Burn After Reading

I happen to think that Brad Pitt is brilliant in comedic roles, but if that's enough for you, then consider it's a Joel and Ethan Coen movie also starring George Clooney, Tilda Swinton, JK Simmons, John Malkovich, and Frances McDormand. That should be enough to motivate you this fall. Here's the link to the trailer for Burn After Reading.And if nothing else, watch it to see Malkovich punch Pitt in the face.


Galactically Stupid

When I read about events in real life, sometimes a line from a favorite movie will pop in my head that encapsulates it for me. From Top Gun, "The defense department regrets to inform you your sons were killed because they were stupid," was such a line regarding this stunning story:
    LEBANON, Maine (AP) ― Two teenage girls sunbathing on a railroad trestle lost limbs when a train came upon them unexpectedly in this New Hampshire border town, police said Wednesday.

    The girls were lying on beach towels on the trestle over Three Mill Pond when the train rounded a corner and began braking and blasting its horn shortly before 11 a.m., said Lt. Gary Fecteau of the York County Sheriff's Department.

    The conductor and engineer say they never saw the girls move, but their injuries suggest they tried to scramble away at the last moment, Fecteau said.

    Destiny Phaneuf, 13, of Lebanon, lost her leg just below the knee; Rachel Brown 14, also of Lebanon, lost a foot, Fecteau said. Both were airlifted to Maine Medical Center in Portland.

    The girls were cutting class and enjoying the sunny weather when the freight train came upon them, Fecteau said. There's no indication the girls were impaired by alcohol or drugs, or that their hearing was impaired by headphones, he said.

    Phaneuf was unconscious when authorities arrived; Brown told police that the pair had fallen asleep while sunbathing, he said.
Once you get past the notion that this is indeed tragic (about two seconds), you realize that for the rest of their lives, if they were to give advice to a friend, that friend could be entitled to say, "Should we or should we not follow the advice of the galactically stupid!!!" (From A Few Good Men, for the newbies.) Classic.

New Bond Girl

Longtime reader and self-admitted fan of the regrettable Boondock Saints film Linguo sent me the following email this morning:
    I’m sure you’ve heard by now, but the new bond girl is Olga Kurylenko. She was smoking hot in Hitman. In my repeated viewings of Casino Royale, Eva Green never look as good as she did the first time I saw it in theatres. Her eyes are too big, or something. I know, I know, I might as well be saying “I don’t really like the way the door hinge looks on the Ferrari Testarosa”.
For your entertainment, here is a pic of Olga:Very cute, especially here:But, where Linguo's point falls short is when he tries to compare to Eva:And as Vesper:Again, is there ever a girl without makeup that looked this good?:Or hastily putting on clothes after a tussle:Or just looking straight-up gorgeous:
In short, here was my reply to the email:
    Look, I'm not the kind of guy to do it, but if I printed this out and took it down to my lawyer, I'm pretty sure I could have you committed. Just be glad I'm not concerned with the ravings of an obvious madman. Love, Matt.

    Now I'm going to post your email and my reply because genius should not be hoarded.
The end of 'debate'.


Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull

Here's the best encapsulation of my experience with Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull: it was FUN. It was exactly what the series is all about. Thrills, supernatural frights, great chase sequences, quips and laughs. All orchestrated, perpetrated, or at the expense-of our aging but not quite in-a-wheelchair hero. I may not see it again in the theater, but I will add it to my DVD collection, and not just to fill out the set.And now on to my complaints. Not about Indy 4, but from the litany of feedback that I have read or have gotten from various folks. (One of these days I'm going to write more about the cons of the Internet and how every single idiot's voice can be heard.)

Feedback #1:"Lucas has ruined yet another series!!!" Fan boys are the worst. You think that most of these people are probably under the age of 30, never having seen the originals in the theater and being spoon-fed their opinions from disgruntled adults who never liked movies. Notably, I have not met any negative reviewer of The Phantom Menace who has not conceded it was better than they initially thought, with repeated viewings, but then most just give up, go 'bah' and return to their caves safe from thought. Indiana Jones movies are about as polar opposite of the prequels as you can get -- you need to strap in and enjoy the ride and don't worry about the bumps along the way. Anyway, people like this are best avoided, because you really aren't going to learn anything from them except how to hate.

