Well, I don't have to tell you how easy it is to neglect the blog. I've been meaning to write something here, but man, just haven't felt all that inspired. Here's what I've been consuming lately (apart from brownies)...

Demonlover: Olivier Assayas has made a truly fucked up, sleeky stylish, more violent than Pulp Fiction sort of film, certain to polarize viewers for eons to come. Good-to-great turns from Connie Nielsen, Chloe Sevigny (creepy as she's ever been) and Gina Gershon, who really needs a vehicle to call her own (wait, she does! Prey For Rock and Roll, which opens in two weeks.) I'd have to see this again to make a less-than-fucked-up assessment of it, as it's nearly as narratively obtuse as any David Lynch film, if not quite as seductive.

Bollywood/Hollywood: A beautiful piece of fluff that strains way too hard to be clever. An alarming portion of it falls flat, as if all the dialogue was translated from English to Hindu and back again, through a quirky Canadian filter, no less. The musical numbers are fan-tabulous, though, and the lead male heartthrob at least looks like an Indian John Cusack.

The Singing Detective: I'm halfway through Dennis Potter's much-praised 1986 BBC miniseries, which has recently been transformed into a two-hour feature film starring Robert Downey Jr. set to open later this month. I can't imagine the film improving on the original, though. Refracting through shards of memories, Potter's tale centers on an alter-ego suffering a severe skin disease as he recalls (hallucinates?) various childhood moments and scenes from his own detective novels until they blend and recontextualize into a dizzying whole. And oh, there are musical numbers on par with Fosse's All That Jazz, although the tone is entirely different. Maybe I'll attempt a full review after I watch the remaining three episodes.

The School of Rock: Richard Linklater's bid for Hollywood glory is nearly miraculous in that it doesn't suck. Actually, Linklater's presence is most unobtrusive, as this pop spin on Dead Poet's Society (with no sanctimony and little sentimentality) is all about Jack Black. Fortunately, it's basically his character from High Fidelity given his very own film, and it's the role he was born to play. Sure, he chews scenery, but he's so goddamn likable and alive and hilarious and impassioned as a guy who lives and dies by rock and roll. Although it starts off a little slow, it gets going once the kids/music angle comes into focus. The film's simply a blast and just oozes with infectious energy, successfully bringing an indie sensibility to a mainstream format. And, the cast is nearly perfect, with Joan Cusack turning what could've been a cartoon cutout uptight principal into something much more flesh-and-blood. The best studio comedy since High Fidelity or Wonder Boys, it captures the endless possibilities of '70s Hollywood like few other films in recent memory.