Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Dogs and Cats, Living Together, Mass Hysteria

Ebert, harbinger of shiny, positive, bright and limitless future. If you're a cockroach, that is.

Yes, Ebesy, things aren't lookin' too good. It may be a small consolation that the forces of smartness won this time around. Maybe not. How many times in history have we been confronted with what seemed like apocalyptic threats? Is it because you're much older than me that you see things through a "humanity may not be worth saving" lens?

Look, I walked to the kitchen one day and heard, on Fox News, something about how Christmas was under siege and the Easter Bunny was being barred from public events. Is this what adults concern themselves with? Really? The same week Dick Cheney confesses to authorizing torture techniques, this is what grown-ups are worried about? Yesterday, I hear that "if George W. Bush went on vacation in Hawaii, he'd be vilified by the liberal media. When Obama does it, they want to write poems for him." Really? Grownups? I wonder if that has anything remotely to do with the direct correlation of body count to figure in question.

The adults are in charge, and the rest are seated at the kids' table, singing "Barack the Magic Negro". That's a positive enough start for me.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Frank Miller Got To Make a Movie...

...All by hisself. And when Frank Miller dicks around, you're certain a cult classic. With the right audience, The Spirit is, though sometimes draggy, quite funny. It's inscrutable in a way that actually manages to keep asses planted in chairs. Nobody in the theater left. How could we? There...there are moments that will interest you.

Is it good? It's better than Miller's (scripted) Robocop 2. Does it have interstitial dinosaur puppets? Whoops! Spoiler.

I don't know what I'd do if I had to give it a star rating. Can I just give it three question marks and a voltage sign?

Warning: Do not attempt to interpret The Spirit

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Of '08

Yesterday, my Mac crashed and burned. Hard Drive dead. I'm taking it to the Genius Bar today in hopes that something can be done. I don't have the money yet to start making monthly payments on a new one, but come hell or highwater I'll have things back to normal. So, posting on a Dell Laptop that hangs around the house from my mom's school makes me madder than a posse of neglected lady lemurs.

No, No I don't want to go up. I want you to stay here, on this part of the page. Yes, Yes I unplugged my external drive, and I'm glad we both shared that moment, computer.

Anyway, here's my top ten:

10. Rachel Getting Married

09. Standard Operating Procedure

08. 4 Months, 3 Weeks, and 2 Days

07. Happy-Go-Lucky

06. Iron Man

05. In Bruges

04. Milk

03. Wall-E

02. Synecdoche, NY

01. The Dark Knight

Yeah. The Dark Knight. Sometimes popular means better or maybe even the best. It's been a good year for that. All I know is, Movie danced in my brain. Occupied an unusual, cosmic place in me. Permeated my brain to the point that I almost unknowingly engaged in 'joker-voiced' pillowtalk.

Everyone unfairly compares this year with the last. Last year was a year for despair and decline. Moral cloudiness and the absurdity of making moral choices dominated last year in a dark and moody palate. We dug the hell out of it, all of it, all the blood, all the nihilism. Look what won best picture. Great films, many of them.

This year is the year of a flickering conscience. All of these films are about choices. Moral choices are possible, however damned hard the world makes them for us. A year for hope indeed.

Acceptance (#10) Hope (#4) Aging Gracefully (#2) Love Love Love (#3) I can fly (#6) Be excellent to each other (#7) challenge of transmutable facts (#9) Stick to your guns (#5) You may be on your own (#8)your code may or may not save you (#1) But the world can change for the better (All of the above)

2007 Outliers: Every year there are films I can't see before the new year, and, most certainly, last year a few of them could've made the list. I would've knocked off something for There Will Be Blood, and made some mention of Zodiac and Gone Baby Gone. As it stands, there are a few things I haven't seen, but will evangelize, meh, or deflate by Oscar time. I'm looking forward to Che, and will be entertained no doubt by Doubt, Frost/Nixon, The Reader, Revolutionary Road, etc. But look back at my top ten. Were they designed to win awards? Were they designed to make us better people? No. They're all living organisms that have bigger things on their minds.

With all its narcissism, Synecdoche, NY doesn't 'say' an honest, open, or humanitarian statement. Instead, it makes big, mighty, fearless gestures of the kind, gets inside your body and your soul, and penetrates to the edge of more truths than ten Don Cheadles could amidst any refashioned ravaged cities as a backdrop. For that, Kaufman deserves an Oscar, if only so it's seen. You, whoever you are, if you read this, you have an interest in film, and you are hereby behooved to see the American 8 1/2, end of story, I don't care if you loathe it.

Sean Penn, for his selfless and magical work, merciless Oscar coveter though he is, deserves one too.

I could write a lot about the whole list. Almost all of them were predominantly hopeful, not obsessed with moral decline and untenable quandary, as per last year. This is an observation of difference, not quality.

Bafflement: Appaloosa is a film that gets special recognition for being off its rocker and apparently proud of that fact. I've spoken to no one who's gotten it (fewer even still who have actually seen it), no one who really loves it, and yet, something has happened here, and I daresay we will all remember it. It's got moments of incredible interest. Beyond that, I'm still stammering through it in my head. I suppose that might indicate that its characters influenced me to behave as they generally did onscreen.

Abortion of the year: No, not The Happening, it's something much, much worse, for not being for one second remotely funny. Zack and Miri Make a Porno is the worst film of 2008, and perhaps deserves that distinction because it was made by someone who should be doing much better work than this. Kevin Smith at least made Clerks 2 funny. What the goddamn hell on earth was this? I don't care about dirty words and truck nutz on an R2 Unit. I'm not offended. I'm unamused. That's the crime. I love Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back and that movie may even be dirtier than this one. So. Umm. What the fuck, Silent Bob?

Unfortunate and Continuous Downfall: M Night Shyamalan's cult in Pennsylvania is still making movies. Did you know? Go ahead, buddy. I can do this as long as you can. I don't mind. It's more fun every year. Seriously. After Avatar, make something about, I don't know, a balloon animal that fills your shoes with thumbtacks and then floats away and laughs at you while you bleed from your feet holes. To death. Tak Fujimoto gets paid whether you suck or not.

Ahem. To end on a positive note. If you've ever been in love, lost love, or found a soulmate you could never have but would sing with and to forever, if you could, then Once is for you. It was the first movie I saw this year, and perhaps the best, certainly the most beautiful. It is a reminder that we are capable of unstoppable, almost inerrant sweetness, kindness, grace, art, but most of all music that could restart your heart and make you consider where you began, and how you'll feel when the sirens call you home. Steven Spielberg was amazed by this film. No wonder. It's all there.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Shake a Spear

...and the trail of limbs was all smolder and ash when I was through sacking that little hamlet...

Delightful, master!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

The Pulitzer for Blogging Goes To

After what I've just seen, I really don't know what to say, so I'll just thank Holly for her discovery, and forgo writing redundant hagiographies about the proprietors of this site.

Come on, you're going to look at the picture below and NOT click on a site called FUCK YEAH SHARKS?

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Omar's Banjee

I'm rounding a corner. Gathering my bearings, I can't think of much to cogitate on, ergo, erratic posting, not even much to twitter. You can only call George Lucas FAT so many times before figuring something else out to pare down to (or from) 140 characters. Not that that will stop me, mind.

