Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Donnie Darko

There's just something about this movie. I don't quite get it yet at the same time its very simple to understand.
This movie, stars Jake Gyllenhaal http://www.jakegyllenhaal.com/ as Donnie Darko, a paranoid schitophrenzic, whose daytime hallucinations are actually real. The movie begins with a plane engine falling on Donnie's room. Actually the movie doesn't begin there, but this is very important and surreal. I belive that this happens in an episode of wierd tales or something, but I can't find any evidence of that.
The movie goes from surreal to ordinary just like that. Part of the trouble this movie had box office wise stems from the fact that it transends genres. It has become a cult hit, and is definately one of my favorites. In fact it has become so popular that a director's cut (which I have not seen and intend to see) has been released.
Honestly I can't say that it totally makes sense- I don't understand a lot of the whys, but its not totally ambiguos, like many people think. I think one thing you have to understand in order to understand the movie, is that everything Donnie sees is real, including Frank.
I just love the way Jake Gyllyenhaal's eyes look in this movie. They really contribute to the darker side of Donnie's character. Donnie is not evil despite the fact that he does many troublesome things. He is troubled though, but I don't think this is why he does what he does.
There are lots of interesting things in this movie, that have been speculated about ad naseum, but I really think you should just see the movie, and once you have check out the website http://www.donniedarko.com/. Its really well done and adds a lot to the movie.

Sunday, May 29, 2005

Bear Vs. Shark by Chris Bachledor

This novel is amazinly innovative. It is set in the near future, but much like Orson Well's 1984 is not about the future and instead satires current society. In this novel a family, the Normans, is traveling to the independant country of Los Vegas (formerly of Nevada) in order to watch a much anticipated wrestling match between an electronic bear and shark. This contest is supposed to be the culmulation of the "age old" question of who would win in a contest between a bear and a shark, given that all things were equal, of course.
In actuality the book doesn't really have anything to do with bears and sharks, but instead is more of a cultural comment. This is a world wear t.v. has no off switch or remote, and no one really knows anything because of the constant influx of wrong information from the internet.
Each of the chapters is short satire of a differn form of contempary media. The chapters all weave to form a plot that forms an intricate portrait of just what has happened to american families.
Best of all this book is entertaining. It's better than the internet. And it's much much better than t.v. So while you can, go turn them both off, get a copy of this book, http://www.bloomsbury.com/authors/microsite.asp?id=204&section=1 and find out what its all about.

Thursday, May 26, 2005

THX 1153

Interesting movie. This is one of George Lucas's ( Star Wars) first films. It was developed from a student film he did. The film was incredibly well shot and the concept is interesting, but I don't think its one of the most remarkable film's I've ever seen.
I enjoyed it, but possibly not as much as I could have. Although I've noticed I don't really like science fiction as much as I thought I did. Not even political science fiction. Although.. that may not be true. Because I do like political fiction a lot. But I degress.
The movie is about a world were people are numbered , cataloged, and otherwise treated like machines. Kind of like a doomsday thing. The plot follows a man (THX 1153) who breaks these regulations and attempts to escape. Everyone is drugged in order to keep them from feeling anykind of emotion. The movie has lots of interesting aspects and ideas and is worth watching just for that. Although to be honest, I feel that as visually stunning as it is, it would make a better book.
One thing I really liked about the movie was the absoulute lack of color in the film. Everything was dull oridanary and regimented, so there wasn't any color. I believe that color says a lot about people and who they are. The lack of color went well with the lack of emotion.
I think it might have done well as a short film. In fact the movie came from a full length film, which I did not see. However there were certain themes that could have been expanded upon that would have made the film more interesting. I think it would be interesting to see the short film and see how the two compare.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Garden State

I think this movie, http://www2.foxsearchlight.com/gardenstate, is going to quickly become one of my favorites. It's a little sappier than what I usually go for, but its really good and really cool. I've been watching Zach Braff on Scrubs http://www.nbc.com/Scrubs/index.html for a couple of years now, and I really liked what I saw. It' s really powerful, not only is it about a guy who can't feel anything (Andrew- Zach Braff) http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0000204 that changes that, but its also about characters that are real and true. I know the people in that story. I don't know any millionares per se, but everybody knows someone who's all set up for life, only to discover that they're really bored.
The whole thing was really well written, and I really liked it. The begining, with the dream on the plane that's crashing and he I think it was a perfect metaphor for Andrew's life up until that point. The nice thing is that this movie talks about some deep important issues, without being too contrived or sappy. If anything the movie was a little surreal. But sometimes life is surreal. Even everyday things are a lot weirder than we think they are.
The only weak point is at the very end. There's nothing wrong plotwise with how it ended, although I could forsee several different ones, its just that it was badly described. I don't like how the audience learned the end of the story. It came totally out of left field. It made sense but I still had to say WHAT? I'm not going to go into more detail because I don't want to give anything away.
The soundtrack was awsome. Perfect and awsome. I want it. I will probably buy it. Great indie rock stuff.
Great movie. Awsome stuff.

