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Review: wow, I remember when all the porn industry was talking about her record-breaking 251-man gangbang. (Actually, I think I remember seeing the adverts looking for men to participate). The documentary is quite interesting. I had no idea she was a gender studies major while making the video.

They say the secret to good documentary making is "access". Well, it's amazing they got to follow her with a camera before the big event, during the big event, and for years following (including talking with her parents who had no idea what their daughter was doing).

As far as documentaries go: Technical quality: C+. Story: A-
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My car was broken into last night while parked in Jersey City. The small (non-rolling, triangle) window was busted and everything in the car was ransacked. My GPS was stolen, luckily nothing else of value was there (thank God my laptop was safely at work). Though, there were tons of power adaptors and other iPod/cell phone related cables and things he could have taken... but I guess they're only worth $ to someone with the exact model.

Yes, I had hidden everything in the glove box or middle box. Sadly, he saw the mounting stuff for my GPS and assumed he could find the GPS itself in the car.

Looks like Monday I'll be working from home while I coordinate getting a replacement window.

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Last night [ profile] quietchris and I went to the (being restored) historic landmark Loews Theater in Jersey City, NJ to see 2 films.

The Uninvited (1944): All prints of this file had been lost but someone at Universal was convinced to have a new print made. This was the first showing of this print. It will now tour art houses around the country. The film is a horror/mystery. Very enjoyable.

Rebecca (1940): Hitchcock's first film made in America. His third film shows a lot of the themes we'll see him perfect in later pictures. Enjoyable with an ending that I never would have predicted.
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Wow! That kid can dance! I really enjoyed this show. However, I think I would have been totally lost if I hadn't read the wikipedia article first, which explained the politics of England at the time. The background story of the show involves the U.K. coal strike in the 80s, FYI.

I saw it with my mom and sister Rose last Wednesday matinee. Afterwords we met up with [ profile] quietchris, my brother and his partner for diner at Ollie's.
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I heard her on NPR recently.  She was asked how she invented the "look" she's made famous:
I patterned myself after this woman that was the town tramp back home. She had blond hair and high heels and red fingernails and lips, and to me she was like what movie stars were to other kids. We'd see her, and I'd say, "Oh, look, she's got plastic goldfish in her heels!" and my mama would say, "She ain't nothin' but trash, nothin' but trash," and I thought, "Ooh, that's what I'm gonna be when I grow up — trash!"
I also love NPR for doing interviews that go beyond the typical questions.

(Oh, when asked if she'd consider getting into politics she said "the Whitehouse doesn't need more boobs")

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OMG if you love Star Wars (or just love the culture around Star Wars and Star Trek) you HAVE to see this movie. Tons of in-jokes.
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I usually avoid giving money to Tom Cruise directly (i.e. I wait for HBO) but I saw Valkyrie in the theater last January for lack of other things to see. It was fairly intense. I appreciate when a movie is about something that everyone knows the outcome (Titantic, Milk, Valkyrie) and yet keeps you in suspense. If it was at all historically accurate, it's amazing that this kind of thing was happening (makes me wonder what was happening on our side). 4 out of 5 stars.
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Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day (edited for airline viewing): 4 out of 5 stars. Cute, sexy, and if you like 1939 London, you'll love this.
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"HEY YOU KIDS, GET OFF MY LAWN" taken to a new level. Freakin' awesome. Everyone should see this.
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(Warning: Good morales for children being taught. Might not be appropriate for modern parents hell bent on raising brats)
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Ghost Town (edited for airplane viewing)

The guy from the British "The Office", who I like, being annoying. 3 out of 5 stars.
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Chris and I watched [title of show] last night on Broadway.

Plot summary: Two men and their 2 ladyfriends are writing a musical. The show is the story of how they got the show you are watching from an idea, to an off-broadway show, to a broadway show. (though, the last part wasn't in the off-broadway version because it had not yet happened yet).

If you are involved in theather, or follow Broadway theater, you have to see this show. It has plenty of inside jokes, and makes some important statements about selling out / not selling out, watering down shows / not watering down shows, etc.

If you are queer, you have to see this show. The two main charactors are gay men, they make tons of great gay jokes (including listing some of the best drag names EVAH), and some of the references will only make sense if you know NYC queer culture. (Like, they mention The Garden Party.)

