April 29, 2004

The Passion of the Christ

Any intellectual analysis of this film is less than worthless.

The Passion of the Christ is certainly the most powerful film ever made. No, I haven't seen every movie that's ever been made, but because of this starkest possible portrayal of this subject matter, I stand by my words. I cried. When the whip came down on his back, I felt it. I flinched in my seat. The film hits you on the most visceral of levels.

I am not a devout Christian. I'm not sure exactly where I stand on the scale of Christianness. When I was little my parents drug me to church, and I rejected it when I was about 12, refusing to go. This was probably just a form of youthful rebellion. I may have rejected the church, but I've never actually rejected Christ. I've taken my own spiritual path, neither inclusive nor exclusive of the Jesus guy. My knowledge of the gospels is limited, but I've usually thought that Christ's teaching is positive and beneficial. The subtle effectiveness of this film lies in the depiction of the fundamentals of Christ's teaching intertwined with his indescribable suffering.

I have to wonder how someone would respond or not respond to this film if they had no connection to or knowledge of the Christ. He or she probably just couldn't take it and would leave about 5 minutes into the punishment scene. (At the matinee I saw this afternoon a couple did get up and walk out during that scene.)

Naturally, a strong Christian would be completely blown away, seeing Christ's passion so graphically depicted. Here is the basic point, Mel Gibson did what he set out to do. I'm sure 99.5% of all Christians had no idea how much Christ truly suffered for them. And since Mel held nothing back, now Christians can experience this suffering firsthand, and their conviction can only be deepened.

I can hear somebody saying, "Hey, the Buddha didn't have to get the shit beat out of him." The Buddha didn't rise after three days either, but theological debate is not my thing so I'll let that go.

I am glad that Mel showed the rolling away of the stone. And he shows Christ completely renewed before ascension. No scars.

Oh yeah, I almost forgot: I suppose I can see where Jews might get a little defensive if they saw The Passion of the Christ. But the fact that the Jews condemned Christ while the Roman governor wanted to let him go is absolutely NOT the point of the movie. What happened was Christ's destiny, and the particulars of how it came to pass is totally beside the point. Why hate Jews over it? If they hadn't gotten him crucified, he never would have arisen, and we wouldn't have a Christian religion. So, Christians should thank Jews if you ask me.

Another minor point: This film makes Jesus Christ Superstar look like an elementary school play. That thing was obviously just satire -- or at least it looks that way to me now.

A couple of days after this film was released, I saw Roger Ebert's review and was stunned when I read his words that "this is the most violent film I have ever seen." I thought, whoa, how many films has he seen? How many really violent films has he seen? Now I know what he was talking about. I don't know that I could bring myself to go again, but I am really glad that I saw it once. I was attracted by the controversy, but walked out of the theater in awe of the film's power.

Posted by Wayne at 07:28 PM | Comments (7)

Dr. Strangelove

Nuclear war and its prospect is an excellent premise for comedy. It is. Trust me. Stanley Kubrick proved it with this 1964 black & white classic. Dr. Strangelove is one of the most intellectually funny movies you will ever see. There isn't much slapstick, except that rendered by George C. Scott as Gen. Turgidson. Scott really struts his stuff. This was one of his first opportunities in a feature movie, and he didn't blow it. When seeing him do his thing I kept trying to picture his opening speech in Patton. I wonder how much of this role helped him get that one? Patton would have to rank as my all time favorite movie, but I digress.

I watched this on Turner Classic Movies, and they had Sydney Pollack introduce it. His description of the time that this movie came out was quite interesting. The general populace was genuinely frightened of the prospect of nuclear war, on a daily basis. The Cuban missile crisis was fresh in everybody's mind. The nation was still mourning the assassination of JFK. The Beatles were hitting. This was a turbulent time of uncertainty in the good old U.S.A. The release of this flick, at that time, must be one of the ballsiest, riskiest moves in the history of filmmaking.

Peter Sellers is brilliant, playing three roles. One British, one American, and one German, the title role of the wheelchaired former Nazi scientist who just can't seem to keep his right hand from erecting itself in heil hitler salute. His German guy is excellent, but what I like the best is his interaction with Sterling Hayden's psycho Gen. Jack Ripper, as the British exchange officer Lt. Mandrake. Sellers' depiction of Pres. Merkin Muffley is precious too -- the prez is very concerned as to how the destruction of the world is going to affect his image.

In fact, as Pollack pointed out, every character in this movie with at least 25 words of dialog is crazy. All of Sellers' roles are nuts, Turgidson is obviously certifiable; Slim Pickens' Maj. T.J. 'King' Kong, who pilots the aircraft with the bomb, is so out-to-lunch he decides to take one helluva joy ride; and craziest of all of course is Gen. Ripper who decides that the Russkies are poisoning our bodily fluids and decides to start the whole sequence of nutty events.

I had this saved on tape, and after the documentary I watched the evening before I felt this was appropriate as a follow-up -- a stark contrast to 60's seriousness.

But of course you have to relate it to our sitation today, 40 years after the release of Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb. The Bomb. The Bomb. Most of us have forgotten about The Bomb. We're mostly worried about terrorist-type bombs that just take down office buildings. But what if Osama got a hold of....

Oh never mind. That'll never happen. Stop worrying.

Posted by Wayne at 12:52 PM | Comments (1)

April 28, 2004

The Weather Underground

Domestic terrorism is not new to this country. We first started dealing with it back in the 60's. Violence was all over the place then, as young people started raising hell about the Vietnam war.

A certain terrorist faction known as the "weather underground," which based on this film, appears to be a bunch of spoiled rich kids feeling guilty about their fortunate family situations who decide to rebel against the status quo. The film, which aired on PBS last night and is reportedly coming out on DVD in a few weeks, interviews several of the principals from that group and that era, along with descriptions of the various calamities that they created.

For the most part, these former revolutionaries express much regret for the things they did. The exceptions here are Bernadine Dohrn and Bill Ayers; they're still proud of their efforts at undermining American freedoms. The others look like lost souls. Karma's a bitch, and these post middle-age folks seem to be experiencing that. I was startled to find out that one of them, Mark Rudd, is teaching at TVI here in Albuquerque. I would honestly like to talk with him, not in an aggressive way, but just to ask him directly about what was going through his mind in those days. The trouble with documentaries is that they have to be edited.

