Maybe it is just me but things seem pretty messed up. We are in the final quarter of the year already and it feels like things are just piling on. COVID, Monkeypox, the war in the Ukraine, women’s rights, drought, fires, civil rights, the Queen dying, and those endless Camp LeJune commercials. The strains of the world seem neverending. The entire year has just felt overwhelming. It’s not much of a surprise. After all, the last two have been rubbish as well.
With autumn here, I think about I Can’t Forget by Leonard Cohen
The summer’s almost gone
The winter’s tuning up
Yeah, the summer’s gone
But a lot goes on forever
I am not sure why, but I listen to more Leonard Cohen in the fall than any other time of year.
Despite the wonderful cool weather of late, the weather this year has also been really frustrating. Everything is goofy right now. Earlier this spring the weather was atrocious. It was insanely hot earlier in the year than normal. Then we got rain, rain and more rain before a nice stretch of weather. Then it got hot again before being nice out.
I hope winter is mild. I hate winter.
Things have not been heating up at the box office. Outside of the newest Marvel film or something interesting, there’s not a lot of great movies coming out. The Top Gun film has been around awhile and still looks stupid to me. I don’t get it.
I was pleasantly surprised with Elvis. I have never liked Baz Luhrmann films all that much but this one was pretty decent. The acting was terrific and the casting was pretty spot on. although his propensity for using contemporary music in historical films drives me nuts.
Growing up I knew a lot of people who loved Elvis. I never had to buy any of his albums because I knew so many other people who had them. Now that I am older I appreciate him more. I’m not sure he was an innovative music as Little Richard or his other contemporaries, but knowing how to put on a show really helped set him apart. I also think that if he didn’t scare the bejeepers out of ’50s America there would not have been such a fuss.
In August the Classic French Film Festival screened Amelie at Webster University. It made me miss Paris. I had not seen since maybe 2002 or 2003. I think it is still an odd and quirky film. The visuals are amazing and the movie has some very strange characters in it. Audrey Tautou is still perfect and I love everything that Dominique Pinon is in. He does these odd facial movements that really bring a little extra to his goofy characters.
Ray Liotta had the best voice ever. After he passed I watched Goodfellas again. It remains one of my favorite films.
He had a bunch of other cool roles, but beyond Goodfellas. I also liked him in Something Wild. He was pretty creepy in that. Early on, we got to see him work that intense stare he had. He was outstanding in that movie.
I did see Bullet Train. it was mindless fun styled in the vein of the Asian action films of the 1990s that I love. It also has a Knives Out vibe going on. Brad Pitt is nuanced in it which is great since the rest of the ensemble kills it. Aaron Taylor-Johnson is also great in it.
I know streaming services have some terrific stuff out, and there are a lot of choices, but I am old and still like the idea of going to movies. It still sucks that the Tivoli is out of commission. It is a crime to have a theater that is listed on the National Registry of Historic Places dark with no films being screened.
I also wish we had more choices for independent films. The Webster Film Series has been great and Silents, Please STL has done some cool things, but it’s a bummer when the Plaza Frontenac theater is the main player in town. It’s a fine facility, it just feels esoteric and it’s in a mall filled with snooty people. The Hi-Pointe is also great, but it only has two screens. However, the best deal in town may well be The Arkadin, which is doing a lot of really cool programming.
I am still catching up on my Marvel TV shows, but I did see Thor: Love and Thunder. It was a fun, escapist romp with some nods to 80s films. However, it had too many Guns N’ Roses songs in it.
I also saw Mrs. Harris Goes To Paris. The acting was terrific and it was a nice charming film. It is based on the 1958 novel by Paul Gallico and stars Lesley Manville.
It is a lot of fun. Mrs. Harris is a widowed cleaning lady whose attempts to get her own Christian Dior dress changes the lives of those she encounters.
The film has some nice comedic flourishes and features some wonderful acting from the ensemble. Isabelle Huppert is also terrific in it.
Over the last few months one of the bummers about watching Jeopardy! has been the sea of terrible political ads being run during commercial breaks. Never mind the tone, the production value of these is pretty bad. I also really am annoyed by the new Meineke ad where the guy speaks in a terrible German accent. it’s pretty lame and very insulting. Even if you are not German or German-American, you can’t help but be peeved by how terrible it is.
Luckily there is a new season of Jeopardy! and, for now, there are fewer political ads. But I am sure that will change in a few weeks.
And while I am at it, please fire the Liberty Mutual marketing department. They have created two campaigns that are annoying, There is the stupid one with people standing on camera with the Statue of Liberty behind them. None of them have been interesting and the people they have had in them are pretty underwhelming. The other campaign with the stupid emu guy is also hideous.
I also think that every local lawyer or car salesman should be barred from TV. They all talk like it is 1978 and they simply don’t understand the fact that people have no money right now.
It is this kind of nonsense that has made streaming services so popular. People do not like commercial breaks and they especially do not like them if they feel like they are being treated like a small child.
Some Music Stuff
Guy Chadwick’s The House of Love has released new music for the first time in nine years. The new album is called A State of Grace and feature the single, Clouds.
There is a short tour coming to the USA later in the year. I am impressed by how well his voice has held up.
I’ve been listening to the Panda Bear & Sonic Boom collaboration, Reset. The project came about when both artists shared their passion for ’60s pop.
The result is am elegant album that avoids revivalism in favor of excellent songwriting. Reset also benefits from some placed hooks that make the melodies catchier, especially Gettin’ to the Point.
Having seen the ticket prices for the next Depeche Mode tour I remain irritated by the amount of money being charged for live shows. it is scandalous. In addition to being uncomfortable, most of these large venues have terrible acoustics.
Appliance Related News
After months of delays, the lighting fixture in the computer room has been replaced. One of the downsides of living in an old building is that fixtures can be a nightmare to replace.
We also found a replacement bulb for one of the lights along the bathroom mirror. it too was a bit tricky to find.
On the positive side, it is cool black overcoat and boots weather. I am not opposed to cold weather, just the stuff that gets below freezing and brings snow and ice with it. There is a certain pleasant melancholy to autumn that is enjoyable. The leaves changing colors are also nice as well. The fall also means it is time to do more baking. There is also something therapeutic about baking.
I apologize for the simplistic rambling of this entry. I’ve been crazy busy over the last few months and I’ve been neglecting keeping this thing updated. I will try and fix all of that.
Note: During the time you read this over 700 commercials about Camp LeJune have aired on television.