May 30, 2004

i thought this was news but i guess it wasn't to Criterion fans:
Richard Linklater's Slacker is coming to dvd in august from Criterion!!

the much-anticipated 2-disc set of Cronenberg's Videodrome will follow.

Posted by Sam | 10:51 AM |

May 29, 2004

2004 NHL Stanley Cup Final

Calgary wins 3-0 against Tampa Bay, takes a 2-1 lead in the series. what a bloody game. players were holding a bit too much for my taste but what a physical game. i love it.

i just caught about five minutes of what turns out to be Ernst Lubitsch's "That Uncertain Feeling" on PBS. what a wonderful five minutes it was! Burgess Meredith just pops off the screen with such modern verve and sparkling wit. i'm gonna be looking out for Lubitsch's work, that's for sure.

oh my god, this is just too freaky!! i know Classmates.com has been around for almost a decade now, but i just clicked a link to it because a fellow canadian had it up on her blog. and damn -- both my primary school and high school were listed on there! it's pretty fucking thorough! i registered (free, yay) and it's like a portal where you suddenly just pop out on the other side of the anonymous internet and find yourself in a room with long lost schoolmates. gooddammit. lol. a bit freaky, but this rocks.

Posted by Sam | 11:28 PM |

hmm. had a weird day today. thank god it's the weekend, though. so, to recap. last week i lost my last right contact lens, called to see if i could get some contacts but was refused because it's been (literally) years since i last got an eye exam. this afternoon i went to my appointment. good news is that i didn't lose too much vision, only 0.25 in my left eye. they're even-ing out. but. there was some bad news. because i used the contacts i had for far too long, a tiny infection developed in my left eye. apparently tiny blood vessels got under my cornea. or something like that. something that even the doctor wouldn't have noticed even up close it's so tiny. he saw it because he used dye on my eyes. so there's this tiny infection going and the only way to heal it is by not wearing contacts for two or three weeks. now. i need my contacts. lol. but. because he didn't know how long it took to develop, i don't wanna take a chance and have it get worse. so as of this afternoon i'm not wearing contacts for the next two weeks. work will be weird. i'm not blind but there's a definite blurriness to things :) i took out my old glasses i got ...when i was in fuckin' high school!!! lol. they're ugly. i was worried that they'd be useless because of their weak outdated prescription but they're actually doing a really good job. that's good 'cause i got me some hockey and movies to watch :) i'm only using them in here. there's no way i'm wearing these outside :) driving is fine. i thought it'd be worse but i'm actually okay. can't wait to wear the new contacts, though! that new prescription should be awesome.

stuff was purchased:

the office - the complete second series
feist - let it die
scissor sisters - scissor sisters

tonight:
Tampa Bay vs Calgary - Game 3
the next two games are gonna be played in Calgary. that crowd will be insane. this will a great game. (the series is tied at 1-1.)

small newsbite:
apparently (i haven't seen it myself yet), Bush I shoved President Clinton live on tv at today's WWII memorial celebration. hopefully CNN will show it again.

Posted by Sam | 4:23 PM |

Body and Soul uncovered something huge that needs to get more nationwide attention -- "Many of the popular programs Bush has been touting during the campaign will be cut starting in February of 2005. The Education Department. The Department of Veterans Affairs. The WIC nutrition program. Head Start. The EPA. The National Science Foundation. The Small Business Administration."

Veterans, Education, and the FRICKIN' EPA!!!!!
how much more cynical can they get??
we seriously need to get this out to the general public. goddamn.

np:

Posted by Sam | 9:28 AM |

May 28, 2004

i haven't blogged much these past couple of days. nothing much to report, really. i've been working (tonight's the last evening of work. yay for that) and trying to catch some much-needed sleep (it ain't working much). it's been a pretty uneventful couple of days lately. i've been unwrapping albums i hadn't gotten to (mainly Cat Power and Sun Kil Moon). but this has made my day -- my dvd rental place just shipped two titles today after a good week of not being able to find anything from my list:

Sam Fuller's Pickup on South Street. really happy with that one as i've been meaning to get into his films lately. and Masahiro Shinoda's interesting Double Suicide. Criterion discs are always fun to get in the mail :)

for the weekend, i have Lasse Halstrom's 1985 My Life as a Dog from Criterion and Trey Parker's very elusive (as you can see i've got a couple of those on my lists) Cannibal! The Musical. that'll be a fun one to finally see.

Posted by Sam | 1:04 PM |

May 26, 2004

we all knew the June 30th handover was pretty much a sham since the US is still in charge of the military side and the attacks will not die off. no "terrorist" is gonna be scared by a bunch of interim government official; they've been killing them left and right already. but Daily Kos has some very interesting details on much deeper its irrelevance runs, thanks to the White House. please go read what this good administration is doing behind the scenes.

Posted by Sam | 12:51 PM |

Daily Kos has some very keen info on the irrelevance of the June 30th handover. go read.

Posted by Sam | 12:47 PM |

hey. because of all the brouhaha with the 24 season finale last night i forgot about this:

Calgary beat Tampa Bay 4-1 in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Finals :) what an upset. a lot of folks have favored Tampa to win the Cup. i'm not saying the Flames have it now as this was just one game, but it's definitely a happy start for the series. i managed to catch the third period. boy was it fun. i'm gonna be able to catch the first game in Calgary (game 3) saturday. go Flames go!

Posted by Sam | 10:33 AM |

May 25, 2004

this is how it ends.
i just watched episode 23. wow.

24: Day 3: 11:00 am - 12:00 pm

i guess David's gonna have to look for a new wife. he's got a clean slate now. not so much for Wayne, though.

i loved the subway scene, waiting for the man to come off the train. brilliant staging.


now on to the very last hour...

