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  • Favorite movies
    Amelie, Magnolia, Say Anything, Dogma, American Beauty, Before Sunrise, and lots others.
  • Favorite creative writing
    Raymond Carver, Douglas Coupland, T.C. Boyle, Donald Miller, Anne Lamott, Chuck Klosterman

LoneTomato's Achievements


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  1. Yahoo! Here we go. Good luck everybody. My working title: Anonycity.
  2. I love this idea. This is the second time I've run across a mention of this writing project and I've been passing the link on to all the writers I know (all two of them). I'm not signed up yet, but I will be by the time November rolls around. I have a couple story ideas I'm toying with in my head, I don't think I'll settle on one until I sit down for the first day of writing on November 1st. I'm also going to stop by Borders and check out founder Chris Baty's book, "No Plot, No Problem," for some tips. I've never taken on any writing assignment this big. Ever. All my writing looks like the stuff I post on my blog here at the Arts and Faith blog (see lonetomato.blogspot.com for the unabridged version). This project terrifies and thrills me at the same time. Can't wait to get started, can't wait to finish.
  3. Just finished the new Donald Miller book, Through Painted Deserts. Not as good as either Blue Like Jazz or Searching For God Knows What - the prose gets a bit flowery at times and although there are some moments of good insight, it's really just about a road trip with a friend. Also just finished Killing Yourself To Live by Chuck Klosterman. I haven't laughed so much in a very long time. Chuck drives across the US visiting sites where rock legends died for an article for Spin Magazine. Right now I'm in the middle of Parallel Worlds by Mishio Kaku - an amazing book about the lastest findings in theoretical physics/astronomy/cosmology. I don't pretend to understand any of the details, but Kaku uses excellent analogies that gets the concepts across. Books like these always blow my mind, expanding my understanding of how wide how deep and how long God's creation really is. Also, there's an entertaining chapter where Kaku seems to be stretching for reasons not to believe that the delicate balance of physical properties that makes life on earth possible is not the result of an intelligent, creative being. Everything from the value of the cosmological constant (determined seconds after the big bang) to the size of our moon to our location in the Milky Galaxy and our Solar System to the size of Jupiter - all of these factors (as well as a host of others) combine to make the earth a stable platform where life can thrive. During my lunch breaks I'm reading On Intelligence by Jeff Hawkins and Sandra Blakeslee. Like Parallel Worlds, it's a book about a highly technical subject written in everyday language. Hawkins has spent a great deal of his life (when not developing Palm Pilot and Handspring devices) interested in how the brain works and how that knowledge might be used to truly advance the stagnating field of artificial intelligence. Fascinating insight into what's going on between our ears. On the shelf waiting their turn: Man Walks Into A Room by Nicole Krauss. I bought this because I loved her new book, The History of Love so much - amazing writing: "her laugh was a question that he wanted to spend the rest of his life answering..." The Celestine Prophecy by James Redfield. I know this is something completely different from everything else listed here but it was recommended by a friend and I just want to see what it's about.
  4. Song I wrote for my band (www.harrisonsound.com) Also have some (super) short story bits on the Arts and Faith blog here. More at lonetomato.blogspot.com We Are Free there was a time when you thought all their words were true wrong and right were black and white as a rule but the world is wide as the girl in the bubble was small and you could not resist when you heard curiosity call and you found some things beautiful and you found some things depraved and you learned to be cynical but you also learned how to be brave they would call you the prodigal daughter who ran from home before her time was due could it be in the scheme of things it's just part of some grand design could it be we're just waiting for all the water to turn into wine we are free...
