Just thought I'd do a post of the films to which I am looking forward that will be coming out sometime soon.
Jesus is Magic (11/11/05)- See previous post.
Brokeback Mountain (12/09/05)- You knew this was going to be on the list, right?
The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe (12/09/05)- I loved these books as a child, and even the animated versions weren't so bad. I think this version looks great, even if scary ol' Disney is behind it. (Plus, Tilda Swinton as the White Witch.)
The Corpse Bride (9/16/05)- I'm not a really big Nightmare Before Christmas fan, but stop-animation is wikkid, hella cool.
Thumbsucker (9/16/05)- The book sucks. It sucks more than thumbs. I met Walter Kirn and he and his type drive me bonkers with their rugged Montana snobbery and married-to-Lois-Lane's-daughter haughtines. Mike Mills directs and it stars Tilda Swinton whom I adore. [Check out the Mike Mills link for some nifty videos.]
Serenity (9/30/05) - Uh. Yeah. You know I'm gonna see it. For everything that Kirn lacks in character development and plot, Whedon busts out in spades. I just had to poop on Kirn again--especially since he's been Andrew Sullivan's guest writer. Walter Kirn sucks (thumbs).
Rent (11/11/05)- I was all reluctant for this to be translated to film--especially when the rumor mill placed Beyonce and Justin Timberlake on the cast list. Thankfully, neither are in the film and nearly all the original cast reprise their roles (Daphne Rubin-Vega replaced by Rosario Dawson). Unfortunately, Chris Columbus directs--ouch!
A Scanner Darkly (March '06)- I loves me some Philip K. Dick. First off, check out his last name--hot! Secondly, he began to lose his mind--cool! And finally, he wrote some kick ass cyberpunk shit--nerds of the world unite! Add to that the amazing animation utilized in Waking Life, Keanu and Winona, and I think we've got a winner!!
Everything is Illuminated (9/16/05) - Um. I sort of have a thing for Elijah Wood. I know, its gross, but I can't help it. I think maybe it happened when his lifeless body slid down an icy street after being electrocuted in The Ice Storm. Liev Schrieber directs (!?!?). The book was pretty good--and you can read that as "way better than anything Walter Kirn ever put on paper."
Hellbent (9/16/05)- Gay horror movie. 'Nuff said.
Did I miss anything? What movies are you guys looking forward to? And what's up w/ all the movies coming out on Sept. 16?
I know you think that I've just been bullshitting. I know that you think that I'll just be here in stoopid ol' Seattle for my thirtieth birthday, but you're wrong!! I will be in Machu Picchu, and I want you to come with me.
So if you're one of my eight friends who read this blog (see results of polling), and you might be interested in a trip to the Incan ruins of Machu Picchu, fire me an e-mail. I'm gonna try and get this whole thing going.
Here's the tentative plan:
Saturday July 1, 2006 depart for Lima.
Sunday July 9, 2006 return to Seattle.
I've been pricing flights on-line and roundtrip to Peru is around $750.
I'm thinking take the train up. Stay in Aguas Calientes for 2 nights. Be in Machu Picchu for 3 days--one of which will be my birthday, and spend the rest of the time in either Cuzco or Miraflores.
So, if you're interested, e-mail me. M'kay?
And Risa--I was being serious, I don't have your phone number. I know you were thinking, he doesn't have my phone number, but he left me a message--he must have been drunk again, but I wasn't. My phone's display broke and I couldn't transfer over any of my numbers--so I just typed in your name and pressed send, but I have no idea what your phone number is!!!
Robert Moog died in his home yesterday of a brain tumor. Read the NYT article here (reg. req'd).
While I can't say that I'm familiar with any of the music he himself created with his instrument, I am very familiar with the likes of Kraftwerk, Bronski Beat, Stereolab, and Boards of Canada to name a few. While he may no longer be with us physically, his gift and legend will long live on.
As you may recall, I have a tendency to hit on guys on the bus. Today was no exception. I saw this hot piece of man-meat walking down the aisle and I willed him into the seat next to me. He noticed I was reading The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay and told me it was one of his favorite books. I smiled coyly and asked him what he did for a living. An engineer. H. O. T. His scruffy look and amiable demeanor reminded me of my college roommate, Nathan. We laughed and joked and, in my percieval, bonded. I boldly asked for his phone number and was brutally rebuffed with a, "I don't think my girlfriend Risa would like that."
[Ed. note: The author of the piece assures me that he knows "percieval" is not a word. Also, this story is based on actual events. In certain cases incidents, characters and timelines have been changed for dramatic purposes. Certain characters may be composites, or entirely fictitious.]
