Saturday, February 05, 2011

Tura Satana 1935-2011

Several sites are reporting today that Tura Satana has passed away. I'm very sorry to hear this. She was the prototype for every bad ass tuff chick I've ever loved. It's sad to see a genre icon pass.

Rest in peace, Tura.

After the Blizzard

It's too cold for the snow to melt very much, so instead it's all about arrangement and getting the streets cleaned. We went to the grocery store last night, and the streets are mostly fine (they do such a shitty job with plowing righthand lanes in DeKalb, though).

Someone in my building went out and made snowmen.

They creep me out, though. They look so sad and tortured. Is someone taking that World Classics class where they read Dante's Inferno?

"Kill me. I beg you."

Thursday, February 03, 2011

Happy Chinese New Year!

Spockation Outtakes

I thought I had more than this, but these are the ones Becca had picked out.

Daleks attempt to take over the Swine Trek!

The party was hard to shoot; too many figures to get a great group shot, but in closer shots it looks good with the party all over the margins, like Spock's in the middle of some very Muppet-y chaos.

Not that I didn't have a bunch of lighting problems. Which is why Becca did most of the photography. (She's better at it than me.)

Look out, Spock! Lindsay Lohan has her eye on you!

I just hope it's clear everyone ate too much, not drank too much.

In the aftermath, Beauregard mops up (poor guy never gets invited to the parties) and gets and earful from Sam the Eagle about the degenerate behavior on display.

Sheesh, show business.

Wednesday, February 02, 2011


Now that Eclectorama's Spockation is back on track, we were graced with a visit by the vacationing Vulcan! Go over to Eclectorama to take a look at Spock's stop here, and tomorrow I'll post some of the pics that didn't make the final cut.

And thanks again, Charles, for letting Spock come by. Sorry the snow was too bad to get out to DeKalb's, um, landmarks.

Franco Time

Film Week

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

This movie plays like they took Dreamscape and pumped it full of hot air. Between this and The Dark Knight I'm really reassessing my opinion of Christopher Nolan. What begs to be a small, interesting thriller becomes an exercise in pretentious, boring contemplation on the nature of dreams and reality. Even with the ridiculous premise--a small team of dream experts try to go inside a business rival's head and implant the idea to break up his father's corporation--and the large scope it's so limited in its imagination. Every layer of the dream they set up looks like a dull action movie (one layer is right out of the old GoldenEye video game) and not like, say, a dream. They fuck around with the special effects a little bit, but nothing really spectacular or mind-blowing happens. I can't believe so many people think this is such a smart flick, especially when the movie is so reluctant to take chances or to dream big. It can't even bring itself to follow the limited set of rules it actually sets up for itself, and disregards nearly all of them for convenience, manufactured suspense, or whatever seems "cool." Seriously, I was bored out of my mind the whole time, and since we never really get to know any character, I didn't feel connected enough to the thing to care whether or not Leonardo DiCaprio saw his kids or Cillian Murphy made it to the Big Boss level (which apparently is nothing more than the hotel room from the end of 2001). * star. Ludicrous.

LET ME IN (2010)
I don't care that it's an American version of something, I really liked this. I loved Let the Right One In, and though this film isn't as subtle as that one (and slightly more special effects-y), it was interesting in the way it spelled certain things out. I have to admit, I didn't think of some of the implications of the relationship between this vampire (Chloe Moretz is very good in this) and a young boy, and beyond the storybook happy ending, what happens to their relationship. As a side note, this is a Hammer production. Seeing the name again makes me happy, especially with such a quality picture. The viewpoint is more American, yes, but I liked it as much as the original, because the filmmakers care about the story and the characters and not just capitalizing on something with recognition. **** stars.

Another American movie that could lose about a half hour. Christian Bale is excellent as a former boxer and current crack addict, living off of his past success and talking about a comeback that's never going to happen. His family lauds him out of all proportion. That aspect of the movie was interesting to me. What wasn't interesting to me, generally, was the story of his younger brother, Irish Micky Ward, played I guess as well as Marky Mark is capable of. It's really just the story of a fighter who works hard and reconciles the relationships between his overbearing girlfriend (Amy Adams) and his overbearing family of skanks, led by his overbearing mother (Melissa Leo, overacting here--much more effective in Welcome to the Rileys). Really the only member of his family who doesn't pull him down with expectations is his father (George Dzundza, who I haven't seen in years, and who is very nice here). The real outcome, it seems, is that Micky Ward needs someone to yell at him about what he should do. Anyway, it's a decent boxing picture, with a great performance by Bale and Marky Mark about a decade too old to be entirely convincing as Bale's younger brother (in reality, he's a couple of years older). Except for Bale's performance, I don't see what the big deal is. It's not even that sincere. **1/2 stars.

