Friday, November 26, 2010

everything I hate about the holidays...

The day after thanksgiving has a few simple traditions for me. I generally sleep at my parents house, I have pumpkin pie for breakfast, I watch movies and if family is over we play games. I avoid one thing like the plague, stores. This year, I enjoyed a little bit of online shopping but that is as far as I go. I genuinely loathe everything about 'black friday' shopping.

It's not the waking up early or waiting in the cold and rain, because I've done that kind of thing for movies or Disneyland rides. I think the video above sums up a huge part of what I loathe; the clawing and trampling to save. Apparently our semblance of civilization can be bought for a mere $30. We come off of a holiday filled with moments of thankful reflection and within a few hours we are out in the cold waiting to charge into the Kohls to grab clothes.

While discussing this with some friends, one mentioned that the economy has an influence on this pursuit  of early morning bargains. That may be true, but let's think about this. The stores put deals on Black Friday for excess merchandise that they want to put on sale, generally it's stuff that people don't really want and so it's being sold at a discount. People in the early morning rush, take a look at the item and make an impulse purchase because they are sleep deprived and have already invested so much time and effort, that they don't want to go home empty handed. The stores aren't celebrating a holiday today, they're doing this for profit. The consumers that line up early in the morning are simply cows headed to the slaughter.

So, if you are exhausted today because it's your day off but you chose to wake up early in search for deals, you may want to rethink your traditions for next year.

That's what I think, what are your thoughts?

Monday, November 8, 2010

Movie: Dave

Kevin Kline is a funny fellow that is currently under-utilized by Hollywood but in his sweet spot with the film Dave.

Remember this movie? It came out around the same time as American President, another Presidential Biopic. While American President is filled with great Sorkin Dialogue and is clearly a predecessor for West Wing, Dave is just a fun Ivan Reitman film. I'm not sure they make movies like this anymore but I find them very endearing. Today comedy is aimed at the Nickelodeon/silly, raunchy/gross or esoteric/hipster. I am not sure that a movie like Ghostbusters could get made today.

Dave is a guy that looks just like the current president and because of illness and conspiracy, he in essence takes office. Silly premise but it allows a guy with limits and innocence, become the most powerful man in the western world. I liked the hope that this movie conveys. I appreciate the simplicity it seems to bring towards politics. It is a simple man trying to do good. It is a film in which the good guy wins. It's just fun. I enjoy political intrigue very much, but I also enjoy a simple movie where a guy invites a childhood friend to help cut the US budget over bratwurst.

Movie: Zoolander

"Happy... Happy..."
Will Ferrel and Ben Stiller are ridiculous and it works.

I remember seeing Zoolander in the Theater. The reason I remember it was because it was a few weeks after the 9/11 attacks. I remember being in the theater and feeling like this was so ridiculous and Stiller was so inept that it was just what I needed. While I'd been pretty sick this last week it was far from the emotional funk 9/11 brought about. With that said, Zoolander had a similar effect.

It's interesting that movies like this are not strong as far as story, and have points where they lag. But, the quotability is through the roof and makes up for what is lacking. Zoolander is not for people that take life or movies too seriously. It is for those that are willing to laugh at the narcissism of the fashion world. Those that will enjoy laughing at a simpleton. I enjoy Will Ferrel's sophomoric humor, and this seems to be one of his strongest role. I feel like he has gone on to become his own worst enemy in the films that he makes, becoming self-indulgent (i.e. Semi-Pro {see review}).

I would like to see Ben Stiller make more movies like this, because I've grown tired of his Meet the Parents character that has become his default. Zoolander is silly, Ben Stiller plays that well. Watching this movie made me laugh, made me want to quote it with friends, it was just what the doctor ordered. I loved it.

New Series: Sick in Bed Cinema

When I'm sick, I really don't want to do anything. This last week I got hit hard with a sickness that kept me home for a few days. It's not fun, feeling gross, stuck at home. As days went by I kept having to cancel various social engagements, I kept having to push back work and have people fill in for me. This last weekend, I wasn't up to read or do anything productive, so when I wasn't sleeping I was watching movies. I took some interesting swings in cinematic moods; Zoolander to Hamlet within 12 hours is quite a swing.

So, for the next few days I will be posting some movie reviews with the label above. This indicates that they are a part of this series and that my judgement is heavily influenced by NyQuil and/or DayQuil.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Back to blogging...

Hit Play to listen to the song that I think is appropriate to this post.

The last season of blogging didn't really last, did it. 4 months in, I fell off the radar. I set a bold plan and communicated a recalibrating, but it fell to the wayside. I have a list of excuses

- I didn't like the format of the blog
- I didn't have time to write
- I didn't like blogging about American Idol anymore because the show had taken a dive.

This blog at one time was a source of revenue. There was a financial obligation to write. (That's a story for another time.) When that motivation disappeared, I was left to writing for the sake of writing. I enjoy writing but often it's a way to earn something or start conversation. Since I am not earning anything with the blog, I'd hoped it would initiate conversation. It doesn't seem to do that. People are not likely to respond to a post on here, yet if I say something silly in 140 characters, I get dozens of responses. Without the motivation of earning or conversation, I am left to purely enjoy it.

Let's see how it goes...

- trent

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