24: Day 3: 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm

... this was it??

really? wow. i'm stunned. okay. first off, that was one weak-ass fight to end the season with. Chase and Cassar (ha, get it?) looked like they were kids reenacting every lame fight scene where the two guys push each other into stuff, look like they're crashing into glass, and then crawl all over each other on the floor to get to the gun (this time, the bomb. very weak. as soon as Chase had cuffed himself to the bomb, though, my immediate thought was that he'd have to get hacked. but. because of the very effective ensuing wire-cutting scene, i forgot all about it and was floored when Chase saw Jack looking at the axe on the wall. i actually shed tears through that scene!!! the second half of 24: Day 3 actually made me care, goddammit!!! lol.

then Jack takes the bomb and throws it in a very fragile-looking fridge and it makes a small "poof" sound and everything's over.

i liked how Palmer chose to step down when his term comes to end. it's him. the old Palmer came back in the end.

Kim looked good in that last scene with Jack. actually seeming to care.

i was wondering what the kicker might be. i didn't want it to end so poorly (the fight). it was not an explosive ending. but. Jack sitting in his truck suddenly bursting from all the pressure of the day did it for me. i cried once again. but this time Kiefer did it. acting did it. i liked how it's not over for Jack just because 24 hours have passed. he still has some Saunder's couriers(cariers?) to interrogate. but we all know Saunders was pretty much it. so there you have it. a clean slate. a first in the 24 seasons. that's the best i could ask for when starting season four. and we got it early. it feels nice.

i cannot for the life of me think of what a CTU agent like Jack Bauer could encounter next time that doesn't involve a bomb threat or Kim getting kidnapped, or how they could make these elements exciting again (somehow i don't think that's gonna happen), but this clean slate feels really good. i think the writers know it and i think the producers know it.

update: hmm. here's a thought -- Jack looked really tired in that last scene. anyone else thinking he might be contemplating quitting the job? be it just as a thought or that he might leave field ops after this? he looked really fed up (from the day or from the job as a whole, who knows?) and Chase's decision to quit the field might've helped open up a possibility for him too. a sane way out before he eats it for good. we might have a surprise come next january. i'm just thinking out loud here.

btw, if Jack stays on as a field agent, i'd love for next season to be about a field op. take us out of CTU for once. give us a day in the field somewhere. god knows i loved the part in mexico this season.

one more thing i totally forgot about: i really liked how they got Tony cornered and facing 20 years in jail. every fucking actor in that show got at least one really good acting scene to end the season. Tony looked fucked and he knew it. he just accepted it. hopefully they keep Michelle on. she showed us she can be the greatest field agent (i'm really pushing that field op season thing :)

well, the more i think back and read on last night's episode, the more i think they did it right. i mean, why end it with everything blowing up? i mean.. we can't have every season finale end on the same note -- will he die?? she got killed?? etc. i bemoaned the fact that they have to get out of the mold they got themselves into after three seasons. they seemed to get caught in that mold this season and were thus having to write by the seat of their pants. resulting in really spotty writing. so ending it with a sputter, although not truly exciting (i still say the ending would've been a lot more exciting and satisfying if the Chase fight hadn't been so amateurish), might've been the right way. Jack showed us some emotion. a lot of it. he broke down. and killing off Sherrie and Julia was just the writers taking out characters they didn't need with one swift move of the pen. and it shows me that they know what they need to do.

i believe again.
see you all back in january 2005.

Posted by Sam | 8:51 PM |

well, well, well. tonight's the night it all ends for Agent Jack Bauer. well, in tv terms, at least. the 24 season finale airs tonight on Fox. the roommate and i purposely avoided last week's episode so we can make it a two-hour finale of our own. and it shall be glorious.

this afternoon i spent a fair amount of time at the used record store trying to buy an album. but to no avail. the only i was remotely interested in was "This Is the Remix" by Destiny's Child (one Neptunes and one Timbaland remix, and some Jermaine Dupri sprinkled throughout), but it looked cheap. maybe next time.

then i went to the real record stores. oh man. did i find what i was looking for. and then some. i left a couple of albums on the shelves, telling myself i didn't really need them right now. i'll go back for them, don't worry :) for the first time, though, i actually bought a couple of indie albums from the record store. see, their selection is minimal and spotty at best (it took them 6 weeks to get their first copy of the new Mogwai last year; they just got their first taste of Four Tet this spring. i'm serious) and their prices on these indie discs are close to twice what the new big label's new releases cost. so i order online. but today they seemed to have a lot of them, and since i had money, i decided to pamper myself :) any comments on these albums are more than welcomed.

lil' flip - u gotta feel me
my morning jacket - it still moves
destroyer - your blues
mclusky - the difference between me and you is that i'm on fire
rjd2 - since we last spoke

Posted by Sam | 4:41 PM |

May 24, 2004

okay so i saw Dogville this afternoon (the rainy day was perfect for that) so if anyone wants to talk about it please chime in the comments section. i can't describe too much of it because it's too fresh right now and it's also one of those movies that you don't wanna share too much with people who haven't seen it because it feels precious or something. one thing it definitely is, though, is a cinematic experiment (a very successful one, imo). you can't argue with that. Lars von Trier is definitely a true filmmaker.

Posted by Sam | 9:59 PM |

it's a rainy day. first 100% chance of showers in a while now. it'll be good.

i'm going to see Dogville this afternoon. the roommate's bowed out, though. negative feedback from her friend yesterday seemed like too much to take. and i'm okay with going alone (even she was the one who got me interested in going today in the first place) because i don't wanna have to drag someone to a three-hour Lars von Trier experiment. i'm reading up reviews on the film to ease my mind; here are a few that helped: the flick filosopher, the christian science monitor, premiere, the san francisco chronicle, the washington post, and 366 days, 366 movies. i'm not saying i'll love it, but at least some people get it.

according to Frank chromewaves, Fox is moving 24 to monday nights for the next season (which starts in january with a two-hour premiere episode. v cool). season three ends tomorrow evening.

holy shit!

