Friday, May 28, 2010

Camera Obscura: More 'Lost"; Remaking "True Grit"; Coney Island; Withered Sex in the City

One of the most scathing and gleeful takedowns ever offered in a movie review was presented this week for the new sequel to the "Sex and the City" franchise. I've seen just enough of the TV show to know it ain't for me, and the following excerpts from the review indicate audiences should not just turn away from the sequel, but run screaming.

[The movie] takes everything that I hold dear as a woman and as a human—working hard, contributing to society, not being an entitled !$#@ like it's my job—and rapes it to death with a stiletto that costs more than my car. It is 146 minutes long, which means that I entered the theater in the bloom of youth and emerged with a family of field mice living in my long, white mustache. This is an entirely inappropriate length for what is essentially a home video of gay men playing with giant Barbie dolls."

The full review by Lindy West is hilarious.


One of the more tantalizing bits from the finale of "Lost" was that the lovable Hurley took over the "guardianship" of the weird island, and that the cool and dangerous badness of the character of Linus would be his second in command. And word arrived this week that the DVD set for the final season will include a 12 minute or so epilogue which is taken from that odd alliance of Hurley/Linus.

So here, from season 4, is a brief moment of Hurley and Linus sort of being friends as they wait for an island mystery to manifest and/or explain itself.


Smart, cutting edge science fiction which brilliantly (and sometimes hilariously) forecasts the future resides in two books - "Neuromancer" by William Gibson from 1984, and "Snow Crash" by Neal Stephenson (1992). Is it smart or worthwhile to try and make movies from them?

Neuromancer and Snow Crash are two of my favorite books and are also two of the most groundbreaking and powerful novels of the last 30 years. And while some have been hovering over the books in hopes of making a movie from them, I really don't ever see that happening. But director Vincenzo Natali ("Cube") is working on it. He just finished a movie version of J.G. Ballard's novel "High Rise", but both Neuromancer and Snow Crash are far more complex tales. My suggestion is that you read the novels and marvel at their excellence.

Jeff Bridges tackles John Wayne's Oscar-winning role as Rooster Cogburn and Matt Damon tackles the Glen Campbell role in a remake of "True Grit" from the Coen brothers, which is wrapping up production this weekend in Austin, TX. Blogger Joe O'Connell has been keeping track of the production and has some nifty pics from the production of True Grit. A sample with Bridges wearing Rooster's iconic eye patch (newcomer Hailee Stanfield, as Mattie, is also seen below, wearing a black dress). More are at the link.


Since it's Memorial Day Weekend, it's worth noting that Coney Island is getting a sort of re-do and update as a new Luna Park opens:

The Village Voice has a massive article on the Past, Present and Future of Coney Island well worth the read.

photographer Weegee's Coney Island, 1940

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Teen Werewolf Gangs As News?

A TV station scrapes the bottom with this "report" on "teenage werewolves".

It's generating some hilarious online chatter:

"You know, I never thought I'd say this, but I'm kind of hoping the jocks get their shit together and start kicking everyone's ass again.
posted by Pastabagel at 1:41 PM on May 25

Actually, maybe the jocks are waiting for the mummy clique to rear its ugly head before unleashing the wedgie maelstrom.
posted by Pastabagel at 1:42 PM on May 25

I long ago concluded that anybody born after 1981 is insane. This is just further evidence. Now get off my lawn.
posted by jonmc at 4:56 PM on May 25

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

The Oil War in The Gulf of Mexico

"In fact, there are three fronts. We’ve got the emissions at the bottom of the ocean. We have where the oil is coming to the surface and trying to fight it as far offshore as we can -- you’d rather deal with it there before it even gets close to shore -- and then how you deal when it makes contact with shore. And the three kind of distinct operations require different sets of -- types of capability. And we’re fighting a three-front war basically at once."

That's from Admiral Thad Allen, recently retired from the Coast Guard, and the government's point man on the disastrous and non-stop gusher of oil in the deepwaters of the Gulf of Mexico. KnoxViews has more from Adm. Allen's comments yesterday.

Above that quote, one of several jaw-dropping images featured on The Big Picture. The ever-growing pollution and environmental destruction is hitting the smallest and the largest lifeforms across the region. Here are some other pics from the web site. Click on the images to see them in larger formats, or just click on the link above to The Big Picture.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Webwalk Roundup - Blowout Preventer Fail Edition

It's going to be a long and ugly summer. And it might just go on for decades. BP may soon be the Bad Word of the Decade. Steve Benen writes:

Robert Barham, secretary of the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, told the New Orleans Times-Picayune, "I think we're looking at many months of intense activity, but then years of follow-up work.... I've been told by the ocean experts this stuff could hang out there on the bottom of the Gulf for more than 100 years. And as long as it's out there, it can come ashore. We might not see big black waves, but we may be seeing a smaller, but serious problem, for years and years to come."

-- It appears clear to me no industry and no corporation and no government agency has the technology and scientific ability to "safely drill" for oil on the shores of America, whether in deep waters or shallow. The following report via NYTimes notes a recently announced "moratorium" on offshore drilling is truly meaningless.

-- Also - will criminal charges be filed against BP?

-- Consistently clueless half-term governor/celebrity Sarah Palin never fails to bring her brand of worthless forward.

-- Elsewhere, which is to say, in a couple of convention rooms in Gatlinburg, TN, state Republicans gather to worship at the altars of the government-hating angry folks who continue to hold Tea Parties. Or as R. Neal puts it in his "goobernatorial" coverage at KnoxViews, those who say government has no place in job creation in Tennessee are utterly out of touch:

Here are the top ten employers in the Knoxville metro area:

• U.S. Department of Energy - 12610
• The University of Tennessee, Knoxville -9317
• Knox County Public School System -8104
• Covenant Health - 8000
• Mercy Health Partners -8141
• University of Tennessee Medical Center - 3225
• City of Knoxville - 2820
• County of Knox - 2500
• Clayton Homes - 2500
• State of Tennessee - 2401

-- Elsewhere, as in Nevada - chicken costumed protests will not be allowed at polling places this year.

-- Texas tries to corral history books.

-- Summer school trips and programs fall to the economic axe.

It's going to be a long, hot summer.