Dec 30, 2007

2007: In Review

I read many, many magazines every week/month/whathaveyou, and every one of them has paraded around 'The Year in Review'. What a self-absorbed idea. We're going to spend an entire issue telling you what you should have been doing all along this year, and it's going to cost you an issue off your subscription. Double whammy!

So, that being said, here's my top stuff of 2007 (Don't you dare say I'm not self-absorbed):

The 3 Best Movies of 2007 (That I Happened to See):

1. No Country for Old Men - Coen Brothers in classic form. As good as Fargo and as creepy as Blood Simple. A thinking man's crime flick, though, so if your knuckles ever bleed from dragging on the ground, then don't go see this movie.

2. Grindhouse (DeathProof/Planet Terror) - An experiment that both worked and didn't. The movie itself is a schlocky achievement, a throwback to 70s exploitation cinema, but it did none too well at the box office.

3. Superbad - A movie for every guy in high school who would kill to have something similar happen to him. Period. And it uses curse words a lot. Thank God. PG-13 sex comedies are the pits, man.

My 3 Favorite Novels of 2007 (Even though they didn't come out this year):
I was sort of too broke to buy a lot of books which came out this year, so I'll cull together the best 3 I read this calender year.

1. Child of God - Cormac McCarthy
This guy is brilliant. Child of God is about a guy who lives in the mountains and only comes down to kill people and then molest them. It's harrowing and a damn short read. Run to the bookstore if necrophiliac southerners appeal to you.

2. The Girl Next Door - Jack Ketchum
Easily the most disturbing book I've ever read, about a group of boys who torture a girl in their neighborhood. But, as I've said before, Jack Ketchum is the most underrated pop horror talent in the world.

3. Florence of Arabia - Christopher Buckley
No fiction novel captures the essence of the Middle East and our situation so effortlessly. I read the book in a single day. It's very, very difficult to put down.

The Best/Worst Presidential Soundbyte of 2007:

"I'm pretty sure there will be duck-hunting in heaven and I can't wait!"
-Republican hopeful Mike Huckabee. He also has said that we wouldn't have an immigration problem if abortion were illegal. Hmmm. Zany!

"You know that old Beach Boys song, Bomb Iran? Bomb bomb bomb, bomb bomb Iran."
-I'm not sure if he's even running for president anymore, but John McCain sure does have oddly short arms!

"We are going to take things away from you on behalf of the common good."
-Hillary Clinton, just before being told what Communism really means.

To Be Continued...

Dec 16, 2007

Dec 12, 2007

I'm not a jingoistic sort of fellow. I don't jump on the 'America Rules the World' bandwagon very often, but after seeing this documentary, I have to admit that I felt an amount of pride for my home country.

'Air Guitar Nation' follows the exploits of the first American - C-Diddy, respectively - to be allowed to enter the World Air Guitar Championships.

You probably think that I'm being facetious, but I'm not. Even though Rock Music was invented in the US, The World Championships takes place in Oulu, Finland, and the other countries remain hostile to the newest contender for the title throughout the documentary.

The tension of the film builds to a pretty finger-biting conclusion on the world stage (no pun intended), as C-Diddy performs his signature tune for the 5,000 Finnish viewers. You will question it. Will he win? What happens if he doesn't? Does that mean that we're a joke? Is there something that we're not good at, and will losing it reveal that we're not really good at anything?

And so on and so forth.

C-Diddy even has a web site with a Cafe Press shop, where you can buy t-shirts and Such. I'm tempted.

Is George W. Bush Made of Teflon?

The latest scandal involving The White House has me wondering, Is there anything that will stick to This President? Or this Administration? Or anyone in this Administration (Scooter Libby excluded)?

I cribbed the above quote from the stand-up of David Cross (A) because it's so true and because - even more alarmingly - (B) it was spoken years ago, before the appearance of the majority of these scandals.

Plamegate, and now, Waterboarding-Gate (which I'll even admit is a tad too cute and glib for its own good) calls into question whether or not the President even gives a crap that laws are (allegedly) being smashed into little pieces. And, as hot as Dana Perino is, she's no good at covering up all of the clandestine shit they've involved themselves in.

But enough about that. I'll have to now turn on the Dems for a moment. Democrats, you can't go around scolding Rudy Giuliani for doing something that, ostensibly, Bill Clinton did a decade ago. The only difference is that Rudy Giuliani at least had the common courtesy to give his mistress a cool ride home on the government's dime.

Dec 10, 2007

Ghosts N Ghoblins - And the Falcons Suck!

This is the game I just got in the Nintendo Wii Virtual Console (along with the impossibly hard TMNT game, just so you know), and it's kicking my ass. I used to be so good at this game when I was, like, eight. What happened to me?



Also, the Falcons just lost another game. No surprise there, I guess. Thank God it's the first game they've lost in awhile. I'm so glad we have Michael Vick to shoulder the team when it's down, and he'll be carrying us to the playoffs. What a great investment he was.

GREed

Sorry the blog has fallen into abeyance lately. My alacrity for composing my thoughts has waned. Becoming an apostate has not helped - I think I've apprised you enough as it is on the state of my (lack of) religious beliefs.

So perhaps it is that I've becoming ascetic about my prospect of becoming a world-renowned blogger. But let's not obviate the existence of my blog. I think it's worthwhile. You can be oppobrious if you like, but don't be overweening or else I'll...

Oh well, that is just enough, I think. You get the idea. I'm studying for the GRE, so my life has become a worthless amalgamatino of strewn-together moments bordering sometimes on coherence.

