigns are ventually handed to them.

Let's take, for example, bullying. Nobody likes bullying, right? It sucks, but it's always been there, and will always be there. But the way it plays out over the years is...interesting.

Pre-1970s. You had a beef with someone. Maybe he stole your wool underwear, maybe he looked at you funny, I don't know. You just didn't like him. You took it outside. And, yeah, when it was over, you'd be bloody and bruised and in pain for the next two weeks. But at least you both could walk away with a sense of pride, that you fought it out, that no adults saw, and now you can be pals.

1970s-1980s. Okay, toughness has seriously decreased. But, at least you stand face to face and maybe trade clever insults.

1980s-Now. That kid look at you funny? Post on his facebook page that he's a fag, spread a rumor among the lunchline that he has feline AIDs, go see 'Twilight 16' or whatever, go home, and send slightly harrassing texts to the guy until South Park comes on. Bleach your jeans, practice looking gangsta, go to bed.

Fuckers, you see what's wrong with that? I'm not saying eveybody should go out and punch random passerbys, I'm saying grow some fucking balls. Don't hide behind a computer, take action, goddammit!

And then theirs this so-called 'Cyberbullying'. Jesus. Christ. If someone kills themselves over a nasty email by a chick with bulimia and pink highlights, they probably had someproblems to begind with. Don't use the internet as a scapegoat for your incompetence, Parental Units!

You, the older generation, treat us like retards. Which we are. But it's not our fault. Stop making it a requirement to take Health (because most of the shit taught in there should either be common sense or one conservative's standards on sex), or useless sports like volleyball. You know what you should be teaching in gym these days? Fucking Tae Kwon Doe. Nunchucks. Something.

In conclusion, everybody grow a pair.

(yes, I realize the hypocrisy of me blogging about this shit. Shut up.)

PS Really good article about the loss of tough-guy actors at Acidemic-Film here.

Hey, did you know

9:20 AM By Simon , In , ,

That Chuck Palahniuk is making a new book called Tell All? That is supposedly a fictionalized biography of writer and Dashiell Hammett-lady Lillian Hellman? And that Bret Easton Ellis is making a sequel to Less Than Zero? And that there's an unauthorized, mediocre quasi-sequel of Catcher in the Rye, made by some guy named JD California?

I have been really out of it.

Today is a snow day...

8:58 AM By Simon , In ,

But we've already used up our snowdays. So they shave a day off of spring break.

Hope it's worth it, East Coast.


Wednesday, February 24, 2010 12:55 PM By Simon , In , , , ,

Everybody seems to be obsessed with making a female The Hangover, with Natalie Portman producing and starring in stoner-road-trip-but-with-gals 'Best Buds', and now Anna Faris and Jennifer Garner are up for 'Bachelorette Party', which might as well be called "The Vagina Hangover". Not that I mind, because the ultimate feminism is letting girls act like idiots for a debauchery tale. Or something. Plus, anything that makes me think of Smiley Face is A-OK.

In other Lady News, Hailee Steinfeld has been cast as Mattie in the Coen Brothers' upcoming adaption-not-remake Jeff Bridges-starring True Grit. So, you know. Good for her. Apparently this one will be a lot more faithful to the book than the one that won John Wayne an Oscar.

Jason Segel, Christopher Guest, and Lucy Punch are going to be in 'Bad Teacher', a Cameron Diaz vehicle. I don't know what to make of this.

Holy shit, they're actually making a movie based off of a book on etiquette. What have we come to, lads? What next?

Sppedy Gonzales gets a movie. Yay him.

Matt Damon to play Robert F. Kennedy, the second-banana of John who eventually got killed anyway.

Happyhappy birthday, Billy Zane

If I see one more Greek God movie brimming with people I mostly like, I'm gonna quit everything forever and just become a candlemaker.

Frida Pinto has joined 'War of the Gods'.

