March 31, 2005

The Criterion Collection // new announcements // June '05

291 Heaven Can Wait Ernst Lubitsch, 1943
294 The Browning Version Anthony Asquith, 1951
295 Crazed Fruit Kô Nakahira, 1956
297 Au hasard Balthazar Robert Bresson, 1966

Posted by Sam | 3:55 PM |

March 30, 2005

aw, damn. who can resist a (fucking) special edition?
if i do end up buying it, i'm at least waiting until the weekend to do it. (at least payday's tomorrow, so it wouldn't be too bad. right? btw, who the fuck do Universal think they are charging upwards of $40 for special editions lately (U2, Gwen Stefani)? this better be worth it, ie. it better be more than just an oversized cardboard box.)

possible future Thom + Felix da Housecat goodness.

i finally received my Action Records package today. it consists of

Badly Drawn Boy - Year of the Rat
Sophie Ellis-Bextor - Read my Lips (thanks to Murder on the Dancefloor, which i fell for --hard-- when i heard it over a year ago but never got around to getting the album)

Garbage's Bleed Like Me will carry a parental advisory sticker (in Canada, at least, which i assume will be the same for the US).

i finally received my Agent 18 case :)
it's deceptively tiny, though. at least it'll protect my iPod from scratches.

Posted by Sam | 12:07 PM |

Saw
James Wan, 2004

8.0
a surprisingly excellent creepy flick (man did it creep me out). there was something uniquely macabre and ghoulish about this film. i wasn't expecting that, i thought it would be another hack 'em up passing itself off as original worth your money. i finished watching it at 3:30 am and i had to turn on every light in the apartment to check every nook and crany before going to bed :) one major sour note, though -- Cary Elwes. what a fucking moronic performance that was. right from the start i felt he sucked (and that other guy too, to a much lesser extent. but i felt that was due more to poor character writing, which this film has a lot of. they were definitely underwritten. something they could work on with the sequel). that doesn't help. but the creative writing, especially from the killer's perspective, and assured direction and editing, make this film a little gem. not perfect, but screenwriters James Wan and Leigh Whannell have definitely struck something somewhat original here. and without riding the asian horror genre, i'd say the creepiness definitely has something of that quality to it. i must say i was surprised by how much i liked it. i was expecting another screenplay barely hung on a single idea or 'cool' new ways to kill off characters. but this one is actually strong enough to stand on its own and has its own personality. it doesn't have that Friday the 13th Part VII one-up-manship feel to it. they've been talking about making a Saw 2 for a couple of months now. watching the film i wasn't sure that could hold up and pinned it on producers eager to make a buck off a sleeper hit, thus draining another film from its originality. but you know what? when the film ended i was actually looking forward to another film. i actually saw it working out real well.

Posted by Sam | 11:32 AM |

March 29, 2005

hello. so you remember the Agent 18 case i ordered to protect my precious little iPod, right? oh, i love Purolator. the Apple Store said it would take 1-2 business days for it to ship. well, the case shipped a couple of hours after i ordered it on friday, from California. they also mentioned it would take 6-9 business days for me to receive it. well, i got home from work last night and was surprised to see it had already arrived at, and left, the Toronto Sorting Center last night. this is what appeared on my tracking page this morning:
09:40 On vehicle for delivery
:D it's near me!! lol. i'm getting it today, or tomorrow morning if they've got too many packages to hand out. i'm excited. i can't wait to feel safe walking or running around with my iPod and put it in my pocket.

this week, or even today, should turn into XMas '05 for me. can't wait.

music stores have got two releases coming out today that a) i didn't know where coming out today, and b) i didn't know i'd want but do thanks to the producers on the albums c) Beck is also there but i can wait on him.

Beanie Sigel - The B-Coming (Kanye West, Just Blaze, RZA)
Will Smith - Lost and Found (Timbaland, Kanye West. and the single's actually quite good)

i'm not gonna rush out for these releases but they're on my radar now.

Posted by Sam | 10:11 AM |

March 28, 2005

Wicker Park
Paul McGuigan, 2004

6.5
bland, boring, and awkward performances made this one almost unbearable for me. it annoyed the fuck out of me after a while, and, by the halfaway point, i was trash-talking it. you've got the most impropable coincidences popping up all over the place. once or twice it was fine, but everytime a character needed something, there it was, right under his hand. i would've bought these coincidences had i been more sympathetic to the characters but, as i said, the sheer lack of screen presence or charm made this quite an impossible task for me to achieve (and this must have been on the tail end of Matthew Lillard's funny sidekick career because even he doesn't seem to be buying it). Paul McGuigan's direction started out fine, even getting the film school geek in me really excited from frame one -- the images and metaphors are plentiful and interesting. but then it all starts to be a bit too much (it feels as if McGuigan wants to make it surreal but doesn't push it enough into that area to be totally effective. so, it just lays there, awkwardly trying to appeal to different opinions). the film also became a timeline mess (i still think there's one glaring error towards the end) and i had to check out from time to time just to make sense of where the thing was going. then you've got the whole tired Single White Female angle going and that was it for me. i checked out. a whole lot of boring. i do believe it was an honest effort on everyone's part but the end result was just far less interesting for me than intended, i'm sure. they did make some exciting choices for the soundtrack, though, but a lot of them just stood awkwardly (the dance studio scene, for one). all and all, just a boring, annoying, mess. (sorry, mishie afterglow :)

