wired (various)

wired (me): I'm teaching one night class this semester -- something we all have to do in my department, and which I don't usually mind. But it isn't aligning so easily with my attempts to be on a regular early-morning schedule. If I could come home and just go to sleep right away, that'd be one thing. But instead I'm caught in that wired-up tiredness that requires me to putz around on the computer or watch TV for hours until I can finally go to bed. Too tired to do anything really productive, not tired enough to sleep.

wired (informant): We saw two excellent high-testosterone films in the past few days in honor of GF's birthday (which means she gets to pick the films) -- both of them things I would have seen anyway (I drew the line at Jackass and the Chain Saw Massacre prequel which she'll have to see with one of her guy buddies). The Departed is primo Scorcese, with fantastic performances from top-notch actors -- I haven't seen the Chinese original but GF said it was pretty close, even down to the eery resemblance between Leo Dicaprio and Matt Damon. It's ultra violent, smart, self-aware, even funny in places. I also really liked the character of the psychologist girlfriend caught between the two shifty protagonists. Operatic, almost impressionistic, rather than plot-driven, it's stylish without the improbable slickness both these actors have covered before (Mr Ripley and Catch Me if you Can).

One word of advice: it's well over 2 hours, so if your theatre shows a bezillion previews and ads first, you really ought to restrict your fluid intake for 90 minutes beforehand. I didn't , and so I spent 20 long minutes suffering before I finally gave in and left the theatre to visit the facilities. I hate to leave a film even for just a couple of minutes, but it was desperate. (In such situations, I always wind up thinking of Tycho Brahe's awful death as told to me by one of my philosophy professors years ago-- a quick web search suggests that there are new theories about mercury poisoning, which is equally gruesome but not so colorful.)

wired (up!): And then there was Crank. Not a film I'd recommend to everyone. But if you like your pop culture served up hot and buzzing, this is for you. Jason Stratham (who I last saw in the eyepopping Transporter 2) wakes up and has been poisoned with "the Chinese shit" which is fatally slowing down his metabolism. Only thing he can do to hang on long enough to wreak some revenge is to keep jacking up his system with adrenaline, by any means possible: driving through a shopping mall, public sex, cop chasing, etc. Witty tweaks to the sound and visuals let you feel his out-of-syncness with his friends and surroundings, and there are hilarious musical jokes, but this film makes no pretensions to be anything other than a joyride. You'll never look at a Red Bull the same way again.