Thursday, January 15, 2009


So last weekend I went to four movies.

I went to Synecdoche, NY and Slumdog Millionaire at The Ross and Gran Torino and The Reader at The Grand.

I enjoyed them all. The one that I would like to see again, because there is so much fodder for mulling and repeat viewing is Synecdoche, NY. Charlie Kaufman has a very rich script that is well performed by everyone from Philip Seymour Hoffman to Dianne Wiest.

Slumdog Millionaire is a very accessible feelgood film that is easy to pull for, though all the award attention might be taking the gloss off the Cinderella slipper.

Gran Torino is not a complicated tale, but it is very well told. Eastwood is excellent in his role as Walt Kowalski.

The Reader was good, probably not great. While Slumdog Millionaire was very accessible, The Reader, probably not so much. It has been said that it isn't about the Holocaust as much as it is how we live with our decisions and actions from the past. That is a tougher sell and isn't any easier with our German characters. Of note for me was Bruno Ganz in a smaller role as the Law Professor for Michael Berg. I really enjoyed him as the grandfather in Vitus, and he is very good here too. In other casting concerns, Ralph Fiennes said that Nicole Kidman was the initial Hanna Schmitz, but had to stop because she was pregnant. I'm very happy that Winslet got the role instead, and she deserved her best supporting actress Golden Globe.

Tuesday night, Stephen Colbert was lamenting the recent push in England to kill the American gray squirrel to preserve their native red squirrel. He said that they should be like Americans. "We don't kill our squirrels from the outside; we kill them from the inside by teaching them how to ski." (cut to footage of water skiing squirrel)



At January 15, 2009 3:10 PM, Blogger Wishydig said...

did you ever get a chance to see the black squirrels in battle creek. the place is run over with them.

cooler than kellogg's

At January 15, 2009 6:07 PM, Blogger Daniel said...

Yes, I believe I have seen a black squirrel in Battle Creek. They are probably like the black grasshoppers in the Nick Adams story, turning black to match the burned sanitarium.

At January 17, 2009 11:15 PM, Blogger Wishydig said...

if the stories they told us were true (and i tend to doubt they were) the black squirrels were brought over from england by one of the kellogg brothers.

but i don't know what to think of half the stuff my teachers told me.

wikipedia says

Black squirrels are abundant in Battle Creek, Michigan and according to legend were first introduced there by Will Keith Kellogg, founder of the Kellogg Company in an effort to destroy the local population of red squirrels.

i might see gran torino this weekend.


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