Well, dear readers, ICBIF, or, for those who are baffled by initials the way that I am, I Can’t Believe it’s Friday. RIC – Really, I can’t. CY. Can you? Maybe I should just write the entire notes in initials – I’d be through in no time flat or even no time sharp, for those who prefer sharps to flats. I am sitting here like so much fish, listening to the Tchaikovsky violin concerto, a concerto which features the violin of all things – this is a wonderful recording I’m listening to, by a favorite conductor – Mr. William Steinberg, with violinist Nathan Milstein, one of those amazing Full Dimensional Sound albums from Capitol, brilliantly mastered for CD. I’m picking up as many of these as I can find. Most can be gotten for under four bucks, and yet there are a handful, at least from Amazon third-party sellers, that go for way too much. But I think if one is diligent, which I am, they can be found for cheap money. Now, if I had done this entire paragraph in initials, I’d already be to the end of the notes, and wouldn’t that be a kick in the pants?
Yesterday, I got eight-and-a-half hours of sleep, arising at noon-thirty – again missing the entire morning. But I needed the sleep. Once up, I answered e-mails, had telephonic conversations, did some work at the piano and on the computer, and forwarded a nice amount of orders – these Bagley titles follow a very formulaic pattern – it never changes. We always get less orders than I think we should, but over the course of four or five days, they come in steadily and we mostly end up where I like to end up. Hopefully, that will be the case here, or in Internet lingo, HTWBTCH.
Then I picked up a couple of packages and a nice envelope from the WGA, an okay residual from The Faculty, but not the overdue envelope, which I later found out hadn’t even been sent – it’s going out tomorrow, so I probably won’t get it until Monday. Then I went and had a grilled chili, cheese, and onion hot dog and a side Caesar salad. There is clearly one chef back there who doesn’t get the vibe of the hot dog – even though he was told American cheese, which is what works best, he used cheddar, which is not only yuckilicious but doesn’t melt well. I ate it, but from now on I’m going to have to ask and make sure the chef knows the vibe of the hot dog.
After that, I saw some updated Creature menu designs – they look swell – gave a couple of comments, just nitpicks really, and we mush on towards that finish line. I’m hoping we can announce for pre-order in two weeks, but I’ll know more about that next week. Then I sat on my couch like so much fish.
Last night, I finished watching a motion picture entitled The Shining, a film of Stanley Kubrick from Mr. Stephen King’s wonderful novel. I’ve told this story before, but I’m known for being repetitious so I’ll tell it again: I’d seen the absolutely brilliant trailer for The Shining – I mean, whoever made that trailer should have gotten an award. I couldn’t wait to see it, especially as I’d loved Carrie. At that point, I hadn’t actually read any Stephen King, so The Shining became my first. I began reading it a couple of days before the film opened, and I actually finished it whilst standing in line on opening night at the Chinese Theatre. I loved the book tons and couldn’t wait to see the film.
There was palpable excitement in the theater, which was completely full. I loved the title sequence and especially the photography and music. The first scenes were a little slow – especially the one with Jack Nicholson being interviewed, but I was still enjoying it. Then we got the car ride up and I began to have an uneasy feeling, because Nicholson was playing his character a little weird and off that early. That’s not the way it was in the book. And then we got the scenes at the hotel, and those were interesting, and then they were alone. And the next few scenes were good, especially the low Steadicam shot of Danny riding his big wheels – it actually got applause. But I missed the slow build up of Jack discovering the secrets of the hotel in the old scrapbooks and newspaper clips he finds. They clearly shot that material, because in one shot you can see the open scrapbook next to his typewriter. It began to be obvious at that point that Mr. Kubrick was going in a whole different direction. And it started to feel very long. And the audience got very restless. And on it went – my disappointment grew with each scene because it had none of the tension of the novel, and especially the sequence in room 237, one of the scariest things I’d ever read – I actually jumped out of my chair when reading it – was completely ruined in the movie. Again, I believe Kubrick shot it as it was in the book and then perversely chopped it up and fragmented it, robbing it of any suspense or scares.
The film’s one and only scream happened very late in the film and involved Scatman Crothers. And the audience really wasn’t having Shelly Duvall. Nicholson got a lot of laughs, especially at the end with the ax. After two hours and twenty-something minutes, we got the great shot of Nicholson in the hedge maze, and then that dissolved to a hospital, where the Barry Nelson character was visiting Danny – that went on for about five pointless minutes and the audience was so irritated by it, and then we got the coda shot of the photograph.
So, for me, it was a huge disappointment. I went back to see it with some friends three days later and was amazed to see the hospital scene at the end had been removed over the weekend, with a visible splice and pop in the soundtrack. Later, the negative would be conformed, and the splice and pop would go away – I do believe, however, the jump and pop were on the videotape releases. I liked it okay the second time. Then a couple of years later, it began to play the then-cable movie channels and I watched it and was rather surprised how much I liked it. The reason, of course, was that I was now far away from remembering the book – and so I took the movie for what it was. And it’s become a favorite film to watch multiple times. There’s so much that’s good in it – the sets, photography, music, and performances – and it no longer feels too long to me. Kubrick cut it way down for its UK release – I have that version, too, and I find it unwatchable. Now, this is a new 4K disc, which, of course, I cannot watch, so I’ve only seen the Blu-ray. It’s a step up from the previous Blu-ray, but not as drastic as I’d have thought. Color’s fine, but the contrast in all the shots where the whites a purposely blown out is a bit weak, but only those shots. I’m told the 4K disc is a HUGE improvement even over this new Blu-ray. I’m sure at some point I’ll get a 4K TV. My TV is, astonishingly, over twelve years old now. We’ve come a long way, baby.
After that, I listened to music, and then since I’d only eaten the hot dog, which is not that caloric, I went to Gelson’s and got a cube steak – very low in calories, but good protein, came home, cooked it and ate it all up – it was excellent. After that, I relaxed.
Today, I have to be up by nine-thirty, as the work session is at ten-thirty. After that, which shouldn’t really take more than an hour, I’ll hopefully pick up some packages, eat something light but amusing, do some work at the piano and the computer, and then I must relax.
Tomorrow, I have to be up even earlier, for she of the Evil Eye is coming. I’ll go have a light breakfast, and then from there I’ll mosey on over to the County of Orange to see young Peyton Kirkner in Quilters, a show I know absolutely nothing about. I’m not sure what’s up on Sunday, but hopefully I can relax, and then next week is very busy with meetings and meals and going and doing and getting ready for our first What If rehearsal.
Well, dear readers, I must take the day, I must do the things I do, I must, for example, be up early, have a work session, hopefully pick up some packages, eat, do some work at the piano and the computer, hopefully get more orders, and then relax. Today’s topic of discussion: It’s Friday – what is currently in your CD player and your DVD/Blu and Ray player? I’ll start – CD, lots o’ things. Blu-ray, not sure, but perhaps Ace in the Hole. Your turn. Let’s have loads of lovely postings, shall we, whilst I hit the road to dreamland, and to reiterate, ICBIF.