Friday, July 28, 2006

I Saw Miami Vice and It Was Good

Movie #38

This movie was good. Not great, but good.
Anyone going to the film for the express purpose of ogling Colin Farrell will not come away disappointed. The film is shot mostly in digital, and mostly in extreme close-ups. It has benefits, because you feel like you’re really in the middle of the action. Some of the baddies are truly threatening characters, and it captures the atmosphere of overwhelming heat and tension very well. It has drawbacks as well, such as the usual action-happening-too-fast result of a claustrophobically close camera. But as a result, when the shot widens to show the whole ocean, it’s breathtaking.

I also was initially confused because this movie does not take place in the 80s. I heard that there was no feathered hair or white suits, and thought that Michael Mann must have just toned it down. Well, DUH, everyone in Miami had feathered hair and white suits in the 80s, so if there are none in the movie, it follows that it takes place in the present day. Didn’t really bother me, but people going for the 80s nostalgia will be unpleasantly surprised.

The story is also quite confusing. I think it’ll take an extra viewing to unravel the plot layers. It’ll also taken another viewing for me to count the beads of sweat on Colin Farrell’s face. In summary, this movie merits another viewing (for me anyway). I recommend that other people sit farther back than I did (fourth row, a little disconcerting).

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Monster House

Movie #12

This movie is a lot of fun, and I was genuinely creeped out a couple of times. I wish they'd made it just a little creepier, just a little closer to the edge. That would be the difference between the good movie that it is, and the gem that it could've been. Although this is an animated film, I would compare it more to The Goonies or The Sandlot in feel. It's for an older audience, and the kids aren't as perfectly precious as they are in most kids' movies. The best of the bunch is Chowder (who owes quite a bit to Chunk from The Goonies), the funnest kid character I've seen onscreen this year.

I'm still not comfortable with animated humans. They can't really make faces; the animation doesn't have enough built-in musculature to make that possible. I was surprised to learn that this movie was animated the same way as The Polar Express – they actually taped the actors and then animated after the fact. Which allows for a lot of gesturing, and a change in facial expression every few seconds, but that doesn't add up to a realistic human face. If that doesn't distract you, you'll probably enjoy this movie even more than I did.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Cultural Event #18

Hipster Fest

It’s that time of year again… the Wicker Park street festival. We went on two separate days. Here’s a breakdown of what happened on each:

Get there after a long day of school. Like a couple of idiots, Kelly and I pay the $5 entry “donation.” We wander around looking for our friend Brenda, who’s with my friend Michelle and her friend, another Maya (who spells her name Maija to avoid confusion). She’s nice so I don’t hate her even though she has my name.

We marvel at the lack of hot men. Brenda seems to find hot men everywhere she looks, but her tastes are sometimes different than mine. For instance, she thinks white guys with blonde dreadlocks are cute. Ewwwww….

She tries to give the busboy at Pontiac Café a birthday kiss. He only lets her kiss him on the cheek since he’s totally smashed. She thinks he’s cute, but I think he looks like someone’s skuzzy younger brother, although he turns out to be turning 28 today. The bands all suck and the hipsters look gross. Towards the end of the night, some buggy-eyed guy starts chatting up me and the other Maija. He seems nice enough, but also appears to have recently taken some class to help him learn how to talk to women. I walk away, leaving the other Maija to deal with it. We decide to prolong the evening by going to a bar afterwards (we were plenty drunk by this point, by the way). On the corner of North, Damen, and Milwaukee is a group of performance “artists” who have dragged an electric organ out on the street. Two guys are playing the organ, and a third is barking through a traffic cone while wearing a suede dress. Right after they start, the police come and tell them they have to stop playing. We protest, but Johnny Law comes down hard in Chicago. I ask the group when their next performance is, but they don’t know. Apparently they’re an amateur group.

