Lots of watching and reading going on this week. Though I was tired, like I was beaten with a sock full of nickels, I was able to finish The United States of Wal*Mart. While it was an entertaining read on one of the lyingest of lying liars of corporate America, having worked for the devil itself, there really was nothing I didn't know. I was however shocked and surprised at the rate at which Wal*Mart is growing. John Dicker, the author, did a good job of investigating some of the seedier business practices Wally-World would rather you didn't know. For that alone he should be commended.
When not reading about the evil of that fucking Smiley-faced roll back the prices and not pay anyone a livable wage bastard, I watched Will Ferrell's reasonable new film, “Stranger than Fiction.” A drama-dy, I was a bit hesitant going in. I thought this was going to be another of those “Saturday Night Live guys, who have made some cash with comedies and now want to try some real acting...but fail miserably” movies. Ferrell blew me away with his ability to not be “Frank the Tank, Elf, Ron Burgundy” or any of the other cast of village idiots he is so well known for. STF, is about an IRS agent, Harold Crick, who is literally the main character of a book being written by struggling writer, Karen Eiffel, played by Emma Thompson. Ferrell is a chronically boring IRS agent with an ability for figures, slight OCD and the ability to bore anyone with the unfortunate luck to run into him. Not until Ferrell is assigned to audit the books of ex-ivy-league law student- turned anarchist baker, Ana Pascal, played by Maggie Gyllenhaal, does Ferrell wake up and realize, he has missed most of his life. Ferrell's realization coupled with the fact he feels he is going insane, due to the voices in his head, make for a very interesting film. The cast also includes Queen Latifa, Dustin Hoffman and Tony Hale, who most will know as Buster Bluth, from the ridiculously canceled Fox comedy, Arrested Development. STF moves slowly at times but overall I felt the ending was worthy of my time.
I also attempted to watch, The Illusionist this week but found this was more of a vehicle for a fitful nights rest, than anything else. One should not look at this film and be comforted by the fact both Edward Norton and Paul Giamatti signed on for this film. I know most consider Jessica Biel to be a case full of eye candy, but she can't act her way out of a paper bag and if she has squandered the money she made on 7th Heaven, then she deserves to go down in obscurity with any movie shot in the year 2006 in sepia-tone. I don't know if the producers thought people would think this is a clever trick or that no one would notice. NEWSFLASH: if the film is slow and quiet, having a dark tone is only going to encourage people to sleep even more!!!
Friday night, I went to a showcase of superhero plays, written by child authors, sponsored by the Manton Avenue Project. The works were well crafted and funny but a night of children's theater can leave one yearning for some intellectual stimulation.
Work has been well work and though there are lay-offs all around, my position seems to be safe for the time being. That does not mean I have stopped looking for a big-boy job because as my 340th birthday approaches, it would be nice to be paid like an adult for once in my life.
I hope you all are well.