Tuesday, January 12, 2010

1. Ferguson, 2. Letterman, 3. Conan, 4. Kimmel

1. Craig Ferguson "American on Purpose"
Sure, I could be reading great American novels, but what's wrong with a celebrity autobiography every now and then?

Ferguson is currently my favorite late night talk show host. He seems to be off the cuff when it comes to everything. The monologue, sketches, interviews, etc. is delivered by a supremely confident, positive and funny man. It's like a more approachable, wiser Conan. A happier Letterman. A wittier Kimmel. I love his show. I read his book because of the reasons listed. I was not disappointed.

Ferguson is a well-known alcoholic. He hasn't had a drink in nearly twenty years. He writes about his exploits like it was yesterday. They're sad and wistful, but they're told in a witty manner. Memories that would be annoyingly preachy aren't when Ferguson writes.

A good way to start the new year. A quick, well written autobiography from a man who seems extremely comfortable in his own skin.

I'm gunna fingerbang bang you into my life

3. "Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist"
An awful film using character names I hold near and dear. It never should have been made. The only redeemable aspects of the film are the leads. They're both charming and hard to hate. It is extremely easy to loathe the dialogue and plausibility of the story. Yes, sometimes a story has to be somewhat believable for me to enjoy a film.

This movie makes me hate indie rock. I don't want to hate indie rock.

Saturday, January 09, 2010

The winter of Orson Welles

The winter of Orson Welles is in full swing. I'm eating too much, working on arty stuff too much and making enemies wherever I go. This season will be followed by the spring of hope and the summer of not eating like shit.

Monday, January 04, 2010

Guard dog, Lincoln Square, Chicago, December 2009

Very American

2. "Junebug"
Amy Adams is a great actress and her role in "Junebug" was meant for her to play. This is the type of film that makes me happy Netflix exists.

"Junebug" is the story of urban vs rural. A newlywed takes his wife back to North Carolina to see his parents for the first time. She's an art gallery owner. His family is not made up of art connoisseurs. The family is made up of mom, dad, brother and brother's girlfriend, ready to give birth. When Adams is introduced as the woman about to give birth it's officially her film. For the next hour and change you want to see things work out. The successes and failures of this family are easily predictable, but it doesn't matter. It's damn near impossible not to root for everyone.

If you aren't able to relate/cringe to moments in this film, we'll probably never agree on the art form.

Very French

1. "Man on Wire"
A great documentary about a great event. For no other reason than to do it, a man tight-walked between the World Trade Center Towers. For no other reason than to tell the story of that walk, this documentary exists.

Philippe Petit is the man on the wire. He was born to be a tight rope walker. With years of planning and an extraordinary amount of charisma, he's able to assemble a team of people to help him achieve his greatest feat. The film tells the story dramatically, using recreations to put the viewer inside the tower. Though on paper this reads like a bad "Dateline" episode, it's works on film. You know that everything turns out well yet you anticipate the worst.

Petit is a confident man. He should tour with Kanye West. It would be beautiful.

Friday, January 01, 2010

The numbers

My new years resolution is to read 52 books and watch 104 films. That's why I number all the books I read and films I see. I've been able to meet that goal most years. I fell short, quite a bit short, in 2009. I hit my film quota but not the book goal. Why is that? I got lazy. I listened to podcasts while on the bus and train instead of reading. I'll try to hit the target in 2010.

The dad from "Wonder Years" is on "Law and Order: SVU".