Monday, December 31, 2007

Juno - Movie Review

Juno (PG-13) 92 minutes A
I'm in if your still in
Starring Ellen Page, Michael Cera, Allison Janney, J.K. Simmons, Olivia Thirlby, Rainn Wilson, Jason Bateman, and Jennifer Garner

I am really impressed with Jason Reitman's first two films. First there was Thank You For Smoking, and now Juno.

Juno has been called this year's Little Miss Sunshine, but it's actually a more superior film. Everything about Juno is interesting, funny and intriguing... even the soundtrack is catchy as hell.

I could go on and on about the great acting and witty dialogue, but go see it for yourself... it's a charmer!

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Back to Back Loser

Congratulations to the Mighty Sausage. Tonight they were victorious over my team, Writer's Cafe, in the Cowboy Joe Fantasy Football Superbowl.

For the second straight year I made it to the Superbowl as a wild card... and lost. But, like last year, it was an exciting and surprising season. My team didn't have a lot of big names, but they got hot at the right time and made a run at the championship (much like the Colorado Rockies did in baseball).

Next year will once again be Superbowl or Bust!

Thursday, December 27, 2007

I Am Legend - Movie Review

I Am Legend (PG-13) 100 minutes D-
Forgettable Legend
Starring Will Smith, Alice Braga, Salli Richardson-Whitfield, Willow Smith, and Charlie Tahan

I Am Legend is based on Richard Matheson's 1954 novel of the same name. It was first adapted to film in 1964 as The Last Man on Earth, and adapted a second time in 1971 as The Omega Man. The most recent installment stars Will Smith and a very cute dog. Will Smith is an immensely talented actor, but his four-legged co-star gives the best performance in this film.

Robert Neville (Smith) is a military scientist and the last man on earth. Immune from the deadly and incurable virus that has either killed or transformed humans into "darkseekers" (scary monsters that only come out at night), Neville is left to his own devices. With nothing but time on his hands he works to find a cure, hunts deer, exercises, drives his fancy red mustang, memorizes lines from the movie Shrek, talks to mannequins, etc... All of this is very interesting and intriguing- NOT!

Will Smith's role in this film seemed awkward and unnatural. From the opening scene (I won't give it away) that is meant to wow us with typical big budget Hollywood machismo, to Smith's perfectly sculpted physique, to the "surprise" ending, I thought this film was total crapola. If not for the breakout performance from the dog (credited as Abby- canine actor, German Shepard) I would have surely given this film an F.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Ear Bleed

Tonight I got what I wanted, cold beer... check!
A rock show that rocked my balls off... check!
So why am I still not satisfied?

Tonight Diddlefinger and I went to the Dinosaur Jr show at the Ogden Theater. It was easily the loudest show I have ever attended. The band rocked! The amps were turned up so loud that you rarely heard any lyrics. This wasn't necessarily a bad thing, but unless you were a Dinosaur Jr fan, and/or you fancy loud as f*ck guitars, this show was nothing but instrumental guitar noise and ear bleed.

When J and company took the stage around 11pm, they rarely spoke and they rocked the house like they didn't give a sh*t about anyone, anywhere, anyhow. No witty rock star banter, no slow songs, no pretentious bullsh*t. Strictly business... a straight up guitar assault.

The one stand out was Feel the Pain, OMG, they could have played that song 10 times tonight and I would've been happy. It sounded so amazing live. This Is All I Came To Do from the new recorded sounded really good also.

The show had sort of a strange vibe. Having never seen a Dinosaur Jr show I didn't know what to expect, so I didn't expect anything. I respect these guys for doing their thing their way, and even though I enjoyed myself at the show, I walked away feeling a little unsatisfied because I know it could've been better.... better meaning that I would have liked to have heard more vocals. J has a lot to say, so why not let it be heard.

Monday, December 10, 2007

My Kid Could Paint That - Movie Review

My Kid Could Paint That (PG-13) 82 minutes B+
But can yo Daddy paint that?

Starring Amir Bar-Lev, Anthony Brunelli, Elizabeth Cohen, Michael Kimmelman, Laura Olmstead, Mark Olmstead, and Marla Olmstead

My Kid Could Paint That was suppose to be a documentary about Marla Olmstead, a four-year-old art prodigy, who at age four had sold over $300,000 worth of paintings. Her talents were being compared to Pollack and Kandinsky, and she was taking the art world by storm.

That is, until 60 minutes aired a story implying that the young artist couldn't have created these paintings on her own. Coincidentally her father, a night shift manager at Frito Lay, is also an aspiring amateur artist, hmmm...

The documentary plays out like reality TV at its best. The adorable and precocious four-year-old was discovered on a whim when a family friend hung one of her paintings in a nearby cafe, the painting sold and the rest is history. Her mother, a dental assist, prefers to shy away from the spotlight, while dad revels in it. They're an all-american family with all-american looks. But once doubt and suspicion began to penetrate their new found semi-celebrity status it spread like a disease. All of a sudden everyone questioned the validity of the young artist and her parents. Even the creator of the film began to wonder if he was being punk'd.

This film starts sweet and simply, but turns emotional and mysterious. It's also an interesting take on honest journalism and honest documentary film making. Bravo to Amir Bar-Lev (the film's creator) for taking such a simply subject (in concept) and turning it into an intriguing "whodunit"... literally.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Y34RZ3R0R3M1X3D/Ruby In Paradise

Today I went to Independent Records & Video for the first time. I've always wanted to check it out, but never made the time. It's a pretty cool record store. It reminded me of the record store from the film High Fidelity, except this record store sells pipes and varies stoner supplies as well as music, videos and t-shirts. The shop is everything I love about living in the city; diverse, edgy, urban, and a little seedy. Their used cd's were generously priced, some of the lowest prices in town. They also had a few cds that were new at used prices. Nice!

So I bought the new NIN remix album (Y34RZ3R0R3M1X3D), matter fact I'm listening to it right now. It's funky as hell and Reznor has really out done himself this time. I'm only 10 songs in but so far so brilliant. I also bought Jarvis by Jarvis Cocker. I think Diddlefinger had this disc 4 or 5 months before it was officially released, so from the time he raved about it until it was actually released to the public it fell off my radar.

It's cold and snowy in D-town, it's suppose to be like this all weekend. It's really getting me in the holiday mood. As long as the roads aren't icy, I don't mind this weather too much. It gives me an excuse to stay inside... (when did I become such a shut in).

I saw a really good movie last night called Ruby In Paradise (I'd give it a B+). I'm not going to do a review on it because it hasn't been released on DVD. In 1993 it won the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance for Best Dramatic Film. Ashley Judd won an Independent Spirit Award - Best Female Lead, and it was also nominated for Best Feature Film. Visually it's a little dated but the journey of a young woman trying to overcome her demons is wonderfully done. If you've ever fantasized about running away and starting anew, this film is a good look at the dark side and loneliness of starting over in a new town.

If you like Ashley Judd, I recommend seeing Ruby In Paradise and a little film called Come Early Morning, a very good film that didn't get its due.

"Babies don't need vacations, but I still see them at the beach."
-Steven Wright

Friday, December 7, 2007

Skydiving With Republicans

Last night I dreamt that I went skydiving with Diddlefinger and his dad. But Diddlefinger’s dad was George Bush (except George Bush wasn’t George Bush, he was Diddlefinger's dad... you follow?)

Prior to our skydiving adventure I thought I might not like Diddlefinger’s dad. But he turned out to be a really nice guy, and he even offered to buy me lunch.

The jump was very exhilarating! Afterwards Diddlefinger got all bent out of shape because he said I was showboating during my landing. We jumped out of the plane and landed at a Texas airport, which inside looked a lot like the Las Vegas airport.

After skydiving we all met up inside, Jim (RW's dad) was there. I assumed he was a friend of Diddlefinger's dad. We all decided to go to the restroom before going to lunch.

In the restroom all the urinals were unflushed and full of gold colored piss, almost to the point of overflowing. I looked down at my feet and I was wearing sandals. I was afraid that I would get urine on my feet, so I walked around the restroom (pants unbuckled) until I found a urinal that wasn't about to overflow. I carefully walked out of the restroom, but not before I noticed a man sitting at a cash register, taking tickets by the restroom sinks. Jim was waiting for me at the door, as if he was worried something might happen to me... it was comforting.

The end.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Dinosaur Jr - Beyond

I just read Pitchfork's review of Beyond, the latest effort from Dinosaur Jr. Pitchfork gave it an 8.4 (out of 10) which means it's pretty damn good. I generally agree with the review but I can't say it's my favorite Dinosaur Jr record. The review by Zach Baron points out a few songs specifically; Crumbles, Pick Me Up, and Been There All the Time which Baron describes as "crusading guitar line and signature self-doubt". Nice!

After reading the review, I promptly put the cd into my player, put on my head phones, and cranked it up. Baron is right on, and Been There All the Time is now my new favorite track on the album. Diddlefingers and I are going to the Dinosaur Jr show next week (if I can get off my ass and buy the tickets soon!). I'm looking forward to a rockin show and a few cold beverages. Good Times!

"Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich."

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Before the Devil Knows You're Dead - Movie Review

Before the Devil Knows You're Dead (R) 117 minutes A
"Break up the Family"

Starring Philip Seymour Hoffman, Ethan Hawke, Albert Finney, Amy Ryan and Marisa Tomei

Before the Devil Knows You're Dead is a masterpiece. This film grabbed me from the opening scene and never let go until the closing credits... even as I walked out the theater, mentally I was still in the film.

