Thursday, July 17, 2008

maintenance can pay off

Hot damn.

Dame Helen does not make my mental list of Top Actresses of My Generation, for the obvious reason that she's a wee bit too old.

For the list, that is.

Hat tip to Salon.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Eastern Promises

See it.

It's on Cinemax right now, which means if you have 'On Demand' you can see it for free whenever you want.

It's very good.

You probably know by now that Viggo Mortensen was nominated for Best Actor for his role as a Russian limo driver involved in the London Russian mafia. You may not know much more, other than Naomi Watts is in the film. Mortensen is excellent, but his work is not the only reason to see the film.

These days, most crime and mafia films glamorize crime excessively. This is something I've complained about before, even though I like films like "Ocean's Eleven".

Somebody needs to show crime in the proper light. "Eastern Promises" does a great job with that. Where films like "The Godfather" and any Scorcese film tend to present the mafia as flawed, but amusing and somewhat honorable, a more honest film like "Eastern Promises" doesn't waste time with that kind of glorification. Crime is simply sad, and organized crime is sadder still, since it does so much damage.

As for Naomi Watts, she'll be featured in my "best actresses of my generation" series, whenever I get it started.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

George Carlin was an atheist (you schmucks!)

While I'm mulling over three posts
- a roundtable forum on the value of appeasement, chaired by Neville Chamberlain
- a discussion of what randomness is and what it isn't, as an exercise in expository writing about math
- a discussion of the top 10 actresses of my generation. This is suffering a bit because (a) my top 8 choices are all non-American, and (b) it's damned hard to get to 10

Anyway, I was inspired by the latest cartoon by August J. Pollak, and so I link to it approvingly.

We've lost two of the greatest atheist voices in the world in the past year: Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. and George Carlin. It was no coincidence that both were very funny people. Humor is a great tonic.