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making up for the lack of content with a gargantuan entry
y vacation from LiveJournal, if you want to call it that, has stretched to nearly a month and a half. I thought it was time to break the silence. Every form of refuge has its price, but you don't have to live like a refugee.

The reasons for my extended absence mainly have to do with that I just felt like I haven't had much to say except whine about my financial situation. As a general rule, I don't gravitate to journals which harsh my mellow so I've always refrained from taking mine down that path. The other thing is that I've been addicted to the online version of a game called Carcasonne, introduced to me earlier this year by my brother-in-law. Every time I'm online and have time to kill, that's where I head.

I addition to working, sleeping, and playing Carcasonne, I've immersed myself in television and film as usual. Whereas I once had a jones for rock music, these days I've become more of a film buff. I recently revisited one of my favorite shows of all time, Northern Exposure, from the early 90s. If you've never seen it, an overly simple encapsulation would be that a hostile Woody Allen and a neurotic, defensive Audrey Hepburn are thrown together in rural Alaska. Hilarity and hijinks ensue. What I didn't realize is that the executive producer of the show was David Chase, who went on to create The Sopranos for HBO. In the last couple of seasons of Northern Exposure, the dude who plays Tony Soprano's Jewish lawyer has a small recurring role as Joel's rabbi.

But movies... mooooovies. I have watched a shit load of movies since I've been back on the road. Upwards of 200 of them since the end of April. Below the cut is a list of films I've seen for the first time, with snap judgments and half-assed assertions for some of them. If you feel like discussing any of them, feel free to drop a comment.

