Twist Street

Sam Westing, Barney Northrup, Sandy McSouthers, Julian R. Eastman, & Me

Posts tagged insomniyeah!

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tisinfamous:

sheahisselfhas a big problem with the “Too nice” comics culture. Comic Books: See Something, Say Something: Comics Culture And Its Problem With Not Talking Smack


Sorry; comic nerd nonsense; sorry; can’t sleep— Looking at these other tweets to find out more about "#makingcomics"… a few more kinda jumped out…
Tweet 1) ”Being super talented will take you far. Being relatively talented and a pro and easy to deal with will take you just as far.”  uhhhhh, this one maybe could’ve been phrased a whole lot better…?  But good luck with your lifelong dream of becoming “relatively talented,” everybody!  Enjoy your long journey to the middle.
Tweet 2) “Your own comic… something you have completed… will be the best ‘business card’ to send to editors."  Pet Peeve— I keep hearing comic book people characterizing "make your own work" as a stepping stone to getting a job writing Batman or whatever, and while provably solid career advice, hey, maybe you guys could try a little harder to pretend making your own work is more than just creating "Business cards"…?  Like, maybe fake something about, like, there being an inherent value to "creating art" or "expressing yourself" or "having fun" or whatever…?  Just fake it!  
Tweet 3) “Other creators can be a big help to you in your career… but we have long memories… and we hold grudges. #makecomics"  This tweet is my favorite.  Because: holy shit, do comic creators ever sound like douchebags!  Why would you want to #makecomics if you’re going to be around a bunch of people who brag about holding grudges???  Who wants to join that club? Maybe try to find a supportive artistic community that isn’t filled with angry weirdos and their grudges…?  #make-better-friends.  Or spend that time and learn to cook!  I made a pork-and-prawn meatball the other night— it was terrible because I didn’t really season the meat enough…?  But: Gordon Ramsey’s not holding a grudge because I screwed up his recipe (I hope). #make-me-a-sandwich?
Tweet 4) ”Because so many seem to have misunderstood what I said (and others understood perfectly and still want to make a soapbox outta it)…" Here’s where I had to smile— after he gets criticized, he has to clarify things— but not because he wrote something badly, clumsily, disagreeable, or uncool.  No, no— it’s because Evil Internet People wanted to twist what he said, using screenshots of his own words! Sinister people understood his good intentions perfectly— perfectly— but they preferred their soapboxes, for their soapbox derby of human misery. Other people aren’t struggling to express their own opinions equally clumsily— they’re bad guys and you’re the good guy, forever. I’ve been to this rodeo before— I know all the words to this song…
Tweet 5) After clarifying that people should say something about “bad behavior,” he then immediately clarifies his clarification:  ”That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t say something. But I’d be remiss if I told an aspiring creator that such actions never have consequences."— So you should say something about bad behavior if you want to, but also simultaneously keep in mind that folks have created and routinely celebrate an environment of fear and grudges that allow wrongful actors to know they can retaliate against you for speaking out without drawing even a shred of public censure from their colleagues.  You’re all set!  Jump into the air— freeze frame— cue: Tina Turner’s Simply the Best.

tisinfamous:

sheahisselfhas a big problem with the “Too nice” comics culture. Comic Books: See Something, Say Something: Comics Culture And Its Problem With Not Talking Smack

Sorry; comic nerd nonsense; sorry; can’t sleep— Looking at these other tweets to find out more about "#makingcomics"… a few more kinda jumped out…

Tweet 1) Being super talented will take you far. Being relatively talented and a pro and easy to deal with will take you just as far.”  uhhhhh, this one maybe could’ve been phrased a whole lot better…?  But good luck with your lifelong dream of becoming “relatively talented,” everybody!  Enjoy your long journey to the middle.

Tweet 2) “Your own comic… something you have completed… will be the best ‘business card’ to send to editors."  Pet Peeve— I keep hearing comic book people characterizing "make your own work" as a stepping stone to getting a job writing Batman or whatever, and while provably solid career advice, hey, maybe you guys could try a little harder to pretend making your own work is more than just creating "Business cards"…?  Like, maybe fake something about, like, there being an inherent value to "creating art" or "expressing yourself" or "having fun" or whatever…?  Just fake it!  

