Friday, April 13, 2012

"It Is In Games That Many Men Discover Their Paradise." -- Robert Wilson Lynd

Hmmm... what should we eat today, fellow peasants? Shall we take the advice of Marie Antoinette, and eat cake?

Well... I guess not then. But, hey, it is "L Day", so I guess a lie is fitting... it's also Friday the 13th, so watch yer back, eh!

As you can see, I've made a few changes around here... a new banner, and (with Logan Tenfingers' help) I'm tinkering with adding pages here. I added a (rather useless, at the moment) About Me page, and a page for my Book Reviews... one step closer to pulling the plug on Wagnervana, which is a ghost town, always has been. I'll figure out what content is worth keeping from over there, create a page or two for it over here, and then, adios. And I'll save $14 a month! That's, like, 3 caramel macchiatos!

I've been wanting to change things up here a bit in any case. Probably finally found the motivation because my Internal Escape Mechanism has hit overdrive of late, getting another violent shove today from my tax man... I knew I was going to owe a lot this year... but it's worse than I thought... about double what my worst-case scenario was...


But, let us move forward, eh! Although it seems my journey through the alphabet is losing the interest of my erstwhile legion of followers here... I can't believe you're not as interested in my vapid opinions as I am! You mean, your world doesn't revolve around me? You have other interests and duties that prevent you from hanging out in my blog (and by extension, in my head) all day, like I do?

Hmm... weird people...

Favorite Movies (L):

Liar Liar (1997): Not sure that any other actor could have done the lead role justice. Jim Carrey, as abrasive as he often is, is also quite good at a very specific type of role. This film is evidence of that. The right script, the right role, the right actor... lots of funny lines, great moments, quotable, memorable, hilarious. If you haven't seen it, the premise is simple - Carrey is a divorced, scumbag lawyer who is good at his job... after yet again missing an agreed-upon visit with his young son (this time at his birthday party), his son makes a wish that his dad wouldn't be able to tell a lie for a whole 24 hours. The wish comes true, hilarity ensues.

I was pretty sure Liar Liar needed no introduction/explanation... in the case of the LOTR Trilogy, I am certain they don't.

Lord of the Rings (2001 - 2003):  You all know these films, these characters, and the mind-boggling cinematic accomplishment they represent. Peter Jackson is a genius. I look forward to The Hobbit films, even though they'll be in 3D [*shudder*].

Hey, imagine Jim Carrey as Aragorn. Now imagine Viggo Mortensen as Fletcher Reede in Liar Liar. See what I mean? Casting is an art in itself!

Favorite Actors (L):

Daniel Day Lewis: Twice winner of a Best Actor Oscar (with 2 more nominations), Lewis is, in my opinion, the best Hollywood has to offer. He inhabits his characters right down to the molecular level -- and he only seems to be getting better. He seems to do best with characters that are various levels of offensive (to put it politely), but, man, he doesn't have to say a word, he conveys soooo much just with the very subtle expressions of his face, of his eyes, of his posture. I really admire his talent. There are other great actors, but I think Lewis' name is at the top of the list. We'll likely see him next as Abraham Lincoln in Spielberg's upcoming Lincoln epic, which has an awesome ensemble cast including Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Tommy Lee Jones, James Spader, Hal Holbrook, Lee Pace, Sally Field, David Strathairn and others...

Favorite Performances/Characters (L):

Heath Ledger as the Joker in The Dark Knight (2008): I'm combining categories here, since I have the same two guys on both lists. Heath Ledger as the Joker was, in my estimation, in every way perfect.  I was so blown away by his performance the first time I saw it that I completely overlooked the flaws in the movie itself. In spite of the great, accomplished cast (with the exception of Maggie G... why was she even in this film?), Heath's well-deserved-Oscar-winning performance made this movie. Creepy chaotic cool. I think both the performance and the character are top notch - a perfect example of what acting can/should be.

Christoph Waltz as Col. Hans Landa in Inglourious Basterds (2009): Another Oscar-winning performance, Waltz is absolutely riveting, regardless of the language he acts in (German, French, English, Italian) throughout the film. Admittedly, this movie is quite hard to watch, and Brad Pitt's performance just about killed the movie for me (hey, I love Pitt, don't get me wrong... but he missed on this one, IMHO), but Waltz's performance and interpretation of the role make the cartoon-like brutality of the movie worth sitting through once at least. I'll likely watch it again at some point, but only to watch Waltz own the film.