Top 10 Apocalyptic Books

Tuesday, February 23, 2010 1:03 PM By Simon , In , , , , ,

...for me, anyway.

10) The Road by Cormac McCarthy
Come on, how could I not have The Road on here? Yes, it's so very obvious, but it deserves it's notoriety, damn it! So, I compromised and put it at the end.

9) Amnesia Moon by Jonathon Lethem
Now, is it so wrong to think the best books have no plot? In his sophomore book, Lethem creates a world where nobody can agree on anything except that there was a disaster. There are maybe hundreds of different little worlds, all disconnected from each other, all in their own flavor of post-apocalyptic. We follow a man named Chaos (or is it Everett?) as he escapes his Book of Eli town with a mutant girl, and, as he coasts the landscape of what was once America, he struggles with his own memories, or lack thereof. This may not be one of the obvious books one would use to question your own reality, but it does make one question just how sure they are of their memories. Trippy, beautifully trippy, opaque, creative and sometimes darkly funny.

8) Girlfriend in a Coma by Douglas Coupland
It doesn't start out as an end-of-the-world thing, and it might be a tad spoilerish to say so, but oh-fucking-well. We follow the lives of a group of close, 70s friends after pill-popping, maybe-prophet Karen, the eponymous girlfriend of Our Hero Richard, who is also the father of the baby the two conceived the night before she OD'd. The baby is born without a hitch, and we now have another main character to survive an apocalypse where, just a few weeks after Karen wakes up from her 18-year sleep, everybody in the world falls asleep and dies, in a few chapters of glorious chaos. The way the book does it's heel-face-turn is slightly reminiscent of From Dusk Till Dawn, but at least here it's foreshadowed in the claims by Karen, both pre and post coma, that she's been having dreams that she's upset someone on The Other Side. Also, their dead friend Jared serves as an otherwordly sometimes-narrator during the entire eighteen years. So, yeah, it's that kind of book. This is a strange book, jumping from coming-of-age story with a bunch of hopeless chumps (but in an endearing way), to supernatural, to post-apocalyptic, to redemption story. But throughout, there is a constant crawl up your spine...a certain ominous feeling that this is not it, there's more, some shit's going cetera.

7) Unwind by Neal Shusterman
Not technically apocalyptic, more dystopian. A YA novel about a world where, in a compromise between pro-lifers and pro-choicers, the government allows children between the ages of thirteen and eighteen to be signed away by their caretakers to be 'unwound'--their organs (or 99.7% of them) harvested as transplants (because as long as the organs are technically alive, it's not murder, or something). The book follows three teenagers all signed away--one by his parents for his rebellious attitude, one by her orphanage for not 'living up to her potential', and one in a religious ritual. They escape and go on the run from government for the right to keep their souls. I read this a long time ago, but it's always been one of my favorites for it's unique look on how far these arguments could escalate, and the characters, who are all well thought out and entertaining. Sure, you could get hung up over the question of "Who the fuck thought this was a good idea?" but I try not to.

6) Zombie Haiku by Ryan Mecum
Borrowed from my darling sister Danielle, this follows a man during the zombie apocalypse, who's army he quickly joins. An interesting perspective on a cliched scenerio, both in the lyrical poetry and the POV of a zombie, who are apparently not so mindless, just very, very hungry. Became heartbreaking at times as he described the carnage and chaos around him with the apathetic monotone of a starving dog watching his friends take down a cat. He is no longer capable of apathy for this race he's no longer a member of, and his vague memories of humanity leave no hesitation in him.

