Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Watch This Not That

I will see most any movie that involves mental illness. It’s not quite the same as my compulsion to see any movie with Kristen Bell, but it’s close. And sometimes Kristen Bell is in movies about mental illness and I am a happy camper.

Short review: Enjoyable yes, good no.

 When this movie came out I planned to see it in the theater. It looked like a ridiculous CG-fest appealing to the lowest common denominator. And with that type of movie the big screen can be a big plus. I didn’t end up seeing it until last week, but that assessment was pretty much accurate. The cheesecake ridiculousness aspect of it was entertaining enough but the way it was conveyed left something to be desired. Half the reviews of the movie felt it was misogynistic, and half felt it was very anti-male and I’d have to lean towards the latter. But whether it was making a satirical statement or a genuine one, it was heavy handed, poorly executed, and generally depressing. The mental illness connection is pretty tenuous. But in its defense: schoolgirl samurais fighting steampunk nazi zombies with dragons and robots.

Holy Motors

Short review: Enjoyable no, good yes(?)

I’m not well versed in French cinema and this movie did not convince me to become so. It had been described as “bonkers” and “a delight.” But I found the vast majority of it an enormous downer. It was beautifully filmed, it kept me thoroughly invested throughout as I tried to make a speck of sense of it, but in the end still a big downer. I love weird movies, and this may have been the weirdest one I’ve ever seen, but I can’t really recommend it to anyone as my net experience was negative. It was very interesting, so if you can handle being bored and disgusted for most of it I guess I can recommend it. 

Safety Not Guaranteed

Short review: Enjoyable yes, good yes.

This was a movie I kind of meant to see but never got around to it. I only knew that Aubrey Plaza was in it, but it turns out that I love the whole cast (not least of all Kristen Bell.)  Maybe I’m pulling more meaning from the film than it warrants, but I thought it had interesting things to say about acceptance, relationships, and of course, mental illness. And it was funny. And it was by far the best selection I’ve had as an in-flight movie. And the director may possibly be directing the next Star Wars movie (if you’re into that. I’m not.) I'll have to do an actual review of the movies of the year some time next month, but I'm guessing this will be my number one. This or the Katy Perry movie. 

Monday, November 26, 2012

Music Monday: So so out of it

I haven't kept up with the music scene this year. Not that I had any credentials before, but I'm even further unqualified to recommend anything at the moment. That being said, it doesn't take too much work to poke around on youtube and find pretty videos with pleasing bass lines. 

Saturday, November 24, 2012

The Competition

In case you were curious about the professional prospects/mental state of the members of my stake, the movies submitted to the Arizona Academy Awards can be found at the following Youtube address.

I can't really recommend you watch them all, but if I were to watch 3 other than mine they would be:

This one won. 

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Circuit Crossed

Some months ago I ran a film festival. I've done a couple ward ones before, but this was a stake one so was a bit more complex. At one point someone "hacked" into the site where we stored the movies and deleted them, which I found a little bit annoying but mostly hilarious, but otherwise it went off with few hitches.

I entered a movie, but sadly didn't win. I contemplated giving myself a trophy (as I awarded 4 trophies other than the Best Picture which was voted on by the audience) since I liked mine far better than the competition, but I imagine that would have been seen as unprofessional. As it was I did manage to get the second most votes, missing out by only 2. Since another movie had over 30 people in it, who I would assume all voted for it and mine had 2, I think it did well enough. I'm waiting for Robyn and or Marina and the Diamonds to either demand I take down my video, or else put my video up on their own sites but it hasn't happened yet.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

The more the merrier

This one time my roommate’s wife moved in with us.

I talk when I need to talk or when I feel like talking. So if I don’t want to talk to my roommate, or need to talk to my roommate, I generally don’t. Sometimes roommates are friends and sometimes they’re just people who cohabitate, and I have no problem with that.

When my roommate got engaged he didn’t tell me. I don’t think he was trying to keep it a secret or anything, we just talked when we needed to talk, and he didn’t deem this a necessary thing to convey. I knew he was engaged because I facebook compulsively and such things cause a lot of commotion on the fb. But when it happened he didn’t actually tell me.

He did tell me eventually, several months later, about a week before his actual wedding. He told me to let me know that his family would be staying in our apartment for the wedding. I didn’t really find this acceptable but rather than cause a fuss I went with it. And if he wanted his parents and grandparents staying in our partially sketchy bachelor apartment, it was really much worse for them than it was for me. Unfortunately this was a portend of things to come.

Now I wondered what he was going to do with his contract for the apartment, but when he finally got around to telling me about the wedding, a week before it, I thought it would be rude to immediately ask for his next 2 months of rent or see if he’d sold the contract or what. But when he and his wife returned from their honeymoon and moved into his room I saw what his plan was. His plan was staying in our apartment.

Now in fairness, that wasn’t his Plan A. Plan A had been buying a house. But this didn’t happen for some reason or another (I don’t know why, that would have required talking) so Plan B was moving his new wife into his partially sketchy bachelor pad.

I imagine a typical Mormon guy wouldn’t have accepted a couple newlyweds living in his smaller-than-average apartment. But again, it had to be much worse for them than for me. And who was I to kick them out, when his name was on the contract as well as my own.

Prior to his wife moving in, my roommate didn’t listen to music. After his wife moved in, there was often music playing at a substantial volume in the room three feet away from my own. Prior to his wife moving in he would very rarely watch movies. Now it was not uncommon for them to “watch” the complete LOTR trilogy in a row, or even to watch the same movie on repeat. I can’t say that I ever heard, or saw thankfully, any newlywed activities, but I can most definitely make some pretty accurate guesses about when and where these occurred.

Eventually our contract was up and I didn’t talk to him about resigning. I just started inviting people to come and see if they wanted the room. Thankfully this tract worked and they moved out, presumably to a house of some kind. Or maybe to some other guy’s apartment. 

Monday, November 19, 2012

Back from the Land of Ire

And I'm back. I haven't blogged since August because I've been abroad. Yep, gone that whole time. Definitely didn't get lazy and/or distracted.

But I don't feel like talking about Ireland, so too bad for you. Maybe I will later, who knows. Maybe I'll upload some pictures. Anything could happen. But in the mean time, here are some other people's pictures of Ireland, a few of which include me proving that everything I've said has been strictly on the level.

Some pictures
Some more pictures