Saturday, April 25, 2009


35. "300"
What a horrible film. Awful war propaganda done in an "artsy" way. How was "Sin City" so good and this so bad?

The students I had loved this film. I understand why they did. It has a simple message and it's clear who is good and who is evil. I think I liked "The Crow" for the same reasons. At least "The Crow" had a decent soundtrack.

What's with the spray tanned six packs? It's extremely homoerotic in a not fun way.

The shooting style is cool. This couldn't have been made five years ago. I guess it's a testament to technology. It's further proof that technology is a tool, not the basis for a good film.

Maybe if Orson Welles was in this it could've been saved. He might have been able to deliver the shitty dialogue and make it decent.

If the US Military didn't commission this film they sure did get a nice gift.

Thank god "South Park" parodied this thing. Why did I watch this? I saw the parody and liked that. I should just stick with "South Park" for all things aimed at 15-year old boys.

Someone with a lot of time should splice together scenes of George Clooney from the "Oceans" films to make it seem like he's robbing everyone in this film and having a good time doing it.

Friday, April 24, 2009

I like you just the way you are

I wrote a piece about Mr. Rogers and read it at the Brain last Monday. I turned it into an episode of the podcast. Please check it out. I tried.

Fishes, April 2006

Fishes, April 2006, originally uploaded by Brandon Wetherbee.

Now he's rich

14. James Frey "My Friend Leonard"
I hope Frey writes a third memoir. I will read it.

Highly recommended.

I do understand

34. "The Darjeeling Limited"
I have come to the conclusion that I am not a fan of Wes Anderson films. I do like his cinematographer.

I do not like the characters in this film. Or the story. Adrian Brody was good.


13. Jon Ronson "Them: Adventures with Extremists"
I would like to interview Jon Ronson. I find his books very interesting and very funny. He writes about the fringes of society and finds some common ground with everyone. It makes sense why his books are being turned into films.

I like "Them" more than "The Men Who Stare At Goats". It has a broader appeal and a time line that couldn't have been better. He started writing about Al Queda extremists in the mid to late 90s. The book wraps up a few months after September 2001. There's no pre/post world in this book, just a portrait of a few years that can no longer be written with such clarity.

People that don't read many books would like this. Maybe a good bathroom book.

Good on 'em

12. James Frey "A Million Little Pieces"
It doesn't matter what Oprah or what Oprah's Book Club has to say, this book is great. Sure, some parts may be exaggerated or completely made up, but as a piece of art, this book works.

Frey was an alcoholic and addict to pretty much whatever drug he could get his hands on. He underwent dental procedures without any drugs. He went into a crack house to get the woman he loved. Those are the things you might have already known. Those are some of the things that may have been exaggerated or completely made up. Once again, it doesn't matter. The book flows like every good book should. I feel like an asshole for judging the people that read this book when it was an Oprah pick.

Hell yeah.

11. Jim McMahon and Bob Verdi "McMahon!"
Hell yeah McMahon! He likes beer! Fuck it! Fuck yeah!

What a wonderful book. Slightly more than 200 pages, stories of the 85 Bears, McMahon drinking beer and telling everyone else to pretty much fuck off. Wonderful. He doesn't care about the book and neither should you. Just read the book and relax from reality for a few hours.

I want too much

33. "For Your Consideration"
The audio sync for this film was either really poorly done or is a joke I didn't understand. It was jarring.

I liked "A Mighty Wind" more. It seemed like that film took time to make. This one just seemed like a bunch of friends having fun for a few weeks, which isn't that bad. But maybe they could have spent a little more time on it. It may have worked better as a six part sitcom. I think I'm complaining about the film being too funny in parts that could have gone on longer. I am the problem with the Internet. I should just appreciate that it is a funny film.

I know I should've seen it longer

32. "Casablanca"
I'm slowly chipping away my viewing of the classics. (What's wrong with me? I can't seem to string together a decent sentence.) I've had access to this film on DVD for roughly five years. Why did it take so long to watch?

