Chicagoans, the Toulouse-Lautrec and Montmartre exhibit at the Art Institute is wonderful. I'd highly recommend checking it out while it's still in town.
I'm more than happy to report that The Island is summer blockbuster fun at its finest. As Mike O'D astutely pointed out, it's not as good a movie as, say, Batman Begins, but it's a hell of a fun time nonetheless. It doles out plot points way less insultingly than it could have, and once it really sinks its hooks into you, you'll be more than happy to keep your brain turned off and enjoy the ride. I was ready to be done with it maybe half an hour before the credits rolled, but even that didn't necessarily diminish my feelings of goodwill. A perfect excuse to sit in an air conditioned theater during the hottest afternoon of the summer.
Oh, I'd forgotten what a wonderful bastard Kubrick can be. I was able to catch up with Barry Lyndon at the Siskel on Saturday afternoon, on the big screen, the way it was meant to be seen. Not only does the experience of seeing it in a theater allow you to bask in the beauty of the mise-en-scene, but it also allows the subtle, dry humor to really shine through. This movie is hilarious. In all the talk about those famous zooms and natural lighting and obsessive attention to historical detail, the laugh-out-loud humor of the piece gets pretty much ignored. Of course, the comedy is also a cunning trick to lure you into the story, emotionally, so it can kick you in the kidneys that. much. harder. in the last forty-five minutes or so. The duel, yes, the duel, but also the tiny little casket in the sheep-drawn carriage. Egads. Brilliant.
Finished the Firefly DVDs this weekend. (Thanks again, GH!!) Let the countdown to Serenity begin. These are amazing characters, and I can't wait to get to spend another few hours with them.
As Ms. Ward and I have already discussed, Bust magazine cover boy Justin Theroux is en fuego, and one hell of an enlightened human being to boot. Witness:
"Everyone in life, every day, we're sort of given the choice to make a left or a right. . . . I feel like you have to be the guardian of your own curiosity. You have to be pushing yourself to make the more ballsy choice in life or in relationships or in circumstances or in your career or whatever, you know. I've made some chicken shit decisions that I regret in my career and in my relationships and I've also made some brilliant decisions. Not brilliant in any sort of outward way, but brilliant in that I felt as though I'd made great personal gains in spite of the fact that it was the more painful decision."
Swoon. Preach on, brutha.