Friday - Japanese: I ran into the guy who says hey at the tap that now serves for our sole source of hot or cold water since they took the water coolers and urns away. apparently we can't be trusted to boil our own water, but I digress. We were discussing the choices for the Friday night film and he recommended Last Samurai. He said it was really good and he actually blubbered at the end, and him looking like he plays footy on the weekend.
So I checked to local session times and discovered, eep, last session that afternoon (because it's been out for, oh, a week - can't have that), and, as I was starting to feel funky and stupid questions were about to meet with very snappy answers, I decided to take off early and catch it.
Now, I thought Broom Closet #5 was small. I'd never even been in Broom Closet #2, behind the snack bar. It's so damn small, just ten seats across and about ten seats back and it smelt overpoweringly of reasonably fresh vomit. It was also a full house of other patrons desperate to make the last screening.
Despite this, and the tiny screen and a scratched up film and one mono, tinny speaker, I just loved this film. Samurai, sepuku, gorgeous suits of armour, screens, ninjas, decapitations, cherry blossums, check. It pretty much covered everything you'd expect, though the teenaged girls behind me squealed every time a head went rolling. Wimps. It wasn't Akira Kurosawa by any means, but it wasn't entirely Hollywood, either.
Tom was actually acting in this one, and you know, if he doesn't go the scary Burt Reynolds route, age might give him something he's never really had before: character. If he doesn't go silly and vapid he has a real chance of becoming someone interesting and worth watching in his 40s and 50s. I mean, I usually can't stand Tom, but he grabbed me and moved me. He was actually cool and funny and tragic. Wow, who knew?
I was also surprised by the story. Yeah, it was very Dances With Wolves, big time, it was so totally Dances With Wolves, but I was surprised at how viciously anti-American it was (no wonder it was snubbed in the awards). I'm talking the Springfield Rifle military-industrial America that put down the South, The Native Americans, the Mexicans, and so on and so forth. The one that is rolling around the planet now, guns blazing, saying my way or the highway. So we watch the proud and noble and honourable Samurai mowed down by a weasley American and his big guns and I wept. There goes another indigenous culture under the boot of American capitalism, ain't it grand.
Then we watched the cringing Emperor turn around at the very end and tear up the NAFTA treaty because he knew the Japanese would be selling their souls, and we cheered. Too bad our own snivelling PM is selling our soul, our culture, our land to the US as I type. Bugger.
I also really liked the Japanese cast, with Japanese faces making Japanese expressions. It was like watching Monkey or Shintaro all over again. It gave the film an authentic flavour, though it was obviously filmed in NZ, especially that first battle in the rainforest. Ah, but that first shot of the samurai riding out of the mist - magic.
It was a beautiful fim, really beautiful to watch, and I balled like a baby. You'll also be no doubt surprised to learn that I didn't really acknowledge the really obvious slashiness until that last great embrace on the battlefield. Keep this up and I'll be thrown out of the club. Oh wait, I have been, so who cares :D
So I enjoyed it. Squeaked home in time for Stargate, too. Scorched Earth. Watching it again, Jack actually does pause for a moment before pushing the button on Daniel. He's not that caustic with Daniel, either, by comparison (though he did push the button on Daniel, even though he was disobeying Jack, with Teal'c's tacit approval). And Daniel solved it all, anyway (never mind how happy the planet will be to welcome backwards refugees and the social upheaval it will cause, it's off the SGC's hands and that's the main thing).
Saturday: Swedish. Went into the city to see Dance of Death, on stage, live, with Sir Ian McKellen treading the boards. It was good, very black and funny and so much like my parent's marriage as to have me laughing and wincing at the same time.
Ian was brilliant, completely clothed in the character. The others were okay (I've never been a huge fan of Owen Teale) but Ian was just brilliant , a joy to watch and listen to. It was pretty packed to, the campy old theatre (under which the trains would rumble). Everytime Ian said "Let's just X it out," there were ripples of mild titters through the audience. Most unseemly. Never mind, in spite of the crowd I enjoyed it immensely.
Raced home, for various reasons, chief amongst them my poor feet, whom my good shoes had sought to blister most cruelly in the heat - I had to walk home, shoes in hand, from the bus stop. Managed to get straight on a bus, the gods were kind, and watched various sunset styled vistas until I hobbled in the door just in time to see Andromeda, not that I care any more. Once upon a time I raced home for Andromeda, but no longer. I was racing from the city, it's different.
Oh, my dear grangipani finally unfurled its first ever bloom (at bloody last). It's a deep yellow centre with hints of pale pink at the edges. Not as striking as the dark pink one down on the corner, which I'm desperate to get a cutting of, but sweet nevertheless.
Curled up to watch Smallville. Aw, poor Whitney go boom. There goes that triangle of UST - Clark used to spend more time rescuing Whits than he did Lana, it used to amuse. And what the hell was Whits doing in Indonesia anyway? And why didn't Clark's Whitney Peril sense go off? And you thought Daniel Jackson was shafted in the send off stakes. Still, at least he wasn't entirely shipped off, never to be spoken of again like Dodo. Nope, poor Whits got the Adric. That'll learn him to be inspid and annoying. Now if only they could despatch Lana.
