While treacly sentimentality sends me running, this trailer for Je T'aime Paris that C-girl forwarded sucked me in. Outside of the mimes, it got me right here.
Just to show I haven't gone soft, here is a link to an eye-opening PBS/Bill Moyer documentary about the role the press played in helping to echo the neo-con war chant that lead to the deadly quagmire in Iraq. You can watch it online in its entirety. It's 1.5 hours, but worth it.
Outside of a dedicated team of journalists at Knight-Ridder whose stories were all but ignored by the most influential media outlets, almost everyone else in the press rolled over and played puppet. During the Plame controversy, I remember writing an entry here praising Judith Miller for not revealing her sources. Little did I know Miller was one of the White House's most loyal lap dogs.
It would all be laughable in an emperor's-new-clothing way, if it wasn't so horrifying.
Tuesday, April 24, 2007
I'm going on record to announce my second favorite album of 2007 so far: the infectious debut release from The Bird and The Bee. A delightful pixie by the name of Inara George handles the sweetly soaring vocals, while suited and somber Greg Kurstin mans the starlight-sparkling keyboards. If you'd ask them, they'd say their music sounds like: "...a futuristic 1960's American film shot in Brazil." Es verdad, baby.
Tuesday, April 17, 2007
During a special primetime broadcast about the Virginia Tech killings, Today show host Matt Lauer spoke with NBC anchorman Brian Williams on the campus. Matt mentioned that he'd visited a cafeteria at the school that afternoon and was surprised that the students were surprised to see him. Matt explained that obviously the kids weren't aware of the impact of this horrible event. They hadn't realized it was an event of Matt Lauer-in-a-trenchcoat-in-your-college-cafeteria proportions.
Then Matt topped things off by telling Brian that if either one of them as professional newspeople had gotten a report that 30 American soldiers had been killed that day in Iraq, both of them would "recoil" in horror. But this wasn't Iraq, this was a college campus in the boondocks. So that's, like, even more recoil-y, you know?
Never mind that around 30 innocent Iraqis and a handful of American soldiers are killed nearly every day in the war. Guess the spring on the old newsman recoil function is just worn out when it comes to that.
Monday, April 16, 2007
The only thing better than hearing the lovely sounds of The Shins live is hearing them in the resplendent setting of the ornate Orpheum Theater in downtown Los Angeles.
Passionate guitarist Dave Hernandez risked life and limb by bounding onto wobbly stage monitors in fits of excitement, incredible singer James Mercer risked vocal chord nodes by belting his heart out, and charming bassist Marty Crandall risked groans with his pun requesting that the Los Angeleno audience chime in on the chorus with La-la-la...la, then quipped: "L.A. La." (I think I was the only one who got it.) Drummer Jesse Sandoval just risked getting taken for granted, being the most low-key of the group, but he did a fine job himself. I love, love, love these pop-polishing fellas and so did everyone else in the grand old vaudeville theater that night. The standing ovation proved it.
In movie news, I finally saw The Departed on DVD. While it was certainly diverting and got my heart rate up for at least a 15-minute span, watching it made me realize that Scorsese's recent Best Director and Best Picture awards were definitely career awards versus being earned on the merits of this film. Sure, the acting was solid, the dialogue catchy, the "good son/bad son" dichotomy intriguing. But the editing in the first act was whiplash-inducing, sapping storytelling momentum and tension instead of fueling it. Then as the movie began to simmer, implausible plot points hit like cold showers again and again.
Of course, there were great moments when all cylinders were firing. I especially loved the smart-ass energy in the elevator exchange when Matt Damon's character hits on the cop shrink. Alec Baldwin was a hoot. He was slinging hash like nobody's business. And I feel it's noteworthy that for the first time I was able to buy Leonardo DiCaprio in a role and actually felt sympathetic towards his character. His usual slimy smugness was gone. In honor of this, I even refrained from calling him Leonard DiCrapio just now. Hurrah!
Thursday, April 05, 2007
Wednesday, April 04, 2007
A Y&R soap opera star welcomes you into her home and shares some timeless advice.
A couple of priceless tidbits:
"Fashion is something that is acquired by looking at a lot of different fashions."
"In shopping, you will find you are drawn to the things you like."
Monday, April 02, 2007
I had the movie Mean Girls on while I multi-tasked at home this weekend. It was bearable as background accompaniment, despite the fact it stars Lindsay Loathsome. Still it was pretty damn lame as a comedy. A few funny lines, but a weak plot. I do cop to the fact that this line cracked me up, even though I heard it while folding laundry in the other room:
"I'm sorry I laughed at you that time you got diarrhea at Barnes & Noble."
And I do have to admit that Tim Meadows was quietly charming as the beleaguered school principal (aren't all school principals in movies beleaguered?). Meadows also guest-starred in my favorite episode of the American version of The Office, where he plays a potential customer that Michael and Jan are wooing at the local Chili's restaurant. Again, a quietly charming, very funny performance. Open note to Hollywood: cast more Meadows, please.
Quote from aforementioned episode:
Michael: Chili's is the new golf course. It's where business happens. Small Businessman Magazine.
Jan: It said that?
Michael: It will. I sent it in. Letter to the Editor.