Monday, June 12, 2006

If it's important, I'll remember it

The downside of blog-as-diary/journal is that sometimes I think of things I want to write here at inconvenient times (such as, say, on my commute home) but by the time I get to a computer, I've either forgotten what I wanted to write or gotten distracted... and forgotten what I wanted to write.

For instance, there was a father's day-type thing I was going to write, sort of a tribute to my Dad. I had it all plotted out on the drive home, then I got home and had to do something, like pee, and by the time I booted up the ol' computer...

Poof. Gone.

Then the other night, in bed, dozing, I thought of a post - just a few random points/thoughts for the day.

Then I dozed off. By the time I woke up...

Poof. Gone.

So while you've been deprived of a few blogs by a combination of forgetfulness and work exhaustion, you've gotten this one.

Almost a fair trade.

I've been hacking away at another Web project this weekend: The Raiders Research Project.

It's probably only of interest to you Raiders fans out there - do I actually have any among my readers? - because what it is, is a compilation, or the beginnings of a compilation, of lots of random Raiders information. There are lineups, there are NFL Europe allocations, there's other stuff. And it's all just beginning.

Of course, it's also the rantings of an anal-retentive/obsessive-compulsive fan, so it's not exactly for the masses.

And I can't Web program for squat - believe me, y'all should be as grateful for Blogger as I am that this looks the way it does, forget those fancy blogs like Stewie's or Crystal's or some of the others in the ol' blogroll - so it's an ugly, ugly looking set of info.

But it's the research contained therein that's the selling point, and I'm quite proud of my efforts so far. I hope justly so.

Good news on the Silver & Black front: I've completed my Raiders media guide string - I've got every one since 1970, now that I won the '73 on eBay. Now on to the '60s and the postseason - I've got a few, but not them all.

This is Dave's fault - he managed to land every single Flyers regular-season media guide ever (that's going back to '67-68, when the Flyers were part of the Second Six in the NHL) and that sort of inspired me onward. And cost me a fortune.

Random movie review: "The Alamo" is every bit as dull as critics said. Skip it unless you're a big fan of history, or from Texas. Patrick Wilson, a fellow Carnegie Mellon alum, is quite good. The rest, I could take or leave.

But if there's one thing "The Alamo" got right, it's the recent trend of long-ass movies, and I don't just mean the "director's cut" versions - so many movies clock in at two hours-plus these days... I think in some cases, that's good, and some bad. It gives movies based on novels some extra depth - which is always my complaint with movies based on books. Take "Jurassic Park." The book is an excellent bit of science/action fiction. The movie is a big chase. Not a bad flick (it's in my collection) but nowhere near what the book was. Longer movies, more depth, more character, more interest.

And sometimes, unfortunately, just more time in your life you'll never get back.

What to make of the trend? I don't know yet. Horror and action movies aren't known for being lengthy and full of character development.

Watched a bunch of movies today, doing laundry (still not done, damn five-hour dryer), but I didn't finish the CW book I'm working on, "The Army of the Heartland," by Thomas L. Connolly, about the Confederate Army of Tennessee. That slightly irritates me, because a) it's a bit dry; and b) "Book of the Dead," the third book in Preston & Child's Pendergast Trilogy, is out and in my grubby hands, and I want to get to it. I've only been waiting like an entire year.

But I can't read more than one book at once. I just can't. I get confused, and forgetful, and if you think that's not a problem, you should've seen the father's day post I should've written.

