Monday, August 13, 2001

Movie Review: The Others

Despite being in an audience almost as bad as the one with which I saw The Sixth Sense, I managed to enjoy The Others, a creepy, moody, slow-building ghost story. Grace (Nicole Kidman) and her two children, Anne and Nicholas (Alakina Mann, James Bentley), live in a big ol' house in the Channel Islands in 1945. Grace's house servants mysteriously take off in the middle of the night. Luckily, or oddly, three folks show up at the door looking for work as servants. Hmmm. Grace hires them, and creepiness ensues. Anne starts claiming she sees other people in the house. Then everyone starts hearing noises. Then... well... things get really scary.

Like I said, the movie is slow to build. For those with tiny little attention spans--much like my audience of people who most likely got sold out of American Pie 2 and bought a ticket for The Others since they were already at the theater anyway--this movie is not for you. I find that the quiet, slow development makes the scary parts all the more scary. It even worked with these numskulls in the crowd, too. Alejandro Amenabar's directing is great: it takes its time, but not in a self-indulgent way. The cinematography by Javier Aquirresarobe is superb: constant candlelight and the occasional daylight dripping through thick curtains (the children are photosensitive, deathly allergic to bright light). Also well done was the sound design, with its echoed whispers and creaking and bumps-in-the-night.

For a quiet, intelligent ghost story, I highly recommend The Others. Bring a change of underwear.

Friday, August 3, 2001

The Rules of Man

  1. Any Man who brings a camera to a bachelor party may be legally killed and eaten by his fellow partygoers.
  2. Under no circumstances may two men share an umbrella.
  3. It is ok for a man to cry under the following circumstances:
    1. When a heroic dog dies to save its master
    2. The moment Angelina Jolie starts unbuttoning her blouse
    3. After wrecking your boss' Ferrari
    4. One hour, 12 minutes, 37 seconds into The Crying Game
    5. When your Date is using her teeth
  4. Unless he murdered someone in your family, you must bail a friend out of jail within 12 hours.
  5. Acceptable excuse for not helping a friend move
    1. Your legs have been severed in a freak threshing accident
  6. Acceptable excuse for not helping a friend of a friend move:
    1. You'd rather stay home and watch speed buggy reruns
  7. If you've known a guy for more than 24 hours, his sister is off limits forever, unless you actually marry her.
  8. The minimum amount of time you have to wait for a guy who's running late is 5 minutes. Maximum waiting time: 6 minutes. For a girl, you have to wait 10 minutes for every point of hotness she scores on the classic 1-10scale.
  9. Bitching about the brand of free beer in a buddy's fridge is forbidden. Gripe at will if the temperature is unsuitable.
  10. No man shall ever be required to buy a birthday present for another man.(In fact, even remembering your buddy's birthday is strictly optional.)
  11. On a road trip, the strongest bladder determines pit stops, not theweakest.
  12. While your girlfriend must bond with your buddies' girlfriends within 30 minutes of meeting them, you are not required to make nice with her galpals' significant dick-heads--- low level sports bonding is all the law requires(sorry ladies, it's called a double standard because it's twice as true).
  13. Unless you have signed a lucrative endorsement contract, do not appear in public wearing more than one swoosh.
  14. When stumbling upon other guys watching a sporting event, you may always ask the score of the game in progress, but you may never ask who's playing.
  15. You may flatulate in front of a woman only after you have brought her to climax. If you trap her head under the covers for the purpose of flatulent entertainment, she's officially your girlfriend.
  16. It is permissible to quaff a fruity chick drink only when you're sunning on a tropical beach....and it's delivered by a topless supermodel...and it's free.
  17. Only in situations of Moral and/or Ass peril are you allowed to kick another guy in the nuts.
  18. Unless you're in prison, never fight naked.
  19. Friends don't let friends wear Speedos. Ever. Issue closed.
  20. If a man's zipper is down, that's his problem---you didn't see nothin'.
  21. Women who claim to "love to watch sports" must be treated as spies until they demonstrate knowledge of the game and the ability to pick a buffalo wing clean.
  22. You must offer heartfelt and public condolences over the death of a girlfriend's cat, even if it was you who secretly set it on fire and threw it into a ceiling fan.
  23. A man in the company of a hot, suggestively dressed woman must remain sober enough to fight.
  24. Never hesitate to reach for the last beer or the last slice of pizza, but not both. That's just plain mean.
  25. If you complement a guy on his six-pack, you'd better be talking about his choice of beer.
  26. Never join your girlfriend or wife in dissing a buddy of yours, except if she's withholding sex pending your response.
  27. Phrases that may not be uttered to another man while lifting weights:
    1. Yeah, Baby, Push it!
    2. C'mon, give me one more! Harder!
    3. Another set and we can hit the showers!
    4. Nice Ass, Are you a Sagittarius?
  28. Never talk to a man in a bathroom unless you are on equal footing: both urinating, both waiting in line, etc. For all other situations, an almost imperceptible nod is all the conversation you need.
  29. Never allow a conversation with a woman to go on longer than you are able to have sex with her. Keep a stopwatch by the phone; Hang up if necessary.
  30. When a buddy is trying to hook up, you may sabotage him only in a manner that gives you no chance of getting laid either.
  31. You cannot rat out a coworker who shows up at work with a massive hangover. You may however hide the aspirin, smear his chair with limburger cheese, turn the brightness dial all the way down so he thinks his monitor is broken, and have him paged over the loudspeaker every seven minutes.
  32. The morning after you and a babe who was formerly "just a friend" have carnal drunken monkey sex, the fact that you're feeling weird and guilty is no reason not to nail her again before the discussion about what a big mistake it was.
  33. Always split aces and eights. No arguments.