Archive for the ‘Movies & DVDs’ Category

Sex and the City opening night / Girls Night Out

Friday, May 30th, 2008


Sex and the City opening night / Girls Night Out

Originally uploaded by Kate O’

This is madness — the line to get into the theater itself wraps around the lobby — and this is only Franklin, Tennessee. Can’t imagine what things are like in Manhattan tonight. Yikes!

Haven’t thought about that in a while

Tuesday, February 12th, 2008

Oddly enough, a Google news alert for “kate o’neill” brought me to this topic in the bisexual community over at LiveJournal. Turns out no one was talking about me — the “kate” came from “Kate Winslet” and the “o’neill” from “Chris O’Neill” — but in a way, they kind of were, in a strange coincidence.

The discussion was around the list of movies in the Bisexual category at Netflix, and whether the titles constituted a good set, or were just stereotypes. Some commenters had already made the case that they were, for the most part, a good set, which I appreciated… since I’m the one who put the list together.

I left the following comment:

I’m the person who initially put together the list of bisexual movies for Netflix. I was the content manager there in 2000-2001, and I created the Bisexual subgenre within the content database, gradually populating it over time with titles that I (as a bisexual person) recognized as pertaining in some way to bisexuality, because they either feature an openly bi character, have some fluidity of sexuality within the story, are mentioned in Wayne Bryant’s wonderful book “Bisexual Characters in Film,” or seemed relevant in some other way.

I certainly understand if they seem random; I thought it would be preferable to have a broader category than one that missed the breadth of representation of bisexuality, for better or worse.

The internet is such a small world.

Sorry about all the movie-watching

Saturday, December 1st, 2007

Check it out:

“The anonymity of the Netflix Prize dataset has been broken by a pair of computer scientists from the University of Texas[...]. It turns out that [...] it’s straightforward to find a match by comparing the anonymized data against publicly available ratings on the Internet Movie Database (IMDb)[...] in the process possibly working out their political affiliation, sexual preferences and a number of other personal details”

Oh no! Someone’s going to figure out I’m a bleeding heart bisexual liberal/progressive.

I suppose I should consider this a privacy violation of some sort, since I’m almost certainly represented in the data set, but whatever.

For that matter, my ratings data may very well have been one very useful data set in helping the computer scientists crack the anonymizing code.

Whoops. Sorry I’m such a movie geek.

In honor of my likely indirect contribution to this situation, I offer my first-ever LOLcat.

sorry i watches so many movies

Good, Bad, Ugly: weekend recap edition

Monday, August 13th, 2007

The ugly: we spent the entire weekend obsessing over fleas. In 8.67 years of living with multiple cats, they have never had fleas. Admittedly, our cats have been outside (on leashes) more lately than ever but I also think the flea population must be larger this year, probably due to the heat.

Anyway, we’d “treated” the cats with some over-the-counter Hartz crap a few weeks ago, but it obviously didn’t do a thing. Meanwhile, the problem was getting worse. I’ve been busy with work so I couldn’t do much about it myself and had been trying to be patient since I knew Karsten was already dealing with the rat problem in our back yard and I didn’t want to overwhelm him. Besides, he seemed confident that the Hartz stuff would work and that the fleas were minimal anyway. On the contrary, it seemed to me that if you spot one, you can assume there are dozens/hundreds/howeverthehellmany you can’t see. I regularly noticed fleas on the cats, so I printed out web pages with tips on killing fleas and left them on his keyboard. I suggested he just call an exterminator and get it over with but when he did, he only asked about the rats. He just didn’t seem to feel as much urgency as I did about having to coexist with the fleas. It was all starting to freak me out a little. Last week, when I stood in the cat room and could see the fleas jumping around, I had a major meltdown. Karsten felt bad for not realizing how upset I’d been getting about it, but I assured him that everything would be fine it we could just rid the house of fleas. So he picked up the Advantage flea treatment from the vet on Friday and we started treating the cats first thing Saturday morning.

Each cat had to be isolated so they wouldn’t lick the stuff off of each other, which meant that we could only treat three cats at a time: two of them were stuck in cages while a third got to be loose, but stuck inside a closed-off room. Meanwhile, we vacuumed the house, sprinkled boric acid powder on all the carpets and fabric surfaces and used a broom to push it down into the fibers, and washed the curtains and bedclothes in the hottest water and dried them in the hottest drier they could withstand.

