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Another Coen Brothers film so you know it's good 9/10
So, now that I've actually looked around a bit, a few more issues:

1. Navigability has gone totally to hell. I think Jenna's going to have an aneurysm when she shows up, given all the complaining she was doing about splinter forums. The blogs/groups are basically individual splinter forums encouraging people not to post together even more than the splinter forums already did.

2. "Ten-word minimum?" Is that the best idea they could come up with to save space? Like people aren't just going to think of nine random words. Try deleting some of the eight bazillion accounts that have never been used.

3. I kinda like that you can rate things in blog entries, but they should allow a version of that feature for signatures - especially if this apparent 100-character limit is going to kill my sig next time I go to edit it. It's also not that cool, since you can only rate one thing in each group in a given entry, apparently.

4. I've already had one time-out. Couldn't they work on that, instead of piling on features that no one really needs?
Viewed 12/03/03 (DVD) (First Viewing)

So many good things, that it's dissapointing that it just never makes the jump from good to great. While the cinematography was good (though I was expecting exceptional), it was the performances that was amazing: Gabriel Byrne, Marcia Gay Harden, Albert Finney, John Turturro and John Polito all give exceptional performances. The score is also quite good, recalling the smooth, jazzy score of a film like Chinatown, which is high praise.

But there's just something about the Coen Brother's movies that miss with me. This is the third film of their's that I've seen, and despite all their obvious qualities I haven't liked a single one. Kinda sucks, but what can you do?

I finally have seen this highly regarded earlier Coen brothers film and I can without a doubt say it's highly regarded for right reasons. A one word description would probably be: complicated. Every second and shot of the film has clues to unraveling who is after who and which side everybody is on at the moment, but you have to be quite attentive to catch them. So, yeah, the usual Coen classic with the mixed up plot where nothing is as it seems, a great cast giving terrific performances, and a feeling at the end of not quite knowing what you saw, but knowing you want to see it again.

EDIT: After watching this film a second time I saw how perfectly every little thread was set up and resolved and now consider this a true masterpiece of film. Right up there with Lebowski and Fargo as far as the Coens go in my book.
OK, I'm very behind; if I don't get this entry done before I leave I will have four movies to catch up on after seeing Big Fish tonight. Anyway, I watched Miller's Crossing on Wednesday, and it further increased my admiration for the Coen brothers. In fact, I now want to watch every movie they've ever made (including The Man Who Wasn't There again- I guess I'll give it a second chance). I adore Blood Simple, and this movie was almost as good as that one. Miller's Crossing is a sort of cross between a gangster movie and film noir. It is a great example of the Coens' wonderful visual style, and has plenty of the graphic violence and macabre humor that are the brothers' trademarks.

Set during Prohibition in some small city in the East, the movie tells the story of two rival gangsters, Leo (Albert Finney) and Caspar (Jon Polito), who fight for control of the city. The film's main character is Tom Reagan (Gabriel Byrne), who switches loyalties constantly and double-crosses everyone- or does he? Then of course there is a femme fatale (played by Marcia Gay Harden before anyone knew who she was), who both Tom and his mentor Leo are in love with. All the aforementioned actors are great, but my two favorite performances were given by John Turturro (as a slick bookie) and J.E. Freeman. Freeman plays Eddie Dane, Caspar's menacing henchman, and he makes this character into more than the stereotype you might expect. Plus he is absolutely chilling when he delivers any kind of threat.

The plot of this movie is kind of hard to follow, but what's really important are the characters and the visuals. As usual, the Coens create a setting that looks just a little too perfect and detailed to be real. There are many beautiful shots in the movie, especially outside at Miller's Crossing, where two key events in the film take place. And if you thought Blood Simple was violent, Miller's Crossing has at least two scenes that top that movie's gore content. I thoroughly enjoyed this movie; I think I'm turning into a serious Coen fan.
This is a great movie. Its well written and directed. If you dont already know its by the Coen brothers. I love how it was shot. I love the plot. If you like the Coen brothers work and like crime movies than i think you would like this.
The Coen's are great.
The movie review today is Miller's Crossing, a 1990 mob film from The Coen Brothers. It is all style and photography and art direction and tough talk. The plot is a labyrinth and it moves fast. It seems a little empty at the end, after every possible twist is explored. But the characters are pure Coen creations and the acting is great by Albert Finney, Gabriel Byrne, John Turturro, Jon Polito, J.E. Freeman and Steve Buscemi. The major standout is Marcia Gay Harden. She was rightfully nominated for Mystic River this year at the Oscars and she was unjustly snubbed for her brilliant work in this movie. She was even good in Welcome to Mooseport, a piece of junk I saw yesterday. But yeah this is a great movie with a major flaw. But it is what it is and is unrepentant about it. You gotta respect that.

