August 30, 2005

being the Future Shop whore that i am when it comes to new releases, here's some exciting, new, low-priced shit you can get today:

Kanye West - Late Registration (Deluxe Edition) [ $12.99 ]
Death Cab for Cutie - Plans [ $9.99 ]
The Coral - The Invisible Invasion (Produced by Geoff Barrow & Adrian Utley) [ $11.99 ]

i hope Tim's not on to something. i had a dreadful feeling listening to Bleed Like Me last spring (there's a tragic sense of finality and peace running throughout the record). then i also sensed it in the band when they played Montreal. too grateful. but hopefully i am wrong and two and two do make five. please it just be a band taking a break before reaching the breaking point again. please please. they have so much more to give in light of the brilliantly fun Bleed Like Me.

1:07 PM

back from my errands. got -- Kanye, Death Cab and Black Rebel Motorcycle Club's Howl. FS had The Coral album but it wasn't on sale for $11.99 like the website; it was full-priced at $18.99. no thank you. also, HMV were out of the New Pornographers' disc.

2:40 PM

oh my god! (in an odd, curiously good and excited way!)
My Name Is Earl (starring a fucked up Jason Lee) premieres tuesday September 20 2005 at 9 pm.

Posted by Sam | 10:56 AM |

August 29, 2005

hold off on buying the Roseanne set tomorrow!!! go back a day--tomorrow looked like a loaded new releases day for me. Kanye, Death Cab (for $9.99 at Future Shop--i say a begrudging thank you to Warner for this), and Roseanne - The Complete First Season. but--the Roseanne set contains the edited syndicated episodes! not the original broadcast ones (as is the practice with syndicated shows, 2 to 3 minutes are cut from each episode to make room for more commercials). i'd suffered a blow because, even though i've been used to the syndicated versions, of course i wanna be able to watch the original episodes. i couldn't find an email for Carsey-Werner but if you care about this issue, and the show, please drop Anchor Bay a nice email to let them know we want the full episodes next time. so tomorrow looks like it will only be Kanye and Death Cab for me. but i don't mind--i'll gladly wait for the full original broadcasts (which i'm assuming should come in less than a year from now if they're already working on getting the rights to them).

ps. Season Two confirmed for later this year. maybe they have time to get the broadcasts for that one.

Posted by Sam | 2:19 PM |

THE BROWN BUNNY
Vincent Gallo, 2003

8.0
i found this to be quite an affecting little movie. the obvious has been talked about to death (glanced over, actually--there was nothing in-depth about its bastardized coverage) so i won't even mention it other than to state the obvious--that its focus did a huge disservice to the film. so, those looking for some tittilation, look elsewhere. you will not find it here. what Vincent Gallo did, though, is create something quite beautiful and lyrical. told mainly in a dreamlike state, the film tells the story (or rather, shows us--as the narrative is quite loose) of Bud, a bike racer, driving his way to California. we don't know much about the man or his story but even if his motives are not obvious to him, we soon start discovering a deep longing in him--he's searching for something intangible. there's an ethereal quality about the way the movie is shot and about Gallo's delicately subdued performance. it sets a spare, reflective mood (which the film deftly maintains throughout the picture). it felt like a gentle, silent, and tender work trying to work out emotional issues, and i really responded to it. i fully appreciate and admire Gallo's work here (which started with Buffalo 66) and i hope the debacle that followed the film's agonizing release will not stop him from pursuing the kind of modest and humble artistic expression of this caliber. this is a solid and personal film.

Posted by Sam | 2:03 AM |

August 28, 2005

HA! i wouldn't like to be pervert081805 right now. nice catch, friendly_chic407.
kottke.org |

6:35 PM

well, i'm back. didn't do much today except run some much-needed errands. the ex-roommate also dropped by to give me The Da Vinci Code, which she rented at the library for me. nice. since it was supposed to be grey out today, i wanted to catch a film at the movie theater but got home too late for the 3:45 show. i could catch two of those three films i was interested in tonight but i'm too tired so i probably wouldn't be able to survive a double-bill. anyway. the roommate and his girlfriend, who'd dropped by after work and ate dinner here, actually just left to go to her place. wow. i wasn't expecting that. so now i have the entire evening to myself. will watch a movie. i've been putting it off for the past week. what the fuck did i wanna talk about? oh YES--BB6. watch the James meltdown. :) he was trying to use the Janelle-bashing and egg on the Sith a bit - but it totally backfired! they turned on him! finally. the results were fiercely euphoric for us all.

Posted by Sam | 2:36 AM |

August 27, 2005

late-night blogging.

Sean Astin has joined the cast of 24 ! i'm consciously avoiding all the news surrounding the show (although that's not really a full-time job yet because it's the off-season) because i wanna know as little as possible come January 2006. but this is just great news. i've noticed they've been filling up the new cast with great names this year. i feel this one could be the one to bring back the show to Season Two level.

came home from work. (work week is over--yay!) the roommate and his girlfriend are sleeping here tonight -and are already in bed- so i can't do much. but i think they're gonna spend most of the weekend at her place when not working, though. i went out jogging at 2:10 AM :) and it actually felt great. missed a day because of the heat so this was perfect. the night sky was brilliant. now i'm going to bed :)

9:36 AM

shit. here you go if you want more detailed 24 casting and returning character news. since i've mostly been in the dark about the new season, most of these were spoilers for me. you are warned. i must say, though, that i'm really happy about all of them :) but i am hoping they're able to make them relevant to the new season. in their weakest moments, the writers and producers can lose sight of the story and go for the convenient at times. but, as i said before, this one feels like they're ready to go back on track (but i'm just hoping for a national defense threat-free season at one point. wouldn't that be cool? just a Jack drama series. the national security isn't what makes this show. it actually hinders it sometimes and makes the series highly redundant. come on. do it. and this would have been the perfect time too, with Jack being Jack-less, trying to find himself).

