August 14, 2004

Quick Views

Harold & Kumar go to White Castle. Funny movie, a goofy stoner road comedy from the director of Dude, Where's My Car? (which I also enjoyed). Simple plot, two roommates get high, get the munchies, and then see a commercial for White Castle. Of course, there is no White Castle near them, and the adventure is on. Along the way, they run into a strange array of characters, old friends, weirdo's, adversaries. There are many laugh out loud moments along the way. It is of a idfferent breed than others, this time the heroes (?) are not stupid, although they do stupid things. It is almost just a string of skits, but somehow it works.

Napoleon Dynamite. Another very funny comedy, but opposite from Harold & Kumar. It is a much more sedate, cringe inducing comedy about a high school outcast who seems to revel in his status. One thing I can't figure out about the movie is it's purpose for being. There really didn't seem to be a reason for being made. Sure it was well acted, funny, and entertaining, but I am not sure what it is supposed to be saying. I guess in the end, sometimes that just doesn't matter, all we really need is to just enjoy the movie.

Collateral. I remember the first time I saw a trailer for this movie. It looked good. I haven't seen many of Michael Mann's movies, just Manhunter and the fantastic Heat. It looked to be a different role for Cruise, being the bad guy. The only other time I can remember him being even remotely bad was Interview with the Vampire. Being paired with Cruise is comedian Jamie Foxx, an odd pairing if you ask me. I went to the film, not quite sure what to expect. What we got was a wonderful character driven dramatic thriller. A tale of an everyday man, who has dreams but lacks proper motivation to truly pursue them, now motivation is given in the presence of Cruise. Mann's direction is fantastic, his use of the city almost makes it another character in the film. THe real find here is Jamie Foxx, who knew he could be this good? Nothing against FOxx, I just didn't see him as an actor who could pull of a serious dramatic role, I am willing to reverse my idea and would love to see more dramatic work from him. Great film not to be missed.

Twisted Sister: The Essentials. In preparation for last night's Twisted Sister show, I popped in this disk and spun it through a few times. The music is fun, not great, but it has a life of it's own and the energy is infectious. This collection gives us all of their hits, and the sound quality is pretty good. I was never a really big fan, but after seeing them in a small club a couple of times last year, I am willing to concede fandom. They put on great shows, getting the crowd involved, obviously doing it for the love of performing. This disk is "essential" for any fan of 80's metal.

Dire Straits: Sultans of Swing, The Very Best of. Changing gears a bit, this is an excellent collection of songs from this underrated band. headed up by Mark Knopfler they gave us a unique rock sound, subdued and powerful. They flirted with stardom in the mid 80's with their hit Money for Nothing, making the most of the line "I want my MTV." But they were a lot more than that. Laid back guitar lines, smooth bass, and that unique voice. If you want music with depth, and goes well on those slow nights, this may just be it.


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