Saturday, April 29, 2006

Rebirth of Kobe Bryant

Man, who is this guy?

Could it be that Kobe Bryant has finally arrived?

I've watched the last three playoff games against Phoenix, and I honestly have been shocked, and amazed by what I've seen. What I'm seeing is the birth of a player who embraces team concept, over individual achievement. He's become more Magic Johnson, instead of Dominque Wilkins.

I admit I've been harsh regarding my feelings on Kobe.

I'm a Lakers fan first, and foremost. I love to watch the team game. I grew up in the 80's with Magic Johnson's pass first mentality. In the 90's pre-Shaq, Jerry West assembled a team full of good players, instead of having just one superstar.

To me Lakers basketball always represented one thing: Team work.

For me it was too hard to watch a team I love become a one man show. I don't think there was ever a time in Lakers history, while I've been alive at least, that a Lakers team depended so heavily on just one player.

For me it just wasn't fun to watch.

I was awe struck like everyone else when Kobe scored 81 points. But I didn't feel it was great basketball. To me it was a circus act. Something cool to talk about for a couple of days, but in the end how does it help build the team concept.

But these last three playoff games have been a revelation.

Well first off, Phil Jackson is a genius. To get these players on the same page, and playing the way they have been has been nothing short of remarkable. I don't know what else can be done to illustrate what an amazing coach Phil Jackson is.

Maybe the best ever.

I don't remember watching a team so prepared and focused more than this Lakers squad. I mean it's a team that has serious flaws. Although it's fun to watch, ultimately I don't think they have a realistic shot to win the championship this year. But if they keep playing the way they have been, the team will not lose because of lack of effort, or basketball I.Q.

In the end, I think it will be the lack of talent.

Which doesn't bother me. The reality is that other teams out there just have more talent who have more experience assembled. No amount of work, practice and effort can overcome that.

But man, next year WATCH OUT!!!!

This team doesn't even resemble the train wreck that was last year's team. Lamar Odom is showing his true form. Kwame Brown is finally fulfilling his potential, and Luke Walton is stepping out of his father's shadow, and becoming a well rounded, fundamentally sound all around good player.

But ultimate credit has to go to Kobe Bryant.

As much as I hate to admit it. I underestimated Kobe. I felt that he would not be able to put his ego aside, and do what's best for the team. But to be honest there was nothing in the past to demonstrate that he had this potential in him.

Before these last three playoff games, the term leadership didn't apply to Kobe. He was a talented, and prolific basketball player, but not a great leader.

Not anymore. I love watching a fiery Kobe as he defends his teammates from opposing players, and giving up himself and sacrificing his individual game to set up his teammates to succeed. It's the kind of potential that made so many people anoint Kobe as one day being the greatest player to ever play the game.

I mean the guy still isn't the most affable person in the world. I think there are some character issues, and just an overall arrogance that I can't get over to fully embrace him. And I can't ever fully forgive him for forcing Shaq out.

But I'll gladly watch this version of Kobe who scores 16 to 21 points a game and gets 8 assists and 6 rebounds, while emotionally leading his team, and getting his teammates involved, any time.

I'm sure there is going to be some growing pains for him and the Lakers. I'm curious to see how he reacts when there is some adversity, or when things go very bad, which I'm sure will happen....eventually.

I'm just hoping that this isn't just one of his teases, where we see his potential, and he resorts back to his selfish ways. This needs to be a change for the good. Kobe needs to be the team player that he obviously can be.

I'm hoping this is the new and improved Kobe.

Individual glory, should never outshine team achievement.

It looks like Kobe is finally understanding that......hopefully.

Friday, April 28, 2006


Salome is Oscar Wilde's play adaptation of the Biblical legend of King Herod and his desire for his wife's daughter, Salome. After trying unsuccessfully to sexually seduce John the Baptist, Salome takes advantage of King Herod's lust. Using the promise of a seductive dance, and flirtation she tries to manipulate him into helping her take revenge on the prophet who she loves.... but cannot have.

The play as originally written by Oscar Wilde, wasn't really meant to be performed, but actually was supposed to be read for the beauty of the language.