I'll be writing a little more about the movies, as per usual, and I'll be putting together a list after seeing as much as I possibly can before the new year. You can expect nothing less than an enthusiastic review of Milk, which I saw last night, and can wholeheartedly say is the best biopic I've seen in the past five years, not simply because I'm obviously biased.

Until then, because it's perennial:



Whole Lot More Nuns Running Around: Milk

Old School Hydrox-Steezy: Mad Decent Radio

Muthafucka: The Wire Season 2

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

It's Call in Gay Day

I don't have a job to call into, not yet, in spite of interviews and applications. Nothin'. And I keep hearing I'm supposed to congratulate our President for his AIDS work.

What's fair is fair, he's done more than any President in history regarding AIDS funding for Africa.

That's great. It's great that some Christians I run into don't give a flip about the state of our country now, could care less if it became one giant sinkhole and we all died instantaneously, so long as we've done a good deed for the afterlife.

Meanwhile, being HIV+ in this country has become manageable, depending on your UpperIncome+ status or lack thereof.

I think we should all recognize the effort made by President Bush to help Africa with its AIDS epidemic. Maybe he and Matt Damon can start a charitable foundation together on January 21st.

Until then, I'm not spending too much time congratulating the political party that first labeled AIDS as Gay Related Immune Deficiency.

*Kauf*

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Big Audience for Disgusting

The glass-crushing machine caught my eye. Billy (Dominic West) is socked into it by the Punisher (Ray Stevenson) and revolves up to his neck in cutting edges while screaming many, many four-letter words, which, under the circumstances, are appropriate.

- Ebes, reviewing Punisher: War Zone

Wonderful actors from two great HBO series shouldn't have to slum here. I hope they had fun.

Also, not for nothin', but Ebert just won something better than Ben Stein's money, right here.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Girl Talk Tour Video 10-15-08



No, I don't know why the music is so sad there, so here's this:



I'm somewhere to the right of whomever is shooting this one, and god that part was awesome.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Huh?

Everywhere I look I keep reading that it's a bad year for movies. My response, as many of these I've listed before:

The Dark Knight
Wall-E
Rachel Getting Married
Tropic Thunder
In Bruges
Hamlet 2
Hellboy 2
Pineapple Express
Synecdoche, NY
Iron Man
Standard Operating Procedure
Forgetting Sarah Marshall


Released this year, belatedly in America:
Tarsem's The Fall
4 Months, 3 Weeks, and 2 Days



I still haven't seen:

Happy Go Lucky
Frost/Nixon
Encounters at the End of the World
Man on Wire
My Winnipeg
Milk
Slumdog Millionaire
Australia
(not everybody's panning it)

This is a bad year? Because it wasn't an unexpected cattle-gun shot of frame-advancements in art-houses like last year?

The above aren't all great movies, but a few of them are, and they're all worth your nickel. If 90% of everything is usually crap, it's been a good year.

The year American Beauty won Best Picture was the same year that Battlefield Earth, Highlander: Endgame, and Dungeons and Dragons all came to theaters.

I think we'll survive the chihuahuas.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

T'anksgivin'

I'm 26, unemployed, have had the worst year of my life, and am thankful anyway. I've seen people I love moving forward while my life has perilously stalled, and I'm thankful to be a part of their lives, as thankful when I'm on the right track as when I'm on the wrong.

Also, for this bad year. I'll emerge from it.

We're not alone, not a single one of us, which on a day like today brings a mixture of heartrbreak and gratitude, heartbreak for the horrors across the Atlantic and for the troubles at home, but gratitude also that we get to be here for a little while, and we have so much to inspire us on a daily basis, where we're inclined to look, and frankly, where we're not.

I'm thankful for January 20th. I'm thankful that we're safe from the nuclear codes again. I'm thankful that we've elected a President who possibly knows that whatever side of this war you're on, violence is the very last resort. Or we are all savages.

We'll all of us emerge from this bad decade, just you watch.

I'm thankful that in light of all this, I've had a family that was willing to take me in in my greatest time of need, give me time, give me food, and deal patience.

I'm lucky to have the boyfriend that I have, a ghosthunter, fully aware he's trying to find a me that escaped my body a year ago when I couldn't get what I needed to have.

Finally, I'm thankful this came out when I was a kid:



Transition: Golden Age - TV on the Radio

Inevitable: The Shield - Family Meeting

8 1/2 Floor: Synecdoche, NY

Shimmer of Aurora Borealis: The Yiddish Policemen's Union

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

I've Done Worse

From the comment thread for the AV Club's interview with Walton Goggins:

RE: NO, YOU DICK

by ZODIAC MOTHERFUCKER

BUNCH OF HATING FUCKING BITCHES HOLY FUCKING SHIT THIS PLACE INTERVIEWS SOMEONE AWESOME FOR A CHANGE AND YOU FUCKS FAIL TO FUCKING RECOGNIZE. THIS GUY FUCKING OWNS EVERY SINGLE ONE OF YOUR ASSES ABOUT TEN FUCKING TIMES OVER SO TALK SHIT WITH GOGGINS BALLS IN YOUR MOUTH YOU LIMP DICK NICKEL AND DIME GREASY PIZZA FINGER HAVING MOTHERFUCKERS BECAUSE WHILE YOUR JACKING OFF ONLINE AND HUFFING KEYBOARD CLEANER AND SHIT AT 4AM WITH YOUR WACK NERDY ASSES GOGGINS IS OUT FUCKING OWNING AND BEING MASTER AND RULER OF THE FUCKING WORLD

BETTER FUCKING RECOGNIZE

I didn't get hooked on The Shield until midway through the third season. I'll miss those bastards when they're gone.

West Wing: Electoral Intent

Bravo's been re-airing random episodes of The West Wing since we won, as if to say, remember when this seemed like fantasy? Believing in government? Can you feel that?

Believing in the process even a little wasn't always confined to Sorkin High-Style Wit-Whack-A-Mole.

So they showed an episode from the last season, written by Deborah Cahn, and I was set to just fall asleep to it, when, as I'd been assured would happen early on by those who'd followed it, I was kept awake by the momentum of the plot and the quality of the writing. Was it even close to Sorkin? Well, no, we might as well call Paul Haggis a 'writer', so as not to be that unfair in making comparisons.

Points of awkwardness revealed themselves in the obvious attempts by Cahn to ramp up the velocity of the dialogue in pursuit of a Sorkiny tête-à-tête. These points could've been avoided if she'd (or probably the whole writing team) accepted that Sorkin's velocity was a characteristic of Sorkin's writing, but not, at his best, the end-all be-all goal. The volume of his ideas inherently resulted in fast-paced delivery, which has played no small part in giving him a screwball comedy edge.

Still, that awkwardness isn't the fault of the post-Sorkin seasons. They had a trademark to uphold that was probably beyond anybody's reach (even post WW Sorkin's, it seems).

Season seven appears to be a stand-alone show, good enough for the devoted, especially in light of recent political events. Or maybe I just saw an uncommonly strong episode.

Monday, November 24, 2008

CHOMP



Not only will he be the first President using a laptop in the Oval Office, I'd say it's probably the one seen here. Teehee.

Rahmstein



Why isn't Andy Samberg the lead on this show? He's a national treasure.

