With that transient flash of spell-binding brilliance behind us in the annals of blog history, we'll move on. Saw "Mr. Bean's Holiday" last weekend with my wife and parents. I liked it a lot more than I thought I might. We watched via Netflix the 1997 "Bean" movie with expectations of utter crap (compared to the original BBC shows), and it didn't really disappoint those expectations...it was moderately enjoyable, but overall a great disservice to how funny Bean actually is, with its limp attempts at an American-style plot and dialogue. Funny moments shone through occasionally, but byly and largely those were only momentary lapses of a raging crapstorm. That said, the new one is much better. The title alone suggests as much, using "Holiday" instead of "Vacation", thus not becoming a craven, pathetic attempt to translate it into a Rob Schneider style American comedy. LET BEAN BE BRITISH!
Willem Dafoe was great. One of my favourite actors, actually, ever since he shot up the vast majority of Columbia in "Clear and Present Danger" with Harrison Ford. He played an archetypal ego-obsessed art film director at the Cannes film festival. On the whole, it is a movie I would actually buy, and watch again. I'm glad Atkinson got it right this time! Maybe that's why he did this one, so he wouldn't be 0 for 1 in the movie department.
On to other movies (pretty varied blog post today, isn't it?)...I watched a pair of great movies last week, Yojimbo and A Fistful of Dollars. The latter is one of the classic Eastwood "spaghetti westerns", and it derives almost completely from the original Japanese samurai film Yojimbo by Akira Kurosawa. I actually enjoyed Yojimbo a bit more. A very dark film, not quite as good-and-evil as Seven Samurai, but more comic. Basically a lone ronin (masterless samurai) walks into a corrupt town full of evil men with two feuding factions, and he ends up seeing the two warring houses destroyed by pitting them against each other. The Clint Eastwood one is, well, a classic, and the first in the "Man with No Name" trilogy that ends with the better-known "The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly".
And Pastor Sam was good enough to pass on this interesting article, with which I generally agree:
It is a very interesting look at how the writing of Christian songs has changed in the past century or so. Ironically after reading this article yesterday afternoon, I hopped into the car to go to band practice, and I decided to give 88.5 the benefit of the doubt. The song on there was "Miracle of the Moment" by Steven Chapman (no, you are not special; no, you don't people to type your middle name). Here's the first verse or so:
It's time for letting goAfter reading through the lyrics I did manage to find an obscure reference to "the One", although of course it is hard to hear the capitalization of "One" when it is being sung, don't you know. Here's another great little nugget:
All of our "if onlies"
Cause we don't have a time machine
And even if we did
Would we really want to use it
Would we really want to go change everything
Cause we are who and where and what we are for now
And this is the only moment we can do anything about
So breathe it in and breathe it out
And listen to your heartbeat
There's a wonder in the here and now
It's right there in front of you
And I don't want you to miss the miracle of the moment
And if it brings you tears
Then taste them as they fall
Let them soften your heart
And if it brings you laughter
Then throw your head back
And let it go
Let it go, yeah
You gotta let it go
And listen to your heartbeat
I used to get mildly sick to my stomach when I worked a job where they had country music on all the time, just because the treacle-sweet sentiment crammed into some of those songs is just a bit off-putting occasionally. But geez, just using the above random song as a reference, Christian music has it beat, bad. It's like crossing Dr. Phil with New Age Christianity with Up With People.
It is too easy to mock this stuff. Steve Chapman talking about sodding time machines! "Would we really want to use it?" Yes, Steve, I want to use it! I want to go back in time and kick the first recording engineer that thought pop songs should have those cheesy repeating backing vocals, square in the...
Tonight I'm going to be grilling cajun-style pork sausages over apple wood. Woohoo! I've got my Zatarain's cajun mustard at the ready! I also have to find a good recipe to do some roasted potatoes with a spicy cajun kick.