Friday, July 23, 2004

Quote of the Day
"You could find screen savers with better animation."
- James Sanford (Kalamazoo Gazette) on Catwoman

Tuesday, July 20, 2004

Spartan, written and directed by David Mamet
A secret service agent tries to find the president's kidnapped daughter only to discover dark forces at work in the presidential administration. Kilmer plays the agent well, although Mamet's more creative lines are beyond Kilmer so his delivery of them becomes risible. In fact some of the dialogue is conceptually interesting but completely unsuited to a real movie. (I don't mean that as an insult.) Still, the twists in the plot keep one's attention--even if a few are predictable. And the film's scathing political commentary cuts deep. One must give Mamet credit for taking new risks with this film

More on the Drug Industry
In The Truth About the Drug Companies, Marcia Angell presents a succinct version of the arguments she presented earlier in the excellent article America's Other Drug Problem (pdf), which was co-written with Arnold S . Relman. The points she makes are:
  • Drug companies increase the price of drugs over the rate of inflation every year.
  • The elderly are worst effected by drug prices.
  • Contrary to company claims, research and development are a relatively small part of their budgets. Marketing and administration take a larger part of the budget, and profits are an even larger part.
  • The drug industry is not particularly innovative.
  • The industry depends on research by American universities and the tax-funded NIH. The Bayh-Dole act made it possible to remove taxpayer-financed discoveries from the public domain.
Angell doesn't mention the way in which American drug companies threaten foreign drug copiers who provide affordable versions of antiretrovirals to treat AIDS. But her forthcoming book may may mention that issue. Angell is former editor-in-chief of the New England Journal of Medicine. (Thanks to the The Bloviator for the link.)

Sunday, July 18, 2004

I'll Sleep When I'm Dead dir. Mike Hodges
Will Graham, a former ganster, returns to London to avenge his brother's death. He reunites with friends and enemies but he mostly ignores them in his solipsistic hunt for revenge. The movie begins with a cryptic set of scenes that set the movie's tough-guy tone, in which the movie itself is the tough guy, without a shred of concern for the audience. Unfortunately the cryptic scenes continue until the mysterious atmosphere become more annoying than artistic. Also, this movie is so humorless it's laughable. Dragged past noir into uber-noir territory, the movie's cinematic grimness is admirably conveyed, so I would recommend this movie for one viewing. But its unnaturally dark pose ultimately reminded me of the pose of angst-ridden Goth teenagers, whose plight comes from stage direction rather than tragedy.

Friday, July 09, 2004

Atlantans, Don't Miss This
The Complete Works of Shakespeare (Abridged) will play at Actors Theatre of Atlanta from July 8 to August 28. Debuted by the three-man Reduced Shakespeare Company of London in 1994, this farce is catchy even for those who don't know their Shakespeare. If you miss the play you could get the DVD or the book, but the play's the thing. Of course, if you want unintentional farce, you can read

Begin the Bloguine
I now have a home computer (thanks to Wies) and a cable modem so blogging will be more regular now.

Friday, July 02, 2004

Silly Meme
Via Chuck, here's a little exercise.

Bold the ones you’ve seen, and add three to the end.
01. Trainspotting
02. Shrek

03. M
04. Dogma
05. Strictly Ballroom
06. The Princess Bride

07. Love Actually
08. The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Rings
09. The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers
10. The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
11. Reservoir Dogs
12. Desperado
13. Swordfish
14. Kill Bill Vol. 1
15. Donnie Darko
16. Spirited Away
17. Better Than Sex
18. Sleepy Hollow
19. Pirates of the Caribbean
20. The Eye
21. Requiem for a Dream
22. Dawn of the Dead The original.
23. The Pillow Book
24. The Italian Job (the new version)
25. The Goonies
26. Baseketball
27. The Spice Girls Movie (Spice World)
28. Army of Darkness
29. The Color Purple
30. The Safety of Objects
31. Can’t Hardly Wait
32. Mystic Pizza
33. Finding Nemo
34. Monsters Inc.

