Posted by Sam | 10:46 AM
March 29, 2006
Posted by Sam | 10:46 AM
March 26, 2006
and i believe they also added a special, net-favorite intro to tonight's episode. not because of Ricky, just because they can. which just makes this THE episode to beat.
ps. in case it gets lost in the shuffle:
scroll down two posts for one of the most talented players in the NHL today, Alex Kovalev, and his unrivaled awesomeness.
the Habs barely get away with a 6-5 win. this was the Pens' game. Montreal was exhausted, mostly making mistakes left and right after the first period.
new rule: never dress Sheldon Souray if he played the night before. the man can barely keep up as it is (thank god he can have a decent shot) but put him in two games in a row and he's a fucking hazard out there. and Zednik? i liked him a lot but that Boston hit a few years ago messed with his brain and now he's reduced to trying to push the puck up the boards and lose it as an opponent grinds him to a halt (each and every time). it's almost sad now. useless. i still say new goalie David Aebischer is having a bum deal out there. 3 games and 15 goals in. but the team playing for him, like tonight, is a fucking mess. but maybe they do play better for Huet because they trust him more. but give him time, people. shit.
[ Habs rant is over :) ]
Posted by Sam | 9:52 AM
March 25, 2006
Spike Lee, USA 2006
i don't like these studio Spike Lee films as much as his more personal work. he is a brilliant director. but i think that's just what makes these films pale in comparison to his more heartfelt efforts. i know he has to do these. or maybe he also enjoys these. but such a director needs depth. well, it's good to see Lee surrounded himself with great actors - Denzel, Clive Owen, Jodie, and Christopher Plummer. at least that's that. and the great Matthew Libatique handled the cinematography. the film does look good (shot almost entirely on a street corner and inside the bank where the heist is slowly unfolding) and the editing is fluid enough make the film's surprising length go by in a minute. i did find a few things to nitpick. first, and the most glaring error imo, are the flashback interviews. not only was their addition minimal to the story, but they diluted the tension by showing, from almost the very start of the robbery, who was gonna get out alive. there was a strange jarring effect to go from the intensity of the robbery to these safe, artily shot interviews back at the station. not the best decision. also. Jodie Foster. who looks fabulous, btw. but she has absolutely nothing to do!! her presence merely adds icy-cool class to the flick but that's it. she isn't asked to do a lot more and it is a shame. Christopher Plummer, on the other hand, aside from playing the old capitalist banker to a tee, has that one scene with Denzel where he simply shines and shows an immeasurable complexity. the film itself is smartly-written by (newcomer?) Russell Gewirtz and it adds enough complexities into its characters to fuel its little engine. there are traces of Spike's brilliance, and he does know how to drive a film, but what remains is still sub-Lee, only because his best work is of such high emotional and personal caliber. but give this one a try on dvd one quiet evening and you'll enjoy it for what it is-- a fun, smartly-written heist movie.
Posted by Sam | 10:09 PM
but--what i'm gonna try to find for you tomorrow, is Kovalev's sweet play with two minutes left in the game. you've gotta see it to believe it. lol. it was awesome.
and now we're in a playoff spot again, one point over Atlanta, and we still have tomorrow night's game against Pittsburgh to play.
ps. lol! check out Gainey's response to Kovalev's action!!
shit, TSN only has the last part, not Kovie's full play, which is the sweet part of the whole thing.
OMG we got it!! thanks to Dalhabs for this: KOVALEV's sweet-ass play :)
make sure you listen to the commentary when the video starts and keep in mind that Kovie knows exactly what he's doing all along :) i'm so happy to be a Habs fan and have him on our team. i love these guys when they play with as much heart as they just did for the last two games against Toronto.
Posted by Sam | 9:58 PM
Noah Baumbach, USA 2005
The Squid and the Whale has an obvious (and distracting) relative in Wes Anderson's The Royal Tenenbaums. the quirky characters, the precocious dialogue, Baumbach's film always brings you back to the revered Anderson flick. but this is Baumbach's film; not Anderson's. so let's see it for what it is. Bernard Berkman (Jeff Daniels) is married to Joan (Laura Linney) and they have two sons, Walt (Jesse Eisenberg) and Frank (Owen Kline). somewhere along the line, things disintegrate. end of story. so it's a small tale of a family falling apart. it feels personal but never bitter. Baumbach is always able to pin the emotional truth of the characters and the actors (minus the miscast, or misread, Laura Linney as the cold mother) surprise you with their candor. candor. i guess that would be the word that best sums up this exercise. Noah Baumbach doesn't use the quirkiness as character traits. they're more flavour than the base of his tale. in that, the tone of the film is more dry and down-to-earth than cartoonish. and i appreciated the melancholic touches (mostly done through Walt's eyes) that Baumbach added. they grounded the film in a reality that touched on the teenage exprerience. it is distracting, but if you can be open enough to look past the Anderson similarities, this film is a funny, touching, quiet, and sensitively melancholic work with some extraordinary performances (especially from Jesse Eisenberg and Owen Kline).
