(Hopefully) daily ramblings from the hazy mind of Hasief Ardiasyah
Saturday, May 07, 2005
Speaking of MySpace...
...it's increasingly becoming the go-to place for big-name musicians to let their creative juices flow. And so here we have Billy Corgan (www.myspace.com/billycorgan), who regular updates his blog with tales of his Smashing Pumpkins days and gives some great insight - even though it ends up making James Iha and D'Arcy looking like complete arseholes. Interesting tidbit: the sound of a guy performing adzan for morning prayers in Istanbul inspired Adore's sound. Lots more to read...
Me again. At the office right now, thought I'd check in. Been a while, lots of stuff has happened, which I'll fill you in later. But at the moment, I'm just trying to pull myself together over...something which I can't describe in detail, nor can I directly do anything to resolve. I just hope everything will turn out alright.
Liverpool finally bought Fernando Morientes, just in time for him to play against Manchester United. Too bad they lost by a goal to nil courtesy of that brat Wayne Rooney (whom I shall refer to as such outside of the context of an England match), and also meant that Morientes lost his record of always scoring on his debut. Liverpool couldn't even take advantage of MU going down to 10 men after Wes "Baked Bean Boy" Brown got sent off. Depression, all around.
Around halfway during the match, I felt tremors. After making sure it wasn't just me as I was in a potential dizziness-inducing state (under the influence of flu pills while bending over the side of my chair) and asked Halief if he felt it too, I concluded that yes, we had just had an earthquake. Quite heart-stopping, especially in light of events over the past couple of weeks. Yoga didn't feel it when I SMS'ed, so I went online to check the news on Kompas:there was a 5.5 richter quake just off the coast of Ujung Kulon, 200 kms south west of here. No news as to whether there was any major damage, but I sure hope there wasn't any. And I hope that this is as heavy as all quakes will get in the future.
Anyway, while we're still on the subject of natural disasters, over dinner I remembered when I first heard of the term "tsunami". It was 1987, the family had just moved to Saudi Arabia, and I had an insatiable hunger for trivia. There was this book that had all sorts of facts in it, the title of which I don't recall but might still be here somewhere if I try to dig it out. Anyway, it was sorted out in a Q&A format, and I don't remember the question, but the gist of the answer was that the biggest natural disaster ever was when Mount Krakatoa - located between Java and Sumatra - exploded in August 1883. The eruptions themselves, while wiping out two-thirds of Krakatoa Island, didn't cause as much damage as the ensuing tsunamis, which got as far as the Arabian Peninsula. For a more detailed account, click here.
I remember that when I first learned about Krakatoa, I thought, "Geez, that happened in Indonesia, hope it doesn't happen again any time soon." If you can consider 14 years as "soon", then my wish didn't come true...
Speaking of music-related charity efforts for tsunami relief, it's a global thing, in case you hadn't noticed - most notably in the U.K., where they've just recorded a single ('Grief Never Grows Old') and are going to have a concert on the 22nd. The new version of 'Do They Know It's Christmas?' by Band Aid 20, meant to help end famine in Sudan, already came out late last year, and the quake and tsunami gave it an unfortunate irony, in the sense that it happened just after Christmas, and Sudan's famine - as unfortunate as it is - has become all but dwarved. In a musical sense, it's too bad all the cool acts already did the charity single thing, leaving us with the likes of Cliff Richard and Boy George for the new one. But as they said, all they're concerned with is raising money to help, which is all that matters. Plus you can't predict when tragedy happens, so Band Aid 20's for Sudan shouldn't be forgotten or placed in lesser regard.
As for the big, Live Aid-style charity gig (which, incidentally, was something that was rumoured to be in the works in conjunction with Band Aid 20), the confirmations have just started, and so far they include Eric Clapton, Feeder, Lemar, Snow Patrol, Badly Drawn Boy, Embrace, and Manic Street Preachers. Speaking of the Manics, they had a single called 'Tsunami' which they still play at their shows. It's not really about tsunamis (read the backstory here), but you can't help but wonder if singing "tsunami, tsunami came washing over me" would be entirely appropriate. But they're a smart band, so I'm sure they'll do the right thing, or at least come up with a valid reason to keep playing the song so the less-informed won't slag them for it.
