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random notes…on movies and more..

January 20, 2011

Feeling better than yesterday.. obsession issues which I wrote about last night not near so bad.

I went out and did stuff today, I figured that would help.

Went to post office to drop off netflix vids. “The A-Team” was a VERY pleasant surprise! One of the most fun action movies I’ve seen in a very long time! I didn’t see it in the theater because the previews didn’t look exactly great, and because I watched the TV show a LOT back in the ’80’s, so figured it would be strange to see the four beloved characters from my childhood played by other guys. Liam Neeson as Hannibal?

Yeah, actually worked. Bradley Cooper (I think he was the rude guy in “”The Hangover,” right? I loved that movie) played Face, I don’t remember the name of the guy who played B.A., but he did well, and the guy who played Murdock was hysterical. His name was Sharloto? Copley.. something like that. He was BETTER than the Murdock from the TV show.

Loads of action, and a surprising amount of humor, too. I don’t buy many DVD’s, but I’ll likely by this one.

The other film I got from Netflix was a Japanese classic called “Tokyo Story.” It was not directed by Kurosawa, in case you are wondering. It was… very very slow and dull, and I didn’t watch much of it.

I really love some foreign films, especially a much more recent Japanese release, called “Departures.” Excellent film! That one I saw at an art house theater, and later bought on DVD – seen it several times.

I have many other Japanese films in my queue – most Kurosawa pictures.. going to eventually watch all of them, even though I was bored with “The Seven Samurai.” I liked “Rashomon” much much more. That one is worth buying, but I haven’t yet. It’s a samurai murder mystery. A classic.

Got 5 DVD’s from the library. The library out here, the one closest to where I currently live, is not very big, but a quite nice building, and has an amazing selection of DVD’s and some VHS as well.

For myself – a critically acclaimed French mobster/prison flick called “A Prophet” – will watch that after I’m done with this entry. Been planning on watching it for months.. but have been putting it off, as I tend not to like prison pictures. I didn’t even like “Shawshank Redemption.” “Green Mile” was pretty good overall though.

“American History X” was partially set in prison. That was quite a good film. I have not seen “American Me,” which is considered a classic.. don’t know if I’ll ever get around to it, but Edward James Olmos was in it.. so that is a good reason for seeing it.

I just saw “The Green Hornet” in a theater a few nights ago. Rather liked that one, even though Seth Rogan almost always plays the exact same part. But over all that one was very good, and Edward James Olmos was in that film as well.

Right then.. also from the library.. one of the “History of Rock and Roll” DVD’s. There were two series on the history of rock and roll, which were made in the ’90’s. The other series is just called “Rock and Roll.” They have a lot of the same footage, and both are great.

The edition I got has two episodes : “Guitar Heroes” – featuring Hendrix, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Pete Townsend, Jimmy Page, Eric Clapton, Eddie Van Halen, and others. The second episode on this disk is about the music scene in the 70’s. I don’t think it covers punk much.. more the glam scene, with David Bowie. There is another episode, on another disk, which chronicles the history of Punk. I rarely listen to punk, but I like some of the classic bands – Sex Pistols, Ramones, MC5, etc.

And lastly for myself.. and for my dad if he wants to watch it.. “Cadillac Records,” – a based on a true story film about the history of the Chess record label, which featured Muddy Waters (played well in the film by Jeffery Wright), and Etta James (played by Beyonce – strangely I like her alright as an actress, but not as a pop star). Cedric the Entertainer is the narrator of the story, and Adrian Brody plays Leonard Chess. Mr. Chess and Mr. Morganfield (Muddy Waters) are at the core of the record label and form a unique partnership, considering black people and white people didn’t have close friendships near as much back then.

I watched part of “Cadillac Records” this afternoon… so far it is a good film.

For my mom, I checked out “The Aviator,” – Martin Scorsese directing Leonardo Dicaprio for the second time, if I remember correctly. The first time Leo was in a Scorsese picture, it was in that utter disaster of a flick called “Gangs of New York.” Horrible movie. Dicaprio later on went to star in the Scorsese pictures “The Departed,” a classic, of course, and an intense psychological thriller which I liked, called “Shutter Island.”

And lastly for my mom.. but also for myself perhaps.. a documentary called “The September Issue,” about how the most important edition of Vogue magazine is put together. I am not at all interested in fashion, but am interested to see how a big magazine project takes shape, so maybe I will watch it, but maybe not.

From the library, I also got 4 volumes of a rather brutal and gritty graphic novel series called “DMZ.” I read the first 2 a couple years ago. The script is sometimes quite bad.. mostly just profanity.. writer wanting to make it edgy, but the plot and art both rather good. The story is about an America of the near future in which another civil war has taken place – I forget why.. and Manhattan Island is the De-militarized Zone (DMZ). It’s a mostly lawless land (If you have seen the cult classic film featuring Kurt Russell.. from the early 1980’s, called “Escape from New York,” you’ll have some idea of the environment in Manhattan Island.