What else has been going on, you ask? Well, in case you weren't aware, I have an affinity for video games. Lately, I've been poking around Prince of Persia: The Warrior Within. It is a really great game and I need to review it for Copacetic because all my other game reviews are luke-warm or ice cold. For that matter, I should review the superior Ninja Gaiden. Anyway, if you haven't read my review for Fable, then you don't know that some games put the "gay" back in "gamer." Thanks to Andy Towle over at Towleroad, I was directed to this article on the gayest video game characters. First of all, I would like to point out that the character I created in Fable is easily, the gayest mofo ever to shake his pixelated ass on a TV screen. My man has a dude in every port and nary a scrap of clothing. He's just a glowstick away from the White Party. But that's me projecting my own crazy fetishes onto something that programmers created. How about a game in which the programmers projected all of their crazy fetishes? For your edification, I present Cho Aniki: Great Brother.
. . . but that don't mean I ain't a'feared of makin' an ass of myself on the dancefloor.
I am so enamored of FOX's So You Think You Can Dance. I began watching it on my vacation to Canada which is appropriate because a Canadian is going to win.
Blake McGrath from Missasauga, Ontario is so talented he had one of his dance teachers crying at rehearsal in the second show. Of course, he also has the attitude of a prima ballerina and the body of an adonis. Gay? Hmmm. Well, he is a dancer. He is from Canada. He owns a toy dog. He's got more attitude than RuPaul and Elton John combined, and, perhaps most crucially, I have slept with him. (I keed, I keed!)
Ok. That's it for now. My review for Mysterious Skin should be popping up on Copacetic anyday now and I'm still working on my review for Kafka on the Shore.
Thanks to well-connected friends, I was able to attend the premiere of "Night of the Iguana" last night at ACT Theatre. Here's the reasons why I went:
Firstly (I used that word to bug you Risa), I rarely attend theatre performances.
Secondly, I have never seen a Tennessee Williams play on stage.
Thirdly, it was with a friend with whom I enjoy spending time.
Fourthly, FREE beer, wine and food post-show.
Hook me up, man! Free anything and I'm almost guaranteed to show--have I ever told you about the time I skipped a mid-term for a free breakfast?
Here's my take on the show.
The script, needless to say, is great. Unfortunately, the actor playing Shannon was in a different show from everyone else. He knew how to get laughs--but there was no depth to his rage. Shannon is a man with a fever. He should be boiling the whole time he's on stage. There was little to no chemistry between him and Hannah. Hannah, however was great, she had the east coast accent down pat and really knew how she was the only character that could needle Shannon. Unfortunately, she needled a wet noodle the whole night.
The actress protraying Maxine was one of those actresses you can watch act. She performs her lines as she imagines an actor should perform them. Her deep voice only serves to distract from her lines. It is a shame that neither she nor Shannon can produce the depth of their characters' relationship. With Hannah, Maxine steps up her performance, but their conforontation is tacked on in the second act and has a feeling of coming out of nowhere.
The supporting characters are benign with the exception of Nonno who executes his befuddled poet role wonderfully.
The true failure of the production comes from the direction. Even with the facade of the inn, there is still little sense of setting. Poor staging ruins scenes like Shannon's fettering in the second act--which is such a shame because this is the major thematic imagery for the act. The tech aspects only serve to distract from the story as well--but maybe that was just where we were sitting. Still, the echo (which I don't know if the stage direction calls for) when Maxine calls for Fred seems out of place. Almost every cast member shouts from that spot at some point in the play, but only she echoes--and only that once.
But you think I'm just ragging on the show. I'm not. I going to go out on a limb and say that Tennessee Williams is still one of the most important playwrights in the American theatre, and, like I said earlier, I had never seen one of his plays performed live. Actually seeing and hearing a play performed is integral to understanding its story, structure, and theme. While this production may have missed some beats here and there, it is still competent.
Ok, now here's what else went down last night. At first intermission, Bill bought me a beer. I opted for IPA even though sometimes they don't sit right with me, my other choices were Hefeweizen and Coors Light. So, not much of a choice. Unfortunately, I am allergic to wheat--not so allergic that I don't eat wheat bread, but allergic to stuff like say, some beers with high wheat content. So I have about half of it and take it back into the show. After the lights dim and show starts up again, I can feel my throat closing. My ears suddenly become plugged. My nose starts running and I can barely breathe. After a couple more sips, I realize it must be the beer. I sneeze four times in a row and cough occasionally. I have a couple of choices here, I can either get up, go to the bathroom, splash water on my face, drink water, step outside for fresh air, or I can sit and hopefully it will go away. I opt for the latter. My breathing becomes beleaguered. The stage lights fade in and out of my view. I try to time my coughing and death throes to the audiences laughter. About twenty minutes before the end of the show, I can breathe again and I am fine.
For the after party, I stuck to wine.
Thanks for inviting me Bill and thanks for the tickets, Derek!! I know I kinda bagged the show, but that doesn't mean I don't enjoy a night at the theatre. So keep me in mind for future shows, m'kay? Thanks.
