February 20th, 2008

iAm iSaid

Warning: This entry mentions Meet the Spartans

Film Score Monthly's Scott Bettencourt saw Meet the Spartans so you don't have to:
I am beginning to think that writer-directors Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer may be the smartest people in Hollywood, because despite lacking any talent for comedy whatsoever, they manage to get a major studio to release a new comedy film of theirs every year. On the plus side, Sean Maguire does an amusing Gerard Butler impression, [Diedrich] Bader and [Kevin] Sorbo do some welcome underplaying, Christopher Lennertz' score finds the right tone (though it's probably not hard to parody a score that was so derivative the studio had to publicly apologize), and the usual knee-jerk gay panic humor is justified by 300's bizarre mix of homophobia and homoeroticism. But in all of Meet the Spartans' excruciating 84 minutes, there were only two moments that even remotely amused me (the first sight of the baby Leonidas, and Leonidas' failed attempt at a stirring, St. Crispin's Day-style speech), and the rest is intolerable. The filmmakers seem to acknowledge that their audience is comprised of idiots, as they have to overexplain even the most obvious references ("Xerxes looked like the fat guy from Borat," "Her rage consumed her like Tobey Maguire in Spider-Man 3") and continually stop the film with unamusing product placements and endless "parodies" of American Idol, America's Next Top Model and Deal or No Deal.
As quoted from Part IV of his roundup of this year's scheduled films. Mentioned again later when he admits he didn't see the recent film Over Her Dead Body: "Even I, a longtime [Paul] Rudd fan, wasn't willing to pony up the ten bucks, and I paid to see Meet the Spartans (if only so I could hate it with impunity)."
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    The Bravery, "An Honest Mistake"
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Cirque seen soon

Looks like, from what I can see from my commute route, Cirque du Soleil is preparing to erect its Grand Chapiteau for next month's show Corteo. The tent'll go up on the west bank of the Willamette between the Ross Island and Marquam Bridges -- shifted a little bit south from last time, since OHSU's built a parking lot next to the Marquam since Cirque's last visit in 2006 -- and will temporarily house me and several family members in two-and-a-half weeks. 'Cause we're seein' it!

Ah, prep. This is one of the non-glamorous parts of anything, even something as surreal as Cirque du Soleil. It still needs flat asphalt on which to put the tent, towers and wires to hold up the tents, power generation for those tents, power lines to get said power to the tents, and people in hard hats to make all that (oh, and the tents) come together.

It was especially non-glam this morning: it looked like a construction site. Tractor-trailers were lined up on Moody Ave., the eventual tent site had a slightly irregular oval of what I'm guessing is temporary asphalt or something, and Portland had enough of a cloud layer above it that there was little to no direct light, and not even any cool sunrise colors visible to the east. The cloud cover didn't even manage to be all that atmospheric (unlike the fog bank over east Portland Tuesday morning). It just looked flat.

It won't look flat soon. It'll be visible from parts of Pill Hill, including the VA-OHSU Skybridge; I'll enjoy seeing the Gran Chapiteau once it's up. Thank you, all of you putting it up! Thanks for doing that.
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    The Afternoon Buzz: Daria, Mitch, and Ted
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This I believe.

No particular reason for saying this except I wanted to say it:

I have the feeling that the common denominator in cynical people is that, at some level, a cynic believes the rest of humanity is as cynical as s/he is.

The thing is, said cynic only needs to see one other person act that cynically to confirm that belief.

I'm all organiz-ized!

My journal, now three years and five months old, is now a little more organized for your ease-of-access purposes. Yes, I've spent the past week or so tagging various topics that keep coming up in this LJ.

The topics that occur enough in my journal to warrant their own headings:
* Blood: Really, I write a lot about my blood donations.
* Dreams: They're important to me, and usually very vivid.
* Film Reviews: So if you're not a film fan, you know what entries to avoid!
* Firefly: I started this tag when I was attending the "Firefly at the Mission" screenings. It's become a catch-all for various Joss Whedon-related shows I've also encountered.
* Flashbacks: I've had this for a while. These are pre-LJ writings of mine that I saved and put on my journal, for archiving and sharing.
* NaNoWriMo: Short for National Novel Writing Month. I've attempted it twice; I know people who've completed book-length works for NaNoWriMo; I'm intrigued by this idea and have subscribed to its newsletter. Read about my attempts to actually do it.
* Peregrinations: Travels. I walk a lot. I see a lot while walking a lot. Those observations show up here. (It's not strictly limited to walkabouts.) I first used the word "peregrinations" in this LJ entry. I'd also like to thank Peter David, Writer of Stuff for reminding me of that word in his novel Tong Lashing.
* Poetical: When I get in a songwriting, poetic, or even filking mood.
* RHD: Short for Rabbit Hole Day. Each January 27th, the anniversary of Lewis Carroll's birth, my LJ writing gets...odder. (No comments from the peanut gallery.)
* Sport!: My sports-appreciating education continues in these entries.
* Work: Gotta have the funds to function. Gotta keep my ass in pants. Gotta write about work to keep my sanity while doing it...

So. These are paths to particular popular ponderings by chris_walsh. You're welcome.