Monday, June 30, 2008

2001 Part II

I've always been fascinated by the story of Atlantis, so it didn't take much for a friend to convince me to see Disney's "Atlantis: The Lost Empire" one summer afternoon. I enjoyed the first half, but found the latter half less agreeable. Twas a kid's movie, though, so I hadn't been expecting the world. "America's Sweethearts" starring Julia and Billy Crystal, on the other hand, wasn't good on either end.

There's an amusing story regarding the evening I saw Reese Witherspoon in "Legally Blonde". My friend and I decided to go to "The Fast and the Furious", a car racing movie. Once in the theatre, I had second thoughts about seeing the movie. I felt I might enjoy "Blonde" more. My friend said he wanted to sit in the front row so that he could feel like he was "in the movie". I said this was fine, but that I would be near the back. A few minutes later, I hoofed it over to "Blonde". I was shocked to see that the aud consisted almost entirely of women! Imagine.

The movie wasn't awesome, but one could do worst, it being less than 2 months before 9/11 and all. My movie ended before his, so I headed over to "Furious" after "Blonde" ended. I watched the last couple minutes of "Furious", my friend still being up front. The credits started and my friend headed back towards me. He had loved the movie and was really pumped. He said he was gonna speed all the way home and race cars at every stoplight he hit. He asked me what I thought of the show. I said it was pretty good (I didn't quite have the heart to tell him I was in another screening room while he was enjoying such a kick-ass movie. I told him about it at a later date. He had no idea). I finally saw "Furious" at home on VHS a year or two later. It was pretty good, I have to say.

One of my favorite movies of '01 was "The Others" starring Nicole Kidman.

Such a feeling of dread and disturbance permeated every minute of the movie's runtime. It takes place in Britain near the end of WWII. This is one of my all-time favorite scary movies and like "The Sixth Sense" two years earlier, the twist at the end took my breath away. Just writing about it makes me want to watch it again in the very near future.

Another movie I enjoyed to the nth (though many others didn't) was Cruise and Cruz in "Vanilla Sky". I went to it near the end of the year at Rochester's newest theatre, the Chateau. (the first one in town to have stadium seating). Only half of the screens were open. One could see the other side of the complex where 7 more screening rooms were being built. The seats were awesome, not only very comfortable, but also capable of rocking back and forth. The film dealt with vanity, identity, and reality.

It opened with a sequence taking place in Times Square in which Cruise is the only person there (this was not CG. It was actually filmed in the early morning when no one else was present). The ending was a jawdropper that took place at the top of a skyscraper in New York with the New York skyline (including the now-no-longer-standing World Trade Center) in the background. My positive experience at the Chat that evening made me realize I was going to be spending many more hours there soaking up the newest movies in comfort.

Some other films I went to in '01 were "Dr Dolittle 2" starring Eddie (a little too childish for my tastes), "American Pie 2" (I enjoyed this even more than the original), "A Beautiful Mind" starring Russell Crowe (solid), and Tim Burton's remake of "Planet of the Apes" (OK, the ending made absolutely no sense whatsoever). I can remember how palpable the feeling of excitement was in the theatre as I and many others waited for "Jurassic Park 3" to start. It was great to go back to dino island though the film wasn't as good as the first two. "

Ocean's Eleven" was a nice little heist flick. I had a headache throughout "The Mummy Returns". I'm not sure if the movie caused it with its overabundance of action or if I woulda got the headache anyway, but regardless, I was in pain. I thought "Rush Hour 2" was a tad better than the first. I especially enjoyed seeing Chris Tucker in Vegas wearing a cowboy hat and high-rolling it. "Monsters, Inc." was fairly enjoyable, but I found "Shrek" to be even better.

One evening in November, my friend and I were in the Galleria and noticed that there was going to be a midnight screening of "Harry Potter and the Sorcerers' Stone", the first Harry Potter movie. The screening had already sold out, so we went to it a day or two later. It was high-quality, but I had even higher hopes for a movie that was opening a few weeks later, a movie that would end up being my favorite of 2001.

Celebrating My Life

I had a fantastic time in Chicago earlier this month. Rather than posting 20 entries spread out over several weeks, I've created a blog exclusively devoted to it. Check it out here.

Earplug time

What are the worst sounds in the world?

More than a million people have gone here, listened to various sounds, and voted on the worst.

Here are the top 20:

1. Vomiting
2. Microphone feedback
3. Babies crying
4. Scrape or squeak (eg: train wheels)
5. Seesaw squeaking
6. Violin
7. Fart
8. One baby crying
9. Argument on a soap opera
10. Electricity hum
11. Tasmanian devil
12. Cat spitting and howling
13. Coughing
14. Mobile ringtones
15. Creaky door
16. Dogs barking
17. Sniffing
18. Fingernails scraping down a blackboard
19. Polystyrene squeak
20. Dentist's drill

If you want to experience pain, head to and see how much you can take.

Friday, June 27, 2008


My friends (as John McCain would say), it is now 2001. Instead of going chronologically over the movies I saw that year, I'm going to go in the reverse order of box-office gross. In other words, I'm gonna start with the lower grossing movies, gradually moving up to the Big Boys.

"Town & Country" starring Warren Beatty and Garry Shandling was shite. The cheerleading movie "Sugar & Spice" was alright. "Tomcats" was crude, but quite amusing to me. One of my favorite scenes is when some old guy loses one of his testicles and it's rolling all over the cafeteria. "Freddy Got Fingered" starring Tom Green was one of the crudest movies ever, but I got a few laughs out of it. "O" was a pretty good update of a Shakespeare tale. "Joy Ride" was a very suspenseful thriller. DeNiro's "15 Minutes" was a bit overcooked.

"Memento" was awesome. Not easy to follow, but very rewarding if you can. Jim Carrey in "The Majestic" was another of my favorites though tis a bit long and drawn out. "Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back" was another crude one, but it was good to see Mark Hamill in a cameo. "Amelie" (a French film) was another of my faves. I was the only one in the entire theatre and quite enjoyed the screening. Very sweet movie. "See Spot Run", a kiddie film, was total crap (me calling it crap actually gives it too much credit). "In The Bedroom" was a fantastic drama about the aftermath of an untimely death. Very raw and moving.

Me and a friend were quite freaked out by the first half of "Jeepers Creepers". You see, it was our first exposure to Justin Long. "Evolution" sucked, though I still believe in it in theory. Ben Stiller was fair in "Zoolander" (one of the first movies I went to after 9/11). "K-Pax" was a nice little alien tale starring Kevin Spacey and Jeff Bridges. "The Royal Tenenbaums" was a bit smug to my eyes. Michael Douglas in "Don't Say a Word" was meh. "Moulin Rouge" was an eye orgasm (especially its first 15 minutes). Rob Schneider's "The Animal" was blah (though it was cool to see Survivor's Colleen as the love interest). Travolta in "Swordfish" was a guilty pleasure. "Shallow Hal" was decent. "Scary Movie 2" wasn't as good as the first, but did have a few laughs. "Bridget Jones's Diary" was a flick chick, but pleasant enough. Spielberg's "A.I." was haunting, especially the scenes of New York City underwater.