It's a wicked and emotional tale of two siblings whose lives are increasingly filled with anguish and despair. Andy (Philip Seymour Hoffman) is a real estate executive with a nasty drug habit and a troubled marriage, while his brother Hank (Ethan Hawke) is broke, divorced, and struggling to make his child support payments. Both are in need of quick cash so they devise a plan to rob a jewelry store.

Andy is the older more domineering brother, but he leaves it up to Hank (nervous and less competent) to execute the heist. Needless to say things go terribly wrong.

The film is a mediation of desperate men, in desperate times, taking desperate measures. Director Sydney Lumet does a brilliant job of creating a dark, moody and edgy film recounted in choppy segments from varies perspectives.

The entire cast shines, Hoffman and Hawke are superb, and Marisa Tomei is seductively mesmerizing. This is truly one of the best films of the year, a can't miss!

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Food is Love

Food Porn- my top five guilty pleasures: cheese (in all its glorious forms), hot wings (specifically Hooters), breakfast burritos, pho, and powdered doughnuts. This morning I skipped my healthy breakfast (an apple and yogurt) and gave in to sin. A pack of powered doughnuts and a cup of java. To justify this decision I told myself that I would only eat a few of the doughnuts with my Irish creme coffee, and eat the rest later. Of course I devoured the entire pack within a matter of minutes. Still cool.

As some of you know, Paste is one of my favorite publications. A couple days ago I received their best of 2007 issue. I was pleasantly surprised to see some of my favorite films of the year make their list, especially films like Year of the Dog and Once. Two films that I was afraid would be forgotten.

Musically, a lot of the big names made their list: Ryan Adams, Kanye West, Josh Ritter, the Shins, Springsteen, Spoon, Wilco, etc... but their number one was a band that I have never heard of- The National? The album is called Boxer, and apparently it's pretty great. Guess I'll have to check it out.

RW and I are beginning to prepare for Sundance 2008. It should be a lot of fun. If anyone is interested in going drop me a line. It's a fairly inexpensive trip (to Utah), and we'll probably only be there for a long weekend. It's pretty low key, but it's cool to be around people that love films and it's really cool to learn the stories behind the films.

Speaking of Sundance, the Independent Spirit Award nominations came out earlier this week... check it out (scroll down to see the categories and the nominees)

Sunday, November 25, 2007

No Country for Old Men - Movie Review

No Country for Old Men (R) 122 minutes B
No Country for anyone
Starring Tommy Lee Jones, Javier Bardem, Josh Brolin, Woody Harrelson, and Kelly Macdonald

Llewelyn Moss (Josh Brolin) stumbles upon a butt load of cash and a bunch of dead guys. Either you take the money and run, or you run! But of course, in the movies logic goes out the window.
This was my first problem with the film, because I found myself thinking, "no one would ever be that stupid!" or "no one would do it that way!"

But as the story unfolds, the Cohen Brothers takes us on one of the oddest and intriguing thrill rides of the year. Initially, the film plays like a violent and brutal episode of Twin Peaks, but by the end I was applauding its style and originality (the film is an adaptation of Cormac McCarthy's novel).

Javier Bardem is unforgettable and Oscar worthy and Tommy Lee Jones is also outstanding. This film was a little bit of a slow burn for me, but it's worth seeing and undeniably enthralling.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

American Gangster - Movie Review

American Gangster (R) 157 minutes B-
The Boyscout vs The Apprentice
Starring Denzel Washington, Russell Crowe, Cuba Gooding Jr., Josh Brolin, Yul Vazquez, Armand Assante, Chiwetel Ejiofor, and Ted Levine

American Gangster is a good film and a compelling film... but it's not a great film. Denzel Washington is intense, captivating and always a pleasure to watch. Russell Crowe and Josh Brolin are also terrific.

But frankly, I found the film to be a slightly underwhelming and drawn out. The material here seemed a little too familiar even though it was well constructed and nicely done. Surprisingly the film had little or no emotional impact on me despite finding most of the characters very likable.

American Gangster is a lot like the last Pearl Jam album I bought... I went in expecting (hoping for) a classic, but what I got was a "nice", entertaining album that's better than most...but didn't quite live up to my expectations.

Lions for Lambs (R) 88 minutes C+
Metacommunication for Lions & Lambs
Starring Tom Cruise, Meryl Streep, Robert Redford, Michael Pena, Derek Luke, and Andrew Garfield

This film probably isn't for everyone, and it is a little talky... but there is some important and interesting things being said.

In a nutshell the film is basically three parts- Activism/Getting Involved, Politics/Media and War/Sacrifice.

The film is a bit of a downer but performances by Tom Cruise and Meryl Streep are worth the price of admission.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

West 36th Ave, Sayonara!

Today I said good-bye to the old house on West 36th Ave... my first house. It was a good starter home I suppose. I learned a lot. I thought I would live there for a long long time, but life has a way of throwing curve balls.

When I walked out the door for the final time, I turned and looked around... I saw highlights and low lights from the last two years and four months.

The old house encapsulated a lot of my personality. It was an underdog from day one. It was (and still is) a work in progress, and despite its uniqueness it remains an acquired taste. The first meal I ever ate in that house was the last meal I eat today- Sesame Chicken from China Dragon (Chinese takeout).

Right now I'm listening Lyle Lovett - Joshua Judges Ruth. This is such a beautiful and introspective album. I think that every song on this album is perfect except for one, Church. That is the one and only song on the entire album I don't like (my apologies to Paul, I think I told you I liked that song).

Songs like She's Already Made Up Her Mind and She's Leaving Me Because She Really Wants To are so tragically beautiful. While the tunes North Dakota and Flyswatter/Ice Water Blues transcends place and time and takes me to another corner of my imagination. Pretty amazing stuff!

Finally, we had a yard sale today. We sold more stuff than I expected we would, the biggest surprise being all the books we sold. RW's old books were a popular attraction. I wouldn't be surprised to see them pop up in a used book store around town next week. As for my stuff, I'm always surprised that any one would be interested in my old junk... but I managed to make $30. That's about $30 more than I expected to make today.

"The only normal people are the ones you don't know very well." - Lewis Mumford

Friday, November 16, 2007

In Between Days

I'm back! Sorry about the long pause between postings. We have relocated to a new home and thanks to a snafu by Qwest, we have been without Internet service (at home) for a week. In between moving boxes, unpacking boxes, school and work... I acquired some new music:

Bruce Springsteen - Magic = C
I read a review somewhere that said this album is much more inspired than The Rising (his last rockin album with the E Street band). Well I beg to differ! While The Rising wasn't a masterpiece, it definitely exudes a sense of urgency, not to mention some of Springsteen's most inspired work (Lonesome Day, My City of Ruins). After 3 or 4 listens, Magic has it's moments but generally lacks "magic" as an album thus far.

Foo Fighters - Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace = B
A pretty good album that I think will only get better. A nice rebound after the overly ambitious double album In Your Honor.

Neil Young - Chrome Dreams II = B-
Neil Young is a great musician, but songs clocking in at 18 and 11 minutes don't really tickle my fancy... at least put them at the end of the album. Ordinary People is a great song that just goes on too long. Beautiful Bluebird and Dirty Old Man are vintage Young.

In other news - I also managed to catch a book signing at the Tattered Cover. Author Stewert O'Nan was pimping his latest novel Last Night at the Lobster. A poignant, blue collar tale about the closing of a Connecticut Red Lobster. It may sound elementary on the surface, but it's supposedly a good read about real people and real situations.

More movie reviews coming soon!

Monday, November 5, 2007

Gone Baby Gone - Movie Review

Gone Baby Gone (R) 114 minutes B+
Affleck's Mystic Boston

Starring Casey Affleck, Morgan Freeman, Cathie Callanan, John Ashton, Madeline O'Brien, Michelle Monaghan, and Ed Harris

Once upon a time Ben Affleck was pretty cool (Chasing Amy, Good Will Hunting). But after receiving an Oscar in 1997, aliens abducted Affleck and brainwashed him into doing films like Armageddon, Pearl Harbor, and Surviving Christmas (Affleck also dated J-Lo for awhile, but I can't blame him or the aliens for that).

In 2005 Affleck's friends held an intervention and apparently it worked. Affleck is now doing respectable films again (Hollywoodland) and Gone Baby Gone is a very impressive directorial debut.

I didn't know much about the film before I saw it... and I'm so glad I didn't. This film surprised the hell out of me and I was completely taken aback by the outcome. Gone Baby Gone is a dark maze of mystery that leads to a moral dilemma. Based on the Dennis Lehane novel, Affleck does a great job of creating a gritty and disturbing atmosphere... similar to the film Mystic River (In which Lehane is also the author).

This is (Ben's little brother) Casey Affleck's best performance of his career, while Amy Ryan gives us an Oscar worthy portrayal of a drugged out, irresponsible grieving mother.

Welcome back Ben!

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Dan in Real Life - Movie Review

Dan in Real Life (PG-13) 95 minutes B
About a Girl

Starring Steve Carell, Juliette Binoche, Dane Cook, Norbert Leo Butz, John Mahoney, and Dianne Wiest

With his second directorial effort, Iowa novelist and writer Peter Hedges brings us Dan in Real Life. A fluently understated romantic comedy that is subtly emotional and pleasantly entertaining. Dan (Steve Carell) is a parenting-advice writer and widower with three daughters. He is a likable and engaging character with a sense of pain and longing underneath the surface. Four years after his wife's death Dan is uptight, overprotective and struggling as a single parent.

