Tederick.com: November 2008 Archives
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November 30, 2008

Guy in the Sky

November 29, 2008

The Japanese are a resilient people.

Akira Kurosawa, who has been dead for 10 years, is directing a new movie.

Apparently it's not actually a screwup like that time the IMDB said that Dave Tebby was co-directing Darren Aronofsky's next film. Kurosawa's son is reportedly Christopher Tolkiening one of his father's unfinished works in time for Kurosawa's centenary. (Yes, Christopher Tolkien: you are a verb.)

Well, that puts it all in perspective, doesn't it?

Living like a king

If you had somehow guessed that this is the third day in a row I've been wearing the same underpants, you wouldn't be wrong. They're pirate underpants! You think pirates changed their underwear every day? TRICK QUESTION, DUMBASS, pirates didn't wear underpants. They are the very definition of "free n' easy."

Tomorrow I am shooting my first movie in well over a year, and since I don't really count This Thing Is Bigger Than The Both Of Us anyway (for good reasons, not bad reasons, don't freak out), let's say it's actually my first movie in well over two years. It is, both intentionally and not, close kindred to Standoff, the movie everyone dislikes except me and Daniel and Demetre, who at the end of the day are the only three people who I really wanted to like it anyway. No coincidence that the three of us alone will work on the new flick. I would be pleased if the outcome were similar.

Having now exonerated Star Trek: Nemesis, I will shortly be exonerating The Phantom Menace. Can you believe it's been nearly ten years since that shit? I archived a clip from Global News back in the day, y'know, the one where I notably declare TPM to be my generation's Woodstock... boy. Heady fucking times they were.

In the meantime, I have just absorbed a nice rosewood table into my homely home, and will shortly cast out for dinner parties. My living room smells like basement, but over the course of the coming month I shall make it smell like merriment. (Merriment=turkey.)

November 28, 2008

Star Trek Nemesis Appreciation Day

Shit, I really hated that movie for a really long time. I looked at it again this week because they were selling it in the bargain bin at Wal Mart for five bucks. (Everything I loved in childhood, for some reason, seems to meet its ignominious end at Wal Mart. Often do Jason and I fondly recall when a young Wal Mart staffer curtly informed us in 2001 that "Star Wars is over.")

Anyways, Nemesis is still by no means a good movie, but it's not as bad as I thought at the time. The problem isn't actually John Logan's script at all, it's just the degree to which director Stuart Baird had no fuck of a clue what he was talking about. The material dies on the vine because the director has no idea what to accentuate or how to play the drama.

Add to that, literally every deleted scene would have made the movie better. The stuff they cut out is like what was left out of the theatrical cut of The Two Towers - all the character beats and grace notes. The movie doesn't play without them. There's a scene that was cut following the wedding, for example, which I'd say is fairly fundamental for establishing a relationship between Picard and Data that makes what happens at the end of the movie make sense. Without it, you're left saying "uh, did they just kill Data for no reason?"

Other things seem to have improved a bit with age. The Nosferatu aliens seem a bit cooler and less derivative, now that vampires are "in" again. Fat Riker seems more Falstaffian than Jimmy Doohany. And whereas back in 2002, Shinzon's whackshit purple cloak / armour seemed like a refugee from a Prince music video, six years further on it just seems more like something I'd like to wear whe greeting guests at my home.

And finally, the big thing (and it is certainly, obviously a serious error in judgment) is that I realized that the story is probably actually Shinzon's story, not Picard's. From Shinzon's point of view Nemesis could almost be grand tragedy - it sorta sucks to be the insane clone of a better man - but told from Picard's POV, the stakes seem lifeless, because they are. It's the same basic flaw that undid First Contact, a movie whose popularity pisses me off to this day: the villain is always in the weaker strategic position than the hero. But if you invert the gaze and watch poor Shinzon just try to creep out from under his genetic benefactor's shadow, Nemesis is actually reasonably engaging.

Got a new Star Trek movie coming out, and everyone is in a damn hurry to wipe the entire Next Gen era right off the map. I guess with the presumed "end" of the story having been such a ripe wet fart, it makes sense to want to desperately claw back to the beginning. But I'll miss my old team.

