Happy Father’s Day, Moon Pappy!

plaid family

plaid family

Syrianna and Match Point

It’s that wonderful time of the year, when the Oscar contenders are released to us little people who don’t live in New York or LA. I recently saw Syrianna, a political action flick about the oil business, and Match Point, Woody Allen’s new drama.

Thumbs-up to both movies, but Match Point is definitely the stronger of the two. The City Paper review was tepid and makes some interesting points about the role of women in Woody Allen movies, but judging the film in that context overlooks the fact that it is an excellent movie. The writing, the acting, the timing, the tension, the opera music–all good. Match Point was 124 engrossing minutes, and isn’t that one reason that people go to the movies?

For all the intensity of Match Point, however, it doesn’t cover any new material. The prominent and/or rising man encumbered with threatening female baggage is a recurring story:  think American Tragedy or Allen’s own Crimes and Misdemeanors. Enter Syrianna, which wasn’t as good overall but which raised some nagging questions, like how far would the US go to preserve its oil interests? For me, these kinds of questions are the second big reason for going to the movies: to be confronted with a different view or a challenging issue.

So. Match Point: engrossing, meticulously crafted movie about lust, greed, and luck. Syrianna: intriguing, somewhat scattered movie about the politics of oil, greed, and luck. The first sucks you in, and the latter makes you go hmmmm. Still on my list is Munich, which I’m hoping will do both. Has anyone seen it?

Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

Last night a few of us had free tickets to Philadelphia’s premiere of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.

I’m never on the list for anything, so I get excited about things like free movie premieres, even when the only giveaways are Disney stickers, a Strasburg Railroad pamphlet, and a bag of low-fat blueberry mini-muffins. Hitchhiker’s Guide isn’t as good as the book, of course–the key is to know that beforehand and just enjoy the movie for what it is. The film alternates between summer blockbuster fare, complete with gratuitous romantic storyline, and a smart, quirky spoof. It doesn’t succeed in either category, but it was a pleasant way to pass a few hours, and I enjoyed seeing how the book translates to the big screen.

Special thanks to Type E for the passes. Other Philly webloggers in attendance were Dave the Lunabomer (who gave the movie three out of five bananas) and Scott Blankbaby (who gave the movie a thumbs-up).

UPDATE: Almost forgot–Marvin, the clinically depressed robot, was excellent in this film.

Boss-across-the-hall update: skinny legs

golf cart

I got to drive

A few people expressed concern over last week’s company golf outing:

I am also shocked, actually scandalized that you play golf. Do you have your own clubs? Do you secretly own outfits with frogs/whales/strawberries embroidered on shorts and/or appearing in a belt clasp?

It’s true. I’ve decided it’s easier to conform. New resolutions: shop in the sportswear section of Macy’s, learn how to apply makeup, buy a sport utility vehicle, flip collar.

But seriously. There are few activities I won’t try if it means an early escape from the soulless office park on a beautiful Friday afternoon. My job was to take pictures, putt, and operate the cart, which ruled because you can drive all over the fairway and in the woods and everywhere. I shared the cart with boss-across-the-hall, who was genuinely alarmed as we zipped back and forth through a tiny tunnel at full speed, trying to catch up to the coworker with the secret beer stash.

And speaking of boss-across-the-hall, check out his skinny legs! Surprisingly, that sunflower seed diet is actually working.

Beyond Metamorphosis

Holy crap, someone snuck into Battery Park and littered up the place with 3,000 butterfly umbrellas! Oh wait, it’s just some art:

“The piece explores themes of transformation, migration and regeneration,” says [Victor] Matthews [the artist]. “Butterflies make an obvious spiritual gesture that’s often overlooked: of a life that never ends and a spirit that never dies,” said Matthews. Every year Monarch butterflies make a 3,000-mile migration to Mexico, where they reproduce, die, and subsequently regenerate the species.

Have yourself a cheesy little Christmas!

Have yourself a cheesy little Christmas!

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Rainbow and trolley on a Fishtown Friday afternoon

Rainbow and trolley on a Fishtown Friday afternoon