Archives: January 2008

This is the archive page for [January 2008]; below you should see headlines and summaries of all entries posted here that month. Click the appropriate link at each to read the entire entry.

Movies for Grown-Ups: The Man Who Fell to Earth | January 31, 2008
Today's movie: The so-so trippy 1976 science-fiction film "The Man Who Fell to Earth," which in its rush to employ as many '70s cinematic effects as possible forgets along the way to tell a decent story. | Read entire entry

Obsession of the moment: The Take Away Shows | January 31, 2008
Today's obsession: The unique video-based music podcast "The Take Away Shows," in which indie-rock bands are dragged through the streets of Paris and filmed as they perform songs live. | Read entire entry

Photo of the day: "The place where we met," by Bernard Mosselmann | January 31, 2008
Today's photo: "The place where we met," by Belgian Bernard Mosselmann. | Read entire entry

Site all fixd now, k thnx | January 30, 2008
Happy day: Version 4.1 of Movable Type has finally been installed and debugged at the CCLaP site, with all the back pages not only working again but better than before. Click through for all the nerdy programming details! | Read entire entry

Movies for Grown-Ups: Helvetica | January 30, 2008
Today's movie: The sharp, smart, fascinating 2007 documentary "Helvetica," a two-hour movie about a typeface that has become the biggest money-maker in the history of Chicago's Gene Siskel Film Center. Click through to find out why. | Read entire entry

Mini-review: Hot Fuzz | January 30, 2008
Today's review: The 2007 buddy-cop-action-thriller parody "Hot Fuzz," by the British comedy team that made "Shaun of the Dead," much better than its insipid American marketing campaign would have you believe. | Read entire entry

Obsession of the moment: LEGO Moonbase | January 30, 2008
Today's obsession: The shared standard "Moonbase" for the LEGO building-block toy company, created by a passionate builder so that other passionate builders can hook their unrelated creations together at weekend conventions. | Read entire entry

Photo of the day: "Central Iron Works," by Mike Innocenzi | January 30, 2008
Today's photo: "Central Iron Works," by Chicagoan Mike Innocenzi. | Read entire entry

Yet more interestingness: 29 January 2008 | January 29, 2008
Links to yet more interesting things I've recently come across on the web, for January 29th, 2008. | Read entire entry

Yes, there are problems at the site right now, I know | January 29, 2008
Just a short note, apologizing for the problems the site is going through this week; we are converting the Movable Type installation to the latest version (4.1), and working out all the kinks as we go. Sorry! | Read entire entry

Obsession of the moment: EveryBlock.com | January 29, 2008
Today's obsession: The new info-rich neighborhood-news aggregation site EveryBlock.com, now working for the cities of Chicago, New York and San Francisco. | Read entire entry

Photo of the day: "Untitled," by Jason Regan | January 29, 2008
Today's photo: "Untitled," by Californian Jason Regan. | Read entire entry

Useless site update of the week: Apple iPhone icon | January 26, 2008
Silly small news about the CCLaP website to report this weekend: I have created a customized icon for Apple iPhone users, whenever they save a shortcut to the CCLaP site on their "home" page. Rejoice, middle-class nerds, rejoice! | Read entire entry

Book review: "The Almost Moon," by Alice Sebold | January 24, 2008
Today's book: The delightfully twisted thriller about senile monsters and insane daughters, Alice Sebold's "The Almost Moon." | Read entire entry

Mini-review: Clockers | January 24, 2008
Today: The surprisingly disappointing 1995 Spike Lee crime thriller "Clockers," based on the vastly superior novel by Richard Price. | Read entire entry

Yet more interestingness: 24 January 2008 | January 24, 2008
Links to yet more interesting things I've recently come across on the web, for January 24th, 2008. | Read entire entry

Photo of the day: "Regeneration and Wrigley," by "Stephen S" | January 24, 2008
Today's photo: "Regeneration and Wrigley," by Milwaukee-based Flickr member "Stephen S." | Read entire entry

Jeremy Shipp's "Vacation" snags a surprise Stoker nomination | January 23, 2008
Just a little news about a book that was recently featured here; that the trippy alt-horror novel "Vacation" by Jeremy Shipp has picked up a surprise "First Novel" nomination for the Stoker Awards, which usually honors traditional horror. | Read entire entry

Mini-review: Ratatouille | January 23, 2008
Today: The absolutely perfect family film "Ratatouille," the latest by Brad Bird and the newly Disneyfied Pixar Animation. | Read entire entry

Photo of the day: "dewy," by Jessica Leigh | January 23, 2008
Today's photo: "dewy," by South Carolinian Jessica Leigh. | Read entire entry

Movies for Grown-Ups: The Maltese Falcon | January 22, 2008
Today's movie: The seminal detective movie and film noir, 1941's "The Maltese Falcon," which not only established the career of John Huston but also made Humphrey Bogart a star for the first time. | Read entire entry

Mini-review: Casablanca | January 22, 2008
Today's review: The surprisingly disappointing 1942 so-called classic "Casablanca," which somehow manages to mix jaded film noir with rah-rah wartime patriotism, not to great effect. | Read entire entry

Yet more interestingness: 22 January 2008 | January 22, 2008
Links to yet more interesting things I've recently come across on the web, for January 22nd, 2008. | Read entire entry

Photo of the day: "Lines," by Danny Putrus | January 22, 2008
Today's photo: "Lines," by Chicago artist Danny Putrus. | Read entire entry

Book review: "by George," by Wesley Stace | January 21, 2008
Today's book: The surprisingly epic tale of a British family of stage performers, the brilliant "by George" by Wesley Stace (aka musician John Wesley Harding). | Read entire entry

Mini-review: Day Watch | January 21, 2008
Today's review: The 2006 Russian big-budget science-fiction actioner "Day Watch," a sequel to the 2004 Russian big-budget science-fiction actioner "Night Watch." | Read entire entry

Field report: RAGAD #5 release party | January 21, 2008
Today, a report and photographs from the release party for issue 5 of Chicago literary magazine RAGAD, run by CCLaP friend and reader Nick Ostdick. | Read entire entry

Photo of the day: "Untitled," by "¢am β" | January 21, 2008
Today's photo: "Untitled," by Winnipeg-based Flickr member "¢am β." | Read entire entry

Movies for Grown-Ups: Zardoz | January 18, 2008
Today's movie: 1974's science-fiction "masterpiece" (read: cult favorite) "Zardoz," a perfect example of everything both great and awful about '70s cinema. | Read entire entry

The CCLaP 100: "The Great Gatsby," by F Scott Fitzgerald | January 18, 2008
Today's book: The 1925 stunning look at the Jazz Age, "The Great Gatsby" by F Scott Fitzgerald, the book that inspired the term "Great American Novel" in the first place. Is it a classic? Click through for my own opinion, now that I've finally read it myself. | Read entire entry

Photo of the day: "Evening," by "lamiller1963" | January 18, 2008
Today's photo: "Evening," by the mysterious Flickr member "lamiller1963." | Read entire entry

Book review: "The Night Climbers," by Ivo Stourton | January 17, 2008
Today's book: The surprisingly smart intellectual/airport thriller "The Night Climbers," by first-time British novelist Ivo Stourton. | Read entire entry

Yet more interestingness: 17 January 2008 | January 17, 2008
Links to yet more interesting stuff I've found across the web recently, for January 17th, 2008. | Read entire entry

Photo of the day: "Walk the Line," by James Marsh | January 17, 2008
Today's photo: "Walk the Line," by London-based James Marsh. | Read entire entry

Book review: "Halting State," by Charles Stross | January 15, 2008
Today's book: The unexpectedly disappointing MMO thriller "Halting State," by the usually-great science-fiction author Charles Stross. | Read entire entry

Photo of the day: "a quiet street in rogers park on a snowy new year's eve," by "deep blue skies" | January 15, 2008
Today's photo: "a quiet street in rogers park on a snowy new year's eve," by Chicago Flickr member "deep blue skies." | Read entire entry

The CCLaP 100: "House of the Seven Gables," by Nathaniel Hawthorne | January 14, 2008
Today's book: The 1851 horror-story prototype "House of the Seven Gables," by American Romantic master Nathaniel Hawthorne ("The Scarlet Letter"). Does it deserve the "classic" label? Click through for my opinion, now that I've finally read it myself. | Read entire entry

Yet more interestingness: 14 January 2008 | January 14, 2008
Links to yet more interesting things I've recently stumbled across on the web, for January 14th, 2008. | Read entire entry

Photo of the day: "Auksinis-sniegas," by Julius Narkunas | January 14, 2008
Today's photo: "Auksinis-sniegas," by Lithuanian artist Julius Narkunas. | Read entire entry

Obsession of the moment: Protagonize.com | January 10, 2008
Today's obsession: The collaborative "Choose Your Own Adventure" style literary website, Protagonize.com. | Read entire entry

Mini-review: Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow | January 10, 2008
Today's review: The 2004 "retro future" cutting-edge computer-animation experiment "Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow," which deserves a better reputation than it currently has. | Read entire entry

Photo of the day: "Road construction," by Amy Strass | January 10, 2008
Today's photo: "Road construction," by Chicagoan Amy Strass, a photographer who's been featured here before. | Read entire entry

Personal essay: Like a planet full of people getting back from the drugstore. | January 9, 2008
Today: A recent evening looking through my Flickr feeds via the application 1001 reminded me of something: of how much doing such a thing is like flipping through photos in my youth that were just back from the drugstore, and what this says about globalism and international art. | Read entire entry

Mini-review: Match Point | January 9, 2008
Today's review: The surprisingly thrilling 2005 Woody Allen British crime noir, "Match Point." | Read entire entry

Photo of the day: "Revolution," by Amanda McCracken | January 9, 2008
Today's photo: "Revolution," by Washington-state resident Amanda McCracken. | Read entire entry

Book review: "Petropolis," by Anya Ulinich | January 8, 2008
Today's book: The delightfully black, blackly delightful Russian immigrant tale Petropolis, by Russian-American snarky intellectual Anya Ulinich. | Read entire entry

Mini-review: Brokeback Mountain | January 8, 2008
Today's review: The 2005 f--king gay cowboy movie, "Brokeback Mountain." | Read entire entry

Yet more interestingness: 8 January 2008 | January 8, 2008
Links to yet more interesting stuff I've recently come across on the web, for January 8th, 2008. | Read entire entry

Photo of the day: "Urban Snowfall," by Thomas Anderson | January 8, 2008
Today's photo: "Urban Snowfall," by Chicago college student Thomas Anderson. | Read entire entry

Movies for Grown-Ups: "2001: A Space Odyssey" | January 7, 2008
Today's movie: The 1968 masterpiece "2001: A Space Odyssey," considered by many to be the greatest science-fiction film ever made. | Read entire entry

Mini-review: King Kong (2005) | January 7, 2008
Today's review: The mostly disappointing 2005 Peter Jackson remake of "King Kong." | Read entire entry

Photo of the day: "monroe," by "wvallen" | January 7, 2008
Today's photo: "monroe," by Chicago doctoral student "wvallen." | Read entire entry

Book review: "Vacation," by Jeremy Shipp | January 4, 2008
Today's book: The delightfully strange "Vacation" by Jeremy Shipp, about as great as "weird literature" gets. | Read entire entry

The CCLaP 100: "Great Expectations," by Charles Dickens | January 4, 2008
Today's book: The 1861 Victorian social drama "Great Expectations," by Charles Dickens. Is it truly a classic? Click through for my opinion, now that I've read it myself. | Read entire entry

Yet more interestingness: 4 January 2008 | January 4, 2008
Links to yet more interesting stuff I've seen around the web lately, for January 4th, 2008. | Read entire entry

Photo of the day: "Untitled," by Carey Primeau | January 4, 2008
Today's photo: "Untitled," by Chicago urban-architecture photographer Carey Primeau. | Read entire entry

Mini-review: "Little Children" | January 3, 2008
Today's review: The 2006 Oscar-nominated movie adaptation of Tom Perrotta's "Little Children," which believe it or not may actually be better than the book version (which I loved too). | Read entire entry

Obsession of the moment: The Open Architecture Network | January 3, 2008
Today's obsession: The non-profit Open Architecture Network, in which a series of smart builders around the world openly share plans for affordable sustainable constructions, from third-world villages to disaster camps and more. | Read entire entry

Photo of the day: "on Francisco b/t Wellington & Nelson," by Andrew Ciscel | January 3, 2008
Today's photo: "on Francisco b/t Wellington & Nelson," by Midwestern nomad Andrew Ciscel. | Read entire entry

Book review: "Crooked Little Vein," by Warren Ellis | January 2, 2008
Today's book: The darkly hilarious look at America's very real fringe underbelly, "Crooked Little Vein," the first novel by transgressive comics veteran Warren Ellis. | Read entire entry

Mini-review: "The Bird is a Raven," by Benjamin Lebert | January 2, 2008
Today's review: The mostly disappointing 2005 "The Bird is a Raven," the latest "novel" (read: barely a novella) from German literary wunderkind Benjamin Lebert ("Crazy"). | Read entire entry

Yet more interestingness: 2 January 2008 | January 2, 2008
Links to other interesting things I've recently come across online, for January 2nd, 2007. | Read entire entry

Photo of the day: "under tree, drinking tea," by Mel Vyvyan | January 2, 2008
Today's photo: "under tree, drinking tea," by Wisconsin Flickr member Mel Vyvyan. | Read entire entry

CCLaP Podcast Extra: Ken Kase, "Coffeehouse of Doom" | January 1, 2008
Happy New Year! I've been keeping posting at CCLaP to a minimum this week because of the holidays, but thought I'd put up a final extra to the 2007 podcast for your enjoyment; a recording of musician Ken Kase's song "Coffeehouse of Doom," recorded over Thanksgiving down in St. Louis. | Read entire entry