Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Some sad news as arguably the best comic store this country's seen closes its doors. :(

Original message follows:



30% to 50% off on Comics and Manga

from December 1 - 18
Store Hours: 10am to 530pm, Monday to Saturday

It has been a pleasure serving you for the past three years. We have met so
many wonderful people and learned so much about life, business and ourselves.
We thank you for your loyal patronage.


**For those with consignments or reservations with us, please settle your
business by December 10, 2004.

Monday, November 29, 2004


You trust me, right? Then download this. Watch. Enjoy.

It was made by a fan. I think I like it as much as the real one.

Here is the ad for 24 Season 4. No spoilers, really, for those who haven't seen Season 3 yet, except that *gasp!* Jack survived! I guess the news of no other returning cast members wasn't entirely accurate, because Chloe's here, which is good. I imagine they'll turn up later on in the season, in different ways than expected. Reminds me of Traffic a lot.

Huh. 2046 is already on DVD.

The new Chabon-edited McSweeney's anthology came out already.

Are you filthy rich? Don't know what to do with your money? How about buying me this for Christmas? That's every single title in the Criterion Collection. The ones still in print, anyway.

Forgot to link these weird-ass Japanese McDonald's commercials. One with a metrosexual, another with a woman. Not that just having a metrosexual or, God forbid, a woman makes it weird, but they're wearing-- ah, just watch it.
What a splendid, lazy day! :)

Friday, November 19, 2004

Last night's Ciudad Anniversary gig was great. Congrats to both the band and Kathy, who organized it. I was glad to see the videos that I hadn't seen yet, and some people I hadn't seen in a while. Gweilo's Eastwood has a kind of "Later with Jools Holland" feel to it, what with the band performing area in the middle of the room as opposed to against some wall. The lighting gave it that impression too. The problem was, and this is a biggie to me: THE VENTILATION WAS SHIT. Smoke fucking everywhere! I hated it, Neva hated it, even other smokers hated it. At one point I was sitting near 3 girls who were all smoking, and I had to get out of the room because my eyes were stinging and I wanted to stab their breasts. A minute later, Mico came out for the exact same reason. I really wish the smoking ban was nationwide. Who'da thought I'd thank Binay for something?

It really sucks when you get home, and you're so tired you just want to get to bed, but even though you've changed, you catch a whiff of yourself and smell like a goddamn ashtray. It makes the blood boil instantly. I don't understand how smokers kiss each other. How do they stand it? Neva's got a screed going on her blog, I'm still thinking about what to put in mine.


Current wallpaper:

Neva and I have become obsessed with The Office. It has been described by The New Yorker, of all snobs, as "perfect." And it may well be. Of course, that's subjective. But we utterly, utterly love it. We love it so much we know the theme song by heart. We love it so much that at random times of the day we'll crack up by ourselves because we just remembered a scene. We love it so much we were fighting over who would use the computer first because we both wanted to go to the official website. This, after going through all 12 episodes of the main series. There were only 2 seasons (called "series" in the UK), 6 episodes each, and then a 2-part Christmas special, each part an hour long (collectively called The Office Special). We haven't seen The Office Special, and are dying to. DYING, do you hear?! The ending of Series 2 isn't so much a cliffhanger as it is a downer, and with the prospect of more material, the suspense is unbearable. I almost succumbed to reading online synopses. When I look for websites where I can download the Special I only see part 2. :(

It is supremely funny, despite not adhering at all to the typical sitcom format. There is no laugh track, no music either. It's not taped in front of a live audience. There aren't even any set-ups like punchlines, etc. Its format is the mockumentary, and the humor comes from the characters. But one of the things I love most about The Office, and something that seems to be common to some of the best British comedy, is that, underneath the surface of everything, SOMETHING SERIOUS IS BEING SAID, but with such grace, style, and subtlety that it never comes across as preachy or self-important. And if you pick up on it, you feel better for it because it's something you worked at, it's like a reward you earned instead of something that had to be handed to you on a silver platter.

