December 31, 2003

i love UPS, and even more so C&L.

see, on sunday i ordered my three Criterion discs on c&l, who are way out in b.c., on the other side of the country.
as soon as i'd ordered, they sent me a ups tracking number, which i immediately set to good use. nothing. there was nothing for a good 24 hours.

then monday afternoon i see a "4:06 pm - departure". that made me happy.
after that there was a quick sucession of times, arrivals, and departures. it was going and fast and by 6:33 am it had apparently arrived at the montreal airport. this was quick. they're two-day shipping was for real.

i checked the ups site all morning to see the updates 'cause i wanted to be home when the guy would come a-knockin'.
nothing. and more nothing. hours passed. i went and got some groceries. nothing. nothing. nothing.

but then at 12:38 pm -- a knock on the door :)
a very excited me went down and got my criterion package :)

i know i've said this before but there's something in criterion that excites the hell out of me :) especially when it's more than one disc.

. . . . . . .

S.W.A.T left me kinda cold. i thought i'd at least enjoy it for the "smart dumb movie" aspect of it, but no. well, yes i did get into some of the stuff; but it goes by so fast (it doesn't feel like a 117-minute movie) that a lot of it just didn't work for me.

first off, i really wasn't ready for the bad tv show banter/awkward acting that floods the first half hour like an evil bad breath. i was really stunned by the lack of chemistry between the actors on-screen or any trace of good editing. i was really out of it for a while. then i laughed a couple of times (i actually remember the two specific times; how bad is that?) and Olivier Martinez is really good, so those parts were fine.

Michelle Rodriguez also does a very fine job but you get the feeling they introduce her into the movie (because she's a girl and no girl is gonna make on my s.w.a.t. dammit) and then they kinda forget about her.

it's not a really bad film. but it could've been much better.
it felt like an episode from a tv show. take that any way you want to.
for me, it went by fast and it didn't annoy me too much, but then a day after watching i won't remember much about the film. i don't know how they'd do this but they could turn this into a series where each film, released every other year or so, was about one case; like a tv show. but then again, was this film so special as to deserves a film series? probably not.

oh yeah, and there was a surprising racist streak. it's not throughout the film but pay attention when olivier martinez makes his $100,000,000 offer; you get all kinds of "hoodlums" coming in for the kill. and if there's anyone white man among them, they sure as hell didn't show it as much as all the latinos and blacks "hoods" who came out of the woodwork with their arsenals. mindboggling.

. . . . . . .

Loveless' "sometimes" is playing. this is the kind of music Billy Corgan was influenced by. this is the kind of song i just love the most.

Posted by Sam | 9:08 AM |

December 28, 2003

fucking around with the text; don't be alarmed. (but i kinda like it.)

Posted by Sam | 9:15 PM |

god i love the internet.

it is the reason i got my first credit card way back when.
thanks to a few cool online stores, you can get the stuff you really want at more than reasonable prices. it never ceases to amaze me.

here are the (finally) ordered items:

c&l
in the mood for love (the criterion collection)
tokyo story (the criterion collection)
the hidden fortress (the criterion collection)

action records
kelis - wanderland

an update on being anal:

here's some very exciting stuff (for me); i've been on and off about getting books for the past couple of days. i want to get some (books), and i found a couple i wanted more info on before buying. but i couldn't make my mind up on any of them. and today i wasn't feeling up to actually going out and buying stuff. i got enough stuff. but i was driving by so i stopped and got the following (btw, i'm very happy my purchases):

jonathan lethem - the fortress of solitude
jeffrey eugenides - middlesex

. . . . . . .

ooh, this is all very exciting to me -- all three dvd's i ordered earlier today seemed to have shipped (ups number is not working right now but i'll try tomorrow). yay. i was a bit worried that they would be out of this one or that one, but it appears they sent them all.

hurrah for great service!

Posted by Sam | 5:29 PM |

i really loved Millenium Actress! in a sobering kind of way. it was heartfelt and kinda epic at the same time (it went through a hundred years of japanese movies, while going through a thousand years of japan life at the same time). but it always felt personal and sweet.

i'd have no problem recommending this to you as a rental.

kinda hard to explain a film. always is for me 'cause i get into a film more when i know as little as possible about it. it was true with this and so i'm continuing the tradition here :)

today i wanted to go out and get some books but since i'm only really set on one for now (Jonathan Lethem's Fortress of Solitude) it can wait. i have other books i wanna get to so there's no real hurry here.

one thing i wanna do, though, today, after i take back the dvd, is to go order me my three Criterion titles so i can get them later this week. and maybe also order me Kelis' damn elusive Wanderland once and for all (and probably that Zwan single too, while i'm there).

Posted by Sam | 2:19 PM |

okay. you want top ten lists? this is how you do fuckin' Top Ten Lists (say, 'thank you, fimoculous').