This happened to me once, and my childhood never recovered.

Especially when my mother walked in and said, "why are you ripping your clothes off in front of Mr. Wonderful?"

November 27, 2008

Mumbai is burning

The good news today is that my friends and colleagues in Mumbai are safe; the obvious bad news being that many people in the city, unfortunately, aren't. It's been a very dispiriting day, overall. We have a handful of Tederick.commies in that part of the world, too; if you're reading this, we are certainly thinking of you.

Sometimes when scary or sad things happen, or even if I'm watching a particularly glum episode of television, I call my girlfriend and tell her I like her. Well, come to think of it, I do that most days anyway.

On the good days at my job, I am essentially doing an impression of one of two different people who have been my bosses in my time at the company. On the really good days, I'm doing a combino-impression of both. Today was one of those days, and the good days always make me reflect on how much those two people added to my life. Earlier this week, though, was one of those days where I was doing a rough interpretation of the arrogant wanker I was in high school. We call those "bad days." On those days, I deserve whatever swordplay and stormy waters I get into. A minor slap-fight is small price for being a pigheaded noob.

Working late tonight, but from home, where my lovely couch does what I need it to do, and my task list takes care of the rest.

"Have you ever had the dream where the Cannonball is crawling up your leg with a knife in his teeth? Cuz I have." - Me

Meltyface indeed

That is some spectacular grossness.

I'm pretty impressed overall. The price is way too high for an un-armoured figure, but the attention to detail is frickin' fanatical. The meltyface swap-out head is not actually the exclusive (the really expensive Ark of the Covenant is, for those who want it), so everyone gets to partake of the meltyface fun. Plus, he comes with every other damn thing right down to the unfolding coat hanger. This will be to next year what the Hot Toys Joker was to this year - the one.

November 26, 2008

The Time of Your Life, Part 4

I ain't gonna spoil Batman for ya. I'm gonna spoil Buffy.

Issue 19 is not the best issue of the comic series so far, but it's the issue where the comic became great - not great as in superfantasticwondertime!, but the other great, the great of scale, and purpose, and power, and meaning. And if it didn't damn well happen when Buffy had to kill her best friend, it sure as hell happened a few pages earlier with something as simple as Gunther saying "surf" where the rest of us woulda said "turf." Like my own personal Giles told me a few times back in the day, it's in the words. It's in the language.

It's a sloppy piece of comic bookery, three months too late and obviously drawn in a hurry, but damned if it ain't the piece of the story where, sorta somehow kinda, Joss and his folk proved to me that this whole Season 8 thing actually needed to happen, after all. That it isn't just an also-ran, and that it isn't just a piece of the story, but that it actually has the capability to be something a bit more. That it had to happen here, not on a TV show and not in a movie, but right here in the funnybooks, to be the thing that it needs to be.

Think about what we've had so far that could only ever have happened in paper and ink:

  • Giant Dawn fighting Giant Mecha Dawn in the streets of downtown Tokyo
  • Willow's power, and where it comes from
  • The final, anguished moments of Renee's life, told from her fading point of view
  • and, of course, Sarah Michelle Gellar getting her lesbianic freak on with her first, best lieutenant.

And then sweep all that aside for a 4-issue mini arc in the distant human future when the entirety of our characters' actions has been shown to be a trivial blip in an otherwise uninterrupted ongoing churn of regular, mean-spirited old life; think about the last thing Willow says in issue 17 - "only time" - ; and sorta shiver a little bit, when Erin is cradling Fray in her arms on an unchanged rooftop on the last page of issue 19.

This story takes some fucking chances, man.

p.s. is Xander in love with Dawn?

Dallas

DID! YOU! KNOW! that Umbrella Academy Vol. 2 starts today with issue #1 of Dallas? I wonder if that's city Dallas, TV show Dallas, or captain of the Nostromo Dallas. (Speaking of which: working lights!) I guess we'll find out in a few short hours.

I messed my hair up a bit this morning in an attempt to look emo like Gerard Way or Spider-Man Three, but my hair doesn't work like that. I did, however, spontaneously dance.