12:06 PM

i forgot to mention this little gem this morning. the roommate confirmed to me that he and his girlfriend are spending the night at her place tonight :) i also got him to let me know when he's gonna sleep over at her apartment in the future :) see, i've been downloading non-stop for the past week or so, but i recently (twice) came home to a disconnected router cable. the line was clogged up because of my downloads and it was a hassle for him to go online at the same time and wait for connections to be made every time. i knew it but i didn't understand how annoying and a pain in the ass that could be. also, i didn't think he was gaming during the week since his girlfriend was here. but i guess he does--and he definitely has a right to. so yesterday i stopped my downloads when i went to work so he could use it in the evening. that's gonna be my new download schedule from now on. i let him know this this morning (we don't see each other much during the week) and he told me i could download on evenings he was sleeping over at his girlfriend's place. but i informed him that i never know when that is. he said he could leave me a note when he knows :) nice, uh? that way (whenever that happens because i don't expect him to leave me a note every single time), when i'm feeling like getting out of work early, i'll know when i can cut my shift short to come home and rest easy that i'll have the place to myself (it's annoying to come home from a rough day and not being able to do anything because your roommate is sleeping in the next room). that actually puts a nice cap on an otherwise aggravating week for me, roommate-wise (i'd been running on no-sleep the week before, though, so i'm really not faulting him for that :)

Posted by Sam | 3:06 AM |

August 25, 2005

not much going on today. only two work days left to the week, though, so that's cause enough to celebrate a little bit :) still obsessed with BB and my torrents. i'm finally feeling like i'm getting some control over the latter now. it's not a wild dog anymore. i'm getting to understand more. it's mucho smoother now.

TV Guide Online has a short interview with Big Brother 6's BJenn. here's a winner:

What do you plan to do after the show?
[snip] Hopefully I'll be planning a wedding soon, but that's up to Dan. [snip]

seriously. delusional much? i'm sure Dan is just fucking enamored with you right now.
hey--you'll be lucky enough if he even wants to talk to you after he dumps your sorry ass.
6togo |

2:20 AM (Friday)

Gervais's doing it right.

holy shit--it's officially friday so it means new movie releases. let's see what we got:

Broken Flowers Jim Jarmusch, 2005 (english with french subs -- english, for fuck's sake!! yay!)
The 40 Year-Old Virgin Judd Apatow, 2005
C.R.A.Z.Y. Jean-Marc Vallée, 2005 (this has been in theaters all summer long but there seems to be a decent amount of buzz gathering for it in english North America)

there's also Boudu, from Gérard Jugnot, with Gérard Depardieu. Criterion just released the Jean Renoir version. that's it. i just thought it was interesting that we got this one since i hadn't heard much about it since seeing an on-set interview with Depardieu in early 2005. then there's the thorny matter of The Brothers Grimm. Gilliam's recent lashing out against the Weinsteins over their taking control of the picture definitely turned me off to the film. Gilliam is in my top-five favorite directors of all-time. all-time. he's a genius. but i don't wanna pay for something that's not his and has been fucked with by the Weinsteins (what the fuck do they know? re-editing asian films they've acquired for North American release? that's immoral at best. give me a break). anyway. but the fact that it's playing here in english is at least making me open to suggestions, so now i'm at least gonna hear out my favorite reviewers on the film. so, in this batch of (semi-)new films, i'd say the first 3 are definitely interesting to my eyes. the summer has not been good to me/us, movie-wise. if only temporarily, though, this weekend is at least reviving my faith in great filmmaking.

Posted by Sam | 11:54 AM |

August 23, 2005

HELLSYEAH! James lets the Jedi in on his realization -- if they win HOH this week (Jedi+James -- implied, not forced), they can then pick off the Sith one by one for the rest of the game regardless of whether the Sith win HOH each week or not because they would easily win the veto each time for the Sith are weak competitors and they'd be forced to put up one of their own after each vetoed Jedi. he has a great point. and his move to the Jedi has been slowly building up over the past couple of weeks. he's been alone since Sarah left and has been doing some serious thinking, game-wise -- a week and a half of Rachel trying to bring him to their side, another week of him renewing talks with the good guys, and slowly slipping away from the Sith, my man James has decided to align himself with the Jedi!! and it lookss genuine this time. he seems more relaxed and at ease with the Jedi. (i've seen his BS, this is not his BS.) woohoo!! James, my man, you are one brilliant motherfucker. nice to see you see the truth :)
it's gonna be exciting, folks.

in more personal matters--back in July, the ex-ex asked me if i would go up to Quebec City to see her one weekend. we haven't seen each other in, i think, a year or two (we have a hard time figuring that one out), since she moved out there. the electricity between the two of us was always palpable. we called it dangerous :) the chemistry was good and stayed that way even after we stopped going out together. then she moved and we kept in touch by emails or with sporadic phone calls. this summer i wrote her that i saw two girls in two days that reminded me of her. she called me up soon after that and got the great idea of having me go up for a weekend. we were both ecstatic. she had a boyfriend but he was in South America and they had an agreement that they were 'free' this summer. but then he called her up and she got serious so i never went up to visit her. then last week i get a call from her asking me if i'd want to see her within the next two months since she'd suddenly found herself in-between two jobs. my work partner has two weeks off in September. i thought, fuck, why not ask her if she could come down for those two weeks? (two birds with one stone -- seeing the ex-ex and not having to work with various idiots at work :) that was sunday. we gave each other a day or two to free up our respective agendas and voila! she's coming down for about 10 days at the end of September!! :) it's finally happening for real! yay. i'm a bit nervous about it. she is too. it's not as romantic (for me) as a getaway to Quebec City but i do believe we'll manage :) i just locked those two weeks in as vacation at work :) nice.

