We had a nice dinner last night with old friend and bay area novelist and theater criticRadio Free Mike and his lovely wife. We talked about such things as kids, children, and Sean. (maybe some other stuff, I forget.) Mike has a Blog.
Die Another Day (2003) - Good Good - This Bond film combines the usual awesome stunts and extremely cheesy dialog with a more or less sci-fi plot. Good fun if your expectations aren't too high. And you like to see stuff blowed up.
The Mckenzie Break (1970) - Bad Bad - This is a movie set during WWII in a German naval POW camp in Scotland. The inmates are organizing and starting to rebel, and hard-drinking Irish British Intelligence Captain Brian Keith (the dad on Family Affair) in sent in to diffuse the situation. I really wanted to like this movie, but there were several aspects of it which I credit to the strange era of filmmaking around 1970 which make it so I can't reccomend it. For one thing, the Germans talked to themselves in German, which can be good in a war film when it's easy to figure out the gist of what they're saying (schnell! schnell! aaaaaaah!), but here there are long stretches (and I think a whole subplot) where I as the viewer would have really liked to know what they were talking about. Also it was very dark and hard to see what was going on much of the time. Plus the ending. Highlight the following spoiler text if you want to read why I didn't like it: In the big ending chase, which lasted about 20 minutes, almost all the Germans and their submarine get away. I couldn't believe it! The sub clearly should have been sunk and all those Nazis blowed up. It left me very dissappointed.
Led Zeppelin (Live DVD) - (2003) - Good Good Good Good Good - This new DVD is incredible! It's two discs contain over 5 hours of live music, and at a price of under $25 this is the deal of the century. The live material includes a full concert from 1970, several early tv performances, and several songs each from performances during 1973, 75, and 79, including an acoustic set. The music and video have been re-mastered using the latest digimal techmology and look like they were filmed yesterday. Two highlights so far (I haven't seen it all yet:) 1) Bonham's drum solo during the 1970 show, filmed from about 5 feet away. It's very musical and virtuoso, proof that he was the best drummer ever. He plays one section with his hands, and later starts doing triplets so fast that his arms become a blur. 2) A Danish TV performance of four songs in black and white with Jimmy playing his telecaster. The sound is great and Jimmy goes for his bow twice in four songs.
posted by Greg 9:23 AM
Monday, June 23, 2003
It has recently come to my attention that two 11 year old photos of several shaggy roustabouts including myself have recently appeared on the internet. They only prove that I once played a black acoustic guitar in a basement in Bratislava while wearing shorts. No inference about how bad I (may or may not have) smelled should (or legally could) be made. This was before the era of digital cameras, so I have no idea how they ended up in a computer, and this link is provided for purely informational purposes.
posted by Greg 3:05 PM
We took Sean in to the doctor for his checkup this morning, and everything's fine. He weighs 19lbs, 8 oz. and is 29 inches long. That means he's grown a little over an inch a month so far. I just made some calculations and it looks like he's going to end up being about 15 feet tall.
posted by Greg 10:31 AM
Sunday, June 15, 2003
We visited the Millers again yesterday and I got to hold Jackson for quite awhile. He sure is cute!! He's so small and warm and cuddly, and holding him brings back a lot of good memories from 8 months ago. Plus I got some shark camo pj's and a Sean t-shirt for dads-day, so it's shaping up to be a great weekend.
posted by Greg 10:14 AM
December 7th - (1943) - Good Good - This is a propoganda documentary made by John Ford and his cinematographer Gregg Toland about the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbour. It's not a great film but is extremely interesting as a historical document. It's first section is set on Dec. 6th and features Walter Houston's Uncle Sam arguing with a character representing his conscience about the threat posed by Japanese-Americans living in Hawaii. This part goes on and on and it's purpose seems to be to whip up support for internment (without saying so directly) and general hatred for the Japanese. The rest of the film features footage from the attack, some real and some obviously fake, and many scenes of the aftermath and rebuilding. The final scene takes place in a military graveyard and has the ghost of a sailor killed that at Pearl Harbor arguing with the ghost of a WWI doughboy killed on the Marne about weather this will be the war to end all wars. The sailor is convinced that America will realize it's place in the world and use it's power to end this war and any chance of future wars, but the doughboy says he's heard that all before. Of course the film present's the sailors view as the triumphant one, but we modern viewers know that the doughboy's more cynical take turns out to be the correct one. A strange end to a strange film.
X2: X-men United - (2003) - Good Good Good Good - This is a fast-paced and ambitiously sprawling sequel to the first X-men movie. With it's many mutant characters it has the feeling of a Justice League cartoon but done with state of the art visual effects. All the characters were interesting, but with so many to follow the thing that holds it all together is the simple yet compelling plot. I liked it as much if not more than Matrix Reloaded. The action was more varied and the "issues" it raised about xenophobia and racism were more relavant then Matrix's meaningless choice vs. causation debates.
posted by Greg 3:46 PM