Archive for April, 2006


20 April 2006 at 5:20 pm
by Berck

Sometime around 11:30 this morning, I broke 500 hours total time. Woohoo!

More Movies.

16 April 2006 at 3:27 pm
by Berck

I told Joanna that I didn’t really want to see Unforgiven, but rented it for her anyway. What I didn’t remember is that I’d already seen it. Now that I’ve seen it twice, I can state that as far as westerns go, it’s a good one. As for as movies go– I don’t get the big deal. B-.

Boogie Nights, a melodramatic look at the porn industry in the ’70s wasn’t as good as we’d thought it would be. Amusing at the beginning, but thoroughly depressing by the end. C.

The Good Girl is yet another example of how bad a movie can be when people without a southern drawl try to adapt one. Is there really such a dearth of people with southern accents that they need to have people fake it? I make this comment not out of some homesick, prideful love of the South– I really dislike both the South and its associated dialect. Still, if you’re going to insist that your film’s dialogue be drawled– get some real southerners to do it. The movie showed some promise, staring Jake Gyllenhaal and John C. Reilly, even if they had a poorly affected drawl. Jennifer Aniston, however, takes the cake for the worst southern accent since Meg Ryan. I’ll give her this though– at least she was consistent in her awful affectation. To make matters worse, the film wasn’t even set in the South, but in Texas! The accents being affected were clearly patterned on the South, but Southerners sound nothing like Texans. As for the movie itself– the quirky plot seemed promising, but never really delivered. C+. The movie also featured, in a bit part, Zooey Deschanel (Jonah thinks she’s cute), who starred in All the Real Girls. In All the Real Girls she also affects a southern accent, but I managed to get used to it after awhile. About halfway through the film, I found myself feeling quite bored, and the feeling just got worse the longer the movie went on. Joanna didn’t like it either. C-.

After sitting through Boys Don’t Cry, Jonah intimated that I ought to have liked it because it was about lesbians. Only, it’s not in any way about lesbians– it’s about a girl who thinks she’s a guy then gets raped and killed. In response, I rented Kissing Jessica Stein which is an excellent movie with what I think is an exceptionally realistic view of human relationships and which features some lesbianism, but no rape or murder. It’s also made by a bunch of Jews who seem to enjoy poking fun at themselves. Joanna liked it as well. B+.

Finally, we just watched Crash, which I think is one of those few movies that actually deserved to win awards. It offers an intriguing view of just who is an American and how screwed up we are. It simultaneously reinforced and challenged my previously held notions about race. Joanna thinks it’s a great movie and, “People should have to watch it.” It’s one of those movies I think some people will view in a way that I consider incorrect, but still, I challenge anyone who claims patriotism to watch it and think a bit about who we actually are. On a small note, it seems to agree with the immigration policy that both Joanna and I both tend to support (i.e., let ’em in). Some folks have mentioned that the plot is difficult to follow, but I didn’t find it so at all. Because of those comments, I spent a lot of effort early on trying to make sure I knew what was going on (pausing, backing up, etc), but it turned out not to be very complicated at all. Joanna claimed at first that all of the characters are morally ambiguous– but I’ve since managed to convince her that this isn’t entirely the case. I think that many (but not all) of the characters had serious flaws– but I don’t know that I find ambiguity in most of their wrong deeds.


10 April 2006 at 6:20 pm
by Jonah

My husband just deep fried marinated portobello mushrooms.


Out for a drive

9 April 2006 at 7:08 pm
by Berck

I wanted to take jonah flying today as the weather was grand, but somone had reserved the only plane I could take all day. So we went on a 300 mile drive instead. Pictures at the gallery. We haven’t gotten sunscreen for the new glovebox yet, so I’m afraid we’re a bit sunburned.

Netflix entertains us, some.

2 April 2006 at 8:30 pm
by Berck

Joanna wanted to see Capote, so we did. I’ve read In Code Blood, so there wasn’t a whole lot new for me there. It seems like the man must have been far more interesting than the movie bothered to portray. The plot was weak at best– Hoffman’s portrayal, while clearly technically difficult, seems to be the only thing the movie has going for it. C.

She also wanted to see Boys Don’t Cry. I suppose that I have a somewhat odd view of movies, in that I’m really not interested in being pummelled with a constant reminder of how horrible our world is. I’m relatively aware of its awfulness, and chose not to stew in it. C-

Joanna had seen Reality Bites and suggested that I’d enjoy it. I did, though it continually reminded me of Kicking and Screaming, a much better rendition of a similar tone, albeit with less kick. B+

We also just watched the director’s cut of Donnie Darko. We’d already seen the original once, which allowed us to taste the movie a bit more slowly and appreciate what I think its creators intended. Many people seem off-put by the plot, which I hardly found confusing, in spite of the fact that I’m easily confused by confusing plots. Generally confusing plots are not so due to their complexity, but rather their lack of continuity and sanity brought on by someone wishing to create a film which looks cool, and as a result, fails to do anything else. My only complaint is that Donnie makes a choice in the end, that much is clear, but it’s unclear exactly how he affected his choice. The director’s cut is a 20-minute slightly longer, better filled-out version– but don’t expect more “explanations”, although I hear many of those can be found in the DVD commentaries, which we didn’t watch. A.

I’m somewhat amused that I’ve rated 268 movies on Netflix. I’m sure this only represents a portion of the total number of movies I’ve actually seen– it makes me wonder how many I *have* seen. And how that number compares with the general population. 268 seems like an enormous number– if you asked me to write down 268 movie titles from memory, I don’t think I could do so. Yet I’ve actually seen far more than that.