Shadow of the Vampire

Went out to see Shadow of the Vampire last night after I got off work. Not bad at all, though not quite as good as I’d hoped it would be. The previews had made it out to be a little more creepy than it ended up being — while it wasn’t strictly played for laughs, it wasn’t as much of a ‘horror’ film as I thought it might be. Definitely worth seeing at some point, though — Willem DaFoe just seems to relish has part as Max Schreck. They also occasionally do an incredible job of taking film stock from today and altering it to look as if it had been filmed on the equipment of the day for certain scenes.

One of the few downsides of the movie for me was actually Carey Elwes. Even though I’ve been a fan of The Princess Bride for years, and think that Carey did a great job as ‘The Man in Black/Wesley’, almost nothing I’ve seen him in since then has impressed me in the least, and I’m afraid this is another one. My main curiosity with his character for most of his screen time was actually just what sort of accent he was supposed to have…it certainly didn’t come across as German to me. Ah, well — a good matinee flick, but I can’t quite recommend a full-price show, and it won’t be a keeper once it hits video.

In other news, I just got a call from Suncoast that a movie I’d ordered has come in — Kenneth Branagh‘s Love’s Labours Lost. I’m all sorts of excited to see this one…I think that Branagh consistantly creates some of the best screen adaptations of Shakespeare, and when he decides to present this one as an almost Busby Berkely-style musical, complete with 40’s style dance numbers, I’ve just gotta see it. Besides…I’m still working on building up my collection of Shakespeare adaptations. Ones I know I’m missing that are on DVD at the moment are the recent stylized Romeo + Juliet, and the production of Othello with Laurence Fishburne. If only Branagh’s full 4-hour long version of Hamlet would come out!

1941 toepick cannibal line

Now — the newest additions to my movie library. Big surprise, huh?

1941: While this is definitely far from the best of Steven Spielberg’s movies (some would say it’s the worst, though I personally reserve that particular honor for Jurrassic Park: The Lost World), I’ve always thought that there were certain pieces of it that shone far and above the rest. The fight/dance scene in the USO club, for example, is one of the most amazing pieces of coreography I’ve seen, and I get a real kick out of watching it every time.

The Cutting Edge: It’s fluff. I know it’s fluff, and nothing but fluff. But it’s fun fluff, and nearly everyone I know who’s seen it agrees. A silly little romantic comedy about a pair of skaters — one figure, one hockey — going to the Olympic Figure Skating championships…well, okay, fluff. So sue me. “Toepick!”

Manhunter: The first of the (soon to be) three movies involving Dr. Hannibal Lecter, this mid-80’s film directed by Michael Mann is an incredible thriller, seen by more than a few critics to be better than The Silence of the Lambs. It’s certainly my preferred portrayal of the good doctor — though he’s not nearly as central to this story as he is in SotL, I find this version’s more subdued take on Dr. Lecter much more chilling than Anthony Hopkins‘ somewhat over-the-top version. With Michael Mann’s directorial style, I found myself to be very impressed by this first chapter in the semi-series of films surrounding Hannibal “The Cannibal.”

The Thin Red Line: I have to admit, this one’s still on my to-see list. However, the high number of stellar reviews I’ve heard of this (both around the ‘net and from friends who have seen it) convinced me to give it a buy — especially since Fox has just re-released it with a newly enhanced anamorphic picture and DTS soundtrack. Now I just need to find the time to set aside to watch this one uninterrupted, as I’m told that is by far the best way to see it.

So — not a bad haul this week. Woohoo!

Occasional downtime

First off, about the downtime for the past few days. This may be happening on and off for a while. I’m working on my CD collection again, which often necessitates switching my ‘puter over to Mac OS 9. As my webserver only operates when I’m running Mac OS X…well, no webserver when I’m working. I’ll do my best to remember to switch OS’s before I leave for the day, however there are no gaurantees. Most of the time things should be up and running, however.

Balls and beats

Bowling balls and musical beats, that is…

I don’t even want to know what you were thinking, you perverts.

Anyway, apparently my bowling game actually is improving — my average is up to 111, and tonight I managed to pull off a good three sets: 134/125/136. Not bad, considering this is the first time I’ve ever bowled on a regular basis.

I also may have an opportunity to start spinning again…albeit in sort of a cheezy fashion. The bowling alley in Muldoon is one of the ones in town that does Neon Bowling on weekend nights (blacklights, smoke machines, fancy lights, and loud music — everything you need for a good night of bowling, right?), and they’re looking for a DJ for their Saturday nights. I’d have to restrict some of my set a bit — as a “family establishment” I’d have to stay away from anything with swearing, overt sexuality, or drug references (which, I have to admit, knocks out a fair amount of the more popular tracks I own)…and while it’s not exactly a dance club, it would at least be spinning again. I’m thinking about it…not entirely sure yet, but you never know….


I so don’t enjoy being sick. Came down with a really nasty flu virus a couple nights ago that has just knocked me for a loop…no fun at all. Worked all of about 3 hours yesterday, made it through 7 today…but am feeling better, though, so hopefully will be back to normal (whatever ‘normal’ is defined as in my case) by tomorrow. The worst part about the whole thing, though, was on top of battling the flu and feeling like crap, plus I spent all of today battling really strong hiccups too. Not a combination I’d recommend.

In other news, I picked up the 2-disc collector’s edition release of Disney’s Dinosaur today. Should be fun to play with. The only question will be how much of it I can make it through before the NyQuil kicks in.

Why I collect movies

Every so often I get people expressing amazement, wonder, or just shaking their heads in confusion when they see my DVD collection, either by checking the listing here on my site, or coming by my house and seeing the bookcase full of discs. I just found a page on the ‘net that had a really well-written explanation of why I (among other people) enjoy collecting movies, so I’ve added it to my site. There is a link to it in the contents listing on the home page (underneath the heading for my DVD list), or if you’d rather, you can just start reading.

Apt Ringers? Dead Pupil?

Two new ones today — one of which I’ve never seen, and the other I’ve only seen part of. Yes, I do this on occasion…luckily, very rarely come up with a real dud.

Apt Pupil: This is the one that I haven’t seen yet…but it’s been catching my eye for months now, so finally broke down and bought it. It’s directed by Bryan Singer, the same director who did The Usual Suspects and, more recently, X-Men; from a story by Steven King; and stars Sir Ian McKellen (who is generally wonderful in anything he does). The general rundown is that Brad Renfroe plays a 16-year old honor student who discovers that a neighbor is an old Nazi (McKellan) in hiding. He tries to blackmail the old man into telling him stories about the war, but eventually gets the tables turned on him in some form. Looks a lot like the kind of thing I enjoy, so I’m giving it a shot.

Dead Ringers: This is the one I’ve only seen bits of. The big kicker that gets me to spend my hard-earned money on it? It’s a David Cronenberg film (one of the most wonderfully twisted modern directors), and it stars Jeremy Irons, another of my favorite actors. Irons plays a set of identical twin gynecologists, and the movie explores what happens when a woman comes between the two. With Cronenberg’s usual style and Irons’ amazing ability to take any role and add just the perfect level of unsettlingly creepy airs to it, this should be a very fun one.

Unfortunately, my roomie just started watching Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, so I don’t get to watch any of my movies. Bleah. Shmuck. ;)

A dark day for buttrock

Well, just found out that Metallica’s bassist has quit the band. I guess it’s kind of a bummer…never been a huge Metallica fan, but never really disliked them either. Oh, well, these things happen.

I’m just kind of curious how long it’ll take before we start hearing news stories about the majority of the Mat-Su valley slitting their wrists in dispair…. ;)