Saturday, August 30, 2008


- Watched the making of Alien on the  Alien Quadrilogy DVD. Interesting, it’s pointed out that besides the look of Kubrick and his 2001, the biggest influence on Ridley Scott was The Texas Chainsaw Massacre.

- Caught First Blood (1982) on TV one morning. I always enjoyed that flick (and despised the sequels). This time seeing it, I was less impressed with the supporting actors performances (a little melodramatic and too much yelling) and the editing had some questionable cuts. But let me give a shout-out to Jerry Goldsmith’s terrific score. He’s of course has had a distinguished career, but I’d put the First Blood score up there with his definite classics The Oman and L.A. Confidential.

- Hey Casting Directors.  I understand that I’ve been blackballed from the industry for my ahead-of-my-time acting style (and my left of Marxism politics). 

But CDs you should take note of this dude,,, he shoulda been in Ironman or something....

I rewatched the first season of HBO’s epic crime masterpiece The Wire.

Okay. Fine. The TV awards are bullshit. I guess The Wire has never been up for best show. Fine it’s official, the Emmys are a joke. But rewatching season one, boy was I blown away by the performance of Larry Gillard Jr. I mean, of course any rational voter could fill up their acting award nomination cards with the entire cast. But I was especially impacted by Gillard’s work as D'Angelo (Dee) Barksdale. His pent up pain and self-torture from being the one dealer with a conscious is so multidimensional. The  scene where he explains the rules of Chess and later when he gives up his family are so powerful. (I also recall, later in the series in prison a scene where he explains the meaning of the Great Gatsby as being very moving).

- I've been watching lots of James Bond flicks on TV. 

One major issue I have. I'm convinced that I could beat-up Roger Moore if I had too. Really. I'm no Ali, but look at the guy.

Live And Let Die has the best opening song. The Spy Who Loved Me's is good too ("Nobody Does It Better"). 

I kinda like the Octopussy song "All Time High" by Rita Coolidge (hey, didn't she direct Rambling Rose and Valley Girl?). 

A View To A Kill may be one of the worse Bond flicks, but I'll give a shout-out to that tune as well.

- Watching what seemed like a rational little episode of  Naked Science on The National Geographic Channel... I’m officially convinced, and this is hard to declare... I no longer believe in the existence of the Loch Ness Monster (or Nessie to her friends). Shit! I’m still hoping for some hard-core National Geographic evidence for the existence of The Yeti ( I gave up on his American 'cuz, Big Foot at least two years ago).

- I rewatched Finding Neverland. I think I lost weight in my face from balling my eyes out and blowing pounds of snot into tissues. I'm gonna right another post about how much I love Kate Winslet. I hate to say this about someone so early in their career, but she is at the least in my top five favorite actresses of all time (let's see, Bette Davis, Shelly Winters. Maybe Streep, Mirren, and I don't know, Gloria Grahame? I'm forgetting a buncha fine actresses).

- Speaking of Dame Mirren, I was really looking forward to finally catching the Stephen Fears flick The Deal which The Queen was more or less a sequel to. First airing on British TV in 2003, it tells the story of the dandy Tony Blair and his rise to Prime Minister (well played by Michael Sheen who would reprise the role in The Queen) and the toll it took on his political partnership with (the current British PM) Gordon the Gump Brown. Though enjoyable, not as riveting as the Helen Mirren flick. 

- Speaking of politics, lemme give a shout-out to Obama's amazing speech on the final night of that reality show called The Democratic Convention.  

It was kinda a cross between Charles Foster Kane’s “My first official act as Governor will be to appoint a Special District Attorney to arrange for the indictment, prosecution, and conviction of Boss Jim W. Gettys” speech and MLK’s “I have a dream” speech. 

I thought Al Gore managing to compare Obama to another first term Jr Senator from Illinois, Mister Abe 'no mustache'Lincoln himslf, was very cleaver. 

And I find it almost offensive that these drones who were Hillary Clinton supporters, now may vote for McCain because he has used the cute gimmick of adding the sassy Sarah Palin to his ticket. If these voters actually believed in Hillary because of her stance on the issues, Palin is the poller opposite on most, veering extreme to the right. If say they thought Hillary brought more ‘experience” to the job then Obama does, well Palin brings none.        

However, if they were only voting for Clinton because  she is a woman...and now they want Palin to get elected because she also has a vagina, well that’s just as bad as the goons who said they would never vote for Hillary because she’s a woman.

- Speaking of vagina, um, um, um... I got nothing to add. 

Um, maybe a shout-out to vaginas, to all sexual and urinary organs. You rock!

- How about this: saw for the first time the strange Brit-flick, The Prime Of Miss Jean Brodie, excellent. This 1969 flick about a charismatic teacher at an all girls school, shocked me.

Where I was expecting some uplifting 'teacher who inspires' drivel, in the To Sir, With Love or Dead Poets Society mold, this is closer to perhaps Notes on a Scandal

The untraditional teacher in question, Miss Broadie, brilliantly played by Maggie Smith, may be ‘inspirational’, but she’s also a twisted, manipulative, borderline-insane, fascist wannabe, who even tries to coax one of her “girls” into banging a male teacher (her own ex-lover she is trying to unload). Fascinating stuff.

And hey, I don't mean to say that all “inspirational teacher” flicks are lame (though 90% are horrible). I do love Martin Ritt’s whitey in blackville movie Conrack (only on VHS so pretty much only available at Rocket Video) and I’d give a shout-out to The Paper Chase, Blackboard Jungle (and it’s remake The Class of 1984), Election and Groucho Marx in Horse Feathers.

- I saw and loved Wall-E. Sadly for me, I could really relate to the little robot (much more then I could relate to, say, The Dark Knight). And for the first hour or so I forgot it was even an animated film, it looked so cool.

Also I enjoyed the corny live stage show, “Disney's Flight of Fantasy” that the over priced El Capitan Theater offers before each screening. With a shout-out to the confetti bombs and that one dancer, very attractive, I think she played The Little Mermaid.

- British director  Neil Marshall, after making two memorable B-movies Dog Soldiers and The Descent,  took ten steps backwards with the disappointing nightmare of a mess Doomsday. Which is more or less a hodgepodge of Escape From New York / The Road Warrior / Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome / Streets Of Fire / District 13Knightriders & The Sword and the Sorcerer and that was just in the first half that I sat through.

- Rewatched a great movies: Outlaw Josey Wales. Easily Clint Eastwood's best work as a director.

- Lastly, a shout-out to the cult British show Spaced that finally made it to DVD. It's wonderful. And better then any American TV comedy in decades (with Arrested Development being the exception). A must. I’ll leave it as that, readers in-the-know will know what I’m talking about.

- sweeneyrules

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