Saturday, August 07, 2004

So Much Stuff Happened, Man (LONG POST)

First, my job with Mrs. Jackson's office looks to be semi-permanent until I find something better. I will confirm with her on Sunday when I give her a call. On the flipside, though, I have not gotten my check for the work I did. I have spent this past week calling and calling to see if I can get it. I am completely frustrated with how they do business, and part of me wants to just reject Mrs. Jackson's offer because I don't want to do any type of real work without getting paid. We'll have to see.

On a good front, I may be contributing to a website called Bean Soup Times. Basically, it's kind of a black spin on The Onion. I met with the creator/editor and I've sent off some initial work. If any of it makes it into the site, I'll post here.

Meanwhile, I saw more movies on video. Here are some reviews:

The other day, I watched the movie Confessions of A Teenage Drama Queen. I heard it was bad, but nothing prepared me for just how bad. For the record, it isn’t the actors’ fault. Lindsay Lohan does her best with what she is given. However, everything else about it is just horrible. The story is disjointed and it feels like crucial in-between scenes were eliminated. The pace is very slow, especially for a movie that is only 90 minutes long. There is no hint of originality, creativity, drama, or humor in the screenplay. This movie is worse than any Disney Channel original movie. I guess for every hit, you need a miss. It’s funny that this movie came out right between Lindsay Lohan’s bonafide hits, Freaky Friday and Mean Girls. I bet if she had her way, Confessions of A Teenage Drama Queen would have never seen the light of day...and I wish it never had.

Touching The Void is a movie based on the true story of the harrowing experience of two mountain climbers climbing up the Siula Grande mountain in Peru. One of the climbers breaks his leg during the descent. When that climber ends up over a ridge and dragging down his partner, the partner does the unthinkable and cuts the rope between them. Fortunately, both climbers do survive this experience. The movie is part documentary and part "movie". It intersperses interviews with the climbers as they talk about their experience in great detail with re-enactments shot on the same moutain where the experience happened. It's a harrowing and scary experience and the re-enactments look extremely real. After seeing this, not only would I never want to climb a mountain, I cannot understand why anyone would. Even though the climbers survive, it's such an ordeal that you end up still feeling a little depressed. Touching The Void is not a bad film, but it's not one I will ever sit through again.

I also watched Hellboy, the movie based on the Dark Horse comic book about a demon summoned by the Nazis who becomes the main line of defense against evil paranormal phenomena. I have never read the comic book, but after seeing the movie, I think I may have to. Not because the movie sucked...but because it was actually pretty good. Ron Perlman puts in a great performance as the cigar-smoking, kitty-loving, red guy with one stone hand. The movie is as funny as it is action-packed. It's PG-13 rated, though, so the action is more goopy than bloody. Guillermo Del Toro proves that he is the best person for such material with his screenplay and direction. I liked his direction in Blade II, and it's just as good in this movie. Hellboy isn't the best action movie I've seen, but it's a lot of fun to watch. Here's hoping there's a Hellboy 2.

In addition, here are some random comments:

-Rest in peace, Rick James. He was a great musician who did a lot more than just "Superfreak." He was the one who brought Teena Marie to the world. He created music so good that rappers still sample it to this day. It's sad that he dies just as he was making a comeback of sorts. Chappelle's Show (and its quotable line "I'm Rick James, bitch!") introduced him to a whole new generation. He was doing music again and he even sang with Teena Marie at the recent BET Awards. My dad just bought a collection of his music less than a week before news of his death. He will be missed.

-ESPN sucks. Why? Well, they decided to make it so that the last portions of their X-Games coverage takes place during Sportscenter. That's see how the competition ended, you had to actually watch Sportscenter. Are the ratings that bad for the show that they had to do that? They wouldn't do this to basketball, baseball, or football. Imagine if you were watching a baseball game and suddenly you heard "to see the bottom of the 9th inning, watch Sportscenter, coming up next." Wouldn't you be pissed?

Also, I have a bone to pick with their coverage of the USA Basketball Team's exhibition games. The clock during the game is horrible (the shot clock is barely visible). They cut away during play to show replays (instead of waiting between plays as they do for NBA games). They even had the nerve to somehow not show the buzzer beating shot by Allen Iverson to win the game versus Germany. You saw the ball go up in the air and then heard the announcer tell you the good news. They couldn't show it until the replay. Thank goodness they won't be handling the actual Olympic basketball games.

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