Cleolinda Jones (cleolinda) wrote,
Cleolinda Jones
cleolinda

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Monday evening, blah

Okay, so I saw two movies of note over the last couple of days--as opposed to all the others on TV floating around in there, I mean--and the first one was Rendition Sunday night--the one about the innocent Egyptian-American man accused of terrorism and spirited away to a secret prison in North Africa. It was okay; I think the smartest thing in the whole movie was the casting. Meryl Streep didn't have very much to do, but when you saw her Ball-Breaker CIA Lady character coming, you instinctively quailed in fear if you'd seen The Devil Wears Prada. Reese Witherspoon didn't get much to do besides camp out pregnantly in a senator's office and scream a hundred variations on "WHERE IS MY HUSBAAAAAND????," but you knew her character would be smart, driven and determined. And Jake Gyllenhaal--the rookie operative in North Africa--got a little to do, but he spent most of the movie staring moistly at torture to indicate that it was Tearing Him Up Inside Omg, and that's exactly what you hire Jake Gyllenhaal for. So the casting shouldered most of the work, although there was a nifty little something I won't spoil that elevated the movie from two stars to maybe two and a half or even three.

(Side note: "Andrew Appel has some fascinating analysis of the "guilt by association" algorithm that AT&T uses to help the FBI figure out whose life to ruin with baseless accusations of terrorist involvement." So it's nice to know that the government is grabbing people on even shakier evidence than in the movie.)

And then this afternoon there was Hard Candy. Jesus H. Christ, is all I have to say about that. Well, and maybe this [spoilers]: I knew the exact, specific end of the movie--the last three minutes or so--and I knew that Terrible Things happened to Patrick Wilson, but I kind of got the idea that it was vengeful jailbait Ellen Page chasing him around the house for an hour or so with improvised instruments of torture. You know, like in a horror movie. Lots of hiding and shadows and jump scares and, like, ice picks or something. Maybe he'd get hit in the jewels with some rusty pliers, but in the end we'd just hide our eyes and it would be okay. It... it was a lot worse than that. She had a very specific agenda, and she very calmly, very meticulously set about enacting it, and she let him try to beg and bargain his way out of it, and I swear to you, this whole sequence must have taken half an hour of screentime--Patrick Wilson had time for a whole monologue about his childhood (God, this whole thing would be terrifying on stage), and she had him on and off the hook (metaphorically speaking) four or five times. And then she's all like, "Aww, I shouldn't have let you think there was any way out of this." SCALPELS AHOY. Sister Girl and I turned to each other and started shrieking simultaneously:

"OH OH OH OHHHHH MY GOD--"

"SO I HEARD THAT EUNUCHS WERE REALLY POPULAR IN, YOU KNOW, THE HAREMS--"

"YEAH! THAT'S REALLY FASCINATING! TELL ME MORE WHILE WE'RE NOT LOOKING!"

"YEAH APPARENTLY THEY DIDN'T CUT EVERYTHING OFF SO THEY WERE REALLY POPULAR WITH THE LADIES--"

"SWEET!"

"--EVEN THOUGH YOU'D THINK THEY'D NOTICE THAT AND REALIZE IT WASN'T SUCH A GOOD IDEA BUT HEY, YOU KNOW, WHATEVER WORKS FOR THEM AND--"

"AWESOME! IS IT OVER YET NO NO NO IT'S NOT OVER OH MY GOD! OH MY GOD!"

"AHHHHHH! I SAW TOO MUCH! I SAW TOO MUCH!"

"AHHHHHHHHHH!"

"AHHHHHHHHHH!"

[Sound of movie!garbage disposal.]

"Just for this, I'm making you watch Borat."

I checked a couple of spoiler sites online to see if the Ellen Page character used nail scissors (which is what I thought I saw) or a scalpel, and apparently there was a twist to that whole scene that we missed later, because we were too busy still shrieking. (And in retrospect, there were a couple of details that do seem to back that up. A video he found, for example.) It doesn't really make the whole thing any less horrifying in my mind, though. All I know is, I'm going to have nightmares tonight, and I'm not even a guy.

