February 15, 2005

Oz Definitions [Open Thread]

Posted by Arcane Gazebo at February 15, 2005 5:25 PM

Is the media post getting later and later each week? Eventually it may be on Sunday and you can consider it early instead.

Sideways: You've probably heard a fair amount about this already since it got an Oscar nomination. The story follows two men on a road trip through California wine country; the trip becomes increasingly disastrous in ways that are sometimes funny and sometimes sad. Like Election (another movie by Alexander Payne), these disasters arise from the personal weaknesses of the characters. I often find myself laughing uncomfortably at this kind of movie, but Sideways did a good job of generating empathy for these guys even as you're laughing at whatever dumb thing they just did, so I ended up liking the film.

Of the films doing the award circuit, I'd also like to see Million Dollar Baby, so maybe I'll do that this weekend if I have time.

Clerks: This was for a long time one of my favorite films, and I suddenly felt like watching it again this weekend. It's interesting how my view of this movie has changed. For one thing, after seeing a lot of Aaron Sorkin and Joss Whedon creations, Kevin Smith's writing seems very clumsy by comparison (with occasional moments of brilliance). Also, the characters: When I was 17 I thought Randal was very cool, but these days I don't see much at all to admire about him. His only good quality is that he challenges Dante's view of himself as perpetual victim, a view which helps Dante assuage the guilt he feels about being selfish and irresponsible. The problem is that Randal is also selfish and irresponsible, but just doesn't care—and his advice to Dante is for him not to care either. Veronica is the only character that shows any selflessness, and she doesn't seem like very much fun, whereas Caitlin seems fun and exciting but ethically is just as bad as Randal. One has to assume all this relates to Kevin Smith's huge Catholicism issues.

The Trip (created by Snow Patrol): This is that Snow Patrol mix CD set I found a few weeks ago. I was pleased to find that I like most of it, and don't hate any of it. I haven't put up any tracks for download, since each disc is clearly meant to be played all the way through: rather than just being a compilation it's professionally mixed, so there's no break between tracks. Going by Oz definitions, the second disc ("Ernie") is more suitable for a gathering1 while the first ("Bert") might be played at a shindig2 or even perhaps a hootenanny3.

1"brie, mellow song stylings"
2"dip, less mellow song stylings, perhaps a large amount of malt beverage."
3"chock full of hoot, just a little bit of nanny"


I've heard good things about Sideways, and it's on my medium-length todo list (as opposed to my short or long lists).

Hrm, now you've got me thinking about Clerks. I think of it as being pretty near the top of the list of "fun" movies. Ponder...

On a completely unrelated topic, fried pop-tarts, YUM! Today I tried using my frier for the first time, cooked up a batch of potatoes (somewhere between chips (this side of the pond, folks) and fries), and also tried throwing in unfrosted pop-tarts. Was a suggestion I got over friday beer--though I'd recommend in general at least *not* to follow the advice of a drunk mathematician, this turned out to be quite fruitful. With every bite I savored the crisp, greasy goodness, and oh~ the strawberry filling.

Posted by: Lemming | February 15, 2005 6:34 PM

Election was a damn good movie! I still haven't seen Sideways.

Posted by: Mason | February 16, 2005 8:37 PM
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