Saturday, March 07, 2009

So...who's seen the Watchmen?

I have.

For a long time, I was skeptical about the idea of doing Watchmen as a movie. Even at three hours (which the finished film nearly is), there was too much in the source material they'd have to leave out to do it justice.

I also thought that if Terry Gilliam couldn't do it (he tried), maybe no one could. So, now I've seen it. And? And there's some good stuff in it. But ultimately, it doesn't work.

It's worth noting that Alan Moore's name does not appear in the opening credits, though Dave Gibbons' does. I assume this is by Moore's choice. He's made it quite clear in the past he wants nothing to do with Hollywood's adaptations of his work.

I didn't expect to be saying this, but the problem is not that it didn't use enough of Moore's work but that it tries to use too much. And the parts that don't work (cinematically) ultimately overbalance the parts that do.

I believe quite deeply that one of the most important parts of making art is the art of selection. That stands for when you're creating something yourself, and when you're adapting the work of another.

Again this is something I would not have expected to say, but the decision should've been made that this was not, could not be the graphic novel, and to make it the movie that it could have been.

Friday, March 06, 2009


Here's a band you've probably never heard of...

The only reason I have is because this song was on the Hiding Out soundtrack in 1987.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Suddenly I'm not as excited about Tron 2

It's been announced that the score for Tron 2, the sequel to the cult sci-fi film that's currently in development, will be composed by Daft Punk.

Nothing against Daft Punk--I like 'em ok--but Wendy Carlos's score to the original "Tron" is a still-astonishing gem. She deserved a chance to update it.

There's something in this about all women, # 20


It never fails

Whenever I see that some Congressperson has made some wrongheaded statement--such as that healthcare for Americans is a privilege, not a right--I always know what's coming, in only a matter of seconds.

Two letters.





Love is love is nothing without you; Love is love is everything you do. Open up your eyes And you will see; Love is love is everything to me

Everybody and anybody who makes a stink about gay marriage needs to watch this...if for no other reason, then so they'll know what they're fucking with. Actual people. With actual lives.

You're really comfortable with that?

PS: Well, we know where "my girls" were today...


Tuesday, March 03, 2009

It's not that I don't like your thinking, Joe...

Joe Scarborough is one of those rare Republicans whom I very, very occasionally find myself agreeing with. Oh, don't get me wrong--he's a smug Republican pretty-boy, but as smug Republican pretty-boys go, he's pretty easy to take.

This is not one of those occasions.

Scarborough wondered today why, to rescue the economy, we can't just do the same things we did in the '80s. As I say, Joe, I like your thinking. The same things we did in the '80s? That means:

M*A*S*H in the evening, G.I Joe in the afternoons
Tootsie & Return of the Jedi in the theaters
Toto's "Africa," Olivia Newton-John's "Physical" and Madness song after Madness song after Madness song on the radio and on MTV
And the 1982 Trans Am on the road.

...believe me, Joe, I like your thinking...but the thing is, less than a month ago, columnist and economist Paul Krugman explained why economically, that very idea simply couldn't work...and he explained it to you.

A for effort, tho, Joseph.

Is it me, or does this dress make Vanessa Hudgens look like Strawberry Shortcake threw up on her?

You make the call.

No comment.

From a Middle Tennessee State University poll:

“Nearly one in six Tennesseans has told a joke about Barack Obama’s race, and three-fourths say they’ve heard or read at least one, even though only 15 percent of Tennesseans say they would find such a joke funny.”

“Just over half (53 percent) of Tennesseans say sending troops to Iraq was “a mistake,” while 38 percent say the move was not a mistake, and the rest aren’t sure.”

A majority of Tennesseans (52%) say abortion “should be legal under some circumstances, but not others.” Smaller percentages say either that abortion should be illegal under all circumstances (25%) or legal under all circumstances (19%).

Fifty-three percent of Tennesseans say that they approve of how President Barack Obama has done his job so far, and only 27% of Tennesseans disapprove. In the 2008 election, 57% of Tennessee voters cast their ballots for Obama’s Republican rival, John McCain, while only 42% voted for Obama.

Some good news (maybe) for Terminator

Turns out that a lot more people are "DVRing" the show than are actually watching it Friday nights.
Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, in fact, is currently enjoying the biggest boost of any network show — a 36 percent jump in adult demos — from Live+7 DVR data, which factors in playback within the first week after a program airs.

Will this be enough to keep the show on? Glau knows, excuse me, god knows. But at least it's some good number news, finally, for those of us who know what a good show this is.

Even when their episodes aren't quite 100%--which I think you could argue the last couple haven't been--there's always something to remind me why I love it: One chilling scene, or a twist at the end that turns the whole thing on its head.