I thought I'd (not) entertain you by displaying some of the new words I've learned through my studies. I've really, truly got to study. The test costs $150 bucks, so I've got to make that first time worthwhile.

I won't take the venerable test until late January or early February, so hopefully I'll be good and prepared by then. My goal is to make a 600-650 on the verbal section (I'd be at the 85th percentile in the nation) and a 500 on the math section (not so much).

I think I can accomplish that. Just so you know, I'll be pursuing a Master's in English Education and will (hopefully) be teaching in two years. Cross your fingers.

Other than that, I'm about ten to fifteen pages away from finishing the fourth novel, a sort of Southern Crime novel about two brothers fighting off a rich man's mob to preserve the ownership of the land their father has recently bequeathed to them. Not too shabby, huh?

And, as soon as I finish that one, I think I'll either (A) take a break for the rest of the year or (B) jumpt headlong into the fifth novel. I guess you can probably guess what I'll be doing. I've written three novels already this year. If I can bang out half of another one, it'll be all the better.

Dec 8, 2007

No Country For Old Men - Next Day Impressions



I have to say, a lot of people were disappointed with the ending to 'No Country for Old Men' last night. Mostly, they were younger guys - or at least younger than I - who wanted a very typical ending to the movie.

Without revealing too much, I will say that the ending is probably not what you expect, but what you should expect from the tone of the movie and the snarkiness of the Coen Brothers as filmmakers.

LP liked it the more she thought about it, and I absolutely loved it. One half of our friend Bendy liked the movie, also.

It's bloody and full of darkly unsettling MOOD. It's great. It's at least the best movie the Coens have made since Fargo, which is saying a lot. I think that it's sort of a mixture of Blood Simple, Miller's Crossing, and (only because of the setting) Raising Arizona. Ethan and Joel Coen do the Southwest so well, and No Country is no exception. Roger Deakins's Cinematography is brilliant, especially (but not limited to) the scene in the hotel. (Once you see it, you'll know exactly what is meant by that)

I want to go see the movie again, because I feel I'll have a more even-keeled viewpoint of it. It definitely has potential for an Oscar, but it is not a movie for the masses, I'll admit. There are times when the normal filmgoer will be angered. No Country for Old Men is a thinking man's (or woman's) movie, and not a formulaic crime noir, as some might have thought. You'll definitely be surprised. With the ending, most certainly, but with the beginning and middle, too. The movie is - I won't say slow - deliberate in its pacing, and older patrons will probably enjoy it more, if they can handle the blood and cursing.

I loved it. Great movie.

Arrested Development...Out on Bail?


News of a possibled - keep your fingers crossed - 'Arrested Development' movie has got me sad. :(

Why? you ask. I should be excited, right? I mean, what would be better than a one-off movie of one of my favorite sitcoms?

"The 'Arrested Development' movie is not dead, au contraire," the dearly deceased show's star, Bateman, told us Monday. "[Over the weekend I had] a little phone call, just catching up, a little reaching out and touching."

See, my problem lies in the fact that I would want the series to keep on going. The movie would be great, but I would want there to be a Family Guy-type ressurection.

And that would just crush me, if it weren't to happen.

Still, I can't deny that an AD movie would be awesome. I just hope Michael Cera hasn't gotten too big to do it. Jason Batement, meanwhile, has been lobbying for the opportunity to ressurrect the always great show.

"[During the strike] you're allowed to write things you're not being paid to do," Bateman explained, revealing almost as much as a never-nude. "I'm trying to talk [Hurwitz] into writing the 'Arrested Development' movie. And he could be coming around."

Dec 2, 2007

[No Subject] - But There's Football!

What in the hell is going to happen with the National Title Game? As most of you (who watch college football) know, last night confirmed what everyone has been talking about for the last thirteen weeks or so: It is one crazy college football season.

It is a very curious situation we're in right now. We, being the imperial we, the college football world, of course.

I thought that everyone sort of figured that Oklahoma would beat Mizz. They've had a great season and all, but a #1 Missouri team just didn't seem right. And Bob Stoops and Oklahoma have been to the dance more than once.

So seeing the Missouri go down was no big deal.

No one - and I mean NO ONE - picked Pitt to beat West Virginia. The days leading up to Saturday, you could almost hear the analysts breathe a collective sigh of relief regarding the fate of the biggest and last game of the year.

Ohio State versus West Virginia. Not a great match-up - at least not a dream match-up - but a great venue for two superb teams to play each other for the title. Certainly, it seemed as though the WV story would be interesting.

And would Ohio State bounce back, after last year's embarrassing loss to Florida.

...Well, it didn't exactly play out like that. Pitt pulled off a near-miracle, stunning West Virginia with a 13-9 slobberknocker that ended with a safety.

So now what?

Number three Ohio State, in all likelihood, will move up to number one to play in the BCS National Title Game.

But who is number 2?

Georgia, ostensibly, if you were to go with trends. One of the biggest obstacles to them getting to the game is the fact that they did not win the conference. Hmmm. But didn't the voters pick them to be number 4 behind WV, Mizz, and OSU even when they knew UGA wouldn't win the conference?

Last year, Michigan didn't win the Big 10, and people complained that they weren't given a shot in the national title game. So I think winning the conference is overrated.

But we also saw how that game turned out, as well.

I'm a Homer for UGA - I would like to see them play in a National Title Game - but I also see why it should be an Ohio State/LSU game, or maybe USC/Ohio State. I don't see somebody like Oklahoma jumping UGA, but the other two teams seem to make sense for the title game.

The big soiree to showcase the combatants in the final game of the season will air tonight on ESPN.