We decide to keep drinking for some reason, and head towards Michelle’s house a few blocks away. After one block, we see a taxi driver hit a girl on a bike. The noise is really quite shocking, and after a few seconds of writhing on the street, the girl gets up and starts kicking the cab. Instead of apologizing for hitting her or asking if she’s OK, the cab driver immediately starts yelling at her because she’s “wrecking” his cab. I’m sorry, but a girl in a short skirt and pink leggings who’s kicking the bumper of a cab is not going to do a whole lot of damage. Our group comes to her aid and starts screaming at him. It’s probably the worst nightmare of every Moslem, to have a pack of 5 American women screaming at him. The cab driver’s license plate is “666 TX” (I’m not lying). The girl turns out to be OK, and no one calls the police, although she said she might call the next day if her shoulder turns out to be totally fucked. We were backed up by a bum who witnessed the event as well.

We go to an afterparty at Michelle’s neighbor’s house. There are only three people there, one of whom is passed out on the couch. Keep in mind that it’s only 12:30 here – these people are clearly amateur drinkers. I express admiration at the gigantic television they have (a widescreen – perfect for watching movies), and the owner of said TV informs me that “it’s worth more than anything you’ve ever dreamed of owning.” I remind him that he doesn’t know me, along with one of my trademark withering glares, and he slinks off. We drink a good amount of their booze and leave.

On the way back we decide we’re dying for pizza. We stop in at the 7-11 where we witnessed the bike/taxi debacle. There’s a British man there, and Kelly and Michelle ask him where he’s from. He tells us he’s from Newcastle, and Kelly promptly starts to mimic his accent while following him around the store. I feel like dying from pure embarrassment, and beg her to stop, but she’s on a kick and doesn’t stop. The British guy seems pretty unfazed by the whole thing and somehow ends up paying for our frozen pizza. At this point I’m pretty sure I’m the most sober one of the group since I’m the only one with the sense to be embarrassed by Kelly’s bizarre attempt to woo the British dude.

My ankle hurts from walking around all night, so I decide to stay home and watch TV all day. By 4 p.m. I decide it’s time to go drinking. We head back to the Wicker Park festival, and this time we wisely walk through without paying $5. We meet Brenda at the Pontiac Café again. This time the owner is there, and he decides he wants to get with Brenda. He’s a total old-school Italian mafia dude, wearing dark glasses, white pants, white sneakers, a white shirt unbuttoned halfway down the chest, and a gold medallion. I always wondered how the Pontiac didn’t get shut down by the Department of Public Health in spite of their ridiculous plumbing (one toilet is always overflowing at any given time) – now that I’ve met the owner, it all suddenly makes sense. Brenda was not interested in him at all, but we all drank for free all afternoon, which helped my no-money situation (or at least didn’t make it worse). The bands sucked again, but between bands they played Bowie’s Hunky Dory. The hipsters were out in full regalia, and I saw some unfortunate things, like a too-tight red tank top OVER a long-sleeve button-down white shirt. After drinking for awhile we wandered over to watch some soccer teams play, and then went to watch the basketball players. The basketball players were all black guys, except for one Asian guy wearing a dress and a crossing-guard’s vest. I recognized him because I had seen him earlier in the week. He doesn’t look like he’s trying to be a girl – he’s got muscles, and his legs are totally ripped. But last time I saw him he was wearing a dress and knee-high fishnets. This time, a neon dress, the vest, and a purse with a bunny on it. I have no idea how he got in with the African-American basketball-playing crowd. After awhile he left the game and I lost interest in watching.

We went back to Pontiac for their “Honky-Tonk Bingo” night. Although I usually hate bingo, I ended up playing for about an hour. I finally won one round (to the chagrin of my friends, who didn’t win at all). The bingo caller made a comment about my tits and gave me a CD as a prize. I haven’t listened to it yet, and I’m sure it sucks.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Who Killed the Electric Car?