Posted by Sam | 10:03 AM
March 24, 2006
the Isaac Hayes/Matt & Trey episode gets weirder.
just watched the Will & Grace with Shohreh Aghdashloo and i'm saddened to report that the show's writing is still as dreadful and filled with superficial stereotypes as before. it's a shame, really, because they only bring up the clichés and call them racist, but that's as far as they go. and it's shameful to have brought out the great Shohreh for this kind of crap. kill this show already.
i just received my copy of Marc Forster's Stay (starring Ewan McGregor, Naomi Watts, and Ryan Gosling), and am stumped ... the dvd is a fucking full screen/widescreen flipper disc !!! holy flashback, Batman! why would anyone be interested in checking out a full frame copy of a Marc Forster film anyway? the flick didn't even play for more than two weeks in theaters. it boggles the mind, people. it boggles the mind....
Posted by Sam | 12:17 AM
March 23, 2006
Posted by Sam | 12:38 PM
March 22, 2006
the UK dates have just gone on-sale, and no North American date has been confirmed yet. but. Radiohead are in negotiations to bring their rock act to Montreal this June -- for TWO Shows! :D dates coming soon. (indoor shows and no Bell Centre. the Metropolis? it would be an awesome show. those tickets are gonna burn up in seconds.)
just wanna props to Unan1mous, a new reality show that started airing on Fox tonight. the only reviews i could get my hands on this week were atrocious, to say the least. but after having watched the first episode, i gotta say, they've managed not to shit all over the outstanding premise of the show. don't know what the reviews are about, and i doubt any of them saw more than the first episode. 9 people are locked in an 'underground bunker' and can't leave until they agree to award the $1.5 million prize to one person. right now, i'd say the show was kinda riveting. and it could have been edited by the team who brought us the Saw films. it's creepy enough and the premise is cool and mindbending as hell. i'll be watching next week.
Posted by Sam | 10:40 AM
March 21, 2006
March 20, 2006
Robert Mulligan, USA 1962
i finally get what the fuss is about--why so many people simply adore this film! with old classics, we usually get hokey characters, corny rhetorics, and dusty, old values. but this is truly masterful filmmaking. and it actually stands the test of time wonderfully. i was stunned. this is THE film that epitomizes my being. i saw myself so perfectly in this film, like in no other before. i have never related and reacted to a film on such a moral, personal, intrinsic level as with this one. it's a rare experience to discover a favorite film after so many years of jaded cinematic viewing. but i just did. if Atticus wasn't such a strange name, i would name my future children after him:) honestly. the film is about Atticus Finch (oh, unless i use Finch! gotta use that somewhere), a lawyer in a small southern town, his two kids, and Tom Robinson, a black man on trial for raping a white girl. it is about fairness, honour, justice, and standing up for your fellow man. but it's also more than that. Robert Mulligan directs this finely crafted film with such a meticulous hand. he makes it come alive. it's more like theater in that way. the performances are naturalistic rather than flamboyant and pompous. there's a lot of work that went into the film, and yet, the thorough nature of Mulligan's direction is never overdone. it never outshines the characters and their stories. on the contrary, everything just flows better because of it. it's an outstanding job. the film starts out pleasantly enough, making us feel at home in Atticus' and the kids' small community. what i found surprising here was how natural the children's performances were. and they had to be if they wanted the film to work; the three kids are the main characters for a good part of the first act. and they're not corny either, which was surprising. it reminded me of the Spielberg kids back in the day. the courtroom proceedings take up the 2nd part of the film. and it is breathtaking. everything stops for this act and i was left speechless for most of it (Peck's performance during the closing arguments was the only minor flaw i saw in the whole film. it felt as though he was under the weather a bit, especially compared to the rest of the film where he simply shines through and through). every actor here is stunning (i even found the prosecutor's performance fascinating!). this section is all dialogue and is handled with so much flair. they never try to dazzle us. it's all about the brilliant dialogue and pure acting -- especially Brock Peters' deafening sobriety as Tom Robinson. there is an eloquence in the examination and testimonies that is, again, simply breathtaking. this is a film filled with sensitivity and a searing honesty that's rare in most films. we are lucky enough to have this in our midst. do not miss this exceptional piece of work. noble, just, and graceful.