5) Rant by Chuck Palahniuk
Again, it's not immediately obvious that this is at least dystopian. It's made like an oral biography of the late Rant Casey, a farm boy turned Party Crasher, a loose-knit group of Nighttimers (people who can only go outside at night, or get fined) who crash into each other's cars, with a set rule system. There are many interesting thoughts in this book--the subject of time travel, how to become immortal, an ultimate type of segregation, but seperating people into timecodes. But maybe the most interesting aspect is the dead protaganist. Though not there, we are taken through his life step-by-step, the both foreshadowing and mysterious circumstances around his birth, his obsession with animal bites, his many conquests, the rabies infection he unleashed both in his town and in the city he moves to, where he is immediately placed as a Nighttimer, and all thereafter. Even as one reads him growing up, he still remains the stuff of legend, thanks to the many different perspectives given through the chronologically-placed interviews from people who knew him, experts in fields, people who were affected by him, and simple bystanders who've heard of him. It's not dystopian, but this book is still reall fucking good.

4) The Compound by S.A. Boden
A YA about a teenager living in an underground bunker with his family, sans twin brother and grandmother, after a supposed nuclear holocaust. After years underground, supplies begin to run low, and tensions rise between the family and their obscenely rich and possibly insane patriarch, who may not be telling the whole truth. Far from the usual post-apocalyptic nuclear novel, in which the protaganists will either have been underground, but came out before the start, or were just pretty damn lucky, this takes place mostly in the decked-up bunker, leaving no pot elements but the character's interactions with each other. On top of the main thriller storyline, the main character, Eli, also toils over his last moments with his brother, in a way that's only slightly whiny-emo.

3) Beggars in Spain by Nancy Kress
Divided into three parts, the first being the originally published novella, the other two being related attachments. About a slightly dystopian future in which genetic engineering as become a reality, and an experimental proceedure is put on 21 fetuses. If successful, they'll never have to sleep in their lifetimes. Shocker, it works, and the twenty (one baby was thrown out the window by it's sleep-deprived mother) grow up to be geniuses far more advanced by their normal classmates. The youngest of them, Leisha, is our hero for the first book. As they age, and multiply, they find themselves facing discrimination for their intellect and advantages. In the first book alone, laws, one by one, are passed, further discriminating against the Sleepless, until they are finally demmed non-human. A sci-fi classic, I think.

2) Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett
A comedy and quasi-parody novel about the birth of the son of Satan, the upcoming Armeggeddon, and the attempts of angel Aziraphale and demon Crowley to stop it, along with a wide array of supporting characters. All of my thoughts and feelings toward Good Omens can be summed up with: "Someone seems to have misplaced the Antichrist..."

1) The Oblivion Society by Marcus Alexander Hart
The trials of a group of inempt twenty-somethings as they try to navigate the newly-nuked United States, fighting off mutant rats and trying to not freeze to death. Absolutely my favorite book ever. I think I reviewed it at some point.

Shutter Island

Sunday, February 21, 2010 3:23 PM By Simon , In , , , ,

Yesterday, with my sister and the guardian, I went to see Shutter Island, the new Martin Scorsesse flick, starring Leonardo DiCaprio, based off the book by Dennis Lehane. The above poster you may not recognize, because it is Teaser and therefore disappears after the official one that has DiCaprio glaring angrily at me, which I don't like (because I didn't do anything) comes out.

It concerns a US Marshall, Teddy Daniels, played by DiCaprio, and his new partner Chuck Aule, played by Mark Ruffalo, being assigned the case of a missing inmate of the notorious mental hospital/prison Shutter Island. As Daniels digs deeper into the disappearence, paranoid delusions plague him, and he discovers a conspiracy and...

Well, yeah. Just watch the trailer.

Here, we have a very good movie. It's smart, well-paced, creepy, exciting, well-acted, and, at times, fucking terrifying. DiCaprio's Teddy, constantely running into some strong emotion or another, is turning in the best performance of his rather dreary late-time filmography. You can't help but feel sorry for the guy, and to just give him a break. We open the movie with him wretching into the toilet of a ship taking him to the island, with a never-explained band-aid on his forehead, sweat dripping down his face, giving himself a stern pep talk. From there, he looses things, his mind is played with, he cries, runs, hides, gets shit thrown at him every which way. Had this been put in the hands of another director, I think, it would've been a miseryfest on near Dancer in the Dark levels. But Scorsesse, being himself, expertly handles it into an intriguing thriller that doesn't get caught up in it's own hopelessness. Now, if only our leading man wasn't...trying so hard.