So tonight was a night of random conversation at 68. There was no deep philosophical religious debates. Stories were told, lips were exfoliated, verbal jabs traded, innocent comments became sexual based on how they were worded....the usual stuff. But its just hard to converse because its so loud in there what with the bands playing and all. I had fun, dont get me wrong, but the fun came to kind of a halt at the end. Caleb was added to our little band of Thursday night-ers. He seems like he might be kind of strange. He has one of those pre-pubescent voices and the overall nervousness of a geeky college student. But he really is down to earth and quite funny. He was captivated by me and Kyle's dramatic re-telling of last night's Abby incident. And believe me, the story was told with a lot more drama than it really deserved. Abby made no appearance like we figured. Kristin is still sidelined with the flu. Hillary was sick and did not show. I did not know that when I got there and I expected to see Hillary and Erin and Erin, and saw none of them. Erin from last week Erin showed shortly after I did and then Kyle and then the other Erin. Caleb was already there when I got there but I did not know him so I hadn't sat down with him. Let me tell you that I looked good, dressed a little nicer than usual, good hair day.....but I didnt bring my A-Game. Like for example I was on fire at Abby's last night, defusing tension like it was a bomb and I was James Bond. But tonight I was just off. I had a few good moments, but the music was distracting. Last week, Kyle and Erin went off on religion and I just kinda listened and threw in my two cents on occaison. But tonight I was thrust into the spotlight and I choked. Now let me just add that my B-game is better than some people's A-Games....but I still disappointed myself.

The biggest letdown was the end of the evening. Now let me preface this by saying that we talked religious movies a little and Erin seemed hesitant to see Dogma ("Isn't there like a poop monster in it somewhere?") but I convinced her to try it. We agreed to find a time to hang at my house and watch it. So at the end of the evening, me and Kyle were headed back to my house to hang out, and she and Caleb were invited. Both begged off due to tiredness. So I said cool, we should get together for Dogma soon....and she was like "Ok, I'll call you." to which I replied "But you dont have my number." to which she replied "I'll get it from Hillary." to which Kyle replied "Ouch....the brush off!" to which she replied "This isn't a brush off." to which I replied "Well Hillary doesnt have my number either." all the while thinking that she was playing with her damn phone all night, she doesnt have 60 seconds to put my number in? A bit shady. To which she replied, "Well she has Kyle's." Kyle and I let it go at that and said goodbye. We both later agreed that she really could have put my # in her phone pretty quick, in the time that we went back and forth she could have put it in twice. I did not pose the invitation in any way resembling a date because it is not. I am not interested in dating this girl at the present time. But the fact that such an innocent offer was treated with such implicit hostility bugged me. I did not even flirt with her more than once the whole night. Nothing about my behavior could have been taken as a romantic overture. So there it is. At this point I dont want her to come over, if the offer is going to be that big a deal. We'll just be Thursday Night friends and she can bring around her hot friends for me to focus my energy on, assuming she has hot friends. My other problem with this is the fact that pretty much none of me and Kyle's mutual friends has my number. Like they just call Kyle and I am part of the deal. So whats that going to mean when he goes away for spring break at the end of the month?? Do I just get left out? I sincerely doubt that. But I dont want to be the sidekick, I want equal standing. This is a small gripe, but do you see what I am saying??? I guess I am just burned that I have no money. I mean like $30. The check from Andy did not come as fast as it was supposed to, the mail's fault not his. So I could not get quarters to do laundry, and I did not have the whole day to sit at Grandma's and have the same conversations we had last week while my laundry goes through her washer and dryer one load at a time (I have three ready to go). I had two movies I wanted to go see, but something came up at work that demanded my attention so my decision as to which movie to see was mulled over for nothing because I saw neither.

Thats a lot of complaining for someone who had the day off. But I think its indicative of the fact that I am not totally happy here. I know its just a phase, a byproduct of work going badly last week and another issue that I am not free to openly discuss right now. Maybe my attitude will change when I move downtown and money is no longer a problem and I live in a nicer domicile than the shithole I have created for myself here. Maybe it is the slush everywhere in this city making it look dirty. Maybe I need to go to the gym more often and take out my aggression on the weights or the treadmill. I dont know, I just go out and have fun and then feel depressed. Like tonight, it was fun, the music was decent (no pun intended) and the laughs were plentiful. But then one thing happens at the end that sours me. Now I am sitting here a little agitated and all I can think of are the bad things. I will be the first to say I live a good life overall here. Its me thats the problem, not the life. If you know how to fix me, let me know.

This definitely sounds more pathetic than it is meant to be. I did not mean for this entry to be an exercise in regret-drenched soul-baring. Then again, I never plan these entries before I write them. Read it or don't. But you know what? March strikes. I have mentioned this before and likely will again. I am smack dab in the middle of March and its happening like it does every year.

But there is still hope as long as April is just around the corner.
Last night/this morning around 2:30, your's truly was all snug in his bed after a night of moderate drinking, when some shitskulled bilgecrapping neckfucker sets off the fire alarm in the apartment building, making me get my ass out of bed, walk down 29 flights of stairs, only to find out that as soon as I get all the way down, it's safe to go back upstairs. That was awesome.

I'd read some comments by the director before the film started that it's more of a mythological look on human life than an ordinary tale, but quite frankly, I don't see it. While my eyes were glued to the screen the entire time, I kept waiting for some explanation about why the father left in the first place, what he was doing while he was gone, why he came back, and what his plans were now that he had returned, but these questions are never answered. Ultimately, I found no meaning or point to the story. However, it was an interesting watch mainly due to the stellar performances, the excellent camerawork, and the building strain between the trio of characters. I just wish that this tension had actually lead somewhere, and the conclusion was more fulfilling. Quite possible that I just didn't "get it", but surely there were better foreign films than this.

Friday night there was a midnight screening of Raising Arizona at the local theatre, one of my favorite comedies ever. My friends and I were "those people", you know, the rowdy drunk bastards in the theatre making lots of noise, but nobody seemed to mind. Never thought I'd see that on the big screen again. Coen brothers rule.

Don't even ask about my brackets. I suck.
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