Feedback #2: "Where would you rank the film? Is it better than Raiders??" This is just irritating for me. I put it solidly at #2, right with Last Crusade and Temple. Raiders is god and the sequels are demi-gods. It's a great follow up. Period.

Feedback #3: "I liked it except for... [suspension of disbelief] issue." There are some parts to every Indiana Jones movie that makes you roll your eyes. Some people don't have issues with the same things that you do, but most have some moment when they are incredulous. Hey, you are watching a sequel called "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull". Think about it. And still people cannot stop going, "Yeah, but..." Ugh. See, when I saw Indy survive the nuclear blast in a lead-lined refrigerator that was kicked out about ten miles by the explosion, I laughed and thought it was marvelous. It's an Indiana Jones movie, for Christ's sake. Please don't tell me the forty things that were wrong with that stunt, lest I make a serious face, placing my hand thoughtfully on my chin and say, "Fascinating" with every pointless comment. And then again remind you that you are technically analyzing a movie called "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull". Please.

And if nothing else, see Indy 4 for one of the top three, yes top three (no, I'm not going to rank them right now), scenes in the whole series. (I am referring to the 'throw me the rope' scene.) I was literally laughing throughout the scene, not so much because it was funny (it was), but it was so outrageously clever. Come to think of it, I may pay ten bucks to see just that part again. Suspend your disbelief.

Half the Blood of Brooklyn

Not one to disappoint, Charlie Huston's third installment in his bloody, dirty, violent, and grotesquely fun series, Half the Blood of Brooklyn, sees first-person vampire thug/detective/all-around-tough-guy Joe Pitt burn more bridges than he can seemingly come back from in a short 240 pages.But this isn't a Twilight series (as I mentioned in my review of the excellent No Dominion), and the brusque style and brutal (and I do mean brutal) action and bloodletting reflects the storyteller's own demeanor; he has little time for games and bullshit. Pitt is a man of few words, but when he chooses to open his mouth, he's worth listening to.

Spoiler-free and proud of it, let's just say by the end of this third (in a promised five) book, Joe's got himself into even more of a hole. With the fourth book due out early fall (Every Last Drop, September 30 -- I just pre-ordered today), if the pattern continues, I'm guessing it's going to get a lot darker, a lot bloodier, and a lot more interesting before all is said and done. Huston keeps upping the ante on an already great series.


Drunken Vader

I'm not going to lie; I think the following story should be entered into the cannon of Star Wars somehow. I love that they included the Jedi names. I love that the perpetrator was caught on a camera set up to recrod their lightsaber duels. And I love that the guy who dressed up as Darth Vader, got drunk, and assaulted some 'Jedis' can't remember a thing because he was so wasted.
    HOLYHEAD, Wales (AP) -- A man who dressed up as Darth Vader, wearing a black garbage bag for a cape, and assaulted the founders of Britain's first Jedi church was given a suspended sentence Tuesday.

    Arwel Wynne Hughes, 27, attacked Jedi church founder Barney Jones -- a.k.a. Master Jonba Hehol -- with a metal crutch, hitting him on the head, prosecutors told Holyhead Magistrates' Court.

    He also whacked Jones' 18-year-old cousin, Michael Jones -- or Master Mormi Hehol -- bruising his thigh, in the March 25 incident.

    Unfortunately for Hughes, the incident was recorded on a video camera that the cousins had set up to film themselves in a light saber battle.

    "Darth Vader! Jedis!" Hughes shouted as he approached.

    Hughes claimed he couldn't remember the incident, having drunk the best part of a 10-liter (two-and-half-gallon) box of wine beforehand. "He knows his behavior was wrong and didn't want it to happen but he has no recollection of it," said Hughes' lawyer, Frances Jones.

