The Sixth Estate
Sunday, August 29, 2004

I'm in Las Vegas all this week. Fun end of summer trip with friends. Should be a great time.

If I die avenge my death... and or clone me... so that my clone can avenge my death.

20000 HITS !!! Nice.

As you can see I've gone over my bandwidth limit so none of my images work. I'll get you for that Rogers!

To Vegas I go.

Monday, August 23, 2004
QUOTE OF THE DAY : "Whatsoever that be within us that feels, thinks, desires, and animates, is something celestial, divine, and, consequently, imperishable." - Aristotle

SONG OF THE DAY : K-OS - Heaven Only Knows

LINK OF THE DAY : Toogle : Try It.

Hear me more plainly.
I have in equal balance justly weigh'd
What wrongs our arms may do, what wrongs we suffer,
And find our griefs heavier than our offences.

She's so talented. *Vomits in terror*

Wow... It's been a while since I updated the old bloggy. I kept getting hits during my absence which amazed me. I'm averaging about 250 hits a day, much more than I ever expected to get. I'm led to believe that between 10-20 of those hits are me visiting the site off and on throughout the day. That leaves about 230 hits unaccounted for. If you visit the site, comment or sign the guestbook, it's much appreciated. I'd like to think my ramblings aren't falling on deaf ears... OR since my ramblings are in text form... Blind eyes.

As predicted, Alien Vs Predator was mediocre at best. So much potential wasted. I have one correction to make though, the film was rated PG not PG-13. For shame 20th Century Fox, you've bastardized two of cinemas most enduring monsters.

I went to a showing of HERO last week. Though I'd already seen it on DVD, it was a real treat to see it on the big screen. The film stars Jet Li, Donnie Yen and Zhang Ziyi among others. Very impressive looking film, with good action to boot. HERO kicks Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon's ass in my opinion. Look for a review on Thursday.

I also saw Open Water. It's basically a shark movie, about two people who accidentally get left behind after a scuba diving trip in the Caribbean. It's the feel good movie of the year. Actually it was quite disturbing.

The summer is wasting away, but I think I've made the most of it. I've found a good balance between seeing movies, social alcoholism, working out, and chilling. It would have been an even better summer if the weather had been better. Don't think you won't pay Mother Nature!

Some friends of mine just got back from an incredible trip in SouthEast Asia... Every story I hear makes me more and more jealous. Must go travelling again.

My TV is stuck on CITY TV right now, due to the channel buttons breakage. Thankfully the mute button does work, and since Friends is on this is a very good thing. Am I the only person that never watched that show? Watching something with no volume really shows you how bad some actors are. I wish I had gone to the Jennifer Aniston school of acting.

- Will
Thursday, August 12, 2004
QUOTE OF THE DAY : "Television knows no night. It is perpetual day. TV embodies our fear of the dark, of night, of the other side of things." - Jean Baudrillard

SONG OF THE DAY : Beastie Boys - An Open Letter To NYC

LINK OF THE DAY : Bush Explains Sovereignty.

My grief lies all within,
And these external manners of lament
Are merely shadows to the unseen grief
That swells with silence in the tortured soul.

As I sit here watching wannabe celebrity pugilists go at it on CELEBRITY BOXING 2, I wonder why? Why would these washed up stars do this? The fact that they have no career isn't embarrassment enough? At the same time I look forward to another battle of the titans. Tomorrow I'm seeing a 10 AM screening of Alien Vs Predator.

Why is it so early tomorrow? I don't know. There were no advanced screenings of the film... Which does not bode well. Usually when the studio senses a stinker, they don't let the critics see it early. Such will probably be the case with AvP, but I'll see it anyways. Paul W.S. Anderson can make cool movies... Ok one. Event Horizon... It wasn't bad. Everything else he's done, is horrible, in my opinion. This is the man who brought us Resident Evil after all.

I for one relish the chance to see the Aliens from Aliens and the Predators from Predator go at it. How can you go wrong? Well there are lots of ways. For one you can rate the movie PG-13. Considering that it's based off two very hard R rated franchises, you'd think they'd go for the R rating. That's another thing studios do when they sense a stinker, you let all the stupid 13 year olds go see a less violent edit of the film, and thusly make more money.

I may or may not review it. We'll see.

Should be interesting.

- Will
Sunday, August 08, 2004
QUOTE OF THE DAY : "What you have to do is enter the fiction of America, enter America as fiction. It is, indeed, on this fictive basis that it dominates the world." - Jean Baudrillard

SONG OF THE DAY : Sloan - She Says What She Means

LINK OF THE DAY : Shades of Gray : Funny Film

His sword, death's stamp,
Where it did mark, it took; from face to foot
He was a thing of blood, whose every motion
Was timed with dying cries

Having a very lazy weekend. Other than clubbing at Piccadilly Circus on Thursday night... I've done absolutely nothing. I didn't work, I didn't go out, just totally vegged out and watched a few movies. Good times.

