Archive for January, 2009

This has not been edited at all

Posted by seoulfully on January 31st, 2009

This is not a transcript. Not really. Part of some pages I wrote for my “book” idea. I got zero done on this project during NaNoWriMo.

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i dont know what it is. maybe it’s that i’m 26 now and starting to think about this stuff, but i am dissatisfied with my life. and not with the quality of life or the things i do, but i’m tired of not caring at all about things. i miss a level or degree of passion or vitality in my life. i know i’m not alone in this. i would venture to say a huge majority of people feel this way in some respects.

VERY TRUE. HONESTLY HOW MANY PEOPLE IN THIS WORLD EVEN KNOW WHAT THEY ARE PASSIONATE ABOUT? AND EVEN THOSE PEOPLE, HOW MANY OF THEM ACTUALLY GET TO GO OUT AND DO IT? WHETHER FOR A LIVING OR EVEN JUST A HOBBY?

i know i know. but i envy those people. people who find something they even care about a little. i mean, these people are inspiring and disheartening in the same breath to me. inspiring, for obvious reasons like they know what they want and they do it. disheartening because i can’t even fathom having that. i bet this is why, you know other than my thirst for knowledge and natural curiosity, that i delve so deeply into things that i do. it also probably explains why those curiosities dissolve rather quickly. like random music i’m into. or researching electronics. or anything. i get heavy into it and then it fades.

BUT YOU CAN’T TAKE THAT AS A SIGN THAT YOU AREN’T PASSIONATE ABOUT SOMETHING. MAYBE A PARTICULAR GENRE OF MUSIC ISN’T YOUR THING, BUT YOU STILL ENJOY MUSIC.

but i’m not passionate about it. it’s not something that i want. well i mean other than to listen to. but that probably has more to do with social isolation than anything else. by the way, i read a blurb about some town in austrailia banning ipods because they cause social isolation because kids sit there and listen to them and don’t interact with each other. there are obvious counterpoints, such as kids interact to see what they are listening to, see what they have on their ipods, etc. but i’m definitely in the social isolation camp. i listen to my pod so much when i’m out so i don’t have to listen to the rest of the world.

YEAH, BUT MOST OF THAT HAS TO DO WITH IMPATIENCE FOR THE REST OF THE WORLD, BECAUSE, WELL YOU KNOW, SO MUCH OF THE REST OF THE WORLD IS STUPID. CAN NEVER UNDERESTIMATE HOW STUPID PEOPLE CAN BE. AND NO BETTER WAY TO TUNE THAT OUT THAN TO LISTEN TO YOUR OWN TUNES AND DISCONNECT FROM THE IDIOCY.

haha, disconnect. very true. but i have other issues about disconnecting. and that’s a whole other conversation. and who knows if that conversation will ever be had. because, let’s be honest, do i ever really talk about my issues? well at least directly? no.

OKAY, BACK TO THE TOPIC AT HAND THEN. PASSION IN LIFE. YOU ARE A BIG FAN OF MOVIES. WHY IS THAT NOT A PASSION IN YOUR LIFE? BECAUSE YOU DON’T WANT TO MAKE THEM? ENJOYING SOMETHING A LOT AT LEAST IS ON TRACK WITH BEING PASSIONATE ABOUT SOMETHING. YOU EVEN SAID IT COULD BE A HOBBY. SO WHY DOESN’T GOING TO THE MOVIES TO SEE THIS MEDIA YOU ENJOY QUALIFY?

because at the end of the day i could do without it. i mean, ha, i pretty much do without it now. yes, i love movies. yes, i know about a lot of random movies, though admittedly not as much as i’d prefer. but do i go to movies? not really. i don’t know when the last time i went to the movies. and there are always movies i want to see that i never get around to watching. how is that a passion thing. i mean it was easy when i had a girlfriend, because that relationship, in a big way, took care of feeling passionate about something. is it a substitute? perhaps, but nothing wrong with being passionate about somebody instead of something. i think that’s a good basis for a long-term serious relationship. or you know, being a stalker or something.

