Tuesday, June 30, 2009
Friday, June 26, 2009
Anyway, the critics seem to share my thoughts. A quick glance over the blurbs on Rotten Tomatoes is good for a few "I-told-you-so" grins. However, none more so than the scathing, angry review of the world's foremost critic: Roger Ebert. I may have mentioned this before, but i dig Ebert. He's a guy who knows a great movie when he sees one, but also has the guts to tell you when a fluff piece is worth watching. He'll fawn over Moon, but note the merits of 17 Again as well. So, when he hates a movie this big, the review is always worth reading.
That said, check out Ebert's opener, and from there, i recommend you direct yourself to the full review:
""Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen" is a horrible experience of unbearable length, briefly punctuated by three or four amusing moments. One of these involves a dog-like robot humping the leg of the heroine. Such are the meager joys. If you want to save yourself the ticket price, go into the kitchen, cue up a male choir singing the music of hell, and get a kid to start banging pots and pans together. Then close your eyes and use your imagination." [Read on...]
Thursday, June 25, 2009
The New York Times is reporting that impromptu vigils have broken out already, "from Portland, Ore., where fans organized a one-gloved bike ride (“glittery costumes strongly encouraged”) to Hong Kong, where fans gathered with candles and sang his songs in unison." [source]. Jackson is survived by three mysterious children, a legacy, and intense speculation as to his personal affairs. We're just hearing the beginning of it, folks.
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
Variety is reporting the decision springs from a desire to "allow Academy voters to recognize and include some of the fantastic movies that often show up in the other Oscar categories but have been squeezed out of the race for the top prize", a noble cause, but in the words of Sister Aloysius, I have doubts.
I'm the first one to complain about the Academy's near-constant recognition of films that register as the acceptable norm. They have a great track record when it comes to snubbing breakthrough films and the sorts of movies that manage to actually influence, add to, and shape cinema. That said, yes, i think opening up the Best Picture category a little bit is something that needs to be done and a move that has the potential to open up art films to a more mainstream audience. But is 10 too many? In a good year, no. In a bad year, definitely. Are we looking at a change in the actual judging process of the Academy, or just another way to boost ratings?
Monday, June 22, 2009
It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. We had an endless supply of girl groups and boy bands, and most of them were torturous. In fact, let's say 97% of them were dreadful. In this age, the age in which i spent hours cooking up ways to avoid junior high school lunch periods, everybody wore matching outfits, the songs were infectious, and everything aimed at preteens was laced thoroughly with sexual innuendo.
Not a lot has changed. Except for maybe the groups and the matching outfits. It's all solo careers these days. Yet, B*Witched, i think, couldn't make it onto the airwaves in 2009. The Irish girl group's songs were pure sugary sweet drivel. Their most famous song stateside sounded like the theme to a Bratz home video. Their cover art was dire. I mean, just look at it...
Beautiful, right? Remedial Photoshop on a Looney Tunes backdrop with some imported WordArt. Dazzling. A festival of visual complexity that speaks directly to the value and staying power of their music.
If i sound bitter, it's because i sort of kind of am. See, I listened to their single "C'est La Vie" every day circa 1998. Multiple times a day. Not because i wanted to. Because my younger sibling and my deranged neighbors were bubble gum pop junkies who had no homework and an abundance of time to scurry about the basement and put the song on repeat. And again. And again. And lets start the disc from track one. Oh my god. Track one is a fucking pop jig. Let's watch my head explode. I know all the words to this song. I know that at the beginning one of those chicks says "Some people say i look like me dad". I don't know what that has to do with any of the other lyrics other than the chorus. But then again, none of it really ties together in a profound way. There's a boy, in a tree, lonely and playing with his toy and the girls and the huffing and puffing and blowing away. Dirty. And yet totally innocent to anyone who's mind isn't a veritable grease trap. You're with me on this, right? Dirty.
But, Jon and Kate Gosselin admirers, take the advice of B*Witched. The pair has officially announced their separation. Don't worry, though, the TV cameras won't stop rolling, they'll just do what they basically have already been doing: filming their individual time with the children separately. C'est la fraking vie.
Cold Souls is a metaphysical comedy in which Paul Giamatti plays a version of himself. Bizarro Giamatti has his soul removed and put in storage, only to have it disappear. Obviously, what ensues can only be described as extreme soul searching. The film, which made its debut at this year's Sundance, is slated for an August release.