The show can also take turns to drama at the drop of a hat, and these scenes are just as effective as the humorous ones. The romance between Dawn and Tim, for example, is almost achingly painful to watch, because of their circumstances. And since the format is a mockumentary, it results in something interesting: all their movements, flirtations, gestures are careful, guarded almost, because their characters are under the impression that they're being watched by cameras. So it perfectly loads the smallest things: a laugh, a glance, a pat on the shoulder-- with so much meaning and almost-yearning that it makes you want to rip out your hair.

My favorite character is Tim, played by Martin Freeman. He has the best sense of humor, and his expressions are priceless. I looked him up on IMDB and was surprised to find that I'd seen him lots of places before: in Ali G In Da House (yes, I saw it; the first half's not bad); as the male porno actor in Love, Actually; he has a cameo in Shaun of the Dead; in fact he was in a short film that played at the Edinburgh Film Festival. And I'm gladdened to see that he was given the role of Arthur Dent in next year's Hitchhiker's Guide film. I hope it's good. He deserves to be big.

Of course, consequent research has turned up that NBC is making an American version of The Office for their '05 season, with the name The Office: An American Workplace (ugh). I don't know, I can't help but feel that this is bad news, even if series creators/writers/directors Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant are executive producers, the writer's Greg Daniels (alum of SNL, The Simpsons, and Seinfeld), and the guy they got to be their "David Brent" is the hilarious Steve Carell. Early rumors decry the show as tripe. Oh well.

Monday, November 15, 2004

Do you have, or know someone who has, The Office Special (the 2-episode Christmas specials that conclude the series)? And would you lend it to me?


Thursday, November 11, 2004

Come to Ramon.

Well, actually I'm not going to be able to afford this for a while. And I'm still a little torn between it and this:

What would you get? Whatever happens, I'm already saving up for this:

And I'm also thinking of this, which I have a soft spot for.

I really thought I had linked to John M. Ford's 110 Stories before, but I can't seem to find it in the archives. Anyway, it's a poem about 9/11, one of the better ones I've seen. And some guys made a short film about it, and it's pretty affecting. Watch it here. And some Neil Gaiman fans who are taking up production design made a "book trailer" for Coraline that's pretty damn good.

Susanna Clarke of Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell fame wrote a short story for the New York Times on Halloween. You can read that here.



The trailer for Danny Boyle's latest film, Millions, is up here, but I can't seem to get it to work. This is the adaptation of Frank Cottrell Boyce's book of the same name, which is great fun; buy and read it if you see it. I really hope the movie's good. :)

Finally, the Ocean's 12 trailer, the one with actual people in it. David Gordon Green's latest, Undertow, looks to be a departure from his previous works, and is produced by Terence Malick.

Pedro Almodovar's latest, Bad Education, as well as the new offering from Alejandro Amenabar, The Sea Inside. Walter Salles's US remake of Hideo Nakata's Dark Water.

Speaking of Hideo Nakata, the teaser for The Ring 2, from an original story by Ehren Kruger.

And the US trailer for Jean-Pierre Jeunet's A Very Long Engagement.

I don't know anything about this film High Tension, and this trailer would be pretty normal, if not for the clever use of Sonic Youth's cover of The Carpenters' "Superstar." Check it out.

And in case you still haven't seen the Episode 3 teaser, you can probably find it here. It's a fine teaser trailer, but I really have no real hopes for this. I want to be wrong, though.

I love that the poster of A Very Long Engagement is hanging in Greenbelt, while the posters for Kung-Fu Hustle AND 2046 are beside each other in Greenbelt 3.

LAST-MINUTE ADDITION: a promo reel for Fantastic Four has leaked onto the web. This may disappear soon. I am really not excited at all for this. The cast doesn't really interest me, the suit of The Thing looks like it's made of papier-mache, and I don't think Jessica Alba should be blond.