Archive for October, 2008


five things. 10.31.08

1. The Visitor –

“I sound a lot better when he’s playing with me.”

The Visitor is a lovely film. It does a great job, among other things, holding on to both tragedy and hope, which is beautiful because in life, one is never absent of the other. The film had the unforced subtlety and nuance of life, and before I knew it I fell in love with the characters and found myself wanting the story to continue on after it ended (much like writer/director Thomas McCarthy’s other film The Station Agent, which has received the official Scott Small seal of approval in the past).

I came away from the film with the reminder that, at the risk of sounding cheesy, we are the music in each others lives. While allowing others into our lives may open us up to the pain of loss and heartache, we aren’t really living if our days aren’t filled with the rhythm of community and family.

So, as is obvious from it being included in this week’s five things, I highly recommend checking out The Visitor if you haven’t already.

2. Entertaining, Informative, and Important: This article over at The Urban Frontiersman is both timely and important. Sure, most people use those words to refer to the election these days, but you won’t be voting if you are either A. Zombie Food, or B. under arrest for shooting a child. Being informed is the best way to deal with the COUP.

3. Pushing Daisies – It seems like Halloween is as good a day as any to talk about my favorite show, Pushing Daisies. It has everything I might look for in a show. It’s hugely imaginative and fantastic, it’s got wonderful, clever, fast paced dialogue, it never takes it self too seriously, it’s beautiful on a purely asthetic level, and there’s even singing.

For those who haven’t seen the show, it’s about a pie maker named Ned, who has the power to bring dead things back to life with a touch. However, there are two important parts to his power, one, is that if he touches the dead, now alive, thing again it goes back to being dead, this time forever. And two, if he doesn’t make the dead, now alive, thing dead again in one minute, something else has to die in its place. That’s the basic gist, but there is much more than that which I will allow those of you who watch it for yourself to discover on your own.

The show is on Wednesdays at 8:00 Eastern, and everyone should check it out. If the show doesn’t make you A. happy, and B. want to eat pie, then you can hold me personally responsible.

4. Christmas Break – It’s the end of October, which means I’m just that much closer to Christmas break. There are so many reasons to look forward to the upcoming holiday for me.

For one, I get to fly east to see family. Two, I get to see four of my favorite people on the planet, the Kazee family. Three, I finally get a break from school, something I haven’t gotten in a long time thanks to Hebrew going all summer long, and FF&J taking place during reading week.

I think I’ll put up the Christmas tree when I get home today, just to celebrate how great it will be when mid-December finally gets here!

5. Offseason Baseball – When it comes to people who enjoy baseball, there are two types: the baseball fan, and the baseball nerd.

For baseball fans, there is probably a sadness as the season ends, meaning they have to wait for next year to enjoy more game action.

For the baseball nerd, there is a giddy excitement as the season ends because baseball nerds enjoy the offseason just as much as, and at times maybe even a little more than, the regular season.

In case you couldn’t tell, I fall into the second category. The idea of this offseason’s free agent signings, and trades, and winter meetings, and preparation for next season makes it that much easier to enjoy my favorite sport all year long. Where will Sabathia land? Will Peavy get traded? Who will sign Teixeira? Will anyone meet Manny’s absurd demands?

Mmmmm, the nerdy goodness is like cold Coke on a hot summer day.



I can’t do all this writing about great music videos, and then let Halloween pass without linking to one of the greatest music videos of all time. It’s also a remarkably well constructed pop song, what pop could be if it was made with imagination and talent, instead of, you know, crap.


crappy reality tv killed the video star. [clip of the week. 10.29.08]

You know what I miss? When Mtv and VH1 actually showed music videos. Sure, it might be unreasonable for me to expect channels called Music Television and Video Hits 1 to play music videos, but I expect it nonetheless. Instead, these channels now show copious amounts of absolutely dreadful reality television. In the case of VH1, even stopping on one of their shows for more than 3.67 seconds makes me sad that I was born a human being instead of a monkey, or perhaps even a flying squirrel.