Everyone else... I'm sure you'll have a good time.

They have a YouTube channel... the same one they used to promote the show in their attempts to get it funded. Which, is a part of the plot!

Update: Correction: it's a show about two guys writing a show about two guys writing a show.
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Y tu mamá también

Wow! Hot sex. Awesome writing.

I believe [ profile] ljtourist recommended this to me about 5 years ago I finally got around to watching it last night. I wish I hadn’t waited!
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Meh. Pretty exciting but not the greatest. The science had enough errors to make it “ok for made-for-TV, but wouldn’t have cut it in the theaters”. Then again, it was made-for-TV. It was shown in two 2-hour episodes (4 hours total).

Minor spoiler rant: cut 2 sentences )

A decent way to end the weekend (watching all 4 hours on Tivo). Exciting, but not so scary it would keep me up all night trying to get some rest before the long work week.
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Sweet, quirky film. Takes place in rural New Jersey (so it gets an extra +1 point from me). A dwarf that prefers to be alone inherits an abandoned train station and finds friends he didn’t expect.

If you like quirky indie film with subtle humor (i.e. it is slow but if you don’t change the channel you’ll laugh out loud) I recommend it.

Oh, the town and location is real. Check out the wikipedia photo of the train station!
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We’ve been watching a lot of movies lately:

Bourne Identity -- I’ve seen this before, but we’re going through the old ones before we watch the new one. The DVD “extras” included the original first and last scenes... which I think they were smart to remove. The commentary claimed they were removed because so shortly after 9/11 people wouldn’t have liked them, but we didn’t understand that connection. I think they were better removed because they were confusing and didn’t add to the movie.

CaddyShack -- [ profile] quietchris hadn’t ever seen this classic and I was happy to see it again. CaddyShack is one of those movies that is on TV so much that you catch it half way through. In other words, you always miss the beginning. You also miss all the boobies. So, seeing it on DVD with the beginning (some of the best lines are there, as well as the introduction of the gopher subplot), and the boobies, reminded me of how great this movie was.

Inside Man -- I hadn’t seen this when it was in the theater. OMG what a great movie! Outside of the plot (no spoilers), I loved the pure new york-iness of it. There were so many great little bits of NY culture inserted in the film. For example (minor spoiler) when they can’t figure out what language something is, they play it over the loud speaker into a crowd of new yorks since “this is new york... someone will understand it”. I loved Jody Foster’s role, and wish I could have her job (and her brains). Denzel Washington was excellent... the perfect movie for him to be his smooth and cool character.

Pay Up

Mar. 28th, 2008 12:10 pm
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I love live theater.

Last night we went to see Pay Up. Here’s a fine review of when it was in Philly: Review of Pay Up

You can still see it for a few nights in Montclair, NJ: Pay Up at MSU

Imagine a... damn... it’s hard to explain. The painted the theater white... like a science fiction laboratory. They make you wear booties on your shoes as you enter. A 1984ish voice commands you to go into to the various boxes on the stage. Each box is repeating a short play about every 10 minutes. You will only have time to watch 6 of them, and there are 8 boxes. To get into the box, you have to pay a dollar. You only have 5 dollars given to you.

Some are sad, some are funny. All the plays relate to each other. In the order we saw them, it told an interesting story about... well, I don’t wan to ruin it for ya.

For $15/ticket you can’t go wrong with this.

Performances remaining Fri, Sat (2 shows) and Sunday.

Highly recommended
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Thursday night I saw The Farnsworth Invention on broadway. Written by Aaron Sorkin (of West Wing fame), this play is about the inventor of television and his battle with the president of RCA to (1) invent TV, (2) claim the patent rights to it.

The play hasn’t gotten great reviews and is due to close in a few days (March 2nd) but a few months ago I dashed out (to the internet) to get the best seats I could. It turns out, $102 will get you 2nd row seats on a week-day. I’ve never seen a broadway show so close up. I tell ya... it was worth it. To see the faces of the actors close up was amazing. (I wouldn’t recommend being so close up for a musical since they are staged to be best viewed from the average seat.)

While the play may be historically inaccurate, I enjoyed it thoroughly. Sorkin highlights many themes that are very relevant to current technology issues around privacy, control of information, and the corrupting influence of advertising.

