Monday, September 24, 2007

Cabin fever! (Luckily, with furniture)

Not having spent a significant amount of time on germy college campuses in the past 6 years (coupled with a different diet and general transplant stress), it's easy to get sick. And then when the wi-fi you're sponging from some unknown benevolent neighbor becomes spotty, you're left to your own resources and a Netflix surplus for weekend entertainment while under a self-imposed quarantine.

The House of Flying Daggers wasn't really about the secret society of the movie's title. It was a love story, and a pretty predictable one at that. You know from the first couple of scenes that it can't end well. You know Zhang Ziyi isn't really blind, you know she chooses the young really hot reckless guy (I emphasize really hot and reckless) over the older, patient, creepily possessive guy. You know it's a tragedy, so someone has to die, and that it's an action flick, so the death will be violent. I had issues, though, with the heroine. Half the time she kicked ass, but the other half of the time she was just a pretty pawn in everyone else's hands, was treated as such, and played the helpless waif too much. She was either a wuss or a warrior, there was no plausible happy medium. The fight sequences were all wonderful and superbly creative. And the colors and scenes of nature were amazing and captivating -- falling leaves, falling snow, flowers, a bamboo thicket. But ultimately, I wanted more background story on the revolutionaries who were plotting to overthrow the corrupt government, and all I got was a tragic romance where all involved are supposed to learn some timeless lesson from the pain that arises from their own personal faults.

I liked Margaret Cho: Assassin a little better than some of her other films, maybe because this one seems a little more relevant. Her voice impressions were the same slightly overdone set, though: the overdone drag queen, her mother, various accents. The highlights were the political jokes. But then I always think political potshots have the potential to be funnier than anything else...

That did it for the Netflix DVDs. In between the wi-fi coming back, I was able to watch episodes of Da Ali G Show, Extras, and 'Allo 'Allo online. All of which are great, but I don't recommend watching them with a cough. Uncontrollable laughter, which is unavoidable with those shows, causes hacking fits, and makes Robitussin-glugging and blanket-wrapping mandatory.

Then, in anticipation of this week's CSI: NY premiere, which I really only watch for one of the characters (while I'm on the subject of really hot and reckless guys, and since I'm cooped up and ill), I finally read CSI NY: Dead of Winter. It was a goodbye gift that I was supposed to read on the flight over but zonked out instead. I don't think I've ever read a book based on a TV series. Or if I have, I can't recall it. Anyway, it was a little interesting to read the story rather than watch it. It's not terribly prosaic writing, it's made to read fast and is scripted like a TV show. The different being that as a reader you get to read about details you might miss on the screen, and read about characters' thoughts.
But now I'm all bouncy for Wednesday's premiere, which I'll get to watch this weekend.

More tomato soup...


Torgo said...

I thought you watched CSI: NY for Gary Sinise.

I saw an episode of that show once. It started with this couple who were having sex while bungee jumping naked off a bridge in NY but when they bounced back up there was a dead guy on the railing.

If it's possible, the rest of the show was actually stupider than that sentence.

Rainster said...

Um, re GS, NO. No, no, no... Why were you under that very, very mistaken impression?

Yeah, all crime dramas are all formulaic and have bizarre scenarios.

Rainster said...

I feel compelled to further clarify, I'm still so disturbed.... =) My *sister* had the biggest and inexplicable crush on Gary Sinise, ever since Forrest Gump came out. She was like 12, too, there really was no excuse. And starting then, and ever since, I've made fun of and laughed at her for it.