Like all good love stories, love appears when you least expect it. Unsuspectingly Dan meets Marie (Julie Binoche) in a bookstore and it's instant chemistry. One of those moments when there is physical attraction, a smile, witty banter, and everything falls into place. Problem is, Dan doesn't know that the lovely french beauty he's flirting with is his brother's new girlfriend. Nevertheless Dan feels a romantic spark that he hasn't felt in years.

Julie Binoche is brilliantly casted as Marie; elegant, mature, smart, and witty. She is a perfect match for Dan, while Dane Cook seems oddly out of place as Mitch, Dan's brother. Emily Blunt has a scene stealing cameo as Ruthie "Pigface" Draper. But perhaps the best thing about Dan in Real Life is Steve Carell's comic restraint along with believable vulnerability. At times the film dabbles in cheesy and hokey family silliness, but ultimately this low key charmer is a winner.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Henry Rollins 2007 Spoken Word Tour

Last night RW and I went to the Henry Rollins spoken word show at the Paramount. He was absolutely amazing! Rollins is truly an inspiration to me and a true renaissance man. Whether he's doing spoken word or a rock show, seeing him live is an extraordinary experience.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Why Did I Get Married? - Movie Review

Why Did I Get Married? PG-13 113 minutes C+
The secret lives of successful black couples

Starring Sharon Leal, Janet Jackson, Richard T. Jones, Denise Boutte, Tyler Perry, Malik Yoba, Michael Jai White, and Tasha Smith

I have never seen any of Tyler Perry's Madea movies. Matter of fact, I've never seen anything Tyler Perry has ever done until now. Why Did I Get Married intrigued me because of the subject matter, the cast, and the yearning for a mature, well done, African American drama. When I saw Tyler Perry on Jay Leno he mentioned that elements of this film was taken straight from the lives of his friends (and exaggerated for Hollywood purposes of course).

The film is set in the snowy mountains of Colorado where 6 friends (3 couples) are on their annual couples retreat. The idea is to spend quality time together and re-examine their marriage by pondering the question, "Why Did I Get Married?".

Apparently some of them got married because they love drama. The three married couples are joined by a pair of singles, and the annual seven day vacation turns into a drama-fest. All the usual themes of dysfunction are here- infidelity, lies, insecurity, selfishness, etc... and Perry does a wonderful job of showing us how important interpersonal communication is within a relationship. He also does a nice job of creating some humanistic interaction between some of the couples, even though I found few of these characters very likable.

Janet Jackson is very understated as Patricia, a doctor and award winning author. Jill Scott is sugary sweet and somewhat likable but her hairdo (ugly) drove me nuts during the entire film. Sherrif Troy (Lamman Rucker) was the most likable character, but a little too flawless and perfect. Tasha Smith, who plays Angela is annoying as hell, but effective nonetheless.

Perry is obviously a very talented man, but Why Did I Get Married is a little too unbalanced to get more than a strong C+. As a side note, critics seem lukewarm about this film but audiences seem to really like it. So if you are curious, see for yourself (and let me know what you think).

Monday, October 15, 2007


I am a sucker for a good coupon! The latest coupon I received from Borders Rewards was- buy up to 3 cds for $11.99 each... That's any 3 (single disc) cd's in the store! Not bad considering that a regular cd can cost upwards of $18.99 these days.

So I went to Borders during my lunch hour and bought David Gray - Life in Slow Motion (regularly $18.99). The David Gray cd is a dual disc, but it's technically still one disc... so I saved $7. I also bought Elliot Smith - Either/Or (regularly $15.99). Now I have all the Elliot Smith solo albums except for Roman Candle. Either/Or has been critically praised as his best album, the All Music Guide gave it 5 out of 5 diamonds and called it the best album in his discography. I'm listening to it right now and it sounds amazing.

I've always liked Elliot Smith, and since his death I like him even more. All the heartfelt pain he sang about was real, he lived it. For me that makes the music extremely genuine and consequential. I guess Lash was right, I do like sad bastard music.

Being a Borders Reward Member is one of the best deals around. It cost nothing to join, you get lots of coupons, and you earn store credit with each purchase. Over the last two years I have earned enough credit to get a free cd or two. It's kind of like buying 10 burritos and getting the 11th one free.

"There is no sincerer love than the love of food."
-George Bernard Shaw

Sunday, October 14, 2007

A Book Club, George Clooney, and Heartbreak

The Jane Austen Book Club (PG-13) 105 minutes B
Reading is Sexy

Starring Maria Bello, Emily Blunt, Amy Brenneman, Kathy Baker, Hugh Dancy, Marc Blucas, Chris Burket, and Lynn Redgrave

I don't like using the term "chick flick" to describe a film. The term automatically detours a certain demographic (mostly men) from seeing these films. But what other way can you describe a film titled "The Jane Austen Book Club".

Watching "chick flicks" is like reading Cosmo, it's all about the women but there's still plenty of eye candy for men... not to mention a little insight into the female intellect (granted, Cosmo does not represent all women).

Six Jane Austen novels, six months, and six members (5 women, 1 man) in varies stages of relationship turmoil. The novels imitate life, heals wounded hearts, and brings these six people together.

The film is wrapped up a little too pretty and unrealistically, but I found this Book Club to be highly enjoyable, extremely cozy, and a nice ode to literature .

Michael Clayton (R) 119 minutes C+
The man with one black suit sulks, but gets the job done

Starring George Clooney, Tom Wilkinson, Tilda Swinton, Sean Cullen, Michael O'Keefe, and Sydney Pollack

Perhaps it was the delicious chicken parmesan I ate before seeing Michael Clayton that effected my concentration. But despite it being an entertaining and intriguing film, I was wondering what? and why? for a good portion of this legal thriller.

Clooney was good, and I liked the dark nature of his character and the film. But ultimately I was a little underwhelmed and I kept waiting for something more dramatic to be unveiled. Interestingly enough, I felt the same way after seeing another legal thriller back in 1993, The Firm. In both cases I think that I fell victim to my own expectations.

The Heartbreak Kid (R) 115 minutes C+
The right girl at the wrong time (you know bitches be crazy!)

Starring Ben Stiller, Malin Akerman, Rob Corddry, Michelle Monaghan, Carlos Mencia, and Jerry Stiller

A lot of film critics hated this film. I understand some of their reasoning, but I enjoyed this updated version of the 1972 film starring Charles Grodin.

Some have claimed that the film is mean spirited, but it's the Farrelly Brothers... what do you expect? I admit that some of the comedy feels forced, and that whole sequence of Eddie (Ben Stiller) trying to cross the border is just weird and out of place. But a lot of guys can relate to this film on a certain level, and I greatly appreciate the underlying darkness of the film. The tone of the film reminded me of 1996's The Cable Guy, directed by Ben Stiller.

The story here is simple, a 4o year old Eddie is single and never married. He has reached that point where he's a freak because he's never been married, so after 6 short weeks of courtship and a little pressure he decides to take the plunge with Lila (Malin Akerman), a beautiful blond with legs for days and David Bowie panties. Eddie is vulnerable, and when your vulnerable it's easy to confuse the "honeymoon" stage of the relationship with love.

Eddie and Lila get married, and then Eddie realizes some things about Lila that he wasn't aware of. This is a big flaw in the film; they have dated for 6 weeks, never had sex within that time, yet he didn't know some pretty elementary things about his bride...?

Well, of course Eddie meets another women during their honey moon, they fall in love and the adventure begins. I want to recommend his movie but it's probably best to wait for it on DVD.
It's not for everyone, but fans of Stiller and the Farrelly Brothers might enjoy this "prick flick".

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Music Therapy/Book Review

Music Therapy
I'm sitting here listening to music (the newest albums by Lyle Lovett and Son Volt), and the music feels good, it feels soothing. Sometimes there is nothing better than music therapy. I think my soul craves music if I go too long without listening. Tonight this new Lyle Lovett album has finally clicked with me, it's starting to penetrate my being and really consume me. During the last few weeks I've bought or been given new cds by Kanye West, Lyle Lovett, Guru, Talib Kweli, and Snow Patrol (their debut album and supposedly their best album). Due to everything going on I haven't been able to give some of these albums a proper listen yet. But my early impressions are:

Lyle Lovett B- It's been a slow burn but it's growing on me
Talib Kweli B This one grabbed me right away
Guru C This one has it's moments but he can do so much better
Snow Patrol B- This album is a little soft but I keep going back to it
Kanye West B- An interesting album that hasn't quite hooked me yet

Book Review
I finally finished I Can't Believe I'm Still Single by Eric Schaeffer. Schaeffer is forty something, never married and looking for love. He's an actor, director, producer, and writer...he has appeared in such films as Spanglish and One Night at McCools, he also directed If Lucy Fall starring Sarah Jessica Parker, and My Life in Turnaround.

Having met Mr. Schaeffer in person, I can't imagine I will ever meet a "celebrity" as brutally honest and as real as Eric Shaeffer, in his memoir he puts everything on the line for love.

Yes, he's a little eccentric, neurotic, and borderline obsessive compulsive, but he has a good heart and good intentions. He has a lot of problems... but don't we all. This book is funny, sometimes shocking, and never dull. One of my favorites of the year! A

Monday, October 1, 2007

Fever Pitch

Tonight I was at Coors Field and witnessed one of the greatest baseball games of all time.


Congratulations Colorado Rockies!

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Eastern Promises - Movie Review

Eastern Promises (R) 100 minutes A
Starring Viggo Mortensen, Naomi Watts, Vincent Cassel, Sinéad Cusack, Donald Sumpter, and Armin Mueller-Stahl

I use to say that David Cronenberg made some of the most interesting films around. His 1996 film Crash is among the most provocative and daring films I have ever seen. But nowadays it is safe to say that Cronenberg makes some of the most interesting AND best films around.

