Monday, January 31, 2005


What have you been watching, reading, listening to?

If this is what it takes to get some Media Monday comments I'll do it
Caitlin's Alan Alda Fansite

One of these years, my spring break will coincide with the South By Southwest Music Festival in Austin and I'm going. Until then, I'll have to just dream of a lineup that includes Sleater-Kinney, Blind Boys of Alabama, Son Volt, Aimee Mann, Robyn Hitchcock, Billy Idol, The Donnas, Stephen Malkmus, Brian Wilson and - according to the Hollywood Reporter -- Elvis Costello. I've been to Sundance once. South by Southwest is still on the list.

Million Dollar Baby, Part II
There's just no way that Eastwood deserves acting or directing accolades for this picture. Not because he fell short in either--both were probably just right for the movie. He doesn't deserve it because neither was ambitious or involved enough to compete with Scorsese's work in The Aviator, or Michel Gondry's in Eternal Sunshine, or probably lots of others I could name. Even the boxing scenes, with a couple notable exceptions, were mostly filmed from angles that made it pretty simple to pull off, and the one shot I remember that dared to glimpse an actual punch from the side showed Ms. Swank missing by a considerable distance. Don't get me wrong - I'm not against this movie. It's good, and challenging (though I'm really left questioning, not the big issues the movie raises, but the film's own judgment). But the very idea that Clint Eastwood with this boxing effort could and probably will beat out the man who made the greatest-boxing-movie-ever-made in Raging Bull, for which he didn't get a best director Oscar, is really maddening. More later, as I can't get this film out of my head, probably a sign that I will grow to like it more the more I think about it.

Book Ignorance Alert
Has anyone here read one of Japanese author Haruki Murakami's novels? I'll admit I've never heard of him, but this review in the Times makes me very curious.
One of the characters in Haruki Murakami's trippy new dreamscape tries to explain himself as follows: He doesn't have a name or shape. He has decided to materialize as Colonel Sanders but could just as easily have been Mickey Mouse. He isn't beyond good and evil, but they don't matter to him. He's "not much of a detail person." But he serves as a metaphysical overseer, checking the correlations between worlds and making sure that past, present and future occur in the right order. That way, causes and effects don't get mixed up. "Listen, every object's in flux," he explains. "The Earth, time, concepts, love, life, faith, justice, evil - they're all fluid and in transition. They don't stay in one form or one place forever. The whole universe is like some big FedEx box."
His website is fabulous.

Sopranos in syndication
A & E Network gets the show! Aren't they the ones that first put Law and Order on the syndication map, playing it a couple times nightly? I am not sure how well the Sopranos can work on TV. Of course the nudity will be gone; what about all the language? If you take out all the F words you can probably fit an entire season into an hour. I'm a big fan of Six Feet Under, but The Sopranos is the best.

It's the truth, It's factual...
If my memory is right, I saw Song of the South as part of a double feature alongside "Condorman." Haven't seen the brer rabbit film since, in the theater or on video because Disney won't allow it. Its racist depictions (Uncle Remus, plus the 2 black crows come to mind) have kept it in the vault. Some people protest this decision and, of course, they have a website. It's satisfactual. from boingboing.

Article 19 Recommendation: Million Dollar Baby
I can't remember the last time I was this conflicted about a movie as I was leaving the theater. I'm still mulling. You should go see it pretty quickly.

There are plenty of boxing-movie cliches and alot of it is really contrived, but there are plenty of genuinely funny scenes and lines, some big questions about religion and ethics, surprises, and maybe a few things to be offended by. I shouldn't say much until everyone's seen it. But I'm still trying to decide which side of bold and manipulative I am coming down on. Has anyone else caught it?

Weekend Box Office
1. Hide and Seek
2. Are we there yet?
3. Million Dollar Baby
4. Coach Carter
5. Meet the Fockers

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