Friday, January 28, 2005

Sideways (2005) and About Schmidt (2002)

Alexander Payne is obsessed with pathetic men, and apparently movie critics are, too. That's the only way to explain the praise that's been heaped on these movies. The movies aren't terrible, but they're both kind of boring, nauseating, and exhausting. But I guess it's not so surprising that movie critics would like these movies -- I mean, movie critics are mostly middle-aged white guys who never did what they really wanted to do (make movies). Of course this kind of sad-sack man movie would appeal to them.

About Schmidt is definitely the better movie, with more interesting visuals and characters, like the hummels falling off the roof of the Winnebago as it moves, and the neglected, failed daughter (Hope Davis). And the characters, while not at all appealing, are at least somewhat sympathetic.

But Sideways is just irritating. The sitcom-level disparity between the attractiveness of the female and male halves of both couples in Sideways (Viginia Madsen and Paul Giamatti; Sandra Oh and Thomas Haden Church) is offensive. And the two main characters become less sympathetic and more pathetic not only during the course of the movie, but for weeks after viweing, sticking in my mind like the taste of bad food sticks in my body, making me feel ill again and again.

Thursday, January 20, 2005

Visit Jens Lekman!

Monday, January 17, 2005

A Picture Share!

Friday, January 14, 2005

Amazing first photo from Titan's surface!

Monday, January 03, 2005

Netflix List/Movie Review Update:
Even more mini-reviews of movie rentals!

Girl with a Pearl Earring (2003)
What actress can we find who will walk around with her mouth open, saying nothing? Scarlett Johansson!

Love Actually (2003)
Pretty damn lame, actually! The premise seems to have been to get every famous British actor in the same movie and have put them in a multitude of plots that are somewhere between the sophistication of a television commercial and a sitcom. Not pretty.

Mona Lisa Smile (2003)
Almost good, but then not really very good at all. Julia Roberts as earthy-crunchy Berkeley type is hard to take. Her character goes back east to Wellesley to teach rich girls who are mostly just interested in getting married. There were some moving moments, but those were outweighed by a lethal combination of schmaltz and predictability.

My Life Without Me (2003)
I liked this! Weird little Canadian movie about a young mother who finds out she's dying. It's an interesting film, and even has Debbie Harry playing the main character's mom.

Good Bye, Lenin! (2003)
Very good German film about a family in East Berlin and how the fall of the Berlin Wall effects them. There's lots going on, on many levels, and it's much less of a comedy than the previews made it seem.

Swingers (1996)
Almost really good, but then only kinda good. The Vegas scenes are classic. In some ways I wish the movie had stayed there. It was just a little too much "wacky LA lifestyle making fun of itself while taking itself seriously" for me. And oh man do I hate swing dancing.

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004)
Fabulous! I really liked it. The flaky mind-erasing technicians stressed me out, though.

Coffee and Cigarettes (2003)
I fell asleep. Perhaps Chris would like to comment?

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