Monday, March 20, 2006

Play for today

Really nice weekend. Nothing criminal went on for Saint Patty's day. I went out with some of the guys to Rancho's in North Park which has become my favorite Mexican restaurant in the city. Afterwards we went to Hamburger Mary's to drink and smoke. It was a gay fest in there, I hope the guys didn't mind. Then we hit up Cj's which is a small neighborhood sports bar around Matt's place.

Saturday I spent it chilling with Mona and Cibele and Van. We went to see V for Vendetta, which was surprisingly good. I was expecting it to be some dumb action movie, and considering that it was written by the Wachowski brothers, and their incredible let-down of a movie called Matrix Revolutions, it didn't seem like this film had anything going for it in my book. But I did hear some buzz about it this weekend so I thought, hey what the fuck? V for Vendetta is unusually good. The story is actually very well constructed. There's more politics in the film than action scenes which in my opinion makes the action scenes that much cooler. All in all its worth watching.

I also saw another little gem at the recommendation of Mona. The movie Oldboy is a Korean film-noir mystery gore movie cast in the same spirit as Takashi Miike films, though the gore is a little less glorified and over the top than in Miike's films. Oldboy's main character, Oh Dae-Su, is kidnapped by a mysterious group and forced to live in an apartment room as a prisoner for fifteen years. Upon being released, its time to figure out who wanted him locked up and why. The fight scenes in this film, though its not an action movie and they are not the film's focus, are really refreshing. They are very wet and raw and real. There is a brawl that occurs in the film where Oh Dae-Su takes out a gang of twenty or thirty guys. Many action flicks will default to a barrage of snazzy martial arts, elevating the hero's fighting skills to what you would see in a comic book. Not this film. If a man were able to beat the shit out of twenty guys in a hallway in real life, then this is what it would look like. Oldboy is out on video.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Tommy scored some free passes for The Hills Have Eyes today and he and Joey were cool enough to invite me along. I'm always up for a horror film, especially a free one. Horror movies have been seeing something of a revival since around 2000. The great thing is that with horror being so popular in these times, creative teams are actually taking care to progress the horror genre since it died in the 1980's. (Lets face it, nothing good came out of the 90's). Now the big studios still pump out, on average, unoriginal, mediocre horror films, but every now and then you run into a real gem. The Hills Have Eyes is no gem, but it is a good example of the direction that big budget horror is going. It's not a bad place.

The film culls America's fear of the isolated back country and the deformed. The basic plot is that a nuclear family, stranded in the new Mexico dessert on a trip to California, is terrorized by a clan of monstrous cannibals who are a result of US nuclear bomb tests. One of the elements that distinguishes this film from other back-country-murder-fests is that our protagonists are a family, not a bunch of horny teens like in Texas Chainsaw or the poorly executed Wrong Turn (Well at least wrong turn has Jeremy Sisto. He's a bad ass in my book.) I think this makes us care a little bit more about the characters in the story than we would otherwise. I think it's a very natural device to use, using a family as the protagonists, because we automatically assume a connection between the characters that would otherwise take minutes, (tens of minutes I say!) to develop properly. In any other horror film, I really don't know what kind of a connection Scott Whats-his-name has with his girlfriend. Is he really in love with her? Maybe he's just saying that to get her in the sack. Looking back on it, if most of my exgirlfriends were taken out by a raving slasher I think I could get over it. My point is, I don't care if a couple is killed if they are only dating. Screenwriters take note.

Something else this film has going for it is its use of gore. If you are a gore fanatic, then you probably have to go to the independent films to quench your blood lust, lets face it, most movie audiences just can't take more than about a second of full frontal gore, but I think you'll be surprised with this film. The film makers do push the audience in this one. Let me tell you they fucking loved it too. The audience was cheering when the bad guys were getting theirs.

So this film reminded me of some media you should check out:

One of the characters in the film reminded me of Aphex Twin's video for drukqs. If you are looking for some gnarly film just do a search for Aphex Twin on video google.

Also check out Skinny Puppy's video for Worlock. The video is made entirely of gory scenes from horror films. Click on link #2. This doesn't work with the Firefox browser so you'll have to use (fuckin') IE.

Oh, and if you want to see a film that leaves you with a sick feeling in your stomach, check out Irreversible. This is a film that creeped me out that I almost don't want to watch again. Good stuff.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

The rain

I like flicking cigarette butts into puddles of water. That little fizzle sound they make is the kind of aural ecstasy that is matched by perhaps only the cracking of a creme brulee. It rained in San Diego last night, and it rained all through the morning. I would have missed it entirely, I think, if Mona hadn't told me about it. I slept with the windows open and listened to it drizzle night. It's the type of thing you take advantage of here in San Diego because it never rains here.

You can tell that it never rains here because all of our malls are outdoor malls and when it rains a significant amount the streets start to flood over because our road engineers haven't built enough drains into the street. By the end of last January we had officially received more rain than Seattle for that year and this had literally caused the closing of several intersections throughout the city due to flooding. I can think of at least 3 that I encountered.

I do love the rain. It makes me wonder what I would do in a place like Washington (state). Maybe I like the rain so much because I have grown up in sun-beaten cities, spending most of my life in El Paso which gets almost no rain, and now living in San Diego, which gets even less. My stint in Austin was a little more enjoyable; central Texas does get a fair amount of rain throughout the year. And I have to say I am fond of those memories of going out onto my porch and watching the rain pore. I would just stand there spellbound by the tapping and splashing of water everywhere. I loved it. Maybe I would get tired of it if it rained all the time though. Maybe.