Assorted and sundry…

Performed a wedding today for a very nice couple, Frank and Bonnie, who are friends of a friend of a friend. Never met them before. They’ve been together 26 years and decided oh what the hell, let’s make it legal. Their twentysomething son was one of the witnesses. No ceremony, just paperwork and a couple hours shooting the breeze. Frank is a sculptor and he gave me a swell dragon’s-claw-gripping-a-skull trinket, which is now attached to my keychain. Bonnie gave me a sack full of blooming, fresh-cut, full-potency catnip. I took this home and tripped out my cats.

Tonight I saw two movies. I’m going to begin doing my movie reviews here in the dispatches, and then collect them into essay entries now and then. I have some catching up to do, but I’ll start with the latest pair.

Kiss of the Dragon

Jet Li actioner co-written by Luc Besson. The Paris locations are beautiful, and Jet Li is terrific throughout. Bridget Fonda is annoying, and her scenes are interminable. The fu is not world-class, but the action scenes as western-style action scenes are really quite good. This film is in dire need of a Phantom Edit–with Fonda’s scenes chopped, it’d be a great hour-long film. Tcheky Kvaro or however you spell his name plays the role of Gary Oldman from Besson’s Leon/The Professional, and there’s a nice revisit to the explosive-dumb-waiter sequence from Besson’s La Femme Nikita. The final shot is a curious moment where Li looks away from the exultant Fonda and stares somewhat intensely off-screen; I can only assume he’s looking forward to his next film and away from this one.

Bridget Jones’s Diary

Pay for one movie, sneak into another is my rule. Renee Zellweger is terrific in this romantic comedy, as is Hugh Grant as a heel. Great fun through and through, actually, and it certainly beats the twenty minutes of the new Julia Roberts flick America’s Sweethearts that I snuck into before this. Lots of funny business, a fun character, and strong performances. Her wacky carload of friends was far less annoying here than the similar wacky carload of friends in Notting Hill, speaking of Hugh Grant and Julia Roberts.

On the way home, listening to the radio, I had the sublime pleasure of hearing what is clearly the finest song in the history of the world, “Dr. Bootygrabber” by the Detroit Grand Pubahs from their new album FUNK ALL Y’ALL. Actually it’s a pretty mediocore song, but it’s funny as all hell and eerily reminiscent of that smooth-lover guy on Saturday Night Live. A lyrical highlight:

“My name is Dr. Bootygrabber.

My first name is Ernest.

My middle name is Freaky.

That’s right.

My name is Dr. Ernest Freaky Bootygrabber.”

Oh yeah. That was a special song.

Stuff I’ve enjoyed recently…

in books: John Buchan’s THE 39 STEPS, Mark Bowden’s BLACKHAWK DOWN, and Haruki Murakami’s NORWEGIAN WOOD.

in music: I bought a lot of CDs recently. Some close at hand: Air, 10,000 HZ. LEGEND; Gorillaz, GORILLAZ; ANOKHA: SOUNDZ OF THE ASIAN UNDERGROUND; DJ Logic, THE ANOMALY; Fantastic Plastic Machine, LUXURY; The Clash, LONDON CALLING; Underworld, BEAUCOUP FISH; The Clash, GIVE ‘EM ENOUGH ROPE, The Waterboys, A PAGAN PLACE; James Combs, PLEASE COME DOWN; Radiohead, AMNESIAC; The Waterboys, FISHERMAN’S BLUES; The Waterboys, THIS IS THE SEA; ’68 Comeback, LOVE ALWAYS WINS; DJ Spooky, SONGS OF A DEAD DREAMER; BIGSHOTS: SAN FRANCISCO DRUM AND BASS; Fantastic Plastic Machine, BEAUTIFUL; and the Nick Drake FRUIT TREE boxed set.

Late night, time for bed. My girlfriend is somewhere in Mongolia right now, probably riding a camel.