    District Judge Andrew Shaw sentenced Hughes to two months in jail but suspended the sentence for one year. He also ordered Hughes to pay £100 ($195) to each of his victims and £60 ($117) in court costs.Barney Jones, his brother Daniel and cousin Michael set up the Church of Jediism, Anglesey order, last year. It claims about 30 members.

    Jedi is the faith followed by some of the central characters in the "Star Wars" films. In the 2001 United Kingdom census, 390,000 people -- 0.7 percent of the population -- listed Jedi as their religion.
The only thing that would have made that better would be if Vader had slurred some line from the movies. But, like the movies, I can read that story over and over and it just keeps getting better.

And for the hell of it, here's a reason why you should wake up every morning and thank James Earl Jones for existing:


The Lovely Bones

I read Alice Sebold's The Lovely Bones a few years back, but it is now back in the headlines because it is being adapted to screen. Over at Cinematical, they talk about the book, and I agree entirely with their assessment:
    Released in 2002, the novel became a smash hit despite an unknown author and a difficult subject. The story of fourteen-year old Susie Salmon, who watches the aftermath of her rape and murder from heaven, connected big time; glowing reviews and spectacular word of mouth kept the book on the bestseller list for over a year and helped sales exceed a million copies. I share the general enthusiasm. Sebold's prose is an elegant, efficient, beautiful wonder, and the novel is remarkable -- equal parts painful and hopeful, difficult and compulsively readable.
I do agree, right up until the book jumps the shark.I rarely have such a visceral reaction to books, but I couldn't resist adding my comments to the blog:
    I agree with that entirely, right up to the point where the book jumps the shark. If you have read the book, you know exactly where I am talking about. It changed the entire feel of the book so jarringly, I had to read the passage several times to make sure I had just read what I thought I did. Peter Jackson has an excellent, and rare, opportunity to excise that section and make the film better than the book.
Will he take out that ridiculous scene and save the movie?

Indy 4 Reviews

So, Rotten Tomatoes currently has Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull at 79% fresh, which is a good score. But, this is the kind of film, being a huge Raiders fans, that I am going to see no matter what anyone says. Still, I cannot resist movie reviews, so I browsed through some.Here's a review from Cinematical, that I think best captures what true fans of the series want and are gratified to hear:
    To those who spent the last several years offering lame jokes about Indiana Jones and the Retirement Home, be prepared to eat some crow. Yes, Indy does look quite a bit older than the last time we saw him, and fine, it's kind of absurd to expect a 60-year-old man to do what Dr. Jones does. In the real world. In a series that offers vengeful gods, mine cart roller coasters, and immortal knights ... are we really going to whine about an actor with a few new wrinkles on his face? Ford does many of his own stunts here, plus he's aided by several stuntmen, a few CG tricks, and some masterful editing. Not once does this guy seem too old to be doing his thing. As far as Mr. Ford's actual performance is concerned, he slips back into the character with no effort whatsoever. Wiser and more weathered, but absolutely the same old Indy.

    At this point you'd probably like a simple answer to a simple question: "Is it as good as the other ones?" To which I would answer "Yes, absolutely ... aside from the first one." To me (and many others), Raiders of the Lost Ark is right up there on a level with Casablanca, The Wizard of Oz, and The Godfather. In comparison, I consider Temple of Doom to be a stellar collection of action scenes that are punctuated by sub-par dialog and a horribly annoying damsel, while Last Crusade is a warm-hearted and creative adventure movie that suffered just a little bit from downright familiarity. So while I really enjoy Temple and Crusade, they don't hold a candle to their big brother. And Crystal Skull follows that arc to a tee: It's definitely got some over-clunky dialog, a touch of over-ripe "expositionzing," and at least one action beat that feels patently ridiculous, but complaining about those things (in the face of so much colorful fun) seems a bit greedy -- like opening your Christmas presents and then saying "That's it?!?!"

