April 2011

 movie coverI'd rather be watching TV![IMDB link] [Netflix link] Jesse recommended this, and we watched it in 1080p HD.

UNCOMFORTABLE PLOT SUMMARY (inspired by this): [highlight for spoilers] Husband fails at saving wife from brian tumor.

PEOPLE: From director Darren Aronofsky (Requiem For A Dream, Pi). Starring Hugh Jackman (Wolverine), Rachel Weisz (Evelyn from The Mummy movies, Envy), Ellen Burstyn (Requiem For A Dream, Providence, The Exorcist).

QUIRKS: Reincarnation(?). Brain tumors. Biblical trees. Based on a graphic novel.

VISUALS: An incredibly visual movie at certain points. Aronofsky knows how to make films look neat! I’d call this a visual masterpiece — though it’s not like that 100% of the time, like in fantasy movies or animation. Current day events still look boring — just like current day in real life.

CONCLUSION: This review, while being more passionate than I feel, pretty much describes a lot of my problems with this movie. And more. I probably would like the graphic novel better — but it would be less memorable. He’s taking a lot of flak for it on the IMDB forum where he linked to his post as well.

I already knew that people die, and that it may be better to live life now than trying to avoid death. Live on forever through a tree. Yes, yes. Problem is, I don’t believe in any of that spiritual bullshit. I don’t think you really live forever just because your molecules and atoms will later be in a tree. It’s the type of baseless comfort afforded to the spiritual. Spirituality is swallowed up so rabidly because people are looking for meaning where there actually is none. Which is why the Holy Bible is the most-sold book ever made. But at least the Holy Bible wasn’t deliberately confusing.

Anyway, this movie just came off as trying to have some deep meaning, but ultimately it was only a deep meaning to people who already believe in its message. This movie is also BORING, and quite depressing and tragic at points. If they had stuck to telling the story a bit better, it would have been much more enjoyable.

If I am ever persuaded to watch it again, I might enjoy it more my 2nd time. Or it may just bore the hell out of me. Maybe I should try the director’s downloadable audiocommentary. But it’s doubtful I’d ever go through such a bother again.

There’s certainly a lot of insight at IMDB threads such as this one, but the absolute best is this definitive explanation post. I’ve read it; I get it. I got some of it while I was watching; and I didn’t get other parts. I tend to think the parts that I missed were due to bad storytelling. The main point of the movie would have been supported much more had I understood all the constructs being used. But I still wouldn’t have agreed with it. BUT OH! BOTH POSTS ARE NOW REMOVED! WHY? WHY WOULD YOU DO THAT, IMDB? Did people flag it as spam or abuse because they didn’t like the explanation? Maybe the link moved. Ahh, it moved. Here it is: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0414993/board/nest/164940256

In the end, I just don’t think they were very clear at delivering a message that I don’t agree with in the first place, and were boring to boot. Which means I ultimately did enjoy the experience of watching this movie, because it’s points were completely missed.

I didn’t really catch on to the fact that this movie actually “took place” in the future. Neither of us realized that 2 out of 3 of the stories had “already happened” in a sense. This confusion, among other confusions, just made it harder to digest. It felt like mysticism through obsfucation, even if that may not have been the case. What appeared to be a bubble of spirituality is actually a futuristic spaceship; this is confirmed by the director in downloadable audiocommentary tracks. I personally think if things had been presented in a clearer manner, it would have increased the value of the movie to me.

But since it is so open to interpretation, that does make me feel better about it than I did right after it was over. And it speaks well for the film, even if I didn’t particularly enjoy watching it.

Clint: Netflix: 2/5 stars. IMDB: 6/10. Rated that high due to a +1 visual bonus score, and a +1 open-to-interpretation score. If I had to rate it on my enjoyment, it would be more like 4/10. And I’d almost definitely like it better a 2nd time around — it’s just going to be hard to ever convince myself to do that.

Carolyn: Netflix: 4/5 stars. IMDB: 8/10. She definitely saw a lot more in it than me. But she is also more spiritual than me (like almost everybody).

The native public rating for this movie is Netflix: 2.9/5 stars (but 3.7 for people who “rate like me”), IMDB 7.5/10.

RECOMMENDATION: If you can swallow spiritual bullshit, you’ll love this. In fact, a lot of people really like this, because the majority of people are spiritual — even those who are not in a particular religion. I, however, am not. Someone said this movie was more like a poem, and not everyone goes to the movies looking for poetry.

It might be advisable to read the graphic novel first, honestly. Watching this was a lot like watching Watchmen … Separate plots, excellent cinematography, and lots of confusion. If you can link it all together the first time through, you’ll enjoy this more.

MOVIE QUOTE: “this movie makes donnie darko look like a riddle you find on a popcicle stick after you’ve eaten the popcicle. ” -IMDB user invertedme

“the movie is about a man in the future coming to grips with the loss of his wife in the past”. -director, in graphic novel afterward

FRIENDS’ RATINGS: Christian loved it. Parthena, Glen, and Benj really liked it. Ian liked it. My dad & L Dubs didn’t like it. Metinee hated it.

