Thursday, November 29, 2007

Movie Review of "No Country for Old Men"

Tonight I went to a screening of the new Coen Brothers film, "No Country for Old Men." MAN it was nuts. Again, a classic, powerful, crazy, mixed up movie, which was (as the Coen Brothers' films tend to be) all over the place with crazy things happening all the time, but at the same time a completely direct and honest film.

I won't give away the story here, but suffice it to say it's about an extremely violent and disturbed man who tracks down someone who owes him money. This guy treats human life like it's nothing, and it paints a pretty terrible picture of society. Tommy Lee Jones plays an older sheriff, getting closer to retirement and getting more and more worn out with his job, and discouraged by the types of people that exist today. The film is terribly honest and really shows a dark and negative side of humanity, about how people don't care to help out others in need (the scene with the college kids walking home from the Mexican border is crazy), and the movie really plays around with your preconceptions about how a film should run. The ending is unexpected, the major plot twists happen out of absolutely nowhere and without warning... it's pretty good. Well done film, and a pretty scary and suspenseful movie, as well as being a pretty hardcore social commentary on life in America.

Well done AGAIN, Coen Brothers!! It's not a hint like The Big Lebowski, and I wouldn't even call this a Black Comedy like their usual style... this is a straight-up suspense film with a whole lot of indirect and direct discussion on life in America. Very interesting, and great film.

It's got a 96% on RottenTomatoes and an 8.9/10 on IMDB with over 11,000 votes. Pretty amazing response to this movie. There are some reviews saying it's better than Fargo. A few of the reviewers talked about the tight editing, and I guess actually I would agree with that, the editing was really, really good, and the camera angles and the way the scenes were cut together really pushed the story. Awesome movie, crazy, weird, tense and terrible, but still a fantastic piece of cinematic art.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Chris Ware and Art Spiegelman in Conversation

Just got a ticket for this upcoming show... it sounds AMAZING!!!!!!!!!!!

Serial Boxes:
Chris Ware and Art Spiegelman in Conversation

Join us for a feature event in our Graphic Novelists series: a conversation between a new sensation and the master on comic art, its evolution and contemporary meaning.
"Art Spiegelman... to the comics world is a Michelangelo and a Medici both, an influential artist who is also an impresario and an enabler of others." - The New York Times Magazine

"The most versatile and innovative artist the medium has ever known." - Dave Eggers
Presented in partnership with the California College of the Arts, the Cartoon Art Museum and the San Francisco Art Institute

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Video Post: Live Music and Sunset at Mt Tam

Here are a couple of cool videos from the weekend. We were hanging out in the Cannery district near Ghirardelli Square and sat down to listen to some live music. The other video is from some filming up the road near Muir Woods, and near the top of Mt Tam!

Good tunes

Muir Woods and Mt Tam in the evening

Bye to Jocelyne

My friend Jocelyne, who has been visiting me from Canada for about 5 days, left this morning but we had lots of time to hang out yesterday before she left. I had work, but I gave her a short tour of work and then we had lunch. Then she went downtown and I met her down there after work. We decided to go for the Cheesecake Factory on top of Macy's downtown, it's a great spot and if you share food then it isn't quite so ridiculous (they are known for their large portions)... anyway it was great.

She left this morning by shuttle to the airport and actually it was quite good, cheap, quick, and exactly on time. I think she really enjoyed it here and it was fun for her to visit and meet some of my friends here. Now that she's gone back to Canada, that's the end of my 3-week stretch of Canadian visitors coming to San Francisco!! :) It was really fun, but yes now it'll be nice to clean up my apartment again and so on.

And now for the "Jocelyne and food" photo series.

Jocelyne and Hot Chocolate

San Francisco Union Square

Jocelyne and wings

Jocelyne and herb-encrusted salmon and mashed potatoes

Jocelyne ready to attack the cheesecake

Monday, November 26, 2007

Muir Woods and Mt Tam

I took Jocelyne on the same trip I went to with Matt a couple weekends ago, and it was great. It is now the official "Jutan's friends in California" day trip to the north of the Bay and it roooooooooooooocked. Today was a lot different than when I went with Matt cause it was a lot clearer and not rainy or foggy, good times. So that was nice, I liked the "mood" inside the forest when it was foggy when Matt was here, but it was still nice in there today. Jocelyne and I had a nice, long walk in there and it was a great place to get away from the noise and bustle and (attempting not to sound like a total San Francisco hippie here)... to get back to nature and spend some time contemplating life in a quiet, calm area. Very verrrrrry awesome. It was great and I think Jocelyne had a great time too.

I got the same coffee I had a couple weeks ago with Matt at the Muir Woods store, this fancy "shade grown" Starbucks coffee, it is actually really quite nice.

Then back into the car and we took off up Mt Tam. This time it was much clearer than when Matt and I went, so it didn't have that cool misty stuff going on, but we did get some nice views and the start of a pretty slick sunset on the way back down the mountain. The drive back to the city was nice and not a lot of traffic today which was great. We even had spare time so we drove down Lombard St before dropping off the car.

This evening we went to my favourite Indian food place again, man I love that place.

Then we bought tickets to see Lars and The Real Girl which I've been wanting to see for AGES, and it turns out that we were so tired from the walking and the Indian food that we started watching Arrested Development and passed out here and woke up just before the movie was going to start. This sucked because we already bought our tickets!! Arrgh!! So anyway, that was a bugger, and we didn't have enough time to get there. So Jocelyne is going to try to swap our tickets tomorrow but not sure if it's going to work.