    Ultimately, you certainly don't need this review like you'd maybe need a review of something small, indie, or festival-bound, since you already know full well if you want to see a movie called Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. If you've made it this far, you probably just want to know what an old-school fan (who also happens to be a movie critic) thinks of the movie. Yes, I saw all three Indy flicks during their theatrical run, and more times than I care to mention. So with both sides of my brain (the geeky nostalgia side and the semi-smart analytical side) in working order, I can most assuredly recommend Indiana Jones Part 4 as one of the most comfortably entertaining adventure movies of the past several years. To expect any movie to live up to the Raiders standard is simply unfair, but Crystal Skull fits very excellently next to both Temple of Doom and Last Crusade.
Or, the short version from Roger Ebert:
    I can say that if you liked the other Indiana Jones movies, you will like this one, and that if you did not, there is no talking to you.
I'll be getting my tickets for tomorrow. Trust me.



Was there a dearth of great movies last year? Of Oscar-nominated caliber movies? I liked Juno. I liked Ellen Page. I even liked the writing. But in a million years I would never have nominated it for Best Picture. One. Million. Years.I have seen Michael Clayton, No Country for Old Men, and There Will Be Blood, and I think it is outrageous to include the title of this other film I am talking about in the same sentence, so I just won't do it. Again, Juno was good. It was entertaining. It was cutesy and quirky and a nice little film. But, for your consideration, here are a few other movies I have seen in 2007 that I would not be ashamed to include in the 'Best Picture' list that were excluded:
  • 3:10 to Yuma
  • Gone Baby Gone
  • Bourne Ultimatum
If you haven't seen any of the above, I entreat you to do so and tell me any of the above isn't a better consideration for 'Best Picture' than Juno.



Being a lazy Friday afternoon, my Internet browsing led me to a fun time-killing site called OObjects.com. It has all kinds of neat lists to peruse.

Ejector seat? You're joking!

Where have I seen that building in film? My favorite has got to be the Ennis House, where Rick Deckard lived in Blade Runner:

Video of the elevator ride on the CN Tower. I got dizzy just watching it.

We all live in Yellow Submarines.

And if we can't all get along, we can settle our differences on a good vs evil Foosball table.The roster on the official site says:
    GOOD: Santa Claus, Sir Thomas More, Flash Gordon, Christopher Robin, God, St. Francis of Assisi, Dr. Jekyll, Mary Poppins, Mother Theresa, M.K. Gandhi
I'm sorry, but reading that list just cracks me up. I would love to be on the evil team just to whup God day in and day out.


No video games for a whole weekend

Via QuizLaw, I see a CNN story video, below of a 7-year old who when joy-riding in his grandmother's SUV. And crashed into a few cars along the way. In his own words, "it's fun to do bad things."

Jesus, this kid is a poster-child for a future criminal. And by "future" I mean soon, because the county is planning to charge him with grand-theft auto. Just listening to the kid shrug off possibly killing someone or being punished 'a little' as appropriate is chilling.

I have to agree with the grandmother's response, "I wanna whip his behind. That's what I wanna do right now. If I thought they wouldn't take me to jail, I'd whip his behind right now." The kid's take, "Punish me a little... like take away video games for a whole weekend." Whoa, junior! Not so harsh! That's crazy bad, like say making you go out and exercise, my little tubby lard! No rush though; that's what they have the 'exercise yard' in lockup for.