This particular production was first developed and performed at the Actor's Studio in Brooklyn with David Strahairm as John the Baptist, Diane Wiest as Herod's wife, and Al Pacino as King Herod. When the play later moved to off-Broadway, Marisa Tomei came aboard as the title character.

In this production, the setting is a blank stage with chairs, and music stands. The staging is reminiscent of a staged reading, with the performers actually carrying the script, and having it on hand throughout the whole play. The dress is modern black suits with the character Salome alone wearing the only color of red and pink.

Looking over the director's notes the reason why director Estelle Parsons used this type of staging is because she wanted the action to feature, and focus on the language of the piece.

Which brings me to my first issue with this production. I personally feel plays, especially ones that people pay lots of money to watch, should be performed rather than read.

Indeed the most powerful moments in the piece came when the actors took center stage without script in hand, and actually performed. I guess some audience members might find the whole exercise unique, and interesting. But being an actor, and having seen and performed many plays, not to mention taken part in stage readings, I just found the whole experience very pretentious.

The whole idea of a stage reading is to give interested producers, directors, actors, designers, audience members...etc an idea of the potential of the piece. It's also a way to showcase the writer's work without the interpretations and ideas of the other artists involved.

Which this production clearly has.

The play is trying to give the ILLUSION of a stage reading. But the actors are giving well rounded interpretations, and the piece is very obviously directed, and staged.....although with a minimalist approach.

Besides that, to give the illusion of a stage reading is not only visually boring, it's also not productive to the play.

I guess there's justification for this staging..... as I said earlier, the piece as written is not very dramatic. It consists of many long speeches, with beautiful elaborate language, with little or no dramatic interaction between the characters. Estelle Parsons probably felt she was doing the play a service by having the audience use their own imaginations. That maybe the human mind can create a more fascinating environment than any artist could. But after considering the production, I feel the director took the easy route by not trying to make the piece more visually, and dramatically interesting. I think it doesn't serve the piece by making the concept of the show......... no concept.

It's actually more distracting to the audience to have actors pretend to turn the page in their script when they are so obviously off book, and to have actors stuck performing in their chairs and interacting with characters as if they are out in the audience instead of being right next to them on stage. To me it doesn't serve the dramatic purpose of the play.

It just feels like artistic mumbo jumbo.

At times it makes the piece feel like a bad coffee shop artist interpretation of Oscar Wilde's work. It's almost ironic that the play is being performed in Los Angeles. It feels like new age Los Angeles art trying to be innovative off-Broadway work.

Also being a stage reading, the production is a victim of poor sight lines. I feel bad for people who paid $95 bucks, and are visually obscured by some stupid music stand, chair or a insignificant chorus member, and are unable to see Pacino's expressive, often times poignant reactions to his fellow actors. Unfortunately, as I was walking out, I heard many people complaining about how most of the time, they weren't even able to see him.

That sucks.

In all honesty this play wouldn't even be done at all without the participation of Mr. Al Pacino. I can guarantee nobody...I mean nobody.... would come and see this type of production unless an actor of his stature was involved with the piece. Not to mention pay $95 dollars a seat. God bless the soap opera star who tries to mount this style of production, hoping for good reviews, and an audience. They would not only be booed off the stage, the box office would be demolished by angry patrons wanting their money back.

But since Al Pacino is doing this production, people are not only paying the $69-95 dollars a seat, but they are also buying t-shirts at 25 dollars, hats at 20.00 and signed posters for 200.00 a piece. I was lucky to get tickets for free. But I was suckered into buying a t-shirt. Which not only makes me feel foolish, but had me questioning my masculinity at my time of purchase.

But in the end it's Al Pacino, and although he does do lots of theatre. I don't usually have the opportunity, not to mention bank book to afford, to watch him perform in a play....especially in Los Angeles.

If people are going to see this production to get a glimpse of Pacino's ability as an actor they won't be disappointed.

It takes several minutes before he actually arrives, but when he does, he easily steals the show. It's not surprising to see why he is considered one of the greatest actors of all time.

He is thrilling to watch.

He delivers a performance that is captivating and fascinating. I mean he's Al friggin' Pacino, what else is one going to expect?

But what's most clear is how well Al Pacino's acting style suits the theatre so much better than in film. Things I would normally feel as being over the top, or not realistic on film, come off as subtle, honest and powerful on stage. In my book I think Al Pacino should retire from film, and become a theatre rat.

