Wednesday, December 20, 2006

so much little posting...

Seriously, what the hell's wrong with me? I should be a posting sensation but I've been feeling an indifference about posting. Weird but that's what happened. I've broken pledge after pledge to post so forget about me ever promising to post again.

Well, after only having two hours or so of sleep, I went with my mother to pay bills, browse at Oglethorpe Mall and Best Buy today and also to procure Christmas gifts for my sister and a friend of hers. We also picked up a whole publishing company of books (practically) from Barnes & Noble. Think of it as a sort of early Christmas present for us, the slavishly devoted readers, although I've been slack when it comes to that as of late. I may receive a few DVDs for Christmas. My mother's been hinting that she ordered a present for me online, oh excuse me, "A BIG GIFT", as she's been calling it. Anyway, after we came home from our excursion and ate some lunch around 2PM, I read Watchmen for a bit then took a nap until about 8:30 when Zach called. I then hung out at the apartment of his girlfriend, Amanda. She, Zach, and a mutual friend of theirs, Sharon, were making sub sandwiches. We ate, watched part of Disc One of Season 3 of Scrubs and then the mutual friend had to leave. After conversing for two hours or so, they called it a night at about 11:30, as Amanda has to drive to Marietta at 7AM this morning - you know the home for the holidays thing. Zach and I might hang out after the holidays, as he'll be sticking around Savannah.

Besides the books I'm about to mention, my mother got two true crime books. It's always been her cup of tea. Heck, she even got a Criminal Justice degree. She loves all things to do with the criminal process.

On the book list...

I'm currently reading this and...WOW! I was an avid comic book geek back in my formative years then fell away from it. This graphic novel is rich with deep characterizations, dense thematic material, and I can't wait to see where it takes me. The movie version of this is coming out in 2008. I thoroughly enjoyed the V for Vendetta graphic novel and this looks to be just the masterwork that others have deemed it. Alan Moore is amazing. In the Graphic Novels section at Barnes & NobIe I looked for Frank Miller's 300 but couldn't find it. Another day perhaps.

I plan to start reading this next. Bloodsucking Fiends looks like a dark comedy spin on vampirism. I'm always on the lookout for good vampire fiction. The Philadelphia Inquirer touted Moore's writing as reminiscent of Vonnegut. If that's even halfway true I'll be over the moon. I'm tired of lethargic, cliched vampire novels that think they're cutting edge by having their characters act like they're in a lame soap opera. In vampire fiction, I'm more intrigued about how a writer describes the process in which a human become a vampire and how they deal with being a vampire. If it's done poorly, it can be a boring, plodding affair that winds up being a waste of time for the reader. Witness Charlaine Harris's "Sookie Stackhouse" series. I invested time in almost all of those books only to be let down when it turns into a yawn-inducing Anne Rice Xerox with people transforming into dogs and werejaguars. I hope Christopher Moore doesn't let me down.

Yes, I know. After reading the synopsis, this book sounds it copies a bit from Dead Like Me. I'll let you know how this one turns out.

I really liked the novel Hannibal, thought the movie's rewritten ending was a total and utter copout (remember, Hannibal got away? The book has he and Clarice running away together as a couple). Even though Thomas Harris took a script he wrote of the same name and crafted it into novel form, I'm looking forward to this. The film version of this novel will hit theaters February 9th.

I, like the rest of the world, have been reading Stephen King novels as long as I can remember. Unlike alot of these very same people, I could never get into The Dark Tower series, try as I might. And like alot of authors, he's had some misses. Insomnia, From A Buick 8, to name two. I didn't like Cell. It showed promise then unraveled as the end of the novel approached. The synopsis of Lisey's Story puts me on edge a bit, as King in fantasy mode has never gelled well with me. Still, he is arguably the most popular author of the latter half of the 20th and early part of the 21st century and like a loyal baseball fan, I'll always be there to devour the latest offering and then offer my two cents.

Well, I'm going to tool around the old Internet for a bit and then read more of Watchmen before I hit the hay.

This is the really cool video for "Phantom Limb", the awesome first single from The Shins' forthcoming album Wincing The Night Away which will be released by Sub Pop Records on January 23rd. On January 13th, The Shins will perform on Saturday Night Live. Jake Gyllenhaal will be hosting. Music experts and cinemaphiles might remember that two songs by The Shins, "New Slang" and "Caring Is Creepy", appeared on the soundtrack to the 2004 film Garden State.

Monday, December 04, 2006

a whole lot of indie cinema is on its way to me...

In the coming days/weeks, I'll be receiving screener DVDs of upcoming indie films from

I'd like to thank Erik Martin at Palm Pictures. The titles I'll be sent will consist mainly of films yet to be released on DVD but some catalog titles will be in the mix as well. I'm not getting paid for this and I don't have to review these films (chances are I will anyway, though) so don't think I'll be a mouthpiece for their films. Even if I was paid by them, I wouldn't mince words excoriating a film I didn't like. From afar I've admired Palm's handling of their Director Series (compilation DVDs of music videos by visionary directors like Chris Cunningham, Spike Jonze, and Mark Romanek, to name a few) and will let you know what I think of these films in a straightforward, unbiased manner. The first title will be Michael Kang's The Motel. It debuted earlier this year at the Sundance Film Festival and was just nominated for Best First Feature at the 2007 Independent Spirit Awards.

