Friday, March 18, 2005

Sort of kind of...

No matter how much someone may love a movie, its merits be they good or bad, are of no relevance to the movie studio that made it. Sure, time and energy is spent into crafting these things but sadly there are instances where something gets lost in translation from the pen to the screen.

The Ring Two is the sequel to 2002's successful The Ring. You may recall that the first film is a remake of a Japanese film, Ringu. It too spawned a sequel with a different storyline. The director of those films, Hideo Nakata, slips into the director’s chair for The Ring Two and while creepy and well-directed, it is ultimately an empty affair.

Rachel Keller is living a peaceful life with her young son Aidan. They’ve put the horrifying incident of the killer videotape and its evil apparition, Samara, in the past and moved from Seattle to nearby Astoria, Oregon. But when a local is found murdered in a similar nature as that of Samara’s victims, Rachel discovers something more shocking than anything on a television screen: Samara wants to become human. And she wants Rachel’s son.

Hideo Nakata deftly plays his hand, keeping the shots static and uneasy. Water is the film’s central theme and it has never appeared more alive, alluring, and creepy. There are no huge scares, save for a rather startling animal attack and a suspenseful chase up a well’s wall with Samara climbing like a spider.

The way the film unfolds leads us to believe that there is more to unravel underneath its plot. But that something never comes. Rachel behaves in ways that contradict what she’s learned from the first film. And if Samara can manipulate the real world, why the need for the cursed videotape? David Dorfman is exceptional as Aidan and Sissy Spacek does well in a small role. Naomi Watts is still as strong as ever as Rachel. But the film never decides what it wants to do. It feels as if it was made by committee and that is sad indeed. It’s not scary, it’s not inventive, it’s just flat. Ehren Kruger, who penned the first film, also wrote this one and it fails to expand on the first film, offering us a tired premise we’ve seen a thousand other times.

The Ring Two is a major misstep. It is a mildly entertaining film but a sequel should improve upon and strengthen the ties made by its predecessor, not simply lie vacant and distant on the screen.

Sunday, March 13, 2005

work...begins again tomorrow!...

The much-needed, much-enjoyed paid vacation is winding down, folks. Well, it has wound down.

I plan to get some rather nice shoes along with some rather nice gel insoles at Target this week, as funds have been severely lacking as of late.

I read James B. Stewart's Disney War. It was a fascinating tale of just how badly Michael Eisner has damaged the company. Sadly, it looks like they're just going with more of the same as they announced today that Robert Iger will replace him as CEO. They may as well just call him "Eisner 2". (Read the book to find out why.)

Nope, I Heart Huckabees did not get watched by me yet. I know, I know - I'm a lazy son of a bitch.

Fuck those awful Republicans. In the ear preferrably. The bankruptcy bill, written by and for the credit card companies, is as soulless and evil as you can get. Couple that with their laughable plans for Social Security (which are thankfully being rejected by more than 70% of the country according to an Associated Press poll) and it's not that hard to see just how bad for the working class this political party is.

I saw Hostage on Friday. It was pretty good, nothing exclamatory. I must see director Florent Siri's French film The Nest as I hear it is a gritty, intense thriller.

Also, I found out today that I'm going to be an uncle as my sister and her boyfriend are expecting. She's five weeks along.

Well, off to shower, clean up the kitchen and watch a bit of TiVo before going to bed.

Monday, March 07, 2005

Light up...light if you have a choice...

This movie looks amazing. It's out April 1st. Check out for the trailer. My rather large ass will be in the theater, no doubt about it.

My condolences to Debra Hill's friends and family. She was a noted film producer of such films as Halloween and Adventures in Babysitting. She died too young and I always knew when I was younger that whenever her name appeared, the film I was about to see was a cut above the usual garbage Hollywood has a habit of spewing out. Ms. Hill was a frequent collaborator of John Carpenter's in the late '70s/early '80s. RIP, Debra. You will be sorely missed indeed. Check out any of the news sites for her obituary. It's a damn shame.

Congratulations to the Democrats for continuing to buck up against lamo W's attempt to dismantle Social Security. Keep up the keeping up, gang!

