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"Before you know it as the years go by, you're just like other people you have seen, with all those peculiar human ailments. Just another vehicle for temper and vanity and rashness and all the rest. Who wants it? Who needs it? These things occupy the place where a man's soul should be." -- Henderson the Rain King

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Six Feet Under

My new(ish) Netflix obsession is catching up on some of the great premium channel series that I never get to see. A one hour episode is easy to squeeze in here and there unlike a movie which requires a bit more dedicated of an effort (especially when some clock in at 180+ mins, ugh). On the downside though my new kick probably explains my lack of consistent blogging lately.

Anyways, the first show which got me going on the TV on DVD thang was Dexter (still my favorite). After that I got deep into HBO's Six Feet Under. It took about three months to work my way through an episode at a time, but I just bittersweetly finished the fifth and final season. Turned out to be an excellent show which will definitely go on my list of all time favorites. Next up, The Wire.

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Persepolis

Film #44 of '08 was Persepolis.

My NetFlix rating: 3.5 stars
Jamie says: Funny, sad, sad, funny. This movie's got it all.
RIYL: Ghost World, Rushmore, Joe Sacco/Maus, Heavy Metal Baghdad

Official Site
Rotten Tomatoes reviews
Wikipedia

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Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Y: The Last Man, Volume 9: Motherland

Book #39 on my list this year was Y: The Last Man, Volume 9: Motherland.

Only one more and then I'm all done :-(

Volume 1
Volume 2
Volume 3
Volume 4
Volume 5
Volume 6
Volume 7
Volume 8

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Y: The Last Man, Volume 8: Kimono Dragons

Book #38 on my list this year was Y: The Last Man, Volume 8: Kimono Dragons.

Volume 1
Volume 2
Volume 3
Volume 4
Volume 5
Volume 6
Volume 7

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Monday, September 22, 2008

Y: The Last Man, Volume 7: Paper Dolls

Book #37 on my list this year was Y: The Last Man, Volume 7: Paper Dolls.

Volumes 8 and 9 are here now, so I should be done with them soon.

Volume 1
Volume 2
Volume 3
Volume 4
Volume 5
Volume 6

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Aguirre, The Wrath of God

Film #43 of '08 was Werner Herzog's Aguirre, The Wrath of God.

My NetFlix rating: 3.5 stars
Jamie says: Another Herzog treatise on obsession. The filmmaking process for this one is perhaps more amazing than the film itself, so be sure to check out the director's commentary.
RIYL: Fitzcarraldo

Rotten Tomatoes reviews
Wikipedia
Time 100 Best Movies

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Burn After Reading

Film #42 of '08 was Burn After Reading.

My NetFlix rating: 4 stars
Jamie says: I can't decide who was better, Pitt or Malkovich. Wait, that's because they're both awesome!
RIYL: Fargo, Being John Malkovich, Small Time Crooks


Official Site
Rotten Tomatoes reviews
Wikipedia

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A People's History of American Empire

Book #36 on my reading list this year was A People's History of American Empire.

A graphic novel/reworking (sorta sequel) of Howard Zinn's modern classic, this one didn't really do it for me. It's neither a great history nor a great graphic novel. I'd recommend skipping it and reading the real thing.

Watch it on YouTube

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End Zone

Book#35 on my '08 reading list was Don DeLillo's End Zone.

End Zone on its surface is about a rebellious college football player exiled to a small college in the middle of nowhere. Under the surface it's a book about philosophy, becoming a man, and the parallels between football and war (which DeLillo both draws and pokes fun at in that oh so post-modern way). Not my favorite DeLillo book (that'd be White Noise) but a good read and nice insight into the early work of one of our generation's greatest writers.

Apparently another in my continuing theme of books I read and then find out are being made into a movie.

Wikipedia


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Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Bad Behavior

Book #34 on my reading list this year was Mary Gaitskill's Bad Behavior.


Bad Behavior is a sterling collection of relationship-related short stories including "Secretary" the inspiration for the Maggie Gyllenhaal film. It's subversive, sincere and at times funny, but most of all it's just darned good writing.

Interview in Bomb Magazine
A B-side

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Sunday, September 07, 2008

Y: The Last Man, Volume 6: Girl on Girl

Book #33 on my list this year was Y: The Last Man, Volume 6: Girl on Girl.

Six books in to the ten book series I am firmly hooked. Volume 7 coming soon...

Volume 1
Volume 2
Volume 3
Volume 4
Volume 5

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The Mulching of America

Book #32 of my reading list was Harry Crews' The Mulching of America.

A sort of modern update on Willy Loman, Crews' The Mulching of America is a novel about Hickum Looney a door-to-door soap salesman working his way up the corporate ladder. Crews brings in a cast of crazy characters including a guest appearance by Russell Muscle of Body fame. Not my favorite Crews novel, but a beauty nonetheless.
"Everybody that speaks the truth that's close to the bone is pretty nearly always talking po'try" - Hickum Looney


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Thursday, September 04, 2008

Batman Begins

Film #41 of '08 was Batman Begins.

My NetFlix rating: 3.25 stars
Jamie says: Probably should've seen this one before The Dark Knight as this one paled in comparison. Could've used more incompetent attempts at being Batman scenes and less learning kung fu scenes.
RIYL: VH1: Before They Were Superheroes, less scary Batman villians

Official Site
Rotten Tomatoes reviews
Wikipedia

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Films #1-40

Here's a recap of the 40 films I've seen so far this year.
  1. Lost Highway*
  2. Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story
  3. Juno*
  4. Sweeney Todd
  5. American History X
  6. Rescue Dawn
  7. Blue Velvet*
  8. Semi-Pro
  9. Short Cuts*
  10. Lust, Caution
  11. Michael Clayton
  12. Shopgirl
  13. Eagle vs. Shark
  14. Secretary
  15. American Gangster
  16. There Will Be Blood*
  17. Harold and Kumar Escape From Guatanamo Bay
  18. Bubble*
  19. Iron Man
  20. I'm Not There
  21. Inland Empire
  22. Cloverfield
  23. Indiana Jones & The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
  24. Encounters at the End of the World*
  25. Deliverance*
  26. Cassandra's Dream
  27. The Man on the Radio in the Red Tennis Shoes
  28. In Search of Kennedy
  29. Dan in Real Life
  30. Some Assembly Required
  31. Melvin Goes to Dinner
  32. Helvetica
  33. Fitzcarraldo*
  34. In the Shadow of the Moon*
  35. The Savages*
  36. Be Kind Rewind
  37. The Fog of War
  38. Step Brothers
  39. Hellboy
  40. The Dark Knight*

* - Highly recommended

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The Dark Knight

Film #40 of '08 was The Dark Knight.

My NetFlix rating: 4 stars
Jamie says: High expectations that didn't disappoint. Now that's a true rarity for a summer flick. And Ledger's Joker is indeed an amazing feat.
RIYL: Not being the only person in the world who hasn't seen it .

Official Site
Rotten Tomatoes reviews
Wikipedia

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The Sandman: Doll's House

Book #31 for me this year was The Sandman: Doll's House.

This is the second book of the ten part Sandman series. Not sure yet if I'm going to continue on or move on to something else...perhaps the Sandman will pay me a visit and show me the way.

Book One

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