Monday April 14, 2003

Hmm… not sure what to write today, but I pretty much spent all weekend at J’s new apartment. It’s definitely much more comfortable than the old Villas that she lived in which really seemed more likely a drunken frathouse than a law school. On Friday night we had dinner with a bunch of J’s female posse: Jane, Linda, and Jeanny, and their respective boyfriends. Can I tell you how much I love Penang Garden, the Singaporean/Malaysian restaurant at Milpitas Square? Since we had so many people, we were able to order all of the dishes that we don’t get to order when it’s just Jen and me. It was the best freakin’ meal I’ve had for quite a long time — even better than Korean BBQ. I think there was a period of about two or three minutes where no one said anything because we were so intensively concentrating on eating our food. I derive some kind of primal pleasure from a good meal. Afterwards, we watched Anger Management… BTW, I’ve been keeping brief reviews of the movies I’ve watched and books I’ve read here:

SmellyCat’s Reviews

As you can see, it’s been a pretty crappy movie season for me. I might have to begin including stuff I watch on DVD in order to get some better movies in there.

It’s been a pretty lazy weekend in comparison to the past weekends of helping Jen move stuff. I managed to catch the last half hour of my favorite romance movie, Roman Holiday on cable. Man, I’ve seen this movie at least ten times, but it’s still got one of the single best endings in film (next to my favorite ending/movie of all time, The Graduate). I hate happy endings in romance movies — don’t filmmakers realize that the non-schmaltzy, bittersweet ending is ten times more powerful? Roman Holiday is superior obviously because of Audrey Hepburn’s debut (her first starring role) performance; but I don’t think the film would have worked if it wasn’t for Gregory Peck being the likeable, but devious bastard that he is in the movie. I’m sure the Cary Grant was probably offered the role first, but that wouldn’t have been nearly as good; as much as I appreciate Cary Grant, he’s just too much of a debutante to play Peck’s rough-around-the-edges reporter character. If anyone else appreciates this movie (or The Graduate for that matter) as much as I do, please let me know. It’s in my Top Five Favorite Movies list…

Talking about movies, I’m leaving for my “work vacation” next week. I’m flying out to Illinois to go to Roger Ebert’s Overlooked Film Festival. For those of you who’ve visited Rotten Tomatoes recently, you probably know that we’ve been promoting it pretty heavily. In any case, I wasn’t able to find anyone to go with me, so I guess I’ll be on my own watching about ten movies. I guess this is fine — I kind of need a break from the daily workgrind in order to formulate my technical plan of how Rotten Tomatoes is going to tackle our upcoming subscription-based offerings. Also, it’ll be a good opportunity to meet film critics and get word about RT around more. I’ve been invited to sit on a panel discussion on Film Criticism with a bunch of film critics but I’m not quite sure why they asked me. Err… I’m not a film critic and I’m not sure how much I’m going to be able to contribute. I think I’m going to just go in with an open mind, a humble attitude, lots of business cards, and the willingness to sit on my butt for hours and hours and watch a bunch of great movies. I’m especially looking forward to seeing The Right Stuff on the big screen since it’s definitely in my Top Twenty Favorite Films. Also, while I prefer An American in Paris to Singin’ In the Rain, I’ve always been a BIG Gene Kelly fan (equal in physical talents to Jackie Chan) and am also looking forward to seeing it on the big screen. I really enjoyed the little Gene Kelly tribute that Jackie inserted in Shanghai Knights.

Erg… I’m passively watching Breakfast at Tiffany’s and it’s another horrendously racist scene with Mickey Rooney’s Japanese character. I freakin’ want to kick in the TV set when I see that crap on the screen. It destroys my enjoyment of a perfectly good movie. I also can’t really get into George Peppard’s dull dull character — it’s the same problem that I had with Ben Affleck’s character in Chasing Amy. I found myself wondering why would Audrey Hepburn/Joey Lauren Adams-character ever see in this dullard? I’m not a huge fan of Breakfast for this and other reasons and it’s really a shame that most people probably know Audrey Hepburn from this performance rather than her other better films like Roman Holiday and Charade. I’m also not a huge fan of the overrated Sabrina. Funny piece of trivia: did you know that Thandie Newton was originally cast in the Audrey Hepburn role that eventually went to Julia Ormond in that bland, misfired remake of Sabrina? Thandie Newton definitely has an Audrey Hepburn-like grace to her and I think that the whole interracial element would have added a very interesting quality to what was otherwise a very uncreative rehash. Well, oddly enough, Thandie Newton was subsequently cast in the Audrey Hepburn remake of Charade, The Truth About Charlie. I haven’t watched Truth yet, but I think that it’s rather ironic how things turned out.

One last thing: went to a wushu class at Wushu Central, David Chang’s new wushu school, for the first time today. I recalled that he had a South Bay wushu school and was pleasantly surprised to find out that it’s about 2 miles from J’s apartment. In any case, it looks like I’ll be going to his Saturday and Sunday workouts. I was attending Zhang Ling Mei’s classes in the Sunset District for about two months, but unfortunately had to cut that short because Jen moved and it would have been too far to travel. I’m looking forward to getting some more detailed comments, especially on my new sets. It’s a bit pricey, but it’ll be good to get some workout during the weekend.