BLOT: (11 Jul 2010 - 02:22:55 PM)
Had some friends over, last night, to watch
If you watch the trailer, then you will know the movie is in bad taste. No doubt. Inarguable. However, I'd say it is as much about joie de vivre as schlock. As I've said before (then, about Ed Lee's
I'm full out exhausted. If you factor in the time Kerry visited yesterday (she was originally on tap to watch movies with us, but did not want to melt her brain to
A couple of other shout-outs to visitors (not to exclude some of the Makeshop guys where were as absolutely awesome to hang out with and discuss the dangers of nano-bots with as always). Brandon got to hang out for the first time at my place. I've known him, online, for a couple of years now. It was good to get to hang out just a bit more with him. Also, Niko was briefly in town and was able to stop by. Next time he is up, he gets priority one friendship time and I'll clear a night so he and I can kick back with a cigar and some Clive Barker adaptation. Of all my friends, no one else appreciates the silly to sublime nuances of horror quite like him. With him in Atlanta, this basically means I'm watching all the non-group-watchable horror movies by myself and making random blog posts about them. Heh. So, to Niko: safe trip back. To Allen: here's hoping the move goes well and your time back up at college is good. To Brandon: consider yourself invited to all subsequent movie nights if you are game for it.
Now I am going to rest my old man bones and finish off this Partagas maduro while Sarah is on her way back up from Auburn.
BLOT: (10 Jul 2010 - 02:11:32 AM)
BLOT: (09 Jul 2010 - 01:25:54 PM)
In yesterday's post, I was talking about it raining hard and then being sunny later. It was also, for a bit, a sun-shower (a rain storm with sun shining through). Someone commented on my Livejournal re-post about the sun/rain combo, and I brought up the old "Devil's beating his wife!" colloquialism. This lead me to look up more, and it turns out Wikipedia has a list of folkloric names for sun-showers. Any good ones you don't see on the list?
BLOT: (08 Jul 2010 - 07:29:23 PM)
The light through my library window suggests our brief rain shower has passed on by, this afternoon. Aren't those great? I mean, besides the fact that they dump humidity everywhere. I like the way they blow up in the afternoon, drop cold and heavy rain on an otherwise scorcher of a day. The smell of dust and pollen rises up in this invisible fog. An unmistakeable aroma. Then, within the hour, no matter how bad it has gotten: it has passed. Thunder is off in the distance, the sun is peeking back out. There was a summer, maybe fifteen or twenty years ago, where every afternoon had a severe pop-up thunderstorm. I would remember going walk in the afternoon, maybe 1pm or 2pm. Would walk about two miles. Many days, by the time I was getting back, the clouds had blackened the sky. A few times I didn't make it back before the rain would hit. We are talking about a walk under an hour. Blue skies to black in such a short time. By the night, stars would be back out and the bull frogs down in the swamp would be singing in the last vestiges of wet.
For the past several weeks, I have been getting phone call, daily, from 1-800-251-5850. I called it back a couple of days ago, and it turned out to belong ot a marketing/political research firm. They said they would not take "do-no-recall" requests on call-backs, but the next time they called, they would go ahead and take one. When I got one today, I was first going to ask them to not call us any more, but then I figured: you know what, why not? You know how you hear about polls on confidence in the president and you ask "Who are they asking? I've never gotten a call..." Well, here was my chance to answer a call. Most of them were simple. I feel a little bad for the woman, because I'm me and so I answer everything "I am mostly ok with X, but I am fairly sure that some degree of Y could be implemented." She is sitting there with her screen saying "Choose one of the following that best fits their answer" and she has to make a conscious choice. Ah well, probably shoudln't have kept calling after the first two weeks of us not picking up. If they call back, I'm going to openly mock them, waste their time, and/or give them nothing but FUD. No real reason, besides pestering people at random over the phone seems like a good way to ask for such behavior.
Did not sleep well last night (didn't get to sleep until sometime after 6am, was woken up about 11 by the phone). Going to try and get some sleep fairly soon. My day at work, tomorrow, won't be too longer but it will be long enough. This weekend will be fairly packed for me (another movie night being part of it, but also a few other things) so I'll probably be a bit tired come Sunday night, just in time to do it all over again. Time left to Grad School's next-to-last Semester? About a month. Woo.
BLOT: (08 Jul 2010 - 03:18:02 PM)
I like Brian Keene. I've read a good number of books and follow him Twitter as well as keep up with his blog. Early today, he posted a link of one to the other that represents a concise list of all the places to get his various books. This includes Kindle, nook, Sony Reader, and so forth copies. Comics, zombie novels, other horror novels, a screen play, an indie-horror DVD, and even some clothing. I talk about him from time to time, and if you are curious, there you go in one place:
BLOT: (07 Jul 2010 - 08:12:52 PM)
And the remix!
BLOT: (07 Jul 2010 - 03:21:42 PM)
If you have seen Takashi Miike's oft-cited movie,
The book is sharp and lean, the kind of thing you could devour in one or two goes if you made time for it. It reads somewhat compulsively, the prose is effective and light and both evocative and easy. A beach read or the sort of book you take to read on break (as long as you are willing to risk being a little late getting back). If you were to stop two-thirds the way in, you would think you had given up on a kind of sickly love love story in which the slightly womanizer widower was dating a slightly weird person: a bit of a hook but not really anything not delved into by romantic comedies or light dramas. While that is sort of the point, a few insertions of menace outside of general "There's something not right about her" might have been good (a couple/three mentions of men losing their feet not-withstanding). Murakami's playing a somewhat dangerous game, hoping that hints that things will go wrong coupled with cover blurbs and word mouth that things do go wrong is enough to keep you going until things do go wrong. I wonder how many people would have watched the movie or read the book if the ending wasn't spoiled for them.