Tweet 3) “Other creators can be a big help to you in your career… but we have long memories… and we hold grudges. #makecomics"  This tweet is my favorite.  Because: holy shit, do comic creators ever sound like douchebags!  Why would you want to #makecomics if you’re going to be around a bunch of people who brag about holding grudges???  Who wants to join that club? Maybe try to find a supportive artistic community that isn’t filled with angry weirdos and their grudges…?  #make-better-friends.  Or spend that time and learn to cook!  I made a pork-and-prawn meatball the other night— it was terrible because I didn’t really season the meat enough…?  But: Gordon Ramsey’s not holding a grudge because I screwed up his recipe (I hope). #make-me-a-sandwich?

Tweet 4) ”Because so many seem to have misunderstood what I said (and others understood perfectly and still want to make a soapbox outta it)…" Here’s where I had to smile— after he gets criticized, he has to clarify things— but not because he wrote something badly, clumsily, disagreeable, or uncool.  No, no— it’s because Evil Internet People wanted to twist what he said, using screenshots of his own words! Sinister people understood his good intentions perfectly— perfectly— but they preferred their soapboxes, for their soapbox derby of human misery. Other people aren’t struggling to express their own opinions equally clumsily— they’re bad guys and you’re the good guy, forever. I’ve been to this rodeo before— I know all the words to this song…

Tweet 5) After clarifying that people should say something about “bad behavior,” he then immediately clarifies his clarification:  ”That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t say something. But I’d be remiss if I told an aspiring creator that such actions never have consequences."— So you should say something about bad behavior if you want to, but also simultaneously keep in mind that folks have created and routinely celebrate an environment of fear and grudges that allow wrongful actors to know they can retaliate against you for speaking out without drawing even a shred of public censure from their colleagues.  You’re all set!  Jump into the air— freeze frame— cue: Tina Turner’s Simply the Best.

(via constellation-funk)

Filed under Worst Hobby or Worstest Hobby? insomniyeah!

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I hadn’t seen this video of the Red Letter Media guys watching all three Transformers movie simultaneously when it first went around, but I kind of want them to do this a bunch more with all different kinds of movies.  Like, bad romantic comedies, Bond movies, whatever…

Filed under Youtube Gives Me Feelings. insomniyeah!

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King County prosecutors contend Paul J. Hunter started shooting shortly after 2 a.m. on Aug. 26 at a man and a woman whose argument had disturbed his street-side liaison.  “You’re dead mother (expletive),” Hunter shouted at the pair before opening fire, according to charging papers. “You’re dead.”
Hunter, 64, was arrested shortly after the shooting.
[Hunter was with an unidentified prostitute in an alleyway] when the purported victims walked past engaged in a loud argument, according to charging papers.  The argument spooked the woman fellating Hunter. She fled, the detective said, leaving Hunter upset.  
Hunter hitched up his tuxedo pants – for reasons unclear in charging papers he’d gone formal – before drawing his pistol, shouting that he would kill them and firing one shot, the detective continued. The apparent victims cowered behind a parked car as Hunter walked away.
Hunter, who has no criminal history, declined to make a statement to police and was booked into King County Jail on suspicion of assault. According to court papers, he had the pistol on his person when he was arrested, as well as $190, a concealed weapons permit and a comb.

King County prosecutors contend Paul J. Hunter started shooting shortly after 2 a.m. on Aug. 26 at a man and a woman whose argument had disturbed his street-side liaison.  “You’re dead mother (expletive),” Hunter shouted at the pair before opening fire, according to charging papers. “You’re dead.”

Hunter, 64, was arrested shortly after the shooting.

[Hunter was with an unidentified prostitute in an alleyway] when the purported victims walked past engaged in a loud argument, according to charging papers.  The argument spooked the woman fellating Hunter. She fled, the detective said, leaving Hunter upset.  

Hunter hitched up his tuxedo pants – for reasons unclear in charging papers he’d gone formal – before drawing his pistol, shouting that he would kill them and firing one shot, the detective continued. The apparent victims cowered behind a parked car as Hunter walked away.