Posted by Sam | 9:08 AM |

December 27, 2003

it's fun to have days off :)
i haven't had more than two consecutive days off for a while now and this week has been good to me in that department.

time to doze off, time to catch up, time to watch films. it feels good.
too bad they can't pay us to do that all the time.

so this afternoon i reluctantly went out to run some errands (a bag for the roommate's xmas gift, exchange a faulty cd, go check out the indie store for the first time in a decade, etc).

first stop -- the video store. i'm not even in the parking when i hear a moving truck honk at me. what the fuck? i'm not blocking his way, and i'm going in anyway. then i see the excited passenger -- it's my ex!!! she moved to quebec city last summer. we've kept in touch by email since then. the driver is her current boyfriend. she told me she'd drop by to get her stuff from her old apartment here in the city yesterday. i guess this was it.

anyway. i park my car as she's trying to make her way to me.
we hug for a bit :) and then a bit more. and then some more. it felt nice. we hadn't seen each other literally in months.
apparently her boyfriend wasn't too happy that she was getting out of the truck to come meet me :) too bad.

it was a nice reunion.
we're not into the same stuff but we always have this bond, this damn chemistry. and it was still there.
even though i've moved on i was happy to see that we still had that bond.

we talked, and mostly stared at each other, for about 5 minutes, not saying much except that she's coming back next week for new year's. dunno if we're gonna do anything (i'm working all week) but it was nice to see her again (and she was very happy to see me :) she had tears :)

so then.

i managed to make it to the shady used record and exchange my copy of the Wu-Tang's Iron Flag, which was scratched and the booklet was watered down and torn. they still had the extra copy and the guy didn't say anything as he was looking (and looking) for the cd.

all happy i made my way to the other, more respectable used record store and found Curve's Gift. ha! i'd been on the fence about this album for a good two years when i finally decided last fall to go ahead and buy the damn thing. i kept seeing it at the record store, full price, but i'd been convinced. once i got there, though, it was gone! argh. so yeah, i finally found it at the used record store today for more than half the price i would've paid at the store :) i'm a happy man.

i finally found myself a copy of Millennium Actress to rent this afternoon.

oh!
and i found a trilogy of films by Jean-Marc Barr (the guy in The Big Blue who wasn't Jean Reno) and Pascal Arnold at the video store. at first i started reading the back of this one dvd case, then i got to the part about it being the third film in a trilogy; i then looked up and saw that they had all three films on dvd :)

Lovers
Too Much Flesh
Being Light

all with Elodie Bouchez.
i wanted to read about them before actually committing myself to renting them.
the first one's a Dogma film (Barr was in Dancer in the Dark and seems to have been working steadily ever since with Lars von Trier).

Posted by Sam | 5:25 PM |

i'm lost in a sea of new websites this morning.

i'm looking up a few Criterion titles i will be ordering tomorrow, in doing so i have stumbled upon a lot of new stuff:

+ an incredibly informative and sweet Ozu website. (Tokyo Story is now officially going into my shopping cart.)

+ Kurosawa's The Hidden Fortress is also going in.

+ Raising Victor Vargas is a strong candidate for my to-rent list.

+ excellent guides for your tv -- Equipment service mode information.

+ oh, and i forgot to mention this little find the other week -- DVD-Basen - DVD Review Database answered all my prayers.

+ Daily-Reviews.com. dvd and film reviews.

+ Masters of Cinema. an informative site on a few master directors.

Posted by Sam | 10:35 AM |

i saw Russian Ark last night.

i have nothing to say.
i do not want to spoil it for anyone who hasn't seen it.

needless to say, please don't read anything about the film before seeing it, okay? please, do yourselves a favor.
and don't necessarily go out *right now* and rent it, no; no film can withstand that kind of enthusiasm. that is why i'm doing my best not to lavish praise upon this fine, fine film.

just rent it sometime in the near future.

Posted by Sam | 9:53 AM |

December 26, 2003

starting to get bleary-eyed over here.

i somehow woke up at 6 this morning, then heard this alarm-clock style beeps coming from the other apartment. it was faint but at 6 in the morning you can hear a fly waking up, so after realizing that i wasn't going back to sleep i decided to continue reading Stephen King's Gerald's Game (got back into this book because i recalled never being able to finish the damn thing. or at least, read beyond the first third of the book) until i got sleepy again. i think i slept two hours this morning.

woke up to snow covering everything again. i love that. so people were outside scrapping their driveways and cars were parked all along the streets. it was nice.

then as we were moving the cars out, i noticed a small yellow stain where my car had been. must've been a dog peeing. but then more droplets. checked online and found out that it must be a coolant leak. no biggie (thank god). in fact, i couldn't find any other drops by this afternoon. we'll see tomorrow but for now i'm putting this one under fluid overflow, or something like that.

the roommate is having dinner with her friends right now and i'm too tired to eat with them. so here i am, starting to get hungry.

they're leaving in an hour or so and i rented Russian Ark this afternoon at the video store.
it was a weird, freeing feeling -- i didn't know what to get, something i'm not used to since i always do some quick research before going out to rent a movie, but there it was. i'd heard about it, mostly the title came up a few times, so i happily got it.

looking forward to sitting down with some food and watching the film :)

Posted by Sam | 9:17 PM |

when you just can't be bothered to put some clothes on.

Posted by Sam | 11:06 AM |

i wanna talk about my xmas dinner for some reason, although i'm sure i'm not gonna be able to put into words the feel of the evening.

my mom and her boyfriend were hosting the xmas dinner, as usual. but they usually have two separate xmas "celebrations" - one with me on december 24th after their midnight mass; and another, a dinner with her boyfriend's girls and boyfriend + their (now) three kids.

but this year i was able to make it to the dinner so they prepared a big evening for us all.

i was the only one who didn't bring someone with him. it was me, my mom, her boyfriend, his oldest daughter with her boyfriend and their three kids, and his younger daughter and her new (even to her dad) boyfriend. but it was okay.

the daughter with the kids got there right after i did so we sat talking. or, i sat listening to my mom talking to them and made the occasional laugh. lol. we drank a bit. not too much because everyone was pretty much already partied out this year. the kids were kinda scared of me because the last time they'd seen me they were babies. now they looked to be about 5 and 6.

at some point their fear subsided and they started coming to me. then it was a full-on attack. we played hide and seek (me and the two kids. no one else got involved). i had fun. i hadn't played in years but i'd always loved it back then. it was fun but the younger one kept hiding with me and laughing under his breath. lol.

