Friday, January 29, 2010

Celebrity Deaths and the Mourning of

I get it. I do. I was very saddened by Patrick Swayze and Heath Ledger. And Brittany Murphy. Don't Judge Me!

I was sad when I heard about their deaths because they had all been involved in films I love. Dirty Dancing. 10 Things I Hate About You. Clueless. Yeah, that's pretty much my entire adolescence. And they were all still young. Ledger was obviously on his way to becoming one of the greatest actors of his generation. Swayze, or "The Swayz" as he is sometimes called, was generally awesome. And, hey, Brittany Murphy could have cleaned herself up and gone to Broadway. Girl could sing, as seen in this video (skip to 2:38). My point is, there was a real chance that they would do more in their careers and lives.

Today JD Salinger died. And people are really upset. They're upset that an author has passed away who hasn't published anything since 1965 and hasn't given and interview since 1980. He was 91 years old. Why are these people so upset? Unless you're a member of his family or social circle, this in no way negatively effects you. You're not going to miss his personality or opinion, because he wouldn't even come to the door if a reporter came a knockin. Were you thinking that after FORTY-FIVE YEARS of not publishing anything that suddenly he was gonna pop out a new novel? Hey, maybe his widow has some of his unpublished manuscripts lying around that she'll have published now that he's dead. So maybe his death positively effects you. Or maybe there are no manuscripts and instead of writing he's spent the last several decades of his life playing canasta. There were no new books and no new interviews coming. My point is that the level of JD Salinger in your life would not be any higher if he were still kicking. Not that he would be doing much kicking, what with the BEING NINETY-ONE. The Onion sums it up with a nice bit of satire: Bunch of Phonies Mourn JD Salinger.

Also, I read Catcher in the Rye. Underwhelming.

I'm going to bed now.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

How I Spent My Snow Day.

This past Thursday we shut the 'brary down for the day due to the weather. I had just gotten the dvd Moon in at work, and I had Choke at home from Netflix. So the obvious choice as to how to spend my day off: Sam Rockwell Movie Marathon.

First Up: Charlie's Angels.

I remember actually liking this movie at one point in time, but, much like Coyote Ugly, I've recently discovered that some movies I liked in high school are actually terrible. The only reason this movie is allowed to exist at all, let alone on my DVD shelf, is Sam Rockwell as Eric Knox. He rocks it. All of the following video is quality, but the best bits are of him dancing at 2:38(Hey Ab, can we play that song at your wedding?) and DOING THE SPLITS at 4:40, but there's a tiny bit at 3:50 where he bites at Drew Barrymore's face that I love. Really, every line he says is golden, and there is absolutely no reason for such an awesome character and performance to exist in the motherfucking Charlie's Angels movie. It's truly heartbreaking that his character doesn't win.

#2: The Green Mile

"Wild Bill" Wharton is at least 100% less sexy than Eric Knox. But Rockwell brings this kind of ridiculously gleeful insanity to the character that makes it hard not to love him. Well actually, by the end of the film you really should hate Wild Bill. For lots of reasons.

PS- The Green Mile is a truly fantastic movie. It clocks in at 3 hours, but it honestly doesn't feel that long. There isn't a minute of the movie I can imagine being cut out, which is definitely more than I can say for the next movie.

#3: Choke

You know it's bad when you're watching a film adaptation of a book which you haven't read and you think "Wow, this is a bad adaptation of the book." I could just tell. There is so much in the movie, and it all kind of works, but... I think there's too much. There's a whole bit with Sam Rockwell's character Victor's best friend collecting rocks that really does not need to be in the movie. It's obvious that the writer-director tried to fit too much of the book into the movie, which isn't necessary. Film is a different storytelling medium than novels. He needed to pick and choose which parts of the story to focus on, and he didn't. What really saves the movie are the performances from Rockwell, Anjelica Huston, and Kelly MacDonald. It's not a terrible movie, but something seems sort of... off. This line from the Pajiba review pretty much sums it up: "It's like watching two brothers kiss each other in a hello greeting. They're family, so I guess it's natural, but it just seems bizarre."

And finally: Moon.

LOVED it. But, I really like science fiction and obviously Sam Rockwell is one of my favorite actors, so it would have to be absolute shit for me to hate it. It's a really wonderful, relatively small sci-fi movie. Sam Rockwell absolutely carries the whole film, although I did recognize Douglas from the IT Crowd as one of the corporate guys Sam Bell communicates with. I won't tell any more about the plot, but watch the trailer and then add this movie to your Netflix queue!