This sticker is dangerous and inconvenient but I do love Fig Newtons

Monday, December 31, 2007


(the post that was here previously has been removed; lameness, most likely)

Friday, December 21, 2007

thoughts on Dick Tracy (unfinished)

...Is there a better thing in this world than a Dick Tracy story? It has all the wonderful elements of an impossible 1930s -- and there has never been nor will there ever be a better decade -- and then inside this 3-colored trench coat of a world comes a parade of Hieronymus-Bosch-meets-Frankenstein-and-Costello hoods, and good-guy-archetypes-as-designed-by-ten-year-olds, and that movie Beatty made 's pretty good too -- until Madonna comes along and fucks it up, as she is wont to do.

I liked Madonna for about 3 minutes -- long enough for me to watch her Like a Prayer video on VH1 a few years ago, and not the first time I heard it, but still for those three minutes the impression was made 'cause it's a catchy tune, though I felt like throwing up afterwards -- and I can tolerate her in A League of Their Own because Penny Marshall, in her one and only lasting achievement as a filmmaker (Laverne is immortal and outside of criticism and was basically Penny in a former life, so I don't really confuse the two as being the product of the same person), actually lets Madonna overwhelm the film, and in doing so allows her to be inexplicably sublimated into an innocuous force. Instead of being annoyingly out of place, she's out of place in a conventional, boring kind of way; she feels like a case of absurd-but-stale stunt casting, as if she were a Liza drag queen brought in to do a guest spot on Ally McBeal in the year 2006.

In Dick Tracy, Madonna tries to play it straight and she's so far from a 1930s anything that she ultimately overtakes the movie because she's trying so desperately to remain inside it. Everytime she's onscreen she kills the mood like a bad come-on. She doesn't have enough presence to be a comic book character. Frankly, she doesn't have enough presence to be a pop star either, but that's just my own thing and I know I'm in the minority. The movie needed a Penny Singleton but it got a bad Jessica Rabbit impression instead. Too bad for Tracy.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Possibly Unconventional Opinions

  • Steve Carrell should be nominated for an Oscar for Dan in Real Life and the script should get a nom too.

  • No Country for Old Men was great, but I'd rather watch The Hudsucker Proxy.

  • Labyrinth is better than The Dark Crystal.

  • Fraggle Rock is better than Sesame Street.

  • Bruce Springsteen is annoying.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Will the things I write today sound as good tomorrow?

I lost my mind. Over the past three months I've been student teaching, finishing my Masters in Teaching degree, and coming to the not-really-very-sudden-more-of-a-growing-knowingness-and-confirmation-of-all-I-knew-to-be-true realization that I did not, and more importantly, should not, be a teacher. And all the while, the student teaching thing was hard as shit, and I had literally no life whatsoever because teaching was my life and gods did it suck. Summers off? Necessary. Completely and utterly. Pay these people more.

So now I've been broken, and my mind is a little weary and miswired and this blog is the result. I didn't want to go back to the old blog with its lame attempts at intellectual insight and respectability -- a sad imitation of better blogs; a weak effort on my part to join the film blogosphere's ongoing conversation on cinema; a yappy younger sister all my life and that blog was just one more example in my growing portfolio. No more. This new blog is just another fine attempt at reinvention, which is my specialty, but I also wanted to experiment with voice (my writing "voice," for those of you not down with the English teacher lingo) so that my online writing could most closely approximate my own real voice, no more hiding behind imitations of other, better writers, no more trying to fit into the mold, to match the sound and rhythms of the master bloggers who are writing about film and culture, that I read every day, those writers whom I could never equal even if I tried (and I did). This blog is formless. Or, it's formal. It's about film. Or not. It's about what I did during breakfast today (more, stay tuned...) or it's about the etymology of the word "breakfast" itself. The only thing to recommend the blog is my writing -- I'm gonna live or die based on how much others want to read my writing (funeral at 11:00). The topics might come into play, but I'm mostly banking on my personality, that whole voice-thing I mentioned earlier. I'm going to try to write/post something everyday. We'll see how that works out, me with my big splashy plans that always sparkle in my eye for about a day and that always/never seem to come to fruition. Heh...

Final word: Watched Art School Confidential with my cereal this morning (the first thing I did on my first non-student-teaching Monday since August, and it. was. awesome. Not the movie. The whole not-having-to-get-up-at-5:45am and go-teach-ignorant-teenagers-for-seven-hours thing) and found it (the movie this time) relentlessly cynical. It just never stopped. And that final shot does not redeem a thing. I am, however, very encouraged by the lack of cynicism in some corners of the multiplex this winter (see here for more). Art School Confidential felt very 2006-ish. So, yay for that I guess. Welcome to December 2007.

Sunday, December 9, 2007