Margaret

Margaret. The first film of the new year was so damn good. Takes the everyday and shows its operatic moments. The surly, volatile teen protagonist is all of us at some point, many points – heroes of our own story, center of the universe, disappointed by and disappointing those who care about us. One especially nice touch is the sound. Throughout there are interludes where you hear snippets of other conversations, city life, sometimes even more clearly than the main characters. Loved it. Bright Wall/Dark Room did an entire issue about Margaret; lots of good reading there. The only other Lonergan movie I’ve seen is Manchester By the Sea. Solid, but I’d rank this one way, way higher.

The Talented Mr. Ripley

The Talented Mr. Ripley. I had to re-watch after reading the appreciation in Bright Lights. Like Drive, this is one of those movies where I go in thinking, “I’ll just watch the opening 20 minutes or so, then skip around a bit”, and then an hour later I haven’t moved… Tom is even more pitiful than I remembered. Dickie is even more of an asshole. I can’t help but find Marge adorable–such a sunny, blank foil to the other two. Freddie is one of those characters you root for and also find kind of insufferable (Hoffman!). I still think Plein Soleil is a bit better.

Contagion

Contagion. Pretty good. Deliberate, precise, dispassionate. It’s not a weepy melodrama. The point is to get a sense of all the moving parts. I’d call it scifi, but in the less-fantastical sense of exploring a hypothetical that isn’t (yet!?!!?!?!) true. Jude Law’s blogger/gadfly was a hoot. Another good score by Cliff Martinez (Cf.). This is only the third Steven Soderbergh movie for me, outside of the Ocean’s trilogy.

Hereafter

Hereafter. The ending is way too cute and coincidental, but the journey there is decent and it has a good premise treated seriously. The opening tsunami scenes are rightfully praised, but the cooking scenes were the real stand-outs for me. Excellent acting and directing there. The two boys are a little wooden, but I probably shouldn’t pick on kids. I recognized that Clint Eastwood did the score within about 4 seconds. Speaking of, it’s been a while since I last saw an Eastwood film. Updated rankings for stuff he’s directed:

  1. Unforgiven
  2. Gran Torino
  3. Million Dollar Baby
  4. Mystic River
  5. The Outlaw Josey Wales
  6. Changeling
  7. Play Misty for Me
  8. Hereafter (or maybe one rank higher)
  9. The Gauntlet
  10. High Plains Drifter
  11. Bird
  12. Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil

Playboy Interview: Metallica (April 2001)

This interview is packed with wonderful tidbits. James Hetfield on day jobs and the early tour routine:

We worked at day jobs. After that, we’d throw parties, take the furniture out of the house and smash the joint. We smashed dressing rooms just because you were supposed to. Then you’d get the bill and go, “Whoa! I didn’t know Pete Townshend paid for his lamp!” Come back off the tour and you hadn’t made any money. You bought furniture for a bunch of promoters.

Hetfield on growing up differently from Lars Ulrich:

I could afford maybe one record a week, and he would come back from the store with 20. He bought Styx and REO Speedwagon, bands he’d heard of in Denmark. I would go, “What the fuck? Why did you buy Styx?“

Kirk Hammett on Hetfield’s Nothing Else Matters:

All I could think of at the time was, James wrote a fucking love song to his girlfriend? That’s just weird.

Hetfield on alcohol abuse and parenthood:

You can’t be hung over when you got kids, man. “Dad, get the fuck off the couch!” Well, they don’t say that—yet.

Ulrich on Matt Damon:

PLAYBOY: Your wife, Skylar, used to date Matt Damon, and he made her the model for the female lead in Good Will Hunting. A few years ago, Matt described you as “a fucking rock star who’s got $80 million and his own jet—a bad rock star, too.”

ULRICH: He said that before we met. And he’s apologized about a hundred times. The first five times I saw him, he would spend 10 minutes apologizing profusely. He really is a sweetheart.

Ulrich on collecting art:

Hanging out backstage with Kid Rock is an amazing turn-on, no less so than sitting and staring at my Dubuffet for an hour with a fucking gin and tonic.

Playboy Interview: Metallica (April 2001)

Playboy Interview: Metallica (April 2001)

This interview is packed with wonderful tidbits. James Hetfield on day jobs and the early tour routine:

We worked at day jobs. After that, we’d throw parties, take the furniture out of the house and smash the joint. We smashed dressing rooms just because you were supposed to. Then you’d get the bill and go, “Whoa! I didn’t know Pete Townshend paid for his lamp!” Come back off the tour and you hadn’t made any money. You bought furniture for a bunch of promoters.

Hetfield on growing up differently from Lars Ulrich:

I could afford maybe one record a week, and he would come back from the store with 20. He bought Styx and REO Speedwagon, bands he’d heard of in Denmark. I would go, “What the fuck? Why did you buy Styx?“

Kirk Hammett on Hetfield’s Nothing Else Matters:

All I could think of at the time was, James wrote a fucking love song to his girlfriend? That’s just weird.

Hetfield on alcohol abuse and parenthood:

You can’t be hung over when you got kids, man. “Dad, get the fuck off the couch!” Well, they don’t say that—yet.

Ulrich on Matt Damon:

PLAYBOY: Your wife, Skylar, used to date Matt Damon, and he made her the model for the female lead in Good Will Hunting. A few years ago, Matt described you as “a fucking rock star who’s got $80 million and his own jet—a bad rock star, too.”

ULRICH: He said that before we met. And he’s apologized about a hundred times. The first five times I saw him, he would spend 10 minutes apologizing profusely. He really is a sweetheart.

Ulrich on collecting art:

Hanging out backstage with Kid Rock is an amazing turn-on, no less so than sitting and staring at my Dubuffet for an hour with a fucking gin and tonic.

Playboy Interview: Metallica (April 2001)