Posted by Sam | 11:36 AM |

March 27, 2005

now David Duchovny's considering shooting in Montreal this summer. Zach Braff is the other one coming to town (this spring) (okay, so technically Montreal's 90 minutes away from here, but it's close to my heart so i consider it my city.)

i just came back from a long walk. also took a big one yesterday with the ex-roommate. i was joking about hopefully taking some sun, but i think i did. of course it's the winter sun but i think i got some colors. walked with the iPod today. been loading it up with a bunch of albums since yesterday. gave the 15 GB to the ex-roommate. she was confused :) and she didn't agree with the fact that i'd bought a brand new 40 GB iPod. oh well. they don't have a Firewire card but a friend of theirs should be able to install one for them cheaply. she gave me the iPod so i can load it up with albums (i can see that, despite her initial misgivings about me buying a new iPod and giving her that one, she is getting excited about it and keeps asking to add particular albums to her iPod :). i'm loading mine up with full artist catalogues. it's more fun that way than to get a bunch of single songs. i'll make mixes later on.

that's it for now :)

Posted by Sam | 2:25 PM |

March 26, 2005

Gimme Shelter
David Maysles, Albert Maysles, Charlotte Zwerin, 1970 // the criterion collection //

9.5
a crestfallen account of the build up surrounding the Rolling Stones' free 1969 concert at Altamont, California, that drew in as much as 300,000 people. the film is a slow burner that's at once joyful, stunning, freakish, and horrifying. but words can't do justice to what the Maysles brothers and Charlotte Zwerin make this film feel like. even though i knew going in the events that would unfold, they were still able to calmly and effortlessly capture so much of the tension, sadness and fear that they made it feel like a once-in-a-lifetime experience for the viewer (the claustrophobic third act, with its heartbreaking outbursts of violence, is something to be reckoned with). the filmmakers are able to transcend one of the most gigantic bands of all-time, at the peak of their creative career, and capture raw, unfiltered emotions. it is scary. they got me emotionally involved in something that happened 35 years ago, for christ's sake. this is grand documentary filmmaking at its best. i was so enthralled by it that i immediately added it to my wishlist as soon as the closing credits rolled. i'm definitely buying this one. so highly recommended. you have no idea.

Posted by Sam | 11:43 PM |

March 25, 2005

i wanted to protect my new investment so i just ordered the Agent 18 ClickShield from the Apple Store. i couldn't find it around here. i wanted one asap so i had to act fast. i'd never forgive myself if i got my brand new iPod marked or scratched.
so that's done.

Zach Braff
Getting ready to shoot "Last Kiss" in Montreal this spring. I hear that it's an amazing city and I'm looking forward to spending sometime outside of LA. The script is really good and we're starting to fill out the rest of the cast.
first i heard of this. pretty cool news. Tony Goldwyn directs.
btw, you'll definitely love the city, Zach.
also, his Arrested Development episode airs april 10. i was actually wondering when we'd get to see that as i laughed my ass off watching the show last weekend. people who aren't watching are definitely missing out on some highly creative and original television.

update, march 26, 1:10 am

oh my god.
it shipped.

Posted by Sam | 11:27 AM |

i wanted to post this earlier today but damn Blogger wouldn't load up. it happens.

i went a-shopping today.
got:

moby - hotel (limited edition, 2cd)
Bloc Party - Silent Alarm (my copy, bought at HMV, comes from... Thailand? is this the normal, ie. unedited, version?)
Queens of the Stone Age - Lullabies to Paralyze (limited edition, cd/dvd)

i was finally able to locate copies of the Bloc Party and QOTSA albums at HMV after going to Future Shop and coming up empty. i had to pay a couple of bucks more for each, and i was a bit pissed at having to buy them from HMV (the higher prices are frustrating when you know FS has 'em way cheaper), but i guess i can deal with it. at least i found what i was looking for.

goodnight.
:)

Posted by Sam | 1:50 AM |

March 23, 2005

1:46 am.
the comments are fucked. please excuse them. Haloscan should restore them by morning, i guess. thank you.

update, 12:25 pm

finally back to normal.
thanks for your patience.

