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By And By

Posted : 6 years, 3 months ago on 15 April 2012 01:29 (A review of Pride and Prejudice)

This was a very good movie.

The characters were good, and the cast was good. It's worth watching more than once, to notice things, but it's not the sort of thing that lends itself to obsession, either, I think. It's faithful to the speech and spirit of the period, without leaving any reasonable grounds open for tasteless Yankee jokes about the British...it actually makes the Dread Saxons (Mr. Darcy!) quite human. Elizabeth's spirit is shown, without trying to make excuse or 'apology' for her, (or anyone's), human foibles....Keira Knightley does a fine job. And, not least, it makes the story easy to follow, and makes it easy to remember things about the Jane Austen novel that I, like many others, I'm sure, half-read, once upon a time.

And it's a beautiful love story.


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Posted : 6 years, 3 months ago on 9 April 2012 06:37 (A review of Bend It Like Beckham)

It's about soccer, and it's a pretty European film, complete with: oooo, those dastardly Americans!/I should have gone to America to make money, boo-hoo.

The Indian-immigrant angle is interesting too, especially the one line from Keira Knightley's mom (the elderly white-British matron) who basically cooes at her daughter's Indian friend, saying, in effect: it's *so* good that you young Indian girls keep your heads down and do what you're told, and, ah! look at me! I'm *terribly* enlightened. That said, many of the people in the girl's family are about as ugly to her.

Although, there is truth in the one thing they said: those girls really *do* look like boys, when they have their heads shaved so they can play soccer or whatever. *shrugs* I have my own opinions about things, but personally, I'm more of a tennis guy. Some sports, to me, are a little ugly, and soccer is almost as ugly as basketball, and basketball and soccer are almost as ugly as boxing...almost. (Unlike tennis, where Caroline Wozniacki can play in that cute little frilly dress of hers, and I'll root for her over Shriek-a-pova any day of the week.)

Anyway, it was a decent movie, but if I were to watch it again, I'd be more interested in the girl who gets married. ("Excuse me (bitch), but this just happens to be my wedding day.") That's a better way for someone like me to be part of the story....I mean, I kinda liked that it was about girls, but there's more romantic things in the world than Mr. crippled-boy-girls-soccer-coach.

Too dramatic. Not terrible, but too dramatic.

And: N.B. Properly speaking, "football" refers to *gridiron*. Foreigner football is *not* the same. And yes, even though my country has accepted warm bodies and cultural influences from every country under the sun, much to our credit, thank you very much, we *are* allowed to be *unique* every once in awhile, thanks.


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Re: Thao, AKA Toad (Oh, la-la-la, didy-da....)

Posted : 6 years, 3 months ago on 9 April 2012 05:59 (A review of Gran Torino)

Asian girl: And you're a better man to him than our own father was. You're a good man.

Clint Eastwood: I'm not a good man. Get me another beer, Dragon Lady. This one's empty.

This is one of those hard, gritty, don't-watch-it-if-you're-a-soft-white-intellectual-or-a-Lutheran-minister kind of thing.


Although, now that Clint isn't my neighbor anymore....

I actually rather blame him for almost all of.... some of the things, at least.

He's just that damn impolite.

And that's not even to say that this rough man, who obviously does not lack courage, has any lack of honesty and realism, and even good will.

But think of how he would come off in *Seinfeld*.

Or even....

"Now John at the bar is a friend of mine; he gets me my drinks for free; and he's quick with a joke, or a light of your smoke, but there's someplace that he'd rather be." And who's that? John isn't Clint, although perhaps a few words might pass between them....

{"And the piano sounds like a carnaval, and microphone smells like a beer, and they sit at the bar, and put bread in my jar, and say, 'Man, what are you doin' here?' "}

"Now Paul is a real estate novelist, who never had time for a wife, and he's talking with Davy, who's still in the Navy, and probably will be for life." *Who never had time for a wife*.... *still in the Navy, and probably will be for life*.... Behold the man!

Honestly, sometimes I have to look at myself, and the ideals that have touched me, and actually just ask myself, what I'm holding up.

But, again.... It is what it is, but there is some good in it....

