Wednesday, October 19, 2005

My Fireman's Uniform Was in the Wash

This guy, major White Sox fan, sits down next to me in class yesterday. This guy keeps going on and on about how the fan support is a major factor in the winning process, so obviously he's not exactly well-wired in the first place. When he sat down yesterday, he was wearing a Sox cap. Okay, fine. But he was also wearing a a Sox jersey (open, of course, because it's cooler that way, apparently) with the black, long-sleeved shirt underneath. Except for the jeans, he's dressed like a White Sox player.

Now, I don't know, for a grown man, how is this different from showing up to class dressed in a Starfleet uniform? Seriously, explain it to me. He doesn't play sports, he just watches them. He's not a baseball player, much less for the Chicago White Sox, so how is this not ridiculous? It's a grown man in a costume. He's wearing a fucking costume. But, look at the examples he gets: George W. Bush likes to put on a hat and tuck in his shirt and make believe he's a cowboy.

And tomorrow when I go to class, I'll be dressed like a pirate! Because I'm a big boy!

Film Week

A review of the films I've seen this week.

Yet another one of those lame comedies about catty women, in this case fighting for a man with all the personality of a block of wood. And not your dynamic type of wood, either, like oak or sandalwood, but, like, balsa. Jennifer Lopez is beautiful and unusually good (playing a nice girl instead of that tough chick she always plays) but wasted, Jane Fonda is beautiful and (as always) good but wasted, and there needs to be about 90 percent more of Wanda Sykes in the movie to take the piss out of more of the cliches. It was especially insulting that Jane Fonda’s character would literally snap because she was being replaced by someone younger at work, and then decide that she hated Jennifer Lopez over class divisions. Way to be a thoughtful woman there. * star.

A very interesting documentary made for the Encore channel highlighting not only the history of film editing and how far the technology has come, but also just how essential to the process editors really are, and how every director has his own theories on how his or her films should be edited (James Cameron is surprisingly not clever about how to edit, Sean Penn lets actors in on the process, Jodie Foster locks the actors out). Steven Spielberg sings the praises of Verna Fields ("she saved Jaws") and Michael Kahn ("without him, Schindler’s List would have suffered"), which is kind of funny because everything since Schindler (with the exception of The Terminal) feels like Spielberg forgot to submit anything for editing, but just runs everything he shot. It would have been nice of them to highlight even more how an actor’s performance is created by editing, but this excellent documentary gets **** stars just for the interview footage of Walter Murch.

Crappy movie from the "Feminist Era" about a divorced man (Burt Reynolds) who meanders his way through a new relationship while trying to completely sever his emotional connection to his wife (Candice Bergin). Overwrought (the film is directed by Alan J. Pakula of Sophie’s Choice and written by James L. Brooks of Terms of Endearment), a little too heavy-handed, and completely grating after the first twenty minutes or so. But Jill Clayburgh is wonderful; she’s like Diane Keaton only with more talent and less of the sanctimony. * star for her.

A harrowing and powerful documentary about Tony Comes, an Ohio man who was molested as a teenager by his priest. Cheaply made and utilizing mostly home movies, this nonetheless creates a tragic argument against the Catholic Church and its policy of silence in the name of protecting their organization (its canon law). There have been nearly 12,000 claims of molestation and rape against the Church since 1950, and it’s pathetic to see, as in this movie, the bishops entrusted with the respect and protection of an entire community, offer the explanation that "we are in compliance," as if that erases everything (when, in fact, it only makes it harder to prosecute them). Tony’s marriage suffers and his relationship with his child is nearly strained as a result of what was done to him, and the film follows him as he and many others attempt to sue an organization that, even in the 21st century, shows itself to be shadowy and unapproachable. **** stars.

A great silent adventure film starring Douglas Fairbanks and directed by Fred Niblo (the pair had previously made The Mark of Zorro). Fun, adventurous, with those detailed sets you’re always seeing in Fairbanks productions. There’s not a whole lot more to it than that, but here it’s enough for ***1/2 stars.