Monday, April 28, 2008

From Sony Picture Studios: New Blog Entry!

Sarah has been harassing me about posting a new blog entry. I don't really know why, since her reaction to my new posts is usually something along the lines of, "This is boring. I knew all this already." Gee, what a way to make me want to continue posting new stuff... ;)

In early April, Madison hosted the Wisconsin Film Festival. Which is four days of films, being shown in multiple theatres in downtown Madison. Sarah and I (and Nikki, at times) attended numerous films. I believe I went to ten. Which ones did I see, you ask? Well...

"Pageant takes you behind the scenes as 52 ordinary gentlemen go to extraordinary lengths in order to be crowned the 34th Miss Gay America®. This contest is about the art of illusion, so hormones and surgical body enhancements are forbidden. The movie follows 5 of the most talented and beautiful female impersonators as they prepare to dominate in this underground competition. Hear from the men as well as from those in their entourage: husbands, mothers, sons, and little brothers."
**This was very good...very entertaining. I highly recommend it.

The Linguists
David and Greg are "The Linguists," who document languages on the verge of extinction. In the rugged landscapes of Siberia, India, and Bolivia, their resolve is tested by institutionalized racism and violent economic unrest."
**I also really enjoyed this one. But I like learning about languages and stuff. I sat about ten feet away from one of "the linguists" during the screening. He was eating a sandwich.

Short Films
Just a bunch of shirt films. I was wary going into this because I generally don't like short films. I was right to be wary. These blew. Hardcore. I mean, they were REALLY REALLY bad. One of the "short films" involved watching a grainy olde tyme close-up of a woman's face for seven minutes as she reacted to a conversation. It was completely silent. If I had a gun, I would have shot myself in the head. The others weren't much better. Waste. Of. My. Time.

Urban Explorers: Into the Darkness
"Police think they are terrorists, but urban explorers are actually a growing subculture of adventure seekers from around the world who explore places where most people would never dream of going. They crawl through storm drains, wander around faded tourist attractions, and rappel into long-forgotten U.S. government sites. Some do it for the thrill of being where they're not supposed to be and not knowing what lies ahead. Others do it to document history that is about to be demolished. We follow them on their "missions" to abandoned mental hospitals, the former "House of the Future" in Orlando, and even the catacombs in Paris. Will they get in? What will they find? Will they get arrested?"
**This was pretty interesting. Urban exploring seems like something I'd enjoy doing, but I think I'd be too scared of getting caught and getting in trouble. And I would not travel through sewers. Ew.

"Childless and in a deteriorating marriage, Anna fears she is condemned to a life on the periphery of events. Everything she is discovering now, she has arrived at too late. A summer holiday, with the family of an old school friend, becomes a reminder of a life she has not lived. Sexual tensions simmer and Anna believes she has found a second chance. But as events slowly unravel, and the strains within this affluent bourgeois clique are revealed, she has to finally confront her inner turmoil and sadness."
**This was one of the few movies we went to that was not a documentary. It was okay, but got a little long.

Naked on the Inside
"Naked on the Inside" comes at a time when the Western world has never been more obsessed with body image. This fresh and unnerving feature-length documentary asks a simple, but audacious, question: Beyond our clothes and skin, who are we? And so it begins. Six extra-ordinary people from around the world reveal their bodies and share their secrets in a unique experiment in search of their inner selves."
**This didn't suck, but was only so-so. I feel like it's a tired-out theme. Nothing new to see here, people. Yeah, people have body image issues. Thanks for the memo.

Twisted: A Balloonamentary
"A flying octopus. A Trojan horse. Two 100-foot-tall soccer players. All made out of balloons. These are just some of the masterful creations you will see as "Twisted: A Balloonamentary" takes you right into the heart of Twist and Shout, one of the world's premier balloon twisting conventions. "Twisted: A Balloonamentary" is a story about people who discover that once you can make a balloon dog, you can do anything."
**Cute and entertaining enough, but nothing especially great. There's an animated segment narrated by Jon of the filmmakers is somehow connected to the Daily Show. I got the biggest kick out of the balloon guy who makes religious balloons, like Christ being crucified. He cries whenever he makes it. It's pretty creepy.