It's odd to watch a film you've seen parodied so much. Every scene has been referenced for the last sixty years.

It is great and it one of the ten best American films of all time.

Deep down, everyone wants to be Humphrey Bogart.

Good watch and read

31. "Choke"
A good adaptation from the book. Sam Rockwell is fun to watch and though it's a Chuck Palahniuk film, it's never too heavy. Director/writer Clark Gregg handled the material well. The sex looks boring and the choking is realistic. There wasn't much more he could do.

I like Sam Rockwell. I think I'll watch everything he's done.

I like films that look like they had a cheap budget but didn't sacrifice anything.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Please show up

I haven't performed at a reading since July 2007. I think. It's been a long time.

Wicker Park, Chicago, April 2009

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Dead and gone

10. Philip Roth "Everyman"
This is one of those short books that seem like anyone could write it but if you actually try it's damn near impossible. In other words, this under 200 page novel is to the point but clear. Roth does a lot with a little, unlike this odd review I'm writing.

My girlfriend bought this book in a hospital gift shop. It's about the life and death of a 70-something year old male. We're taken through his life from early childhood to five years before death. It seems like it would be an awful book to read in a hospital.

Read this book. It's sound in every way.

Fireworks are romantic

"Only The Lonely"
This was one of the first films my mom rented when we got our first VCR. I remember thinking it was a sad and beautiful film. John Candy's role was a frightening look at what it was like to live with your mother at 35. The scene at Comiskey Park broke my heart. I thought it was a great use of nostalgia and loneliness. I thought it was the best film made for adults that want to be in love. I was nine years old. Upon re-watching this film I no longer find it to be the best film made for adults that want to be in love.

I forgot about the fantasy scenes about Candy's mother. Each time he's guilted into staying with her, or at least guilted in his head, he envisions his mother's demise. These little scenes seemed like a waste of time and money. This may be one of the few films that might have been better with a smaller budget.

The Netflix description for this film says it's a remake of "Marty". The lead in "I Want Someone to Eat Cheese With" wants to star in the remake of "Marty" being made in his film. Odd.

I wish John Candy was still alive. I would love to see him and Jeff Garland drink on stage and talk about whatever.

I could make this

30. "I Want Someone to Eat Cheese With"
I've wanted to see this film since I heard about in 2006. I like all the actresses in the film and I like to see Chicago on film. I'm glad I saw the film but it wasn't exactly what I expected.

Jeff Garland wrote, directed and stared in this 80-minute film. He's an overweight actor-comedian that lives at home with his mother in Chicago. He's single. He quits one of his jobs. He gets fired from another. He's a compulsive over eater. For some reason, Sarah Silverman's character gives the guy a shot. It doesn't end well but he does find possible love with Bonnie Hunt's character. It gives the viewer a hopeful ending.

I liked the film but expected to love it. It felt disjointed in places. It seemed like it wasn't all shot at once. Jokes that should have been great were only good. It felt odd so I decided to watch it with Garland's commentary. The film was shot in three sections. The film had three different financiers. The film wasn't completely in Chicago. The reasons I thought it was disjointed turned out to be true.

It's cute. A good date film. Hopefully Garland will get another shot to do something in Chicago again.

Jesus did strike a magnificent pose

29. "Hamlet 2"
One of the few low budget independent comedy films that had a better trailer than film. Friends recommended this film and I was somewhat disappointed. It felt disjointed but was still funny. Not great funny and not cult status funny, but something you wouldn't turn off if it came on television.

Steve Coogan was excellent, as good as his time in "Tropic Thunder." The musical number "Rock Me Sexy Jesus" would be a YouTube sensation if it wasn't in this film. Amy Pohler's one dimensional ACLU lawyer role was wonderful. (That last sentence sounds odd.)

Maybe I should let this one sit for a few years. It may be great and I could've been tired.

Nothing good comes at 5am, Underbar, Roscoe Village, Chicago, April 5 2009