Tuesday, December 20, 2005

The Great Transit Strike of '05

The snow is snowing, the wind is blowing, and now the transit workers are striking.  So it looks like YT will remain in CT until the picket lines pack up and the strike restores the dignity of labor.  I spent a few minutes this morning thinking about the situation and I suppose I support the MTA workers – if they can squeeze a very nice raise and benefits package out of the city of New York, maybe they will inspire other unions across the country to demand better treatment for their members, which will in turn encourage more workers to join unions, which could make an impact on American poverty, the healthcare system, illegal immigrant labor, getting more Democrats elected, etc.  Perhaps this is hopelessly naïve.  I know that Kurt Vonnegut and all of his Eugene Debs loving protagonists would be proud.  I guess I’ll just wait for the Fox News report (“Union communists rape Christmas”) so I can make up my mind from the unbiased, bare facts.

Now, some reviews!

A pretty, pretty, pretty good movie.  In it, a great number of fine actors romp around and grow moustaches and generally confuse the hell out of the audience for most of the movie.  Amanda Peet is notable for being the only girl and reprising her role from Saving Silverman (Jack Black doesn’t make it) as Matt Affleck’s wife.  Jeffrey Wright, of Angels in America fame, plays a lawyer who has one of the above moustaches and does not really care all that much about the truth, justice, etc., preferring fine cufflinks and talking very fast and quietly.  George Clooney is supposed to be fat but isn’t.  The guy who plays Prince Nasir looks a little like a much more handsome version of actual Prince, and basically swans around being handsome and progressive and wearing wonderful white suits.  I can’t reveal any plot details except that the oil industry ends up looking like a bit of a bad egg.  Go see it if you want to understand why America is cutting the throat of the Middle East, Europe, America, and the Middle East.

Also pretty good, not as good as Syriana.  Charlize Theron looks and sounds a lot like Aeon from the cartoons, which is impressive, also she is like a goddam battleship and is nine feet tall.  All their futuristic clothing is amazing (the costumers wisely decided not to go with Aeon’s trademark bondage gear), as are the sets which look like they were designed by a coke-addled Zaha Hadid.  Lots of delightful touches from the cartoon make it in (not enough, and mostly towards the less-bizarre end of the spectrum), and Trevor Goodchild is engaging and has great hair, though he’s not blonde in this version.  Unfortunately, Goodchild engages a little too well; he’s for sure a good guy, whereas in the cartoon he was pretty morally ambiguous (or, actually, just a megalomaniacal villain) which make his relationship with Aeon more complex and interesting.  I know that it’s irresponsibly dorky to keep comparing the movie and the cartoon - the movie is quite entertaining and visually sumptuous on its own, but it’s definitely worth seeing both versions.

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