Boom

Sunday, November 23, 2008

The Only Seat In Town

Hmm.

I have a better idea, which is they get none of my business from now on. Suits me fine, as I usually head out to Regal or Carmike theaters anyway.

Besides, the idea that Milk will be one of the most profitable films of the holiday season strikes me as more than a little naive.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Ha Ha

After Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin dismissed the value of community organizing in her acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention on Sept. 3 -- "I guess a small-town mayor is sort of like a community organizer, except that you have actual responsibilities," she said to applause -- Obama raised $10 million within 24 hours."

More people have an innate sense of injustice than we might think. Seems so.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Friends As Often As Possible

It's a great movie. It's not too early to say so about A Prairie Home Companion, because, as a coda to an inspiring career, it effortlessly incorporated into its scenes all a dedicated man had ever learned in life.

I admit something similar to what Ebert reveals in his opening paragraph, there: When I think of the diner scene at the end, with Tomlin, Keillor, Streep and Kline, I see Altman sitting next to them. I attribute their lines to him. It's how I remember the scene.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Do You Pray to Jesus with That Mouth?



This "Family Council" guy is proof that the courts are superior to the mob. This is why appointments to those courts must understand what minority rights are, and how that concept is separate from mere identity politics.

Every homosexual in America, including the moronic 27% of you that voted Republican, should be happy Barack Obama won for one simple reason: The Supreme Court.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Remember Remember the 4th of November



I wanted to be in Chicago last week, but couldn't swing it. I probably wouldn't have been in Grant Park, but hell, I still would've loved to have been in the city.

Monday, November 10, 2008

What's It To You?

I do not intend to continuously post Keith Olbermann. I know you could say he's the headliner for MSNBC's Liberal Power Hours, and that he's just a pundit like O'Reilly or Hannity. Well, I'd like to see them come close to anything resembling the kind of perspective, generosity and sincerity evinced in the clip below. If it's all for show-biz, then it's a preferable show-biz to the oblivion of mainstream television.

If he's doing it for the dollars, I say we pay him, and if he's our shouting hard-liner, we could do a lot worse.

Wonderful



I don't care if they're ever funny again.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

I Found Blingee

YAY BASTARD!


Congratz on your new job, Cuz!

Friday, November 07, 2008

Zombie Stomp

Adam Freeland's Marine Parade label has been one of the highest caliber of the past eight years. It was one of the faces of breaks without being limited to breaks, the result being that artists like ILS and Infusion could never stick around for very long. They produced great work in the early half of the decade, moved on to other labels, and through good albums and bad, found a cookie-cutter mold to stick with.

They haven't budged since. Beber disappeared, as did Apex. Forme, aka Richard File, is still doing thrilling work with UNKLE. Thoroughly excellent as Sta and Alex Metric are, they currently also work with other labels and have produced tracks that might not forever fit Freeland's ever evolving musical style, so give 'em a few years (that isn't a negative thought).

Freeland oughtta be pretty happy this year, because Evil Nine have emerged victorious. They've been with him from the beginning, from the track Special Move, to the album You Can Be Special Too, and now here with their stereo scorching They Live.

And folks, it's the best dance album in a long time. It's genre defining and genre defying. Perhaps it's the Evil Nine genre: Punk rock, nu disco, zombie-punk dancehall, and Halloween breaks. Adam Freeland will change in two or three years, and Evil Nine'll be there to complement him.

The album has the best instrumentals this year, pummeling brilliance into deceptively minimal schemes. They're anthems. Stadium sized.

El-P pumps a measured level of adrenaline into All the Cash. David autoKratz brings on the catchiest vocals of the album, unless you count the zombie in the titular track, They Live, or the uplift of Seraphim's Icicles (a track I dare you not to listen to eight times a day for the first few days). Toastie Tailor returns, and rounds out one hell of a collaboration.

I think there's crossover appeal here. They've recalled an era of music, refashioned it, brought it back from the dead, and made it sufficiently bizarre, fun, catchy, and finally lighthearted.

Rejoice. Brains.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Perestroika

Does your vote count? Yes.

Does the right leadership make a difference? Yes.

Remember who trademarked the phrase "Fair and Balanced".

Remember who benefits from voter apathy.

Remember that sometimes we're individuals, and sometimes we're needed as a unified people. It's called the social contract.

Did we attack people personally for their vote when we questioned their leaders? Maybe, but that's part of the process. Speaking truth to power is our birthright. We must grow a backbone, rattle off our thin skins, and get real.

Do we need to be civil in victory? Yes. Good people have been abused by bad leaders, but, frankly, their feelings aren't as important to me as are the victims of the past eight years of unlawful rule by thugs and theocrats.

They say a new day is dawning for the Democratic party. A new era like the one we saw begin with FDR that ended in Grant Park in 1968.

Still, if we manage to do nothing else but bring the Republican party back to its center, and move it to govern away from the kooks and the gun-nuts and the homophobes, we'll have done a great victory for consensus government in the future.

Beyond those observations, we simply don't know what's going to happen next. How utterly exciting.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

---------------------

This space can't be left blank today. I don't know what to say after this, because she said it right, and I'm only posting because I'm out of breath.

Following this election closely has focused me (in an even more persistent monomania than usual!), helped me distract myself from nagging fears and terrible heartbreak.

I'm not trying to be a downer. I'm simply addressing the fact that I wish I had been financially independent and emotionally sound enough to go help out in a place that could use help. Helping out in Ohio or Pennsylvania would've been great. I can't imagine going door to door around here. This ain't a swing-state. We're 15 points behind and voting for the 14th century, because Barack "isn't gonna share his wealth".

That's what I heard my grandmother say. I say nothing, because my family goes Republican way back, far back enough that when the Roosevelt dime was minted, my Granny's Uncle would only take two nickels, or, grocer boy, you'd damned get it.

I used to argue more loosely with Granny and Mom about these sorts of things, but not now, when I believe they've been abused by terrible leadership and a disdain for the Constitution. The stopping-distance, I think, is long enough that it might not hit them very directly in their lifetimes, so their preferred narrative of America can persist. With Rush Limbaugh for Granny and Fox News for my Mom (and Granny), it can definitely persist.

I overheard them talking about a woman at my Mom's workplace, who said that Obama's birth-certificate has been kept from the public, and I got upset. Couldn't contain myself. I thought, surely, surely, you're not buying into that hate-speech? My Mom finished by saying that she had told the lady at work that that was ridiculous, that Obama was a citizen, let's not get crazy. She said this wearing a Sarah Palin button.

In that moment she showed what was obvious to me to begin with, that she has ten times more sense and compassion than the farce on her button. She said she admired Obama, believed he was a very bright man, but disagreed with his policies, and that was it. The negative campaigning isn't working on anyone but rabid nutjobs.

It occurred to me that if McCain had picked a center-right running mate, run a campaign based on low taxes and small government, he'd be doing a lot better, and it would be perfectly honorable (though wrong and impractical in our time of debt and crisis).

In explaining her stance, my Mother showed a calm decency that, however wrongheaded politically I still think she is, gives me hope that an Obama win may be more magnanimous than we can imagine. I hope so. I'm baffled. My Mom and Granny root for their home-team, and were sad for Fulmer today. They have the same attitude towards the G.O.P. They don't like 'em to lose, but they can handle it.