In recent years, I have become an outspoken conservative, however, I spent all my younger years on the liberal side, even in some radical factions. The basic truth of my being (at least as I see it so far) is that I am a natural born revolutionary. This used to mean being a liberal, now it means being a conservative. If I was about 10 years older, I'm certain I would have joined in the anti-war movement, and in a big, perhaps violent, way. Therefore, unlike many of my conservative colleagues, I will not rush to judgement of these individuals.

This is what the film, The Weather Underground, has done for me: reminded me of my basic nature. I feel empathy for these people, but I do not feel sympathy for them. I do condemn their actions, I just don't condemn them so much. I know that makes little sense to some people but I don't know how else to say it. (I'm really glad I slept on it before I wrote this.)

These people were kids who wanted to rebel. Most young people want to rebel. The war gave them a vehicle, something they could bitch about in a big way, probably abetted by their college professors. Apparently they got a little too caught up in it, and couldn't get back out.

I was struck by the film of the weather underground members once the Vietnam war ended, and they all started turning themselves in. They should be jumping for joy. Not only did the U.S. get kicked out of Vietnam, South Vietnam was overrun by communists and became a communist nation. The radicals got exactly what they wanted. Yet, they all look bummed out, like a kid who has grown up and can't play with his toys any more. It's like, "what are we gonna do now...?"

While most are regretful, Ayers and Dohrn stick to their rebellion. It speaks to the leftiness of our academic system that these people are now college professors. They got off, deservedly so, because the FBI broke the law in pursuing them. However, that doesn't mean a college has to hire them to teach, especially an institution as prestigious as Northwestern University.

You have to be amazed at the weathermen's conviction, attempting to overthrow the U.S. government with their little group. Or, you have to be amazed at how crazy dumb they were.

Posted by Wayne at 11:23 AM | Comments (1)

April 27, 2004

28 Days Later

British movies piss me off -- even the really good ones -- because I can't understand the bleedin' dialog. However, about a third of the way into this one I remembered that I could turn on the English subtitles. Ahhhhh. Then I could enjoy the movie. I'm wondering if I shouldn't do that all the time; even if the accents are Kansan you still miss a word here and there. This morning I rewatched the first 37 minutes and gained a better understanding of the basic story.

28 Days Later, if you've seen the trailer or previews, could easily be confused with Night of the Living Dead. And 28 Days Later does have some very aggressive and deadly zombies that will strike when you least expect it, creating a very consistent tension throughout. However it is far above such Grade B fare as George Romero's tale. Most of the way into 28 Days Later, I thought that it was simply a condensed British rewrite of Stephen King's The Stand. It has much in common with Steve's magnum opus. A virus suddenly appears and just as suddenly wipes out the entire population except for a few lucky or unlucky souls, depending on your perspective.

However, I think the objectives of the respective storytellers are different. Danny Boyle, famous for Trainspotting (couldn't understand that one either) directed, screenplay by Alex Garland.

I'm growing to dislike "message movies" more and more, unless the message is obscure enough to allow for multiple interpretations, like this one. It could be a simplistic message: man's normal state is that of killing his fellow man, or, military people are assholes, or, we are all just sex-driven beasts, or, military people are just sex-driven murderous assholes, or, most probably, we are all assholes except the three central characters in this movie.

The message I think runs a little deeper here. Based on the derivation of the virus, the meaning has something to do with rage as a genetic part of our makeup that will kill us all one day. I'll let you watch the film and decide for yourself. If you can handle some (al) gore (vidal), and can understand British dialects you should be mesmerized. And I'm not just referring to the full frontal when the guy wakes up in the hospital.

I see it will appear on HBO soon, but you won't get subtitles, so you might consider the DVD. There are some interesting extras on the DVD: Three alternative endings, one that is so extensive that they have to show it with storyboards and dialog read by the director and the writer. The documentary about the making of the film is scarier than the film because it discusses the factual risk of viral pandemics faced by the world today. They talk about the huge outbreak of foot and mouth disease in the UK which lead to the destruction of 5 million head of livestock, and how viruses are morphing such that they can be transmitted from animal to human, like the virus in 28 Days Later.

Calling this a horror movie is actually debatable. Oh, it is definitely horrifying, but there's more to it than yikes and screams. This flick gives you a lot to think about.

Posted by Wayne at 05:46 PM | Comments (4)

April 25, 2004

29 Palms

Where's the bag? Who has the bag? 29 Palms revolves around a bag of money that changes hands in some extremely improbable ways -- about 10 times. First, Chris O'Donnell gets it from the Indians, then the security guard steals it from him, then the cop steals it from the security guard, and it goes from there. I'll get into spoilers if I go any further.

There's a message in this movie about Indian casinos, but I'm not real sure what it is. I think the writer is down on them. I wonder if he's seen the gambling palaces in New Mexico.

O'Donnell is a hit man, hired by Indians to take care of an undercover FBI agent. Except the FBI guy gets away and all kinds of weirdness ensues, all swirling around this damn bag of money. Russell Means plays the Indian chief. I didn't know he had done so much acting in recent years.

The script is fun. The budget was obviously low, and it's the resulting campiness and cheesiness that gives the film some charm. The violence isn't bad at all. Even in the end when a few of the characters take bullets, it's not that bloody.

The whole thing takes place on a lonely desert highway. 29 Palms is the name of a town. I wonder if there are still only 29 palms there?

I enjoyed watching Bill Pullman playing his character: the slightly (or perhaps not so slightly) crazy bus station attendant. He has a strange predilection for oranges, but proves to be good with a shotgun. Yes, the man who played the President in Independence Day does well with a really low-rent character here. At one point I thought he would end up with all the money, and maybe he does, you have to watch. I liked his sax player in David Lynch's Lost Highway.

Including Bill, there are a variety of decent acting performances here, ranging from the deranged, to the cool, to the victim, to the prick -- actually everybody is a prick in some way. Rachael Leigh Cook plays the obligatory cutie -- a Native American waitress -- of course. The guy at the middle, the pursued played by Jeremy Davies, just mumbles all the time however. I suppose the character has reason to be so out of it, but he could've put some emotion into the performance, just for the hell of it.

This movie isn't bad, but it certainly isn't great either. I'm not even sure it's good. But it was worth the watch. You can't help wondering what's going to happen with the bag in the end. And at 95 minutes it's not too long.

Posted by Wayne at 12:25 AM | Comments (2)

April 24, 2004

Master and Commander

No fucking extras. I had sworn off using the F word on this blog, until I discovered that there are no fucking extras on the Master & Commander DVD. I hadn't realized how conditioned I was to spacing out on deleted scenes or director interviews right after watching a DVD. This disk doesn't even have the trailer. They must've needed to hustle it out. Or, they are trying to create more interest in the inevitable special edition DVD that will appear sometime around Christmas.

