Once, Ratatouille

Once is a beautiful, perfect little movie, filled with beautiful, perfect songs. I keep hearing it described as a musical, but that is silly talk. Music is entirely important to the movie, and that’s it. I have recently become a big fan of Glen Hansard’s work with The Frames (Set List and The Cost are both incredible), and now I’m nuts for this movie, too. If you’re lucky enough to find it showing where you live, go see it.

Ratatouille is no doubt the best thing I’ll see come out of Hollywood this year. I enjoyed seeing it in the theater, but I can’t wait to watch it again, in hi-def, at home. It’s a charming, likable story with a nice be-yourself-and-follow-your-dream message. Visually, it’s gorgeous. Gorgeous, I say. I dare any other animation studio to come anywhere close to this anytime soon. Don’t believe me?

This American Life in pictures

I’ve been waiting eagerly for the premier of This American Life on Showtime; it promises to be a compelling transfer to a visual medium, so watch for it March 22 at 10:30PM. It (and perhaps Dexter) is the only reason I’m considering keeping my Showtime service, and I’d have it scheduled for recording already if the piece-of-crap Time Warner DVR could get more than three days of programming schedule at a time.

The Fountain

The Fountain is an ambitious movie, and I honestly enjoyed watching it. However, it is not a good movie in my opinion, if only because Aronofsky avoids any subtlety with the metaphorical/metaphysical bits. I understand the parallel stories are key to the story, and I enjoyed them all, but the “fishbowl” goes on so long that it appears to need a separate plot of its own. Carefully cutting almost ten minutes would have resulted in a movie I would have preferred by orders of magnitude.

The Goon Docks

Saturday I saw The Goonies in the theater again for the first time in over twenty years, and while many things made this movie perfect for me as an eleven year-old, what I remember loving most was the town itself. Mountains, green trees everywhere, interesting old houses, beaches that weren’t blazing hot. Even the rain. Everything that a kid could want. It was my idea of the perfect place for a kid to grow up, and it turns out this place is Astoria, Oregon.

Delicatessen out on DVD!

Always the Jean-Pierre Jeunet fan, I have often longed to again see Delicatessen. I’ve only seen it once, from what I believe was a crappy VHS copy my friend Vincent obtained from Oxford’s Take Two Video as it culled it collection. It’s been a long time.

Invariably, whenever Shawn and I get into movie talk, Jeunet comes up at some point, and regardless of faux debates around Amelie and Alien Ressurection, much art-nerd psychic power has been invested in longing to see Delicatessen again. This bitching and moaning was not in vain; thanks to us, it was released last week.

An interesting side note is that Amazon has it for $30, while it’s only $20 even at Best Buy.

Run, call, watch

I begin running again tomorrow. I want to drop fifteen or twenty pounds over the coming months, but I mostly need to get off my lazy ass and get in shape for the winter mountain season. In my current pitiful state, I’ll be lucky to get three out of five days of snowboarding in, and being a fat fuck dramatically increases my chance of injury.

I got three separate cold calls from recruiters today, two being for the same WebSphere administrator job somewhere in Ohio. One made the mistake of claiming I had submitted my resume to their system. I really am too polite to big fat fucking liars on the phone.

I finally watched The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy on DVD. Overall I wasn’t blown away, but neither was I disappointed. If anything I felt the movie was far too short, but I also get the same feeling from the book. Loved the cast (particularly Martin Freeman, Mos Def, and Zooey Deschanel), desparately hoping they will finish the series. There wasn’t nearly enough Stephen Fry narration; I must admit I’d far prefer to hear him read the book verbatim while the actors ran about on the screen, so don’t listen to me.

The Aquatic Life, Closer

Those who said I would enjoy The Aquatic Life with Steve Zissou (I count myself as one of those) were right. I guess Wes Anderson’s unqiue vision might polarize viewers, but I’ll be damned if I can understand why. The color, texture, and charm are undeniable, Bill Murray is perfect, and Willem Dafoe is hilarious. I liked it better than The Royal Tenenbaums.

I enjoyed Closer less so. I was convinced enough by all of the acting (and yes, I think I would have liked Natalie Portman quite a bit in this part even if she weren’t smoking hot), but I wasn’t very interested in the flaws of Dan and Anna. I found the relationships more stupid than tragic, but I’m willing to give the film another chance as I suspect there is more to it than my first impression (I suppose it’s too easy to rush to judgement when considering the honesty vs. fidelity angle).

Speaking of unpleasant movies, both James Woods and Melanie Griffith were outstanding in Another Day in Paradise. I originally had no intention of watching it, but I got sucked in and saw the entire thing last Friday on IFC. The Lou Diamond Phillips cameo was over the top.

I haven’t seen HHGTTG or Sith, and I honestly wonder if I will while they are still in theaters.