My legs are soooo tired...and my fingers will soon be too
The past few days have been rather eventful, so here we go:
Thursday, January 6th: Actually this day wasn't eventful at all. Read the job interview book, fell asleep. Made a Ryan Adams compilation CD (more on that later), with a non-chronological tracklisting, which is something I've been doing more lately. More challenging than chronological, plus it gives you freedom over the limitations imposed by chronological. Oh, here I go all High Fidelity again. The tracklisting:
1. So Alive
2. Gonna Make You Love Me
3. My Winding Wheel
4. English Girls Approximately
5. New York, New York
6. To Be Young (Is To Be Sad, Is To Be High)
7. When The Stars Go Blue
9. Wish You Were Here
10. La Cienega Just Smiled
11. I See Monsters
12. Come Pick Me Up
13. The Shadowlands
14. Harder Now That It's Over
15. Please Do Not Let Me Go
16. Burning Photographs
17. Goodbye, Hollywood Blvd.
As you can see, I broke my "no covers" rule. Plus this isn't my absolute first choice selection of songs. Why? More on that later.
Friday, January 7th: Dad attended an alumni gathering shindig at the Jakarta Convention Centre from morning and asked me to pick him up at around 4. He was done at 5, and about 45 minutes later, I was immersed in the traffic jam from hell. Admittedly, it took some doing on my part, as I have a knack for taking the long way around if the more obvious route is packed. It's all about psychology, you see: even if takes up the same amount of time, at least I don't get stressed out by only being able to travel at one foot per minute. Unfortunately, my search for a quicker route only ended up getting me even more stuck, because there were no quicker routes on that particular Friday evening. Or maybe there were, but my insistence on trying them all made it seem otherwise.
Eventually, I spent around three hours in traffic. I didn't even have time to take a rest, as I had already arranged to meet up with Yoga, Anita and Peds at Warung Apresiasi on Bulungan. I got an SMS a few days before, informing me of a free charity gig for Aceh where my campus friend and neighbour Willie was performing. I thought it was a convenient location, considering our previous meet-ups have been in the general area. I finally got there, we did our little gift-exchange thing (I gave the Ryan Adams CD to Peds – see, things are different when you compile stuff for other people; Yoga gave me a VCD of a Fountains Of Wayne performance on VH1), and we sat down and watched the bands play. Of particular note was Ballads Of The Cliche, mainly due to their female keyboard player, who looked anaemic and lethargic beyond belief. We speculated that: a) she was seriously suicidal, b) she was seriously stoned and/or on hard drugs, which would explain her going backstage (in the middle of a song, no less, never mind in the middle of the set in between song when the singer is waffling about what the next song is about) for some mysterious reason and wiping her nose when she got back (though the nose-wiping part could be coincidental), c) they weren't paying her enough to look vaguely interested.
Afterwards, me, Yoga and Anita went to Citos, just to see how things were at the other charity gig of the night, the one with all the big stars. Plus Halief was there, so I figured he might need a lift. The day before, I had thoughts of going there from the beginning, but I found out about it after I got the SMS for the other gig, and I hate not showing up when I tell someone I'll be there. Anyway, getting there late meant that there was no way I'd pay the Rp 50,000 charge to get in. Not that I had the money, but I digress. Eventually, I didn't have to pay, as I ended up just strolling in. Security is kinda pointless when it's late in the game, they figure anyone who's entering at that late point has already bought a ticket, plus who in their right mind would enter when the show's practically over? Well, that would be me. As soon as the thing was over, we went home to catch the Burnley-Liverpool FA Cup game on TV, but the match was called off due to the pitch being damaged by rain. Ah, well. At least I could get some sleep in preparation for the next day.
Saturday, January 8th: The next day, in which Indonesia played Singapore in the first leg of the Tiger Cup final, which for some reason was played in the respective participants' own countries like the semi-finals, as opposed to the group stages which were played in Vietnam and Malaysia. It makes the point of having hosts for the tournament kind of redundant, but again, I regress.
Anyway, I decided to make good on my intentions of watching the match live at Senayan. After phone calls with several other people who were also interested in watching, I found myself in the position of having to procure tickets for everyone else. After having them transfer their money to my account and withdrawing the funds via ATM, Halief and I got to Senayan before 2 o'clock, where people were already queuing in the streets. Me and Halief promptly got in line, and fortunately we got the orderly queue and became the envy of others who were resorted to a fair bit of shoving. Less pleasant was the prospect of not getting the tickets we wanted (East VIP at Rp 100,000, the second highest price range), which weighed on my mind upon hearing the tellers in the other lines. When it was my turn, I asked if the teller had East VIP tickets. He asked how much, I said ten, he said, "That's too many!" Agh. I had to turn on my charms to persuade him - though in hindsight, I probably could've given half the money to Halief, ordered five and told Halief to do the same - and fortunately the guy coughed up the goods, especially after I showed him the money. Maybe he was too shy to shout, "SHOW ME THE MONEY!!!" and opted to pull that hard-to-get shit.
