As you may have heard, Paul Thomas Anderson’s The Master is one of those movies that has more going on in it than can easily be summed up. To give a plot synopsis would tell you nothing. To run down the themes present would maybe give you half the story. But what the heck, let’s try our best anyway. This is a movie about two men. Freddie Quell (Joaquin Phoenix) is a war veteran who’s returned from the fighting agitated and suffering from PTSD. Indications are that his mental problems go much further back from the fighting, though; he’s the sort of scoundrel who might be beyond saving. Lancaster Dodd (Philip Seymour Hoffman) is the charismatic and controlling leader of a fledgling new religion. Think of him as L. Ron Hubbard, but with a different name. You know, for legal reasons. The two men dance around each other, and their interactions reveal things to us about chaos and control, dominance and supplication, brotherhood and manipulation and probably a million other things, if you do some digging. You definitely have to dig.
If The Master is difficult to sum up, then French director Leos Carax’s Holy Motors is impossible. It’s a surreal, artful, completely insane series of sequences that only loosely connect together via a narrative framework that itself never really gets explained. Actor Denis Lavant spends his day being driven around in the back of a limo, periodically stopping to do a certain job. Each of these jobs involves him taking on a new identity and living out a moment in that particular identity’s life. These moments aren’t exactly reality, but they’re certainly not play acting either. Lavant isn’t just dressing as these people, but he seems to be aware that he’s not fully becoming them either. The whole thing could probably best be described as dreamlike, and it definitely gives both actor and director plenty of opportunities to experiment.
It feels like there are five Westminster Dog Shows a year. Whenever I'm at some rich, cable-affording person's house and I turn to USA, it's either Chris Meloni slamming some pervert against a wall or a line of froofy dogs getting their anal glands examined by an old man. All Westminster shows sort of blur together in an uneventful haze, but the most recent one stands out. Because of the murder.
A woman from Bend is alleging that her dog may have been poisoned at the most famous dog show in the country. After competing with over 20 other Samoyeds at Westminster, the zoo-worthy creature named Cruz dropped dead half a week later at another dog show. Owner and Clue board game piece Lynette Blue says that purebred-hating animal activists might be to blame, with poison, in the convention center.
Cruz's vet was skeptical: "Dogs are dogs. It's not anyone's fault. They eat stuff; they get into things; they make bad decisions." The bad decision-making agency is a convincing argument, and it also explains that time my pug pooped directly on top of my GameCube. In any case, the owner for some reason didn't think an autopsy was a good idea. I don't think we should rule out the owner poisoning the dog herself for some insurance scheme or outright envy. As of this writing, I have not recieved a response from my editor RE: too soon for Jonbenet Ramsey jokes?
Seattle police have one of two scenarios to choose from when they file their report. Situation A: A persistent, ballsy thief breaks into the same condo two days in a row and steals next to nothing. Situation B: A man with questionable mental faculties has two stupid cats.
A Capitol Hillian called police after he found the stuff at his place sort of rearranged a little. Outstanding shiftiness included frozen cookies and cheese on the kitchen counter and two glasses in the corner of one room. Most suspect of all: Wet spots on his carpet. Not content to just assume it was probably some cat dribble from the water bowl nearby, Inspector Clouseau smelled and then tasted the mystery liquid, deeming it indeed to be made of H2O.
By the time the cops had arrived at the condo, the brave taste tester had already put every errant object away, so police couldn't check the cheese for prints or traces of bullshit. The cats, who I have named Charlie Earl Quinn and Billie James Olmos, aren't talking. If they could, they would probably ask to be placed with an owner who's more stable and secure with commitment, you know?
In case you can't quite remember which former Jackass stars are dead and which ones are only rumored dead, Jason "Wee Man" Acuña is one of the asinine alumni still walking among us, presumably because "congenital dwarfism" is pretty safe, as far as crazy stunts go. This is bad news, however, for the 107 Oregon residents now being sued for illegally downloading his creatively-titled 2012 film Elf-Man, which (as you might have guessed) stars Wee Man as an elf.
The lawsuit was filed in Eugene on Tuesday and seeks $30,000 from each of the defendants, totaling an anything but shrimpy $3.2 million. As of now, the 107 pixie pirates are only listed as IP addresses, but Elf-Man LLC is hoping to subpoena their names. This, of course, would set a troubling new precedent for all future persons who torrent the wrong shitty movie while drunkenly downloading Elf.
Thanks to Oregon's vibrant alternative culture and numero uno sex offender ranking, Portland has become somewhat of a mecca for America's best and brightest perverts. So if the city were attacked by an actual monster it would probably be less terrifying than the new criminal calling himself "The Tickle Monster."
Luckily for us, the Tickle Monster who has recently hit Portland isn't a feather-wielding weirdo at all, but a tagger leaving his dumb name on road signs and utility boxes. Police say the graffiti is likely the work of an individual and "not believed to be gang-related," which is actually kind of disappointing, as the Tickle Monster posse would probably have the most adorable gang signs.
As we learned in January, plastic bag bans are deadly. Well, in the sense that they force shoppers to use canvas and other reusable bags, which people are notoriously bad at washing, and thus, put people at risk of foodborne illness. But that's not even the only dark side of these environmentally positive bans -- apparently, they also increase shoplifting.
According to a story over on the PI, store owners have noticed that since the ban was enacted last year, shoplifters have started pinching produce and other goods. Why? Who knows. There's really not a good reason why not being able to carry your stuff out in a bag would make you want to steal it more, except that people are just terrible.
But the shoplifting is, in fact, happening -- a survey by the City of Seattle found that more than 20% of stores have seen an uptick in theft since the ban went into effect.
The ban has also not done a great job of getting more stores to sell reusable bags; 63% of stores who took the City's survey said they still don't carry them.
While it's a pretty big relief that Officer Creepy Weirdo and his Mythical Porn Box have been arrested, it's also kind of a bummer, because who doesn't love to follow an ongoing crime story?* Fortunately, there's a new bad guy in town, and he has an even cooler nickname: The Tan Man Bandit.
The Tan Man Bandit robbed the Chase Bank branch on Broadway and Thomas on Wednesday night, because apparently people still do that. But this isn't any old bank robber -- this guy has some character.
*Answer: No one.
Baby elephant Lily, you had a good run. But now it's all about the new De Brazza's monkey at the Oregon Zoo. But uh, while I am not a licensed zoologist, I would recommend a paternity test.