A History of Violence was my film of the year for 2005, and Eastern Promises is one of the best films of 2007 so far. It is a violent and captivating descent into the lives of the Russian mafia.

Anna (Watts), a midwife at a North London hospital stumbles upon a dairy full of secrets after delivering the child of a teenage prostitute. The baby lives and the teenage mother dies. While trying to locate the dead girl's family, Anna quickly learns that the dairy contains incriminating evidence against the Russian mafia.

This is Naomi Watts best work since 2003's 21 Grams, and Viggo Mortensen is electrifying and gives an Oscar caliber performance. Eastern Promises is not for the faint at heart. Cronenberg and writer Stephen Knight (Dirty Pretty Things) have brilliantly captured the gritty and violent world of organized crime. The movie is bloody and graphic but it never seems unwarranted.

Esteemed film critic Roger Ebert scored Eastern Promises 100 out of 100, and earlier this year the film won the coveted "People's Choice Award" at the Toronto International Film Festival.

If you can handle a little violence this is a must see film!

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Mass Media and Politics

Nowadays politics is sport; very competitive in nature, strategic, and enough wins can get you to the next round. CNN, CSPAN, MSNBC have become the political equivalent of ESPN. Bringing us highlights of the latest political candidates, updating us on the latest polls (i.e. stats), and providing commentary and analysis. But while sports are meant to entertain us, politics are real life.

Mass media plays a crucial part in American politics. Because of the decline in newspaper sales, network news ratings, and more people googling Britney Spears than our presidential candidates, the media has been forced to change with the times, often featuring political stories that are more entertaining than substantial. The wealth of information we have at our finger tips is having both a positive and negative effect. We have the capability to research and study our political candidates and the issues, but there is also a plethora of misleading, distracting, and false information available as well.

Considering the current state of affairs regarding media and politics, some of the voting public knows more about American government than ever before, while others know more about John Edwards’s hair than his political agenda. I for one know that Ann Coulter allegedly called John Edwards a “faggot,” yet I don’t know his stance on abortion or his plan for health care.

In 2004 John Kerry’s stellar health care plan went unnoticed mainly because of the media catch phrase that he was a “flip flopper.” During that election year I specifically recall asking a few friends why they didn’t like John Kerry and they had no legitimate response except, “he’s a flip flopper”.

I love the mass media despite their influence on the voting public. Ultimately it is up to the American public to disseminate what sources and information is credible. Especially since the competitive nature of politics continues to promote the ever growing divide between Democrats and Republicans. The media has taken the concept of “Republicans vs Democrats” and ran with it. Hence the mudslinging and the pageantry that has become American politics.

Can we really blame the media for our lust of tabloid trash or our need for escapism? Their only feeding us what we want. You say your tired of Paris Hilton, yet 3.2 million people tune in to her first post television interview after jail.

More people watch sporting events than politics, so why not make politics look more like sports. Maybe CNN can become as popular as ESPN...

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Denver Broncos and Fantasy Football

Earlier in the week I had Jacksonville beating the Broncos in over half of my football pools. But at the last minute I changed most of those picks because the more I thought about it, the more I thought the Broncos would win.

Initially, I figured the Broncos were lucky to have won their first two games. After two hard fought and thrilling victories over two less than average teams, I thought the Broncos would either a.) have a let down or b.) Get exposed and beat down because their not as good as their 2-0 record.

But as the week went on I started thinking that maybe these close games were building character, motivating them to work harder, or maybe after a tragic and unlucky off season they were becoming a team of destiny.

Well... judging from today's game they don't appear to be a team of destiny. I'm not pushing the panic button yet, but I fear that this loss to Jacksonville is a sign of things to come. Luckily the Chargers loss to the overachieving Packers today.

I love the Broncos D-Line and Secondary, but the LB's are weak, and the offense seems to be missing that killer instinct (despite their ability to move the ball). Cutler has been good so far, but not without growing pains. The good thing is, this team should be dangerous in the years to come, but right now I think we're going to have to take our lumps and hope we can win the games we're suppose to win (like today's game).

I'm in the hunt in most of my football pools, and Jason continues to own me head to head in Fantasy Football. Everything rides on tonight's match up (Cowboys vs Bears), but Jason (aka Zone Dogs) has Romo and TO... while I'm bring Rex Grossman off the bench to replace a banged up Marc Bulger. Jason and I faced each other in the Fantasy Football Superbowl last year, with Jason coming out victorious in a super blowout. This year I have another blue collar, under the radar type team and like the Broncos I'll have to take my lumps and hope that I can win the games I'm suppose to win (which will hopefully catapult me into the playoffs and beyond).

"Running is an unnatural act, except from enemies and to the bathroom."

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

None of these faces feel like home

Perfect Blue Buildings
A therapist once said to me, "It must be hard being you because of the constant tug-o-war going on in your mind." She was right... I am my own worst enemy. Good versus Evil, Right versus Wrong. You wouldn't believe some of the things I tell myself... it's sickening! How did I get like this and why can't I stop?

Today I went for a walk during lunch, just me and my Ipod. It was so nice, a brisk 40 minute walk with the soundtrack to my life filling up my head space. I was in my own little world, imagination running wild, I felt emotional, I felt alive. I wanted those feelings to last all day.

Now I'm sitting here with a head full of doubt, doing everything except what I should be doing (homework). I feel a sea change coming my way. Maybe it's this whole house buying thing or current events in my life, but I feel myself shutting down a little. It's not necessarily a bad thing, sometimes I need to regroup and get strong... quietly sort out some things in my head. Sometimes I talk too much and karma is a bitch... It always comes around.

I got my passport yesterday, It only took 4 1/2 weeks to arrive. The entire process was much easier than I expected.

Ipod Stats
I now have over 200 songs (over 14 hours of music) on my Ipod. Chris Isaak has the most songs by a single artist with 12 tracks, and Duncan Sheik and The Rollins Band have the second most with 10. My Ipod is a collection of individual songs (no entire albums), and a WIDE variety of music.

New Music
The new Lyle Lovett is pretty good, after 3 or 4 listens it's slowly growing on me. It's not as immediately accessible as some of his older stuff, but with Lyle you can hardly go wrong. The new Thurston Moore album came out today (I forgot until just now), and for me it's one of the most highly anticipated albums of the year. Eddie Vedder and Springsteen also have new albums on the horizon, but right now I'm not that excited about either. Maybe I will be after I hear and read more.

"It is better to know some of the questions than all of the answers."
-James Thurber

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Hey Monkey, Where you Been?

SO MUCH is happening in Curtis world. There is no need to bore you with the details, but I'll be sure to give you the low down once everything is finalized. A combination of varies projects and tasks has kept me busy and unfortunately away from the cineplex. Tomorrow I am looking forward to a day of rest, relaxation and football, and Wednesday I'm looking forward to a night out at the ball park- Rockies vs Dodgers.

I bought the new Lyle Lovett album today, but right now I'm listening to 50 Cent. I've been craving some funky, bass thumpin, hardcore beats lately. I got a copy of the latest Guru album earlier this week, it's ok, but I don't think I've fully digested that one yet. Rarely any more do I find a hip hop album that really moves me from beginning to end (Although, the new Talib Kweli is tight and at times he shows signs of becoming the next rap luminary).

I remember when rap albums use to rock my world and literally change the way I think and feel about life. Albums like Public Enemy's It takes a Nation of Millions, Boogie Down Productions - Ghetto Music: The Blue Print of Hip Hop, De la Soul - 3 feet High and Rising, Ice T- Power and O.G. Original Gangster, NWA - Straight outta Compton, and so on... I was much younger then and perhaps more impressionable, but that music said something.

Last week I ran over a prairie dog. Not on purpose... I swerved and tried to miss him but he ran right into my path- crunch! I felt so bad, but what could I do? I felt like I should get out of the car and do something... I slowed down almost to a full stop, looked in my rearview mirror... I felt like a criminal. But there was nothing I could do... I wondered who would clean up the pile of blood and fur? I wondered if the prairie dog threw himself in front of my car on purpose? I tried to look at the bright side and thought that maybe I just provided a bird or a couple squirrels with a hearty meal.

I found $26 dollars today. I was so happy! I guess it makes up for the pop machine at work ripping me off on Friday. I put $1.40 in the machine for 2 diet Dr. Peppers, but instead I got 2 regular Dr. Peppers. I will not drink regular soda any more, it's like drinking carbonated sugar water. I was so pissed, I wanted to violently shake the pop machine... I wanted to take those 2 regular Dr. Peppers and throw them at the pop machine... Take that you sonofabitch! But I didn't. I just walked away cursing underneath my breath.

