Thursday, June 18, 2009

Bowie's in Space

(Courtesy of Sony Pictures Classics)

Jon and I were lucky enough to see a screening of Moon on Monday. I'm going to talk about it, but don't fret, I won't spoil anything for you. In fact, if you're going to go see this film, I would suggest not letting anyone spoil it. Don't read the reviews (except mine, obviously!). Don't even watch the trailer. Throw down your $8 and check it out if:

1) You trust my taste
2) You don't need sex scenes, explosions, or high-speed car chases to enjoy a movie
3) You like films that make you think (and give you a bit of a mindf*ck)
4) You're not opposed to something that could reasonably be classified as sci-fi
5) You enjoy watching really fantastic acting

Moon stars the versatile Sam Rockwell as Sam Bell and the voice of Kevin Spacey as Gerty, the robot who wears his emoticons on his sleeve. It takes place on the moon (surprise!) and it is fascinating in its simplicity. It starts out slowly and quietly, with the pace of the film and music perfectly conveying the monotony of everyday life away from Earth and completely alone. Part of the reason I enjoyed Moon so much was the acting of Rockwell. You feel for him when you see how the life of solitude is affecting him and you root for him to get back home and back to his wife and daughter.

Then things start happening. This is the stuff I won't give away, but I assure you, you will think you see what's coming, and you will only be half right. There is no Armageddon-style heightened drama, but it is dramatic.

Moon is the brainchild of Duncan Jones, sometimes known as Zowie or Joey Bowie. Yes, he is David Bowie's son and yes, from what I can tell, he inherited a few of his dad's odd sensibilities about life, space, and the universe. This is his first film and I can't wait to see his next.

There is the weird sci-fi mix of artificial intelligence, science gone wild, questions of right and wrong, uncertainty about what is real and what is imagined, the unknowns of space, and the mysteries of the human mind.

It wasn't like Donnie Darko, where I left the theater questioning what I saw and wondering how it all fit together, but the next day I was definitely still thinking about it. I kept remembering little tidbits here and there that I might not have fully appreciated at the time. I had a few "Ah-ha!" moments and came to a few realizations about what I think he meant by some of the choices he made with the storyline. I may have overthought some of it (as is my style), but with movies I enjoy trying to wrap my mind around the "bigger picture."

So have I convinced you yet?

Tomorrow: Public Enemies screening after work. Very excited about this one as well!

Major thanks to Gapers Block for the screenings, as usual. If you're in Chicago and don't read the site or follow them on Twitter, you're missing out!

Monday, June 01, 2009

Y Control

Currently watching the hot mess that is I'm a Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here and loving it already. I thought I remembered watching the original season, which was years and years ago, and after reading this on Wikipedia, I'm certain of it. This is where my dislike of Melissa Rivers began, in fact:

The first season of the American version was originally aired by ABC in 2003. John Lehr was the host, and the ten contestants were Cris JuddMelissa Rivers"Stuttering" John MelendezBruce JennerTyson BeckfordMaria Conchita AlonsoDowntown Julie BrownNikki Schieler ZieringAlana Stewart, and Robin Leach. Judd won the series, with Rivers in second place, and Melendez placing third.
But I won't talk too much about the show, because you're either watching it too or you don't care. As far as what I've been up to lately, I'll work backwards, because that's about the only way I can think right now. I just literally spent the entire weekend in bed and on the couch. I had a minor cold, but a major backache. I don't know what I did to it, but it hurt to all. Friday was the final straw for the back. It felt progressively worse as the day wore on, but I still had the Doves concert that night. Maybe the worst thing I could've done (standing around for 6 hours and trying to dance/sway with the music), I did. And then I paid for it all day Saturday and all day Sunday. Thank god for heating pads and ibuprofen. I'm feeling a bit better now, though, so it was worth it to take it easy (ie. waste my entire weekend).

So back to the Doves concert...I enjoyed it, was really hard to forget about how much pain I was in. I feel like I would've liked it more had I been feeling better, but you can't always have everything the way you want it all the time. At least I got to go, right? They're a band that I never thought I would see live, so it was a nice surprise. They played a pretty tight set. Not too long, not too short. They gave us a little bit of banter, and they seemed in good spirits. Doves don't exactly play the sort of music that would make you jump around too much, so it was a much more mellow crowd than I've experienced lately. We also made a new acquaintance with great taste in music and talked with some cool people. 

In fact, we ended up hanging out in front of the venue until after midnight talking with James, another Gapers Block staffer and friend of Jon's brother Matt. This inadvertantly led to us getting the opportunity to shake hands with the band and take a few photos as they left the venue. They were actually headed to Sheffield's after the show and I totally wanted to join them but it's probably for the best that we didn't. It would have been creepy to follow them and as I said, I was barely able to hold myself upright.

We got to see the new Pixar film, Up, on Wednesday. I feel like I enjoy each Pixar film more than the last and this was no exception. It was touching, funny, colorful, fun, sad, and much much more. From what I've read, lots of people agree, so if you haven't seen it yet, it's a pretty safe bet that you'll dig it. But if you can see it in 3D, please do.

Tuesday, we went all the way back up to our old hood to see the Yeah Yeah Yeahs at the Aragon Ballroom. The crowd was young. Really young. It was a little intimidating, considering that I'd worked a full 8-hour day and was still wearing my business clothing. I felt a bit old and a bit tired, but as soon as the music started that all went away. As if Karen O. weren't already the main event, the rest of the band were hidden in smoke for a good part of the show. She was all over the stage, though. It was the Karen O. show all the way, and she put on a damn good one. Her clothes, as always, were as loud as the music.

There was dancing, there was moshing, there was sweating like I've never experienced before. I was drenched head-to-toe when I left, and so was everyone else. Besides almost getting my hair ripped out of my head at one point, it was a really great time. The YYYs only played for a little over an hour, though, due to the all ages show and the two opening acts. I guess the curfew was 10pm, which is good, considering it was a week night, but also extremely limiting. As a side note, if you don't have their newest album, It's Blitz!, you should check it out. It's really excellent.

What did we do last weekend? No, seriously...I can't remember that far back. That's what I get for not blogging, eh? We didn't do anything on Monday, due to the rain and the fact that Jon was pretty sick. Oh, I remember! Patrick's (one of my co-workers) birthday was on Saturday (meaning two Saturdays ago, I guess) so we went to an awesome pub called Galway Arms. The place was pretty big, there's a huge patio, and GREAT music. That might be my new hangout place when I need to schedule a get-together.

I need to get ready for bed (this seems to be a theme in my posts...perhaps I should try to write faster and get this thing done earlier than 10pm), but I have one last piece of news that made me really happy this week. Warn the masses, THE CHARLATANS ARE COMING! That's right, my favorite band of all time will be making an appearance in Chicago this September. Now, while that seems like a really long time from now, I bought my tickets for the show this week. I could not be more excited! Not only are they playing at a teeny tiny venue (which holds about 550 people), this is the first time I won't have to travel to see them. First Reading Festival in England, then Orlando, then back to England at the Hammersmith Palais, now home sweet home Chicago at the Double Door. Tickets still available at the moment.

What more could a girl ask for?