A quick DVD summary, from my recent first viewings:
• "Munich": Excellent. Very, very tough to watch. Bloody, heavy, but important. And none of the schmaltz that occasionally invades even the serious Spielberg (i.e. the bookends of "Saving Pvt. Ryan"). Very powerful. Also long as hell, but worth it.
• "Skyhigh": Fun Japanese flick from the director of the most excellent "Versus." Chicks and swords are always good times.
• "Mr. and Mrs. Smith," director's cut: Almost as disappointing as the underwhelming theatrical cut. Pretty people, some good lines, some great action, but just somehow unimpressive. I wasn't impressed with the theatrical cut when I saw it, but I heard the DC was a little more smooth, a little more raw, so I went for it.
• "Alive": More foreign fun from Ryuhei Kitamura, but this one didn't make nearly as much sense. But man, the dude makes some excellent movies, just for the imagery and chaos and combat. I preferred "Skyhigh," and prefer "Versus" to both. But still pretty slick. And for "Versus" fans, a little more Sakaki-vs.-Sakaguchi action.
• "Underworld Evolution": Also disappointing. I enjoy the original "Underworld even if it is more style than substance (much, much more). But this one didn't have the style OR the substance. Promising start, then all downhill.
• "Stay": My buddy Anthony loaned me this one and asked me if I could figure out what it was about. Hell if I know. I was completely baffled. Movie made no sense. That's the problem when you mess with reality in a movie - it's like, what's real and what isn't? (No jokes, Lesley.) But in the end, if I read it right, 90 percent of the movie is pure, 100% bullshit. At least it was only an hour 40.

If you're wondering why I'm tossing some little summaries up here rather than writing big ol' reviews for HorrorTalk, well a) most of those movies aren't horror; and b) do you have any idea how long it takes to go through all those features and write the review? Some of those are 2-disc sets, and I might get to the second disc (which in some cases includes a second VERSION of the movie) sometime in 2007. I don't review as much as I should, but I don't review everything I see, either. And frankly, the movie most likely for me to review would be "Underworld E" and I just don't feel like sitting through it again right now. Just too much of a bummer.

I recently bolstered my undersea adventure DVD collection (to join "The Abyss") by picking up three little flicks:
• "Below": An underrated little submarine ghost story written by Darren Aronofsky (who did that movie about drug addiction everybody liked so much but I've never seen and can't remember the title of) and directed by David Twohy (who did "Pitch Black" and whose flicks I generally dig).
• "DeepStar Six": A crappy full-frame DVD for a frankly crappy movie I bought more for sentimental value than anything (see below).
• "Leviathan": About the third copy of this I've owned. It's the same movie as DS6, just better.

I've always liked undersea flicks, and this goes back to the late '80s, when a buddy and I desperately wanted to see DS6 (which has some awesome cover art) when it hit the new release shelf at the local video store. (This is back when Bloomsburg didn't have a Blockbuster or anything, just the (late, lamented) local place called Hollywood Video before the chain existed.)

But DS6 was always out.

So we must've rented every other undersea movie we could find (including "Abyss" and "Leviathan") while we waited until the day one of us went into the store and - lo and behold! - DS6 was there.

And boy, when we saw it, were we disappointed. Certainly wasn't worth the wait.

Which brings me back to "Underworld E" and my upcoming preorder blind buy of "Ultraviolet." Thank God Anthony lent me "BloodRayne" before I had to buy it.

Dr. Uwe Boll must be stopped. The only result of his marginal improvement from truly godawful movies ("House of the Dead") to generally hideous ones ("Alone in the Dark") and then a backslide to "Oh, dear Lord" country ("BloodRayne") is that his movies have stopped being so bad as to be funny in their awfulness. "HOTD" may have been the worst movie I ever saw, and could have spawned a drinking game if it had any consistency whatsoever - though it's ridiculous whipsaw inconsistency is part of its charm. But "BloodRayne" just sucked. Bad. So bad, the studio couldn't even get a cover quote from David Manning - the DVD box says something at the bottom like "Exciting action!" with no attribution, which means the studio put it there because it would've looked bad to leave the box blank.

This is a flick with a literally bangin' Kristanna Loken sex scene and it still wasn't worth watching. And the hair. The worst collection of hair in the history of cinema, I'd guess.

