I haven't blogged in ages but I finally have something to talk about -- a couple of movies. One was really good, while the other "earned" the distinction of being the first movie I've ever walked out of the theatre from.
The good one, which I gave a 9 (and seriously considered giving a 10) to was Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. The screenplay was by Charlie Kaufman, who also wrote Adaptation and Being John Malkovich, a couple of very interesting movies. ESotSM is really a love story between Jim Carrey's and Kate Winslet's characters. They alternately go through a sci-fi procedure to erase each other from their memory. Much of the movie consists of their dream-like memories. The movie weaves together the real-life memory erase procedure and the memories in an extremely novel way. It's a remarkable, thoroughly original movie that I would highly recommend. If you liked Adaptation or Memento I'm sure you wouldn't go wrong with this one.
The second one, which a friend and I walked out of after 30 minutes of mind-numbing tedium was Dogville. Apparently the movie is 3 hours in length and after experiencing a mere sixth of it I couldn't have imagined sitting through the whole thing (and I normally don't mind long movies). I don't give ratings on IMDB unless I actually watch the whole movie, but if I had stayed I would have given it a 1. This "movie" is really a filmed theatre production on a stage, which was totally irritating. Why didn't they just do a normal movie with a real set? The town of Dogville is kind of drawn out on the stage and you can see everyone in their houses. This is somewhat neat but it gets to be old hat after about 10 minutes. The story, such as it was, was some boring drivel about this woman Grace (played by Nicole Kidman) who is on the run from some gangsters. Everything was so slow, dry and emotionless that it was just painful to watch. It positively made Gosford Park seem like a action-packed thriller. Enough said about this waste of time and money. I should mention, out of fairness, that apparently everybody else thinks it's really great and it's currently at 8.4 on IMDB and is the #100 rated movie of all time. I should look at the silver lining here though -- next time I have to do something unpleasant, like see the dentist or do my taxes, I'll think to myself, it could be worse, I could have been forced to watch the whole of Dogville.
Oh, I'm also playing a "Succession Game" of Civilization III. Feel free to follow the action at: Civfanatics.com. Basically four other people and I are taking turns playing a single game. We each make 10 moves and then pass it on to the next player. In between the moves we strategize and critique each other's play. I've learned a lot already and we're only about 1/4 of the way through the game.
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