Tuesday, December 28, 2004

The boys are back in town.

Just back from the mountains of Western North Carolina. Drove up there in the snow and then had the coldest Christmas Day I can remember, but then most of my Christmases have been in warm climes like Florida or California. DID some serious cocooning and read several books including Greenblatt's Will in the World, Lewis' Moneyball, and Kemp's Dixie Lullaby. Got the nifty black Sony DVD I was hoping for, so now I can watch DVDs on a real TV and listen to them through the stereo and not at my computer. I might have a viewing session to see the Galaxie 500 and Wire discs. Also picked up a case of my favorite mid-range California Zinfadel at the Asheville Wine and Cheese Market plus a bunch of good English/Irish beer there including Young's Waggledance Honey Beer, Murphy's Stout, Samuel Smith's Taddy Porter, Boddignton's Pub Ale, and and my beloved Yorkshire regular tipple Tetley's Real Ale with a widgety can.

This year has certainly ended far better than it began; with any luck next year will continue apace as I roll through 2005 like (pardon the inappropriate metaphor) the German Army through the Maginot Line, the Polish Defense Forces, etc. Depending on what writing and/or speaking projects come off, I might be blogging less frequently under deadline pressure, but that's a good thing.

Saw three movies. In order of veiwing:

Sideways at the Fine Arts, Asheville, Biultmore Avenue
Laughed my ass off throughout. hard to believe Thomas Hayden Church the stooge from Wings and more creditable as the villain in George of the Jungle can really act. The entire cast is great. Viriginia Madesn has never looked lovelier, Sexier yes, but lovelier, no! Plus any movie that talks about wine incessantly and drives through the Central Coast of California's Santa Maria moutains gets a double thumbs up from me.

Finding Neverland Carmike 10, Asheville
Despite a seemingly sentimental premise, a wonderful film with subtle portrayals all around and a fine Scottish accent from Johnny Depp. The kid who played Peter Llewelyn Davies(Freddie Highmore) was fantastic; he's playing Charlie in Tim Burton's upcoming Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. The soundtrack was quite nice and the dream sequences exist somewhere between Julie Taymor and Cirque de Soleil.

CloserBeaucatcher 7, Asheville
Like many filmed plays the dramatic lines don't work as well with the close-up aid of a camera. Not that the four leads aren't quite engaging and impossibly attractive. I don't buy Natalie Portman as a stripper but maybe that's my problem. Most fun was catching site of all the locations in London in the film I'd been to like the cafe atop the National Portrait Gallery (break-up signing divorce papers scene), the South Bank promenade outside The Globe Theater complex (where Julia gets the ballon from Clive), and Postman's Park in the City--Charterhouse EC1 (where Jude and Natalie end up after hospital and where Jude went wit his father as a kid-I've had lunch there).

Well I have a car to unpack. See you at Dave's for Del and Friends around 9 pm. Out.

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