I have a suspicion that if we ever experience the zombie apocalypse Waldo talks so much about, reality television might have something to do with it. Perhaps, if we wait too long to stand up against reality television, especially the Mtv/VH1 variety, the dead will rise up in our place, all the while feeding on the brains we’ve obviously stopped using. It actually makes the zombies seem pretty reasonable, I mean, if we aren’t going to use it we might as well let a zombie get some lunch rather than letting a perfectly good brain go to waste.

But, like I was saying, I miss when I could make Mtv a part of my regular channel surfing rotation in the hopes that every once in a while I might come across a video that stands out from the trash that most music videos were. Remember those videos that were clever, or entertaining, or somehow made a great song even better? Well, I’m bringing them back, baby!

I’ve decided that for the foreseeable future, clip of the week will return for the sole purpose of sharing my favorite music videos with all of you out there in internet land. In light of this, use the comments to share with me what some of your favorite music videos are, perhaps I’ll include them in a future post. My selfish hope is also that in your suggestions I might just find a treasure I’ve yet been unexposed to.

This week, I’m starting with The Next Movement, by The Roots. The reason this video goes first is that it was when I relented to my hankering to watch this wonderful little video that I remembered how great some music videos actually are. If you haven’t seen it before, you should really take the four minutes to watch. If you can make it through the whole video and not be overwhelmed with affection for ?uestlove then there might be something wrong with your heart, and zombies may very well make it an afterbrain snack in the near future. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Sadly, embedding isn’t working for the video, so you have to go here.


trailer park tuesday. 10.28.08

Yesterday I was recovering from FF&J (which was awesome by the way) and working on my Greek midterm instead of blogging. Thus, I need to get a post in today and tomorrow to make up for it. In addition to making the extra post, I will also include some extra trailers this week as an little added restitution. That being said, that might mean that the trailers might not be as new, and/or good. We’ll see.

Seven Pounds:

“It’s time.”

Who’s In It?: Will Smith, Rosario Dawson, Woody Harrelson, Barry Pepper, Michael Ealy

What is it?: A man who made a tragic mistake in the past resolves to change the lives of seven strangers.  

Why I’m Interested: I’ve already seen this one in an advanced screening, and already mentioned it in a previous five things. I loved the movie, so I am glad the trailer is finally available to share here on trailer park tuesday.

Watchmen: (newest trailer) **this is not the older trailer from over the summer, it’s new**

“God help us all.”

Who’s In It?: Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Malin Akerman, Patrick Wilson, Jackie Earle Haley, Billy Crudup and Matthew Goode

What is it?: Without any hyperbole, the most acclaimed, most influential graphic novel of all time gets the movie treatment.

Why I’m Interested: Holy shit, I can’t wait for this movie.

To watch with the necessary quality, you have to click this link.

Let The Right One In:

“Will you be my girlfriend?”

Who’s In It?: Kåre Hedebrant, Lina Leandersson

What is it?: A lonely young boy befriends a young girl who just so happens to be a vampire, adolescent romance and horrifying carnage ensue.

Why I’m Interested: The trailer looks like a sigur rós video gone horribly, horribly, horribly wrong. This figures to be a deeply disturbing film.

The trailers for Twilight look to me like that film will be a lackluster adaptation of, from what I hear, are actually good books. Let The Right One In looks like it will engage fairly similar ground, the relationship between a vampire and a human, albeit a higher quality engagement of a very different tone to be sure.

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button:

“We’re almost the same age. We’re meeting in the middle.”

Who’s In It?: Brad Pitt, Cate Blanchett, Taraji P. Henson, Tilda Swinton, Julia Ormond,

What is it?: Brad Pitt is Benjamin Button, born an old man, and aging backwards throughout his life. 

Why I’m Interested: A strong cast, the potential for some good storytelling, and what looks to be wonderful amount of imagination is enough to get me to the theater. We’ll have to see whether or not they deliver on the potential.


“Steven Seagal?!?”

“He promised he’d cut off his ponytail.”

