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Sep 15, 2010

The State of the Cabins (9/15/10)

Things to Click On
* The Cooler's Jason Bellamy does his thing with The American, by which I mean he writes an eloquent, sharp analysis of this film that's destined to be unappreciated by its titular targets.

Movies watched for the first time (non-theatrically) since last week:
I've seen plenty in the theater lately (yay), but not a single new home-viewing experience (just re-watched Zombieland is all). So I have nothing for you here.

Music I'm currently obsessed with:
* On the heels of my trip to Las Vegas where I saw them, I returned with an itch to listen to the discography of The Refreshments/Roger Clyne & the Peacemakers.

Never heard of 'em? I wouldn't be surprised. They're an Arizona band, but back in the Refreshments days (mid-to-late-90s), they had a hit with "Banditos:
"Well give your ID card to the border guard
Yeah, your alias says you're Captain Jean-Luc Picard
Of the United Federation of Planets
'Cause he won't speak English anyway"
That's a great, catchy song, but it's far from my favorite. In fact, over the course of the combined seven studio albums I've got from them, I'd have a really hard time picking out my five favorites, much less one. But I've got to give you something, so howsabout a little "Mekong?"

Book I'm currently reading:
* Battle Royale. I really wanted to finish this in time for today's post, but no dice. I've about 60 pages left (out of just over 600), so the end is near, and I can't wait to see just how it shakes out. I have the feeling that I'm either going to really love or really hate the ending. Where the characters' motives are at - or at least some of the characters (ok, just Shogo) - is still somewhat in question; I'm too wary of trusting just about anyone in this book for fear of more or less getting stabbed in the back by them myself, emotionally speaking. I really want to take Shogo at his words, but I feel like I should know better. Some heartbreaking deaths, some ridiculous deaths, and some just plain boring ones (ask me later, Nick) - it's all good, though, as this has made for an excellent read, and I can't wait to see the movie as well.

10 people have chosen wisely: on "The State of the Cabins (9/15/10)"

Nick said...

I so can't wait to hear what you think of the ending.

Even more (almost), I can't wait to hear what you think of the movie.

Nick said...

Oh, and make sure to read the back bottom of the last page when you get there. There's a sentence there for some strange reason.

smacdonn said...

The last time I went to karaoke, I did Banditos. It was fairly epic (after a rough start)

Fletch said...

Nick - Do you know if the movie is on NWI? If it is, that'll expedite my viewing, I'm sure. If not, not sure when I'll see it.

Hmmm...curious hints there. I'll be expecting a shocker of a finale. :)

Shawn - No kidding? That's pretty sweet. Right before I put this up, I saw that you put up the video for that one. Is that where you first heard them, when Banditos was getting radio play? Still a fan?

Nick said...

Nope, it's not on Instant Streaming. Though again, I suggest catching the Director's Cut over the original if you have the option. It includes some things the original version doesn't... like any kind of background whatsoever on Mitsuko Souma.

smacdonn said...

Yeah, I used to hear it on the radio all the time. I probably have heard the rest of that album, but not much else. I wouldn't say I'm a fan of the band. I love Bandidos, but I don't really know anything else by them.

Fletch said...

Nick - considering the content, I'm not sure I want to see any of Mitsuko's background. Not exactly happy happy joy joy to be found there.

Finished the book last night. There are things I liked and didn't like about the ending, but overall, I'd say I dug it. You might say the same for the book, I suppose. It's an excellent setup that's really well-written overall - I have a few character/plotting issues, but nothing outstanding.

Watched the trailer for the flick - already not pleased with the looks/sound of the Sakamochi character. It's too bad he's from Hong Kong (and too old), because as I was reading it, I pictured a younger James Hong the whole time. Menacing, but quiet and calm about it.

I really don't I'll like the movie - I see it coming across much more exploitative than the book. With all those additional senses, reading nasty violence in books is a lot less intense than seeing it. And between what you've said and what I've read, all of the changes from the novel will likely get to me (why bother?)

smacdonn - Bah - give them a shot. Good stuff all around...

Nick said...

Actually, the teacher is changed completely from the book. However, if the movie did improve on something, I'd say it's the teacher. I actually like how he's portrayed in the film.

Otherwise, everything else about the movie ruins the book.

As for Mitsuko, it doesn't actually show anything... but it's really some of the only character depth *any* of them get in the entire movie. The movie also cuts out all the music/rock 'n' roll stuff and fight the power and all that (which was a huge theme in the book). And so much more.

I don't think you'll like the movie, either, but I'd say to check it out anyway. It is much more exploitative than the book. Like I've said before, it turned a psychological thriller into a shoot-em-up.

What didn't you like about the ending?

Fletch said...

Ah, but I really like my idea for the teacher. He's supposed to be calm and somewhat emotionless about the whole affair, as if the kids were gnats or something. To see him so animated was a bit jarring. Still, I'll withhold judgement.

Emailed you my answer about the ending. Don't wanna ruin it for peeps.

Nick said...

He actually is a bit calmer and more subdued throughout most of it. They just chose that one scene for the trailer. The movie actually gives him more depth than the book did.