January 31, 2005

Eternal Sunshine, Spotless Minds

On Saturday I saw Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, about a couple who have memories of each other erased from their minds when the relationship sours. At first I thought that the movie was just OK, mainly because Jim Carrey was not the best choice for the male lead (Philip Seymour Hoffman would have been much better, especially if he riffed on his character in Love Liza). After a second viewing on Sunday and talking about it in class today, I now realize that I like it better than I first thought. In addition to interesting and quirky visual effects, the movie raises interesting sociological Qs. For instance, would an America of 2005 be well served by the ability of its citizens to visit Lacuna, Inc.?

Posted by wrjacobs at 3:37 PM

January 26, 2005

sushi in the snow

Last week Minneapolis received its first significant snow storm of winter '05, piling up about 7 inches. Yesterday, however, we lost a lot of it, as the afternoon high temp was 45 (!). At 1:00 yesterday I ate lunch (sushi from Byerly's) on the front porch. Some say that one becomes a true Minnesotan the first time s/he complains about being hot on a 20 degree day following several sub-zero ones, but maybe that should be amended to lounging outside in the 40s with an open coat and no hat or gloves....

Posted by wrjacobs at 2:25 PM

January 24, 2005

Save KBEM (part 2)

Jazz 88 has found a strange friend, according to an article in the Minneapolis Star-Tribune: media mega-conglomerate Clear Channel Communications has pledged $25K for KBEM's emergency fund drive, and will promote the fund drive on some of its Twin Cities radio stations (including a jazz station). The author of the article asks, "Would Wal-Mart help Target? Would mighty Starbucks come to the aid of Caribou Coffee?" That is not exactly an apt comparison; the correct analogy, I think, would be "Would Wal-Mart help Joe's Corner Store? Would mightly Starbucks come to the aid of Lil' Bros Coffee (two kids who sell coffee at the corner of Minnehaha Av. and 32nd St. in Minneapolis' Longfellow neighborhood)?" In any case, one does wonder: Clear Channel is clearly (sorry for the pun) trying to buy some good publicity, but what else do they want?!?

Posted by wrjacobs at 10:10 AM

January 20, 2005

Save KBEM

The local jazz station, Jazz 88, is in financial trouble since Minnesota's Department of Transportation announced that on March 15 it will cancel its contract with the station to provide traffic updates during rush hours. Today at 3:00 the state senate held hearings on a bill that would force MnDOT to continue the $400K contract, which provides half of KBEM's annual budget. Send vibes that the lawmakers will do the right thing. Better yet -- if you're a Minnesota resident -- contact MnDOT or your local representative.

Posted by wrjacobs at 4:50 PM

January 16, 2005

day of firsts at the movies

On Friday I did a sneak-in double feature at the Brooklyn Center 20: watched Darkness at 12:55 and White Noise at 2:40. It was a day of firsts:


  • First sneak-in double feature (pay for one movie, stay to watch a second) of 2005. In a future entry I'll talk about the art of sneaking in the movies.

  • First time I was completely alone in the theater. That was great!

  • First time I didn't like either of the movies. Usually I like both, and once or twice I didn't like one of the movies, but I've never disliked both. Darkness had its moments, but in the end was too derivative of other horror movies. White Noise was just bad.

Posted by wrjacobs at 11:08 AM

January 13, 2005

Bad TV

Yesterday I was disappointed with aspects of two of my TV shows: Law and Order and Alias. ADA Serena Sutherland was fired at the end of L&O, to which she asked Senator DA (the actor who plays the DA was a U.S. Senator before taking the gig!), "This is not because I'm a lesbian, is it?" WHAT? Would an attorney with any experience at all expect a "yes" from the boss, thereby inviting a sexual harrassment suit? Hopefully the writer of that episode will follow Serena out the door....

On Alias, the producers have revamped the theme song and titles sequence to feature a montage of Syndey's various disguises. I'll let TV Gal sum up common reaction to that change:

Okay, so we are all in general agreement that we hate the new opening sequence on "Alias" (Wednesday, ABC, 9 p.m.) My friend Kara announced that she thought it look like an ad for Victoria's Secret. I understand that the show wants to use Jennifer Garner's innate sex appeal and beauty to hook viewers that were watching "Lost," but there is a fine line between playing up Garner's attributes and exploiting them. Right now I'm not sure which side the show is on. But for once, just once, couldn't Sydney go undercover in a baggy jeans and a shapeless sweater. Would that be so difficult? That actually may happen in a couple of weeks when Sydney disguises herself as, and I quote, an "earthy social worker."

Right on, TV Gal!

Posted by wrjacobs at 10:45 AM

January 10, 2005

charity or scam?

A VERY strange thing happened to me in the grocery store (the Rainbow at Lake and 27th Ave, for my Twin Cities readers) about an hour ago: a man my age asked me for money at the back of the store, but then told his girlfriend/wife to pay for my stuff when I got in line behind them later! OK, let me back up so that makes more sense. When the guy asked me I said, "I only have $5, sorry man," to which he shrugged and walked away. 10 minutes later at the front of the store I was about to get in a long lane when he flagged me over to a short lane where he was bagging his stuff (with the assistance of two young children), and told his partner to put my purchases on her credit card. I told her that I had it covered with my own card, and they walked away. My first thought was that they were using someone else's card so didn't care how much they rang up, but then I wondered, "maybe this guy took pity on me since I supposedly only had $5, but my bill would clearly ring up to be more than that?" I've seen people chip in when others are short at the register -- in December 2003 I gave an elderly woman $2 but she made me march out to the car and get change to repay me! -- so I'm not totally crazy, am I?

Posted by wrjacobs at 5:20 PM

January 6, 2005

Alias vs. 24

Two of my favorite shows start(ed) new seasons in early January: Alias premiered last night, and 24 starts on Sunday. I know lots of people that love Alias OR 24, put few like them both. I'm not sure why this is...maybe because 24 stretches the limits of credibility, while Alias totally explodes reality, so an individual's preference may be driven by her/his views on pushing/reworking vs. discarding boundaries. Last year I liked 24 much better than Alias, so I guess I'm more about playing with rules rather than ignoring them altogether....

Posted by wrjacobs at 2:04 PM

January 1, 2005

New Year's Rockin' Eve

For the first time in 32 years, ABC's "New Year's Rockin' Eve" show aired without Dick Clark (who is recovering from a stroke). Regis Philbin subbed, and was way less than impressive. Part of my disappointment, though, was probably a result of seeing the show on tape delay in the central time zone. Even though everything looks live, it's just not the same watching the ball drop when you know it actually came down an hour earlier on the east coast....

Posted by wrjacobs at 3:59 PM