Am I baffled by the Palin button? Disgusted by it, but at Palin, not my Mom. Beyond that, I'm just ready for a real President, and thankful it'll be handled with grace in this household if I get my wish. Other households in TN may not be so lucky.

Friday, October 31, 2008

On November 4th

Don't forget to go....

To your local bookstore!

The proprietor of this site invites you to experience his majesty as if it were your own (which it most surely is not -Ed.)



Triage of hookers has never been explained more lucidly - Annie Potts

I read the first chapter - George Takei

A colossus among goatfuckers - Julie Andrews

I disagree with everything Plummer says in this book, but I absolutely think all actors should read it. - Alec Baldwin

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Where Do I Start?

This piece deserves a Nobel Prize for Bullshit-Calling.

Bless the South



As a corollary to this.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Great is Great is Great

After this most luminous summer movie season, could Hollywood be blamed for pushing their big winners? The NYTimes has it here.

Before a volley of message-board lightweights and cineastes denigrate an Oscar season bound to be swept by a hit or two, I will guide my celluloid-based heart toward my end of summer endorsement for that very result.

I think The Dark Knight might be the best picture of 2008. And then I think maybe it's Wall*E.

I do not believe small film equals better film. I've seen small budget films that were far and away better than big budget contenders, and I've seen big budget contenders stamp the small-minded-ness right out of indie films. It's a merit-based game, not a budget-based game.

We had giants walking the earth last year, powered by small budgets, and we have giants walking the earth this year, fueled by lavish ones. As film lovers, we should be excited when the movies are this amazingly good. All other considerations are cant.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

For Ad #3

Your Shit, Re: Security of

I can't top this. As hard as I've tried, searches to my site are never quite so, umm, variegated. Go on now, check out Holly's recent list of search hits from a woebegone and sexually confused world.

I can still enjoy the consistency of the searches that get you all here. Be it a search for "Chateau Neuf du Pap" or "You call your music minimal", I get hits from Iran to Estonia to Wichita (Hey, Sis! Hey, Niece!).

Many of you, including a reader from the service provider for the L.A. Times, have read my little bit on Burn After Reading, by doing a search for "Security of your shit". It's the only search from which I've ever managed a number one hit on the Google.

I love it. I love that I wrote the sentence "Brad Pitt is so great". That really sums up this whole enterprise, readers.

As for the usual fishing:

This man fucked the scopes monkey and called him Brian Dennehy:

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

That's Where the Broken Glass Comes In

David Sedaris's Barack Obama endorsement.

Fervor

Fervor heard by few, barely expressed by the campaign, and undoubtedly shot unheard overmuch into the echoing stretches of the internet, but cooling my spleen all the same:

Can we put to rest this newly picayune crying of "executive experience"? At long last? A governorship does not a mind make, much less does it inherently make a leader. Nothing can adequately prepare you for the most difficult job that exists.

It calls to a select few their greatest, most unexpected powers to shoot up to the surface and make the world known of them.

This last two term yahoo of a an R.K. Maroon cartoon President didn't know shit from shinola as governor of Texas and doesn't know much more at all after eight years of sitting in a room beyond his measure.

That's why it ain't workin' on the campaign trail, you hacks.

My apologies, but sometimes the obvious has to go somewhere so I don't mow down the fishy section in Wal-Mart or something.

Why 30 Rock Is Mandatory

Monday, October 20, 2008

Oh Me Oh Oh My Oh Oh Cleveland...



I wish I could ignore how dangerous they're going to be over the next four to eight years, if Obama wins (and if he doesn't), but I can say for sure that if he does, the right wing is going to be HILARIOUS. Their true, stupid colors were on clear, bright display for the past thirty years. This will kinda be fun.

But perhaps not.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Enough Sarah Palin

This is what SNL should get back to doing, full-time:



Everything unrelated to Sarah Palin in last night's episode was the usual Meh.

Addendum: Except for Mark Wahlberg

Friday, October 17, 2008

Is It Right Where You Are?

This piece addresses the marketing concerns for Zack Snyder's Watchmen, set for release this March.

It prompted me to go to Ain't It Cool News for the first time in awhile and do a search for any updates on the status of the studio war that's underway now, and any new clips or reports on the nature of the film itself. I've read Watchmen, so I'm not concerned with plot-spoilers.

I found this breathless response to twenty-five minutes shown late last month. This is heartening news, because the material deserves great attention to detail and a propensity for balancing two very serious aspects of the story, and we may be getting that.

The visual aspect of Watchmen, with its expansive locations and intricate designs (as well as interdimensional beings!) has been a concern for anyone attempting to tell the story (other than Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons, of course). It hasn't taken off as a project until now simply because certain aspects may have been close to unfilmable. The trailer we saw before The Dark Knight put those worries to rest, assuring us that, visually, Zack Snyder is indeed the man for the job. It looks picture-perfect to what we read on the page.

We also have to contend with the more pedestrian interior scenes and self-reflective depression of many of the characters in Moore's story. That alone could be more unpalatable (if not unfilmable) to modern audiences, than anything else going on.

Having said that, the Aint It Cool report, and the trailer, have given me pause. I can't really call myself a fan of the revamped Dawn of the Dead, though I admit to having a marginal affection for 300. If Dawn of the Dead isn't entirely successful, it does have maybe the most audacious first twenty minutes of any zombie movie, and 300 was visually striking enough to indicate an incipient, boldly visual filmmaker, perhaps on the edge of a purged adolescence. To get Watchmen right is not the job of an adolescent, but Snyder has showed a very careful adherence to source material. I'm optimistic. He could be a great director.

Yessir

Done and done, Mr. Keillor.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

...


From The Onion

Play Your Part

The Girl Talk set in Knoxville last night was a repudiation of the death of club culture here in the states. Hands down (and way up). It's alive and kickin', covered in confetti, toilet paper and incandescence.

The stage presence of this long haired shirtless twenty-something leaning over a lap-top was more enlivening than some rock concerts I've seen (I'm looking at you, Deathcab For Cutie).

I lost count of the number of youngins in the place. It was a wild, celebratory show, obviously fueled by underground sales of GT's albums and frenzied word of mouth. Having said that, I circled the crowd, getting the full scope of the show and the field of sound GT was using, and I realized 1)The sound could be a lot better, except 2)there are at least 100 people on stage surrounding our DJ, and, as a result, they're muffling the sound by standing in front of the speaker stacks. Everybody's hollering and singing.

It's not just that they're singing along because they're hearing familiar pop songs, classic songs and hip hop songs, because this group is unmistakably aware, in large numbers, the order in which these songs are supposed to go, what snippets GT uses, what samples he uses as intermediaries between tracks, and what versions of mash-ups he's going to play, before he even plays 'em.

And GT mixed it up a lot last night (obviously, but it felt improvised). Word's been spread. What an experience.


(This is not the Knoxville show, but the best one I could find while scouring for a comparable example)

Grown/Up '08

I'm watching this debate and just choking on it. I'm fatigued, and I can stay angry for days at a time, lurching forth to every debate finding new variations on the theme of Evil People Failing.

To you conservatives bemoaning "redistribution of wealth": Do you have any idea the actual planet you live on? The economy we're saddled with? If the next President doesn't raise taxes, we're well and truly fucked, and all that wealth the top percentile has accrued will dry up before it has a chance to never trickle down under the purview of your regimes.

