A Good Yarn

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Last Page of Calendar

I can't believe it's December already. I turned to the last page of the calendar and I'll be it'll be time to put up a new calendar before you know it.

I finished up about half of what I needed to last week. Probably a little more than that, but I didn't finish everything for sure. I'll need to keep working the old job for a little while longer even while I'm starting the new job. Should be interesting to see how long I can keep that up. Ugh.

I stayed late to finish up a Custody/Parenting Time Evaluation on Friday night and then met up with some friends to have dinner and then see this film:

I hated this movie. It was directed by Noah Bambach, who also directed The Squid and the Whale last year. I thought that movie was really over-rated, but I flat out hated this movie. I think I just don't have the Bambach sensibility and will not go out of my way to see his next films. This film doesn't have a plot so much as a series of interlocking scenes. It stars Nicole Kidman as Margot and Jennifer Jason Leigh (the director's wife) as Pauline, Margot's sister. Margot and her teenage son travel to Margot's childhood home on the East Coast for Pauline's wedding. Pauline lives in their childhood home with her teenage daughter and her fiance, played by Jack Black. These women are very smart but damaged, so they spend the entire film cutting each other with their razor-sharps wits. They're both intensely self-absorbed women, which makes them pretty poor parents, especially Margot. It was really unpleasant for me to watch these horrible women behaving badly. I wasn't engaged in the film at all and was shocked when I later found out it's only 90 minutes long - I seriously thought it was well over 2 hours because it felt to me like it was going on and on and on. This is getting some really stellar reviews, but count me in the camp of those who found it pretentious and boring.

Saturday we had a bit of a snowstorm, but my brother managed to draw me out of the house for a much, much better film:

Blade Runner is easily one of my Top Ten All Time Favorite Films. Ridley Scott has tweaked it now and again and released Director's Cuts, but this is billed as The Final Cut. There are a few small additions and edits here and there, but the main change is that he digitally enhanced the film and music. It's playing at The Uptown, so seeing it on the huge screen was really such a treat. The picture quality is amazing and the sound was great. It was a thrilling experience.

If you haven't seen Blade Runner, I strongly recommend it. It was originally released in 1982 and is set in 2019 Los Angeles, based on a book by the great Philip K. Dick. Harrison Ford stars as Rick Deckard, a police officer known as a Blade Runner. His job is to hunt down and kill escaped replicants - sort of robots that are billed as "more human than human". He's been brought out of retirement to "retire" (kill) four replicants who have escaped labor camps set up off-world - we have destroyed the planet so badly that most people live in colonies on other planets. The replicants are led by Rutger Hauer. In the process of his work, Deckard meets a woman named Rachael, played by Sean Young, who doesn't realize she's a replicant until Deckard figures it out and spills the beans. The film really was a masterpiece visually, showing a future that is not that far off from what we may see in 2019 and was copied over and over again in futuristic films over the last 25 years. Scott shows a world with gigantic global corporations dominating the country, advertising everywhere. As I mentioned, we've ruined earth, so it's black and rainy and dirty all the time. Los Angeles is extremely multi-cultural and very overcrowded. There's a huge disparity between the poor and the rich, who have a cornucopia of technical gadgets. A lot of those gadgets aren't exactly the same as we have now, but they're definitely similar. For instance I remember how cool I thought one scene was where Deckard takes a photograph and feeds it into a machine, which then displays it on what looks like his television and he's able to enlarge sections of the photo through voice commands and eventually prints out an enlarged portion. That seemed so incredibly cool in 1982. Now I can easily scan in a picture, photo shop it all I want and print it out, no problem. We still don't have flying cars, though.

I haven't seen Blade Runner on the big screen in a few years, so I forgot just how incredibly good looking and charismatic Harrison Ford was back then. Rutger Hauer looks every bit the essense of the Teutonic ideal. I was a huge fan of his for a while and miss seeing him in great roles. Sean Young was really at her peak playing the doe-eyed Rachael, all shoulder pads and red lips. It was really such a treat to see this in the theater, but a DVD version is coming out in a few weeks and you can bet it's on my Christmas list.

It's my habit to go out for noodles whenever I go see Blade Runner (it's played a few times at Oak Street Cinema and as I said, some Director's Releases have come out), because Deckard is shown eating noodles at an Asian noodle stand and it always makes me hungry for noodles. Since we were in Uptown, we went over to Fuji Ya and had noodles and sushi. Isn't this plate of sushi gorgeous?

I also finished up a book last night:

This was the latest in the Christine Bennett holiday murder series. Christine is an ex-nun who solves murder mysteries as a hobby. This is her 17th and even though the murder was thought to be suicide and 20 years old, Christine is able to figure out whodunnit. I like this series and this was a good episode. There were a lot of possible suspects and I didn't really know for sure who and why until the very end, which is what I like best in a murder mystery. I think I'm going to pick up Harry Potter #6 next.

Speaking of Harry Potter, I also have some knitting content! I bought a table top Christmas tree from Red (for Boy Scouts) and it came last weekend. So I decorated it up with the Harry Potter sweaters and snitches and gave it to Michael for an early Christmas present and he said he really liked it:

I offered to make him another sweater with an "M", but he said he wanted it to just be Potter sweaters, so that means I'm done with that project! Quick and easy. By the way, my brother isn't storing it on his stove. I just picked it up and put it there for the picture so that I wouldn't have to bend over.

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