I'm really enjoying my vacation for what it's worth. Of course in my language, Broke Ass-ese, "vacation" translates into "sitting around on your ass".

More later after I watch 24 perhaps. And I will be buying this CD post haste (after new shoes, that is) as I'm falling in love with everything Snow Patrol.

You can find their website at

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

i sing the indie film electric...

I Heart Huckabees

I own this movie now. I plan to watch it during my DELICIOUS PAID FUCKING VACATION next week. I'll be visiting the beautiful town of Sleeping In Late. Perhaps I'll finally get my room cleaned AND THE NEW SHOES I SO DESPERATELY NEED. I work tomorrow and then don't go back to work until next Monday. I get paid next Friday.

My first-of-four free issues of The Nation arrived today. I get a free mini-subscription. Then I can write cancel on the invoice and owe nothing. There's some pretty substantial and interesting stuff in there and it's a great read. Check out or simply

And now a lovely little rant from yours truly. I have not seen I Huckabees yet. However, as I understand it it is far removed from the norm of filmmaking. That it takes chances and is unconventional to say the least. And guess who that spells disaster for? You guessed it! The mouthbreathers! Brilliant masterworks of cinematic art like Mullholland Drive, Donnie Darko, or Punch-Drunk Love are shunned by these geniuses. Why? What cogent form of dissent can they offer? Perhaps it's with a certain way the director takes the movie. Maybe the ending wasn't all that or some of the writing wasn't up to snuff. Nope. The whole basis of their argument is...IT FUCKING SUCKED!!!

There you go. That's the extent of their thought process. If Dennis Quaid or John Travolta isn't in it, if stuff's not getting blowed up real good, or if it, and I quote from a myriad of these chuckleheads, "ain't got no titties in it!", then it's worthless. People of this sort cannot discern taste or experience art of any kind, in any medium. If it causes you to think then it has no merit. That last statement is their motto. Now they don't think so. But it is. The films I spoke of earlier require deep thought, debate, and intimate discussion about the subjects they raise. I try my best to help out but ignorance is sadly bliss for these moronic imbeciles. Yet I'll still keep trying to expose these people to art in the hopes that some of it might rub off. But remember you can lead a horse to water...yet the dumb motherfucker still wants to rent the latest Wayans Brothers comedy instead of something intelligent.

SIRIUS 26 - Left of Center is endlessly addictive. Song after song of great music, unfettered by nosy program directors or no-nothing consultants. The eels song Saturday Morning is currently playing. But they've been playing a steady stream of music that's unconventional and greatly diverse. These are songs from artists such as The Postal Service, Tegan & Sara, Interpol, Death Cab for Cutie, The Shins, and many more. It's as far removed from mainstream rock radio as you can get and I love it dearly. This and Air America make SIRIUS worth it.

My Oscar thoughts? Feh. Million Dollar Baby is vastly overrated in my humble opinion. I guess poor Martin Scorsese has to fellate each and every member of the Academy to get a goddamn Oscar, huh, you soulless fucks?! Sorry but everyone must have memory loss. Um, remember 1992?! When Eastwood fucking won Oscars for both Best Picture and Best Directing? I know it was a while ago but the movie was called Unforgiven, Einsteins! I was genuinely happy for Morgan Freeman because HE'S NEVER WON. I was also happy for Charlie Kaufman's much deserved win for penning Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. Ditto for The Incredibles 2 Oscar wins. Congrats to Brad Bird & Pixar. It's the animation firm's best movie and I keep wanting to say it's Brad's as well but The Iron Giant was just so damn good, it's a toss-up for me.

Air America lands several more affiliates in Texas (Dallas is among them), with Reno now on board and Chicago slated to return as an affiliate on their one-year anniversary March 31st. New AAR CEO Danny Goldberg stated on last night's The Majority Report that his goal is to get the network into 99% of the population and to increase its public awareness and advertising. Good luck and hopefully all of these things will come to fruition ASAP.

It comes out in October. C'mon. Stephen King penning a film noir-esque novel? I'm so there! You are too and you know it.