then we got to dinner, which was fun. i was pretty tired by this point, though.
oh, we got our gifts.

my mom and her boyfriend got me pj's and gave me a $300 cheque ... i was stunned. my mom says that's the same amount she gave me last year but i always thought they gave me around $120-150 at xmas. i was stunned :)

hmm.
oh yeah, and it snowed last night. big time. big lazy-ass snowflakes. they're the coolest. and i wasn't expecting any snow so that made it all the more cooler. temperatures are supposed to be warmer these days but i guess we dropped just under 0, enough to get some thick snow. nice.

by 8:30 everyone started leaving for another family gathering over at my mom's boyfriend's family so i got to come back home.

oh, and a final, perfect note -- i had Saint Etienne's Sound of Water to bookend my trip to and from my mom's xmas party. it's a nice album to listen to while driving back home through thick, falling snow on xmas day after a satisfying meal with "family". it was a nice way to end things.

Posted by Sam | 10:49 AM |

December 25, 2003

Merry XMas to every practicing christians out there!

:)

i hope everyone else celebrating is having happy holidays.

Posted by Sam | 2:27 PM |

December 24, 2003

well, it turns out i don't believe i have much more to say about the film than what i came out with last night (it's still a bit of a stream of consciousness mess):

The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King | Peter Jackson | 2003

the film starts out with a nice intro that feels like it's a re-shoot, but an entirely welcomed one if it is.

the middle section of the film is majestic. if peter jackson were to win best director at this year's oscars it would be for the sheer scale of this film (and of course, you can't really escape it -- for the entire series). it's big and it's magnificent. mr lucas, you've got your work cut out for yourself now.

but then you've got other stuff -- hobbits looking at each other and smiling, like 15 times in a row!; an ending that came close to rivaling the sheer waste that was A.I.'s; an orlando bloom as legolas that i finally realized just didn't do much for the role, he just seemed to be posing, when you're fighting alongside viggo mortensen's aragorn, you just can't have that, now can you?

anyway.

as a whole i really liked the film. a lot.
i didn't shed one single tear, but for a 3 hour and 30 minutes film, they got me.
they was just some stuff (minor stuff) that i'd wish peter jackson had done differently.
it's the best one of the three, though.
should it win best picture? not sure. as a complete film, i think Lost in Translation wins hands-down. but because this is the last of one important endeavor, and for the sheer scale of the thing, this film will win it.

update:

i'm putting this down right now because i don't want you to think i did not enjoy this fine film. i enjoyed the hell out of it. i think it's definitely the best of the three films. but -- i could not get into the multiple endings. i was sure i was at least gonna shed a tear or two. i was ready. but nope. i was cold as a stone. and i was disappointed by that.

but the film has loads of balls, some mighty twists that i hadn't experienced in the previous two films, and a grand scale that peter jackson can only be applauded for. this is one mighty exercise for which he came out on top. and he made it seem so effortless.

Posted by Sam | 11:53 AM |

i won't write about The Return of the King right now. my thoughts are not made up yet. it's too soon.

Posted by Sam | 10:34 AM |

December 22, 2003

hey, i just had to come in and direct you over to the official Melissa Auf der Maur website. it finally opened up after a few months of having only a picture on the front page.
but make sure you take a gander at the pic at the bottom of the page. whew!

Posted by Sam | 11:20 PM |

lmao -- best quote about Andre 3000 [ from elastic heart ]:
Greg Dulli said it best about Andre 3000, drunk out of his mind backstage after our opening slot for the Twilight Singers last month... "Prince is chillin' at some religious convention in Minneapolis wondering how the hell this guy stole his career."

Posted by Sam | 11:48 AM |

oh, god. i must agree with Chris here -- this is fuckin creepy. go take a look yourselves:

Palace 'ghost' caught on camera.

Posted by Sam | 11:30 AM |

well, i finally did it. finished my 3-day work weekend. yay.
and i got to work with 2 of my friends. nice. and i also got to work in the o.r.; always fun. especially with this friend. it'd been a while but it's like we never even left.

my schedule:

today.

watch The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (Special Extended DVD Edition) this afternoon.

tonight i'll sit down comfortably and watch the Pittsburgh vs Montreal game on tv.

tomorrow.

finally go see The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King in the biggest of the three new big-ass theaters at the movie theater.

Posted by Sam | 10:03 AM |

well well well. seems only a handful of us had it right last week when everyone else was celebrating the US army.

Yahoo! News - Saddam was held by Kurdish forces, drugged and left for US troops.

i hope this comes out on CNN.

uh, does this mean the Pentagon/White House lied to us once again when they so proudly showed the american media where they "found" Saddam with that oh-so-pretty widescreen tv?

Posted by Sam | 9:35 AM |

December 20, 2003

good morning, everyone.

my mind's still trying to wake up so here are some easy odds and ends.

+ here's part of the Diane Sawyer Bush Interview.
the man's an idiot.

+ PopMatters | Best Music of 2003

+ Pitchfork: Top 50 Albums of 2003

Posted by Sam | 10:43 AM |

December 19, 2003

the Freedom Towers; you're fucking kidding me, right?

well i'm going to work.

Posted by Sam | 2:56 PM |

wow. the Thurmond family actually says the claim is true.
freaky.

i was wondering about this last night as i sat watching The Daily Show (they had some great jokes about it). i was wondering where the hell they were and why weren't we hearing any sort of denial splashed across the american media like there always is.

good for them.

Posted by Sam | 9:38 AM |

December 18, 2003

i have to agree -- i really like the idea of Wesley Clark as President.

and he's been coming out swinging these past couple of weeks like no other candidates have in the past 6 months.
i hope he keeps on fighting 'cause this could be his to win if he continues like this.

the dems don't get it -- say what you think, not what you think your financial interests wanna hear.

