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Showing posts from June, 2007

Just pay the man already: Rent

I tried to watch Rent the other day. I know I'm supposed to like it because it's about the freedom and struggle of the artistic life and blah blah blah, but I have to admit that...I hated it. I mean hated it so much I couldn't even finish watching it. I found myself sympathizing with the villain, who just wanted to clean up the neighborhood and build a nice studio. While all the main characters were whining about paying the rent, I was sitting there thinking "Well, if you can't afford to pay rent on your really shitty apartment, maybe you should stop strumming your guitar and go get a job at Kinko's or something!" I thought most of the characters (except for Angel and Tom Collins) were more annoying than charmingly bohemian. Seriously, Maureen and her "performance art"? Give me a break! And although I liked the music, a lot of the songs went on waaaaaaaaay too long. I mean, how many choruses of "No Day but Today" did we really need? I …

OnDemand is not to be trusted: Mean Guns and R.S.V.P

So I watched two movies today. One was pretty good, and the other sucked ass.

We'll start with the one that sucked ass. It was called Mean Guns, and I'm not sure why I decided to watch it in the first place. I suppose because I saw that Ice-T was in it, and I like Ice-T. However, it turns out that Ice-T has made some poor movie choices and this was certainly one of them. Basically, the premise is that a mob boss has called together in an empty prison 100 criminals who have betrayed him. He hands out guns and bats, and says the last 3 survivors get $10 million. Therefore, the entire movie is mostly people shooting and beating each other to death. It's not a bad premise, but it was really REALLY badly written AND acted. I have seen two films with Christopher Lambert in them, and both made me wonder how he manages to stay employed as an actor. I've seen high school kids act better than that guy. Hell, there was an 8 year old in the movie who acted rings around him. Even Ic…

The Bridge

The other day, I watched what has to be one of the most depressing documentaries of all time: The Bridge. Basically, this guy set up a bunch of cameras around the Golden Gate bridge, on which he caught footage of around 20 suicides. Most of the film is interviews with the family/friends of people who jumped from the bridge, people who witnessed the jumps, experts on both the bridge and mental health, a photographer who managed to wrestle a girl back over the railing and away from the edge, and one guy who jumped from the bridge and lived. I was pretty shocked, because I didn't think they'd show the actual footage of people jumping off the bridge, but they did. It's very bizarre, you see these people up there, walking around, talking on the phone, looking out at the water, and then suddenly they're plummetting down head first. A very surreal thing to watch. I don't think it's a documentary I'd recommend to anyone. In fact, I kind of wish I hadn't watched…

Struggles of the Artist: Festival Express & More Thoughts on Art School Confidential

Yesterday, I mentioned my feelings about Art School Confidential. In the comments section, the Lovely Artisan responded with this: "I really, really disliked Art School Confidential. I thought it was really muted in comparison with what I find hysterical and terrifyingly ironic about going to art school." I think she has pin-pointed one of the problems I had with the movie but could not exactly put my finger on--with all the actual drama that occurs naturally when you transplant a bunch of creative people into one place and force them to live and work together, who needs some lame-o, badly-written murder plot? I know that when I arrived at [Wild Liberal Art/Entertainment Industry College], I sure experienced a very severe culture shock. Having grown up in a small town, just being in Boston was nerve-wracking. I had to deal with suite-mates who were both nice and completely insane. And most of all, I had to deal with classes. The one thing I discovered that was more difficult…

"Don't have unrealistic expectations.": Art School Confidential

I watched Art School Confidential the other day and have mixed feelings about it. In some ways I thought it was hilarious, but it kind of failed overall. I'm not even sure everyone would find amusing the stuff I did, because my laughs had a lot to do with having gone to an "arty" school. There is a part in the beginning when one of the characters goes through and points out the stereotypes in the class, and I immediately was like "Yes! I remember those people! The blow-hard! Yes! That idiot who doesn't ever get it! The person whose work everyone else is cooing over and I'm sitting there like 'I don't understand why anyone would think this is good.' I remember all of this! The professor who doesn't really give a shit about teaching but needs to pay bills until his 'great work' gets picked up!" Atmospherically, it was very, very close to perfect--in my opinion. Ethan Suplee's filmmaker character in particular was dead-on. Howev…

Today's iPod/uPod winner is: "Age Six Racer" by Dashboard Confessional

I think part of the reason I like this is because it's a bit more cheerful than most DC songs. It's about loss, but it's more a wistful longing for childhood times past. Not so much the "You left me, so I'm going to roll in broken glass until you come home, you whore" that they often seem fixated on. It's also got some really stunning harmonies, which are complimented (in my opinion) by the fact that the song is instrumentally so simple. The other reason I like this is because it takes me back to dorm life. Every time I hear it, I can imagine myself at my desk in 309D, facing the window, listening to this song and playing Snood. It's kind of funny how a certain song can slingshot you into a particular moment in the past. The only other sense that seems hooked up that way is smell (the only problem with scent-related memories is that sometimes I'll smell something and it's tied very strongly with a particular emotion, but I can't figure out…