I Was Thinking About Something Else

That pretty much sums up my life nowadays. I will be doing something, walking into a room or driving, and I will go askew. Someone will inevitably ask at that same moment, "What are you doing?". Which will confuse me and I can only respond, "Yeah, well...I was thinking about something else".

(formerly A Connecticut Yankee)

Location: Connecticut, United States

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Tuesday, July 27, 2004

Has everyone been good? (And here’s a tip. It would be much more interesting if you weren’t…)

What have I been up to?  Topics include;  How much I’ve missed the blog community and all the little bloglets,  my ‘vacation’, my new roof, the kitchen from Hell, and my takes on the Haunted Mansion, Cold Mountain, Spartan, and a re-viewing of Bourne Identity (so as to get up to speed with the new one).

In terms of the whole blog thing, I’ve just been going nuts! To recap briefly: My computer at home crashed (on or around the 16th), froze, due to some viral infection, and it was right at the beginning of Part I of my vacation (I’m back to work for a week then going on vacation again (aka Part Deux)).  Talk about cutoff at the knees! I know deep in the pit of my dark heart that I’m not a stalker, but man! I had no idea how much time I spent surfing the net and just being online for the sake of being online! (I was going to write here that it interferes with valuable beer/alcohol time…but then, oh yeah, right, as if that would ever be true).
As awful as it was, it was also liberating. I mean really did miss it but at the same time I was able to muddle through and did enjoy my time off. I really didn’t think about work at all. I mean at all. Which was really unusual. We acquired a new roof for Castle Carfax and a paint job (necessary for the last 6-7 years) is also forthcoming. But unfortunately nothing in the wizard’s bag for the kitchen from Hell. Referred to as such because it is a galley kitchen in which you cannot have the oven and refrigerator doors open at the same time because of a lack of space between them. I love our house but that fucking kitchen is an unholy nightmare. There are other reasons it is bad but that is another entry requiring photo’s. Picture the folks from This Old House dropping by and saying, “No way! That kitchen is so screwed”.

Before I get to the other movies I just want to take a moment to talk about a movie that I haven’t seen yet, but there are a couple, three things about the whole atmosphere surrounding the project that have really begun to bother me. And that project would be Catwoman.  Again, I haven’t seen it but, I’m bothered about the way it’s getting panned.  Not that it’s getting panned. If it sucks, hey, I’m there, burn it.  But it feels like there are other variables at work here. I am in no way a political kinda guy but I find it interesting that a movie starring an African-American woman as a beloved comic book character, and a Latino man over a mostly white cast (who are by and large evil) was getting killed before it went into previews. When the stars were making the talk show rounds and they brought there film clips to parade, I thought, ‘OK, maybe it could be a stinker but it didn’t warrant what I’ve been hearing.’ Halle Berry is a great actress and there is no reason she couldn’t make a really bad movie (cases in point; Ishtar, Howard the Duck, 1941) but that does mean she’s gone bad and can’t act (Steven Seagal) anymore. Four words: Bruce Willis, Hudson Hawk.
All’s I’m saying here is she’s not an idiot and you never know until the lights go down and they fire up the projector how bad a movie’s going to be. No one goes to the movies, shell’s out big bucks and sits down for a movie they’re sure will be bad. What would be the point. If it’s going to die let it die on it’s own, and even if it does it live again in rentals.
Jeez, let’s get to what I have seen. Cold Mountain. An awesome looking movie. Really. I loved the attention to detail in terms of making you feel the period it was set in. Didn’t care that that much about the love story part because they only knew each other really briefly, and spent most of the movie apart, which left me at a who cares point and their feelings for each other were to intense for their initial experience together. The other players on the other hand…My favorite thing in a movie is to find out that an actor I like appears when I didn’t know they were in the movie. Kathy Baker (from Picket Fences), no makeup, pioneer housewife, good solid woman character, fell in love with her, right there. She was awesome. Giovanni Ribisi, sleaseball. Perfect. Donald Sutherland. Great, as always. And I don’t want to take anything away from Nicole Kidman. She started out as a real loser character and came about beautifully. Jude Law, great job. Rene Zellwiger, Oscar, ‘nuf said.
Spartan, was out briefly. Got rave reviews. Went to video. Who knew? Val Kilmer as an operative with some Super Secret government agency (Not sure which one ) sent to rescue an important daughter of somebody more important. Val plays a cool guy, again, as he always does. This time though, he speaks David Mamet’s words. That alone makes it a cool movie. Nobody writes real dialogue like David Mamet. Sadly though, there are many people who can direct better than David Mamet. It may be that I just don’t like his directorial style (or perhaps it’s just not his forte) but that’s where it fell down for me, was in the visuals. It is still a good story, great dialogue, making it a most worthy rental.
The Haunted Mansion. I still vividly remember riding the ride at DisneyWorld the first time in 1973. That whole trip and subsequent trips to there and Disneyland are amongst my favorite memories. Oh, but we’re talking about the movie. It was better than I expected. When I first saw the trailers at the movies I thought, oh yeah, it’s gonna tank. And you’re wondering why did I rent it if I thought it was bad. Well, the Pirates of the Caribbean DVD had a special feature of an early 1970’s Wonderful World of Disney special on the opening of the ride and I thought the same would be true of the Mansion DVD. In an ironic twist of fate the Mansion DVD does have a similar special feature but it’s only accessible through a computer, and mine of course, is broken.
I always, without fail, no matter what, like Eddie Murphy. To me, he is just funny. Period. And he is always good with the drama too. The ride is not story based, but the one provided in the movie was good. Eddie Murphy’s wife turns out to be a dead ringer for the main ghost’s long lost love (ahh, that old chestnut). And race was never mentioned, which was very cool, although there is a referral to an event that could be construed as a race question, but it is so buried that it could go either way and if you were a kid, you wouldn’t notice or care anyway. I think eight or nine and above are ok for this movie, and actually I think those who see it as kids will remember it as one of their favorite movies later on. For me, the Ghost and Mr. Chicken with Don Knotts comes to mind. Many ride references appear in the movie.
Bourne Identity (revisited) – again, the DVD was rented so as to get up to speed with the new one, which I hear is good. The original was good, thoroughly enjoyed it. Only disappointment was Chris Cooper’s character getting killed in the first one. He is another one of them actor’s that I can watch in anything since I first saw him in Lonesome Dove. But then, everyone was great in that one.


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