Posted by Sam | 1:46 AM |

March 22, 2005

okay. i definitely want a case so i don't scratch my iPod.
i just checked out the Apple Store. so far these four are the ones i'm interested in (please chime with your comments and suggestions):

Agent 18 ClickShield 40GB :: definitely my personal favorite right now ::

Contour iSee for iPod with Click Wheel 40GB
Iskin Evo2 40GB Click Wheel iPod Case - Arctic
XtremeMac Silicone Sleeve for 40GB Click Wheel and iPod photo - White

there was also a Belkin hard case but it was for the mini and i didn't find any for the 40GB. i'm loving these, though.

Posted by Sam | 1:30 PM |

nothing major today.
even though i swore i would stop any major album/dvd purchases sunday because of my iPod acquisition-slash-investment, today is march 22 (btw, i realized i had a great way to swiftly pay off the iPod right under my nose -- the job owes me about 10 days-worth of vacation time (to be taken before may). i've always said i'd take the money for those remaining hours. well, now's an awesome time to do it. 40 hours would pay for the entire iPod. i never thought of it that way until a friend pointed it out to me last night at work. ha. who knew). so, the date, march 22, has been ingrained in my head since the start of the year as one of the big music release days. since then releases have moved around a bit but two are still on schedule:

Moby - Hotel (2cd edition with the ambient disc)
Queens of the Stone Age - Lullabies to Paralyze (cd/dvd edition)

Posted by Sam | 11:20 AM |

March 21, 2005

well, the big news, that i still don't think i'm fully able to express in this post given it's huge and sudden nature, is that, yesterday, i bought myself a brand fuckin' new 40 GB iPod :D

yep. i'm still not sure about it. see, last week the ex-roommate gave/lent me the 15 GB/3G iPod she found, right? but i was just listening to it, not reformatting it and copying my songs to it right away because she wanted to have it back to play with it. she was just lending it to me so i could play with it for a few days while she was away. so i just listened to this girl's songs (i assumed the owner was a girl because the songs it had). by saturday i'd started growing a small guilt trip about it because i was kinda getting to know this girl who's iPod i had in my hands. anyway. i was looking up prices for accessories because this one had none. seeing as this was a 3G iPod and i only had a Firewire cable (given to me by my work friend), i had to get a few cables to make the whole thing work. but then sunday morning i decided i'd check it out on my computer and plugged it in. that's when i saw that my brand new Dell, equipped with about 8 USB ports, had no Firewire port ! fuck me. that's when i learned that this generation of iPod couldn't charge while connected to my computer through a USB cable so i'd have to charge separately everytime. anyway. the amount of accessories i'd have to get to make it all work (charger, earphones, usb cable, dock) would cost me, with taxes, around $200. add to that the fact that Apple had discontinued the 3G docks last fall. shit. that's when i saw the possibility of buying a brand new one. it had never entered my mind since last year. i mean, i could spend those $200 but then i knew i'd buy a new one before summer (i mean, how could i not be tempted? :) so what would be the point in spending $200 now? i must also admit that the idea of getting a brand new iPod, in its box, was very attractive to me. why not do it? so i looked it up. saw that the 20 GB iPod did not come with a dock. the 40 GB, which was $40 more, had one. i think Apple are selling the 4G docks for $40 on their website anyway, and i was gonna buy one at some point because of the Line Out feature. but i'd also get an additional 20 GB for free. so i got my ass over to Future Shop, hoping they had some 40 GB's in stock. lo and behold, they did. but i got their last one. so i paid (aren't credit cards useful? thankfully, i was able to put $200 on it right away) for it and walked out of there with a brand new 40 GB iPod under my arm. unbelievable.

i still can't believe it. mostly because it wasn't planned and i usually plan these big purchases way in advance. i did my homework, there's no doubt about that, but it's still a huge thing and i can't believe i finally bought an iPod. so this is a bit baffling for me. i think i'm still in shock. i'll appreciate it more when i play around with it. last night i loaded up a few tracks that i had on my computer and encoded The Decemberists' Castaways and Cutouts just to have an album on it.

so. i'll need pointers. right now i got iTunes, ehpPod, and CDex. which Windows programs would you recommend to rip cd's? CDex does the job perfectly but it doesn't arrange them, or put tracks in album order, for ephPod to load up in my iPod. let me know. also, i wanna know your iPod's name :) mine is the name i was about to give the 15 GB one -- Skip -- for Richard Widmark's Skip McCoy, a pickpocket, in Sam Fuller's beautiful Pickup on South Street :P i'm never good at finding names or titles but i thought that was an appropriate one given that i was developing a rather nasty case of guilt for having the first one :) also, any cool tips and pointers that might be useful to a newbie? i've been reading up on iPod's for the past week but i don't know it inside and out just yet. that comes from experience.