Sandy’s movie #22

This documentary made me physically ill—after watching I felt like blowing chunks all over President Bush, Reagan’s grave, and every Hummer (and Hummer driver.) I also felt like starting a letter-writing campaign to General Motors assuring them that their lack of commitment to renewable energy source-automobiles will surely result in the premature death of their company. They committed automotive genocide and it’s going to come back to bite them in the ass (as if things could get any worse for them—muhaha!)

Yeah, I was full of impassioned loathing. But when I got home, watching CNN just made me complacent again. Damn it all.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

The Girls' Guide to Hunting and Fishing

by Melissa Bank
Sandy's book #13

This totally quenched my thirst for good chick lit. (It's not about shopping and it doesn't have a pink cover, but make no mistake-- it's for girls' eyes only.) Carrie, you told me to read this like, years ago. I dug it like you knew I would.

My only qualm is with the character of Archie Knox (the narrator's much-older boyfriend), who I kept picturing as Ian McKellan. Love him, except that-- in my head-- this character looked and sounded g-a-y. So then I finished the book and looked on imdb (because I know they're making a movie out of it), and who is playing Archie but Alec fucking Baldwin. Ew. WORSE, Buffy was cast as the narrator, "Jane" (whom they've apparently renamed "Brett" of all things.) That led me to check the cast list of The Lovely Bones (another popular chick book I dug) and lo! Dakota Frightening is rumored to have been cast as Susie. Arghh! Kal Penn better not disappoint in The Namesake. The problem with liking books is that you start hating movies. I guess I'm turning into my mother after all.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

The Undercover Economist

by Tim Harford; Sandy's book #12

I learned more about economics from this 252-page book than I did from my entire 11th grade civics class (sorry, Mr. Ramsdell.) Author Tim Harford purports to expose "why the rich are rich, the poor are poor, and why you can never buy a decent used car." Along the way, he also manages to illuminate what the hell is wrong with the U.S. health care system (answer: a lot) and why boycotting products made in Third World sweatshops won't do a modicum of good for anyone.

I admit that my eyes did glaze over during certain "story-problem"-type scenarios (because let's face it, a lot of economics has to do with math and logic-- not my strong suits!), but I'm proud of myself for getting to the end of something that could legitimately be deemed "brain food." My medulla oblongata usually has no appetite for such things.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Much Too Late

Sandy's movie #21: Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest

Arrrr, me hearties! I be too late in readin' this here blog and already be done wastin' me doubloons to see this here looong piece o' cinema. Aye, it be neverendin'. Fortunately Johnny be none-too-hard on the eyes. Keira Knightley, ye spindly wench-- catch the scurvy, did ye?

Too Late

Movie #11, PotC: Dead Man's Chest

I wish I would have read Maya's warning to people with sea-life intolerance before seeing this film because I spent most of it cringing and covering my eyes. Bravo to the visual effects people because about 75% of the people in that movie were absolutely disgusting.

But you know, I actually liked it. I went in with low expectations, considering I didn't love the first Pirates movie because it was a half-hour too long, and everything that didn't involve Johnny Depp was a waste of my time. . . So, an hour too long then. This one was also too long, but for some reason I enjoyed it more. I actually thought Keira was a little more charming in this one, although Orlando still has all the charisma of a banana slug.

The movie is very very silly and over the top, and the dialogue is mostly atrocious, but I guess I was just in the right state of mind to enjoy it anyway.

Sunday, July 16, 2006


Movie #37 for Maya

Yeah, Johnny Depp is fabulous, and there are some funny lines buried in this bloated, creaking old shipwreck of a movie. If you thought that line was clever, you might like Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest. It wasn’t actually that bad, but suffered from way too many subplots, overly elaborate fighting setpieces, and characters I didn’t give a toot about. This movie could have been trimmed to a very entertaining hour and a half. Instead it’s two and a half hours long, and feels like five.

Good Things:
Johnny Depp (obviously).
The bad guys, like Squidy McOctopus-Face. They are very cool and creepy, and people creeped out by undersea life should probably steer clear (you know who you are).
Some of the incidental characters are really funny, like that scrawny weirdo from The Office (British version) and his bumbling friend.