In a single recent year the U.S. classified about five times the number of pages added to the Library of Congress. We live in a world where the production of secret knowledge dwarfs the production of open knowledge. Depending on whom you ask, government secrecy is either the key to victory in our struggle against terrorism, or our Achilles heel. But is so much secrecy a bad thing? This film is about the vast, invisible world of government secrecy. By focusing on classified secrets, the government's ability to put information out of sight if it would harm national security, Secrecy explores the tensions between our safety as a nation, and our ability to function as a democracy."
**Interesting and thought-provoking. I thought it did a pretty good job of trying to present both sides of the case.

A Table in Heaven
"The famous Le Cirque restaurant is moving. After years of providing exquisite service to the rich and famous in New York, it’s time for a change. Sirio Macchioni is entrusting the new restaurant to his three sons, but finds it hard to let go of his old-school ways. And being in the restaurant business is more complicated now: there’s more competition, you need to have places in Vegas and Dubai, and the young kids don’t want to have to wear neckties when they dine. Sirio and his three sons bicker over the new menu, but ultimately in this Italian family the patriarch still rules."
**This was very good...very entertaining. Sarah really liked it, as well. Sarah apparently wants to be in an Italian family.

Fermat's Room
"Four mathematicians who do not know each other are invited by a mysterious host on the pretext of resolving a great enigma. The room in which they find themselves turns out to be a shrinking room that will crush them if they do not discover in time what connects them all and why someone might wish to murder them."
**This was another non-documentary. It was pretty good. It had good cinematography. Entertaining and suspenseful. Sarah liked that it was a Spanish movie.

In other movie news, I saw Saving Sarah Marshall the other day. It was okay. It was what it was. Nothing new or mind-blowing, but good enough mindless entertainment.

I recently saw 3:10 to Yuma. It was good. Sarah was watching it with me at my house, and decided to leave and go home with like 15 minutes of it left. Which led me to believe she wasn't especially digging it, but apparently she really liked it, she was just tired. The funny thing is, she went home and spent the next 20 minutes looking up the end of the movie online. What a weirdo.

We also watched The History Boys recently. Sarah loves it. I thought it was good, but not as in love with it as Sarah. I guess it's based on a play, which you can kind of see as you watch the movie.

Across the Universe - I did not like this at all. In fact, at about the 1:10 mark I shut it off, put it back in its Netflix envelope and stuck it in my mailbox, not bothering to watch the remaining hour or so. The singing really bothered me, which is kind of weird since I actually like musicals and shit. And I like The Beatles. But I did not like this movie.

Some Like It Hot - This was the first Marilyn Monroe movie I've ever seen. About 15 minutes in, I recognized one of the main dudes as Jack Lemmon. He was cute when he was young! This was pretty good.

Notorious - This is a Hitchcock film. It was pretty good. I found Cary Grant to be really sexy in this. I now must watch more Cary Grant movies. In this movie, he reminded A LOT of George Clooney.

Game Shows
Jeopardy! hosted the College Tournament of Champions in Madison this year. I got tickets, and me, Sarah, and Liz attended one of the tapings. We saw two "different" days being taped...all in the same day, obviously. I think they'll air May 5th and 6th, or something. It was fun, but we couldn't see the big topic/question board. During "commercial breaks", Alex Trebek would walk around and take questions from the audience. He's a pretty funny guy. In the break between the two shows, Johnny Gilbert took questions...which meant he pretty much just talked non-stop about random Jeopardy stories. He kept saying, "Let me tell you a story..." then went on to talk for 10 minutes straight. It got to be a bit much. I think Sarah wanted to kill him. I could tell you who won those two days...then you could make bets with people when it airs and try to win some money or something. :) There were a lot of Big Ten contestants. And one chick from Madison.

I can't think of anything else right now. Sarah, what else did you want me to write about? Was this really boring for you? If it was, Suck It.


At 4/29/2008 2:08 PM, Blogger Sarah said...

I think I died and went to heaven. Wonderful entry, my darling, wonderful.

At 5/01/2008 9:06 PM, Anonymous Laura said...

Michael went to the premiere party for the urban explorers movie and knows most of the people in it, just fyi

At 5/01/2008 9:09 PM, Anonymous Laura said...

Also, I met "Mr. X" and "Katwoman" in target about a year ago. They were really nice and got married not too long ago.


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