The DVD may lack a how-they-did-it documentary, but the movie is quite excellent. This seashow moves past Lost in Translation and is my first runner up to Return of the King in 2003. Russell Crowe's movie got 10 Academy Award nominations so if not for ROTK, it would've done about as well.

The year is 1805 and a tub full of Brits are playing cat and mouse with a French privateer -- a boat of superior firepower and twice the crew -- all up and down the coasts of South America. England is determined to fight off Napoleon.

I appreciated how the story showed the caste system of the early 19th century British warships. I would like to read the novel on which this movie was based so that I could get a clearer description. It was strange watching kids, they looked to be 12-14 years old, commanding men much older than them. I guess it was some kind of officer-training method. The kids probably had the right parents. Lucky Jack, The Captain, Crowe's leading character, often seems to be a father to these lads as much as a commanding officer.

There are several great characters on this boat. Jack's doctor friend provides a nice compliment to his sea warrior. But the kid-officers and all the old salts each lend their flavor to the overall taste of the film.

This flick has one of the greatest action sequences I've ever seen. No spoilers allowed so I won't go into it, but the ultimate battle is worth the price of admission.

The price of admission was pretty cheap though. I mentioned last week getting 99¢ coupons in the mail from Hollywood Video. Well I got a great surprise when I went up to the checkout counter there this afternoon with one disk. The kid tells me then that I can use this coupon to get up to three movies for that price. (I had missed part of the fine print.) So, we've got a couple more to watch this weekend.

Posted by Wayne at 02:04 AM | Comments (1)

April 23, 2004

Last Tango in Paris

French dialog without subtitles left me wanting a bit with this movie experience. I first saw Last Tango in Paris 25 years ago at a midnight movie in Wichita, KS. That version had subtitles. However, Movielink gave me a weird R-rated version of the sexy Bertolucci classic that didn't come with subtitles.

The edit is strange too. I've caught some deserved crap on this blog for not researching certain things I've stated. (I hope to have corrected the errors.) But regarding Last Tango in Paris, I was sure that the scene where Brando cusses out his wife's corpse was at the beginning of the movie. 25 years can distort some memories, and I had probably consumed a few brews before I saw it then, but this is what I was expecting. If that's wrong I'm sure someone will tell me. But anyway, this version had that scene late, near the end of the flick. The late placement also does not make sense with the movie's timeline. Brando and his babe's affair had nearly played out at this point -- how long do they leave bodies on display after death in France? I could understand if the scene placement made a difference with the movie rating board.

I will have to find the X version on disk and watch that now. I could still follow much of what was happening even if I couldn't understand the French dialog, which speaks highly of writing and direction. And you know if you've seen the film that when Brando and his paramour are alone, they speak English, as does Marlon when he's with his dead wife. This is the meat of the story -- all the French stuff seems peripheral, except when Brando is getting his bathroom cleaned up. I would really like to know what the woman who is doing the cleaning is saying, and who she is.

The only reason I downloaded this was a half-price sale on Movielink. Ordinarily I wouldn't watch such an artsy film on the computer, but for two bucks I said, what the hell? This is however becoming an increasingly tolerable method of viewing.

Seeing this edit made me realize what an excellent film this is, because of all of what I remembered after this length of time. A couple of scenes I was looking for were missing. And this is certainly some of Brando's finest work. I think it's strange that this came out at about the same time as The Godfather.

Maria is certainly a prophet in this movie though. When Marlon is giving her a bath she tells him that he is getting fat. Boy if only they knew....

Posted by Wayne at 11:07 AM | Comments (0)

April 20, 2004

Flawless

Drag queen movies are the not the first genre I shop when I go to Blockbuster. However, I had caught a few minutes of this one on Bravo a few weeks back and it looked interesting. Bravo reshowed Flawless last weekend so I taped it.

Robert De Niro in a drag queen movie. No, Bobby doesn't wear a dress, but Philip Seymour Hoffman does, and Philip's performance is the best part of this film. I saw this on cable so I had to deal with commercials, but at least I could fast forward through them thanks to the VCR.

Philip plays Rusty (Busty Rusty) a professional female impersonator, who forges the most unlikely of bonds with De Niro's character Walter, a homophobic tough guy security guard who has a stroke. Walter's physical therapist tells him that singing lessons are great speech therapy. Rusty lives in the same building and Walter hears and sees him singing through his window, so he approaches him for lessons. They don't get along to begin with, but through the lessons they come to trust each other.

There is a murder at the center of this story, and Walter has his stroke when he tries to do something about it. Much money is stolen from a nasty gangster leading to the murder and the gangsters spend the whole flick trying to find it and get it back, making life difficult for all concerned.

Flawless is, unfortunately, flawed however. The main problem I had was De Niro's speech after the stroke. He can barely move his jaw, so much of his dialog is lost. And, the queen and the rent-a-cop don't really share enough on screen to justify what you see between them at the end.

Another weird aspect is that, seemingly, according to this script, all gay guys are either dress-wearing, makeup-smearing queens, or gay conservative Republicans. There isn't anything in between. The confrontation between the two groups is the worst scene in the film.

Spoiler alert:

What makes the movie for me is the end, where there is this big action scene involving the bad guys, Rusty, and Walter. You see the drag queen roll down three flights of stairs with a gun-wielding nasty boy, take him out (I would say how but...), and then climb up the side of the building and break in through the window to save Walter, like Arnold Schwarzenegger in Collateral Damage.

There's also a great party scene that is a visual mindbender. It blends Rusty's drag buddies, Walter's security guard buddies, and other building residents in a small apartment. Seeing the tough guys dancing with the queens is hilarious.

This movie isn't great but it sure is different, and it has its moments. Some of the dialog is funny (you know those drag queens). I admire what director Joel Schumacher tried to do here, but he didn't pull it off. Bless him for trying.

I saw some really cheap VHS copies (29¢) on both Amazon and half.com. I'm sure it's better without the TV edits, and the sound quality I'm sure is better as well.

Posted by Wayne at 11:25 PM | Comments (0)

April 19, 2004

Basic

Basic. What a title. You see the previews on HBO: Travolta, Samuel L. Jackson, berets, jungle, guns, camos, so you think of basic training (at least I did). You're never really sure what Basic refers to, though I think, during the course of the film, I caught a reference to some aspect of questioning, as "basic."

