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The Shipping News 2001

An emotionally-beaten man with his young daughter moves to his ancestral home in Newfoundland to reclaim his life...

Your rating: 0

Solar rating: 8.2


Imdb rating: 6.8



A totally underestimated movie. Mr Spacey and Mrs Dench made my head spin on this one. Plus, truly great pictures of Newfoundland.
I've been gone awhile. I finally got some work. I just got back from an event called the Cowboy Christmas. It's a Team Penning event(look it up, you're on the web!) that's held In Michigan around the first of December. If it weren't for this I would have no real work for Dec. I tell you I'm not getting any younger, standing in a arena for 12 hours took its toll on my back and legs. But I was glad for the work.

Today's movie is "The Shipping News". I don't think I've seen Kevin Spacey play such a passive character before. It's a surprise that this character survives growing up. The tag line for the movie is "Dive beneath the surface". It surely does that. The little tidbits of the past set in this Newfoundland town are equal to the quirks found Fargo or other Cohn brother movies. But it explains the names of the towns' people: Bunny Quoyle, Petal Bear, and Billy Pretty? I thought the movie has a power though and I did like it. I didn't know what too expect which is why I liked it. It seems you have to go down some pretty bizarre paths to get something different today. Check it out some time.
Decided to go ahead and rate a movie and game. I watched the Shipping News last week and was very impressed by it. I know that it was not so Fresh on Rotten, but overall the movie was really good. You can't really go wrong with Kevin Spacy or Julianne Moore. The other that I rated was a game. We recently purchased Mario Kart. What an awesome game. I would recommend it. It is so much fun.
My afternoon was pretty good. I have a lady coming to see Macci tomorrow morning at 8am :rolleyes: early feed time for Macci!

my review of "the shipping news"
I actually found myself liking the film alot. Its about a guy whos life has really bed meanless and how his Dad always talked him down as a kid. Well he meets up with the women Petle ::Blanchett:: who sleeps with him. They have a kid together which they call Bunny. Well Petle sleeps around with other guys and is just pretty much a whore but Quoyle loves. Well she leaves him for another guy something terrible happens to her. Then Quoyles parents kill them selves and kinda blame him. The crazy aunt :Judie Dench: shows up and they all go to Finnland together! He gets a job at a local paper writing stories in an artical called "the shipping news:: ta da title! well anyways he falls for a women named Wavey ::JuIianne Moore:: just watch the movie. wrote along review but RT fucked it up and I can't get it back, so sorry for such a short review.
I have a gay rat named Jerimiah. He loves the hairless much like some of my other gay just seems to turn him off. One of Jerimiah's boyfriend's is Zorro. Zorro would hump a doughnut if he had the chance. That's probably why Jerimiah likes him. The white dumbo is two years old last March..he's one of my senior citizens. In rat years that makes him about 68.. His other age-mates are Gousgous, (2 years agouti), Damien,(2, naked boy also known as frankenratty), ErnieKovacs (2, naked boy blind as a shoehorn). The four of them have fun bossing around the youngsters. But in his old age, Jerimiah just hugs the naked boys like Quentin Crisp ogling a preteen gymnast. Along with his sexual appetite, Jerimiah is the glutton of the bunch too. He'd knock down Joe Namath to get at an egg noodle. Of all my rats, he is the one that all people seem to fall in love with first.

I mention him this morning because I just put together a desktop image of him and its' lifesized. I look at his ruby eyes, big old ears, and swirly cone vanilla and white face, and just giggle at how cool he is. I'll have to post this in the photos section. I was so tired this morning, I almost fed the screen instead of the rats in the cage.

Why am I tired? I got up too early so I could play art geek for a friend. I was racing to get some stuff done before she went on vacation, but it wasn't what she wanted so I had to redo it anyhoos. Ah well. In the old days someone would say what they wanted and I'd have it done right, in four different formats within an hour. Now I feel lucky if I have the right program opened. I notice more and more each day how the medications I'm taking make my mind mushier. I have more appointments in the next few weeks. I'm seeing a genuine shrink again, so I can get back on the anti-depressant things I used to be on. They made me fat, and that realllllllly depressed me, but I'm hoping there are better drugs out there now.

So last night's adventure. First of all...I LOVE my friends. I haven't been this close to people since I was in grad school for music. (There, I developed a close group of like-minded people in San Francisco, who loved me despite myself.) This group in Vegas is much the same. I call them the posse, but there really isn't any ONE sheriff in the bunch. We're a group of people who probably all got beat up in grade school, for being the weirdos, too smart, and of course, BORED with people our own ages, and in this group, Jeff and I are probably the weirdos. We've had to dodge a few more life bullets than most of the other folks so we laugh at things others may not get. But, see, that means there are TWO weirdos in this group...and that makes it something unique. There's a quiet one, a dominant loud one, an introspective-inquisitive one, a worrier, a gimpy one, a type A go getter, a do-it-all myselfer, goofy little brother, and of course..we're all sexy, and adorable in our own ways with a sense of humor that permeates throughout all we do. In effect, we are all each other's family. I can't see ever not having these folk in my life. So when it's just a time for the Posse to be together, it's usually great times.

