Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Scholastic is having a 3-day Book Fair from Feb. 28 – Mar. 2 (Mon. – Wed.) at Studio 1 Plaza (where is this?). According to the email I read, you can reserve Harry Potter & the Half-Blood Prince at a lower price than the bookstores are offering (which makes sense, since Scholastic is both the publisher and distributor of said book). I wish I could find out if they’ll have the colorized Bone volumes on sale…

If you go here you can read, for free, the first issues of Tom Strong, Top 10, and Tomorrow Stories, all written by Alan Moore. Good stuff.

An oldie but a goodie. Found it again while looking for something else.

National Lampoon argues quite convincingly that Superman Is A Dick.


It is mildly frightening that some people are saying that Constantine is a good film. I generally agree with Tasha Robinson’s review. I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised; I hear that there are actually some people who think the last 2 Matrix movies (aka Those That Shall Not Be Named) were movies (some of those few actually say it’s good! Imagine that, Mark Lavin.). It’s a little bit more aggravating when I hear that some of the people who recommend Constantine are comics readers. Which can be, in a way, a sort of test. If you liked Constantine, you are in no way a John Constantine fan.

It’s bad. The story’s a mess. The worst thing about it is Keanu. The best thing it’s got going is a competent, better-than-expected visual style (that unfortunately somewhat peters out at the end). That and Rachel Weisz. And I’m sorry, but when is Hollywood going to learn that the only thing less scary than CG demons is the Care Bears? The only time I remember CG creatures having a genuine effect is the Lord of the Rings trilogy. But here they’re just laughable (they’re brainless, too!). And, might I add, possibly the most cliché conception of Hell I’ve seen. Oh, yes, red, fire, post-apocalyptic wasteland, etc. Souls burning. That’s bad enough, but good GOD, did you see Heaven? Actual clouds and spires! Sunlight! It looks like the most boring place in imagination! In the beginning, there were still some actual touches: Constantine not holding the elevator for Isabel, for instance. But then later, it’s like, buy him some eggs, and he’ll tell you his whole fucking life story! WHO IS THIS MAN!?

I hope people are more careful with the word “good.” You know, reserve it for what really deserves it. Because Constantine, even if I wasn’t a comic fan, even if I wasn’t a John Constantine fan, is a bad Hollywood film. And when we claim that bad shit is good, that just lowers the bar further and gives Hollywood more license to churn out shit. I’m glad that in the US, Constantine’s first weekend box office take (extended, since it came out earlier) couldn’t outperform the supposedly-also-tepid Hitch, which was on its SECOND week, for the top slot. Still, word is they’re going to try and make it a franchise too. If so, poor John Constantine (the character); he really is damned.

I know in the end it’s really just a matter of taste. I just wish we had better.

Good, on the other hand, is too small a word for Alexander Payne’s Sideways. I’m glad I didn’t read up on this; I didn’t want to build an expectation. I just knew that I hadn’t seen an Alexander Payne film I hadn’t liked yet, and this one definitely did not disappoint. I know nothing about wine, but it doesn’t matter. The film’s not about that anyway. It’s difficult for me to actually talk about; I’d rather people just went out and watched it. Experience it for themselves. I’ve found that different people take different things from it, which is certainly the mark of a great film, if anything. It works on a number of levels, but even the superficial one is meaty enough for at least 3 films.

I hope to see Aviator tonight, though that 3-hour running time is a doozy when you’re not in the mood.

For some reason, Love Me If You Dare, a film I was really looking forward to, is playing at SM City, AND NOWHERE ELSE. WTF?

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