On the book versus movie question, I'm going to go ahead and say movie on this one. Book goes more into the mindset of Aoyama, while the movie exposes Yamasaki more effectively, and in the toss-up between sad-sack of a widower and demented but beautiful ex-ballet dancer: you're gonna wanna bank on the ballet dancer. Also, while the book definitely has a humdinger of a tense moment towards the end, few can slam a viscera cream pie in your face like the unflinching Miike. Watch the movie, first, and then come back and read the book to get a few of the background details that were left out or were more or less untranslatable to screen.
On a bonus note, look at the UK cover of the novel:
BLOT: (07 Jul 2010 - 01:44:17 PM)
I'll keep my comments light on this one, but apparently they just recently reached a lawyer overseen agreement to stop BP from burning up endangered sea-turtles in the control burn...or at least reached some sort of agreement to agree. Hurray?
"We've agreed to meet to work out the terms to make sure the turtles are protected," Jason Burge, a lawyer for several environmental groups suing to protect the sea turtles, told U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier at an emergency hearing today in New Orleans federal court...The wildlife groups withdrew their request for a temporary restraining order blocking the burns, on the condition they may renew the request later if the turtle-rescue settlement falls apart. Don Haycraft, BP's lead lawyer in New Orleans spill-related litigation, said..."This effort is an example of BP and the government and the outside parties reaching a common agreement on an issue—protecting sea turtles—that is important to everyone..."
Ah, corporate speak. I love IT.
BLOT: (06 Jul 2010 - 07:00:20 PM)
Guess I've watched a movie a night over the past few days, and the next couple of days may be no different. My thoughts on them aren't quite as focused as they are with some movies, so condensing the reviews down to a single paragraph apiece might be a good idea. Here, you go, then: movie reviews for
TRIANGLE: The premise is a group of young friends are caught by a storm while sailing (cliche), end up finding a old cruise liner that isn't as derelict as it should be (cliche), and weird things start happening (cliche). I can safely report, though, that the movie itself isn't all that cliche. I mean, there are a few spots from the cabinet and "old and tired", but manages to be a fresh take on some old themes. I won't spoil it, which means I can't even really talk about what is happening outside of what I have already sayd, but I will warn you that if you watch the trailer: it will be spoiled. I have no idea who approved that bit of promotion, but it basically goes "the twist is this, and there will be this twist...." and even shows a scene from right towards the end of the movie. So, skip those unless you are the sort that wants to know what sort of weird genre you are getting into, and rent it or watch it. Acting is fair to good, plot is good, and the overall staging and setting are good. Good overall rating. One final caveat, while this movie is tense and has a sense of creeping dread, after the first half-hour, most of the horror starts to unravel as the mystery kicks in. Best to think of it as more of a "weird fiction" movie than a horror movie.
THE ROAD: I'm a fair fan of the book. I have read it a few times, and think about it regularly. I've been wary of this adaptation for a bit just because there are so many things that can go wrong. In fact, if you watch the theatrical trailer: you should get an idea. The trailer shows explosions and running from bad guys and strange cult looking things and guns being drawn. If you assumed the trailer represented a decent ratio of the movie, it would be about an hour and a half of action sequences with a couple of maudlin, meandering bits. Actually, though, you see clips from just about every action shot in the piece and the majority of the movie is, like the book, the slow death of a man and his son as they travel across the now burnt husk of America. It never says what went wrong with the world (for the best, for anything definite would have dozens people screaming how it wouldn't be that way, blah blah blah) and we know only a few days of this broken family's life. Some harrowing scenes (one of the worst is the mom terrified to bring a life into the world they live in, her scream of despair contrasted to the grey landscape); but the overall effect is a little disaffected. It is hard to put that much ash and bleakness into the screen and have it all stick. Smit-McPhee, who plays the son, is heartbreaking while Viggo Mortensen, as the dad, is appropriately selfish and selfless as the book calls for. Stand-out short appearances by Charlize Theron (mom) and Robert Duvall and Guy Pearce. Plot is non-existence, the story is bleak, the acting is fair to great, and the photography is an appropriate mix of long shots and close-ups. Movie earns a Fair-Good because it feels like it could have better tapped into the mythos of the source, but deserves to be remembered.
THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO: In an American book-market that can only deal with one runaway best-seller at a time (and we're still about five steps deep into the
BLOT: (05 Jul 2010 - 10:03:08 PM)
I'm not sure exactly what is up, but based on the Horror Mall's Horrorgy post, "WE'RE ERASING ERASERHEAD PRESS! OUR LOSS IS YOUR GAIN!, they and Eraserhead Press will no longer be enjoying each other's company. I'll not get into it (I like both companies), but one quick quote from the entry: "Rather than promote small press havens such as the Horror Mall, their owner made it abundantly clear that Horror Mall was NOT in their business plan." Sounds like this is some sort of six-degrees of separation from declining book sales...
The upside, for as much as there is one, is that a big ol' Bizarro sale is going down. Including such highly recommended Eraserhead Press books as
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