I went to one of the pal's place for a get together or Mexican proportions. The smells of great kitchen games make me very happy. Cilantro, tomatoes, garlic...I'm drooling thinking about it..but the guacamole...YUMMMMMY. Advocados are in those special food groups that chocolate belongs into..the one that makes my mouth water just thinking of them. One of the folks was at the counter cutting up Watermelon, and Emily was co-ordinating everything in her Ace-Producer style. I like helping in the kitchen because it's CREATION, and it's one of the few things I can still do without feeling like my hands will fail me. They sometimes do, but I can make up for it in other ways.

The first thing that happened was one of the nicest things which has ever happened in my life. One of the guys HAD to talk to me. Now when someone says they need to tell you something, it's not always good news. Of course, me being my own worst all of the people I know... starting wondering if I had my foot in my mouth and upset him somehow. BUT worrying wasn't necessary. He told me that his mother, who never really is into jewelry, has been wearing a bracelet I made for her birthday, and hasn't stopped talking about her dinner party. He praised me for the thoughtfulness of the gift. All I could think to say was Thanks, and I was just all mushy and gooey in side, knowing that somehow I helped an older woman have some great memories.

Flash back time. One of my first legit non art related jobs was that of Nursing Assistant at the Hebrew Rehabilitation Center for the Aged. I worked on the fifth floor.. the one where they put those who just weren't all there anymore. Most of the people still had their tattoos from Concentration Camps. Many of the men were castrated. I remember three in particular, Ella who used to call me "Fred" because she couldnt' remember my real name, Esther, an very TALL regal woman who used to be a pianist in the symphony and premiered some of Russia's most famous orchestrated works in the thirties and forties..she was world famous at some point and would often play piano in her sleep...and Rubin, an opera singer who was castrated in the camps to be a castrati, and was asked to sing for Hitler on dozens of occassions. None of them had families who would visit, except Esther...whose some came monthly, for about twenty minutes. It was there I learned that memories are the best gift anyone could have. These people had nothing of their own anymore, but memories, and I would listen to their stories for hours and hours. I spend much time on figuring out perfect presents for people. When Shadow gave me the news about his mother, I felt so relieved that my life's ambition is still working. Emily said something similar to me around Xmas time, but I think it always means more when the treasures of our culture..the older folks..feel happy about things that give them good memories.

Present day once more... It was a family feeling. We all sat down to have dinner, and it was still a family feeling. Some guy laughs and teases because he thought of me like a little sister, which is EXACTLY how I feel about him...he's my big goofy brother. We sat and laughed, quoting lines from our favorite cult classic movie, and talked about the Travel plans...and just DEVOURED cherries and watemelon afterwards. It was a thanksgiving without the turkey, or the drama.

Then we watched the Shipping News. As a writer hoping to find an audience, I really liked this Visual book. The characters were interesting, human, real. I still can't figure out how Kevin Spacey can show emotion without moving a muscle on his face. But he does it. The little girl wasn't anywhere as good as Dakota Fanning.... the superhero of child stars, but she got the role down well, and did a good job. Cate Blanchett...I think I should just call myself Cate, I like that much better than Cat, and it's less confusing than CathE.... Blanchett played a raunchy character so well, and exactly like people we all know. Julianne Moore, the most understated actress did a great job... she's just likeable. But Judi Dench, Dame Judi..She reminds me SO much of my foster mom, and always makes me miss her terribly when I see her on the screen. They had the same eyes, and the same way of speaking. They had the walk, and the mannerisms..just so much alike. Ann was a complete Anglofile and loved Dame Judi's work. I would watch her mirror her when she played a queen or a dutchess or even a secretary. They were so much alike. I see Dame Judi, and I feel like I'm getting a chance to see my mom again. But like in real life, the movie ends, and the reality becomes a dark room.

I had to knock Capt. Worry in the head with a pillow a few times for talking over the dialogue. He says he never does it, but he always talks over a movie, no matter where we are or what we see. If he didn't make me laugh I'd be able to tune him out. Everyone else hung out for some time, but I had to get home and take care of my beasties.

Today I set up appointments to follow up on the boob stuff, and what not. I take the bandages off in a couple of hours. Tanyalee is coming by the boyfriend's house tonight as is MaryAnn and her hubby Scott. It's bbq night. Capt. Worry looooves to use that grill!

