Saturday, November 29, 2008

Holy Death Scene, Batman!


Another wrench has been thrown into the Batman saga. Writer Grant Morrison has "killed off" Bruce Wayne in the conclusion of the story arc "Batman R.I.P."

::Spoilers Ahead::

This incarnation of Batman is supposedly killed off by the villainous Simon Hurt, posing as Wayne's long deceased father, and apparently without any other sort of clever moniker. Apparently, Batman is shot. Apparently, this is a major news story. Apparently, the world has forgotten about the various spin-offs, alternate realities, and story arcs that branch off of these beloved characters and that (just like in soap operas) superheroes and villains never seem to stay in the ground.

I'm not sure what i think about this. On the one hand, i'm well aware that it makes very little difference within the Batman universe. On the other hand, i'm slightly irked that Morrison killed off the Caped Crusader with a gunshot and daddy issues and that it's international news. But wait, he seems to negate the news himself...

"We wanted to see what would happen if the most evil, richest people in the world decided they didn't like Batman, and decided to take him apart piece by piece and destroy him. And then have Batman come back, and we could see why he's so great," [Source]

Uh huh. I bet no one saw that coming. Nice publicity stunt DC.


Immersion



The New York Times Magazine's "Screen Issue" featured stills captured from British photographer Robbie Cooper's hi-res video Immersion, a piece that caught the vacant faces of kids as they played video games. Next time i play a video game i'm going to overcompensate super hard to make sure that i don't look anything like some of these freaks of nature. Then i'm going to walk around with my own camera and capture the dead behind the eyes stare of whoever i happen to be playing with. It's a plan.

Source

I Went to the Wrong School...Clearly.



There are colleges out there (Middlebury, specifically) where large herds of surprisingly normal looking people have formed Quidditch teams. Yes, Quidditch, like Harry Potter. They're running around fields in capes with broomsticks between their legs. At this point you're saying "What?!? But these children aren't magical! They can't possibly have a Golden Snitch!" You'd be wrong. Watch the video.

Source

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Guilty Pleasures: 25 Movies Part IV (Conclusion)



21. Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow - I was always alarmed by how many people trashed this movie without bothering to really watch it. I was also surprised by the lack of comprehension as to what the purpose and mode of the story was. This is an old-fashioned, innocent, wide-eyed adventure noir swiped directly from 40's comic books. The dialogue is deliberately cheesy, but that's exactly what it's supposed to be... The aesthetics are spot on and incredibly gorgeous. Really, and to think that a couple years later everyone acted as though 300 was a modern marvel. I agree with Roger Ebert, i think this film captured exactly what it set out to and personally, i appreciated that.


22. Bandits - It's one of those decent movies that's largely forgettable. For some reason, i really enjoyed the simplicity of the crimes and the neurotic chemistry between Billy Bob Thornton, Cate Blanchett, and Bruce Willis. It marks one of the only instances in which Thornton can be referred to as adorable and a convict love triangle can be called charming. Really and truly.



23. Cruel Intentions - I love Les Liaisons Dangereuses as a French novel. Therefore, a teenage, prep school, sex romp version should somehow compute as a complete bastardization of classic literature, right? Oh so wrong. This is one of those movies that i wanted to resist but wound up completely accepting. Sarah Michelle Gellar and Ryan Phillippe as super manipulative popular kids? They give the Gossip Girl kids a run for their money. Despite all the tacky scenes and deliberate shock value, i will watch this whenever i'm given the opportunity. Plus, the soundtrack is killer. I mean, seriously, they even used one of my favorite songs in the trailer.



24. Freaky Friday (2003) / The Parent Trap (1998) - I'm counting these two Disney/Lohan remakes as being essentially one guilty pleasure because, well, they're basically the same movie: a silly gently bent gimmick about family togetherness. It's fairly taboo to enjoy Lindsay Lohan fare these days (the exception being Mean Girls), especially if you're a 20-something film aficionado. But over the years i've seen both of these movies more times than i'd care to reveal (thanks in part to younger relatives, but they're also both great for when you're stuck in bed or on the couch sick) and every time they leave me perfectly happy.