Shanghai Noon
Shanghai Knights
Hudsucker Proxy - It's not often you seem a film with a literal deus ex machina.
Bull Durham
Alice Doesn't Live Here Any More - 1974 Scorsese picture which spawned the television sitcom Alice. Flo is more of a sexpot and Vera is waaaay creepier in the film version.
Edmond - Mild-mannered husband William H. Macy snaps one night in New York City and and finds himself in deep shit really quick.
Road To Perdition - I like period films but Tom Hanks bores the shit out of me.
Silkwood - Meryl Streep, Kurt Russell, and Cher work in a nuclear facility.
Drunken Master
Sideways - Ok, I love Paul Giamatti but pairing him with Thomas Haden Church as his best friend? For what is essentially a pretentious road movie through California wine country? What the fuck was he thinking?
Interstate 60 - Somewhat campy, yet surreal, comedy starring Gary Oldman.
Bronx Tale, A - There are fewer suave mother fuckers on this planet than Chaz Palmanteri.
Double Indemnity (1944) Billy Wilder noir with Fred McMurray, Barbara Stanwyck and Edward G Robinson. Sunset Blvd. notwithstanding, Wilder was better at comedies.
Producers, The (1968) The original Mel Brooks picture about a corrupt Broadway producer (Zero Mostel) and a neurotic accountant (Gene Wilder) who stage the musical "Spring Time For Hitler".
Tweek City
Life Of David Gale, The
Name Of The Rose, The - Christian Slater as a monk's acolyte, played by the venerable Sean Connery has got to be one of the worst casting decisions ever.
Matador, The - Greg Kinnear and Pierce Brosnan have great chemistry in this quirky comedy about a burned-out hitman.
Last Waltz, The - Scorcese concert film of The Band's last live performance.
Ben-Hur - One of the great epic films starring Charlton Heston, known most famously for its chariot race. It's this film from which the Monty Pyton gang swiped not only their title graphics for Life Of Brian, but the general idea of a narrative about a man living during the time of Jesus Christ.
Ali - Will Smith is impressive as The Champ.
About Schmidt
Streetcar Named Desire, A - I don't see what the big deal is about this picture. Probably my least favorite Kazan film to-date.
Star Is Born, A - I had to watch this because it's like, my mom's favorite movie and I had to know what the fuss was about. There isn't. My mom just has this thing for Kris Kristofferson.
Guy Thing, A - I've long had a wee bit of a crush on Julia Stiles and generally like Jason Lee. Julia Stiles must hold some kind of record for being the most famous actress of reasonable talent to be in consistently shitty movies.
American In Paris, An
River Runs Through It, A
Angela's Ashes - I think a kid dies like, every ten minutes in this depressing tale of impoverished life in Ireland.
Badlands (1973) - Martin Sheen and Sissy Spacek portray the Starkweather-Fugate killing spree of the 1950s.
Queen, The - Helen Mirren in the title role. Examines the royal family and the chain of events in the days following the death of Princess Diana.
Bedknobs and Broomsticks
Bride Of Frankenstein
Player, The - Easily over-looked Robert Altman flick from the early 90s. It's no MASH or Gosford Park, but it has its moments.
Baby Doll (1956) - Another Kazan picture with Tennessee Williams for source material. Much more enjoyable than Streetcar for my money. Stars Karl Malden and Eli Wallach.
Knocked Up
Anger Management
Old Joy
Killing, The (1956) - Great early Kubrick picture. It's a heist/caper film about a plot to ripoff a horse track.
Billy Elliot
Black Sheep
Bullets Over Broadway - Chaz Palmanteri... suuuaaaaave mother fucker.
Boys Don't Cry - Hilary Swank is a capable actor but she makes too many fucking depressing movies.
Letters From Iwo Jima - Am I the only person who finds Clint Eastwood's director projects ham fisted and overbearing?
Bukowski: Born Into This
Bullitt - Steve McQueen. 'Nuff said.
Love Song For Bobby Long, A - Scarlet Johansson's knees. 'Nuff said.
In Good Company - Ditto.
Bride Of The Monster - Ed Wood fiasco starring Bela Lugosi.
Bridget Jones: Edge Of Reason
Lenny - Dustin Hoffman as the controversial comic Lenny Bruce, who challenged American notions of decency and obscenity in 1950s.
Lonely Hearts
Bringing Up Baby - Cary Grant and Katherine Hepburn are fantastic in this 1938 comedy.
Party, The
Swimming With Sharks - Kevin Spacey in a low budget film about the movie industry. Spacey appears to be working out issues for not having had Baldwin or Pacino's role in Glenngary Glen Ross.
Stalag 17
Road To Wellville, The
Pledge, The
Piano, The - The world probably could've been spared Harvey Keitel's junk.
Sleepy Hollow
Silent Hill
Narc - Gritty police drama with Jason Patric and Ray Liotta. Not a lost a gem, more of a diamond in the rough.
Short Cuts
Aqua Teen Hunger Force Colon Movie
Calamity Jane
Ocean's 13
Caligula (1979) - Bob Guccione's valiant effort to make a big-budget, mainstream porn film, starring Malcolm McDowell, Peter O'Toole, Helen Mirren and... John Gielgud. Jesus.
Catch 22 - Alan Arkin was never better than in this WW2 movie based on Joseph Heller novel, adapted for the screen by Buck Henry.
