Hey there all you crazy kids out in Radioland.
First, The News:
- SCHOOL'S OUT, BITCH!
- You're not a bitch. Really. I'm sorry. No, I didn't mean it. It's just a figure of speech.
- Where are you going? I said I was sorry!
- But school really is out. And I REALLY am happy about it. On Friday I got up and did nothing. Bumpkis. Multiply what I did by any number and you still get zero. It was beautiful. I showered and I flopped around on the couch and I read and I watched TV and my new Italian grandma doted on me and...
- My Italian grandma is in town. The reason I say she's new is because she's my stepmom's mother, and my stepmom has only been such for three, four years maybe. I have had all my other grandmothers for pushing eighteen years now, so comparatively speaking, she's factory-fresh. And she makes up for her fifteen year absence from my life by constant offers of delicious Italian food and drinks and laundry service and oh, is it beautiful. She really does try to curry our favor, often by directly contradicting everything Lori (stepmom) says. "You let him have that. He's a good boy." If I were Lori, I might strangle her. But I'm not. So I just accept about half the offers for sandwiches and things.
- My grandpa is also here. He doesn't hear very well and doesn't talk much. We get along great.
- Their visit was a surprise, and Lori's sister (New-Aunt Leslie) is flying in on Christmas Eve. That was supposed to be a surprise too, until New Grandma spilled the beans. This is why I don't trust her with any of my military secrets.
- Saw The Two Towers
and Gangs Of New York.
First things first.
I was surprised at myself, because I opted out of going to the midnight show of Two Towers.
So not hardcore of me. So, so not hardcore. If I had not gone because I was too busy redefining some Swedish supermodel's idea of Good Love, that might be okay. But no. I didn't go because I had all my three finals the next day, I had slept not a wink the previous night, and I actually, for once, needed to study. I know. I'm just as shocked and disgusted as you are, but fear not. Next semester will bring a return to hardcore-ness the likes of which you ain't never seen.
Anyway, the movie.
When you say to Peter Jackson, make a sequel to one of my favorite movies of all time with a thousand priceless moments and replace its sense of wonderment and adventure with a creeping feeling of inevitable doom,
well, you can't expect Pete to pull it off flawlessly.
The funny thing is, though, he did. It doesn't rate as highly with me as Fellowship
as far as favoritest things ever go, but it might prove to be technically a better movie. The story it has to tell is darker. We don't get all the fun expositionary antics, we don't get Pip and Merry stealing from Farmer Maggot's crop or any of that fun stuff. War is brewing, for chrissakes. And it's not fun. It's not whimsical or light-of-heart. Our protagonist is slowly succumbing to an evil whose previous works he can see right in front of him, in the form of Gollum.
Oh, and Gollum? BEST. CHARACTER. EVER. Digital or otherwise. He could've potentially been a Jar Jar, but he was instead perhaps the most emotionally compelling part of the movie, with the possible exception of Arwen coming to terms with the fact that the man she loves is mortal and she, well, isn't. Heavy stuff.
It's leaps and bounds ahead of just about every movie in the world just because of Gollum and Helm's Deep, oh, and the Ents (as Matt and Jack informed me after the movie they were called, not "those sweet-ass fucking tree things"). Good times.
And then there was Gangs of New York.
The message of this movie isn't what you think it is. It isn't, as the tagline would have you believe, "America Was Born In The Streets." It isn't that New York City was built on the bloodied bodies of immigrants. No, no, dear friends. The message of Martin Scorsese's Gangs Of New York
Bring back the top hat.
Well, Marty, I heard you loud and clear. You're right. That is what we've been missing in America all these years: a foot-and-a-half of headgear a man could be proud of. Something he could toss up in the air before jumping headlong into bloody combat with some fresh-off-the-boat Irish hooligans. He delivers this message by putting beneath one of these hats the baddest ass in recent film history: Daniel Day-Lewis as Bill The Butcher.
Never before has a single performance by an actor made me want so badly to be a xenophobic double-crossing sneaky manipulative DiCaprio-father-murdering crime-lord. But there's a first time for everything.
The Butcher is worth the price of admission, plus a couple of extra bucks just for sheer ass-kicking. The clever writing, the window to a brutally fascinating (if not entirely accurate) place in history, the gorgeous cinematography, the bad-ass fight scenes, the presence of John C. Reilly, Cameron Diaz, and Liam Neeson, this is all gravy next to the character Day-Lewis paints. No one has rocked a handlebar moustache quite so hard in all of history.
It wouldn't be my Best Picture. It feels abbreviated (which is weird for a three-hour movie), and we don't really invest at all in Amsterdam Vallon (Leo). One second he's a rough-and-tumble orphan, the next minute he's the Butcher's unlikely svengali, and a few minutes later he's leading an immigrant rebellion. Not that the ride isn't fun, it's just that we don't really sympathize with the man taking it.
But still, too much epic fun for its own good. It's been an excellent week for engaging three-hour-plus movies, that's for sure.
I still have to see Adaption.
- All I want for Christmas is a Madpony
girl. Not necessarily the ones featured on the site, they seem to be perfectly happy with their Oklahoman existences and I wouldn't want to disturb that just for the sake of my selfish Christmas wish. But the same type of girl would be nice. Pretty. Funny. Good writer. Uses the word harefooted.
You know, that kind of girl. We don't even have to do anything. I would settle for the occasional game of Scrabble.
- I turn eighteen on Friday, so if you're young, naughty, and have something to prove...seek leadership roles in extracurricular activities and participate in athletics, it will not only spruce up the college applications you'll be filling out in a year or two, it will allow you to focuse your energy into something productive and rewarding.
What did you think I was going to say?
- The Elephant Revolution starts here.
Alcohol loosens your inhibitions. In some cases, it makes you more honest. What elephants honestly
want to do is stomp the fuck out of everything that could be classified human. All these Indian elephants did was get drunk and jump the gun a little on the global plan. Although now that their hand is tipped, I expect the Great Gore-and-Trampling to begin any day now. I pity those of you who live next to peanut factories.
Link via guess who?
Oh, that was another great thing about Two Towers.
Badass elephants. As if there were any other kind.
You don't update for days on end,
and this is what you get. Things build up. Better to purge them daily than this, this whatever this is. But oh well. I like the posts to be as long as...say...a top hat.
Those things are awesome.