Hunter, who has no criminal history, declined to make a statement to police and was booked into King County Jail on suspicion of assault. According to court papers, he had the pistol on his person when he was arrested, as well as $190, a concealed weapons permit and a comb.

Filed under Here's to Crime insomniyeah!

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Inside the Dalek or Into the Dalek or something like that: I liked that one a lot more than the season premiere.  Not a total recovery by any means— I was never really clear what anyone’s goal was (I think Clara even flat-out asks at one point “What were we trying to do” and none of the characters can answer her…?), the faux-romantic comedy with the manic pixie dreamboy schoolteacher was just dopey and generic, Clara = disaster (writers’ fault), the giant shiny “plot device” they didn’t bother hiding at all was pretty lame, and I didn’t really get why Doctor Who shit all over that one lady because pretty sure he’s been best buddies with soldiers before, like all the time…?    And thematically, it was a bit shitty, I guess.  But Ben Wheatley directing Dalek battle scenes and supporting characters getting properly vaporized and Dalek’s wanting to vaporize people instead of having some stupid plan involving pig-people (that was probably the all-time low-point) and a little more of a science-fiction monster episode that’d be my preference and even if I thought it was all just a little too cynical for Doctor Who, I thought them doing a little darker ending there was at least pretty funny. And not too much time wasted on season-long nonsense mysteries. Plus, getting to see Capaldi actually play Doctor Who instead of just some lame Moffat shouty-man— I thought he was a bit more interesting to watch in this one… The next episode looks pretty, pretty dumb so too much to hope it’s the beginning of any kind of rally, but I’m happy with a B- episode after last week’s whatever-that-was (it was a mess)…

Inside the Dalek or Into the Dalek or something like that: I liked that one a lot more than the season premiere.  Not a total recovery by any means— I was never really clear what anyone’s goal was (I think Clara even flat-out asks at one point “What were we trying to do” and none of the characters can answer her…?), the faux-romantic comedy with the manic pixie dreamboy schoolteacher was just dopey and generic, Clara = disaster (writers’ fault), the giant shiny “plot device” they didn’t bother hiding at all was pretty lame, and I didn’t really get why Doctor Who shit all over that one lady because pretty sure he’s been best buddies with soldiers before, like all the time…?    And thematically, it was a bit shitty, I guess.  But Ben Wheatley directing Dalek battle scenes and supporting characters getting properly vaporized and Dalek’s wanting to vaporize people instead of having some stupid plan involving pig-people (that was probably the all-time low-point) and a little more of a science-fiction monster episode that’d be my preference and even if I thought it was all just a little too cynical for Doctor Who, I thought them doing a little darker ending there was at least pretty funny. And not too much time wasted on season-long nonsense mysteries. Plus, getting to see Capaldi actually play Doctor Who instead of just some lame Moffat shouty-man— I thought he was a bit more interesting to watch in this one… The next episode looks pretty, pretty dumb so too much to hope it’s the beginning of any kind of rally, but I’m happy with a B- episode after last week’s whatever-that-was (it was a mess)…

Filed under Doctor Who Nerd. insomniyeah!

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Other experiments Facebook has been conducting in secret almost certainly include the following:

1) Dishonestly convincing a randomly targeted user that one of their siblings has just died, in order to see what their face does. Conclusion: it leaks fluid from the nasolacrimal ducts and emits an ape-like cry believed to denote personal anguish.

2) Secretly activating random users’ webcams in the runup to bedtime to determine what a human being looks like when it sheds its external fabric layer.

3) Dispatching an intern to kidnap and blindfold a random user, drag them to a forest, force them at gunpoint to dig their own grave, shoot them in the back of the head, cover the body with soil, drive away at speed and lie low in a motel for a few weeks to discover if they’re really cut out for this shit.

4) Igniting a global race war using animated gifs.
Charlie Brooker.

Filed under the charlie brooker tag insomniyeah!