He should become the next Laurence Olivier.

If people have the chance they should watch him do anything on stage. I mean anything....I'd even recommend watching him play Daddy Warbucks on stage in a production of Annie.....with Justin Timberlake in drag for the title role.

Well...maybe not.

But seriously he's that good.

I can't imagine what it was like to see him perform on stage in Glengarry Glen Ross. I thought he was great in the movie, man he must've of been amazing to watch in person. Or to watch him do Shakespeare. Something that he's incredibly passionate about. Man, that must be pretty damn cool.

As for this performance, Mr. Pacino's booming, expressive voice, and his fiery passion is in full display here. It's a fascinating, and affable performance. His Herod is slightly foppish, drunken, funny, scary, tortured and enthralling to witness. It's a memorable, if not great performance. I don't think I'm overstating it by saying that it's a chance to see a master of his craft, at the top of his game, at work.

As for the others, Jessica Chastain is interesting, and seductive in the title role. Kevin Anderson is engaging as John the Baptist, while Roxanne Hart compliments Pacino well as Harod's wife.

But make no mistake, this is Al Pacino's show.

The play is almost non-existent until he arrives. It's just unnecessary exposition, and silly, uninspired poetry. It's really the ONLY reason to see the show, to watch Pacino at work. Apparently there's whispers that he's working on a film adaptation/documentary of the piece. Sort of in the vein of Looking for Richard.

Now THAT would be interesting.

Salome is playing at the Wadsworth Theatre in Los Angeles through May 14th. The play is a one-act, and it runs about an 1 hour and 20 minutes..... by my watch.

Just Checking in......

I know.......I know.

Well, I just want to let my two readers out there know that I haven't fallen completely off the face of the planet. I apologize for the lack of posting.

I haven't had time to watch any movies and to be honest I haven't really had too much to post about.

I guess I can bore the reader with stories of customers complaining about late charges on their account. Also I can share my experiences of waiting in traffic after work.... as I head to rehearsal. But I'm guessing there's not too much interest out there for that.


Anyways.....I'm going to write about this more in a coming post but I'm in an original play that will make it's world premiere (I hope that sounds important) May 12th. The Ghost light District is comprised of some of my closest, dearest, and most talented friends. The play is called "Dot Gone" and it opens at the 24th street theater in Los Angeles. It runs for 4 weekends..... I believe. I'm going to write more about it as the day approaches.

As for tonight...I'm actually going to watch a play starring Al Pacino in a production of Salome. I'll definitely write a review of the production....If I'm able to get there on time. Which I'm actually worried about this second. I'm hoping that Pacino shines. I've been really disappointed in his movie roles lately. I would justify his poor performances by saying to myself that he's just in it for the he could do theatre. Well I hope I'm right.

Hopefully I'll get to watch some movies this weekend to review....but I can't make any promises.

Anyways...I'll be back soon. Thanks for visiting.

Friday, April 21, 2006

"ROME" returns & end of "The SOPRANOS"

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Dark Horizons is reporting that filming for the second season of the HBO series Rome is now underway.

I was a big fan of the show, and I'm glad.......actually.... relieved.... that it will return for a second season.

For a short while there were rumors that the show might not return.

Apparently after the first season they had completely taken down the sets, and most of the stars of the shows were already committed for the rest of the year. Then I heard that ratings weren't as spectacular as they were hoping, even though subscriptions had spiked for H.B.O when the show debuted.

I guess that was all just posturing.

Looking at the cast list it looks like everybody....who didn't die in the season finale, will be returning for the second season.

Man, I can't wait. That ending of last season left a lot of storylines unresolved. The period of time after the assassination of Julius Caesar is great material to work with obviously... considering Shakespeare wrote his classic play about those events.

That would be so cool if they could somehow incorporate Marc Antony's classic speech.

That would be a great beginning of the second season, wouldn't it?

What a great image seeing James Purefoy on the temple steps in front of a huge crowd saying "Friends, Romans, Countrymen...lend me your ears!!!!"

If I'm not mistaken I believe Gaius Octavian played by the young Max Pirkus eventually becomes the leader of Rome and a brutal Emperor at that.