Ten minutes in, and I stil didn't know what Scorsesse was aiming for. Psycho-thriller, hospitalo drama, what?

The supporting cast does it's job. Mark Ruffalo is appropriately second-banana as an apparently novice, noir-ish Marshall from Seattle who is trying to keep up with his partner's increasingly erratic behavior. Ben Kingsley, as a high-up doctor on the island, is at once creepy, deceiving, and maybe sinister. Michelle Williams, shown in flashbacks, dreams, and delusions as Teddy's dead wife, has a Boston accent maybe a bit more exaggerated then everyone else's, but floats around like a ghost from a Dickens story, talking in riddles and obscurity, in a permanent state of mourning that is fantastic. Max von Sydow, as the hospital's top physician with a sketchy past, screams One True Villian, and Emily Mortimar, for the one or two scenes she's in as the missing patient, Rachel Solando, more of an important cameo, is fine. Rounding it out in spoiler-ish roles are Jackie Earle Haley and Patricia Clarkson.

The music, which I think is a bit too swelling and big, at times resorting to cheap fake-outs a la Orphan. There also be some haunting imagery, real postcard material, if one were into movie-still posters, stuff one plants on fan-made posters.

Okay...onto the end. This is one of those ends that, in the Donnie Darko vain, makes you want to rewatch the entire movie to point at things and scream "I get it now!". Maybe it is a bit cliche of one, but that is exactly why you won't see it coming...maybe it's too obvious. Ohmy, but it's just so good, the way it's played out, it feels so...ugh, I hate this adjective, but fresh. This outcome puts the rest of themovie under a lightbulb, an endless barrage of "a-ha!" moments. And then, the very end, the very last scene, is, in my humble opinion, so very sad and ambiguous. In the most abstract way to bitch about it without giving it away, is asking "Does he know what he's doing?"

I really, really liked this movie. It may not be everyone's cup of tea, but for me, this is just the kind of trippy film I would write a paper about if I could, and recommend to people I don't know that well, and hang a poster of in my room if I could find one. It will not go down as my top-twenty films of all time, but it just might make the top 100. It's the kind that will have countless different interpretations, and countless opinions.

PS Here is a lovely quote: "There's no moral order at all. There's only, can my violence conquer yours?"

3:21 PM By Simon , In

Saturday, February 20, 2010 2:30 PM By Simon , In ,

"Hello, Wanda."

All Hail

Thursday, February 18, 2010 5:03 PM By Simon , In

Robots, not communists.

Most Overlooked Movies part 1 1/2

4:23 PM By Simon , In , ,

From Dusk Till Dawn

A Robert Rodriguez-directed, George Clooney-and-tattoo-and-Juliette Lewis-and-tattoo-and- Harvey Keitel starring heist-to-vampire movie? Yay! Also starring Quentin Tarantino? Uh...

Is that your train of thought? Mine, too, upon first hearing of this awesome little movie. But, also written by Tarantino, I had to try it. And guess what? The dialogue is cool and funny, Tarantino is not very horrible, everyone else kicks ass, and I can imagine the surprise original audiences had. I mean, it starts out as a comedy-drama about two brothers, the Geckos, played by Clooney and Tarantino (half-brothers...?), on the lamb who kidnap a vacationing family, the crisis-in-faith preacher Keitel, his daughter Lewis, and an Asian boy who's famaliar status is kind-of hinted. Then Salma Hayek comes in grinding a snake and it all goes to shit.

Now, it first came to me to talk about this because The Sister is in love with Richie, the character played by Quentin Tarantino. He is a serial rapist and probably schizophrenic, but Sister argues "He dies, and his brother loves him so much, and is so sad about it..." or something to that effect. Go--flock to her comments and mock her! I command you!