And it sure as fuck isn't fake.


Now Tom comes from a strange little family
On the tougher end of this town
And he talks with this old man who growls at him
Though he's not ever once let him down

Oh, la-la-la, didy-da, (why do you folks do *this*, to *me*?)


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One Last Joke For Gramps

Posted : 6 years, 3 months ago on 4 April 2012 05:17 (A review of Death at a Funeral (2010))

N.B. When I was watching this, I didn't actually realize that it was a bastardized (black!) American remake of something superior and British. I mean, I realized that it was a black family...you know how you say "flesh and blood" for "family", well....

Anyway, all I can do is say thank you to all our black brethren out there, for letting the euro-trash and British brats know that if they wanna make fun of America, they're gonna hafta make fun of the black man too. (And the black man can do that better himself anyway, and get monies for it, lolz.)

The film was the sort that I got invited to watch by a (then) relative, and it was the sort of movie I watched without being especially regretful or thankful. Uncle Russel (Danny Glover) was kinda awesome, and I liked the little romance plots and sub-plots that got in there....although I gotta tell ya that that dwarf guy freaked me out a little.

And, uh, I learned something too. That's right, 'I learned something today, you guys'. (Or however it goes.) *bites lip* I uh, I learned....

"My grandfather was a great man!"

P.S. My own gramps passed away, somewhat recently...probably within the last year or two. But that gives me no special insight into the film, for no particular reason. What are you gonna do. All I can say is that it makes me look back at the wise-at-the-time platitudes with a twinge of regret.

Anyway, maybe when I croak, they won't tell me I was a great man unless they actually mean it. Lawlhey, just sayin'.


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OMG!That Was Like, Four Hours!

Posted : 6 years, 3 months ago on 3 April 2012 05:59 (A review of Appaloosa (2008))

I went to go see this movie awhile ago in theatres with my brother and his friend. (My brother invited me.)

When it was over, it started at 8 or something, my brother's friend wanted to check the time--OMG! It must be like midnight or something! And in fact, the movie was only about an hour and a half or something, but I understood what he meant. It felt like a very long movie: probably because it was about to be over four to six times, but always kept going.

I don't think it was a bad movie. I think all three of the main actors (the man, his friend, and his girl) put in very respectable performances. Even the plot was decent, certainly believable, sure. But it was really a very average movie.

And I suppose it was also, as well, my only big exposure to the 'Western' genre since I read 'Shane' in 7th grade. Where I had been, 'Western' meant--Plato to NATO-- and all that bullshit: I actually think that the horseshit-and-gunsmoke type of Western to be somewhat less retarded. And this one, indeed, succeeded in being quite okay.

But I also feel as if no further exposure to the genre is required: I think I've mastered all the main features of it, thanks.

After all, I suppose I might have been a 'Western' junkie instead of a 'sci-fi' junkie, but I don't think I'd even do that, given the chance. (Gunsmoke Western vs. Civil War Buff vs. American Victorian...the failures are endless....)

Now I just want comedies. As Novak Djokovic said, "I'm always hoping for comedies."

N.B. And this is, like, four months later: I just realized that, as a "Western" this movie is actually *historical*.... And I like reorganizing things when necessary, and dispensing with tags that are nonsensical-- my favorite example is probably how people tag "Stargate" with "Teal'c", a character who appears only on that show.... Yeah-- whatever is absolutely unique to one, is of little help in forming *groups*, you know.... Tags, unlike reviews, are meant to be repeated many times, and to be *identical*.... And, just in general, I like to shake things up when necessary-- yesterday I had to create "Action" as a subdivision of "Drama" after all, (Drama: Action), because I realized that, if I was going to give "The Help" a classification, it would *have* to be light drama, but then, I couldn't quite keep "Indiana Jones" and "Oceans Eleven" in the same space, so I had to make "action" a category to put the one in, and shuttled the other off to "crime", which now is longer *just* gritty crime....