A junior reporter gets stranded on the island when his helicopter is destroyed by rebel fighters. He survives because he has a jacket saying “Press” on the back. Journalists are far considered rather useful by many factions, and he manages not only to avoid being killed, but to meet with and interview all kinds of interesting but rather violent people, including the leader of the resistance movement.

As I said.. rather brutal comics, and I am not sure I am willing to take in all that darkness and negativity by reading all 4 volumes, especially considering I will be watching that violent French film.. or at least part of it, if I don’t like it.

I love the Discworld books I’ve been reading, but sometimes want something more intense, and haven’t read any graphic novels in quite awhile, plus, it is so hard to find really good ones, so I will at least re-read the first two volumes of “DMZ.”

I went to the library after the gym.

It’s an odd thing being out here in Idaho.. I’m used to California.. at least a certain aspect of California.. seeing very attractive women wherever I went.. and I didn’t live anywhere near LA. I have seen very few attractive women out here in Idaho thus far. There were a few not bad looking ladies at the health club.. but it’s odd.

Kind of a good thing though.. I don’t want to walk around all day being aroused.. that actually can cause a lot of anxiety..

After the library, I came home, didn’t do a whole lot for awhile.. watched part of 2 DVD’s, then checked the map to figure out how to get to a support group which meets every Thursday.

The drive on the freeway wasn’t bad at all, even though it was close to 6 pm. I was heading East, toward downtown Boise (I live in a neighboring town). Most of the traffic on the freeway heads west during rush hour.

I passed the building where the support group was being held, but doubled back and found it.

Small group, but support groups usually are.

Great to be in an environment where I can talk freely about my issues, and have things in common with other people, even if it is less than pleasant stuff… mental illness, difficulties with doctors and meds, etc. Important to have a group like this. And there are a few others in the area, which I will endeavor to check out.

After the group, I wanted a treat, so I went to Krispy Kreme, even though I generally HATE their donuts. I have passed by it many times during the evenings, and it always looked like such a cheerful, well lit place, so I went in tonight.

The apple filled doughnut was rather good, but the other one I could not even finish. What was really surprising was the latte. Wow! Tons better than Starbucks. I avoid Starbucks. The beverage was even better than the lattes I have tried at two of the local independent coffee houses out here.

Then, headed home.

Still hung up on music a little, but not much. So much healthier to get out and do stuff!

Tomorrow.. hmm… probably go to the gym again, then perhaps later apply for independent housing, sign up with a general practitioner doctor, maybe hunt down some mental health services.. see what is available.

Didn’t bother playing music at all today or tonight, although have been toying with the idea of pulling out the bass yet again.

It is just TOO DAMN HEAVY. Bass guitars are almost always quite a bit heavier than electric guitars. I know that. But this one is by far the heaviest one I have ever played, and I have tried out many many models in the stores. This bass pretty much cuts off the circulation in my left shoulder! Ouch! I bought a padded strap, but because I am tall, the pad is not on my shoulder where it is supposed to be, (the pad on the strap should have been longer) so it doesn’t do me any good. I don’t know what is the future of this bass..

I’m still trying to sell the bass. It is on ebay, craigslist, and a site that is in some ways similar to craigslist, called z-idaho. Craigslist has a multitude more listings for instruments, though, even though the listings on z-idaho look better.

No action from any of these sites.. no bids on ebay, no calls or letters from people interested in that bass.

Tried to sell the bass amp. A teenager kept emailing me and trying to set up a time, but it never worked out.

So am keeping the bass for now. And awaiting the effects unit I ordered.. placed the order shortly after selling two other effects units on ebay.. one for bass (a rather complicated device and not all that durable) and one for guitar.

Both those units arrived at the homes of their respective buyers, and both dudes are satisfied with their purchases.. and that is a relief. I hope they stay satisfied. I don’t want to have to deal with returns, and I need the money.

Ok. so waiting for the bass effects unit, which I ordered on the same day or the day prior to the day I relisted the bass for sale on ebay… whatever..

Would be weird if I decide yet again to play the bass regularly, because I can’t sell it for what I want for it, and the bass instructional CD-ROM I also have on ebay.. sells..

I have thought of bringing the bass down to Guitar Center to try and trade in.. but what would I get in return? I’ve had lots of joy owning and trying to play electric guitars in the past, but have had even more mental distress much more.. trying to play that kind of instrument, so why trade in for another?

So.. will watch part of that crazy French film in a little bit.. maybe not much of it at all.

European film makers seem to have no compunctions whatsoever about showing violent, horrible rape scenes… long rape scenes in their films. I could not even watch all of “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo.” It was too brutal. I can handle some brutal drama/ction flicks, like “No Country for Old Men” and “Pulp Fiction,” but neither of those films shows women being raped, brutalized, etc.

