Wednesday, August 30, 2006

No one came to the raging kegger I threw last night, which is probably a good thing, since I didn't have any beer, or music, or anything for the guests to do. It's just that I'm pretty sure yesterday was the first night in the twenty-four years of my life that both my parents went out of town overnight, leaving me alone and trusting me to not burn the house down... and since I'm still playing catch-up with the Lost Underage Experience, I figured that maybe inviting people over to get drunk and trash my house might just get me a seat at the cool kids' table. Please, don't give me that look. It's not like I'm thirty years old, playing X-Box in my parents' basement and having Mom cook me Chef Boyardee for dinner. Yet.

Instead, I went to keep Grandma company because, while I'm merely alone in an alienated, psychic sense, Grandma is stuck in her home and literally alone; and, sometimes, when I don't have anything else to feel bad about (not often), I feel bad for her. This never goes very well; despite our mere sixty-something year age difference, we really don't have a lot to talk about. She tells me stories about how awesome everyone was back in the day and how everyone these days can go to hell, and then I sort of agree with her that everyone can, in fact, go to hell. Then we run out of stuff to say: "What did you do today?" "Nothing." "You have any plans for tomorrow?" "Same thing."

Grandma goes off to watch TV — remember when Bob Saget was hosting America's Funniest Home Videos? Grandma thinks that shit is hilarious, and no, she's not senile. I was watching a DVD of the awfully-titled Hong Kong action thriller Infernal Affairs, and I'm a little miffed at whoever designed the DVD cover. I knew what the movie's about before reading the little blurb on the back of the box — Tony Leung plays an undercover cop who spends ten years infiltrating a drug cartel, and Andy Lau plays a lieutentant in the cartel who spends ten years as a mole in the police department, and both Leung and Lau are assigned the task of finding the double agent in their organizations — but if you take a close look at the cover art, wouldn't you just maybe, maybe expect to find a hot Asian woman with a gun somewhere in the movie? Like, I don't know, just taking a cue from the cover symbolism, maybe both guys fall for the woman with the gun? Or she's the true anti-hero of the story?

So here's a little spoiler for you: no hot chick with a gun in the entire freaking film. I know; it's awful — the cover makes you all horny and there's no release in the movie. Well, there's a lot of release in the movie... just not that kind. Aside from that one omission, and an insipid, obvious side plot where Lau's wife writes a novel about a man with multiple personalities, Infernal Affairs is actually a pretty good film. I have yet to meet the action film that doubles as cinematic masterpiece, but I think the critical comparisons to Michael Mann's Heat are pretty apt, although in my opinion, a better description might be if Fritz Lang re-made M in 2004. Infernal Affairs has a few setpieces that... I don't want to say "set a new standard in action," but it's safe to assume that Scorcese could learn a few things from the original when he's re-making the film for Warner Bros. He won't, and he'll turn this compact story into some sort of dilute epic. There will be too much characterization via dialogue and his actors will resort to histrionics, the suspend will build too slowly and the catharsis will be weak. Watch: The Departed will come out this winter and you'll see how right I am.