My favorite part? That RCA’s collaboration with AT&T always involved executives from AT&T that were idiots that didn’t understand the future (something I found true when I worked for AT&T Bell Labs and dealt with anyone in higher management.) Ok, the term “idiots” is too general so I’ll be specific: they’re making $25 a pop for something and someone says they could make millions but they have to stop the $25/pop product first... and they reject it. Yes, that was my experience constantly at AT&T.

Watch the trailer.

Hank Azaria was great, even though he used his “Chief Wiggums” voice for the entire show. (I would have put that under a “cut” but I doubt you’ll get tickets to see the show so I haven’t ruined anything for ya). Jimmi Simpson as Farnsworth was excellent.
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With the Superbowl so near, you’d think someone talking about The Giants would mean a sports team. Ah, and you would be wrong. To me, the Giants means the alternative, weird, awesome band They Might Be Giants (Wikipedia). Yes, [ profile] quietchris and I saw two shows in one week.

(Oddly enough, we drove right by Giants Stadium on our way through New Jersey to NYC’s Beacon Theater.)

On entering the theater there was a women handing out those big green foam “We’re #1” hands to people as they entered. It says, “They Might Be Giants” on it. This gave the show an odd feel as so many people were holding these giant hands.

We had plenty of time to buy schwag and drinks (full cash bar!) and run into [ profile] cartographer who was there with a spare ticket (which I believe went unused). Her seats were in the loge , which was better than our upper balcony seats.

After getting out drinks on, we went up to the show.

No opening act, but they did 2 sets. As they explained that they were opening for themselves. “We’re the most authentic They Might Be Giants tribute band. We know all our songs, and sound just like us. And our John Linnell looks just like the John Linnell.” They made comments about how excited they were that first the first time they’ve sold out The Beacon Theater’s 2800+ seats, especially since this theater is so convenient “gotta love that Metrocard!” Metrocard is the subway pass in NYC... they live in Brooklyn.

Other typical jokes they made were like, “this next song is from our new album... and by ‘new’ we mean ‘the most recent one we’ve released’”.

The first words they said when they came out was, “You must stand up. This isn’t TV!” I thought that was excellent. However it wasn’t nearly as cool as the fact that after they sang their song about the sun (The Sun is a Mass of Incandescent Gas) the paused to point out that the sun is powered by a nuclear reaction resulting from the collision of a failed foreign policy, a failed domestic policy, and a failed presidency. That statement got tons of cheers.

Our seats were pretty bad but it was mostly because of tall people standing in front of us. We were able to move around and see what we needed and we could hear them really well.

Oh, and the music? They had a 3-piece horn section, drummer, guitarist and bassist. The drummer was good, though I think he was off-beat during “Ana Ng”. Their new material isn’t as childish as their older albums, which were, at times, often only one step away from sounding like Sesame Street. To be honest, I prefer the stuff that sounds like Sesame Street the best (can you say “Cow town?”).

Post Script: While writing this LJ post I discovered that wikipedia has articles deconstructing many of TMBG’s songs but more importantly there is a wiki dedicated to the band called This Might be a Wiki. I see it is already updated with notes about last night’s concert as well as updated trivia about certain songs based on what they said.

Oh, and if you are really interested in this band, you absolutely have to watch the documentary about them called “Gigantic (A Tale of Two Johns) - A movie about They Might Be Giants”.
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Wow. I studied Beowulf in college and my professor made the point that it was the "action film of its day". We had Schwarzenegger movies, they had Beowulf.

Neil Gaiman certainly captured that in the film version. It is non-stop action. The animation is amazing, with the same technique used for The Polar Express (2004) with Tom Hanks.

Most importantly, it is the FIRST time a 3D movie looked good to my eyes. My eyes are a bit weird and usually can't merge the two halfs of the stereoscopic views. There was a very minimal amount of “oh look we’re in 3d so here’s a gratuitous trick” except possibly in the opening credits. (I once read that 3D movies often use the first 10 minutes to help people’s eyes “warm up” to the technology so you should always except 3D movies to have an intro like that. In this case it was some 3D coming attractions.)

My recommendation: See it. See it in 3D if you possibly can ($2 extra at the theater I went to)

Tip: When they hand you your glasses immediately check if they are clean. If not, hand them back to the person and get a new pair. Mine looked like my personal glasses after a week of not washing them. I could see better once I cleaned them.

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