btw, i'm giving the first one to the ex-roommate. she's gonna love that. she doesn't know it yet, though (nor does she know i bought one for myself). i'm gonna give it to her, gift-wrapped, tomorrow, with the Firewire cable. hopefully her boyfriend's computer has a Firewire port (which it should; it's only stupidly optional on the new Dells) and she ain't gonna need anything else to make it work. she should be pleased :)

update, 3:55 pm

i took a walk with my iPod this afternoon and i must say that it started sinking in that i finally had one and i'm happy to report that it made the impulse-buy doubts dwindle considerably down :) walking outside in the warm sun, with snow slowly melting all around, i must say the experience was a joyous one :)

Posted by Sam | 10:34 AM |

March 19, 2005

I, Robot
Alex Proyas, 2004

4.5
this was just a horrible, horrible mess. simply horrible. only the art direction, Bridget Moynahan, and one fight sequence made this film barely passable for me. (Alex, was Dark City a fluke?) goddamn was this flick annoying (the entire idiotic first act itself looked like it was payed for by Converse, Audi, and JVC). and sitting right at the top was Will Smith, out-annoying himself right from the start by protraying an appallingly bland cop trying to act charming but only succeeding in making the character incredibly flat and highly annoying instead. i haven't hated a performance, or a movie, as much as mr Smith's and this film in a long, long time. i'm serious. i knew going in this was an action movie, and i was prepared for that, but i was also under the impression that there would be a subversive nature underlying it all because of Asimov's story (btw, the credits read "suggested by the Isaac Asimov book". how fucking lame is that? you know something's amiss when the film is not even credited as being "inspired by" the original story it's based on). sometimes you do get glimpses of Asimov's genius and his philosophical quest, but then a sharp quip or some useless Matrix rip-off shot would just snap you right back to hollywood blockbuster mode. the material was there, this could have turned out amazing and original, but it looks like everyone decided they would be better off making a dumb Will Smith popcorn movie instead. horrible. just horrible.

Posted by Sam | 9:07 PM |

i missed this due to my internet-less past couple of days -- a stunning new Batman Begins poster came out.

Posted by Sam | 12:37 PM |

got a bit of scare yesterday. to sum it up -- yesterday afternoon i burned a dvd, then after that i tried to go online but the connection stopped as a high buzzing noise replaced the dial tone and my computer froze. a blue screen came up and informed me of the problem -- this file, intelC52.sys, was causing the problem. it told me of a few options i had but none worked. this was frustrating because i saw myself bringing the computer in for the weekend and i didn't want that. plus, i had some stuff i was following online. after a few more tries (turn on, dial up the connection, it freezes, turn the computer off again; repeat) i turned it off for the day and went to worked pissed as hell. today i thought i'd give my iPod friend from work a call (he's got a bit more knowledge about computers than i do). hopefully this would be nothing and he would know exactly what to do. but i feared he wouldn't know and i'd have to bring it in anyway. well, what do i know? my friend didn't even have to come by. i told him about my problem on the phone (the dude was on the bus). he wasn't sure about the exact problem but he guided me through a couple of easy steps (uninstalling the modem) and told me to restart the computer and try it again. folks -- it worked. :D i was beaming. you have not seen joy like this. all my fears disappeared and i was flying. i was back on again. (and it feels damn good.)

Posted by Sam | 12:37 AM |

March 17, 2005

lol. i got fucked. i'm trying out DVDHype (only a couple of weeks left then i'm canceling). today both DVDHype and Zip owed me one disc. well, even though i'm able to keep a close eye on both lists during the day, both just shipped me Saw. lol :P fuck.

how are you doing?
i'm not doing too bad myself. the days aren't as long and plentiful as i'd like them to be but that's life when you go to bed at 3 am because of work. aside from that, this week has been pretty good to me. more on that this weekend. take care.

oh. before i forget -- Happy Birthday to Mr Corgan :)

Posted by Sam | 1:03 PM |

March 16, 2005

Tarantino speaks again.
New Miramax, no longer under the Disney rule, is set to release the full version of Kill Bill (aka the Japanese version) "in the next few months". NC17, folks. i love it. also, Quentin talks about the year in movies.