Posted by Sam | 11:30 AM
March 19, 2006
Jean-Pierre et Luc Dardenne, Belgique France 2005
i will start by saying that Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne did create a wonderful film with L'enfant. it's a film where the lead character is a despicable, vulgar man. he is by no means evil. they, and actor Jérémie Renier, make that clear - he is simple, genuine, and naive. but they never make you sympathize with him. never. which i appreciated a lot. and that is why this is a hard film. so you decide whether you're the kind of person who can stomach a vile character through a whole film before watching this. i really did enjoy this film. but - i am still unsure, and puzzled, by the ending. i will not spoil it for you. all i'll say is that i was sure there was one last scene left once the screen went to black. but no. the credits rolled and i sat there, along with 98% of the audience, stunned. in the dark. which is not to say that it's badly done (because god knows the brothers have shown us how amazing they can be). i will give them the benefit of the doubt. but it is puzzling. the playful fighting between Bruno and Sonia, meant to lighten up the austere mood of the piece, and, most importantly, show us how these parents are still kids, felt forced. i didn't appreciate that and i started to get intensely annoyed by them after the 2nd and 3rd time. the intent was too obvious on the part of the directors and too contrived from the actors. aside from that, the actors (all the actors, including the young thieves) created some incredibly natural performances. Jérémie Renier does a spectacular job of seemlessly navigating the innocence and self-centered nature of Bruno as if they'd always been identical. it's a flawless performance. going back to the film. it's simple theme did lack some depth (you pretty much get the "message" from the title - if there was a message, that is. i'm not sure. this was my first Dardenne film) so i'm pretty sure the goal of the film was simply to observe Bruno in his natural habitat (which is a stellar achievement to pull off while keeping your audience). although there are a couple of annoyingly flawed scenes, my experience of L'enfant was a thoroughly enjoyable one. this is an easy recommendation to fans of cinéma vérité.
* what?? Bruno was 20 years old?! Jérémie Renier never convinced me of that! on the contrary, i was under the impression he was playing a guy in his late twenties - hence the tragedy of both his situation and behaviour. his face is too old. (oops. the actor is 25 years old. lol. good luck with that.)
** sidenote - i was hungry and tired while watching this film. not the best way to be focused. also, the enjoyment of this flick was marred by the man sitting right behind me. at one point, i started hearing short shuffling/stroking sounds. and for a good 20 minutes, on and off, i was under the impression he was, you know... pleasuring himself to a fucking Palme d'or winner. or the back of my head. i was in shock so i didn't turn around. i just sat there, stunned. after a while, he stopped. both aggravated and frustrated, trying to watch this quiet flick, i told myself i'd turn around the next time. sure enough, after a short while, the sounds started again. so i turned around... only to find he was nervously shaking his legs. annoying as hell in a silent theater but nothing to berate him about.
Posted by Sam | 9:28 AM
March 18, 2006
the early 90's rocked!
Posted by Sam | 12:59 AM
March 13, 2006
Harold Ramis, USA 2005
Harold Ramis' The Ice Harvest passed through theaters unnoticed during the holidays. the trailer looked smart and promising, but dark comedies have a way of eluding mainstream audiences. and it did. their loss because John Cusack delivers one the finest performances i've seen from him. he does the lightweight stuff as always but here he adds an earnest and somber quality to the part that i hadn't seen before. Oliver Platt (remember Flatliners?) actually steals his scenes as the drunk friend Charlie (Cusack) carries along through the night. of course Billy Bob Thornton is as good as always but here it feels a bit too much like his recent crook characters. we've seen him do this enough times by now. he can do it in his sleep and it's not that interesting anymore. serviceable, but doesn't add anything new. Connie Nielsen is the only weird performance i couldn't peg down. it came out of the old Film Noir vixens but it didn't quite fit with the Fargo tone of the film or with Cusack's more down-to-earth quality. the film, two crooks' attempt to pull off their final heist (on christmas eve), and the ensuing escapade through the night, is about Charlie trying to figure out who he is through this whole ordeal. The Ice Harvest is a good film and a nice way to spend ninety minutes. just don't expect it to leave a mark on your cinematic plate.
