Friday, December 22, 2006

I Am the Beast In Passionate Pain, I am the Grim Being of the Highlands

Boy, if you missed Zoroaster and Nachtmystium (spelled it right on the first try!) at the Bottle tonight, you are king heck bumming. Gauntlets up!

Why metal shows at the Bottle rule:

1) Smoke machines from the stage combine with Pot Haze everywhere to make the entire place a morbid, snack-fetishizing zone. My coat collar smelled like it had been born in the prop closet during the shooting of Cheech and Chong's Up In Smoke.

2) The five headbanging dudes that always stand stage right by the alley door swirling their mighty tempests of mid-back length locks IN SYNC. It is a sight both beautiful and terrible. I want long hair or a dece wig so I can join in next time.

3) Kevin Drumm, one of Chicago's noise/improv mavens, always shows up at the metal shows. I have never spoken, smiled at or made gestures at Kevin Drumm, in any communicative fashion, but the sight of him always warms my spirits. Maybe because he has roasted my eardrums so many times that my Aunts have to ask me questions three times over the table at Holiday meals and I still can't understand them and then I think *ah, Kevin Drumm, thine deafness delivered is so sweet*. Or something like that.

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Saturday, December 02, 2006

If all you want to do sometimes is sleep, you may well be involved in a co-dependent relationship

Movie night! Whenever I get kinda bummed or too seasonally affected, I go to the multiplex and waste a whole evening on bad cinema. I've probably written about this recent phenomena of my empty life several times, but okay. Nothing makes me feel better about myself than rotten Hollywood fare or seeing yuppie couples (she in Uggs, he in Bears hat) on uncomfortable dates. AMC 21 on Illinois St. downtown is Boring Hearts HQ. Sometimes I like to imagine that I'm not the only person having a mediocre time on Friday night. This is borderline creepy, I know. But I'm not really doing some voyeur thing.

And, if I pay my 9.00 and then stay 'til 2 AM (with a sack of food purloined from White Hen), roaming from theatre to theatre as the whim strikes, it costs about as much money overall as it would to heat Casa Borracho for an evening. When it's really cold out.

New James Bond was not nearly as good as I wanted it to be. DCraig is kind of nasty and darker than Brosnan, Dalton or Moore (who is still, alas, my favorite Bond...does that make me a complete sod? Everyone seems to hate Roger Moore. I've always loved that smarm, and he was so good playing to type in Cannonball Run!) and the plot had lots of muscle. No islands full of villans wearing white berets and eye-patches hustling to and fro catching hand grenades tossed by the hero, thank goodness, but not so many gadgets either. Sucker for the gadgets, right here. Watches with lasers and shit. Submarine Lotus sportscar (was that from the miraculously named "Octopussy"?). Eva Green can fill a dress but she's got all the pizzaz of an order of Burger King Chicken Fries. She was in The Dreamers, remember, still one of my votes for worst flick of the epoch. She remains unforgiven, despite her canonical decolettage.

The Fountain reached for the realms of rarified metaphor, and ended up pretty much sucking the big donkey cock. Hugh Jackman is no lead actor, sorry to you X-Men fans out there. The Prestige sucked too, largely because of Hugh's rather limited emotional palate. Anyway, Aronofsky still obviously maintains, as many young-ish directors do, that a series of uninspired tics, half-baked visual synecdoche and grandiose stylistic grab-assing can make up for plot holes, underdeveloped dialog, reams of head-thwacking cliche, and so on. Requiem For A Dream's endless plot gaps, who freakin' cares emotional realizations and bad junkie tropes were not out of character, it turns out. But you do get to watch HughJack guzzle what looks rather like semen from the roots of the "tree of life" to save his wife (or queen or whatever) from dread disease. Which, back in the day, we used to call being on the "down low".

Are you surprised that I liked Marie Antoinette more than I thought I would? (I did see three movies last night. In a row. Don't make fun.) No. Are you surprised that still doesn't mean I liked it too fucking much? Coogan was okay, but not played to his strengths. Marianne Faithfull was a rather inspired bit of casting, admittedly, but she was under-used, too. I like Kirsten Dunst's face, in spite of myself, and she does well looking put upon and uncomfy in what is essentially a comedy of manners, but gravitas is not exactly her bag of kittens. Jason Schwartzman remains the drummer of Phantom Planet, which is about the best I can say for him. He should stick to it. (Ba dum cha!) God bless Rip Torn, though. You get Rip Torn, you get quality.

Then I came home and watched A Dirty Shame. Best movie ever.

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