/yard sale sign/

We were kinda ho-hum about whether it was worth going yard saleing, especially since it keeps raining on Fridays, which always decreases the Saturday turnout. We wouldn’t have gone, but we had a coupon for Jerry’s Subs and wanted to go a 2nd time (11 years near one and we only started going this year). Thus, most of mileage yardsaling didn’t count because it was mileage towards Jerry’s.

We took 20 minutes of yard sale detours (approximately 5.3mi of detour-driving) and only found 1 sale. It had some kick-ass white-but-gothy boots that would have looked good on Carolyn were they not terribly scuffed up and the wrong size. Yard Sale season apparently will not be in full bloom until May…It was not worth going out this time. Better luck next time.

5.3mi @ 18mpg (22hwy/18city for my car, roughly) @ $4/G gas = $1.16 gas money spent, and nothing to show for it.

This has, of course, been added to our yearly-aggregated stats. Here they are so far:

Profit: $100.34
Profit per time: $18/hr/person

Click here for other Yard Sale-related postings. (more…)

So, back in college, I lived in 1044 Pritchard Hall, with Brent I (Mark’s brother), from 1992-1993… And with Arlo G and Patrick I from 1993-1994.

Final Tour of Virginia Tech 199705 by Clint - 62 of 94

Yes, those are Grateful Dead "Dead Bears" around my door.

Final Tour of Virginia Tech 199705 by Clint - 56 of 94

Close-up of Dead Bears.

Now Pritchard Hall is a big dorm. At the time, it was the biggest non-military all-male dorm on the east coast, though it has since had to allow women in. It was big enough that there was actually a courtyard, so that people who lived in the inner loop could get a window. It was called The Pit, and various mischief commenced with it.

20040417 - Blacksburg reunion tour - 100-0078 - dorm - Pritchard

Pretty, pretty big... This is probably 10% of it.

For instance, there was Horn Boy. He would let off his horn…. brooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooowp. Never long enough to get caught. I remember the last day of year one, and someone saying into The Pit, “I’m gonna miss you, horn boy.”

20080329 - Oranjello, the new kitten - 152-5290 - invisible trumpet!

Horn Boy, like the trumpet in this picture, was invisible to onlookers.

Another thing we did was attach my pitch-shifter guitar pedal to Dan C’s P.A., and yell into the pit with pitch-shifted voices. I even heard them telling us once, “Yeah, there’s somebody with a P.A. out there.” Haha.

20070323 - Hanging out at Clint & Carolyn's - 115-1584 - Clint covered in guitars

Guitar equipment for entertainment purposes? We did it way before Guitar Queero...

So, my second year at 1044 Pritchard (1993-1994), we had a new R.A. The R.A. from the first year was pretty cool. But this guy was a total pussy. I mean total. Like, he had trouble talking loud enough that you could even hear him. And he was a Christian. And he was small. And he did not have the personality of someone who would boss people around.

So at some point, we took my speakers, which were pretty large:

20071019 - moving TV across the room with speakers - 140-4051 - speakers lined up lengthwise

The speaker with the stickers on it was probably the one that was used.

And Mohamad O and I blasted the Scooby Doo theme song into the pit. With our lights off.

Final Tour of Virginia Tech 199705 by Clint - 61 of 94

Actual window this happened from

We did this by each holding one of these huge speakers up to the window. BAM. A knock on our door.

Final Tour of Virginia Tech 199705 by Clint - 59 of 94

Another pic of 1044 Pritchard, with its 1996-1997 occupants (strangers)

We freak out, since we were the guilty party, and it was also kind of weird that we had our light off, as if we were hiding.

Pussy R.A. (I don’t even remember his name) came to our door. “Now guys. We heard something like the Scooby Doo theme blasting into the pit here. We just wanted to make sure it wasn’t you.” I mean, VERY non-confrontational, non-committal, and still not quite loud enough to really HEAR him. He was laughably wussy, and just the kind of R.A. you want around if you want to do stupid shit.

Final Tour of Virginia Tech 199705 by Clint - 15 of 94

Scooby Doo from the Cartoon Hall mural -- one of the few characters in the hall without a hit of acid drawn onto his tongue -- because he didn't have a visible tongue (click through to see all the acid-tongued cartoons)

We laughed our asses off, knowing that he didn’t have the balls to do anything about it. I mean, they couldn’t prove anything at that point anyway. But a real douche of an R.A. could still make things annoying.

Like the one we just called “Prick”. I believe he was a blonde douchebag of an R.A. on the second floor. I still remember Diane and I accidentally setting off the local fire alarm right outside his door, and her dropping her ID at the scene. And still, somehow, we were immune to any punishment.

I got away with a LOT in that dorm room. I also pretended to be an R.A. and pretended to bust other people in another dorm room.

20070319 - Clint's work - 115-1559 - Clint at work - as a cap - I'm not really one, I just put this on in the supply closet

Shakedown. Breakdown. You're busted.

Good times, good times.

Final Tour of Virginia Tech 199705 by Clint - 50 of 94

obligatory "OH!"


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