Tag Archive for 'movies'

Boqueria

We went there last week. The food was great, and the wine was excellent – they have a couple of wines that are long poured out of a spout. It was impressive. The service was excellent too. I recommend it highly.

tyfns.jpgAlso, last night I finally saw “Thank You For Smoking.” I thought it was great! It had some slow moments, and it was a bit exaggerated, but it was overall very good. Thumbs up.

In the Name of the Father, Redux

The following is an excerpt from the script of In the Name of the Father, an excellent movie if you haven’t seen it. It resonated with me not only because of the Father-son relationship, it also seemed eerily timely. Anyway, I started playing with the idea of hyperlinking the similarities to Guantanamo, the PATRIOT Act, and the curtailment of our liberties here in the US. I probably could have done more linking, and maybe you can suggest some for me to update this post with.

Defense Attorney: Inspector, these people were arrested two days…after the Prevention of Terrorism Act was introduced.

Inspector Dixon: That’s correct.

Defense Attorney: Can you explain, please, the powers that this gives to the police?

Inspector Dixon: It permits us to hold suspected terrorists for a period of up to seven days.

Defense Attorney: Quite extraordinary powers in a democracy. Difficult I would’ve thought for the police to resist the temptation…to deal forcibly with people.

Prosecutor: Objection.

Defense Attorney: People they suspect are the biggest bombing campaign on the British mainland…since the Second World War.

Prosecutor: Objection. My lord, I really must…

Judge: Get to the point!

Defense Attorney: Now, this bombing campaign…struck deep into the British people’s sense of security. The people looked to you to find those responsible.

Inspector Dixon: Yes.

Defense Attorney: You must have been under the most intense pressure.

Inspector Dixon: That’s my job.

Defense Attorney: Now, all of the defendants claim, including young Patrick Maguire, aged just�Patrick, would you stand up, please?

Thank you. All of the defendants claim…that they were subjected to physical and mental abuse while under police custody.

Inspector Dixon: They were never harmed in any way.

Gerry Conlon: He’s fuckin’ lyin’! They beat the shit out of us!

Paul Hill: Fuckin’ liar!

[Gavel Pounding]

Judge: Silence. Sit them down!

[ Crowd Yelling]

Paul Hill: Please believe us! They beat us!

Judge: Just be quiet.

[Gavel Pounding]

Sit them down!

Silence in the court!

Defense Attorney: Mr. Conlon says…that you pulled him by the hair and squeezed his testicles.

Inspector Dixon: I never even spoke to Mr. Conlon.

Gerry Conlon: I hope you burn in hell, Dixon!

Judge: Silence!

Defense Attorney: Mr. Hill says the police sat astride him and put a gun in his mouth.

Inspector Dixon: There was no pressure of any kind.

Paul Hill: You can go and fuck yourself, you lyin’ fuckin’ bastard!

Judge: Silence! Order!

Defense Attorney: Inspector, in the case of the four main defendants, you have no corroborating evidence.

Inspector Dixon: I have the confessions of four obvious terrorists. What more do you want?

Weekend update

A GLORIOUS weekend.

In sports: Mets clinched, Yankees lost, and my Wolverines are 6-0 and have moved up to the number 4 spot in the country. Sweet.

In food, I checked out the new Max Brenner that’s opened up on 14th and Broadway. The food was EXCELLENT! However, the service was awful. Our waittress was testy and obnoxious, and when she screwed up an order and it was obviously her fault, she tried (but ultimately failed) to place the blame on one of us. When my friend cancelled his original order to order something else, she instead accidentally cancelled another friend’s order. Instead of owning up to it and letting it go, however, she tried to say it was our fault. Also, only one of us had been there before, and he mentioned that every time the wait staff takes newbie orders, they tell the “Max Brenner” story. Well, we never found out what that was, because she had no idea what we were talking about. Apparently she was the only waittress that didn’t know the history of the franchise, and she was rude about her ignorance. My friend said that every single time he has been there in the past the waiter has told the story. Ah well. Missing forks from the table, inadequate water replenishment, and ‘back sass’ all contributed to her sub-10% tip. She was lucky to get anything at all. We will definitely go back again, and will make a point to avoid that waittress, if she is still employed when we return.

In clubbin’: Went to Aer, Park, and Earth. They’re all right by each other so why not? Also went to Serena, and 230 Fifth. Good times at all of those joints.