Criterion is once again trumped by a parent company - this time new-papa Image Entertainment, which released information on three November titles (which will probably be the entire slate since all three titles have been anxiously-awaited by Criterion fans for one long-ass time and each comes as a huge, packed double-disc edition):

RAN Akira Kurosawa, 1985 (2 discs)
THE TALES OF HOFFMANN Michael Powell, Emeric Pressburger, 1951 (2 discs)
UGETSU Kenji Mizoguchi, 1953 (2 discs)

Posted by Sam | 12:32 PM |

August 22, 2005

starting early today. i just wanted to mention that last night i fell asleep listening to a Notes From The Underground podcast and they had a nice long interview with John Vanderslice running the show. talked about setting up and running his indie analog studio in SF for the past eight years.

Jenn sucks. she sure does.
can't wait for her to find the website. is there a way to see her bubble burst on national tv? please? thank you. are they gonna admit fans to the Season Finale? it would be nice to have her booed, is all i'm saying :)

Bruce Campbell - still funny.

after feeling good about leaving (won't say who so as to not spoil the fun) and some rehashing these past couple of days, it seems the BB people finally caught on and decided to investigate the claims of the wronged Jedi (no, not Kaysar). something's definitely a-brewin' in the house. they were supposed to be having the Veto Ceremony this afternoon (right?) but something else is going on right now behind the little fishies. developing... nope. nothing wrong here. RIP Vetogate. ah well, it's better this way, i say. (i hope. ::stares at James intensely:: i hope you're on our side, Jedi.)

Posted by Sam | 9:21 AM |

August 21, 2005

how's your day going? mine actually went by slower than i thought. but that's a good thing. at one point it felt like it was end of the afternoon/4:30-ish, but i was surprised to find out it was only, like, 2:30. not bad for a day where i got up around noon-ish. so i, of course, went immediately online to check up on my torrents. of course they won't go as fast as i'd like them to (they're doing well but i'd love to hit a constant 150+ :) so today's been a lazy day. but in a good way. as i was saying, i tweaked my torrents, read the BB feed recaps (they're on fish now - they're doing the Veto Competition; btw, check out this amusing little Janey movie a recapper did to pass the time), and i was able to listen to the sleepy sunday show on the old iPod while lounging on the porch as the sun was shining brightly :) the sky cleared up like that after a short shower. it was beautiful. right now the roommate and his gf are at the movies. should come back soon. dunno if i'll have the apartment to myself later on, after they've eaten the chicken he's cooking (it smells delicious in here :) add playing around with the guitar and that's been my day so far. i was expecting the ex to come back sooner from her weekend getaway so we could catch The 40-Year-Old Virgin but she hasn't given me any sign of life yet. a relaxed evening wouldn't do me any harm either.

7:28 PM

shit.
hopefully they don't rehash too much and do follow up with their plan to evict Rachel. if i've gotta lose one Jedi, i don't mind as much if it's her (plus, she's already mentioned several times how she's ready to go to sequester). Howie and Janelle? i wanna keep them (Janelle being my fav Jedi). hopefully James goes to the Jedi this week.

11:55 PM

Radiohead are still alive.

1:26 AM (Monday)

i'm (finally) going to bed. if all goes well, none of my torrents will be slowing down too much tonight and i'll have 2 out of my 3 done when i wake up :) but, BB fans, i'm leaving you with this nice catch by Maggie. sweet dreams, all. ps. talked to the ex-ex tonight, following up on our emails from last week. planning something for next month. maybe. it would be sweet. 'night.

Posted by Sam | 5:39 PM |

METROPOLIS
Rintaro, 2001

n/a
okay. i will not give the film a rating because, well, i wasn't able to finish it :) it wouldn't be fair to judge the whole film because i only saw half of it. i wasn't able to finish the film because i was dead tired and i also couldn't get into it properly. see, the cover kinda threw me off a bit. it looked futuristic and high-tech, with Katsuhiro Ôtomo writing the screenplay. i felt confident. but then the film started ... and the characters looked like old-style animes like Albator (oh fuck - i just checked out Albator on the web -- Metropolis director Rintaro was the director on that series. ha!) and Candy with the big oval eyes. there's also a Fritz the Cat vibe with the roundness and jazz swings. so, that was jarring enough when i was expecting a cyberpunk film. the other half of the picture, though, is a real Futurama CGI effort, and that does work. but the simple, throwback feel of the handdrawn characters was enough to put me off every time. i also couldn't get into the flow of the film. the rhythm was off (or at least, mine was). there was no steam, no tension, no buildup; just a series of events (they weren't even able to make the action exciting!). it felt like i was reading a bland comic book (which i know is the source of the film -minus the blandness, i'll assume- but come on, i'm sure there was at least excitement in that one to warrant a film adaptation). the story is good enough (which must have inspired Katsuhiro Ôtomo because he would go on to write and direct Steamboy, a much more successful and exciting attempt (imo) revolving around technology and greed) but the film was a huge, jarring letdown for me. enjoy :)

Posted by Sam | 12:11 PM |

August 20, 2005

wow. we knew Jennifer was out. and that was fun, watching the cheerleader fake-smiling her way around every other minute. but boy was this disheartening. all this work to be wasted like that. it wasn't frustrating, because none of the big Siths got HOH, but it was still sad because we'll most likely be one player down by next thursday (and they are only three left). the new HOH is Beau, btw. DimBeau. guh. hopefully James sees the competition narrowing, along with his chances of being found out, and finds a way to get rid of Maggie (or April). doubtful, but it's our only chance at an extra week. (but he is mighty close to Ivette...)

