The Laboratorium’s blog lives again!

Digging the self-titled album by LASZLO, Norah Jones’s old band. MP3.com has four of their tunes available for free listening, but the whole album is good. Enigmatic, energetic acid jazz/pop. Is that even a genre? Music’s not my primary hat.

Cameron Crowe’s Vanilla Sky is a fascinating film that doesn’t quite seem to settle into either the truly unsettling (presumably aquired from its predecessor, Abre los Ojos) or the truly meaningful (presumably Crowe). Nevertheless, it’s compelling in its own way, and definitely very pretty. It also has the Monkees’ “Porpoise Song” in its soundtrack! Definitely scores bonus points for that. Features decent performances by Tom Cruise and Penélope Cruz, and an excellent one by Cameron Diaz. Touches of What Dreams May Come and Total Recall.

Not sure I liked the message the film gives about the importance of one’s looks. Trying not to spoil the story, so I’m being deliberately vague. But still, what kind of message is that?

Definitely do want to see Amenábar’s film now, though. From all accounts, it’s better.

Re-read John Varley’s Blue Champagne anthology, newly acquired, last night (and believe me, locating a copy for sale was something of a task). Now I remember why Varley’s my favorite SF author of all time. It’s too bad that his novels don’t have the same tautness and spark of the stories, and that he hasn’t returned to the short fiction format since this book was published in 1987.

If you like speculative fiction, I highly recommend both this collection as well as two others, The Barbie Murders (a.k.a. Picnic on Nearside), and The Persistence of Vision (a.k.a. In the Hall of the Martian Kings). All three are currently out of print, which is a real shame, but it’s possible that your local library or used bookstore might have one.

Song of the day: LASZLO, “Butterflies”

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  • mlee

    Actually, that was fairly sequitur [sic]...

  • yukino

    The last two installments, actually.

  • worm

    A bit of a non sequiter, but wasn't ol' Guybrush voiced by Dom Armato in the last installment of Monkey Island?

  • Actually watched Abre los ojos last night. Very good. Vanilla Sky is definitely very faithful to its source material. I want to say that Abre los ojos is the superior film, but I can't say it with conviction since I saw Vanilla Sky a while back.

    In any case, time to add it to my NetFlix queue.

  • That picture! It looks like Guybrush Threepwood!

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