Saturday, August 23, 2008

You can't stop the music

Or the Olympics for that matter. My husband defiantly stated the week before the party started in Beijing "I'm not watching the Olympics."
Can anyone follow through on such a promise? The answer was no.
Just a few days ago he called me at work to say "The U.S. women's gymnastic team got robbed!"
That's right, you can't not watch the Olympics.
If you haven't been, let me tell you, I saw something today that changed my opinion about a sport altogether.
I'm talking about synchronized swimming. The punchline of so many jokes. Nothing could seem more silly or useless an endeavor as to struggle to swim coordinated with a group to music. "What's next," I thought, "Olympic karaoke?"
This afternoon I saw the Russian women's synchronized swimming team get a perfect score. 10's all around. To call it a routine is to short-change what it was. It was as if, all at once, that team came together and stuck it to every single person, such as myself, who ever doubted the difficulty and worthiness of synchronized swimming. I got served. They tore up that pool. Laugh, if you will, but go YouTube that shit. It was out of control. I'm a believer now, I will clap my hands and shout "I do believe in synchronized swimming, I do! I do!"
How many people in this world can say they've gotten a perfect score at the olympics?

I watched The Machinist staring Christian Bale, Jennifer Jason Leigh and the chick from A Walk in the Clouds.
It was good, like Fight Club meets Insomnia. I was very proud of myself for initially thinking "Wow, Trevor Reznik sounds a lot like Trent Reznor." Why? Because that's how the writer got the name in the first place. A big ol' nod to the man of NIN.
However, I could not get over how skinny Christian Bale allowed himself to get. It's nothing short of distrubing and not easy to watch. Especially because it's implied that the character eats, so anorexia or bulimia is not the problem. But for Christian? No, he just didn't eat.
Also shocking was how successfully the crew made Barcelona look like L.A. That could not have been easy. The story is good, the acting is excellent. The plot is like Thinner, minus the hocus-pocus. So, what's eating Trevor Reznik? I won't spoil it for you, even though you might think the twist is a little cheesy (it is, a little) it does have an interesting psychological argument. As a film noir? It's almost there. The women are too sweet, and you get the feeling that most people just want to help Trevor, despite his attempts to isolate himself. The interesting things to discuss surround the plot twist, so I have to stop there.

I also watched Death Proof which is similar to The Machinist in that when Zoe Bell ( the stuntwoman responsible for so much of the ass kicking that happened in the Kill Bill movies) actually is strapped to the hood of a Dodge while the car is being rammed by another car reminds you how far an actor will go for believability. I was on the edge of my seat because that was really her getting thrown around on a car's hood while the car was going really, really, really fast. So cool! Plus, she's a kiwi. So double cool! This movie was straight forward, guts and tits. Quentin wasn't trying to get cerebral with us. The best part? The women are not bimbo. They are sexy AND empowered. Someone tries to kick their ass, and they turn around and cut off his balls. That's what I like to see. Exploitation movies with all the exploitation sucked out. Truly a triumph of throw-backs, muscle cars, rock'n'roll and chicks being real.

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