25. Velvet Goldmine - This movie is incredibly beautiful, but so piecey. Director Todd Haynes has some issues with cohesion, i would say. There are huge segments that don't work at all, it's too long, and parts are just laughable. I have seen this movie several times in the company of almost everyone, and i'd say 60% of audiences have finished the movie feeling somehow dirty. It's a rough, unflinching, and often mythologized vision of the glam rock era. For every one thing wrong there's two that are right, and for every time i view it and question my taste, there are two viewings where i am suitably impressed. The costumes and soundtrack alone are completely brilliant. Jonathan Rhys-Myers looks his best in make-up and shiny clothing. True story.



Honorable Mentions: The Island, Constantine, Nanny McPhee, etc.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Be Don Draper



He's everywhere. Accept it. Learn to be Don Draper.

OMG.



So, on the heels of one unfortunate cancellation, another show dead before its time is being resurrected.

It's apparently official: Arrested Development is being made into a movie. Commence rejoycing. Producers Mitch Hurwitz and Ron Howard are fully onboard, as well as most of the original cast. E!Online's (Seriously, they're all over things today) report leaves us with one worry:

""Yes, it's a go," an Arrested castmember who asked not to be named tells me. "We're all very excited. And it will happen with or without the holdout."

Hmmm. Thoughts on who that is?

Also, can Arrested withstand the motion picture format?

Source.

Kids These Days










Ok, usually i ignore celebrity parenting news, but i have to admit that these two little pop rockers picked a fairly awesome name for their brand new baby boy. E!Online (Again, i know...) reports that Ashlee Simpson has finally popped and she and Fall Out Boy-er Pete Wentz have named the child: Bronx Mowgli Wentz.



Bronx is a decent name, though not horribly original. But, Mowgli, as derived from Rudyard Kipling's Jungle Book, is definitely on the bad ass side. I mean, that kid's namesake was feral child raised by wolves, bears, and panthers. He beats up on tigers. I hope they style his hair just like the Disney cartoon. It's the only way.

Super Tragic...



E!Online is reporting that ABC has axed three of its primetime shows. Kristin Dos Santos writes that the network has cancelled Eli Stone, Dirty Sexy Money, and Pushing Daisies. Ok. I understand why the first two are gone, frankly, i'm surprised that didn't happen during the writer's strike. But Pushing Daisies!?!?! Really, ABC? Really? Good lord, you honestly don't know a good thing when you've got it. Not only is it the whimsical darling of the critics, but it is clearly building a slow and steady cult fanbase. I wonder, if Ned (Lee Pace) the Piemaker touches everything on the set...can he bring the show back to life? Of course, since something else has to die after five minutes, maybe he could do this near wherever they film Dancing with the Stars...or Grey's Anatomy.

The worst part? Crap like Private Practice and Dancing with the Stars (remind me to write a post about how this show is evidence of the decline of the American empire) will survive through the apocalypse while ambitious and creative fare gets flushed away. This is why we can't trust the masses, folks. They have no taste. I think i'll go cry now. And here is the rest of it.

Guilty Pleasures: 25 Movies Part III



16. HSM3 - I saw the first one. I hated it. I reluctantly watched the second one. It was better. Then i saw the third one. Rocky Horror style, late night, no kids around, plenty of space to yell at the screen and dance when necessary. Awesome. No, i'm serious. High camp, ridiculous dance numbers, Fosse yoga. The "official" Disney Channel music video version of "I Want it All" does little justice to the actual 'showstopper' cafeteria choreography of the film version, just so you know. But you have to love Ryan and Sharpay. They're just fabulous. Would be better without Vanessa Hudgens. Boo, whore.


17. Something's Gotta Give - It's fairly gross, isn't it? Watching old folks get it on. Especially when they're as unattractive as Jack Nicholson in his advanced years. But i have a soft spot for Diane Keaton, and this is pretty much the only decent thing she's done in at least 10 years. So i have a copy, yes. And i linger on it when it's on TNT. And i watch it when i'm feeling like some old sappy lady. Hey, it's a better crutch than Beaches.