Perhaps "basic" refers to the approach to writing the script. The screenplay is somewhat complex however -- there are very compelling questions that cause you to watch. I got sucked in last night at midnight after watching The Sopranos and Deadwood. I was tired wanted to go to bed, but found myself highly curious as to why Sgt. West (Jackson) got blasted in the jungle. Why someone might want to do that is pretty obvious at the outset, but Army Rangers get in trouble if they kill their CO and get caught, no matter the level of jerk demonstrated by said CO.

Travolta is key to the story, but he doesn't wear a uniform. He's not in the Army any more. You can see that he did something wrong, or was thought to have done something wrong, so he go booted out of the service. However, he has a great reputation for interrogation and getting info out of somebody, so he gets called in to help with this extraordinary circumstance. One guy wounded, who happens to be the son of the head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, or is it Staff of Chief Joints? I forget. There is another unwounded, but apparently the other four principals are dead after a maneuver in the central american jungle.

The unfortunate son is also gay, but this has little to do with the story, it's just a stigma he carries to add spice and possibilities.

Between these two guys you get about six different versions of who got killed when and by whom, and who is a drug runner, and who is missing their grenade, and why in the hell did they put Harry Connick, Jr in this? (He's a white coated doctor so at least we didn't have to see him in an army uniform.)

Ultimately things are not as they seem, even though you are not at all sure what they seem to be either. In fact, it's really not a bad story. And the story is not that basic in the end.

There are about 3 levels of mindscrew here. Not bad for a 95 minute movie. It goes at least one step too far, but that's okay. I like a film, that in the end has you saying, "How bizarre..." no matter how improbable the circumstance. Movies are not about reality. You have to accept this if you are going to be a movie fan. There is no reason to approach a film like Basic, any differently than you would a film like Hellboy.

Posted by Wayne at 03:14 PM | Comments (2)

April 18, 2004

Hellboy

Hellboy is Hot.

Ron Perlman looked so comfortable with all the ----- you can't call it makeup. What's the word they use? Oh yeah. Facial prosthetics. (That two-word phrase causes my mind to conjure a face with mechanical legs and arms coming out of it.) But this movie is fun to watch. I would love to get a hold of some of the comics to read. I don't need to buy them, I just want to read them.

Hellboy is the quintessential lonely and misunderstood hero. There's a real unrequited love at the center of his being, that defines him, in the midst of his saving the world from Rasputin and and some lipless freak who wears skin tight armor and winds himself up like a clock, not to mention all those weirdest of CGI monsters. These spawn are mighty bizarre, so detailed it's hard to take them all in since they move so fast. His love interest is a nice looking girl who happens to be able to control fire, at least she can control it sometimes. Hellboy is fireproof so he doesn't need to worry about getting burned.

This movie defeats what had practically become a paradigm with the comic book superhero movies: the evil villain a much more interesting character than the virtuous hero. Not here. Hellboy is the character, with his cigars, stone fist, sawed off horns and brooding Sam Spade kind of attitude towards his, uh, peculiar situation.

We get to see Rasputin bring Hellboy in when he was a little shit back in 1944. A paranormal scientist who was present for this becomes his Dad and raises him. And they both hang out with a blue amphibious guy who is quite psychic.

Rasputin opened a portal and brought Hellboy in from the place of the 7 Gods of Chaos 60 years ago, and now Razz is back to go ahead and destroy the earth like he meant to do then. He also intends to bring Hellboy back into the fold.

I enjoyed seeing Jeffrey "Hey Now" Tambor, late of the Larry Sanders Show that was on HBO.

This movie is very well done and immensely entertaining. Go see it while it's still on the big screen.

Posted by Wayne at 01:50 AM | Comments (0)

April 17, 2004

...to me

Beer-shopping last night at Albertson's supermarket was a surreal experience.

Albertson's has a nice selection of fancy beers, but they piss me off because, while they stock Sierra Blanca products, they don't keep them cold. Sierra is a microbrewery down in Carizozo that does some brews we like, most notably Alien Amber Ale. It looks cool too with the picture of the alien on it.

But they always have Alien, along with Sierra's nut brown ale and pale ale out on the shelf, uncold. At A's you can walk into the beer cooler for full cases, and I always look in there hopeful of finding some Alien stored, but alas. no find. So I picked up a sixpack of Fat Tire. This is a nice amber ale from Colorado, available on tap in many Albuquerque locales.

While I was shopping, before I went into the walk-in, a fellow on a motor chair -- you know, one of those self-propelled wheelchairs with a basket on it that the grocery stores make available -- was in the liquor department. He wasn't old, so he must've had some kind of injury. But at any rate, he wasn't used to driving this chair -- and he was having a very earnest cell phone conversation. (talk about hang up and drive...) First he passed in front of me when I was looking into the case and did a lap clear around the spirits area. He then buzzed back to the beer cooler and nearly crashed through one of the glass doors but managed to stop in time.

After I retrieved my six pack from the walk-in, when I walked back out, there was a fellow looking into the cooler. He said, "It used to be simple."

I went up to the front of the store and got in a check out line. Then the guy on the wheelchair gets in line behind me. He's still on the phone, telling whomever is on the other end that he thinks they are sweet. He keeps edging forward but doesn't quite seem to be in control of his contraption, and I'm afraid he's gonna mistake the accelerator for the brake and steamroll me right there in front of the Weekly Globe and People Magazine. I imagine going home with tiremarks on my face, trying to explain to my wife what happened.

I survived.

Lucy made some nice fajitas last night.

Today is the anniversary of my birth. Both my mother-in-law and my sister-in-law have sung Happy Birthday to me on the phone. Being the youngest in my family, I've always been pretty self-indulgent on my birthday. I think Lucy is taking me to see Hellboy later.

Posted by Wayne at 04:16 PM | Comments (0)

Swimming Pool

Swimming Pool is not the movie to see late on a Friday night after a long walk and three Fat Tire Ales. This movie is draaawwwwwn out. Much space between the lines. I just sat through the deleted scenes, which is by the way the only extra on the disk besides the trailer. The trailer has a lot more tension than the movie.

During the deleted scenes we saw, in order, Charlotte Rampling make tea at a restaurant, then walk up an alley by herself, then set her alarm clock before going to sleep, plus a few others scenes, the point being that I am surprised they took them out because the whole flick is like that.

Charlotte is a writer. One should always be wary of movies where the central character is a writer. She's having trouble working on her book (what other drama could exist in a writer's life?), so her publisher sends her to his cottage in France. She gets on a roll with her laptop thanks to all the solitude in this big country house.