Cabaret - I'm not a huge Liza fan but this is one of the few musicals I freely admit to enjoying.
Cannibal: The Musical! - ...and if you hate musicals, you'll love this.
Carolina - Another Julia Stiles picture. Totally a chick flick, but not as bad as a lot of her movies. Having Shirley McClaine and Randy Quaid on-board didn't hurt.
Hostage - You can bank on Bruce. Not as great as Die Hard, but it ain't no Hudson Hawk either.
Journey Of Natty Gann, The
Stardust Memories - Woody Allen pays homage to Fellini's 8 1/2.
Forever Young
Hamlet (Olivier) - Olivier's Hamlet set the standard in the era of film and by which all, film and stage alike, are often judged.
Clockwatchers - Funny, low-budget look at the the life of office temps with Parker Posey and Lisa Kudrow.
Apartment, The (1960) - Billy Wilder comedy starring Jack Lemmon and spunky Shirley McClaine.
Mildred Pierce (1945) - Joan Crawford in one of her quintessential ice queen roles, but you can see the plot twist coming from a mile away.
Virgin Suicides, The - I was surprised by how much I liked this movie which is a feat considering how much I don't like Kirsten Dunst.
Spiderman 3 - I've come to the conclusion that I just really don't like Thomas Haden Church and of course, there's Kirsten. Best Bruce Campbell cameo yet.
Mona Lisa Smile - Girl power!!!!!! in the early 60s. There's Julia Stiles and Maggie Gylllelennahahalanenenla but alas, there's Kirsten Dunst, too.... again. Poor Dominic West. I hope he at least boned one of them.
Man On Fire - I couldn't find a single redeeming quality about this movie, then again I find that the case with most Denzel Washington movies.
For Your Consideration - Christopher Guest movie with the usual suspects, though oddly not in the mockumentary style he's generally known for.
Seven Year Itch, The (1955) - Billy Wilder comedy with Marilyn Monroe which gave us the iconic image of her standing on the subway grate, even though in the film itself, it doesn't show her above the knees during that scene. That aside, one of the funniest films you'll ever see.
East Of Eden (1955) - Elia Kazan picture with James Dean and Julie Harris based on the John Steinbeck story. Better than Streetcar, not as good as Rebel Without a Cause.
Family Stone, The - My infatuation with Rachel McAdams is renewed with this movie. Great cast, great story, great acting and funny as hell.
Notebook, The - Predictable and cloying but ohhh Rachel McAdams.
Apostle, The - Robert Duvall as a pentecostal evangelist played without a hint of satire or irony. Genius.
Big White, The - Sort of a screwball version of Fargo. Holly Hunter steals the show. Also stars Robin Williams, Giovanni Ribisi and Woody Harrelson.
Confessions Of A Dangerous Mind - A look at the insane life of game show legend Chuck Barris.
Cold Mountain - I hate Jude Law. Renee Zellweger is awesome. Set in the final months of the American Civil War. Superb set and costumes.
Strictly Ballroom - Hilarious and original Australian import about competitive ballroom dancing.
Midnight Run - Robert DeNiro and Charles Groden? Actually, Charles Groden and anybody for that matter?
Shakes The Clown - Bobcat Goldthwait as an alcoholic clown. Surprisingly funnier and more clever than it has any right to be.
Producers, The (2005) - Film version of the Broadway musical inspired by the Mel Brooks film of the same name. I love Nathan Lane, but Zero Mostel was better and Matthew Broderick is surprisingly good in the Gene Wilder character. Personally, I think it was a mistake to completely cut the character "L.S.D" who gets cast as Hitler in the original.
Take The Money And Run - Woody Allen comedy about an ineffectual petty criminal. Completely unsubtle and full of great gags.
Word Wars - A documentary about... competitive Scrabble players.
King Of Kong, The - A documentary about... competitive classic video players.
Whale Rider - Well executed New Zealand import about the the modern day lives of a native family and their tribe.
Da Vinci Code, The - zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
Dazed And Confused - Richard Linklater's "American Graffiti" for the 70s.
Death Becomes Her
Don Juan de Marco - It's just great to see Brando work, even at this age. Depp is always awesome to watch, too. Too bad the movie blows.
Dead Man's Cards - Low budget Irish import about the lives of a couple of aging pugilists trying to make a living as bouncers at a local pub.
Stranger Than Fiction - Emma Thompson and Maggie Gylllelenanhllalanenelhlalnhnl are awesome. Queen Latifah and Will Ferrell are respectable in this quirky, surreal, and stylish romantic comedy.
Super Mario Brothers - Possibly the worst movie ever made?
Empire Records - I was disappointed by this after hearing so many good things.
Down To You - Another Julia Stiles picture with Freddie Prinze, Jr. The streak continues.
Frisco Kid, The (1979) - The unlikely pairing of Harrison Ford and Gene Wilder in a western. Not really a comedy, not really a straight western drama. The pacing is tedious.
Harvey (1950) - Jimmy Stewart and his imaginary friend Harvey cause quite a commotion.

