Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Slice: `I Will Find You. I Will Kill You.': Taken Trailer

Talking with the main (sigh) Bloomberg movie reviewer yesterday, he asked if I'd like to join him to see "Taken," the upcoming kidnapping movie starring Liam Neeson.

"Knowing your tastes, I bet you'd like it. Also, remember that any time you want to come with me, just let me know."

Oy. From the first sentence, something tells me he doesn't think I have the most refined movie tastes or am a classy lady (who would?). From the second, I really need to take him up on that more -- I'm on a tuna-fish budget, after all.

I checked out the "Taken" trailer, which I know I'll like. It may just be a churned-out action/thriller, but I'm a sucker for Liam Neeson ... and action/thrillers in general.

"I will find you. I will kill you." AWESOME.

Trailer for "Taken," followed by the 1990 trailer for "Darkman," when I first gained respect for Neeson -- at the ripe age of 7. I remember the first time I saw it at the good old League City Dollar Cinema. Ah, those were the days.

Thanks Mama G for allowing for my warped movie sensibilities!



Tuesday, January 27, 2009

`Pls Describe a D0nkey Punch,' Work Meeting of Death, Saw III/IV

What. A. Day. (W.A.D.) I had on Thursday.

First, my editor -- darling man -- asked me to explain what a "Donkey Punch" is, as he was editing my review of the movie by the same name; the stress of trying to type something coherent to him did as much damage to my health as my Momofuku fried pork and egg bun that morning.

Something along the lines of this was written, as my face pulsed in embarrassment: "donkey punch ... oy. well, two people are - ahem - and the male of the situation strikes the woman. in this case, he accidentally strikes her so that she hits her head and breaks her neck. it's really awful. i won't be offended if you cut it (!)"

Sigh. He didn't cut it, and I'll perhaps post the reviews later.

Just as I was getting over this sweet discussion, we were all summoned to the "Ottawa" room -- me and the other useless grunts I work with, that is. So much pain and suffering can be stuffed into one little, longest hour of your life!

We were warned -- for all intents and purposes -- that we could all be fired at any time; well, no, not directly, but Bossman and Bossman's Bosslady, had clearly been told from somewhere on high something that made them shake in their boots. While the panic amongst workmates was palpable, this was the only part of the meeting that I didn't find depressing. In fact,
my ears perked up a bit, as getting the old axe would mean L.A. here I come. The decision would be made for me!

What was depressing was the rest of it. Usually, we're spared in-person meetings, each of us dialing in to some conference room in the sky, (so I can continue typing and sighing in PEACE -- and on mute). Not this time.

"Things are going to change around here," he/she/they intoned (so many times that, at one point, I actually thought they almost believed themselves!). "We have a new Vision for The Group."

What followed was simply an incoherent, depressing load of bunk, the likes of which I hadn't seen or heard in a long time.

This neverending meeting reminded me just how awful and boring and mind-numbing the non-movie reviewing part of my job is. Or, maybe it was how seriously the Bosses have to take what we do for their own dignity when, deep down (not that far deep), they've got to know we could any day be replaced by computers -- and it sounds like we might be!

Upon returning to my desk, I'd received two great correspondences from two of my favorite work friends -- two people who make it so that each day is a little funny and so that each day I'm not found splattered on the 58th-street sidewalk.

Summation 1:

60 minutes. 20 people. 4 chairs. it's like a scenario out of Saw III or something. felt like i was a guard at tomb of the unknown solider. standing motionless at various statuesque poses. not showing any sign of fatigue. but trying to convey respect. except this wasn't the tomb of the unknown solider, rather it was a waste of our time. (let's spend 10 minutes on how to click on a link in media master, then wc starts to complain about how to search for MULTIPLE FLOODS IN ONE DAY) ha. so there. said my piece. whew. that felt good. `r

Summation 2:

[Redacted]: ummmm
that call made me want to kill myself
2:51 PM it's just unbelievable
thank you.
[Redacted]: i just don't know what to say
me: CAN this day get worse?
[Redacted]: it's just frightening how bad the leadership of this team is

One descriptive, one brief -- both of the same sentiment. Oh. How. Sad.

Ah, just as I was about to post, Redacted popped into my G-Chatland

[Redacted]: kill me

Another day at the Factory!

In light of my coworker's mentioning of Saw III, I had to peruse through the multiple scenes and trailers online, of course. So much about the Saw IV trailer reminds me of my job. Those taglines--so fitting! And that mummy-looking fellow at the end there, that's how I'm going to look at the end of 2009 if Things Do Not Change.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

My Obama "Movie," A Great Day, Pride in Country? Who Knew.

For perhaps the third time ever, I was able to do something enjoyable at work (barring movie reviews, and including only those activities directly-related to the Audio/Visual editing part of my worthless job). I got to make the above short package of Barack "No Drama" Obama!

