Felt lousy all last week. Saw Tremors Halloween night; one of the two films my college classmates hyped so much I vowed to put off watching until 2006. It only comes in an "Attack Pack" with sequels two, three, and four. Loved it. Especially loved the refusal to explain the creatures' origins or even to attach to their actions any significance besides pure need to feed. For some people Fred Ward will always be sexy dolt Henry Miller; for me he's the heartbroken Gus Grissom. Kevin Bacon's a bit of a ham, huh. TV stalwart Finn Carter is terrific, even before she gives up her barbed-wire tangled jeans to the enormous worm. And when you're ready to make the Dennis Hopper biopic, Michael Gross is waiting.
Caught up with VM Season 3 (thank you you tube). Too much telegraphy, not enough Weevil, and isn't it late for Ed Begley Jr to be playing against type? All the same, I'm not ready to watch humanoid cylons. Oh, and watched the pilot of Night Court (pre-Markie Post -- Karen Austin plays the court clerk as Harry's uptight foil, barking at the episode's end that "It Would Be an Honor To Serve You Harry." Well allrightie). Harry Anderson's jeans were too tight, but the machine-gun fake snake cannon was Muppet-level genius. Unclear whether there is sufficient support in the house to screen further episodes anytime soon, alas. About Dave Chappelle, however, there can be no doubt. Rewatched Charlie Murphy's True Hollywood Stories viz Rick James, then skipped ahead to the Lil Jon sketch. Hadn't noticed before how cartoon boring Chappelle's violence is, or how pared down the script. "UNITY!"
Felt well enough to fly. On the plane read the new Green Mountains Review and Hanging Loose. D D Lee has a pretty great story in GMR about life in Michigan and a 4th year cadet named Marya Rosenberg has two poems in HL that, as Poetry in Uniform goes, I like at least as much as Kevin Honold's work in Pleiades last year (and vastly prefer to Brian Turner's overstating in Here, Bullet):
a small blonde cadetAlso read and admired DD Lee's first two collections, especially the brief compressed poems about different kinds of fish. Got a third of the way through proofs for Kenneth's Library of America selected. Read James a chapter in Science by the Shores and Banks; next project is to get a peanut butter jar of pond silt and check out the hydras and fairy shrimp. James went birding with Ali's folks, or rather went to the bird sanctuary, where he fed a jay a berry, saw a peregrine falcon.
girl sleeps peacefully in her
"Death from Above" shirt
A Frequently Asked Question:
"Why does the eternal light in the chapel
appear to be unlit?"
"Do Not Mess With The Bat.
The Officer-in-Charge Will
Take Care of It."
(from "'If I tell You You're Beautiful, Will You Report Me?': A West Point Haiku Series")
Watched The Village on FX. Forgot what it's like to watch a movie on TV -- cliffhanger, commercial break, cliffhanger, commercial break. I'm pleased to say I have no memory of the ads at all, except for oh drat a totally shitty looking nip/tuck trailer with some cross between Tony Montana and Pinhead for a bad guy. So glad I don't depend on TV for anything: TV don't know. Anyway. Underwhelmed by OSCAR TM winner Adrien Brody. Actually, I'd never seen a Midnight Shyamalan movie before. It didn't feel as O.Henry claustrophobic as I'd expected -- felt pretty good, actually, mainly thanks to Ron Howard's kid. (Must have missed the scene where they establish her blindness.) Surprised to see Kitty from Arrested Development without shtick. Hadn't noticed before how much Sigourney Weaver resembles Jodie Foster. As fables go, it was likeable -- a little draggy, and some soggy Dr Phil stuff, but not so much as to spoil the mild creepiness and the love story. I think if I'm going to rewatch a fable from the early aughties, though, it's going to be Big Fish.
James counted 239 birds nests on the drive back to Columbus, a good place I hope survives the OSU-Michigan game. Uneventful flight back; would it kill JetBlue or DirecTV or whomever to add something totally bland and engrossing like I don't know C-SPAN? It's exhausting to have no options but feedtubes of small-minded accumulationism. Nearly watched 60 Minutes and football (talk about accumulationism -- a sport where you take real estate from Redskins) before putting VH1 on as a background flicker. The lead singer of Dexy's Midnight Runners looks like a dehydrated Robert Carlyle nowadays. All the same I endorse JetBlue as a decent, reasonably-priced way to fly. Got back in town (this flu! headache for a few hours then nothing, stomachache for a few hours then nothing, go half a day feeling great then whammo, ugh pow blah) and though the front left tire was low the car started and parking came to about cab fare out, so I enjoyed a momentary illusion of thrift.
And then last night, the other movie I'd put off until 2006: Soderbergh's first after his triumph 9012 Live. (As with Tremors, there's a pants-coming-off scene, incidentally.) Astonishingly sane if a little potted and stagey -- Spader's a bit of a genius, huh. Maybe three offkey lines in the whole thing, and I wouldn't dare to wish for a young director to get sexuality right more than once in a movie, nevermind intimacy.
I notice that being in love with the person I'm watching a movie with catalyzes my attention -- I don't feel that I'm immersing myself in a lonely way, but that we're having a common experience, one a lot more enjoyable than this flu. Headache coming back into phase...
Jordan - #