24 Spoilers :: read at your own fuckin' peril ::
seriously, folks, do not even attempt to read if you do not want the faintest trace of a hint of what will happen in tomorrow night's episode ::

from Dark Horizons today:
Meanwhile whilst "24" is coming back for a fourth (and uninterrupted) season starting in January on FOX in the US, some of its key players won't be making the journey for another go. There's SPOILERS ahead for the third season so those not up on who lives/dies should LOOK AWAY now.
i stopped reading right-fuckin-there. damn. i can't wait for the season finale :)

Posted by Sam | 11:33 AM |

:: whispering :: hey, btw, it was a wedding celebration.

the boy falls on his face. more than apropos these days. and right before his big spin-control primetime speech to the people of the world. nice. look like a schmuck, you schmuck. i swear to god someone's beating this guy up. btw, the shit-eating grin loses all its power with the new scrapes. now it reveals the little brat who went crying to mommy. seriously, take a look at it.



both links from counterspin.

Posted by Sam | 12:51 AM |

May 23, 2004

Dogville.

tomorrow afternoon, 2:30 :)
probably. the roommate will let me know her final answer today.

Posted by Sam | 9:08 AM |

quick post here. i wish i could have blogged this earlier but i was working tonight. so, before i go to bed...

the Cannes Film Festival released their winners tonight and the Palme d'or --surprise surprise-- went to Michael Moore and his Fahrenheit 9/11. holy fucking shit. wow. this film will just not go away. i'm actually really surprised by the nod. seriously. i thought it would maybe get a special mention or something (the film did get a lengthy ovation), but this is just...unexpected, to say the least. and joyous :)

oh, and the Flyers lost 2-1 to Tampa Bay, dammit. they came back after trailing by 2 but they just couldn't bring their game up above Tampa in the third. the Lightning (pssh-ah) now goes to the Finals against Calgary. Go Flames. (i would have loved a Philly-Flames matchup much more than this. so now my only hope is that Calgary beats the shit out of LeCavalier & Co. for some reason i still think the Tampa arena will still not be up to full capacity :)

goodnight.

(btw, The Office is the single-most hilarious show ever. pure hilarity, i say! i finally sat down and started watching the first series this week (after holding it off because there aren't too many episodes to enjoy) and i keep getting floored by it each and every time. the second series should be making its way onto my shelf anytime now.)

Posted by Sam | 12:33 AM |

May 22, 2004

Montreal's Ex-Centris is celebrating it's five-year anniversary with a bunch of free movies from june 5th to the 9th (at noon, though). and the movies, although not new releases are really interesting: Claire Denis' "Beau travail", Abderrahmane Sissako's "En attendant le bonheur", Siddiq Barmak's "Osama", Wong Kar-Wai's "In the Mood for Love", and Laurent Cantet's excellent "L'emploi du temps" ("Time Out"). link from Montreal City Weblog.

oh, btw, this bit of news is starting to come out. i don't know if it's been "officialized" yet (of course the Bush Administration will never say) but Ahmed Chalabi, the White House's #1 Bestest Friend, was apparently working for Iran when he convinced BushCo to get rid of Saddam because of his "WMD" stockpile. they invaded a fuckin' country because Iran duped them into doing it!!! now, the fact that they were fooled does not excuse their act. they acted like bullies and would not budge when no one else wanted in. they smelled blood on Saddam and were not about to back down. they actually invaded with an $87B+ war that is getting thousands of innocents and military folk killed.

btw, we already knew Chalabi was shady back when the invasion was preparing itself, so none of this "we didn't know we couldn't trust him" bullshit, okay? he'd left Iraq 45 years ago. they were listening to all bunch of exiles -- who hadn't lived in Iraq for years!! they were looking for info and angles to go along with their plans. if they trusted, that was their own fault. be men and stand by your decisions, bunch of a-holes. somehow, i don't think that's what they'll do.

hopefully, this news gets out to the general public really soon, and with something of this magnitude, they'll see now what a bunch of fraudulent, cowardly hawks these guys really are. they are not fit to run a country. let's see if the White House's "gee, we didn't know" line works. that's all they have. hopefully it won't work. enough with the ignorance already. fools, the lot of them. this is scary.

(and you thought Bush's number were low ... wow. stunning.)

oh, btw, Bush refused to answer any of the 9/11 Commission's questions regarding the flights of the Saudi citizens out of the country after the attacks. nice. it's a closed door "visit", with no public record whatsoever!! what the fuck are they stonewalling about?? this is not about foot soldiers, it's obvious who's involved now. D rep. Lee Hamilton disclosed this little bit of info. didn't Georgie say he and Cheney answered all their questions? i'm confused now ... if we can't trust our Dear Leader, who can we trust? "bumbling leadership in times of crisis." mommy, have the terrorist won now? :( and it's nice to know the President wants to find out all that happened on that day, uh? once again -- hopefully this gets out to the general public.

Posted by Sam | 10:40 AM |

May 20, 2004

2004 NHL Playoffs
Round 3

Philly wins !!!!!!!!!!!

10:49 pm - with about two minutes left in the first overtime, Simon Gagne scored, assuring a Game 7 saturday night to decide who will face up against Calgary in the coveted Stanley Cup Finals.

wow. if you'd never watched a hockey game this was the game to watch. grown men throwing their bodies all over the place, amazing speed and incredible plays. this was intense.

