Saturday, August 30, 2008

Now Playing: Traitor

What with no TV and no Internet in the house, I find the temptation of a movie theatre across the street to be too much for me. Last night, I went to see Traitor (starring Don Cheadle, Guy Pearce and Said Taghmaoui), a movie I honestly had no idea as to what the plot was, who was in it or even the genre to which it belonged.

Well. That was wonderful surprise.

Plot: The story follows Samir, a Sudanese-born American who has a talent for building bombs. I won't say anything else, because, really, the slow unravelling of Samir's character is what makes this movie tick. A bit slow to start, it revs right up - getting to a point where, upon the death of a character, I actually started muttering "oh no, oh no" to myself. It's a story with clear-cut bad guys, shaded in spectrum of grey that leaves us feeling sympathy and hatred for all the people we never expected to like or even admire.

The acting is excellent - Cheadle is his usual amazing self (this seems to be an apt followup to Hotel Rwanda and Crash), showing some real linguistic versatility. Guy Pearce was a surprisingly capable foil to Cheadle's character. But the man who stole the show for me was Taghmaoui: he delivered a subtly nuanced and intricately faceted performance that simply catapulted off the screen. He, alone, was worth the price of admission. A well-deserved 4 out of 5 stars.

Welcome Awards season, poppets. And it's not even September yet.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Now Playing: Death Race

Ahh, mindless action movies... isn't this what Summer is all about? It was a toss-up between this movie and Wall-E (which has been getting rave reviews, but is still a kid's movie and, really, I'm just not that into them). It was an uneventful Sunday night and I had spent the day working (both paid and not) so I thought, what the hell, let's go munch some popcorn.

Enter, Death Race.

Plot? Well, it's a bit thin and full of suspension-of-disbelief moments. But no one's coming here for the plot. There are only two things that matter in a good summer action flick: hot cast and cool effects. So.

Cool Effects: they did a good job of making the CGI look real (even though physics was bent at every turn) and it had some pretty cool wtf moments.

Hot Cast: Joan Allen is fab as the ice queen prison warden/CEO. Really. It was so much fun to watch her unravel near the end. Supporting cast wasn't bad either. I was looking forward to Ian McShane and he didn't disappoint (yes, I will always think of him as Swearengen and yes, I think he's a very good-looking man, if a little old).

But oh, poppets, this movie was all about the drooltastic Jason Statham.

I've only seen him in two other movies: The Italian Job (where he stayed disappointingly covered up) and In the Name of the King (eww, Uwe). So let us take a moment to indulge in some sighing and squirming. It starts with a scene in some future-foundry where there's lots of sweat and heat. You only see glimpses of JS's hotness, and that in shadow. Then there's a shirt-off moment, but he's wearing a white singlet. It's not until the chin-ups in the prison that we see the sexiest back I've ever had the pleasure of feasting on. And they really allowed us to feast, with a solid 20 seconds of nothing but JS and his ridiculous back. You know what makes him that extra bit sex-ay? He's not all steroid-pumped and muscle-bound... oh no, he's lean and mean and then, he does a chin-up *melt*

This movie probably only deserves a 2.5 out of 5 stars, (it was entertaining) but I'm laying my cards on the table. For JS's yummilicious back alone, I give it 3.5 stars out of 5.

PS: it's not that I didn't want a poster of Death race, I just couldn't readily find one. No matter. Gorge on JS goodness.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

the interchangability of lights and trains

Having no internet at home has really tested my patience, but I think I see a light at the end of the tunnel! Yes, indeed, if we keep up this pace, we may even have little Timmy come to his new home on my desk by the week's end. Last night (around midnight) I FINALLY put up curtains in my bedroom (and this morning I got to sleep past sunrise). I've also finished the kitchen and bathroom. Now, Only a few brackets and couple of floating shelves stand in the way of unpacking my 700* books. The "condo" is starting to feel like home. If I'm a very good DissolvedGirl, I may even reward myself with a TV in October, but we'll see. Until I have a "normal" life (i.e. no more random trips to IKEA or Home Depot), I'm afraid my updating shall continue to be sporadic and boring.

tidbits from the last week:
- Moving 7 kms can make my Car Insurance premium go up by $500/year. wtf.
- People DO find reading sexy: "Rico" asked me for book recommendations and then said he'd email me his. AND he knows how very old I am. Who knew?
- It only takes me EIGHT minutes to walk to work. LOVE it.
- I own a jacket from a mystical magical shop in Camden that no one else can find. I feel special.
- I can go 4 days without checking my email, and then, like a junkie, I go on an internet binge by checking email / RSS feeds, updating facebook / blog and reading 700 million articles / comics / blogs. It's obviously best I have low dosages instead. I shall be calling Rogers next week.

Poppets! I love you and I miss you. Drop me a line; show me I haven't lost you forever!

*That's right, 700. I've effectively weeded almost 600 books from my collection.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

28 days

It's been 28 days since I moved my stuff from the 'rentals place to the condo. Its' weird, because now neither of these are "home" to me. Don't get me wrong - I still walk into my mother's kitchen whenever I like and there's always a plate of food for me. And I've been sleeping in my very own princess bed for a while now, after breaking it in good and proper. But I still never say "I'm going home" ...