I was told to put something together that reviewed his thoughts on/outlook for the dying economy. So I got to spend a good part of my afternoon watching and re-watching the Inauguration of our fair new leader. How strangely surreal it is to be so happy, excited and proud of our country. Bah, that sounds so cheesy and trite, but just at least for this one day, Eff It.

Boy, oh, boy did he look so serene as he strode out to deliver his words. In the wake of so much madness over Madoff, Wall Street pirates, Ponzis, Senate-seat selling and soooooo much more going on that's ruining my ever-dwindling faith in humanity -- today was a good news day, a historic one.

I used to think this scene from "The American President" was so inspirational and uplifting -- but our boy Barack blows Michael Douglas out of the water. (It's still pretty good, though.)

"Being president of this country is entirely about character." Now it is!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Ballerinas and B.I.G. -- A Weird Movie Mix

I had to hustle on over to the West Side last week, midday, to see a movie about ballerinas; of course, the hustling over (in the freezing, freezing cold) meant I had to meander back to work hobbling like the gimp I am. It was a documentary called "Ballerina" showing at the Lincoln Center's film center. It follows a few Russian ballerinas at different stages of their careers; it's as devastating, disturbing, beautiful and inspiring as it might seem.

I traipsed over, passing the Philharmonic, Julliard, etc. Had it not been unbearably cold, I'd have wandered listlessly around the old grounds where I'd go see Phil shows by myself ca. early-summer 2007. How sad that I've been wanting to go back for well over a year, to no avail! At least I promised myself that in the coming months I'll have some dignity and take myself back to some symphonies -- or, perhaps, this documentary made me appreciate the ballet enough to consider trying to understand it. (I tend to approach ballet as I do art: with the unabashed admission that I've no fundamental grip on the idea of why these ladies flitting about ought to have emotional significance for me.)

So, the movie might be quite trite; its scenes of Russian wannabe prima ballerinas were beautiful, the scores reminding me of old piano recitals and the dance sequences tapping into depths I've no familiarity with. But, it was jumbled, shot cheaply, and I couldn't get over the narrator's barren, uninspired voice. That said, the making of a modern Russian ballet mogulette is a process as difficult, trying and hard than anything I've seen reminiscent of American gymnasts' ascendence. So impressive, yet so, so exhaustive - even from the viewers' standpoint.

The embedding for the trailer has been disabled, but one of the more disturbing "Ballerina" scenes rests here.

I went back to work (hobble in tow), and had to then leave abruptly at Quittin' Time, so I could make it downtown for "Notorious." I've still no idea how I'm going to write about it; I didn't enjoy it, the maxims and throwaway lines exchanged from Mr. B.I.G./Smalls and Puffy made me want to throw up my little insides -- but, I can see some merit in the movie.

Lord, have mercy, though. They were 24 and 25 -- they started rivalries that spanned the coasts, and for what? I don't think even they knew why. My review comes out on Friday, at which point I'll air my grievances more explicitly.

Still would have to say it was a pretty sh!t movie, and not one to be seen after watching a movie about Russian ballerinas. Harrummpf.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Sigh, Sigh -- "Hey Mickey," The Wrestler ... More Movie Marathons

I tend to sigh a lot; in my brain tunnels, I sift through ways to be creative in my myriad iterations of how to "sigh." Sometimes, I'm too self-conscious to write them out. I leave my exasperation/frustation to one's imagination, resigning with: "sigh." But ... there are plenty of ways to write phonetically my Sigh.
I don't think there are as many iterations I could ever conjure up than there are in "The Wrestler."

"Whiiiish," "Phooosh," "Sheeeeeeeeesh," "Shiiiiiish," "Whooofff," "Oif." "Blerrrg," "Bleh," "Meh," "Herrrrm."

None of these speak to the quality (amazing, layered) of the movie itself, only to the very real way that Mickey Rourke, Evan Rachel Wood and Marisa Tomei (holy sh!tballs ... the lady has remained so beautiful!) alleviate their minor and major frustrations with Suh-igh.

It's not as though the movie hasn't gotten major play in the headlines -- it has. But, I didn't know what I was getting into.

Back when I saw JCVD, I was quite enamored with the self-awareness and meta-assessment of Jean-Claude's sense of his own life; this movie makes that look trite. Perhaps I wouldn't go that far, but it's close ... Rourke's portrayal of a washed up WWF(ish) star by far outweighs JC's portrayal of an outbeaten Steven Seagal competitor. It's just more real -- something little Grice loves.

Brutal, bloody, honest -- brilliant!

I watched 5 movies today before moseying to Sunshine Cinema ... that's after dealing with holiday season being over, taking with it my friend whose presence won't be expected for three more long weeks.


(Movies watched today: "Made," "Wall Street," "Reversal of Fortune," "The Hours," "All the President's Men," "The Wrestler" ... maybe going to wander across the street and use what little disposable income I have to tide me over on another.)

Happy post-holidays.

I received several unexpected gifts this past week -- with them came unexpected movie memories, which will be unwarrantedly blogged about ... tomorrow.