All right. Now for the rest of the trek to the Great White North.
Upon arrival, I was greeted at Pearson International Airport in Toronto (see if that doesn't bring me some hits) by my parents. We drove north for about an hour and forty five minutes, and finally reached the lodge. I was greeted by my two kick-ass nieces, Lauren and Ashley, my brother and sister-in-law. I drank my first three beers.
Everyone managed to talk about the same things we talk about every year--the weather in our respective parts of the country, the price of gasoline, how work is going ("Fine, you?" "Fine."). We played hours of SkipBo (I am the grand champ, natch, thanks to hours and hours playing Tennille in college).
Musical choices were always limited. There is no way I can break out my Fabric CDs. I did pack the CD that I burned for essentially everyone except the person for whom it was created (sorry Heidi, its coming soon, I swear!!!!). That was tepid enough for the fam, although there were curious looks when songs like "Such Great Heights" by the Postal Service came on. "They used this song on Grey's Anatomy commercials," I assured them to which they mumbled mild approval. The CD most often played: Air Supply Greatest Hits. Damn I love Air Supply--and Jim Steinman.
My mom brought a portable DVD player, but the TV/VCR setup in the cabin was so archaic that when you ran the RCA cables through the VCR, the output contained the copy-proctection lightening and darkening of the image. We watched the insipid Meet the Fockers--in its entirety--with this problem. The movie was bad enough, but only being able to see about 20 of every 30 seconds made it unbearable. I took cues from my parents and politely laughed along.
Luckily, I did have a TV which recieved three stations in my room in the lodge. It was here that I found re-runs of Arrested Development nightly, and was introduced to the pinnacle of mediocrity, Canadian Idol. I know, they don't have as many people from which to choose, but come on!! The contestants that the judges liked were total crap. Ok, they were all total crap. There was no Kelly Clarkson, that's for sure.
Speaking of Ms. Clarkson, for the end of the week talent show, my niece performed two Clarkson songs and one Toby Keith song. She did a wonderful job and even 4 year-old Ashley climbed up on stage to accompany her big sis. What did I perform, you ask? Nothing at the talent show, but earlier in the week, a travelling minstrel arrived at the lodge and my brother was somehow suckered into singing Margaritaville. I had just woken from an alcohol induced slumber and, wiping the sleep from my eyes, followed the sounds of the music. When I arrived, my brother thrust the microphone into my hand, and I completed the third verse--the one about the tattoo, in case you were wondering.
So I guess that's about it.
Vive la Canada.
Not going next year, though. Next year is Machu Picchu for the big THREE-OH.
Addendum: The picture at the top will merely be one of the emboldened phrases. This time, it's "darkening of the image" in case you were wondering.
Results from Previous Poll:
1 person watched a drama most recently.
2 people watched a comedy most recently.
2 people watched a porno most recently.
New Poll up today!!
Oh yeah--from now on, you can match the picture on the blog to the text in bold (not the poll results). This week, for example, the mystery phrase is Aristotelian structure. Get it?
So I'm back and while I could go on and on about Canada in one very long post, I've decided to break it up over a few.
We'll call this one the first. What kept me entertained in Canada and travelling:
Well, as you know, the George R.R. Martin book was not released on July 26th as was promised. So I obviously didn't read that. Next on my list was Kazuo Ishiguro's new novel. I made the mistake of thinking I could find it in an airport bookstore. No go there, either. My mother had a copy of The Kite Runner and I read the first chapter. The writing was so poor I could go no further. I had purchased the new Genre, Out, and BPM before I left. Only the latter provided any articles of substance--including a nice piece by Karim Rashid on album cover art. The gay mags made me a little depressed. First of all, they're super thin. Secondly, almost all of the pages are dedicated to ad space. Then, the articles are flimsy and totally irrelevant to my life. The only article that had promise (and I don't remember which mag it was in) was about a disorder in which people cannot recognize faces. Unfortunately, there were only glimpses at the science behind it and then it went into a tangential line about fetishes. Poor, poor writing. Oh, and I guess the John Waters interview of Johnny Knoxville was ok in Genre.
For my return trip, I made sure to stock up on magazines. GQ, Details, and The New Yorker. All were well worth their purchase. GQ and the New Yorker feature essays by your favorite essayist and mine, David Sedaris. I preferred the GQ with its plethora of curse words to the parasitic story in the New Yorker. Details had a mildly amusing article by Augusten Burroughs about office parties and a brief story on the International Gay Rodeo Association (the best tippers I ever waited on).
I know GQ and Details are really just "Men's Magazines" but they had more gay-centric stories than both Out and Genre--and probably more gay writers.
The New Yorker also had some great pieces on Supreme Court nominee John Roberts, and a great article on hip-hop DJs Hollertronix.
End part 1.
Google image search: Bloody Caesar