Posted by Sam | 10:54 PM |

10:09 pm - with barely 90 seconds left to play in what could have been their season, the Philadelphia Flyers just forced overtime!!!! Tampa was finally up 4-3 for most of the period, with Philly on the brink of losing the series and going bye-bye, captain Keith Primeau scored in what has been one intense third period. wow. playoff hockey is fun :) Tampa is leading the series 3-2 and could secure their spot in the Cup Finals if they beat Philly tonight. wow. i could never have thought a game would get me so riled up in it if it didn't involve my Habs. but this one is doing it :) overtime, baby. i want a Philly, Calgary match-up in the Finals. i'd watch that. i haven't watched a full game since the Habs were taken out a few weeks ago.

right after i need to watch Audition, though, so hopefully Philly scores quickly :)

Posted by Sam | 10:08 PM |

whoa, nelly!
buried at the tail end of Dark Horizons' recap of the 2004-2005 Fox lineup is this little gem:
Like CBS is doing with "Alias", FOX has opted to start "24" in January with an uninterrupted weekly run.
i actually like the idea. heard about Alias earlier today and thought it sucked for the show's fans but i think it'll be great to have all 24 episodes run one after the other like that. plus, waiting until january will only leave us more room to breathe between seasons (and give newcomers time to catch all of season three on dvd before season four starts), and give the writers and producers a lot more time to think things through :) (and they gotta get rid of the exposition dialogue. i mean, we don't need to know what happened five minutes ago. please...!)

oh damn (and i'm not being sarcastic, this was a guilty pleasure of mine), "Paradise Hotel" has been cancelled. wtf?

i keep forgetting about this one but -- damn:
Sin City: "Robert Rodriguez has closed his cast on "Sin City" by adding Benicio Del Toro and Clive Owen to the Dimension Films ensemble pic. Rodriguez wrote the script and is co-directing the screen version of the graphic novel series with its creator Frank Miller.

Posted by Sam | 7:19 PM |

today's my day off. it could've come a bit faster but it still feels damn good to wake up to one. so yesterday i finally received Takashi Miike's elusive (to me) Audition disc. after all the time i've been waiting for it we thought it'd been lost in the mail. urgh. but, surprise surprise, it was waiting for me in the mailbox on my way to work. yay. this rules.

holy hell!! congratulations to the Calgary Flames on beating San Jose last night (3-1), thus going into the Stanley Cup Finals :D i'm so happy for them. (thanks to Frank Chromewaves for reminding me this morning.) now i need Philly to win tonight so they can secure a game seven against Tampa (and then win that one too, of course).

Manitoba tours Canada in july (noteworthy buzz for Quebec city's Festival d'Été).

the metacritic forums now work for everyone. this was a great idea (if people talk about more than just Britney or Lindsay, that is).

there's no fucking way in hell that, on paper, someone like Nellie McKay should be endorsed and loved by hipsters everywhere. there's no fucking way this should work. lol. damn the girl is cooky. but she never goes into loopy territory. there's an incredible sense of intelligence and knowing.
damn that "Dog Song" is fun :)

nice Stylus feature: The Producers: Stylus Magazine Non-Definitive Guide, Part One.

Posted by Sam | 9:10 AM |

May 19, 2004

don't look for any new 24 posts until next tuesday night/wednesday morning. the roommate and i have decided to make an evening out of the season finale and are thus keeping episode 23 for a special two-hour season finale experience that'll hopefully blow our minds. we're keeping our fingers crossed.

please help Save Canadian Music. with only a year left, the canadian government hasn't renewed it's contract to help fund and support our artists (this, following such a glorious year for canadian music internationally). so please go read the site for more info and help us convince them to continue the invaluable work they've done for almost all canadian recording artists. thank you.

Posted by Sam | 10:30 AM |

May 18, 2004

whoa! amidst all the boring shows being picked up for another season and spinoffs being uselessly created (and lame americanized versions of great UK shows, ie. The Office) by the big networks, here's a great gem:
Over the weekend, NBC also ordered two more seasons of SCRUBS, which will take them through Fall 2006.
and, fearing a cultural backlash the likes of which haven't been seen since the Rodney King trial, Fox are this close to deciding to officially pick up another season of ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT. do it, fools!

a teaser for Christopher Nolan's Batman Begins to be attached to Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban next month. this rules.

has anyone got any thoughts on Lasse Hallström's My Life as a Dog? i just received the Criterion disc yesterday and i need this much push to watch it.

in where-the-fuck-did-this-come-from??! news: Quentin Tarantino in a Leonard Cohen video!
i guess it makes sense because he's been a fan but, wtf??? lol. holy incredible, batman.
link from Luna.

Posted by Sam | 12:30 PM |

guess who just bought two tickets very late last night after work? yes, me.
but tickets to what?, you say. i mean, if they are tickets to a dorky ballet or the cirque du soleil, we don't care, you prick. yeah, i thought so (btw, you should check your 'tude, dudes. this won't cut it if i'm going to keep telling you stuff).

well, my ass i gonna be seeing THE --motherfuckin-- PIXIES up close and personal !!!
yes i am. i'm not lying. we thought they'd be sold-out by now but it appears there are a few tickets left. wow. November 26 2004 is the date; Montreal, the place. anyone going? (i didn't think so.)

so, here's my question: is 4ad gonna reissue remasters of the Pixies albums? seems like they should. i wanna brush up on my Pixies music but i don't wanna have to buy the albums twice. thanks for the info.

Posted by Sam | 10:17 AM |

May 17, 2004

landmark day: Massachusetts allows homosexual couples to marry.

things are going well. i swear. we're building schools, bringing them democracy, liber-- Bomb Kills Iraq Governing Council Chief.