Posted by Sam | 12:51 PM
March 11, 2006
that's it. just semi-venting.
btw, the Habs won their first post-Olympic home game tonight, a game that followed an emotional farewell to former Habs (and Rangers) legend Boom Boom Geoffrion (i couldn't help but tear up when they showed his grandkids breaking down on center ice. i know what it's like and i feel for the family each and every time). 1-0 against the red hot New York Rangers. and another shutout by Huet :) with this win they also move into 7th place, one point ahead of Tampa with a game in hand. the Has and the Lightning will battle it out monday night.
ps. Will Ferrell was at the game ???! (scroll down.) wow. apparently they showed him holding up a no. 5 sign (Bernie's retired number). well, there you go. someone spotted him in Montreal four days ago.
Posted by Sam | 10:35 PM
March 09, 2006
i cannot believe this. on the eve of the trade deadline. we knew Gainey was gonna do something, what with calling back the team to Montreal in between away games, but this is astounding. mostly because a few weeks ago Gainey had let it be known, or rather, alluded to, that Théo's job was safe. there you go. the Colorado Avalanche get Théo (with maybe a very hush-hush hidden injury) and we get their #1 goalie in David Aebischer. you gotta love Gainey for coming up with the most secret (and biggest!) of trades while dealing in a hockey city like Montreal. i don't know much about Aebischer (i heard the name a lot over the years) but i'm willing to bet he's more than worth it - and there's supposed to be something else for later on today. this is exciting hockey :)
we knew Gainey'd come through. he's never let us down once since he got here.
Aebischer said it, "Montreal is special because it's the Mecca of hockey."
info's quickly coming out about the Shirley/David Arnold writing sessions. and from people who should know :)
Posted by Sam | 12:25 AM
March 07, 2006
5:00 PM - 6:00 PM
6:00 PM - 7:00 PM
uh...C. Thomas Howell, folks :P and i didn't even recognize him until a good 20 minutes after he was introduced. lol.
wow. it didn't started off too stellar for the group at CTU (compared to the previous, brilliant episode) but things quickly unraveled towards the second hour. brilliant, brilliant, brilliant. that's all i have to say. can't wait to see the next hour (hopefully they'll need at least an hour to decontaminate CTU). and they keep bringing in known actors out of left field for this season. and i'm ecstatic each and every time. they started opening up the world of 24 with Season Three (but that was kind of a mess) but now they sure know what they're doing by bringing in solid performers (Twin Peaks' Ray Wise!!!) who can handle their own storylines without annoying the fans and actually engaging them in their own non-Jack adventures. bravo. hopefully they keep going at it with this newfound energy. btw, we're at the half-season mark already :)
holy...SHIT!! reading others' recaps made me realize i totally forgot two of the most important moments of these episodes. one of the most jaw-dropping moment EVER -- Jack shooting Myriam in THE FUCKING LEG ("above the knee, so she can walk!") about Edgar!!! that was one of the most heartbreaking moments EVER. and you can't argue with me on this. the end.
and lamest moment of what should be an intense moment? Curtis & Co running with the nerve gas bomb through the hospital ... like frat boys playing hallway football! but they got it back with the containment case and ensuing cool opening of the bomb and release of the gas. i wanna see more of that.
i'm also glad Chloe pointed out to Kim that everyone who knew about her father being alive was now dead. yay for that.
come to think of it, those were a pretty bad-ass couple of hours.
i told you last week they were packing more stuff into these episodes than ever. and they're not losing us in the process. they're good :)
Shirley Manson has started work on an upcoming solo project! :)
finally. just a few months ago she was talking about the guys' different projects they'd be working on during the band's hiatus. she mentioned maybe doing a solo album but she had no idea how she'd go about it or who she'd be working with. today we have the first real look at this project :)
HA! Gregory Itzin and Dennis Haysbert - golf buddies :P
seriously, i've been saying it since the start of Day 5, i truly love how that man's performing this season.
