the awesome/terrifying freedom

out here, somewhere, figuring it all out.


i'm sitting in starbucks and clive owen just walked in.

the store is alsmot totally empty. he's looking at me. omg he's looking at me. i'm sort of smiling like a lame lame lame homo. he's looking away. he's waiting for his iced coffee. he's wearing a suit. is he filming nearby? holy crap he is gorgeous. he is transcendent. how can he, like, be?

typical new yorker (summer)

needless to say, he was raking in the dough.

from the beginning

so i've decided it's time to finally sit down and read the harry potter books. i found the first two movies to be so dreadfully boring that i really wasn't interested in reading them for a long time. but i started #1 this week, and i'm pleased to find that it contains a humor and style that is absolutely missing from it's 'cliff's notes' film adaptation. however, i thought the third film was great. it had, like, moments, and, like, characters, and, like, style. while i'm told that it departs the most from the events of the book, it seems to stay quite true to rowling's style. looking forward to reading the rest, and happy to have joined the craze. at least i'll get to savor the anticipation of the final book.

perfect circles

i knew that six feet under would have to close out in ways that would tie directly to the first season.

i won't give anything away, but the circles are closing, tying back to the past for nearly every character. i'm expecting nothing less than catharsis in these last four eps.

near the terrace

my friend james is a member of shen wei dance arts. i saw their show at lincoln center on saturday, my first time at that space, and my first professional dance show (i'd suffered through a bunch in college). it was totally amazing. james is in the center with the mohawk.


zach to be released next week

thanks john, for the heads up:

Gay Teenager Stirs a Storm, nytimes

i'm in colorado this week. will post pics.


the idea of the transformers is totally ridiculous. they come from some other planet, and they happen to be constructed to twist and fold themselves to look like our incredibly specialized vehicles? it makes no sense! why do the robots need human forms in the first place? arent they more mobile in their vehicular state anyway? and yes, as a child i was obsessed. they were expensive, so i only had tiny ones, save for one big one: astrotrain.

astrotrain is a triple changer, which means that he has a robot form, and then can change into two different vehicles - the space shuttle, and a train. and it's like, an old school train. what planet did these robots come from??

oh and in robot form, he also carries a gun that is the length of the entire train.

the autobots and decepticons had different logos - and if you heat up the sticker on his leg, you can discover that astrotrain is a bad guy, which always really bothered me. i had serious childhood issues dealing with the beloved space shuttle as a villain.

the michael bay live-action movie is slated for july 4, '07

origin of the eyeroll

where the hell does it come from? why am i so compelled to do it, all day long, every day? it's not an expression i want other people to see, so i have to save up my eyerolls, and then when no one can see me, i get them all out in one giant roll, straining my eyes in the process. i'm such a bitch.

the laugh test

i'm trying to find the verbatim dialogue, but this is how i remember my favorite scene from this week's six feet.

sarah says to claire: maybe you're not an artist.


claire: (indignantly) what? how could you even say something like that?

sarah: yeah, maybe you're not. if you were really an artist, you would have laughed. like if you told me, 'you're purple.' i'd laugh, because i know i'm not purple. but because you got so upset, it means there's a grain of truth in that.

and in what i think is the most heartbreaking turn this season, claire goes to temp in an office. her gallery glory short-lived and over, she retreats to the world of business casual requisition stapling. and we can see that despite drab coworkers, it is quite possible that she may end up there forever. ruth makes her promise she will become the person she wants to be, and claire half-heartedly agrees and hugs her. it was hard to watch. and unavoidable that i try to apply the laugh test to myself. if someone suggested 'maybe you're not an actor,' or 'maybe you're not an artist,' how would i react? would i laugh, would i get upset, or would i agree?

on the artist part, i'm happy to say that i would laugh, or at least be nonplussed. but at this point, with the actor part, i think i would almost agree. it's not quite true, but it's also not quite false. agreeing is worse than getting upset. at least claire still cares enough about what she wants to do and be to get upset over it. and of course it is a different situation having the person who nurtured your artistic talents in the first place tell you that you may not be an artist after all. if one of my mentors said it to me, i would be pretty hurt.

