22 extra days later, I think I'm ready. It's time for change.
So Long Cigarettes: Here is an open letter to my love:
I know we kind of moved fast and I acted like I was ready to go the distance with you, but I think we were fooling each other. What we had in Austin WAS real and it will always hold a special place in my heart. I knew we should have ended it there, but you helped me through a rough patch in September and I will never forget that. I think that made us go too hard and too fast. We're fooling ourselves. This isn't working. We need to make a clean break. I love you but I hate you. You'll find someone knew and it will crush me when you do but its the right thing for us. Ciga Rette, in the words of Chicago (sans the immortal Peter Cetera):
If we meet on the street some day, and I don't know what to say, look away, baby, look away.
Always and forever,
Hello Gym: There was a healthy living stretch of time in my life in 2007 (lets ball park it at January-August) where I was hitting the gym on average four times a week. An amazing feat when you consider these two major facts about me:
- I'm a binge drinker.
- Before January 1st 2007 I had NEVER set foot in a gym.
<-By no means was I in tip top "River Hudson" post-steroids shape, but I had no gut and was not sporting the concave chest that I'm currently rocking. Now that I've broken off the long engagement with Lady Tobacco, I should have more free time to spend at the gym. I prepped for it by hitting GNC for a case of vanilla protein shakes. Not only are they surprisingly delicious but they are an amazing substitute for egg whites. Hungover egg whites very well might be the worst tasting breakfast food known to mankind.
Sans Soda: I don't really love it. Why not drink water instead? Truth be told, the only time I really seek it out is when I'm finishing off a Wendy's order with "I'll take a Biggie Coke with that!" So I guess it stands to reason if I avoid "combo meals" (lets face it, I'm not giving up fast food!) I can avoid soda. My question: If i replace soda with Snapple Iced Teas, am I really improving anything?
Bastard up: I'm not 100% sure if I can fully elaborate on this yet, but don't worry I will only "bastard up" when it is warranted. I still very much fear the retribution of Lady Karma.
Blogging more: There have been plenty of great events and stories that went unblogged in '07 out of sheer laziness. I'll try and correct this. I think my recent disdain for myspace should directly aid in this endeavor. Although, I have noticed I've been spending far too much time on Facebook of late so this might be a push. I need to cram in as much as I can before baseball season starts.
Now that we have all that out of the way, I can bring you my top ten movie list of 2007. I started writing this on the 5th of January and I never got past the first sentence. Here it is now, coming out appropriately enough on New Year's Del.
10) Talk to Me - The anti "The Great Debaters" . Hmm, that might not be the best way to describe it. Anti-"Great Debaters" sounds a bit racist. Allow me to elaborate. "Talk To Me" centers on the story of a man overcoming personal demons to become a success in a time and place when no one expected it from him. Yes he is black, but the movie doesn't stoop to pushing the race card that the "Remember the Titans," "Pride" and "The Great Debaters" push. Are those movies even trying? I like to think that if I were African-American I'd find "Talk To Me" as uplifting as that Hallmark schlock, but twice as refreshing. It just offers up so much more. Cheadle can do no wrong in my eyes too.
9) Air Guitar Nation - Following the trials and turbulations of such characters as David "C-Diddy" Jung and Dan "Bjorn Turoque" Crane, I couldn't help but wonder how it took me this long to hear about the World Air Guitar Championships. Bjorn Turoque was a sickening case study in plucky, obsessive determination meets a blatant inability to accept failure. Granted, he was far superior to the one trick pony he kept losing to, but at what point do you admit failure? If you are Bjorn Turoque (great name btw) then the answer would be never!
8) Breach - I'd pretty much see anything Chris Cooper is in, so I was an easy sell for this movie. Even still, I had my doubts as it also starred Ryan Phillippe. I should have known better. The writer /director of this movie is Billy Ray, the same guy who did "Shattered Glass." If he could pull a great performance out of that waste of life named Hayden Christensen, then he could certainly get a tour de force out of Phillippe. Have I mentioned how much I love Shattered Glass? If there's ever a "Del" movie, I'd like Billy Ray to direct and Peter Sarsgaard to act. As my love interest, Rachel Bilson.
7) No End in Sight - A fine companion piece to last years "Why We Fight" and 2007's book "Imperial Life in the Emerald City. Watching this documentary is approximately 1000 times more terrifying than any "Saw"movie. "A scare fest that will keep you on the edge of your seat till the very end" is how you could easily describe this or "Jesus Camp." I didn't watch the credits, but I wonder if everyone who voted for Bush (TWICE!) was listed as "best boys" or "producers". Jackasses.
