i shall never misuse rex kwon do
Napoleon (Jon Heder) and Pedro (Efren Ramirez) do their part to get out the vote.
This past weekend, I did my best to catch myself up at the movies. Sunday, after meeting up w/Marc (in town for a triathlon) for brunch & killing some time at the Fetus, I finally got around to catching Napoleon Dynamite, which is damn funny & a good time. Director Jared Hess has seen his fair share of Wes Anderson flicks (as have I), and Napoleon is a nerdier step-sibling to Rushmore's Max Fischer. Today's songs are featured in a couple of stellar scenes from the film (check out the official site):
Much like the final concert scene in School of Rock or the Vietnam war play in Rushmore, Napoleon Dynamite reaches its climax with a remarkable performance by its main character. This song, from Jamiroquai's 1999 album Synkronized, gives Napoleon (played to gawky perfection by Jon Heder) the opportunity to put the lessons culled from "D-Qwan's Dance Grooves" to good use. Heck yeah, he had Pedro's back!
This 80's classic, from the self-titled album by When in Rome, closes out the movie quite nicely. As the song speaks about friendship & commitment, we see Napoleon finally find someone (namely the forgiving, glamour shot-taking Deb) to play teatherball with him. And Napoleon played like a champ, once again showing off his skills, which always scores with the women.
On Saturday, I caught The Corporation, a new documentary about the ills of corporate power (based on the book by Joel Bakan). One of the directors was also behind 1992's Canadian doc Manufacturing Consent: Noam Chomsky & the Media, which my old NYU pals Seth (aka "Raw Dawg") and Andy first brought to my attention a few years ago. It throws a lot of information at you & doesn't offer any easy answers, encouraging the viewer to get involved to help bring about change. In that way, it felt a little like a Michael Moore doc, and in fact Moore (as an interviewee) even gets in the film's the last word. Worth seeing if it's playing in your town.
BTW: I would like to give a shout-out to another old NYU cohort of mine, Becky Goldberg, who was an assistant editor on Moore's Fahrenheit 9/11. I saw her name in the credits when I saw the movie "opening night," but I only recently found out that it really was the same girl I used to know. I believe she had a rather mixed experience working on the film, but I'm not going to comment on that any further. For those interested, Becky also directed her own documentary a while back, entitled Hot & Bothered: Feminist Pornography. I don't think the page has been updated in a while.
On Friday I finally saw Anchorman, which was funny - but not nearly as funny as Dodgeball IMO. However, Steve Carell was amazing.
Today, I met up with Rachel for a matinee of Richard Linklater's Before Sunset, which I loved. I had introduced Rachel to the original Before Sunrise about a month or so ago, at which time I was kind of stunned that she had never seen it. The sequel takes place in real time, and since the two main characters - who haven't seen each other in nine years - have so much to say to one another in the 80 minutes that the film encompasses, Linklater ditches much of the ambience that helped make the first film so romantic & magical & focuses almost entirely on actors Ethan Hawke & Julie Delpy (who helped Linklater pen the script, btw) & their sparkling chemistry. When the credits faded up, Rachel exclaimed, "Evil!" No, she liked the movie plenty, but rather she didn't want it to end. I only hope it doesn't take this creative team another decade to bring us the next chapter in the story of Jesse (Hawke) & Celine (Delpy). I highly recommend Before Sunset, but you cannot see it without having seen Before Sunrise first. And you can't borrow my copy - I loaned it to Marc (the triathlete) & his gal Shira (happy b-day!).
If you've visted The Big Ticket before, you probably know that I'm looking forward to seeing Garden State, which opens in NYC (and LA) July 30 - just in time for my latest venture out to the east coast. What you may not know is that director/star Zach Braff has a blog that's attached to the movie's official website, which has had a ton of stuff added to it lately.
Lastly, did anybody else catch this week's intense episode of HBO's Six Feet Under? Damn! It got me riled up, frustrated, angry, a little scared & a little freaked out - that's successful drama, people. And I ain't NEVER picking up a hitchhiker, no sir...never, ever, nerver...novenvahn, arggh...