Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Seen & Heard: Björk + Gondry

Director Michel Gondry and Icelandic songstress Björk have united once again and launched themselves on up to the moon in the music video for the singer's new song "Crystalline."  Stop motion and flashing lights, what could go wrong?  While it's no "Bachelorette" or "Army of Me,"  there's no denying that these two put together a more interesting video on a bad day than 97% of what's featured on MTV's average early morning video blocks.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Review: Captain America: The First Avenger

While I generally don’t open up the reviews until long after the fact, I do, like many others, make a habit of checking out the cumulative grades of newly released movies on Rotten Tomatoes. Most of the time I only cite the scores as a means of convincing other people to join me on my movie watching quests, but this week I suffered a weird case of geek rage. I have absolutely no idea why it is that the mediocre Levi’s ad Thor and the passably entertaining but oft silly X-Men: First Class have both topped Captain America in terms of critical consensus. Seriously. What are you people drinking?

finish this review @

Saturday, July 23, 2011

RIP: Amy Winehouse (Breaking)

Though this news is still breaking and details have yet to surface, it appears that troubled singer Amy Winehouse was found dead today in her London home at age 27.  The cause has not been reported, but Winehouse's problems with drugs and alcohol have been tabloid fodder since 2006, when her album Back to Black skyrocketed up the charts.   In 2008, her mother Janis was quoted as saying:

"I've known for a long time that my daughter has problems. But seeing it on screen rammed it home. I realise my daughter could be dead within the year. We're watching her kill herself, slowly.

'I've already come to terms with her dead. I've steeled myself to ask her what ground she wants to be buried in, which cemetery. Because the drugs will get her if she stays on this road.
'I look at Heath Ledger and Britney. She's on their path. It's like watching a car crash - this person throwing all these gifts away." [source: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-2018020/Amy-Winehouse-dead--Found-dead-London-flat.html]

More to come.  Winehouse was a great talent.  It's a real shame it got to this point.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

RIP: Lucian Freud

Celebrated British artist Lucian Freud passed away Wednesday at his home in London.  He was 88 years old.  Freud, grandson of psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud, was known as a painter of the human figure.  His work with form was thick and heavy, using layer upon layer of paint to assist in the development of the gravity of his subjects.  Freud's art was daring, grotesque, and exposed, tallow shaded and jaundiced.  All of that is a compliment, for  until last night he was easily ranked among the greatest figurative artists.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Review: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part II

Muggles, mudbloods, and wizards-full, the end has arrived, and while I had waited to see this final battle for what must literally be a full decade, right now I would rather live in denial.  Truthfully, I would rather not write this, for it's tainted by some bittersweet note.  Those chapters upon chapters of Harry Potter's saga have ended.  We have reached the final word, the final scene, the close of his tale.  We do not want to see it reopened, though we have grown up, in a way, with Harry, Hermione, and Ron.  Now we must part ways.  It is difficult, but we have always known this day would come...

finish this review at

Thursday, July 14, 2011

2011 Emmy Nominations Announced, I Struggle to Care

The Emmy Nominations were announced early this morning by hosts Melissa McCarthy and Joshua Jackson.  They're mostly a big fat list of repeats with a few surprises that, well, were a mixed bag.   More Mad Men, 30 Rock, and Dexter.  No Community, Shameless, Bored to Death, or the fascinating The Borgias in any of the major categories.  Parks and Recreation received the Outstanding Comedy Series nod it deserved, but failed to recognize Nick Offerman, the man behind Ron Swanson (arguably one of the best supporting characters on television right now) for his weekly scene stealing.  Louis C.K. snuck onto the acting list, as did Martha Plimpton for her role as family matriarch on the consistently charming Raising Hope, which did not receive further accoladesPeter Dinklage won a supporting actor nod for his job well done as Tyrion Lannister on HBO's spectacular Game of Thrones (a contender in the drama category).   The Emmys seem driven by habit, lately, and I find it increasingly difficult to take seriously an awards show that recognizes the superficial merits of Glee as an "outstanding comedy" over the complexities of a show like The Big C or Shameless.  Jim Parsons may be the actor that makes The Big Bang Theory worth watching, but Johnny Galecki over William H. Macy?  Chris Colfer again instead of any of the hard working folks on the NBC Thursday night lineup?  Did we really have to nominate every single person working on the lukewarm Modern Family?  Um....

Hit the jump to review the nominees.

Novelty Treats: Harry Potter and the Fake Criterion Covers

I geek out for the Criterion Collection (the 50% off sale is currently in session at Barnes & Noble, btw) and have been known to occasionally browse the galleries of fake covers people have designed for your internet consumption.  Generally I don't bother posting about these pieces of fan art, but in keeping with the week's festivities I thought I'd point you in the direction of a particularly lovely set of Harry Potter Criterion covers made by Patrick Sullivan.  Oh how I wish these were real.  You may begin lamenting the fact that this will likely never happen now, and check out the full set here 

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Review: Horrible Bosses

I'm not quite sure when it happened, but it did.  At some point over the last couple years I managed to reach a point at which I learned to truly appreciate a crude comedy like some sort of idiot connoisseur.  I've become that person who suddenly believes, like a 14-year old boy, that certain films must be branded with an 'R' by the MPAA to be any good at all.  This may sound juvenile, and yes, I'm well aware that comedy can be derived from any number of sources more innocuous than gratuitous sexual content, explicit language, drug use, and violence, but certain comedies don't feel genuine without the risk factor.  Crude comedies and black comedies, the kinds that pull their subjects from the dark pits of human suffering and certain deadly sins, should push at their confines without worrying about catering to someone's definition of what's appropriate.  Sometimes this may lead to failure (I'm looking at you, Hangover II), but when 'going there' pays off, it pays off big...

finish this review @

Novelty Treats: Broship of the Rings

Artist Noelle Stevenson has been reimagining the members of the Fellowship as a diverse wandering band of modern day bros in the endlessly charming "Broship of the Rings" series on her Tumblr.  I never knew I wanted to see hipster hobbits, prepster elves or a truck driver dwarf, but I've obviously learned something new today.  Fabulous. Stevenson has all kinds of comic strip fun on her pages, and I would definitely recommend giving her a closer look.  [via /film]

Graduation Parties

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows pt. 2 had its London premiere a couple days back, and while I rarely post on gala openings, this one just feels like watching one big mortar board-less graduation.  There were speeches, there were tears, and now half the British acting world needs to go out into the world and start finding other gigs.  Perhaps it was more of a funeral.  Either way...sniffle?  We kinda grew up with those kids, and now it's all over.  I have this growing sense that I may wind up suppressing tears at the end of the movie next week.  Oh, shut up... 


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