Anyway great day, and Jocelyne must be exhausted to all the touristy stuff I am dragging her too, she has been asleep for 3 hours already so finally I have time to catch up on my blogging. :) Well, good times. So much cool stuff coming up in the next month, some major traveling and generally awesome times.

Golden Gate Bridge


Rockin' the iPod Adapter in the car

Walking in Muir Woods


Man I love this place

Jocelyne and some trees

The view on the way up Mt Tam

Driving up Mt Tam

At the top of Mt Tam

Chillin' at Mt Tam

And another random photo of me


Just trying to get one decent photo for the blog!! :)

Amazing view of the Bay and the city

Sweeeeeeeet Sunset

Pretty amazing sunset on the drive back

We had to stop and take another photo


Sunday, November 25, 2007

Ghirardelli Square, Cannery, Cable Car, Berkeley

Saturday Jocelyne and I went down to the Ferry Building which was awesome as usual, and I convinced yet another person of 3 things: 1) The Ferry Building is AWESOME, 2) Blue Bottle Coffee Co makes the best coffee in the world and 3) Um... the Ferry Building is awesome.

After that we took the F train up to Fisherman's Wharf, walked around there a bit, and then met Matt and Orion at In-N-Out Burger. They were hungry, so we got some good burgers. :)

After that we went to Ghirardelli Square, chilled out for a while and then were about to head to Berkeley but instead we went to The Cannery area and it was soooooooo cool. There was a dude there playing guitar and it was really good, and a nice spot to chill out for a bit. Then we waited in line for a cable car, and I took the opportunity to talk to Joel on the phone cause it had been quite a while and it was nice to catch up.

Then Cable Car to Powell St and then BART over to Berkeley. We went to Jupiter, the classic old school Pixar intern hangout that we used to go to, and the Pizza was awesome as usual. Then some Gelato and back across the bay.

Coffee at Blue Bottle Coffee Co

Yes, best coffee ever

Crazy seagulls

Bay Bridge

Gato and I at In-N-Out burger

Me doing a random face, and Matt explaining some sort of computer science technique, with a burger in hand

Orion taking close-ups of his burger?!

Ghirardelli Square

The triple-threat combo

The Jutan/Parrott powerhouse combo

Christmas Tree at Ghirardelli Square

Haha, Christmas tree decoration, it looks like someone took a bite out of it

Real-Time Spherical Projection, Christmas tree style

Coffee time

Chillin' in the Cannery, live music

Orion and Jocelyne hanging off the cable car

Beer and Pizza in Berkeley

Cool Chanukkah games at a Berkeley toy store

Kosherland?! Awesome. Welcome to a Berkeley Toy Store!!

Black Friday

So "Black Friday" in the USA has nothing to do with a stock market crash or some terrible thing, it's actually this crazy shopping day, kindof like the American version of Canada's Boxing Day. Anyway it was cool, we decided not to be nuts and get tackled by the crowds too early. Instead we headed downtown a bit later, chilled out, I bought Frank and Jess's wedding present, got a nice cheese plate and cheese spreading knives at Macy's, got a new hoodie at Urban Outfitters, and Jocelyne got some presents and so on for people. We went to a bunch of stores and got some Coffee in Union Square too.

In the evening we went out to some pubs and met Orion in the Van Ness/Union area and it was ok, kindof a lot of random weird annoying jerks out at the bars that night, so we weren't keen on their antics and we took off to a quieter and nicer spot down the road on Broadway.

At the first pub

The second pub, a bit classier

American Thanksgiving at The Barn

We went for American Thanksgiving dinner on Thursday night at "The Barn" - Ben's dance studio/house where Matt's ballet real-time shader performance artwork piece was a couple of weeks ago. It was cool to go there, and just totally amazing to hang out with everyone. The food was ridiculously awesome, and it was so nice to have some people to hang out with here. Thanksgiving seems like a much bigger deal here in the USA than it is in Canada, and it's really cool that Matt pretty much organized the entire thing on his own. Orion and I helped with shopping but pretty much Matt rocked it out, got the place sorted, organized the food, cooked the food, etc. It was awesome. And... good times.

The piece de resistance of the evening was this AMMMMMMAAAAAAAAZING Sweet Potato casserole thing that Miriam made, it was so freakin' AWESOME I was trying not to just dive directly into the casserole dish. It was soooooo good, with walnut crumbled awesomness on top and I pretty much went to town on it. She gave me a bunch to take home too (score!!!!)

After dinner we went into this super random and cool lounge room at the back that had black lights in it and large brick-shaped foam pieces in it with ropes hanging from the roof (yes, Matt's friends are artists) :) hehe. It was reaaaaaaaally cool, and we proceeded to have a black-light infused foam brick fight in there for like an hour and a half. Apparently we're all still 5 years old. :) That was super cool and then some dessert too before taking off.

Preparing for dinner

Rockin' the appetizers

Ooooh, fancy!!!!!!!

I am not sure who looks more weird/British - me with Matt's glasses on, or Matt without his glasses on

Mir-yam and her bro Andrew who was visiting

Some more of Ben's friends

Orion looking sharp

Nice one of lots of bustlin' in the kitchen... and Leealex sneaking a taste of the food


Dinner time

Sweet deaaaaaaaaaaals

Me and Ben


Everyone having fun

Trying to get a "pensive" shot

The black-light foam room

Jocelyne with this nice cat that was walking around the house