By mid-day Saturday, there were dead and dying fleas all over the house. So I went around and vacuumed everything again yesterday, but they’re still dropping off. It’s gross, but it means the treatment is working, so I’ll take it.

The bad: it was miserably hot outside. I mean it. Hot. It was 104 yesterday. It makes me feel like I’m melting. And since we wanted to escape the house once we got through each day’s flea treatment, we were limited in our options.

Though actually, that didn’t go too badly: we ended up going to see a movie (”Becoming Jane”; it was OK), eating out for every meal (all the food was great), thrift shopping (I found some cute stuff), and hanging out with some Sam and Alyssa Cornett, two songwriting friends who were visiting from Chicago (which was fun).

So I guess the bad was really just that every time we stepped outside, we felt like we were about to melt into flesh puddles.

The good: even in my jangled state of mind, I wrote a few songs. Hanging around songwriters last night got me all fired up. When we got home, I dashed off two songs in fifteen minutes along with a few other ideas I’ll come back to eventually. One of the reasons I was so inspired was that, although the songs our friends were playing last night were written well and were enjoyable, they were so consistently about relationships ending badly that I felt double-dog-dared to write a heartfelt song that wasn’t about that. So I did.

Movie plots that scream “stay away!”

Friday, February 23rd, 2007

I honestly can’t think of a movie concept I’d be likely to enjoy less than this one.

Shouldn’t I be saying something about Netflix right about now?

Wednesday, January 17th, 2007

It seems as if I’m the only person on my reading list who hasn’t said anything about the Netflix announcement regarding downloadable movies. There are two reasons for my silence: one is that I’m busier than a three-legged cat trying to cover shit on a marble floor when the only dirt is five miles away, and the second reason is that, to me, this is old news. Oh sure, the arrival of the technology is cool, but this has been in the works in one way or another for over 7 years. I’m happy to see all that work come to fruition, and I know it will be good, but I’m way past the point of being excited about it.

See, a lot of the articles I’ve seen about this announcement make snide comments about Netflix making this move to avoid “obsolescence,” but I don’t see that as much of an issue for Netflix. For one thing, downloadable movies are only going to account for a small percentage of their revenue for quite some time. Most people are still going to prefer the tangible DVD. But the main reason I don’t think obsolescence is an issue for Netflix is that they’re smart. Some of the sharpest people I’ve ever known have worked there, and many still do. The senior management is altogether the best I’ve ever encountered. They’re not going to let themselves become obsolete. They’ve built a strong brand, and they’ll continue to figure out how to use it.

Quote Whore

Thursday, August 17th, 2006

No, I’m not talking about me and my predilection for collecting famous quotations. (They make great songwriting fodder!) Not this time, anyway. This time, there are bigger quote whores than myself out there.

I’m talking about Paul Fischer, who is called out in this LAist blog entry for giving positive reviews to what is obviously a piece of Hollywood garbage intended for an adolescent audience.

One of the facets they take issue with at LAist is that, well,

The problem that we saw was that typically in a big time movie trailer, the quotes come from different sources. And when they quote those sources there really is a column or a review attached to those raves. The problem with Mr. Fischer’s quotes (”Total Triumph”, “Raucously Funny”, “Deliciously Subversive”, “One of the Best films of the Summer”) is that they’re advertised as being from a review from DarkHorizons.com — but Dark Horizons, while showcasing some of Fischer’s work, doesn’t have this review, nor does Rotten Tomatoes, which also hosts many of his reviews, most of which, you guessed it, were swooningly positive.

Now, when I worked at that online DVD rental place, heads were known to roll if a studio used a review blurb written by one of our affiliated writers (like a certain Movie Crazy fella) in a film’s promo pieces and we didn’t have the review up on the site. This happened one morning when the aforementioned movie critic was blurbed in a movie ad in the LA Times and attributed to our then-reasonably-obscure start-up web site. Our site traffic spiked but no one knew why for an hour or two. Once we figured it out, an onlooker might have thought Cuba was about to invade and we were responsible for putting up the protective forcefields — such was the rush to get the review pushed out to the live site. (What, you didn’t know we have protective forcefields? The truth, she is out there.)