Also, today is the day that Batman theoretically either dies, retires from crimefighting, or turns into a giant elk or moose. I'm betting on the latter because Batmooseman is not only a great idea for a comic, but is also the name of a city in Turkey.

For those interested, Michael Crawford's review of the Sideshow Indy figure - which looks in some ways better than I expected, and in some ways worse - is here. I cancelled my order on this a few months ago in a fit of pique, because after all, toys are for little kids. (Still no word on meltyface Toht, by the way.)

And that's yer geek news for today.

November 25, 2008

ZOMGSPOCK

I'll say this for Abrams and his wankers; the new Star Trek movie wasn't real for me till right now.

Boy. Sometimes your raw, irrational affection for the most fictional of fictional characters can really surprise you.

November 24, 2008

My love is a fever

Howdy internet, I am as giddy as a 13-year-old girl-who-just-saw-Twilight-on-the-weekend today. (Differs from other days... how?) I had a beautiful weekend of champagne and candlelight and overall awesomeness, and feel that I have been properly romanced. The freight train of workplace bitchiness that hit me at 9:45 a.m. didn't even phase me. Didn't even phase! Woo. It's all rose petals and starshine right now.

The big news of the day is that my days of Google-translating phrases will soon be coming to an end, as Sarafina and I will be taking French classes in the winter. It is my anniversary gift to her but also me. Francais! It's been on the "I've been meaning to do this pile" for almost as long as it was on the "I will never need to learn French" pile, which itself merely replaced Mme. Zaleski's assertion that absolutely, no matter what, I would regret dropping French in grade 12. (She was right.)

Once we have conquered French, it will be on to Italian, followed by Japanese and finally Mandarin, with side tours in German, Spanish and Portuguese, with the ultimate goal being, essentially, to be Indiana Jones. (Differs from the usual goal... how?)

Further in terms of expanding my mind, I am finally attempting The Silmarillion, after ten years of dithering. I expect to be finished in 2012. Meanwhilst, I went back to yoga on Saturday for the first time since the 24th of June, and compensatorially received a lovely massage last night to keep me from actually going insane with aches n' pains. Wow! Muscles! We used to be friends!

November 23, 2008

Dr. Pepper deal not available in Canada

This is what I get for being slave to a foreign country's popular culture.

November 22, 2008

Burrito WHAT?!?!

The Burrito Boyz split up and Joe took Burrito Boyz South and Ian took Burrito Boyz North which is the little one underground that we all think of as "Burrito Boyz" but Joe has the right to the name "Burrito Boyz" so Ian has to rename Burrito Boyz North and he's having a contest at Burritowhat.ca to rename the restaurant and you can win five hundred dollars if you name it but right now there's a big sign outside that just says "Burritos!" and it terrifies me and this is why Chipotle is going to win the burrito market for Toronto and Matty Price said this is why bands pay millions of dollars a year for therapy because fucking up a partnership is a bad idea especially in these harsh economic times I'm freaking out!!!!

November 21, 2008

You are here

Not only is Chinese Democracy actually coming out on Sunday, not only can you actually listen to the whole thing right now on MySpace to prove it, but the Dr. Pepper thing is actually happening too. Get your free Dr. Pepper coupon for 24 hours starting at 12:01 a.m. on Sunday morning.

Do it even if you hate the substance, because they owe us, man. They owe us for 1994 through 2008, man. They owe us for the last three tracks of The Spaghetti Incident? and the first two tracks of Lies. They owe us for the rock n' roll.

Here's where we're at as of this week:

  • The TTC makes me so angry I want to punch chickens
  • Werner Herzog's Nosferatu does not suck
  • Harmful to Minors turned out to be a surprising page-turner
  • I would be indebted to anyone who knows where I could find peppermint-striped pieces of 8 1/2 by 11 paper.

Meanwhile, here's an experiment you can try at your job. Don't turn your computer on. My computer ate its brain on Tuesday night and it took security and tech support a stupendous quantity of time to stop scratching their ass holes and actually fix the problem, so I spent Wednesday morning computerless, and was inspired to go the entirety of the day in like kind. I'm an e.learning guy. I needs me some computin'. But just leaving that godawful box in a drawer and sitting on the other side of my desk, working only with my phone and a piece of paper, was relatively liberating. I had my feet up a lot of the time, and I looked out the window somewhat, and I listened to music. I had useful conversations and stirred shit up. Give it a try, if only because when the apocalypse comes, you won't have your computer anyway. Be more of a pirate than not, is all.

