Archive for the ‘ Waxing Poetic ’ Category

Casino Evil, Cahearno Evil

Birthday weekend included a few too many ginger martinis, a fantastic dinner at Perry Street and a taking-in of Casino Royale with Cinema Companion, JonFoss and Glennis. Despite my general disinterest in the Bond franchise, I loved Casino Royale. We left the theater talking about how hot Daniel Craig is and made fast friends with some girls at the crosswalk who were willing to wait for a few light cycles to pass in order to have a conversation that fully appreciated the man’s hot body and Blue Steel eyes.

I loved the opening sequence of the movie, too. All retro-y cards and poker chips and guns that shot hearts, spades, green clovers, blue diamonds and purple horseshoes, it was visually stunning. Or at least really colorful. I was trying to find the credits to post them but even YouTube doesn’t have them so take my word.

So while my Google search of “casino+royale+opening+credits” was unlucky, it did bring me to the Christianity Today review of the film which is a thorough, good review but contains two dialogue boxes at the end of the review that make it great. In “Discussion Starters”, we’re given some thinkers, like:

1. Do you think there are jobs in the real world that require people to, as Vesper says, “switch off” morality? What are they? Would you be able to put aside morality for a job? What do you think that does to a person? Do you think bad deeds can be good if they are done for the overall good?

2. There are two scenes back-to-back in the Casino Royale hotel that show a difference between how Le Chiffre and Bond both treat women in danger. What does this juxtaposition say about both men?

3. At the end Bond says, “I thought he had my back. Lesson learned.” And then Vesper at one point tells Bond, “You have your armor back on.” What does Bond learn in this film about how he must live his life? Why does he need this “armor?” And what exactly is it?

4. Who do you think is clearly “good” and “bad” in this film? How is this grayish world often seen in pop culture lately. Why do you think that is? Is the world more black-and-white than this?

If only I could have written the essay portion of my SAT II’s based on questions like that. I definitely would have gotten into more than one college if I could have expounded on the morality of James Bond instead of whatever the crap I had to write about.

The Family Corner section of the review also cautions parents:

“the film perhaps should be treated as an R-rated film for intense sequences of violent action (lots of gun play, beatings and blood), an intense scene of torture involving a man’s scrotum (the impact is not shown but heard), sexual content (typical Bond euphemisms and unmarried characters rolling around with clothes on or under covers) and nudity (while female characters are often in skimpy outfits leaving little to the imagination, the “nudity” refers to a male character sitting nude in a chair during a torture scene, but nothing is shown).”

True, true and more true, but when you spell it all out like that it seems so excessive and ouchie. Besides, who could concentrate on scrotal torture when all you saw was rippling chest and sparkling sense of humor that persevered despite it all?

So here you have my high praise of Casino Royale in 17 syllables.

Acrobatic chase
scenes and foxy blond Bond thrill
boys and girls alike.


Labor Day Haikus!

A six-day weekend and only four movies watched. Kind of a failure of a weekend, I say. The rest of the time I was outdoors walking around, breathing fresh air and (do not tell any of my family or fellow native Massholes) taking in a Staten Island Yankees Vs. Oneonta Tigers game. I can’t believe I actually clap, clap, clap-clap-clapped after “Let’s go Yankees!” It was a momentary lapse of judgement, just some minor league pity! That’s all! While I could probably fill half a dozen haikus with lush descriptions and anecdotes of Scooter the Staten Island Yankee, that’s just not what I do. On to the reel poetry…

Little Miss Sunshine

Greg Kinnear is a
Man with a Van and a daugh-
ter who moves and shakes.

Downfall downfall

Nothing says “Happy
Labor Day!” like the final
days of The Fuhrer.

24 Hour Party People

Sigh. My new-wave dream
come true. Where Mondays were both
so Happy and Blue.

Working Girl mel

She had a head for
business, a bod for sin, and
a voice for neither.

This will spoil The Descent for you. I am warning you now.