Also, taxes are not inherently more "socialist" just because they're higher rather than lower. Taxes are taxes. They're your ticket to living in this country. Deal. There are legitimate class warfare concerns to be contended with when considering raising taxes on the super-rich, but the relative "wealth" of Joe the Plumber (those millionaire plumbers!) is redistributed into spending on tanks, or programs to encourage our kids to get successfully knocked up, that is, of course, under your regimes.

Again, any political or economic policy not considered in relief against the actual circumstances is bound to fail, just as any version of spirituality that doesn't teach you to find value in people isn't really spirituality at all.

Christ, Republicans. You may be right that government should be small, that taxes should be low, and that states should have the right to their own sovereignty, mostly undeterred by the Federal Government. Certainly, I don't believe in the latter, on some very specific issues. On social issues, on science, on education, on a whole horror-house of perpetually urgent issues, you are the party of Destruction, with a very big D.

Either way, if the above enumerated values are yours, you ought to be disgusted by W. and terrified of McCain/End Times.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Because I Need to Think About Anything Else

But somehow still politics:

Oh. Yeah.

If there's an Olbermensch video of scathing accuracy out there slamming Sarah Failin's Russia-Seein' Hellbeast Bill Kristol-Fuckfest Witch Doctor candidacy, what were the odds I wouldn't post it?

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Go Green Yourself

Nader, you do not live in the real world. You're an overgrown, exceptionally bright college sophomore. Furthermore, unequivocally, you can lay a great deal of blame on yourself for the past eight years. Stay the fuck out of professional politics. You're the butt-end of liberal jokes, and you give progressives a bad name (people take Michael Moore more seriously). I've dated your kind. You're insufferable, and do not have people's best interests at heart. Sell your books and stay out of political races. Crackpot.



Addendum: Maher's still got it, though.

Friday, October 03, 2008

SUUURRRRGGGGE!!!!



Just what is the surge, and what is it a cover for? I don't feel comfortable lugging a fifty-cent word around and then not even bothering to define what it means, so it goes without saying that I'm even less comfortable with our leaders doing the same.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

A Review I Can't Refuse (To Repudiate)

Finally.

But, seriously, you should atone for this, Ebes. Come on. Three stars for Godfather 2 and three and a half for Part 3?

You include it in your great movies section because it's a cultural watershed. Yes. That's because it was a great movie to begin with, at least an equal to its great and nearly peerless original.

I've never agreed with your dismissal of its "separate" narratives. They're not separate. We see the violent, yet somehow idealistic beginnings of a crime family as it heads towards the events of the first film, even as we jump to the present and deal with that first film's consequences. To quote Pauline Kael:

The second film shows the consequences of the actions in the first; it's all one movie, in two great pieces, and it comes together in your head while you watch.

The daring of Part II is that it enlarges the scope and deepens the meaning of the first film.

I mean, you know I'm all for you, Roger, in possession of over a decade's worth of heartfelt, often tendentious loyalty, but I simply have never followed your reasoning on this one at all.

The Godfather Part II is one of the greatest films by one of the truly great American directors. If ever you had cause to retroactively update a star-rating, it is for this film, and perhaps this film only.

.

OOoooh Look at Me, Readin' the NYORKER!!

Cllassssy.

But I haven't yet found a reasoned defense of McCain's candidacy, and this article has many, many salient points.


For some who oppose him, his equanimity even under the ugliest attack seems like hauteur; for some who support him, his reluctance to counterattack in the same vein seems like self-defeating detachment. Yet it is Obama’s temperament—and not McCain’s—that seems appropriate for the office both men seek and for the volatile and dangerous era in which we live. Those who dismiss his centeredness as self-centeredness or his composure as indifference are as wrong as those who mistook Eisenhower’s stolidity for denseness or Lincoln’s humor for lack of seriousness.

God Bless You, Internets

Finally. Finally. An internet search for FUCKING THE PLUMMER (all caps present in search).

Thank you. Thank you. General Chang fucked a muskrat.



And this man shtupped animals along the entire range of the Alps.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Numberous Reasons

To Post. I've had some Margaritas with my brother, and I'm celebrating the first time I've ever posted enough to equal one post per day in a given month.

I guess all it takes is the world to go bugfuck in a variety of ways, but mostly it helps if culture wars are re-ignited, people are consistently fuckin' stupid, and movies and music get an inversely proportional ratio of better-ness to doomsday scenario tickings down.

Holly done removed her enblogged twitterfeed.

I kinda forgot mine was even there, and this dude's been a mainstay at mine and Holly's blogs for over a month now, and I'd hate to be mean, but that ain't my content. I'm gonna have to follow suit, here.

(My twitterness is here case you hankerin' to join.)

I'm not upset about the copycattery. I can handle Holly makin' the right decision first. What I'm jealous of is the video she posted. Here's *hic* that link again, go watch.


I want to post a video (gosh I lurve postin' videos!), though, so here's Fleet Foxes with their vid for White Winter Hymnal



Movie Sign: Shine a Light, Burn After Reading, The Dark Knight

Republicans are stupid now, but weren't then: The Assault on Reason- Al Gore, Lincoln - Gore Vidal

Booty Move: The Twelves, Cumbia (style of), Diplo/Santogold mixtape

Monday, September 29, 2008

Me Bratre

Music awareness this week, thanks to a visit from Brock, my older brother:

Fleet Foxes

She & Him (I finally heard 'em!)

Wilco - Kicking Television: Live in Chicago

Speaking of Wilco and Fleet Foxes, this'll get you a free download of the two bands in concert covering a classic song. In other words, Strife-Gone, apply directly to the earbuds.

Finally, from my brother, I'm unable now to ever ignore Natalie Portman's boyfriend, Devendra Banhart:



That's from the album Cripple Crow

I also want to write a bit about The Twelves, but Blah Blah Blah's got it. Get that podcast.

Your ears can thank me later.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Replace the Original in Our Papers, Pls




I don't care if I'm the last to ever find out about Garfield Minus Garfield, it's effin' brilliant.

Well

Yes. In a better world, yes. We all want Obama to serve McCain's long absent sanity to the Republican candidate in big, chunky bites.

Much as I hate it when I realize this, we ain't in Sorkinland. We're not going to win that way. Not in an America this debased and narcissistic. We're not going to win with an "elitist" strategy. We're not going to win by educating the public. It ain't gonna sway McCain voters.

I say WE keep screaming and yelling. Get it off our chests. Pound our fists. GET ANGRIER. Because we, smarty U.S. Citizens, are humble enough to admit that we don't have the chops for the Presidency, a big part of the many reasons we want to vote for a candidate who does.

In the meantime, it's frustrating to watch Obama not say the things we're thinking. After eight years that actually make me nostalgic ever so slightly for Reagan, I want Barry to throw it at 'em. I really do. Do you honestly believe all of this hasn't occurred to him, though? It has. He knows. He's making a conscious decision. It seems to be working. He looks so steadfast. He looks and (mostly) sounds Presidential. This is showbizzness, whether we like it or not. We want and need to win. He might be doing the right thing.

Either way, Thursday we get to watch the Palin/Biden square-off, truncated though it may be. And it will still be good television.