it's interesting that they chose to make claire's new business suit purple..

someone's touching my digital butt

i was scanned to be a character in 'san andreas,' which just came out on xbox.. the game is incredible. can't wait to shoot myself. and maybe you can see me doing naughty things.. this story is ridiculous. a california assemblyman goes crazy because a downloadable code can turn an already r-rated game x-rated? (x rated texture mapped polygons putting their geometries into each other? ooooh dirty.) as though it isn't just as easy to download full screen full motion video of real porn. c'mon.

bad idea

did they not learn after that awful 'phantom movie?'

"Glenn Close and Ewan McGregor to Star in Film of Lloyd Webber's Sunset Boulevard"

the hood

i live by smith street, which is, like, the greatest street ever.

i tried the brunch at 'gravy' on saturday, which was pretty good. you can't beat the $6 breakfast deal. though my coffee mug arrived with lipstick on it. yecch. they were also a bit disorganized. i really like pacifico and la rosa, which are all connected to gravy and under the same ownership, so hopefully that quality will bleed over. it's still far better than the other, creepy, carroll gardens diner, which i will never go into again.

had dinner at 'apt 138' which was good. i like the vibe and decor there. just had the burger, which is served on an english muffin with onion rings and fries. was good.

podcasting rocks

do you have the new itunes? get it! it has podcasting, which i've just discovered.

basically you subscribe to a radio show that downloads automatically to your ipod when new episodes become available. i've been listening to a great podcast called 'cinecast' by two guys in chicago who speak quite eloquently about current and favorite films.

you can also host your own podcast show on itunes, which is awesome. everyone now has the means to run a radio station. after our heated debate over 'war of the worlds,' maybe neal and i should start a show called 'fighting over film.'

the problems with 'war of the worlds'

and there are many.

"spoiler" alert.

let me begin by saying how excited i was for this film. the trailers were fantastic, promising something shattering, insightful, never before seen, i was immune to the tom cruise backlash, having loved 'minority report.' i couldn't wait.

i came away from the film feeling slightly peeved, but overall entertained. but the more i think about it, the angrier i become. i feel it's among speilberg's biggest let downs since 'ai' and 'the lost world.' do you even remember that movie?

where to begin?

i spent so much of this film annoyed that none of my questions were being addressed - i don't expect that my questions be answered, but i need to know that the characters are asking the same questions i am, for instance, as ebert wonders: why are the aliens now harvesting the humans that they were previously vaporizing? if the tripods were buried millions of years ago, how have they been undetected? how could the aliens predict the evolution of humans and have the foresight to design their buried craft to so perfectly kill and harvest them? and if they had that foresight, why would they be so stupid to drink our water and breathe our air? it's as stupid as humans spending millions of dollars to go to the moon, and then opening the hatch with no spacesuit on.

i'm not pointing these out as plotholes - a plot can be as perposterous as you want, and still work - but i truly feel that logistical questions must be put to rest before we can be asked to engage emotionally with the characters. if we're just going to have inexplicable events thrown at the charaters - then keep us in the dark, explain nothing. use 'the birds' as an example. fill the film with intelligent characters theorizing about what the hell is going on, all of them plausible, conflicting, but none of them confirmed.

the central conflict of the film is not man vs. aliens, it's man vs. himself - which is fine, but then all i ask is that you give the opposing sides viable arguments. the son wants to fight. but the son is young and irrational. his desire to run towards the aliens is driven only by the plot's need to have him go that direction. tim robbins wants to fight. but tim robbins is not only overacting to unintentionally comic levels, the character is insane. imagine how much stronger the film would be if cruise was not up against irrational or insane people, but people with good, persuasive, logical arguments!

michael lucas says it should have been called 'tom's choice' and describes the laughter in the theatre at what should have been a harrowing moment. instead of caring, i spent the entire scene wondering what the hell was wrong with the son - why would he be so driven to run towards a giant machine that could kill him effortlessly in a fraction of a second? all i ask is that the characters be smart. it's fine that he wants to fight, but please, at least give him a strategy.

