Weekend Update (on a Wednesday)
Don't worry, the blog hasn't ceased to be. I've taken a bit of a posting hiatus due to my life being beset by busy-ness over the last week. Busy-ness and stupidity, to be exact. I had this post written up two days ago but didn't post it because I literally forgot my password. I sat there for 20 minutes trying to remember it but it just didn't click until 10 minutes ago. Unbelievable.
So anyway, big things going on in the life o'Mark. If all goes to plan, I'll be moving to Toronto next week for another summer in the Big Smoke. This time, I'll hopefully be living in a place that doesn't have bedbugs or mice. It was somewhat unfortunate since my room was bug-free (it came unfurnished, so I brought a bed from home), and my poor roommates had to suffer through the lack of sleep and red bite marks on their arms every morning while I slept like a baby. I almost felt guilty. Though one time when I was taking out the trash, I slipped on the step and splashed some garbage-water on my pants. So, uh, that's something. And they were the very pants I was returning! [/Kramer]
Went to see the Bank Job last Saturday night, which I enjoyed a lot more than I thought I would. I was underwhelmed by the previews and the critical reception was lukewarm, but I underestimated how much my Anglophile self would appreciate the film's Britishness. Setting a film in England automatically makes any it 30% better. Bank Job is pretty liberal with the facts and controversy surrounding an actual 1971 London bank robbery, but I'd be interested in knowing how accurate this detail about the sex photos of Princess Margaret are. Not because, like, I'm kinky or something, but that's a pretty large factoid to just throw into the plot. Is the Queen going to grit her teeth angrily when watching this movie? Since, obviously, her majesty will go see it based on my positive review --- she's a fan of the blog. She often posts comments under the name of 'k. wasko.'
It's also time to give a round of applause to the always dependable Jason Statham, who is arguably the best second-tier action/thriller star in movies today. Snatch, War, Crank, and other films that include more than one word in the title all benefit from having Statham on-board. Crank, in particular, takes a certain brand of machismo to make work before the film completely descends into absurdity, but Statham is just the man for the job. Two fun Crank facts: they're making a sequel (uh, it's got to be a prequel...right?), and according to Wikipedia, Statham is quoted in a Maxim article as saying his character in Crank is not unlike him in real life. So, presumably, Statham has actually had sex with his girlfriend in the middle of a crowded street while a bus of tourists watches in awe. I can believe it. Statham is the man.
Going back to my point about how any film is improved by being set in England, maybe I should expand that to any film set in Europe. The very enjoyable In Bruges, for example, makes you want to get on the next flight to Bruges, Belgium. Warning: this film contains large doses of Colin Farrell, but for a change he doesn't come off as a twat. Warning II: this film also contains a scene where a midget is knocked out via karate chop. This scene caused my buddy Trev's girlfriend to, in his words, "laugh for 10 minutes." If you have a loved one who could have a seizure at the merest hint of normal sized man-on-midget violence, stay away from In Bruges. I'd instead recommend the 1979 Best Picture winner Kramer vs. Kramer. It's been a while since I've seen it, but I don't think any midgets are assaulted. There is a smaller person on screen, but don't worry --- that's just Dustin Hoffman and Meryl Streep's son.
This particular weekend also contained copious amounts of turkey and basketball. Oh Easter --- you're easily the best holiday we have that notes a man's violent death. And Easter leftovers are even better, since we're continuing to celebrate the J-man by 'resurrecting' our dinner from the previous evening. Mel Gibson take note: the sight of me tearing into an Easter dinner is almost as bloody and violent as the Passion, so keep the cameras rolling.
As for March Madness, I've done reasonably well in my brackets thus far. Here's the thing: I have three of them. Two in Yahoo pools, one on Facebook. I have different picks in all of them. My three national champs are UCLA, Kansas and Wisconsin. Some upsets I predicted, some I didn't, but the fact that my three brackets differ wildly really splits my rooting interests when watching games. For example, Davidson's upset over Georgetown. I had them winning on one bracket, and the sports fan in me loved seeing the smaller school led by Stephen Curry (who you might remember from the Seinfeld episode where Elaine isn't sure if she's dating a black guy) take out the mighty Hoyas. Then again, in my other two brackets, I had Georgetown going to the Elite Eight and Final Four, respectively. Next year I'm just going to do one bracket and stick to it for simplicity's sake. Basketball highlights included me correctly picking three-fourths of the upset-filled opening round games in Tampa, Duke losing (I had them going Elite Eight, but who cares, Duke lost!) and the ass-kickingly awesome Western Kentucky/Drake battle last Friday. Last-second buzzer beaters join the Muppets and root beer on the list of things that everyone loves.
The WK/Drake game interrupted a marathon session of Rock Band at my pal Andrew's place on Friday. After playing for a while, I can say I'm a respectable guitarist/bassist as anything below the hard setting. My drumming is...well, it's bad. Like, if the guy from Def Leppard lost his other arm, he'd still be better than me. My singing falls somewhere in between. My problems start when I try to sing a song like the original singer, not like myself. John Fogerty sounds like John Fogerty; I don't. So when I sing Fortunate Son, the results aren't pretty. If I sing it and just sound like myself, it's a bit better. One of the great Rock Band memes was started on the Conan O'Brien episode when Conan sings along with "Sabotage" in the voice of Edith Bunker. Since then, performing Sabotage has become total comedy since you can just rap it in whatever silly voice you want. My pal Dave busted out both Mayor Quimby and Arnold Schwarzenegger, even including Arnold-isms like "Day-nahhh!" during the fills.
Oh, another weekend highlight was reading this post. The problem about this secular commandments is that I've followed them so closely that I've made Ryan into my new messiah. Save me Jebus!