Ending Raiders

Although we go way back, Kelly and I often don't see eye-to-eye, as he goes to church and loves his liberal views. However, when we do click, it's usually about movies, and usually about other people when they get things wrong. His response to another blogger who had issue with the end of Raiders of the Lost Ark, of all things, is a well-written passage:

    But to return to Raiders of the Lost Ark, I've never had a problem with the ending. Lance and his commenters seem to think that the ending doesn't fit the movie that precedes it, but of course it does! The early briefing scene, when Indy and Marcus Brody are explaining the Ark of the Covenant to the two Army guys who seem to never have attended Sunday School, has Indy opening his Bible to an engraving of the Ark blasting its enemies with "Lightning, fire, or the Power of God or something"; Marcus points out "The Bible speaks of the Ark leveling mountains and laying waste to entire regions. An army which carries the Ark before it is invincible." It's set up very early on that the object the Nazis are looking for contains within it the very power of God, and it's referenced again in the hold of the cargo ship when the Ark burns the swastika right off the crate, so at the end, when it's the Power of God which strikes them all down, it comes as no surprise. Nor, really, does the grisly nature of God's punishment toward those who touch his Ark seem inappropriate to anyone who has read any of the Old Testament at all. This is an instrument of the God who turned Lot's wife into salt because she looked back at where she'd come from. So yeah, melting the Nazis? I can see Old Testament Jehovah doing that.

    What doesn't quite add up is Indy's sudden realization that he and Marion will be safe as long as they shut their eyes and refuse to look openly on the power of the Ark. How did he know? Was it pure intuition? We don't know. In the novelization, there's a line from that old wise man Indy and Sallah visit for the translation of the writing on the Headpiece; the line seems to be prefaced in the movie, when he says "This is a warning, not to disturb the Ark of the Covenant." In the movie that's all he says, but in the book he adds something like "He who would open the Ark and look on its contents will surely die", reading from the Headpiece. So at the end, it's that bit of wisdom that Indy suddenly remembers. That would have made the ending of Raiders make a little more sense.
And, I found this to be particularly funny about the end that normally gets the 'last laugh' of the film:
    (And here's a thought: we all know that the Ark is locked away by the US Government by the "bureaucratic fools" Indy rants about at the end. But is that the right way to look at this? I imagine that Indy had to signal for a rescue from that island in the Mediterranean; assuming they're picked up by an American ship, they'd find a man, a woman, a golden box, and...a whole bunch of dead Nazis who have been slain in spectacularly nasty fashion. Upon returning to the US, these Army guys (one of whom is played by William Hootkins, who was the first Rebel pilot to die above the Death Star in Star Wars) learn all this, and now they've got a dilemma: Now that they have the Ark, what the hell do they do with it? If it's that powerful and indiscriminate in meting out punishment, then they can't very well use it in any meaningful sense; and they can't put it back where it was found, now that the Nazis know where Tanis and the Well of Souls are. So, they take the last option that makes any sense: they seal it away themselves, someplace secret and safe. Makes sense to me, and Indy's "bureaucratic fools" are actually doing the only responsible thing they can. How about that?)
Unfortunately, we don't often see eye-to-eye on a lot of things; I couldn't even agree on his first post on 100 things that bug me. We'll always have Indy.

Dark Knight: Jokerised

The new trailer for The Dark Knight was distributed last weekend, and prior to that there were select screenings. On some of those screenings, viewers were treated to a "Jokerised" version of the trailer, which turns out to be not as much hilarious as a work of genius. See below:

My favorite (aside from the light saber) is probably the opening, when he write "Jump!!" over the screen. This viral marketing campaign has really upped the ante in terms of whetting the appetite.

Iron Man

I'm impressed with Iron Man. Not just because it was one of the more thoroughly enjoyable films I've seen, but because it lived up to the hype, maybe even exceeding it.It should go without saying at this point that Robert Downey Jr. is fantastic. What deserves to be mentioned is that this is a tight movie. At a point early in the first act, I realized something clever the filmmakers had done in their slow-reveal of a certain Marvel counterterrorism agency and I wanted to whisper it to my girl Danny sitting next to me. I wanted to wait for a lull in the action to note my findings -- and had to wait about an HOUR before there was anything resembling a lull. That's how entertaining the entire film is; if nothing else, it is one heck of an engaging experience.

