Saturday, March 28, 2009

Two Lovers - Movie Review

Two Lovers (R) 110 minutes B+
Two fine lovers & one man on the edge of a nervous breakdown

Starring Joaquin Phoenix, Gwyneth Paltrow, Vinessa Shaw, Isabella Rossellini, Elias Koteas, and Moni Moshonov

They say that beauty is only skin deep, but sometimes beauty can penetrate the soul and sabotage your heart. As addictive as any drug it can consume you and make you feel euphoric, and for vulnerable hearts it's even more potent.

Metaphorically, Leonard (Joaquin Phoenix) has a weak heart. Four or five months after a broken engagement with his fiancee he is suicidal and unstable. His condition and situation has forced him to move back into his childhood home under the watchful eye of his parents.

As the saying goes, love finds you when you least expect it. Suddenly, Leonard has not one but two fine lovers. Both are beautiful, yet one posses a kryptonite-type beauty that can bring a man to his knees. Leonard's dyslexic heart is no match against this kind of beauty, although (subconsciously) he hopes that her emotional instability will even-out the playing field and provide a common bond.

From a mile away we can see the colossal mistake he is about to make, but I found it hard to blame a heart that doesn't know any better. Choosing to ignore the path of least resistance and riding the wave of raw passion and emotion ultimately leads him to a detour rather than a dead end. Nothing ventured nothing gained, Leonard left no stone unturned and can now bask in the light of a true beauty without side affects.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Columnist Mark Kiszla

Mark Kiszla's article in today's Denver Post about Jay Cutler & Bus Cook has brought me to the conclusion that the Broncos should trade Jay Cutler. Kiszla made several key points and reminded us once again that although Cutler was a pro-bowler this past year, he is still 17-20. Brian Griese was a pro-bowler once and "favorably compared to Joe Montana by his coach" states Kiszla, but we all know that Griese is no franchise quarterback (although he is a solid and trustworthy backup).

McDaniels isn't innocent in all this either, but I have to put the majority of the blame on Cutler because this is a business. No quarterback in the NFL is untouchable unless your name is Ben Roethlisberger, Peyton Manning, or Tom Brady. Cutler has tons of potential and may go on to be a phenomenal NFL signal caller... but he could also be the best quarterback to never lead the Broncos anywhere.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Shuttle - Movie Review

Shuttle (R) 106 minutes C-
Shuttle derangement

Starring Tony Curran, Cullen Douglas, Cameron Goodman, Tom Kemp, Peyton List, Dave Power, James Ryan, James Snyder, Roy Souza

SPOILER ALERT! Because I know that most of you who read my blog have never heard of this film and will never see this film, I'm going to tell you the plot in a nutshell. A couple cute girls and a couple of douchebag dudes get on a shuttle and never make it home. The end.

Now, there's a lot of stuff that happens in between- yadayadayada. But ultimately it's your run-of-the-mill I Know What You Did Last Summer type of thriller with a little more suspense and a twist at the end that may or may not have something to do with sex slaves.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Sunshine Cleaning - Movie Review

Sunshine Cleaning (R) 102 minutes B-
Truth & Consequence in New Mexico

Starring Amy Adams, Emily Blunt, Alan Arkin, Steve Zahn, Mary Lynn Rajskub, Clifton Collins Jr., and Jason Spevack

In high school Rose Lorkowski (Amy Adams) was popular, pretty and most-likely-to succeed. Nowadays she is the mother of an 8 year-old named Oscar (Jason Spevack) and working as a maid to make ends meet.

When she finds herself assigned to clean the house of a former classmate, Rose realizes how far she has sunk. There's no baby daddy in the picture, she's having an affair with a married cop (Steve Zahn), and her son is having a difficult time fitting in at school.

Desperate for a life change... and cash, Rose enlists her sister Norah (Emily Blunt) to help her establish a lucrative crime scene/bio hazard clean up business. The sisters are naturally polar opposites with deep seeded mother issues, but the two manage to turn this odd career choice into a sister bonding/coming of age story.

It's no Little Miss Sunshine, but it's quirky and smart enough to be recommended viewing

Bonus DVD Review*************************************

Made of Honor (PG-13) 101 minutes C-
Silly but watchable

DVD Release date - September 16, 2008
Starring Patrick Dempsey, Michelle Monaghan, Kevin McKidd, Kathleen Quinlan, and Sydney Pollack

I've said it a million times - "I'm a sucker for romantic comedies". Of course I would prefer them to be better than this, but nevertheless, Made of Honor is a decent distraction on a Tuesday night when there's nothing else on television.

Patrick Dempsey is likable enough and Michelle Monaghan is cute enough to keep it interesting, despite it's predictability and asinine romantic comedy cliches (just tell her you love her already!).

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Wendy and Lucy - Movie Review

Wendy and Lucy (R) 80 minutes B-
On the road to nowhere

Starring Michelle Williams, Will Patton, Larry Fessenden, Will Oldham, Walter Dalton, and John Robinson

RW said it best after seeing Wendy and Lucy, she stated that "the film shows us another side of homelessness". Wendy is not the stereotypical homeless person, and in today's economic world she could be any of us following a string of bad luck.

This movie isn't about much and it's not for everyone, but it is the type of film that I wish more people would see because of its minimalist production and wealth of quiet emotion.

Wendy and Lucy is essentially the musical equivalent of a solo album for Michelle Williams. She's mesmerizing, and this may be her best work yet.

A Case For Getting Lucky

Neko Case - Middle Cyclone B

The latest from Neko is not without the expectations... especially since Diddlefinger, who always gets advanced copies of all the dope sh*t claims that Middle Cyclone is among Neko's best work. I wondered, can she top my personal favorite, Furnace Room Lullaby- an album so tragically beautiful it makes me want to drive all night to an uncertain destination with a hopeful conclusion...