So, it's all about some psycho homicidal lesbian stalker shapechanging bitch tonight. Can you say stuck in the 80s, as far as the psycho lesbian cliche goes. I thought Tara meant we were past all that. Obviously not. Oh well. There was Clark in a wet t-shirt, gratuituously so, they should be ashamed, and Clark and Lex playing pool, so I can't complain too much. Yes, I am shameless and shallow but we know this and why should I even bother expecting anything more from Smallville, so let's move on.
Now I'm watching my beloved Munch. Oh, how I love the Munch. He's so deliciously dry and bitter and twisted. I love that, but to watch, probably not to live with.
"That girl hated me. She wanted me dead. I matter."
Sunday: Chinese. Went into the city to see the Chinese New Year parade. The bus kept breaking down, but we managed to get in with a reasonable margin, even if we had to skul our coffee along the way. Saw a dragon being unloaded from a truck. That was something to behold. It was a big, long dragon, too.
The parade was fun. Very colourful. Spent up big in the ABC shop (my now annual pilgrimage, instead of weekly) and had a berry smoothie in a nice out door cafe. Noticed the SF bookshop had moved. Now it stood beside a fat man's clothes shop, a computer shop and a blow up sex doll shop. One stop shopping, I remark, cruelly (and Madam can talk, having the Talons of Weng Chiang tucked in her backpack at the time).
Home again, home again and I indulged in some more Angel. I'm watching more and more tv on my lap top - the sound and picture are so much better, and it has colours, whoo, and stereo, whee.
Angel, yes, enjoying this season thus far. The party episode? Hulk smash. I should remind them that the WB own DC characters, not Marvel, but never mind. Loved the Mexican wrestlers one though. Just loved it. Cheesy, funny, poignant: Angel at its best. The music was a character all of its own, and bonus points for connecting Aztecs and their mythology to the Day of the Dead and Mexican wrestlers. Brilliant. Glorious.
Harmony's below decks working girl episode. This had been talked up so it wasn't as much fun as I'd hoped or anticipated, it was no Zeppo, but the chopsticks fight was priceless, as was the Yoyodyne namecheck - snort! Funny how Harmony ends up being the longest serving character along with Angel (both veterans of Season 1 Buffy).
Sunday night was Daniel night. First there was Daniel in Perfect Strangers. Mmmm, Matthew. The stories all tied together in a bundle at the end. It sort of worked. Happy folks ended up unhappy, unhappy folks ended up happy.
Then we had Daniel in Stargate: Maternal Instinct. Grasshopper, you must first take the pebble from my hand...
I always remember the time in the Butchart Gardens when two voices reciting that very line floated up from a little Chinese style pagoda and I just burst out laughing while my American friend tried to apologise for my uncouth behaviour. All I could think of were the Budgie Bottom sketches and Shitscared and the more I tried not to think of them or laugh the worse it got and I was crying and I just couldn't breathe. It was just so funny because I'd been thinking the exact same line when the two guys said it. It was a Kung Fu kinda place.
But I digress. Watching Maternal Instinct these days, it takes on whole new meanings, like when Daniel asks Oma if he'll see her again and she brushes his cheek, almost sadly.
Of course it's also the episode where Daniel learns how to light all the candles on Master Bra'tac's birthday cake. :D
Some folks dislike Jack's constant snarking and threats of violence towards Daniel (wheras it's Daniel's turning of a loaded weapon on Jack that is quite unforgiveable and should have seriously seen Daniel out of the SGC immediately) but Jack's just a cranky bastard and Daniel does try him so very hard and I think the fans are often overly sensitive in their online criticisms.
You've got to look at Jack and Daniel as being like Dalziel and Pascoe. Sure they're always slagging off at each other, but deep down there's love and respect and affection, and together the whole is greater than the sum of the parts. They are better off together, more effective together, than apart. Sure, they rub each other up the wrong way, but they need each other just the same. Jack and Daniel have yet to shack up together, though - grin.
I should try and get some sleep, it being five hours until I have to get up for work, but the neighbour is doing some noisey late night vacuuming so I'll sit up and watch some tv instead. Since we're talking Kung Fu, Chris Potter is gyrating in his undies on QAF right now. Okaaay....
My own housework remains undone. I refused to do any today. Instead I hid in the sun room and read the weekend papers and watched Angel on my laptop. It's now a mess, with newspapers left open and disks scattered about. I pause, about to tidy it up, then I decide to leave it, as an unspoken and no doubt to be broken promise to myself that I will just work the seven hours I'm paid for and no more and that I will come home and finish reading those papers and watching those disks. I never will, but if I don't lie to myself, I will go mad with despair.
I mean, it really shits me that friends brag out the houses and cars they own, bought with other people's money, or how much writing and personal development they achieve, when they don't work a full week, or how hard they work, when they don't have an entire house and yard to deal with on the weekend. Sigh. Mutter. Sometimes I think I'm killing myself to match the standards set by my friends, and it's all smoke and mirrors, any way.
Ah well, if that heavy battleship grey cloud that just slouched past my window is anything to go by, at least watering the garden is taken care of :D
Quote of the day: "I am his bitch for ever now." Paul Bettany on playing opposite Rusty.