"You think that's a SCHWINN!"

Tastes evolve. Looking back a few years, I'm really starting to notice this. Three years ago, the thoughts of wine and fresh-brewed tea made me shrug in apathy. I mean, wine's just "bitter, unsweetened grape juice" and tea's just "hot water with a mild kick", right? Now, the bare mention of pinot noir makes me salivate a bit, while a hot cup of green chai has become a staple. Food's about the same; white bread and Total have eschewed for whatever "whole grain, high fiber" bread that's on sale that week and Kashi GoLEAN -- you know, the stuff that some people confuse for ground-up cardboard. Yeah, it's about health, but it's also about a maturing palette for the flavors surrounding me.

Film is no different. Know where this is coming from? The Coen Brothers' films.

My first trips through The Big Lebowski and Fargo were both lackluster. Big whoop -- these are supposed to be comedies? They're depressing, emotionally off-kilter, and too bizarre for words. Somewhere over the past couple of years, that description has changed from being negative to being a positive insight. After recently seeing Burn After Reading, the Coen's latest little wedge of wonderful, I've rediscovered my penchant for their style of humor. Maybe I'm becoming more disturbed in my growing age, or maybe my sense of humor has just caught up to their unique rhythm. All I know is that I couldn't stop laughing during a film where only scant chuckles could be heard from the rest of the audience. I know what you might be thinking, and the answer is: yes, O Brother, Where Art Thou? has always been damn funny to me.

Afterwards, I put myself to the test: watching Fargo. Now, by this time I had accepted this sharp-edged moral thrashing on the nerves as a tightly-woven and carefully-crafted drama. However, it's been a few years, as previously addressed, since I had indulged in it. It came to me like that first refreshing sip of pinot or that day when crunching cardboard tastes good: Fargo was, somehow, quite humorous, and remarkably enjoyable. Now, I didn't laugh the way I did at Brad Pitt's biker gear-laden Chad or George Clooney's neurotic ball of hormonal confusion in Burn After Reading, but a smile rarely left my lips the entire time. Sure, the drama still sent chills going about -- but I couldn't get over how lively and smile-inducing Frances McDormand's character was, let alone the unnervingly goofy fidgits from William H. Macy's whacked-out car salesman persona.

It just goes to show that you should give films a chance several years after they left you with a sour taste in your mouth. Now, if we could just passed that "everything done by Martin Scorsese except Taxi Driver is barely above average and highly overrated" thing, I think I'd be better off. One day at a time.Current News


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