Cleaning clown-goo off my fingertips and looking forward to an anniversariffic weekend.

I killed a clown and this happened

Shoulda nixed a leprechaun, they explode.

Perhaps you would like to have a conversation with THIS??

Nothin' says Christmas like a Nazi doll! Woot! He'd better come with a glowing poker and an alternate melty-head (the latter to make up for the cancellation of melty-face Toht from the 3 3/4" Hasbro line).

He could also have a little pull-string on the back that makes him say "Net." And he could come with Mohan, that Mongolian feller. And springs in his legs to make him jump up and down in the snow. HOLY SHIT - what about a puppy. Toht could totally eat a puppy.

November 19, 2008

The Benedict Chronicles: Milestone's

"...as plate after plate of fluffy poached eggs, cartilaginous peameal, and lakes of sunshiney goo continued to pile up over time, I realized that if I don't start catalogueing these excursions in some formal manner, a great field of human knowledge would be lost. Hence, the Benedict Chronicles..."

My ladyfriend took me to Milestone's for brunch yesterday; nominally she hates Milestones, and after sixty or seventy Milestone's business lunches across from my office, I do too, but we were in the mood for ... well, something, whatever the fuck Milestone's is (it involves very large, heavy menus, and dance music), we craved it yestermorn. And so we went.

I feel sorry for whatever genuine benedict revolutionary the Milestone's food designers stole the Grilled Shrimp California Benedict from, but it's a damn good idea. This relatively extreme variant on the traditional benny (also offered on the Milestone's menu) displaces the peameal bacon for a ring of grilled shrimp, a few strips of regular bacon, and a pillow of "avocado salsa" which really just means "restaurant guacamole." It's a goddamn tremendous idea for a meal, and carried off well in this instance; if it weighs somewhat heavily in the "food management" column (i.e. getting all of the relative flavours onto one fork is nearly impossible due to their varying degrees of scoopability), it's still tastes wonderful. And it's actually possibly the prettiest benedict I've ever seen, all baby yellows and pale pinks and rich greens. Photography doesn't do it justice.

At $14ish, though, it's a small meal. The home fries are not the best and there aren't a lot of them, and that garnish is not enough to balance the other side of the plate. For the cost, you feel a bit cheated when you're hungry again 2 hours later. Nonetheless, grilled shrimp is a flavour I'd like to see in my benedicts again. I am awarding three eggs out of four.

The Milestone's in question is attached to the Scotiamount theatre at Richmond and John in Toronto. The Benedict Chronicles is an ongoing, non-regular series.

November 18, 2008

An ocean tumbled by...

The production of that Wild Things movie remains very, very interesting to watch...

The denial twist

Adam and I's crack scheme to buy each other do-it-yourself muppets for Christmas was tagged and bagged by the sudden unavailability of the product on the FAO web site, in favour of the same kind of "I.O.U." they used to deal out when the Star Wars figures ran out back in '78. Still, the notion is goddamned appealing, especially since we are entering into the project double-blind (i.e. Adam will design a muppet of me, I will design a muppet of Adam, and neither of us will see the other's designs until the toys arrive). Plus, this saves me the bother of ever having to figure out how to make a muppet of Stanley J. Keramidas. FAO can make the muppet Stanley for me, and muppet Stanley could then co-chair my team meetings from here on out.

Less than 2 weeks out from shooting Guy in the Sky and everything is peppermint paper and rock n' roll. I'll even have lavolier mics this time around - lavs, and no storyboards. I'm flying a whole new kind of plane this time around, and if things go really well, I'm gonna figure out how to shoot something on the Scarlet next year. I even have something like a mission statement, the rules of which I am consistently breaking on a daily basis but regardless, folded up in my wallet right now, alongside a poem that I like quite a bit. Inspiration started small but once it got going it was everything good and loud about the world.