12:35 AM (Sunday)

boy, that didn't take long. i'm actually quite ecstatic James is going this way - not that he has much of a choice but it's nice to see James almost out of hiding to play the game. he's actually impressed me this past week by how smooth he was. he let the teams fight each other off and pushed a few small buttons when it was needed. it's nice seeing him hitting bigger ones again, though. it doesn't seem as sleazy as before. not having Sarah around fits him quite well for the game. take them out, James. Beau actually backed the Sith up into a corner with his nominations. we're not done just yet. (who'da thought James would be the Jedi's glimmer of hope? actually, i did. i always saw him as an Anakin - turning to the dark side, but with the Jedi being strong in him :)

Posted by Sam | 8:59 PM |

August 19, 2005

JANELLE !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Shannon Elizabeth is a Kaysar fan! and also hates the Sith :P HA! i love it.

ps. i'm still very much obsessed with my torrents :)
enjoy your day.

12:53 AM (Saturday)

BB fans - today was the Veto Competition. the feeds were cut off for the event, as they always keep those for the show ...but they never returned. all we got was fish and some cryptic message about them coming back tomorrow night. nothing. but check out what transpired, briefly, for 45 seconds later today. a hilarious, celebratory clip. enjoy.

Posted by Sam | 2:56 PM |

August 18, 2005

yay. Zip finally heard my suggestion and got your ZipList's Future Releases to sort themselves out by date. woo!

Posted by Sam | 2:06 AM |

August 17, 2005

late posting. random stuff. my mom actually asked me if i wanted to call in sick tonight because it's her birthday and my uncle/aunt/two cousins were in town and wanted to take her out to dinner :) so yeah, i called in sick and we had fun. ate splendidly (got leftovers, as usual at that restaurant), and brought them all back to my apartment so they could finally see it. i get to see my aunt and uncle about once a year so it was cool having them down here. plus, i got to spend a good chunk of the after-dinner chatting movies and hockey with my cousin. and she's a girl. she got a few cool points from me :)

i sooo want that Deluxe Edition of Sin City :) Robert Rodriguez is a genius.

on a semi-related note - Frank Miller's 300 is getting made into a film (although, by Dawn of the Dead's Zack Snyder - why??) with Gerard Butler ...filming starts October 17 in Montreal :P ooh -- the film might be shot entirely in the Montreal studios (Mel's? probably). the imdb also lists Sienna Miller as part of the project. i've only seen her in Alfie and i was, at best, mildly indifferent about her in that film. but, since this is as close to royalty/God/(Jude) as i'll get, all's fine and dandy. rock on. WHAT?? Darren Aronofsky's (who strangely looks like Pi's Sean Gullette in this pic) The Fountain was shooting in Montreal?? with Cliff Curtis??? fuck.

i'm playing around with torrents. again. the stuff is addicting. but i am getting the hang of it (after some incredibly late nights, that is). i should watch a movie (The Station Agent?) but it's also starting to get late (i'd be coming in now if i'd worked tonight :) we'll see what happens. feverishly reading my BB recaps today.

Posted by Sam | 1:16 AM |

August 16, 2005

more BB rambling because, hell, if you thought BB was fun before, think again - now's the fun part!! :D

"You're going to crumble, Busto! You're going to hear my big mouth echoing in that empty head of yours, Busto! You're going to hear me in your sleep."

Howie talking to April's face :P
he's on a fucking tear, people! last night's shit died down when they all went to bed. happy to see the Howie Storm is just getting revved up!! he's just unloading and unloading, giving you nugget after nugget of hilarious revenge! and the funniest thing is the timing couldn't have been more perfect - they're on outside lockdown :P April can't escape his wrath. amazing.

if you haven't been reading the feed recaps, you have been missing on the most exhilarating fun BB has ever been.

Posted by Sam | 5:20 PM |

August 15, 2005

the Veto Ceremony is in about an hour. hopefully Rachel is thinking about not using it. that would be so cool! she's not feeling well in the Big Brother house. Howie is the one who wanted to play. hopefully James was able to get to Jenny about Rachel being the big bad mastermind behind the Jedi (whether he actually believed it or not; he's either incredibly stupid, or simply brilliant and selfless by somehow wanting to save King Kaysar). the Sith are seriously leaning towards nominating our King if/when Rachel does veto herself off. stupid lil' SluttyJenny (when she's out, ask her about those guys in Texas. she'll love that). last night she was absolutely horrible. hopefully tomorrow's show shows us just how much of a power-hungry whore Jenn really is. nasty, cruel, and hideous. it was an appalling display of greed over humanity. (it was bad. trust me.)

HAHA! the sleeping hamsters (minus Rachel and Ivette who were already up for a while now) were woken up by Stupid Girl !!! now Jenn realizes it was for her and is PISSED OFF! HA! loving this. (take that, bitch.)

4:02 PM

sigh.
let the flood gates of hell open.

4:31 AM, the next morning.

