Sunday, July 15, 2007

Handbags and Prison Camps

Thanks to the rain, a headache and a lack of any motivation whatsoever, I spent yesterday on my couch. It’s quite unfortunate as I had four separate invites for yesterday and I ended up in sweat pants and eating cereal for dinner instead. Oh, well.

Today was a bit of an improvement in my social life. I met up with a friend at church (Yay! I finally have a friend at church!) and then went out with her and her friend for lunch. And her friend brought two friends who were visiting from Australia. So everybody was meeting everybody for the first time. After gorging myself on fried dumplings and bubble tea, I said goodbye to my new friends and ended up shopping in Yorkdale.

I need a new bag. The zipper on my big brown bag is gone, and the one I’m currently using is cute, but more of a tote for my lunch than a handbag. And then I saw the “50% off” sign at Holt Renfrew. I had never been in Holt Renfrew, so I thought I’d be adventurous and try something new :)

I walked over the sale table. I immediately knew which bag I wanted. I knew it would be leather, so I was mentally preparing myself for a higher-than-usual price tag, even with the sale. I was not expecting the sale price to be $1100.00!!! Yes, folks, this bag first retailed for over $2000. Needless to say, I ran out of the store.

I felt a little sick over the idea that someone would waste so much money on something that only needs to carry your crap on the subway. Or in your limo, I guess. Maybe it's because I’m trying to maintain a greater worldview when I shop I’m just extra sensitive at the idea of spending the kind of money that could feed multiple families in a Third World country on something that’s so trivial. And whoever does buy it will probably buy the next “It” bag next season. I saw a father in the store, trying to get the zipper fixed on his daughter’s designer bag. At least when the zipper broke on mine, I could reason, “Well, I think I got my $40 worth.”

Bagless, I headed to HMV and scooped up the Newsies soundtrack. It seemed impulsive, but I’ve been secretly looking for it since I was 15. So if planning a purchase for 8 years is impulsive, yes, that was me. I also picked up some super-discounted jewelry at Le Chateau, a discounted shirt at Jacob, and then headed to the movies.

I was debating between Ratatouille and Sicko. And so I chose Rescue Dawn. I realize that no one’s heard of the film (it’s only in limited release right now), but as a faithful Christian Bale fan, I’ve been anticipating this one for a while.

Two thumbs up. In some ways, Bale’s career seems to have come full circle, with this role almost being a follow-up to Empire of the Sun. Except now, instead of being an aviation-crazed British kid in a confinement camp in China, he’s a German-born American pilot shot down over Laos during the Vietnam War. They’re both in love with the skies, have incredible survival instincts, are charming and fiercely loyal, and refuse to accept the fate they’ve been dealt.

It’s pretty much a Bale movie. Aside from the odd establishing shot, I think he’s in every scene. Sort of like Tom Hanks in Castaway. And like Hanks, we see his body becoming more thin and frail as the story develops. The emaciated physique’s not as distracting as it is in The Machinist, nor is the production value as glossary as American Psycho, so Bale’s performance is what the critics are gonna have to reckon with here. One day his Oscar will come. Oh, and Steve Zahn is incredible. Who knew? I mean, sure, he was genius in That Thing You Do!, but wasting away in a POW holding camp? I guess he has range after all.

It’s based on the true story of Dieter Dengler, although some who knew the men featured in the film have protested at the inaccuracies. Supposedly the crazy-ish, Marilyn Manson-type prisoner was really a pretty nice guy. But for a movie, the character was pretty dynamic. Maybe it should be called biographical fiction. You know, like Capote’s “non-fiction novel” In Cold Blood. I’m a fan.

Speaking of Capote (Sorry, this blog is longer than I thought it would be), I saw Infamous this weekend. The real unfortunate thing about the film is that Capote was released a year earlier. And it’s pretty much the same film. Infamous has better pacing and is far more entertaining, but Philip Seymour Hoffman is far and above the greater Truman. Perhaps it’s because Toby Jones has freaked me out ever since he peed against the stone wall in Ever After. And Jones didn’t require the radical transformation Hoffman did. Infamous also had brilliant performances from Sandra Bullock and Daniel Craig. But Capote told the Clutters’ story better, including more of the murder investigation and less of the name-dropping gossip that Infamous got caught up in. If the two movies were spliced together, the resulting movie would be sensational.

This was too long. I don’t feel like editing. Feel free to read every other word. I guess if you made it to the end, it’s a little too late for that, huh?

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