January 6th, 2006
You know how, in science-fiction movies, every world has a single, defining characteristic? It’s always, like, The Desert Planet or The Ice Planet or The Swamp Planet or The Lava Planet?
I have apparently been marooned on The Planet Of Perpetually Shitty Weather, populated by a race of pale, damp creatures who subsist exclusively on coffee, and spend their days fretting about the standing water in their crawl spaces.
January 6th, 2006
BloodRayne: “[Director Uwe] Boll is the best at what he does. And what he does is make truly terrible films.” — Elizabeth Weitzman, NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Cheaper By The Dozen 2: “Noisy, silly, gratingly upbeat, and piously sentimental, Cheaper by the Dozen 2 is what passes for wholesome family entertainment these days. It’s the sort of movie to send small children and grandparents out of the theater hugging each other and strong men in search of bourbon.” — Ty Burr, BOSTON GLOBE
Rumor Has It: “I suppose Rumor Has It could be worse, though at the moment I’m at a loss to say just how.” — A. O. Scott, NEW YORK TIMES
Grandma’s Boy: “Lacking so much as a shred of wit and crammed with more product placements than jokes, this unendurable stoner comedy clearly disproves the movie-formula wisdom that two guys, one Xbox and a 2-foot-long bong add up to something funny.” — Ken Fox, TV GUIDE
Aeon Flux: “If Aeon Flux is what Charlize Theron does to pay the bills while otherwise being engaged in Monster and North Country, it’s probably a reasonable price to pay. For her, I mean. For us? No, no, no.” — John Anderson, Los Angeles Times
January 5th, 2006
Favorite movie of 2005: I put off making this list for a week because Crash arrived from Netflix last Friday. Crash has appeared at the top of a number of “best of 2005″ lists (including Roger Ebert’s), so I figured I ought to see it before rendering my verdict. Well, I watched it last night, and my verdict is: whaa? Best film of 2005? I mean it was good ‘n’ all, but it depicts Los Angeles as being about the size of a basketball court and inhabited by a little over a dozen citizens, such that every event in the city will necessarily involve at least two of them. Plus, every moment where I thought “Wow, the writing in this film is excellent” was matched by at least one moment where a snippet of dialogue or “plot twist” brought me to the brink of eye-rolling. It might be the best 2005 film I saw all year (if only because I saw so few), but I enjoyed both Batman Begins and Grizzly Man more.
Favorite Older Film That I saw In 2005: Sideways, followed closely by Kung-Fu Hustle.
Biggest Cinematic Disappointment: Charlie And The Chocolate Factory. Great story, great director, great star, great child actor, great first 30 minutes … then it all goes pear-shaped.
Favorite Fiction Books Read: Thanks to the Booklist 2005 Project, I read a lot of amazing stuff this year. Top five:
Favorite Non-fiction Books Read:
Book I Expected to Hate and Wound Up Liking Quite a Bit: Harry Potter And The Half-Blood Prince (will review soon).
Favorite Albums of 2005: Honestly, I’m just not passionate enough about music to have “favorites,” but the three 2005 albums I listened to the most often this year were:
Favorite Boardgames of 2005:
Favorite Boardgames of 2005 Caveat: I still haven’t played Caylus.
Favorite Flash Games of 2005:
Favorite Interactive Fiction Game Played in 2005: All Things Devours.
Only Interactive Fiction Game Played in 2005: Well, okay: All Things Devours … but it was really good.
January 4th, 2006
I had this epiphany the other day: the word “please” is just shorthand for “pleas.” So instead of going through the bother of making actual pleas when you want something you just say “please” instead, and I guess that’s supposed to be sufficient. It’s like walking into a car dealership, saying “Toyota Corolla, negotiate,” and expecting them to immediately knock $800 off the sticker price.
Well, screw that. The next time I’m in Arby’s and the teen behind the counter say “can I take your order, please?” I’m going to be all, like, “Pffft — you’ll get my order when I hear some actual pleading, slacker.”
January 3rd, 2006
Yesterday morning The Queen and I were both in the bathroom. She was brushing her teeth at one sink; I was shaving at the other and considering my reflection in the mirror.
Me: Okay, I give up. I thought I’d let my hair grow out to a normal length to see if I could do anything with it, but it’s impossible. I’m just going to shave it all off again.
Queen: Thank God.
M: Why, do you think it looks bad too?
Q: It looks terrible.
M: Well, c’mon — it does’t look that bad. But I have so many cowlicks that it’s hard to —
Q: It looks ridiculous.
M: Hey, I’m saying it doesn’t look good . That’s my point. So I’m going to shave it — there’s no need for the pile-on. I was growing it out a little bit as an experiment, but —
Q: It’s been an ordeal for the whole family.