OOH! Tim is on to something! BB Producers - you can do this!!!
[ ooh, and Tim -- the gates have opened wide. to our Jedi-lovin' pleasure :]

Posted by Sam | 2:00 PM |

August 14, 2005

PUNISHMENT PARK
Peter Watkins, 1971

8.5
both an allegorical and a realistic depiction of the troubled social revolution that occured in the United States in the 1960's, Peter Watkins' film is brimming with rage, and a feeling of social injustice - but the work doesn't assault the viewer like it so easily could have because it's handled with so much grace and alertness that it actually takes a step back to get a better look at it, to understand the context (back in those days, judging from the controversial reception the film got, the audience was just waking up to the social injustices being brought upon its people; the similarities to our times are definitely striking). it's obviously the work of an intelligent, well thought-out filmmaker. to control the growing anti-war and civil rights movements, the President of the United States orders (among other things) the creation of a tribunal in the californian desert. once the dissidents are found guilty they are given the option to either serve your sentence or go to Punishment Park, a no man's land, where they will have to run 50 miles to reach the United States flag, hereby declaring your loyalty to the country and winning back their freedom. it's the socialist Running Man. what i loved about this film is Peter Watkins' astute direction of his actors. most of the actors here were amateurs. but you wouldn't know that watching them listen, think, and flow with each other. it's quite something. it was easy to get sucked in the film that way. but the only thing i couldn't stand were the exhausted runners. i just couldn't understand how Peter Watkins, the man who was getting such incredibly human performances out of these non-actors, could let these guys shit all over the film with their fake panting. it's not arrogant, but it's definitely jarring. but, these moments are not enough to sink the film. the experiment is too ingenious, profound, and revolutionary for you to care about those weak spots. Watkins keeps the film moving along with intercutting between the runners and, to my eye, the most interesting bunch, the dissidents about to be judge in the tribunal. this is where Watkins and his actors shine with brilliant rhetoric. the film is by no means vindictive. it is incendiary. and is still, probably unsurprisingly, very, very modern in its themes. there is nothing propagandistic about the film. Watkins simply sits back lets the characters interact and catches it on film. simple as that. his determined, defiant, and disaffected character lies in his script. it is an artfully done piece of filmmaking. i can't imagine how it must've felt to live in those troubled times, but, being a definite creature of its time, this film shows us how contorted, convoluted, and simply a colossal, and impossible, mindfuck it must have been for all involved. Peter Watkins was able to boil down his vision to its essence. this is simply a fearless and beautiful film.

Posted by Sam | 5:38 PM |

this isn't new news but i wasn't aware of it. a fair bit of warning - rent but don't buy Sin City on tuesday. it's a bare bones disc (courtesy of the good folks at Dimension). the real DVD (Robert Rodriguez's words) will come out in a few months.

Posted by Sam | 2:44 PM |

August 13, 2005

it's official -- i love Jason !!!
whew-ew!!! Jason suggested i get VSO's DivxToDVD to solve my aspect ratio problem (when i played burned dvd's that came from AVI files on my dvd player, the picture looked blown up on my tv). and guess what? it fucking worked!!! not only that but in no time at all i had a converted the AVI file into VOB's and had a burned disc that played right!! brilliant. simply amazing. and that is why i officially love Jason :P thank you, Jason. thank you, thank you, thank you. you have so made my weekend (really my entire week, and coming weeks; but you have no idea how fucked and frustrating my weekend looked :)

Posted by Sam | 2:36 AM |

August 12, 2005

wooooooooooooow! Kaysar is still in the pressure cooker and they're down to two !!! (surprisingly, Jenn is the other one left.) he can fucking do this! :D by the way, Kaysar was voted back in last night -- by fucking 82% !!! :D me was very happy.

anyone got any ideas about my little dvd burning problem? btw, it might be an aspect ratio flag that's saying it's a 4:3 file when in fact it's a 16:9 movie. Windows Media Player would be smarter than the flag but not my dvd player. suggestions and ideas would be greatly appreciated :)

11:18 AM

...shit. Jenn is HOH. i really hope she didn't fuck with Kaysar when she gave him his word for two hours. at one point she told him she'd do anything if he gave it to her. hopefully he'll ask for Jan, Howie, Rachel, and himself to be safe. she could take out James.

11:37 AM

holy shit. this is the agreement - Jenn agreed to put up Beau and Ivette (how the hell is widdo Jenny supposed to pull that off?) and backdoor James. Kay and the gang are gonna be working overtime to make her stick to it. and Kay's just beaming from being out of the house. he's gonna have some pull.

btw, i downloaded IfoEdit for my aspect ratio flag problem. the ratio was fine but there was a mention of 'no permanent display' being set. just changed that to letterbox. i'm burning it now. hopefully that was it. wish me luck 'cause i got some good ones i want to watch on dvd :)

1:02 PM

nope. my little edit didn't do anything. the result is like mega-overscanning. my tv does some overscanning but i don't think it's ever been this bad. maybe when i convert the AVI files i should crop it 5% all the way around. that could help. any thoughts?

Posted by Sam | 11:01 AM |

August 11, 2005

okay. so i'm asking the techies out there in blogland. i'm converting AVI files to DVD VOB files. i use WinAVI and it works beautifully. the output file works great in Windows Media Player. but then i burn it onto a DVD (with DVDShrink) so i can watch it on my tv ... and the picture is stretched out into a sort of full frame version of itself. i just burned a second disc (different avi file), with Nero this time, and got the same result. what's going on? am i missing something here? i'm still looking into it but it doesn't look like a common problem. (btw, i've had no problem with Shrink before this. but it also doesn't look like WinAVI is the problem because the output file plays fine on my comp.)

