Archive for August, 2009

Quote of the day

Posted in other on August 30, 2009 by Jonathan

All the world loves a lover.

–Mandom proverb

Hippie film tanks

Posted in movies on August 29, 2009 by Jonathan

The hippie-glamorizing Taking Woodstock, whose previews I endured on a couple of occasions, is failing to tap into the ’69 concert nostalgia. (HT: Big Hollywood

I remember the last time a bunch of pot-smoking, free-loving hipsters descended on a town to enjoy a music festival. It didn’t turn out well.

New Crichton novel hitting big screen

Posted in books, culture, movies on August 29, 2009 by Jonathan

This just in:

DreamWorks Studios has acquired the film rights to the action-adventure novel “Pirate Latitudes,” which Crichton wrote just before his death in November. Spielberg, who directed Koepp’s adaptations of Crichton’s “Jurassic Park” and “The Lost World,” will produce the film and possibly direct.

The book, meanwhile, comes out on November 24.

A Jewish fantasy?

Posted in movies on August 28, 2009 by Jonathan

John Rosenthal hits on something that I felt while watching Inglourious Basterds: that the film turns Jews into barbarians:

But, it will be objected, the Germans who are mutilated and murdered by the Jewish-American “Basterds” are Nazis, after all. Shouldn’t we all rejoice in seeing them get their just deserts in Quentin Tarantino’s signature blood-splattering detail? Well, I suppose it can be left to everyone’s individual conscience whether they enjoy seeing anyone have his head smashed in with a baseball bat or a swastika carved on his forehead with a hunting knife. But the fact of the matter is that most of the victims of the Basterds’ brutality and sadism are precisely not Nazis. They are members of the Wehrmacht: the regular German armed forces.

The point is even highlighted in the film. Thus, “Sgt. Donny Donowitz” notices a medal on the uniform of a Wehrmacht officer and asks him, “Get that for killing Jews?” “No,” the man coolly replies, “bravery.” Donowitz proceeds then to smash the officer’s head in. Many of the other Germans who are slaughtered and/or maimed by the “Basterds” are simple enlisted men. What possible satisfaction could be taken in that?

None, at least by me. That is the film’s main weakness: the “basterds” come across as a bunch of psychopaths. The young Jewish woman Shoshanna, on the other hand, is far more interesting and likeable.

HT: Big Hollywood

A moment with Minnie

Posted in Uncategorized on August 28, 2009 by Jonathan

Inglourious clarity

Posted in movies, politics on August 28, 2009 by Jonathan

Stanley Crouch tries to compare the gruesome violence in Inglourious Basterds to the health care debate…or something. I really have no idea what the hell he’s talking about.

From Romania without love

Posted in music on August 28, 2009 by Jonathan

Madonna learns that inserting political messages into concerts doesn’t always go well:

BUCHAREST, Romania — At first, fans politely applauded the Roma performers sharing a stage with Madonna. Then the pop star condemned widespread discrimination against Roma, or Gypsies — and the cheers gave way to jeers.