A number of factors have converged, allowing me to enjoy my cable/DVR/HDTV set-up at home.
• Work has been slow, allowing me more free time to indulge in my favorite animal passion of staying up nights and sleeping during the day. I developed this (unfortunate) habit in junior high when I had an early morning newspaper route that I found was more easily done if I stayed awake until 5 AM, did the work, then slept it off afterwards, much to my parents' chagrin. Turns out these post-midnight hours are also prime time for web-surfing and passive TV-watching.
• SF Sketchfest is over: I haven't gone out that often in many years. While I enjoyed the forced socialization, it has been a relief to return to my monastic man-cave.
• Oddly simultaneous with being out of the house so much, my brand new TV finally died. I'd had problems with it out of the box (HINT: don't ever have a high-end electronic device shipped to you from out-of-state) but it did work OK for while. Then it finally crapped out, but being under warranty for a new purchase, Samsung sent an repairman to fix it (Ovi from www.tekniton.com). Nearly didn't happen, as the part they replaced didn't fix the problem, but miraculously they had a new "power board" (intended for another customer) in the van and were able to get my TV operational again, better than ever. He assured me that all HDTV brands have their issues, so I left the experience cursing no-one (but myself, for not just picking one up at my local Best Buy and paying the sales tax – would have saved me weeks of annoyance).
• No new movies. Having kept up pretty well with 2010 and Oscar contenders, there has been a lack of anything new I really wanted to see in theaters. (This is only half true, as SFIndiefest started right after the comedy orgy, but I couldn't bring myself to travel across town to see the films We Are What We Are, Machete Maidens Unleashed, and The Last Circus). Will likely have to wait for them on video…
But I have managed to catch up on a bunch of stuff on my DVR and cable. In addition to quadrupling my collection of the music of one Les Baxter.
Kind of half-watched a bunch of movies on Showtime, as I'm planning to cancel my subscription this month. I have perhaps TOO many viewing options these days so I want to cut back on unnecessary distractions/expenses, but I liked what I saw…
Permanent Record (feat. Keanu Reeves, Michelle Meyrink - teen suicide drama, better than expected) A review here http://chucksconnection.com/permanent.html
Student Bodies (feat. Kristen Riter - horror comedy, dumb fun) http://houseofselfindulgence.blogspot.com/2008/11/student-bodies-mickey-rose-1981.html
George Washington (pretty great)
Hello Again (awful comedy, D.O.A.)
Louie Bluie (brilliant doco) Review from my new favorite site DVD Beaver. They recently gave a strong recommendation for the Japanese anime Summer Wars which I also loved, with some nice screen captures.
Pink Panther Strikes Again (1976) (fun)
Inception (w/ Rifftrax commentary) (excellent takedown of this enjoyable but bombastic movie)
I've been catching up on the IFC repeats of comedy shows from the 1990's. Mr. Show and The Larry Sanders Show have been a delight. College dorm-based Undeclared is all new to me (good, but not as profound as it's predecessor Freaks and Geeks), but The Ben Stiller Show continues to be a disappointment. Am continually reminded of why I don't like him, and find his success a bit baffling. But between Stiller and Sanders reruns, I'm getting lots of vintage Janeane Garofalo cuteness; pre-weight loss, tattoos, glasses, politics.
And Sanders/Shandling consistently had good looking women as his co-stars and guests.
Am also enjoying IFC's new comedy series Onion News Network and Portlandia, which are both very polished and look great in HD.
I realize now the irony of my previous poo-pooing the price of subscribing to HBO, as both Mr. Show & Larry Sanders were originally aired on that channel. It was mostly me being financially destitute during the 1990's that kept me from seeing those series during their initial runs. The Sopranos & Deadwood are also favorites of mine, but I only caught up with them via Netflix years later.
Also, the CDR features on IFC have not been all that amazing so far. No slight on host Scott Aukerman, but I expected more, for no real reason. Still, it gives me an excuse to tune in to some quality comedy programming. Sarah Silverman ripped him good during her Larry Sanders intro…
Sarah: HA! It's amazing that you work in comedy… you make a living doing something you're terrible at.
Hot Fuzz (2007) Netflix Blu-Ray rental
Feelin' fuzzy… I didn't love this. Does that make me a bad film geek? Even watched it again with the commentary a few days later, and was still unconvinced. I felt the same way after starting the British series Spaced, which Edgar Wright also directed - took me a few episodes to fully get into it. I enjoyed his recent Scott Pilgrim movie a great deal, but find his ADD film-making style a bit off-putting. Not being a die-hard action movie fan, the reliance on references and homages are un-engaging. I'm either too smart or too dumb for this. Still, Scott Pilgrim should have been an Oscar nominee for either Editing or Visual Effects. I fully acknowledge the man's talent, I just didn't love Hot Fuzz.
Also very much enjoying the often abstract animated gifs of iconic cinema moments found at these two sites:
http://iwdrm.tumblr.com (from where the image at the top of this post came)
http://threeframes.net (where I found this gem…)