I did the "rolling movie" thing yesterday where I'd sit in a theater in
a gigaplex for like 20 minutes, and if the movie sucked I'd move onto
the next theater. If it didn't suck, I'd stay for the rest of the film.
I didn't stay for any of said movies.
Movies that sucked:
Devil's Own - Good for the first 20 minutes, until Brad Pitt leaves
Ireland. The whole movie should have stayed in Ireland.
Love Jones - Good for the first 20 minutes, then went into sitcom mode.
City of Industry - The world doesn't need any more Harvey Keitel
crime movies. Been there, slept through that.
Crash - Never has a fetish been so boring.
Jungle 2 Jungle - Whoever okayed this movie should be shot.
Selena - Another snoozer. Jennifer Lopez is fine as the title
character, but the story of "rise to fame" just isn't thrilling.
Really, the only movies this year I've liked have been the three Star
Wars movies, Addicted to Love, Private Parts, and Donnie Brasco. Where
are the Sling Blades, the Swingers, the Jerry Maguires of 1997???? (To
be fair, Chasing Amy by the guy who did Mallrats and Clerks looks
Finally bought Dave Siegel's "Creating Killer Web Sites" and was
disappointed. The problem with style over substance is that it makes it
impossible to find the bits within. But it sure does look purdy. The
nice slam comparing the w3c main page to the killersites.com page made
me laugh again.
Also bought for our group the "Client/Server Programming with Java and
CORBA" by Orfali and Harkey, which is a good overview but unfortunately
is the kind of book I could write given the time. I like a book that
has insights I didn't have, to expand my knowledge -- such as the Iron
Law Louis Menand article in the 3/24/97 New Yorker that argues that
nothing is in tune with the public zeitgeist for more than 3 years.
3 year cycles, THAT'S an insight.
SONGS IN THE KEY OF SPRINGFIELD by the Simpsons (Rhino Records, 1997)
is the most brilliant album to come out this year!!! It includes most
of the song outtakes from the TV show The Simpsons, and many of them are
just plain brilliant (as well as funny!). Every genre is represented
here (from barbershop quartet to hard rock, from jazz to
country/western, from show tunes to afro-cuban, from takes on Planet of
the Apes to takes on Streetcar Named Desire)... I love this album!!!
I love the Secret Society song, the Monorail song, the InaGaddaVida take
off from the church, and the Beer song... BUY THIS ALBUM!!!
Ben Folds Five's sophomore album, WHATEVER AND EVER AMEN (550 Music,
1997), is just too cool for words. Ben Folds is one of those pianists
who can be playing Rachmaninoff one second, Jerry Lee the next second,
and then just riffing on some jazz groove the next second, then doing
funk piano (believe it!) the next... he's good at crossing genres just
like Beck is, only without the heavy guitars and rap-influenced
sampling: Folds does it just with a piano, some horns, a bass, and a
drummer. Oh yeah, there are only 3 people in the band, not 5 - I think
they just picked the name for illiteration.
GRUNGE LITE by Sara DeBell (C/Z Records, 1993) has -- I kid you not --
Muzak versions of Smells Like Teen Spirit by Nirvana, Evenflow by Pearl
Jam, Hunger Strike by Temple of the Dog, Touch Me I'm Sick.... and it's
actually really good.
I also think Paula Cole's sophomore album THIS FIRE (Warner, 1996) is
really good - I think she's among the best of the new AAA artists in a
genre that includes such cool acts as Suzanne Vega, Shawn Colvin, and
Sheryl Crow, and to a lesser extent (because they tend to be whiny)
Jewel and Sarah McLaughlin.
One album I didn't buy is the deceptive debut from White Town. Don't
be fooled by the band's excellent (though at first annoying, it really
grows on you) plunky funky first single "Your Girl" -- the rest of the
album is pure boredom and it's a shame they even bothered cutting this CD.
We're young, rich, and full of sugar. What do we do?
-- Bart Simpson
Marge, it takes two to lie: one to lie and one to listen.
-- Homer Simpson