July 25, 2008

Greetings from L.A.!

Yeah!

41 comments:

nina said...

And so the first impression was...positive?

Zachary Paul Sire said...

meetup! meetup! meetup!

i emailed you....is there a good enough group?

Revenant said...

Welcome to sunny California. You picked a nice weekend to be here.

What part of LA are you hanging out in? One of the nicer bits I hope.

Ann Althouse said...

I will email the group soon.

Ron said...

I hope you had a pleasant flight!

Compare and Contrast: NYC coffeehouses vs. LA coffeehouses. Be brief, concise, and specific.

PatCA said...

Welcome to LA! No heat spells and/or riots in sight.

vbspurs said...

Ann, the offer in the other thread still stands. I'll throw in a shiatsu massage too.

P.S.: Glad you made it to LA, and that you're enjoying yourself in the sun, in the land of fruits and nuts. Bask in and soak up the sunrays!

Cheers,
Victoria

AJ Lynch said...

LA? Lower Alabama?

Quayle said...

Annie Althouse Hall, used to be in Brooklyn, but left NY to hang around LA. She likes it better there.

One suggestion: I'd avoid any dishes that come with a mashed yeast pilaf.

vbspurs said...

OH! Ann, you're in the perfect place to watch "The Dark Knight" if you haven't already. It is very very good.

Here are the Angelino cinemas with showtimes.

(The AMC theatre in Santa Monica Blvd is great!)

And yes, Batman is GW Bush.

Cheers,
Victoria

OldGrouchy said...

I still say, screw LA proper. Visit Santa Monica, see the down-ramp to Hwy 1, Rockford Files scenes; visit San Clemente, weather's great, cool breezes and great restaurant on its pier, yeah it's OC but much better.

Above all, chill and enjoy!

blogging cockroach said...

hooray...
you're in la ciudad de nuestra senora la reina de los angeles

--sorry i can't do all the cool spanish accents, tildes, exclamation points or question marks
upside down or otherwise--

i learned spanish at the bodega up the street
and also from jose who came in on a load of organic bananas from equador
great cockroach that jose but he's being exploited if you ask me
anyway i have to be careful not to mix up all the languages i know
because my poor 960 brain cells get all crossed up
and i start thinking german grammar with spanish words, etc
throw some french in and i sound like i walked off the set of the grand illusion
i'm a multicultural cockroach, you know

anyway, if you want to get into the local spirit
you can learn to pronounce the full name of where you are in spanish about like this--

la see-you-thad theh nooestra senyora la rayeena theh los anhelays

that's a rough idea emphasis rough

me being multicultural and all
i'll be glad to help with translations, etc
but you've got to post some of those great pix
of you eating in restaurants, etc
especially if they're mexican
i luv mexican food
tengo un poco de hambre ahora
please post pix so i can live vicariously
on the floor next to you

OldGrouchy said...

Arnie Gubernator just signed a Cal law forbidding "downers" but that doesn't mean that uppers are legal.

Beth said...

And yes, Batman is GW Bush.

Well, they both stuff their little costume pants, but otherwise? In your dreams, VB!

Synova said...

What the heck is the ad with Pamela Anderson?

And no, I am NOT clicking on it!

Beth said...

Maybe Cheney - he has the dark, twisted aspect down, but lacks the inner conflict of Batman. But if you want to insist W is a cartoon, I guess I won't argue with that.

Zachary Paul Sire said...

Batman and G. Dub are the same.

A comment from Wonkette:

“I remember when Batman told everyone to go shopping and to fly more to fight the Joker. Also, when he gave up golf for a few weeks. That was so brave to do, in this time of terror and war.”

Ann Althouse said...

"OH! Ann, you're in the perfect place to watch "The Dark Knight" if you haven't already. It is very very good."

In fact, we did go see The Dark Knight, but I thought it was terrible! Long, repetitive, endless shooting and punching. It left me stone cold. I don't even understand why other people like it. I've seen all the Batman movies by the way. It was nowhere near as good as Batman Begins. I mean, it was a complete chaotic mess. And having the Joker explain that he's all about chaos is not good enough. It was dull video-game-style violence that made absolutely no impact on me.

We saw it at The Grove.

"And yes, Batman is GW Bush."

I agree with that. The use of extreme interrogation methods and the surveillance techniques ... seemed pretty clearly intended to evoke the Bush administration.... except that I don't expect Hollywood to be that pro-Bush... but it is.

Beth said...

