It's another edition of Bullet Sunday... this time coming to you from beautiful Denver, Colorado!
• I love Ponyo. Yet another Miyazaki masterpiece. Ponyo on the Cliff by the Sea is such joyous, imaginative, feel-good fun that you don't even need kids as an excuse to go see it. Pretty much a retelling of The Little Mermaid, the oft-told tale of the little girl who wants to be human has never been seen in quite this way. Featuring some of the most mesmerizing traditional animated sequences I've ever seen, this is a stunning film which trounces the animated garbage we've been inundated with lately (hey, they're making a sequel to Happy Feet!)...
The main character, Sosuke, is so lovingly crafted that you'd swear he was a real little boy... everything from the way he walks to the way he acts is just captivating to watch. While I prefer to see Miyazaki films in their original Japanese, I have to admit that the vocal talent Disney lined up for the American release is pretty stellar (ZOMG! BETTY WHITE & TINA FEY!) and all the actors seem to ring true to the characters they're dubbing. Well worth seeing in a theater for the sheer spectacle of it all... the pastel-rendered backgrounds are beautiful, and demand to be seen on the big screen.
• Failure to Launch. I got to the Cherry Creek Center Theater for Ponyo a little early so I could eat dinner at the Johnny Rockets there, only to find out that they didn't have any vegetarian Boca Burgers. AGAIN! Why am I not surprised? After all, I've been denied Boca Burgers in San Francisco (twice), Santa Monica, Seattle University Village (twice), Seattle Pike Place Market, Seattle Pacific Place, Miami Aventura Mall, Seattle South Center, and Kent Station... why should Denver be any different? Still finding it positively absurd that a FROZEN item can't be stocked in such depth that it won't run out 50% of the time a customer would like to order it. If you're not going to bother to watch your inventory, don't bother putting it on the menu so that people like me don't waste their valuable time going to a restaurant expecting to get the food we want.
• Denver and Killer Squirrels. After the movie, Howard and Cameron dropped me off downtown so I could take a few photos around the Capitol Building. After goofing around for a bit, I decided to walk back to The 16th Street Mall for dinner and have a look around Union Station. As I was walking through Civic Center Park, I heard something in the tree above me and turned around to look. Much to my surprise it was a very angry squirrel, who glared at me just long enough to let me take a blurry photo of him...
That's when I noticed that squirrels were everywhere, and they had no fear of humans. One little guy was eating a pile of sunflower seeds somebody had left and I was able to sit right next to him. He barely noticed...
Just for fun, I was going to reach over and grab a few seeds, but didn't want to risk getting bitten and end up with rabies or something. That would be just my luck.
• Film by Tarantino. My most consistently favorite director outside of Hayao Miyazaki is Quentin Tarantino. In my capsule review of his latest masterpiece Inglourious Basterds, I said that the word "visionary" was inadequate to describe his cinematic genius. This prompted one reader to ask me how I would rank his films, which would be thusly...
&bull Housekeeping Aggressive. One of the most thankless jobs on the planet has to be that of a housekeeper at a hotel. Forgotten entirely when they do their job well, yet persecuted ruthlessly when they make a mistake, the housekeeper is in the ultimate no-win scenario. Historically, I've always endeavored to be excessively kind and generous with housekeeping staff in order to balance out this wrong, but my attitude has been changing as of late. Because, in addition to being the most thankless job, it can also be the most passive-aggressive career in history. And more and more this is getting to be the case. Housekeepers maintain this front of kindness in service, but all too many of them really don't give a shit and, indeed, are actively hostile in their work.
As an example... in the hotel I'm currently staying (which shall remain nameless, because it really doesn't matter) the housekeeping staff is so horrendously noisy each morning that I have no choice but to view it as intentional. And it begins the minute they exit the elevator... laughing and whistling and yelling and screaming and banging and slamming. Never mind that it's still fairly early and people are trying to sleep, they just don't give a fuck. Across the hall from my room is a laundry chute. What they could do is prop the door open so that the soiled linens will pass silently down to the laundry. But what they actually do is let the door slam shut again and again and again, which is an endless source of banging that is so forceful that my walls shake every time. And heaven forbid that you should want to sleep in, because if you stay later than they like, they will purposely create a huge racket outside your door until you ultimately give up and flee the premises. Every drawer is banged. Every word is yelled. Every cleaning tool is rattled. Every door is slammed. Because the housekeepers just don't seem to give a flying fuck anymore. They're up at the crack of dawn doing a thankless job, and they want you to suffer for it. Over and over and over again. One of these days I'm going to have had enough and scream into the hallway as loud as I can "SHUT THE HELL UP!" knowing full-well that it will only encourage them to be louder. Because that's what happens when you mess with people having the most passive aggressive job on earth.