18. The Thomas Crown Affair (1999) - Ok. Let's be honest. Pierce Brosnan is pretty damn hot. He's still much hotter than Daniel Craig...but that's neither here nor there. Anyway. Between the ages of 15 and 16 i think i watched this remake at least a dozen times. Cheesy dialogue and various ridiculous things aside, that staircase sex montage was like the damn hottest thing i'd ever seen.
I bet it's still pretty fucking hot. It should also be mentioned that this movie has one of the absolute best heist scenes of all time. I mean, it's set to Nina Simone's "Sinnerman" for christ's sake. So, art heists + sexy business + James Bond = hot.



19. The Chipmunk Adventure - When i was little i wanted those little chipmunk dolls so bad, not even because they were loaded with diamonds. I just wanted them. And i so wanted to go to the sombrero shaped taco stand that they stop by in Mexico. I didn't even like tacos at that point in my life. OH, and that fricken adorable little penguin. Anyway, there's just something about this animation that takes me back to better times. And, yes, i so love the Chipettes. I'm definitely a fan. Their outfits are excellent. In fact, the songs are so nostalgic, i will include TWO OF THEM. And yes, the Get Lucky one is completely loaded with innuendo.



20. Spice World - Again, i've seen this i don't know how many times. Years will pass and all of a sudden it will resurface in a big way. Because, really, for my generation this is one of those things where once you hear that someone else has recently been privy to a viewing...you're suddenly overcome with the need to see it again in all its camp glory. It's beautiful. I love these girls. No lie. I'm starting to notice that many of my guilty pleasure movies involve girl pop groups in some context. I think i may have found what i really want to be when i grow up...

I leave you with: the boot camp scene...


Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Depressing


I was just going to let this slide by, but it was just brought to my attention that this chick Abby Elliott, you know, one of the two ladies being brought in to fill the void of Amy Poehler (and apparently the daughter of Cabin Boy, wtf?) on SNL is only 21! What? It's official, i'm old and past my prime. That bitch just done gone and stole my dream job. My pipe dream job. Ok. Really, bit player is not my dream job. But if in a season i find out she's head writer at 22, i'm retiring and becoming a soccer mom. Or maybe i'll just have to throw myself onto reality tv. Isn't that what all the undiscovered people do these days?

The Men Folk


So GQ made four different covers for their 'Men of the Year' business. That's right, apparently this is one election that Barack Obama couldn't win. Instead he has to share it with that Gold Medal Asshole Michael Phelps (who doesn't know how to wear pants properly) as well as Leonardo and Don Draper (no, he's not really Jon Hamm, just Don Draper). I mean, Leo and Don Draper are cool and everything, but how did they finagle a way in during an election year? Just askin'.



Also, People Magazine has named their annual 'Sexiest Man Alive'. Yep, it's Hugh Jackman. I buy that, because millions of women will collectively swoon during the romantic epic that this Australia, and also probably because they just felt pervy putting the ZEfron at the top. Don Draper and Michael Phelps also made this list. Along with some other random folk like "Saved by the Bell" alum Mark-Paul Gossalaar and Lang Lang. I don't know about this list...seriously, can someone explain to me what's supposed to be attractive about Aquaman? I'm listening. Personally, I think Johnny Depp should just be put at the top of the pile every year until he's 80. Maybe that's just me...

I may have to post a response list to this.

Detritus

This is how you pay off debts. I love it. I honestly wouldn't care if it's fabricated. All i know is, next semester, i'm sending a sketch instead of a check.

Also, this other guy made candied bacon ice cream. He'll tell you how. I'm not going through the trouble myself, but if someone makes it...i think i need to try it.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

The One Where I Win Stylista! Not Really.