Posted by Sam | 11:08 AM |

March 15, 2005

Napoleon Dynamite
Jared Hess, 2004

8.5
Hilarious.

Posted by Sam | 12:25 PM |

good morning, all :) how are you doing? i'm doing mighty fine, myself. oh. i see that i haven't talked to you about something i thought i'd mentioned. see, the ex-roommate found this iPod this weekend. believe me, i know, but she really did (one time she found Versace sunglasses in a girl's bathroom in montreal :) but she was definitely interested in it and wanted to keep it for herself and wasn't about to give it to me. until last sunday, that is. she couldn't find the on switch and it had no earphones or plugs of any kind on it. it looked dead but she wanted to bring it to me so i could check it out. then she told me something that got me incredibly excited -- she was considering selling it to me :D i'm not as gung-ho as i was for that brief two-week period last year when i wanted to buy one because a coworker had bought his and brought it to work (it was a beauty). but damn, the fact that she was considering selling it to me (cheaper than the $400 pricetag, of course) made me giddy and jumpy :) and today's the day she's bringing it to me. so last night i talked to my friend who's got one and asked him a bunch of questions. he thinks either the battery needs to be recharged (easy) or just a nice formatting (also easy). he also has an extra USB/Firewire cable for me :) he's gonna bring all that tonight at work so we can see if the iPod works (but he showed me how to format it when i get it today). the roommate told me it's a 15 gb iPod. i just checked it out online and that means it's a 3rd generation (4th are the minis). holy fucking hell! there's no way the battery's dead :D yay! i would have been content with a 1st generation but this is beyond cool. hopefully nothing inside has been damaged. we'll know in a couple of hours :)

Posted by Sam | 9:12 AM |

March 14, 2005

please scrap those Tarantino/Friday the 13th rumors. thank you.

oh, right: Future Roommate passed by yesterday afternoon and we signed our lease!! :D
i'm so happy that's finally done. we started talking about it, i think, almost two months ago. we kept talking about it, and even though he talked about moving in he never gave me a real final answer until a week ago. the lease begins July 1st. and i'm also happy that a) i'll be staying here, and b) not have to move again. this will be my fourth year here. the new roommate and i both think we'll get along fine -- we seem to think along the same lines when it comes to life, he's not an ass (for the record, i don't think i am either), he enjoys non-mainstream films. and our schedules will make sure we don't step on each other's toes too much. i've had some bad roommate experiences in the past (the last one being a mostly good one, though. the exception to my rule) so i know some of what to look for, and this one, from what we know, has passed the first couple of tests. i still have some lingering fears but that's normal. they'll have their chance to disappear once he comes and lives here.

Posted by Sam | 10:47 AM |

March 13, 2005

Metallica: Some Kind of Monster
Joe Berlinger + Bruce Sinofsky, 2004

7.5
i don't care about Metallica. at one time, though, i would immediately snatch up any of their old albums (pre-Black album) i could find at used record stores, but nowadays i'll even think twice before buying those. i'm 'meh' about them. the band went incredibly soft and radio-friendly in the 90s and then the Napster thing happened. but i do have some lingering respect for the guys (mostly James Hetfield, for going into rehab at such an unstable time in the band's life, and Kirk Hammett for being a (and only) decent guy in that band) and the music they created. i wasn't sure how to get into the film, though, because a lot of it doesn't come from an outsider's perspective. Berlinger and Sinofsky were granted an insane amount of access at an insanely unstable time in both Hetfield's life and the band's career, so a lot of the first half hour had me doubting the veracity of the edited footage (we find out later on that the band and management are paying for some of it). i loved the group/personal therapy set against the art of creating. that part spoke to me (and i loved that we got to see the interaction with producer Bob Rock. i love seeing how people create and record their music) -- individuals trying to evolve while in a group while also trying not to let Metallica go down so weakly. that was worthwhile for me. you also get a surprisingly inside view to a lot of news items you've heard about the band over the past couple of years -- the camera was right there for most of them. also noteworthy were the bass player auditions (was Eric Avery the dude who Garbage picked up to tour this year??). everyone and their mother turned up for that one. is it a satisfying documentary? yes because it chronicles two years in the life of Metallica. but could it have been more candid? absolutely. the film felt flat in that department. i didn't really learn anything new. but that also depends on the individuals' willingness to open up to Berlinger and Sinofsky. and most of the film felt like snapshot compared to the two years the band spent in what looked like misery. most of the footage of the band fights consists of Lars and Hetfield bickering or not understanding one another. it rarely goes deeper than that. (btw, thank god for the therapist. that's one of the single the best decisions their management ever made). the film felt like a cross between a real documentary (an outsider's perspective on candid subjects -- we'll see if that view changes after i listen to the two commentaries. this is one of the rare times where i'm actually looking forward to listening to a commentary) and a band/label-financed film for the fans. but despite all of those misgivings (and the fact that Metallica fans will get more of a kick out of their band than neophytes) the film is still a good, and sometimes fascinating, two hours to sit down for.