... seemed pretty clearly intended to evoke the Bush administration.... except that I don't expect Hollywood to be that pro-Bush... but it is.

If only we were fighting cartoon cads who announce their plans in full clown makeup -- but that's a fantasy. Hollywood never stints from the full-blown fantasy of heroes/anti-heroes who cross all the lines--it's a safe catharsis. Isn't that why Plato was so suspect of drama?

Frank Miller's Dark Knight is unhinged, but he still knows he's on thin moral ground. He's also aware he should be held accountable when he employs his invasive surveillance plan - again, that's a fantasy and nothing like this administration.

Chip Ahoy said...

Funeral for martyrs.

Beth said...

But Chip, there are no fruit-flavored Iranians. Amadinejad has been very clear on that point.

blake said...

Hmmm, didn't like the movie?

Well, we have other movies. (Tons o' porn!) Or, how about some aerospace? We still got some of that!

Let's see. What else do we make out here? Unusual pizzas. Cheap housing on expensive land. Lotsa chicks who look like mutant Pamela Andersons.

No?

Well, welcome anyway.

Ron said...

That you didn't even grasp Batman isn't surprising. Clearly I blame the flight. Your artistic self is still in Vegas trying to make its hard eight, leaving the rest of the carcass to go on to LA...

rhhardin said...

I never got Batman, or any of those comics. A prejudice I carry as a result to this day, resulting in complete noncomprehension of the buzz.

Bissage said...

Althouse in Los Angeles!

This is a good thing!

I’ve always wanted to go there.

Now I can.

Vicariously!!!

*gets all excited*

P. Rich said...

except that I don't expect Hollywood to be that pro-Bush... but it is.


Funny tourista.

Pogo said...

LA? You may suddenly develop the urge to get Botox, have plastic surgery, or put silicone somewhere. Try to resist.

It's just an effect from chemicals put in their water. Conspiracy stuff. Didn'tcha ever see Chinatown?

Pretty soon you'll be screaming " She's my sister and my daughter!"

Come back soon.
The midwest water is laced with niceness, sturdy values and moral fiber.

PatCA said...

Just don't talk on your cell phone while driving--the tax...er, fine is 20 bucks. Don't eat a Twinkie in public either--Ahnold has banned trans fats.

vbspurs said...

Damn, Ann, you may be the only person on bloggerland, and beyond not to have liked The Dark Knight.

Nice!

(Hey, someone has to be the voice of contrariness. Might as well be someone smart, because we stand a good chance at a blogpost explaining why)

Cheers,
Victoria

vbspurs said...

/I mean a proper blogpost on it.

/This reminds me I have to cobble out my own Summer '08 Movie Guide. As of Thursday, I've seen all the Top 10, including Space Chimps. I will watch X-Files and even Step-Bros. this weekend.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Just don't talk on your cell phone while driving--the tax...er, fine is 20 bucks. Don't eat a Twinkie in public either--Ahnold has banned trans fats

I'm stocking up. You just cannot cook proper southern fried chicken without using transfat. Half Crisco half peanut oil.

Definitely take a drive north up the coast. Beautiful scenery.

Beth said...

DBQ - if the Crisco shortage gets bad, let me know and I'll ship you some trans fat. I can't stand by idly while others go without fried chicken.

Let us all take note - Democrats and Republicans alike, once they reach a position to be able to do so, have no problem telling the rest of us how to live. The "nanny state" is not the property of one party nor philosophy. It's about having power.

Beth said...

VB, I've read some criticism that the DK's fight scenes are muddled -- it's not all uniform approval out there.

I'm looking forward to your "top ten" list - let us know when to look for it.

I'm wary of the upcoming Watchmen film. While I think Alan Moore is something of a nutcase, and I mean that affectionately, he's right that Watchmen seems designed to resist other media.

vbspurs said...

I agree with that. The use of extreme interrogation methods and the surveillance techniques ... seemed pretty clearly intended to evoke the Bush administration.... except that I don't expect Hollywood to be that pro-Bush... but it is.

I decided I'm too lazy to get off that Summer Film Guide right now, so just a few words on this thought.

There ARE some problems with the Batman = Bush analogy, but even movies cannot have a perfect simile or else it's too obvious.

However, it was immediately apparent when watching it that Heath Ledger's Joker was a terrorist.

In fact, my contention is that he stands for the TERROR terrorists create, itself, rather than being a terrorist. He is amorphous, untrackable, doesn't seem to live anywhere he just IS OUT THERE somewhere.

Michael Caine's butler-philosopher said it best that some men do not kill for any purpose, they just want to see the world burn.

