December 2004 Archives

There’s no doubt that Sideways makes for an entertaining two hours, but if this is the best Hollywood has to offer in 2004 — and it might be — it’s been a pretty sorry movie year.

Bourne to Win

I liked 2002’s The Bourne Identity a lot, but I didn’t think the character/premise could sustain itself over a series. I was wrong.

As flawed as it is and even though its freshness and shock value have been diminished by imitation and time, Eyes Without a Face still works amazingly well — primal, raw, troubling, and real. Its authenticity makes it superior to 95 percent of horror movies, and it illustrates how horror operates even when it’s not terrifying.

If you’re interested in the impending “format war” for the next generation of DVD players and software (movies, music, etc.), Slate has an excellent and easy-to-understand primer.

A prediction: High-definition DVDs will flop in the marketplace.

Year of the Snob?

My two sports loves are the Red Sox (since 1986) and the men’s basketball team at the University of Illinois (my alma mater), and together they pretty much occupy me year-round. When baseball season ends in October, it’s time for college basketball, and when the Final Four is done, opening day of baseball season is upon us.

So with the Red Sox having won the World Series and with Illinois trouncing top-ranked Wake Forest last night, the 2004-5 Culture Snob sports season — already transcendent — is starting to look even better. (We shall ignore the Washington Redskins, the object of my wife’s sports affection, for the time being. It’s better for all involved.)

Illinois will surely have some bumps in the road, but come Monday, April 4, maybe, just maybe ... . And on that same day as the national-championship game, the Red Sox kick off the 2005 baseball season against the God-Damned, Mother-Fucking Yankees.