March 27, 2004

"To smite is to go upside the head."

PSA: Stay away from the 34th St. Loews on Saturday nights. It's ghettotastic.

The Ladykillers is an odd combination of broad physical and black humor that reminds me of a book I'm currently slowly working my way through, Halldor Laxness's Iceland's Bell. On the one hand, you have jokes about Irritable Bowel Syndrome; on the other, the dry underlying implication that we're all bound for the garbage island in the end. I agree with the reviewers who said it was uneven or "loose," but Tom Hanks's performance really is quite a comic treat, and Irma P. Hall is charming. And was that an uncredited cameo from Eddie Murphy as the choir director? (Maybe...)

If I hear one more complaint about the unfaithfulness of the adaption of the original, I'm going to scream--Ealing Studios has a fine early body of work, especially, to my mind, The Lavender Hill Mob, but I doubt many people under the age of 60 have actually seen them. If you just re-film the earlier movie, there's no point in making it. Sheesh.

At any rate, I enjoyed it, in a skewed sort of way, but it's not a conventional comedy. If you're an Ethan Rayne fan, you may want to check it out.

Posted by Sarah T. at 10:52 PM | Comments (1)

Rex Stout, Trouble in Triplicate: This is one of my favorite of the many Stout short-story collections (usually identifiable by the "three" or "four" in the title, e.g., Three for the Chair, And Four to Go..., these books are the sources for the majority of the A&E episodes). The humor is sharp, the secondary characters vivid and amusing, and the clues are reasonably available in the text. These stories also have some historical interest; they're all set in and around the WWII period and so have a stronger period flavor than most of the Wolfe books. (In one, Wolfe lands himself in a ridiculous predicament trying to grab hold of some steak during a meat shortage!) Definitely worth picking up.

Posted by Sarah T. at 03:03 PM | Comments (0)

March 23, 2004

What Century City needs... less melodrama and more evil law firms. Hey, I think I know somebody who's available...

Posted by Sarah T. at 05:03 AM | Comments (1)

March 13, 2004

I tried... (Wonderfalls)

I did! I even put the VCR on to tape the Wonderfalls premiere while I was watching. I could see where they were going with the show, too, but...something about the tone just grated across my nerves like you wouldn't believe. I only made it to the fainting. The correct adjective is eluding me. The first one that came to mind is "twee," but that's not it. Neither, quite, is "precious." "Droll" was what didn't get accomplished...perhaps "arch" in the most negative sense is what it struck me as. The way Dennis Miller can be funny for fifteen minutes and then you just want to punch him in the face.

Perhaps the lead actress should not have holed up in her house and watched Daria on infinite loop for days?

Anyway, I'll give it another shot later. Maybe I just wasn't in the right mood.

Posted by Sarah T. at 01:05 AM | Comments (0)

March 12, 2004

I just forced corporate America to buy me the Angel S2 DVDs...and it feels pretty darned good!

I would be very happy if Wonderfalls turned out to be any good. I could use an infusion of New Fannish Energy. My love for SV remains strong and steady, but watching is like being stretched very slowly on the rack and knowing no one's coming to the rescue. I could use a little fun, a little unpredictability.

Rex Stout, If Death Ever Slept: Another of the lesser entries, featuring a perfunctory quirky-pretty girl, an equally perfunctory seductress, and a surprising failure of actual plot twists. The humor peters out after about the first fifty pages, too.

Posted by Sarah T. at 04:01 AM | Comments (0)

March 04, 2004

Light reading

Rex Stout, Black Orchids. This is a compilation, two short stories that both involve the titular orchids. They also involve two of the most elaborate murder schemes in the Stout oeuvre, which gives them some novelty value. I'm always fond of the stories in which one of Wolfe's obsessions compels him to make an ass of himself, and the first one in the book satisfies that taste thoroughly. The second features one of the more striking of the endless parade of girls through 135 W. 35th, Maryella Tims. Together, they're slight, but adequate for late-night diner reading.

Stout, Too Many Women. Can there be such a thing for Archie? He tries to answer the question as he investigates the workings of a "stock department" staffed largely by several hundred beautiful girls. This one has some excellent humor, but the plot lingers in stasis and then is resolved abruptly without much actual assistance from clues. Stout's mysteries generally aren't masterpieces of deduction, but this one ranks down there with Death of a Dude.

Posted by Sarah T. at 04:39 AM | Comments (0)

Next time, on Non Sequitur Theater...

First, I feel that one cannot overstress the importance of Lex's incandescent darkness. There was one moment when I really felt that I was looking at our future Lex--and all moments where he was almost too beautiful to look at.

Second, nice character work, but your average six-year-old could cobble together a better plot. Vague plausibility is *not* too much to ask.

Third, aw, look, Lionel's making a stunning comeback bid for sekrit woobie status!!! It's so cute how he can't contemplate suicide without rumpling his hair and shirt all poetic-like.

Posted by Sarah T. at 04:21 AM | Comments (0)