Watched Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events the other night. It got mixed reviews from the critics and its domestic (U.S.) gross didn’t make up the film’s production budget. But I enjoyed. Jim Carrey was excellent as Count Olaf. I was worried that he’d play Count Olaf in a too Jim Carrey-ish way, but he did quite well. The humour in the role was more quirky than rubbery, if you know what I mean, and he did well. Quite a dark film—could’ve been directed by Tim Burton (but it wasn’t)—and not sure what to make of the ending, but still…3.5/4
Of course, I’ve always thought Jim Carrey was a fine actor. The Academy has a hard time with crossover actors, at least at first (Tom Hanks has broken that barrier, though). One day Jim Carrey and Will Ferrell will get their due acclaim.
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Looking at some of my site stats, particularly country of origin for hits. Lots of 1 and 2 hit stats from all over the world, which I consider flukes or bots or spam. The number spikes in the UK, but I know I have at least one regular reader there. Canada is the majority source for hits, with the U.S. in distant second. But there is an oddity: a significant number of hits from Switzerland. Enough hits to not be accidental. Who could that be? Swiss reader: show yourself!
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The worst part of writing a sermon? It’s impossible to include everything without taking up an enormous amount of time, turning it into a lecture and losing everyone in the process. I wonder if any sermon ever feels complete to some degree.
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My favourite song ever? “The Pink Panther Theme” by Henry Mancini, for several reasons:
1. Apart from everything else, it’s a fantastic song.
2. It moves me, probably because
3. It’s steeped in memory. As a young boy in Holland I must have seen a episode of the animated Pink Panther at some point, because I remember seeing a number of opening credits when they played the Pink Panther movies (starring Peter Sellers) and getting excited. The opening credits always involved the animated Pink Panther character and the animated Clouseau character in hot pursuit. I loved those opening credits, which included the theme song, because I thought it was an episode of the Pink Panther. But I was always disappointed when the “episode” ended and the live action film began. I appreciate Inspector Clouseau much more now than I did then.
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I anxiously await Phil‘s review of the Bob Dylan concert in Regina. I’ve heard Bob Dylan’s concerts can be quite “tempermental”: sometimes they’re fantastic, sometimes they’re terrible. Here’s a review by my seminary course “instructor”. I take his review as “mixed”—good because it was Dylan, not so good because of poor sound. He links to the setlist, which is largely made up of post-1997 material.
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I’m listening to some music samples on BobDylan.com. Some observations:
1. Why is it that the best artists go through nearly-unlistenable periods in the 1980s? Bob Dylan and Bruce Cockburn both do and it’s a shame. I have a large Bruce Cockburn CD collection, but there is a huge gap in there spanning the late-70s and the 80s. 1978-1986 are nearly unlistenable years musically (although I’m sure he remains lyrically brilliant during that time). And just at the time when Cockburn comes to his musical senses, Dylan dives into his own period of 80s darkness.
Who ever thought that drum machines and synthesizers were a good idea?
2. Bob Dylan’s “born again” albums are fantastic. Shot of Love is a personal favourite and, based on what I’ve heard on the website, I think both Saved and Slow Train Coming are worth purchasing. (I’ve said it before, but I can hardly believe that “Gotta Serve Somebody” won a Grammy for Best Song—not because it’s a poor song, but because it’s so overtly evangelical.)
3. I could use more Bob Dylan. The unfortunate fact of being born in the mid-70s and not getting into Bob Dylan until well into my 20s is that I have a lot of catching up to do.