6) Knocked Up - Sure it was as a bit sappy, but it was pretty relentless with its filth. In my opinion, Kristen Wiig stole this movie with an assist from Charlyne Yi (i.e. the stoned Asian girl). To all the people who praise Judd Apatow and Company let me ask you: Where the fuck were you when he was floundering for ratings on two TV shows??? "Freaks and Geeks" and "Undeclared" deserved two seasons. Maybe if you stopped watching "Touched by an Angel" or "ER," it could have happened. The same goes for anyone who did not watch "Arrested Development." I guess it all worked out as the creative teams for all three shows have gone on to some pretty good projects. You are forgiven Neilsen households. However I can not forgive you for keeping "According to Jim" for seven fucking seasons.
5) Eastern Promises - I went into this knowing exactly zero about the plot. I have a strict code of avoiding all reviews of a movie until AFTER I've seen said movie. Like Frank Costanza, I prefer to go into a movie fresh. I expected "A History of Violence" 2.0, but I got so much more. Mind you, there was far too much male frontal nudity for my taste. Let's say the threshold for such a scene of this nature were one second. That threshold gets shattered in this movie. Shattered isn't even a strong enough word for it, besides that it's a great friggin movie. Hard to believe that this is the same director who brought us "The Fly" and "Scanners." Sure those are great movies....but a different kind of great. This is an ACTUAL great movie. Something you wouldn't be slightly ashamed to have in your DVD collection
(I swear on my life that copy of "Crossroads" was my roommates!")
4) Superbad - Michael Cera is a one trick pony. That said, his one trick is one helluva trick. I could really relate to the character of Evan, especially the almost getting vomited on in bed. Mind you, he's playing a high school student on the verge of graduation and I'm 30 years old. Time to re-evaluate some life choices, Mr. LeFevre. The irony of this sad rant is that the life mirroring film incident occurred on the very same night I saw this movie. What are the chances? I wonder...if I go see "Cloverfield" will a monster attack Santa Monica? If I go see "There Will Be Blood," will I then be bludgeoned to death in a mansion's private bowling alley by a mad with power oil tycoon? I should probably put this theory to test and rent "The Girl Next Door,"or even better "Showgirls."
3) Juno - Michael Cera again. Doing his thing. I wanted to slot this lower because the smugness of the screenwriter, Diablo Cody, left a bad taste in my mouth. I read an EW interview with her and she came across as a snobby, manufactured kitschy, madly in love with herself, douche. So bad that I considered not seeing it. I put my hate on hold and saw it anyway and loved every second of it. Once you get past her forced overly smarmy and verbose teen chatter (think a funnier Dawson's Creek) and embrace that pacing for the movie, you're in for a treat. Added bonus is that the movie has a great soundtrack. How often does a person get to hear TWO Belle and Sebastian songs in one movie? It was a rhetorical question but I'll humor you, not often.
2) Once - This is my bitch boy* movie of the year. Something about it struck a chord in me and my mind lingered on it long after it was over. It was literally the last movie I saw of the year. A friend highly recommend it without divulging any plot points. A high recommendation is usually a curse as a movie can NEVER match the hype once the ball gets rolling (I'm looking at you Cloverfield). Luckily, this person didn't go overboard. If she did, I don't think it would have mattered as I loved this film. It received the rarest of rares in my Netflix rating history: 5 stars*. I'm not sure what struck me so strongly about the movie, but I think it had something to do with the organic feel of it. Made on a shoestring budget ($150,000) in 17 days by real musicians, acting for the very first time (who ended up falling in love as they shot the movie) gave it a realness that no other movie could come close to recreating. It doesn't hurt that the soundtrack written by the two leads is amazing. The soundtrack has been in my car for two solid weeks and I'd leave it in there for two more but I think I'm beginning to grow ovaries.
1) No Country For Old Men - It is a flawless movie. Never did I think I'd love a Western, a Neo-Western at that.....but I did. The Cohen Brothers paint a bleak, yet at the same time, vivid picture of the west. The cinematography is amazing. Dark in parts, funny in others, painful in many, this movie runs the gamut of emotions without ever really switching gears. Impressive work. I became so engaged with what I was watching that I couldn't recall if there ever was a score to the movie. Certainly a movie that needs to be experienced on the big screen...regardless of how big your TV is. Even better, the ending leaves it up to the audience to really decide what you've just watched. I have my thoughts and I'm sticking with them.
added bonus: Josh Brolin's wife in the film is played by Kelly Macdonald. I don't think I've see her since Trainspotting...but I'm still very much smitten.
NOTE (the following movies will have to make 2008's list)
- Before the Devil Knows Your Dead - didn't see it
- The Assassination of Jesse James - didn't see it
- There Will Be Blood - saw it drunk.
- Field of Dreams - This is the defacto man tear jerker. Baseball. It's in our blood.
- Big Fish- That end scene when everyone is there to meet Albert Finney by the lake gets me every time.
- Once - Not so much a tear jerker, it just leaves you feeling something.
- The Notebook - Alzheimer's was never sadder... and sexier.
Now playing: Glen Hansard & Markéta Irglová - Falling Slowly