  5. There's so much here already, I really don't have much to add. Like some of the other people here, it's been a while since I've seen this movie although I loved it enough to buy it (I have a very small, very cherished DVD collection). Yes, some of the characters are stereotypes - Bening's uber-housewife portrayal comes to mind - but the movie dismantles them (not all of them, the Colonel is what he is). Like with Bening's character, again, she begins as a kind of ideal - the successful housewife - but the movie picks her apart, shows us that the picture-perfect woman we see at the beginning of the movie is just a kind of facade. But it's not just that. The movie goes on, I think, to show that she wants to nurture and maintain this facade because it's the only way she knows to order her life and then as this construct begins to crumble around her, she lunges after a man who's got the nicer, sturdier facade. And I think that's the strength of the movie for me - how it asks us to question what we might think of as ideal. To me, Ricky is the central character in that he tries to find beauty, not as the world defines it but as he finds it. Which is why he dismisses Suvari's character and latches on to Birch's instead. I love how he sort of frees her from the skin-deep-beauty that she feels trapped in - how he confirms the suspicions she has about that world and shows her that you don't have to let the world define beauty for you, that you can find it on your own. It think that's a beautiful love-story subplot. Of course, Ricky's a drug dealer so he's no easy hero, but that's another thing that's great about the movie - it doesn't allow us easy answers. I know I haven't been posting much lately, and in part it's because I find so few films worth thinking about. It's kind of a catch-22 situation for me where I don't see a lot of films because so many of the ones I do see weren't worth it so I see fewer films which means I'm probably missing the ones that are worth seeing. Blah. But it's nice to see an oldie-goodie like this one resurface to remind me that there <i>are</i> films worth seeing...even if some people think they aren't. But that's what makes movies and this board so great, no?
  6. Ah, good to be back. I've been checking in from time to time, but I've been far too busy with my band and my blog to see very many movies. On top of this, we used to have a mini-art-house multiplex but it's been turned into one of those dollar theater joints. Blah. We still have a few places that show artsy, independent films but it's just not the same. Whenever I do see something worth thinking/writing about, I stop by here to see what people are saying and perhaps drop my two cents...but it's getting hard to find films like that. And I've missed you all as well. God bless, randall lonetomato.blogspot.com
  7. Hey, what about Vietnam? Has anyone seen Three Seasons directed by Tony Bui? It's kind of hard to find (got my copy through Canada) but well worth the search.
  8. This has always been one of my favorite films. Ed Harris's performance is what makes this movie for me. So many movies are about someone who has no faith or has an unquestioned faith. Father Frank Shore is a man who desperately wants to believe but because of his work (testing miracles that fall short far too often), he has his dobuts. I love the scene in flashback where he kind of baptises himself. He so wants to believe and you can see it in his face. And the relationship he tries to pursue with Helen's daughter, Roxane - to me that's Father Shore opting for something present and tactile, something he hasn't been able to find in his faith. Great, great, great movie. One I recomend to anyone looking for movies about faith that aren't embarasing. So glad to see it considered here. God bless, randall lonetomato.blogspot.com
  9. DOH!! You're right (as always) Seattle 06/26 Portland 06/27 San Francisco 06/28 LA 06/29-07/04 Hey, if you have any requests from Hawaii (Macadamia nuts, Kona coffee, coconuts) let me know.
  10. I really enjoyed this movie. I've been really busy and have had to pick my movies carefully. After seeing the trailers, I really wanted to see this so when I had a few free hours I went right after this one. Some of the storytelling is heavy-handed and it does require a substantial suspension of disbelief (don't ask too many logical plot questions) but I got swallowed up by the idea that one need not be changed (leashed) to the past - that love and kindness can heal and renew. I really liked Li's performance. I thought it was interesting that this role used his limited (but growing) English skills as an asset. Reminded me of how Schwarzenegger's early roles (Conan/Terminator) used his accent to emphasize the other-wordly nature of his character. Maybe Jet Li will be govenor one day. randall
  11. Sorry, it's been a while since I've posted here. I've been busy with LOTS of stuff and haven't had time for many movies, although I did see Unleashed and liked it quite a bit. Anyway... My band, Harrison (www.harrisonsound.com) is going on a mini-tour of the West Coast. Dates and destinations are still up in the air but the current schedule reads this way: Seattle 05/26 Portland 06/27 San Francisco 06/28 LA 06/29 - 07/04 Any gigs we can play along the way would be welcome. We don't ask for money, we just want to play. Churches or clubs, we're open to anything. Band influences include Coldplay, U2, Jimmy Eat World, The Police, and others. You can message me here or e-mail me at randall@lonetomato.com (hope this posting is cool...if not feel free to delete) God bless, randall My Blog
  12. Hey all, know I've been MIA for a while but things keep going well for my band. This past Tuesday we opened for My Chemical Romance when they played here in Hawaii - our biggest gig yet. Anyway, after I heard about The Passion Recut, I HAD to find out what the deal was and headed straight here. "trimming five to six minutes of violent scenes..." is this the only thing that's different? What's the point? Are there only cuts in this version or does it include footage not included in the original? I don't want to be too cynical but this has the odor of a sleazy marketing ploy. What's Gibson thinking?