Aside from all that, just remember, Obama beat the Clintons.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Excellent Point, and Gay



Also, Bill Maher should moderate the debates.

Letterman,

of all people, outperforming every op-ed in America, and delivering it to an audience that might actually listen:



Add to that a guffawing Olbermann, and you've made my night.

Looking onward to my next post, tagged as Nature, I will do a revealing piece about the rare species Guffawing Olbermann. This graceful, hilarious creature has bright blue plumage and chirps loudly to ward off oil barons. Last depicted in the film Ferngully.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

These Women



All told, festival-wise, everyone's saying wow! and huh?!

Couldn't ask for more. Look at that cast.

As for the title, well, Gesundheit.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Well, THAT Almost Makes up for Seasons 5 Through 7, Herr Cold Open

The people who want English to be the official language of the United States are uncomfortable with their leaders being fluent in it.

Yeah. Guess who wrote this for his ex?

Still wishin' for that op-ed zingin' fetus we'll never get.

I Blog Now

Did you know? And if the AV Club is going to keep posting funny videos of cats (cats with helpful sound fx) then I'm going to copy and paste said cats. I think this has something to do with playing with a kitty named Revolver Ocelot, and then watching him chase bunnies. What I'm describing there is a cute quotient I had somehow never imagined.



Also, The Olbermann Cycle, written and directed by Keith Olbermann and starring Keith Olbermann as himself (Defender of hope and small children), Comedien Rush Limbaugh, Bill-O the Clown, and the rest of Fox Noise, coming under cover of wagon to a city near you:

Friday, September 19, 2008

Smooth, Sophisticated Alive-ness

Cigarettes. My one and only. You're gone. Sweet cylindrical ones, you're gone. It's been nine months. Now I know how pregnant smokers feel, obvs (minus birthing a bowling ball sized creature from an opening that sends pain signals to my brain). Except, after the emotional space mountain I've been on since sounding the death knell to all those future coffin nails, I'll never come near you.

There will be no substances in my body that don't do any modicum of good for my mind. I like having better circulation. I really can feel it. It's like something clicked recently, and I don't feel so detached from my body, don't yearn ceaselessly to be twenty years old again, to have all that energy, and never start down such a path of delicious self-ravaging. I still often feel like crap when I wake up in the morning, but that's also getting better.

C'est la vie. 30 is the new 20, and 50 is the new alive for another twenty years after, at least for the men in my family.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Sta Bwoy

Now it's time for that rare music update, because the French and the Canadians are better musicians than the British. Lazy British.

Anyway, shove this in your cochlea.

It's Sta, he's twelve or something, and he's the new vibe. Go figure. Subscribe to the podcast on that site, as well as the Marine Parade Podcast, won't you?

His Blah Blah Blah mix is retro, funky and hip-hoppy. It closes with Breakbot's sublime re-working of Evil Nine's They Live, and you get the bonus of all the joy that leads to it.

If you're heeding my advice, you'll also end up with Sta's September mix, which contains the alarming revelation that Jesus was a B-Boy.

Fuck It, Here's This Cat Video

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Political Monomania (Post 174c0p)

A letter to my Mother:

Mom,

I'm having a very hard time right now. That much you've seen. I've been depressed and unemployed. I've been unsure of my future. I've been heartbroken in ways that I just can't explain to you. You'd understand if the circumstances resembled the idea of love you accept. Now, I've been told that you probably know certain things, and can accept more than I can imagine, and I'd like to believe that was the case, but I'm skeptical. Skeptical in no small part because you felt that the mild innuendo in Forrest Gump was too racy for a thirteen year old. We were all younger then, but that is still a conversation for a later time, possibly to take place in a different spiritual plane.

You asked me in the car one day if I was listening to what John McCain was saying. If, you asked, you would listen to John McCain, do you think you'd be convinced by him? I bit my tongue in various ways that day, because I didn't want to give you a litany of reasons why you're voting yet again on the wrong side of history. I spoke a small piece to you, but kept most of it inside. I rage it all out on Facebook or here, and get tendentious with teenagers and twenty-somethings, because fuck 'em if they can't take it or think I'm a blowhard.

I literally can't tell you that I had my heart broken last year, because a boy broke that heart (and I was plainly asking for it), and you may never understand or accept that. That level of reality exists in a place that doesn't often vote Republican.

You've voted for two criminal presidents so far, and it seems to me that the only thing you could say in McCain/Bush's defense was, "don't you think they've kept us safe?"

I learned a long time ago that safety probably didn't exist, Mom. If you still live in Nixonland, I can't argue with you to get you out of it. My faith in the idea that your giant powers of denial and repression will be able to withstand certain revelations about me is small. You've needed those powers of denial and repression to handle unspeakable darkness that's confronted all of us. You truly protected us from it. Kept us safe. That's how I know what safe looks like. Still, I can't vote with you, because I'd be voting against myself, but how do I say that to you?

There are other reasons, beyond the personal, in fact, a multitude of reasons, many of them iterated by people smarter than me. Here's the one I've been tooling around with in my head, in light of the recent crop of suburban children who are growing up without the skills, drive, or goals to get anything done in this world:

We live in Oak Ridge. That should give us a deep, historical, almost bodily understanding of the way science shapes the world, society, dreams, goals, and fears. Republicans are an assault on science. We assault science at our own peril. Do we really need an arms race to motivate us into outer space? A conservative arms race shook hands with the progressive, scientific curiosity of the time. Thirteen years before I was born, we beat the world to the moon. Little boys and girls everywhere looked up at their television sets and had the same thought all at once: "I could be an astronaut." Some of them became astronauts. Most of them hit the books and became adults.

I'm trying to imagine what this place would look like if minority children of all stripes were to wake up one day, turn on their televisions, and discover that they too could be President if they worked hard enough. That, deep down, is why plenty of people won't vote for Obama. That's why we've got to win.

Monday, September 15, 2008

I Take it Back

He's not our Limbaugh or O'Reilly or any of 'em. There's no hate speech. Just funny, funny voices. He doesn't really score any points here, but I really want him to do a travelling show. With puppets. I'd pay to see that.

My Favorite Bit From TDS 2005

....or, ok, at least one of my favorite bits:

When You Just Have to Post Something

Random, Crazy and Unhinged will fill space nicely:

Friday, September 12, 2008

Um

At the point which a campaign more or less says the Democratic candidate wants to give sex tips to kindergartners, can we simply repeat the mantra, "One of these campaigns is honorable, and one of them is not"?

Security of Your Shit

Brad Pitt is so great. He really is. I'd like to write more about this, I really would, but for now, I'm just fuming/laughing at their choice of resolution.

How much fun would it be if you could just magically not know this was a Coen Brothers' movie? What fun it would be if, somehow, you could drop in and watch as it slowly dawns on you that no other human beings on the face of the planet could ever tell this kind of story, and obviously this must be Joel and Ethan Coen behind the wheel.

Unmistakably, this is a Coen Brothers movie, which is the same thing but not the same thing as the pleasure of the last one.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Bitch, Learn to Write.

Lou Lumenick, you're a total douchebag, and not even for the usual reasons. Oh no, this time, you're really indefensible.

Update: I suppose the auto de fe I called for on Twitter earlier today will be unnecessary.

