Poagao's Journal

Absolutely Not Your Monkey

Aug 12 2007

Movies, MBR recording y El Mono Severo

(Due to some complaints about the readability of this site, I’ve made the text slightly darker. Let me know if it’s too dark or if you any better ideas.)

I went to see Ratatouille on Friday after work, having forgotten that Prince Roy was going to see The Simpsons Movie until the last minute. It was the best movie I’ve seen in a while, and refreshing after so many sequels (the evil food critic was particularly good, voiced by Peter O’Toole). They also managed the dicey job of telling the story from two different points of view. As for the sequels: Spider-man 3 made me embarrassed for Sam Raimi (we just watched Peter Parker deal successfully with Great Power, and now suddenly he can’t? Huh?), Shrek the Third, while funny, was not up to the standards of the first two movies, and Harry Potter 5 seemed thin on plot and character in comparison with its predecessors, and the Chinese translation of the title mistranslated “order” as the kind you give instead of a group. Die Hard 4.0, while pretty good especially considering how long it’s been since Bruce Willis began the series, sometimes felt like a long Nokia advertisement. I was also disappointed that they didn’t get a single Mac/PC joke in Justin Long’s dialog.

Last week I also saw I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry, the Chinese title of which is quite clever in that it copies a children’s song “When We’re Together” but includes the Chinese word for “fake” which, read in Minnan, is pronounced “gay”. Chinese title-related cleverness aside, it’s pretty much a typical Adam Sandler movie, with the usual stereotypes thrown in. The movie lost me when Ving Rhames adopts a lisp.

As an aside, is it just me, or is IMDB letting anyone post anything (in English at least) to their database now? It used to be that an IMDB listing denoted a certain level of professional filmmaking, but more and more I’m seeing cheap porn and student projects listed as well. It may be only a matter of time before they start listing Youtube videos. This is all sour grapes, of course, because they refuse to list Clay Soldiers because the documents proving it was aired multiple times nationwide are in Chinese. Heaven forfend a film is made in another country and includes, god help us, another language. Not entirely cricket, you know.

MBR shotThe weather’s been cool and rainy-ish ever since the duel tropical storms departed our fair island last week. We hammered out the last of the recordings for the long-awaited Muddy Basin Ramblers album over the weekend, practicing at the Sandcastle on Saturday and then getting the last three songs in the can at my place this afternoon and tonight. I managed to turn in a passable performance, all things considered. The final mixing will tell, of course. Sandman managed to refrain from trashing my place too badly, and we took some commemorative pictures afterwards. I’m going to miss these sessions; it’s always fun having a few good friends over to hang out and make some music. The session was followed by much rejoicing and a slightly drunken waltz, accompanied by singing, down to Rendezvous Pizza for a last meal before they tear the place down in the name of Progress. The owner appeared a bit sad about the whole affair, and told us she hoped that they would eventually be allowed back at that location instead of being condemned to the crowded street behind them. We hope so, too.

El MonoThe rest of the weekend has been spent tidying up before practices, tidying up afterwards, film editing, tai-chi practice and taking pictures of El Mono Severo, who made a visit yesterday but had trouble moving my old, mildewed, concave mattress downstairs due to logistical issues involving elevatorial dimensions as well as a general lack of motivation. I’d given the “memory foam” mattress a fair shake, but after over a month I still wasn’t quite comfortable, so I sold it to a friend and bought a standard Ikea mattress to sleep on instead. Slim vowed to post El Mono Severo posters in odd locations all over the Taipei basin, but we’ll see if remembers his pledge in the morning, when tonight’s events are not quite as tangible. David thinks I should do an action comic series about El Mono Severo, with the Mattress Conundrum as Episode One. I have to say I am tempted. And that mattress isn’t going to move itself.

posted by Poagao at 11:22 am  

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