Sunday, April 27, 2008

Smart People - Movie Review

Smart People (R) 95 minutes C+
Too smart for it's own good
Starring Dennis Quaid, Sarah Jessica Parker, Ellen Page, Thomas Haden Church, Ashton Holmes, and Christine Lahti

Somewhere I thought that I read that Smart People was from the creators of Sideways and The Savages...? Nevertheless I went in expecting Smart People to be very good despite the mediocre reviews.

This is a decent film, but it is also frustrating. I felt like it could have and should have been much better. My biggest problem was with Dennis Quaid. I simply didn't like his character, and not in a "he-was-good-at-getting-under-my-skin" sort of way. I found him annoying, awkward, and unconvincing.

Ellen Page saved this movie, she's excellent! Although RW was right when she said it wasn't much of a stretch from her Juno character, she's still the most engaging and interesting character in the film. Thomas Haden Church was also pretty good, but I could have done without the porno mustache.

I think that the film tries very hard to be bittersweet... and it is, but it also comes off as a little overwrought, dry, and implausible. I really wanted to love this film but in the end I felt no connection with the characters and therefore felt no passion about the ending. It's an entertaining film, but Smart People might be overthinking it a bit.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Kimya brings her Hidden Vagenda to Denver

Kimya Dawson Live at the Bluebird 4/22/08

I assume that most people know the name Kimya Dawson from her work on the Juno Soundtrack. But what most people are missing is that she is a very talented and funny artist (beyond the Juno stuff).

Last night RW and I had the privilege of seeing her perform live at the Bluebird.

Chicago Nobo warned us that this might be an exercise in patience; two hours of cutesy acoustic anti-folk could grow tiresome. But it wasn't so much that, as the heat and the standing that hampered my enjoyment of the show.

But hey, it's all rocknroll and it is what it is. It's not the first time I've perspired like a fat man in hell and stood so long that my feet felt like they would fall off... and I'm sure it won't be the last.

Kimya was charming and childlike at times. She definitely has the cutesy thing going for her, but what I like about her most is her brutally honest lyrics and melancholy dark side.

She did sing a few songs from her upcoming album, Alphabutt, which she calls a "children's album". But I'm not sure if it's a children's album in the traditional sense...? I mean, on one song she sang about not shaving her "hair down there". Then again, maybe I'm reading too much into it... Nevertheless the songs she sang from that album (and all her material for that matter) was catchy as all get out, and undeniably witty and charismatic.

Overall the show was pretty good despite the sweatshop-like conditions. It was a young, Juno-esque crowd (16 and over), which provided the benefit of no line at the bar for beer, no tinkle line for the bathroom, and no visible puke or puking was seen. Very nice.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Forgetting Sarah Marshall & 21 Movie Review

Forgetting Sarah Marshall (R) 112 minutes B+
Love & Loathing in Hawaii

Starring Jason Segel, Kristen Bell, Mila Kunis, Jonah Hill, Russell Brand, Bill Hader, and Kala Alexander

Forgetting Sarah Marshall is from the same producers that brought us Knocked Up and The 40 Year Old Virgin. It also stars Jonah Hill and Bill Hader from Superbad, so naturally Forgetting Sarah Marshall has beckoned comparisons to the three aforementioned films.

In my opinion it's not as good as Knocked Up and the 40 Year Old Virgin, but it is slightly better than Superbad (but you can't go wrong with any of these films).

Forgetting Sarah Marshall is the tale of sensitive slacker and ultimate underdog Peter Bretter (Jason Segel). He has just lost the love of his life, and not even meaningless sex and serial dating can get her out of his mind. So he decides to take a vacation from it all and go to Hawaii (ironically, her favorite vacation destination), and of course she happens to be there at the same time with her new boy-toy.

I have to admit, during some points of the film I felt like something was missing. I also didn't find it as laugh-out-loud funny as I might have hoped. Nevertheless I was thoroughly entertained and recommend this film. Check it out!

21 (PG-13) 123 minutes C
A little less than breaking even

Starring Jim Sturgess, Kate Bosworth, Laurence Fishburne, Kevin Spacey, Liza Lapira, Josh Gad, Aaron Yoo, and Sam Golzari

21 is based on a true story (the book Bringing Down the House by Ben Mezrich) which always makes a film more interesting… Of course you have to account for Hollywood's extreme dramatization/exaggeration of the facts, but even that encourages a person to dig deeper about the film.