Anyway, my point is: Dark Horizons would surely have felt the same urgency to get the review all linked up and working once they knew the blurbs were being used in a TV trailer. Something definitely smells rotten about this arrangement.

Like they say at LAist, it’s not like I take issue with someone wanting to make a quick buck. Movie criticism ain’t exactly foreign affairs journalism, know what I mean? (If it were, you’d have known about the protective forcefields.) But there’s still a certain amount of faith placed in movie critics by the moviegoing public. It seems, I don’t know, sleazy to mislead people that way. I mean, I compared it to prostitution, but that’s not even the same. People pay prostitutes for sexual favors; getting the prostitute to declare publicly that your sexual performance is “a total triumph” is not part of the usual deal.

But is it really wrong? I guess not. I don’t think prostitution is wrong, either. Most of the time, I just find it distasteful. So maybe it’s not such a bad comparison.

Vacation, day #3

Monday, July 26th, 2004

Yesterday was another peaceful morning of organizing MP3s and writing songs. Finished a draft in the morning — that felt good. Organized my office and closet somewhat.

Then it was off to a god-awful lunch at U.S. Border Cantina, a party-hearty Mexican place apparently popular with Vandy frat boys who drink too many margaritas on Sunday afternoons to leave peacefully. Ugh. Never going back there again.

A little grocery shopping at Wild Oats, and then home again. I was determined that it would be a restful day, in spite of the efforts of Vandy frat boys.

We ate pasta for dinner and watched America’s Sweethearts, which is one of the DVDs we bought for cheap at The Great Escape. It was better than I remembered. The ending was a little smarmy, but I laughed out loud several times prior to that.

I’ve been using some of this vacation time to rip the rest of my CD collection so I can sell it and be done with it. I’ve made a lot of progress, but I have probably over 100 to go.

Vacation evening #1

Saturday, July 24th, 2004

Last night we kicked off our Nashvegas vacation by hanging out on the Demonbreun strip. For non-Nashvillians, this strip (pronounced something like “duh-MUN-bree-un” or “deh-MON-bree-un” — no two native Nashvillians pronounce it the same way) is what used to be a line of so-tacky-they’re-funny gift and souvenir shops. Now they’re so-trendy-they’re-not-even-cool bars and restaurants. Like Christopher Pizza Company, where we ate dinner, and Caffeine, where we had coffee and juice afterward. It’s great people-watching, though — some of the best this town has to offer. And last night, Gary Allan was scheduled to play at an outdoor concert series for one of the bars, so the strip was mad packed.

We got bored with it eventually and couldn’t think of anywhere else we were dying to go, so we went home and watched our DVD rental: “Along Came Polly,” which was OK, but it was very obvious that it was the same screenwriter who did “Zoolander” and “Meet the Parents” — he rehashed a good many gags. Jennifer Aniston was great, though. She made a role that could have been a little hard to get across — someone flakey and commitment-phobic — seem endearing and credible.

Oh, and I gave myself a mud mask facial last night, too. That was nice. Except Karsten made fun of my mint-green face. Bastard. ;-)

Not sure what’s on for today yet.

Too tempting to pass up - IMDb movie lists

Monday, December 15th, 2003

Borrowed from firecat. Now you’ll all have a hint of how many years of my life have been spent watching movies. :-)

IMDB 100 best/worst movies
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Love Actually

Friday, November 7th, 2003

Went to an advanced screening of Love Actually last night and I really enjoyed it — it was just what I needed, I think. I love Richard Curtis as a writer, but I’m not sure I love him as a director. But it was certainly not a bad first effort. Kudos to him.

Change of plans

Friday, October 31st, 2003

Karsten and I huddled and decided to skip the bar and the street party. We’re going to have a private pizza-and-movie party instead, possibly with alcoholic beverages purchased for far less money than would be required in a bar. After further evaluation, we both decided that said bar was seeming less and less like a place where we’d actually have a fun Halloween, and if we weren’t particularly going to be having fun, we’d rather be home with a pizza and a movie.

If you can follow that logic.