- What I'm Watching/Listening To/
- Went to the movies (for the first time in forever) and saw Forgetting Sarah Marshall. It's gotten great reviews. I can't figure out why. It's very, very funny -- Jonah Hill and Paul Rudd are in it, after all -- and Russell Brand, a British comedian, is great as the villain. I'm not sure that Jason Segel is a leading man, but he's also very funny (though he has more than a couple scenes of full frontal nudity). It's worth seeing it for the funny lines, for sure. However, the directing and editing are abyssmal. And I really mean really, really bad. It's way too long; each scene seems to start a couple of seconds too early and last a couple of seconds too long. The cuts from scene to scene or bizarre and too harsh. The best/worst part: there are some conversation scenes that are shot in green screen that is so bad and noticeable that you can't stop staring at the edges where the people meet the background. Again, it's worth seeing for the Apatow-style ad lib jokes, but it's a really bad movie overall.
- Ironically enough, the other movie I saw yesterday, on DVD, is not funny in the least, but it's very well-directed and well-edited. Before The Devil Knows You're Dead is a thriller about a couple of down-on-their-luck and morally abhorrent brothers who decide to pull off a robbery to grab some easy money. Something goes horribly, horribly wrong during the robbery and they, and their family, are forced to deal with the consequences. It stars Philip Seymour Hoffman, Ethan Hawke, Marisa Tomei, and Albert Finney. I think that about says it all. I go back and forth on who is "The Greatest Actor In The World"; sometimes it's Johnny Depp, sometimes Russell Crowe, sometimes Sean Penn. It's awfully hard to argue against Hoffman though.
- Random Thoughts/Links:
- Props to my friend Dan for his write-up in last week's Weekend Edition from the Post.
- This is horrifying. Just warning you.
- Daily Rant:
- Saturday night begins Passover. Passover is the Jewish holiday that commemorates the Jews' flight from Egypt after 400 years of slavery. You know, Ten Commandments and all that. Other holidays get the press like Rosh Hashannah, Yom Kippur, or Hannukah, but what you might now know is that it's Passover that more American Jewish families celebrate. In this way, it's arguably the most important Jewish holiday. While Yom Kippur is the holiest day, the freedom from slavery is the key theme that is seen throughout every aspect of Judaism, so we are reminded of the Passover story every time we go to synagogue for anything. For eight days, we don't eat any bread (since the Jews had to leave Egypt so quickly that their bread didn't have time to rise) and instead eat matzah. Jews with ancestry from Eastern Europe (like me) also can't eat, for various reasons, legumes (green beans, soy beans, peanuts), rice, or corn (including corn oil and corn syrup). Those things are in a lot of stuff that you might eat on a daily basis. So why is this a rant? I would rather not eat at all for one day than have to eat Passover food for eight.