Posted by Sam | 1:07 PM |

the past couple of days have been fun but tiring. i spent tuesday afternoon in my mom's pool. they're coming back from a short vacation today. i went back for the last time yesterday morning with the ex. she was shy about asking me if she could come because she didn't want to be deceived by a no. weird. she's weird. but it was fun. we played around in the pool and it filled in for no doing laps. i felt exhausted, burnt out, afterwards. and i'm working on 6-7 hours of sleep max for the past few days now. i wasn't feeling amazing yesterday at work. oh, and yesterday i also got my partial insound order (5 out of 6), which i used the new customer 25% off on last week.

wolf parade - wolf parade ep
SUFJAN STEVENS - ILLINOIS - limited first printing (yep -- the Superman cover :)
Sufjan Stevens - Seven Swans
OKKERVIL RIVER - BLACK SHEEP BOY
OKKERVIL RIVER - 'DON'T FALL IN LOVE WITH EVERYONE YOU SEE.'

they also threw in a bunch of nice surprises along with it (bands baseball cards and their Pushing Product Volume 5 disc -which i didn't even know i met the requirements- with loads of great bands on it).

tonight is when we'll see if Kaysar comes back in the house. hope!hope! it would be really sweet.

oh, and for the first time, i've been heavily into torrents for the past couple of days. and to my utter satisfaction, i might add.

interesting (stupid) finds from The Movie Blog today:
Da Vinci Code Changes for Church and Terry Gilliam Pissed Over The Brothers Grimm. i didn't know his own cinematographer (and boy do Gilliam movies look great) was sacked by the Weinsteins. i'm gonna think twice about seeing the film in theaters. as for Da Vince Code - i was planning on reading the book soon anyway. Tom Hanks in a Ron Howard film? bah. can you say bland?

Posted by Sam | 10:05 AM |

August 10, 2005

can't talk right now -gotta go to work!- but i'll come back tomorrow with stuff to write :)
ciao!

Posted by Sam | 4:13 PM |

August 08, 2005

ah, yes!! Howie and the gang are finally righting the semi-wrong that was the James-Sarah nomination by putting up Ivette now that James is off the block. i would've preferred Maggie but this is my 2nd choice. but they should've thought about this a few days ago and told James he and Sarah were both pawns, to win the veto (which James did), and put up one of the Sith and oust him/her thursday. that way, their relationship with James and Sarah wouldn't have been fucked up like it is now. but i do agree that James is gonna come back with the good guys (especially if they kick out Ivette *and* Kaysar comes back). will he forgive them? dunno. and it depends if he wins HOH thursday. that would be dicey. but the good team saved themselves this week and are taking out a huge blabbermouth threat in Ivette.

Posted by Sam | 3:15 PM |

THE BROWNING VERSION (THE CRITERION COLLECTION)
Anthony Asquith, 1951

8.0
set amidst a boring boys private school, this small tale is the story of one professor's last term before his retirement. but what perked me up was Michael Redgrave's quietly illuminating turn as tired and soulless professor Crocker-Harris. the story starts out rather dryly about the last few days in the boys' term and a future professor enters the scene. but he merely enters the film as an outsider to enable us to learn about the school and its characters. it's a nicely executed trick, mainly because Asquith makes him look like he's gonna be the main character in the film. and you do willfully follow him along and find old professor Crock a bore. but as with most characters in the film, as soon as you think you've got him pegged, he and director Anthony Asquith quietly open him up and make you feel a little bit for the man; more than you thought possible at first. and they don't use tricks, melodrama, or even charm either - no, it's Michael Redgrave's constantly stunning and subtle performance that does it. it's quite a remarkable performance. it's a heartbreaking story of one man's life, his regrets, and making the most of himself.

Posted by Sam | 2:57 PM |

August 07, 2005

CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY
Tim Burton, 2005

8.0
a little puff pastry (easy but true). disclaimer - i've never seen the original Willy Wonka movie. i was actually adamant about it seeing it because a friend of mine who sat it came back with some so-so thoughts on it this week. but - if i had to see it it would be in a theater, so off i went. the film is classic Tim Burton. loads of primary colors, grandiose set designs, and a child's heart hanging in the balance. right off the bat, i was actually quite surprised by how much i was taken by the characters and their story. Burton has such an ease with characterization (while never ever falling into pandering). the film took off and i'd forgotten how that felt, to have a film working so smoothly like that. it'd been a while since i'd seen a modern film do this so effortlessly. so we meet Willy Wonka (loved the Edward Scissorhands silhouette) - Johnny Depp's reclusive, flaky creature. (of course, i wouldn't also be too far off saying this was Edward Scissorhands on a sugar rush. it would actually be kind of perfect.) but the main character is Charlie, played by Freddie Highmore (Finding Neverland), an utterly charming poor boy looking for one-day visit inside isolated Willy Wonka's chocolate factory. the story, thanks to Charlie's characterization, is never insipid or weepy. it is always squarely based in quiet emotions (again, think Edward Scissorhands). the other kids get more caricatured versions of children but that somehow fits into the Tim Burton world and it's never used to make Charlie look better. it's always done to entertain. btw, entertain it does. in spades. my friend wasn't too fond of the musical sequences - i actually loved them!! Deep Roy, the man responsible for playing all the Oompa Loompa's (what a job that must've been), was outstanding! we couldn't get enough of him singing and dancing around! spectacularly funny. i had fun. it was definitely an entertaining film. thinking back on it, though, you're not left with much after you walk out of the theater. and you feel Depp's Willy Wonka is more of an amusing creation than a full character; which isn't bad per se - it actually works for Burton and the film. i don't know if it was his intent, but Burton has crafted a weird concoction here - a low-content film (although there is a story, and it is quite genuine) that is actually entertaining, and a ride you gleefully go along with anyway. surprising.