Posted by Sam | 11:04 PM |

it's that time of year again -- what with all the top ten lists popping up all over, you just know it's gonna cost ya.

Pitchfork's got their Top 50 Singles of 2003. definitely a fun read.

Posted by Sam | 10:57 PM |

okay. so Nader wants in on the presidential race -- again.

he's actually thinking about it for now but it looks like he really wants in.

dude, you don't have the time -- the elections are 11 months away!

as much as i agree with his arguments that the Dems haven't put much of a fight against Bush (who, let's all admit, is a pretty easy target on almost any subject, no matter what the "liberal media" says about it; and please stop with the in-fighting, you're just giving the Republicans ammo for when you decide which one of the damaged candidates you put up for the vote), but once again he might be shooting the american people in the foot. and i couldn't agree more with Michael Moore's idea during the 2000 presidential race -- get your Greens to vote for the Democratic candidate. do this only for this year. in 2008, do what you want. but i don't think you can argue with the fact that a) we need bush out of there fast, and b) the greens won't have nearly enough votes to get that office next november. so you could get all the greens and all the dems to vote for one single man. this could easily defeat bush instead of making sure he stays in.

do a campaign, shoot down bush the way you feel like it -- but do it in convergence with the democratic nominee.
thank you.

Posted by Sam | 10:22 PM |

helping out.

Moby has actually gotten real serious about ousting Bush in 2004. here's some stuff he's been talking about for the past day or two:

+ Bush in 30 Seconds -- the voting has begun. go watch some anti-bush ads and cast your vote.

+ the George W Bush Research Project -- looking up for people who would help in researching bush and his office have done while in office (and before) and building a comprehensive site with the up-to-date info.

Posted by Sam | 1:24 PM |

any movie geeks out there?
get your tissues ready and head on over to the Lars Von Trier/PT Anderson Interview right now.

i rarely read online interviews, dunny why, but this is a just a monumentally fun read throughout :)

[ thanks to Oh Manchester for the heads up ]

. . . . . . .

damn. the 9/11 Commission is starting to leak.
For the first time, the chairman of the independent commission investigating the Sept. 11 attacks is saying publicly that 9/11 could have and should have been prevented, reports CBS News Correspondent Randall Pinkston.

"This is a very, very important part of history and we've got to tell it right," said Thomas Kean.

"As you read the report, you're going to have a pretty clear idea what wasn't done and what should have been done," he said. "This was not something that had to happen."

Appointed by the Bush administration, Kean, a former Republican governor of New Jersey, is now pointing fingers inside the administration and laying blame.

"There are people that, if I was doing the job, would certainly not be in the position they were in at that time because they failed. They simply failed," Kean said.

wow. dean being a former repub gives this a whole lot more weight.

i hope the american public gets to hear this.

damn!

Kean promises major revelations in public testimony beginning next month from top officials in the FBI, CIA, Defense Department, National Security Agency and, maybe, President Bush and former President Clinton.

get ready for the shit to hit the fan soon.

Posted by Sam | 9:36 AM |

December 17, 2003

yay! Bishop's University has unveiled their 2004 Winter/Spring Movie Series:

+ Independent Film Series (i actually hit the sides of my head when i saw this list)

oh, this is gonna be good... :)

and the rest:

+ Regular Program
+ Kids Movies

. . . . . . .

nice little Kid Koala/Colin Greenwood mention.

Posted by Sam | 11:49 AM |

24: Day 3: 8:00 pm - 9:00 pm

they turned everything on its head, and proved that they did know what they were doing all along.

the best one yet this season, i say.

Posted by Sam | 11:24 AM |

December 16, 2003

thank you, canadian tv / thank you, french tv / american media, not so much.

the National Air and Space Museum opened up a new exhibition today. among the planes on display is the Enola Gay, the airplane that dropped the atomic bomb on Hiroshima.

for some reason, the japanese people are all outraged by this.

ha.

crazy americans, with their atom bomb-lovin' people and their vengeful leaders.

i wonder how we'd feel if Saddam had dropped an atomic bomb on us and then proudly displayed the airplane that dropped it. i'm sure we'd understand.

Posted by Sam | 10:30 PM |

Saddam may have been a held captive in that hole, not hidding as the americans so proudly told us this weekend.

it raises a few questions.

Posted by Sam | 10:33 AM |

December 15, 2003

great news from Dark Horizons:
Farenheit 911: The Michael Moore doco is now being tipped for a Memorial Day release.

damn right! and hell yeah.

this is great news because a) we won't have to wait as long as previously thought, and b) the original rumors had Miramax releasing on election day (wtf?).

apparently, Memorial Day falls on monday may 31st next year.

Posted by Sam | 12:23 PM |

December 14, 2003

okay. here's something i'm stealing from Slatch.

wanna make your searches easier?
okay, first -- get Mozilla. go on, i'll wait.

then, get some bookmarks for the sites you wanna be able to search through without having to actually load up their front, often times, heavy, pages.

then, this is what you do.

click on "manage bookmarks" and open up any bookmark properties.
type in:

name: dictionary.com
location: http://www.dictionary.com/cgi-bin/dict.pl?term=%s
keyword: dc (but it can be anything you want)

then, when you want to look up, say, the definition of "word" -- type in "dc word" in the location bar and voilà -- your search is done.

other sites that i did this with:

name: all music guide
location: http://www.allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&opt1=1&sql=%s
keyword: amg

name: thesaurus.com
location: http://www.thesaurus.com/cgi-bin/search?config=roget&words=%s
keyword: ts

for more explanation on how to do this with other sites, check out Blogzilla's original post about it.