In movies: I saw two Lisa Ray films in one weekend, having never seen her before in my life. The first was Quarterlife Crisis. This movie was, in a word, awful. The characters were pallid and one-dimensional, the plot vehicles were hackneyed and obvious, and none of the jokes came off well, if it was in fact a comedy, which I am not convinced about. Maybe a tragi-comedy. They even had the gall to steal an entire scene (the speed dating scene) from 40 Year Old Virgin. Finally, every shot of New York was a cutaway to Times Square. When they are driving in a taxi, Times Square. A second drive through the city to pick up a random girl, Times Square. Random cutaway shots of the city interspersed through the film? You guessed it, Times Square again. Enough already! We get that the movie was filmed in New York. To say that the director was no Michael Mann would be an understatement.

The second was Water [SPOILERS]. In an earlier post, I mentioned wanting to see this movie. Well, I finally saw it. The movie was just short of great. One of the things I liked most about the movie was what it didn’t show. I agreed with the director that the prostitution and child molestation that occurs in the movie did not need to be seen to be felt. I thought not showing these horrific scenes made these events in the movie even more haunting than if they had shown them, and I thought a lesser director would have pandered to the shock value. Kudos to Deepa Mehta on that point. That said, there were some flaws. The relationship between the Kalyani and Narayan was wooden and not credible, and I think that the actors were a bit weak. Perhaps Ray, a model (and a beautiful one at that), has spent too much time appearing emotionless on the runway, and she fails to switch gears for this film. I have heard that her diction was poor too, though I am not a good judge. That John Abraham‘s character Narayan doesn’t shed a tear for his fiance upon her death was another example of either character or actor weakness. In the end, I thought the film did not live up to its potential, but I did think it was a near-great film, and would still recommend it.

I also saw Infernal Affairs, upon which the recent film The Departed is based. This film is EXCELLENT. A definite must-see. At first I wasn’t buying it, but it definitely got more believable as the movie went on. Andy Lau is excellent, as is Tony Leung. I heard from friends that The Departed didn’t deliver, but I plan to see it anyway just to compare.

In other news: I went to the Guitar Center this Sunday, and it was as my friend put it, the most fun I’ve ever had on a Sunday EVER! I was just going along with a friend who wanted to buy a keyboard, ended up buying some replacement guitar strings (which I broke already when restringing, UGH!) and playing around with the instruments. But what really had us going for 2 hours of non-stop fun were the keyboards with the built in synths. We started playing them, and were AMAZED at how easy it is to make music with them! All you have to do is play one note, and the keyboard incorporates tons of other instruments to make an entire song! We felt like Oakenfold afterwards. I KNEW Kanye and Pharrell weren’t as talented as they are trumpeted to be! The thing was so damn easy! Within thirty seconds we had already figured out how to play the Yung Joc song, “Meet me in the trap.” Needless to say, the sales staff was in love with us. They just love it when you mess around with their instruments. I think me and my boys are going to start a music production company. Tentative name: The Trap. That way when we go to the studio we can all say, “Meet me in the TRAP! ITS GOIN’ DOWN!” Sweet. It’ll go great with my fake band, the World’s Fattest Twins.

Two GREAT Movies

As a follow up to my post “Why Movies Suck in 2006,” I recently saw two terrific and timely movies.

First, I saw An Inconvenient Truth (2006). Terrific. Everyone complains that Al Gore is not very engaging but I was captivated, and we are talking about a documentary here. Expertly edited, I was never bored once during this movie, which I can’t say for Superman Returns. This heat wave is not an anomaly people. It is going to get worse every year. I would not be surprised if in the next 10-15 years we see regular 100 degree days in New York, and frequent 110 degree days. Those were temperatures I used to read about in the Guinness Book as only existing in Death Valley.

Second, I saw V for Vendetta (2005), which was absolutely brilliant. I had wanted to see this in the theaters but never got the chance. This movie is in IMDB’s top 250 now, so although I don’t think this movie raked it in at the box office, word is getting out. It simply kicks ass. It actually reminded me of another great-but-overlooked movie with Christian Bale called Equilibrium. So if you liked V, definitely check that out. One thing I didn’t know until afterward: V is played by Hugo Weaving, who played Elrond in Lord of the Rings. Basically the movie is about a vigilante who tries to rally the people to rise up against a totalitarian state. Timely indeed. Go rent it.