Anyway, the match was scheduled for 7:45, so next on the agenda was a matter of killing five hours. After surveying the stadium to find out entrance, I parked the car at Hotel Century in anticipation of the killer traffic that we'd be having, come match-time. Then Halief and I walked to Plaza Senayan to meet up with Rija for lunch and browsing. After about an hour there, it dawned on me that there's not really much to do at PS if you're like me, a single guy who's short on funds. My PS itinerary consists of going to Duta Suara, QB Books and Kinokuniya. Maybe hang out at a cafe or see a movie, but only if it's financially-viable, which it wasn't at that time. So most of our PS sojourn consisted of sitting in the food court and waiting. And using my binoculars to check out hot chicks on the far end of the food court.
Then it was 7 o'clock, and we - along with Deeka - made the walk to the stadium. As we drew nearer, the sound of the crowd became increasingly louder, and I have to admit it would have been kinda scary if I didn't know this was a football match. I imagine if I'd been in Aceh a few weeks back when the tsunamis came, I'd probably be in shock or running for my life when I heard the roar. Anyway, we met up with the ticket recipients, which included Jamal and Dipo, plus Yoga and Anita, and got in line, found seats, and waited in anticipation. The atmosphere was just amazing; I spent the half hour before the match just being awestruck at the sight of around 100,000 people chanting. When the teams came on for the kick-off, I felt proud to be Indonesian as we all stood up and sang the national anthem.
Unfortunately, the pride was short-lived. Singapore grabbed a goal in the third minute, and things got worse from there: Indonesia lost teenage prodigy Boas Salossa to injury, Singapore got another goal before half-time, Muhammad Mauly Lessy got himself sent-off - and then there were the morons in the upper tribunes who seemingly thought they could change the course of the match by throwing stuff at the pitch. Of course, their throwing skills were nowhere near Olympic athlete levels, so the debris only ended up hitting those of us in the expensive, yet woefully underprotected seats. I got hit by a rambutan skin on the shoulder, while others were less fortunate - the guy in front of me was hit in the back by a full bottle of water...even though they banned people from bringing bottles inside. Go figure. By the time the third Singapore goal went in, the ugliness quickly escalated, and we decided to get out of there, along with many other disgruntled folk. The upside was that we managed to get out of there while traffic wasn't as bad as it would be when the match finally finished. On the way, it turns out that Indonesia managed to pull one goal back, which makes their uphill struggle in the next leg slightly easier. Let's hope they can pull it together over there. One thing's for sure: I bet people in that stadium won't have to put up with as many morons.
Sunday, January 9th: Was going to stay at home, work, rest (considering all the driving I'd done in the past two days) and watch the live broadcast of the big benefit gig at Ancol (about 100 acts in the space of 12 hours), but after much contemplation, I decided to go with Halief to The Upstairs gig at De Basic on Melawai. The reasons for forgoing professional obligations and health concern? The Upstairs are one of the hottest live acts in town right now; watching proper headlining gigs are more fulfilling than shows with a lot of big names that only play a few songs and then take a hike; De Basic is sort of a new place that's become increasingly popular for these indie gig occasions, which you wouldn't guess by looking from the outside (the ground floor looks like a somewhat classy restaurant, the cramped, claustrophobia-inducing gig space with barely-functional air-conditioning is above it, and the third floor is for DJ events); and at the very least, I could get a gig review entry for djakarta! out of it.
So we went there, got too late to catch Friends Of Mine (of which the lead guitarist, Anom, was my junior high pal and the bassist during my short-lived band stint in high school) but managed to hang out a bit at the restaurant, and went up to the second floor just in time to see some band butcher 'Surfin' U.S.A.' and 'Taxman'. Still, I got a slight kick out of seeing someone perform a Beach Boys song, even moreso due to the crowd singing along. Though I suspect that if someone in the indie scene organises a Beach Boys tribute gig, they'll just stick to the surf and car songs.