So a lot of potential there....speaking of potential.....what about the ending of the Sopranos.

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Man, I can't get over how friggin good this season is shaping up. I honestly can't wait for Sundays. Every episode this season has been amazing. What's even better is that I have NO IDEA how this show is going to end.

It's become a great conversation piece at work...trying to predict how the show is going to end.

At first I thought that the show was going to build up to the death of Tony Soprano.

The buzz was that the producers originally had a twelve episode arc to end the show. But then after writing the ending they requested that another 8 episodes be added to tie up lose ends completely.

My buddy Lons at Crushed by Inertia initially theorized that the original 12 episodes would build to Tony's death, and the remaining eight episodes would be the ensuing power grab between Tony's captains, family and the New York families.

That all changed with the first episode.

Having Tony close to death at the beginning of this season kind of throws that theory out the window, since this material was already covered in the first couple of episodes. At this point it would be redundant to go through Tony's death and seeing the Capo's pick up the scraps.

The current theory that we now have come up with is that the initial 12 episode arc is building towards Tony becoming the "Boss of Bosses" and the final eight episodes would deal with Tony solidifying his position....Michael Corleone style.

This would make sense if the producers were interested in bringing the show to the Big screen.

But ultimately....we have no clue what the hell is going to happen. And if one knows...PLEASE don't tell us.

I thought it would be cool to post our theories, so that when the last episode airs we could see how close our theories line up.

In any case.... man HBO is putting up good stuff.

I'm still not completely sold on Big Love.....yet.... but I'm counting the days to DEADWOOD.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Do you see dead people????

What the hell is that on my baby's face?

Yesterday we had Easter at my In-laws house.

Brayden's first Easter.

When I first took the picture above, I noticed that foggy look over his face on the preview window. I didn't think anything of it at first. I just thought that maybe my digital camera wasn't completely focused. But then when I downloaded the picture onto my computer I was really confused by what I saw. Especially when one compares the picture to this next shot I took literally two seconds later.


I guess there's two different scenarios.

One scenario is that I caught some kind of energy or spectral mist..... maybe even a ghost. To support that particular theory Erin's mother passed away several years ago,in the very room that this picture was taken, literally inches away from where this picture was taken. Being sentimental, it's rather heartwarming to think that Erin's mom is watching over our son.

The second scenario is that Brayden was moving, and I caught the blur from his movement. To support this theory notice that Brayden's arm is positioned differently in the first picture. The odd thing is that if one zooms in on his neck area there is a blur by his neck too.

Who knows?

Well, in any case..... isn't my baby adorable? I mean really freakin cute. Don't ya think?

Sometimes I look at him and can't believe that we share the same DNA.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

New Banner Header!!!!!!!!!

So just a little change.....for the better.... here at Ray's Lucky 13.

I have a cool new banner header.

My buddy Mysterio created the banner for me. If the reader knows me, they'll know my knowledge of computer's is pretty limited.To be honest I don't know jack shit without the copy and paste function using my little mouse. So it's really cool to be related to someone who actually knows what the hell they are doing.

The images are from some of my favorite movies. The banner features from left to right Brando from The Godfather, then Robert De niro and Jean Reno from Ronin which is written by my favorite playwright and screenwriter David Mamet (who used the pseudonym Richard Weisz ), and the last image is from Michael Mann's Heat.

So a lot of testosterone....I admit.... I may be over compensating.

In any event I think it's pretty cool.

The quote I have on the header is a little motto I try to live by.

For some reason the quote is incorrectly attributed to Oprah Winfrey. I don't know why....maybe she's gotten so big that she can just go around stealing quotes claiming she came up with it on her own and people automatically assume she did.

The truth is the quote is from Thomas Edison.

I don't know why it has poignant relevance for me.

Maybe because I like the IDEA that luck can be controlled, or maybe that all things kind of happen for a reason.

The hilarious thing is that I remember first reading the quote from my cheap plastic throw-away Chapman University bookstore bag after I had just spent an absurd amount of money on text books. I remember proudly thinking to myself....I might not be able to pay rent or eat food in a couple of months, but I actually learned something today.

I then became depressed because I realized that I didn't actually pay for the knowledge I attained.... it was something that was given to me....for free.