"Dear Raed, we are the movie industry."
Salam Pax is becoming a movie. apparently, a book based on his blog is coming out (did he write it or is it a 'based on his online diary'-type thing?) soon, entitled "Baghdad Blogger". not to be outdone, Media group Intermedia is hoping to have a movie made of the book.

(ps. Salam is gay? i'm so out of the loop.)

Posted by Sam | 9:29 AM |

May 16, 2004

here's what i was able to round up this afternoon at the local shops:

The Rolling Stones, Sticky Fingers
The Rolling Stones, Exile on Main St.
Erlend Øye, DJ-Kicks
Petey Pablo, Still Writing in my Diary: 2nd Entry

i'd been on the lookout for the first three of these for quite some time now. happy i finally got my hands on them. oh yeah, i forgot about this one:

The Streets, A Grand Don't Come for Free

isn't it supposed to come out tuesday? well, i got myself a copy at the store (the only one they had). weird, uh? i thought maybe in canada they released it a week early, who knows? but even amazon.ca has it slated for tuesday.

Posted by Sam | 6:47 PM |

24: Day 3: 9:00 am - 10:00 am
24: Day 3: 10:00 am - 11:00 am

finally!

FUCKIN F18's!!!!!!!!!!!!

goddammit. that was impressive. no more cardboard helicopters lowered down from five feet over the ground to make it look realistic. wow. i am impressed. it is gonna be an amazing last two hours, i'll tell you that right now. the first hour kinda sucked, but then it got good with Tony's escape from CTU with Jane. nice. a bit too Season One but they got rid of that in no time.

the second episode was nice. they're getting onto something here. i also noticed most of the creators had a hand in the script this time around. the last two should be something special. of course i still feel they can't redeem most of the season but they sure they leave us on a high note. i actually do like them bringing back the debate/election thing. that was nice. seems like ages ago. nice to bring it all back in to play. unfortunately, they brought in this Fox-something fellow and now things are looking like they'll even out again for Palmer. too bad. i would've liked to have seen him have to face something he can't get out of. how can you escape covering up a murder? especially if your a moral President like Palmer is (was). i like the guy but the main characters always seem to be able to slip their way out of bad situations 10 minutes after they've gotten stuck in it (Chappelle was the exception to the rule. i don't count Teri(sp?), that was (very effectively) done for shock). the writers are always stacking up the odds a little too high and then, 10 minutes later, pull something out of their asses to save the day. a bit too convenient is all i'm saying.

but i liked last week's episode :)

Posted by Sam | 3:40 PM |

i'm sick of Rumsfled, the Pentagon, and the White House defending themselves as adhering to the Geneva Conventions (when talking about iraqi pow's). a bunch of hypocrites. has anyone forgotten that the Invasion of Iraq is illegal according to the Gene Conventions??? this whole "war" is illegal. they went in against the will of the United Nations. doesn't that constitute an illegal invasion? that was my understanding of it last year, and many other people's point-of-view at the time, but everyone seems to have magically forgotten this little fact.

Posted by Sam | 12:12 PM |

so Ashley is the hot one and Mary-Kate is the scary scarecrow, uh?
everyone watch the show? that was a good one. there was a bit of a lag for a few sketches after Weekend Update (the third Olsen twin was atrocious, as was Jimmy's goddamn boring Z105 sketch. that man must love his character because there's no way that skit woulda made the show if it weren't for Jimmy's departure. the only time it was funny was when Ben Affleck was there (right?) and they were cracking up) but that picked up with the two brothers sketch and then finished off with class with the Grease/Season Finale/Jimmy-Is-Leaving sketch. nice one. i have a feeling most of these sketches were written well before last week and that most had time to write and rewrite most of them. the Backpack sketch was hilarious. even Jimmy was good in that. the Red Carpet skit was the first awesome bit of the night. Mary-Kate and Ashley are fucking pros, i say! damn. not having followed their direct-to-video adventures i was kinda stunned by how amazing they were and how at ease they seemed in front of the SNL audience.

Posted by Sam | 9:53 AM |

May 15, 2004

well, well, well. i wasted a perfectly good saturday here. but it's alll good. the weather actually didn't scorch as much as i'd feared. it was actually quite nice out because of the clouds and the threat of rain. i mostly read up on Criterion discs today.

THE LAST HOUSE ON THE LEFT | Wes Craven, 1972

boy was i disappointed. wow. first off, MGM did a horrible job on the transfer. i thought i'd read that this was a great-looking picture. it was not, believe me. i thought someone had messed with the settings on my tv. the picture was soft and, during the beginning, approximating vhs quality. anyway. i'd also thought it would be a horror film like they did in the 70's. but it was not. it's about three escaped murderers and rapists and how two innocent girls cross their path. i believe this is Wes Craven's debut, and it shows. the characters (written and performed) and the dialogue are amateurish. two bumbling cops straight out of the "Dukes of Hazzard" (i swear to god they're that bad) and villains who are way too loopy and all over the place to be either credible or scary. i wasn't scared once even though i stuck with it the whole time. the blood looks good but it's more of a violent movie (never shocking to our modern eyes) than a scary horror film. i think the horror film would be The Hills Have Eyes. anyone seen it and could recommend it? a couple of good things do come out of the film, though -- the two lead girls are good when they're not spouting the crappy dialogue of the first act, the music is somewhat effective (although a bit too upfront. "the road leads to nowhere". we get it), and the appearance of Martin Kove of Karate Kid fame. i won't call it a crappy film but i'll definitely admit to not getting the cult status it holds. anyone can enlighten me on this? lol. seriously. please do if you liked the film. thanks.

update:
okay. i just watched the couple of extras (really good, in fact) about the making of the film and the furor over the violence when it came out, and i gotta say, the film ain't looking so bad now. i think the reason i really did not get into the film was because i was expecting a) a creepy horror film, and b) to be set in a set on the left. at night. well, if you're going to believe the cover artwork, that is. the acting is still kind of amateurish, the editing lacking, but there are great moments in the film. i guess it's a really good experiment. let's leave it at that :)

i decided i was gonna watch tonight's SNL Season Finale with Mary-Kate and Ashley.
but i'm hoping for a Full House sketch. so please deliver.