Or, anyway, go watch it.

You know what's wrong with me?

3:24 PM By Simon , In , , ,

The only writer I've read every single book of, every page, is Bret Easton Ellis. Not Jonathan Lethem (I couldn't get past the first page of the Omega comics), not Chuck Palahniuk (I've sworn off of him since reading Guts), not even my Childhood Beloved Louis Sacher (you know what? I don't like sequels. There, I said it). The depressingly glossy-grungy universe of American Psycho, Less Than Zero, and Rules of Attraction is the one I've been partially submerged in since I was eleven.

Out of that entire bunch, you know what the cheeriest one is? Rules of Attraction. The one that opens mid-sentence with a girl remembering getting raped apathetically, and involves a very graphic suicide and sex scenes that'd make Pamela Anderson cross her legs uncomfortably is, honestly, the lest bleak of his entire library. Sure, Lunar Park is genius and brilliant and I love it to death, and American Psycho spawned an awesome movie, but really. I used to have a soul, man.

The second closest, maybe, is Douglas Coupland. His genius novel, in My Humble Opinion, is Girlfriend in a Coma, but at least he made one that was so happy and sitcom-y in it's pacing and execution, JPod. Then there's The Gum Thief and Generation X...what was I talking about?

Yes...well, I need a writer that has a manageable amount of books for me to go through, that is not described with the words 'disaffected young people' or any synonyms of the sort, that has one book one may describe as 'genius', and that has written something in and about the twenty-first century, because I've been reading non-stop pre-seventies books an I'm sick to death of Cokes and jazz music described like porn.

Zadie Smith? The guy who wrote Crossing California? My beloved Marcus Alexander Hart?

I bring this up because I think I need to review more books. I read plenty, but I never have anything to say afterwards.

Well, g'day, humble people.

More News!

3:06 PM By Simon , In , ,

Andrew Garfield, Ben Whishaw, and Ray Winstone will be in a movie from the writer of Sexy Beast.

Jeremy Renner may be joining Ewan McGregor in The Raven. So...kay.

Eli Roth is obnoxiously awesome. This is a hard skill to pull off with dignity, especially the weakest link of Inglorious Basterds, but fuck you.

"Source Code" gets, besides my condolences for having the worst title ever, gets Jeffrey Wright. The movie is also set to star Jake Gyllenhaal, Vera Farmiga (who I will forever know as the mom from The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas, and maybe the mom in those two psycho-kid movies), and directed by Moon man Duncan Jones.

Kristen Wiig to be in a Judd Apatow-backed movie called 'Bridesmaids', which she also wrote and will finally be her starring role. So, you know, good for her.

Is a Kurt Cobain biopic finally gracing us with it's presence? Probably not. But the guy who directed The Messenger sure is sounding that alarm again. I wish you luck, sir, I do, but don't get your hopes up.

Affleck and Damon to cowrite a movie again!

I have 3 new movies, and 1 new book. So there's that.

Amnesia romance coming soon, from the guy of Grey Gardens.

Happy Birthday, Joseph Gordon-Levitt

Wednesday, February 17, 2010 3:09 PM By Simon , In

News, news, news

2:36 PM By Simon , In , , ,

Christoph Waltz to be in the previously-uninteresting-to-me film 'Waiting for Elephants', also starring Reese Witherspoon (meh) and Robert Pattinson (stop screaming. Now.)

Ewan McGregor might be playing Edgar Allan Poe in a Se7en-like chronicle of his last days. Fine. Whatever.

Luc Besson directing...something. I'm sorry, I've just lost interest after Leon the Professional.

Have a nice day.

Shit on my mind...

Monday, February 15, 2010 4:04 PM By Simon , In , ,

Madonna making her second directorial debut, called W.E.! A biopic about Wallis Simpson! That means crazy middle ages sex-scenes, in the legacy of The Tudors, Spartacus: Blood and Sand, and all that other shit!