• Farewell to The City. And that's all she wrote. Tomorrow I'll take a trip to some stores I want to check out which were closed today... and then it's off to the airport and other adventures.
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Have you stayed anywhere that the housekeepers were quiet in the morning? I don’t think I have. Even if there’s not a lot of chatting, the gear and banging on other people’s doors, yelling: Housekeeping! before entering adjacent rooms is always loud. I took it to be a fact of life after 7 or 8 AM.
I love “Ponyo sur la falaise” too! So beautiful! 🙂
Oh Ponyo! I found out my local theater, for whatever reason, never includes the final letter of a movie name in the display marquees outside the entrance. So I’ve been wondering what the hell kind of movie Pony was. Even worse with U.
I think I’m going to have a Tarantino film festival soon…I own all of those movies (except Inglourious Basterds, of course). I just love his directing style and the fact that when you go into one of his movies, you expect half of the main characters to die a bloody death. The only disappointment in his movies is when they DON’T die!
I just bought Kill Bill 1 & 2 yesterday, and a guy next to me was raving about Jackie Brown. I haven’t seen Jackie Brown, but have added it to the list. And now maybe I need to see Inglourious Basterds as well…
That sucks about the cleaning staff. I’d totally complain. I can’t stand it when I’m trying to sleep and people are making noise!
I have heard repeatedly that Inglourious Basterds is good- damn. yet another movie I need to go see. My problem is WHEN am I supposed to see it?!! WAH.
I love Tarantino. I would rate Reservoir Dogs above Jackie Brown. I can’t wait to see Inglorious Basterds now. 😉
You should report to management of the hotel what you experienced with the housekeeping. Any self-respecting hotel has rules for their staff about maintaining the comfort of each guest, including noise levels.
I’m a little angry myself hearing those in my field are so disrespectful in their work.
This is why I don’t clean hotels, though. I work alone. I mean, REALLY alone. But, sadly, I know of many cleaners who are dishonest, disrespectful, and, as you said, just don’t give a shit. Most of them are just going through the motions so they can pick up that minimum wage paycheck at the end of the week. I’d bet they would change their ethics if they got paid per guest satisfaction rather than per hour, but that won’t happen anytime soon.
Hey, thanks for planning the get together and spending some movie time with us. We will definitely let you know if we end up in Washington. Come back soon!
We stay at a hotel in Portland, OR that has – seriously – the quietest housekeeping staff … ever. I don’t even know they are the floor until I’ve emerged, around 10 a.m., feeling somewhat refrshed post-hangover.
I think that all of us veggie boys have found story after story of places unable to accommodate, nothing in stock, nothing on the menu, “No, we can’t make you a salad,” etc etc. It’s sad.
We saw our share of squirrels at the Grand Canyon this last weekend. Tame little buggers when it comes to getting food.
Tarantino is one of my all time favorite directors. Your list of Quentin-directed films parallels mine. Although I do have to add in the script he did for “True Romance” as one of my top favorites, sneaking in under Pulp Fiction to take the number 2 spot. So well done, even if Quentin didn’t direct it (Tony Scott did the honors).
I’m sure that the handheld – cinéma vérité “street vendor edition” of Inglourious Basterds is probably already out in NYC for around 10 bucks. I could look around for Hilly to see if I can find one to complete her collection. (‘course I’ll have to send it in a plain brown wrapper with no return address and probably include a copyright disclaimer) http://i115.photobucket.com/albums/n312/ETinNY/Streetvendor.jpg
Man you know how to complain.
That first squirrel looks like he’s flipping you off a little!
Oh I couldn’t agree more about Pulp Fiction. One of my favorite movies of all time.
Ponyo was such a great movie! Yet another classic from Miyazaki (though my favorite is still Princess Mononoke). As for boca burgers, I recently learned — on Friday, as a matter of fact — that the Claim Jumper restaurants offer boca patties in lieu of beef or turkey. And not just the tiny patties but one-inch thick slabs of boca goodness. Made the Frisco burger so good!
Pulp Fiction is one of my favourite films of all times. Every time I see it there is something else (and I’ve seen it a lot.)
Can I admit to having a soft spot for from Dusk ’til Dawn… though not a true Tarantino, it’s still a sentimental favourite.
Yay. I get to see Inglorius Basterds on thursday.
Contemplating watching Jackie Brown for the umphteenth time.
Not a fan of Brad Pitt, but think Quentin’s ability may just compensate enough for me to watch the movie.
I own Death Proof on Blueray, but it took me a long time to get around to watching it because I didn’t know how I would cope with Kurt Russell being the “Baddie” since I love him so much! But the story was so captivating that I found myself rooting for his destruction.
Over all of his movies – the best ever scene is Darryl Hannah walking through the corridor whistling in Kill Bill – pure brilliance!