Saturday, July 17, 2010

Summery Entertainment Summary

•I understand David Mamet’s play Race got some negative reviews, but I liked it — sort of a Twelve Angry Men with gruff racial arguments thrown in, with enough layers of un-p.c. expectations-thwarting and reverse-reverse-racism to keep things ambiguous. (And Eddie Izzard looks a bit like comic book industry legend Scott Nybakken, as a bonus.)

•Even more complicated, though, was Chris Nolan’s multilayered corporate-spies-within-dreams thriller Inception, which I hope does very well, though it’s just a little longer and more ponderous than it needs to be, as may be the way with Chris Nolan, I’m beginning to think.

•I have not seen — but am intrigued by the juvenile premise of — Dinner for Schmucks, in which an IRS agent is brought to a dinner party not realizing he’s there because of a contest to see who can bring the dumbest dinner companion. Mainly, I’m just glad a scriptwriter thought “stupid” and then thought “government bureaucrat.”

•Speaking of stupid, here’s something related to entertainment from last year — Optimus Prime doing a Top Ten List on Letterman. And here’s the man behind the robot, or at least the robot’s voice, which I gather many ladies consider hunky-sounding. On a more low-tech note, here’s a real-life owl who functions very much like a Transformer.

•In other biomechanical news, I skipped a Laurie Anderson concert this week but often recall the story of her performing a concert in a town in Africa that had only had electricity for about two days, which is very neat, though it must have made most of the subsequent uses of electricity there seem a bit anticlimactic. If you volunteer to argue against the idea of “benign imperialism” in our August 12 Debate at Lolita Bar on that topic, maybe you can point to Anderson as a troublemaker (that debate will likely be the highlight of this blog’s planned “Month of Imperialism” in August, so stay tuned…).


Jacob T. Levy said...

I’m pretty sure that in the original (the French movie Le dîner de cons, marketed in English as The Dinner Game) the schmuck is a tax agency bureaucrat. So you’ll have to give credit for that penetrating insight to the French!

Todd Seavey said...

And so, despite some people probably thinking that talk of Optimus Prime was a bit tangential to my planned week of “revolution”-themed musings, I can end by saying “Vive La Revolution!”

Ali T. Kokmen said...

Apropos of nothing, I vaguely remember an old Happy Days episode with a premise similar to “Dinner for Schmucks”–cool girls invite the gang to a party, only to find that they’re there ‘cuz the girls are competing on who could have the biggest nerd as a date. Of course, Potsie wasn’t a government bureaucrat, so we can still give someone else credit for that thematic development.