Anyway, the gig was...well, it's easier to understand why they're as popular as they are, even though they appear to be unlikely stars. I can't explain here because I'm saving it for the review, but I can say that you should check them out if you can.
Monday, January 10th: On to work. Hanief SMS'ed again about sending my resume to him, but considering he's not paying me to send it immediately, I had other priorities. Ooh, professionalism!
A major development on the job hunt front: I've just started work on the resume, albeit with some forceful cajoling from Hanief. Suck it. Anyway, a while ago he sent me two books on how to make a resume and how to do a job interview. Both books came with software aids. However, the resume book came out in 1996, so I was wondering whether the floppy disk would be compatible with XP. After figuring out how to work it, I began filling in my details - and wondering how to pad out my details so it'll seem like I've actually done quite a lot in my life. Now all I've got to do is figure out how to transfer the format to Word, and then on to the long, arduous process of finding a job that doesn't sound like mind-numbing torture and/or something I'm capable at...which I'm finding is rather short on supply.
In TV land: today's episode of Oprah (guilty pleasure, hur hur. Plus I don't check in religiously, so cut me some slack) was about a book called He's Just Not That Into You: The No-Excuses Guide To Understanding Men. It's supposed to be a self-help guide for women who're confused about mixed signals they receive from guys. On the show, a bunch of women with man problems posed questions to the author, and no matter the situation, it all boiled down to the fact that their guys just weren't that interested in them, otherwise they'd be trying harder to impress and commit, e.g. "He's just not that into you if he's not asking you out, because if he likes you, trust me, he will ask you out." In my case, perhaps you could add, "Maybe he does like you, but he doesn't see the point of trying if you don't meet him halfway." I wonder if the answers in the book also apply to women - if they were interested in you, they wouldn't disappear into thin air if you seemed to be into them. Ah, that explains it...
The mainlight of my Wednesday TV viewing is The Amazing Race. If you're reading this, are in South East Asia and have AXN, please watch if you haven't done so already. Very entertaining, the best reality show out there if an Emmy award is any indication. They'll be showing the earlier episodes of the season on Sunday the 16th and 23rd, so check it out. I won't give any details of this week's episode, but I will highlight another aspect that makes this series special due to the fact that it airs almost simultaneously as in the States: I can put more emotional investment in it because I don't know what's going to happen - plus there's an added benefit to the show not being as popular as, say, Survivor, The Apprentice or American Idol, because the results aren't plastered everywhere when I'm online, so I can avoid spoilers. Ergo, I get that sense of heartache whenever contestants I'm rooting for get eliminated. Which is what happened this week. Sad.
Back in the real world, me and Halief went to the Sahid Hotel to pick up Dad from this gathering of folk from his old high school almamater. We had to wait for a speech to be over, so we went around mucking about. The place was pretty deserted at that hour, the lifts were barely touched - in fact, we got on one and didn't press anything, just to see what would happen. And maybe get a sense of what getting trapped feels like. Not too bad, but then again we always had the option of pressing the button and instantly regaining our liberty.
First thing I saw on TV this morning was one of those local crime news shows. Of main interest was the ongoing case of the Hilton New Year shooting. If you haven't heard by now, a waiter working in the Fluid Club was shot and killed during the early hours of Saturday while the club was still in the midst of its New Year's celebrations. The alleged shooter - though witnesses and evidence are making it increasingly positive - is Adiguna Sutowo. Who? Yeah, I had no idea before this incident either. Turns out he's the son of the decased former director of Pertamina, Ibnu Sutowo, and younger brother of Pontjo, who more or less owns the Hilton (and no, that doesn't mean they're related to Paris and Nicky).
As the story goes, Adiguna was at the club with a lady friend, who gave her credit card to the waiter to pay for his tab (why he wasn't paying his own friggin' tab, I have no idea). The waiter came back to tell the woman that her card had been rejected and asked if she had any other cards for payment. Now, normal people would wonder what the problem was and go sort it out, maybe get a little bit incensed, maybe take it up with the manager. But in the world of the rich, pompous and loaded (in more ways than one), the skank started screaming words to the effect of, "How dare you! Don't you know that his here is the majority shareholder?!" and Monsieur Sutowo took out a revolver and shot the poor guy in the head. In the middle of a busy crowd. It was probably the booze doing the thinking, but it still boggles the mind to imagine that one would be so conceited enough to think they could get away with shooting someone in public. He didn't even have the good sense to have a bodyguard or other lackey do the dirty work.