Favorite Games (L):

Left 4 Dead and Left 4 Dead 2: Surviving the all-out assault by the unwashed zombie hoards has never been so fun (and tense). Of course, I try not to think abut how illogical the idea of a zombie is in the first place. What animates them if they're dead? What are they hungry for? If their blood isn't flowing, how do their eyes work? Their digestive systems wouldn't process food, so once they filled their stomachs, there would never be room for anything else, so WHY ARE THEY SO HUNGRY!?!?! I just don't get. But one thing I do get... they're fun to kill with a variety of weaponry....

Favorite Songs (L):

Listen, by Beyonce, from the film Dreamgirls: I could have posted the official video, but I think seeing the song within the context of the movie makes it much better. Jamie Fox is a terrific actor, and Jennifer Hudson was undeniably awesome, both in acting and in singing, but I think Beyonce stole the show with this one song, plus she showed me that she can sing with a power I didn't know she had before that...

Loser by Beck: This is one of those songs that is awesome in spite of the fact that it is lame. There's a cool story behind this song... it was initially recorded as a joke, in his friends' kitchen, Beck just making it up as he went, to show off his strange ability to just freestyle about whatever he was looking at at the moment. The lyrics make absolutely no sense. It's more about the sound of the words than trying to find any meaning. You know who else does it well? Paul Simon. I'll post Obvious Child on "O Day". But Paul Simon comes up with music first, then sort of hums along a path for the lyrics to go, then writes words to fit the lyrical path he liked... anyway, I remember him saying that once - not sure if it holds true for every song he's written... but it is a fun concept.

Odds & Ends (L):

People I'd Like to Meet: Brock Lesnar (who is back in the WWE again, believe it or not)
Favorite Bands: Linkin Park (Older stuff... their new album is limp)
Favorite Book Characters: Tyrion and Jaime Lannister (from Song of Ice and Fire by GRRM), and Logen "The Bloody Nine" Ninefingers (from The First Law series by Joe Abercrombie)
Favorite Sisters: Lisa

OK, that's it for "L Day". Hope you enjoyed it, and I hope your weekend is a good one. See you Saturday for "M Day"...

Dave the Loopy, Lazy and Occasionally Lugubrious


Rory L. Aronsky said...

Tarts. What a bunch of hussy fruit!

David Wagner said...

Fine, the tarts are a lie also! Sheesh! They looked like cakes to me!

logankstewart said...

Hey, fancy. I really like the way you have your book review page set up, with the covers. Nice.

Daniel Day Lewis is probably my favorite actor, too. That guy is so talented it's unreal. Unreal.

Anonymous said...

Love the new masthead picture!

Sounds like you need a new accountant. Paying in increments throughout the year would diminish the end-of-the-year horror.

Never been a fan of Pitt, and in "Basterds" he appeared like a cartoon character alongside Waltz' performance.

Cakes, tarts, anyway you slice it - the picture made me salivate.


Abbie Josephsen said...

lugubrious!!! I learned that word when Grace was studying vocab recently. I've never heard anyone use it in a sentence! good work :D

I can totally see Daniel Day Lewis as Lincoln! that'll be awesome... so now are there two lincoln movies coming out soon? the vampire one and then this one? goodness, why can't the filmmakers be more original? must they always pick the same topics?!?!?

Christopher Waltz is totally cool. Everyone says he is a great actor.

And yes, LOTR is amazing, and the Hobbit will be likewise!! Can't wait :D Good post dave :)

David Wagner said...

Logan: I used just thumbnails for the book reviews because I couldn't find a way to make it look nice including text links (title, author) under each thumbnail... it was a mess. Anyway, glad you like it.

Now if anyone actually goes there and reads any of them, that's another story altogether, lol...

Beth: Yeah, nice photo in the banner, I think... green being my fave color, of course. I like Brad Pitt in moderation (he was awesome in Snatch), but he's to the point now (like many other big-name actors) where I just see him and not a movie character anymore... suspension of disbelief is at zero... "there's Brad Pitt, pretending to be a character!" instead of just enjoying a movie/performance. Robin Williams, Ton Hanks, John Malkovich... they've all hit that point for me as well...

Abbie: I think Spielberg's Lincoln movie has been in development for a decade or more, always getting bumped down on his list... I don't think he got the idea from anyone else's project. Yeah, Lewis should do great, I can't wait to see it.

Thanks for the comments, y'all. You = The Best.

Anonymous said...

Daneil Day Lewis is a wonderful actor, Englishman playing Lincoln? That's just so wrong...

Rebecca said...

I think he'll do great as Lincoln. He brings such a commitment to all of his roles. A little scary actually.

Waltz's performance in Inglorious Basterds was equally terrifying. So intense.

There is a trailer out for a new movie, Looper, which looks pretty cool.