Wednesday, June 09, 2004

Exhibit G

Does anyone besides me find infinite amusement in the fact that Northwest Airlines' website address is ''? Every time I fly back to Detroit, which is a Northwest hub, I feel like I'm representin'.

It's these things that make life worth living.

Like the fact that there are Bacon flavored Doritos in Europe.

If you can't appreciate that, you got problems.

Earlier, I was debating keeping up the chain by writing a review of Tonino Valerii's spaghetti The Price of Power. It was an oddball take on the Kennedy assassination as retold in a western setting, and using the assassination of President James Garfield. Instead of being killed in a train station in New Jersey, Garfield is killed in Dallas by multiple gunmen as he rides down the street in carriage. I don't know if calling this is a stretch does it justice. Nonetheless, it was a well made film, full of intrigue, and a fun transplant of the 'conspiracy' against Kennedy. Like many political spaghettis, it gets a little ham-handed in the preachy department. In the end, Giuliano Gemma has yet to fail me as a western hero (even though everybody seems to have to take a minute to show his gymnastic prowess when it doesn't fit). Director Valerii does a helluva job juggling the action and intrigue, and this film features some wonderful shot composition (especially in what me and a friend of mine deemed Frankheimer shots...I'd explain...but you probably won't care).

Oh, so I was gonna write a full on review of it, then decided not to.

I also debated talking about Sergio Sollima's Face to Face which I watched most of on my new spectacularly clean DVD copy of last night. It's one of my all-time favorite spaghettis, but I've talked about it before. I've brought it up here, and I wrote a paper or two on it back in the day. I'm not in the mood to rehash. In any event, my favorite spaghetti list is dominated by Sergio's: Leone, Corbucci, and Sollima. I've only seen two of Sollima's three westerns, and the one I'm missing, The Big Gundown, seems to be all the other spaghetti-files' favorite. Face to Face also features one of my all-time favorite Morricone scores.

So what else is there...

I finished Marcus Aurelius's The Meditations. I don't know what to tell you about it that I didn't say in a post the other day (look for it below if you want, monkey people).

I suppose I could talk about the gross historical inaccuracies of Gladiator in dealing with Marcus and Commodus...but it's a movie, you should know it plays with the truth. See, this stuff doesn't bother me usually, because I already know what really happens. More than enough times though, I've seen people take things like this as gospel truths. It's what scares me about Alexander, Oliver Stone's new movie on Alexander the Great. To be honest, with Stone's past attempts at 'history', I'm a little shaky about this one.

On Diogenes of Sinope: "On a voyage to Aegina he was captured by pirates and sold as a slave in Crete to a Corinthian named Xeniades. Being asked his trade, he replied that he knew no trade but that of governing men, and that he wished to be sold to a man who needed a master."

That's awesome.

I'm not gonna talk about that though.

Today is comics' day, so I'll likely have some new stuff. As I don't have them yet, I have nothing to talk about.

I know, I need to talk about comics. It's been an awfully long time since the subject has come up.

Interestingly enough, I had just been talking about famed comic artists Mike Ploog and Jim Starlin to a friend of mine when I picked up the DVD of Ralph Bakshi's Wizards. Ploog of course did many of the still montage shots in the film, and Starlin designed and drew some of the characters. The DVD was in fact worth picking up, if only for Bakshi's commentary on the film. He claims that it's the only one that he'll be doing commentary for. I've read recently that his third fantasy effort (Lord of the Rings being 2nd), Fire and Ice, which he made with legendary illustrator Frank Frazetta, will also be on DVD soon. And yet, I still don't have Coonskin (aka. Street Fight). It's not fair.

I've got three more Japanese movies and a Korean movie on the way. I figured that I should warn you about them as you'll likely be hearing about them soon enough. One is by the director of Sharkskin Man... and features favorite Tadanobu Asano. I can't wait.

In a similar vein, rumor has reached my ear that Requiem for a Dream director Darren Aronofsky has intentions of remaking my beloved samurai favorite Lone Wolf and Cub. First of all, I've said it once, I'll say it again and again, I don't like white guys involved in my samurai movies. I've yet to see one that I could respect. Second, if you've followed Aronofsky's career at all, you know that he's got a veritable grocery list of movie he was supposed to do that vanished including Batman: Year One. Of course, every time I count on something like this falling through, that's the one that actually gets off the ground.

My problem is this: 1) I'm tired of remakes. so tired, very tired, exhausted drained, dying from remakes. This is especially true with movies that didn't need to be remade. 2) I've already covered my fear of Hollywood trying to reinvent foreign films. 3) It's just a cultural issue for me. Yes, he could probably do a great job making in cool and letting the blood and steel fly, but in the end, movies that are remade like this are usually missing what made them cool and enduring in the first place.

Anyhow. That is today's random string of thoughts.

Your move.


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