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An actress (Shailene Woodley?  Name doesn’t ring a bell and doesn’t look familiar— she’s promoting a teen movie about sick-looking teens) being interviewed by Craig Ferguson.  I can’t sleep and I just quite enjoyed watching this interview for some reason. Well, she’s only so interesting, being a young person and all, but I just like how avuncular Ferguson is here— he’s just kind of leaning back in his chair and disagreeing with what this girl’s saying and asking what’s up with her weird physical tics and telling her to watch out for drugs and asking her whether she finds success “unnerving”.  It’s just … he’s so avuncular.  It’s all very laid back.  I don’t know. Just enjoyed it…

Filed under insomniyeah! All I Ever Write About on this blog is Television...

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Chef (2014): I almost walked out early in this— there’s this scene that is so horrifying.  The movie posits that Jon Favreau’s Kevin-Smith shaped chef character has been having a gross sexual relationship with Scarlett Johanssen.  Which — those two do NOT make a cute couple to start with, and he wisely avoids showing them kissing.  They just skip to fucking; no kissing, like with porn.  No, that’s just a little joke (the punchline is I’m addicted to internet pornography)— the reality is much worse, which is that they show Favreau cooking and then, like, ScarJo watching and making like… sex-faces at watching him prepare food.  Like Arquette in Scorcese’s Life Lessons only not Scorcese and not Nolte and not Arquette and instead Favreau (who sometimes wears a bandanna in the movie) and it’s just… horrifying and ridiculous and also I was scared he’d change his mind and show them kissing; Favreau is not taking care of himself physically; he looks really terrible; I kinda don’t get how somebody that rich without a 9-5 job can’t hire a trainer, but.  Dinner for Five didn’t get cancelled— Favreau just ate those other four assholes. Watching ScarJo making horny faces at a bowl of fettucini or whatever just grossed me out— maybe that’s what happens in real life, but it just wasn’t done well and man, I’m kind of not a big ScarJo fan…
Anyways, so that’s what Chef's like, basically.  I don't know— it was kinda a no-brainer that this one wouldn't be for me, but.  I don't know how to put it in not-racist terms, but this movie was made for 50-year old white people; boring ones. But I had a long day and wanted to see a movie, and look… those first three Favreau movies, the comedies, I really liked a lot of things about those. Swingers and Made, more than Elf, but Elf's a solid little movie.  I was hoping it'd be him getting back to that, since it always was kinda a bummer that he stopped making comedies, he had a distinct thing as a comedy director, but… Favreau just started making blockbuster trash.  This movie's all about, “Oh no, you can do that and you’re still an artist— the money people twist you around but once you get back to your roots you can rediscover why you became an artist and blah blah blah" but….I don’t believe in "Selling out" or anything, because I’m not a teenager but … Once you start making trash and being like "well, no, wait people like this— look at the numbers”, I think you do so at the risk of your taste buds, if not more… risk your voice. This movie’d be a pretty good example of what I mean because jesus…  John Leguizamo???  ON PURPOSE?  Uggggggh… What’s a bigger warning sign that a movie’s going to be bad than casting John Leguizamo?  (Answer: casting Giovanni Ribisi. Ribisi’s for movies what the skull & crossbones is for a pirate ship. But it’s not a competition).  Or just the … It’s just a mess this thing.  The whole movie’s about a chef who reconnects with his son thanks to the magic of social media or…?  What good movie has ever or will ever be built around “Then he learned how to tweet" as a major plot point???  How was that ever a good idea?  There’s neither drama nor jokes anywhere in sight for most of the duration— it’s just like… There’s this old guy wearing a ridiculous bandanna?  And Bruce Springsteen's Accountant rediscovers that he's an artist and the money people were holding him back this entire time, and critics should have been nicer to him!  It really is some kind of awful sequel to Cowboys & Aliens, but in that sort of “hey look at me do something autobiographical” self-congratulatory way that… It’s really insufferable in a “oh, you’ve been mythologizing your own past instead of remembering what the guy back then cared about" kind of way…
