What I learned on Monday: walking into the school while the iPod shuffles up a swank bossa nova piece from the “Mission Impossible” TV show makes you feel incrementally cooler than the situation merits. On the other hand, playing anything from the 70s playlist makes me feel abashed for having been alive in that era. If I can be describe the perils of shuffle play on that list, it would be thus: Beyond Here Be Hurricane Smith. (That song actually came on at sotto voce levels at a store when Gnat and I were shopping, and she was amazed that I could recite the lyrics to the chorus. So was I.)

You know what sickness is? It’s not only having crap like that in your collection for kitsch value, it’s having the album art.

Calling the contractors to find out why no one showed up is never as cathartic as you think it will be.

Nothing really prepared me for a DEVASTATING FOUR-PERSON PIERCING STARE in Boondocks. I mean, it was hard enough to withstand Huey’s damning glare, but four? At once? This is like the MIRV of Huey Glares, man.

This weekend’s movies did not hit the spot, so I haven’t much for Screengrab Tuesday. Just this.

It was a bad day at Black Rock, because the designers just had a hair-pulling catfight over which typeface to use:

One for the movie, one for the trailer. It’s usually like that; don’t know why, except perhaps they wanted to save the winner for the movie, and buy off the second-best with trailer status. Hey, more people will see the trailer than see the movie, friend, and if they do see the movie, it’ll be because your font choice was so good! C'mon, lemme buy you a drink. The movie begins with a tremendous use of CinePanaVistaWideVision so big they had to knock out walls of the theater and stretch the screen into the alley:

It’s one of those holy-cripes-Murca’s-big shots that serves as a reminder we are not exactly running out of space. And the shot makes you wonder what happens if they meet a train coming in the other direction, no? Where are the other tracks?

The movie concerns the Ominous Appearance of a man everyone distrusts, because they are evil and he is – well, he is HIM:

Love the color of the train. Nice suit. He has one arm and appears to be a human bobblehead:

Do not be deceived, though; he has mad kung-fu skillz and karate chops the bad guys in a pivotal scene that not only adds another layer to his character, but tells you what audiences of the day thought was plausible. Ooh! The Karate Chop! No one can withstand the side of an old man’s hand! If I’m being less than respectful of a classic, it’s because it bored me. Perhaps I wasn’t in the mood – but the very wide-open spaces the reviewers justly praise seemed to let the energy of the film dissipate, and until the guns come out it’s mostly talking and posturing. One of those films that did little for me, but I gather that’s my fault. Not the cast, of course:

Altogether now: sssssssss. When he’s not the bad guy for whom you root, he’s the bad guy you want killed, soon, in a fashion that reveals the cowardice behind his bravado. Jerk. Imagine how much less scary he would have been if his name was Marvin Lee. That sounds like the junior accountant for a pudding factory. Then there’s America’s favorite D-cell-bodied gap-toothed simpleton:

He’s just been thrashed karate-style by Spencer "Ninja" Tracy, which naturally makes him want some more.

It’s from the “Controversial Classics” collection, as is “The Americanization of Emily,” a dark comedy from Paddy Chayevsky - if that’s not redundant - about Yanks in England in 1944. Again, not in the mood. But two things piqued my interest: there’s this guy:

An actor from my childhood, William Windom, beloved for two roles: the mad captain in “The Doomsday Machine,” and his pseudo-Thurber character in “My World and Welcome To It,” a TV show I loved very much when I was 11. As usual I had the imdb pages up, and was somewhat surprised to see the third entry on Windom’s page: Commodore Matthew Decker (2004) Star Trek New Voyages. Ah: that other homebrew Trek show. (There are two; one is co-created by the guy who runs the Strib newsroom mail center. Really.) And here he is, having time-travelled back to a time where no set-dressing or costuming is required:

Anyway. "The Americanization of Emily" features James Garner, a cynical soldier who has to deal with a priggish Julie Andrews. She gives the Yank a hard time for being a Yank and not understanding Britain or the ravages of war, and he slaps her back thus. (QT required, 1MB MP3 file.) I should note that the character does not appear to be a neocon.

Off to work; so much more tomorrow. Have a fine day.

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