Monday, December 19, 2005

Brrr... Part Deux

Monday 19 December 2005
Weatherwise it feels like Christmas.Started to snow politely late Saturday night.I awoke to crunchy footpaths.Too treacherous to ride a bike.Tyre chains flailing against asphalt.Around 20-30cm fell depending where you live or who you believe.The most in 58 years.Usually doesnt arrive till late December or early January.So much for global warming.

I reluctantly trudged in white out condtions last night to our staff party.What a choice either watch a dour World Club Championship game which Liverpool lost 1-0 or attend our staff party.Maybe I thought I`d die of exposure on the way.
It was a 100 minute special deal affair.¥4,500 yen.Somewhat steep.But the food was well presented if a little sparse.
I arrived about three quarters of an hour after it started.Now the problem with most staff parties and this one in particular was that everyone ends up talking shop.Not surprising really given that work is the only thing the diverse characters have in common.But God its so boring.I tuned out and occupied myself by playing alternatively with my cell phone and camera.While our boy wonder boss pontificated and interrogated the newer staff members.Who naively stroked his ego.Im surprised he didnt have his notebook handy as he gathered material to be held against one in the future.Probably had a hidden mic and tape recorder..paranoid? maybe but he's sowing seeds of dissatisfaction...reap what you sow..
I consoled myself by leaving early.Only attended through a misguided sense of duty.I'd told the staff I'd attend and it didnt seem fair for them to be lumbered with having to pay for my non -appearance.

"The Forgotten".The title says it all.Its down there with "Catwoman" as the worst dvd i`ve had the displeasure to see recently.A good cast including Julianne Moore and Gary Sinise.Wasted with a light weight b grade X-File script and poor cheap special effects.It sounded like a vaccum cleaner was used in the abduction scenes.Predictable telegraphed ending.Though it did start intriguing enough,just like the trailer.

Can You Be Perfect?
Watched "Friday Night Lights" starring Billy Bob Thorton as a high school football coach in Odessa Texas.The movie is based on a book of the same name detailing the teams 1988 season.It isnt just any team either.It has a history as a 4 time state champ.The game is almost treated like a religion such is the fervent, fanatical support.
The way the movie was edited reminded me of Oliver Stones "Any Given Sunday".Lots of flashy cuts and action shots.Its difficult at times to work out who is who as the the players all look the same in uniform and helmets.At least in soccer you know which player Harry Kewell is.He's the Liverpool player with the ridiculous ponytail thingy hanging off the back of his head.If he paid as much attention to his goalscoring skills as his hairstyle he might make a half decent player yet.
Anyway I digress, the dvd has some extra bonus stuff.The best of these featured the original players some 17 years after the season portrayed in the book and film.
The directors commentary didnt reveal much.The director, Peter Berg, is related to the writer of the book and they shared the commentary.They indulged in what one of my teachers before one school dance warned us about "mutual masturbation".
Lots of self congratulatory pats on the back were exchanged.Between the bonding I learned that the writer is no longer welcome by some sections of the Odessa population for exposing the abuse,racism and intimidation that seems to be part and parcel of the game and community.I also learned the director deliberately used faded tones to show the desolation of the place.mmm subtle.
I did enjoy the movie however.Billy Bob Thorton is always worth catching.One of the few who can convey as much by a look as a page of script.Enjoyed him in "The Alamo" earlier in the year.Watching him almost emotionally implode as he turns away from the team having told them their star players injury is minor and he'll be playing next game.Yet the look tells you, the viewer, he doesnt believe a word of it.

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