It’s of course also a movie where a minority character gives up his own career advancement to use his magical minority powers to help the main white character achieve his dreams, for no discernible reason!!  John Leguizamo just shows up in the middle of the movie like a Hispanic Bagger Vance and the whole movie I’m like, “Oh good we’ll get to find out why he did that— why did he quit his job?" WE NEVER FIND OUT— instead Hispanic Bagger Vance just keeps saying "I got a cousin who knows a guy"  (you know: like Those People always say!) so they can avoid having to show Favreau’s white-ass do any of the work that I’d presume is involved in starting a food truck— no, no, that’s all handled by off-screen Latinos…???  (Not a lot of boy-girl stuff in the movie but if you guessed that a woman was waiting patiently to reward the male character for realizing that it’s good to not be a piece of shit in life— congratulations!  You have seen a movie before!).  (Favreau made a movie about twitter and vine but never read tumblr.  Didn’t know he should check his privilege).
Downey Jr. is pretty genuinely funny in his one scene, but even that’s sad with a moment’s thought because … Favreau did such a good job with the buddy shit in his earlier movies and was always such a great straight man for Vince Vaughn or whoever, that it’s sad going back to that, that he wouldn’t remember that, and cast someone equal for himself (instead of Leguizamo’s happy slave character), or someone to play off of.  He just forgets all that and makes himself the Big Star, Seth McFarlane-style (though jesus what could ever be more horrible than “Starring Seth McFarlane”… That’s unbeatable).  People who make Bullshit never worry what it does to their egos, even though dude, that’s like Thing #1 to be worried about!  That’s #1 with a bullet!  
Still, to be fair, it’s really hard to go TOO wrong with me showing people making food— that’s the most cinematic shit— Roy Choi produced so all the food shit is pornographic and feels mostly real and no regrets there; I really enjoyed looking at food (?); and Roy Choi’s story is nice that when it’s about them putting together the food truck… I think there’s a movie there somewhere.  (though it posits a Los Angeles-based chef— who earlier worked in Miami— who still somehow doesn’t know a lick of Spanish?  Which… I don’t work in the food world, but Favreau had an easier time selling me on a guy building an Iron Man costume than that happening; it just seems… like you would pick up a little bit of Spanish in a LA kitchen, maybe?). (Also, it posits a LA restaurant where people are like, “I don’t want interesting portions of animals— bring me boring food instead” which… I think people are pretty adventurous in LA…?  Seemed weird). I don’t know.  It’s not ALL bad, probably, maybe I’m being mean to it; I did really like when they slice into a piece of meat…?   I just wish it weren’t in a movie about some piece of shit remembering that he should raise his son (?)(p.s.: duh. How do you make a movie where “dads should raise their kids" is the big life lesson???  "I watched this movie called “Liar Liar” and the message was, “*Don’t* lie."  I don’t know— maybe if I was a guy in my 50s…)  I mean, even for food movies, though— nothing in this movie could ever touch a second of Big Night. (That’s without even bringing Tampopo into equation— that’s my favorite). Or heck, I really liked that scene in Made where Favreau almost accidentally explains to his daughter what pasta puttanesca means— I always thought that was a great scene. 
I guess it’s kind of funny seeing a movie about the Red Medicine guy blowing up at that food critic lady. I don’t really remember much about that— never eaten there; I just remember that Red Medicine guy’s some kind of crazy; yells at people on twitter or something…?  I don’t know— it’s not completely unlikable because food.  At least, there’s probably a nice movie to Roy Choi’s story and the whole food truck thing, what happened there— but this one… I feel like they got a lot right on research-y stuff I couldn’t appreciate like “what’s it like to buy a stove” and just got everything else wrong like “what are human people like?”  I don’t know.  I just disliked this one… Let me tell you why in 5 BILLION words rather than sleeping… 