"Shakespeare" is also a stupid tag, isn't it? I mean, "Hamlet" is pretty cool, but the way that people talk about Shakespeare is absurd.... I mean, "Henry V" is historical drama-- like Appaloosa!-- and not necessary any better than average, *really*.... Not necessarily better than Appaloosa! So I guess that Hamlet is "tragedy"; I'll have to make that tag for it, and then think if I've seen others.... I'm not sure that "classic" movies would work, even though I do have to admit that there's "world lit", but movies are younger than Shakespeare and Tolstoy, that's the whole point.... and "Birth of a Nation" would be historical: war, there's not really much there that's similar to "Hamlet"....

The way that academics talk about Shakespeare is absurd-- at first they're almost sensible: drama, comedy, historical, (ignoring, of course, how silly it is to go-- Shakespeare: Drama, with "Hamlet", instead of "Drama: Tragedy", or Shakespeare: Historical, with "Henry V", instead of "Historical: War"....) but then they completely lose their minds, and just free-stylin', free association-- the "problem plays", the "late romances", *as though this meant something*.... But any play can be a problem-- what can be difficult? Anything! And anything can be romantic-- George Clooney can be romantic, even after he's shot his girlfriend in the back of the head five minutes into the movie-- what can be romantic? Anyt-- well, almost. You know I mean though. And "late"-- as opposed to "early"? But it's not "late romance" and "early...." it's "late romance" and "problem plays"-- not "drama" and "comedy", but "drama" and "spaceships", you see? It's just free association-- "Stargate", and "Teal'c".... *And, of course, trying to historicize literature is a great way to be a loser and an asshole*-- and, ironically, those sorts never seem to go in for 'historical fiction', since it's not NYTimes-y enough for them-- ha! (And, it's funny, *nobody* in Was--, uh, Hollywood is a small-town conservative: which makes perfect sense: Hollywood is not a small town. Most people there are *social* liberals, (like Steve Carell), at least, and cosmopolitan, of course-- just like everyone from Poland is Polish, basically, you see? But not everybody from Hollywood is a political doofus and a UNGovenor of Syriana, like George Clooney and Angelina Jolie....) And, I mean, classifying Shakespeare plays by date and Greek plays by date and then classifying them together because you do both of them by date....



Anyway, Ed Harris can make decent drama, just like Billy Shakey, and the fact that they didn't have Ed Harris-- or Tom Cruise, or whoever-- back in 1600 or thereabouts, bothers me not at all.

And, you know, one of the big differences between 1882-- the events of this movie-- and 2008-- the filming of this movie-- is, of course, movies. That is to say: less Shakespeare, more Ed Harris. ;)


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Frozen In Time

Posted : 6 years, 3 months ago on 30 March 2012 01:33 (A review of Luck)

My mom really likes this show; she works at Monmouth Park, where they have horse races.

I didn't really like it.

I think, for better or for worse, part of it has to do with my opinion of the sport...there was a time when British aristocrats used to play tennis (and golf) and watch horse races. So they all had this crusty layer, of British aristocratic Victorian-ness. But tennis has grown up; I like tennis. The sport is very modern and international, and it has a certain charm of itself, too.

Golf I don't really know much about, but it obviously has certain requirements that tennis doesn't have. Like horse racing. And, from my own limited knowledge, horse racing still seems to have a lot of that baggage from the past, and sometimes it seems to represent the worst that the past has to offer. There does seem to be this layer of British aristocrats hidden away somewhere, stubbornly, smugly, ensconced where they don't really belong, and sneering at everyone 'below' them. Alot of the rest of it, its more American side, seems to me to be a sort of sleazy rendition of 20s culture, and the jockey uniforms, especially seem to give off that vibe...those uniforms, frozen in time.

But for all it's variety, all of it seems to represent a very dark side of sports, from my point of view. Which is why the sort of gangsterism which the show portrays as existing seems very real to me. And, although Tony Soprano doesn't seem very noble to me, some of these guys seem to be a half-step down from that rather low vantage point of his.

And, although the show itself can't be blamed for much of this, I honestly didn't much care for the characters who I think I was 'supposed' to like. Escalante, for example, isn't *quite* thuggish, but he's very brusque, sometimes mean, and never exactly outstandingly kind.