What did i tell you? Beautiful. If it looks that good on screen, i'll probably fall in love with this movie. As for the noteworthy names, promotional images of Johnny Depp as the Mad Hatter, Helena Bonham Carter as the head collecting Red Queen, and Anne Hathaway as the White Queen have also been released and are looking like a sure fire way to get the kiddies crying in the theater. I'm hoping that the color saturation with these has been amped up for the photos, and will be a little duller in the film itself...it's a little too technicolor clown for my tastes.
As for the other characters Alan Rickman is lending vocal talents to the Caterpillar, Frost/Nixon's Michael Sheen is the White Rabbit, Stephen Fry is the Cheshire Cat, Christopher Lee the Jabberwock, and perennially deranged Crispin Glover will be the Knave of Hearts.
Friday, June 19, 2009
I've already written enough to clearly be sort of obsessed with Lars Von Trier's yet-to-be-released meltdown on film Antichrist. What with all the mixed buzz that surrounded its Cannes premiere and the talks of genital mutilation and all sorts of extreme cinema horrifying business, the more i hear the more i know i must see this film.
But now new news has surfaced, which i find even more puzzling and odd than previous snippets. Antichrist is being developed as a videogame titled Eden, which seems both totally unnecessary and sort of possibly awesome. /Film reports that the game is being produced by Morten Iverson, the dude responsible for the Hitman series. Iverson has big plans for Eden. the game "will be a first-person thriller/adventure game that invites players to confront their fears....the experience will be “strong and very personal,” “controversial” and that it “…must be your own personal hell - a bit like a nightmare version of ‘Myst’" [Source]. To make things even crazier, the game will apparently download and incorporate bizarre news stories from the real world.
Sounds bad ass, until you remember that this is a movie its stars claim is sort of pornographic. I hear it has male & female genital mutilation, dead babies, masturbation out in the woods, and deep, deep psychological pain. Then i start to worry.
Also, Morten Iverson...i'm pretty sure Myst already was sort of a nightmare. A very. quiet. nightmare. All that empty space. All those clanging mysterious noises. If something had jumped out at me during that game, i probably would have gone into cardiac arrest. So sure about this.
Thursday, June 18, 2009
Word on the streets is that Bristol Palin's baby daddy Levi Johnston is currently attempting to stretch his 15-minutes into a career as supertool and the Official Shame of Alaska. That's right, Levi's trying to go Hollywood.
But wait, that's not all. Levi's got it all figured out, right? According to msnbc.com, Johnston has found a manager in a man named Tank Jones who not only is actually named Tank, but also happens to be an Anchorage based private investigator/press rep. Private friggin' investigator! Don't worry though, Tank totally knows his stuff. Not only has Tank been accompanying young high school dropout Levi on his adventures to the Tyra Banks show around Los Angeles, he's also been offering up valuable advice on image. In what are undoubtedly a few of the greatest news story sentences i've seen in awhile, the People article reads as follows:
"Jones, an Anchorage private investigator and press rep, is counseling his oft-rumpled young charge to think about a more glamorous look and has urged him to assume a playful new identity — a.k.a "Ricky Hollywood" — when it comes to style and attitude. "We came up with an alter ego," explains Jones. "As in, 'Ricky Hollywood would iron his shirt.' "
Ricky Hollywood. Ricky Hollywood would iron his shirt. I bet he would. I bet he would. And then maybe after that he would quit gallivanting around southern California with a name that's only really going to get him porn gigs and remember he does in fact have a child. I get that you want to "support your son financially", Levi, but frankly, I don't think Tank has the chops. You could get someone to ghostwrite a tell-all while playing Madden back home in Wasilla.
If you were wondering what sort of work Ricky Hollywood is searching for, he'll take it all. Acting. Modeling. Reality shows. Tank says they've got offers on the table but i suspect he may have seen Muppets Take Manhattan and is organizing a whisper campaign while waiting for the studios to phone in. Hey Tank & Ricky, i've got an idea! He could film some guest spots for some sex education courses! That could be valuable! Or, if you can get Bristol in on it i hear MTV has that show 16 and Pregnant....
Drooling. Writhing. Psychotropics. A bunch of otherwise nicely groomed creatures losing their minds and hissing at one another. Yeah, i think i went to that party in college.
The game, due out in October, features over 100 songs and can function in DJ versus mode, DJ vs. guitar, and also, apparently, supports a microphone. As a self-proclaimed Rock Band/Guitar Hero/Singstar junkie...these features speak volumes to me and makes me want to try it out like whoa, even if i still can't quite figure out how to translate what's going on onscreen to the physical controller.