Bad Things:
I thought this movie was never, ever, ever, ever, ever going to end.
Keira Knightley – whatever.
Orlando Bloom – double whatever. He’s a pretty-boy actor, but he can’t act.
All the other people in this movie – there are too many of you! Get out of the movie!

In summary: Cool special effects, but don’t watch this movie without expecting to be fully bored by at least an hour of it.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

The Dichotomy of Meryl Streep

Movie #9, The Devil Wears Prada

As Maya mentioned in the comments, I am not at all on track to reach 25 movies this year. So last night, I hit a double feature, for which I (allegedly) only paid one matinee ticket price. The first of these was the one where Meryl Streep plays the titular Devil. I found her just delightful, of course, and I also liked Anne Hathaway more than I anticipated. But I only found Andy sympathetic for a specific portion of the movie. That is, the portion starting with Stanley Tucci dressing her down for not really trying, and ending when she utters the words, "You were right about everything" to her wet dishrag boyfriend. Does anyone else feel that the rest of the movie disagrees with its ending? What was I doing rooting for Andy when she accomplished some little thing that pleased her boss? Why was I happy when she actually put some thought into how she looked and therefore put some thought into the importance of her boss and the magazine? And why can't the people in her life just look at this year she spends "selling her soul" as the internship that it is - a tough period to get through so that you can ultimately do what you wanted in the first place? I guess I was wrong and this fucking asshole chef (who I'm so sure has never missed an important day with his girlfriend because HE had to work a late night) is right. God, that really ruined the movie for me, I have to say.

Movie #10, A Prairie Home Companion

Being a Minnesotan, I was contractually obligated to see this one, but as a fan of the radio show (shut up!), I'd actually been looking forward to it. Plus, Robert Altman. I'm happy to report that it's a total delight. And yet, this isn't a movie for everyone, because of course it doesn't follow a traditional narrative path. Or rather, it does it the same way Garrison Keillor and Altman tell stories - with tangents and loose ends and overlapping action. In short, it's just swell.

I mean, I guess some people have trouble keeping the thread when they're so used to filmmakers spelling everything out almost to the point of handing out an accompanying spreadsheet with each movie ticket. But it's fun to sit back and stop worrying about where you're going - especially in a film where you can just enjoy the interactions between actors like Kevin Kline, John C. Reilly, Maya Rudolph, and Streep of course.

If that doesn't sound like your cup of tea, I've heard there's a new Wayans Brothers movie coming out this weekend. One of them pretends to be a baby! Oh, mercy!

In truth, I have no problem with stupid movies, but I do have a problem with stupid people. Like the type of people who believe that thinking is the antithesis of entertainment. If you believe that, please stop going to see movies that might challenge you, because I don't want to sit next to you in the theater as you make your exasperated noises. Thinking hard! Movie bad! Me want splosion!

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Superman Returns, And I Am the Last to Know As Usual

Movie #8

Well, my summer of big-budget hero pics is complete now. This is one of those movies that leaves you with not much to say because we all know how it's going to be without even seeing it. I enjoyed myself while I was watching it, but it doesn't transcend that level of entertainment, in my opinion. It's tough to place the blame in one place, so I'll just spread it out a little:

1) As my esteemed colleagues have noted, Kate Bosworth was eggregiously miscast as Lois Lane. The part requires a little spunk - even a spark of life would do (insert my trademarked "1001 Ways Rachel McAdams Would Have Kicked Ass In This Role" speech here). Instead we get this paperdoll who can't be bothered to do more than walk and smile at the same time, and was outacted by James Marsden. OK? And can we talk about that flat ass for a second? Because, seriously.

2) Kevin Spacey hammed it up, but instead of being awesomely over the top, his scenery-chewing was just sort of pathetic. Especially because he shared most of his scenes with Parker Posey, who knows just how to hit that campy note every time.

