Friday, January 21, 2005

A Very Long Engagement is like Amelie if it had people being blown to pieces in filthy trenches or Cold Mountain if you pulled out most of the oppressive heavy-handed self-righteous portentiousness and replaced it with a deft, light, comic storytelling touch and also beefed up the horrors-of-war stuff so that it became tangible death and pain and insanity rather than muddy vague ugliness. It's too long, but it'll stick with me. Also highly recommended: Friday Night Lights. Iconic images, perfectly paced and acted and photographed with great late-80s period details (gold dookie ropechains, Poison) and a truly powerful depiction of the sort of pressure we put on kids. But then, I'm easily entertained.

Yao Ming's autobiography is jammed with genial cultural befuddlement and ephemeral NBA trivia. In other words, it's a great read. My favorite moment is the first conversation between Yao and Steve Francis. Francis is giving Yao a ride in his Hummer to a pre-season charity golf thing, and he asks Yao if Yao has a girlfriend. Yao says yes, and Francis tells him she's just after his money. Hilarious! Also, fascinating!

The new Sage Francis sounds like every other Anticon album I've ever heard (all two of them), except cleaner. And a couple of songs sound like Gravity Kills.