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.