WELL NOT TO BE HARSH, BUT JOIN THE CLUB. YOU SAID IT YOURSELF. HOW MANY PEOPLE KNOW WHAT THEY REALLY CARE ABOUT AND CAN DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT? HARDLY ANYONE COMING OUT OF COLLEGE GRADUATES AND THEN FINDS A JOB DOING WHAT THEY LOVE. I MEAN AT THE END OF THE DAY, THIS IS AN EPIDEMIC OF APATHY OF SORTS. THIS IS WHY, MORE THAN EVER BEFORE, PEOPLE ARE CHANGING CAREERS AND ALL THAT. I MEAN OUTSIDE OF FEW PROFESSIONS, AND THEY’RE NOT EVEN IMMUNE, HOW MUCH DO YOU HEAR ABOUT SOMEONE GIVING IT ALL UP FOR THEIR DREAM OF BECOMING, I DON’T KNOW, LIKE AN ORGANIC FARMER OR SOMETHING RANDOM LIKE THAT. NOBODY KNOWS WHAT THEY WANT. EVERYONE IS SEARCHING FOR THAT THING TO GIVE THEM SOME MEANING OR SOMETHING TO BE PASSIONATE ABOUT. I’M NOT SAYING THAT THIS DIMINISHES YOUR FEELINGS ON THIS, BUT IT’S SOMETHING THAT HAPPENS.

i know. but i just feel like i dont have anything right now. i mean it’s unbelievable to me how blase i am about everything. and it’s to the point where it’s almost to my own detriment. chalk it up to senioritis or something, but i dont care about school. i dont care particularly all that much about my job. i dont really care that much for my chosen profession. and i dont know why this bothers me, because my whole life i’ve said i wouldn’t have a problem with working in a soul-sucking job that paid well to be able to provide for myself and/or my family in a manner that i thought was necessary. so if i’m willing to do that when i have to, why does it bother me that i dont care about anything now?

WELL I SUPPOSE IF YOU ARE WILLING TO WORK A CRAP JOB THAT PAYS FOR YOUR LIFESTYLE SO TO SPEAK FOR YOUR FAMILY, YOUR FAMILY IS WHAT YOU ARE PASSIONATE ABOUT AND WILLING TO SACRIFICE FOR.

i dont know. i just feel like time is passing me by. maybe it’s because i’ve been in school so long and not “out there” on my own fully. but i just feel like every day i’m missing something. not necessarily missing out, though i feel that way too some days, but just that my life is missing some crucial element. or that i lack that thing, whatever it is, necessary to go out and start a life. and that what’s holding me back from it, isnt necessarily school, though that’s a convenient excuse.

Movie review: A Pixar Story

Posted by seoulfully on January 30th, 2009

This documentary on Pixar is pretty straight forward. There isn’t anything really surprising about the Pixar story, there aren’t any real twist or turns, no real revelations. What makes this movie worthwhile is the same as Man on Wire or other documentaries on people doing a job they love, the sense of passion and mission. It’s always kind of inspiring to see that kind of passion and dedication. Honestly it makes me jealous that I’ve not found something to pursue that I’m all that passionate about. It’s fairly entertaining.

Movie review: Man on Wire

Posted by seoulfully on January 30th, 2009

[DVD]

Okay, I watched this movie via Netflix Watch Instantly, which means I didn’t give it the full attention it deserved. Even though I’ve never seen most of the movies in my Watch Instantly queue, I can never seem to give them full attention. So Man on Wire was mixed with catching up on my feeds and then prepping dinner. Take that for what it’s worth in reading this review.

This movie was pretty excellent. It’s a documentary, but more like movie than many documentaries. It’s basically the talking heads telling the story with a few reenacted scenes to help the visual coupled with real pictures and video from the event. Oh yeah, so it’s the story of a man who tightrope walked between the Twin Towers in 1974.