Posted by Sam | 1:33 PM
March 06, 2006
i must admit that was an amazing surprise. don't get me wrong, i was all for Brokeback winning the thing, but it's all good since all of the films nominated last night (except for Giamatti the boring Cinderella Man) were honest pieces of filmmaking. it was an amazing year of the Oscar noms. btw, i'm not sure if i was more shocked than the Crash win, but there was happiness mixed in with it when Three 6 Mafia won for It's Hard Out Here For A Pimp! (and getting actress Taraji P. Henson to sing her chorus was a great touch. i loved her voice in the film and seeing her again made me realize how she could have gotten an Oscar nod this year.) and anyone see Jon Stewart exiting the stage as he wished us all goodnight, then hesitate and stop as he reached the edge of the stage? Jake Gyllenhaal rushed up the steps to thank him or say something nice to Jon :) that was cute, i thought.
as soon as they did another short, right after the hilarious Narnia video, i was afraid SNL would run the idea into the ground. well, they've got a third one already but it's an amazing one - Natalie Portman (seems NBC is tracking down their Digital Shorts again. assholes. don't they get it? go to their page if you wanna get it [ i'm not linking to them ]). here's hoping Adam and Chris don't run out of juice.
(btw, why can SNL rap about Bitches but Taraji P. Henson has to clean it up to Witches for the Oscars? and if it's about having presentable Oscars then why did the Academy nominate a song with Bitches in the chorus? wasn't the song good enough in the first place? just a tiny rant.)
i missed the Oscars' intro last night. here's the impressive opening (i guess they were banking on a Brokeback/Clooney sweep, uh?).
Posted by Sam | 12:40 PM
March 05, 2006
Montreal CANADIENS 6 Tampa Bay LIGHTNING 2
yeah, that's right! 6-fucking-2.
we're in eighth place right now, the last spot for the playoffs, and Tampa is in seventh. they were 4 points ahead of us before tonight's game. now they're at 2 with an extra game played :)
Chris Higgins scored after only 12 seconds of play :) he also scored the second goal of the game later on in the first period. then, after a long bout of penalties, both teams couldn't get a handle on anything. later on, after Tampa finally got a couple of pucks in to make it 2-2, Zednik, Ribeiro, Kovalev, and Bulis scored in the third. needless to say, it was a bit humiliating for the Lightning; but awesome for our Habs :) the Habs have had a habit of losing leads in the third this season. actually, they made it their life's work. now we're 3 and 0 after the Olympic break. keep 'em coming, boys. one at a time. oh, and Théo? take your time resting up. Huet is steady as hell, doing a phenomenal job in net.
Posted by Sam | 12:48 AM
March 03, 2006
March 02, 2006
oh, btw... hockey's back ;) and the Habs won 5-3 against the New York Islanders tuesday night. they're playing Florida tonight; their 2nd of a six-game road trip. it feels great to have (NHL) hockey back in our lives :)
and we're playing street hockey on the pond at work during our break when the weather permits :) it feels awesome to play some kind of regular hockey and it gets the blood pumping :) i love it.
Posted by Sam | 12:51 PM
March 01, 2006
4:00 PM - 5:00 PM
yeah the chatter thing is still a bit ludicrous. i mean, come on. Bush invented that. or someone in his administration told him that was how we got teRrists. anyway. aside from the dialogue getting a bit silly at times, spelling everything out for us, the se episodes are just getting better and better. fuck yeah, they are! and somehow we're following a few threads at once and no one's minding and they're all being expertly exploited. i haven't even scratched the surface of the limousine attack, Logan's moral dilemma, Mrs. Logan and Aaron, Audrey, Chloe, Edgar, and Curtis (oh, and don't forget that Kerry's also been reinstated:). before, this would have been a mess of an episode, but now, they've got their art down. i'm seriously impressed.
btw, Henderson leading Jack to his death like that? brilliant. i had a hunch when he opened the big safe door but then he got in with Jack so i let it go. he got me :) and how fucking awesome is Jack Bauer?? he lives up to the Quote Generator. Jack Is Back :) don't mess with him.
now, i got a question: how long will Audrey let Kim hang around LA before actually bringing back to CTU? i know she left her a message but come on, the woman forgot about her 5 hours ago. lol.
and Sean Astin's unraveling? deliciousy yummy. they're getting some damn outstanding performances this season (Jean Smart, i want you to get an Emmy nod next fall).
send all the necessary info to my PDA.
Posted by Sam | 2:46 PM