  13. I am solidly in Jeffrey's camp on this film. In the last year or so I've really lost my passion for film (as evidenced by my lack of posts here), partly because we lost one of our local art house film venues (turned into a $.99 movie joint) but also because as of late I just haven't had the kind of loose-yourself-in-another-world feeling in many movies of late. This is exactly what happened to me. It was the look of the film - the texture, the soft focus, the hard shadows, the classic imagry - and the way it was just there as opposed to calling attention to itself (I felt the same about the way Finding Nemo handled water). Oh, and I don't think anyone's mentioned this yet - what about the way they show Sky Captain flying from one spot on the globe to another, very much like the Indiana Jones series but taken to the next level. As for the performances, I was too busy being awed by what was presented and wondering what was coming up next to notice. Anyway, I gotta run to work but let me end with this: the last time I fell this hard for a movie was Big Fish and people seem to be just as divided over that one as they are this one.
  14. You know, I'm still tring to figure out what's wrong with this picture. It seems so close to being great but falls short. I think a few more drafts or perhaps different editing could have saved it. I think the main problem is in the ending. The movie builds up all this tension between the four people but ends just as it's beginning to release all that potential energy - to use an analogy from excercise, it fails to warm down. I think about that scene near the end where Jack (Ruffalo) takes his kids on a bicycle ride and the end up by the river. The sequence is edited such that it seems like he's thinking about throwing them in the river but once back at the house through clues in the background noise we know that he didn't. And then he tells Terry (Dern) that he wants to try and make the marriage work. Terry, naturally, believes that he just wants to stay because of the kids but Jack makes it clear that it's not just that. Well, if it's not the kids then what? I mean the night before he rips her to pieces by saying "I love Edith!" So if it wasn't the kids then what? And then there's the way the movie leaves Edith. She's in the car and we hear the sound of a train in the background and her face starts to light up. 1+1=she's killing herself by placing her car on the tracks. But because of the way the movie just misled us with Jack and his kids by the river, what are we to make of this? Oh, and then there's her reaction to Hank cheating on her. She knows that he doesn't love her and she has no problem sleeping with Jack and she already knew Hank was checking out Terry... Seems like the more I think about this movie the less I like it. Maybe there's some epiphany I'm missing but as of yet I'm still waiting for the apple to fall.
  15. I don't know, there have been trailers that have made me tear up. Sometimes twice - once because the trailer is so well done and a second time because the actual film was such a waste of money! I find trailers fascinating (I get mad when I get to a movie too late for the trailers). Because they're so short, they have to rely on using familiar images/themes/myths/ideas/stereotypes/styles in clever ways in order to sell the movie. I think looking at trailers as a kind of art form in and of itself would be an interesting study. I mean they really have to play off of filmic devices that are familiar to the viewer (a kind of cinematic shorthand, if you will) in order to pack as much impact into the smallest space. Okay, that does it. If the band thing doesn't work out for me, I'm going to enter academia and write a book about movie trailers and it's going to change the world. Nobody steal my idea, okay?
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