We spend quite a while with her wandering the grounds and the French village nearby and settling in to the house. I know the Europeans love that shite, but this Yank gets a little sleepy.

Don't misunderstand. The movie is really well done. It's quite well acted and shot and directed. First rate production. It is however unnecessarily ponderous and slow (if you ask me).

Finally something happens when the publisher's daughter shows up unexpectedly in the middle of the night. She's a wild child, about 18, and starts bringing home dudes and partying, but mostly skinny-dipping in and laying out by the Swimming Pool in skimpy bikinis. I thought it was interesting how the film seemed to study the young woman's body. We're constantly getting breast shots, and slow pans of her from toe to head wearing one of her bikinis. Yes she's beautiful. Apparently the director was fascinated.

I won't do spoilers so I'll say that something very heavy does happen later. The girl proves to be a little psycho. But I still didn't fully get that bit. I did get why the writer lady did what she did. It's all for the book. She wanted to live it.

If you're in a real arthouse mood and feel generous toward European self-indulgence, and it's early in the afternoon after a few espressos, you might give this disk a spin. Thankfully it only runs about 1:40, but could've been less than an hour.

I got this using another 99¢ email coupon from Blockbuster, so I can't complain too much. There's a war going on because we got some 99¢ print coupons in the mail from Hollywood Video. I love it.

Posted by Wayne at 01:52 AM | Comments (3)

April 15, 2004

American Pie 2

Ah, guilty pleasures...guilty pleasures. I don't mind admitting that I laughed my ass off several times during American Pie 2. The main group of five guys are all really funny actors. Finch is my favorite. I love his deadpan mellow tantric guy. And I know I'm one behind, but I'll catch up with the wedding thing soon enough.

What makes a movie like this fun, is when you encounter some guys who have seen it, and you bring it up. All you have to do is say "super glue" and then you can watch them all cringe and crack up at the same time.

Frankly though, Jason Biggs is just a little too good looking to be the dork that he plays. He's too tall for it too. But he still does very well. And I love Eugene Levy who plays his Dad. We know him from Christopher Guest's movies.

Watching a film like this allows me to shed the label of "movie snob," even though I am one most of the time. But, for those of you who are too stuck up to watch this, I will tell you that there are real characters here, and real coming of age stories. Neither is terribly deep but they don't try to be. The little mellodrammer with Kevin and Vicky (Tara Reid) is cute.

Stifler is such an a-hole. He did not deserve to get both of them. That is an absolute travesty and the writer should be reprimanded. I loved his Mom's appearance at the end. Finch loved it too.

I downloaded this from Movielink and watched it on the laptop I'm typing on now. I am getting used to seeing a film this way. A little brighter picture would have been nice but I'm sure they are improving on the quality. I might start to do this more often for the sake of convenience, but I still think the regular price is too high. See my Movielink commmentary here.

Posted by Wayne at 01:46 AM | Comments (0)

April 14, 2004

Meme

I don't usually go for shit like this. If everybody is doing it, then it's generally the last thing I will do. However I decided if the book yielded a provocative sentence I would. Anyway, here's the instructions:

1. Grab the nearest book.
2. Open the book to page 23.
3. Find the fifth sentence.
4. Post the text of the sentence on your blog along with these instructions.

My book is Boy in the Air, by Don Bajema.

"With a nervous system resounding like a perpetually rung tuning fork, I became a strike-out king."

I've seen it a million places but I will give credit to It Comes in Pints? I like her.

Posted by Wayne at 09:31 PM | Comments (0)

Baseball Photos


Deviation alert! No movies are discussed in this post. Besides watching films, I also like to take digital photos. Our local baseball team, the Albuquerque Isotopes, make for some good subject matter. Monday was the home opener so there was a fireworks show after the game. The game was really good -- after the 7th inning. The 'topes scored two runs in the bottom of the 8th, then three in the bottom of the ninth to win it.

One of these days I'll get a photo blog going.

Posted by Wayne at 06:49 PM | Comments (1)

April 11, 2004

School of Rock

Blockbuster sent me a coupon in the email this week, offering a short term special: through Sunday, one rental for 99¢. I wouldn't miss using that, and such discounts are a good excuse to a) take a chance on something you never heard of, b) find something 10 years old that you missed, or c) go for something really light and fun, which you would be reluctant to pay the full price to see.

We decided on "c" and rented School of Rock. We really enjoyed it. I freaked out when, near the beginning, Jack Black is awakened by disgruntled roommates and is laying in matching bedsheets and pillowcases that are just like a set that my Mom put on my bed when I was a kid and that I used for years. They're made with a cool orange and brown abstract sun and vaper trails design, pictured at right.

Sometimes when we get a movie we like to get up the next morning, make coffee, and watch it in our jammies. This is fun, and works well with a comedy like School of Rock. Starting a weekend day with some laughs is kind of nice.

This movie exceeded my expectations, not because of Jack, but because of the kids in his band. Truthfully though, the credit goes back to Jack because he played his part with the kids so well. Ask any actor, doing scenes with kids is difficult. In the documentary material on the DVD, Jack quotes WC Fields where he said to never do scenes with kids or animals, because they are so cute nobody notices what you do. Jack explains that he is basically a kid himself, and an animal, so working with either isn't a problem. And he proves this if you see the movie.

Before bringing this disk home I had no idea that it was directed by Richard Linklater. I will always remember Slacker and Dazed and Confused. I haven't seen what he's done since, but seems to be going more mainstream now.

They recruited kids for the cast who are actual musicians, so there isn't any synching. They all really play and really sing, and do both great. Jack even plays lead guitar for real, and kicks some butt.

Believe me, this isn't just a dumb comedy. Seeing Jack and the kids bringing a rock band together and pulling off a successful show is quite uplifting in its way. The kids manage to truly Stick It To The Man, just like Jack teaches them to do during his fraudulent term as a substitute teacher. The hidden gem of a performance here though is Joan Cusack as the principal. She does great as the frustrated-and-repressed-nut-as-stuffy-conservative. The scene with her and Jack having a beer is charming.

There is much good extra material on this DVD, including a challenging rock trivia quiz in the computer stuff (PC DVD reader req. for that). In the extras they exploit the kids further by documenting them at the Toronto Film Festival, and they are really sweet experiencing the spotlight for the first time.

Posted by Wayne at 09:44 PM | Comments (1)

April 10, 2004

Hidalgo

"Better than Seabiscuit!"