I agree that Al-Qaeda have specific plans for the world, based on a worldview tied to their (idea of their own) religion, whereas the Joker is a psychopath who wants to create anarchy. He's more like a Maoist terrorist, but even the Shining Path have institutional aims, so Ledger is anarchic-terror incarnate. It has no aim but to create chaos.

Nevertheless, you can see that the Joker is a charismatic loner with a plan to groom others to take his place (I won't spoil this plot device, but you know who I mean).

Ironically, so does Batman, and with the same person -- a wonderful plot twist which I think makes this film much deeper than you think it is on first viewing it.

(You didn't mention Ledger's performance, which was stunning, BTW, Ann -- didn't you care for it?)

There are many other things I can mention:

Batman is a night-time vigilante hero that has come to be hated by the greater populace, but continues to do what he does because someone has to do it. No one wants to be unpopular, everyone wants to be the hero, everyone wants to be loved or re-elected. But he doesn't care. He has a purpose and he won't be deviated from it.

In the daytime, he's a goofball airhead rich man, in charge of a corporation he doesn't even really run. He's a joke. No one takes him seriously.

But he's got a good right-hand man, who ultimately makes a decision based on his opposition to espionage on its citizens, even if it means this will catch the bad guy(s).

Well, I could go on for hours. Just the title alone (The Dark Knight) has a treble meaning, if not more.

British director, Christopher Nolan, had a daunting task after Batman Begins.

But whereas the first film (spectacular) was vastly entertaining, I think The Dark Knight transcends the genre.

It's not about caped crusaders. It's about crusaders.

Cheers,
Victoria

vbspurs said...

VB, I've read some criticism that the DK's fight scenes are muddled -- it's not all uniform approval out there.

Nothing is uniform, thankfully, but I think those voices are very few and far-between, Beth.

The fight scenes referred to BTW, happen at the beginning of the film, when it resembles a more traditional comics adaptation.

It was not boring in the least, but there are shades of, 'we've seen it all before'.

E.G.: The bank heist resembles Spike Lee's "Inside Man", and the chase after it, Michael Caine's own famous "Italian Job".

It's when Ledger truly enters into the plot, that he TRANSFORMS it into something incredible.

Well, I'm off for the day, but I'll try to get that post done and let you and others know, Beth!

Enjoy the day, and keep that Crisco flowing.

(Yeah, try to ban trans-fat in the Deep South, Arnie-wannabes. Good luck).

Cheers,
Victoria

blake said...

I'd heard that the fight scenes were muddled, too. So I was surprised at how easy they were (for me) to parse. I thought they were even a little...staid. (I think that was part of the movie's "realism", though: There weren't a lot of gymnastics in the fights, just a few kicks and right crosses.)

I do think there's a real divide between how many frames it takes for younger people to parse out images versus older ones.

Beth--Watchmen (which I am completely unfamiliar with other than hearing the title over the years) is being done by Zack Snyder of 300 and Dawn of the Dead. He's got a pretty sure hand.

On the other hand, what else of Moore's has been made into a movie? The dopey-as-it-sounds League of Extraordinary Gentlemen? The terrorist loving V for Vendetta?

Beth said...

blake, From Hell is Moore's, but the film has almost nothing to do with the book, other than the broad topic of Jack the Ripper. It was a terrible adaptation.

blake said...

From Hell is Moore's, but the film has almost nothing to do with the book, other than the broad topic of Jack the Ripper. It was a terrible adaptation.

It's not a terrible movie, though. Not great. But Depp is quite good; he was in Sleepy Hollow around the same time, playing an entirely different English detective character.

League on the other hand, is only barely watchable. I assumed the comic book was much, much better. Er, graphic novel, I mean. It was such a dangerous concept, I had to believe that the source material manage to evolve the pitfalls the book wallowed in.

vbspurs said...

I also liked "From Hell", not having read the book though.

Though the Jack the Ripper tale is one of the most imagined film premises out there, it somehow brought all the theories together neatly.

I detested Sleepy Hollow (good catch on the timeframe, Blake) and particularly thought Depp mailed in his performance.

He's prone to that, sometimes, which is forgiveable (his filming schedule must be gruelling).

Cheers,
Victoria

blake said...

Oh, I rather liked his performance. But I'm fond of Roddy McDowell and Basil Rathbone.

veni vidi vici said...

This post is best read while accompanied by the single, "Krisco Kisses" off the Welcome to the Pleasuredome album by Frankie Goes to Hollywood.