Posted by Sam | 11:17 AM |

i've been kind of busy this past week. the week before, a former coworker asked me if we could do something for the ex's birthday, which was gonna be the next thursday. she said we could do a surprise dinner or something. so we secretly started working on that through the week and got about 15 people in for a lunch for saturday. i told the ex i would take her to a restaurant to celebrate her birthday and then go rollerblading, which she's been asking me to do for a while now. she was happy about that. the lunch was a success and she never even doubted it would be more than just me and her. she was shocked and surprised. mute, even :) then i had another surprise lined up for her. i was gonna take her to Montreal to catch a film and go to a restaurant. we took off. i didn't tell her where we were going. as we were gonna get on the highway i told to check out the film schedules in the paper i had lying in the backseat. i told her to pick a film :) she was excited. i was happy. we had some time to kill before the first film (planned to go see Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and then Last Days because we wanted to see both films but cut our plan short after Charlie because i was starting to get tired and i was nursing a slight headache. we'd also stopped at Chapters so the ex could use the bathroom and i felt like hanging out in there for a bit. plus, it was already late and we had a bit of a drive left before getting home). so yeah. back to my story. we had about an hour-and-a-half to kill before the first film. it was her birthday so i let her decide where she wanted to go. she'd lived three years in Montreal so she knew the place. she said, Mount Royal. i thought she meant the mountain but no, she meant the street where all the used record stores are. cool! so we walked a bit, then arrived at the stores. we browsed about three of them. man, are they cool. of course Montreal a big city so the selection is amazing and you do find gems in each one. i came out with

The Beta Band - The Beta Band
ANNIE - ANNIEMAL
CITIZEN COPE - THE CLARENCE GREENWOOD RECORDINGS

i could've found more but was really happy with those and we were getting hungry and tired of browsing around in the crammed stores. so off we went to the Paramount for Charlie and ate downstairs in the food court. it was delicious (got some japanese noodles with pork). when i used to go to Montreal, i went with the ex-roommate. and she's a different kind of girl than the ex. she can be more easily annoyed and reluctant. so it was more of a burden with her and we followed our plans; which wasn't bad. i always got to go to HMV and stuff. but it was less flexible. with the ex - i didn't even tell her where we were going even though i'd mentioned i had something planned that would take the rest of the fucking day -- and she didn't even ask where we were going! and she said i didn't say where and she liked surprises anyway. lol. what a breath of fresh air. i knew this about her, and that's one of the things i loved from her. that was the most amazing, and fun, thing about the day. and when i asked her if she minded we didn't go see Last Days because i was getting tired and wanted to check out books? no problem. wow. so we spent a good hour at Chapters. me browsing the store from top to bottom and her calling her good friend who lives in Montreal. after much deliberating and figuring out that Amazon had much better prices (to my chagrin because it feels great to actually buy books in a real bookstore), i came out with

Yann Martel - Life of Pi
Random House Japanese-English English-Japanese Dictionary

that's it. that was my little birthday surprise/gift for the ex. hope you had a great day too :)

Posted by Sam | 9:51 AM |

August 05, 2005

VOTE FOR KAYSAR !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
please, please, please do this for me. thank you. and vote often :)

our prayers have been answered!!! Big Brother is letting one of the evicted houseguests back into the house next thursday! and Kaysar was the one evicted last night!! woohoo!! i was actually happy to see him go because it will be that more of a shock for Team Evil to see that a) he was America's Choice b) over Eric and c) he's coming back with a vengence :D ah.....life can be super sweet sometimes.

oh shit! i almost forgot -- HOWIE won HOH !!! that is my favorite houseguest and Janelle would've been the only other player whom i would've been more excited about winning. go Howie!!!!! there couldn't have been a sweeter episode. perfect. just perfect. ps. the HOH comp was splendid, brilliant, and ruthless. Ivette was an ass kicking James off, though :P there you go, stupid people! pps. i agree with Rachel - they need to keep James on. how stupid are they to fall for the weak plan they tried to feed Maggie last week? come on. keep him on and make him feel safe. boot him out later. Kaysar's coming back anyway. wow. James must not be feeling well right now - either Kaysar or Eric is coming back next week. lol :P

Posted by Sam | 1:44 PM |

August 04, 2005

oh god. i've never seen this side of Kaysar, but in this pic they fucking own you. and i was immediately brought to the realization that i'm gonna really fucking miss him starting tonight.......... (King Kaysar, indeed - especially in this pic.) check out the rest of last week's (ie. happier times/pre-Maggie Havoc) HOH snapshots. check out tonight's show for Kaysar's eviction -and- Big Brother's new secret that will send shockwaves through the house. hopefully the twist leaves it open for Kaysar to come back in. they can't lose the best player they've had for years. they really can't (can they?). as for other hamsters - how can you not fucking LOVE Howie? seriously :) btw, there's something really fucked up about James' face and it's bugged me from Day One. even when he smiles it looks weird. and i know why -- his mouth smiles but his face remains numb. at all fucking times! Sarah had the same thing but since they came out as a couple she's been all smiles all the time. but not James. he remains emotionless. (and the 'Sarah is an idiot' comments and controlling what she can and can't eat really don't help softening this image.) i know it's a game but i haven't seen a hint of life in the guy's eyes. it's as if he's already had work done on his cheeks and eyes and his face is frozen solid. it's freaky. he looks dead.