Posted by Sam | 10:50 PM |

May 14, 2004

a very disturbing case of a missing person in connection with the Billy Corgan acoustic gigs from last month. props to the folks at bc.com for helping out in this way.

Posted by Sam | 4:28 PM |

was Nick Berg killed by Americans?
Marc Perkel makes a damn compelling case for it. go read it asap.

i found it quite troubling to see CIA's statement that Zarqawi was the killer on the tape was still picking up speed all over the news because that theory had been quite clearly refuted by more than a few experts (mostly based on the guy's bad arabic and his supposed amputated leg). please go read Marc's post.

Posted by Sam | 10:06 AM |

well i might as well write something down. i don't think i've blooged properly this week. there wasn't much to say, really. okay. weekly roundup. i'm listening to more and more of these cd's i keep buying but only seem to be piling up around the desk. this week's choice cuts were the recent Blonde Redhead and Twista albums. both very good, Twista coming out on top, though. favorite tracks so far are, strangely enough, the two singles -- Kanye's "Slow Jamz" and "Overnight Celebrity", with the latter proving to an annoying brain-clinger. but i'm also liking the Toxic-produced tracks. i'd never heard of him before and was a bit suspicious of him, but those tracks do kick ass.

other news -- dvd rentals. i've been dvd-obsessed this past week, being a member of one online rental service and trying out another, dividing my choices between the two and seeing what comes up. well, i've been in dvd mode this past week (with more than a few discs for the weekend; i'm not working and the roommate's away :) and the Criterions are finally flooding in. this week it was David Lean's Great Expectations, Cocteau's Beauty and the Beast (speaking of which, the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts currently has a show on Cocteau. i didn't know Truffaut pushed him to do Testament of Orpheus and actually gave him the money he got from his 400 Blow win at Cannes to do it. very cool), and Lynne Ramsay's bleak-but-never-depressing Ratcatcher. i have my work cut out for myself this weekend with the following discs: Wes Craven's The Last House on the Left, De Palma's Sisters, Kaneto Shindo's Onibaba, and Cocteau's Orpheus.

oh, and we finally got our vacation pay yesterday. i have only one thing to say -- mucho pesos, my friends! wow. it's been ages since my account has seen that much money, i'll tell you that. i was ecstatic when i saw how much i'd got. flabbergasted, really. i'm not gonna spend it all (i'm even gonna try not to spend at least half of it) but it feels great to know that you've got that cash there.

that's it for now.
(oh, i still got to watch those last two episodes of 24. lol)

Posted by Sam | 9:13 AM |

May 12, 2004

okay. i wanted to do this last night but i forgot. so, before any team wins anymore games, i wanna make this official.

2004 NHL Playoffs
Round 3, Conference Finals

out of the four teams left, my two favorites are, in order, Calgary and Philadelphia.
these two teams might not win (although Calgary are running away with it right now) but they're the ones i'd like to see in the Finals to battle for the Stanley Cup.

the Philadelphia, Tampa Bay series is tied 1-1.
Calgary leads San Jose 2-0.

::.

i'm really behind on my 24-watching. i should watch the last two episodes tomorrow at the latest. i'll post my thoughts on both episodes asap (not that people should care anymore, but hey).

Posted by Sam | 8:50 AM |

May 11, 2004

go wish Frank a Happy Birthday today.

Posted by Sam | 11:06 AM |

SENATOR JAMES INHOFE (R, Oklahoma), SIR, YOU ARE AN ASS, SIR.

comparing what Hussein did to what happened to these 'thugs and murderers' ain't the issue, here, senator. the issue is what happened in that prison (and i'm pretty sure these weren't the only acts of abuse) and who was responsible for it. Hussein did worse, we're only raping and humiliating a few of them so it's okay? boy, that famous american pride musta been hurt a little bit for you to make these kinds of statements, uh? and if you made these statements so that the world community, including Iraq, understood that you are not all like these soldiers, way to win their hearts and minds by saying that mistreatment of prisoners is a-okay by you. and way to have a total disregard for the Geneva Conventions. that'll win them over big.

fuckin' asshole.

Posted by Sam | 10:51 AM |

May 10, 2004

well, that was another good installment of The Restaurant 2: Where's Rocco? crazy sexy waitress girl got canned. always a rough thing to go through. the fuckin' creepy maitre d' is appears to be a control freak. great. and Rocco's off with his pr manager (how much more unawaredly ironic can you get, really?) getting awards for himself and his mom, and publicizing his other restaurant even more. the show is great but i do have one major complaint about it -- what's with the fucking exposition phone calls Rocco places each time before going into his restaurant. and lose the fucking staged shots and 'conversations' with Rocco, will you, please? thanks. aside from those few moments of fakeness this show rocks. i love the staff and how they're all still left pretty much un-stereotyped by the producers.

wow. i'm stunned i didn't know about this. check out the previous staged allegations that came out previously against this show. god, i hope most of it isn't real. i can deal with a few dubbed phone calls; but staged events and fake interns? come on. is the show trying to save Rocco's ass by rewriting history here?