the climactic argument with the son consists entirely of:
'don't go!'
'let me go!'
'don't go!'
'let me go!'

the son runs over the hill which promptly burts into a screen-filling explosion.

emotional connection to the son's death: none.

prepare to have the movie ruined/saved for you:
the son turns up at the end, completely unharmed, somehow beating cruise and fanning to boston. the groans are audible.

emotional connection to the son's return: none.

note to speilberg: you must earn an emotional attachment to a character. you can't simply show people crying about something and expect us to empathize.

half of the film takes place in basements, in which, as ebert points out, we get not one, but two scenes constructed identically (but less effectively) to the exquisite raptors-stalking-children scene in jurassic park. stephen, it's ok to crib the scene once, but twice?

cruise and fanning do their jobs. they may be the true aliens in the film, but their acting is fine. fanning deserved more to do than utter her one line: AAAAAHHHH! i predict she will inherit the chloe sevigny crown in a few years and play excellent rape victims and drug addicts.

as i watched, i had no choice but to come up with disturbing answers to my questions.

why do the aliens vaporize people?
so that speilberg can evoke 9/11 imagery of survivors covered in ash, a sure way to make us cry. so that he can ask us to equate his hurriedly produced 1950's b-movie with the greatest tragedy to hit this country. in fact, all of the 9/11 imagery in this film - especially the ashes and the 'walls of photos of missing people' setpieces really rubbed me the wrong way. not being attached to the characters, i imagined production meetings where steve asked his designers to copy 9/11. i imagined his secret glee on that horrible day, that at some point he would be able to use these images to sell tickets.

why do the aliens later decide to harvest people?
so that when our heroes are captured, they are conveniently not killed.

note to david koepp: establish that people are being harvested before having it happen to the main characters. without establishing anything, the story is built on convenience, and each turn feels cheaper than the last.

it's clear that speilberg was using hitchcock's 'the birds' as one of his models for this film - i even recognized several sound cues lifted directly from 'the birds' as an homage.. why not take a lesson from that film's brilliant ending and leave the conclusion a bit open ended? i despise stephen's urge to erase all intrigue, to lose all faith in the intelligence of the audience, to put the little girl in the red coat, to make david a real boy, to sugar coat every last morsel.

and the other question is 'why do i care so much? why have i written a book about the problems with this film?' and it really is because it brushes up to greatness, and then lets us down so dramatically. it begs to be an important film, and for that i resent it. it asks us to care as much about it as we cared about 9/11 - which, actually, is OK - as long as you give the film the same care, respect and treatment that you would give a film about 9/11. and that is so obviously not the case here.

dave and steve, take a lesson from christopher nolan, who knows how to write and direct a tight, intelligent story derived from cheesy roots. he gave batman more respect than anyone could ever have guessed possible. full review coming soon.


i just watched 'before sunset.'

magic exists. i'm totally destroyed.

it's a sad, amazing, touching reminder of how rarely we might find a deep connection with another person. and it brought me back to the handful of times i've felt it in my life.

maybe because 30 is around the corner - i'm yearning more than ever to find that connection again - and wondering if it's even possible. maybe that sense of romantic love only exists in the past. is it possible to have that again with a new person, after all of the cynicisms and heartbreaks we've been through by 30? i think so.

thank you rick cleveland

i asked that the characters on six feet under be allowed to learn something, and they have. this week's episode destroyed me.

yay weekend

saw war of the worlds and batman. loved batman, didn't love war of the worlds. more on that later.

i'm in logo hell - which is kinda fun. the shows i'm working on have decided on their logos, some after a painstaking process, but now i'll be slapping the things onto t-shirts, hats, posters, mugs, you name it. woohoo!

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  • 5: the man of genius

  • 4: blunders & absurdities

  • 3: conservative after dinner

  • 2: what lies below

  • 1: where there is no path

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