URLs du Jour

2006-10-23

  • Buying bread from a man in brussels
    He was six foot four and full of muscles
    I said, do you speak-a my language?
    He just smiled and gave me a vegemite sandwich
    So I had him arrested.

    Time to abolish the FDA.

  • Mickey Kaus pulls a killer quote from Nancy Pelosi from an LATimes article:
    The gavel of the speaker of the House is in the hands of special interests, and now it will be in the hands of America's children.
    Geez. I mean … geez. I think she kind of got it right there.

  • As Nietzsche observed: if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you. Unless you're Chuck Norris.


Last Modified 2012-10-22 6:32 AM EST

Thank You For Smoking

[Amazon Link] [3.0
stars] [IMDb Link]

The second movie in our Sunday night double-feature (which, in blog logic, puts it above the first movie). It's OK, but not quite as funny as it thinks it is.

Aaron Eckhart is a good-looking, fast-thinking, likeable tobacco industry lobbyist Nick Naylor. I was about to say "sleazeball", but that's not exactly true; Nick's doing nothing underhanded. He's just putting the industry's best possible arguments forward.

And (as it develops) the movie is not really about anything much, other than Nick interacting with a bunch of other people who are just trying to pay their mortgages. (The only apparent exception: a gang of extremist anti-tobacconists who are portrayed unsympathetically.)

Nobody actually smokes in the movie. An interesting choice, although it makes a scene late in the movie when Nick is told that he must give up smoking kind of peculiar; the viewer didn't know that he smoked in the first place.


Last Modified 2012-10-22 6:26 AM EST

Art School Confidential

[Amazon Link] [4.0
stars] [IMDb Link]

This movie got lackluster reviews (only 34% on the Tomatometer, link above) but I enjoyed it quite a bit. Perhaps it's because I'm a bit less reverential about art than your average reviewer. Which puts me more in sympathy with the attitude of the filmmakers.

Indeed, most of the artists portrayed here seem to be mediocre or worse. That includes both students and teachers at Strathmore, the art school of the title; it's a huge collection of low-talent posers and hacks. The most common trait is self-delusion, and that's always a prime target for amusement. Our incoming-freshman hero, Jerome, is likeable enough, earnest and sensitive, although his main motivation for becoming an artist seems to be that it will attract women.

That doesn't work out. As a result, Jerome alternates between blubbering sentimentality, brain-dead cynicism, and increasingly desperate and fruitless attempts to wow his peers. Complicating things is a serial killer, the "Strathmore Strangler," haunting the campus. Everything's resolved at the end.


Last Modified 2012-10-22 6:26 AM EST