Sunday, October 28, 2007

Arsenal remains unbeaten with late equalizer at Anfield.

For the uninitiated, Arsenal is one of the top clubs in the Barclay's English Premier League. In short, they're a soccer team (they call it football across the pond). They're also my favorite team, and the big match this weekend was Arsenal against Liverpool. A full match rundown is available here.

The short version... Steven Gerrard blasted home a free kick just outside the box in the 7th minute to put Liverpool up 1-0 early on at home. The Gunners (that's Arsenal) tied it up late in the 80th minute with some immaculate passing and a sweet poke from Cesc Fabregas to get it past Liverpool's keeper Pepe Reina. The game ended in a 1-1 draw, garnering each team a point and keeping Arsenal atop the table in the Premiership.

Huge, huge match next Saturday for Arsenal against Manchester United. This one's at the Emirates, which has proven to be a tough place for any club to come into and play well. But United are at top form with Rooney and Tevez really hitting their stride together, and Cristiano Ronaldo is always a major threat from midfield.

Learn more about Arsenal football here and here.
Learn more about the Barclay's English Premier League at wikipedia and the official site.

Friday, October 19, 2007

NOT Phoney Beatle-mania

I just saw Julie Taymor's new musical Across the Universe this afternoon. A stunning amalgamation of 60's era Americana and music by the Beatles. It follows the lives of a handful of individuals each following separate paths but intimately connecting with each other along the way.

Visually, it's the most impressive thing I've seen in cinema in quite some time. The psychedelic-era Beatles provides some of the most fascinating imagery, but the extreme close-ups during solos and innovative camera angles throughout make the entire movie experience one that will keep your eyes glued to the screen. If only to see what Julie's going to come up with in the next scene.

I'm not trying to take anything away from the rest of the film. This film is not just visually stunning, but the performances are top notch as well. Evan Rachel Wood is beautiful... and only becomes more beautiful as the film progresses and her character arc unfolds. Jim Sturgess and Joe Anderson also knock it out of the park as lover and brother (respectively) to Wood's character. Surprising cameos from Joe Cocker, Bono, and Eddie Izzard as well. The movie tells the story of some of the most simple concepts imaginable: life, love, and war. Relatable to anyone in any time period.

I can tell you this much: having left the theater, you will have a new appreciation for the Beatles music. If you weren't a fan before, you will be. Julie Taymor wonderfully blends some of the Beatles' most popular and lesser known songs with the journeys each of these characters goes through. By the time you reach the last song and the most powerful scene in the movie, you'll nearly be in tears. I was.

Highest recommendation.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

The Coen Brothers and Wes Anderson are at it again.

Two films are being released shortly that I'm most excited about.

The first is the Coen Brothers' newest creation based on the Cormac McCarthy novel of the same name. Star-studded cast and the serious makings of a Best Picture winner. Watch out for this one.

No Country for Old Men:

And the second comes from a much lighter frame of mind, Wes Anderson's new "dramedy" The Darjeeling Limited. Starring Owen Wilson, Jason Schwartzman, and Adrien Brody as three brothers who find themselves through each other. One can only hope Bill Murray makes a completely absurd cameo.

Here's the trailer:

Friday, October 12, 2007

Hello world.

Those of you that know me know I go by Aaron in nearly every sort of social situation. The moniker of Jack Frost that I'm using here is just something that I'm toying with and may soon be eliminated altogether, but for the time being will still be used. Besides, I kind of enjoy the semi-anonymity it provides.

The title Bethlehem Slouch comes from a very loose reinterpretation of the last line in W.B. Yeats' poem The Second Coming. I'm not much of a poetry afficianado, but if I had to pick a favorite poem it would probably be this one. Perhaps it's the dreadful imagery that I'm drawn too or maybe it's just the idea of a massive change coming that reflects my worldview. I don't know. I just like it. Here's the poem in it's entirety:

Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.
Surely some revelation is at hand;
Surely the Second Coming is at hand.
The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out
When a vast image out of Spritus Mundi
Troubles my sight: somewhere in the sands of the desert
A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
Reel shadows of the indignant desert birds.
The darkness drops again; but now I know
That twenty centuries of stony sleep
were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?

c. 1920

The title of Bethlehem Slouch that I've decided to use has more to do with my general laziness and geographic location to the city of Bethlehem, PA than to anything written by Yeats. But I'm sticking with it.

I promise future posts won't be as boring, but I just wanted to set up what I'm trying to accomplish here. Mostly I'll just be musing about whatever new music I'm into, or what I thought of some recent film I watched. Hopefully this will give whoever chooses to read this an opinion that can be trusted for those sorts of things.

I've been wanting to set up a weblog for some time, but just never did. I found that it was time to get off my sorry ass and just do it, so this is the result. Enjoy.