"Get your facts first, then you can distort them as you please."
- Mark Twain

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Curtis's NFL Answer Key 2007

1. New England 11-5
2. Miami 8-8
3. Buffalo 8-8
4. NY Jets 8-8
1. Cincy 10-6
2. Baltimore 9-7 *Wildcard
3. Pittsburgh 7-9
4. Clevland 6-10
1. Indy 11-5
2. Jacksonville 8-8
3. Tennesse 7-9
4. Houston 6-10
1. San Diego 11-5
2. Denver 10-6 *Wildcard
3. Kansas City 8-8
4. Oakland 5-11

Playoffs -
Wildcard round
(3)New England over (6)Baltimore
(4)Cincy over (5)Denver
Divisional playoffs
(1) San Diego over (4)Cincy
(3) New England over (2) Indy
AFC Championship
(1) San Diego over (3) New England
1. Dallas 11-5
2. Philly 9-7
3. NY Giants 8-8
4. Washington 5-11
1. Chicago 10-6
2. Detriot 7-9
3. Green Bay 7-9
4. Minnesota 6-10
1. New Orleans 10-6
2. Carolina 10-6 *Wildcard
3. Tampa Bay 8-8
4. Atlanta 6-10
1. St. Louis 10-6
2. Seattle 9-7 *Wildcard
3. San Francisco 8-8
4. Arizona 7-9

Playoffs -
Wildcard round
(3) New Orleans over (6) Seattle
(5)Carolina over (4) St. Louis
Divisional playoffs
(1)Dallas over (5) Carolina
(2)Chicago over (3) New Orleans
NFC Championship
(1) Dallas over (2)Chicago

Superbowl XLII -Glendale, Arizona
San Diego 27
Dallas 17

Monday, September 3, 2007

2 Days in Paris - Movie Review

2 Days in Paris Not Rated 96 minutes C
Starring Julie Delpy, Adam Goldberg, Daniel Brühl, Marie Pillet, Albert Delpy, Aleksia Landeau, Adan Jodorowsky, and Alexandre Nahon

2 Days in Paris is essentially the brainchild of Julie Delpy. She is writer, directer, producer, composer, and star of the film. Delpy is a NYU film grad and perhaps best known for her role in 1995's Before Sunrise. She has also stared in films such as An American Werewolf in Paris, Broken Flowers, The Hoax, and Before Sunset.

When I think of Paris and actresses, I think of Julie Delpy. In this, her latest vehicle, she has definitely channeled her inner Woody Allen. 2 Day in Paris is about a neurotic New York couple who hopes to end their European vacation on a high note. After a somewhat disappointing week in Venice, the couple has decided to spend the last two days of their vacation in Paris before heading back home to New York.

Marion (Delpy) is a French photographer and Jack (Goldberg) is her American boyfriend. While in Paris, Jack is meeting Marion's family for the first time. Jack doesn't speak french, but because of his relationship with Marion, he's able to decipher a little of the language. Jack soon learns that the language isn't the only barrier in Paris. During the two days in Paris, Jack has numerous encounters with Marion's ex-lovers.

The film has all the makings of a brilliant romantic comedy/drama, but it never seems to deliver. The story is centered around Delpy and Goldberg who are great, but some of the dialogue feels contrived, and the toggle between characters speaking french and speaking english left me feeling frustrated at times.

That being said, the film did end with heavy and heart felt deliberations about relationships and breakups. The kind of dialogue that is very relatable for many and very real. Ultimately I was a little disappointed with the film, but there were moments worth remembering.

In other ramblings ...................

Sorry for the delay between posts. It has been a very eventful and busy last couple of weeks. More stuff than I care to share right now, but I hope and pray that it all ends up fine. Sometimes the hardest part of my day is fighting my own darkness, and other times I think that a combination of unorganization, self doubt and poor work habits have put me in a psychological hole that I can't dig myself out of. I consistently feel like I need a day or two to just do stuff- homework, house stuff, cleaning, writing, errands, etc... Yet, I also feel like I need a day or two to just do nothing. Nothing being- reading, watching television, cooking, eating, laying around, surfing the web, watching films, etc...

I'm also a little disappointed in the latest Suzanne Vega album- Beauty & Crime. I've listened to it 3 or 4 times so far, and it hasn't really grabbed me. It's too bad because I like Suzanne (I've also met/talked to her in person), maybe it will grow on me later. The album has received a lot of positive reviews, and Suzanne once again subtly hints at her inner vixen (evident by the album cover and accompanying artwork/liner notes of the cd).

Here comes another week people. Take care, and hopefully I'll have another review and/or post in a few days.

"Honesty has ruined more marriages than infidelity"
-Charles McCabe

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Superbad - Movie Review

Superbad (R) 114 minutes B
I was surprised to learn that Seth Rogan (Knocked Up) and Evan Goldberg (executive producer-Knocked Up) originally wrote the script for Superbad when they were in high school. They even named two of the main characters after themselves (Seth and Evan).

I'm sure it was written and re-written many times before its conception, but it's making me rethink some of those lyrics I wrote 16 years ago when I was heavily influenced by doom and gloom (my magnum opus back then was a song I wrote called, "Just Kill Me").

Anyway... Superbad is a coming of age film about three high school teenagers, but you don't have to be a teenager to enjoy this wildly entertaining film. With graduation looming, Seth (Jonah Hill), Evan (Michael Cera), and Fogell (Christopher Mintz-Plasse) decide that it's time to up the ante and end their high school career on a high note. Armed with a fake ID, and their teenage libido, the boys are determined to find love, sex and acceptance. Nice guys may finish last, but Superbad proves that even dorks get lucky sometimes.

The film seems to derail ever so slightly when it focuses too much on the crazy cops, and there's moments when Seth's loud mouth rants wear a little thin. But the film's tenderness, balanced with raunchiness ultimately equals an winning comedy. Eighteen year old Christopher Mintz-Plasse and ninteen year old Michael Cera deliver two of the best comedic performances of the year.

If you liked Fast times at Ridgemont High, American Pie, Dazed and Confused, The Forty Year Old Virgin, and/or Knocked Up... This is right up your alley!

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Bringing Sexy Back

The day of the five dollar lunch is becoming extinct. Unless your settling for mystery meat hamburgers and greasy fast food fries (which are curiously delicious when fresh), it's hard to find a decent lunch under five bucks.

Today I went to Chipotle for lunch. I knew that I would spend more than five dollars, but this place is becoming outrageously over priced. I ordered a chicken burrito with black beans (my usual), no sour cream, no guac, no beverage, and nothing out of the ordinary = $7.29. I remember a time when that same Chipotle burrito was $5.35... what the f*ck! And to add insult to injury, half the time they ignore my polite request for VERY LITTLE RICE PLEASE! Today she gave me pinto beans when I asked for black beans. One of these days I'm going to ask for African American beans... (aka "black" beans).

Hey, I know it's not easy to do what they do, and deal with the public. But I'm paying $7.29 for a burrito that is 70 percent rice, 30 percent everything else.

Anyway, I made it to the gym today. First time in months. At my age, I consider any physical activity that makes me sweat a "workout". Some of these activities include but are not limited to; yard work, housecleaning, speed walking, and washing my car.

I had a good workout today. As I was on the treadmill sweating like at fat man in hell and rocking out to my ipod, I was daydreaming about how I might bring sexy back. I have my moments... if I could loose a little of this gut, tone up, and get some clothes that enhance my good parts and hide the bad. I believe that I can bring sexy back... well, at least once in awhile.

I have cut down on my diet soda consumption by 30 percent, but I have increased my coffee consumption by 40 percent. What gives? I'm drinking a small cup of coffee about 3 or 4 times a week. Imagine how much I'll drink when the weather turns cold. I'm a little worried that it will stain my teeth. I can't bring sexy back with yellow (or should I say yellower) teeth.

And finally, I'm stoked about all the good magazines I've received in the mail lately. Writer's Digest, Sport Illustrated college football preview, Paste, and the Writer. I'm looking forward to crawling into bed with my magazines and my imagination (I'm a semi-famous writer and local celebrity that writes about sports and mass media). Problem is, I'm also a quarter of the way through a very good book (I Can't Believe I'm Still Single, a memoir by my BFF Eric Schaeffer), and I don't know if I'll get to bed early enough to read everything. The dirty dishes and the clutter will have wait another day.

"All the guys that really have the money, are too old to party and get dirty... too old to turn the women on, too old to have a fast car and drive it."
- Porno for Pyros

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Interview - Movie Review

Interview (R) 83 minutes C+
Starring Steve Buscemi, Sienna Miller, Tara Elders, Molly Griffith, Robert Hines, and Jackson Loo

Interview is an intriguing two character film that is slightly disjointed and requires a bit of patience. It seems more fitting for the stage than the big screen, but it does manage to entertain, and even get a few laughs.

Imagine former CBS news anchor Dan Rather is assigned to do a fluff piece on Britney Spears. Throw in some sexual tension, booze, drugs and manic mood swings, and what you have is an intriguing but frustrating film called Interview.

I'm starring down the barrel of another work week. My goals this week is to clean my desk, do some work I've been putting off, and go to the driving range. Last weekend I had a very depressing golf outing. It was one of those terrible rounds that I can't seem to shake. The only thing that will make it go away is to go out there and play better.

I've always been very competitive and a pretty good athlete. But the last few years I haven't kept myself in shape, and my mental game has eluded me from time to time. When I was younger I dedicated myself to sports (mainly football and basketball), but now it's hard to dedicate myself to anything other than eating (hmmm... eating is a sport).

It sounds crazy, but I could've played in the NFL, I truly believe that. But somewhere along the way life happened and here I am... Actually, life didn't happen, I was just chickenshit. My low self esteem has really f*cked me in a lot of ways. I could have accomplished so much more in life if I hadn't been afraid to try. Many times I was just afraid of embarrassing myself.

Oh well... We live we learn, It's water under the bridge now... Some Christians claim that god has a plan for everyone, and everything that happens, happens for a reason. Sometimes I wonder what his plan is for me? Then I thank my lucky stars that I've made it this far... that I have my health (knock on wood), my family, a roof over my head, a job, etc... So maybe his plan is for me is to always strive for something better... but always be mediocre. I don't know...I guess we'll see.