In any case my financial loss is the reader's gain which I now pass on to the reader here on my blog....unless one has heard it on Oprah already.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Brokeback Mountain

Brokeback Mountain is the melodramatic love story of two gay cowboys in 1963 Wyoming. The story spans almost two decades as we follow the trials and hardships of the two protagonists in the story: the quiet and shy Ennis Del Mar, played by an impressive Heath Ledger, and his tortured lover Jack Twist played by Jake Gyllenhaal.

Complicating matters is their "other" relationships with their wives played by Michelle Williams and Anne Hathaway.

I guess, in a sense, the story is groundbreaking because it uses the Iconic American symbol of masculinity: The Cowboy, as a backdrop for the movie. But in all honesty there's nothing really special or unusual about the theme of the film.

It's basically An Affair to Remember...without the semi-happy ending.

It's really depressing that there is a significant portion of America who isn't ready for a movie like this, or that feels so threatened by it that they would protest it and go out of their way to attack the movie. From what I can gather, besides one mostly clothed sex scene the movie doesn't have anything we wouldn't see in an episode of Will & Grace.

For the life of me I can't see what all the fuss is about.

I seem to remember a movie called The Birdcage that featured characters that were a gay couple, with an actual gay actor in Nathan Lane. That film was embraced by America. It was a huge hit. There was also Wong Kar Wai's award winning Happy Together, or Gus Van Sant's My Own Private Idaho. Off the top of my head I remember the comedies Priscilla Queen of the Desert, and To Wong Foo.. both box office hits, I don't remember any controversy surrounding those films.

I can go on all night listing movies featuring Gay Characters in the leads.

So what's the deal?

Obviously it has to do with the current political climate.

It's really ridiculous when one thinks about it. Actually I take that back, it's sad, infuriating, and pathetic when one really breaks it down. What the hell is happening in America?

But that's a whole other separate issue, I'm trying to make it a point not to get too political here at Ray's Lucky 13. If one is interested in politics might I recommend my buddy Lons blog at Crushed by Inertia. This blog, however, is about movies, television and my pathetic social life. So I'll step away from the politics, and get back to my thoughts on the film.

As an actual film....... I wasn't too impressed.

At least for me, I didn't feel the chemistry that the characters were supposed to have for each other. At first I thought it might be that I don't buy Heath and Jake as tortured gay men, but then I remembered....... it was Jake and Heath...... two pretty boys that I've actually had suspicions about until they had their high profile heterosexual relationships plastered all over the media. I can buy them as Gay men. (Although I would've preferred to see two really gay men playing the parts.) That's not the problem.

I realized that the screenplay just didn't set up the lust strong enough.

Especially in the beginning.

I needed to see more clues of attraction. There at least needed to be more drama or adversity to draw them together.

Maybe the point is that they both have excellent gay-dar.

But if the movie is about how difficult it is for people to be gay during this time, and in this place, then for me there needed to be more flirtation and longing to draw them together. It would have been more dramatic, and more entertaining to see them awkwardly feel each other out longer.

It's what I would expect in a straight love story, so why wouldn't I expect to see the same in a gay love story? Just because the movie is supposedly groundbreaking it doesn't get a pass from me.

Also as a whole, the movie just seemed to lack some comedy. There's only so much melancholy moaning I can take before I need someone to crack a joke....fall on their ass...... or cut a fart....something to make me laugh.

Especially in the first hour, it just seemed to drag for me.

I just kept thinking man, it's depressing to be Gay.

I wouldn't want to be Gay either if this was what it's always like for them. Even when they are supposedly happy, Jake and Heath aren't really all that jazzed. Actually they seem to argue and fight each other..... alot.

I don't mean patty cake either, I mean beat the living shit out of each other till they bleed.

I kept thinking throughout the film all my Gay friends love being homosexual, they seem to always be having fun, I wonder what the hell they know that these characters don't.

By the second hour though, Anne Hathaway and her ridiculous wigs and period outfits arrived. That kept me entertained till the end of the film.

All kidding aside, there is some fine work in the film. Especially from Heath Ledger, he's touching and subtle and really carries the entire movie. The physical nuances and emotional baggage he carries throughout the film is impressive. Michelle Williams is good too, but the part is smaller than I expected. It's hard to see how she got a nomination from that role. Not that she isn't good, but the part is tiny. Maybe about 15 minutes of screen time.

