Monday, December 27, 2010

…I have had a streak of seeing excellent films:
"Due Date"
"127 Hours"
"The Fighter"
"True Grit"
"The Black Swan"
"The King's Speech"
"The Black Swan" is by the director of "The Wrestler" and "Requiem For A Dream," the latter being one of the most harrowing films I've ever seen, and unquestionably the hardest last five minutes of a movie I've ever watched. "The Black Swan" stars Natalie Portman and is excellent. She should grab an Oscar for this. The direction, the choreography, the plot, acting, script, dancing (ballet) and score are all spectacular. Go see it, but be warned that it's very emotionally wretching and you will live with this film for a least a few days afterward.
Today was "The King's Speech." Certainly the buzz around Colin Furth is well-earned. He shines in all the right ways, making himself simultaneously steely and vulnerable, all withut coming across as bragadocious, pitiful, cloying, staged or melodramatic. His co-star, Geoffrey Rush, is sensational, reminding me of Sir John Gielgud in "Arthur," but for an updated audience. Rush should win Oscar gold for Best Supporting Actor.

…I read a lot of magazines. I read a lot in general, but magazines--if you subscribe--are the best entertainment (and information) value out there. I like all kinds of mags--writers ones, naturally; music mags; pop culture; hard news; fashion--both male and female; shelter magazines; photograph magazines. You can learn useful knowledge, or even fun, trivial-yet-interesting-bits, such as, did you know there's a Facebook group that has so far pledged $10,000 if the band Weezer will break up? Odd but hysterical. And a pretty big slam to Weezer.

In "Esquire" (I talk about them a lot) this month's issue is themed "What I've Learned" which is always my fave. In it, they do an extended version of the column they have monthly. Basically, they pick interesting people--usually celebrities, but not always--and have them prattle on about what life has taught them from the mundane to the profound.
Here's some of what I liked:
"If you don't have heroes in the beginning, you don't grow." Robert Duvall
"Art is competitive." Robert Duvall
"When I was a kid, nobody told me I was good-looking. I wish they had. I would've had a better time." Robert Redford
"I don't look ahead. I'm right here with you. It's a good way to be." Danny Devito
"To do creativity at the level we do it…five days a week, eight hours a day, it doesn't work. I dedicate more than double the time most people do. Thus, at the same level of talent, I have an advantage." Ferran Adria, world reknown chef
"Nothing's going back to the way it was." James L. Brooks
"There's always something falling to the floor. I'm a juggler in constant 'oops' mode." James L. Brooks

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