Yes, I of course know such scenes are fake, but still can’t watch a female character be raped, tortured, etc. Bad enough to see a woman graphically shot, such as in the gonzo action flick called “From Paris With Love.” That one was otherwise alright.. Travolta as a bald psychotic nut case working for the CIA.. or something like that.

There’s a scene in that film where he is sitting next to a woman – quite close to her, and shoots her in the head. I could have done without that scene!

The sadistic stuff in this french film will hopefully just be against men.

I probably shouldn’t even watch it. But once in awhile I feel compelled to watch a brutal, intense film. Last month I watched “The Expendables,” which was MUCH more gory than I had anticipated. I had anticipated that it would not be all that great, so had low expectations. It was ok – a few good moments. Stallone looked quite strange in that film.. almost like a gay dude who is into S&M. Just had that weird vibe about him. Distracting.. too much botox and shaped eyebrows. The rest of the guys were cool for the most part. They made Jet Li’s character too weak, and a bit effeminate looking, and I’m a Jet Li fan.. so that wasn’t cool.

“The Expendables” wasn’t a total loss. What was more entertaining was a separate film which was called “Inferno: the Making of the Expendables.”

So that was my violent movie for last month..

Been watching more violent films lately though. I tend to watch them when I am especially bad mental shape. This past week and a half, I watched “The Town,” (not bad), re-watched “The Dark Knight”- third time I’ve seen it, and “3:10 to Yuma” (the remake). One of the best Western films I’ve ever seen..but then, that isn’t exactly saying much, since I’ve almost never watched Westerns. Christian Bale was just ok.. like he usually is in most films. Russell Crowe was great, and this little blonde dude (the character is named Charlie Prince, the actor is Ben Foster) just stole the show. I’m surprised Ben Foster is not a much bigger star. This was the second time I watched that film.

And now..coming up.. “A Prohpet.” Maybe I will like it maybe I won’t.

But it will likely be the last violent film I watch for at least a little while.

Coming next from Netflix in a few days – two comedies.

I saw one of them already.. years ago. A Jane Austen story which I rather liked. It’s called “Emma.” (I think it’s a Jane Austen story.. I on rare occasions like Austen movies.. I enjoyed both the TV mini-series version of “Pride and Prejudice,” as well as the film, which featured the really hot and talented Kiera Knightley, who, as far as I can tell, hasn’t been in as many films lately.. I don’t know why).

“Emma,” (this version of it) stars Gwyneth Paltrow. I’m not much attracted to Paltrow, but she’s still one of my favorite actresses. All my favorite actresses are generally not very glamorous… Paltrow, Rachel Weiss, Cate Blanchett, Kate Winslet.. (pardon the mispellings.. I’m getting tired and still need to eat some too.) These ladies aren’t glamorous like Angelina Jolie or Julia Roberts, but such wonderful actresses.

The other comedy is the second disk of a truly brilliant sitcom (at least the episodes on the first disk were) called “Community,” which has a remarkable cast, and is extremely funny, and worth watching.. I hope the second disk of episodes is just as good!

Ok.. that’s about it for now.. thought I’d write about movies for a change. I plan on writing more about “Cadillac Records” and “A Prophet.” Maybe tomorrow..

What did I say I was going to do tmw.? Go to gym, probably also try to get some services.. mental health, medical, low income housing.. maybe I will apply for these tomorrow. Or not..

Also have to check out a vehicle for my mom. A Hyundai SUV I found on craigslist. Going to call, try to get the VIN number. (VIN stands for Vehicle Identification Number.. so I’m actually being redundant.. saying Vehicle Identification Number number. But that’s how it is said.) If I get the VIN, I can go over to the incredibly useful Carfax website, pay a hopefully small fee for unlimited use, and get the history of this vehicle.. then maybe check it out a bit later. Get mom her vehicle, then I can use her Toyota whenever I want.

And maybe look for houses online.. we are really wanting to move into Boise, instead of being a half hour drive or longer from most places in Boise. We live in a nice house here, but it is aways from a lot of places we’d like to go to, or already go to.

My brother might be moving up here in the summer! His wife, although not yet done with nursing school, is a phenomenal student, and has applied for lots of jobs in the Boise area.. the future might be much more interesting and much more pleasant for us all.. Who knows?

Anyway.. glad for a lots better day.. only a little mental trouble comparatively.. and got some things done and even enjoyed myself somewhat.

Ok, time to change clothes.. the jacket I am wearing is from a thrift store (as are the cool jeans and shirt I have on). The jacket still has a bit of that funky, unpleasant thrift store odor to it.. mildew smell of old clothes, stale cigarette smoke. I’ve been hanging it in the garage to let it air out. Time to put it back there, put my pajamas on.. get on with the night… go to bed around 2 am or so..


Thanks for reading.


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