Also, she's going to be on some TV thing called the Marriage Ref! I will not be watching, because I think Madonna's creepy!

In weird-ass remake news, Martin Scorsesse and Lars von Trier to remake Taxi Driver...starring Robert de Niro!?!

Kathryn Bigelow to direct a light-hearted-drama HBO TV pilot!

Valentine's Day tops weekend box office!

Michael Haneke abandons Ces Deux, citing seeing a similar Canadian movie about the humiliation and physical deteriotion of the aged! Which could mean Away From Her! But, wait, there's more! He is, instead, going to do a movie about our own interwebs!

(Dude, today's turning out to be fucking weird...)

Treasure Island getting a face lift! What have you done, Sherlock Holmes!?!

Get Him to the Greek has a trailer! Meh!

Best Little Whorehouse remake! I don't know either!

Has anybody read Book Nine of The Odysessy!?! If so, why does Odysseus call himself Nohbdy, how do he and his men sneak out of the Cyclops' cave, and what foolish thing does Odysseus do thereafter!?! Come on, people, help a lazy person out!

Greetings and Salutations, I'm off to watch Bonnie and Clyde!

For the Love of Film

3:55 PM By Simon

As all 12 of you know, I am certainly not a staple in the book/film blogging community. So, naturally, I cannot do anything but comment in regards to various blogathons, and whatnot. But, I can send my bakers-dozen army trafficking to ones I really like. So why not yous guyses cheack out the For The Love of Film Blogathon, being hosted by some popular bloggers. It's raising money to preserve films made before the 70s. Or, at least, in short. Beholdith, link.

Heathers (1988)

Sunday, February 14, 2010 2:21 PM By Simon , In , , , , , ,

Well, since my parent and/or legal guardian is being a difficult roadblock in my campaign to see Shutter Island, I will have to settle for a quickie summation of my latest spoil from my local library.

Heathers is about Veronica, played by Winona Ryder, who is a member of an exclusive high school clique made up of three girls, all named Heather. Veronica has nothing but contempt for the group, but plays handmaiden with them anyway (roughly putting it: "It's like they're coworkers at a job, and that job's being popular and shit"). One day, she meets rebellious and mysterious new boy JD, played by Christian Slater in his for-once-appropriate Jack Nicholsan impersionation, and he leads her into a murder spree, disguising them as suicides.

We've all seen a movie influenced some way or another by Heathers, even if we've never heard of it. As the '20th High School Reunion' edition DVD boasts, "Without Heathers, there'd be no Jawbreaker, no Mean Girls, and certainly no Juno." And this proud little laserdisc box is right. Without Heathers, we'd still be drowning in John Hughes-type movies where everybody is one detention-slip away from an orgy of love and friendship. Not that there's anything wrong with John Hughes movies, but come on. It paractically created the sub-genre of 'teenagers behaving badly' pop culture.

It's not one of those eighties movies where the dialogue may seem funny at the time, but is instantely corny and dated a year later. The writer, Daniel Waters, created his own lingo and slang for his characters, not hopelessly strained Disturbing Behavior 'that's razor' bullshit, stuff that is just obnoxious and casual enough that you could maybe imagine chicks from the eighties saying it. And, underneath the obvious quote-worthy bitch lines like 'fuck me gently with a chainsaw', there's a smart, dry, sarcastic perspective in the forms of JD and Veronica, the former in his diatribes against the Heathers and the adults surrounding them, the latter in her diary entries, in which she declares her already barely disguised contempt for her friends, then, as the plot gets darker and more outrageous, her bewilderment and panic. Winona Ryder and Christian Slater own the're characters. Ryder plays Veronica's wit and weariness, and Slater is all Tyler Durden: The High School Years (ironicbecauseBradPittwasoriginallytappedfortherole) meets Randle McMurphy, going from mischevious to psychopathic with a constant underlying mystery and sociopathy that makes anything he says difficult to take at face value.

