...being the observations and navigational extracts
from the ongoing expeditions of San Francisco Piano Pop trio
True Margrit

Friday, March 30, 2007

Superiority Cineplex

Some movie capsule reviews:

We got to see "The Host" (yay & for free at the spiffy Pixar theatre) which was a vast improvement after the flat dumbness of "300". "The Host" is a Korean sci-fi/ horror flick with an environmental message & it's funny, astonishingly scary, hip, unique,...and! the creature was created by the Orphanage, an outfit here in SF!! Yay!

"Pan's Labyrinth" gives audiences more reasons we don't have to bear a badge of CGI shame. Intense, super sad, with a ridiculously noisome villain.

"The Last Mimzy" a fetching children's sci-fi yarn based on Lewis Padgett's 1943 short story. I LOVE the story which I read years ago. The adaptation is clever as hell, although a LOT less dark than the original tale. In the way "Dreamgirls" introduced the world to the wonders of Jennifer Hudson, "Mimzy" serves the purpose of being a vehicle for an excellent new star actor: Rhiannon Leigh Wryn. Worth seeing--sci-fi that doesn't suck! ahhh.

Speaking of which--the last episode of Battlestar Galactica--whoa!!!!!!!!!! The "Final Five" cylons were revealed... or were they? We will have to wait until next season to know for sure...& The same night the L-Word season finale aired. They should have made some L Word characters turn out to be in the Battlestar Galactica "final five", or for that matter Granny & Ellie May, or Hawkeye & Homer Simpson, or Nate Fisher & Tony Soprano. Or some other more deeply wrong non-television mashup--such as Obi Wab Kenobi and King Lear singing a reggae duet. Or a rock opera about Russell Crowe getting avian flu starring Sheryl Crow, Black Crows. and Counting Crows.

hmmm. more soon.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Of Abs & Ancient Greece

Well now, we saw "300" at a special screening at Pixar ( since Sarah's working there, her dear ones get to enjoy such cool perks!). In the case of this particular film the term "enjoy" is being used liberally. It's one silly movie. I will concede that the filmmakers could get some special technological advancement award for the Ab Cam...all the Spartan warriors are most scantily clad and proudly display hyper-developed, smooth, and (clearly) courageous abs!!!

Honey, are you going to battle in THAT old leather thong? Well, this is the Castro, uh, I mean Sparta!

And don't forget about the inevitable Nipple Cam award, either (if you see "300" you'll know of what I speak). But don't let this talk of abs and nipples imply that I am recommending it, it is an astonisingly uninvolving and absurd protrayal of the events around the Battle of Thermoplyae--except for the fact it features the fab Lena Heady who plays Queen Gorgo (Gorgo--short for "Gorgeous", apparently). Sarah says she's the new Glenda Jackson. I dunno... that could very well be. But at any rate, every line Lena utters has this eerie quality in the context of the rest of "300" ... what was it? Oh, yeah...nuance! Something the rest of the less than subtle video game-- I mean film, lacks. Well, to be fair, Faramir (by that I mean David Wenham) is also good. And the dude from the Wire is properly villainous.

The film left me hungering for some actual ancient Greek history--and thus it made me wanna re-read "The Persian Expedition" by Xenophon (history is cool) which I found at a library book sale once. It's an account of a massive group of Greek mercenaries, the "Ten Thousand", who join in on a royal family fued--possibly unwittingly--between Cyrus the Younger (who wants the Persian throne even though he's the younger son of Darius) and his brother Artaxerxes II (who is eldest son and King). They march all the way to Syria to challenge Artaxerxes. At the battle of Cunaxa, Cyrus's forces are disastrously outnumbered (especially in the scythed chariot department--a useful vehicle for rush hour gridlock) and then he is slain in battle. Most of the book is about the march to Syria and about getting back home from Syria--finding/ "borrowing"/buying provisions from the villages they pass, sacrificing livestock to divine the fortuitousness of a given day for battle--those sort of daily details that really bring the past alive. Xenophon has a surprisingly modern sounding voice, which is pretty wild since he lived 2500ish years ago. Although, I am not clear how developed his abs were...alas.

Monday, March 05, 2007

An Undiscovered Country of Products

Lately I have been reading a lot of Shakespeare (and watching it too--the Ethan Hawke Hamlet was super intense!) and looking at microphones on eBay (and even bidding on--and winning!--some, I admit). Oh bless (or damn!) my Achilles heel of acquisitiveness. I used to be a simple monk of music-- never buying, never shopping. Now what am I...?

To eBay or not to eBay
That is the question...
Whether 'tis nobler finding deals on the internet
Or to suffer the markups and salespitches of outrageous music gear retail clerks
or dispense with the three year warranty and by opposing thus end their 15% comission?
To buy, to own; own more.
And by own we welcome the home theatre and other gadgets the consumer is heir to.
'Tis a consummation compulsively to be capitalized upon.
To own, perchance to be manipulated--ay, there's the demographic;
That in the manipulations of marketing what dreams may come
When we have shuffled through audio gear catalogs
or give pause to compare the calamity of mp3's to real audio
There's the respect--as recording engineers grunt and sweat under a weary session
But that dread of something other than iTunes
The undiscovered country of products
NO shopper returns, it puzzles the will and
Makes us rather bear the ear fatigue of headphones
Than try others we know not of?
Thus iPods makes silhouettes of us all.