In the meantime, I am Indiana Jonesing one step ahead of the giant rolling ball, until at least Thursday at 3. I have my boots on to help me with this.

"Well if service providers could think, there'd be none of us here, would there?" - me at a team meeting, paraphrasing Obi-Wan Kenobi

"Pickles are ruining my life." - this woman

November 17, 2008

Everything you need to know about the Star Trek trailer

  • Overall, my stance is neutral.
  • They probably think it's cute to start off with young Jim Kirk driving a car off a cliff, but as a viewer my response isn't interest in seeing what happens to that kid, unless what happens to that kid involves "kept away from my kids." It's a highly unappealing introduction to a character and will be difficult to dig out of.
  • Not a single frame of Nimoy in the whole damn thing.
  • Already, Bruce Greenwood as Christopher Pike is my favourite thing about the movie, just like Jeffrey Hunter as Christopher Pike is nearly my favourite thing about the entire original television series.
  • They've nailed Bones.
  • The big red non-anthropomorphic space alien is awesome.
  • The frames are unilaterally dense and packed with visual information, which in this edit reads like clutter. Every shot seems very "busy," not just in terms of onscreen action but simply in terms of the quantity of objects photographed. If it's done correctly in the final edit this is not a problem, but in trailer form it makes it very difficult to get anything of worth out of the cut at all.
  • I wonder how Zoe Saldana feels about having her sole contribution to the trailer be her boobs.
  • Sulu appears to be fencing.

November 16, 2008

How did I miss this...?

The fact that something I have been hoping for since I was about 15 years old, being a boxed set of the majority of the music from the Indiana Jones trilogy (yeah fucking TRILOGY), including the lion's share of unreleased stuff from Temple, went to the stands this week and I had no idea it was even in the works, sorta makes me nauseous for some reason. But there it stands.

Really wish I hadn't bought the Skull soundtrack in May.

Mamo #126: Quantum of Mamo

If you liked yesterday's review of Quantum of Solace, you'll love today's Mamo, where I basically state the same opinion and even occasionally parrot the same lines. Well that's what you get for thinking out your review while you're watching the film.

If you haven't joined us on Facebook yet, well, why haven't you?

November 15, 2008

Quantum of Solace

If Casino Royale made it safe to be a man again - to enjoy all the things that Playboy circa 1962 told us to enjoy, nice suits and Beluga caviar and cars sexier than the women who share the chilled drinks - then Quantum of Solace displaces that pleasure for the other oldest masculine pursuit, hella killing and beating shit up. But where Royale ended with the feeling that Bond had definably gone somewhere, this outing dangles in the abyss of potentially going nowhere. The emotional dystopia of Quantum of Solace might make sense given the ongoing narrative, but it's nothing like fun.

Click here to read my review.

Götterdämmerung

Brothers, sisters of the faith, it was at three in the morning when I was sitting in couch-bed watching Batman Forever on VHS and trying valiantly not to puke, that I reflected to myself, this is the lowest I have ever sunk. Now crouched over this feeble laptop in the neon horror-hole that is the McDonalds across the street from my house - that Dawson's Creek song is playing, to give you an idea of How and Why this is Hades Infernal - and anxiously circling the McMuffin which will either heal all my ills or murder me (either the skunk or me must die, certainly; neither can live while the other survives), I cast my eyes bleerily forward. No wines. No more wines.

Soon I must go north to grapple with Quantum of Solace, which is getting unutterably shite reviews, which either means I am going to hate it with the Lord's vengeance or spend a year wondering aloud why people don't understand how awesome it is. Time to kill before then, though; reading Harmful to Minors is proving as upsetting as watching Lake of Fire two years ago. Americans and their hypocrisy - well, everyone and theirs. The whole verdammt planet. A family - three girls and a mum - trying to scrabble back across the street in the rain, to the hotel, where their wet weather clothing must be waiting for them, because they certainly are not here. All three kids in t-shirts and thin Lulu pants, on a rainy Saturday in November in Toronto. That's sloppy parenting.

The McMuffin has passed. I live. The coffee is tasting better with each sip, which must be a horrible sign. There's a sale at the Snail, but I do not have my metropass. I love. Maybe a rain shower will do me good.

