Thursday, July 29, 2004

You know, I really thought Catwoman would be a turgid piece of offensive offal.

Damn if I wasn't right.

Next to Catwoman, I, Robot is 2001: A Space Odyssey. It's not the so-bad-it's-good kind of movie, like Anaconda. Or the so-bad-it's-actually-offensive, like Batman & Robin. It's so bad it's embarrassing. From the terrible one-liners to the cookie-cutter plot to the comic relief best friend, everything stinks. The dialogue is truly something else. All those cat-puns had me gagging. Frances Conroy, how could you agree to this role? Why does it say based on characters created by Bob Kane? And Neva pointed out something: Patience Phillips is Warner Brothers' attempt at Peter Parker. Notice all the times she gets bumped on the way to work, the unappreciative boss, the loser status. Somehow Pitof, whose first film Vidocq I enjoyed, got Thierry Arbogast, Luc Besson's DP, to make one of those annoying style-films, all dizzying cuts and intentionally nauseous movements. And why do the French keep shooting action so up close and personal? Two scenes in Catwoman are confusing because they just HAVE to have the camera in the characters' faces, ass and breasts. I remember that Jet Li flick Kiss of the Dragon also suffering from this. If you check Rotten Tomatoes, its rating is 10%, possibly the lowest I've seen since Roberto Benigni's live-action Pinocchio. And The Bourne Supremacy kicked its ass on opening weekend. In fact, it looks like Catwoman's going to bomb. Well, it deserves it. You have to keep wondering, preferably in the loudest and angriest Lewis Black voice, "Who greenlights this shit?! Didn't they READ the script?!" And Denise DiNovi, I'm disappointed in you. You used to have taste.

Like I told Neva when the credits began to roll: "Now THAT'S what I call female empowerment!" I keed, ladies, I keed.

I really enjoyed Imelda. It was an interesting structure to juxtapose Imelda's self-delusion with comments from journalists, Fr. Reuter, etc. I didn't like that scene with the drag show, though, especially with the parallel editing of what should've been an emotional touchstone: Ninoy. Still, there are scenes where Imelda pauses, or finishes a sentence, and the film is silent. Ramona Diaz doesn't ask questions, I guess. I kept thinking that Errol Morris would shoot back with a "But what about…" question.


Last night's Smashing Pumpkins tribute gig was fun. Unfortunately it wasn't, as I thought, an all-SP night. Each band performed only one SP song. Though the first band didn't, I think, perform any at all. Or maybe they played it before we arrived. Ciudad played a terrific "Zero," and as Kathy mentioned it was a small thrill to hear everyone singing along to "Emptiness is loneliness and loneliness is cleanliness and cleanliness is Godliness and God is empty… just like me…" Twisted Halo did "Siva" from Gish, a surprising choice that they pulled off well. Cousin Ed did a cover of "Hummer" from Siamese Dream, and it was pretty fucking tight, I must say. And Gay's haircut rocks.

Gab mentioned he'd like to see that kind of all-SP night happen, so I hope he pulls it off.

It was my first time at Peligro, and it's not a bad place; small and intimate, I was reminded of Oracafe for some reason. Maybe the fact that there's no elevated stage. Sadly, the Fried Mozzarella we ordered was bland and tasteless, tasting more like egg than cheese. We didn't even finish half of it. Hope their other dishes are good (and less expensive).

I must say, though, that I absolutely loved that no smoking was allowed. It was such a refreshing relief to watch a gig and not have my eyes stinging. And I wasn't coughing or sneezing, and my lungs weren't being poisoned. And when you go home, your hair and clothes don't stink of cigarette smoke. I have friends who smoke, but I'm sorry, I wish the smoking ban was enforced everywhere. About 3 weeks ago I read something online (Yahoo! News, I think) about a study of the incidence of lung cancer in people who worked at bars/restaurants and the result was an alarming 80%. Sadly, half of them didn't even smoke.


For some good reading, and some thought-provoking insights, I highly recommend you read Alan Moore's recent Salon interview, which doesn't even promote a new book of his; it kicks off because recent events have been mirroring stories he wrote in the '80s. You have to watch an ad to get a day pass for Salon, unfortunately. Thanks to Jomz for bringing it to my attention.

And this link is for Joey Antukin, in case she's looking for more info on Sin City. Seems Quentin Tarantino showed up and directed for a day, and Robert Rodriguez was able to win him over to digital filmmaking.

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