msled_2004.jpgWOW, has it really been a year since my last blog update? *chuckle*

I figured my sister’s birthday was as good a reason to post as I could muster today. Her band Ms. Led has a new album do out in November. You can checkout their flash website to get all the latest info. I should be updating the main HTML site fairly soon.

Feel free to leave her birthday wishes, buy her lavish gifts from Amazon.com or treat yourself and the band by purchasing swag off their website.

This isn’t your father’s prom date…

Today’s current event isn’t all that current, but it was brought to my attention as I listened to The Morning Edge on the drive to work this morning. In February a 12yr old girl was beaten into a coma simply for being kissed by a boy at someone else’s birthday party. The news story quotes the mother as having told her daughter to “handle her business” at which point the violence ensued. Teenagers & adults at the party kicked the girl into unconsciousness (what kind of chaperones were they?).

Girl violence is nothing new, but I must admit I’m not sure if I find it all that appealing. Don’t get me wrong, I have an appreciation for strong, fiercely independent females (just ask Michelle). I enjoy Alias and thought Buffy was a kickass heroine, but is aggressive behavior something we should encourage from women?

Maybe I should organize my thoughts better before I continue. I know I’m generalizing quite a bit, but girls historically are known for their psychological methods of dealing angst & woe. Girls quite frankly can be mean and while guys can attempt to be mean, we are clumsy amateurs when compared to the deft skill women have developed. An art form not unlike the “Five Finger Exploding Heart Technique” there is a reason why hell hath no fury like the wrath of a woman scorned.

I hate to resort to the “back in my day” scenario, but girl fights were always more vicious than guy fights growing up. Most guy fights were about immediate pain and a quick display of macho-chest-beating. Girl fights in contrast were about complete & total annihilation. It wasn’t a good girl fight unless somebody had a fistful of clumped hair and an eye gouged out. Of course, nobody brought a handgun to a knife fight back then either.

Not sure what happened to my point, but I guess I never expected a movie like Mean Girls to be considered educational material.

Movie Review – Kill Bill Vol 2.

The Plot – “The Bride” has already dispensed with Vernita Green & O-Ren Ishii, but there’s still Budd & Elle to deal with. Already a footnote in her memory, the audience will get a recap of events before the lady is off to Kill Bill.

The Review – As many know I’ve been waiting for this sequel ever since I reviewed Kill Bill Vol 1. The plastic wrap hadn’t even been broken on my DVD yet and Mich3lle & I were at the theatre last Friday for the premiere. Where the first movie was a whirlwind of action sequences Vol 2. firmly chokes up the reigns for a storytelling pace. Here the encounters are even more personal, the deaths seemingly more deserving, the overall tone more conflicted. “The Bride” seems less invincible this time around and we learn a little more of the back story via flashback. We also get to meet Bill.

One has to wonder if Quentin Tarantino might resurrect another career. Anyone catch David Carradine on Alias tonight? He was perfectly cast in this volume. I can’t imagine anyone else pulling off the role of Bill. Maybe you remember him as Kwai Chang Caine on the Kung Fu TV series, but I recall he played a sly villain opposite Chuck Norris back in 1983. And who could forget Death Race 2000 or Shane? No apologies for being a cult film guy.

The fact this isn’t the hack & slash fest the first movie is might throw some people, but I felt it complimented the overall story very well. It had predictable moments, but I thought the delivery by its cast well done. The kung fu training sequences were a humorous nod to that genre and yours truly is probably one of a few people that owns Shogun Assassin which was a character favorite in the film. (Imagine this totally geek moment – OMIGOD I HAVE THAT DVD! I KNOW WHAT DVD THEY’RE PLAYING!) Once again, no apologies for watching late night kung fu theatre as a kid.

Grade: B+ (It did have some slow moments)

Movie Review – The Passion of The Christ

The PlotThe Passion recounts the last 12 hours of Jesus’ life following the betrayal by Judas Iscariot. Suffering brutality at the hands of his jailors Jesus is ultimately crucified.