3) I'm tired of these savant children with their eerie silence and fragile natures and weird quirks. Show me a smart and fun kid, who [SPOILER] can also throw a piano across a room [/SPOILER].

4) Not enough Clark Kent! He's almost entirely absent in the second half of the movie. I thought this Routh guy did an OK job considering the role, but his Clark rang pretty false to me. I've always felt like Superman was actually Clark Kent, not the other way around. Like the Superman thing was the real costume, and while Clark was wearing it, he got to be the cool guy for awhile. But here, it seemed much more like Clark was supposed to be the act. Maybe it was Routh's choices, or maybe that's how it's supposed to be. But Clark is what keeps Superman relatable, so his absence took that away. It's like how some people claimed that the first Spiderman movie was hard to engage in because both Spidey and the Green Goblin have masks on the whole time, so it's basically just one mask yelling at another mask. Superman feels sort of like a mask.

4b) Along the same lines - I felt like they tried to make the character too much like Batman. You know, moody, broody, doesn't say much. I know Bruce Wayne. Bruce Wayne is a good friend of mine. You sir, are no Bruce Wayne. Next time, let's swing a little closer to Peter Parker, and then I think you've got it.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Strangers with Candy

Sandy's movie #20

This was kinda funny... til my buzz wore off. Dude, Maya, our tastes diverge once again (I guess this hiatus of agreement has ended). I found this movie a major disappointment. Actually I wouldn't have been disappointed if I hadn't read Maya's bolstering praise right before heading for the theater; it was about the level of laughs I would have expected from a brilliant-satire-TV-show-turned-"indie"-film a la Run, Ronnie, Run. In other words, not too many laughs.

Even the guest celebs weren't doing their best work-- a certain Oscar-winning actor seemed decidedly uncomfortable in his role. The artsy-gay audience lapped it up, though-- like Maya's Chicago audience, they were pretty much hysterical throughout and even applauded at the end.

Side note: the movie's web site design is ingenious:

Sunday, July 09, 2006

In Cold Blood

Book #9 - In Cold Blood, by Truman Capote

Having seen Capote first gave me an interesting perspective as I read this true-crime classic. If you've seen the movie, you know all about Capote's sympathy for the killer, Perry Smith. Clearly Capote felt that Smith was an intelligent and creative person, though one who was mentally ill and should not have faced the death penalty. But the portrait he paints of Smith in the book was much more balanced than I anticipated. He shows how dangerous Smith was, and he clearly felt that Smith should be punished for the horrible crimes he committed. This was a person who simply did not see value in human life, and never felt remorse for killing four people.

In the age of Court TV, we're used to this form of storytelling - crime is committed, details emerge, suspects are captured, tried, sentenced. What's different about In Cold Blood is that Capote manages to hold on to the supreme creepiness throughout every section of this story. Long after we've heard all the details, it's the workings of the killers' minds that begin to give us chills. After they've been tried and sentenced, it's the conditions and characters they find on Death Row that keep the reader up at night. This is one of those works that is both beautifully written and a well-crafted story, but what elevates it to its classic status is that you can't stop to muse about its merits because you can't seem to turn the pages fast enough, and it's getting late, and you know you won't be able to put it down until it's done.

Saturday, July 08, 2006


Maya's Movie #35

I just watched Strangers With Candy on opening night with a full house of fans. Needless to say, the audience was roaring with laughter throughout the whole film; I estimate that I didn’t hear about ¼ of the dialog because it was obscured by excessive laughter. The woman sitting behind me was clearly unfamiliar with the show, and I think she can safely be considered a new fan – she was gasping for air and kept saying, “Stop! Stop!” It’s encouraging that people who aren’t previous fans can appreciate the humor, but I noticed that it’s at “rotten” on the tomatometer. Apparently the humor is a little more skewed than most people can handle.

