Monday, December 17, 2007

A litttle bit of this, a bit of that

Holiday Movies, yo!
OK boys and girls, cinema is beginning to get exciting for the first time since the back-to-school slowdown in late summer. Some great things to look forward to:

  • I Am Legend starring Will Smith sounds like good cinema to me. Probably has great production values and a compelling story, well told according to Special K. I think a great many fine things about Mr. Smith, in particular that he makes good choices about his projects and he doesn't short-change his admirers. This is shaping up to be a good bet for your time on a holiday weekend afternoon.
  • Charlie Wilson's War (based on the non-fiction novel by George Crile), directed Mike Nichols, written by Aaron Sorkin, and stars Tom Hanks, Julia Roberts and Phillip Seymour Hoffman. I'm intrigued by this group of players and execs---the book was riveting and eye-opening. If you believe that our system of checks and balances keeps determined folks from toying in global skirmishes any damn way they want, this was certainly a novel you needed to read. Having listened to it a couple of years ago, I wonder how Tom Hanks might play this one---it'll be a big departure for him and maybe the best thing he's done since Philadelphia. I hope that Sorkin and Nichols did the story here real justice and didn't just put a Hollywood face on it. More than the movie, I really recommend this book to virtually everyone. You won't believe it.
  • Sweeney Todd, directed by Tim Burton, starring Depp and Helena Bonham Carter is bound to be great visually; I can still remember the visual impact of Edward Scissorhands---it remains quite powerful. Sincerely looking forward to this one. Its another one with great potential that could go awry, though. Anyone remember Ed Wood?
  • Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story starring John C. Reilly could be worth its admission. Reilly is an actor I really admire and he was brilliant in Talladega Nights but I like him quite well in dramatic roles. But with TN in recent memory and the standard of Spinal Tap to measure up against, I'm hoping this will be as fun as the trailers lead me to believe.
I'm going to stop there because I've listed more movies than I usually see in a year. But I'm gonna try.

With the 2008 races really ramping up, I'm getting a little verklempt about some issues: Healthcare reform, global warming, education being some of the ones hitting closest to home and with greatest potential to wreck us sooner rather than later. Don't be surprised to find a lot of that business here in the near future. As I've been known to do every 3 years or so of my adult life, I gave myself a large-ish present for the holidays that I knew no one would think to do for me: I made my first ever financial contributions to one candidate and one advocacy organization. Money where my mouth is, as it were. I kinda liked it!

The Wire: Fourth Season (NO SPOILER)
I've watched about 75% of this in the last five days or so. Have I said this before? You can't imagine how much of the story this show gets dead-on while still offering entertainment AND insight. Its a show for people who like to think, who can handle the gloom of it, the folks who don't need to be held by the hand to navigate a story line. Burns and Simon, not to mention the real city of Baltimore, have captured issue and culture like I've never seen on television before.

It keeps me up at night. I watch a couple of episodes when the girls go to bed at night and then I'm all keyed up and can NOT go to sleep. So if you haven't been a follower and are interested, let me know and I'll see if we can pry the couple seasons of DVDs I sent to Lyman out of his hands. Or put it on your wishlist, but don't overlook it.

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