April 2004 Archives

From the Associated Press:

Byung-Hyun Kim returned to Boston’s dominant pitching staff by allowing one hit in five innings and the Red Sox posted their third straight shutout, 4-0 over Tampa Bay in the opener of a day-night doubleheader Thursday.

Kim and three relievers limited the Devil Rays to three singles as Red Sox pitchers extended their scoreless streak to 32 innings. Boston relievers have pitched 30 1/3 straight shutout innings.

Boston won its fifth straight game and has the best record in the majors at 14-6.

I didn’t realize until today that I share a birthday with Daniel Day-Lewis and Jerry Seinfeld. And the 1992 Los Angeles riots started on my birthday. Happy birthday, Daniel. Happy birthday, Jerry. Happy birthday, riots — you’ll be a teenager soon.

Story Over Substance

On paper, Shattered Glass sounds like an earnest bore. It’s the now-familiar story of Stephen Glass, a writer for The New Republic who in the late 1990s made a bunch of shit up in his articles. Oh, the stuff of great cinema! Yet the film is amazingly peppy, smart, and light. It might be the most fun you’ll ever have watching a movie that’s good for you.

Distrust Your Eyes

I’m not a big fan of the online magazine Salon — it’s so knee-jerk liberal that it’s offensive to thoughtful people, preachy to the choir of loyal leftists, and easily dismissed by conservatives. But today’s edition includes three interesting pieces.

We Built This Shitty

Normally, lists of the best or worst of anything offend my sensibilities, but Blender magazine’s fifty worst songs ever seems to nail it, topped by Starship’s “We Built This City.” I hated it way back in 1985, when I liked a lot of awful stuff.

No More Monkey Sex

Because I believe dead horses should be beaten, Snob heroine Dahlia Lithwick writes an amusing but bitter piece on the topic of the U.S. Supreme Court and the death penalty.

I noticed that I haven’t mentioned my beloved Red Sox yet this year, but with the first series against the God-Damned Mother-Fucking Yankees finished — Boston took three of four — it finally feels like baseball season.

The team looks a little shaky so far without Nomar or Trot in the lineup for the foreseeable future, but pitching should keep Boston in decent shape until they return. And articles such as this one keep the optimism high.

We have our Red Sox flag flying and are trying to get a satellite TV service. If we take the plunge, don’t expect to hear much from me until October.

In the works are pieces on Shattered Glass and the fantastic Spanish film Intacto. The missus, Bad Dog Ginger, and I suffered through The Matrix Revolutions and Scarface over the weekend, but I shan’t be writing about those; they’re worth neither the time nor the effort.

Grief Without Weight

21 Grams is a beautifully made formal exercise — a story chopped up into so many bits that the audience spends almost all of its energy putting the pieces together. But the structure is so overpowering that it’s difficult to evaluate the content; one viewing suggests the narrative is too under-developed to survive scrutiny or a linear telling.

Hazy and Lazy

What, exactly, is one supposed to get from Errol Morris’ latest movie, The Fog of War, winner of this year’s Oscar for best documentary? This feature-length interview with Robert McNamara — secretary of defense in the Kennedy and Johnson administrations — is more mirror than painting, allowing many critics to read into it exactly what they bring in. It’s a curious effect, but not entirely surprising.

A Snobby Ebertfest

Culture Snob and the missus will in 10 days be traveling to Chambana, Illinois — the site of the Snob’s college days as well as a later stint of employment — for a day of Roger Ebert’s Overlooked Film Festival. We’ll be seeing Errol Morris’ Gates of Heaven, Daniel Algrant’s People I Know, and Werner Herzog’s Invincible.

All three directors will be present, and with any luck we’ll hear stories about the famous shoe-eating episode related to Herzog’s pronouncement when Morris was a student.

Dead Dreams

requiem6.jpgMy dictionary says a requiem is a musical composition or somber chant in honor of the dead, but Darren Aronofsky’s Requiem for a Dream is more like a howl of pain that builds slowly over 100 minutes to an intensity that’s nearly impossible to bear.