Chef (2014): I almost walked out early in this— there’s this scene that is so horrifying.  The movie posits that Jon Favreau’s Kevin-Smith shaped chef character has been having a gross sexual relationship with Scarlett Johanssen.  Which — those two do NOT make a cute couple to start with, and he wisely avoids showing them kissing.  They just skip to fucking; no kissing, like with porn.  No, that’s just a little joke (the punchline is I’m addicted to internet pornography)— the reality is much worse, which is that they show Favreau cooking and then, like, ScarJo watching and making like… sex-faces at watching him prepare food.  Like Arquette in Scorcese’s Life Lessons only not Scorcese and not Nolte and not Arquette and instead Favreau (who sometimes wears a bandanna in the movie) and it’s just… horrifying and ridiculous and also I was scared he’d change his mind and show them kissing; Favreau is not taking care of himself physically; he looks really terrible; I kinda don’t get how somebody that rich without a 9-5 job can’t hire a trainer, but.  Dinner for Five didn’t get cancelled— Favreau just ate those other four assholes. Watching ScarJo making horny faces at a bowl of fettucini or whatever just grossed me out— maybe that’s what happens in real life, but it just wasn’t done well and man, I’m kind of not a big ScarJo fan…

Anyways, so that’s what Chef's like, basically.  I don't know— it was kinda a no-brainer that this one wouldn't be for me, but.  I don't know how to put it in not-racist terms, but this movie was made for 50-year old white people; boring ones. But I had a long day and wanted to see a movie, and look… those first three Favreau movies, the comedies, I really liked a lot of things about those. Swingers and Made, more than Elf, but Elf's a solid little movie.  I was hoping it'd be him getting back to that, since it always was kinda a bummer that he stopped making comedies, he had a distinct thing as a comedy director, but… Favreau just started making blockbuster trash.  This movie's all about, “Oh no, you can do that and you’re still an artist— the money people twist you around but once you get back to your roots you can rediscover why you became an artist and blah blah blah" but….I don’t believe in "Selling out" or anything, because I’m not a teenager but … Once you start making trash and being like "well, no, wait people like this— look at the numbers”, I think you do so at the risk of your taste buds, if not more… risk your voice. This movie’d be a pretty good example of what I mean because jesus…  John Leguizamo???  ON PURPOSE?  Uggggggh… What’s a bigger warning sign that a movie’s going to be bad than casting John Leguizamo?  (Answer: casting Giovanni Ribisi. Ribisi’s for movies what the skull & crossbones is for a pirate ship. But it’s not a competition).  Or just the … It’s just a mess this thing.  The whole movie’s about a chef who reconnects with his son thanks to the magic of social media or…?  What good movie has ever or will ever be built around “Then he learned how to tweet" as a major plot point???  How was that ever a good idea?  There’s neither drama nor jokes anywhere in sight for most of the duration— it’s just like… There’s this old guy wearing a ridiculous bandanna?  And Bruce Springsteen's Accountant rediscovers that he's an artist and the money people were holding him back this entire time, and critics should have been nicer to him!  It really is some kind of awful sequel to Cowboys & Aliens, but in that sort of “hey look at me do something autobiographical” self-congratulatory way that… It’s really insufferable in a “oh, you’ve been mythologizing your own past instead of remembering what the guy back then cared about" kind of way…

It’s of course also a movie where a minority character gives up his own career advancement to use his magical minority powers to help the main white character achieve his dreams, for no discernible reason!!  John Leguizamo just shows up in the middle of the movie like a Hispanic Bagger Vance and the whole movie I’m like, “Oh good we’ll get to find out why he did that— why did he quit his job?" WE NEVER FIND OUT— instead Hispanic Bagger Vance just keeps saying "I got a cousin who knows a guy"  (you know: like Those People always say!) so they can avoid having to show Favreau’s white-ass do any of the work that I’d presume is involved in starting a food truck— no, no, that’s all handled by off-screen Latinos…???  (Not a lot of boy-girl stuff in the movie but if you guessed that a woman was waiting patiently to reward the male character for realizing that it’s good to not be a piece of shit in life— congratulations!  You have seen a movie before!).  (Favreau made a movie about twitter and vine but never read tumblr.  Didn’t know he should check his privilege).

Downey Jr. is pretty genuinely funny in his one scene, but even that’s sad with a moment’s thought because … Favreau did such a good job with the buddy shit in his earlier movies and was always such a great straight man for Vince Vaughn or whoever, that it’s sad going back to that, that he wouldn’t remember that, and cast someone equal for himself (instead of Leguizamo’s happy slave character), or someone to play off of.  He just forgets all that and makes himself the Big Star, Seth McFarlane-style (though jesus what could ever be more horrible than “Starring Seth McFarlane”… That’s unbeatable).  People who make Bullshit never worry what it does to their egos, even though dude, that’s like Thing #1 to be worried about!  That’s #1 with a bullet!  