Last night a friend asked me if he would like it, and I responded, "I'm hard pressed to think of anyone who wouldn't. Unless, of course, you really want to." Yes, according to Rotten Tomoatoes there are about 9% of reviews that weren't overwhelmingly positive, and one of those is from my old standby, Walter Chaw, who occasionally doesn't keep his eye on the ball because of his obsession with political allegory. His review is entertaining, but certainly not persuasive enough to suck the fun out of the film. It's too bad (and yet entertaining in itself) that he observes:
    Consider a scene where Iron Man rockets to the Middle East, saunters around to Led Zeppelin and AC-DC in an interesting/depressing update of the Wagner-scored helicopter attack from Apocalypse Now, and makes it back in time for a starlet elbow-rub covered by E! basic cable. If Batman Begins and Superman Returns capture how Americans think of themselves in their darkest, most introspective moments, Iron Man offers a glimpse into how Americans project themselves into the world as a giant, swinging, turgid dick. It's Dr. Strangelove but not as satire. Meanwhile, although Stark's alcoholism is downplayed, the casting of Downey Jr.--his personal backstory addiction-infected enough--lends the film a healthy degree of vital self-awareness: this Stark's drug of choice isn't firewater, it's leggy blondes and technophilia in the form of making things in racing red that blow up real good. (Note Stan Lee's requisite cameo as Hugh Hefner.) The real insight offered by Iron Man is that, as a culture, we're no less addicted to it. iPods and Bluetooth and Summer Blockbusters that cost more than it'll take to rebuild Myanmar after ten thousand of their people are swept out to sea: looks like a job for Iron Man.
Walter as usual is very insightful, witty, and in this case, ultimately self-defeating. Iron Man, Tony Stark, that is, IS a dick. He is not Batman, and sure as hell isn't Superman. Often the character makes a lot of questionable decisions, but ultimately he's doing what he thinks is right, his way. In other words, he is who he is, and the movie is what it is. And the only way you're going to dislike the film is if, like Walter, you work really hard to miss the point.


New Moon

On the other end of the readability spectrum from Gravity's Rainbow is the sequel to Twilight, New Moon. Author Stephenie Meyer is admittedly long-winded, but her last two-hundred pages saves the best for last and sets up a lot of interesting scenarios for the next chapter. In short, she manages to make the book overall a better read than the original.While I am enjoying the series and its different take on vampires (and werewolves) and star-crossed love, a couple of things give me pause. I will say that if in fact teenage girls are ridiculously overwrought with petty emotions and prone to bouts of insanity, then Meyer couldn't capture heroine Bella better. Sure she's willful and headstrong... and kind of an idiot. Meyer taps into the notion of the teenage notion of instant beautiful romance and love, but that lead vampire Edward, who is over 100 years old, would declare such love in the same way makes me actually think they are made for each other to be that DENSE. There are some points in the book that I really want to slap them all upside the head... but then this is a 'young adult' book, isn't it? I should expect those moments. Unfortunately, this goes on and on in New Moon for the first 300 of 500 pages, until we finally get some plot going.

In the end: Did I like the book? Yes. Could it have been trimmed by about a 100 pages? Absolutely. Will I get the next one in the series? Yes.

Gravity's Rainbow

It's hard to shake off the sting of defeat, but somehow I feel that by giving up on reading the much-lauded (and hated) cult classic Gravity's Rainbow, that I'm beaten. I think the Wikipedia entry summarizes the book well in its introduction:
    Frequently digressive, the novel subverts many of the traditional elements of plot and character development, traverses detailed, specialist knowledge drawn from a wide range of disciplines, and has earned a reputation as a "difficult" book.