"The longer you stay in one place, the greater your chances of disillusionment."
-Art Spander

Friday, August 10, 2007

The Bourne Ultimatum - Movie Review & Eric Schaeffer at the Tattered Cover

The Bourne Ultimatum (PG-13) 111 minutes C+
"Still Bourne"

Starring Matt Damon, Julia Stiles, Chris Cooper, Brian Cox, Joan Allen, David Strathairn, Scott Glenn, and Albert Finney

If you like action you'll love this film. It is no easy feat to make a series of three films, and have each one better than its' predecessor. I thought that the second film (Bourne Supremacy) was better than the first film (Bourne Identity), although both are very good. Bourne Ultimatum has been touted as the best sequel and one of the best films of the year. So perhaps my expectations were a little high...

The Bourne Ultimatum is a non-stop thrill ride without heart. I'm not saying I want some cheesy love story incorporated into the plot, but this latest edition is nothing more than see Bourne run, see Bourne kick some ass, see Bourne run some more. And really... how many windows can this man jump through? Car crashes he can survive? Roof tops he can jump from? All without major injury... I expect this from Batman or Spiderman, but not Jason Bourne.

This isn't a bad film by any means, but the bar was set pretty high with the first two Bourne films. Frankly, at times I was a little bored... Matt Damon is a great actor, but it might be time to put Bourne to rest...


In other news... Last night was truly memorable. I met triple threat (writer, director, actor) Eric Schaeffer. Mr Schaeffer has written, directed and/or acted in over 30 films and television shows. Most notably- Spanglish, One Night at McCool's, If Lucy Fell, and Starved (TV series).

He has written a new memoir called I Can't Believe I'm Still Single, and last night I was lucky enough not only to catch his reading at the Tattered Cover, but also be filmed for his new documentary. Actually the entire audience was filmed, but I did get a chance to talk to Mr. Schaeffer about some of his favorite films and Woody Allen. You see, we're BFF now (Best F*cking Friends).

Anyway, he is the most down to earth celebrity I've ever met, and is second only to Jennifer Weiner for best reading I've ever attended.

After briefly discussing Woody Allen's groundbreaking 2002 film Husbands and Wives (my personal favorite), Mr. Schaeffer shook my hand (twice), thanked me for coming and thanked me for asking "great" questions.

A message to my BFF - Rock on dude! I can't wait to read your book and see the documentary... hopefully at Sundance!

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

No Reservations - Movie Review

No Reservations (PG) 103 minutes B-
Starring Catherine Zeta-Jones, Aaron Eckhart, Abigail Breslin, Bob Balaban, Jenny Wade, Brian F. O'Byrne, and Patricia Clarkson

If you have seen any previews or read anything about this film, it is not hard to figure out what happens. This movie doesn't pull any punches, but it is consistently entertaining.

Catherine Zeta-Jones plays Kate, an uptight, no none sense Manhattan chef who basically needs to get laid. Voilà!- Enter Nick Palmer (Aaron Eckhart), a rival chef who is asked to fill in part time while Kate is on leave. You know what happens next, the other cooks like Nick better, Kate and Nick piss and moan about whose in charge, they love to hate each other, yadayadayada...

There is a little more to the story that I'm not telling you, but because of the basic plot, I don't want to give away too much here. Despite lacking any sort of "edginess", No Reservations is likable, features appealing characters, and maintains a steady flow. If your looking for a wholesome, entertaining, mainstream Hollywood romantic comedy this film is a safe bet.
In other news, I finally finished reading the book Sex, Drugs and Cocoa Puffs last night. It was a frustrating read because certain parts were brilliant, witty, and laugh-out-loud funny! While other times I was extremely bored and even insulted. I have to hand it to Mr. Klosterman (the author), I like his style, and he's a smart guy, but sometimes he just went on and on about things I could give a rat's ass about.

"Money can't buy friends, but it can get you a better class of enemy."
-Spike Milligan

Saturday, August 4, 2007

Carved In Stone, A Concert & Coffee Festival

Last night Starbucks hosted the first ever Carved In Stone concert festival at Red Rocks. The line up featured Ryan Adams, Lucinda Williams, Old 97's, DeVotchka, Jesse Sykes and the Sweet Hereafter, and the December Question. With special guest appearances by Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper and some Starbuck's guy who grow up in Denver and went to East High School.

In my mind, I clearly expected this to be the concert event of the summer. Red Rocks, a dreamy summer night, and great music... it had all the makings of an unforgettable evening. But once again I am the victim of expectations... well, sorta.

We arrived at Red Rocks shortly after 6pm, upon entering the amphitheatre we were offered free samples of blueberry frappuccinos - OH MY GOD! I'd never had a frappuccinos, and they were to die for! Yum!

We then proceeded to find a good place to sit and caught the tale end of one of the opening bands... I'm not sure what band it was but they weren't bad. Moments after they were done, the Old 97's took the stage. Lead Singer Rhett Miller's flight got delayed so he didn't show up until half way through his band's set. The Old 97's played a short, but solid set minus any of Rhett Miller's solo stuff :-(

DeVotchka was decent. I think I like them better in the small venues where their eccentric sound can fill a room and engulf you in their trance. Next was Lucinda Williams. Oh Lucinda... Most people around us seemed disappointed and bored with Lucinda. Having never seen her live, I'm not sure what her concerts are normally like, but initially she seemed sort of introspective and middling. It was like having a first date with a beautiful woman and when she arrives she's already drunk. But eventually she sobers up and your glad you came.

There was such an energy of anticipation for Williams and Adams, yet neither seemed interested in putting on any sort of grandiose spectacle. Both were a little more mellow and melancholy than I expected, yet they still delivered the goods.

Adams showed off more of his vocal abilities, and his band (the Cardinals) was superb! The extended jams sounded great, and everything he played sounded smooth. Adams sounded mature and rational, and I have to admit, I was hoping for a little more sporadic, rock-your-balls-off type stuff... i.e Halloween Head or something from the RocknRoll album. But when you're Ryan Adams or Lucinda Williams, you can pretty much play whatever you feel like playing. Even if that means, No Come Pick Me Up, No New York New York, No Car Wheels on a Gravel Road, No Can't Let Go. Which is actually kind of cool because you get to hear the deeper cuts, and personal favorites.

All in all it wasn't the concert event of the summer, but it was a damn good time! An exquisite summer night at red rocks, cold beers, coffee, my loved one, good friends, great people watching, and plenty of laughs.

The only other thing missing was... More cowbell!

Monday, July 30, 2007

Talk to Me - Movie Review

Talk to Me (R) 118 minutes B+
Starring Don Cheadle, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Mike Epps, Martin Sheen, Cedric the Entertainer, and Vondie Curtis-Hall

Sometimes the best films are the hardest to write about, such is the case with Talk to Me. This bio-pic is based on the life of Ralph Waldo "Petey" Greene, a Washington DC radio and television personality during the 60's and 70's.

Mr. Greene had an extraordinary life, he dropped out of high school, joined the army, was discharged from the army, and later convicted of armed robbery. He served time at the Lorton Reformatory Prison, and while incarcerated he honed his skills as a DJ.

To say the least, Greene achieved a lot when he got out of prison. In 1978 he was invited to the White House by President Jimmy Carter. This is quite a feat, considering that was then, and I can't imagine someone like Petey Greene being invited to the White House now (in 2007).

Don Cheadle and Chiwetel Ejiofor are outstanding in this film. Cheadle is already one of the best actors on the planet and Ejiofor is quickly becoming one of my favorites (loved him in Woody Allen's Melinda Melinda & Spike Lee's Inside Man).

Respected Wall Street Journal film critic Joanne Kaufman wrote that the dialogue in Talk to Me is "equal parts uptight honky and jumping jive", and some viewers may agree. But watering down the language/dialogue might take away from the artistic integrity of the film. The language isn't always pleasant but it's the way some people felt during those times... and maybe even now (to some extent).

I thought this was a strong film, and one of the best of 2007 thus far... but it may not appeal to all audiences.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Bright Lights and Laser Surgery

I survived (laser) eye surgery this morning. I'd like to thank all my fans, and even the paparazzi for all the gifts and well-wishes.

Today's surgery was preventive (not corrective), and in short, the goal was to laser shut several holes in my retina which had been producing fluid. I was surprisingly calm before surgery, but during the procedure things got a little tense. I experienced more discomfort than I expected, and I am just now starting to feel normal again. For most of the day my eye was very sore accompanied by a dull ache. But maybe the Tylenol is finally starting to kick in.

Currently, Denver is under siege by rain, thunder and lightning. It's kind of cool. I'm home alone with only the sound of weather outside my window. The sky is dark, ominous, and inspiring as I sit here typing by candlelight (very Transylvania).

Suddenly a loud crash of lightning! All power in the house is gone...then re-appears, in the distance I hear sirens... I check on the animals to make sure their ok. The dog is cowering behind the bed, while the cat looks afraid underneath a desk. The lightning crackles strangely, and I'm distracted by each silent flash of outside light.

But anyway- I actually talked to my dad today. It had been two or three years since we last spoke. It was good talking to him. All those feelings of trepidation I felt about him are in the past, and although we'll never be bosom buddies, it feels good to talk to him man-to-man every once in awhile.

A little depression has been weighing on me recently. Talking about it here is tricky, the few people that read my blog worry that I'm a "head case", which might not be too far from the truth, but writing about it is somewhat therapeutic. Besides, we all get a little down sometimes, different people handle it in different ways. For me, I absorb myself in music, film, and/or writing... it's my escape. Some people get drunk, do drugs, have anonymous sex...which, within reason sounds pretty good. But those things are not only self destructive, their dangerous.

