Saturday, January 03, 2009

meanwhile, back from the farm

so the farm was the funnest ever! we were on our very best behaviour and i cooked my little heart out so that we could ingratiate ourselves on our host L and possibly be invited back in the future. *crosses fingers* there were some startling revelations and some hardcore over-sharing, chased with lots of over-eating, one of the most taxing hikes in recent memory that quite nearly broke my spirit (but was fun nevertheless) and endless rounds of game playing and late night guantanamo-style interrogation sessions of "would you rather/who would you do?" that kept me up way past my bedtime.

we learned a new game! it's called werewolves (also known as mafia) and it's WICKED fun. i'm not a very good strategist though so i wasn't the best at it...and i'm definitely not the sharpest tool in the tool shed when i haven't had enough sleep. so that's why i suck at it. that's my story and i'm sticking to it.

S made the dotytron one of the bestest presents ever! it's a candy wreath! just try to picture how my imagination was set afire at the introduction of such a wondrous and crafty item into our lives:

oh hai! i has talented friends!

i've slowly been getting my life together today. unpacked, did some laundry, tidied up after montreal I, did some dishes, set up the new toaster (what a beaut!), did some online shopping with gift certificates and now i'm gearing up to head out into the cold cold world and do some grocery shopping.

tonight the hamcamp klik is ushering in goosetang '09 with our much anticipated 'arry 'otter (sound out every word preceded with an apostrophe in the paragraph to follow with an atrocious cockney accent) movie night which will also be our inaugural time hanging at bwong's house. not only will we be hanging at bwong's 'ouse, but 'arry 'otter movie night will be prefaced with us gorging our faces at chinese all you can eat (AYCE for short) 'ot pot (big steaming bowl of broth, into which you dip all manner of raw meats, seafood, dumplings, noodles, veggies. i'm bringing some 'omemade 'arshies for 'ot 'hocolate, and some frozen balls of new york times 'hocolate 'hip 'ookies for baking off at bwong's 'ouse. should be epic win! i think we're going to watch the last few 'arry 'otter movies which hanbo has never seen. this will also be a good refresher for dr. rei, who likes to watch movies but apparently forgets them immediately following the viewing (lord of the rings, anyone?) review time. "slumdog millionaire" was good, but not great. it's one of the most highly-reviewed films of oscar-bait season (it's been getting A+ and 5 stars) and is based on the book "Q & A" by vikas swarup. it's about a poor dude from the slums of mumbai, who somehow gets onto india's version of "who wants to be a millionaire" and answers all the questions correctly. the film (and book) trace back through his life and track the events that gave him the knowledge to do so. my one complaint about the film is that there was a bit of a tonal issue. it's presented in a hyper-realistic fashion, but at the same time, some of the events stretch the limits of the plausible. if it had been filmed in a magic-realist fashion, i think i might have been able to buy it a bit more. also, it's about the poor kid's rise to triumph and it's supposed to be a heart-warming little number, but some of the experiences are pretty grim and harsh and bleak and hyper-real, which fights against the uplifting climax of the narrative and creates a jarring and incongruous tonal disjunct. the film is gorgeous though and mimics "city of god" in it's ability to show the seething slum life of the 5th largest city in the world and the unprecedented growth that has occurred within a generation's span.

"the curious case of benjamin button" (hereafter referred to as, "the movie"), has the opposite problem...the tone is right (magic realism) but it's very cold and almost too clinical, the director (david fincher) doesn't do a good enough job of coaxing the emotion of the story and the actors. that the same screenwriter penned "forrest gump" is obvious in the heavy-handed use of a (somewhat pat) recurring motif) and in the way the story unfolds (going from event to event in one "extraordinary" person's life) and in the use of the main character's narration to guide the story.

cate blanchett and brad pitt never really seem to overcome the limitations of their movie star faces (titters broke out in the packed audience i sat in when cate blanchett's daisy remarks, upon seeing benjamin at the prime of his life, inhabited fully by the brad pitt-ness of brad pitt, "you're perfect!") to imbue their characters with, well...character. the best moments of the film are the side stories, but the romance between the two leads is the central thread that connects the events of the film - daisy's life parallels benjamin's and it is to her that he keeps returning, and it falls short. by contrast, benjamin's brief dalliance with tilda swinton's character is much more believable. as a whole, i generally found the side characters and supporting stories much more engaging than the central one. the film was also wicked overlong and there were too many montages and scenes that dragged. shopping time!


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