Posted by Sam | 12:45 PM |

is this for real?? Saddam has been captured.

now i'll have to wait out the few days of american celebration but -- let's see if the attacks on american troops actually stop. i mean, as President Bush said over and over again (anbd actually about every single mastermind of terror he was actually after), this was only one man and thus of very little importance. someone on the left needs to get those quotes out before Bush straddles up in front of the press and smirks before the world.

it is good news. but lets remember that it has actually nothing to do with the War on Terror.
and that the daily attacks will continue. even more so now, i believe.

. . . . . . .

update:

watching all the media coverage of this on tv this morning, i couldn't help but a) feel sick after 10 minutes of watching and hearing the same stuff over and over again on every avalable network, b) notice how no one except the CBC mentioned for more than a second if this would have an actual impact on the bloodshed in Iraq, and c) how much the Hussein medical examination video (btw, why was this released? why not just footage of him getting hauled off or something? no one gets their med exam video released to the entire public. the morals involved are sketchy at best) reminded me of Hannibal. mean, that med guy looking Hussein up, from up close, he must've felt shivers down his spine, uh? i know i would.

i actually feel sorry for Hussein today. not because he's been captured. he was a tyrant. but now he looks resigned. he knows what's coming and he's accepted it. fine. thank god he didn't put up a fight. thank god the americans now have no choice but to put him in a public trial. thank god the entre world is watching.

i would assume he has a whole lot of things to say to the world population about the u.s.

btw, tell me one thing he ever did to the u.s. to warrant his country being bombed and invaded. just one thing.
al-qaeda, bin laden, and saudi arabia attacked new york on sept 11. ...and the u.s. attacked iraq. nice going. now they gotta see this to the end if they wanna leave better off than before they attacked it. again, nice going.

this is not the guy we wanted. this man never attacked the u.s. of a.
i just hope people can remember that in all this "brutal dictatorship/mass graves" resume the american news organizations keep throwing on the air today.

a brutal dictator has been caught.
but then what?

you can keep saying he was "terrorizing" his people but that doesn't have anything to do with the actual "war on terror" this administration so proudly trademarked to justify this invasion of iraq. other countries are doing far worse things to their people than hussein ever did. why not bomb them? why was iraq such a pressing target?

can you say "the bushies have no balls and their friends were the ones who hit new york on sept 11 so let's find us a target - fast"?
let's not forget that small simple fact, okay?

i hope the Dems get their balls back on for once and stop being such pussies about this administration. Clark was starting to look really good in the past few weeks. i hope he continues.
what do they have to lose, anyway??

Posted by Sam | 10:17 AM |

December 13, 2003

....and the lucky winners are:

The Red Shoes
Red Beard

and they, collectively, were $15 cheaper than what the store's site was saying. so, yeah, i'm a very happy camper.

and i can't tell you how liberating it feels to actually buy two criterion titles at the same time :)

and it's now official, monday is when i'm getting my Quebec sales tax cheque. i called them up this afternoon to make sure, and to see what i could afford :)

i've only got one xmas gift left to buy so my mind's pretty much made up about going back and getting Hiroshima mon amour tuesday (actually standing there, i felt quite overwhelmed by the sight of all those beautiful criterion titles when compared to just reading the titles on a computer).

Posted by Sam | 5:06 PM |

okay. i just had to get on the computer and post this.

how to finish a work week:

it has to be friday.
doing the same department has you've been doing for a month helps (special bonus points if cute girls/cool students work on your dept.).
lighter workload because it's friday.
having cool work friends.
hearing about the boss possibly leaving before the break. seeing that those rumors are official.
being able to go online at work because the boss is gone.

oh, yeah -- and winning $51 at the 2-day "half-n-half" with one of those $2-for-3 tickets you bought :)

yeah. i won $51 on my way out of work tonight :) people were talking about the winning ticket not having been reported yet at breaktime. i didn't have mine on me just then. forgot about it but thank god someone who'd heard i'd gotten tickets (and maybe it was me who'd won) asked me about my ticket at the end of the shift :) i'd totally forgotten about it :)

okay. ramblings over.
i'm happy is all :)

Posted by Sam | 12:29 AM |

December 12, 2003

nothing of major importance this morning. it's friday. looks like the weekend is already here.

i'm listening to Moby's 18 B Sides+DVD for the first time. first i was struck by the beautiful voice of Azure Ray on "Landing". i know i've heard the voice before, though, and it's not on an azure ray album (btw, azure ray is a band, not one girl, right? and both are not on this song, are they?).

second, isn't "Love of Strings" just the instrumental version of "Sunday (the Day Before my Birthday)"??

okay. this is where is mention that i do in fact like this album. but only moby fans will be able to enjoy it; others will say it's another watered down moby album (you can definitely hear a lot of his earlier songs in here, even "Go" gets a nice facelift). why? because this is a demo-type album; it's like we asked what he was up to and he just threw in what he was working on right now, the almost-completed songs he had on his computer.

i think that's why he also loaded up the dvd with enough shit to choke a small country.

btw, there are a lot of 100% original songs on there, but i just wanted to let you know about what hits you in the face first :)

if you're a fan, you'll definitely enjoy this, though.

. . . . . . .

discovered a new music review site -- canned has their top 20 of 2003.

. . . . . . .

and i know what i'll be doing this weekend -- looking up really cool t-shirts to buy over at Threadless while their $10 charity sale is winding down.

