I had a revelation last night that Gladiator, a film that was released in 2000 about a greedy, spoiled manchild taking the throne of the Roman Empire, ignoring the representative system of government and nearly destroying it by ignoring all of the social problems in favor of winning the hearts of the people by distracting them with bloody entertainment... well, I think you're all seeing where I'm going with this...
Are they one and the same? Inquiring minds want to know!
I finally got around to watching the DVD of Jonathan Glazer's film Sexy Beast that I have been accumulating late fees on for the past two weeks (DVD Welfare ran out). The movie was rather good, although it was far from what I was expecting. Ray Winstone is fantastic as Gal, a thief who has made his money and gotten out, relaxing in an isolated Spanish villa with his beloved wife (Amanda Redmen) and best friends (Cavan Kendall, Julianne White). He even has a surrogate son figure (Álvaro Monje). He is quite content, so happy with his life that he can barely believe it.
Enter Don Logan, who is so unhappy with his life that he can barely believe it (this is the performance by Ben Kingsley that everybody was talking about). He comes with a job offer, but that isn't the real problem. The problem is Logan himself, a creature that can't see past his own perspective, selfish, angry and perpetually invasive. He's sort of like a more needy Begby from Trainspotting, if you can imagine that. The film shows how Logan attempts to shred Gal's life piece by piece, forcing him out of his complacency.
The film is a really good character study, and while Kingsley got most of the kudos for his flashier role as Logan, the film rests squarely on Winstone's shoulders, who manages to convey both competence and vulnerability. There is also a shockingly cold turn by Ian McShane, whose master criminal Teddy Bass is a far cry from the friendly Lovejoy. McShane's quiet menace generates great tension. I'd love to see another movie with his Teddy Bass in it.
I enjoyed the film. It wasn't a masterpiece, but it was a pretty entertaining show.
Yeah, the effect of seeing Night of the Living Dead and Dawn of the Dead in such close proximity to one another was something I hadn't quite gotten past by the time we got to Thanksgiving, but there was plenty of succulent food to enjoy. I started with Aunt Barbara's intestines, moving on to Shirley's chopped liver. Lionel's brains were especially juicy this year, and Ira had a particularly delicious heart. By this point, of course, Barbara and Shirley had turned and were hungry too. We ended up having the children for dessert, which was annoying because Harold ended up hogging all of Justin, who (being the youngest) was the most tender of them all.
For myself, it was a rather smooth event, although my mother did get into a knock-down-drag-out fight with her in-laws, which was a long time in coming. There wasn't enough time for the string bean casserole or any of the usual sides that I like (I loathe sweet potato pie and cranberry sauce, so I concentrate on other things). I have decided that I have a year to try experimenting with turkey-consonant side dishes and will produce my own next year.
Because it tends to only get used at my apartment now, Tim has left the X-Box there until after he moves. Now, because X-Men Legends isn't fun unless you're playing it with other people, the system is just sitting there doing nothing. On the other hand, because of a malfunction, if the machine is on, one of the controllers constantly vibrates, which can be amusing.
I also had the chance to catch a few old episodes of The Critic, which I must say has aged quite well. First of all, the influence of The Critic on animated television afterwards has meant that the discourse has sort of caught up to it. The kind of insanity and tangential scene association that has become de riguer in series like South Park and Family Guy had much of its genesis in this show. I feel that in many ways this show is the opposite of King of the Hill, a series I've never really gotten. But then again, it isn't aimed at me. The Critic, on the other hand, is a series I can see not making much sense to anybody who doesn't live in New York.
The cable modem at my grandparents' house is faulty. At times, it will just drop me, so if I'm in the middle of an important AIM conversation and I disappear, it isn't personal (sorry, aerolyndt).