    In 1974, the three-member Pulitzer Prize jury on fiction supported Gravity's Rainbow for the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. However, the other eleven members of the board overturned this decision, branding the book "unreadable, turgid, overwritten, and obscene." The novel was nominated for the 1973 Nebula Award for Best Novel, and won the National Book Award in 1974. Since its publication, Gravity's Rainbow has spawned an enormous amount of literary criticism and commentary, including two reader's guides and several online concordances, and is widely regarded as Pynchon's magnum opus.
I read about 90 pages of the book, and I'm not really sure what it is about to that point except V2 rockets are falling on London in WW2 and they may be related to one man's sexual conquests. It's no exaggeration to say that the book WILDLY digresses (one Amazon reader mocked that to digress you would have to have something to digress FROM) on all manner of topic, to the point that if your attention does not sway on every single page, you are a gifted reader, indeed. Thomas Pynchon is gifted, by the way, with turn-of-phrase, with amazing level of description, and actual laugh-out-loud jokes and insightful observations. Those occasional nuggets of charm were enough to keep me plowing through what ultimately I agree is unreadable morass of "plot", until I passed the point where I was getting nearly as much pleasure out of the book as pain.Before I got to that point, I read some of the "pro" comments on Amazon just to get a few "learned" opinions. From C. Gardner:
    "Gravity's Rainbow" is definitely the most bizarre and challenging book I've ever read. One can't just sit down and read it; it demands the most concentration you'll ever have to muster to read a work of fiction (if you're going to try it, by all means get Steven Weisenburger's companion book).
Unfortunately, I do the lion's share of my reading on the Metro, and I have no intent to bring two books along. From JReid, entitled "A Challenge to All Lazy People":
    When I first read this book I did so without wanting to put any effort into it. I was lazy. I didn't bother to look up any of the historical, scientific, or pop cultural references...The process was arduous, painful, and frustrating. I hated this book. I simply didn't know what he was saying because I couldn't put anything into context...I believe that one of Pynchon's goals is to dare the reader into reading this book. Simply put, he wants us to work. Kierkegaard said that being a Christian should not be an easy task. The same is true, I think, in literature. For, the safer literature gets, the more it comes to resemble TV...
Well, you had me there until, of course, you made an analogy to Christianity. It is tough to be a Christian; you have to work hard to ignore the truth of the world. But the rewards are great! And if you think "TV" is all spoon-fed crap, then you haven't been watching the right shows.

Read more of them if you like, but they all boil down to a few common threads:
  • The book is not meant to be understood.
  • The book is meant to challenge your intellect.
  • The book is incredibly hard to finish.
Wow, where do I get a copy!

Ultimately, I feel that the book wouldn't be considered as "great" if it wasn't such a painful experience to finish it. It's not that I don't 'get it' (obviously one needs a companion book to do that), but that it was incredibly boring. I mean more boring than the first six chapters of Fellowship of the Ring boring (we're walking and we're walking...). At least THAT was coherent!

Anyone who wants to have my copy, let me know. Mint condition, thrown only once.

Samantha Darko

It feels like a good topic for a rapid-fire answer segment on a game show: Which of the following original movies could make sense with a sequel? Iron Man? Sure. Batman? Of course. Superman? Let's hope so. Donnie Darko? Huh? No. HELL no. Why?Never to be stunned by Hollywood logic, word comes today that there indeed will be a sequel to Donnie Darko:
    Touted as the sequel to the 2001 cult hit, the story picks up seven years after Donnie Darko left off. The youngest Darko, Samantha, is now 18 and abandoning her commitment to Sparkle Motion. She heads to Las Vegas with her best friend Corey, but the two are plagued with bizarre visions. I imagine they will involve a rabbit.

    Richard Kelly, the original director, is in no way involved.
I think Richard Kelly is even going "huh"? For those of you who haven't seen it, Donnie Darko is a unique film experience, one that is engaging, creepy, supernatural, and romantic all in the same picture. About as convoluted as a mainstream picture can be, it really benefits from multiple viewings (not to mention the director's commentary track!). If nothing else, Kelly has great taste in 80's alternative music, which infuses the movie. Now, aside from the fact that the story (well, the causality loop, if you will) is completely wrapped up in the film, the main character is not even around anymore. Also, who exactly is your target audience in this venture. Donnie Darko is a CULT film, meaning that the type of people that liked the film would likely react with repulsion to the idea of a "sequel".

On the other hand, I am using logic here, so that probably wouldn't fit in a studio meeting. Alas.