john wick.

I’m a sucker for revenge flicks. We’re talking shamelessly violent, reactionary anti-hero shit. Have you ever met someone who actually enjoyed Mel Gibson in ‘Get the Gringo?’ I have. He’s been staring back at me in the mirror ever since the first time I saw the film.

If I were ever tasked to pitch a movie script guaranteed to be seen and celebrated by millions, it would go something like this:

Posthumously gifted a puppy by his deceased wife, a retired hitman with nothing to lose seeks revenge on the gangsters who kill his new, four legged friend.

If I was feeling particularly ballsy at the pitch session, I would require that the part of the retired hitman be played by Keanu Reeves and that we make Willem Dafoe and John Leguizamo play a couple of his friends.

Why? Because I fucking say so, that’s why.

I realize that this sounds crazy, but this is EXACTLY what I think happened when two of Keanu’s stunt doubles from the Matrix trilogy created, and pitched, John Wick.

Don’t believe me? See the trailer for yourself:

Not only is this film clearly the most important film of 2014, but there’s apparently already talk of a sequel. And if it’s not titled ‘John Wick 2: No Kill Shelter,’ I’m going to lose my damn mind.

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Things have been slow here at RtM lately because we are in the midst of a transition to a different server. The good news is, we’ll be able to do cool shit we couldn’t do before. The bad news is, we’re in limbo for the moment until I can get a few more things taken care of. The blog will be in flux for a bit, but hopefully you’ll hang with me and enjoy all the wonderfulness that is on its way, in time.

l’illusionniste.

Finally watched The Illusionist last night. The 2010 French animated film, not the 2006 Ed Norton film that came out the same year as The Prestige but wasn’t nearly as awesome.

Anyway, L’illusionniste. It was such a wonderful, sad film. For one thing, it points to how beautiful simple animation can be, when done with care and skill. Not that computers weren’t involved, it’s just that so much of the film was intentionally imperfect. There were plenty of scenes where you could see pencil lines and shadings that were leftovers. It was beautiful.

I won’t go into details and spoil anything, aside from saying that the film is peopled with such lovely, yet tragic, characters, all without any dialogue outside the occasional single word here and there.

It really made me antsy to travel, too.

Also, the drunken Scotsman may be my favorite character from any film I’ve seen this year. Yeah, he pretty much is.

Many of the movies I’ve seen for the first time lately have been lackluster, but this one kicked things back into shape in a big way. You should watch it.

in stitches. [my favorite song, and album, about losing faith.]

There are lots of songs about loss of faith, so maybe if I thought about this for a long time I would come up with one I like even more, but this one is just so haunting to me. The whole album is about lost faith, but this song in particular grabs my heart and won’t let go. A song to God about no longer believing in God. When Bazan sings,

/ the crew had killed the captain, but they still can hear his voice / a shadow on the water, a whisper in the wind / on long walks with my daughter, who is lately full of questions about you /

It gets me every time. Most articulations of faith these days, including those pronouncing a lack of faith, are silly and thoughtless, knee-jerk reactions that can’t begin to grapple with the huge existential questions with which they are attempting to contend. On one side they talk about faith but do so by arguing for something that has never been orthodox, and didn’t exist until around 100 years ago. On the other side, they argue for the god of science, but do so by claiming facts that are actually pseudo-pop-science, rooted in ideas scientists haven’t believed for at least 50 years. It’s rare to hear someone discuss their thoughts intelligently.

This album, Bazan’s memoir of lost faith, is instead one of uncommon power and thoughtful wrestling. It’s a poetic explanation as to why he could no longer believe in the God he’d believed in all his life.

There are days when this is my song, even though I still personally believe in God.

/ My body bangs and twitches /
/ This brown liquor whets my tongue /
/ My fingers find the stitches /
/ Firmly back and forth they run /
/ I need no other memory /
/ Of the bits of me I left /
/ When all this lethal drinking /
/ Is to hopefully forget about you /

/ I might as well admit it /
/ Like I even have a choice /
/ The crew have killed the captain /
/ But they still can hear his voice /
/ A shadow on the water /
/ A whisper in the wind /
/ On long walks with my daughter /
/ Who is lately full of questions about you /

/ When Job asked you a question /
/ You responded, “Who are you to challenge your creator?” /
/ Well if that one part is true /
/ It makes you sound defensive /
/ Like you had not thought it through /
/ Enough to have an answer /
/ Like you bit off more than you could chew /

being flynn. [trailer park.]

the fellowship.

Starting Friday night and moving late into Saturday, Emily and I were with friends for an epic sleepover marathon of the extended edition Lord of the Rings films.

3 epic movies. 6 sexy people (okay, so maybe only 5 were sexy). 12 awesome hours of movie. We were, as Josh named us, The Fellowship of the Fellowship of the Ring.

We were accompanied by delicious food, courtesy of Josué. There was also a really fun LOTR card game, courtesy of Josh that I look forward to playing again (okay, so only Josh and I played that).

It was a decidedly good decision, and I’m damned glad to have the friends I do. The only question is: what marathon do we do next?