Posted by Sam | 11:00 PM |

welcome to Day One of my two days off. ah, it feels good to wake up in the morning, refreshed as fuck (i had this long-ass dream that i still remember from beginning to end), and listening to some Belle & Sebastian.

i still haven't gotten to last week's 24 yet. i'll probably get to it today, or tomorrow, at the latest.

oh, Survivor ended last night. i was able to catch all of the three-hour spectacle (minus about a 10-minute stretch. well, i did have to work, you know). riveting television once again (the first two hours, i mean). glad Amber won. the least of two evils, i say. even though i do believe Rob was the best player out of everyone involved, i do believe there's another way to play than to backstab every fucking player on the show to get to the end. and thank god Rob proposed to Amber during the post-show or else what the fuck was Jeff supposed to talk about for the last half hour before revealing the publicized twist? (which is lame compared to what i imagined it would be (give the last 7 survivors, aka the ones who were good enough to make the jury, a cool million each. they've earned it and Mark Burnett/Suvivor can afford it by now). i do hope Rupert gets the fan-voted million, though [ go vote ] the winner will be announced thursday evening on the post post-show season recap.) the final tribal council, though, with the jury, gave us my now-favorite moment of Survivor ever -- Big Tom chastizing Rob for being the ass that he is with the he played. he ended the speech by being a good man about it and shaking on it, no hard feelings. but not before having fooled Rob into feeling relieved about it and taking his hand away, essentially calling him an ass in front of everyone. what a play, Big Tom! wow. we were in shock. i gasped. i howled. fucking happiness ensued for me. Big Tom might've not played the best way, and Rob played him for a fool, but he got the upper hand right there and then, in front of everyone, on the biggest godfather player of them all. congrats, Big Tom.

ps. i hate the new blogger editing layout.

Posted by Sam | 9:52 AM |

May 09, 2004

Friends Finale recap -- after all the hoopla surrounding it, the lackluster final season, and the three-episode rush to the end, i finally watched the final episode today. some of it was good, some of it was dubious (why twins? why ducks? the foosball table? when was the last time we saw them play on it?). but in the end, it can be summed up thusly: i'm sure it woulda been a great episode; had i cared about these characters anymore.

too bad.
it's over. now let's move on (hopefully Joey will be crappy and get tossed off the air rather quickly).

Posted by Sam | 2:50 PM |

May 05, 2004

avoid THE COOLER (Wayne Kramer, 2003) like the plague! i kid you not. god it was bad. the first culprit is the lousy writing. cliched dialogue and strange turn of events seem like they were all the rage at screenwriting 101. then you've got the incredibly ham-fisted directing (and there were way too many unnecessary shots :: although shocking and kinda cool, did we really need to see Maria Bello holding/covering William H Macy's dick with her hand?). i had such a strong reaction to this film that i cannot, in good conscience, recommend this piece of shit to anyone. if you really wanna rent it, then focus on the performances by the leads (Maria Bello and William H Macy. Alec Baldwin is also fine but his character was not as sharply written and he's the one left spewing the cliched dialogue). if you really have to. this film annoyed me so much that i actually stopped it after an hour (and believe me it felt longer than that. i thought i was near the end) and never went back.

Posted by Sam | 12:26 PM |

May 04, 2004

it's ::snowing:: outside ... snow. white. falling. outside.
damn.
ii pulled up the blinds in my bedroom this morning and it was all white outside. lol. shit.

wow. i was in shock for a few seconds, unable to comprehend what that was. lol. there's about two inches of it on the grass and it'll melt away pretty fast. but this is shocking. lol

in other news, congrats to the Calgary Flames for winning their series against the Red Wings last night with a 1-0 win - at home - in overtime. damn.

i gotta agree with David here: it's quite extraordinary that Bush is once again peddling the idea that somehow, we (probably the anti-war group), actually have little faith in muslims, or colored people, being able to govern themselves. the idea is so out of left-field that it works as diversion. but it also works to prop Bush up as a compassionate, a uniter, and most importantly - not a racist. well. i was startled by the the first time i heard. it was right before the invasion, i believe. i'd never heard anyone talk about a) how the iraqis wouldn't be able to govern themselves properly, and b) because they were muslims. either he was trying to divert attention and make his crusade somehow pure, or in his circle of people the idea that somehow muslims couldn't, or we couldn't believe they could, govern themselves had been expressed. seems a bit racist to me. like a racist trying to make the opposition racist. in any way, it's all quite baffling to me that Bush ever mentioned the idea, and that he's trying to peddle it again. seems the Rove machine is running out of gas. and fast.

Posted by Sam | 9:41 AM |

May 02, 2004

well. what a day. oh, wow. i totally forgot but i watched last week's 24 today!! lol. how uneventful it must've been, uh? :)

so, quick thoughts :: 24: Day 3: 8:00 am - 9:00 am :: i thought Michelle not getting infected by the virus was a cheap way of getting out of that situation. but then they had to do that in order for us to feel for her getting kidnapped (great herring with Kim in the CTU car. i actually told my roommate the one thing Kim was great at was being kidnapped while riding cop cars on the way to a safe place). but did we really need to "feel" for Michelle's (and Tony's) plight for, what ... four episodes now?? i don't think so. seems a bit overdrawn. Saunders now has Tony by the balls and he's using it to his advantage. good thing Michelle's good news came in ten minutes before Saunders' apartment was to be raided, uh? speaking of test results -- blacks are the new asian. i think the writers figured out we'd caught on so they moved on so as not to arise suspicion. good thinking. and agent Baker, consider your ass invincible from now on.

hey, where's Saunders going? the airport? hmm.
and did he have a plan to get Jane out before the virus had any chance to spread in L.A.? why not test the virus out in, like, the next state? he didn't have to use it right next door to where he lived. he probably had her under surveillance so he could get her out at any minute, though. i'll give the writers the benefit of the doubt on that one.