Still, to be fair, it’s really hard to go TOO wrong with me showing people making food— that’s the most cinematic shit— Roy Choi produced so all the food shit is pornographic and feels mostly real and no regrets there; I really enjoyed looking at food (?); and Roy Choi’s story is nice that when it’s about them putting together the food truck… I think there’s a movie there somewhere.  (though it posits a Los Angeles-based chef— who earlier worked in Miami— who still somehow doesn’t know a lick of Spanish?  Which… I don’t work in the food world, but Favreau had an easier time selling me on a guy building an Iron Man costume than that happening; it just seems… like you would pick up a little bit of Spanish in a LA kitchen, maybe?). (Also, it posits a LA restaurant where people are like, “I don’t want interesting portions of animals— bring me boring food instead” which… I think people are pretty adventurous in LA…?  Seemed weird). I don’t know.  It’s not ALL bad, probably, maybe I’m being mean to it; I did really like when they slice into a piece of meat…?   I just wish it weren’t in a movie about some piece of shit remembering that he should raise his son (?)(p.s.: duh. How do you make a movie where “dads should raise their kids" is the big life lesson???  "I watched this movie called “Liar Liar” and the message was, “*Don’t* lie."  I don’t know— maybe if I was a guy in my 50s…)  I mean, even for food movies, though— nothing in this movie could ever touch a second of Big Night. (That’s without even bringing Tampopo into equation— that’s my favorite). Or heck, I really liked that scene in Made where Favreau almost accidentally explains to his daughter what pasta puttanesca means— I always thought that was a great scene. 

I guess it’s kind of funny seeing a movie about the Red Medicine guy blowing up at that food critic lady. I don’t really remember much about that— never eaten there; I just remember that Red Medicine guy’s some kind of crazy; yells at people on twitter or something…?  I don’t know— it’s not completely unlikable because food.  At least, there’s probably a nice movie to Roy Choi’s story and the whole food truck thing, what happened there— but this one… I feel like they got a lot right on research-y stuff I couldn’t appreciate like “what’s it like to buy a stove” and just got everything else wrong like “what are human people like?”  I don’t know.  I just disliked this one… Let me tell you why in 5 BILLION words rather than sleeping… 

Filed under Movies I Saw in 2014 insomniyeah!

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Lovers at the Chameleon Club, Paris 1932 began with a Brassai photograph I saw at a museum show in Washington. I was familiar with the photo, “Lesbian Couple at Le Monocle, 1932”: a portrait of two women sitting at a table in a bar, one in a sparkly evening gown, the other in drag, with short hair and a tuxedo. But the wall text said something I hadn’t known, which was that the woman in the tuxedo, a professional athlete named Violette Morris, had worked for the Gestapo during the German occupation of Paris and later been assassinated by the French Resistance.

A little research turned up an even more interesting story. Morris was an Olympic hopeful and a professional auto racer. When her license to compete as an athlete was revoked by the French government, as punishment for being a public cross-dresser, Hitler somehow got wind of it, and invited Morris to be his special guest at the 1936 Berlin Olympics. By the time she got back to France, she was not only spying for the Germans, but she was the person who told them where the Maginot Line ended: where they could breach the French defenses. During the Occupation, she did indeed work for the Nazis, and was killed by the Resistance in 1944.
Francine Prose.    (The Photo)

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Anonymous asked: The title of your Winter Soldier post summed up my thoughts exactly. Holy fuck but it literally looks like a cable drama (Joss Whedon needs to be strung up for allowing that lighting to become a thing). You're wrong about Iron Man 3, though; it's totally a Shane Black movie, just not enough of/a particularly good one. Still the most watchable of the new batch.