Posted by Sam | 9:02 PM |

I'm Not Scared
Gabriele Salvatores, 2003

8.5
this is the story of a 10 year-old boy making a somewhat dark discovery. aside from that, i'm not gonna tell you anything else about the story. the film, thanks to Gabriele Salvatores' direction, relies on the children's amazingly natural performances -- especially Giuseppe Cristiano, giving an outstandingly nuanced performance as Michele, the main character. the film brought me back to my childhood where everything was awash in innocence. but the film never uses that to break his characters' illusions, no, even if it's never made a theme of the film, Salvatores effortlessly captures the essence of being a kid. the film just breathes that kind of easy life. the story is so well told that you're easily sucked into this boy's young life. and huge props to Salvatores for providing that illusion. highly enjoyable drama. if you were on the fence about this film, don't be. it's definitely worth seeing.

Posted by Sam | 12:27 AM |

March 12, 2005

hi, how are you doing?
i'm not doing too bad myself. went to bed extra late last night so i'm a bit buzzed today but aside from that things are going smoothly. it's snowing outside. big lazy snowflakes drifting down everywhere, covering everything in white. it looks and feels especially nice for a lazy saturday afternoon. Kathleen Edwards also seem suited to the occasion.

David Duchovny has a blog to promote his upcoming House of D film.

Lions Gate are the ones responsible for this. they're also trying it out with Rob Zombie (for The Devils Rejects) and Tyler Perry (Diary of a Mad Black Woman). although these two are more online diaries. they've got two more on their slates: Paul Haggis (Crash (2005)) and the Spierig Bros (Undead).

Posted by Sam | 2:11 PM |

March 09, 2005

YES!!!!! it's official -- Michelangelo Antonioni's L'eclisse (The Criterion Collection) is a two-disc set !!!

damn. nothing on the Criterion site mentions this change with only six days to go before the release. a DVD Empire shot of the back cover sparked a frenzied search last night (thanks to the a Criterion Forum member) but i couldn't find too much information on this rumoured change online. i ordered it this morning hoping it was a new two-disc set. this is good :)

buzz. everyone's really excited about Jean Renoir's The River. looks like i'll be getting it. (strangely, though, DVD Pacific is not carrying this title. dunno why. customer service confirmed this to me.)

speaking of which, DVD Pacific has lowered back its prices. for some reason they'd gone up a couple of bucks each late last year. nice to see them going back down.

update, 2:12 pm

today's an outstanding (materialistic) day for me! this is what was waiting for me in the mailbox:

Action Records
Moby - We Are All Made of Stars Remixes
Moby - Lift Me Up (uk cd1)
Moby - Lift Me Up (uk cd2)

mymusic
Kathleen Edwards - Failer
Ivy - In the Clear
Badly Drawn Boy - One Plus One Is One (sadly, the uk version. it's missing the two US bonus tracks i'd ordered. i'll get the single, then.)
Low - The Great Destroyer

Zip.ca
I'm Not Scared
Metallica: Some Kind of Monster

update, march 10 2005, 12:38 pm

DVD Pacific found Renoir's The River. they'd mislabeled it.
and it's only $25.11 (canadian).

Posted by Sam | 12:22 PM |

March 08, 2005

24: Day 4
6:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.

oh. my. god.
a fucking Blackout!
and it's only 7 pm. i hope they don't chicken out of it by the next hour. this could be good. damn good. and to think that throughout the whole episode i was thinking i would stop blogging about the show because it made me watch it from a distance, thinking about what i'd write, not to mention the less-than-stellar writing spots we've had since last season. i'd grown cynical about the series (as a lot of other fans as well, i fear). this episode was also a rough and boring one (complete with drawn out Driscoll's annoying daughter's post-suicide) ... but then things started to change -- Paul became my man by taking off with the printout, the EMP blackout actually happens, and then... Michelle ?? fuck me. i was clapping like a happy seal. (but they can't be bringing back past co-stars. it feels too much like past glories coming back to save the show, you know? this one should be able to stand on its own. so this should be it before the end of the season where you can have one more character coming back for a last hurrah. that's it.) damn the whole 2nd half of the episode was awesome. the whole run-up to the EMP blast (complete with a screaming Jack holding on for dear life) was a rush! i fucking loved it! we're back, baby. (maybe.)

Posted by Sam | 11:36 AM |

Ash's Meltdown gets released in North America today, with bonus tracks and a dvd, but it's damned overpriced everywhere ($19.99, the best price i've been able to find online so far, is a bit steep for a new release these days). well, i guess that comes from having an indie label (in this case Record Collection) release the album.

Jason's dog is amazingly cute.
he doesn't deserve a puppy that cute :P

put this in the too weird it could very well happen column. Quentin might write and direct a Friday the 13th film. apparently he's supposed to meet with New Line later this week to discuss this. after the initial shock of seeing Quentin associated with the horrible Jason franchise wears off, i have to say that this could work out. it definitely could work out into one damn fine film. think about it. and, if true, this rests solely on Tarantino's shoulders as New Line has nothing with this franchise.