Why Movies Suck In 2006*

So Da Vinci was a disappointment. X-Men 3 was good, but it had the potential to be great, and thus was an even worse disappointment. I mean, when Professor X died**, I was sorta sad I guess, but if Bryan Singer would have directed it, I could have been bawling. And Cyclops’ death was little more than a footnote! Do not fret, non-existent readership! I will save you from this year’s banal offerings and deliver you unto movie greatness in 2006! There are important, brilliant movies being made right now. I haven’t seen all of these yet, but I will. Walk with me.

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The War Tapes gets a 95% rating from Rotten Tomato. Its a documentary from actual US soldiers in Iraq.

Thank You For Smoking is one I missed unfortunately, but looked great and everyone I talked to who saw it loved it. Technically I think this one came out in 2005 internationally, but arrived stateside only in 2006.

Water is another one i missed. For that matter, I missed Fire and Earth, though I think the concept of naming her movies is a bit derivative, don’t you think? Everyone I have talked to has great things to say about this movie though.

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An Inconvenient Truth No matter what anyone says, I still wish Al Gore was president. He narrates this documentary about how completely fucked our environment is and how we are all going to be wondering if it is Two Days Before The Day After Tomorrow (take your time, you’ll get there).

The Cult of the Suicide Bomber by terrorism expert Bob Baer explores the origins of suicide bombing, and the virus-like spread of its use as a tactic in guerilla warfare.

United 93 I really wanted to see this movie. The commercial gave me goosebumps. But I also was a little afraid. 9/11 was pretty scary for us in New York. Now I want to see it again. Apparently it was terrific.

Giuliani Time I want to see this movie right after United 93. Basically it is a Michael Moore-style trashing of Giuliani for his actions prior to, or other than, his response to 9/11, which was spectacular. I happen to think Giuliani kicked ass and took names. I think he brought down crime and cleaned up the city. Maybe this documentary will disabuse me of that theory. Who knows. I’ll keep an open mind.

* Yes, this is a reference to DJ Shadow, before you ask.

**I know some places warn you about spoilers, but if you haven’t seen X-Men 3 by now, you deserve to have it spoiled for you, and you probably won’t care that much anyway, since, after all, you’ve waited all this time to see the movie.

102 Movies To See Before You Die.

Or so says Roger Ebert. Of the list, I’ve seen the following:

“2001: A Space Odyssey” (1968) Stanley Kubrick
“Alien” (1979) Ridley Scott
“Annie Hall” (1977) Woody Allen
“Apocalypse Now” (1979) Francis Ford Coppola*
“Blade Runner” (1982) Ridley Scott
“Casablanca” (1942) Michael Curtiz
“Citizen Kane” (1941) Orson Welles
“A Clockwork Orange” (1971) Stanley Kubrick
“Do the Right Thing” (1989 Spike Lee
“Dr. Strangelove” (1964) Stanley Kubrick
“E.T. — The Extra-Terrestrial” (1982) Steven Spielberg
“The Empire Strikes Back” (1980) Irvin Kershner
“Fargo” (1995) Joel & Ethan Coen
“Fight Club” (1999) David Fincher
“The Godfather,” “The Godfather, Part II” (1972, 1974) Francis Ford Coppola
“GoodFellas” (1990) Martin Scorsese
“The Graduate” (1967) Mike Nichols
“It’s a Wonderful Life” (1946) Frank Capra (well, almost all of it, in parts, over the years, around Christmastime, on “WPIX” (not the WB, as it unfortunately is called now)
“Lawrence of Arabia” (1962) David Lean
“Mad Max 2” / “The Road Warrior” (1981) George Miller
“The Maltese Falcon” (1941) John Huston
“Monty Python and the Holy Grail” (1975) Terry Jones & Terry Gilliam
“North by Northwest” (1959) Alfred Hitchcock
“Pulp Fiction” (1994) Quentin Tarantino
“Rashomon” (1950) Akira Kurosawa
“Rear Window” (1954) Alfred Hitchcock
“Rebel Without a Cause” (1955) Nicholas Ray (couldn’t make it through though)
“Schindler’s List” (1993) Steven Spielberg
“The Seven Samurai” (1954) Akira Kurosawa
“Taxi Driver” (1976) Martin Scorsese
“West Side Story” (1961) Jerome Robbins/Robert Wise
“The Wizard of Oz” (1939) Victor Fleming

That’s only 33 of 102, or 32.352941176470588235294117647059% literacy! Pretty shabby in my opinion. Thank god for Netflix!