My Companion-of-All-Trades and I have been busy doing all sorts of air conditioned things, like watching the Food Network (Hooray, Feasting on Asphalt! Boo, Semi-Half Assed with Sandra Lee (featuring her Semi-Homemade Boobies)) and watching Jeopardy! (Hooray, College Tournament! Boo, portion of the show where really bad personal anecdotes are told about your visit to the Great Wall of China. What is: I don’t know how to tell a story?). We also went out yesterday so we could be productive members of society and saw The Descent, the movie where six female friends vacation together and all end up on the same cycle. DEATH cycle, that is!

So here’s the rundown of (really) the scariest movie I’ve seen this summer, The Descent, a.k.a. Pirates of the Carabiner.
First there’s “Sissy Spacek-in-Carrie”, our protagonist, Sarah.

Sarah’s had it rough, and as such, she is the one we are rooting for since she is depressed and on meds and finds solace in doing extreme climbing in the Appalachians.

We are most definitely not rooting for Filipino Lucy Liu, a.k.a. antagonist Juno whose morals are questionable and who does not always put safety first.


Then there are the incidentals, you know, the people who are definitely gonna die. Like… sisters Rebecca and Sam who are seen here in the newest Calvin Klein ad for “Spelunk” parfum.


Between blood and stalagmites lies….Spelunk. They are a helpful duo, Rebecca being a pro-climber, Sam being pre-med, neither of them fated to do anything useful with those skills cause they’re gonna get eaten.

And two others who don’t have any pictures online but one of them is a very butchy Sporty Spice type named Holly who likes taking risks and the other is Beth, a British voice of all things reasonable. Imagine Hugh Grant’s sensible female friend in like, every film he’s ever been in and that’s her. Only she dies here.

It’s a horror movie! People die! You know this! I warned you!

I was so anxious during the film that I actually stopped eating popcorn for like five minutes. No food in Liz’s hand =s-c-a-r-e-d. Even without any blood and death, the first third of the film built up tension perfectly. I know I’ll never go hiking or climbing again!*

While a lot has been made of the original or “British” ending which was released in the UK and how it’s superior to the US version, I have to say after seeing both (thank you, You Tube!) that they are both creepily satisfying.

Finally, I have to give some credit where it’s due. Court Street Cinema in Brooklyn, kudos to you for allowing parents to bring their 4-year-olds to this film. If they don’t learn about blood-filled, claustrophobic deaths now, when will they?

Haiku Review of The Descent
You and your best pals
wouldn’t get killed if you stayed
in and watched TV.

*I never have.

Miss Independence

I changed jobs (one of these days I’ll have a career) a year ago this week. I decided to quit assisting people at an investment firm (thus also quitting a daily wardrobe of black pants and pointy shoes, yearly bonuses and amazing stories about stupid rich people) so I could start assisting people who worked in advertising (thus starting a lower salary, but getting an education in how to effectively market eye drops and gum). Truly, the two biggest factors in my taking the job were not the potential to advance my career or be more financially secure (see the part about the lower salary above), they were the fact that I got to wear jeans, allowing me to be a slob every day and not just on the weekends, and the crazy vacation time we get. (I tend to do a lot of things for the wrong reasons. Savor the anticipation of a future post about how badly I want to get married, but only so I will receive things from Williams-Sonoma without having to spend my own money, and also because I already picked the music I’m walking down the aisle to. Oh yeah, and I can’t wait to love the same person forever and share a life together. With stuff from Williams-Sonoma.)

For all holidays that aren’t Christmas, we get a 4.5 day weekend at this job. For holidays that are Christmas, we get at least a week. So, while everyone else I know has to make Sophie’s choice about whether or not to take personal days or use flex time or to just suck it up and work, I am dreaming about how bad I feel for them as I sleep in until noon. This weekend was no exception. The holiday started Friday at 1pm (although Boss took Thursday and Friday off and while the cat’s away, this mouse will click every link on Gawker and do nothing for as long as possible, so really, even though I was at work, the holiday started at 5pm Wednesday). But for real, who else starts celebrating the July 4th holiday at 1pm on Friday, June 3oth? No one. So I did the only logical thing to do, I went to the movies with co-worker (and person responsible for getting me this glorious job) Maggie.