The waiter, a 28 year old named Rudy, was in his final year of law school at Bung Karno University. He was only filling in at Fluid because his regular workplace was under renovation. And then his girlfriend, whom he was going to marry in a few months' time, only found out about the incident after she arrived at the club a few hours later to wish him a happy New Year. Tragic.
Anyway, the case is undergoing investigation. Police have yet to find the gun, but they did find bullets hidden in the toilet of the hotel room where Adiguna was staying. Sixteen witnesses have been questioned, fifteen of which confirm that Adiguna was the shooter, and the exception is his wife (no surprise there). The president himself has had his say on matters, mentioning that justice must be upheld. Here's hoping justice does prevail, Adiguna gets sent away for a very long time, and doesn't get any perks or special treatment in prison, save for being the inmates' favourite bitch.
Another item in the crime news was more down-to-earth: a would-be purse snatcher getting the bejeezus beaten (and kicked. And whipped) out of him by a mob. Though these beatings apre pretty commonplace (at least based on what you read and see in the news), I don't think I've ever seen one in person. The after-effects, at most, even on TV. So this was the first time I saw it happening, albeit halfway through: by the time the cameras caught up with the action, the tattooed, bloody perpetrator was already down to his skivvies and was trying to keep them on while trying to escape into traffic from the mob's fists, feet and swinging belts. You should've seen the guy with the belt go at it like he was riding Seabiscuit. People were getting their shots in even after the police arrived to take the thief away. Anarchic vigilantism is rarely pretty...in fact, it never is. But if it makes would-be thugs think twice before taking up a life of crime...well, I'm not condoning it, but I do hope someday things will reach a point where people don't have to take things into their own hands...and feet.
Still on a negative vibe (hey, I'm on a roll), you know those Friendster bulletin board chain posts, where someone starts a topic and people paste their replies under the original post? There's one floating around my network in which the original author laments the fact that the New Year's party at the Indonesian Embassy in Berlin was cancelled in light of the recent disasters. Needless to say, this drew the ire of several people. Out of curiosity, I thought I'd track down the insensitive cow - not an easy task, given I had to sift through several degrees of friend networks, and even then I couldn't find the culprit. Then I tried doing a gallery search, and after several rounds of fine-tuning, I think I finally found the guilty party: a 19 year old Indonesian girl currently residing in Berlin. I don't know why I spent all that time and energy to track her down; I was thinking of pasting her Friendster and e-mail addresses in the bulletin board so that others could send heaps of abuse messages to her inbox, but I think I had an attack of conscience. She's just a kid, after all. A dumb and shallow one, granted, but a kid, nonetheless. A lesson still needs to be taught, but I don't think I'm the one to do it. Let's just hope someone close to her reads the board and sorts her out properly.
On to more positive stuff: today was the first extended drive I took after sending the car to the garage to sort out a problem with the steering wheel which kept veering to the left. It turns out that the front tyres were uneven (as a result of the tyre change when I had a flat several months ago), causing the steering to go off-balance. I asked for the tyres to be rotated, and then it was discovered that the rear tyres had been misplaced. Apparently, those arrow-like engravings on the side of tyres aren't just for decoration. D'oh. Anyway, I think those rear tyres have been in place and unchanged for about two years, so it seems I've been driving them wrong during that period. Double d'oh. After the tyres were switched around, I don't know if it was psychological or something else, but the car handled much more smoothly. I can once again take my hands off the wheel without having to worry that I'll plough into various objects on my left. This comes in handy when doing other stuff, like, say, peeling price tags off newly-purchased CDs.
Speaking of which, I just bought two - Jimmy Eat World's Futures and Live's Awake: The Best Of. Both are: 1) the deluxe versions, of which I'm always a sucker for, and 2) the last copies on the shelves, which is why I felt the urge to buy both at once and avoid the classic scenario of them not being available the next time I go to the shop.
