Monday, January 10, 2005

What have you seen/heard/read in the last week? From the comments...
Lewberry recommends....Harold & Kumar go to White Castle. No, really. And he jeers Troy.
Doug recommends: House of Flying Daggers (and Alan Alda!)
Deb recommends: The Missing (I think) and soap opera watching (All My Children) as a lagniappe of the unemployed!

Mel Gibson loves Michael Moore, hates the Iraq War!
No, really! Well, ok only sort of. Thanks to Doug for the link. What's up with the new Michael Moore look by the way? I know he's up to something, but what? New Year's Resolution? Guest spot on Queer Eye?

The Pet Project Flop
The failure of so many pet projects is more than fluky coincidence. Such films have their own set of problems. Over the years, endless script revisions can drain the life and energy from a movie, which then staggers into the world as if emerging from decades in a dark attic, as withered and creaky as Miss Havisham.
--11 pm

Gotta watch that karma
News buffoons count as media, right? Well, nevermind what Dan Rather is doing to himself today (warning, Drudge link), presumably over the firing of staffers; More exciting: Michael Berube has the goods on Tucker Carlson's come-uppance. I thought that Tucker had gotten off easy with Crossfire just being cancelled. I only wish Jon Stewart could have flipped the switch on that jacuzzi himself.
--6:30 pm

Random Links For and Against Alda
Through the magic of technorati, I searched the blogosphere for impressions of Alan Alda in Aviator. The top 4 links include article 19 (woohoo), someone who didn't like Alda or the movie, someone who liked Alda but not the movie, and someone whose leanings I really can't tell. The message here is only that Technorati is cool, though perhaps overly huge. There are probably better more interesting assessments down the list, but I only looked through 4.
--6 pm

Death of an artform?
Is the jingle really dead? I don't think so. (but jingle-writing as a profession? that's a different story) They just stopped naming the product directly in the song and convinced artists/labels that commercials are ads for 2 products: the one we see and the one we hear. Just one more example of product placement. As far as I'm concerned, that U2 song (you know the one) is a jingle for the IPod, because I can't hear the song without thinking of the product. Maybe we should go back to calling them jingles, as punishment. It's no longer even the gradual loss of integrity that comes with selling out a beloved song. Now, it's just a method of pre-release. And an annoying one at that.

Do you have a favorite? Right now I can't get "Nationwide is on your side" out of my head, but I've always been partial to the Oscar Mayer song.
--4:15 pm

Know your rap
Wonder what the kids are talking about? Try the rap dictionary. It turns out that some of that rap music is sexual in nature. Who knew.
--3:45 pm

How do Oscar nominations work? explains why the unusual system can reward films and performances that have a more narrow, but passionate following. In a year with so many films vying for that 4th and 5th spot, that would seem to give an outside chance to films like Fahrenheit 9/11 and Eternal Sunshine. But I'm afraid they both appeal to similar audiences....and that effect may have them cancel each other out. It may help Kate Winslet get a nod for best actress.
--1 pm

That's More Like It
Oscarwatch is reporting (can't find an official link yet anywhere) that Eternal Sunshine has won the Online Film Critics awards for best picture, director, actress, screenplay, and editing. The Aviator is a powerful piece of filmmaking, one that Scorsese could have made exactly the same way 20 years ago. But I would like to see Eternal Sunshine get more best picture recognition because the story and filmmaking are innovative, risk-taking and challenging, and the acting is impassioned in its own way. Does it have a kind of timely, trendy, dated quality to it? Absolutely. If anything will keep it from getting more recognition, beside the early-year release date, it is that. 20 years from now, The Aviator stands a much better chance of still being watched. But its effects wear off in the week or so after you see it. Eternal Sunshine is the kind of film that crawls into your head and stays there for a good long time, inviting and rewarding subsequent viewing.
--12:45 pm

Weekend Box Office
1. Meet the Fockers (How is this still on top? Not that good...)
2. White Noise (I'm hearing bad things)
3. The Aviator
4. Lemony Snicket
5. Fat Albert (what a bad idea...)
--12:15 pm

Article 19 Film Review: The Aviator
***************** (17 out of 19)
Really great. When I first heard Scorsese was making this I was disappointed--sounded like a subject any Hollywood filmmaker would do. I couldn't have been more wrong. Yes, it's long. But it is worth it--a bold portrait of an interesting figure. And on this one point, believe the hype: Cate Blanchett practically steals the movie (at least the first half) as Katherine Hepburn. Go see it!

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