Friday, May 27, 2005


My friend, Brian, posted a blog entry yesterday that I found to be hilarious. For those of you who don't know, he and I were childhood friends, separated by his family moving away (Preacher's Kid), reunited when we chose to attend the same university, separated again by his choosing to complete his schooling at another college (after trying each and every field of study that AU had to offer) and recently reunited again (kind of) through this medium, the blog.

Click his name (above) and read his entry "who would have seen this one coming?"

For the easily offended, be sure to follow his simple instructions.

Films Recently Watched:

North by Northwest (1959) dir. by Alfred Hitchcock
It was a pleasure to revisit this classic. I think I'd only seen it once before and that, several years ago. I had forgotten many of the plot intricacies, so in many ways it was like watching it again, for the first time. Cary Grant is perfectly cast in this film. Much of the humor is discovered in his deliveries and expressions. I don't think that enough can be said about Bernard Herrmann's music score on this film. The many moods in this film from hilarious humor to shocking suspense are magnificently enhanced by his work. The two set-pieces in the cornfield and on the face (or, in this case, the faces) of Mount Rushmore are film-making at its best.

The 39 Steps (1935) dir. by Alfred Hitchcock
Another "wrong man" yarn from Hitchcock. This time, Robert Donat and Madeline Carroll deliver the wit and intrigue. This film was ahead of it's time. The British censors were all over it, so it lacks some of the overt sexuality found in North by Northwest, but the tension is there, nonetheless, or perhaps, all the more.

Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow (2004) dir. by Kerry Conran
Some fun moments, but mostly just bunches of eye-candy (not that there's anything wrong with that). The world that the Conran brothers created is neat to look at, but the performances are too unconvincing to pull the whole thing together. The entire environment for this film was created in a computer. With the exception of objects with which they come into physical contact, actors Jude Law, Gwyneth Paltrow, etc. are acting to nothing but one another in front of a blue screen. That might explain some of the wooden performances. The CG technology is making leaps and bounds, but as far as the ability to create a great story with convincing performances using completely CG environments, Hollywood just isn't there -- yet.

Hotel Rwanda (2004) dir. by Terry George

Star Wars:  Clone WarsStar Wars: Clone Wars (2003) (TV) dir. by Genndy Tartakovsky
Again, not a film, but it plays one on TV. Clone Wars is a series of animated shorts that chronicles the events that happen between Episodes 2 & 3. These events consist mainly of Clone War action, including: individual Jedi leading armies into battle, more of the Obi-Wan/Anakin friendship and developing tension, and some additional Palpatine manipulation. It also introduces the character of General Grevious that we see in Revenge of the Sith and I expect that Volume II (only Volume I is currently available on DVD) explains why Anakin sports a nifty little scar on his right eye throughout Sith.

Originally aired on Cartoon Network, Volume I consists of twenty, 3-minute segments and is currently available on DVD. Volume II (which I have yet to see) consists of five, 12-minute segments and is expected out on DVD sometime in August, 2005. I believe that all chapters are available for viewing on the web, though.

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