Sunday, June 26, 2011

Inglourious Basterds

Initially, I planned to watch a corny '80s movie with bad special effects on Friday night, but I had been wanting to see Inglourious Basterds ever since it came out so I happily changed plans when I saw that it was on TV. Based on all of the commercials and trailers I had seen, I expected Basterds to be three hours of nazi blood and guts spewing willy nilly. Instead, I was pleasantly surprised to find a compelling story with just the right amounts of violence, humor, sadness and fantasy. I really liked how Basterds took a well-known subject (WWII) and made it fresh and new without being tasteless.

Although Aldo Raine (Brad Pitt) and the members of his elite nazi-fighting crew do seem a bit bloodthirsty and lacking in emotional depth, I feel that more complex personalities and personal histories might have taken some of the fun out of the movie. Furthermore, the film more than makes up for the slightly cartoonish performances by the Basterds crew by providing very chilling and emotional moments elsewhere. One such instance is the opening sequence where a French dairy farmer is suspected of harboring Jews in his home. The mood and feelings in this scene are poignant and deeply affecting. Moments such as this help ground the film and explain some of the extreme actions. One thing that helps make this scene and others so great is Christoph Waltz's portrayal of Hans Landa (a.k.a. The Jew Hunter). Landa's combination of determination, cunning and sinister nature make for a terrifying and unforgettable character (he's like an evil nazi Sherlock Holmes).

My only real problem (and it's actually not that much of a problem depending on how you look at it) with Inglourious Basterds was the last ten minutes or so of the movie. Up until this point, the film had been very polished and restrained, but in the last ten minutes I feel like somebody cranked the volume up to the max; the drama, the violence, the blood and the departure from historical facts increased significantly. This wasn't necessarily bad, but it definitely surprised me, and I thought it had a different feel than the rest of the movie.

Overall, I think that Inglourious Basterds was a strange and interesting concept executed brilliantly. If you don't mind a little blood, violence and historical fiction, it's a great film that I definitely recommend watching.

p.s. apparently, Quentin Tarantino wrote the script for this movie a long time ago, but he struggled for many years with how to end it. Maybe that explains why the ending seems different than the rest of the film.

p.p.s. I guess Christoph Waltz won an Oscar for his role as Hans Landa... that shows how much I follow the Academy Awards. Good for him though; I obviously think he deserves it.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Seattle Supersonics

In case you didn't know, the Portland Trailblazers weren't always the only NBA team in the Pacific Northwest. Until a few years ago, Washington was home to the Seattle SuperSonics. Although I didn't follow this team as closely as others, I always admired and respected their history and great players. Players like Gary Payton, Ray Allen and Shawn Kemp (especially Shawn Kemp) brought a distinctive attitude and swagger to the court.

Unfortunately, because of a complicated series of events, the Seattle SuperSonics are now the Oklahoma City Thunder. Although there were numerous factors and interests at play in the situation, the Seattle basketball fans ultimately lost a legacy and a well-loved team.

For anyone who remembers the SuperSonics and what they meant to the NBA, or anyone who wants to learn more about the team and what happened to them, I recommend watching this documentary. It's kind of a downer, but it gives an interesting perspective on the politics of basketball, the spirit of Seattle, and the effect that sports can have on a city.

Monday, June 13, 2011

A Conversation

Me: Mom, Do we have anything to eat for dinner?

Mom: There are ribs in the fridge. You could warm those up, make a nice spinach salad, and have a baked potato on the side.

Me: Do we have any oatmeal? I think I'll just have a bowl of oatmeal.

What I'm Listening To

I never realized that Louis Logic was in this song until now

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Some Thoughts

I don't think anti-itch cream actually stops you from itching. Instead, it just makes you not want to scratch your itch because because you don't want to get nasty cream on your fingers.

This last week in Michigan, I think I've felt hotter (temperature-wise) than I ever have in Arizona. Maybe it's the humidity... or maybe it's the fact that our air conditioning is not working and my room is on the second floor.

I always get more cards and presents for Jesus' birthday than I do for my birthday.

Why is Supernanny on the Style Network? There is nothing stylish about misbehaving children.

Whenever Mike Breen says "fourth team foul", it sounds like he says "fourteenth foul".

As I've gotten older, I don't think I've become more sure of what I want to be when I grow up. Instead, I've only become more sure of what I don't want to be, e.g., unemployed, living in Florida, in jail, obese, single for the rest of my life.

Doodles from Class

I think the dinosaur in the second picture accurately describes how I've felt all week. This heat/humidity is killing me

Saturday, June 4, 2011

My Dream

I think all of these Hangover 2 commercials are having a negative affect on me. I just dreamed that I had a house with three roommates (2 of my roommates from last year and some other guy). For some reason, we had two lions in our backyard (the Hangover had a Tiger, which I personally think is cooler, but the amount of big cats in my dream definitely ups the ante, regardless of the species): one male and one female. The female lion had smaller-than-normal head, which indicated diminished brain capacity and increased aggression. As is often the case, my roommates actually had responsibilities and commitments that necessitated having a life and leaving the house. I, on the other hand, was too lazy to schedule anything and therefore had plenty of free time to stay home and feed the lions.

Initially, the cat-sitting was going okay; although it was a little nerve-wracking, the lions were cool as long as I was slow, deliberate, and confidant. However, as the day wore on, continually bringing meat to the yard became a tedious and annoying task (for some reason, the lions in my dream needed food every thirty-minutes). After my final trip to the yard, full of frustration, I hurried back toward the house. Unfortunately, both lions were in front of the entrance.

Sensing my lack in concentration, the male lion lashed out at me (it wasn't a full-out attack, but it was definitely enough to scare the crap out of me). Somehow, I was able to somewhat regain my composure, evade this attack, and make it into the house... but the lions followed me. Channeling my inner bad-ass, I managed to coax the male lion into the kitchen and then lock the door (in my dream, a flimsy kitchen door can contain a 500 pound angry predator). Next, followed by the female lion, I ran upstairs to consult my roommate (throughout the whole ordeal, I totally forgot that the random guy was still home), who was an animal expert.

When I reached him, I tried to explain my predicament and seek guidance, but he was completely preoccupied by his own issues (somehow an aggressive lion with a small head that was waiting outside his room was not his issue); he had an unregistered handgun in his room and the police were on their way. At this point, out of options, scared for my life, hiding amongst the dirty laundry of a gun-toting maniac... I woke up.

Although it took me a little while to convince myself that preceding events were purely fictional, I eventually regained my confidence that I would indeed live to be 20. However, now at 4:10 on the morning of my birthday, I cannot sleep. Maybe it's some residual fear of lions, or maybe it's just adrenaline and excitement for my birthday. Either way, bored as hell, kind of hungry, and still a little afraid to leave my room.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Another Video

I tried to work with food this time. Also, I sped it up so it flows better.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

A Video

Today, I was bored so I decided to try my hand at making a stop-motion movie. I know it's pretty cheesy, but it's my first time and I already had the Lego heart. Check it out: