Saturday, December 30, 2006

Simply Lounging

Casually enjoying a bottle of our favorite pinot by the ole yule tree.

Simply elegant.
They say that the first year of marriage is the hardest. Yeah, it has been a tough year but the marriage part has been the easiest, best thing going for us. Thank you all for celebrating with us last year- what a whirlwind party! Mr. Coy took a picture of us before we headed out to dinner which made the evening feel a bit like prom.

A few days ago, I snuck out of the house to go skiing with a friend and her family. The skiing was great-I'm still a bit sore though. That could be from the face-first, 50 meter slide I took on my last run...I plowed enough snow into my face that I had water in my ears. Thankfully I didn't fall on any of the grassy, rocky patches. It seems Switzerland needs more snow.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

VP!: Arts & Entertainment

Le Corbeau
My cousin, Allen, pointed me toward a couple of French movies the other night. The first, Le Corbeau, was filmed in 1943 during the German occupation of France. The film is set in a small village in France beset by anonymous letters accusing various villagers of misdeeds. Each of these poison pen letters is signed by Le Corbeau, or the Raven. The film centers around Dr. Germain (Pierre Fresnay) and his attempts to uncover the source of the letters.

Le Corbeau is based on actual poison pen letters written in St. Robin, France during Vichy rule. The situation in St. Robin was similar to those in other villages, where people were accused of various acts against the Vichy government and reported to the authorities via anonymous letters.

Perhaps what makes Le Corbeau most interesting is the manner of its production. Le Corbeau was produced by Continental Films, the production company created by the Nazi Propaganda minister, Goebbels. According to one reviewer, Continental was created to both control film content in France and perhaps, as in Huxley's Brave New World, to actively sedate the latent revolutionary tendencies in the French populace with easily digestible pop movies. In this context, Le Corbeau is a standout by offering a vision of the deception and amorality in Vichy France.

This film is credited as Clouzot's masterpiece. I'm sure it warrants 5 stars, 2 thumbs, or whatever, but a 1940's thriller with subtitles only earns 4 broken legs.

High Fidelity
I hate Zach Braff. From his mumbly whining to his self-deprecating over-analysis, he epitomizes what I hate most about the post-modern man. Granted, Zach Braff isn't in this movie, but John Cusack's Rob Gordon is about as close as it gets to a Braff for the year 2000.

Regardless of its Braffyness, I love this movie. Jack Black playing in a band currently called Sonic Death Monkey, but on the verge of being called Cathleen Turner Overdrive? It doesn't get any better.

Most of all, High Fidelity rocks because the elitist audiophiles at the record store remind me of the elistist film-, accounting-, history-philes that make up my office. Just change the names and we're there:
Jake: Liking both Marvin Gaye and Art Garfunkel is like supporting both the Israelis and the Palestinians.
Jeff: No, it's really not, Jake. You know why? Because Marvin Gaye and Art Garfunkel make pop records.
Jake: Made! Made! Marvin Gaye is dead. His father shot him!

Le Samouraï
The second in French film fare, Le Samouraï, is the essence of ganster cool. Essence because the film distinctly lacks any fluff. Le Samouraï tells its story with few pleasantries, minimal dialogue, and restrained action.

The main character, Jef Costello (Alain Delon), is a killer-for-hire set to assassinate a Parisian club owner. From his spartan apartment to the anonymous garage where he changes the plates on his stolen Citroën DS, Jef is depicted as the premier self-controlled professional. As a nice touch, instead of the samurai's kitana, Jef hones the brim of his fedora before venturing into the streets of Paris.

After the kill, Jef is apprehended by the police, but released with no charges. Convinced of his guilt, a zealous police chief continues to track him, while the men who hired Jef decide that a marked assassin is a liability they cannot afford. A savvy cat and mouse game in the Parisian Metro ensues as Jef seeks to evade the police and eliminate his employer.

très cool. 5 breaks.

If you haven't seen this movie, c'mon Babalugats, go see it now! It's one of my all-time favorites.

Why a rating of 10 hardboiled eggs? Well, it just sounded like a nice round number.

So that I wouldn't have rampant rating inflation this post, I've inserted Gigli into the mix. Gigli was ranked as the worst movie of all time by the Razzies and was generally panned by the critics, so it wasn't a long shot to expect a lemon. Though I must admit that I walked away from Gigli suprised: it sucked differently than I expected: instead of a maladroit Maid in Manhattan, I got a curious cocktail of Pulp Fiction (the F-word is dropped 124 times), My Cousin Vinny, Radio, and, well, Maid in Manhattan.

I must admit, I was impressed that Af-lo or J-fleck, or whatever ridiculous moniker the paparazzi came up with, decided to do a film with a little bit of guts. Granted the script was generally atrocious, but there were some half-way decent bits that warranted a slight chuckle and reflected what the filmmakers were trying to achieve, namely, a Pulp Fiction-type dark comedy replete with edgy dialogue.

But when Gigli fails, it fails hard. Affleck's delivery certainly doesn't help matters, as is painfully evident when Larry Gigli (Affleck) tries to convince Ricky (J. Lo) that he is a "serious" gangster:

Let me tell you who the f___ I am. I am the f___ing Sultan of Slick, Sadie. I am the Rule of f____ing Cool.

You wanna be a gangster?

You wanna be a thug?

You sit at my f___ing feet. Gather the pearls
that emanate forth from me.

Because I'm the f___ing original,
straight-first-foremost, pimp-mack...f____ing hustler,
original gangster's gangster.

What? Rule of f___ing Cool? Straight-first-foremost, pimp-mack hustler? Maybe these worked for The Sugarhill Gang or an irate Samuel L. Jackson, but watching Affleck stumble through these lines is like listening to The Backstreet Boys cover The Cramps "Creature from the Black Leather Lagoon".

Final comment, Gigli is not the worst movie ever made, but it sucked harder than Bandits, so I have to give it a quarter break. However, since I am too lazy to go back into Photoshop and re-edit a quarter-break icon, import it into iPhoto and re-upload it into Blogger, Af-lo will have to collectively settle for no breaks.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Merry Merry

Just so no one thinks our entire Christmas break has been movies...

We decided that the picture of Coy wearing the baggy underwear (6 pair of Roundtree and Yorke full-cut briefs) that he received as a Christmas gift from his dad was not suitable for all of our blog-readers to see.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Brokeleg Buckley's

My sister, Becky, broke her foot last week, too. Enjoy our parallel lives, which consist of lounging on the sofa, chatting on the phone and ordering others to bake, clean and shop.

Note that Becky is accompanied by two dogs, I just have the one big old dog to keep me company.

Friday, December 22, 2006

The Human Element

With all of these movie posts, we thought we should add some photos of all the great folks who have stopped by Zurich in the past couple of weeks.

Rob and Grace Thompson came by for a thrilling day of hospital visits. (They actually made it out to see the town in the afternoon, but they still earned the record for longest visit in Room SUED19 at the Zurich University Hospital).

Who is that? Santa? John McCain? Nope. Its Daddy Buckley toting our Christmas tree back to the house. He'll be around for the next couple of weeks, sharing Christmas and New Years with us. (Kacey adds, "And our Anniversary", but maybe we'll find a little alone time for the 30th. wink wink)

And last, but certainly not least, the loving nephew Jesse, who was with us for 2 weeks. We love recounting the story of Jesse, who upon discovering that his dental internship fell through (the dentist scheduled vacation on the same week), followed up by pseudo-sneaking into an 8,000 franc dental conference in Davos. Not a bad gig.

Our boy Jesse, is there anything he can't do? Well, besides navigating his internet Facebook for less than 7 hours a day...

Note: Photo, left to right, Coy Buckley, Lars Nillson, Jesse Wright, University Hospital Zurich. Photo depicts Jesse Wright patiently explaining the dangers of preprosthetic surgery in light of recent studies on bone augmentation and maxillofacial structural anomalies.

VP!: Arts and Entertainment - now HUGE!

Kacey had the brilliant idea of picking up a projector from the office. So not only can I watch all future flicks in 6'x5' cinematic glory, I roam the internet on a screen easily viewable by any of our neighbors across the street.

All of a sudden, 5 more weeks of immobility on a big blue couch looks pretty good...

What's better than watching Will Ferrell parade around New York in yellow tights? Inaugurating our first Florastrasse Movie night, that's what. Our humble cinema was graced by a surprise visit from our departing Canadian friends, Renton and Shannon, along with our Australian buddies, Pete and Bianca, and the newly-betrothed Shannon and Andy ("the Walla-Wallaian").

This one is fast becoming a Christmas staple at the Buckley's. 4 breaks.

Jackie Brown
This is a mouthful of a movie. At 154 minutes and a plot that flows like a can of worms looks, Jackie Brown requires a significant attention span. Upon the first viewing several years ago, I lost patience and dozed through the last 40 minutes.

Given my current choices of either lying horizontally on the sofa or on the bed, patience is one of the few things in ample supply. This go around, Jackie Brown hooked me. From the massive screen presence of Jackie Brown (Pam Grier) to the slick soundtrack, this film is Tarantino at his genre-adapting best.