Sunday, September 20, 2009

Back to your regularly scheduled programming

...yes, well. I've come to the realization that not many people particularly care about the details of the UStrip, and those that do will have already heard them over a drink. So I shall say no more of it, except to mention that NYC has joined Stockholm and Barcelona as a city where I would genuinely love to live - but with the caveat that I would need to already be rich. It is natural for me to be sarcastic about the hipster culture, but I must be honest: were I in a position of having more money than imagination, I too would choose the life of a Tribeca trustafarian.

Should you wish to peruse any further account of the author's travels this summer, the Flickr widget is to your right.

Meanwhile the best excuse I have for not blogging is that I have spent no small amount of time and effort cultivating a habit of saying nothing unless I have something interesting to say; and far more of both in learning to recognize whether what I have to say really is interesting. Without conclusive evidence, I prefer to err on the side of caution. I assure you my life in the past months has been interesting, just not in a way you would care about. The trials, doubts and difficult decisions have found their way into the firepit at Mingus's country estate, where skeletons belong. I return to you, the stunningly patient reader, with a renewed vigor in the general sort of existentialist whimsy that is the engine of AnTyx. Hope you've missed me; I have certainly missed you.

I've been pleasantly surprised to find some gems in movies I have seen recently. The one I would primarily direct your attention to is Frequently Asked Questions about Time Travel, which is most completely described as Shaun of the Dead, but for time travel. While Chris O'Dowd may not quite have that same air of sardonic befuddlement, the film itself certainly captures the air of movies that a fair amount of my friends are great fans of. You'll enjoy it if you're a sci-fi fan, and you'll enjoy it if you're a Simon Pegg fan.

I liked Gamer, although I can understand if a lot of people won't. I accept its flaws as an uncomplicated action movie with a formulaic plot, and with low expectations, it does redeem itself in two ways. One, somewhat predictable: Michael C. Hall is a great villain. He's not exactly showing us a new facet of himself, but his portrayal of a psycho is delicious enough; unchained from Dexter's building desire to achieve, or at least convincingly mimic, some degree of humanity with all of its boring little melodramas, he provides the pure, inhumanly evil persona that has been disappointingly absent from the silver screen since the early Bond movies. The other breath of fresh air is the film's pacing. It is an odd irony, but this bit of mindless gore is the first film in recent memory that flatters the viewer by presuming intelligence. It knows that the audience is well familiar with the tropes, and does not spend time on redundant, superfluous plot or character development. Every time you go "I know what's going to happen next", the film responds with "alright, then let's skip it and go to the next part". The honesty is tremendously endearing.

I was in search of a Sunday night's light entertainment, and found it in Tartu's now-lesser movie theater, in the form of Easy Virtue. It's based on a play by Noёl Coward, and is outstandingly fun. The posters and trailers make it out to be a film where Jessica Biel pretends to be Scarlett Johansson, but in fact it is a wonderful theatrical comedy, full of fast pace and British humour; playing to type, but an excellent execution. Kristen Scott Thomas is extremely good, Colin Firth puts in a brief appearance, and Jessica Biel herself does far better than anyone would have expected. Her performance, while not groundbreaking, certainly does not let the film down. And I like the butler.

Taking Woodstock - I will simply say that Liev Schreiber in drag is awesome.

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