It's funny though, because his character represents one of the ironies of the sport (and the show), it's flooded with Mexicans, and yet, it is, despite that, a little subculture frozen in time, with lots of old men and gangsters, rigidity and, perhaps, paternalism.

And, just, coldness: you can like horses that win, but not people. (There's actually a line from Angela's Ashes that goes, You can like God and babies and horses that win, but anything else is a softness in the head.)

It's frozen in time. And when I looked into that ice, I didn't want to smile. I wanted it to thaw.


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Doug 'Funny'

Posted : 6 years, 4 months ago on 10 March 2012 10:16 (A review of Doug (1991-1994))

It's been awhile since I've seen this show, so maybe what I'm about to say is not objective, or something. But from what I remember, I'm thinking..

I'm thinking Doug was an introverted loser.

That's right, the hippie snobs were out to get me, even from my earliest days on earth.

Or, as Doug's father, Atticus Finch, said, "Show me a 'man' who's such a wimp, that he can't resort to violence, or play football, or any other sport, or hang out with girls, or act with even a minimum of social ease and skill in even the most simple social situation, and I'll show you a boy who hasn't got any good ideas." Although, actually, the way he said it was a little different.

And the neighbor was this old freak, and he was supposed to be funny, but let me explain something to you: old freaks are not funny. Old freaks are the devil. They should not be on comedies...maybe horror movies, but that's it. Seriously, though, you have this crazy old man, and he's always making retarded jokes at you or insulting you, and driving by you in his yacht, and cursing you out as he splashes mud on you, and telling you you're not moral the way he is because you're some young shit...


I mean, I thought it was okay at the time, but mostly because the only thing I had to compare it to were the kiddie nature documentaries about the wombats of Australia or whatever, which I watched obsessively.


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iLike it

Posted : 6 years, 4 months ago on 1 March 2012 12:03 (A review of iCarly (2007-2012))

It's cool; I like it. It's funny, sometimes...yeah.


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The Battle of the Fishhook

Posted : 6 years, 4 months ago on 26 February 2012 10:34 (A review of Gettysburg (1993))

"So I said to General Ewell, 'You will give me a (whole) division, and I will take that hill.' And General Ewell looked at the ground, and said nothing.

So I said to General Ewell, 'You will give me a brigade, (one, just one), and I will take that hill.' And General Ewell (just) looked at the ground, and said nothing.

By this time I had become a little disturbed (with the moron).

So I said, 'General Ewell. You will give me **a regiment** (just one bloody regiment!), and I will take that hill.' And General Ewell. Looked at the ground. And. Said...Nothing."

"You don't even need guns to defend that place, you could just, Roll rocks down on 'em!"

Fun times.

And on the other side...

"Our country, our Bolshevik Party, our great nation! Has given us the task, not to let the enemy reach the Volga. And to defend. The City. Of Stalingrad!"

Oh no, wait. Thst was the other one.

Well, you get the idea.


She said she'd always been a dancer
She worked in fifteen clubs a day
And though she thought I knew the answer
Well, I knew what I could not say.

Berenger, lol.

(He's a lagoon all to himself, that one.)


Sundays on the phone to Monday, Tuesdays on the phone to me....

Oh, yeah. Oh, yeah.

Oh, sure.

That was great.

And the 'that' would refer back to, which one, dad-uncle-people.


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The Other Me?

Posted : 6 years, 5 months ago on 8 February 2012 04:15 (A review of Star Trek: Nemesis (2002))

I remember someone once said that a friend is "another I". Well, not this time. In fact, Picard seems to need to deal with some sort of Evil Picard this time around. (Or whatever his name is.) There might have been a certain amount of potential in that concept, since Jean-Luc Picard can be a very interesting character, and Patrick Stewart is a very good actor, in a very Shakespearean sort of way. Also, with the Evil Picard, he, from what I was able to gather, (the technobabble is disrupting our communication devices, commander) has got some sort of dying-tyrant thing going on, where he's lusting after worldly power in a crazy-young-man kind of way, and yet his cells and stuff are decaying and getting weak and stuff.