Ricky Gervais' Simpsons episode finally revealed !
goldenfiddle |

Posted by Sam | 3:59 AM |

August 03, 2005

COFFEE AND CIGARETTES
Jim Jarmusch, 2003

7.5
when going into a Jim Jarmusch film, you have to expect some deliberate acting. detractors will simply call it awful. but this film shows what awful acting in a Jarmusch film is. this incredibly uneven experiment revolves around pairings of people talking around cigarettes and coffee. simple enough. along the way you get humor (mostly humor), heartfelt situations, and even some sweet philosophy. there's no real thread running through these vignettes aside from the coffee and cigarettes mentioned in the title. so it's a very loosely-woven film. don't get me wrong, i love to have the chance to just watch and listen to actors do their stuff. especially in Jim Jarmusch movies because there's a transparency and an honesty that shines through everytime. and it's usually absolutely charming. but here some of the pairings, although brilliant on paper (Iggy Pop-Tom Waits, Meg and Jack White, ...) simply do not work -- because of shoddy acting. this revelation came to me during Iggy Pop's segment. he just could not do it (especially paired with the brilliantly funny Tom Waits). i actually felt awkward watching him trying to find his place. Meg White also felt stiff and posing. but -- Jarmusch kept the most charming, and rewarding, vignettes for the end - what with the brilliant Alfred Molina-Steve Coogan team-up, the dizzying GZA-RZA-Bill Murray tag team, and, finally, the wonderfully serene Bill Rice-Taylor Mead segment. is the film worth it? it's a nice little experiment, but if you're not a Jim Jarmusch fan stay away from it at all cost -- except for the last three segments i mentioned which are simply brilliant and show the rest of the cast how it can be done to perfection (RZA repeating, "Bill Murray, Bill Murray" had me laughing silly everytime).

Posted by Sam | 3:21 PM |

August 02, 2005

TROUBLE IN PARADISE (THE CRITERION COLLECTION)
Ernst Lubitsch, 1932

8.0
a delightful comedy about a pair of thieves scheming every which way they can. i must admit that i've been skeptic about those old pleasant and witty comedies from the twenties and thirties. but i stumbled upon a showing of this particular film on PBS a few months ago and was simply enthralled by the short glimpse i'd caught. then a couple of weeks ago i had the pleasure of watching Heaven Can Wait and was blown away by the timing and down-to-earth sophistication of Lubitsch. anyway, this seems to be more about Lubitsch's style than of this one particular film, but please do rest assured that this is one charming, smart film. and it weaves many intricate character plots but Lubitsch keeps it all moving ever so smoothly along. it's quite a breath of fresh air, really. and the performances do not feel dated at all, but are rather surprisingly dynamic and quite knowing. modern, actually.

Posted by Sam | 3:21 PM |

i wasn't gonna post this morning (i really have nothing to share, it seems - other than we're trying to plan a surprise brunch for the ex this weekend; and i'm planning on taking her to Montreal for the rest of the day if i can) but two posts by fellow bloggers caught my eye and i had to share.

Brittany Murphy to, yes, stink up Sin City 2 like she did with Part 1. goddammit. hopefully, though, they bring Marv back. i can't remember if he's in any other story but Frank Miller was supposed to write additional stories for the film(s).

ooh!! hopefully BB heard the fan-love and have picked the right time to start bringing back one of the evicted houseguests - and just when Kaysar gets booted. please make it so he comes back! so far he's been the best player in BB history. it looks the evicted hammies have been put in sequester even though the jury sequester hasn't started yet. something's definitely fishy. summer of secrets, indeed. Julie mentioned it wasn't over yet :)

Posted by Sam | 11:11 AM |

August 01, 2005

just noticed this - Pharrell drops a Voltron reference in his smooth bit on You'll See, a track from Clipse's We Got It 4 Cheap, Vol. 1 mixtape. the dude has recently been revealed as being involved in producing a movie based on the Voltron animated series. ah, a bit of digging: Pharrell will be producing the score and soundtrack to the film (along as producing the film, or instead of?). definitely interesting.

ugh. director Jim Sheridan is the old Hollywood geezer checking out Scarlett's rack. just...ugh.

George W Bush - class all the way.
Jaggle |

i'm actually really happy about the new NHL deal. it's quite a brilliant idea and i'm glad we'll get to see the teams get back on track this season. but -- the new logo is just shitty. grey and 'invigorated'? come on. ugly-ass, is all i have to say. way to win back the fans, NHL. this feels too much like pandering to non-fans. anyway. you suck.
chromewaves.net |

whoa!! Home Vision once again trumps Criterion's announcements by leaking the October releases.
[ the first four films will also be available as part of the REBEL SAMURAI: SIXTIES SWORDPLAY CLASSICS box set. ]

SAMURAI REBELLION Masaki Kobayashi, 1967
SWORD OF THE BEAST Hideo Gosha, 1965
SAMURAI SPY Masahiro Shinoda, 1965
KILL! Kihachi Okamoto, 1968
LE SAMOURAÏ Jean-Pierre Melville, 1967
THE WAGES OF FEAR (All-New Restored Special Edition) Henri-Georges Clouzot, 1953

psst -- the covers are all up. beautiful too. too bad they had to go with a motif on the four Samurai flicks; i think they should've done them all as individual titles. but hey, they look sharp.

Posted by Sam | 12:00 AM |