Posted by Sam | 9:23 AM |

March 06, 2005

i just realized that Zip might be sending me three discs tomorrow, making it 99% sure i'd receive them by friday, aka the weekend, aka movie watching nights. i do have some ideas about what i'd put in my list (probably gonna keep a slot or two for my selections) but i'd like to know your suggestions, which films you'd be recommending right now. recommend me anything. i'm not saying i'll rent them, but at least the field will be wide open.

type away! :)

// the stuff i'm looking at right now //

Patty Jenkins' Monster (Special Edition, 2 discs)
Ki-duk Kim's The Isle
Kinji Fukasaku's Sympathy for the Underdog
Lewis Black: Unleashed
Metallica: Some Kind of Monster
Anthony Minghella's Cold Mountain (Collector's Edition, 2 discs)
Hideo Nakata's Chaos

update, 9:44 am

fyi, The Digital Bits' 6th Annual Bitsy Awards are finally up.

update, 12:54 pm

two things: i just called in sick to work because i caught a really bad dry cough this weekend and i wanna get over it asap. it seems silly but i work in a hospital so i can't go around dry coughing every 15 minutes. it also seems i've miscalculated a bit and Zip only owed me two discs. but all's good because even with low availability indicators they shipped the following:

Gabriele Salvatores' I'm Not Scared
Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky's Metallica: Some Kind of Monster (Disc 1)

these were my top two choices.
i don't like to rent incomplete sets but i wasn't interested in Some Kind of Monster's second disc. i'm not a Metallica fan (i have a few of their non-sucky albums that i got at used record stores over the years) but the film (by Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky, enough said) definitely looked intriguing. thanks for your input. i'd love it if you continued writing down your suggestions. i'll definitely have some empty spots in the future and these certainly helped a lot :)
thanks.

update, 3:48 pm

heard the New Order single, Krafty, this weekend. i sadly thought it was crap, though. sadly.

Posted by Sam | 9:56 PM |

i'm back from running a few errands. managed to pick up these:

Kathleen Edwards - Back to Me
50 Cent - The Massacre (Collector's Edition)

now, i'm not a 50 fan. i have the previous album but haven't listened to it in quite some time, although, i did enjoy quite a few songs off of it. i got this one because of the beatmakers (namely Dre and Scott Storch) and because it was used record store cheap. (btw, fuck whoever thought it would be smart to have people enter a cool contest but limit it to cell phone users. thanks, asshole.) so i bought it for the mix cd value of the thing. but, all that being said, this looks damn exciting. of course it says nothing about the playability of the game, but it has the potential to be tremendously fun. i'm definitely looking forward to it.

Kathleen Edwards' Failer is not selling for $12.99 anymore. i'm ordering it from mymusic.

update, 5:14 pm

order complete :)

i ain't fucking around.

i'll let you know what the other cd's are when i get the package. should only be a couple of days.

Posted by Sam | 4:12 PM |

March 05, 2005

i was driving back from my ex-roommate's earlier today (also did my taxes at my mom's; thank you, canadian government :) i hope i get my cheque soon). i stopped on CBC Radio because they were playing this un-radio-like, indie, mellow song (which ended up being from the band Suicide. no idea who they were) that i definitely noticed. anyway, Sook-Yin Lee was talking to Don McKellar. he's always an interesting guest, so i listened. well, she asked McKellar about movies that'd had an impact on him. he actually mentioned a film he'd seen the night before (last night, actually. i just realized the show was live and not a repeat. ha). well, the movie was Jules Dassin's Rififi !! fuck me. i watched that film for the first time a year ago and fucking fell in love with it. he immediately had my full attention. Criterion released two other Dassin films last month, Thieves' Highway and Night and the City ... both of which are laying comfortably on my living room table right now, thanks to Zip and the wonders of Canada Post :) and the movie i was planning on watching tonight was Thieves' Highway. btw, McKellar went on about Rififi, even mentioning to original french title and talking about the coolness of the film, it's importance and it's style. i wanted to jump in the conversation with him!! i loved it. and it made me inch this close to clicking the Buy! button on my DVDPacific wishlist :)

Criterion officially reveals The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou on their website.

