"How High," starring Method Man and Redman, is a better movie than "Undercover Brother," despite all the hype the latter received. It's a stoner flick in the tradition of "Up in Smoke" and "Half-Baked." Needless to say, you must be crack high when you see it. I don't know why my friends rented it, probably because they're dumb (they also rented "Freddie Got Fingered" that weekend and, to their credit, confirmed it was Up There in terms of badness), but I owe them a sincere debt of gratitude for this serendipitous rental. We didn't even know after the first viewing which guy was Method Man and which was Redman. This is because we are very, very white. Recently have seen "Sexy Beast" (don't) and "Monster's Ball" (toss-up). P-Diddy was distracting in the latter in his role as the condemned man. I was mildly surprised (although I guess I ought not to have been), since he was actually pretty good in "Made," which is underrated. But of course old Puffy didn't have to do much acting in "Made," considering his role was to be scornful of dumb-ass crackers, which ought to come pretty easily to any black man, much less a hip hop impressario. Any famous person would have been distracting cast in that role, but a guy who makes news every time he changes his name? It was Brett Favre in "There's Something about Mary" weird. At any rate, "Monsters Ball," which tackles racial issues somewhat ham-handedly, was good on a certain level but at same time predictable and forced. Yeah Halle Barry gets Manhandled by Billy Bob Thornton, but it wasn't all that great. There's a laughable scene towards the end where Billy Bob goes down on her from a dry start, as it were, and she reaches a climax in about 20 seconds, after which the camera, in one of the worst pieces of editing I've seen in awhile, abruptly jerks to the two of them talking post-Orgasm. You want a good film, check out "The Third Man," an oldie but goodie starring Joseph Cotton and Orson Welles. You'll find yourself wondering "Where the fuck is Welles?" about half-way through but when he does show, it's worth it, old man. Screenplay written by the great Graham "I'm Catholic and it makes me very depressed" Green. I'd list some other Dos and Don'ts of the rental scene but then you'd say to yourself, My God man! you've been watching a lot of videos lately. No wonder you're freaking out about the Eagles season. You need to get out of the house! Perhaps. Aw what the hell: Vanilla Sky (don't), Moulin Rouge (guys: flip a coin. girls: do), Black Hawk Down (do), River's Edge (Hell No! Sheila!), Breakfast at Tiffany's (do). A few notes on the preceding. Did Ridley Scott win best director for Black Hawk Down? Bc he should have. It's beyond my comprehension how he sewed a narrative out of the chaos he filmed. I don't think an urban battle environment could be better portrayed. There are some assertions at the beginning about why U.S. soldiers were there in the first place that I'm leery of. But political considerations of the role of the U.S. military in Somalia aside, a great movie. River's Edge. There's a cult of Crispin Glover fans out there, apparently. (Anyone see Bartleby?) He is awful here. He's supposed to be the psychological bully but why someone doesn't knock his dumb ass out in the first 15 minutes I have no idea. His performance came off almost as self-parody, as though we were supposed to laugh at the idea he's intimidating. Breakfast at Tiffany's. Very well written and Audrey Hepburn, obviously, they don't make them like her anymore. I'm of the generation who knows George Peppard primarily as the cigar-chomping Hannibal ("I love it when a plan comes together") from The A-Team ("They promptly escaped from a maximum security stockade and are currently hiding in the Los Angeles underground ..."), so he was the primary revelation here. Speaking of Truman Capote, just read "In Cold Blood," which I'll write a few notes about a little bit later. He's an incredible writer, though, ain't no doubt about it.