Later gaters
Watched the following movies in the plane in my trip to New York over the weekend:

Night Shift
Henry Wringler and Michael Keaton are pretty funny in this. I don't consider Shelly Long to be sexy, but she is in this movie. It's about too guys who work the night shift of a morque. When the pimp of Wringler's next door neighbor got into a mishap, Wringler and Keaton take over his prostitution business by taking his client list and converting their morgue into a prostitution center. Lots of hilarity ensue. The only thing keeping this from getting a 7 out of me is that it's a little sitcom-y, and it does kinda feel like a made-for-TV movie.

The Shipping News
Kevin Spacey plays a loser's loser. His wife (Cate Blanchett) treats him like a door mat and ignores their daughter. She goes out drinking every night, brings back strangers, and has sex with them in their living room. His parents doesn't think much of him either. When his wife and parents all died in the span of a couple days, his aunt (his father's younger sister) thinks it's about time he goes with her to their homeland, Newfoundland, to escape his sorrow. Now, you think this is one of those films where the lead character goes back to his hometown and rediscovers the simple joys of life. But when the first thing his aunt does with his father's ashes is to take dump on it, you know this is not one of those movies. He's in for a rude awakening. Well-acted, well-shot and definitely not dull. It's a movie about people dealing with pain and being mistreated. The subject matter keeps me from giving this movie a 7. It's one of those movies that you think is good, but it's also not something you quite enjoy.

It's an adventure movie about an international horse race. A good looking film. But the most boring adventure and slowest racing film I've ever seen. Technically, everything is pretty well done - acting, writing, cinematography, etc. That's why I'm giving it a 4 instead of a lower grade. I think the biggest crime you can commit with a movie is to put your audience to sleep. This movie will put you to sleep. The only reason why I was awake was because I suggested this movie to my friend, and I had to keep him entertained. "Wow, that looks pretty good, huh..." "Hahaha...that's pretty funny" (during any attempts at humor). "Ooh, that chick's kinda hot." Watching a bunch of turtles in a long race is probably more exciting. It doesn't help that the race doesn't get going until what seemed like forever. There's really not much of a race because whenever the horses start to take a couple steps, the film cuts to some boring scene that's either unnecessary or overlong. It's directed by Joe Johnston, a pupil of Steven Spielberg (and generally a solid director). It's just mind-boggling that a student of Spielberg can make an action/adventure movie so boring and slow. Oh, fuck it. I'm downgrading this to a 3.

If you want to see a great adventure movie about a horse, watch Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron. The two films are actually pretty similiar - two untamed spirits trying to free themselves from the confines of their society. It's a very under-rated movie - beautiful, fast-paced, action packed, thrilling, and adrenaline-pumping. It's on my top 10 list of that year simply because a movie like Spirit can only be made through the medium of animation. It's just not possible to have real-life horses do the kind of stunts in the film ... safely.

Taking Lives
A by-the-numbers movie about profilers and serial killers. The twists are quite predictable. When the highlight of your movie is a huffing and grunting sex scene with Angelina Jolie and Ethan Hawke, well, you're digging pretty deep down in your bag of tricks. And that's pretty much all I remembered about the movie.
The Shipping News is a highly dramatic piece full of solid dialogue and powerful characterizations all performed by an oustanding ensemble cast. Julianne Moore pulls off depth along with an astounding accent while Judi Dench and Spacey were simply marvelous. The rest of the players were exquisite as well, each breathing depth and soul into their characters. Once you move away from the acting though you still have a meandering story, and although nicely layered and sprinkled with top rate precision dialogue it only keeps you fairly interested all the way through. This film is definitely more European in its story and direction, more emotional rather than structural like your usual American fair. If you go for that type of film, then by all means this quaint little piece is definitely worthy of a rental anyday of the week.
RIFIFI (Jules Dassin, 1955) - 8.5 / PRO (-)

They say that this is the mother of all heist movies and that is almost has made all its successors obsolete. Whoever "they" are, I must admit that "they" are right.

This is indeed probably the best movie of its kind. It's full of vivid ideas. There were a lot of scenes where I wondered, how they will solve a specific problem or whether they had given thought to it at all and the film always came up with nice ideas (e.g. the umbrella).

Does anybody have any clue why films can't have endings like this anymore these days?

FAHRENHEIT 9/11 (Michael Moore, 2004) - 6.5 / pro (-)

I don't have much to add. I saw this film the night before the election and I don't have to tell you, how I felt, when I woke up the next morning and heard the news on the radio.

I liked Fahrenheit enough to give it a pro, but IMO "Bowling" is a far superior film.

THE WOMAN IN THE WINDOW (Fritz Lang, 1945) - 8.0 / pro(+)

The first half of this film is incredibly well-written. It's amazing how all those details and almost every word, that is said, return and get significance. I knew that I was seeing an outstanding film, but it all went slightly downhill. The second half about the blackmail is very much by-the-books and then there is this ending. Some may see it as a gimmick, which does not have much importance, but, I think, that the ending might make sense on paper, but not on film. The film is presented way too realistic, which makes the ending implausible.

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