Thursday, June 17th, 2004

Down By The River

Okay, so who else knew that Mystic River was NOT the sequel to Mystic Pizza? Would it have killed you to mention it to me before I rented it? Anyway, having now watched the almost-universally praised film, I will confess to being a little perplexed. What I saw was a workmanlike and fairly predictable drama that walked mostly on the wrong side of melodrama. Granted, the performances were quite solid – you can’t really go wrong with a cast like this – but I found Eastwood’s direction heavy-handed and uninspired. I kept waiting for the story to come up with some sort of twist that would make it more worthwhile, but by the end, everything was explained in the most logical and pedestrian manner possible. I didn’t want Shyamalan-esque corkscrews, but something that could have outsmarted a mind that wasn’t really working that hard might have been nice. I certainly wouldn’t say it’s a bad film or not worth seeing, but it’s hardly exceptional. I am thankful, however, that Kevin Bacon was not given the opportunity to take off his pants and show his bare ass.

Has indie rock’s time in the sun come? And if so, will it be it’s very undoing? Oh, the tension! From the GPC.

Sarah Harmer continues her tour of the really really nice theatres in Toronto – next stop, Massey Hall on September 17 with Josh Ritter as support. Tickets are $29.50-$35.50, on sale Friday. Or, if you’re special and have the advance sames password like I do, they go on sale today. Anyone who wants it, email me.

And now we reach the Wilco portion of today’s post: Rolling Stone has a nice long feature on the band in their latest issue, contrasting interviews with Jeff Tweedy before and after his rehab session. Nude As The News has a song-by-bong review of Ghost. And that was a fine performance of “Hummingbird” on Letterman last night, but man does Jeff look strange on stage without a guitar. Dancing? What?

NOW puts Montreal’s Arcade Fire on this week’s cover to hype up their show June 23rd at Lee’s Palace. June 23rd? Why that’s the night that we’re playing a show at the Rivoli with Wax Mannequin! That’s okay, we’ve also got a show tonight at Sneaky Dee’s with Code Name Laurentians, you can catch us then… unless of course you’re at Lee’s (again) to see Jay Farrar, whom NOW also profiles this week. It’s a conspiracy, I tells ya. But that’s okay – if we weren’t playing, I’d probably be at both of these shows myself. But if you are coming down tonight, Pine Music should be up by 10:30, we’ll be up by 11 and Code Name Laurentians around 11:45.

Update: Pine Music got a stellar review in this week’s eye, in case you needed extra incentive to come out tonight. It’s even stopped raining!

np – …And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead / Source Tags And Codes

By : Frank Yang at 8:41 am
Category: Uncategorized
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  1. Anonymous says:

    I’m going to disagree on your Mystic River assessment, I think part of the joy of that film was the tension that came from know exactly was going to happen (not from the very beginning, just a few minutes beforehand, right?) and seeing how the characters dealt with it. I liked it enough to watch it a few times. Who knew Sean Penn would do so well picking his past two films (21 Grams) though?

  2. Frank says:

    You can disagree, BUT YOU’D BE WRONG.

    The acting was fine, though I thought Penn was better in 21 Grams. I still think Bill Murray should have gotten the Oscar. It was the film as a whole that was unremarkable. Great performances alone don’t do it for me, and I think Tim Robbins put in a better performance than Sean Penn, for the recod.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Penn *was* better in 21 Grams, and Bill Murray shouldn’t have gotten the Oscar – He was just playing Bill Murray!

  4. tbone says:

    "playing Bill Murray" is worth an Oscar if you ask me . . . well you didn’t ask, but i’m still posting this

  5. will says:

    you’re trashing mystic river cause there were no plot twists?? is that your criteria for cinematic excellence? that it must outwit you??!

    first off, even if that were an acceptable standard, you seem to be setting it awfully low. second, as a standard for judging… are you kidding me?

    combined with that episode during exams where you pranced around singing with those "bugle" crackers on your head, my respect for you may have hit an all new low, frank.

    you are right about bill murray though. but even a broken clock…

  6. Eva says:

    I just bought my Sarah Harmer ticket, after much uhmming and ahhing. I find it hard to decide in JUNE whether I want to go to a concert in SEPTEMBER. But this is going to be sold out, and I had the advanced password, and I’d regret not buying it, etc…

    I’m in row H.

  7. Frank says:

    Will – I am not TRASHING Mystic River. I’m just not singing it’s praises. It’s a perfectly solid film, but I didn’t find it exceptional. I found it obvious (like the flashbacks every time Tim Robbins thought about being a kid) and heavy-handed. I prefer a more subtle touch, that’s all.

    And shouldn’t you be studying of something? Or chasing rabbits?

  8. sam says:

    ha. i took out my copy of source tags & codes last night. been a while. realized i don’t actually care for it, though. lol

  9. derek says:

    You rented a movie instead of coming to Chess Club???

    You know, when you cancelled everyone else bailed, so I sat here along with my 12 pack of Kawartha Lakes Brewery Raspberry Wheat beer and Ruffles chips.

    It was dark, and I was alone and afraid, Frank!

  10. Frank says:

    Hey – the movie was rented and I was going to watch it Tuesday but didn’t end up having time. And it was a two-day rental so it was either last night or not at all. And hell, I don’t have to explain myself to you. You had beer, chips and Batman Returns. No complaining.

  11. mr g says:

    IMO, Mystic River is one of the most over-rated films to come out in recent memory.

  12. merckeda says:

    Nah. Chicago is.

  13. mike says:

    Haven’t seen Mystic River, but yes, I thought Sean Penn deserved the Oscar for 21 Grams. There’s something life-affirming about that movie.

  14. will says:

    Frank – i did in fact have an exam this morning. but for some stress relief i thought i’d rip into you. thanks buddy.

    derek & frank – can i be in the chess club when i get back to T.O. in the fall? i promise not to bail like frank. especially if there’s beer involved.

  15. Claire says:

    derek – the chess club’s moving West in September, but you and your KLB are welcome to move west, too. I don’t think they even sell KLB in Vancouver. Sad.

  16. Claire says:

    (Actually – the chess club will probably stay in Toronto. And have a "sister city chess club" out West. That is, if anyone in Toronto is still talking to me in September.)