So I didn't get a lot of work done today, is what I'm saying. Although I did get a decent hour's worth of hashing out additions to the first three chapters--when we need to do what, and so on. On Friday I wrote an entirely new beginning to the novelly thing--well, not entirely new; if you've read the original, you'll recognize it. But in terms of the actual words on the page, yeah, it's different. More dialogue, for one, and less melodramatic description. That is, there is both less description and the description that is there is also less melodramatic. Just so you know. I think it works pretty well, so, you know: good times.

Speaking of Ellen Page: New 'Juno' poster.

Linkspam!

Hundreds flee brush fires in Hawaii. "Brush fires that appeared to be the work of arsonists..." DAMMIT!

FEMA workers pretend to be reporters, ask softball questions; Nothing's changed at FEMA.

"A woman who went to inquire about a nanny job advertised online was found dead in the trunk of her car, police said."

Rookie nabs U.S. fugitive in Canada.

How a coffee played a role in Civil War.

Lance Bass thought Timberlake was gay.

Helen Mirren, Queen of Mash-Ups, Battles Dark Lord Geller For Rule Of Electronic Juvenilia.

Well, I don't know about you, but in my past life I was a revolutionary female Saudi Arabian gravedigger circa 1850.

Zombie photoshopping contest.

From audiography: "If I Were a Deep One" from Shoggoth on the Roof. "The writer is quite literally in an insane asylum. The cast was threatened with legal action if they tried an actual production. And it crosses Fiddler on the Roof with Lovecraft. What's not to love here?"

Top 100 living geniuses (1) Matt Groening at #4? Over Nelson Mandela and Stephen Hawking? Really? 2) DAMN STRAIGHT PRINCE AND BOWIE ARE ON THERE).

Second 'Gone With the Wind' sequel ready. "Scarlett was splashed cross the pages of the now-defunct Life magazine, but Rhett Butler and his book have a MySpace page."

Strike threatens Hollywood cliffhangers.

There's a poster for the remake of The Women and I'm not terribly impressed by it. It seems to be taking itself a little too seriously, for one.

trailer_spot: Sweeney Todd, Awake, Love in the Time of Cholera, Mad Money, Sasquatch Gang, Diving Bell and the Butterfly.

Guillermo del Toro would theoretically be willing to do Deathly Hallows; Michael Gambon On Acting, Films, and the Harry Potter Series.

First Look: Angelina Jolie and James McAvoy in Wanted; 'Wanted' Shots Indulge Male Fantasies: "If there's one thing beer advertisements have taught us--besides to drink beer--it's that nothing sells better than indulging the fantasies of the adolescent male mind, better known as the testicle."

Kodi Smit-McPhee is Young Wolverine, Stupidly Named.

New images from The Golden Compass, including Cittagazze artwork; “The Movie that will Reinvent Fantasy”; MSN Witches featurette; Philip Pullman: ‘It Looks Fabulous’; Christian Groups Claim Pro-Atheist ‘Stealth Campaign.’

Underworld Prequel to Show Rise of the Lycans. But no Kate Beckinsale or Scott Speedman, apparently, which means that I can happily skip this one.

AMC develops horror/SF series 99 Stories.

Molina/Davis in The Lodger. Yay! I love that story. Unfortunately, it probably won't be anything like the story, but what can you do.

Wedding Crashers' David Dobkin to Direct The Flash; Everwood's Greg Berlanti to Direct Green Lantern.

Trek's Nichols Open To Cameo; JJ Abrams Leaves William Shatner At The Enterprise Docking Bay.

Craig Signed for Four More James Bond Films. Nobody tell my mother.

First Photos From The Lovely Bones Set.

The X Files 2 Starts Shooting Dec. 10.

Will There Be a Live-Action 'Akira' After All?

Keitel To Play Jerry Springer at Carnegie Hall.


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Tags: black ribbon, bond, conversations with my sister, harry potter, his dark materials, movies, music, sweeney todd, the women, writing, x-files, x-men
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