The movie is basically an extended version of the TV show. Almost all the same actors – the only major differences are the father, the brother, and most of the high school students (except for Tamela). Only a couple jokes are recycled from the show – most of the dialog is completely new. Some of the situations are familiar, but have a new spin (for example, Noblet dumps Jellineck at the beginning of the movie, and this subplot is one of the best parts of the movie). Another spin is the faculty steam room and the teacher’s lounge – even if you’re familiar with them from the show, there are a couple surprises in store. All the trademark insane touches are there (everything hanging on the walls behind people is worth reading, like the table of elements in the science room – pay attention). There’s also a steady stream of famous people stepping in with small roles. This movie is so worth going to, and I’m going to see it again (at an earlier show) to catch the lines I missed. It’s one of those films where you kind of stop laughing towards the end because you’re just tired out from so much laughing. Amy Sedaris and all of her friends are brilliant.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006


Sandy's movie #19: The Devil Wears Prada

Watching this movie was almost a masochistic experience, albeit a strangely pleasant one. Although I've never had a job exactly like the protagonist's, I was reminded more than a few times of my toils of yore. My ridiculous NYC internship was similarly plagued by a slightly-superior bitch with a Commonwealth accent. My demanding and esteemed former female superior (take a guess who I'm talking about, Uute) had the power to make or break you with a single raise of her eyebrow. Though none of us can say we worked for Anna Wintour or Barbara Walters or Martha Stewart, I think this movie is surprisingly relatable.

Meryl Street was brilliant. Anne Hathaway... eh, I'm indifferent. She looked good. (Was she wearing a fat suit donut during the first part of the movie?) The weak links in the cast were the romantic interests-- the MEN. Their eyebrows were hideous. First, Adrien Garnier (that's his name, right?), whose weed-like hair threatened to invade every inch of his face. Then Simon Baker with his strange clown-brows that look like they were afixed (a little sloppily) with spirit gum. Ew, ew, ew. Fortunately the adorable Stanley Tucci kept the men's side of the ship afloat. But this flick rightly belonged to the ladies... hey Hollywood, keep those juicy roles coming.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Movie #34

The Break-Up

I liked this movie quite a bit. It’s a standard Hollywood romantic comedy, but there are a few slight twists which were enough to convince me that this movie was worth watching. For example:
The setting is Chicago instead of L.A. – nice touch! They tried a little too hard to insert authentic Chicago moments in the movie (including apparently asking both Vince Vaughn and Vincent D’Onofrio to pack on some extra pounds)…. But it works, and there are some really funny lines as a result, like when Vince Vaughn refers to his friends as “Polacks with no hope for the future.”
The dialogue is believable, and sadistic/painful, and even though it’s a bit too glib to be believable, I’m glad that the director and editors thought the audience could handle some harsh and atypical dialogue (although judging from the crowd around me, they couldn’t, actually).
The mise-en-scene and set design was really good – they used both the city and the sets well.
The major one: The movie managed to totally piss off the plebes sitting around me. I hope I’m not giving too much away here… but… the characters in this film, actually… they break up. I thought that might be clear from the title of the movie, but the people around me were angry enough to exclaim “this is bullshit!” as the movie was progressing. No, not because they didn’t like the plot in general, or the acting… but because they actually came to a movie called The Break-Up and REALLY expected the main characters to reunite in a happy Hollywood Ending. Can I just vent for a second here? What is that about? I guess I knew deep down that the vast majority of Americans just want to go to the theater to sit down and be spoon-fed the same damn movie over and over again. It makes me want to light firecrackers under their butts, or tie them down and force them to watch several Takashi Miike films in succession.
Anyway, in summary, if Jennifer Aniston and Vince Vaughn don’t make you puke, this is worth watching, at least at the budget theater.

Monday, July 03, 2006

Cultural Event #17

Bauhaus and Nine Inch Nails

So… we went to see these two classic bands a couple days ago. Got a late start, but got there in style in a 1986 blue limo. We missed the opening band, Peaches… too bad because I heard she’s actually quite entertaining.