Posted by Sam | 10:26 AM |

December 11, 2003

okay. i mentioned in the previous post about my lack of courage in getting the Rebecca dvd today. and i asked you to comment on whether i should buy it or not.

well, i'm adding something to the mix -- here all the Criterion discs they had at the store that i could buy. but i can only get one. the one i will get will have to be one i have to OWN; i can always rent the others online next year.

so here's the list; i would really love it if you could comment on as many of them as you could. i know there are a few film lovers out there :) make me proud:

Alphaville (Goddard) / M (Lang) / The Red Shoes (Pressburger/Powell) / Yojimbo (Kurosawa) / The Magic Flute (Bergman) / And God Created Woman (Vadim) / Spartacus (Kubrick) / Coup de torchon (Tavernier) / Rebecca (Hitchcock) / Red Beard (Kurosawa) / Down by Law (Jarmusch) / The Killers (Siodmak/Siegel) / I Am Curious (Sjoman), not sure if they had the box set or just one of the two films / Throne of Blood (Kurosawa) / Hiroshima mon amour (Resnais) / Ali: Fear Eats the Soul (Fassbinder)

Posted by Sam | 2:21 PM |

oh, okay.
a couple of quick things.

.:: i pussied out of actually buying the Criterion Collection edition of Rebecca today; btw, i welcome any kind of thoughts on this release. tell me why i should *buy* it. there were a number of other criterion titles there that looked really good so i decided i would think about it for a few days. i should go get something saturday.

.:: i got the Kelis album.
Andre 3000's "Millionaire" sounds like a Love Below outtake. it was probably done for that album too. Andre has the lead, and the themes and the sound are identical to his excellent disc.
good song.

.:: Quebec Unions are out today. Prime Minister Charest wants to splinter us up and get some cheap labor in. people are pissed.
it's only the beginning.

.:: Montreal: A Great City According to Celebrities.
you know i couldn't pass this up.
thanks to montreal city weblog for the link.

Posted by Sam | 1:34 PM |

'morning, everyone.

i forgot to post this before.

The Criterion Collection
Rebecca, Notorious, Spellbound, and Straw Dogs Available For a Limited Time

Criterion's editions of Alfred Hitchcock's Rebecca, Notorious, and Spellbound and Sam Peckinpah's Straw Dogs will be available only through December 31, 2003. These titles will be out of print and unavailable come 2004. Wrong Men and Notorious Women: Five Hitchcock Thrillers 1935 - 1946 is also available only until the end of December.

run to the stores. now.

. . . . . . .

damn! Stylus' knee-droppin' review of Bubba Sparxxx' Deliverance.

Posted by Sam | 9:57 AM |

December 10, 2003

*sound of my jaw dropping*

24: day 3: 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm

speak.

Posted by Sam | 10:30 AM |

i have to admit that i kinda suffered/experienced a conversion of sorts last night.
see, i really hate the films of Michael Bay. i really do. they're overblown, arrogant, wannabe-loved hollywood filmmaking at its very, very worst. and with both Armageddon and Pearl Harbor he (they, if you're counting Bruckheimer) even pretended he had something important to say. or maybe he was just talking out of his ass and tried to sell it as something more than that.

anyway.
last night i rented Bad Boys II because a) i really felt the need to watch an action-packed film, and b) there's a serious drought of good action movies these past few years. this one, at the very least, looked like it was shot properly. that's all i was asking for.

don't pay too much attention to the plot here (it includes some kind of really lame cuban bad guy who imports ecstasy in dead bodies) or the mind-bending racist comments spattered throughout the first half of the film. it starts out really badly with an action piece that doesn't really goes anywhere. so, the story is secondary; we know that by now. but was that done on purpose (it really seems like it)? i mean, the real attraction here (but not one i was really looking forward to beforehand) is the teaming of Will Smith and Martin Lawrence. now. i do not care about will. he has some charm and i let him go on about his business. that's pretty much the extent of our relationship. and martin lawrence? nah, forget it. i don't think i ever saw him in anything else than Bad Boys I, and i can barely remember more than one scene from that film.

but.
i think it took me about 20 minutes to get over the michael bay factor. in fact, mikey here somehow managed to get out of the way of the film. okay, some people might not agree with me on this but that's how it felt. the explosions are still there and everything. but the ludicrous scale of armageddon and pearl harbor are absent from this one. and it's a refreshing absence.

and i was actually able to appreciate the style choices he made (not that they have any cinematic intentions other than looking good, mind you; this is popcorn moviemaking at its finest: it's candy, but fun candy) and get into it. he got me. he actually got me.

and there was also actually another surprise in here for me -- martin lawrence. out of everyone in the film, he actually gives the best one. not only the best one out of the bunch, but he actually gives a real human performance. and that's along with being able to make me laugh along with him. he surprised the hell out of me (see the in-store camera scene; he actually plays it straight all the way. no small feat. no laughs, nothing. just a guy hurting. bay's the one who's left to play for the laughs; which he does, but nothing that overshadows martin's performance in any way).

anyway.
i just wanted to share my thoughts on this film with you.
if you're looking for an entertaining 2+ hours, rent this one and check your brain at the door. i know i enjoyed it (and i can't reiterate this enough -- much, much, much to my surprise!).

. . . . . . .

i just wanted to add that the money's on the screen. and not in an unjusitifed way either, this looks good and there was no money wasted on this flick. it's a just one hell of a fun ride.

Posted by Sam | 9:08 AM |

wow.
un-fuckin-believable.

Paul Wolfowitz at work, people.

. . . . . . .

whoa, shit. i almost forgot -- i have a 24 episode to watch :)

gonna go watch that and come back right after.