21 is a nice mainstream romp, but nothing that will stick with me beyond the Cineplex. During the first half of the film I keep thinking that this movie looks pretty on the outside but feels generic on the inside. It is entertaining enough... but it tries to be some slicker and cooler than it really is. This movie needs more COWBELL! Actually, what it needed was a little more edge and gusto!

Jim Strugess is good in this film, as is Kevin Spacey. Kate Bosworth is ok... she's basically the eye candy factor, which in all honesty, did nothing for me (sorry Jerry, different strokes...)

The first half of the film drags a little, the second half is a little more suspenseful. This film is worth checking out once it arrives at your local discount (second run) theater house. It's worth seeing on the big screen, I just don't know if I recommend seeing it at "full price".

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Waiting for the Barbarians (the Soundtrack?)

Tonight I finished reading Waiting for the Barbarians by J.M. Coetzee. Afterwards I listened to Life in Slow Motion by David Gray, and coincidentally these two could be companion pieces.
Life in Slow Motion drips with desolate longing for someone who slips away under the cover of darkness... a love that never was but could've of been.
Tonight I feel an affinity for songs like The One I Love, Life In Slow Motion, and Disappearing World. This is not David Gray's best... but tonight (and this week) it's the greatest album that never was... but could've been.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Are you ready for some football?

The Denver Broncos schedule was announced yesterday. Here are my initial thoughts (which are subject to change).

Broncos' 2008 schedule

Sept. 8: at Oakland Raiders, 6:15 p.m.
What scares me here is that the Raiders will be fired up for their home opener and filled with the promise of a breakthrough season. Opening day road wins are a tall order.

Sept. 14: San Diego Chargers, 2:15 p.m.
Even though this is at home, the Chargers should be tough (again) this season. Plus, they don’t want to start 1-3 again like they did last year.

Sept. 21: New Orleans Saints, 2:05 p.m.
Hopefully we can stop Bush and the Saints offense.

Sept. 28: at Kansas City Chiefs, 11 a.m.
KC is always tough at home no matter how bad they are.

Oct. 5: Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 2:05 p.m.
This isn’t an easy game either; five weeks into the season and this might be a "must-win" for the Broncos.

Oct. 12: Jacksonville Jaguars, 2:05 p.m.
The Jags are a Super Bowl contender this year. The Broncos will play them tough but chalk this up as an “L”.

Oct. 20: at New England Patriots 6:30 p.m.
As much as I’d love to see the Broncos beat the Pats down, it probably won’t happen in Foxboro.

Oct. 26: Bye
I feel empty inside!

Nov. 2: Miami Dolphins, 2:05 p.m.
A winnable game, especially at home.

Nov. 6: at Cleveland Browns, 6:15 p.m.
I like the Browns and hope they can keep last year’s magic alive!

Nov. 16: at Atlanta Falcons, 11 a.m.
Hello Jason Elam! The Broncos win by a FG… how ironic.

Nov. 23: Oakland Raiders, 2:05 p.m.
Revenge! The Broncos destroy the Raiders at home!

Nov. 30: at N.Y. Jets, 1 p.m.
The Broncos are starting to gel and get there second road win in a row.

Dec. 7: Kansas City Chiefs, 2:05 p.m.
They can beat the Chiefs at home if they can stop the run.

Dec. 14: at Carolina Panthers, 11 a.m.
The Panthers will be too much for the Broncos. Broncos lose by a FG.

Dec. 21: Buffalo Bills, 2:05 p.m.
Buffalo gets revenge for last year’s loss. The Broncos lose a heart breaker.

Dec. 28: at San Diego Chargers, 2:15 p.m.
Chargers have nothing to play for and the Broncos win.

Looks like 8-8

But my real prediction (as always) comes out near the end of preseason.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Married Life - Movie Review

Married Life (PG-13) 90 minutes A-
Crimes and Misdemeanors of Love

Starring Pierce Brosnan, Chris Cooper, Patricia Clarkson, and Rachel McAdams

Married Life is a stylish and well-acted film about love, marriage and happiness. Set in the late 40's/early 50's, director Ira Sachs examines the discontent, deception and morality within one couple's long-term union. Married Life has the feel of a chess match- slow and calculated, yet intriguing and suspenseful.