Because of the interviews of the principals involved you really get the sense of excitement, need, wonder, and whimsy they had when planning and executing their plan. The archive video footage showed these people, especially the protagonist, were the same guys then as they were now. And they were really understood they were part of something special.

The movie plays with caper movie tropes. It is suspenseful and gripping, even though you know how it’s going to play out. Very impressive. A good watch.

Personal responsibility

Posted by seoulfully on January 30th, 2009

There are lots of things I want to do. Creative type things. So this blog is about to be a repository of such things. Hopefully it’ll make a little more accountable for generating content. So no more just movie reviews, but just things I make.

I also want to revive my list feature, but those are best done in the heat of the moment, not after cooled consideration.

Movie review: Sex and Breakfast

Posted by seoulfully on January 29th, 2009

[DVD]

This movie was kind of what I expected it to be. It was sort of the typical aftermath of group sex/open relationship kind of indie movie, if there is such a kind of movie. I actually enjoyed it though. I thought there were actually a few real beats in the two relationships that were the focus of the movie. Not wholly believable, but enough real bits that I didn’t dismiss it out of hand.

In a lot of ways, this movie reminded me of Closer [DVD]. But for younger people. This movie had a typically emo/indie soundtrack, which I’m always a sucker for (especially given my recent desire to have sound cues for a lot of things, I can appreciate how difficult it is to find appropriate music). I don’t know if I’d recommend people watch this movie. To be honest, I’m not exactly sure how I feel about it. I enjoyed Closer. I guess I enjoyed this movie. It didn’t break the suspension of disbelief. I guess my earlier statement stands as well as anything else I could say “Not wholly believable, but enough real bits…”

The performances by the four leads (headlined by Macauley Culkin and Eliza Dushku) I didn’t think were dreadful, like the movie as a whole, it was all passable.

Movie review: Vantage Point

Posted by seoulfully on January 29th, 2009

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Blu-ray | DVD

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Not good. It’s not a strong statement about a movie where the biggest thing that stuck out in my mind was “no way Forrest Whitaker keeps up in a footrace with a policeman and a Secret Service officer.”

The single time frame repeated from multiple viewpoints could’ve been cool. Not really original, but then again what is in life. Dennis Quaid was like Bourne, Bauer, Liam Neeson in Taken. One man kind of sucky wrecking crew. It was a short movie. It was passable I suppose. Not a complete waste of time.

[I don’t think my reviews are really all that helpful, insightful, or informative, but I’m going to keep on writing them, just to keep up with something. I think/hope they get better with time, maybe I really do need to nail down a format.]

Movie review: Pineapple Express

Posted by seoulfully on January 29th, 2009

[Blu-ray | DVD]

Okay, so I’ll admit that I’m not a fan of stoner comedies as a genre. I mean they are all funny enough to a degree. I’ve never thought one was a good movie throughout. These things hold true for Pineapple Express as well.

The movie is fairly predictable. Not really that revolutionary, except in as much as it’s billed as the first stoner action movie. In fact that was the single best thing about the movie. I think they really made efforts to slickly play on action movie standards in the context of the stoner movie. These standard action moves were well executed and fun to watch. It wasn’t really making fun of the action movies, but almost celebrating them.

I don’t have much else to say about this movie. Some people will love it. I can’t seem anyone just hating this movie. Compared to the other tentpole movie of the summer, Tropic Thunder [Blu-ray | DVD], I don’t think it’s on the same level.

Musical Picture 2

Posted by seoulfully on January 26th, 2009

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Musical Picture 2, originally uploaded by seoulfully.