Not that it doesn't have problems. At times, it comes across as patronizing and superior, no matter how dead-on it is at the same time. Supporting performances are fine, but the director can't seem to decide who we're supposed to be sympathising with.

But the direction is almost perfect for this type of movie, and, yes, it mercilessly rips one on teen suicide, but in a way that would probably make a teenager contemplating suicide feel ridiculous for even entertaining the thought.

Overall, though, Heathers is an infinitely quote-worthy, smart, and funny cult-classic that everybody should see so that they know, no matter how shitty they think their high school are, there's always one time times worse.

Things that baffle and fighten me

Friday, February 12, 2010 4:18 PM By Simon , In

The rabid rise of The Blind Side to Best Picture.

The Emmy/Golden Globe enamorement with Two and a Half Men.

The Jersey Shore.

The fact that the cast of the Jersey Shore continues to besmirch the name of my mediocre state, even though none of them are from New Jersey.

That hippity-hop music.


Diet Dr. Pepper.

People in my school shitting themselves to see Dear John, which looks so...polite.

My odd and uncharacteristic urge to enjoy the Centuron trailer.

Get Him To The Greek.


Bloggers. Not movie bloggers, or music bloggers, or book bloggers...the bloggers who blog about themselves. It's just so...confusing.

Alrighty then, because I'm lazy and haven't seen any good movies lately, or read any books I have any business reviewing (I'm reading On the Road right now, and last week I was reading a Maigret book), I'm just bullshitting. But fear not, gentle motherfuckers! I might just be seeing Shutter Island this weekend. That is, if I can get my mother to take me, as she is the only person I know who is/can pass for eighteen. She's always complaining about me dragging her to 'boring movies' (this lady I might be related to enjoyed the Proposal). So I says, hey, lady, if I could change my birth certificate, I would, kay?

Oh, never mind. Enjoy life, ladies and gentleman. I just got my hands on a copy of An American Werewolf in Paris, and it's the weekend.

An Ode...

Thursday, February 11, 2010 4:56 PM By Simon , In ,

To Alan Rickman in Dogma.

To Community, on tonight.

To the underrated movie adaption of Modesty Blaise.

To The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari.

To Steven Soderbergh, my 2nd-favorite director.

To Quentin Tarantino, my favorite director.

To Hugo Stiglitz...

And Sgt. Hugo Stiglitz

To The Doors

To the Movits!

To Misirlou

To Stephen Fry

To Trainspotting

To The Boat That Rocked, in it's original British glory

To Two Mules for Sister Sara

To Joseph Gordon-Levitt

To Jonathan Lethem

To Hunter S. Thompson

To awesome posters

To Rod Serling

To Lauren Bacall, and her taste in vampire movies

And finally...

To Teddy.

Shit on my mind (with no links!)

7:47 AM By Simon , In , , , , ,

The Katherine Heigl-Ashton Kutcher vehicle Killers has a trailer! With the only funny person being Catherine O'Hara! It is not to be mistaken with my beloved Burt Lancaster-Ava Gardner movie of the same name, but with a 'The'!

Penelope Cruz might be latest Lars von Trier victim! Yes, the man who hung Bjork and tortured Nicole Kidman is interested in her starring in his new 'psychological disaster movie'! Can't suck harder than 2012, my friends!

Akira remake! Escape from NY remake! Spider-Man remake (in 3! D!)! Dune remake! What--NO! NOT A NATIONAL LAMPOON'S VACATION REMAKE!!!!! WHY, GOD!?!?!

Penelope Cruz might also be in new Pirates of the Caribbean! Yay Blow reunion!

New The Last Airbender trailer! Why must ever beloved cartoon of my childhood be turned into a movie with Twilight people!?! I kid, of course, this doesn't look very bad! But then, neither did The Happening! Or The Village!

