We obviously don’t have enough work to do

Chris: You need to use pictures of yourself with your hand covering your mouth as your Twitter icon more.
Tom: what you don’t like my photos?
Chris: I’m just saying when you throw a gallery show of your collection of such photos I’d appreciate an invite.
Tom: how fucking awesome would that be
Chris: Best. Flickr Photoset. Ever. “Me With My Hand Over My Mouth.”

And then this happens.

Compared to the Cloverfield monster, Serpentor was a wuss

I sent this to Tom and he linked to it first, but it appears that the events of the movie Cloverfield were not the first time that monster tried to run rampage through a major city. The first time this happened, though, the G.I. Joe team was there to fight it back. Cause they are, after all, fighting for freedom wherever there’s trouble and this certainly qualified.

Steampunk Star Wars

I’m not all that big a fan of most of these “steampunk” creations. Basically people take current devices or whatever and re-imagine them being powered by steam engines, air power and other means straight out of the 1800s. Most of it just seems kind of odd and it’s never really caught my interest.

That being said, these steampunk versions of Star Wars vehicles that have been built out of LEGOs might just be the coolest thing ever.

DVD Review: Sex and Breakfast

Sex and Breakfast is not an especially easy movie to like since the characters that inhabit it are not particularly likable. They’re alternatively egomaniacal, clueless, deceptive or just kind of pathetic.

The movie tells the story of two dating couples who at the outset are complete strangers. Both couples, though, end up at the same seminar by a woman who offers advice for finding a more satisfying sex life through, for lack of a better word, swinging. The therapist believes that by sleeping with more people a person can become more free to ask the partner they’re actually with to give them what that want in bed.

One couple is coming to seek her help because the woman in the relationship feels their sex life has become boring. One couple is coming because she’s not having orgasms any longer despite the fact that she loves her boyfriend.

The movie follows these people as they face down the decision they’ve made to seek this sort of help but also then the after-effects of having sex with someone else and watching their partner have sex with someone else. There’s also emotional fallout from some people who veer into offering too much honesty regarding sexual fantasies and related issues.

The movie is a tight 80-some minutes, meaning there’s no annoying sub-plot tacked on to pad it out. If you’re alright with some frank discussions of sex and sexuality and don’t mind an occasionally bit of nudity (not much) Then you’ll probably enjoy the movie. It’s well acted by all four of the leads, a list that includes Macaulay Culkin and Eliza Dushku. Everyone gives a loose, natural performance that allows the story to come to the forefront.

It’s recommended, especially if you’re looking for what might be considered a more polished version of the “mumblecore” films that are gaining in popularity. It explores some of the same issues those films do but it’s much less amateur looking. That’s not a knock against the films in the “mumblecore” genre – in fact it’s one of the things I like about them – but I’m just using that as a point of differentiation.

(spout x-post)

DVD Review: King of California

What an absolutely great movie.

King of California stars Michael Douglas as a man with some problems. So many, in fact that he’s spent the last couple years in a mental institution. When he’s released he rejoins his daughter, played by Evan Rachel Wood, and tries to once again make himself a part of her life.

But the way he chooses to do that is by enlisting her help (which she gives grudgingly) finding a Spanish treasure he’s convinced is buried somewhere in the area. That somewhere winds up being directly where there now stands a CostCo, something that doesn’t slow him down a bit.

The movie is really about family and loving people for who they are and not who you might wish they were. Time and again Wood’s character finds herself unable, for whatever reason, to control the actions of her father. Sometimes that’s because he’s already done whatever it is he was going to do and sometimes it’s because she can’t bear to see him disappointed and defeated. So she goes along for the ride.

Douglas gives a wonderful, wide-eyed performance that very carefully never slips into caricature. He maintains a frantic energy throughout, always completely selling the audience on his character’s motivations as not being driven by obsession but by the desire to not sit back and accept anything doesn’t want.

The filmmakers deserve special credit for making Wood’s character believable. She plays a 16 year old who’s been fooling various bureaucracies for years in the absence of both her father and mother, the latter of which split when she was very young. She’s simply a bright and capable young girl and not some sort of criminal mastermind. And there’s no clichéd scene with her trying to hide something from a social services worker or anything. Her self-reliance is simply explained and then never again addressed, leaving the audience to accept it for what it is without any more attention being drawn to it.

The movie flows very naturally, without a lot of the usual, tired mile markers that you see in similar movies that are made by people who don’t trust the audience quite as much. That makes it very fresh and new and ultimately very enjoyable.

(spout x-post)