Bauhaus was great… I’ve never seen Peter Murphy live before, so was appropriately excited. We were in the grass section, which is honestly not much worse than the back section of seats (plus you don’t have the problem of your view being obscured by a tall person standing in front of you). Peter Murphy – love that voice! He is so awesome… he’s showing his age, but the performance was still great.

Nine Inch Nails came on after they set up the lights and effects… which took a really long time… in the meantime we drank overpriced beer and got silly. I’ve seen Nine Inch Nails before, but this was a damn good show. He did tons of classics from Pretty Hate Machine, which surprised me, plus a bunch of stuff I hadn’t heard (from an upcoming album? It wasn’t from his last one, unless he quickly released one I don’t know about). The crowd got pretty riled up to see him. He looked great (not showing his age yet, apparently) – shaved head, and rocking some pretty serious guns.

Anyway, the only problem I had was the venue – it was a lovely night, but it’s weird to hear bands you love while in a Great America-type atmosphere. Overpriced beer, ballpark food, stupid touristy shit… endless parking lots… WAY too many random people, etc. Here’s a pic I took with my camera phone: Not the most aesthetically pleasing stadium (stage is the little square in center-left), and the obnoxious railing going across the middle of the entire building is the heavily guarded VIP section. Thanks for making the VIP section so central to the design, and making sure there are plenty of guards to keep the riff-raff out!

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Cultural Event #16

Seu Jorge (and Amadou & Mariam) at Millennium Park

My first big free outdoors concert – it was wonderful! In case you guys haven’t been to Millennium Park, it has a great amphitheater with superb acoustics (even though it’s outdoors) – it looks like a giant crashed spaceship. I showed up an hour early with a suitcase full of booze, and got a spot on the grass pretty close to the stage (there are some seats, but sitting on the grass is more fun). Most of the time we were gabbing and goofing off, it’s a noisy crowd and not a place to sit and listen quietly - more of a drunken intergenerational party, really. The variety of people at that concert was staggering, and once again I was overjoyed that I live in such a diverse city. The majority of the crowd looked like they could be extras in a 70s film (I’m liking that these styles are back though – keep in mind that most people in Chicago aren’t going to the extremes that New Yorkers are when it comes to fashion, thank god). I did see one girl whose jean cuffs were the biggest cuffs ever. They were almost normal-length jeans, but the entire portion from her knees to ankles were cuffs. Good job girl – you win the Biggest Cuffs prize. Now go change into some jeans that you can actually wear for more than one season.

We ran into Kelly’s hyper friend Will, who put on a Charlie Chaplinesque show with a folding chair, pretending that he couldn’t get it open, to the amusement of various onlookers. In the middle of his little routine, he smacked himself across the bridge of his nose as hard as he possibly could with the chair (that wasn’t part of his original plan, I suspect). Then after a few more spastic remarks, he disappeared into the night. I love the way that every time I’m in a crowd of thousands of people, I somehow run into somebody I know.

The music was good – Seu Jorge did only two Bowie covers (Rebel Rebel and Ziggy Stardust). I couldn’t pay close enough attention to the music to say much about it – but it was all perfect, happy, dancing summer music. We were mainly there for the atmosphere, the drinking, the warm summer night, and the happy crowd.

Movie #33

The Devil Wears Prada

I saw this movie on opening night, and it was sold out. It was kind of fun to see it with a big crowd, it was actually really funny. Towards the end there’s too much sappy boring Hollywood stuff, and the pace starts dragging. I kind of think that Anne Hathaway is a simpering idiot, I can’t force myself to care about her or anything that she does. But Meryl Streep is so brilliant in everything she does, it’s amazing. Stanley Tucci is great too. It’s basically just fun to watch the insults fly in this movie, and there are some great bitchy one-liners. Overall it’s worth watching, and a good chick flick.