Dear reader, it has been almost a month since my last confession. I have missed three weekly inventories, blatantly and maliciously ignoring the need to look back on my findings and see where I stand. This is mostly because the weekly inventory is supposed to be a moment to glance back in retrospect and think thoughtfully, and I have barely had a moment to spare. Looking back isn’t my specialty at the moment.
I am extremely thankful for this abundance of new and exciting things – hey look a job! And apartment hunting, and starting a new website (more on that later)! – but all this concern for my future has done little for Today I’m Discovering. I aim to, with as much brevity as I can muster (if you have read this blog for more than even five minutes, you know brevity is not my strong suit), make up for this disparity and take a look back at all the discoveries I have made in the month of June. And then, as penance for my long absence, I will give you, in a separate post, the three bonus discoveries I egregiously tore from you!
- Way back in the long-forgotten days of late May, I saw the Hangover: Part II. It wasn’t revelatory by any means, but I found it a fine enough
way to spend an evening. There are worst comedy teams out there then
the Wolfpack, let’s face it, and when Alan does something certifiably
insane, there are few better comedy teams. And so I was shocked to
find that the film was almost universally loathed for being identical
to the first, beloved film. To which I asked: “Have you actually ever
seen comedy?” the point of a comedy routine is that it is, well,
routine. I may have defended the film itself to fervently, but I stand
by what I said about critic’s misplaced aggression towards what was a
very good comedy film.
- I saw the first trailer for Fincher’s American remake of The Girl With
the Dragon Tattoo. I loved it. People cringe at the idea of Hollywood
remaking foreign films, but Fincher seems to have his finger to the
pulse of Larson’s trilogy in a way I feel the Swedish films did not. I
mean, I’m gleaning a whole lot from just one very schizophrenic
trailer (and a very cringey, and rather genius, NSFW poster), but
that’s kind of what trailers are for. We’re supposed to get
unreasonably excited based on two minutes of randomly edited footage
meant to elicit a reaction. Another trailer that got me excited: the
very timely “here’s why we never went back to the moon” trailer for
the thriller Apollo 18.
- After the crushing experience of rooting for Haley Reinhart on
American Idol, I checked out The Voice. I fell for it’s distinctly
non-Idol charms. I’ve recapped both live episodes, and while I admit
that, as each week goes on, this show does look more and more like
that other show it tries very much not to be like, I can not deny that
this show has extraordinary potential, great personalities sitting in
the coaches’ chairs, and some extreme talent (Javier, I am looking at
you). All of this outweighs the irritating presence of living Twitter
feed Alison Haislip, who is like a persistent fly who keeps landing in
a really good soup.
- I played my first game of Dungeons and Dragons. Why I didn’t see it
coming, I don’t know, considering I love dressing up as blue
superheroes and acting, but I kind of fell for role-playing games
right away, even if I still don’t understand all (or any) of the mechanics.
Part 2 is coming soon I promise.
- I asked aloud a question which had bugged me persistently the night
X-Men: First Class was released: why am I nervous to see this film I
know I will love? I love Mad Men. I love all things X-Men. What was
bugging me. I’m still bugged today, because I haven’t seen the film
yet. Alas. But news flash! Tomorrow I have plans lined up to actually
go see this movie. I’m not in this least bit nervous anymore.
- I got to see LA Noire get played, live! I mean, I haven’t actually
played it (I probably shouldn’t be allowed, because I would royally
suck), but it was a rush to even see a portion of it played. Also,
that post led to a moment of unintentional comedy last night when a
friend asked about the video game I kept bringing up in my blog posts.
He called it “Lanore.” I was immensely confused, because I had never
spoken of Lanore in my entire life, but another friend who keeps up
with this blog translated and I realized that, truly, if you had never
heard anything about this game, the conglomeration of letters, LA
Noire, would indeed be baffling. Needless to say, I laughed for a
while after that.
- I read every article on Grantland, the new sports and pop culture
website run by personal hero Bill Simmons. I have kept up pretty much
religiously ever since. Some of the articles are pretty bad, but about
60 percent are just phenomenal little treatises on the most mundane
and wonderful topics. My favorite, about the cultural
misappropriations associated with baseball, was just phenomenal.
- I saw Scott Pilgrim and Super 8 in one really great 24 hour span. In
retrospect, I liked Super 8 a little better, but I suspect it’s
because, even while paying rapt attention to every sight gag in
Pilgrim, I know I missed probably 100 more because I was trying to
watch it as my fellow audience members became increasingly inebriated.
Super 8 featured less inebriation altogether (only the people onscreen
got drunk, which is a nice change!). All the same, both movies are not
yet fully appreciated for their love of culture (Linda Holmes points
out that Super 8 is a movie that is great because it is so in love
with movies and making movies, and I would argue Scott Pilgrim spreads this love to many other less-appreciated forms of cultural expression) and for being awesome movies, but give them twenty years. They’ll be the movies you show when you want to show what movie were like in the early ’10s.
- I listened to Commentary: The Musical, which is, funnily enough, a
musical which runs over another musical, Dr Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog. Delighted does not begin to describe my reaction. Fourteen more great songs from Whedon (who actually sings!), Day, Fillion, NPH and all their friends. I mean, how could you pass that up?
- I saw the video for Katy Perry’s “Last Friday Night“. Two things:
Everything I said about Rebecca Black seems even more prescient considering the removal of Friday from YouTube and the sudden feud between Black and the studio that unintentionally created her. Begin phase 2 of the Rebecca Black saga. Will America never be free?
Can you believe songs from Perry’s Teenage Dream album are still having this much sway. It feels like forever since “California Gurls” blew up, and really, in musical terms, it has been. Did you know: Perry is the first artist ever to have a song present in the Top 10 for a full year. From the moment “Gurls” jumped into the Top 10 to a few weeks ago when another strong showing from “ET” made it a full year, Perry has been a presence in the upper echelon of pop music. This album was a perfectly paced marketing blast, which is funny because the album itself was kind of a bust saleswise. Hmmm….
- I expressed my desire to see the Spiderman musical, even though I know
I would hate it. Why? Because this whole fiasco is a big deal, and I
want to have the scars to show off thirty years from now! Saying you
were there when this happened will be like a badge of honor.
- I gave The Glee Project a passing grade for being a compelling show
about the strain of trying to be famous on command for a bunch of young adults who have grown up being told fame can happen to you at any moment. That’s a really good idea for a show! I mean this show seems to have no idea that this is what it’s about. It thinks it’s a singing competition and a vehicle for Ryan Murphy to show us how great he is. Well, as long as that agenda doesn’t get in the way of what I find compelling about this new show, Murphy and friends can think whatever they want.
Three bonus discoveries coming soon.