Posted by Sam | 8:56 AM |

December 09, 2003

i'm an ass and a whore. all at the same time!

first, the whore -- i rented Bad Boys II.
there. i said it.
i'm actually not as embarassed by this as i thought i'd be. i never wanted to see it (except for one scene, i can't even remember the first one).
but i guess i'm okay about it because i feel an actual need for an action movie right now. plot? that's very optional tonight.

(ps. my lifetime ban on Pearl Harbor is still very much in effect.)

i still believe Michael Bay is the devil's bitch (the devil here being Jerry Bruckheimer) but i do wanna be entertained tonight (or at the very least, feel very dizzy). so, no hokey romance plot and no pretend acting. just give me the action and go away.

the roommate is gonna be out and it's my last day off 'till the weekend -- i thought i'd try to enjoy the hell out of my home theater system.

now, the ass part -- as soon as i was giving the guy my money for the dvd, i immediately realized that the other video store a few blocks away has 2/1 rentals on everything on tuesdays.
dammit.

Posted by Sam | 3:52 PM |

well, the Canadiens gave a us a great show last night. they did end up losing 3-2 but they actually fought for it - something we're not used to seeing - so it was nice to actually see them give a damn and play like they meant it for the whole game.

they didn't fall back after one goal, they went after it time after time. it was a great game to watch if you were a canadiens fan. they were actually playing like a fuckin team. they really can do it. i hope no one faults them for the loss 'cause to me this is definitely a win for them. they showed us they can go up against the best and fight their way out. i hope the loss doesn't overshadow that achievement.

and even the two goals Philly scored in the last 4 minutes of the game weren't cringe-inducing like we usually get.

our team actually had some heart and gave one hell of a run for 60 minutes to the first-place Flyers.
i actually gave a damn about this team (something i'd lost; i'd resorted to liking individual players for the past year).

Posted by Sam | 11:34 AM |

December 08, 2003

well, thanks to Kyle's great advice on how to translate this css thing into normal text i can now incorporate (and tweak) this code into my blog -- making it totally independent of any third party decisions, and thus not having to worry about some future, random plug-pulling from any type of mind-changing venture on someone else's part.

. . . . . . . .

okay. now i'm almost back to normal, blog-wise. feels good.

today i thought i'd go rent a movie but money's low (i'm expecting a qst tax refund (i guess that's what it's called in english) cheque in the mail today; it's a quebec sales tax thing). i thought i'd keep my dvd-renting money for tomorrow evening; tonight there's the Philly vs Montreal game at 7:30 anyway.

Posted by Sam | 2:45 PM |

what?
saturday night i got home around 12:20 am so i was only able to watch a few skits on snl with rev. al sharpton (and one pink song) and found it to be quite dreadful (as are most skits after "weekend update").

but i actually missed this very cool Paris Hilton appearance with Jimmy Fallon during weekend update. she actually redeemed herself quite a bit in my eyes with this.

Posted by Sam | 12:11 PM |

December 06, 2003

what??? ladytron cover tweet/timbaland/missy's excellent "oops (oh my)" on their Softcore Jukebox comp??

shit.
first off -- i need to get with the program.
second ...why does this have to be on a comp???? (although, there is that one !!! track on there.)

Posted by Sam | 10:16 AM |

blog work continues.

my goal is to be totally independent of melanie's blog (style sheets, css, etc) as soon as possible. i'm trying my darnedest to ease myself off of her blog before she changes something in her settings which would send this little page of mine into blog hell.

i managed to fix a couple of things that were bothering me -- the different-size date stamp for each post, the disappearing divider lines in the links section.

i need to find a code for a box. see this little entry? how it's boxed in like that? yeah, i need some code for that 'cause for now i'm totally dependent on mel's hidden coding and i don't like that.

that's it. all in all, i'm pretty happy about the work i just put in (well over an hour; and that's after working a headache-inducing (stress and tediousness) 8 hours tonight. i'm not complaining; just saying.

. . . . . . .

also managed to drum up a new look for the comments section.
double-yay.

this shall be it for tonight, folks. it's been well over 2 hours since i decided to turn the computer on to see if there was something i could do with the new design in, oh, what - 10 minutes?

i need to go to bed now.
goodnight :)

. . . . . . .

is the text too big? too small?
i can't figure out what size to make it. it seemed too big the first couple of times i published it but now i don't know what the hell i'm doing.

let me know and i'll get back to it with a fresh mind tomorrow morning. thanks.

Posted by Sam | 2:06 AM |

December 05, 2003

new look!

it took me about 2 hours to tweak this design.
let me know what you think.

stolen from mel's brilliant Just a Bump in the Beltway and then tweaked for two eye-straining hours so i can work it into Blogger (there's still some tweaking left to do; most notably for the archives page).

anyone can tell me why the dates for the previous posts (before december 4) appear smaller than the last two dates?? it's fucking bugging me.

i'm going to eat now.

Posted by Sam | 12:58 PM |

December 04, 2003

i'm doing my civic duty and pointing you to the Guardian's article on guantanamo.

[ link courtesy of Do You Feel Loved? ]

.::.

pirates of the carribean: the curse of the black pearl wasn't all that. it wasn't disappointing, it was an okay ride, god knows the 143 minutes runtime went by rather quickly, but it rarely gets off the ground for more than 30 seconds at a time. johnny depp makes it rise, though. he's a one-man show, and the damn near ecstatic fun he seems to be channeling makes the whole thing look better.

and kiera knightley is, well, kiera. and that's always more than enough for me. but let me talk about the actress for a moment. i will readily say that i liked her a thousand times more in beckham. obviously. nobody beats beckham in my book. dunno if you can appreciate her in this film, though, if you don't already have an appreciation for her. that is -- she doesn't bring anything new that any other actress wouldn't have brought. but i don't see it as her fault (never will be :) it's a big commercial film, it's expected that there be cardboard characters. but enough with the one-dimensional female roles, alright? unless you've got a female director (or tarantino) at the helm, it doesn't seem like they can be more than cardboard cut-outs, can they?

anyway. some good stuff but don't buy the dvd. i really don't know what they would've done if they hadn't had johnny.

