As faithful readers of this blog know, I’ve adopted Mark Evanier’s practice of using a Campbell’s soup can to symbolize a break in new content.
I don’t always owe a hiatus in posts to lack of time, however, except insofar as technological glitches make blogging more time-intensive than it’s supposed to be. Sure, I’m a bit of a control freak, and I find it harder to write than I used to, but once something’s written the essential selling point of various blogging platforms is ease and simplicity of virtual publishing — Blogger most of all, which is why I chose Blogger, yet Blogger couldn’t be more successful at frustrating me and driving me away if it had tried.
I’m unsure of how to discuss Black Swan, or even my expectations of it, without possible spoilers. You’ve been warned.
Just about all of the essential ingredients of Black Swan show up right away, from the main character, Nina, to the central action, dance, to the recurring motif of mirrors and the intermittent diversions into fantasy and/or delusion.
Here’s the basic plot for those who haven’t seen the film — helmed by Darren Aronofsky, whose career spans such respected work as 1998’s π and 2008’s The Wrestler — but decided to read on:
The 2011 Golden Globes was a live show hosted by Ricky Gervais, populated by celebs drunk on camaraderie, self-congratulation, and in some cases even alcohol. Hard for a pop-culture maven to pass up.
So I did watch this year’s telecast, albeit (due to a migraine) not in real time. Which is just as well since there’s plenty to fast-forward through — film clips, ads, folks walking to the stage. And like other gluttons for punditry I found it, perhaps appropriately for a show affiliated with The Hollywood Foreign Press Association, lacking a certain je ne sais quoi.
Gervais was off to a running start with jokes about Charlie Sheen, the HFPA’s WTF nominations for the apparently totally mediocre film The Tourist, and other hot-button topics. His material felt rushed, though, bereft of the breathing room and segues that usually make his stand-up and talk-show appearances feel so compellingly relaxed; even when Gervais cracks himself up, which is frequently, it’s acceptable because he acts as if he’s just realizing what he’s saying as he says it. I’d hoped for redemption later in the evening, but Gervais popped up rarely and not for very long, less to comment on the proceedings — a shame, as the Greek-chorus element of hosts who choose to embrace that aspect of their duties can be the best part of the Oscars and the Emmys — than to get in some would-be zingers at the few presenters he announced by mentioning their more infamous or obscure endeavors or highlighting the disparities of a given duo. His overall contribution, while certainly not abysmal, was a bit like that old Catskills joke about the food: It wasn’t particularly good... and the portions were small.
Script, Pencils, Inks: Mike Mignola. Colors: Dave Stewart. Letters: Clem Robins.
I often grab pics available online for a post. Even when I’m reviewing a book I have
on hand, my scanner may be boxed in by stacks of stuff, leaving virtual drag-&-drop the path of least resistance. Such was the case with Mike Mignola’s excellent The Amazing Screw-On Head and Other Curious Objects, which I wrote up last month.
Like most viewers, I was punched in the gut by last Monday’s How I Met Your Mother.
Screencap from How I Met Your Mother 6.13 “Bad News” © 2011 Twentieth Century Fox.
But while I did realize that something awful was about to happen moments before it happened, based on the big, fat hanging fastball of dialogue, unlike most viewers I wasn’t expecting any surprises good or bad before that moment — at least not based
on the apparently instantly infamous visual cues.
As I noted last week, I’ve taken a fresh look at Buffy the Vampire Slayer — the original film. My impetus was Nikki Stafford’s rewatch, now underway, of the WB/UPN TV series that the movie spawned. (I suppose what actually spawned the series was the movie’s script, but we’ll get back to that.)
I’m not entirely sure why, but not only didn’t I expect to like Disney’s Tangled
— I almost didn’t want to like it.
Much to my surprise, however, it was one of my favorite movies of the year.