Speaking of self destructive- Lindsay Lohan, Britney Spears, Paris Hilton... Hey, I'll admit, I think that all these ladies are hot... but their also crazier than a bag of squirrels! Their all going through some sort of drama queen-identity crisis-self destructive thing right now, but as long as they don't kill themselves first, they will be alright. They will continue to get work, and continue to be rich celebrities well into their golden years. With the exception of Lohan's role in "Mean Girls", it's too bad that none of them have done anything that matters.

Lastly, 13 or so NFL training camps opened today, with more opening in the coming days. Man do I love football! And, as if it's humanly possible, I want to immerse myself in it even more this upcoming season! There are so many aspects of football I'm looking forward too in the coming months. I'm getting excited just thinking about it! Oh how I love my sacred Sundays during the NFL season.

"I put on hooves, horns and an attitude, and nonchalantly find I'm alive."
- A. Cordes of PM Dawn

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Cashback - Movie Review

Cashback (R) 97 minutes C+
Starring Sean Biggerstaff, Emilia Fox, Shaun Evans, Michelle Ryan, Stuart Goodwin, Michael Dixon, Michael Lambourne, and Marc Pickering

I'm assuming that most of you have never heard of the film Cashback. It was originally an Oscar nominated short film (18 minutes) in 2004, that has now been adapted into a full length feature (97 minutes).

Cashback is a whimsical comedy-drama that teeters between goofy comedy and heartfelt drama, when this technique is done well it can truly enhance a story. But in this film, it creates a schizophrenic-type ambience.

Ultimately Cashback is about love and those frozen moments in time that we hold close to our hearts (for better or for worse), yet most will remember Cashback for its artistic ode to the nude female form. Here you will find plenty of nudity; slightly overdone, but completely enthralling.

Film critic James Berardinelli noted that the 2004 Oscar nominated short "gained some degree of notoriety because of its extreme nudity- full-frontal shots of women posed in grocery store aisles while frozen in time." The feature film retains all of this nudity and perhaps more, but Berardinelli also goes on to say that "the act is artistic, not prurient... and it is presented as such. There is nothing erotic about these scenes; they are ethereal."

Despite the sporadic nature of the film, this is a respectable debut feature by Sean Ellis. He has put a fresh twist and on an old formula (boy-meets-girl, boy-loses-girl, boy-tries-to-win-girl-back), created engaging and likable characters, and has given us a hint of his future potential as a filmmaker.

Looking much like a young Dermot Mulroney, the young cast is led by Sean Biggerstaff (you might recognize him as "Oliver Wood"from the Harry Potter movies), Michelle Ryan (soon to be TV's Bionic Woman) and the understated but talented Emilia Fox.

This film is currently in limited release, but I'm told it will be on DVD in certain regions sooner rather than later.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Bob Dylan Disappoints, Watercolors Excite!

Thursday night I went to the Bob Dylan concert at Red Rocks. Opening for Dylan was My Morning Jacket.

This was one of the largest concert crowds I've ever seen. It was a breezy and beautiful night at Red Rocks, the atmosphere was electric and enthusiastic. Unfortunately MMJ came out and played an uneven set, a far cry from that magical night I saw them perform in Boulder a few years ago.

Next up was Dylan, he appeared on stage to an eager and adoring crowd, then he proceeded to deliver one of the most boring shows I've ever seen at Red Rocks. Yes, the man is a legend, and he's wrote some remarkable songs. But I was very underwhelmed Thursday night. This was my second time seeing him and definitely my last unless he does an acoustic tour in small venues.

In other news, here is a my review of the current watercolor exhibit at the Arvada Center. I like watercolors, who knew...?!

To conclude my trilogy of museum visits, today I explored the Arvada Center. Touted as the seventh largest cultural attraction in Denver, the Center is lavish and comfortably spacious. Here, the art has room to breathe and the viewers have space to wrap their heads around the the stunning collection of watercolors.

I was thoroughly impressed by the watercolors I observed today. The colors were beautiful, alive and natural. Some of the most ordinary subjects were awakened with a brilliant mixture of colors, exceptional shading, and smudgy detail. Each picture seem to endlessly bleed and flow into a natural form. I never knew watercolors could look so flawless. I also took notice of the framing today, some of the frames enhanced, while others subtracted from the beauty of the art.

I loved the homegrown feel of the exhibit upstairs (by local artists). One of my favorites included Littleton's S. Williams- Denver Dusk. It romanticized the city and gave it that cool, melancholy, smokey-jazzy vibe. It said to me- whether your just venturing out for cigarettes and milk, or enjoying an expensive dinner at a posh restaurant. The city is quietly mysteries... full of possibility and despair.

In the downstairs gallery (watercolors by Western artists), I fell in love Celeste, a work of art by Al Zerries. At first glance, Celeste is simply a portrait of a beautiful woman in a colorful dress, but at second and third glance you'll notice a strong, sexy and independent woman. There were two or three alluring portraits of women that were eye catching. Their bodies didn't necessarily look soft in watercolors but perhaps it's the enticing use of color that pulled me in.

My only knock against the Arvada Center isn't so much the fault of the Center, but more about the patrons. Many visitors today were extremely loud. My daydreams were frequently interrupted by intrusive voices and boisterous conversations. Even at the DAM (Denver Art Museum) on free Saturday, I didn't remember it being this loud. But all in all I enjoyed my visit today and I am now a big fan of watercolors! (I'm sure Jason and Mike think I'm a sissy now... but I'm still cool).

"Nothing stinks like a pile of unpublished writing." - Sylvia Plath

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Broken English - Movie Review

Broken English (PG-13) 97 minutes B

Starring Parker Posey, Melvil Poupaud, Drea de Matteo, Justin Theroux, Gena Rowlands, Peter Bogdanovich, Tim Guinee, and Josh Hamilton

Caveat - I just had a nice dinner and one too many glasses of wine. So I thought I would sit (and I just opened another bottle of wine) and write a completely brilliant and witty review for Broken English. So here it goes...

Back in the late 70's (or there about), musician Joe Jackson wrote a song called It's Different for Girls. Sometime during the mid 90's Chris Isaak wrote a song called Pretty Girls Don't Cry. These two songs remind me of how some girls will never experience the type of loneliness that I have felt... even when their lonely, it's a different type of loneliness. Chris Issak sang "pretty girls don't cry, they know exactly what to do."

In the film Broken English, Nora Wilder (Parker Posey) is a pretty girl, but she doesn't know it. Some would say that's the best kind of pretty girl. But the down side is, she doesn't know she's pretty, so she thinks she's crazy.

This film is all about a girl... excuse me, a woman, trying to find love. I don't want to make too many assumptions about the main character because (obviously) I've never been a woman. But I can speak about being in my late 20's/early 30's and being the "single guy". Essentially, Nora is the "single girl" (translation= something is wrong with you because you haven't found a man), and she's not having any luck finding Mr. Right.

In the real world there are many reasons why beautiful people can't find love... and in this film it is evident why Nora can't find love. People these days have so many preconceived notions of what love should feel like, look like and be like. Yet, does anyone really know? Sure, there are some core values/rules when it comes to love but for the most part it should be observed on a case by case bases. Half the battle is timing and luck. Love is one of life's biggest mysteries, but that's part of what makes it so incredible yet so painful.

When you analyze Broken English, one can run through a gamut of cliches such as; love yourself first, there's more to life than being in a relationship, don't sleep with him on the first date, yadayadayada... But what I took most from this film is that my loneliness might be different from her loneliness, but it all hurts the same.

I liked Broken English but it's not for everyone. It's a little talky, and it definitely has that "indie" feel. The feelings may not resonate with all of you as it did with me. But I think this film is a decent character study of a person desperately wanting to be loved, hating her own desperation, and being in love with love. It's not all wine and roses, but sometimes you have to kiss a lot of frogs before you find a bigger frog that is more financially secure :-)

Really quickly, I want to say that I'm a huge Michael Vick fan! He's one of the most exciting athletes on the planet. But, if what they say is true, it's not only sick, it's despicable! If he did the crime, he must do the time.

It's easy for me to say because I'm not in their shoes, but If I was a millionaire I think I could find plenty of hobbies that don't involve murder, maiming, and abuse. Jesus! What's the appeal in seeing animals beat the sh*t out of each other? I've seen some freaky sh*t, but damn bro! Vick can do most anything he wants and this is what he gets off on...?

For anybody else that has so much money that they don't know what to do with, or your thinking about investing in a dogfighting or cockfighting ring. I'll save you the money and the jail time, just send your cash (check or money order) to Curtis, c/o of My Gray Morning @

"For birth control I rely on my personality." - Milt Abel

Monday, July 16, 2007

Joshua - Movie Review

Joshua (R) 90 minutes B

Starring- Sam Rockwell, Vera Farmiga, Celia Weston, Dallas Roberts, Michael McKean, Jacob Kogan, Nancy Giles, and Linda Larkin

Joshua might be a film you haven't heard of, and it's bound to get lost amongst the legion of Harry Potter and Ratatouille moviegoers. But if you like psychological thrillers and creepy little kids, this is the film for you!

Critics have tauted this film as being very Hitchcockean... Perhaps Jacob Kogan, the young actor starring as Joshua is a young Anthony Perkins in the making..? This film initially feels like a cross between watered down Hitchcock and Twin Peaks. But after some annoying piano music near the beginning of the film, Joshua settles into a groove and stands on it's own.