Posted by Sam | 11:12 PM |

updated:

+ laundry
+ rent pirates of the carribean: the curse of the black pearl for the roommate and i
+ used record store for elliott smith - either/or / q-tip - amplified / wu-tang clan - iron flag
+ get some groceries
+ clean up bathroom 'cause a) it's really due, and b) the roommate told you so because she and her friends are coming over tomorrow and are gonna need the bathroom to get ready to go out (is it just me or is this just a sexy image?)
+ watch movie

the used record store i went to sometimes have more than one copy of a particular album. well, the fucker at the counter gave me an iron flag with a waterglued booklet and i had to tear up at least two pages on the inside. and the cd's scratched. i'm listening to it right now to look at the damage - there is some but right now it's not too bad. i'm gonna try repairing it with this scratch repair kit i have. if it still doesn't work perfectly after that i'm taking it back for the other copy.

actually, no, i'm gonna take it back anyway. i paid good money for this cd and i have the right to get the good fucking booklet.

fuckers.
they're not helping their reputation here.
not only am i a paying customer, but i go there every other week and get a shitload of cd's. i don't deserve no glued booklet and cracked case (i didn't mention that before, did i? yeah, he actually gave me the cracked case).

.::.

in other news, Fox Searchlight felt the need (last july) to jump on the blogwagon -- here's their blog.

granted, searchlight does some respectable stuff, but still ... a blog?
don't blur the lines here. leave the promo stuff on your official website, where it belongs. to me blogs are about people, not promo pics with bono at a premiere.

Posted by Sam | 2:36 PM |

nice little article over at Daily Kos about the iraqi governing council's wish to hold democratic elections by next summer ...and the white house wanting to have none of that, thank you very much.

Posted by Sam | 12:57 PM |

three days of work have been done. now it's my day off. yay. always a pleasure to get to those. you never think you'll get there.

list for today:

+ laundry
+ rent pirates of the carribean: the curse of the black pearl for the roommate and i;
try to find a second one for myself
+ used record store for elliott smith - either/or / q-tip - amplified / wu-tang clan - iron flag
+ get some groceries
+ get some harvey's
+ clean up bathroom 'cause a) it's really due, and b) the roommate told you so because she and her friends are coming over tomorrow and are gonna need the bathroom to get ready to go out (is it just me or is this just a sexy image?)
+ watch rented movie(s)

Posted by Sam | 9:52 AM |

December 03, 2003

well, a trip back to the used record is now in order. i'll go tomorrow.

when was it? last sunday? yeah, i think that's right. i went because it'd been a little while since i'd seen their stock, and i was hoping no one had gotten to two albums i'd seen a few weeks ago. after panicking a bit because i couldn't find the little crad with their name on it, i found them -- arab strap's philophobia and elephant shoe, their 2nd and 3rd album. nice...

i stopped at two albums.

but i just did some quick online research (why don't record stores keep a computer with internet access available for customers?? they would save me so much time) and i'll have to go back and get the following:

elliott smith - either/or
wu-tang clan - iron flag
q-tip - amplified

Posted by Sam | 12:36 PM |

December 02, 2003

i don't have much to write about these days, the work week has started. i'm onto day 2 today and then last day tomorrow evening before my thursday day off. yay. can't wait.
actually, the boss is supposed to leave early tonight so that'll be cool.

that's it. just wanted to say hi.

oh, and the packaging for matmos' the civil war is the most beautiful thing you've ever seen.

and i'm glad i 'accdentally' taped the bernie mac premiere (thank god it's sandwiched between the simpsons and malcolm; and that i'm too lazy so i tape fox from 8 to 10 every sunday ; arrested development is also a great show that i've made my mind up to follow each week) this sunday. it's the funniest show and i'm gonna follow it all the way this season.

Posted by Sam | 2:56 PM |

December 01, 2003

okay. dark horizons drops an interesting newsbite this morning about the proposed release dates for michael moore's upcoming farenheit 9/11.

here's what the films about.
"The senior Bush kept his ties with the bin Laden family up until two months
after Sept. 11...It (the new project) certainly does deal with the Bush and bin Laden ties, it asks a number of questions that I don't have the answers to yet, but which I intend to find out".

A portion of the doco will deal with the business relationship between former president George Bush and the late Saudi construction magnate Mohammed bin Laden (Osama's father). However overall the main thrust of the film will be examining what has happened to the United States since the Sept. 11 terrorist attack.

but, here's some kinda disturbingly weird news.

The film's french distributors Wild Bunch (outputing through Miramax in the US) are trying to target a world premiere at Cannes but in regards to it's official release, its date will probably be November, 2004... election day!

wha?? i thought the goal of this film was to make public the relationship between the two families, thus making it impossible for george w bush to get back into the oval office. what kind of lame ass release date is election day???

i just emailed mike about it. and i urge you to do the same. ask him to talk to miramax about changing the release date to a couple of months earlier so it can actually make the impact i know it can on the results of the election.

thank you.

.::.

in other news.
i never talk about celine dion but this was worth mentioning -- her father passed away yesterday morning.

even though she's hopped on the crappy train to crap music i don't give a shit about her, especially now that it looks she's been trying to look like a man for the past year or so, not a lot of people do give a rat's ass about her, but i thought this kind of news was worth mentioning.

Posted by Sam | 9:08 AM |