Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Vacation Update

I'm enjoying a couple days off from my real job between Christmas and New Year. With that said, I've put down almost 3000 words on two separate projects the past two days. Both are a bit momentous.

One is a short story idea that I think might actually work as a novel. I was going to try and get another story under my belt (and one actually published) before trying my hand at a novel, but I figured what the hell? Here's hoping I don't peter out at 20k words.

The other one is the subject of an announcement I'm going to make on this blog on Friday. Stay tuned for that one.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Heat (1995)

Continuing on the theme of watching movies I should’ve seen years ago comes this week’s offering: Heat (1996). Billed as the first meeting of Al Pacino and Robert De Niro, this movie is typical Michael Mann. I don’t know if it’s his shot composition or his use of colors/soundtrack, but all of Mann’s films evoke the same general feeling.

De Niro is a master criminal whose crew operates like a finely tuned machine. After a brilliant armored car robbery to open the film, Pacino’s LAPD detective starts to track down De Niro and stop him before the next heist. The rest of the movie splits time between the two hard-edged men who are tenacious in going after their goals.

Many people complain that De Niro and Pacino share almost no screen time (save the diner scene and the denouement). While it would’ve been cool to see them together more, the separation made their eventual meeting(s) all the more impactful.

I’m not ga-ga over this movie like a lot of people are, but it was an enjoyable time. The opening armored car robbery and the bank heist are two awesome set pieces. Well worth the price of admission.

I also liked the familiar faces popping up. De Niro’s crew was Val Kilmer, Tom Sizemore, and Danny Trejo. Their opening score was taken from William Fichtner and fenced through John Voight. Pacino’s cops were Ted Levine and Mykelti Williamson (of the late, lamented Boomtown). Not to mention supporting roles played by Amy Brenneman, Ashley Judd, Natalie Portman, Dennis Haysbert, and cameos from Hank Azaria, Tone Loc, and Xander Berkeley.

The movie’s not for everyone, but if you’re a fan of Mann, definitely check it out.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Swingers (1996)

I finally saw Swingers (1996) last night. I know, I know. What red-blooded male my age hasn't seen this movie? I'm a bit late to the party. For the record, I will say that I was underwhelmed by this movie.

The gist of the movie is a bunch of wannabe actors hitting the club scene and talking about women. The only character's name I can remember is Trent (Vince Vaughn). That speaks to how well developed I thought they were. The main character (Jon Favreau) just came across as a whiny little bitch who couldn't understand why his girlfriend hasn't called him since he left her and moved across the country six months ago.

I will say I dug the soundtrack (Big Bad Voodoo Daddy is A+ in my book), there were some good lines, and it's easy to see why Vaughn is the breakout star of this picture.

Some people would say this movie is money, but I say skip it.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Winter Wonderland

The snow is falling.
Too bad that I'm a grown-up.
I want a snow day.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Simply Having a Wonderful Christmas-time

A friend of mine pointed me to a new (to us at least) site called BeTaMaXMas. They've got some classic (1980's) commercials and some of the cheesy holiday themed episodes that used to sprout up everywhere this time of year. So, come with me and take a trip down memory lane with the folks at BeTaMaXMas!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008