Saturday, May 21, 2005

The DaVinchi Code- Dan Brown

After more than a year of trying to find this book in library or at a used book store (Jackson Street Books is a good one), I randomly got this copy for my birthday. http://www.danbrown.com/ It's pretty interesting, but I can definately see why all the controversy. A lot of what is said in the book is either true or at least belived to be true by different groups of people, but I think this book would be very dangerous or atleast confusing if you didn't know the facts behind it.
But I really enjoyed this book. It was a great mystery/thriller. Plus the theologies, ect were very interesting. I don't think it was accurrate or factual which leads me to the books downfall.
The writing is utter crap. The characters were not developed. The main character ( Robert Langdon) has almost no personallity whatsoever except we are told he is a Harvard professor. At one point there is a hint of unrequited love, but this is quickly dropped. Some of the characters are merely plot devices (Sophie, Remey). Plus the dialouge is contrived and illogicall. It is if Dan Brown has never heard a real conversation. The use of French phrases was cute.. but irritating. In the beginning Brown solves this problem by having Langdon not understand French, but he is revealed to be a master linguist as well so.. what the f**. The discriptions were pretty basic. I have to say that the beggining of the book was much better written than the end. It appears that Brown has fallen into the trap of quickly finishing a book to meet a deadline.
However I recommend this book, because, although I do not find it especially well written it is still interesting and is entertaining. But I don't think I would have been as interested in the book had it not been so controversial. Its a great compelling one time read, compelling and suspenseful, but I wouldn't buy it.

Friday, May 20, 2005

Amores Perros

This movie is in Spaninsh. So if you don't speak spanish or don't like subtitles you mind find this movie a little difficult. But don't let that stop you from watching it.
I love this movie. It is very violent and very disturbing, lots of cussing sex, ectera, and there were dog fights and bank robberies as well as some violent deaths, so its not a movie for the faint of heart or children, but I think it has a lot of redeaming quailities. I like violent movies and this was very disturbing to me, so don't say I didn't warn you. The first scene is a violent car wreck/chase though a crowded street in Mexico.
Like I said I loved this movie. Not because it violent. It's not really positive at all, although there is a lot you can learn. None of the characters redeam themselves, but the movie makes you realize why.Its a very intelligent movie, great writing, directing, acting-everything.Gael Garcia Bernal,http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0305558/ ,as Octavio, is one of the main characters in this movie. He's a great actor, and a piece of eye candy to boot. I learned a lot about people and Mexican culture from this movie. The movie is more about relationships than anything else. The violence, particularly the car wrecks, are a metaphor. Also each dog is supposed to be a metaphor for a differnt person. It is partly this metaphorical aspect which appeals to me, as I really like movies that have a lot of deep meaning to them.
The story centers on three characters whose lives are intersected at a car accident. The movie is more or less segmented into three parts, which is difficult for most people the first time they watch it. But I think this was done very well, and made the movie all that much more interesting. http://movies.filmax.com/amoresperros/

Thursday, May 19, 2005

DaVinchi's Pizza

We went here for my birthday and one of my favorite things about this place is that it is just about the only place in Athens you can get whole wheat pizza. I love pizza and whole wheat is my favorite, so that's what I ordered. But I don't think that's what I got.. so.. that kinda sucked. I think the waitress may have been just a little confused. We were just about the only people there, but she was kind of a ditz. It's a little on the expensive side ($17 for a 12") but even so its normally worth it. Just not as often as I thought. I They make mostly deep dish pizza (the only place in Athens you can get it) with just about every topping. Plus they have a full menu of apptizers and Italian entrees, and they're slightly more authentic than DePalma's. The atmosphere leaves something to be disired, the music is nice with( they pipe in Rock 103.7) and the low lighting is pretty standardard fare for Italian restruants, but the Viking /Italian oil can decor is just a little wierd. It looks like some art student designed it back in the 1980's which considering the fact that it hasn't changed since we moved here and this town is full of artists, I really wouldn't be surprised. Its on Broad Street near the library, and its pretty easy to get into. They also have a lunch buffet, which I don't recomend for vegitarians (too much trouble, no veriety) but is probably great for meat eaters ( I am a veggie, so I did not enjoy being stared at and ignored every time I asked what was in something). In summary, great food, not cheap, good carnivore buffet, bad decor, decent location.http://www1.georgia-info.us/profile/pizza/GA/Athens/4391

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Hitchiker's Guide to the Galaxy (movie)

Not Bad.

O.k. That wasn't really fair. I liked this movie. Not as much as I liked the book but considering that Douglas Adams is dead, and its a Disney movie it could have been a lot worse. It's still basically an inside joke, and true to form it didn't really follow any of the books (particularly the first) , but it did keep all the essential parts (famous). I really liked how they did the actual book itself. That was pretty cool. While I'm glad I didn't dress up and go on opening day (which I wasn't going to do anywa) I'm glad I saw the movie.