Saturday, June 27, 2009

I'll Make You an Offer You Can Refuse

So, yeah... wasn't expecting this to be my next post, but we've officially made an offer on a lovely south Minneapolis house. If you're among the interested, let me know and I can send you the listing so you can see pictures and such. Nothing's a done deal obviously as there are still inspections, appraisals, and all to be done, but at the moment we're feeling pretty good.

I'll follow up with more as soon as we know more. Pictures from Disney to follow once I get them in the mail, too.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

The Brothers Bloom

Meaghan and I went down to the Uptown last week to catch writer/director Rian Johnson's new con man film, The Brothers Bloom. If you're not familiar with Johnson, he's responsible for 2006's brilliant high school noir Brick. If you have seen Brick, leave your preconceptions at the door as this movie is nothing like it.

Brothers Stephen (Mark Ruffalo - Zodiac, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind) and Bloom (Adrien Brody - The Pianist, The Darjeeling Limited) were foster children. Bouncing in and out of homes during their youth, Stephen quickly discovered that the only way to cope with his life was to write it for himself. He would concoct elaborate plans (complete with flow charts) and Bloom acted out whatever part the plan called for.

Over the years, with the help of the enigmatic Bang Bang (Rinko Kikuchi - Babel), the brothers become the best con men in the world. They have it all: money, women, fame. But Bloom doesn't have the one thing he wants more than anything in the world: an unwritten life. He's been playing roles in Stephen's schemes for so long that he doesn't know where the role ends and he really begins. At the top of their game, Bloom walks away to find out exactly who he is.

Two months later, Stephen tracks Bloom down for one last big con. If all goes well, they could walk away with millions, and Stephen will promise to finally leave him alone. Enter the fabulous Rachel Weisz (The Constant Gardener, The Fountain) as the unwitting and completely eccentric million-dollar mark. The rest of the film, which I won't detail here, is the story of the final con of the Brothers Bloom.

Equal parts mad-cap comedy, action flick, and touching character piece, The Brothers Bloom walks the tightrope well somehow managing to balance all of its disparate moods. Quirky and stylish, at its heart you're still able to feel Bloom's pain and the love that the brothers have for each other. Even though the acting is superb throughout (the 3 principals are among my favorite actors working today which never hurts), the real star of the film is Johnson's sparkling script. Scene after scene leaps off the screen until the bullets from Chekhov's gun are finally fired in the final act.

In a world full of poorly written work, it's always a joy to find something so well done. I highly recommend you track this down in the theater, or at the very least add it to your queue.


This is the sound I would have heard last Wednesday night had I awoken when both of our parked cars were hit by some idiot. Have no fear, though, they drove off without leaving a note. Instead, we got a sadly incomplete white paint job on our nice blue Neon, a broken side mirror, and something wrong with the left front wheel that makes it go clunk-clunk-clunk when I brake hard. I'm going to try to limp over to the shop later this week to get the official diagnosis.

[I'll punch this up with an awesome picture tomorrow, if I can figure our newish camera out.]

The Caliber survived mostly intact with a mere 7 in chunk taken out of the rear bumper. You know, the bumper that was just replaced in January after our run-in with a semi over Christmas. You can't say we're not doing our part to help the auto parts industry, whether we like it or not.

The police have it narrowed down to a rusty white sedan. The errant driver was decent enough to leave behind a broken headlight of his own, so I suppose they could probably figure out a make from it if they wanted to. Considering the fact that I saw five rusty white sedans on a recent walk to a local restaurant (none of them had our stolen blue paint -- I looked), I think it's only a matter of time before the police find our man.