127 HOURS (2010)
Danny Boyle makes up for the underwhelming, overrated Slumdog Millionaire with this character piece. And it's a good choice to play this as a character piece, peeling back the layers of Aron Ralston as he's stuck literally between a rock and a hard place, knowing that this is all leading up to having to cut off his own arm to escape being trapped in a chasm. There's really not much of a dramatic story there, so focusing instead on his state of mind and what the rock comes to represent to him becomes something I got very wrapped up in. It's a very intense (and yes, very graphic) conflict, as Aron eventually becomes certain that his entire life of disconnecting from the people he knows has led precisely to this point. James Franco is excellent in the lead. **** stars.


We got a terrible blizzard last night. From what I can see and what people have had on their Facebook pages, it's something like 3 or more feet of snow. Everyone's buried. The buses stopped running. No one can get out. The city has declared a state of emergency.


Meanwhile, Becca's boss wants her to be there at noon.

I've stayed out of my wife's workplace insanity for the last five years, because I don't want to be one of those husbands who infantilizes his wife and makes things difficult for her at work by butting in. I try to be supportive of Becca and not be stressful for her at home when she has hard stupidities to deal with from work.

But if this woman thinks I'm letting my wife risk her life to open a fucking bookstore on a day like today, she's in for quite an earful.

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Just Brain-Meltingly Awesome

One of the oldest guitar orchestra's in Japan--from Shiba High School--plays John Williams' "Theme from Jurassic Park. And it's... it's beautiful.

To Boldly Meme

I can't remember where I found this one.

Star Trek Series: The original. Or TOS, I guess they say now.
Star Trek Movie: Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan
Star Trek Character: Spock
Star Trek Pairing: Kirk and Spock. What else is there?
Alien Race: Vulcans
Alien World: I don't know. They all seem like alternate Earths at this point...
Federation Class Starship: The original Enterprise. Or, I guess, the original series Enterprise, not the one from Enterprise. NCC-1701.
TOS Episode: "The City on the Edge of Forever"
TNG Episode: "Family"
DS9 Episode: At this point, I couldn't tell you. Once Becca and I get on track with the Star Trek DVDs (we stopped watching Season Three and keep meaning to get back to it...), we plan on doing the animated series and Next Gen. So, maybe after that we'll do DS9?
VOY Episode: Couldn't tell you. They did one with Sulu that was promising, but damn, Tuvok is irritating.
ENT Episode: I didn't make it through the first season. Maybe one day.
Star Trek Quote: "Infinite diversity in infinite combinations."

Star Trek Series: From what I've seen, Voyager.
Star Trek Movie: Star Trek V: The Final Frontier
Star Trek Character: Any character from Voyager except for the Doctor. Also, I never liked Dr. Pulaski.
Star Trek Pairing: I never bought the whole Picard/Beverly Crusher thing.
Alien Race: Whatever the hell Neelix is.
Alien World: I have no idea.
Federation Class Starship: I don't really mind it, but I always thought the Enterprise-D design was kind of ugly.
TOS Episode: "Spock's Brain"
TNG Episode: That clip episode in the second season where Riker is in a coma. That was pretty cheap.
DS9 Episode: Don't know.
VOY Episode: Don't know.
ENT Episode: Don't know.
Star Trek Quote: "Brain and brain! What is brain?"

Trekkie or Trekker? I don't really care.
Kirk or Picard? I love Kirk, but I have to pick Picard. He's more thoughtful, more measured. But it's also a different kind of show from a different era of science fiction.
Defiant or Delta Flyer? Huh?
Tribbles or Targs? Tribbles.
Coffee, Black or Tea, Earl Grey? Coffee, but basically as a sugar and cream delivery system.
Porthos or Spot? I dug Porthos.
EMH or Data? Data
Pah-wraiths or Prophets? They are equally annoying.

Monday, January 31, 2011

John Barry 1933-2011

A master film composer. Sorry to see he's passed on, as too many of the greats have.

Kristen Bell Mondays

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Song of the Week: "A.C.D.C."

Joan Jett still rocks. And it's a cover of the Sweet! This is from her 2006 album Sinner. I love that Joan still looks into the camera and winks and makes those knowing looks with her gorgeous, gorgeous eyes. That made a GIANT impression on me as an impressionable little boy (jeez, the video for "Fake Friends" alone...), and I love that it's still there.