The thing I like about Shane Black movies (and some other 80’s action movies to a lesser extent; but at least Die Hard, which is perfect)— and I think what modern blockbusters have strayed from to their detriment— is the heroes are Messed Up.  They’re not okay; society doesn’t really have a place for them— Geena Davis in Long Kiss Goodnight can’t be a homemaker because she’s a killer, Mel Gibson in Lethal Weapon can’t be a family man like Danny Glover because he’s lethal and also a weapon, Downey Jr. in Kiss Kiss Bang Bang has one of my favorite things where he says something like, “I’m not saying it’s normal— I’m not saying I’m normal”; etc.  Modern special effects blockbusters don’t have those kinds of characters— it’s all Chosen Ones and prophecies and all that crap, instead of Bill Murray in Meatballs.  I don’t know why— this country got more evangelical?  People got less accepting of actual outcasts (the nerds never won)?  No clue.

I identify with fuck-ups lots, for obvious reasons, so that is the kinda stuff I’m into.  And so, Iron Man 3— if it had any of that to it, I missed it.  The fact it was set at Christmas didn’t mean much when fundamentally, I felt like the stuff I think of as being his real hallmarks wasn’t there, the stuff I get into.  Downey Jr. had a “nervous condition”, they tried to jam in a neuroses, but it never felt all that real and I don’t remember it getting resolved in any meaningful way… 

And the ending, I just remember it all being special effects and Gwyneth Paltrow’s weird stomach.  The idea of the main character having to defeat the bad guys in order to be in some way healed wasn’t there (which I think is how his other movies have ended, the healing power of violence— Bruce Willis being gloomy all movie and then finally being happy enough to dance a jig because he threw a guy onto helicopter blades). Take away the main character healing and/or coming to grips with his world (e.g. Mel Gibson having to beat up Gary Busey outside the family home) and it’s just… What’s there to root for without that stuff?  I don’t know.  Not much.  So for me it always felt authored and muddled by executives, and consultants, and whatever, more than anything, like with all those movies. For me, it’s not a “real Shane Black” thing in the ways that count.  It’s just the movie I’m hoping helps him get to make real Shane Black things again because … The Nice Guys is a pretty fun script that’s just lying on a shelf somewhere, so…

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Just No Sleep Till Brooklyn. Needed to hear that— felt like sharin’.  Sharin’ and carin’, yep.  Sharin’ … and … carin’… That’s the name of the creepy nursery school I’m going to open when I become a Nightmare on Elm Street style child murderer. Slow zoom in on a dilapidated nursery school sign where the g’s have all fallen off and a single high-pitched piano key plays repetitively and maybe there’s a pig squealing sound buried in the mix somewhere…? That kind of thing?  (I shouldn’t even joke about that— not the child murder part; Freddy.  I don’t want to have Freddy dreams by accident.  Freddy used to scare the crap out of me when I was a little kid — you know, looking back, I think a lot of it was that fucking striped sweater he would wear.  Say what you will about finger-knives and burnt skin and everything, but man, that was one scary article of clothing, at least pre-grunge… Was grunge about ambitious Seattle youths trying to out-Kreuger one another?  Who’s to say?  I guess we’ll never know.  ”Cosby vs. Freddy: The Post-Colonial Dialectic of the 80’s as Reflected in Sweater Choices" was the title of my thesis, back at the academy.  I don’t know— grown man wearing a sweater like that?   Off-putting fashion choice, child-murderer Freddy Kreuger.  Also he said bitch a lot, and you know… that kind of attitudes towards women is pretty scary, too, you guys… In a way, the patriarchy is the scariest nightmare there is on Elm Street, if you think about it… then again, I think there were some moms in that crowd that burnt Freddy alive so I don’t know, maybe that’s unfair to … wes craven or johnny depp or whoever… Robert Englund was on V and that show had that crazy lizard lady eating those rats or whatever— she was pretty bad-ass (Diane? Diana?).  So, yeah, in conclusion: the 1980’s…a confusing time for our country… the loss of innocence… summer becoming spring becoming autumn… Regrets becoming love becoming infatuation… Let’s never fall asleep again as a country, on the way to our own personal Brooklyn’s… Goddamn, is it too late to get a job as an Apprentice Braveheart? This just feels right. Oh whoops I never ended the parentheses).

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