Friday, August 31, 2007


[migrated from myspace blog]

Last week I posted about the hopeless impossibility of keeping up with the output of quality movies, books, music, and next month, TV (curse you NBC and your claim on my Monday and Thursday nights!) And that doesn't even take into account all the great films, literature, and music from before I was even born (another under-represented person in my past movie watching has to be Capra, which fits perfectly with my actor from last week, Stewart.)
I found a quote from an article called "Time Crunch" that puts things into perspective.

"I calculated it would take me 14 years to read all the books, watch all the videos and listen to all the music in our home library - 15 if I include our eight-track tapes.

"As I decluttered, I thought of several time-saving changes we need - projects for those of you with free time. [One being to] beg entertainers to stop being so entertaining. It would be easy to quit watching LOST if they quit producing it."

-Erik Johnson

To state the obvious, this whole topic is really just about prioritizing what's important. Is watching a hundred movies from a list, or finally being caught up on all the books I own so I don't feel bad about checking others out from the library really all that important? Of course not, so why does it feel like I'm missing out if I haven't seen a given film? And then, if I watch a film and really like, I'll just feel the need to spend money on the DVD, so then it becomes, "When will I ever have time to watch this one again?" Lately my rewatches have been more TV shows more than anything, probably because they're shorter, and because The Office and Firefly never get old.

I just have to accept the fact that no matter picky I am with my entertainment dollars (which, between knowing someone who gets free movie tickets and getting movies from the library isn't even that much), the industry will always out pace me. And, no, I haven't made it around to watching anything by Raymond Bernard, yet. In fact I have 1 movie and a TV show checked out from the library.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Consuming Entertainment

[migrated from myspace blog]

Yesterday I received a free credit card "reward" $25 Borders gift card in the mail. So of course the first thing I did was start to browse through my wish list to see what I could get while paying the least amount possible. I stumbled on a DVD set from Criterion that I had put on my wish list not too long ago; 394 minutes, three DVDs, two movies from the 1930's by a French director, Raymond Bernard. From everything I've read, I'm fairly certain I'll enjoy the movies (by all accounts, the most faithful adaptation of Les Miserables, and a WWI drama titled Wooden Crosses.) So the problem becomes the fact that if I do like this director, he'll become part of a long list of directors I enjoy, and whose films constitute an incredible backlog of movies I'd like to watch, even if I just watch the best ones from each. It becomes overwhelming, and sometimes a distraction from the real world, as is just looking at the stack of unread books I own.

The same goes for actors. I just picked up a sheet of Jimmy Stewart stamps at the post office today, and just looking at Amazon, there has to be 30 or more movies he was in that I'd like to see but haven't, yet.

For about 4 years I've kept a journal of every movie I've watched and book I read. Sometimes I have to step back and make sure I'm not watching something just to have one more thing to write in the journal, or to be one step closer to having seen all the movies I'd like to (which will never happen.) I have to remind myself to stop and enjoy what I consider to be an art form, and not just something to pass the time or fill a void.

Speaking of entertainment, I never cease to be amused by people walking behind their self-propelled golf bags on the golf course.

Another random thought: Do you think the people driving around in their new Mini with a UK flag on the roof know the car is made by BMW?

Finally, my newest cousin was born two days ago. His big sisters seem to have very different opinions of him. The picture tells it all.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Mixtape Revolution

[migrated from myspace blog]

I doubt there are many people who still have cassette recorders, let alone still use them to make mix tapes, but this is quite a clever way to market flash drives as music sharing devices, packaged nostagically (even includes a blank track list, which is completely obsolete, given that the music files should contain tags for artist and title, and playing the songs in the order they are on the "tape" is really meaningless.) Wow. That was a long sentence.

Ironically, the same day I post this is the day I overshoot my monthly download limit from the free mp3 hosting site I've been using, so I can't even embed a song with this post. Oh well.

(Click picture to purchase)

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

"Faster. Faster! Faster would be better!!"

As of last night I quadrupled my RAM and have an operating recordable DVD drive installed (bring on LOST: The Video Game!)

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Bourne Again

[migrated from myspace blog]

Wow! At the end of The Bourne Ultimatum, viewers just need to stop and take a deep breath. Why? Because they've just spend 111 minutes forgetting to breathe. Bourne 3 is a wholly worthy conclusion to Jason Bourne's search for his past. It could arguably even be the best of the three movies, although Identity will probably always be my favorite (Franka Potente was a huge loss).

All the best elements of the other two movies are present yet again. Real chases shot in real, exotic locations. No obvious CGI is used, and some of the stunts with motorcycles and cars are truly incredible. Bourne is more clever than ever in evading his pursuers, and tracking the information he believes will free him from his past. Matt Damon proved his acting chops to the world 10 years ago as Will Hunting, and he once again shows why he deserves that respect in what will surely be his defining roles for years to come. Also, the casting of secondary roles are also terrific, including Paddy Considine as a journalist for UK's The Guardian newspaper, asking the question, "Who is Jason Bourne?", and Albert Finney, who is more of a presence than a mere actor.

Ultimatum contains a large number of references to Identity, both in recycled footage played back as memories, and in an ending that teasingly brings the trilogy full circle. (Also, a musical score that recognizable from it's very first note as unmistakable Bourne.) Yet, not every question has an answer explicitly spelled out for us. Nikki and Bourne are the only two characters to make it from the first movie into the third, but questions remain as to the exact role she played in Jason's past. This is a franchise that any fan really must hate to see end (if in fact this is it). Bourne is one of those characters that we just want to live on in some form (graphic novels?), because there will always be more questions worth exploring, as long as good writers are at the helm.

Saturday, August 4, 2007

HBO thinks Americans are stupid

[migrated from myspace blog]

I'm enraged at HBO for Americanizing a British TV show (apparenlty before airing it and also) on DVD. They changed a (fairly vulgar) line that was funny in "English" to a very unfunny (yet equally vular) "Americanese" line. I know the line was there because I downloaded the show (Extras, season 2) just after it aired on BBC2. I didn't know it had been changed because I never saw it aired on HBO. If I had known I never would have bought the American DVD, but ordered the region 2 UK DVD. They also changed a reference to Billy Piper in conversation about Harry Potter. They replaced it with Halle Barry, which sounds nothing like Harry Potter. I feel like my DVDs are tainted. Why don't they just make Greedo shoot first while they're at it?
< /rant >

Friday, August 3, 2007

Rock Your Shoes Off

[migrated from myspace blog]

No, I don't mean socks. Maybe it's because it was sponsored by a shoe company, but I've never seen so many shoes being thrown around, which means there were a lot of people leaving barefoot. Wait. Back up.

What? Vans Warped Tour
When? Yesterday
Where? Cincinnati Riverbend
Why? Because of the musical goodness

Straylight Run - never heard them before. Really cool, unique sound.
Underoath - never seen so many girls dropped on their heads from crowd surfing
MxPx - chick magnets, magnified plaid
Funeral for a Friend- acoustic set at the myspace tent, where there were people actually at 4 kiosks checking their myspace pages
Tiger Army- California punkabilly with upright bass
Coheed and Cambria - metal-tinged progressive rock
Bad Religion - only caught 2 songs of classic punk
The Fabulous Rudies - fairly decent ska band we saw by accident
Meg and Dia - sisters on lead guitar and vocals. Good harmonies, surprisingly heavy.
Hot Rod Circuit - emo- and pop punk-influenced rock with pedal steel guitar
Circa Survive - yes, he sounds like a girl, but the lush guitars make up for it
Amber Pacific - quality pop-punk
Paramore - only saw one song. Kind of what Avril wishes she was.