Posted by Sam | 6:53 PM |

Dark Horizon reports,
Porno: Trainspotting 2

Boyle wants to direct "Porno," a quasi-sequel to cult-favorite "Trainspotting," which will pick up where the last film left off twenty years later. "We want to make it about those guys when they look middle-aged... The idea of it is not to try and attract a new audience to 'Trainspotting;' it's to play it to everybody who watched it when it first came out."
glad to hear that this is still very much on their plate, and that they have these kinds of intentions with it and not turn it into a kind of profitable remake of the first one for the kids who've never seen the original 1996 flick. still haven't gotten to the book yet. it's sitting on my shelf.

other Dark Horizons tidbits:
Jane Curtin, William Devane and Fred Savage have been cast in ABC's comedy pilot "Crumbs".
love William Devane since his turn in this season of 24.

speaking of tv shows, i caught a couple of interesting previews this week on Radio-Canada -- they'll have the french dubs of both Lost and Desperate Housewives this spring. i'm against dubs of any kind but this quick turnaround blew me away. and thank god they're doing for good shows this time. plus, Radio-Canada rarely buys shows from other networks (they've actually been outstanding with doing new and exciting productions lately anyway). good for them.

Posted by Sam | 10:20 AM |

the weekend is here.
(i'm spent but happy we're finally here.)

what will you be up to this weekend?

(i'll be doing my taxes tomorrow :)

Posted by Sam | 12:45 AM |

March 03, 2005

24: Day 4
5:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.

Arnold Vosloo standing from his desk as he sees Jack and understands he has nowhere else to go was pure genius. say what you will about The Mummy but the man has presence. that was one hell of a 'showdown'. now all the reactors have been saved (right? Edgar did a fine job. (ooh, and it's good to have Driscoll's daughter finally out of the picture.)) and we're only hitting the halfway point next week. Jack going after Marwan at the end of the episode was a great segue into the next storyline.

hey, Curtis grows some balls!! and what balls, man. that was sweet. he was fierce and in charge. i'm definitely on his team now (compared to before when he was just the guy who was bitter about Marianne being at CTU for 10 episodes).

i'm getting kind of tired of the old crazy Jack that we saw in the hotel room with Paul and Audrey. he seems to go from passive to crazy-ass in a matter of seconds and i'm not following him as easily as before. slow it down, Jack. slow it down. although, jealous and insecure Jack is a nice change of pace from previous seasons. keep it up.

the Dina/Tony showdown also gave me goosebumps. Carlos did his best but it was Shohreh Aghdashloo who stole the fucking show and made the most of what little artifice both had been given. she was stunning.

Posted by Sam | 1:50 AM |

March 02, 2005

Kevin Smith left a short post on the View Askew Message Board this weekend. he mentioned who the top choice (who's top choice? he didn't say. but the fact that he came on the board and posted about it to the fanboys seems to have some kind of relevance) to play Fletch is right now.

i liked the idea of Jason Lee playing Fletch, but this would not be wrong. love it.

i finally talked to the possible future roommate this afternoon as he dropped by, tired of playing phone-tag. he wanted to see the place one more time and talk about what our living arrangements would be. it was supposed to be last saturday but the day passed and i never heard from him. so he dropped by today. he liked the place (he'd only seen it the night of the party but remembered liking it). he wasn't crazy about the price but i broke it down for him before and it was fine. a bit more than what he's paying right now but he's getting more and was okay with it. so a couple of things bugged me, but it was that kind of day to start with. oh, and the fact that i'm used to living alone for a while now (the roommate left last fall but was mostly at her boyfriend's apartment the whole summer before that) does not help when a new person comes in :) apparently they have a say in your living arrangements. lol :) so that bugged me a little. i'm not used to it, that's all. so he went away and i went to work, feeling a little uneasy about the whole situation. i like the guy, and we'll get along great, but today was not my kind of day. i talked it over a little with my work partner and that helped alleviate my fears about it. i actually felt amazingly well after that and the whole evening.

i'm leaving you with that.
have a good night :)

Posted by Sam | 2:37 AM |

March 01, 2005

btw, that wasn't french that Beyoncé was trying to sing for the Oscar-nominated song from The Chorus.

seriously. and i'm not being a purist about it, i came in halfway through the song so i didn't know what the song was supposed to be and i just could not figure out what language she was singing in. that was one atrocious moment non-francophiles fucking missed out on.

Posted by Sam | 2:24 PM |

The Criterion Collection // new announcements // May 2005 :

287 Burden of Dreams Les Blank with Maureen Gosling, 1982
289 Hoop Dreams Steve James, Frederick Marx, and Peter Gilbert, 1994
290 The Phantom of Liberty Luis Buñuel, 1974

btw, the Andrzej Wajda Box Set has covers now -- beautiful covers.
they're really outdoing themselves.

Doves - Some Cities is finally coming out tomorrow.
Future Shop has it for $14.99.
but i'd wait - there's a CD/DVD digipak set coming out March 15, according to amazon.ca, who has it for $19.99.

Posted by Sam | 1:25 AM |