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April 5th, 2005

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03:07 am - "You're overstimulated. Let's get some beer into you and put you to bed."
Serious bad juju at work today. They started selling Red Bull out of the vending machines. For cheap.

"Oh hay I'll have one," I say. "I'm feeling kinda logey and I'd like to stay up all night later tonight and play my fun multiplayer videogames until they shut the servers down at 9 AM. Because it's my day off tomorrow and because I'm worth it."

Then I says to myself, I says, "My that was nasty-tasting, but the effects are nice! I think I'll have another."

Halfway through another Red Bull I suddenly realize I have gained the power to SEE THROUGH TIME AND SPACE.

Then charva pokes me online. "Sin City, 10:50, Not-So-Fresh Pond?" I can barely type out a "HELLS YEAH" before it's time to leave work and meet up and go see movie.

The film is, of course, exquisite and horrible and beautiful and unflinching and thrilling and noir and quite literally the most faithful graphic novel translation ever. It's long on style but short on substance, and Clive Owen really is seemed to be the male equivalent of Andie MacDowell, but we cared not one whit. Also slightly marring the enjoyment was the fact that Not-So-Fresh Pond (also known as "Hey, Free Parking") can't keep things in frame worth shit and one of the speakers behind me was giving off a dog-calling high-pitched buzz, but honestly, it couldn't ruin the fun tonight. (Our previous film experience together was Be Cool and, well, Constant Reader will remember how well that turned out, so honestly anything would have been more enjoyable, relatively speaking.)

After nearly two and a half hours of high-contrast black and white with only a sprinkle of color here and there, the world outside positively glows. Traffic lights cast large red and green neon auras around the area, and the car's headlights make the street signs glow electric blue and green. Every color is more vivid and pronounced. I am fascinated with this psychotropic effect as, usually, when one wants to experience this, one has to ingest strange fungal products. Oh, wait, does Red Bull count? I guess it does now.

charva pulls up to my house but she's in the middle of a cracking story, so we decide to drive around the block until she finishes it. As we head down Summer Street towards Union Square, there's a sudden bright flash in the sky somewhere between us and Market Basket, and then the entire neighborhood plunges into darkness. Transformer explosion? Most likely. The streetlights flicker back on briefly, but there's another flash in the same place and everything goes back to quiet, dark and still. Intrigued, we drive around to see the extent of the outage. Pretty much Summer Street from right past Lowell (my house was on a different grid, and thankfully spared) all the way up to the laundromat by Union Square, Somerville Ave up to the Dollar Store/Papa John's block, and then parts of Highland Ave from Lowell to Central Street. The streets, which were already empty, now look positively eerie and abandoned. charva parks the car on Highland next to the Armory, and we sit and talk for about an hour. Really hadn't caught up with her in a long time, and we talk about a lot, comiserate with each other about our respective romantic entanglements (or lack thereof) and watch a couple walking their dog in the Armory lot with a glowy blue LED light.

Finally we drive back to Davis and stop at the new "Bread & Butter" kon-venience store in the shell of the old White Hen on Mass Ave, and are amazed at the way the setup now gives the place so much space. At least, I'm amazed at that. I stock up on some quick-cook food, having missed dinner after all this, and realize I'll be eating dinner while going back to play my multiplayer videogames until the sun-up hours of the morning.

I buy another energy drink thingy.

(5 comments | Leave a comment)


[User Picture]
Date:April 5th, 2005 10:41 am (UTC)
You know you have a problem when you start referring to Mt. Dew as 'the methadone program.'
Date:April 5th, 2005 01:43 pm (UTC)
[User Picture]
Date:April 5th, 2005 03:35 pm (UTC)
Clive Owen really is the male equivalent of Andie MacDowell

[User Picture]
Date:April 5th, 2005 07:48 pm (UTC)
Well, I'd said the Andie MacDowell thing after the film, cause I thought that Clive Owen was very nice to look at, but whenever he spoke to another character, it felt to me like he was dutifully saying these words that he'd been told had to come out of his mouth. He came off as very wooden, as if he grasped the noirish concept of the dialogue, but couldn't get past "this means I must speak very flat." Similarly, I think Andie MacDowell is very beautiful to look at, and it's obvious that she's frequently cast for that very reason, but lordy she can't give a line reading to save her life.

However, Lynn has since informed me that I have not seen Mr. Owen in a British role and that he is very very good when he's not in a stylized American role, so I shall have to take the "really" off my statement and withhold further judgement until I do get to see him in something else.
[User Picture]
Date:April 5th, 2005 08:32 pm (UTC)
I've really enjoyed Owen's laconic takes in Croupier, I'll Sleep When I'm Dead, and the BMW short films last year. I'm told that his Larry in Closer is a real departure from that, with him being the motormouth of the foursome, but having seen that on stage even such an all-around lovely cast can't get me to pony up to be put through that plot again.

I'm probably biased toward Andie MacDowell, too, because I happen to think she's just about the most beautiful woman ever. I especially enjoyed her in sex, lies and videotape. I can see finding that performance flat, but I thought it was a brilliant evocation of repressed and depressed Southern womanhood.

It's interesting that you parallel the two of them and make reference to Owen's accent, because I think that may be part of what you perceive with MacDowell, as well. Her native accent is a very broad mountain-Georgia thing that she's struggled throughout her career to control and overcome. I've read that she was heartbroken when all her lines in Greystoke were re-dubbed by Glenn Close.

Two more actors spring to mind as tangentially relevant...

First is Gerard Depardieu, who is a brilliant actor in French and a complete joke in English. Second is Hugo Weaving, whose Agent Smith owes a lot to the flattening effect of trying Americanize his very Ozzie vowels.

Oops, just thought of another example of accent-as-key...I've long thought that Keanu Reeves few really great moments owe a lot to the Hawaiian influence on his accent, such that he stresses vowels over consonants. That's why the line "Guns. Lots of guns." works so well in The Matrix and why no one says "Du-u-u-u-u-de" like Keanu.

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