Archive | 11:15 pm

Quiet Down, Kids

17 Oct

Over the past two months, I’ve been in touch with my building management company a couple times about the increase, not just in noise, but in the lack of respect for neighbors in my building.

First there was the flute and violin playing next door, then there were the doors constantly being propped open, and then there were the parties two weekends in a row where college students would hang out right outside the front door of the building until early hours of the morning, talking loudly and smoking.

And it’s not that I have a problem with them smoking, per se, it’s just that the weather was nice those nights and my windows were open, and the smell of the cigarettes wafted up to my apartment.

And worse, on Columbus Day, I left the building and found all kinds of trash — cigarette butts, empty cigarette boxes, crushed cans of beer — in the flowerbeds outside the front door. Continue reading

It’s Torture

17 Oct

The tagline for the movie Rendition is “What if someone you love … just disappeared?” Well, it seems apt to paraphrase it for this review: What if a movie starring Reese Witherspoon, Jake Gyllenhaal, and Meryl Streep … one that dealt with a topical subject like torturing suspected terrorists … one where the two apparent leads apparently fell in love off-screen … suddenly disappeared? I mean, did you know the movie was being released this Friday? I haven’t seen a single ad, article, TV spot, or heard anything about it. It’s almost as if the New Line doesn’t even want you to know it exists.

Well, you should thank them. Rendition is actually a pretty awful movie. Reese’s Egyptian husband is taken into protective custody and shipped off to North Africa after he’s suspected of being involved in a terrorist bombing. Jake’s on the team that does the torturing, but apparently he’s conflicted about it (I say apparently because he doesn’t show any emotion at all). Streep is the apparently Southern CIA agent who orders and then covers up these torture interrogations, known as extraordinary rendition. (Oh, and I say apparently in Streep’s case because it took about half the movie for me to realize she was speaking with a twang in her voice. It’s definitely the worst accent she’s ever done.) Peter Sarsgaard plays an aide to a Senator (Alan Arkin); apparently, Sarsgaard’s character went to school with Reese’s. (Again, apparently because they don’t look at all like they’re the same age — in fact, Sarsgaard is five years older than Reese.) Oh, and did I mention that Reese’s character is pregnant and at one point when she goes into labor after a tense confrontation (you knew that would happen, didn’t you?), someone actually stops to ask her, “Are you alright?” And all this is without mentioning the film’s chronology of events, which is totally confusing and jumbled up just to make it seem more “artsy.” (And if you’re interested, Reese and Jake never once act together here. It’s like they’re in two different movies.)

Reese’s husband is the one being tortured, but really, it’s the moviegoers who are enduring the worst of it. I’ve definitely seen worse movies, but this one surely ranks as one of the worst of this year. No wonder you’re not hearing anything about it. I give Rendition a D.