There is no better way to say “America, you’re beautiful!” than to watch The Break-Up at a $7 matinee in Brooklyn. From it’s overt celebration of property laws and home-ownership, to the representation of strong, successful women due in no small part to the suffrage movement, to the proud celebration of capitalism and nationalism during the opening scene which is set at a Cubs game, the film was the quintissential choice for a (New England) Patriot such as myself.

The Break-Up
New Yorkers would have
stayed together for the sake
of the apartment.

I also saw Wordplay and The Devil Wears Prada during the weekend because the heat could only be beaten by immersing myself in air conditioning that is powered by American-invented electricity.

Three down: two word name
for seventeen syllable
synopsis of film.


The Devil Wears Prada
Meryl looks chic as
a silver fox while she eats
Anne Hathaway’s soul.


Veni, Vitti, Vice-y

I’m not good with vices. Not that I’m prudishly anti-vice, but I have a low physical tolerance for just about everything except candy and now that I am an adult (in the most minor sense of the word – if stages of life were employees at a corporation I would be a junior associate adult or perhaps an intern working for adult credits), I am what is known affectionately on college campuses as a two-beer queer, someone who gets the stumbly-mumblies after a Solo cup or two of beer that doesn’t even have color to it. But, probably to my parent’s relief (and their surprise, I imagine) I am neither bad, nor am I even drawn that way. I feel guilty when I stay up late, as if the success gods are frowning on me and taking away any health, wealth or wisdom I might have gained from an extra 2 hours of sleep. And in typical “fear of God and death” fashion, I assume that I would be that girl, the one who decided to take a drug and then die the first time she tries it. Unfortunately it is my physical and mental inability to enjoy the seedy side of life that makes it hard for me to understand most classic Italian films of the 1960’s.

To me, La Dolce Vita was beautiful but it reminded me of one of those uncomfortable nights you spend with an acquaintance you don’t know that well but with whom you decide to leave the Halloween party, go to their dorm, drink boxed Southern Comfort-based shots, wonder why you are there and then find out later that their roomate went to the hospital to get his stomach pumped and you go with him to pick the roomate up even though you don’t know him and are dressed like one of Charlie’s Angels. Basically, it leaves you with a hangover and memories of things you aren’t sure really happened. (But again, in the new running theme of this blog, I apologize for having ruined this landmark film with my unnecessary comparisons to the American college experience.) But that is my Dolce Vita…there are no prostitutes, famous actresses or dead friends but there’s totally no safe ride to the Medical Center either.

Last weekend, dear Cinema Companion wanted to go to BAM to see L’Avventura because he has much less of a problem with the vices presented in Italian film than I do. And I obviously acknowledge that he is not the weird one in this situation, it is I, the girl that gets a knot in her stomach when fictional characters cheat on each other, who has the hang-up. I did enjoy L’Avventura despite all the debauching and such, and Monica Vitti is my new fashion icon.

Despite the film breaking my number one rule (don’t date your friend’s fiance less than a week after said friend goes missing on a remote Italian island), Vitti puts me at ease.
The Hair!


The Clothes!


The Nose!

I wish I had that nose. Its the kind of nose I thought only Gisele Bundchen was capable of having, the broad nose that looks tan and glowing even in non-tan-and-glowing situations.

(Unfortunately, that horse is gonna need a-washin’!)

Apparently I do not have a problem with such frivolity as wearing designer Italian fashions and having perma-sex-hair. But those aren’t vices so much as personal up-keep that just costs a lot to maintain and is well worth it. Ahhh DOI.

