Twirl it all around

February. Crap aught neener sure is flying by! We're 1/12 of the way through the year, and what do I have to show for it but date rape and AIDS jokes?
Seriously, though, besides the abysmal, ulcer-inducing economy, '09 has begun fairly well.
I've been keeping good on my New Year's resolution to lose 2 pounds a month. My New Year resolution for '08 was to go to the gym more than in '07. I accomplished that goal by mid-March and attendance subsequently dropped. Not to say that I didn't go to the gym at all for the rest of the year, but it was noticably less.

So this year the goal is more long-term and also very achievable. I'll keep you updated on my progress.

So what else with '09? Well, Tennille visited weekend before. She stayed at the adorable Hotel Max. We went to Seattle's only male strip club Centerfolds which is only two blocks from my house. It was a first for all three of us (Tennille, Phil, and myself). Completely strange experience. Tennille and I were the only ones there when the club opened at 8. Of course, Seattle is totally puritanical so there's no drinking, but we stepped out on a couple of occasions for beverages. Only one of the guys had a nice body. I bought Phil a lapdance from a guy with a ponch. It was sorta hot--but I wish I could have watched the lapdance a la Showgirls.

Saturday we checked out the Hopper exhibit at SAM. I was surprised at the size of his painting and also at his brushwork. His color palette is so soft that some of it looked like pastels. That night we checked out Gainsbourg on Greenwood. I liked the atmosphere and the small plates, plus they were projecting Mon Oncle on the wall behind us. Oh yeah, and the hallway back to the bathroom looks like the Black Lodge from Twin Peaks.

Sunday we went to trivia at Bill's Off-Broadway then followed it up with the Re-Bar. My stomach was completely a mess (probably from all the drinking) by the time we made it to the Re-Bar. The place was about half-full, nowhere near Flammable's heyday, but there were a few faces I recognized in the crowd. The place still manages to be the most un-pretentious dance/club night in town and that alone is reason to go.

So that's what I've been up to--oh and watching a shit-ton of movies.
Now that I've caught up on nearly all of the films from '08, I think I can say definitively, "Yawn." Slumdog Millionaire was nowhere near the top of my list. In fact, its creepy romanticization of the Mumbai ghetto puts it on par with Life is Beautiful for me. Add to that a lead that can't act and all you're really left with is some really nice cinematography and nice story structure. Milk was decent but not great. Some of the supporting characters, namely Emile Hirsch and Diego Luna were distracting. Add to that the melodramatic/operatic slaying at the end and one begins to feel manipulated. The Wrestler has to be one of the most boring affairs I've seen in a long time, again with just poorly cast and badly acted supporting characters in Marisa Tomei and Evan Rachel Wood. I realize its adapted from a novel, but to become such a formulaic film for the last hour sucked all life out of it--kind of like the title character serving beef at the deli counter. Revolutionary Road is an example of why a great book should never be put on film--filmmakers trying to include way too much of the novel and not finding the right cinematic references to convey the tone of the piece. And although I adored David Fincher's meticulous Zodiac, I really don't even have the time for The Bi-Curious Case of Ben Jammin' Butthole. Frost/Nixon and Doubt are both examples of why plays should not be turned into movies, but (and I can't believe I'm defending him even a shred) Ron Howard was more adept at translation from stage than John Patrick Shanley.

I was happy to see both Melissa Leo and Richard Jenkins nominated. Frozen River was such a peculiar little film and Leo in particular was spellbinding, but I really would have liked to have seen her acting partner in the film, Misty Upham get some recognition, as well. Jenkins in The Visitor brought a type of believability to his role that none of the other acting nominees could muster. Sure, the film overall was a bit on the melodramatic, Oxygen network, side of immigration morality, but like Leo, Jenkins grounded the work with his performance.

So now I should rail against The Dark Knight, but Jim Emerson has done a much more thorough job. My problems with it came mostly from its hole-riddlered(!?) plot and inconsistent tones and styles. It wasn't helped any by Christian Bale nor Heath Ledger, both of whom are so much more fixated on the minutiae of creating a character than the realities of delivering lines and progressing the plot and tension.

Ok, so that's my take on the mediocrity of this year--so what were the good films this year?

Not a lot--Let the Right One In, Synecdoche, New York, Burn After Reading, and Wild Combination were my favorites. If you haven't taken the time to see them, do so now.

Class dismissed.


heidi said...

A. I'm so jealous you got to see Hopper paintings up close. Damn you.

B. I find Christian Bale's voice (when he's all dressed up as batman) to be SO unbelievably annoying. What is up with that fake gravelly gruff crap? This does not, however, make him any less hot.

jeremy said...

I totally thought of you when I saw the Hopper paintings, Lu! You should come up and see them.

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