My wife Lucy spoke this softly into my ear about the time Viggo and his Mustang hit gallop in the final run toward the end of the transdesert race that is the story of Hidalgo.

Later on the way out she explained that she not only likes the movie Hidalgo better than the movie Seabiscuit, she mainly likes the horse Hidalgo better. Hidalgo the horse is a dynamic character in this story, much moreso than the racehorse Seabiscuit in his story. And Seabiscuit certainly couldn't run a 3000 mile race. He would fail before the last 2995 miles. Hidalgo is more of an everyman...er...everyhorse... than Seabiscuit, though biscuit wasn't a superbreed either. Hidalgo is a wild mixed breed, hardly geneticized for racing.

The story is called Hidalgo and the horse is a central character, but really the movie is about Frank T. Hopkins, Viggo Mortensen's lead role. Viggo's presence in the cast is I'm sure the only reason Lucy wanted to see this film, Lord of the Rings fanatic that she is. But I'm glad. This movie is very very good. The story is quite compelling, the characters compliment each other nicely, and the visual is stunning. This film really is beautiful. Some might complain of the brown monotony of the desert. But the grand views offered by the cinematography of Hidalgo blew me away.

If I have a complaint, it is Viggo. I fear he may become Kevin Costner. Remember those flicks Kevin produced and acted in just before and after 1990? The nice fantasy and/or historical productions that had this vacuum at the center, where he was, bare butt and all? Robin Hood stands out for me in this regard, and probably Dances With Wolves. Mr. Mortensen showed more life in the LOTR films than he does here, though he is one with his horse. You must give him that. And his character did require some quiet, focused determination, so I should give him the benefit of the doubt until his next couple of flicks come out. Oh, and Viggo shows no ass in Hidalgo. Thank God for that.

For Viggo's next role, I hope it is something completely different from this. Something modern and urban. I want to see how he acts with a suit on, drinking a martini.

Before I go I need to mention Omar Shariff as the Arabian ruler. He is really precious and adds much character to the story.

From the looks of the trailers we saw today, this summer we are heading into an end-o'-the-world phase with movies. One trailer was for Day After Tomorrow, a movie where the polar caps melt (in one afternoon if I saw it right) and flood the whole planet. The other trailer described the film 10.5. 10.5 apparently refers to a Richter scale rating of an earthquake that separates the entire west coast from the North American continent. I can't wait to experience these things.

Speaking of trailers, if you haven't seen it yet, be sure and check out the new Spiderman 2 trailer. It's a beaut.

Posted by Wayne at 09:13 PM | Comments (0)

April 09, 2004

The War of the Worlds

Jesus takes a bunch of serious blows early in this one, but wins out in the end.

Naturally, I first saw this film when I was a little kid and thought it was amazing. War of the Worlds is still a really good suspenseful scifi classic, even if the heat rays look like film of a welder now.

But when I was wading through the commercials on AMC to watch it tonight, I caught up with the fact that the story line is draped over a theme of Christianity. When watching the early scene where kindly Uncle Matthew the Minister, decides to try and communicate with the aliens and walks out bravely with his Bible and gets toasted for his hospitality, I wondered if that was H.G. Wells' slam on Christianity. A man of the cloth is smote by superior heathen technology.

As the story develops however you can see the story coming back to God every so often, and then of course the ending: The alien machine fires on the church, and immediately chokes and dies. Ultimately it was The Almighty that killed off the interloping greenbloods with sacred bacteria.

The ending is funny that way too. The machines peter out and quit the way a living being does when it dies.

What I remembered most about the flick I realized, is the sound that the ray guns make when they are frying something.

There are rumblings of a remake of this classic. They'd better do a good job. Actually they aren't rumblings, the film would've been out by now if not for 9/11. Because of that they are going to base it on H.G. Wells' original 1898 premise instead of the modern day.

Posted by Wayne at 08:32 PM | Comments (0)

Identity

Slasher noir.

When I saw this the first time, that's the description I came up with on the way out of the theater. The writers and producers did a nice job of combining a good old-fashioned slasher movie with arthouse film noir. Identity is a film that makes you think, and wonder what the hell is waiting for you at the end of the plot, and at the same time makes you cringe in fear and cover your eyes in revulsion.

Johnny Cusack is at the center of Identity with an able supporting cast that includes a sexy Amanda Peet. And a kid. Cusack is okay -- I can take him or leave him. He could do more to help build the tension in this psycho-yarn.

Until the very last scene, it is night and it is raining really hard. The rain comes straight down unceasingly. All of the characters are alternately soaked or drying out. They all get stuck in a rickety roadside motel due to the road getting washed out in both directions. Death starts taking them one by one and the bodies are found with room keys that do not match the rooms that they checked in to. The numbers on the keys are in descending order.

The rain came down like that on the day of my Dad's funeral. I'm sorry but that's what I'll always think when I see that kind of rain.

You realize about halfway in that things are not as they seem, and you are going to get mentally screwed by this story. But, you are very very keen to find out just exactly how you are going to get screwed, so you watch on the edge of your seat -- just to see how you've been had. This movie is a very effective use of two parallel story lines coming together at the end.

Describing Identity is difficult without giving too much away. Just check it out if you get the chance. It should show on HBO several more times. Research shows that the director, James Mangold, also did Girl, Interrupted, a movie I really liked.

Posted by Wayne at 01:58 AM | Comments (1)

April 08, 2004

Gold Street Caffé




Downtown restaurants are off topic for this weblog, but that's okay because I didn't see a movie today. Besides, this experience was excellent -- I have to write about it. Unless you live in Albuquerque, New Mexico, or plan on visiting here sometime, you won't get any useful information from this post.

My wife Lucy and I have a history with the Gold Street Caffé, and it's not totally pleasant. The last time we visited, or tried to visit, was about 4 years ago. It was a Saturday morning and we wanted to have breakfast. We went in, sat, and didn't even get acknowledged for about 20 minutes. The tables were trashed. The waiters were rude. We left and never went back. Previously we had really liked their food and espresso.

Then the local weekly free paper ran a short article about the place last week describing its new chef, who used to run a place called Fajitaville, which we loved, but had died a sudden and strange death a year or so ago. We also learned that now GSC opens for dinner. Formerly it only served breakfast and lunch like most downtown joints.

So, tonight we ventured west into the valley and the early evening shadows of the downtown skyreachers (they aren't tall enough to call them skyscrapers) and found the posh little eatery. It wasn't busy so the service was great, and so was the food. Lucy had fish tacos, something she used to order at Fajitaville. I had the chicken enchiladas and they too were delicious, featuring perhaps the best molé sauce I've ever had.