So, what's in the way? Well, for one thing, my bookshelves are being very stubborn. Even after learning how to use a hammerdrill (my god, the power!), I'm still down to empty shelves. I still have no curtains and am awakened by sunrise far too early. I still have no bathroom cabinet as I've been waiting on someone else to take care of something I should have just done myself. I'm still waiting to go "home" and not just to box-laden condo that doesn't seem very homey. I'm really hoping that by the time I see the next full moon, I will be sitting on my balcony, sipping a glass of wine, instead of crying over a slightly uneven floor that makes my shelf tip whenever I open the glass doors. But, I have learned that my best laid plans are always foiled.

Thrown into this mix is a tiny bit of depressing news - I'm losing my licence plate. Due to Ontario's plate-to-driver policy, when my dad officially "sells" me my car (which I bought over 5 years ago), the plate will have to revert back to him. Sad :( This means a whole new plate. Perhaps a vanity plate? I've always liked that notion.

On a bright note: this weekend saw me cook my first proper meal (Whole Wheat Pasta with Tomato-Basil-Mushroom sauce). We take what we can get, yes?

Now Playing:Tropic Thunder

So, here's how big the rock I live under is: when I watched the trailer for Tropic Thunder, I didn't recognise Robert Downey Jr. Like, at all. I kept thinking "where have I seen this guy before?" I don't usually watch comedies in theatre - I find it a waste of my cheap movie passes. Most comedies can wait until they come out on DVD. The decision to watch TT was a last-minute "what do you want to do" decision (living across the street from Coliseum helps in these times). I didn't mind too much, however, since there was quite a lot of special effects and sweeping jungle scenes.

Casting was great - Jack Black makes a great proposition but it's his delivery that makes it hilarious; RDJr is his usual fab self; Nick Nolte was a nice surprise. But really, it was Les Grossman who stole the show. Considering who plays Mr. Grossman, I was shocked to actually laugh at the performance as much as I did. I won't spoil it for you as it was for me, but if you don't already know, try not to find out before you actually see it on screen.

Needless to say, the whole blackface thing was played so brilliantly, it didn't once seem offensive or exploitive; it was, in fact, addressed in one of the funniest exchanges I've seen on-screen. Let's face it: any scene ending in one person hopping away imitating a kangaroo has to elicit at least a chuckle. Also: "you never go full retard" - gold.

I don't know if I would give up my no-comedy-in-theatre stance wholly, but I am glad I watched the movie. For a comedy, it's one of the best I've seen yet. 4 out of 5 stars.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

where oh where can my baby be?

I have been a bad bad blogtress. Very bad. I can only say that I have plenty of reasons but no real excuses. So, to justify my absence, I give you my Top Ten Reasons for Recalcitrance.

10) I'm at a new job; I have no more free time at work. This means no checking facebook every 10 minutes. Or writing long and complicated blogs while on the desk.

9) I have a new condo. Every waking moment (outside of work) is either spent in Home Depot or elbow deep in boxes.

8) It's summer. This means more concerts, plays, movies, BBQs, and all sorts of social appointments.

7) Speaking of summer, it's also Wedding Season. Having just finished my first official Bridesmaid stint, I can honestly say that a 6-hour ceremony/reception easily takes 24 hours to get ready for and another 48 hours to recover from. I hate you heels. I hate you.

6) Home renovation. Along with moving (which should only take a weekend), I am discovering all sorts of quirks for Condo Living (i.e. concrete ceilings/walls; metal studs; high levels of humidity) that only serve as obstacles for the most mundane of chores (damn bookcases!)

5) I had family visiting for most of July, which only meant that all my appointments were pushed into August.

4) Did I mention how very busy I am at work? Cripes.

3) Nothing truly exciting is happening in my life. True, people are getting married (the whole ordeal confirms why I never want to go through with such an event), moving continents, writing theses, becoming rich, Rich, RICH! Other people are suffering with terminal illnesses or just general age. But none of it is about me and I feel I would be poaching on their lives if I were to go on and on about it.

2) Too many people I know in real life read this thing. I have yet to adjust to losing my anonymity.

1) I have no internet at home. I think this says it all.

Friday, August 01, 2008

a 12-minute blog post

Poppets. I know I have been remiss in posting anything non-house and/or -movie related. Life, right now, basically consists of work, condo and sleep. A few movies to break the monotony, but that's it. I wish I had more exciting things to tell you. But I don't. Today, driving to work, I felt like taking the highway to a random cutoff and just spending the day wandering about an anonymous small-town. I wanted to spend the day browsing through used bookstores and antique shops, sipping milkshakes or eating ice cream cones, basically enjoying this respite from the rain. Alas. The closest thing I get to taking a break from the tediousness that is being a new-home owner and an old-department alumni is blogging to you. Sadly, this too is curtailed. I wish I had more than 12 minutes to compose and proofread a blog. I truly do. I wish I could wax poetic on lazy summer days, dandelion seeds and spectacular sunsets. But with only 12 minutes to spare, all I can give you are empty dreams. Here's hoping for better days to come.