Random June

I saw The DaVinci Code. It is awful. In the beginning, I honestly thought they were using the wrong movie – some sort of revival of a 70’s horror thing. Then I saw that it wasn’t and descended into 2½ hours of movie-hell. Tom Hanks looks singularly constipated throughout, Audrey Tautou is horribly miscast, the script is pedestrian and the only time the screen came alive and held my interest was when Ian McKellen was in a scene, completely stealing the movie out from under everyone, including the director. He was a joy to watch, even as everyone else was reduced to amateur status in comparison. They castrated (sorry, no better word for it) the story and followed the book too closely, when unnecessary. Don’t waste your time.

And speaking of movies… I may have mentioned this before – it’s as bit of a soapbox with me – but I’ll take the chance of repeating myself as it’s a natural segue: Just because you can make a movie that’s 2 (or more) hours long, doesn’t mean you should. Admittedly, I love a tight story so much that I've been known to get out the red pen when particularly provoked by a long-winded author, but still... (I should probably take the time to mention that it's not like I'm completely crazy and return the book, complete with corrections, to the editor/publishing house. After finishing, I usually follow Dorothy Parker's advice when she said in a book review: 'this book should not be cast aside lightly, it should be hurled with great force’. I love Dorothy Parker). I feel the same about movies and have recently rented a few that were 90 minutes or less in length and the better for it. I highly recommend The Ice Harvest and A History of Violence. Loved both of them and was in utter awe of everything about the latter (watch the special feature to learn from a master).

Apparently there's a new trend. Not even Sarah Jessica Parker could make this look good.

After my recent post about the increased cancer risk with TNF blockers, it was brought to my attention that Enbrel was not part of the study mentioned on the news and that it would be studied separately. However, Enbrel still brings with it an increased risk of lymphoma and I am guessing that eventually they will find much the same result. Besides, the risk is more than worth it.

The first time I saw Russell Crowe act was in The Sum of Us - a wonderful little Australian movie about parents and children and what it means to love. It had personal resonance for me on a number of levels and started a... let's call it a 'fascination' with Russell Crowe. A few years after that, Gladiator came out and the rest of North America jumped on the bandwagon. Somehow, I was quite convinced that all it would take for great friendship to spring up, was for Russell and I to meet (yes, I am aware that this makes me look utterly ridiculous, but I am willing to do almost anything to entertain you). I still think he's a wonderful actor, but the 'fascination' has abated. That is, until a friend of mine who works in the film industry told me that Mr. Crowe may be in Toronto, filming a movie. I have done a lot of deep breathing since and have successfully squashed the urge to do something insane that would engineer a meeting. Mostly successfully. It helps a great deal that, as I may have mentioned fairly recently, I am far too shy to meet someone I admire without instantly turning into a babbling idiot. That would be bad. Very bad.

And speaking of excitement (I am 'en fuego’ with the segues today)... I am ridiculously excited about the upcoming Big Brother All-Stars, which starts on July 8 - another three months of scheming, the Chenbot and her ‘but first!’ and watching mostly vacuous, self-obsessed and thoroughly entertaining people trying to out-maneuver each other. I can’t wait! Vote here for your favourite contestant to get into the house.

Five years ago, I had a Blasts from the Past summer, wherein a number of people from my past came back into my life – one purely by us accidentally being in the lobby of the same funeral home for the same 20 seconds. I will always be grateful for two sad occasions resulting in me reconnecting with a woman who makes my life better and who gives me someone with whom to have breakfast every Friday, despite us being in different time zones (hi Dawn!). Fate’s a funny one. And it may be happening again. In the past week, I have been contacted by two people from my past and given that things tend to go in threes, I am looking forward to seeing who the third one’s going to be.