Across the Universe review

•September 23, 2007 • Leave a Comment

Whether or not you will enjoy this movie depends mainly on your tastes, and your stomach for musicals. Because that’s really what this film is: A Beatles musical. I’ve maintained since I’ve seen it that the first half is very well suited for Broadway.

At first watching people who were not the Beatles singing Beatles songs was a little disconcerting. A teenage girl at a dance is not the first person I would expect. It begins to grow on you though, particularly when the energetic and passionate parallel (named Sadie) of Janis Joplin appears. The Jimi Hendrix character, Jojo, was not nearly as impressive however, and I was disappointed to find that he never really did any amazing guitar work–though I was definitely holding my breath for it during a rendition of While My Guitar Gently Weeps. Eddie Izzard, Joe Cocker, Salma Hayek, and Bono all made recognizable cameos, which were fun to spot.

Another factor in whether you’ll get anything out of this movie is how much you need a plot to drive you along, because it was certainly flimsy in this one. The characters weren’t very well developed either, though they were certainly a lot of fun to watch. And  thankfully our main man, Jude (played by Jim Sturgess) did a very good job and was a joy to watch…and not just because of his resemblance to Paul McCartney which was so subtle that it took a few minutes to really hit me, but was afterward undeniable.

There were some aspects of this movie which were very powerful, especially when the Beatles mean the world to you, though there were flops and just plain confusing decisions on the writer’s part. This is not to say that it was a simple film, however. Though I could probably explain the basic plot in a sentence (which I won’t, you’ll just have to see it), I wouldn’t be able to explain the movie in its entirety in fifteen. It was beautifully shot and mostly well-sung, and for the most part, a very fun movie. 6/10.

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•September 6, 2007 • Leave a Comment

Ah, I should really write things down as I think of them…cause I always forget all my best ideas.

 I had a brilliant idea for a thesis for an essay for my Philosophy class….hmm. Oh yeah, something to do with Bertrand Russell’s idea of what true philosophical thought is and does for a person, and the traditional role of shamans. You know, the whole transcending everything and coming into a deeper connection with the universe. Don’t know if I’ll ever have to use it, but it’s here if I ever get inspired.

London

•August 20, 2007 • Leave a Comment

Alright, awesome, I’m here. Uhhh. Jet lag is crazy. It’s about three in the morning here and nine at night in Chicago. So I’m wide awake, and probably won’t be able to sleep until we have to get up and do stuff. I sort of have internet access, seeing as how I’m here and all.

Let’s see, where to begin. Even on the airplane I was feeling like my mother and I were hopelessly American. We ended up making ourselves look pretty stupid at every turn. But whatever. We got here. And everyone was really polite, even if they didn’t work at the airport. If you asked them where something was, they wouldn’t just tell you, they would go out of their way and walk you there. And the Underground is amazingly efficient. It’s so much better than the El. I guess they’re so well timed that you can jump off one train and go straight onto another. However, you do have to “mind the gap.” There’s a couple inches in height difference between the train and the platform, which is kind of alarming sometimes. My only real complaint about it is that there are no elevators or anything, which was a problem when we were carrying our luggage. But still, people are amazingly nice. Mom asked someone who was also traveling if there were elevators anywhere, and when they said no and we began to lug our stuff up the stairs, the man turned around and started carrying it for us.

Other things I’ve noticed so far:

-There really are little notices painted by the curb that say “Look right.” Course, mom still almost got hit by a car because she was looking the wrong way.
-And while we’re on the subject, the cars go fast and do not slow down or care if it looks like you are about to walk into the street.
-Londoners really know how to cross the street. They’ve got it timed to the second, or so it would seem. The cars go by so fast, but the second there is a gap they’re gone, and even if a car is hot on their heels, they never get hit or even seem to be concerned. There are crossing lights and stuff, but people don’t pay any attention, and there are some intersections that don’t have them which I really found myself wishing that they did.
-There are a hell of a lot of Muslims here. I mean, it’s very diverse, every room I walk into I hear someone speaking French, and many things are also written in German, so I’m assuming there are a fair few of those around. We were also served by a woman from Brazil, a couple of Scottish people (or maybe they were Irish, it’s hard to tell sometimes), and a few Arabs. I’m staying in the Hilton, and I have not found a single WASP actually working there, aside from the Scot/Irish/whatever people. And on a hopefully not too racist note, all the black people here are business people. No gangstas. They all have very sleek black suits, well shined shoes, and a shiny black laptop. Sometimes rimless glasses as well. Really, the ghetto people here seem to be the Arabs.
-And for all their niceness and politeness, I do detect a hint of dislike or condescension. Mostly from the people that have to work with us, though…no surprises there. Waitresses and airline stewardesses, mostly. The people I relate to the most here really are the Arabs,since they’re not as confined culturally. At least, they’re more expressive and such. But at the same time, they just see me as a white person and some of them seem a little hostile as well.
-This is getting long.
-It’s COLD. I thought us Chicagoans were tough with the cold and wind, but I was shivering even though I was wearing a sweatshirt and jean vest, and there were people in t-shirts or less walking around comfortably. But as I made the comment to Mom: This is the kind of cold that they people who live here don’t feel. It’s inside of them too. I’m loving the British, I really do, but you got to admit that they’re kind of uptight and cold inherently.