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
No, i didn't run out of songs that i'd like to discuss, i just sort of let this feature fall by the wayside in favor of less time consuming impersonal posts. Needless to say, we're back, and to announce our presence, we send in Ini Kamoze's 1994 dancehall track "Here Comes the Hotstepper". When i hear this song i think only of checking out the soundtrack to Robert Altman's fashion satire Ready to Wear (Prêt-à-Porter) from the library. The video only reinforces these associations, as i was just a little pre-teen and can't recall ever hearing it in any other context despite the fact it was a #1 hit in the US.
When i was young i had this thing with soundtracks. I checked them out obsessively at the local library and didn't care whether the movies they originated from were any good or not. Soundtracks make excellent gateway drugs. Through them i facilitated my own musical education, with every disc featuring upwards of 15 different artists, i would grow attached to one song and seek out full albums. I dug Moloko because "Fun for Me" was on Batman & Robin and "Indigo" was on Mystery Men. I directed myself to Bronski Beat because Jimmy Somerville had some high pitched vocal tracks on the score to Orlando. And the Trainspotting albums? Don't even get me started. Most of those artists still rank amongst my favorites. All that said, Ini Kamoze's "Here Comes the Hotstepper" was not, is not, a favorite by any means. I didn't go searching for his full album, and i sorta kinda hated the jangly 90's-ness of the song. I'm pretty sure that Kamoze is no 'lyrical gangster'...
But i can't escape the song. It always comes back. Always. With its catchy na na na's and easy nonsense rhythm all i have to do is see the words Prêt-à-Porter in any sort of context and there it is....Ini Kamoze, in my head, telling me he's the hotstepper with the refrain asking me to 'turn it up'. Eee gads.
Friday, June 12, 2009
Yes, it's true. i've weighed the evidence and i've decided to give her a chance. These days, it is frowned upon in hetero female circles to approve of the pin-up actress. I'm sure there are some posturing puritanical ladies out there who would be quick to label me a traitor to my sex, though that would be absurd indeed. Ok, i'm going a little over the top, but not far. In conversation i have heard Fox referred to and criticized in many ways, all negative, for her appearance and wardrobe choices. Megan Fox is "skanky", a "bitch", and universally resented because of the hypnotic power she seems to hold over the average male.
I will own up to finding her on screen presence obnoxious initially, yes (though not nearly as painfully annoying as her Transformers co-star Shia LaBeouf (who i think should here-on be referred to as the Feminine Beef en Francais)), but will admit that for all practical purposes she does indeed look the part of vacuous hyper-sexualized celebrity bimbo, it's true.
We know a million Maxim cover girls who are her spitting image, and a fair amount of "actresses" and "performers" who have devoted their time to the cultivation of bad behavior. But where the other ladies back up a wild image with rehab and real-life indulgence, Fox is "wild" for a different reason: she has an opinion, and speaks her fucking mind seemingly without caring how she's perceived. As Maggie Bullock wrote in Elle, her mouth is "a nuclear reactor". Unlike her peers, who pose as delicate dolls, Fox has made a point of emphasising (in interviews) her bawdy, masculine traits. What's more, a fair amount of what she says actually sounds sort of, well, not entirely inaccurate.
Don't misread me. I'm not saying Megan Fox is some sort of faultless post-feminist exemplar. Nor am i inferring that the ways in which she manipulates her wiles are noteworthy. She stands amongst those who are in control of their objectification instead of the victims of it. What i am saying is that the clubbed-thumbed actress deserves more respect than anyone has, of yet, been willing to give her. She is not a corporate clone. At 23, she runs no risk of being lumped in with the rest of Young Hollywood. She is not baby Jolie, though the similarities are nothing if not obvious.
"Fox adores superhero and fantasy films. “If I get stuck doing comic-book films for the rest of my life, I’ll be really happy,” she says. “I love those types of movies. And I don’t mind being sexy—if it’s a character with a backstory and an arc and something progresses.” But of course, comic-book movies aren’t known for complex character development, and when I ask Fox if she has more of a character in Transformers 2, which is now filming in L.A., she answers by stating the obvious: “Transformers 2 is directed by Michael Bay.”
Did they at least figure out a way to make the robots seem more human this time?