Well, it's happened. Our first official fireplace fire of the winter. It's getting in the low 20s here tonight. Excellent. Honestly, if it was that cold here every day of the year, you'd not hear a single word of protest from me. Summer can screw off; I'll gladly take cold weather each and every day of the year.

I went to bed at 8AM this morning and woke up at 3:30PM. What the hell is wrong with me?! I waited until the last minute taking out the trash, getting it to the curb, and then loading and unloading the dishwasher. Afterwards I wound up playing games on I really need to start behaving like an actual human being, one that gets up and goes to bed at a decent or somewhat levelheaded time. We'll see if that comes to fruition soon enough. Goodness knows I'd like it to. Hibernating like a bear is tacky.

Expect a review of The Fountain. Suffice it to say in this year of barely there movies, this was the best so far. No kidding. I haven't had that amazing of an experience in a theater in a long time...hell, probably ever. It was as if you were inside the film as it was unfolding and the theater dissolved away. And, no I was not under the influence of any mind-altering substances as I watched The Fountain. Go see it at the theater. You owe it to yourself.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

1993 says hello...

and what do you know...1996 has decided to greet you as well...

Friday, December 01, 2006

the thrilling week that's been...

Not too much going on at casa de black market wit at the moment.

I treated myself and my mother to the final showing of this, as it was the last day of it playing here in Savannah...

While not as good as Lost In Translation, I thought Sofia Coppola's latest film did an admirable job of conveying the aloof nature Marie had as a naive girl placed in over her head into a position of such immense power although she was not exactly a student of government after she was installed in the role either.

Kirsten Dunst was great in the title role, the costume design and Versailles were amazing, and no, the New Wave music from bands like Gang of Four, New Order, The Cure, Bow Wow Wow, and other songs by The Strokes, Air, Siouxsie and the Banshees, and others do not take you out of the movie but add an air to the film to give it some sense of relatability to the modern world.

At the age of 15 Marie is given away in an arranged marriage. While those around her ache for a new dauphin to carry on their royal heritage, Marie's new husband is more taken with hunting, his stable boys, and keymaking. She is hesitant at first but by the age of 20 she was accustomed to her lavish lifestyle of parties and the extravagance her station provided her as all the while the people of France were dying of starvation. The film gives a birds-eye view of the vapid nature of a head-in-the-clouds existence and what said existence can portend.

Marie Antoinette
does not discuss the political aspects of the Palace of Versailles or its country's affairs and while some may decry that fact I simply went in with the knowledge that I wasn't watching a biopic, that Marie Antoinette is not a history lesson nor does it aspire to be. Instead, it's a jaundiced look through the eyes of a girl and those around her who couldn't see the forest for the trees and that reason, coupled with their arrogrant opulence, created the end of a lavish, overblown empire too in love with itself to govern properly.

And I loved the soundtrack, FWIW. I just might purchase it. Maybe.

For Your Consideration is also playing here now. I love Christopher Guest films and I hope this one's great.

I'll be a year older tomorrow. 25 to be exact. 30 is ever approaching. Wow. As I'm wont to do each and every birthday, I'll be partaking of a film. The movie I'll be seeing is Darren Aronofsky's The Fountain. It's tanking at the box office because America is full of fucking idiots who'd rather watch offal like Deck The Halls and The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause then actually stimulate some activity in that poor excuse for grey matter they call a brain. As a friend of mine stated, it'll go on to an amazing life on DVD when it will be rediscovered and heralded as a cult classic like Donnie Darko was and then people will go, "Damn! How come I never heard of it?" Well, slack-jawed yokel if you'd venture outside of your insular cocoon once and a while and actually see what else is playing at the theater instead of just following the herd mentality and blindly watching crap, you'd have known.

I received another check from the video store I formerly worked at. I'd given them BOD as far as $$$ went, as silly me assumed they'd take a few weeks to get things sent out. They first sent a check for only half of the 53 hours I worked the last week I worked there. A call to payroll later, a check was cut, and voila, all is well.

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Wednesday I received Sophie Scholl: The Final Days from Netflix. Nominated for a Best Foreign Language Academy Award at the most recent Academy Awards, it's based on a true story about a college girl who dared to speak out against the Nazis in 1940s Germany. It looks really good, very captivating. I added the FOX series Profit to the top of the 'ol Netflix queue. The 1996 FOX series was cancelled after four episodes aired (eight were made). Adrian Pasdar (currently on NBC's smash hit Heroes and married to Dixie Chick Natalie Maines) starred in the lead role and volumes have been written about just how stellar this show is.

As I've been a slack bastard as far as this blog goes lately (TiVo's chock full, as usual, as I type this), I feel like an ambitious undertaking. For this month, the month of December, I pledge to post a movie review a week A pretty crazy notion, huh? It'll be a task, no doubt, but I think I can manage it. Expect a review of Michaelango Antonioni's 1975 film The Passenger later this week.

For now time for dishwasher unloading and loading and then sleep.