The Review – This is the one time I’ll write a review about a film without worrying about “spoilers”. Maybe it’s the times we live in, but it seems whether it’s a titty flash, trash talk radio or even a movie people want to be outraged about something. This movie was a curiosity for me because so many people had an opinion about it before it was released. Some Christians hailed it as THE story about Christ, others have called it pornography while casual observers have called it “…brutally realistic, it’s probably finally a film that does Jesus some justice.”

While I’m currently on my own journey of faith I have to admit my knowledge of the Bible and its contents is sorely lacking. As such I cannot refute the interpretation offered up by Mel Gibson in The Passion. I don’t believe the intent of the film is one of anti-semitism, but like the Star Wars series Gibson does little to downplay cultural stereotypes. It is also true that it portrays the Romans in a more sympathetic light than the Jewish people. Overall, I thought the film’s strength was also its weakness. You’ll be disgusted and outraged at the horrors Jesus endures, but the film will lock hold of you for 120 minutes.

The sheer brutality Jesus suffers through draws the audience’s attention and holds it like gawkers passing a highway tragedy. I don’t think the film is violent or gory for gore’s sake, but I think the message of The Passion is watered down because much is assumed about its viewers. The film establishes Jesus’s character, his message through a series a flashbacks. Maybe it is sufficient for the educated Christian, but to the casual observer there really is no explanation or understanding why the Jewish priests and people have such overwhelming hatred for Jesus. To the casual observer only a handful of people were followers of Jesus. The audience feels for Jesus because of his circumstance not because they are enlightened by his message.

Regardless of how you feel about the movie the key point is it is JUST A FILM. This is one man’s interpretation of the last moments of Christ’s life. Perhaps Mel Gibson created this film to invoke a certain reaction to shock people back into their faith. You may be offended by it, you may be affected by it, but if the film stirs you to look more deeply at your own faith then I think that is a good thing.

I’ll echo The Ward’s sentiments by not rating this film, and I’ll quote Mr. Perry and say “If you ask me, the book was a lot better.”

Must be a Monday.

Ever wake up in the middle of the night and immediately stub your toe getting out of bed?

Must be a Monday.

Ever take a whiz in the dark only to have the toilet seat slam down creating a resounding echo that is only muffled by you shouting “Geezus!” because you?ve now pissed on the toilet cover and the floor?

Must be a Monday.

Ever clean up your own pee at 3am?

Must be a Monday.

Ever decide there?s no point going back to bed because you smell like piss so you might as well take a shower and as you?ll be wide awake you might as well fix an early breakfast?

Must be a Monday.

Ever forget that drinking orange juice just after brushing your teeth is a bad idea?

Must be a Monday.

Ever pull up to the drive-through bank teller only to have your window refuse to open because it’s frozen shut?

Must be a Monday.

Ever wish you had just tied your wanker in a knot and stayed in bed?

Good morning loyal readers, join me as I recount the beginnings of my Monday. Not since I?ve lived in Detroit have I experienced weather that can change so dramatically in a matter of hours. All last week the temperature was in the 70?s and by Saturday I had turned on the air conditioning because the weather had become so warm & humid.

This morning the temperature was 25F°. I?m a cold weather person so I really didn?t take notice until I couldn?t open my car window at the bank teller. I couldn?t open my door either (as I was next to the building) so I had to drive around the building to get out of my car and use my driver?s license to unstick my window from the door panel. (TIP #357 for all you fair weather natives). Of course, by the time I pulled back up to the teller there was a line of cars thwarting my attempt to get to work on time.

Successful they were as the line at the bank teller was joined by the confusion that amassed once I left the bank. I say this because surely insanity is the only explanation for waiting three light changes to make my left turn when I was only five cars back from the stoplight. Riding that emotional wave like LSU?s defense car after car kept me from changing lanes or moving anywhere close to the posted speed limit of 55MPH once I was on the tollway. As I sat in traffic I had flashes of Office Space and said “No, I don?t want to be that guy.” unless of course I get the dating Jennifer Aniston perks.

Arriving at the office I stood in the elevator full of people waiting to get off on the 4th floor. I couldn?t help but begin mumbling incoherently as we stopped on the second floor, the third floor and then the 7th floor followed by the 12th floor.

It helps if you actually remember to push the button for your floor, but then it is a Monday…. *chuckle*