“You weren’t concerned about them making the humans seem more human?” " [Source]
Touche. No inane conversation about her craft. No nonsense about how much she relates to her character. Straight to the point. She made an action movie. What else do you want? Screenwriter Diablo Cody calls Fox a "badass", Jennifer's Body director Jason Reitman was amazed at how funny she was, co-star Amanda Seyfried stands in awe as Megan Fox says and does the things she wishes she could. All stand convinced that Fox is a loner in the Hollywood pack. While her image is that of a wild child, Fox isn't a party girl. She's not a tabloid regular falling drunk and exposing herself while entering a limo mid morning on a Wednesday. Elle claims she's more likely to be downing cheese biscuits at a Red Lobster than to be seen anywhere near LiLo or any associate of Paris Hilton. She's not a thinking man's crumpet, playing intellectual with Natalie Portman or ScarJo. And her sexed up image? Well, she just got out of a 5 year monogamous relationship with Brian Austin Green. Again, as printed in Elle,
"I talk openly about sex. I have a sense of humor about it, and I make crude jokes that people aren't used to young starlets making," she says. "But I don't like the perception of being promiscuous, because that's a totally different thing."
Megan Fox, it would seem, is "wild" because she has the personality of a teenage boy. She talks a mean game, spits out curses, is honest when she shouldn't be, makes bold sexual boasts, and drools over Batman comics. While i obviously don't know her, the sense that i get is that the cultivation of her physical image comes from that sort of outlook. She's very pretty. She knows it. She flaunts it the way a teenage boy would if given the opportunity. She's like a Freaky Friday version of Jonah Hill. In interviews, i can relate to her and believe her far more than i ever find myself buying into a textual dalliance with someone like, say, robotic Vanessa Hudgens or oblivious B. Spears.
You know that girl in high school who you hated without reason simply because the boy you have a crush on can't help but stare at her as she passed? The one who was threatening because relating to and hanging out with boys was easy for her? That's Megan Fox. High school is over. I'm through hating. I respect Megan Fox. Hopefully, she won't make me regret it.
Tuesday, June 9, 2009
Annnnnndddd roughly one year after it made its way onto every college kid's iPod and into every reasonably hip store's muzak mix, MGMT releases a music video for their standout track "Kids". With Cronenbergian monstrosities, blood smeared zombie beasts, an almost unrecognizable Joanna Newsom, a psychedelic cartoon, and a child who will most certainly fall victim to night terrors in the near future...it's a safe bet that between the mushrooms and acid they've been eating, time has folded in upon itself and the band thinks they just dropped their album yesterday. Alas, while not necessarily timely, it's worth a look. The end, i find, is better than the beginning.
Does the animated imagery remind anyone else of their childhood pencil collection?
Brilliant. But what i really want to know is where did they get so many pairs of those pants?
Thanks for the tip, Erin.
Entertainment Weekly is reporting that six years after its untimely demise, Comedy Central has ordered 26 new episodes of Matt Groening and David X. Cohen's Futurama. The next season of adventures is slated to begin in 2010.
And there was much rejoicing...
One: No, I didn't make this image. That's the real logo for Hookers for Jesus, a group that sounds like a joke but which is in reality only a joke to hell-bound folks like yours truly, and also a ministry founded on the fairly reasonable Christian belief that everyone should be accepted regardless of past indiscretions, and that the sex trade is bad bad bad.
Two: Christian metal really exists too. It's not just a myth. Supposedly. The jury might still be out on that one. You know, since heavy metal is a tool of Satan and stuff, and he's a tricky bastard. He might be disguising his evil ways underneath banner of "christian rock" (oxymoron. for many reasons. like, Jesus is supposed to be their rock, so, what sort of rock is...oh never mind).
Three: Just as in the secular world, Christian sex industry workers still hook up with Christian rock stars as word on the streets is that former Vegas call girl and HfJ founder Annie Lobert got hitched to 80's faith based guitarist for Stryper (who?) Oz Fox this past weekend in Sin City.
....rrriiiiiggghhhhttt. Good for them.
Friday, June 5, 2009
Indeed, it seems police revealed this morning that Carradine's death may have been a slip up during auto-erotic asphyxiation as the rope formerly revealed as being tied around his neck was also attached to his genitals. Lt. Gen Worapong Chewprecha claims the actor was naked and that it is as yet unclear whether the death was caused by heart failure or suffocation.
Yikes. The cost of kink. Something tells me the Five Point Palm Exploding Heart Technique would have been the more graceful way to go. What a shame...
Wednesday, June 3, 2009
Joe Jonas of the Jonas Brothers dances to Beyonce's "Single Ladies". Why is this happening? I'm going to guess this is one of those things that was a better as an idea than in execution, or would be way more hilarious if you actually were hanging out with the guy and there when it happened....because i don't understand. Also, i find it really irritating. Also, a little pathetic. Also, if he's going to commit to heels, couldn't he do a leotard instead of a unitard? I mean, seriously. If you're going to do it, try and do it all the way. Like Timberlake on SNL. Take notes.