MEALS TAKEN IN PUBLIC
Jumbalaya: From the disappointing files: Chuck and I both selected the same menu item, which we never do, and ended up with something ridiculously bland and boring. Except for those shrimp, sausage patties on top. The waitress, who was awful, offered to give us a side of Sriracha which was kind of like putting more ketchup on your burger at McDonalds. This happened at my favorite restaurant and now I'm taking a break from it. Sorry.
The Switch Chuck and I were in Los Angeles when this movie was being pimped and everywhere we went there were billboards showing Jason Bateman holding a cup of his own jizz with a quizzical expression on his face. This movie is predictable, mindless and not quite funny enough, but serves its purpose.
Margaret: This is one of my favorite movies I've seen in a long time. It's long, which is usually a deal-breaker. When it comes to entertainment, I don't want to spend the rest of my life watching the same movie. I want a quick-hitter. In this one that girl from "True Blood" is indirectly involved when a pedestrian gets run over by a bus, her body ripped apart at the seams, and TB follows by acting out in a series of honest but destructive ways. Plus Matt Damon and Matthew Broderick have weird bit parts. And the fringe characters are super interesting.
Bride Wars: This was just on TV and I thought, "You know what? Fuck my plans. I'm going to watch this nightmare." Kate Hudson and Anne Hathaway are besties who share a similar wedding dream. So when they get engaged at almost the same time, they have to decide who gets to have the wedding of her dreams and who has to settle for something less. They begin sabotaging each other in pretty awful ways. This is funnier than I would have imagined.
Splendor in the Grass (1961): Oh my god. This movie is a riot. It stars Natalie Wood as a lusty teen who has to keep her chastity intact by deflecting the meaty paws of her boyfriend. They're quite in love, though, and her mom tells her that women don't enjoy sex and her boyfriend's father tells him to find a lady on the side that he can stick it into. This all has disastrous results. So funny.
Drew Peterson: Untouchable Rob Lowe stars as Drew Peterson, the Illinois cop accused of killing off two of his former wives, most famously Stacey Peterson. Lowe's mustache is the only thing cornier than his Chicago accent. Considering the subject, this is surprisingly entertaining. The best part is that the real Drew Peterson watched the movie from jail and thought it was hilarious, according to the internet. Whatta asshole.
"Uprising: Hip Hop and the LA Riots": Ho. Lee. This VH1 documentary about the LA Riots is intense. I'm not sure that I really understood what was happening when this all happened in the 1990s. I was a teenager and my world was about as big as my high school. But now, watching it from start to finish is really unsettling. You'll cry when Rodney King is beaten and you'll cry when Reginald Denny is ripped from his truck and beaned with a brick. Your jaw will drop when you see gun fights in parking lots. And you'll wonder what the scope of these riots would have been in the age of immediate information. Anyway, this one is streaming on VH1's website.
Cosmopolis: I'd be hard pressed to come up with a duo that I'd rather see than Cronenberg's interpretation of Delillo. It's the story of the uber wealthy Eric Packer and his journey across NYC to get his haircut. Throughout the course of the day, he'll entertain in his cork-lined limo and take meals with his wife and bang his body guard in a hotel. On screen, this unfolds like a play and if I hadn't read the book I'd be all "what the." Plus, Cronenberg skips a few opportunities to really be Cronenberg. That rectal exam could have really been nuts.
Lionel Asbo: State of England by Martin Amis: A London lout wins the lottery in this madcap, kind of funny novel.
Full review here.
Green River Killer: A True Detective Story by Jeff Jensen: This is a sweet tribute to Jensen's father, who was involved with catching and prosecuting a major serial killer. Told in comic form. It's part true crime graphic novel, part love letter, part take on 1980s crime TV.
Full review is here.
Every Love Story Is a Ghost Story: A Life of David Foster Wallace DT Max gives the world its first birth-to-death telling of David Foster Wallace's life. You'll miss that socially awkward, unlaced boots and bandana-wearing genius all over again.
Full review here.
Laura Lamont's Life in Pictures: Emma Straub's debut novel is about a Hollywood starlet. It's very True Hollywood Story, minus the insight. It's a little darkly sweet, but after "Other People We Married," I expected more.
Full review here.
Dora: A HeadcaseThis isn't the greatest book in the world, but you should all read it anyway because Lidia Yuknavitch is the real deal.
Full review will be here.