as a whole, this episode felt a bit like the previous one: kind of bland. nothing much happened. hopefully the last four hours have something in store for us. we need the thrill-ride. we know you can deliver. give it to us. we can take it. right now i just want to them to finish the season off in a big swoop so we can move on and they can put more thought into season four. i have faith in the next season because they'll have learned quite a lot from this season (namely because of what looks like desperate efforts, in almost every episode, to steer the show back onto a track (any track) or to cover their asses every fifteen minutes, the writers lost track of where they were going, leaving poor season three confused and helpless (i don't think the season has been a total bust. there were great things in it: Ramon, Claudia, the introduction of Chase (great character/actor), Chappelle, the amazing return (and vengeful killing) of Nina!!, to name a few. but let's just say that this season will be remembered as the weakest one for now. the writers threw in just about every possible scenario and not a lot of it stuck (is Jack still addicted to heroin? doesn't look like it. Tony got neck surgery and walked out an hour after waking up? pe-lease. Chase's baby? no one seems interested in babysitting it anymore. and ... Chloe?). there were a lot of missteps, but i'm positive the summer will ease the writers' and producers' minds and help them bring back the credibility that these characters once had (in spades) and now desperately need for us to care about, and follow, the amazing storylines once again).


now let's move on to the rest of the day (which was beautiful. i hate the summer heat but days like today (hot but not sunny, and kinda windy) just plain rule). warning -- boring, detailed entry ahead. i once again got up right around 8:30 this morning. seems i got the hang of waking up early this weekend. not feeling tired all day. got up. what did i do? ah yeah. i ate yogourt with bananas and a couple of graham crackers for breakfast. a very sensible feast by my standards. looked up my emails, blogs. then i went outside in my pj's and read some more of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. the air was sweet and chilly but the sun was coming out over the clouds. i'm telling you. this is heaven. it felt like it did back when i was a kid, camping in the States all summer-long. lazy, with all the time in the world to enjoy what you will. this afternoon i went rollerblading with the roommate. again, it was really nice out. got the sweat out of my system. then skip to later this afternoon and my main event -- putting two orders online for cd's. i rehashed wishlists, read up some more reviews (again) to make sure, checked the prices at the two places, etc etc. what it all comes down are these - the next additions to my music collection:

Cat Power - You Are Free :: Sufjan Stevens - Greetings from Michigan: The Great Lakes State :: Sun Kil Moon - Ghosts of the Great Highway :: Modest Mouse - The Moon & Antarctica (expanded edition) :: Modest Mouse - Good News for People Who Love Bad News :: Black Heart Procession - Amore Del Tropico

Posted by Sam | 6:23 PM |

May 01, 2004

bumpbump: go sign the Kovalev petition RDS is going to give Gainey [ top right corner ] in the next couple of weeks.
(if you're so inclined.)

well. i have nothing much to write about today because, even though threatened to suck thanks to a blazing hot sun, it actually did not. or not as much as i'd feared. the day began early (as it's been during this two-week vacation) and i did a little harmless cleaning of the apartment. things were going well. then the roomie came back and we watched a couple of taped shows and then she left. i waited a bit until it looked a bit cloudier outside to venture out for a quick run at Blockbuster (The Sopranos - The Complete Second Season (Disc 4). thank you) and some grocery-shopping. the weather was actually really bearable today.

one thing i forgot to mention yesterday were the albums i got: first up, Muse's Absolution (extra cheap at my store), i actually found the Super Furry Animals' 2cd edition of Rings Around the World, then a hidden copy of Broken Social Scene's Bee Hives (extra cheap too), and the Franz Ferdinand album (HMV price tag was fucked; it was actually $3 cheaper :) i was very happy with my finds. (the only album that was able to elude me was Cat Power's You Are Free (only one copy found, but it was way too expensive. i'm getting it from amazon.ca tomorrow).)

Posted by Sam | 7:30 PM |

okay, just a couple of notes this morning (it's actually 1:40 pm, sam. doh!).

first off, i just re-watched the 7:00 am - 8:00 am episode of 24 with the roommate and an obvious question arose on the second viewing that i hadn't even thought of the first time -- how the hell did CTU get Jane Saunders out of the library bathroom??? she was drugged (Jack woke her up in their "secret trailer" outside the university) and would have to have been dragged out by one or two agents through the fucking library. and that library looked small, so people would have noticed. hmm.

second, can we just put Friends to sleep already? i mean, come on. did we have a season this year? i don't think we have. we just waited around while they figured out how to end it. the season started out pretty badly so i think the producers just nixed the idea of salvaging the rest of the season and just focused on figuring out the ending. sadly, this is the lamest handling of a serie's final season that i can think of. and check out the "finale" next week:

wednesday
8 - 9 pm: Friends episode (new episode? not sure. how long will it take for Ross and Rachel to say goodbye to each other?)
9 - 10 pm: Dateline Special: Friends Interviews

thursday
8 - 9 pm: Friends/Clips Special (we need this to remind ourselves how good they were. emphasis on the words "remind" and "were".)
9 - 10 pm: Friends Finale
and probably a Tonight Show Special later on that night.

wtf??? even the drunken Cheers finale had more class than this lousy piece of crap. anyone felt like they were just killing time? i'm not even sure they knew but that's how it looked to me. way to end one of the most beloved series (until two years ago when they started prompting every season as the final one. shoulda stopped it last year when you still had gas in the tank, boys. they went from a couple of lazy episodes to outrageously lousy scripts, right down to running into the ground an almost non-existent last season (thank god for that, though, because i couldn't take any more of those seriously lame episodes). the show is so boring and annoying by now, add to that the touting that NBC gave for the "final season", "last three episodes", that it's so anti-climactic now. nothing can beat the frustration this show's built up in its fans. right now, i only want to get it over with so we can move on and be Friends-less. that'll be nice.

Posted by Sam | 1:54 PM |