The Hoax

Last week, another movie I’d never heard of showed up from Michelle’s Netflix queue. This was one Michelle picked due to its high rating, and we sat down and watched The Hoax last night.

I have to say, for a long time I’ve had this loosely held opinion that Richard Gere is a douchebag clotheshorse who skates by on his weasel-eyed looks making the women swoon. I don’t want to sound jealous–I don’t wish the guy any ill will or anything–but I haven’t considered his being cast in a movie a selling point for that movie, and I think of him as a less compelling leading man than a bunch of other guys who fill that role in other movies.

I’m starting to find my preconception of Gere challenged due performances like his in The Hoax*. As cunning nutjob author Clifford Irving, Gere does an excellent job disappearing into the part. Alfred Molina is his usual outstanding self as Irving’s sidekick Dick Suskind, and director Lasse Hallstrom introduces interesting A Beautiful Mind-esque interludes into a movie that could have been played as a straight buddy caper flick.

I was going to give it three and a half Pochaccos, but then I really liked John Bedford Lloyd as Frank McCullough, so I was going to give it four Pochaccos, but then I thought Marcia Gay Harden was pretty horribly miscast as Edith Irving, so we’re back to three and a half.

(out of 5 Pochaccos)

* The other thing I’ve seen Gere in lately is Runaway Bride. The movie was contemptible, and Julia Roberts’ character was an asinine ratfork, but Gere was alright in that too.

PS: I never found the DCP501. I’m about sure that someone ripped it off–stole it out of the old house before we moved, I’m guessing. I do wonder who.

PPS: More pictures of the kid.


Things are starting to settle down a little bit around here–we’re even semi-successfully giving Alex baths–so on Tuesday I took advantage of a hole in the schedule to unpack and set some stuff up around the house. The wife has always been interested in a television in our bedroom, and while I’m not entirely sold on the idea, it’s almost Valentine’s day and I am the world’s greatest husband, so I’m on board. She brought a TV to the marriage, so I grabbed it from the garage, dusted it off, and moved it up to the bedroom.

We’ve got digital cable, so while there’s a cable in the bedroom wall her old-school TV isn’t going to be able to see anything on it without a digital cable box, and we don’t consider OTA TV in this house. Luckily, I was thinking ahead to handle just this situation when I impulse-bought a Motorola DCP501 off Woot years ago. I was looking forward to seeing if I could get the gimmicky digital cable converter feature working, and even if I couldn’t, the DVD player would let us watch the Wiggles with the tyke in the comfort of our own bedroom.

Now I just need to figure out where the hell the DCP501 is.

Have You Seen Me?

I looked for the stupid thing for hours today, and I’m coming up blank. It occurs to me that I haven’t seen the DCP501 since we moved. It was in the utility room at the 68th St house, connected to this crappy Yorx shelf system that my folks got me for Christmas in about 1988. (Seriously. And I don’t mean to sound ungrateful–the Yorx rocked the haus in 1988… thanks mom and dad! But like Axl Rose and the Republican party, it hasn’t aged well.) The Yorx system is now set up in the workout room, so it definitely made the trip.

We’ve got a lot of boxes in the garage, and since we moved there have been things I haven’t been able to find. I’m still missing some remote controls, and I have no idea where the RF keyboard/mouse deal (which I also got off Woot, not that I’m an addict or anything) I used with my entertainment center PC is. Stuff gets lost in moves, though, and all the stuff I’ve been missing up until now is pretty small, so it could have ended up anywhere.

But the DCP501 is 17″ x 20″. I don’t think it’s kicking it in a file box in the garage. I looked in all the boxes I think are large enough to hold the DCP501. I looked in all the closets and bedrooms. I called Jeff, just to make sure he also remembered I used to own one of these things and wasn’t hallucinating the whole affair. I’m totally drawing a blank as to where the thing might be.

This really isn’t a big deal, I know. DVD players are dirt cheap, and while I was going to get a lot of personal geek satisfaction through finally coming up with a situation where the digital cable decoder in the DCP501 actually did something useful, cable boxes are cheap too. But it’s really bugging me that I can’t find a 35 lb piece of equipment that it should have taken about five minutes to locate. Heck, at this point if I could be told the location of the DCP501 and how it got there, I’d probably be willing to give up ownership of the unit itself. I just want the mystery solved so I can quit scratching my head in confusion every few minutes.

I’m looking again today. Let me know if I loaned you my DCP501.

The Lives of Others

Here’s a slightly more timely movie review for you.

Michelle signed up for Netflix and filled up the queue with a bunch of stuff that I didn’t know anything about, and The Lives of Others showed up a couple of weeks ago. I was very skeptical. Here we have a German movie with subtitles and a perceptibly low budget–something I never would have picked had we been walking through the video store. I cringed inwardly at the earnestness of message I expected to be hit with, and my suspicions mounted as the movie started slowly.

It ended up being really, really good–excellent plot, plenty of suspense, good character development. I give it the JesusH Palme d’Pochacco™ award for best foreign film I’ve seen since, and maybe even including, Borat.

(out of 5 Pochaccos)

Superman Returns

Most of Bryan Singer’s superhero output has seemed technically proficient but lacking heart, and Superman Returns is no exception. The star’s pre-quad Chris Reeve impression was a neat trick for about five minutes, but I thought he lacked gravitas. Kevin Spacey has been a caricature of himself for years, and he’s no Gene Hackman here.

And I can’t tell you how distracting it was for me that the Indian guy from Harold and Kumar Go To White Castle was one of Lex Luthor’s flunkies. I mean, what the fuck is that about, having that guy in a movie like this and not at least mining him for some light comic relief? He’s completely typecasted in my mind… catch up, Hollywood casting directors!

Weekend Update


* so I guess I can’t call the Patriots the most beatable undefeated team I’ve ever seen anymore. The 2007 Patriots were the ’06 Chargers with a little more offense, a little less defense, a lot more luck, and an even more pathetic lack of clutch when it really counted. Nice job wiping my brain of that one, Eli.

Also, has anyone else noticed the play the Patriots–and Tom Brady in particular–have gotten over on Drudge Report this year? He was linking to recaps–along with Brady headshots–ever since they made it to 8-0 or thereabouts, and he linked a half-assed “Is Brady best QB ever?” article some time this week. Has Drudge ever taken this much interest in a sports figure or story that didn’t really have an element of OJ to it?

I’m suspicious of Brady mancrush.

* the World’s Best Lasagna recipe is pretty good. I made it today, we had a few people over, and I ended up with a raging red wine headache. Thank God the wife has a ready supply of Percocet… I feel like a new man!

One note on the recipe: for some reason I had a bowl full of meat sauce when I was done. Either I got the layering wrong (possible; I didn’t think it was spelled out all that clearly) in the recipe, or one should use way more than 1 1/2 cups of sauce for each sauce layer.

* new photo of Alex… I need to turn his site into a blog.