November 14, 2008

The end is the beginning is the end

The hair on my temples is greying. I'm old.

Here's some Watchmen.

November 13, 2008

I am nominating the intersection of Lawrence and Allen Road as the worst place in the city.

Some people might be inclined to call it the armpit of creation (because armpits smell) or the asshole of the world (because assholes make poo), but I'm not gonna. Because armpits are rather lovely in their way, aren't they? And assholes don't deserve your sass. But Lawrence & Allen Road just sucks.

Whoever designed the Schumacher Batmobiles was bugfuck crazy.

I guess that goes without saying. But I'm repeating it anyway. All those lights and dildo ribs and S&M edges. It's like someone had a bad dream about a night in a domination bar, and vomited when they woke up.

I'd like to think George Clooney still has his, somewhere.


Impatience

I wasn't entirely sure what I was gonna get when I popped in the Firefly blu-rays, but holy damn am I glad I did. It's a bit like watching the show for the first time. I even (and I never do this because it is generally a disappointing practice) side-by-sided the sucker with the old version and the difference is mouth-watering. Worse things than popping in "Serenity" for a few minutes of pretty before you go to work on a grey and tiresome Thursday.

Meanwhile, the other Serenity hits shinyblu on the last day of the year. Which might time out right with me re-watching the show right now. I realized in viewing these disks that I don't think I've watched more than a handful of these episodes since about a year before the movie came out. Which feels about right - enough time to be surprised again.

Hey, here's a tall piece of crazy: the score for The Dark Knight is ineligible for the Academy Award. So was Batman Begins, probably the score that did the most work for its host movie of anything in the last five or ten years. The Academy is, once again, miles behind where it needs to be.

November 12, 2008

All I want for Christmas, 2008 edition

Sending it out to Babs Yuen, oldschool, on the day of her birth.

Yeah.

In the meantime, I am still the sort of 32-year-old who makes Christmas lists. This is because I am an obsessive control freak with sloppy spending habits. This year it goes like this:

A new winter jacket for the snowboardin' - I got rid of my old mega huge-o parka in a secret promise to myself to never ever ever have to wear that godawful thing again.

A steamer trunk - I think this would come in dead handy. Apparently the Amish make them, no doubt out of their fondness for long sea voyages.

Young Indiana Jones, vols. 2 and 3, on DVD - you're out of your mind if you buy these at HMV. But online, they're only mildly expensive rather than prohibitively so.

Flash by Benjamin - I enthused about it here.

Obviously, I wouldn't be stupid enough to say no to the BMF (Big Motherfuckin' Millennium Falcon), though I've no idea where I'd ever put it. I sort of miss my Queen's Royal Starship. Meow.

Other DVDs from my wishlist, especially the "Needs," and anything from my Chapters wishlist, which can be found under my main email address. (If you don't know it, you don't know me.)

Some nice socks.

Edit: Adding the Indiana Jones soundtrack boxed set.

November 11, 2008

City of Batman sues Batman.

Possibly the greatest news story ever written.

"There is only one Batman in the world," [The Mayor of Batman] said. "The American producers used the name of our city without informing us."

The Pirate King of Singapore

This Matthew Brown is now officially taking back the name.

Apparently I'm Linky McGee today:

Will Smith's bratty kid to play next Karate Kid. Hopefully Abigail Breslin will play Elizabeth Shue.

What if The Matrix ran on Windows. (What if people who had this level of filmmaking sophistication made actual movies instead of wasting tens of thousands of dollars on stupid parody crap.)

The Watchmen debate stirs some more with these posters. I guess no matter what happens with the movie, at least we'll have something to talk about between now and then.

And, post- our Herzog watching on Sunday night, Demetre reminded us all of this incident, wherein Werner Herzog is shot during an interview, and utters perhaps one of the three greatest dismissals in the history of man: "It isn't a significant bullet."

I do rather adore the purple underwear.

