Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Can we talk? About something else for a minute?

There doesn't seem to be much oxygen left in the public chamber to support discussion of anything besides McChrystal's self-immolation (blame it on his moronic one meal a day diet maybe).  Or Team USA's truly thrilling extra time goal against Algeria.  So I'll just take a little gulp and offer the following double endorsement.

The documentary "Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work" is an extremely worthwhile piece of storytelling.  Actually, aside from "Exit Through The Gift Shop" (which I'm increasingly convinced was actually an elaborate ruse on Banksy's part) this is the best documentary I've seen this year.  My rating - a solid B-plus.  I'm not just now jumping on the bandwagon of loving Joan Rivers.  As someone who listened to comedy albums on cassette over and over and over again in my childhood, I grew up with an early appreciation of her timing (always just a beat too quick for the punchline to add to the shock of her subjects).  But seeing her work both on stage and off in this documentary is fascinating.  See this movie.  If for no other reason than to see how she handles what could have been a disastrous confrontation while performing at an Indian casino in Northern Wisconsin, of all places.  

I don't speak of it much, but I really do love video games.  Once again, that goes way back to childhood.  Don't play 'em much these days.  Don't like a ton of them.  But the game "Red Dead Redemption" by the folks who brought us "Grand Theft Auto" is the most layered, engaging, well-conceived world.  It's set in the not-so-old West.  The gameplaying is great.  Yet the interstitial stuff (a temperance "moving picture" show you can pay a few bucks to enter amidst all the other delightful distractions was a favorite I came across a few days ago)...well, there's more fun to be found on this platform than in anything I've seen on TV in ages.  My rating - an upwardly mobile A-minus, only because I'm just part way into the game.  If you are anything of a gamer, buy it.  Now.

Hope your own distractions are worthy, yet far from insubordinate today.  Rock on.

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