Have you watched the bitchy bonanza that is the CW's Stylista? You know, the one after the show where Tyra Banks reminds America she's still fierce (also craaazy)? Well, if you haven't, the folks on Stylista are young, supposedly fabulous, incredibly shitty human beings, all competing for a position at Elle magazine. Every week they attempt to show off their editing chops by creating various layouts that, in reality, are fairly impressive when you take into consideration the fact that they've only got about half an hour to work with. Anyway, if you're the sort of person who desperately wants to go to the grocery store and make a dress with a gummy worm fringe every time you watch Project Runway, then I have a GREAT way for your to procrastinate post-Stylista .

Polyvore is a site where you can pick and choose items from a virtual closet infinitely larger than the one at Elle and assemble them into your own bright and shiny layout collage. Search by item type or designer, narrow by color, click and drag and add text from a decent selection of fonts. It's great for the fashionista with downtime at a dull desk job. Check out the website to see some collages more impressive than my own samples here. Which really, were made quickly and are fairly craptastic. Yes. I made one based on Tony Scott's The Hunger. Why? Because Catherine Deneuve eats the Cullens for breakfast. Yes. I also made one based on the roller disco shenanigans of Xanadu. I like to think it speaks more to the Broadway musical than the awful(x10) Olivia Newton John vehicle. Honestly, i just really like roller disco. As a concept.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Does Not Compute: Hilton + Solondz


The Hollywood Reporter claims that this guy is Paris Hilton's new BFF. Ok. Not Exactly. But What the hell?.

Indie-filmmaker Todd Solondz, responsible for 90's cult classic "Welcome to the Dollhouse" and the remarkably uncomfortable (and if i say it, you know it's true) "Happiness" has recruited the wooden socialite for his next, as yet untitled, project. The film, according to imdb is a semi-sequel to "Happiness" and has an ensemble cast of quirky characters. Hilton will star alongside Allison Janney, Paul Reubens, Ally Sheedy, Faye Dunaway, Charlotte Rampling, and Shirley Henderson (That's Moaning Myrtle, for all you HP folks).

This is the part where you take this in, and your head explodes. It's so crazy, it just might work. But, I mean, why is it happening? Has anyone else noticed that Paris seems to be making slow and calculated moves towards the darkside? Are we one day going to wake up and collectively respect her? In the future, will we look back and actually find that Paris really is some sort of Bardot or Monroe or Birkin? The answer is...?

Source

Dame Helen Mirren



I once had a Professor, an older Shakespearean type with a voice that flawlessly blended British and Harvard accents (though, i believe, he grew up somewhere incredibly mundane...Michigan, perhaps?), who proclaimed Dame Helen Mirren to be the "MOST beautiful, MOST talented" actress/woman of all time. Also, did i mention that this Professor was gay? Yeah. See? Helen Mirren is so powerful she turns gay men straight.

You know what else Helen Mirren does? Bewitches reporters for The Times. Of course.

In the interview for the Sunday edition, there are some almost inappropriate (and insanely hilarious) remarks and asides from the reporter in question.

Check these out:

On her motorbike: "You imagine Mirren in her leathers. Striking. “The major problem was, when you stop at a light: you can’t balance, so you have to put one foot down and hold the bike up.” She stands up and straddles as if riding a bike to demonstrate. She’s wearing a cotton suit in milky beige and a white T-shirt. As she bends down, the skirt stretches over her bottom and thigh. Extremely tight."

On Love Ranch: "“My husband’s film is called Love Ranch. It’s a brothel in Nevada in the 1970s,” she says with a tiny but perceptible glint of naughtiness in her eye. Are you a madam? “Of course. I’m not one of the old girls,” she laughs. She could be — very many people would definitely want to have sex with her. "

While Analyzing Mirren's Pin-Up Appeal: "I wonder if this adds to her particular kind of sexual omnivorousness."

For No Reason: "Mirren is quite a tease."

In Conclusion:"She beams mesmerisingly.
As I get up to go, she stops me and says, “And thank you for the view.” I blush. I was jet-lagged, I had no clean underwear, so I’d gone without. I didn’t think she’d notice. But she did. And she laughs, the minx.
"

Oh, the minx.

