Month: June 2012

Auf Weidersehen, Deustchland

We didn’t really push the envelope our last evening in Germany. I mean, sure, my gut felt like a bubbling cauldron of tar-soaked  scorpions, and maybe we did pound those last two bottles of cheap German wine before dinner, but that’s hardly pushing the envelope, man. We barely even sealed it. Instead, we had a nice sit-down meal in a…

Germany in da Moonlight

Drunk. Phill and I were thoroughly blotto, flaccid on the couch, watching an endless stream of Danny MacAskill trick videos on Youtube. Sage had gone to bed moments before, a sly grin pushing at those rakish cheekbones. “How can you go to bed?” I asked. “We just downed several shots of gin!” “You downed several shots,” Sage replied while working…

The Day We Didn’t Eat Anything

When on vacation with my friends, I have a distinct history of spending at least one day pushing myself too hard, not eating or drinking anything, and ultimately feeling like a slice of melted raccoon scraped off the pavement of an Arizona highway in August. I packed lots of snacks for the trip to Germany precisely to combat this strange…

Sidetracked by Trier

There are cities in Germany – and then there are German cities. Places that exude that classic, bratwurst and beerhall sensibility. Places with more cobblestone than pavement, more streets for pedestrians than for cars. Places like Trier. We stopped in Trier on the way back to Phill’s apartment from Luxembourg – our first real spontaneous sidetrip and the only city we would…

Aside

I saw Prometheus this morning and felt compelled to jot down a response. It’s the sort of movie that requires a response, really, not something you can sit through passively or come out of with a blank mind. Is this because it’s a deep and complex film? Yes, in parts, but also because of gaping plot holes that you will spend hours angrily trying to fill in. The movie is gorgeous enough and heady enough that you actually feel a bit dumb while leaving the theater. Like, it should have made more sense. There must have been something you missed because you’re just not smart enough.

It’s unlikely that’s the case, though. More likely: Prometheus is an astounding big screen experience wrapped around a very slight story. It all moves very quickly – far, far too quickly to feel like actual science and/or space exploration and/or first contact is taking place. Here’s the plot in bullet points to make it feel even quicker:

– Scientists find alien relics on Earth pointing to a distant solar system.
– Group of poorly qualified individuals flies to distant solar system.
– Poorly qualified individuals investigate alien relics, find weird shit.
– Shit gets weirder, no one seems too upset.
– Some people get sick, some people go crazy, an android is treated like a second-class citizen and never explains its actions.
– Explosions! The end.

You may wonder if I cut that down a bit to keep it spoiler-free. Not really. A lot of the tying-it-all-together stuff is missing from the movie too. Most information is insinuated, which means you’ll only notice it if you wrote or directed the damn thing. I was waiting for that lame expository character to awkwardly step in and explain just what the fuck was going on – but he never turned up. I missed him.

All this, I should note, does not make the film any less enjoyable while you’re in the theater. It’s fast-paced, very well-acted, and (did I mention this yet?) terrifically, impossibly gorgeous. The sweeping scope of the landscapes was so impressive, I could barely keep it in my pants. It’s only after the movie is over that you start to think, “Hey, wait a minute…” For some movies, that’s a sign of a job well done. Not so for Prometheus.

Deluxembourg

Watching human beings run by you as they near the end of a thirteen mile race is a bit like watching the last days at a concentration camp before the liberating army arrives. All the prisoners know, they just know, the Americans are near and will soon free them from their hell. But, for the moment, the Nazi scum are…

Everything in Germany is Closed on Sunday

For reasons known only to marathon runners and our insidious alien overlords, races begin at some unholy, god forsaken hour that is well, well before normal human beings should be awake, much less functional. Times like 8 A.M., for god’s sake. Can you believe it? Pah! This early hour necessitated an even earlier wake-up for Phill, Sage, and I, since…

France: Il est assez francais

If you’re sitting on a couch or anywhere near a cushioned seat, press down on it. Feel how much it gives? Gently, comfortably, but with some firmness? That’s what the rear bumper on Phill’s car is like. Also, here’s a picture Sage took of Phill while he tried to get this poor French woman to shake his hand. Someone astutely…