We were able to talk to the chef and told him that we miss Fajitaville. He said that he would open another one one day. We finished by splitting a piece of scrumptious banana cream pie. I had coffee, she indulged in a de-cafe mocha. We'll be going back there, maybe we'll give them another chance at breakfast this Saturday morning.

Lucy's mocha came with a new innovation. The cardboard jacket that they put on the drink to insulate your hand from the hot glass, had a miniature of a painting on it, along with information about the painting and the artist. Starbuck's is sure to pick up on that and put ads for various roasts on their jackets.

We haven't made it downtown much lately. We used to live down there. The first apartment we shared is just a few blocks from GSC. I wonder why they think they need two f's in caf[f]é?

Posted by Wayne at 02:14 AM | Comments (0)

April 07, 2004

Quiz Show

"I wanted to get television, but television is going to get us."

This quote from Dick Goodwin comes out near the end of Quiz Show, a true story of dishonesty in television back in the 50's.

Jeopardy is my favorite game show, as it is for many people. This movie certainly didn't make me wonder if Jeopardy is corrupt. Alex Trebek's show happens way too fast to be choreographed. However, I did think of it when one of the characters was talking about why people become fascinated with game shows. He said that the viewers don't watch to see some dazzling display of intellect; they watch to see the flow of money. And I thought of Jeopardy because what I am in fact more likely to remember, is how much money the winner got, not what questions he or she got right.

I've heard of this movie for the ten years since it was released, but the premise never sounded that intriguing to me. A rigged game show. BFD. These days it's generally accepted that many of those shows, most notably Hollywood Squares, are scripted.

I have always read that Quiz Show is a very good film however, so I've wanted to see it. Finally tonight I got the chance thanks to HBO. Yes, it is a very good film -- almost excellent -- mainly due to first-rate acting performances all the way around. We see nice work by Ralph Fiennes as Charles Van Doren, the big fraud of a contestant, and Rob Morrow as Dick Goodwin, the Congressional investigator. John Turturro can overplay a character just right in my opinion, and his portrayal of Herb Stempel, the nutbag Jew-with-a-chip-on-his-shoulder who goes public with the fix, is great.

I kept in mind while watching Quiz Show that this is a Robert Redford film. He tends to be preachy. Somehow I got on his mailing list for environmental causes. I have nothing against his directorial abilities -- he was nominated for an Oscar for his work here and deserved the recognition. I just kept my ears open for political references. The only thing I caught was a few lines from Goodwin disparaging McCarthyism.

What impresses ultimately, is what they did with what I still consider a weak premise. Like Dan Enright, the producer who fed answers to contestants, says to the Congressional committee (paraphrased): "The network makes advertising money, the advertiser sells more product, the contestants get more money then they would ever have a chance to make otherwise, and the audience is entertained. There are no victims."

We do see two victims however. Herb's pride is crushed, but he does not have both oars in the water as Johnny Carson used to say, and we really don't feel too sorry for him. If he hadn't blown his cash gambling this whole drama probably never would have come to light. However, Charles Van Doren we do feel for even though he was willing. His conscience is a major victim of this crime. Charlie's statement to the committee is quite memorable, where he doesn't just come clean about getting answers, he apologizes for his whole life and all the advantages he has been given.

The scam was perpetrated by two guys and two guys only: Enright and his partner. This was not some grand conspiracy that reached the highest levels of society. Some hozer was just trying to boost his TV ratings so he created a drama.

As is usual when a movie is about real people using real names, at the end they tell us in an on screen text message where the principals are now. They said that Enright and his helper guy, after years in exile, came back to America in the 60's and produced another game show called The Joker's Wild, and they made millions from it. I remember The Joker's Wild, and I also remember the observation that both a friend and I made about it. Because the show involved a slot machine style pull of a lever bringing up three random cards, we thought that it could easily have been rigged.

Posted by Wayne at 01:12 AM | Comments (1)

April 06, 2004

Weird Science

Wearing bras on their heads. That was certainly original.

About 15 minutes into this little flick on Comedy Central, I was wondering what the hell I was doing watching it. Now, I don't mind indulging in the shallow semi-humor of a low level comedy on cable once in a while. I like to observe film on the other end of the spectrum, where they don't take themselves too seriously. If you look there, sometimes you find a gem. I wouldn't say that Weird Science is a gem but ultimately I appreciated some aspects, especially Kelly LeBrock's aspects. I taped it so I could skip past the commercials. (We haven't advanced to tivo yet.)

With a name like Weird Science I thought it might be fun. I seem to remember that it had a cultish following after it was released in the 80's. Naturally the story is completely stupid and beyond farce. Two socially maladapted high school guys, Wyatt and Gary, accidently somehow make a beautiful woman out of a barbie doll by hacking into a remote computer. This process is full of fire and lightning and earthshaking calamity, yet it is still glossed over rather quickly with very little explanation. If you need explanation, don't watch a B movie. Oh, by the way, this is where they wear bras on their heads. Again, it is not explained, but it does look stupid and is therefore funny.

This story is another interpretation of the Frankenstein paradigm, where man produces an artificial being that ultimately destroys him, a la Terminator and many others. The ending is different here of course, but you can still credit Mary Shelley for the plot. Weird Science shows clips from a couple of old Frankie movies at the beginning and they inspire Gary on their escapade.

After producing their dream woman, Lisa, as they have named her, takes over their lives, throws a party and tries hard to instill confidence in the lads. Indeed, Lisa seems to be a guardian angel sent to rescue these boys from themselves and a life of social misery. She accomplishes her task by throwing them into a situation where they have to stand up and take charge. They respond, and wind up getting cute chicks their own age.

You could almost say this movie is inspiring, and inspiring it could be to a virginal adolescent male. Robert Downey Jr. has a role as one of the jock tormentors of the boys. And Bill Paxton has one of his early gigs as Wyatt's asshole older brother, who winds up as a Jaba the Hut lookalike courtesy of Lisa. She came with amazing powers.

I think I would like to see the unedited version of this on DVD, but I doubt that I ever will.

Posted by Wayne at 01:53 AM | Comments (0)

April 05, 2004

Tony & Al, HBO Sunday Night

The Sopranos again this week ended with a dramatic act by Carmella -- it was also a mysterious but revealing act. After hearing nothing but vitriol streaming from her toward Tony for all three of the episodes so far this season, she actually supports him in his attempt to somehow rescue his relationship with his young protegé, Chrissie Moltisante.