Cyclone lives up to expectations, and it occurs to me during my initial listening that Neko Case and PJ Harvey have a lot in common. Their music posses a certain feminine mystic that is extremely intriguing, borderline creepy, and intensely sensual, heartfelt and sexy.

One thing I have to admit about Neko Case albums is that their slow burns. I can usually tell right away whether or not I like them, but I never know if I like them-like them until that introspective night when I'm sitting in my room with an open mind, thinking about sh*t yet not thinking about sh*t, my mind is a void of regurgitated thought, I feel creative and open to creation, when all of sudden it hits me - "my mood to burn bridges parallels my mood to dig ditches".
-Favorite track - Magpie to the Morning

Chris Isaak - Mr. Lucky B
California's finest crooner is still blue

I read once that you always know what you're going to get with a Chris Isaak record, and to a certain extinct that's true. But no matter how similar each new album may or may not be I love them all the same. His lonesome, unlucky-in-love persona never gets old to me.

When you look and sound like Isaak, you'd think that women are throwing panties at him every night on tour... and maybe they are. But something in his baritone and his lyrics leads me to believe that underneath the movie star good looks and his playful personality is a pensive soul still searching for that ultimate T-shirt girl.
-Favorite track - You Don't Cry Like I Do

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Klosterman & Fatsis Book Reviews

Chuck Klosterman - IV: A Decade of Curious People and Dangerous Ideas A-

Klosterman is the king of pop (culture). He's the Jerry Seinfield of authors; funny, witty, and knows a lot about nothing. Yet, he makes any room smarter as soon as he walks through the door. Klosterman is the only writer I know who can write intriguingly about the drools of pop culture- i.e. trashy reality television, 80's hair bands, women falling from the sky, etc... and still make it sound vitally important.

Stefan Fatsis - A Few Seconds of Panic: A 5-Foot-8, 170-Pound, 43-Year-Old Sportswriter Plays in the NFL B+

I bought this book for a couple of good friends and fellow Bronco fans. I never like forcing a read on anyone, but despite the slow start A Few Seconds of Panic is very very rewarding. I really felt like I gained insight into the business of football the pressure of surviving a NFL training camp. I will never look at training camp the same again. Especially for those second and third tier players struggling to make the team and/or have bounced around from team to team.

I tend to think that football players are filthy rich and I don't need to feel sorry for them. But their not super human, and for some of these players making the squad (preseason) is the difference between a six figure paycheck and a $15 an hour job at Walmart (or in the most recently publicized case- working at a cell phone store at the Aurora Mall).

This is a must read for any Bronco fan!

In Dreams

In dreams I've heard that people, animals, and objects often symbolize other people, animals, and objects. Last night I dreamt that I had a rambunctious and beautiful young daughter. One morning as I was getting dressed for work I discovered that she had urinated on the floor next to the toilet. This worried me because 1.) she was 4 or 5 years old and knew how to use the potty, 2.) it was a sign that she was sick and could die, 3.) I was worried it would ruin the colorful (red, brown, and green) astro turf we had in our bathroom.

I loved my daughter (who doesn't have a name) dearly. Once I discover the pee, I confronted her and she immediately began urinating all over the house and all over herself. I pick her up and rushed her off to another bathroom in the house. She was peeing uncontrollably and laughing... yet almost crying. You would think that the pee is toxic by the way I'm reacting to it. I desperately didn't want to get any on my clothes because I feared that the smell and stain would be permanent.

I stood her up in the bathtub, fully clothed and turned on the water. She was afraid and upset at first but then reconsiders- "it's play time!" she smiled a crocked smile. I made the water bubbly with baby bubble bath. She sits, she stands, she splashes, she squirts soap into her hands and tries to eat it (note- in my dreams people often change faces, appearances, and age. In this case my daughter is all of a sudden younger and chubbier).

At this moment, I realized how much I love my daughter and how much I didn't want to be without her. So I say to her as the tears crept from my eyes, "I don't want you to be sick, I don't want you to pee on the floor, is there anything I could do to help you stop?" Then I remembered that I needed to call work and tell them I would be late.

When I awoke from this dream, my cat was crawling on my chest, starring me dead in the face. Almost immediately I realized that my daughter in the dream symbolized Monty (my old, chubby, rambunctious cat). Fortunately, Monty has never urinated outside his litter box, but when/if he does urinate somewhere other than his box I worry that it could signify the beginning of the end.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

The week that was

Rocky Mountain News - Goodbye RMN, I've always preferred your format and layout over the Post. As a writer and possible journalist someday, it saddens me that one of the most important pieces of the journalistic community is unsaveable. Furthermore, it sucks that newspapers in general seem to be dying breed.

The Broncos and free agency
- Holy Crap! I never thought that they would seriously consider trading Jay Cutler. I'm not sure if he'll ever be an elite QB, but the kid is talented as hell. The new coach really f*cked up on this one when he failed to make the trade for his boy, Matt Cassel. Now Cutler is pissed and I fear that this could spill over into the locker room if McDaniels doesn't somehow right this wrong. Granted, their professionals and trade rumors/offers are apart of the business, but now a seed of doubt has been planted.
At least they signed Brian Dawkins who hopefully has a little left in the tank after 13 NFL seasons. I suppose he will be a good mentor for the newbies if nothing else.

- Yeah, I joined... I figured it's another avenue for pimping my My Gray Morning.

Ugly Bat Boy
(pictured above) - The latest gangling, repugnant pet to grab headlines... I hope he's getting extra treats for dealing with all this ridicule.