I can see why Monica was Antonioni’s muse, and they don’t make ’em like her anymore. I mean, despite the Gisele-nose similarity, I can’t really picture her on top of that horse, you know? And I’m sure the whole audience at BAM would shudder if they even knew I was making comparisons between the two women. They would brutalize me with their “Develop Don’t Destroy Brooklyn” signs and beat me senseless with their Food Co-op membership cards. But that’s because the woman is all class and style. Somehow she could pull off a life of leisure and sin and excitement and make it look glamourous. I guess my problem lies in the fact that when I was in living my version of leisure and sin and excitement, it included Dave Matthews CDs and a 1970’s detective costume that included a potato gun.

And since no mention a film is complete without a haiku review…

Where did Anna go?
Whatever. Let’s not look for
her and say we did.

Brokeback Haiku

By request I will now share my thoughts on Brokeback Mountain, which I can’t believe I haven’t already done. Time has done us all a service though, because if I had written this haiku 3 months ago there probably would have been a line about wishing I could quit you or, knowing me, something about these gay shepherds not being able to quit ewe.

Brokeback Mountain

What do you wanna
Bet Chelsea’s new gay club will
Be called Heath Bar?

if it aint brokeback...

Haiku Reviews: Scaaaaaary Edition!

My Trivia Companion and I are headed back to Our Local Bar tonight to yet again test out our prizewinning wasted brain space. In preparation for a potential category entitled “Scary Movies We Thought Might be Good But Proved To Be Neither Good Nor Scary”, we’ve been doing a little research. Why is it so hard to find something legitimately scary? I rented Suspiria this week, so I’ll let you know if the Italians get it right. In the meantime, I present thee with Haiku Reviews of all the “scary” movies we have watched in the past month because we were on a “scary” movie kick that I really wish had been “scarier”.

Dumb Canadian
Cult classic – on the plus side
A guy gets, well, cubed.

Evil Dead 2
So bad it’s good, in
A severed-hand zombie filled
Cabin kinda way.

Cabin Fever
Kids are stupid when
Their flesh falls off. Listerine
On open sores? W(OW).

If you see Saw, you’ll
Notice the plot teeter tot-
ters from bad to worse.

White Noise
Neglectful dad opts
to watch static of dead folks
instead of his son.

Wait Until Dark
Audrey Hepburn is
Blind! The script mentions that ov-
er eight THOUSAND times!


Haiku Review: Thank You For Smoking

Thursday night I went to dinner with friends, one who I hadn’t seen in a very long time and I mentioned that I hated Crash. My old friend told me she actually loved it and asked what kind of movies I actually did like, if Crash wasn’t my bag. At that point all my other friends, helpful lot that they are, chimed in with “Well, didn’t you also not like Match Point?” and “But I thought you did like The Exorcism of Emily Rose?” (It wasn’t bad! It wasn’t good either but…) and “You don’t even like Peter Sellers!” (Not entirely true, I just don’t like Being There). My taste is ecelctic but awesome, I think, that’s really the only way to describe it.

My Cinema Companion and I caught a Friday night showing of Thank You For Smoking which boils all my cinematic preferences down nicely. Funny and satirical and political and great. Accordingly, the first haiku review in a while:

Thank You For Smoking


D.C. spin doctors
turn vices into virtues.
Thanks, First Amendment!

Did someone say crossover blog episode?

Bigger than Law and Order meeting Homicide: Life on the Street, it’s Glesbo meets Whoisliz.

This President’s Day haiku ate my baby

I celebrated my niece’s first birthday by going to Massachusetts and partying hard with a handful of kids in the under-two set. And then I watched prooobably the worst movie you can watch after attending a one-year-old baby’s birthday, A Cry In The Dark, a movie about a dead baby. Meryl Streep and Sam Neill play Seventh Day Adventists whose baby may or may not have been eaten by a wild animal while they vacationed at Ayer’s Rock in the Northern Territory of Australia. This movie has one of the most famous lines on film [insert no-longer-topical Kate Moss joke] and I’m shocked that I hadn’t seen it before.


The dingo should have
eaten Meryl’s hair stylist
and not her baby.