full life

Belated and Irrelevant Pop Culture Ramblings

Kath has been sick this week, so as a result we've been watching a lot of movies.

1. We missed "I Heart Huckabees" in the theater, so we jumped at the chance to rent it as soon as it came out on DVD. We're huge David O. Russell fans - "Flirting With Disaster" is brilliant, and I really like "Three Kings", and we were certainly intrigued with this film's premise. End result? Not so much. Kath felt it was sorta derivative of Wes Anderson; I thought he was trying to make a Charlie Kaufman film. IHH is the sort of movie that I would have loved when I was 19, naive, stoned and heavily into my own created philosphy, "disc theory". There are lots of cool and funny bits, and some entertaining performances, but the film itself didn't quite hold together for us.

2. "Gods and Monsters" was on TV later the same night, and Kath hadn't seen it before. I rented it a few years ago without really knowing what it was about and was introduced to the sublime wonder that is Ian McKellen, whose performance continues to impress. I can't not look at him when he's on screen; everything he does is suffused with grace and elegant wisdom. Lynn Redgrave is great, too, and even Brendan Fraser is tolerable. The film itself is maybe a bit flimsy, but Ian McKellen is infinitely watchable.

3. Which brings me to his "Richard III", which I'd been wanting to see forever and never got around to renting. It happened to be on TV last night, so we hunkered down and watched it. Unfortunately, I think I'd hyped it up in my mind a bit too much; the film is only about 1:40 and so basically Richard's killing someone every 5 minutes or so, which can make following the characters a bit confusing for someone who's not terribly well versed in Richard III (I studied it at NYU but not from a text standpoint, and I've happened to watch Pacino's "Looking For Richard" a few too many times, which offers a very specific reading). Also, the 1930s facist England that the film takes place in is interesting, but it makes the whole royal family thing feel like an anachronism. That said, Ian McKellen is as riveting as I'd hoped, which is all I really wanted to see anyway - I'm glad that he's getting work, but I'd much rather see him do Shakespeare than X-Men.

*** I'm listening to my iPod as I write this, and out of nowhere comes Patton Oswalts' "A Man Shaves His Balls", which has obviously broken my train of thought. ***

4. When I got home yesterday, Kath was watching poker on ESPN, and a lot of the ESPN promos during their poker coverage features the Black Crowes' "Remedy", which is a song that I'd always sorta liked. I don't know what it is about the Crowes; we have a few things in common, like enjoying pot and playing music, but aside from their singles I never really paid them that much attention. Anyway, hearing "Remedy" made me recall this live performance that they did a year or so ago on Showtime or something which I happened to flip to, and they played this song during that show that's been in my brain every since. The song is "Soul Singing", and I decided to download it last night and I ended up listening to it about 20 times in a row. There's something about the chorus of that song that just makes me happy. Does that make me a dork? I don't really care. If you can find that song online, listen to the chorus.

That's all I've got.

5. Wait a minute, no it's not. I caught a bit of "Monster" this week, too. Not enough of it, but certainly enough to give Charlize Theron a hearty round of applause. She's fucking AMAZING.
I liked all three of the movies in parts 1-3 of this post. In one way or another, they're all "flimsy," but I think that's why I like them so much.
the black crowes remind me of being stoned for four years in new paltz, haven for both black crowes fans and gay marriage.
You went to SUNY New Paltz? I almost went there. Have we already talked about this? I'm getting internet deja vu.
I still stand by "Amorica" as being a great fucking album for what it is... for those five minutes when the crowes evolved artistically before they went back to the formula.
I've heard a lot of people say that about that album, and considering it didn't do that well, it's probably not a surprise that they moved away from it and went back to being "reliable". I may end up downloading it; right now my Crowes thing is squarely fixated on "Soul Singer", which I'll listen to until I can't take it anymore.
I like your conclusions on Disc Theory--does it match up to a preexisting one?
Things to do today. Let's see...
What do you mean, does Disc Theory match up to a preexisting philosophy? Disc Theory was borne out of a miserable but life-changing experience on mushrooms, where I was basically in the deepest pit of existential despair. The whole attempt of Disc Theory is to make fate and free will coexist. Imagine how fucked up it was for me to see The Matrix.
I thought the Black Crowes' "Hard to Handle" was a pretty good song, until I realized it was a cover of a much-more-awesome Otis Redding song. (Though, hey, this might be common knowledge to most.) If you haven't heard the original, I implore you to go find it.
Did you see the Black Crowes with me in high school at the Mid-Hudson Civic Center? I bleive that was only the second rock show I ever saw, after Yes at the Orange County Fairgrounds. Rockin' good stuff!
The only concerts I saw during high school were U2 at Giants Stadium and H.O.R.D.E. in, what, 92? I know a bunch of you guys went to see Pearl Jam and Neil Young up near Albany, but I wasn't at that.
Ordinarily I'd take offense to that, but: I never said I "dug" the Crowes, I just like one particular song. I'm glad to see that your irrational hatred of "Contact" stays alive and well.
i'm kind of confused by your "disc theory" (i'm incredibly obsessive about free will vs determinism, and related quite a bit to mark walberg in huckabees.) if you are metaphorically a cd, and the music on the cd is already written, than how can you still make choices? what is a cd other than the music on it? you aren't choosing the notes that come next, so what exactly are you choosing?
If I remember correctly (because it's been a while since I actively pursued this line of thought), the issue of freewill is addressed in the metaphorical act of listening. The music may already be written, but the audience has never heard it before.