Ryan Gosling replacing Hugh Jackman as "a stuntman by day, getaway driver by night" in Drive!

For some probably stupid reason, there's another Mission: Impossible movie! They couldn't put it to bed after blowing Keri Russell's head up!?!

Emily Browning (aka Violet Baudelaire, aka chick from The Unborn, aka soon-to-be star of much-anticipated-by-me Sucker Punch) to star in Sleeping Beauty! But, wait, Sleeping Beauty isn't a prostitute who specializes in knocking herself out for clients--ooooooohhhhhhhhh...

New Muppets movie!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The new Saw movie might be the last one! Hazzah, gentle townsfolk! Hazzah!

Matt Damon, Marion Cotillard, Kate Winslet, and Jude Law all join Steven Soderbergh's Contagion! Now, I know people who pump out twenty movies/books a year are normally putrid spawn, I say Steven Soderbergh can pull it off, goddammit! Because he's also making chick-assassin Ewan McGregor/Cate Blanchett/Gina Carano starring Knockout! And a Liberace biopic!

Katherine Heigl to star in One for the Money, based on the popular lady-bounty-hunter Stephanie Plum books my mom's really into! And she watches Grey's Anatomy! I can't wait to tell her the good news!

Dream House to star Daniel Craig and Rachel Weisz, with Naomi Watts as a creepy neighbor!

Draco Malfoy to help Alice Cullen with her ghost trouble in The Apparition!

And finally, Hugh Laurie might be in Oranges, a comedy-drama (NOT FUCKING DRAMEDY!), about "an older man who has an affair with the daughter of a family friend"! If he does, he'll be starring with Mila Kunis (yay!) and Leighton Meester (...)! The script made the 2008 Blacklist (of all the best unproduced screenplays), which, in case you don't see the gravity of this, also included my love Inglorious Basterds!

Today's another snow day! Yay, Global Warming!

Who's Scarier: The Phantom or Count Orlak?

Tuesday, February 9, 2010 5:20 PM By Simon , In

In my final post of the day, I'd like to reflect upon my film class today. In it, we watched clips of Phantom of the Opera and Nosferatu, and then debated who was scarier, whether on today's CGI'd, big-toothed, hollow-eyed standards, or by the standards of our naive forefathers. I maintain that The Phantom just looks sad, and does not need any more ostrazation, while Count Orlak is pure eeeeevale. Also, he's fucking terrifying to look at.

The Phantom of the Opera


Count Orlok, the Nosferatu?

I leave it to you, my tiny little audience.

Happy Birthday, Mia Farrow

4:27 PM By Simon , In

4:21 PM By Simon , In

Yes, Paul. That is a raincoat

Have a happy snow day, New Jersey

4:05 PM By Simon , In ,

I know I will.


4:04 PM By Simon , In

Still looking forward to having kids?

On Movie Bloggers...

Monday, February 8, 2010 3:41 PM By Simon , In ,

Some would suggest we (I can include myself in this group now, right?) are pretentious. That we are uppity windbags who don't enjoy movies so much as enjoy rubbing less-affluent moviegoers' noses in our supposed superior intellect.

Absoloutely true. Well, maybe not the 'only enjoy them to shame yous' part, but we are pretentious, and we do enjoy showing off our encyclopedic knowledge of French New Wave in youses faces. At least I do.

And I know I certainly am a windbag. But, you know what? Boo-fucking-hoo. If you are allowed to admonish me for not knowing who Paulie is, and what Mortal Kombat is, or not having a Twitter, or not knowing who the fucking Cardinals are, then I get to make you feel like shit for not knowing who Jim Jarmusch is. It is my god-given right as a citizen of these fantabulous United States of America.

Then again...we are, I declare a tie.


Tis a shame I couldn't find any good movie or flag scenes on google images...oh, well, at least I've filled my posting quota for the week. I'll see you on Wolfman day!