Oh, I Agree

Ebes nearly drops trow for Bill Clinton, who, unlike our not-much-longer-President, actually went to the movies, or more accurately, had them sent to, you know, his house.

Warning: I don't know who transcribed the interview, but I'm guessing Emerson.

On A Happier Note (?)

This is so cute, makes me want to fuck Matt Damon:

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Yes.

I know. It's Keith Olbermann. He could easily be accused of being our Rush Limbaugh or Bill O'Reilly. Except, I strongly disagree; Olbermann doesn't shout people down. Rush Limbaugh is a racist, fat old tyrant, but Olbermann, with his bloviating theatricality, his Kabuki-Liberalism, is sometimes, certainly in this case, the only one daring enough in the national media to loudly say some things that need to be said.

The McCain campaign should be ashamed. I remember what I felt on 9/11, assholes. It doesn't change the fact that you're absolutely wrong. Who would use an Al Qaeda recruitment video to win a Presidential Campaign in the U.S.?

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

ACK!

I'm not going to overdo it. I'm trying not to. But the number one reason I rush to Twitter or Facebook whenever I turn on the teevee, is because there are things that should be shouted at top volume during this campaign that are not being shouted, chief among them, regarding "executive experience" or lack thereof:

You yelping, groaning, backwards, hee-haw IDIOTS (and Mom and Granny, who are not in your low-ness) nominated George W. Bush and voted for him twice. If you want to be taken seriously on the "experience" issue, please make it a habit to not vote for a candidate who can't find his own ass in the dark with the aid of both hands and a flashlight. Kthxbai.

That's my campaign speech. Shut the fuck up and vote for an adult. I'm sorry, is that partisan?

No Comment

Divine Normal

I once saw a person experience this, and not just on youtube. I've never taken a drug that could do that to you and let you go in five minutes flat. Point of fact, I've never taken that many drugs at all. Could point on one hand the number of times.

Here's where I straddle the fence: Drugs. I don't believe anyone has the right to tell me what to put in my body, be it hallucinogenic or otherwise, and on and on. I also don't push at all for it to be decriminalized. We're not ready for that, and most of 'em are too dangerous anyway. If I had my way, yeah sure, but I don't really care. Seems like the more therapeutic ones are destined to be the stuff of adolescent thrill-seeking or instant levity.

Why am I bringing this up?

Because, I am now one of two people I know personally (that I'm aware of, OK?) who's seen McCabe & Mrs. Miller, and I'm pretty sure it's a schedule 1 narcotic. It ends on a note of perfect exaltation belying great pain, an exaltation no doubt brought about by Miller's (Julie Christie's) opium use. I won't explain or spoil what drives her to it at the very end.

Suffice it to say, stare into an Altman film long enough, and it can pull you out of your own pain or problems, possibly help you contemplate the value of people and some value in yourself you may be missing. In short, his films have a restorative property, albeit experienced finitely.

Wander through the amniotic settings of his films, just for a bit. Everything's seen in a kind of liquid. Safe. It's like floating without floating, all without dulling yourself through overuse of your particular fix.

Altman himself was certainly no stranger to frequent drug use, I know, but we reap unusual benefits from the explorations he took into the palaces of his mind.

Pauline Kael wrote of McCabe & Mrs. Miller:

Can an American director get by with a movie as personal as this--personal not as in "personal statement" but in the sense of giving form to his own feelings, some not quite defined, just barely suggested? A movie like this isn't made by winging it...

Altman at his best was never just winging it. He's our shamen, he's there for our spiritual assistance to this day, even when his films show clear contempt for human pettiness. That's all surface dressing for him, part of the display, the movement. We really shouldn't waste the truly beneficial highs. There are so few of them. Here's one.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

A List

- I managed to alienate a few conservative friends this week writing a shaken note on Facebook during Wednesday's Republican Roll-Call of hate speech.

- Obviously I didn't believe it had a snowball's chance in hell of convincing anybody not already convinced that a Palin/Dead Guy administration would destroy this country once and for all.

- I wondered even as I was posting it if I was going too far, since people don't want to be told who to vote for and some often don't even reveal their own political views because they'd rather just be friends. Plus, who the hell do I think I am?

- I saw a handful of friends comment (on facebook) on the RNC during its scoffing at public service, hating on gays, and its keeping the 'N' word out of the air solely due to political correctness constraints. Mostly, though, I've seen much more numerous comment about how the new facebook sucks, and even saw one group extolling our need to "come together" to force them to keep it the way it is. That's what we need to come together on?

- I don't know if it's because we're over-saturated with politics and everybody's already made up their minds, or if people really, really don't care. I'm sure it's a different answer for everyone. I'm making no judgments, since I can't conclude anything from any of that.

- I have an endless desire to see film criticism at once as sophisticated as it used to be and much more popular than it is now.

- I'm about to be (possibly) the only person I know who's seen McCabe and Mrs. Miller.

- These things is all true.

Friday, September 05, 2008

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Dear Rich White Millionaires

Hi, please don't pretend you're not a part of the elite, and stop calling me a part of the elite just because I don't vote to protect your pocketbook, prohibiting you from affording the gold flavored cocaine that most certainly floats around your parties. I'm unemployed, lived off the dole to go school, and am currently looking into graduate school with an eye towards making not nearly as much money as you.

Shut the fuck up and then die in a fire.

Love,

An Ethicist.

America Needs a Grownup

So, let me get this straight (Political Post a175b0):

John Kerry runs for President and his war record is smeared in ways both shameless and downright mendacious, but General Wesley Clark is vilified for daring to suggest that a stay at the Hanoi Hilton does not a President make? Clark's statement was reasoned and saintly compared to what they did to John Kerry. It's also meritorious on account of it being, you know, true.

Also, what kind of President would McCain make if he's enough of a fucking 72 year old man-child to cancel Larry King over this?



Let's vote for Grownups in 2008.

Monday, September 01, 2008

1989

If last year's award season wasn't enough, it turns out that apocalyptic times also produce brilliant summer movies.

Not that you needed any reminding, but it's worth cataloguing:

Iron Man
Wall*E
The Dark Knight
Hellboy II
Pineapple Express
Tropic Thunder
Hamlet 2 (can't recommend that one highly enough. It's unbridled genius)


Of course, those are mostly the biggest hits of the summer (we've all forgotten there was an Indiana Jones movie this year).

On the other Indy front, there have been quiet films released that included two with Ben Kingsley (Elegy, The Wackness), Herzog's Encounters at the End of the World, as well as The Edge of Heaven, Man on Wire, and Guy Maddin's My Winnipeg. Depending on where you were, you caught these between your Batman screenings, or perhaps you're about to get them.

Of course, I listed three comedies, failing to include M. Night Shyamalan's howler from the very start of summer. Funny, funny stuff, Manoj, and don't worry, you won't catch us eying your lemon-drink much longer.

Most years, we'd have had movies about as good (but usually not) as The Incredible Hulk, which itself was really (thankfully) a prelude to the greatest superhero movie of all time. Before that, with Iron Man, we got the second greatest. Maybe it's better to conclude that we witnessed the greatest Marvel movie and the greatest DC movie that we're ever going to, respectively.