November 10, 2008

Rehearsing Guy in the Sky, November 9 2008

These stills beg the question, what could this movie possibly be about that doesn't rhyme with "shmomoerotic shmubtext."

kcaj-wercS

I would like to offer a retraction: if you actually read it all at once instead of pieced out over months and months, and if you really concentrate and maybe write a few things down and then read the whole thing a second time, Batman R.I.P. is not incomprehensible. Actually it's not a bad bit of story. It's still being told in way, way too elliptical a manner to really be enjoyable, but it doesn't suck. It was interesting enough to make me look up some Morrison interviews about the run online, and he was interesting enough to make me cash into Final Crisis, and that's interesting enough to make me look warmly enough on the whole affair. I'm all up with the DCU, suddenly. To everyone to whom I owe an Animal Man lender copy - I will try to get that done this week.

Screw-jack

Yesterday afternoon Daniel and Demetre rehearsed a few different versions of an idea I had written and now I have Frankensteined together an actual script using sticky tape and initiative. It will be my first movie in well over a year, and might even go to camera before the beginning of December (but barely). After rehearsing we also watched My Best Fiend, which is about Werner Herzog's relationship with an egomaniacal actor named Klaus Kinski, and also Werner Herzog Eats His Shoe, which is about Werner Herzog eating his shoe. I am going to be Werner Herzog for Hallowe'en. Daniel, who will be in Germany at the time, will be Klaus Kinski.

I also had banana bread ready when D & D came over, because it does not suck to work with me. I am doing more cooking - honest.

I was disappointed to learn that Sideshow has put their Lord of the Rings 12" figure line on hold, which basically means on cancelled. Apparently sales were weak. Kicking off with a shite Aragorn, charging $70 a head for hobbits, and those goddamned excruciating belt-loops on Faramir and Boromir... they've had some troubles. But boy, this Gandalf is pretty. I wish I could afford it. I'm sure they'll resuscitate the affair come Hobbit season, but I was rather hoping for opportunity for a Gandalf the White. Ah well. Seems rather strange to think that a couple of years from now around this time we're actually going to all go see another (kinda) Lord of the Rings movie... I wonder what that will be like.

Freezing my fingers clean off right now, actually typing with gloves on in my office. I will go home later, more writing, more VHS dumping to data, fixing the Final Cut Pro problem and maybe some editing of rehearsal footage. Getting back on track, big ugly gears, but moving.

November 9, 2008

Labyrinth of the soul, thy name is Sobey's

My new(ish) apartment is exemplary in almost every detail with one notable exception: the grocery stores are horrible. I hate them. I actually hate them, like you'd hate a person or a president. They are so fundamentally, bafflingly mismade that I will often wander their completely incoherent and disorganized aisles in a state of near apoplexy, trying to find the most basic staples of human consumption like milk or flour or meat. One of the stores is a Dominion in Carlton Court; the other is an ugly dwarvish Sobey's. Both are open 24 hours - this seems like a bonus, yes? But what good is the 24-hour availability of grocery stores, when the aisles are stocked with nothing but despair, the tills are staffed not by the damned but by the rejects who could not even pass muster as the damned, and the haphazard physical layout is so mind-alteringly incomprehensible that it would make Rubick himself sit upon the ground and shit his pants? At the Sobey's, for example, the baking goods are found, in portions, in three separate aisles. Oats are in aisle 1, flour is in aisle 2, and for chopped walnuts or other finishing products, you'll have to go all the way to aisle 4. Tortillas are at the front of the store, rolls are in the vegetable aisle, and for all other breads, go to the back. At the Dominion, cheese in some form is found in every single aisle. Every single one. This ready-at-hand convenience might seem helpful to some, but try keeping which cheese is found where straight in your mind, and you will find your neurons slowly warping themselves onto the path of total senile dementia. And none of these goddamned establishments carry deluxe KD. Oh, I hate them. I hate them so much.

November 8, 2008

Chinese Democracy is actually coming out?!?!

Did I fall asleep and wake up in the future??

Wait, who's president of the United States?

[checks]

OH MY GOD...

