Friday, September 23, 2005

Things to do when you're not on Wisteria Lane.

- Since I didn't go to a screening of it a couple weeks ago, I suppose I could use the cliche and say that I'm dying to see TIM BURTON'S CORPSE BRIDE this weekend. I mean, I'm a fan of THE NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS, to the degree that I can be heard singing "Kidnap the Santy Claws ..." at random points during any given week. Beyond that, the stop-motion animation looks great, and the story is just weird and sick. And the cast of voices is intensely talented. So, yeah, this is my top destination at the movies this weekend.

- Even though DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES returns on Sunday - and I am excited about that, I am more excited over the fact that the second season of the genius show VERONICA MARS begins on Wednesday at 9 on UPN. Because it airs opposite LOST, which is good but frustrating as hell, I'm going to beg you to watch Kristen Bell's stunning mystery show - and tape or TiVo LOST - because they're launching the new mystery on Wednesday. (It's got a new, big mystery every season - like BUFFY and her Big Bads.) It's a great show. Kevin Smith loves it. Joss Whedon loves it. I love it. You should love it. Kristen Bell's outrageously pretty. And it has cute boys. The makers of VERONICA MARS need about 2 million viewers more than they have, so please, please, please watch it. At the very least, it should be the most popular show on UPN, next to EVERYBODY HATES CHRIS.
- This week's list came late, for I was busy writing an in-joke short story for some friends. They then delayed me from writing the list further by showering me with accolades. Beyond that, Lupo came to visit for lunch. And I'm seeing Vic tonight. This was, like, the best Friday in ages.
- Perhaps inspired by those odd credit card commercials, omeone's finally written an identity-theft novel, and it's supposed to be pretty good. It's called USER I.D., and Entertainment Weekly recommended it.
- Oprah's Book Club has selected a new book for all the yentas to read, and this time it's not really a classic. It's also not a novel. Nor is it punctuated with any semblance of order. Oprah has picked James Frey's A MILLION LITTLE PIECES, which I've probably mentioned on this site before. It's about a guy who nearly kills himself through drug use, then decides to buck conventional 12-Step Programs in favor of sobering himself up. Oprah, frankly, hasn't picked a book this hip since Jonathan Franzen's terrific novel THE CORRECTIONS.

- Sometimes, and I know this is probably just me, I like to watch old French murder mysteries. Not just old French movies, but old French murder mysteries and thrillers like QUAI DES ORFEVRES, EYES WITHOUT A FACE or PEPE LE MOKO. This week, the Landmark is playing Louis Malle's ELEVATOR TO THE GALLOWS, and the plot sounds twisted. A guy murders another guy in an office building and escapes, leaving behind the perfect crime. But the murderer's made a mistake, leaving a clue, so he heads back to the guy's office to fix his 'perfect crime.' Then, of course, he gets stuck in the elevator. Sounds like fun.
- Reviews of Martin Scorsese's new documentary NO DIRECTION HOME: BOB DYLAN have been great, and my Dylan fandom has been growing for the past couple weeks. It came out on DVD first, but PBS is showing it starting on September 27.

- PROOF, which I saw a couple weeks ago, opens at the Landmark this week, and you should see it for Gwyneth Paltrow's performance. It's a pretty good movie, if not a great one, and the acting is uniformly strong. I think its release, which was delayed, signals the start of this year's Jake Gyllenhaal-a-thon. Stay tuned for every gay man's dream movie,BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN, and JARHEAD. Gyllenhaal's in so many movies this year, he's this year's Jude Law.
- Every time I see the ads for FLIGHTPLAN, I yell, "WHERE'S JULIA?!!!" whenever Jodie Foster does. Is that weird?
- Clean your apartment.
- Get a Savannah tourism guide so that you can come up to things on your trip to see Lupo.
- Take out the trash.
- Do laundry.
- Go to the bank.
- Check last week's list.
- Yesterday, my office, for a moment, took out the walls of my cubicle, and it was a humbling experience. All of a sudden, you could see everything I do (and don't do) at my desk. How much of our lives are spent doing things we wouldn't do if people were watching?
- AMC offered no-questions-asked refunds earlier this summer to anyone who attended yet remained unmoved by Russell Crowe's well-made bomb CINDERELLA MAN. Of course, if you don't like a movie enough to walk out of it, you can complain to management. Most people only try to utilize the refund option, though, when the moviegoing experience was bad (i.e., crying babies, ringing cell phones, etc.) I read this article, though, which prompts me to ask this week's question. Have you ever walked out of a movie in the middle - because the movie was so bad it was unbearable - and demanded a refund? I've done this twice, for ENOUGH and for THE CAT IN THE HAT. Has an awful movie ever prompted you to complain to theater management? If no movie has ever been unbearable for you, what else led you to complain to management at a theater?

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