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A celebration of the bizarre, live from Los Angeles.

Hmmmn....not a lot of blogging happening here. Mostly because I don't generally blog about my personal life, and the last few days have been almost 100 percent personal life. I'm tempted to start an anonymous blog, because it could be ever so much more interesting.But that's for another day.

For now, I need to go get ready to eat raw fish with an old chum.

Here's Roger Ebert interviewing Steven Speilberg if you'd like something to read.I really like Ebert's interviews (and admire his reviews although I often don't agree), but I have to admit I'm mostly posting it for his passing mention of a certain "public service prank."

posted by Sara 1:56:00 PM
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Leaving tonight by sleigh. Actually, by bankrupt airline. Will be blogging from home in Washington, DC. Happiest of holidays to all!

posted by Sara 4:27:00 PM
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Incidentally, I'd give Maid in Mahattan **1/2 stars.

posted by Sara 12:03:00 PM
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Four days ago, in the darkness of night, someone sliced open my head, gently removed my brain and replaced it with a mound of pink fiber glass insulation.

So I should have been in the perfect mindset today to see Maid in Manhattan. I really wanted to like it. I endeavored to check my usually robust cynicism at the door.

Sucker! It was still disappointing. The Cinderella in this story may be ambitious enough to juggle her oddly precocious 10-year-old son, her ghoulish sidekick maids, her noble butler-supervisor, her lowly, degraded mama, and her dashing senatorial boyfriend. Not so the screenwriter, who ended up with a story that’s spread too thin and feels more like an exercise than a fairy tale.

Don’t blame it on J. Lo. I was rooting for Jenny, and she glowed, despite everything—even despite shiny pancake makeup layered on her face two inches thick. Ray Fiennes (sp?) was his usual dashing self, but his role was so undemanding his dog Rufus might have out-acted him. (Yes, in the movie he really has a dog named Rufus.) Natasha Richardson was dynamite as a bitchy Sotheby’s ho, the only successfully funny character role in the ensemble.

But overall, the movie was pleasant in its mediocre moments, annoying in its many precious ones. It goes last on my list of Cinderella stories. Drew Barrymore’s Ever After is the best from recent years. I think I even prefer Pretty Woman; it’s more fun when the heroine’s a hooker, and Laura San Giacomo’s Kit made a much better sidekick than Jenny’s horny maid buddy. In fact, all the ancillary PW roles were better. And David Bowie’s Fame was on the soundtrack. Even bookended by Roxette, that puts it in another league.

Now I think I’ll go watch Roman Holiday for the third time this week.

(Incidentally, I wrote this yesterday right after the screening but Blogger wouldn't post it.)

posted by Sara 9:02:00 AM
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I'm sick. Sicker than I've been in about three years. Flu.

Proof: Yesterday I watched five hours of mostly daytime television. Today I ask myself, can I mine any lessons at all from those five hours, which encompassed Oprah, Dr. Phil (first time I'd ever seen him), local news, Dharma and Greg, Fresh Prince of Bel Air, Friends and Will and Grace. Oh, and some of a crappy mockumentary about a beauty pagent, "Drop Dead Gorgeous." It did have one funny gag, featuring Denise Richards (Richardson?) singing a love song to Jesus in the talent competition. (Needless to say, I don't have cable.)

Frankly, I didn't learn much. But here's a list of issues covered in the various shows, in order: male rage and wife beating, moving past trauma through forgiveness, spontaneous human combustion at gas stations, menopause and vanity, black stereotypes and vanity, using secrets to fuck with people, man-dog love, and escaping your fate.

Put that way, it doesn't sound quite as horrible as it really was.

posted by Sara 10:14:00 AM
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The original Wassup! commercial still brings me joy. Maybe, if we could rip into the universe's deep fabric, we'd find that the entire cosmic purpose of Budweiser's existence was to distribute the Wassap short to the world. The idea gives me peace.

posted by Sara 5:57:00 PM
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PAPA'S BRAND NEW BLOG: Reason's new blog, Hit & Run, is off to a grand beginning.

posted by Sara 3:05:00 PM
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CRAZY, SEXY, COOL: I went on a Soderbergh binge this weekend and saw Solaris, The Limey, and Out of Sight, which I had already seen. Soderbergh is smart. He picks smart scripts (maybe with the exception of the mediocre Erin B.) and then pushes them further.

But what's especially alluring about the director who launched his career with *Sex, Lies, and Videotape* is that for all his abilitity to mine the subtleties of lonely existence, etc., his always fine talent is at its finest when portraying giddy but sophisticated seduction.

The most compelling sequences in *Solaris* and *Out of Sight* are the romantic ones. It's the carefully chosen unsynched lines of dialogue, the shallow focus, and the cool music. It's George Clooney, naked. But it's also that in both films, it's not just the man who's up to the task--the women are equally bold, equally provocative, equally involved.

Still, *The Limey* might be my favorite of the three, even though there's not quite a romance. There are so many flashbacks, flashforwards, and imagined possibilities in the film--sort of Soderbergh's M.O. taken to its extreme--that it feels like the troubled recollections of an extremely articulate consciousness. I love that.

posted by Sara 2:38:00 PM
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No time to post today, so I refer you to my morning Reason column, on last night's torturous Whitney Houston interview.

posted by Sara 1:49:00 PM
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I neglected to post this November review of Josh Olson's *Infested,* which played recently at the Hampton Internat'l Film Festival and will be out on video sometime soon. Watch it! The Variety review (only some of which is below) is so positive you'd think Olson paid him off--except that I've seen the movie so know it's dead-on. (tee hee. DEAD on. Get it? excuse me now. i'll shut up.)

'Infested' a Fun Cult Horror
NEW YORK (Variety) - A fun cheapo horror romp that makes no claims to profundity but displays truly acerbic wit and a deep conversance with the genre, 'Infested' sics swarms of mutant flies on a bunch of thirtysomething 'whiny self-absorbed twits' and turns them into killer zombies. In the best self-reflexive manner of postmodern horror pics, frosh helmer Josh Olson unleashes the subversive forces of an iconic '60s movie, 'Night of the Living Dead,' to wreak havoc on the conservative complacency of that '80s granddaddy of yuppie angst pics, 'The Big Chill.' Too low budget for multiplex audiences, 'Infested' could develop strong cult video and cable followings.

Action begins as a circle of old school friends, reunited for a funeral, are forced to re-examine their lives by the younger girlfriend of the dead guy a la "Big Chill," but familiarity with the original is by no means a prerequisite to relishing Olson's savage dismantling of Lawrence Kasdan's monument to neo-bourgeois self-importance. Olson gets lots of comic mileage out of his characters' narcissistic self-absorption.

posted by Sara 12:43:00 PM
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As of last night, it's official: I'm entirely done with this season's 24. It's silly and boring. (Apologies Kiefer, I still love you.) The 20 minutes I watched last night was a better soporific than money can buy. Skip it and rent last season on DVD.

posted by Sara 9:15:00 AM
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No time to post today, playing catch up. Joyous weekend/holiday. Thanksgiving at home, then fun, quick stay in bucolic Las Vegas. Won $12 on video poker. Ate a lot of chilled shrimp. Marveled at gaudy wonders. Wandered about in the rain. Much fun. Many questions, among them: Why hasn't the Titanic casino arrived?

posted by Sara 7:12:00 PM
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