This Memorial Day

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Monday, 25 May 2009

(18:40:22 CDT)

This Memorial Day

I have not sleeped (by the way, left that typo in just to prove it) a whole lot, and I am feeling it. I did not go to bed until something like 3am and that was my oopsy, but I had started reading volume 3 of Gantz and somewhere around volume 10, I forced myself to step away. The story is engrossing and it reads fast enough that it feels easier to slug on through than to put it aside and come back later. Those not in the know, Gantz is a strange manga/anime in which the recently killed are brought back to play this cruel game of hunting aliens, most of which are harmless until provoked (and then are quite harmful). The equipment and the rules and the aliens are all strange, and so a huge amount of the series' vibe is the strangeness. The battles are very violent, the casualties are high, and there is enough anger and sex to keep it interesting. By volume 10, they have started introducing several of the emotional concepts and so there is more than just people dying, but I am unsure where they are going since about 90% of the people I thought I would survive were wiped out and left in literal pieces.

Prior to my four hour Gantz-a-thon, I was engrossed by the three hour Hindi flick Ghajini. Let's see here: Ghajini trailer. It is something like a remake of Memento. Supposedly the writer only heard of the American movie and liked the concept and so wanted to do his take on it. The concept is definitely a lift from Memento: man loses the love of his life and the ability to make new memories and seeks revenge. One of the big changes is the Memento is a dystopian look at the pointlessness of revenge if you cannot remember it. Ghajini is more about how bad men killed an absolutely beautiful lady and now a very, very angry man is going to break every one of them. It's like the two movies started out at the same point, but then go in nearly opposite directions. It has gotten some negavite feedback because it "it is such a stupid Memento ripoff!" but I am not 100% the claim is valid. I know some people get very angry if some clever concept is co-opted by another movie or book, but one of the main rules of remakes (even those that are only lightly so, or similar to an earlier movie) is to have a point that justifies reshooting the movie instead of just rereleasing the original. I think this one has a point, in that it answers the questions entirely differently than Memento does. This is not the same as the Friday the 13th remake, where it does nothing to enhance the original, it is more like the difference between Tremors 4 and The Burrowers (i.e. remake of parts of the concept with a vastly different structure, theme, and direction). Others may disagree.

Then today, I got to get up at 6:30am and get ready to see Sarah run the Cotton Row Run. She did the 5k (about 3.1 miles) portion. Her time was about 31 minutes, which isn't bad for someone who only started training for it about March. She is planning on doing the 10k (about 6.3 or so miles) this Fall. I got to sit on the sidelines and listen to a mix of Bollywood music and Cowpunk (the latter is almost exactly what you think it would be). From my vantage point, it was kind of interesting to see the myriad of runners. You would have heavy people and thin people, girls that looked like sticks and girls so topheavy you wondered why they would put up with the pain of running that long. A lot of the guys were of the thin and athletic build, but at least one had a massive beer belly sticking out over thin shorts. He was standing up and cheering on some other runners and all I could think was that "Will Ferrell would play him in a movie". The oldest runner was 84 and the youngest was 3 (!) though I unsure if the three year-old ran or if she just signed up. There were several pre-teens in the race, and they did an ok time. The fastest guy came in about 15:59 or so. The fastest woman about 20:00 with a slight +. Lot's of sweat was involved.

Now for the remainder of the night. I think I will go and get some ice cream. Then I will think about watching some Ultraman or Kamen Rider: Riyuki. I still haven't seen Danny Boyle's "tribute" to Bollywood (Slumdog Millionaire), but considering my other recent Bollywood excursions, it might be a good time.

Si Vales, Valeo


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Written by Doug Bolden

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