At the heart ofÂ UP is a story about an old man learning to appreciate the beauty and adventure of a life full of love, no matter how mundane that life may be.Â It’s a really touching and poignant story with a lot of Pixar heart, which above anything else is the defining characteristic of Pixar’s incredible body of work.Â Unfortunately, UP also features an action-packed plotline with cute animals, a kid in mortal danger, and an evil bad guy, as my kids would say.Â The action plotline isn’t bad, really. It’s cute and funny enough, and the kids are sure to like it.Â It’s just kind of cliche and a bit distracting from the true heart of the movie. Continue reading
I heard this song on an All Songs Considered podcast last week and I just had to hear more. It’s called “The Strangers” by St. Vincent.
The album, Actor, doesn’t come out until Tuesday, but NPR has been streaming it for a while now (here). I’m guessing it won’t be available after Tuesday, so hurry up and go listen. You won’t be sorry. Unless, of course, you have crappy taste in music. Continue reading
Now that I’m too old to pinch people for not wearing green on St. Patrick’s day, the holiday means only one thing to me: corned beef is on sale.Â I’ve paid attention over the past year and, at least in my area, corned beef brisket is only on sale once a year.Â Because of the preservative power of the salt brine, corned beef lasts several weeks in the refrigerator.Â Plus, you can freeze cooked corned beef for months (for some reason, I don’t think you’re supposed to freeze uncooked corned beef).Â So it’s time to stock up. Continue reading
When time is running out and you’re in range for a game-tying field goal you have two objectives: 1) score a touchdown, or at least a field goal; 2) run time off the clock so that your opponent doesn’t have a lot of time left to mount a game-winning drive. Continue reading
And that’s coming from a Burton fan.
It’s also my favorite movie musical. That’s not coming from a fan of movie musicals. I mean, I like Westside Story, Singin’ in the Rain (minus that ridiculous “Gotta Dance” sequence), and Chicago OK but Sweeny Todd is awesome. Continue reading
You know a show has a hold on you when you arrange your life around it. Last night our Halloween plans were entirely dictated by the need to be home by 8:00 to watch Pushing Daisies (poor us: we’re Tivo-less). Not since the first season of 24 has a currently running TV show had me so hooked.
Pushing Daisies has a really good thing going. It is unlike anything else on TV right now or ever, as far as I know. I find it just as charming as can be. The window dressing—the rich candy colors, the fairy tale narration, the air of whimsy and fable—is very skillfully done and is an important part of the appeal. But the key for me, as is usually the case, is the characters and the stories. I like the pie maker, Ned, and the dead girl, Chuck. I like seeing them together. The tension and uncertainty about how things are going to play out for this couple who can’t touch, and who still know so little about each other, is very intriguing. Continue reading
Donut holes are a beautiful snack food: small, pop-able, fried. Like all pastries, donut holes are best fresh, but they’re a pretty robust food product—eating donut holes is always a positive experience. Sure, they’re not always melt-in-your-mouth scrumptious like fresh-off-the-assembly-line Krispy Kreme glazed donut holes, but even those boxes of preservative-packed, dense donut holes that you buy at convenience stores are a treat, especially when washed down with convenience store chocolate milk. Continue reading
The funniest Onion article I’ve read in a while: Pitchfork Gives Music 6.8.
The best line, quoting Ryan Schreiber: “In the end, though music can be brilliant at times, the whole medium comes off as derivative of Pavement.”
There’s nothing I can say about Ingmar Bergman that hasn’t already been said, but since I heard the news of his death yesterday, his films have been on my mind a lot and I just wanted to share why I love Bergman. Continue reading
Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End has a ton of problems. The plot is confusing and ridiculous, what with all the double- and triple-cross betrayals (there might’ve even been a quadruple-cross or two). Most of the characters were not real at all—it was not clear why they were doing what they were doing. The love drama was entirely unconvincing. Because of all those problems the stakes were pretty low for me as the story unfolded. I didn’t like the characters and I didn’t really care how things turned out in the end for anybody. Plus, even though I didn’t care about the characters’ fates, I hated the way it ended.