April 1, 2004

Fun With A Purpose

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind is yet another superb outing from Charlie Kauffman, penman to such personal favorites as Being John Malkovich and Adaptation. Favorably, Eternal Sunshine comes in just as twisted as his predecessors, blending great character and dialogue control while injecting a realistic human element absent from most fare these days. Pair this with Michael Gondry’s fantastic direction and you have what’s probably the best movie of the year thus far. Great performance from Jim Carrey and Kate Winslet don’t hurt the mix either… and neither does Kirsten Dunst dancing in her underwear.

It seems my optimism can pay off sometimes… the Dawn of the Dead remake is actually pretty good, though pretty formulaic as horror goes. That fact is forgivable because they didn’t stoop to bad horror clichés, like spooky little girl ghosts moving in MTV-vision frame jumps or cheap sound-gag scares. The quiet scene of a character creeping around cautiously only to be scared shitless by a dimwit friend jumping out from around a corner yelling something stupid like “Hey! They’re giving out free cheese!” while the music contains some loud zinger is getting really old and overdone. Absent are Romero’s commentaries on consumerism built into the 1978 original, making it only coincidental and referential that the film happens to take place in the mall. Despite my few nitpicks (due mostly to my love of the original) Dawn of the Dead delivers on pretty well all-round, especially on the gore.

If you are starting out with HTML, XHTML, or CSS, do yourself a favor and go grab the self-paced courses at Westciv. Hell, even if you aren’t new to this stuff, you will have trouble finding anything easier to follow. They are written as clearly and concisely as can be, and just as the name implies, you move along at your own pace through the courses (accompanied by handy quizzes at the end of each to test what you’ve learned). I really wish I had gotten my hands on them before I put this site together, they may have saved me a lot of sleep. Westciv also makes a nice, affordable and lightweight CSS editor called Style Master.

The new Iron and Wine album, Our Endless Numbered Days, has been in my player pretty much since I got it, and rightfully so, because it’s damn good. Also, the Descendents first album in 7 years, Cool To Be You, has a handful of good tracks that any fan would probably appreciate.

McSweeney’s issue 13, The Comics Issue, promises to be pretty good, with Chris Ware in the editor’s seat, and contributions from such greats as R. Crumb, Art Spiegelman, Daniel Clowes, Chip Kid, and many more. Get a subscription today!

Commentary (4):

1. PeterSantaMaria says… apr 1, 2004 | 11:50 am

Yeah, but the new “Dawn…” doesn;t have music by GOBLIN!

Iron and Wine? Do bands even take like 2 friggin’ seconds anymore to at least TRY and come up with a decent band name?!?!

Also, I just didn’t “get” Adaptation. I really did’nt think it was as good a movie as everyone led me to believe.


2. Jason Santa Maria says… apr 1, 2004 | 11:52 am

You are right about Goblin, but wrong about Iron and Wine, and Adaptation (the best movie of 2002). Eat it.

3. PeterSantaMaria says… apr 1, 2004 | 1:37 pm

Oh, YOU’LL be the one who is “eating it” when you see my new band play. We are called Aluminum and Madog 20/20. We make all the young girlies cream their emo jeans.

And hey, what is up with the hard returns and br’s not working on yer site?

4. RJ Hampden says… apr 1, 2004 | 5:18 pm

Adaptation is a movie that you need to watch twice to appreciate. And what is up with the hr and br on your site?