Upon closer reflection, realized Rush is but rarely entertaining

Two days after calling Rush Limbaugh a mere "entertainer" ... Republican National Committee chairman Michael Steele apologized

Monday, March 02, 2009

Sometimes you find gems in the oddest of places

Like this song, which Thomas Dolby wrote and recorded for the Howard the Duck soundtrack. We all know what happened (or rather, what didn't happen) to that film, and the song seems to have been forgotten by most over the years.

It deserved much better.

PS: Yes, that's Stevie Wonder on harmonica.

Get the popcorn

The Republicans are eating each other for breakfast.

Recommended reading and viewing

A piece from about a year-and-a-half ago, and a clip from this year's Oscars, with no connection save that I saw and liked them both.

1. Why "torture porn" Isn't.


the Saw movies actually contain less torture than most horror movies, in that most of the excruciating pain is self-inflicted by the characters. John "Jigsaw" Kramer (Tobin Bell), the bogeyman of the series, places his victims in death traps that are usually fast-acting and can only be stopped by an act of self-mutilation or the murder of another person. These are definitely nasty things to do to someone, but they're quick and are done out of a deranged kind of philanthropy—Jigsaw believes those who survive will be stronger people for it—as opposed to the prolonged interrogations we usually associate with torture today. The only real torture scene in the Saw movies takes place in Saw II, when Detective Matthews (Donnie Wahlberg) beats up the cancer-stricken Jigsaw in hopes of obtaining a confession, breaking his fingers one by one. Jigsaw gives him one, but it turns out to be false (which is, of course, the primary real-world criticism of torture as a tactic). Matthews, in fact, has been made Jigsaw's pawn precisely because the mad genius disapproves of the way the cop has used torture and trumped-up evidence in the past to abuse his position.
2. (if you missed it)

Sock it towards them, Sean.

Saving Grace

For those of you who may be sick of my continued hyping of series much-enjoyed by me, but performing poorly in the ratings (Like oh, say, I don't know, Terminator) be advised: Saving Grace with Holly Hunter returns to TNT this evening.

Grace actually does have an audience, which while it may not be much by network standards, is sufficient to keep it on TNT. So although I will be talking about it, there won't be that same air of desperate irritation.

(Friday Night Lights was beaten by Supernanny! Supernanny, do you hear me? Supernanny!).

(BTW, personally, I'd love to see Terminator moved to Fox's F/X channel, where the 3.5 million viewers it's getting each week wouldn't be preceded with "only"...but that's another post.)

(And I'll betcha Friday Night Lights would do great on USA...but again I digress)

For part of the first year of Saving Grace, I thought Holly Hunter was single handedly holding my interest in the show. Hunter is always, but always, worth watching, and not just because she's the best actress in America, although she is.

But I've come to be really thankful for the series.

For one thing, I think it shows that it was created by a woman (Nancy Miller), and that's a good thing. Hunter knows it.

"Grace comes from my experience and my imagination, but she's especially from the imagination of Nancy," Hunter says. "It's a very collaborative thing that we've got going on. I can say, "Hey, I'd love to see us explore this.' I may have an image in my mind I'd like to see. But for the most part, the writers and Nancy have these ideas that I am kind of guided by."

"I'm really grateful that this found an audience," she says. "Grace is a full-blown human being. She stumbles, she celebrates, she pursues, and she retreats. She's kind of capable of everything, and I'm happy that audiences have found her."

The hype tends to be about the faith vs. flawed aspect of the show...which is very important. After a first few episodes in which I thought they really overplayed the "angel" card they found a way to be a little more down-to-earth. Yet without sacrificing the spiritual aspects of the series.

What doesn't get a lot of play in the hype but is one of the things that shine through is the writing of female relationships, Grace's friendships with other women.

This especially shows in the writing of Grace's buddy Rhetta, played by Laura San Giacomo. It's a real relationship and friendship, which means they talk about more than boys and shoes. They're the keepers of secrets, and they can hurt and help each other in the ways that only friends can.

Speaking of female relationships, Christina Ricci guest-stars in tonight's episode beginning a recurring turn as Grace's new partner. Ricci has talent, and if I were she, I'd pay very close attention to Hunter while I was working with her.

I just can't imagine a better role model for a young actress.

Sunday, March 01, 2009

This does not bode well for Dragonball: Evolution

Street Fighter debuted, as they say, poorly.

So's my seven-year-old nephew

Today, on NBC’s Meet the Press, host David Gregory asked Secretary of Defense Robert Gates to compare the “styles” and “temperaments” of Presidents Bush and Obama. Gates said Obama is “somewhat more analytical” than Bush,

You guys wanna see the weakest thing I've ever seen?

A song by the techno-pop group Information Society, as performed by a choir group.

Holy shit.

This is made up of about 75 different samples. It's kind of awesome.

See if you don't agree.

Even for Sean Hannity, this is idiotic

Our favorite ideologue's latest claim (via Pam's House Blend): That by showing scenes from the film Milk, the Oscars were contributing to the oversexualization of our precious children.

When I say idiotic, I mean...