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What did you think of Black Sheep? Nice to see a post from you but I know the feeling, I got kind of burnt out on feeling all I did was drag in negativity thoughts and feelings in my LJ.

I just recently watched Black Sheep and Tommyboy for the first time recently. I'd put off seeing them for so long because I have a general distaste for Chris Farley, though I think David Spade is hysterical. They were alright, about what I expected. Sophomoric humor slightly worse than an average Adam Sandler movie.

I feel the same about "A Streetcar Named Desire". I actually kind of hated it. It was uncomfortable in a dragging sort of way for me. Most of the characters just annoyed the shit out of me. I liked the book though.

I love "East Of Eden" twice as much as I love "Rebel..." The father/son issues are a lot stronger and it really got to me. Out of the James Dean big deal trio, "Giant" is my favorite though. It is long as all get out but I've watched it so many times.

I think "Empire Records" is one of those movies that was really good if you were a teen in the 90's but not so much now. People have a strong attachment to it though. I mean, I was pretty obsessed with it in High School but I see it for what it is as an adult. I still enjoy it but not nearly on the same level as I used to. It's more nostalgic at this point but the Warren character still cracks me up. Also: hot dudes.

It's funny what you said above about Chris Farley and David Spade. I feel the exact opposite. I have a general distaste for David Spade (I did like him in Just Shoot Me) and I think that Chris Farley was hilarious. I can't watch his stuff anymore though because one time I was doing a Google image search on him looking for a silly picture and all of the first photos were of him when he was found dead. It seriously traumatized me and when I see his stuff now, that's all I can think about. I'm thinking about it now and I feel just terrible. It's one of the worst things I've ever seen, I think because I was so familiar with him and I'd never seen pictures of someone who had overdosed before. I can't handle it.

Also, I'm glad to see a person who doesn't like Kirsten Dunst. I honestly can't stand her but lovelovelove "The Virgin Suicides". I didn't know she was in it before I watched it, luckily, because if I had, I probably wouldn't have been willing to see it.

Soop, I find it amusing that YOU have seen The Notebook but I haven't.

I own Empire Records, but like Amber, I'm another one of those people who probably wouldn't like it as much now. When I first saw it, I had a lot of room-mates who loved it and their enthusiasm for it was pretty infectious! I do still love the soundtrack though.

I own the Notebook. It's a total chick movie. I bawled my eyes out the first time, but hardened up upon the second viewing. I haven't watched it since, but I'd totally be willing to if you want to see it.

I am the queen of chick flicks though. I used to be ashamed of it, but now I embrace my sissy side.

RE: The Notebook, I'm like the Ron Jeremy of film watching, I'll watch anything. Besides, it's not like watching Rachel McAdams is a chore or anything.

I just never thought Farley was funny. I love smart-ass humor though, which Spade has in, well... spades.

I can understand the point about Empire Records. I think I was expecting something more along the lines of a teen High Fidelity, and it wasn't.

The only redeeming things about Streetcar was the yumminess of Brando and Karl Malden's character. You should check out Baby Doll. Malden is great and Eli Wallach is off the charts.

It's funny that you should respond to this entry and that I was talking about Northern Exposure. Don't you have the Adam Ant crush? He did a guest spot on an episode of NE as a daft, self-involved rock star.

I'm not sure what it is about Kirsten Dunst I don't like. There are a few actors that do that for me. Her, Jude Law, Nicolas Cage...

I love(d) Northern Exposure. That's what Mt. Shasta reminds me of!

You should add one of my favorite older movies to your list - The In-Laws. The original, not the remake.

Ne is easily in my top 5 TV shows of all time. It's a shame it had such a brief run.

I had never heard of The In-Laws so I looked it up. Peter Falk and Alan Arkin? Hell yeah! I'll be adding that.

I'm sad you didn't like Empire Records!!! Though I haven't watched it since I was probably still in my teens haha. The Life of David Gale I really loved, I was sad to see no comment on it! DId you enjoy it? Really fucked twist at the end, I wasn't expecting it! A River Runs Through It is another favorite movie of mine. Sad but good. The Notebook as my husband and I refer to it "The Saddest movie EVER" really is a total chickflick sobfest.

Duno if you have seen it, but I saw the comment about Hillary Swank doing sad movies, true story great movie of hers is Freedom Writers. I thought this movie was just awesome and a true story which is good too. Very inspiring story!!

your Dazed & Confused comment made me want to watch American Graffiti haha! I've seen Dazed probably 200 times itself haha I know that movie word for word!

I have mixed feelings about The Life Of David Gale. I don't think it was a BAD film, but I don't think it was particularly good. It was entertaining, but I think it tried too hard. I wasn't surprised by the plot twist because it was apparent the film was setting you up for it. All roads were leading to the big surprise ending so I had started working it out in my head before it arrived. I think the best plot twists are the ones you don't expect, like Fight Club, or to reference another Spacey flick, the identity of Keyser Soze.