Bear in mind, this movie has a cast that includes Sir Ben "I won an Oscar for 'Ghandi'" Kingsley, Michael "Reservoir Dogs" Madsen, Loken from "Terminator 3," Matt Davis, who was good in the aforementioned "Below," Michelle "Resident Evil" Rodriguez, Michael "Eddie and the Cruisers" Pare, Meat "Rocky Horror" Loaf and the jackass who's stunk up the joint in every one of Boll's movies.

I might point out, "AITD" had Christian Slater, Tara Reid (who at least kept most of her clothes on) and Stephen Dorff.

What, does Boll have compromising photos of everyone in Hollywood? How the hell does the guy get these casts? Did these people not SEE "HOTD"? Do they not know ANYONE who did?

Hell, Boll's first film, the straight-to-cable "Sanctimony," had Cap Van Dien from "Starship Troopers," Jennifer Rubin and (again) Michael Pare, plus the hot blonde chick from the beginning of "Club Dread."

I mean, this guy gets a couple million bucks to make a video-game movie every couple of years, and he's making Paul W.S. Anderson (who started the VG-specialist trend with "Mortal Kombat," "Resident Evil" and "Alien vs. Predator") look like Orson freakin' Welles.

I don't know the exact budget for "Dead Hunt," but it sure wasn't a million bucks. Wasn't even $100,000. And it's better than all Boll's movies put together, I swear to God, except for the Slater factor and a couple of bangin' sex scenes (Loken and Davis, plus Van Dien and the hot blonde). And when I say better than all his movies put together, I realize that, mathematically speaking, anything times zero is still zero, but you know what I mean.

A couple of random shoutouts, while I'm insomniac'ing and hopped up on caffeine waiting for my laundry:
• A congratulations to my pal Triple-M, who I know reads this even if she never posts comments - she got the new job she's been looking for, at the paper she was looking to get to.
• A get well soon to the aforementioned Lesley, who's got a bad case of something besides the long-distance luv.
• And a few congratulations to the aforementioned Stewie, who was crowing on his blog with good reason about "DH" and other matters.

Munkee roll call:
• Mookie, who has his own Mini-Mookie, thanks to eBay.
• AeroPasquale, from AeroPostale
• Mini-Monkey, the New Jersey Gladiators' mascot
• Rally Monkey, official and from Anaheim
• Flyers Rally Monkey, who I wave at games
• Green Flying Wicked Monkey, who doesn't actually have any wings to fly
• Bonsai Munkee, liberated from the Hallmark store, who grew his own prehensile tail
• Neon Green Upside-down Monkey, who has his own a prehensile tail
• The cool evilmunkee action figure Stewie gave me - scary evilmunkee!
• My bestest munkee bookends ("Big munkee sit. Little munkees puuuuuuuullllllllllll!")
• Two other sets of munkee bookends, not quite so nice
• Two strings of squeaky munkee Mardi Gras beads (girls love 'em!)
• One giant munkee World of Wonder poster (yay!)
Did I miss anybody? I think not.

OK, I think my laundry's almost done, and I'm pretty sure I'm officially delirious. So let's call it a night.

Mood: Goofy (can't you tell)

Have you noticed I'm a very momentum-based writer? This was going to be a short little post, then I got on a roll with the random thoughts...


jin said...

LMAO at your 'writing style' in a good way, I assure you! Ever since I started, a whole 3 months now...I keep scrap paper in my pocket for when I get those random blogthoughts. Of course, the scrap paper gets filed, once filled, on my mountainous desktop along with hundreds of other scraps of, maybe you should just forget that I recommended the whole scrap paper idea in the first place...heeheehee.

p.s. I LOVE horror the point of being called "an incredibly morbid little girl" by my 2nd ex-sister-in-law.

p.p.s. Everybody is blogging tonight from insomnia because it's a full mooooon. Aaaarrrrroooooooooo!!!

Stewie said...

I thought "Stay" was a nice looking movie, but boring. It's been done better.

"Below", on the other hand, rocked.