But I'll tell you, I bet this movie had a very big budget, but that does not make it a good movie. It's kinda sorta supposed to be some kind of trippy psychological story, but it has no character, no heart, no deepness. In fact, I remember, "thru a glass darkly", to join in on the Shakespeare-worship, a random TNG episode that dealt with Picard-dealing-with-his-past/youth in a much more satisfying way than this movie. Pity I don't remember it's name...I remember it had Q in it. Q is a much better character than this Evil Picard...

I remember Ronald D. Moore once said that if you're picking apart the technical details, it's because you've lost the story, because you don't care about the characters. Well, when Jean-Luc--Protagonist-- was having his Big Talk with Evil Picard--Nemesis--, I couldn't help but find the question--I wonder how big a Quadrant is?--to be much more interesting than their big-boy posing. (God, sci-fi could use a little more RDM sometimes, I mean, sure--drama can be overdrawn too, but it is, at least, grown-up, if done right.) And, for all the Now I'm Going To Explain The Plot, Sir, I still couldn't figure out what was going on--"So...are they Romulans, or are they clones?" "Well...*he's* a clone....I don't know."

I also didn't get the thing with Data & Evil Data (or whatever his name was), & I found Data & Picard's Let's Explain Why We're Better & Gooder-er Than The Clones conversation very flat and stupid.

And I didn't understand what the point of having the Romulans was. The Klingons: rawr! we are warriors! we kill you! (Back in the day: In Soviet Russia, Klingon Empire crushes YOU!!!) Borg: be afraid. we kill you. (We represent a soulless, heartless, mechanized version of yourself, stripped of all emotion and feeling. Be a machine. Resistence is futile.) But what, exactly, was the point of the Romulans? When was the last time we heard from the Romulans? I mean, I vaguely remember a--well-written--spy-story from DS9 that had the Romulans, basically, they were a third party, aside from the Federation & the Cardassians (the Cardassians--now that's an interesting group of people! And what was that guy's name? Garrick, right? Ah, now he was cool!!) who had to be connived into joining our side...but this isn't DS9. So what are they here for now? What do they represent, all by themselves? Apparently, they represent (get ready for it): sitting in a room, doing nothing, being afraid and/or hopeful, and occasionally getting on the speaker-phone to say a lot of...balderdash!

And what does the Evil Picard *actually* have to do with *Picard*? What evil subconscious is he tapping into? What was Picard like when he was at school to make that part of him The Nemesis?

And what's the deal with Data & Evil Data?

"No...I must de-activate you."

"For...how long?"


"How long is--"

*he de-activates him*

{I'm thinking: c'mon, what stupid kind of computer computer can't look up the word "indefinitely" in its data-bank (Data's Bank? hahaha)...Jesus, that was *such* a stupid conversation!}

"(Indefinitely is) for a very long time."

Altho Data is, in his better moments, an interesting case study of data vs. information, and often a good-sounding board for some of Picard's monologues, too, but he's still, nine times of ten, or nineteen of twenty, a case study of emotion, or just a random deck officer, rather than a real character. And sometimes, I just can't see the character in these...speakers. Sometimes I don't know what emotion I'm supposed to get, not just from Data, but Deanna, or Riker...or Picard.

But I'll tell you what I do know--I don't think they need to make any more of these (TNG) movies. Some of the characters were good, sometimes, some of the episodes were good, some of the movies--Generations (altho that needed Kirk, like a man needs air) and First Contact, but now...

Maybe now we're at the bottom of the barrel. For Jean-Luc, at least.


Update: Wow, this movie was made ten years ago; Picard has been out cold for a long time now.

Hmmm.... 'out cold', now *there* was the wrong phrase to reach for.

Garrick, Edward. Edward, Garrick. *chuckles* (Denis Leary and Hayden Christensen, right?)

"Before we reach for hate, we 'Remember the Titans'."

But, you know.

I'm sorry; I really like that line.

But then again, I used to like alot of things.

I used to like that line, like, a hour freakin' hour ago. *laughs*

"It is too much, to be reminded in the evening, of all the foolish things that were said in the morning."

'Tis true, Charles, 'tis true.

It is too much.


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