Archive for August, 2005
My lovely wife has vented her hippie liberal spleen at the lack of adequate pre-hurricane preparations and our government’s tragically misaligned priorities. Man, she’s all eloquent and stuff when she’s impassioned.
Debris from the destruction wrought by Hurricane Ivan still sits gathered in piles both big and large throughout Pensacola–almost a year after the fact. This particular pile of wreckage sits in front of the entrance to the condos where my dad and stepmom used to live. At the time my folks lived there, it was a pretty nice place–those condos almost could have been considered “luxury,” I think, especially since they were located on the waterfront down by the the navy base.
But now, just like so much in Pensacola, they’re trashed, reminders of a city that doesn’t exist anymore. There’s still a “Pensacola” at the same latitude and longitude, but it’s not the same city. This one’s dirtier, and shaggier, beaten around and scuffed up, but it’s also somewhat harder and has a steelier look in its eye. This new Pensacola will fight its way back to health, I think, and perhaps if this new Pensacola isn’t quite as gentle or as familiar as the old one, hopefully it will be a little tougher and a whole lot smarter.
(Also, this picture reminds me of exactly what the residents of New Orleans, Gulfport, Biloxi and Mobile face in the weeks, months and years ahead. I wish the best for all of you.)
This image appeared on the front page of CNN.com as part of their coverage of Hurricane Katrina’s thrashing of the city. I sincerely hope that whoever took this picture then immediately helped these men find some more appropriate shelter, because if they stay in this doorway–or, more likely, in the French Quarter at all–they’re going to die. That area’s going to be completely underwater within a few hours.
I have too many thoughts about this to get them down coherently right now while I’m at work, but I will say that the residents of New Orleans have my utmost sympathy, especially after seeing the devestation Pensacola suffered–and Pensacola’s geographically in a much better position to withstand hurricanes than is New Orleans. I’m hoping for the best but I’m fearing for the worst.
Just a quick note: Huzzah! Moviegeekz has been updated! With new content, even! No, not a new review or anything, but at least it’s new content! Go, read, wrap yourself in the warmth of my incisive discussion of upcoming movies!
OK, I’m getting annoyed with the fact that I haven’t seen any movies lately–not only have I missed watching good flicks, but it’s made my beloved site here pretty damn stagnant. Part of the problem has been the fact that my Netflix queue has still been slam-packed with full seasons of TV shows (man, is “Deadwood” friggin’ good), and part of it has been that there’s been precious few movies I’ve wanted to see out on DVD lately. So in an effort to make it up to you guys (and to get some more regular content up here), I’m going to start giving my impressions of upcoming releases based on their trailers. So…welcome to the Trailer Park! (Coming every Friday to a browser near you!)
- Aeon Flux. Unfortunately, it’s pretty obvious that Charlize Theron has decided to follow that ignoble path emblazoned by Halle Berry, the path of Oscar-Winning Actreses Who Will Make Oscar Voters Immediately Regret Having Honored Them By Appearing Scanitly-Clad In An Astonishingly Shitty Superhero-esque Action Flick That Requires No Acting Ability Whatsoever. I’m expecting any day to hear Hilary Swank has signed on for a big-screen version of “Cleopatra 2525.” This trailer makes the movie look mind-blowingly wretched: painful dialogue (what little we get of it); terrible acting (even Frances McDormand, one of my favorite actresses, looked bad, though she also looked like she couldn’t believe she was in such tripe); amatuerish costume and set design (very bad for a high-concept science fiction flick such as this one); poorly-choreographed action. Clearly the only reason the studio expects anyone to see this movie is for Theron in black spandex, and as enticing a proposition as that might be, it’s nowhere near enough to make me want to sit through this movie. I’m sure they’re also counting on all the fans of the old MTV cartoon–that’s right the cartoon that aired ten years ago–to flock to the theater. All ten of them. Haven’t the studios learned anything from this year’s box-office slump? Audiences expect more these days–we want some substance in our movies. These empty-calorie brainless action fests just aren’t doing it for us anymore. Anticipation Factor: 5% (only because of the Charlize-in-spandex factor).
- Walk the Line. In better trailer news, the first preview for
Walk the Linelooks surprisingly good. Looks like Joaquin Phoenix makes a pretty swank Johnny Cash–he damn sure sounds just like him. And I adore Reese Witherspoon unconditionally…hell, I sat through the nearly-atrocious Sweet Home Alabama for her. Someone I work with said that before they saw the trailer, they just couldn’t imagine Phoenix as Cash. But I honestly can’t think of anyone better to play The (Late) Man In Black–Phoenix has the right dark, brooding look and he’s certainly got the acting chops. Without having seen the movie, I feel fairly confident in predicting an Oscar nod for Phoenix for this role, especially given the show of love Cash himself has gotten over the last few years. Anticipation Factor: 75%
- Jarhead. If this one weren’t directed by Sam Mendes, I doubt I’d be all that excited about it, but since Mendes was at the helm, that automatically puts it near must-see status. I thought both American Beauty and Road to Perdition were brilliant films, and Mendes has certainly earned enough of my trust that even though the subject matter of
Jarhead–the story of young Marine’s experiences during Operation: Desert Storm–doesn’t immediately grab me, I’m still eager to see it. Jake Gyllenhaal has enough wide-eyed naivete to make him a good choice for the protagonist of a movie about a young soldier’s introduction to warfare, and Jarheadfeatures some other strong actors in key roles: Peter Sarsgaard ( Garden State) and Oscar winners Chris Cooper and Jamie Foxx. The trailer features the sorts of striking, painterly images I’ve come to expect from Mendes–if anyone could produce a beautiful movie about warfare, I’d expect Mendes to pull it off. Anticipation Factor: 85%