Jake is Jake, he's pretty much what one sees in all his work....except he plays it gay.

Anne I can't remember laughing so much. One has to see this girl's different wigs to appreciate what I'm talking about.

The Cinematography is gorgeous. Lots of pretty pictures of mountains and forest to rival Dances with Wolves.

Ang Lee's direction is fine. He tells the story confidently.

But overall....I wasn't too impressed. I'll say that the movie deserved to be nominated for Best Picture. Maybe even win considering the supposed groundbreaking nature of the film. It was certainly better than Crash. But that's not saying much.

Personally.....this film wouldn't make MY top ten films of last year. I thought Munich, Match Point,The New World, Batman Begins, Broken Flowers, Me, You and Everyone you Know were on a whole different level from this film. I can even name more movies I liked better, but it's pathetic talking about last year's best films when it's already April. The movie just didn't have the same power for me that these other films have.

But hey that's just me.

Brokeback Mountain is available now on Dvd. As always, I'm sure less cynical people then me might get more out of it. I recommend checking it out for Heath Ledger's impressive performance and the pretty postcard pictures that looked great on my Widescreen.

Can you smell what the MALICK is cooking???!!!!

I just read this news article on Dark Horizons :

A Japanese cinema showing "The New World" will screen the Terrence Malick movie in 'Smellovision' to enhance the viewing experience reports Contact Music.

Seven smells will be emitted by machines placed under seats at the back of the theatre, depending on what kind of scene is playing during the Colin Farrell-led film at the time.

Love scenes will be accompanied by a floral scent, while a peppermint and rosemary smell will waft through the cinema during emotional sequences.

That's pretty hilarious!!! I'm not sure what to think of that actually. I know that there is a ride at California Adventure called "Flying over California" that utilizes that same technology, but I don't know if I'd want that same experience while watching a three hour movie.

To me that would just seem distracting.

I'm guessing that the theatre owner thought it would be a good match with this film, since the visuals are so spectacular. But I'm not sure that it will serve the film well.

I can picture the theatre now, they are watching a scene, a smell gets released, and then the whole theatre starts to notice, whispers turn into small chatter...... than giggles.....which eventually becomes a full on group laugh.

I'm wondering how they came up with the certain smells to attach to the film scenes. I don't know why they just didn't go all out and put out the aroma of Collin Farrell's cologne into the air during the love scenes.

What's with the floral scent? Why not appeal to our animal instincts and release the smell of perspiration and sex funk?

What's with peppermint and rosemary filling the air during an emotional scene?

I don't know about most people, but when I get emotional I don't smell peppermint and rosemary.

I'd actually be kind of scared if that happened.

The only time I smell peppermint and rosemary is when I'm brushing my teeth in the morning, and the only emotion I'm feeling is panic, cause I'm thinking I better hurry, or I'll be friggin late for work.

Anyways..... Bizarre story.

Saturday, April 08, 2006


I'm not a fan of the horror genre.

I don't mind blood, gore and special effects, it's just as a genre there's usually not a lot of good writing in these types of films. Lots of the audience enjoyment in watching horror films is to see characters acting stupid, naive, and making frustrating mistakes. These movies always seem to go out of their way to make the viewer feel ten times smarter than the characters they are watching. The truth is when I watch movies, in general, I like to be challenged, entertained, and inspired.

So....not a good match.

There has been exceptions like the movies Scream, Exorcist, and the Ring. But in general, frankly horror films bore me. I don't even bother watching them. I don't get entertained or scared by these movies at all because I can't suspend my disbelief while watching, and just let myself get taken in to the movie's world. I usually start thinking about what an actor is using as a sense memory when they're scared, or how silly they look trying to act scared when they are so obviously not in any real danger, just actors doing a silly horror movie.

But there's been a lot of buzz surrounding this particular film, it even has Quentin Tarantino's seal of approval, so I thought with my busy schedule I'd take in this quick flick.

The set up is pretty standard Horror genre stuff. Three young college students are out looking to get laid, and they happen to be in a strange, unfamiliar place. In this case it happens to be Eastern Europe.

Without spoiling the film I'll just say that things go bad for the trio.....deathly bad.

