“Salt”/ A Couple of Garage Sale Finds

Ah, Angelina.  Such an action hero!  In one scene, she wraps her black panties around a surveillance camera.  In another, she walks through a ship, tossing hand grenades as casually as if she were scattering fertilizer.  She can go from blonde to black-haired, to woman-being-tortured-in-white-lace-underwear (by the North Koreans, of course:  those brutes!), to a vaguely tranny-looking NATO security officer.

The million dollar question is:  Who channels “Bourne” better: Matt Damon or Angelina Jolie?

The answer: Matt Damon.

Because even when Angelina is in disguise, even after she has donned a plain trench coat and dyed her hair a deep black and is Read the rest of this entry »

Zeitgeist, January 2010 (An Extremely Shallow Post)

A woman in her 70s was pulled alive from the rubble of the Haitian capital yesterday. Anderson Cooper was on hand, and interviewed two doctors who self happens to think are extremely eyecandy-licious: Dr. Sanjay Gupta and a blond hunky Read the rest of this entry »

A Mighty Heart, p. 66

Self raced through the last hundred pages of The Coming of the Third Reich on Thursday afternoon.  Yes, self stayed supine on couch, back curled over into crooked position for hours (no wonder everything aches), and never left the house (after she got back from teaching her two classes, that is).

Then self began reading Mariane Pearl’s A Mighty Heart.  Self saw the movie, starring Angelina Jolie, last year.  It was a surprisingly good movie, and Angelina surprised self by delivering a touching performance.

A Mighty Heart, the book on which the movie was based, has been on self’s reading list for ages.  Danny Pearl was a Stanford alum.  She remembers Mariane Pearl on talk shows —  that almost preternatural calmness!  Her husband was murdered while she was expecting their child!

Self couldn’t place her looks:  she looked, maybe, Indian.  Maybe Caribbean.  Her name was almost exactly the same as self’s, except for one “n.”

Self expected the book to be a fast read.  It isn’t.  It’s idiosyncratic, angry, and amazing.

Here’s a passage from the day after everyone realizes that Danny Pearl has been kidnapped.  All morning, Pakistani security personnel have been swarming through the house Mariane and Danny stayed in.  He left the previous day to interview someone named Gilani and never returned.  She asks a Pakistani intelligence officer whether he has heard of the name:

“Tell us what you know of Gilani,” I tell Dost.

“We don’t know anything about him,” he answers.  How can they not know this man?  My beautiful trust begins to falter.

The Gilani family, he explains, were the caretakers for a historical Sufi shrine in an area of Lahore.  Gilani is “a very respected figure of Lahore.  That’s all we know.”

My heart sinks.  I think, these fuckers don’t know anything.  Only then does it occur to me that American authorities have not yet deigned to pay us a visit.


At last, self has found it! The New Yorker review of “Wanted” !

The review was written by Anthony Lane. Following, some choice quotes (The “him” in the first quote refers to the director, guy with the gorgeous name of Timur Bekmambetov):

    “Wanted” begins with a flashback, but not for him the gentle glance over the past month, or the childhood cameo; instead, up comes the dauntless title “1000 years ago.” One day, presumably a wet Thursday, a secret society of medieval weavers suddenly decided to create an even more secret society of global assassins. This was done, apparently, to maintain “the balance of the world,” a principle reiterated later in the film, but the episode leaves you panting to know more. Why weavers? Why not potters, or pastry cooks? Until now, I never made the connection between haberdashery and homicide . . .

* * *

    Bekmambetov was born in the Soviet Union, and this is his first film set in the United States, but “Wanted” never feels solidly American, and not just because James McAvoy keeps slipping into his native Scottish. He plays Wesley Gibson, who loathes his existence. Given that it involves both accountancy and cuckoldry, he may have a point, and the twitchy Gibson is the heir of a hundred other movie mice, headed by Jack Lemmon in “The Apartment.”

* * *

    You don’t tell Angelina Jolie to go away; she tells you. In “Wanted,” she plays Fox, one of the fraternity of killers, who informs Gibson that his father was the doyen of the group, that he was wiped out only the day before by a rogue operator, and that he, weedy Wesley, must learn the ropes and avenge this foul, unnatural crime. Hamlet was under the same obligation, but, lacking access to high-powered rifles and exploding rats, he took longer to finish the job.

* * *

Self will leave the rest of the review to dear blog reader’s imagination. Stay tuned.

Self and Hubby See “Wanted!”

Angelina rocks! James McAvoy rocks!

Self never laughed so much in a movie, not since watching — hmm, the first Austin Powers movie? “There’s Something About Mary”?  Jason Stathan in “The Transporter”?

Truly, this was an action movie to end all action movies.

If you’ve ever longed to see a woman who looks like Angelina Jolie suddenly materialize at your elbow while you’re standing in line at Long’s and waiting for a prescription to be filled, this movie is for you.

If you’ve ever longed to see Angelina on top of a train do a graceful backward bend (at the knees) to avoid having head chopped off while train enters a tunnel, this movie is for you.

If you’ve ever wanted to see James McAvoy’s gorgeous mug get beaten to a bloody pulp by a beefy Spaniard/Transylvanian uttering outrageous insults like “Pussy,” then this movie is for you.

If you’ve ever wanted to know what it feels like to be submerged in a vat of wax, then this movie is for you.

If you’ve ever wanted to see Morgan Freeman get — Nay, self will with-hold information about what lies in store for Morgan Freeman, just for the moment.

If you’ve ever wanted to see a movie directed by a guy whose first name is “Timur,” then this movie is for you.

Self cannot possibly encapsulate in one short review all the delights of this movie, which include ricocheting bullets, gazillions of (bomb-carrying) rats, and a brief back-nude shot of Angelina showing that she has thirty-plus tattoos on backside alone, and that’s not even counting the ones which (self learned from reading Vanity Fair ) represent the birth place coordinates of all her large brood.

When self left the theatre, she decided that she would never be able to see another action movie, not for at least another six months, not unless they can promise delights as many and as varied as all of the above.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers, stay tuned.

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