Among the films I either rented, downloaded or watched on TV were 3 I really liked. 21 Grams, Heat and The Eiger Sanction. Heat is another great film by Michael Mann, with Al Pacino and Robert Deniro... Awesome movie. The Eiger Sanction is a classic Clint Eastwood flick... He plays a mountain climbing assassin, yes you heard me.
21 Grams was a very cool, but very depressing movie. Sean Penn and Benicio Del Toro are awesome actors.

On the topic of movies, I've added a new feature for this blog. I've archived all my movie reviews. Any movies I review in the future will be on that page. Look to the right of the page and you will see MOVIE REVIEWS under the Sections category.

It was a pain in the ass to create that page, but it was worth it.

And I believe I'm spent.

- Will

Thursday, August 05, 2004
QUOTE OF THE DAY : Why pay a dollar for a bookmark? Why not use the dollar for a bookmark? -Steven Spielberg

SONG OF THE DAY : Muse - Hysteria


Enjoy the honey-heavy dew of slumber:
Thou hast no figures nor no fantasies
Which busy care draws in the brains of men;
Therefore thou sleep’st so sound.

9/10 STARS

Tom Cruise is Vincent. A ruthless hitman in Collateral.

In Collateral Jamie Foxx plays Max, a veteran Los Angeles cabbie. Max is very good at what he does. He knows LA like the back of his hand, and will get you where you need to go on time. It's a normal enough day, Max starts his shift and picks up his first customer of the night, Annie (Jada Pinkett Smith). Annie is an attorney working on a huge case, she's obviously in need of a break though, and Max provides some respite with an enjoyable conversation. Intrigued by Max, she leaves him her business card hoping to continue their conversation in the future. No sooner does he drop of Annie when his next customer jumps in the taxi. Vincent (Tom Cruise) is in real estate, just in Los Angeles for the night, closing a big deal... Or so he says. He asks Max if he can hire the cab for the night. Max normally doesn't hire out the taxi, but Vincent only has five stops to make, so the six hundred dollars he gives him is all the convincing Max needs. Soon enough they arrive at their first stop, Vincent goes up to an apartment while Max waits for him in the alley behind the building. Max is minding his own business, eating a sandwich when out of nowhere the body of a man crashes onto the roof of his cab. Vincent returns to find Max in a state of panic, and it's soon revealed that Vincent killed the man that fell on the cab. Apparently Vincent is not in real estate, he is in actuality an ex-special forces, hired assassin. Vincent has four more stops to make and Max is now his hostage. It's going to be a long night.

Collateral is director Michael Mann in top form. I was drawn in to this film right from the get-go. The film is intense at times, funny other times, and brutally violent throughout. That's not to say the film is a pure action piece, far from it. There are many action sequences but some of the films best moments are just Cruise and Foxx talking in the cab, both of whom are excellent in the film. For once in a film starring Tom Cruise I didn't look at his character and say "Oh it's Tom Cruise playing a character.", I looked and I saw Vincent, a cold-blooded, charismatic hit-man. This is one of the strongest performances I've seen Cruise give. Jamie Foxx is no slouch in the film either. As was the case with Cruise, Foxx's performance convinced me he was the character, Max the ordinary cab driver put in extraordinary circumstances. Based on his strong performance in Collateral I look forward to seeing Jamie Foxx portray Ray Charles in his next film. Mark Ruffalo who plays the detective tracking the mysterious trail of murders is very good as well. The part was originally intended for Val Kilmer, and I would be curious to see what the film would have been like with him instead, but Ruffalo makes it work. As with all of Mann's films, the criminals and the police are not bumbling amateurs. They are all professional people who are good at what they do, and the actors in Collateral do a great job making you aware of this fact.

Ever present in Collateral is Michael Mann's signature visual flare. Shot on digital video cameras, the picture is crisp and clear even in the darkest scenes. What I really liked about the film was the up close and personal feeling it had. The audience will feel like they're right there riding in the cab with Max and Vincent. The DV cameras, and particularly Mann's shooting style give it that feel. In the tradition of previous Mann ventures like Thief and Miami Vice, Collateral has that dark streets/bright lights mood to it. The ever present glow of lights in LA give the film a really gritty atmosphere. One of the standout scenes in the film takes place in an Asian trance music club. The tension building up to the scene is palpable, and once the action begins you'll be on the edge of your seat. The chaos and confusion caused by this shoot out in the club make you feel like you are there, not knowing what's going to happen next. My only real qualm with the film are some of the soundtrack choices. The music is great for the most part, as you would expect from the man that brought us Miami Vice, but suddenly in the middle of the film the band Creed breaks in and totally takes you out of the scene. Maybe it was just me, I'm not a big fan of Creed.

If you want a taught, well made action-thriller, Collateral is definitely the movie to see. It's well acted and executed. The two leads in the film give the performances of their careers thus far, that alone makes the film worth seeing. It is a bit on the violent side, and not cartoony, funny violence. It's brutal, no holds barred, bone breaking violence. The violence does make sense in the context of the story though, and is not gratuitous at all. Will Cruise finally get his Oscar for this role? Maybe. He's very likely to be nominated for it. Collateral is a smart, entertaining movie and there should be nothing stopping you from seeing it.

- Will

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Glory is fleeting, but obscurity is forever.
- Napoleon Bonaparte




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