I re-watched American Graffiti as well in the past couple of months.

was "old joy" good? can will oldham act?

I almost commented on that one, but decided it was such an inconsequential film that it wasn't worth mentioning. The film is pretty bad, though thankfully brief. Oldham is alright. There's one scene where he has a good deal of dialogue and some actual "acting" is required and he does a fair job. Most of the time though, he just looks blank and dour. Of course the movie is blank dour, so maybe that's the intention.

I have seen a multitude of these movies. But I'm only going to argue Empire Records. I love that movie. It's fun, it's rebellious (in a sorta I've got too many issues so I'm going to take it out on you, yes you sense) and I think it has character a lot of movies lack.

Go watch Meet the Spartans for me and tell me if it's worth spending 15 dollars on. :)

I have a soft spot for parody films, so I'm sure I'll get to it eventually. Maybe I'll get it and Epic Movie and have a double feature some time. I have a hard time imagining that either of them would be worth spending $15 on though.

To be perfectly honest here, I think you're right on about Julia Stiles. She has a good potential, but consistently makes movies that make you go "Why???"

I do *adore* Save the Last Dance, but I'm a chick and I like movies that have dancing so it's win/win for me. I can see how it's not for everyone.

Mona Lisa Smile was a HUGE ASS disappointment for me with the cast it had. It bored the hell out of me. Thank God I only rented it.

In addition to the movies I've mentioned above there was also the really awful Ethan Hawke Hamlet and two other problematic Shakespears-inspired film, O and 10 Things I Hate About You. I liked Save the Last Dance alright, and the Bourne movies are kick-ass, though her role is somewhat limited. When I was writing these blurbs, I had forgotten that she was with William H. Macy in Edmond which I commented on above. The movie wasn't that bad... depressing as hell, but decent.

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I just downloaded the entire series so I can watch them whenever I want. :)

I don't get through Colorado Springs very often, but I go through Denver all the time. I'll keep it in mind though, if I ever find myself down that way.

hey man. post more and hang out more (says the guy who hasn't logged on in 48 hours). i personally don't care if you whine. we're all pretty strapped in various ways right now anyway.

two movies i recently watched that you need to see i think if you haven't already...

Marty (1955?)

and DiG! (2004)

re: the former, just a time-tested movie about late blooming that is really cute, well done, easy to relate to, and will undoubtedly put you in a good mood.

re: the latter, i was never really hip at the appropriate time to either the brian jonestown massacre nor the dandy warhols, but seriously this may be one of the most fascinating rockumentaries ever made.

also i don't know if you are on Netflix (i assume you must be) but DiG! is on the streaming side.

As a short term goal, I intend to watch all of the films that won the Best Picture Oscar. I'm currently at 44 out of 80 with All Quiet On The Western Front, Mutiny On the Bounty, and Kramer vs. Kramer in the immediate future. So Marty is only a matter of time. As a long-term goal, I hope to watch all those nominated for that category.

I'd never heard of DiG!. I'll have to check it out. I enjoy music documentaries of all sorts. Have yo seen the Roky Erickson doc You're Gonna Miss Me?

I may have some time for hanging-out in OKC on Saturday night, but a lot hinges on how today and tomorrow goes. I'll keep you posted if you're interested and available.

so i guess this didn't happen, huh :(

No. With the logs violation I had, it threw everything off track. I blew through OKC about 4am on Sunday morning. :(

Huzzah! Someone else who likes Don Juan De Marco!

Heh, not exactly if you look a little closer. ;-) It was alright. I think Depp just jumped at the opportunity to add working with Brando to his enviable list, not to mention the fun of donning that silly costume and speaking with a Castillian accent.

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I dunno. I just like giving my thought and opinions. It's all subjective and by giving them some kind of ranking with stars or thumbs or whatever gives it the air of being objective. I mean, I hate movies just because of the actor sometimes, or be lenient on another because there's a hit chick in it, heh.

good to see you posting again :) I was curious how it was going. you on the road still?

Yeah I'm still on the road, but with each passing week I'm not sure that it's worth all the trouble I went to, to get back out here.

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