Credits:
Black Eyed Peas – Sexy

Movie review: Doubt

Posted by seoulfully on January 26th, 2009

So Gran Torino and Frost/Nixon and now Doubt. If this series was a math equation, it would make a lot of sense. All three have been warmly regarded for the most part. Gran Torino was terrible. A paper thin plot layered with terrible dialogue and even worse acting. Frost/Nixon was a pretty straight forward biopic that was carried on the back of the powerful performances. Performances that made up for the failings of the plot. Doubt was the mix of the two. Supremely powerful performances, but not enough to take away from the inherent holes in the plot.

Let me reframe the discussion a bit. I don’t mean plot holes like you’d find in, say Bad Boys II. But it really seem like the entire plot of Doubt was just a single HUGE macguffin. It wasn’t the device that forwarded the plot, it was like the entire plot. And it really seemed to come out of nowhere. They try to explain it throughout (not the actual act that is the basis of the movie), but the genesis of the problem within the movie, and I just never bought it. And it was such a big piece of it that the entire movie, despite how excellent the actors were, I kept thinking “How did this even start?”

The things to take away from this movie are certainly the performances. I don’t know if the praise for Philip Seymour Hoffman and Meryl Streep can be effusive enough. I know she’s considered one of the finest actresses ever, but the past few movies I really thought Meryl was kind of dipping into current-Al-Pacino (and I suppose current-Robert-De-Niro) acting. But she was just ridiculously good here. Her accent was spot on. Her character was so real I just hated her. Hoffman is cementing his status as best-of-generation. Viola Davis, in what little screen time she had, was spot on. A woman doing what was needed, putting up with what she could because of the circumstances.

I’m not saying the performances in Frost/Nixon were better than those in Doubt. But for me, the single problem in the plot of Doubt was bigger than any niggling issues with Frost/Nixon. And given how central the problem I had with Doubt was to the movie, it was just hard to overcome.

But watch Doubt. Watch Frost/Nixon. Feel free to skip Gran Torino.

Movie review: Frost/Nixon

Posted by seoulfully on January 26th, 2009

Wow. There are problems with this movie, but unlike Gran Torino the acting, dialogue, and performances were very powerful.

I fully admit the problems with the movie. The use of a fake documentary to frame the movie seemed weird, since it was the only bit that was in that style. And the direction wasn’t anything really to marvel at. Ron Howard is a more than capable director and this movie was of that level.

But during the actual interview scenes, I really felt it. It’s not anything really amazing or revolutionary to frame an adversarial interview as a boxing match. And a turn in the plot of the underdog getting a jolt of energy and focus and bringing the big guns ready to blast in his final moment is about as underdog movie as you can get. But the performances just sold it.

Even the supporting roles. Sam Rockwell was excellent. You really got the emotion of the character. Matthew Macfadyen was also excellent. From being Frost’s right hand, down to earth man to the turn where he slightly lost faith in Frost for a moment. Trying to hold the team together. Kevin Bacon was excellent as well. His sense of honor and loyalty to a man who held the highest office. You could see the sense of duty and service he felt. How his service to Nixon was a piece of higher service and duty to the country.

And to top it all off, Langella. There have been a lot of biopics in the past few years. And Joaquin Phoenix certainly deserved an Oscar if Jamie Foxx did. But I think Langella was better than the both of them. I’ve not seen Milk, but I’d say Langella was better than Brad “Ben Button” Pitt. I’d put it ahead (though not by much) of Richard Jenkins. I’d even give him a slight edge over Rourke. I was just so impressed with the nuance from Langella.

This movie stereotypically topical given the end of the Bush presidency. But I have to think that despite his public statements, Bush has to feel like Langella’s Nixon’s did. And I also have to believe President Bush’s aids and such (even Scooter Libby) had to feel Bush did what he did for the most part in the best interest of the country, at least in his view. And they were dedicated in their service. I’m sure there are more ways to parallel this movie to the Bush era, especially as time passes. I was very impressed with this movie. Especially coming off watching Gran Torino. It was what Gran Torino could’ve been. If the performances and dialogue weren’t so stilted. Frost/Nixon was great.