Sunday, July 12, 2009


WOODY #1: Woody Allen is missing in body, but not in spirit from his latest. In Whatever Works the part of the neurotic New York Jewish hypochondriac is played this time by Larry David, who goes to town with the role. Imagine David as the love child of Woody Allen and a Gila Monster. He’s about as venomous, and unattractive. David plays a (former?) New York college professor who can't get rid of a blond Mississppi beauty queen/professional dog walker, and her wacky southern family. If you’re a Woody Allen fan, go see it. If you’ve never seen a Woody Allen movie, go see this one.

After the movie my wife and I sat outside the movie theater on a bench, enjoying the warm summer air—and the fact that her sister was babysitting for us (our first date in—what?—six months? a year?). I noticed something creepy crawling on the white concrete: the biggest Black Widow that I have ever seen in my life. This thing had license plates and a “spiders are people too” bumper sticker, it was that big. Consider this: I noticed it at midnight, from 50 feet away.

WOODY # 2: Woody Harrelson, Ben Kingsley, and a bunch of people I never heard of star in Transssiberian The Trans Siberian Railroad is Russia’s train line that runs from the Pacific Ocean to Moscow, on a journey that takes 7 days. Consider this: Russia has 9 time zones, not counting the half hour time zone in Samara. In plain English, it’s 3 times wider from east to west than the U.S., and a lot of that Siberian forest and taiga held concentration camps where millions of political prisoners died. Woody Harrelson and Emily Mortimer play an American couple who visit post-Soviet Russia, and let the wrong two people share their sleeping compartment.

Side note #1: Apparently, the film's editors couldn't find their CD of Russian or European bird sounds, so they used Peterson's Western Birds CD. The Northern i.e. Common Ravens in the Russian forest sound like American Crows, and the Golden Eagle sounds like a Red-tailed Hawk. Okay.

Side note #2: The part in the movie where Woody explains the difference between the Russian and Chinese railroads is true. They have the same problem, and the same solution, when trains leave European countries like Hungary and Poland, and cross the Russian border. I was told by old guys in the 80s that they (the Russians) kept it that way, so that whenever anybody (like say…the Germans) invades, they can’t use the Russian rail system.

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