Nine-year-old Joshua Cairn (Jacob Kogan) is the prodigy son of Brad (Sam Rockwell) and Abby (Vera Farmiga) Cairn. Josuha is one of those children that doesn't take after Mom or Dad, and he's definitely the black sheep of the family. But as parents, you love your children unconditionally... or do you? What if your son or daughter was simply rotten! A bad seed! What do you do?

The Cairn family has a newborn baby, mom is struggling with postpartum depression, dad is under a lot of stress at work, and their nine-year-old manchild might be a murder.

This film is a little bit of a downer, but it's an interesting look inside the lives of two parents at their wits end. I couldn't help but wonder throughout the film, what would I do?

In other news, another weekend is in the books. It was a very busy weekend, with the highlight being RW completing her 1st triathlon. Congratulations!

I also went to the Vance Kirkland Museum this weekend, there is no question that the Kirkland museum is an exquisite building, but my overall impressions were slightly mixed.

The Kirkland collection is full of explosive colors and retro-hip decorative components. The boundless collage of color and shape is slightly overwhelming and demands careful viewing. Artistically, there is so much going on it's hard to focus on one thing, and as a result the finer pieces are overshadowed by the endless assortment of items. That being said, the cozy home-like atmosphere is very charming, and amongst all of the decorative art, I found two breathe taking areas.

The Sculpture Garden Patio is both beautiful and tranquil, and the Vance Kirkland Workroom is romantically artistic and pensive. Cluttered with books, paints, and a paint-stained work table, I could almost smell of wet paint and inspiration. The clutter in the workroom is a natural clutter, very realistic and organic, oppose to the over-filled glass cabinets in the main showroom. The entire museum is bittersweet this way. Full of brilliant touches in some spaces, while over done in others.

One of my favorite pieces was the subtle and plain Ablution and Farewell by Norman Kester. Ironically, this is one of the most colorless pieces of art in the Kirkland collection. It reminded me of my childhood, and hanging clothes out to dry with my grandmother.

All in all, the Vance Kirkland is worth visiting because there is something for everyone.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

The Search for Sky Blue Sky

I've been listening to the latest Son Volt album, The Search and the latest Wilco album, Sky Blue Sky. I'm trying to determine which one I like best. I enjoy both bands but neither album grabbed me initially. That being said, both albums have the potential to grow on me.

The Search is a hard listen, I had to listen to it multiple times before I started finding the gems. It seems like a very mature and serious album, once I dig deeper into the lyrics I think I'll find The Search very rewarding.

Sky Blue Sky is a very easy listen, but few of the songs stand on their own. It might sound silly but I miss that weird vibe that I usually get from a Wilco album.

In other news, I'm a little behind on my movie reviews. This has been a really inconsistent year so far. For a month or two there are tons of movies I want to see, and other times there is nothing I want to see for weeks.

Anyway, you should have a few reviews by next week.

Lastly, I added a hit counter to my blog. I'm very excited about this addition. But I wonder if it counts when I read my blog.... If so, that might account for 90% of my hits.

"I have seen the truth, and it doesn't make sense."
- Unknown

Monday, July 9, 2007

Zach Braff's mix tape, It'll save your life

After work today I went to Super Target. The gift certificate my friend gave me was burning a hole in my pocket! Last night I made a list, checked it twice and even remembered to bring it with me today.

Once I was there, I got everything from my list and nothing else caught my eye. So as I headed to the checkout counter with cat litter, mouthwash, a cookie scented candle, and varies other household goodies, I decided I should get something fun. So I browsed through the books...nothing good. I grazed through the cds, and the only thing that grabbed me was The Last Kiss soundtrack. It has been on my "want" list since last year so I figured what the heck.

Some people have an addiction to shoes, I have an addiction to music... It's a sickness really.

Anyway, I loved the film and the soundtrack is also exceptional. "We all make choices. What's yours?" <--- (that's from the film)

In other news, I put some old furniture out for the trash collection yesterday. Trash is not picked up until Tuesday (yesterday was Sunday) and within hours it was all gone. Before my neighbors next door moved back to Virginia they had numerous yard sales, and after several weeks of this they finally left a bunch of stuff on the sidewalk with a sign that said-FREE! That FREE stuff sat there for days and days and days.

My junk is no better than their junk, but I put my stuff in the alley. Apparently the alley is a more appealing area. It's all about location, location, location!

"One man's folly is another man's wife." - Helen Rowland

Saturday, July 7, 2007

Best of 2007 so far... and the Denver Art Museum

This is a mid-year progress report... the best of 2007 so far...

1. Once
2. Knocked Up
3. Year of the Dog
4. I Think I Love My Wife
5. Waitress

1. Ryan Adams - Easy Tiger
2. Elliot Smith - New Moon
3. Nine Inch Nails - Year Zero
4. Michael Penn - Palms & Runes, Tarot & Tea
5. Once - Motion Picture Soundtrack

1. Henry Rollins - A Dull Roar
2. Chuck D - Lyrics of a Rap Revolutionary

It's Saturday night, it's late... This house is hot, and I've had one too many cocktails. Half of 2007 has passed us by, and it is only two months from the beginning of the NFL regular season (less than six months until Christmas). So far 2007 has been a decent year for films, but I think the best is yet to come.

Musically, many of my favorite artists (Wilco, Pete Yorn, Morrissey) have released interesting if not vital music. But there is a lot I haven't heard (yet).

Rarely do I read a lot of new books due to my backlog of old books. But being the music geek I am, I did manage to read 2007 releases by Henry Rollins and Chuck D. These aren't necessarily the best books of 2007, but their my favorites so far.

The Denver Art Museum... A review
My journey at the art museum began with the collected Japanese Art of John and Kimiko Powers. Upon entering the gallery, the most eye catching piece of art was Andy Warhol's distinctive and colorful portraits of John and Kimiko. Like many of Warhol's paintings, it demands attention, but these two "pop" portraits almost felt out of place once I digested the rest of the collection. This was an impressive collection, but I didn't find any of it particularly daring or precarious. The collection was dominated by ink on paper, ink on color and silk, ink on color and golden leaf, and basically ink on varies materials. Most appealing were the pieces that evoked a mood, often these pieces featured hazy scenery, houses, and people. One example of this was the simple yet elegant Autumn Landscape in the Style of Yosa Buson (Late Edo Period).

Next stop was the Anschutz Gallery. As soon as I entered the gallery I was staggered by the vibrant colors and exquisite mood of the art. Many of these pieces would represent my definition of art; unexplained, radical, disturbing, beautiful, and alluring. As I turned each corner I found a new favorite. Ultimately I settled on Jenny Saville's Hem, a 1999 oil painting on canvas; it struck me as warm, humanistic, familiar, and beautiful in its honesty. Another exciting piece was Love Your Neighbor, an oil and painting on canvas by Marlene Dumas. The Dumas painting displayed an amazing contrast of color, as well as being comforting and engaging. I liked many of the pieces here, and this gallery was by far my favorite.

I concluded my journey at the Dietler Gallery of Western Art. After visiting the Anschutz Gallery, this one felt very subdued and humdrum. Here, I discovered some nice Indian portraits, but being at the Dietler was like eating fast food, after dining at a five star restaurant. The oil paintings in the rustic golden frames seemed amateurish, and the Cowboy and Indian pieces were well done but ultimately seemed antiquated and under whelming. In all honesty, the Anschutz Gallery was a hard act to follow, and perhaps once I know more about this type art (Western Art), I'll have a better appreciation.

Monday, July 2, 2007

Sicko - Movie Review

Before I get to the movie reviews, I have to say that I had a laudable 35th birth anniversary yesterday. I am appreciative and lucky that I have so much love in my life. I am truly grateful and thankful, despite my occasional gloomy disposition.

Yesterday was capped off with a delectable meal at the Vesta Dipping Grill. Some of the sexy dipping sauces we tried included Pistachio Mint, Grilled Onion Jam, and Spicy Ancho.

My weekend was mellow, and I felt like a killjoy for not wanting to do much. I guess I had a lot on my mind and I admit that I spent a great deal of time pondering my vitality. As we all continue to mature, the world grows more and more surprising in every extreme. The older we get, the greater the fear. I will continue to be humbled, thankful, pessimistic, and a dreamer.

Sicko (PG-13) 113 minutes B-
Starring Michael Moore

I consider Michael Moore's films to be educational, I think that large amounts of people (especially young people) should see his films. Moore always hits upon critical points and touches a nerve, but perhaps he goes a little overboard with his sarcasm and japing. That being said, I can't blame Moore for his tone. Today's society is all about one-up-man-ship, and us versus them mentalities. So many people will take a film like Sicko personally, it's too bad that those people can't see the film for what it is... an alarming and depressing look at Health Care in America.

Not that this is a political film, but Moore's politics scare and anger people. If this film had been made by a no-name director, and without Moore's wit, editorialism, and politics... you'd have a less entertaining film, but you'd also have an Oscar nominated documentary.

My only knock on the film is that it feels longer than 113 minutes. Even though I'm not giving this an A or a strong B, this film worth checking out.

----------------------Bonus DVD review-------------------------------------

This Film is Not Yet Rated (Not Rated) 97 minutes B
DVD release date January 23, 2007
Starring Kirby Dick, John Waters, Kevin Smith, Matt Stone, Kimberly Peirce, Darren Aronofsky, Atom Egoyan, and Maria Bello

To conclude my weekend of documentary film, I recommend the charming This Film is Not Yet Rated. Who knew that the American movie ratings board was so interesting and scandalous. Plus, I didn't know that Private Eye's still existed for anything other than spying on cheating lovers.

This is a good rental!