Friday, July 22, 2005

Things for me and you and everyone we know to do.

- ME AND YOU AND EVERYONE WE KNOW opens today at the Landmark in Midtown, and I was supposed to see it earlier this week. Instead, though, I saw Kacoon's baby. I think I got a better trade-off, but I still really want to see this movie, which has gotten mostly great reviews. Even Lupo liked it, and he's notoriously hard to please. The cast is full of unknowns, though performance artist Miranda July has received awards for writing, directing and starring in it from both the Sundance and Cannes film fests. Plus, Jim at the Landmark looked into booking the film after I told him about it, so I owe it to him to see it and to get everyone else I know to see it.
- I've been obsessively listening to "Illinois," this new CD from Sufjan Stevens, ever since I bought it earlier this week. It's a concept album, Stevens' second in a series on all 50 states, and it sounds like the cast recording of a particularly twisted, innovative, strange musical. References to Carl Sandburg, Mary Todd Lincoln and John Wayne Gacy are made throughout the album, and it works surprisingly well. I actually heard about this album during a Headline News segment one day while I was having lunch at the Bollywood Blimpie, and I'm really glad I took a chance on Sufjan Stevens.
- If you managed to finish HARRY POTTER AND THE HALF-BLOOD PRINCE last weekend or, perhaps, during the week, then you probably need to use this week to catch up on your sleep. I was reading the last 200 pages of that book until 4 a.m. Wednesday morning, and it was worth it. That book - including its devastating ending - were completely thrilling. If anyone wants to talk plot twists, e-mail me.
- I'm a Ewan McGregor fan. I am distinctly not a fan of director Michael Bay. PEARL HARBOR, starring that ass-clown Ben Affleck and Kate Beckinsale, was one of the most egregiously horrible experiences of my life. So I'm not quite sure whether I'll be seeing Bay's clone sci-fi movie, THE ISLAND, which is his first movie not produced by Jerry Bruckheimer. The one review I've read wasn't kind, but it came from Eleanor Ringel Gillespie, which could mean anything.

- Am I the only one who thinks that the extra steps that Jude Law took after his affair with that nanny was uncovered in the tabloids showed uncommon openness and honesty from a celebrity? I mean, he took out an ad in the paper admitting that he'd cheated on his fiancee Sienna Miller and that he was sorry he'd subjected her to something so painful. Yeah, I know, if he were really a good guy, he wouldn't have cheated, but, still, he went to the papers about it. That shows guts. Besides that, look at just how damn beautiful the man is.
- HUSTLE & FLOW, which I saw last night, is a terrific movie, both gritty and a hell of a lot of fun. Terrence Howard is terrific as DJay, a Memphis pimp with a dream of recording a rap demo. The supporting cast is really strong. The movie has one of the best screenplays I've seen in a while, too. Though there are stereotypical characters, nothing turns out the way you'd expect, and the dialogue and soundtrack are excellent. The good reviews this has received are deserved. HUSTLE & FLOW is a great movie.
- I really want to see BAD NEWS BEARS, even though it's probably nowhere near as good as the original. I just really like Richard Linklater's work, usually. And anytime Billy Bob Thornton gets the opportunity to play a foul-mouthed, surly, drunken loser, it's hilarious. I don't have high hopes for this remake, but I just want something with a BAD SANTA vibe to it.
- Clean your apartment before your mother comes and does it for you.
- Take the baskets of laundry you did on Sunday out of your car.
- Check on last week's list.
- Anybody know of a really good toy that I can get Zoe? She's only been alive four days and doesn't have control over, you know, anything yet. She doesn't even know her name. But, still, I thought I should buy her something.
- Publishers of Michael Chabon's THE MYSTERIES OF PITTSBURGH have just re-released the book with a new cover, which I noticed earlier this week. If you've never read it, it's a very good coming-of-age novel in the vein of THE CATCHER IN THE RYE. Chabon won the Pulitzer for a later novel, THE AMAZING ADVENTURES OF KAVALIER AND CLAY, but MYSTERIES OF PITTSBURGH was his remarkable debut work. The book works whether or not you're a gay man - and Chabon himself is not gay, but every gay man I've handed it to has adored it.
- OK, have you ever gotten a crush on an old movie star? Someone like Tab Hunter, Paul Newman, Montgomery Clift, Elizabeth Taylor, William Holden, Rita Hayworth or somebody like that? This weekend, try to check out an old movie featuring somebody like that, then ask yourself just how hot they actually are. Seriously, a photo of Robert Redford from BAREFOOT IN THE PARK makes me melt.

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