Source

Geek Out



Here's the bootleg trailer for the J.J. Abrams version of Star Trek that's running before select showings of Quantum of Solace. Looks pretty decent, lucky for Abrams. If he were to mess it up, we all know that a fool and his head are soon parted. Or so goes the old Klingon proverb.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Guilty Pleasures: 25 Movies Part II


The Next Episode, 500 Years later. Apparently, I'm more of a slacker than i knew.

11. Teknolust- Cyberpunk and Tilda Swinton in 4 roles (as scientist Rosetta Stone, and as her 3 cyborg creations). Of course i couldn't look away. Even though it was ridiculous and a fairly unsatisfying film. But, Tilda Swinton! And weird business! And clone-y robot-y seduction!



12. Funny Girl - Oy, speaking of guilt. I blame my mother for indoctrinating me into my strange love for this Streisand-vehicle. It's insanely long and becomes slower and more depressing after the first 30 minutes...and yet i'm pretty sure i've seen it at least 5 times. It's a trick, i swear. Every time i think the ending isn't as awful as it is, and i'm wrong. There is no happy ending. This isn't one of those happy-go-lucky musicals. But it does have "Don't rain on my Parade"...and so does my ipod. In fact, i can start singing "I'm the Greatest Star" for your RIGHT NOW. Alright, my street cred just went completely down the shitter...but it's a classic.
Here's a great scene with heavy emphasis on the 'bridge tipper'



13. Underworld - Vampires vs. werewolves. A whole lot of leather (also a bunch of PVC). More Matrix-esque effects than should be allowed. I hate the sequel, for the record, but this first one was fabulous.

14. Music & Lyrics - An 80's nostalgia rom com with nothing particularly special about it except for Hugh Grant does a lot of singing and dancing (of surprisingly authentic sounding pop songs). That's all it takes, ladies and gentlemen. That's all it takes. See below.



15. Labyrinth - At first, i wasn't going to consider this a "guilty" pleasure. But then i kind of revisited and thought "wow, yeah, i guess a lot of people might disagree with that...". So here it is. Lord how i love this. Insanely cheesy dialogue, muppets, Bowie, Escher sets, more Bowie, Jennifer Connelly's eyebrows, unnecessary crotch shots of Bowie's area. What's with those pants, man? Or are they leggings? Goblin King, Goblin King, TAKE ME! Please?

Old News: Britney, Bitch...



It seems like my limited use of this blog has mostly consisted of me throwing guilty pleasure type things all over the interweb. Here comes another confession: for all my years despising Britney Spears, i really dig about 70% of her Blackout album. It figures, right? When she's in the gutter and her voice is completely done over by machines and overproduction, that's when i decide she might be worth my time. I didn't want to. Oh, how i resisted. But to no avail. Seriously. You listen to "Break the Ice", "Ooh Ooh Baby", and "Toy Soldier" and tell me that they're not catchy (at the least).

That said, i find my schadenfreude subsiding and am partially rather happy (much to my chagrin) that the cheetoh trash icon is at least back on her feet enough to pull off the dance moves in the "Womanizer" video. Good for you, Britney Spears. Good for you.

And yes, I will definitely be investigating her new album, Circus, upon its release later this year. It will undoubtedly be worth the 5 minutes it takes to preview things on iTunes. (Or, if you're sneaky like that...do a google search and find the leaked album right now) I embrace you, teen pop. A few years too late, but i embrace you.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Things I Hate: The VW Routan Commercials


Fuck you, German Engineering. Who can I thank for the mind boggling idiocy of the VW Routan Commercials? Seriously, is there an ad office i can send a mail bomb to? Because, these Brooke Shields commercials are driving me up the wall. Don't have a baby for German Engineering. Don't kill yourself for German Engineering. Don't brush your teeth for German Engineering. Don't fast for German Engineering. Don't buy a guinea pig for German Engineering. Don't prostitute yourself for German Engineering. Don't cook spaghetti for German Engineering. Don't buy Christmas presents for German Engineering. Do you know what I will do for German Engineering? Send Jedi's to the home of Brooke Shields. They can use their mind tricks to stop her from doing these commercials, and then convince her to stay out of the public eye. Forever. Shit that was pathetic. I blame German Engineering.

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