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Feb 2, 2011

The State of the Cabins (2/2/11)

Movies watched for the first time (non-theatrically) since last week:
I talked about this on the most recent LAMBcast, as it was a 'Whatcha Been Watchin' Lately?' episode. I'm gonna refer you to it (should be up on the weekend) and just say, "Yes, young people can get cancer...but they don't get it nearly as often as older people do." Cancer.org told me so! More than 3/4 of cancer cases are in people aged 55 or over. So take that, Jason!

Fletch's Film Rating:
"You seem a decent fellow. I hate to kill you."
"Darn tootin."
Large Association of Movie Blogs

I attempted to talk about this one as well, but failed miserably.

Those who have heard of it know that it is the film that put Clive Owen on the map. He plays a struggling writer with a somewhat murky past working in Africa as a croupier, amongst other things (croupier is a fancy word for casino games worker, like a blackjack dealer or roulette dude). Through the help of his dad, he gets a job as a croupier in London to help him pay the bills, etc. Long story short - he meets shady characters, gets caught up in schemes, and just might be in over his head.

The structure of the film is somewhat interesting yet also mildly irritating. Since he's a writer, the film becomes the tale of a struggling writer who takes a job as a croupier. Owen narrates as if telling the story he's writing. This, combined with low production values and the date of its making (1998) made the proceedings feel as if I was watching a mid-90s American indie about people just out of college. Or maybe it was the bizarre outfit he wore that reminded me of the Spin Doctors for some reason. But it was probably the narration.

Anyway...it's an okay flick. If you big Clive and/or really love flicks set in casinos, you could do a lot worse. But it won't rock your world or anything. My big takeaway was the shocking sight of Alex Kingston's naked body. She always struck me as a bit ugly and the owner of a pear-shaped torso, but not so. (That's Kingston above with Owen.) Not exactly the best thing to take away from a movie, but them's the facts.

Fletch's Film Rating:
"Darn tootin."
"You seem a decent fellow. I hate to kill you."
Large Association of Movie Blogs

Music I'm currently obsessed with:
* Nothing really, so how 'bout another Groundhog Day reference today? Not sure how many times I've seen the flick, but I never knew that they were saying "Pennsylvania Polka." I always thought they were saying "...it's a day for..." and I could never tell what the last word. I feel dumb. Still, try to get it out of your head.

Book I'm currently reading:

* Almost finished with book four of of The Green Mile, and I'm starting to get psyched to finish it already so that I can watch the movie.

I'm enjoying King's writing and will have to delve further (NEWS FLASH: Stephen King is a good writer. Being the #1 best-selling author of all time should have been a clue, and I know he's not straight horror most of the time, but I guess I just never got around to it.). It's not FANTASTIC, but it's solid and has a brilliantly detailed atmosphere and well-drawn characters. The arc of the story seems a bit obvious at times, but that might also be because King telegraphs it for us.

I hate knowing the cast of a book-to-film adaptation before I read the book. If I've seen a movie based on a book and have not yet read it, I likely won't, mostly for that reason (even more than already knowing the story). I made an exception here, though all I knew was Hanks, Michael Clarke Duncan, Barry Pepper and I had an inkling that Sam Rockwell was in it - though I only knew for sure which two characters Hanks and Duncan were (for obvious reasons).

But I figured I was far enough along for my preconceived notions of the characters to be set, and I was really curious, so I finally looked it up today on IMDb. SHOCKED that Pepper was not cast as Percy and that some unknown guy was. Hell, Pepper's character in the book is (thus far) wildly unimportant to the story. But aside from that, I saw him as Percy and thought it perfect casting. Maybe it's because I just already knew he was in it and pegged him for the character early on, but I doubt it. Rockwell seems very well cast as Wharton. And I knew that they couldn't cast Clancy Brown as Brutal, what with him playing a prison guard...set decades prior...in a Stephen King adaptation...less than five years after Shawshank, but damned if I still don't think he'd be perfect for the role. That said, David Morse was a fine choice and a great actor, so I can't wait to see him in the role as well.

Things to Click On
* If you are a LAMB member and have not yet taken the LIONS for LAMBs poll for 2010, DO IT NOW! The link can be found here. (the Large Association of Movie Blogs)

* I didn't even know that Andy linked to me, I just saw a post on Justified and knew that was gonna make this list. (The Ramblings of a Minnesota Geek)

(Sidenote for Andy: I feel terrible, dude. I feel like I've been aware of your site forever, but for whatever reason, I'd never really gotten around to reading it until recently. BIG REGRET! We are totally simpatico, and I'm a follower and fan and all that. Folks, if you like this site, you'll likely dig Andy's as well.)

* First we get to see Rachel in action (who was an awesome actress, then Nick talks about a favorite silly movie of mine - the one, the only Kentucky Fried Movie. That shit gets linked. (R2D2)

* You come out to play golf and drink beer (and bring beer!) and visit Mrs. Fletch and our baby girl...you also get linked! Superman Kai was here this past weekend for a hell of a time, then got back and wrote about his favorite vessels (or wessels, if you prefer). (The List)

(Sidenote: you'll have a chance to see Kai and I in action on a future Vlog of Nick's. It's epically epic badassery...that's all I can say.)

That's it!

6 people have chosen wisely: on "The State of the Cabins (2/2/11)"

James Blake Ewing said...

I actually don't really care for King's writing style. It gets in the way of his stories. But his stories are usually so good I end up engaged in his books anyway. But I'm basing all this off The Dark Tower series. Haven't got past that yet.

I've never been interested in Fanboys, probably never will be. Just seems like the kind of geekfest that would end up bugging me.

Travis McCollum said...

I've always been a big supporter of King but I find his short stories to be much better than his longer stories. I mean there are exceptions of course, but he has a real knack for short stories and if you haven't checked out any of his collections you should give them a shot. In fact his newest book that recently came out is a collection, although there are only a few longer ones instead of a bunch of short ones like his other ones.

Fanboys resonates with my inner nerd so I enjoyed it.

Nick said...

I've only had negative interactions with King. I tried the first book of Dark Tower and couldn't get more than 30 pages or something like that through it. Then I read "Cell," which is his attempt at zombie horror, and it sucks... a lot.

Thanks for the double (triple?) plug!

Andrew Simon said...

Fletch - First, the FANBOYS photo: Best. Picture. EVER. *butterflies

Secondly, major amounts of super thank you for the link love, Fletch!

Kaiderman said...

That's right... that happened... suck it!

Fletch said...

James - Well, I'll at least try another book, if not more. I'm a bit hesitant to go the Dark Tower route, though - aren't there like 7000 of them in that series?

Fanboys is ok. It's like Road Trip + cancer - nudity + Star Wars - some of the funniness.

Travis - I might go the collection of short stories route next. Sounds like a good idea; though, I see a guy at work that reads a lot and he's currently reading that new one and doesn't like it so much. Maybe I'll go with an older one first.

Nick - You're welcome. And yeah, that's why I'm not doing Dark Tower.

Andy - Yup, that was the desired reaction for that image selection. :D

You're totally welcome!

Kai - Wha?