In the case of the former, I'd been meaning to get the album for a while now, especially as I'd earmarked it for review in the next issue of djakarta!. I'd held off buying because I was hoping to get the deluxe. I wasn't going to buy the tape because I was expecting a freebie to arrive at the office, but it hadn't the last time I went. As deadline approached, I supposed I was going to have to listen to it on Halief's iMac, but I held off on that too, because I prefer the whole package when enjoying my music - which includes the actual packaging itself, as in lyrics, liner notes and other info tidbits they can cram on your average CD sleeve. Anyway, the deluxe edition has a bonus CD containing demo versions of all the songs on the album, plus the band's liner notes on how the demos eventually evolved into the final versions. I think I'll put off listening to the demo disc until I'm familiar with the album, so I can appreciate the creative process better. A little snag, though: the local version of the album comes with a bonus track, and I'm wondering if it's worth the purchase of the tape. Hopefully the freebie will arrive soon, so I won't have to make that decision.
And in the case of the latter, I'm a lapsed Live fan. Like most people who was ever a fan, I got into them on their second album, Throwing Copper, which was one of the soundtracks for my last year at junior high. I even sang 'Selling The Drama' and 'I Alone' at this end of school year thing - my first gig ever. Not that there have been many, but I digress. Anyway, even though it was the first time I'd ever performed, I thought it was a good idea to be all rock star-like and whack the mic stand on the stage floor - much to the chagrin of the equipment rental people. Hey, I was in the zone, man.
Anyway, I liked the follow-up to Throwing Copper, Secret Samadhi, even though it apparently killed off their popularity. I myself dropped off on the next album, The Distance To Here. Just couldn't find any songs I deemed likeable at all. Got the next one, V, out of habit, but didn't pay much attention to it, either. Got their sixth, Birds Of Pray, for free, but I still haven't heard it. Heck, my initial copy of Awake was also a freebie tape - but it was enough to get the nostalgia kicking in. And so I got the CD, which strangely enough has a different tracklisting than the tape, and most probably with the local CD too. The bonus disc is a DVD of all their videos, which also includes songs not on the CD, plus an interview with lead singer Ed Kowalczyk, where he talks about the band's evolution, their albums and their videos. In between, there's lots of "serious artist/hippie" talk, and the revelation that they recorded Secret Samadhi in Jamaica and got "very friendly" with the gardener, which is why it came out so weird that even Ed doesn't understand a lot of the stuff he wrote on it. Ah, pot: kills your brain cells and your record sales. Just say no, kids.
Two football matches on TV at about the same time, featuring two teams who'd just come off respective losses. First there was Indonesia, away to Malaysia on the second leg of the Tiger Cup semi-final. They'd lost the first leg 2-1 in front of about 80,000 fans at Senayan, so they had to turn things around and repay the favour. After making things worse with some really ugly play and falling behind 1-0, Indonesia came back with four goals in the second half to set up a date with Singapore in the two-legged final. The first game will be on the 8th at Senayan...might be a hoot to catch. Hope things won't get too unruly, especially if Singapore do the business.
The second match was Liverpool away to Norwich. Fourth game in two weeks for all teams in the Premiership, so you can imagine they were running on fumes. After the 1-0 loss to Chelsea two days ago, Liverpool had to work extra hard, especially considering their away form which has been woeful for most of the season, but has been picking up in recent weeks. Fortunately they got the much-needed win, and the next game will be on the 15th against Manchester United. Televised, of course. Looks like another date at Sportsman with the foosball table.
Elsewhere, I've just seen the trailer for Sin City, and all I can say is OH. MY. GOD. Words can't express how cool it looks. It's co-directed by Robert Rodriguez (Desperado, Spy Kids) and Sin City creator Frank Miller, who you might've caught from his cameo as the corpse with the pencil in his forehead in Daredevil (he also did a couple of definitive runs on the book, plus Batman: The Dark Knight Returns and Batman: Year One). Apparently Rodriguez was a huge fan of Sin City and wanted to do a straight translation as is. This meant giving up membership in the Director's Guild so he could get Miller to co-direct, and making the movie look exactly like the comic: black and white, with occasional hints of primary colour. Plus he got a shitload of big-name actors: Bruce Willis, Jessica Alba, Benicio Del Toro, Josh Hartnett, Mickey Rourke, Elijah Wood, Clive Owen, Brittany Murphy, Michael Clarke Duncan...the list, as they say, goes on. And he also got Quentin Bloody Tarantino to direct a scene. For a dollar. He probably could have got QT for free, but paying him a buck makes it cooler. Anyway, this is by far the coolest trailer I've seen in a long time, and it's made me drool even more than Batman Begins. If you're need of drooling...well, check this out.