Harry (Chris Cooper) is an accomplished businessman who wants to leave his wife (Patricia Clarkson) for his younger mistress (Rachel McAdams). It's not sex that Harry is lacking in his marriage, it's the romance and intellectual connection he craves from his mistress.

Harry, for all intents and purposes is a "nice guy". Yes he's having an affair but he truly doesn't want to hurt his wife. The heart wants what the heart wants, and he'd rather kill her (poison her) than have her suffer from a broken heart. So it's settled, instead of asking for a divorce he decides to murder her.

Problem is, Harry introduces his mistress to his womanizing best friend (Pierce Brosnan), who instantly becomes smitten with the platinum beauty.

I really enjoyed this film and I thought that the performances we outstanding. Patricia Clarkson can do no wrong in my book! Chris Cooper is wonderful, and Pierce Brosnan continues to impress me with his savoir-faire.

Probably not for everyone, but definitely worthwhile for those cinephiles with distinguishing taste.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

My 5 favorite Lyle Lovett Albums

1. Joshua Judges Ruth /1992
favorite track - She's Leaving Me Because She Really Wants To

2. I Love Everybody /1994
favorite track (tie) - Skinny Legs & Creeps Like Me

3. Road to Ensenada /1996
favorite track - Christmas Morning

4. Lyle Lovett (self titled debut album) /1986
favorite track - Closing Time

5. Pontiac /1987
favorite track - Pontiac

"I drink to make other people more interesting."
-George Jean Nathan

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Abattoir Blues/The Lyre of Orpheus

Abattoir Blues/The Lyre of Orpheus was one of my favorite albums of 2004. Nick Cave has an impressive catalog of work and this double album is among his best.

Standout tracks include Abattoir Blues - "I woke up this morning with a frappucino in my hand" and Babe You Turn On - "I put one hand on your round ripe heart/And the other down your panties".

This album always reminds me of driving to and from Lafayette because that's when it really clicked with me.

"I wanted to be your Superman but I turned out such a jerk".
-Nick Cave

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Heaven Knows I'm Miserable Now

It's Thursday night (almost Friday morning), I'm sitting here drinking wine and listening to The Smiths. I'm tired... mentally and physically. This week feels like a failure, yet I've somehow survived and made it to Friday (and a long weekend).

A day off tomorrow will hopefully be the cure for what ails me. Some rest, relaxation, and accomplishing a few things on my to do list is on the agenda. I never get bored at home because there's so much to do- cooking, cleaning, laundry, home improvements, books to read, movies to watch, sports on TV, etc...

I've been self-loathing and invisible this week. I tend to think that lack of sleep, poor diet, procrastination, and no exercise has something to do with that... so there's no one to blame but myself.

Looking at the bright side I have a three day weekend and plenty of time to make up for lost time this past week... and hopefully get my head on straight.

Someone told me that they were envious of my life. It's hard to comprehend how anyone could be envious of me... but I guess we all want something. I am thankful despite myself, and I realize that things could be a lot worse.


"And if I seem a little strange, well that's because I am"
-(Unloveable) The Smiths

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Inner Poise

198 lbs (Fat ass!), glasses of wine 2, diet sodas 2, calories 4180 (approximately- must go on diet soon), positive thoughts 0

8:30 a.m. Smells like someone died in 1st floor bathroom.

10:00 a.m. I look at the clock and start to formulate lunch plans.

12:00 a.m. Lunch - Ran into a crazy women at the drug store. Finally bought some toiletries I've been needing.

1:15 p.m. Co-workers tells me about a film he saw over the weekend. Says Kate Bosworth is a babe.

2:00 p.m Want to do bodily harm to co-worker (not the one previously mentioned), must go for a walk to cool out.

8:00 p.m. Blogging when I should be doing homework. No self discipline.

P.S. You appear to have forgotten your skirt. Staff is expected to be fully dressed at all times.

"Stop being so neurotic and dreading things"
-Bridget Jones (Helen Fielding)