Despite all that, I’m enjoying myself so far. We’re going on a Beatle walking tour or something tomorrow, and hopefully checking out some art galleries and such. Hopefully we’ll get more into the swing of things and get less touristy. Though I will be taking pictures…I didn’t have a camera today, and there was so much stuff I wanted to get a shot of.

Pointless, no?

•May 6, 2007 • Leave a Comment

Well now. Look who’s back.

 Back from where? Nowhere in particular. I’m just trying to maintain my subpar level of activity. I’ve been needing something intelligent to say. I’ve also been feeling that I had something intelligent to say, and that it’s been on the tip of my tongue but…I can’t quite reach right now. I’ll get back to you guys on that.

 Lessee…oh yeah, all my crazy gothy and deathrock music. Well, I’ve been getting more into classic punk lately, to be quite honest, and if I list anything I’ll probably sound like an idiot for not knowing them so well before. To add insult to injury, I’m currently listening to Matisyahu….yeah. Nuff said.

 Oh yeah! I saw Spiderman 3 yesterday. Screw the critics, I really liked it. It wasn’t the most intelligent film, naturally, but it was very entertaining. I enjoyed watching it, and there’s a lot to be said for that. And I swear, Spidey went emo for a while, with the greasy sideswept hair, black suit, and the angst. It’s my opinion that he went goth too for like, a short time (as in, the time when he climbed up onto a cathedral to cry or something). But I’m being stupid. Go see the movie, it’s a lot of fun. Sam Raimi is my lover. And Bruce Campbell as the waiter……ooooh boy. I was  writhing with delight in the theater. If you don’t know who Bruce Campbell is, you’d best be finding out, and fast.

I’m still here.

•March 30, 2007 • 2 Comments

Let’s see…again, I don’t really have anything of real interest to say, just thought I’d let you all know that I’m not dead. This is called pseudo-activity.

 I should probably change the Playlist of the Month, but I don’t feel like anyone’s really looked at it yet, let alone downloaded all of that. Problem is, I’d like to be able to have a player up there for you, though I can’t think of how I would do that. Meanwhile, I thought I’d just whore off a Radio Ghoul School the official shoutcast stream thingy of Deathrock.com. Good stuff, good stuff. Well, I guess while I’m at it, one of my favorite Podcasts would have to be the Dark Music Project by Nonbeliever. Great goth, deathrock, what have you. Check it out.

•January 27, 2007 • Leave a Comment

Thought I ought to update. I don’t have anything particularly interesting to say, I’m afraid, but then again…do I ever? I finished applying to the fanlistings, I sort of forgot for a while, honestly. And if you happen to be a fanlisting owner that I’ve applied to twice…my bad.

 Shit son, I had something to say earlier. Ah well. I need to figure out how to make layouts here. And I need to get hosted or something, blah. I have a few things I’d like to do here but can’t.

I drew something. Took a picture with my phone just so I would have evidence. Looking at the pictures made me realize that I totally changed the angle about halfway down her face. Fawk, I always do that. And I fail at drawing noses. You’d think that after practicing for years and year and years I would actually have figured it out by now. Though admittedly I did take a long vacation.

 Alright, now I’m boring even myself. I really shouldn’t update when I have nothing to say.

•January 24, 2007 • Leave a Comment

The fact that I often have to say that I “need to go think” or “was busy thinking” makes me sound a little thick, doesn’t it? Like it requires a lot of straining and effort. Don’t get me wrong, I think almost constantly (though there are times when all mental function stops, and I just look like I’m concentrating really hard for some reason), but when I say I need to go think, that means that I’m doing the sort of thinking that must not be interrupted. This seems to be a hard concept for some people. When I make a point of saying it, it means I’m doing the sort that I need to lie down and tune out and I’m trying to reach some sort of conclusion or comfort. It’s an actual activity for me.

 There really was no point to this post. I just needed to vent a little about something. Now I’m going to go think.