September 6th, 2004

Wedding day

Brief rundown of my weekend, plus Donnie Darko Director's Cut review

Friday night Ellen and I got together, had dinner, and went over to fuzzyinthehead and agaysexicon's place to "watch crappy movies." april_tehe showed up too. By the time we got together though, we were all pretty tired and "movies" became "part of movie." I'd also overanticipated the crappiness of the evening's movie, so my selections went unconsidered, which is fine. They're my movies, I can watch them whenever. April left about a third of the way through Dr. Strangelove, and this gave Ellen and I a good excuse to stand up and stretch our legs. We did not finish the movie.

On Saturday, Ellen and I went to the Taste of Madison with her friends Angie and Jessica whom she hasn't seen in some time. I haven't been to ToM before, and I had a good time. Meeting her friends was relatively painless. In the evening, Ellen indulged me and we watched Return of the Killer Tomatoes!, which I would like to point out that she actually liked. Honestly, it's difficult not to. When the other two Killer Tomatoes films make it to DVD (I'm guessing somewhere around 2014), I'm totally having a marathon, and we're totally having pizza with boysenberry sauce. Totally.

ribsinbacon and I got together on Sunday afternoon and had lunch at Stillwater's. Then we um, took a road trip to Oregon (the city, not the state). A good time was had by all, but I had to cut the visit kinda short because I'd promised Tom and Keith that we'd see Donnie Darko in the evening. I called Tom after Ribs dropped me off, and was told (this pissed me off) that the plans had been pushed back a few hours. We finally did see the 9:30 showing, which started really late and got out around midnight -- too late for Tom and Keith to make it back to their bus in time. Luckily, another bus was departing for Janesville at 1:50, so I stuck around until it showed up.

Anyway, Donnie Darko, director's cut. I really like the movie Donnie Darko, but I think it's very overrated by a lot of my friends. I won't spoil anything, but this review will be meaningless to anybody who's not familiar with the original cut.

The director's cut is substantially longer (20 minutes) than the original theatrical release. What's been added? Good stuff. Jokes and time travel, mostly. The time-travel additions generally revolve around excerpts from the book, which are already available on the original DVD, so if you've pored over the special features, you already know the plot. If not, well, the reinserted footage adds a lot of depth to (and pretty much explains) the movie.

Did anything stand out as particularly good or bad? Yes, and yes. Bad stuff includes the addition of a few sound effects and a recurring visual effect that was so out of place it made a lot of the audience squirm. Also, the song The Killing Time by Echo and The Bunnymen was replaced with something by INXS during the titles. If you're me, you care about that crap. Some alternate takes were used for no apparent reason, and small bits of dialogue have changed. Good stuff? (The few) Other soundtrack changes were good choices. Much of the new footage actually tightens the plot. The rest goes a long way toward fleshing out the characters. Oh, and there's hilarious extra footage of the self-help videos. The new parts related to time-travel are nothing that wasn't previously available, but they explain some very major plot points and their addition helps a lot.

Overall verdict? The director's cut is a better movie -- I'd even insert the word "much" into that sentiment. If you liked Donnie Darko to begin with, you'll probably appreciate the director's cut. If you actively disliked it, you probably weren't going to fork out $8.00 anyway, and it can stay that way.

Oh, and the long takes during the song Head Over Heels by Tears for Fears are still gorgeous. Anyway, I have to go to bed.
  • Current Music
    Tears For Fears - Head Over Heels
Wedding day

So I'm in an a cappella group...

You kids can't possibly understand how much this amazes me. As you won't likely recall, I said awhile ago that I'd be auditioning for a group called offBeat Acappella. The audition happened tonight, and I didn't think I'd get in.

You must understand, my voice is not in particularly primo condition today. I took my father to the Rock River Thresheree in Edgerton. For those unfamiliar, the Thresheree is a community festival which showcases old coal, diesel and steam-driven equipment. It's not the kind of thing I would have taken any of my ex-girlfriends to (and Ellen would probably have gotten bored as well), but it's exactly the sort of place you'd go if you were designing sets for a production of Jeff Wayne's Musical Version of The War of the Worlds.

I'm not, but it is. Anyway, we ran (briefly) into evil_jim, his father, and matt_william. It was a short conversation, and I will probably be described in their journals as "terse," "standoffish" and "Dennis."

A good time was had at the Thresheree, but you can actually see the air there, and by the time I got home my voice was worrying me. I loaded my MP3 player with Quazarin and Da Vinci's Notebook songs, and warmed up on the way to my audition. Once I got there, I found myself fairly nervous despite knowing more than half of the people in the room. I'd been told to work up an audition piece -- "nothing fancy, Happy Birthday will do." After making a list, revising it, revising it further, having it signed in triplicate, sent in, sent back, queried, lost, found, subjected to public enquiry, lost again and finally buried in soft peat for three months and recycled as fire lighters, I settled on Happy Birthday.

Then we sang The Lion Sleeps Tonight, and I tried to pick up on the bass part being sung by The Guy I Didn't Know (his actual name is Eric, incidentally). After the song was over, he went up to whatever part he usually sings, and I tried to keep up as we sang it again. They thanked me and kicked me out, promising that I'd get a call back tomorrow. I must've done okay (or okayer than I'd expected) because the call came as I was pulling into our driveway. We get together to practice next Monday. I'm excited.
  • Current Music
    The Persuasions -- Harder Than Your Husband