Thursday, June 25

Quickie Before Bed

Sticking with the loosely veiled innuendo suggested by the title of this post, I present to you the newest Trojan commercial for their new Ecstasy brand condom. I think it's marvelous.

Also, I have been meaning to share my overwhelmingly positive opinion for the new best value in fast food - the Grilled Chicken Burrito from Taco Bell. For 89¢ this avacado-ranch laden monster is tremendous, and has definitely edged out the 99¢ McChicken for the much sought-after title. As you all no doubt remember, the McChicken stole the title in a not so hotly contested battle when Arby's upped the price of their 5 for $5 roast beef/Arby's melt/etc. deal which had held the title for a while since it was relinquished by the failing Hot N Now who offered a bag of burgers for as much change as you happened to have in your pockets. Really though, you should try it, it's quite good.

Good night.

Wednesday, June 10

Movies, Secret Santas, and More

I came home yesterday to quite a surprise. I opened my mailbox to find it absolutely stuffed full of stuff. I was worried because there seemed to be a somewhat large package jammed in there, and I was concerned that the maillady had broken it. My first thought was that I recently subscribed to National Geographic magazine, so I thought maybe my first issue had arrived. When I grabbed it though I knew it wasn't that as it was hard, and well-packed into an envelope. The package was addressed to me from Best Buy. I was getting a little irritated as I walked down the stairs to my apartment door. I had had a rather horrible day and just never really got things going, so I was disappointed that Best Buy had messed up an order I had made to ship my Mother Darius Rucker's amazing album to her house. I didn't really want to deal with getting my money back from them that evening.

However, walking in the door, I was able to tear the package open. Inside I was surprised to find a copy of Quantum of Solace which I had by no means ordered. My absolute initial reaction was confusion, but I was immediately overwhelmed by laughter at the realization that someone had played a delicious trick on me. I'm not going to say who it was, but it could only be one person in the whole world, and I'll give you a hint… he likes Star Wars… and running

Anyways, he had teased me twice previously about my last blog post where I listed the things that I was grudgingly giving up to save money. Quantum of Solace was among them. A few days after I wrote that he shared with me that he was in fact just sitting down to watch it with Joshe. He also called just the other to jab me about it again. Well, of course, he is the only one that could get enough gratification from the gag of sending me an anonymous treasure to justify the hassle of actually ordering it.

Well I would just like to say, I sure liked it, and I'll tell you what there wasn't a better day for me to get that pick me up either. I really needed it, so thank you anonymous. Mindy and I watched it immediately. It was good, no Casino Royale, but it was fun, and there were definitely some good signs that the series will continue at it's currently high quality. First of all, you can really see great emotional vulnerability smashed so contradictorily with inhuman brutality that made the previous film so wonderful. When Bond, loses his friend Mathis, holding him as he takes his last breaths, and then tosses him in the nearest dumpster directly following his passing. It really gives Bond some character, makes him crunchy and interesting, as opposed to the flat, cliche that he tended to be in the lean years. I think this focus on Bond's development (and some excellent story direction) allows the writers to continue to pursue less far-fetched super-villians who can keep the film feeling more real, and allow us as viewers to not be constantly reminded that we are in a theater watching a ridiculous work of fiction.

After that, Mindy and I watched Seven Pounds. I had not seen any reviews or heard any buzz since it had entered the theaters last year. However, I remember being very interested in the trailer. I think that Will Smith is a fantastically talented actor, and very underrated as a dramatic character. Anyways, I was enthralled from the opening scene. Unfortunately, Mindy and I balled our eyes out, but it was a wonderful movie and carries my full endorsement, easily four or five stars.

In similar news, I have just finished reading Watchmen. It was my first graphic novel, and I must say, I really enjoyed the experience. There are really some interesting mechanics involved in digesting a graphic novel, plus the plot was worthwhile if somehow less than earth-shattering. I was blown away with the unique ability to experience multiple (three in this case at times) distinct stories absolutely simultaneously which is completely impossible in other formats. A book can share multiple plot lines, but you are forced to experience them serially. Movies are more capable in this regard, as we can have one plot occurring graphically with another present in narration, however the dialogue is limited to one track and the graphical presentation may also only be digested one at a time (excluding split screens which don't really tend to work all that well). I was also pleasantly surprised by the prose sections which served as chapter breaks. For example, we find Rorschach's police and psych reports in between some of the chapters, an excerpt from one of the books mentioned in the comic in another, and a scholarly essay written by one of the characters published in a journal. This level of immersion was similar to the experience of reading the many histories of Middle Earth while experiencing the LoTR series.

So I really enjoyed it, and was happy that Joshe let me borrow his copy, after taking me to see the movie last time he was up. I think that my first foray into graphic novels was greatly lubricated by my having seen the movie. I think it definitely takes some different focus to understand what is going on in a comic than do other media. However, as I've said, overall I was very happy with it. The author is obviously psycho, and I kind of hope he is dead because I think there is a good chance that he was on the cusp of becoming a serial-killer. He clearly has some deeply seeded mommy issues which really shine through his work, although they were less prominent in the film adaptation. I have attached a picture as proof. You will have to take my word for it that these are mommy issues, but I think a less than subtle fear of women is clearly evidenced by the super-monster at the end (sketch and final product).

If not for anything else, Dr. Manhattan's chapter about time, and the way that it capitalizes on the strengths of the graphic novel experience is jaw-dropping and worth seeking out.

I'd lastly like to highlight two photoshops from Erox that are really really awesome.