Wednesday, June 12, 2013

I Brought You Some Toast...

OK, there are basically two ways for me to handle talking about the long gap between blog updates (9 days? Holy crapola!)... I could a) address it directly, right out of the shoot, and come across as a self-absorbed dolt who thinks people really care when or how often I post... or b) ignore it completely and move on like there was nothing out of the ordinary.

Or I could c) burp.

I choose C...

:O - BUUURP!!!!1!

There, problem handled.

Actually, caught in the middle of a flurry of end-of-the-school-year activity. Middle Daughter has officially graduated high school, and has flown off to Hawaii for a trip with family friends. And we are/will be hosting a series of out-of-town family members, meaning my office reverts temporarily back into a Guest Room. Meaning, unless I want to set up my computer on the dining room table, I'll be very limited in computer access until things revert back to normal, post-visitors.

So, less of me. Probably a good thing. Since it gives me a chance to collect things to talk about here!

Like this...

I don't know how you feel about Shakespearean movie adaptations, but I saw Coriolanus (2011) a couple nights ago, and it has taken up residence very solidly in the number 2 spot of My Favorite Shakespeare Movies, right behind the Gibson/Zeffirelli  version of Hamlet. Coriolanus stars Ralph Fiennes and Gerard Butler, but also has Jessica Chastain, Bryan Cox and the amazing Vanessa Redgrave. I was unfamiliar with the play before seeing this, and was very impressed by the story (even though the title has the word "anus" in it). Two avowed enemies determined to destroy each other end up joining forces to fight the same battle (I won't spoil it for you, in case you're intrigued).

It's a modernized adaptation, with guns-and-ammo replacing swords, Modern Rome replacing Ancient Rome, but still has all the Shakespeare language that you have to pay close attention to. Truckloads of great acting (I thought) and lots of action... very well done. If you have the patience for it, I highly recommend it. And I'm not alone... I checked Rotten Tomatoes, and they have it pegged at 94% positive rating from critics... but in an ironic twist, the viewer review rating is at a tepid 58%. No doubt due to the language issue.

Here, check out the trailer...

Ralph Fiennes directed it, as well as played the titular role. He's no stranger to Shakespeare, having acted in numerous plays before... I believe he was with the Royal National Theater for a time early in his career. My only criticism of his in this film is admittedly a mild one... he spit a lot when he shouted, lol... my other favorite roles of his were in Schindler's List and In Bruges.

Fairy Tale anyone?

While in the post-Coriolanus afterglow, I decided to watch another Shakespearish title called Looking For Richard, which featured Al Pacino and a group of his rather-pretentious actor buddies, trying to put together a performance of the Shakespeare play Richard III. It's sort of a study of the play itself, with scholars and other talking heads trying to explain the play, intermingled with Pacino and his pals enacting certain scenes from it. Was not impressed, lol. Although there are some nice bits of dialog in that play, it seems.

OK, Olan Rogers Break...

So last night, an odd thing happened. I had my iMac upstairs in the master bedroom, because I needed to rip a copy of Inception off of our DVD to put it onto the iPad that Middle Daughter was taking with her to Hawaii, for her to watch on the flight over. It was late (about 11pm), the rip was going to take about 2 hours, so I set it up, then adjourned to the restroom to prepare myself for beddy-bye. While I was flossing and brushing those white things in my face, etc., the iMac went into hibernate mode. But that's ok, since I knew the rip would continue. Wait, I'm getting to the odd part! I just need to start a new paragraph!

So cut forward a couple hours later. I'm in bed. I know the rip is done, since I heard the little chime sound that Handbrake makes when it finishes, heard it over an hour earlier. The iMac is asleep, I am in bed, staring at the ceiling, trying to go to sleep, as is my custom, unto the wee hours. All is quiet, it is about 2:45am. So suddenly, my wife talks in her sleep. She says, "Stay away from dad's computer, if you mess with it, you might break it." Then she was silent again. I kid you not, about 15 seconds after she said that, my iMac wakes up out of hibernate mode and comes on again. Like, randomly, on its own. Usually, you need to move the mouse or hit a key on the keyboard to wake it up again, but it did it on its own.

Now, if it had woken up first, and then wifey had said what she did in her sleep, I wouldn't have thought much about it. But no... first she spoke, to whom I have no idea, and then the computer woke up. Perhaps since the iMac has a built-in microphone, maybe somehow her voice activated something and woke it up, I don't know. But I cannot think of a precedent for that happening before. I've worked on it before and had it go to sleep, and sound has never "woke it up" before. Besides, she spoke softly, and the iMac was 8 feet away from her. So I don't know... it was odd.

You know how stuff that happens in the middle of the night always carries extra weight somehow? Yeah, that's probably happening in this case right now... at 3am, it was pretty creepy-weird...

Doing the Free Sample Dance at the moment, as far as what I'm reading of late. Well, that and some craft books on screenwriting. When I settle on a full book, I'll let you know the title! Won't that be amazing information for you to hear!?!! Think of it!

As far as acting class, tough but rewarding. I killed my scene last week, I rocked it. I even got immediate applause afterward from the class (that never happens), and my teacher told me if he were directing that, he would keep that shot in the can. But then he told me he wanted me to work on doing the scene "completely the opposite" of the way I'd just done it. He said he wasn't going to tell me what he meant by that... he wanted to see what I would do with that instruction. Which is nuts. I'm supposed to decide what "opposite" means in this case, work on the scene alone all week, then come to the next class ready to perform it that new way - not only that, but we'll be filming it this time...

Ah, well. First world problems, eh?

Not sure what else to say at this point. I mean, it is 1:17am as I type these words for you. So I think I'll hit the sack.

Adios for now.

Dave the Frog

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