35. Circle of Friends
36. Mary Poppins
37. The Bourne Identity (both!)
38. Forrest Gump
39. A Clockwork Orange

40. Kindergarten Cop
41. On The Line
42. My Big Fat Greek Wedding
43. Final Destination
44. Sorority Boys
45. Urban Legend
46. Cheaper by the Dozen The original.
47. Fierce Creatures
48. Dude, Where’s My Car
49. Ladyhawke
50. Ghostbusters
51. Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade
52. Back to the Future

53. An Affair To Remember
54. Somewhere In Time
55. North By Northwest
56. Moulin Rouge

57. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
58. The Wizard of Oz
59. Zoolander
60. A Walk to Remember
61. Chicago
62. Vanilla Sky
63. The Sweetest Thing
64. Don’t Tell Mom the Babysitter’s Dead
65. The Nightmare Before Christmas
66. Chasing Amy
67. Edward Scissorhands
68. Adventures of Priscilla: Queen of the Desert
69. Muriel’s Wedding
70. Croupier
71. Blade Runner

72. Cruel Intentions
73. Ocean’s Eleven
74. Magnolia
75. Fight Club

76. Beauty and The Beast
77. Much Ado About Nothing
78. Dirty Dancing
79. Gladiator
80. Ever After
81. Braveheart
82. What Lies Beneath
83. Regarding Henry

84. The Dark Crystal
85. Star Wars
86. The Birds
87. Beaches
88. Cujo
89. Maid In Manhattan
90. Labyrinth
91. Thoroughly Modern Millie
92. His Girl Friday
93. Chocolat
94. Independence Day
95. Singing in the Rain

96. Big Fish
97. The Thomas Crown Affair (the new version)
98. The Matrix

99. Stargate
100. A Hard Day’s Night
101. About A Boy
102. Jurassic Park
103. Life of Brian
104. Dune

105. Help!
106. Grease
107. Newsies
108. Gone With The Wind
109. School of Rock
110. TOMMY
111. Yellow Submarine
112. From Hell
113. Benny & Joon
114. Amelie
115. Bridget Jones’ Diary
116. Monty Python and the Holy Grail
117. Heavenly Creatures
118. All About Eve
119. The Outsiders
120. Airplane!
121. The Sorcerer
122. The Crying Game
123. Hedwig and the Angry Inch
124. Slap Her, She’s French
125. Amadeus
126. Tommy Boy
127. Aladdin
128. How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days
129. Snatch
130. American History X
131. Jack and Sarah
132. Monkey Bone
133. Rocky Horror Picture Show
134. Kate and Leopold
135. Interview with the Vampire
136. Underworld
137. Truly, Madly, Deeply
138. Tank Girl
139. Boondock Saints
140. Blow Dry
141. Titanic
142. Good Morning Vietnam
143. Save the Last Dance
144. Lost in Translation
145. Willow
146. Legend
147. Van Helsing
148. Troy
149. Nine Girls and a Ghost
150. A Knight’s Tale
151. Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey
152. Beetlejuice
153. E.T.

154. Harry Potter and the Sorceror’s Stone
155. Spaceballs
156. Young Frankenstein

157. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
158. American President
159. Bad Boys
160. Pecker
161. Pink Floyd: The Wall
161. X-Men
162. Sidewalks of New York
163. The Children of Dune
164. Beyond Borders
165. Life Is Beautiful
166. Good Will Hunting
167. Run Lola Run
168. Blazing saddles

169. Caligula
170. The Transporter
171. Better Off Dead
172. The Abyss
173. Almost Famous
174. The Red Violin

175. Contact
176. Stand and Deliver
177. Clueless
178. William Shakespeare’s Romeo+Juliet
179. Dangerous Laisions
180. I Am Sam
181. The Usual Suspects
182. U-571
183. Capricorn One
184. The Little Shop of Horrors (the one with Jack Nicholson)
185. Die Hard
186. The Flamingo Kid
187. Night of the Comet
188. Point Break
189. Chatterbox
190. Secretary
191. Breakfast at Tiffany’s
192. American Beauty
193. Pulp Fiction

194. What About Bob
195. Roger and Me
196. Fahrenheit 9/11
197. Bowling for Columbine
198. The Professional (aka Leon)
199. The Fifth Element
200. La Femme Nikita
201. Heathers
202. Bull Durham
203. The Scorpion King
204. The Thin Blue Line
205. Do the Right Thing
206. Lady From Shanghai
207. Italian for Beginners
208. Last Year at Marienbad
209. The Apartment

We Mourn
Marlon Brando dead at 80. Although he is better known today for playing Don Corleone in The Godfather, I treasure his performance as Terry Malloy in On the Waterfront. While the Bernstein score, the Kazan direction, and the supporting performances of Lee J. Cobb, Eva Marie Saint, and Rod Steiger made this film shine, Brando's raw immediacy was what burned the film into my cinematic psyche.