What I enjoyed about the movie is that it felt confident enough to set up an actual story, and flesh out the characters more than most horror films. Usually in these flicks, in the first 10 seconds of the movie a character dies....just for the fun of it. But this movie started off a lot like Eurotrip. There was these horny guys getting wasted, with lots of naked attractive ladies milling around. The movie takes the time to give us some affable protagonists that we can relate to, and we can actually sympathize with when the shit hits the fan. Most notably, Jay Hernandez from Friday Night Lights does a solid job of giving us a character who doesn't annoy us too much, is not stupid, and keeps things relatively realistic.

I've heard that some people wanted more action in the beginning, I've even heard people who've come into my job say that the beginning really dragged. Which is kind of ridiculous considering the film clocks in at a fast moving 95 minutes.

But I guess different strokes.....

In any case, when the violence does occur in the film there is plenty of it. Actually there is lots of blood, guts, and torture to go around for two movies. Under the direction of Eli Roth, who directed the very uneven, yet strangely likeable Cabin Fever, the violence comes fast, furious, and impressively original.

I once saw in a documentary about the Godfather films that Francis Ford Coppola hates violence, he hates watching it, and hates filming it. But he realizes the important dramatic purpose they play in films and stories, so when he does do violence, he doesn't hold all, and he tries to do it in an interesting, and original way to make the event unique, disturbing and not gratuitous.

It's obvious Roth comes from that same school of thinking. Roth is obviously not shy about violence, but when it happens he wants to make it original, memorable and worth sharing. He even takes it to the next level and makes it morbidly fun to watch. There was several times in the film that I let out a mischievous laugh while watching a disturbing scene.

I'm....not....sure what that says about me ...but hey.

In any case, I recommend watching the movie. There is some fun action pieces, some interesting locales, fun characters, and a relatively believable, captivating set-up for horror and creepiness. I admit at the end, the movie gets a little silly when it REALLY plays up the violence to the point that it becomes a celebration of gore, but I admit I got taken in and enjoyed myself, although I never got scared or spooked at all by the film.

But I think it says a lot that I didn't get bored by the movie. People who are looking for a good horror movie, and aren't as cynical as myself are sure to love the flick.

The movie arrives on DVD April 18th.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Not enough hours in the day.......

Needless to say....I've been busy.

I'm currently in rehearsal for a play, which I'll be advertising in the coming weeks, so unfortunately, my recreation time has been non-existant. My recreation time isn't really impressive to begin with, just me being bored, lazy and hungry, so I don't really miss it too much. But one unfortunate casualty is that I've been unable to watch any movies. As soon as I find the time there is a substanial list of movies that I want to watch on Dvd. But for now I'm afraid there hasn't been any time to review those movies, much less watch them. I literally have barely two hours of down time after rehearsal, and I've been using the time browsing the internet.....for porn... er.. um, I mean news, and reading e-mails.

Not to mention that I've been sick. Sick as a dog actually. Which is kind of scary cause there is a newborn in the house, and I've been paranoid of being around the baby, out of fear that he'll catch my cold. Maybe overly paranoid....I've been sleeping in my den away from Erin, the baby....and Mamet dawg. (Sometimes I peek in the room and see the Brayden sleeping in Erin's arms, and Mamet sleeping at Erin's side and I just want to eat them all up.)

I was so sick on Sunday that I woke up from an afternoon nap in a cold sweat and the Wedding Date was on the widescreen t.v and I didn't have the energy to get up and find the remote to change the channel. I had to sit there and watch that gay-ass movie, at one point I felt like I was actually turning into a chick, I could feel my chest trying to transform into breasts.....needless to say I won't bother reviewing that movie here.

Then there was the freaking time change which threw my whole body clock off. I've been waking up an hour later than I like to, and I have to get a super strong caffeine fix just to feel normal. Which means I have to schedule an extra stop....before work. Which sucks even more when one has to deal with the crappy ass wet weather.

Now baseball season is starting, and I'm missing that. I'm MISSING Angels Baseball. It's all a mess....a friggin mess.

So life right hectic. I apologize for the lack of posts. I'll try to posts something in the coming days just so people aren't wasting time coming to my blog. So my apologies again....and thank you for visiting.