Watching both couples: Tony and Carm, and Chris and Adrianna, walking into Vesuvio's for dinner was positively surreal. And all with their game faces on, portraying a big happy family for the spectators at the other tables. Just a couple of scenes previous we had seen Chris beating up Adrianna. (God that hurt.) And shooting up Tony's car. And nearly eating a bullet from Tony.

(Who is that fat guy and where did he come from anyway? Did they decide the need a replacement for Pussy?)

So what does it mean? Does Carmella still have a soft spot for Tony? You know she must. The way he turns all those other women -- Carmella is still a woman. Or does she really give a shit about Chris and Adrianna's relationship? She seems to care about them both individually. Carmella is becoming the eye of the Sopranos storm. In subtle ways, everything is swirling around her.

I thought it was great the way they showed the spreading of the false rumor. A blow to the head turned into a blowjob in the course of a couple of cell phone calls. And I've always noticed with this show how effectively they use the teasers and the highlights from the coming week. The scenes before this week's show made you wonder if Chris was going to find out that Adrianna is a snitch and whack her. We know it's going to happen sometime. However, Adrianna told the FBI lady to blow off last we saw. We know something will come of that.

The Next Hour: Deadwood.

That show keeps getting hotter. Al's got some competition now. Something he loathes. We all have to like anything that Al loathes. Heck, he even got dressed up this week to go meet the new saloon owners. That must've been painful for him, since he thought he owned the town.

Much of why we dislike Al Swearingen, comes from the weak personalities with which he surrounds himself. That hotel owner is so lame he gave himself up for execution, but then Al decided he could use him.

And the pencil-neck from New York got what you knew he was going to get. So now will his wife go to work for Al in the saloon? I think she wants to. But the wild card there is the other prospector who witnessed the murder. What will he do?

Wild Bill Hickok is still just drifting in this story. He doesn't have anything to do yet, and he doesn't like it. Obviously he is used to being the center of attention. He has killed a couple of bad guys I suppose, but that's like breathing for him. He got so bored this week that he started to help the Montana sheriff turned hardware dealer build his store. But, Bill came to his senses and left to go play poker.

Deadwood is still a character-driven drama. And that is fine because the characters are powerful and diverse. The plotline is sparse at best and the story just plods along.

Posted by Wayne at 06:15 PM | Comments (0)

April 04, 2004

The Fellowship of the Ring, Special Edition

Tonight my wife wanted to rewatch Fellowship of the Ring, the first flick in the Lord of the Rings trilogy. This makes at least the 8th time, total between theater and dvd and short and long editions, that we've watched it. I think I've got it down now. And it's still a great film. I enjoyed all three and three quarter hours of the hobbit story again, even if my mind wandered a bit here and there. The story, the characters, the visual are all so rich that I don't think I will ever get tired of it, or bored with it. I know Lucy won't.

As I've mentioned before, in writing this blog I've come to realize how your perspective after seeing a movie three times is different than right after seeing it the first time. Now I think you reach a another level after 6 to 8 times. Then, you don't have much to say about the film at all because you've been through it so much that there's nothing left to process.

However, this is obviously a special case. I've not only seen all three movies multiple times, but I've watched many hours of documentary, on the disks and on various cable and network TV channels. I saw the franchise clean house at the last Oscars.

It's obvious. I'm not sick of the movies. I am sick of the hyperbole and the commentary and can't bring myself to add to it.

Whenever I kick down and write one of these takes, I try to review and inform those who haven't seen the subject movie, and also put in comments for those who have. Anybody who isn't familiar with the hobbits and the elves and the orcs and such at this point, certainly does not want to be, so there is no reason to share info.

I had thought that because of the movies I would never read the books, but I may try again this summer. I want more of the story now.

Posted by Wayne at 12:57 AM | Comments (2)

April 03, 2004

Lost in Translation

Please see ¶1 of this post and my comments on David Mamet's comments. They apply directly to Lost in Translation.

Visuals -- stunning Visuals -- dominate this treatise from Sofia Coppola, Francis Ford's little girl. Sparse, barely essential dialog, between two Americans lost in Tokyo. One older, male, married with children. The other young, female, married to a flighty photographer who leaves her in their hotel room in her transparent pick underwear to look out the window at a huge, vast city.

Bill Murray and Scarlett Johannson are perfect together in this film. There are not only grandiose visuals of the city of Tokyo, there are equally stunning visuals of Bill & Scarlett together. Their chemistry is magical and mesmerizing. Bill owes half his Oscar nomination to Scarlett.

They don't talk much, but they don't need to. This movie is striking in this similarity to the Earring movie I wrote about here, which also features Scarlett not talking much but saying it all with her eyes and face. She is a truly remarkable actress. I hope she doesn't get too spoiled by all the attention she is getting now. I'd hate to see her turn into Judy Garland. I first saw Scarlett in Ghost World, a really good comic book movie with Thora Birch and Steve Buscemi. She showed promise there, and again, she didn't have much dialog. But I digress.

My wife says that had this not been the year of Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings, then Lost in Translation should have been the one to get best picture and all that. And she says that Bill Murray should have gotten best actor instead of Sean Penn. I agree. LiT is more of a visual story than Mystic River.

The story draws you in hypnotically. I actually have a desire to sing karaoke now, having seen Bill doing his darnedest on a Roxy Music song. It takes a lot of gall to be so sparse with dialog and so reliant on imagery and pull it off. We'll have to check out The Virgin Suicides, Ms. Coppola's first film.

Posted by Wayne at 12:09 PM | Comments (6)

April 02, 2004

Dylan in Victoria's Secret commercial

My God.

I just saw Bob Dylan in a Victoria's Secret commercial. When it came on I had the sound down and was surfing on the laptop (I do this a lot, certainly too much). Naturally the VS model caught my eye very effectively, but then the image changed to this old guy with an intense topography of wrinkles on his face and a slight mustache and beard, who looked suspiciously like Dylan, until the visage returned to the Underwear Goddess Model. By now I'm watching closely and when the picture turns back to the old man, I unmute and sure enough, I catch the fading strains of Love Sick from Time out of Mind.

What's the world coming to? I hope he was well paid. And got to meet the model.

I found the video on the Victoria's Secret site. Click the "video" link on the Angels banner at the bottom of the opening page. Although we'll probably see that ad many times in the coming weeks.

Posted by Wayne at 05:56 PM | Comments (1)