Burden of dreams

Woke up this morning with a depression hangover, my whole brain and body hollowed out and dried by a vortex of the nasties last night, a perfect storm of every stupid thing that is stupid wrong with my stupid life, 15 Portraits of Despair. I think most days I would prefer not to have a brain, and that's not even counting the days where the brain actually turns on you and through cunning and concerted action starts to make hopeless every corner of your miserable soul. If I did not have a brain I would be married with 2 kids and a third on the way, and I would have a savings account and would know how to cook meals rather than parts of meals. But I suppose the whole week was awful, and relatively speaking I got the light end of the awful-week stick anyway, so riding out the bad till dawn and then getting up and making a better day of it today seems like a trivial inconvenience compared to the alternatives. It's all just chemical soup. Disgusting.

Now I am sitting in one of the Starbucks where you must claim a seat before you can even order a beverage, if you hope to sit at all; if you go dutifully to the line upon entering the store and then try your chances with finding a seat you will be standing. This is because of the nature of the space that is Starbucks, as though the space itself is trying to prevent you from finding solace. I am wearing what are now my very favourite pair of pants. They are my pre-weight loss jeans. I think perhaps the secret to happiness must be buying pants which are at least five inches too large for your waist. They are excellent for walking. Last night on the way home from Brantford and while sitting in 4 hours of gridlock on the QEW, I promised myself repeatedly that at the next exit, I would get off, find a place to walk around or at least sit comfortably, rather than continuing the interminable crawl, but I never did. I think this too is a form of insanity.

Steven Spielberg's Oldboy

Stop the world, I want to get off. That is suicide-inducingly bad.

November 6, 2008

Let the Right One In

When we meet Oskar, he is so coiled up in the aimless void between articulation and action that is the life of a child learning what it is to be an adult, that he is literally standing outside in the cold stabbing trees, hoping for the day when those trees might be replaced by humans. This boy needs a hobby, and badly. Why take up lacrosse, though, when you can get your vampire girlfriend to revel in showers of your enemies' blood?

Click here to read my review...

November 5, 2008

Franchise fatigue

Pirates 4 watch: ongoing. Elliot and Rossio back, summer 2012 they're saying. You know what, I cannot fucking believe they are making another one of these things. I'm the biggest Pirates trilogy fan here, and even I am so mugwumped by the very idea of bothering with another story that I can't get all the way to believing it's real - not the "oh my god, oh my god, oh my god!" kind of I-can't-believe-it's-real, but the other, "they've gotta be kidding me" kind. I was watching a bit of At World's End this morning - you know, while I was getting dressed, like every morning - and I just started feeling seasick. I'm foured out. You know who would make a great villain for a fourth Pirates movie? Aliens from another dimension, that's who. Let's leave it be.

Meanwhile, I am trying to sort out whether I actually like Grant Morrison's Batman comics or not. I got scared back into the run by this whole "R.I.P." business (Batman dead? Retired? Or just batshit crazy?) and this final arc is proving utterly incomprehensible thanks to Morrison's seeming distaste for connecting any of his pages to the pages before or following, but I also went back and looked at some of the early work in his run on the comic, and it actually does make a kind of weird sense, if you look at it with an eye closed or in a mirror or something. Plus, that Joker issue, "The Clown at Midnight," remains fairly goddamned incredible reading. And the promise of a Gaiman-penned come-down from the Morrison run at least lends the thing the semblance of significance. 881's just such a weird number to close on.

I am finally going to see this tonight, easily several months before Hollywood will have a chance to start fucking it up. (Apparently I'm now protective of intellectual property I don't even know if I like yet.)

November 4, 2008

Lando for president

Billy Dee Williams is a national resource, a national treasure, and Nicholas Cage.

So today's the day. 10 p.m.: Barack Obama wins the presidency. 11 p.m.: Matt is forced to retire his "African American president = imminent asteroid attack" joke. While things like this still make me feel that we'll see a black gay Muslim woman in the White House before we see an atheist get past the first primary (in a nation which was, no matter what they want you to believe, founded not by bible-thumpers but by a nice cadre of rationalist land-owners), it could end up being a pretty cool day.

November 3, 2008

The Steven Spielberg Appreciation Society

That wasn't really the genesis of the costumes, but it was an unexpected side effect.

Don't get me started on the poser Jack Sparrow in the background, or his ferocious moonshine.