Who’s In It?: Jean-Claude Van Damme (yes, you read that right)

What is it?: Jean-Claude Van Damme plays himself, down on his luck, and thus deciding to take hostages at a bank.

Why I’m Interested: Early buzz from those who’ve seen it is that it is actually really good. That leaves me pretty damn curious about the prospect of a guy who was always really more of a joke legitimizing himself by playing himself as, well, a joke.

Gran Torino:

“What was it like to kill a man.”

“You don’t want to know.”

Who’s In It?: Clint Eastwood

What is it?: Clint Eastwood stars as an old man who turns into a vigilante to protect two teens. The result is him going all Dirty Harry on an local gang. 

Why I’m Interested: To be honest, a large part of why I’m curious is because I don’t know what the hell to do with this trailer. Clint Eastwood is a brilliant filmmaker, as looks to be evidenced in his most recent directorial effort, currently in theaters, The Changeling. So, I don’t know how to wrap my brain around what looks like his move into a fairly formulaic vigilante film. Perhaps the trailer doesn’t do a very good job of indicating that this will perhaps engage vigilante films the way Unforgiven engaged westerns. I’m not really excited, and with Clint Eastwood involved, that confuses me.


still too busy.

Today and tomorrow is still too busy with airport pickups and film festival responsibilities to get too much blogging time. Alas, another lame post where I say nothing at all. Next week will be back to normal though.

Is anyone actually dressing up this Halloween? I’m not, but I was wondering what I might have gone as if I were to dress up. I bet among the adult set there will be a lot of Jokers and Sarah Palins at costume parties this Halloween. What are you going to be this year, or if you aren’t going to be anything, what would you be?

Maybe I would have gone as Rorschach or the Comedian from Watchmen to get a jump on next year’s popular costume.



Anyone want to take my Greek midterm for me? Every time I sit down to look at it to get started I just stare at it for a few minutes, realize I don’t have the motivation to get started, and give up to go read a book. Fortunately, even though I have FF&J all weekend, the test isn’t due until Wednesday, so I’ve got plenty of time left to continue procrastinating.

Can you all believe it’s almost Halloween? Emily and I bought a ton of Halloween candy even though we don’t get trick-or-treaters because our house is a basement apartment with a door in the back. Sadly, that means we won’t see a bunch of cute little kids in costumes, but the good news is that there is much more candy for us. We’ll be eating plenty of miniature or “fun sized” Milky Way, Crunch, Snickers, Twix, Butterfinger and Junior Mints, along with some autumn colored M&M’s for good measure. Mmmmmm. Speaking of which, why are smaller candy bars often referred to as “fun sized”? What the hell is so fun about a smaller candy bar? You know what would be fun? Giving me the rest of my damn candy bar!

What is everyone’s favorite candy bar? Mine changes all the time, but growing up it was Crunch bars… tasty, tasty Crunch bars. Simple, yet wonderful.



Today is one of those days when no amount of espresso will chase the tiredness from my bones. Then again, I seem to have those days more often than not. It’s reading week, which is meant to be my first break in a while, but alas, that won’t happen because this is also the week that The Other Journal is putting on our Film, Faith and Justice Festival. It should be great, but it interferes with a much needed week off nonetheless.

If any of you live in the Seattle area, you should give serious though to coming to said film festival. It should be well worth the price of admission. It’s Thursday through Saturday of this week and features eight films from the Human Rights Watch Traveling Film Festival, lectures from Chris Heuertz, Eugene McCarraher, Rita Nakashima Brock and J. Kameron Carter, and panel discussions including the lecturers. Check it out.

Anyone out there in internet land have any idea what I should do for a living? I’ve been feeling a bit of anxiety lately surrounding the reality that I have no clue what I might do when I’m done with school… I suppose that’s the lot of a chronically sick man with no particular talents or gifts to hang his hat on. Ugh! Too bad I don’t believe in psychics or palm-readers because the gift of vision would certainly come in handy right now.

Eh, I suppose that’s about all for today. I hope everyone is having a lovely Monday.

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