hello to 2009!

I am not sure which is worse, that I was in bed before midnight on new year’s eve or that I don’t care that I was in bed before midnight on new year’s eve.

hmmm.

I wish I could wave a magic wand and have all the holiday decorations put themselves away. I don’t mind putting them up, but taking them down is such a freaking pain. I do like buying things on clearance after christmas though. I like spending money and I like spending money on things I don’t need that are 50-75% off original prices! How many calendars did I buy this year? umm, five. five, not including the ones I bought for other people. I have a real problem with calendar buying. something is wrong with me. how many calendars does one person need?

ry update: he’s doing much much better, his platelet count is normal, and all is well. yay!

what other mundane details of my mundane life can I share with you? Let’s see.

Well, the book I’m reading right now, your brain on music, is very interesting and quite impressive. I am fascinated. I now have even more admiration for my musician friends than I did before. A lot goes into music-making. But I also have more admiration for myself, because a lot goes into music-listening, and I am an excellent music listener. I don’t know the technical aspects of music at all, but I’m still a music genius. it’s pretty incredible.

There are many subjects the author talks about that amaze me. For instance, he was explaining how sound doesn’t really exist until something is there to receive and interpret the waves. Well, it exists, but not really. Basically, if a tree falls in the woods and no one is there to hear it, it does not make a sound. He was also saying how things don’t have a color until there is something there to process the waves. That idea, of something existing but in ways that are unnoticed or undefined… well, it’s seductive and leads you down roads of thought that get quite heady.

I really need to learn an instrument.

what else, what else. I am currently obsessed with a puzzle-solving game on xbox called braid. it’s a surreal, unadorned but sublime kind of fun. I am trying not to play it so much I get tired or bored of it. you can only play it if you have xbox live. if you ask for it at gamestop the nerds there will look at you like you’re a moron. which you don’t want, trust me.

we saw the curious case of benjamin button, which I thought was okay at first but then realized it was complete crap and now I hate it. my friend marianne wrote a better email review of the movie than I ever could but I will try to explain.

the movie asks for a lot in the suspension of disbelief. I am okay with that. I don’t mind movies that require a certain amount of “not in real life” type things. but you have to have the rest of the movie seem real and believable. so okay, I can accept that this brad pitt character is born old and ages backwards. but then all the little details were so completely silly or unrealistic they made you not care, distracted you, or just annoyed you. for instance, cate blanchett’s character was stupid and completely useless. And that was the biggest reason the movie sucked, because you’re supposed to think that she is the driving force behind benjamin button, the great love of his life, blah blah blah. but she was a selfish bitch and I didn’t care about her at all and found her completely unlikable. he loved her because she was beautiful. that’s it. the whole reason. lame.

also, the movie takes place between the 1900-1970, approximately. what was one of the biggest cultural issues of our country in that time? race. and where does the story take place? new orleans, louisiana. you can’t get any more racially charged!

so what issue is completely ignored or utilized in the only the most superficial and cliched ways? race! black and white people all loved each other and had lots of money and got along great and there was no tension or struggle. which would have been tolerable I guess if the filmmaker hadn’t made race such a seemingly integral part of the story.

there was an exorbitant amount of those glossy movie scenes meant to charm and elicit some sort of emotional impact as they propel the story forward, but they were annoying and stupid (I may or may not have cried during this movie, but it isn’t a factor to be considered as I had major PMS and other household related mental and emotional injuries to contend with). like my friend marianne said, those scenes were there telling you the story instead of showing you. how do you show vs tell in a movie? well, I am not quite sure, but I do agree with marianne that this movie did it wrong. everything with cate and brad after they finally get together? beautiful people doing beautiful things in flattering lighting. I see that everyday in my own life, I don’t need it up on the big screen. boring.

marianne didn’t like how the movie glossed over the wars (while making them essential parts of the storyline). which is true. she felt that the character should have greater insight into the human condition other than “some people make buttons, some people dance.” she’s right. these were just little things. overall the whole movie was was cheap and easy and full of holes. plus it was 19 hours long or something. the cate blanchett character gets hit by a car and breaks her leg, and the movie spends only eight hours or so on the scene, why it happened and how and what it meant and blah blah blah blah blah.

oh, and also for some reason the movie takes place during katrina. I don’t know why. I never read the story it’s based on, but seeing as it was written oh just a few years before that hurricane, I have no idea why the screenwriter did what he did other than to exploit it. and don’t get me started on the easy convenience of everything. the dying mother in the hospital who happens to have her unpacked suitcase in the room, and happens to have the diary of benjamin button right there, all nicely packaged with cute little pictures and mementos, brimming thick with nostalgia, ready for the daughter to pick up and read as mom takes her last breaths? ugh.

the makeup and lighting was good, I will give it that much. and there were some funny or entertaining scenes, like the clips of the guy getting struck by lightning. it reminded me of AFV. and I really liked seeing brad pitt as this tiny quiet little old guy. it was cute. I want one!

anyway, I feel cheated and pandered to and it is no surprise that the chumps in this movie industry are raving about it. I guess the same guy who did this movie did forest gump. figures!

so there you go. a book review a movie review and a game review. oooohh maybe I should mention some music to round out the entertainment spectrum? I am currently trying to acquire all the music of grizzly bear, my new favorite band. not much of a review, but they’re good, really really good, how did I never hear about them before? as for TV, well, umm… the bruins have won 10 in a row and are tops in the entire league. suck on that san jose and montreal!

4 thoughts on “hello to 2009!

  1. morgan

    wow, that was a lot to read. I need a meal after that. I skipped over the benjamin button stuff though… I haven’t seen the movie, and I don’t need you ruining it for me. thank you. -Morgan

  2. Marianne

    An example of a movie that tells the story more than shows it and does it in the right way – The Princess Bride.

    Forest Gump, while using basically the same narrative device, still manages to do it better than the absurd Benjamin Button.

    One exemplary movie that comes to mind that both shows AND tells – Waitress. And American Beauty. Both movies have narratives that are basically “telling” you the story (in Waitress it is through her pies, and in American Beauty the main character narrates) but because the characters have such depth and complexity, you can also see the story through them, which makes all the difference in the world. Benjamin Button is a shallow character, he never makes you see the world with any particular insight, he never makes you really FEEL what he is feeling when he mechanically reports his multiple platitudes about life and love such as “nothing is permanent” or “some people dance”. While I like Brad Pitt in some things (and he is goddamn good to look at) I really think this particular awfulness about the movie speaks to his limitations as an actor.

    But really, I could go on and on about how much I hated this movie. And not the least of it was the scenes with Brad naked were too far away to do anyone any good.

    Hey, Christa, we should really go see the same movie more often….that was fun!

  3. gina

    I thought I wanted to see that movie, now I am not so sure. I saw Marley and Me – not what I really wanted to see, but it was the only thing playing. It was kind of pointless and really sad. Really played on the whole – dying dog sadness thing. Had to grit my teeth and try not to cry. God to look like Jennifer Anniston though – she has had some work done I think – on her nose and chin. I want to see Doubt and Gran Torino. Milk looks mildly interesting – but Sean Penn with that lisp kind of irritates me.

  4. DG

    Thanks, now I know there is no reaon to watch such an inane movie. Why do you torture yourself so?? The new Terminator movie and the new Star Trek come out in May!!

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