Aside from that, it'd be a shame to forget the greatest animated movie I've seen since at least Finding Nemo, Pixar's beautiful, timely, ethical, mind-expanding visual masterpiece (perhaps their greatest visual work), Wall*E. If there was a film of more character, conscience and decency released in the recent past I can't remember it, and I dare you to.

The industry has attempted to cloud this otherwise brilliant, rich, character filled summer season with mummies and disaster movies and dangerous bangkoks, but audiences for those films have short, stoned, adolescent memories (though Pineapple Express probably served them well)

American films are back.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Yup.

Why is nobody with a mouthpiece pointing out the obvious desperation of the Republican party? If the Republicans need the votes of people who would be voting for a CLINTON (if they had their way), they're definitely struggling. If they need help securing the vote of radical batshit Christian Right nutjobs (their party base), they're REALLY struggling.

All the while, here's John McCain, reversing his once brave and rational repudiation of the Christian Right, in favor of being the Republican Party Fall Guy. Hope you enjoy it. Really, I'd feel for you, if if weren't for the crimes of your masters.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Ahem

Still...It's hard not to miss Bill Clinton. Especially the past eight years. Certain aspects of the last post I may have to rescind.

Blast This Woman Into Space, Please

And now, I can finally say, without a shadow of a doubt, that the Clintons and Hillary's supporters have erased for me whatever positive feelings I had for Bill or Hillary.

What was that last night? Why make such a lavish video tribute to a losing candidate? Not that it underlined any specific accomplishments in her career, because how could it? Her record in the Senate is a check list of cozying up to Republicans.

She lost. At a convention to nominate the candidate with the most delegate votes, you make it about the candidate and draw stark focus to the ill-advised policies of the opposing candidate.

You don't give a loser that much screen time. Obama wins, but last night's pomp and circumstance felt like the Obama camp friggin' CONCEDING to her.

He just coddled her and her pea-brained myopic little feminazi supporters. Real Feminism should be a part of a larger, holistic goal. Your candidate lost, people. SHE LOST. It's math, not disenfranchisement. And if the Media was sexist, your campaign exploited RACIAL TENSION.

I'm done harping on this, and I hate to bloviate, but I feel that as someone with no political power except for my vote I'm not jumpin' out of line to do so.

Hillary did bring home points about McCain and the war. She threw a full-throated support of Obama into the center ring. But she also had to.

Seriously, can we all remember the past eight years and get on board with what we're fighting for?

Christ.

CHIILLDDREEEN

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

This Ain't No Wonkette or Nuthin'

But I want to write about this.

But this speech is also meant to soothe her bruised supporters and get them to support Barack Obama, a man who -- for not a few of them -- has brazenly overtaken the more-qualified woman to grab the prize and, in so doing, has writ large the story of their own lives.

More qualified? Was she? Why? I never bought it.

As if to heap insult upon injury, the Obama campaign let it be known that it did not for a minute seriously consider Clinton as a vice presidential candidate, notwithstanding the 18 million votes she earned during the primaries and her demonstrated ability to win over white, working-class voters who remain cool to Obama and who are necessary for victory in the fall.

Fuck white working-class voters. I'm sick of hearing about racist, backwater, West Virginian assholes we need to win this election. If the Democrats win by wooing the Republicans, fuck the Democrats too. What does it say about the progressivism of your candidate if she can win the votes of racist white men?

Aside from the fact that we've had enough Bill Clinton, we've had more than enough dynasty, right?

He won by a margin, but he still won. He didn't do it by demolishing feminism. Get an actual feminist, an actual progressive, an actual DEMOCRAT in heels, and I'll send Madam campaign contributions. Until then, wake up and get real, because if you think John McCain is going to be good on women's issues, or worse yet, you don't care, then you deserve whatever symbolic gulag you find yourself in.

Monday, August 25, 2008

These Colors Don't Fun

Being around certain members of my family, members that I love and owe everything to, I'm reminded at dinner tonight that poisonous values run deep, and last forever.

Evidenced by the overheard: If he gets elected he better watch his back. Yeah. But I don't think you're congratulating him on his bravery to run. I really hope you don't mean it that way, and I don't think you completely do, but....

And it amazes me how quickly Republicans are turning on Michelle Obama. They know they're probably going to lose. Now there's a new ambitious woman to hate. Is she ambitious? Or just honest and hard working? She worked her ass off and fought some pretty tough odds to get her education.

I never understood that Jewish character in Schindler's List who was working for the Germans in Krakow. I still don't get it.

If America means the Republican party and only the Republican party, I'm moved to exclaim to certain members of my family that that's grounds to raze America right to the ground and bring it out of the ashes into a new Republic, founded on decency.

I don't want that to be necessary, but I'm moved to imagine it when I hear things like I've been hearing lately. The decimation of our society may happen anyway.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

...The Youngling

I finally caught Darabont's Mist.

I'm having a very hard time with this one. It's the scariest movie I've seen in a long time. Really, it's horrifying. It's a Stephen King adaptation that works, which is certainly unusual, if you check the track record. The character actors are all character-actoring the hell out of it. I excuse the idiot characters and the over-the-top culty evangelist Marcia Gay Harden character, precisely because they both act and sound Stephen King pitch-perfect. Darabont gets Stephen King. He caresses all the Kingy details, even though it's the clunkiest first fifteen minutes of a movie ever.

Darabont is also a crazed, cruel-ass arbitrary motherfucking sadistic Freddy Krueger of a WTF?!!! movie-ending audience punishing bald bitch.

That's all I have to say about that.

Addendum: Actually, no, it's not. I had a chance to see this in its intended black and white version, and judging by my memory of certain shots I've seen of it in color, that choice enhances the experience in many subtle ways. See it that way, it really works.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Hosting Olbermann

Yeah. Whatevs, He can hang out here whenever he wants.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

In Which

Roger Ebert uses evolutionary theory to encourage 3-D to go fuck itself.

That goes for you too, FAT GEORGE, with your plans of releasing all six in FAT-D, where everything FATS itself right off the screen. FAT.

...or Do Anything Else...

Friday, August 15, 2008

OMG Now I Want To Be Olbermanned

...So long as he cuts the Good Night and Good Luck affectation. Forever.

Ahem.

This is just for that first part about Hannity and Limbaugh.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Swift Boat This

If the Republicans need the Swift Boat creep to win....Well.... in a good world, that would be enough to prove that they need to be fired.

As it is, 1)Obama being a Muslim or connected to Muslims wouldn't stop me from voting for him in the first place, and 2)

In exploring Mr. Obama’s denials that he had been present for the more incendiary sermons of his former pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr., Mr. Corsi cites a report on the conservative Web site NewsMax.com that Mr. Obama had attended a sermon on July 22, 2007, in which Mr. Wright blamed “the ‘white arrogance’ of America’s Caucasian majority for the world’s suffering, especially the oppression of blacks.”

Click on the above article and you'll see the lie of Obama's attendance at that sermon cleared up.

But, actually, I dunno if it's America's Caucasian majority and that alone that's responsible for all the world's suffering, but I'm not sure you can dispute that last part, there. At least here.

And you, Hillary supporters:

1)The gays: I'm throwin' you back to Hillary. I don't take sloppy seconds, genderqueers. Also, what was her vocal platform for us, again? I can't remember her supporting us in a full or deep throated fashion.

2)The women: No one could blame you for your fervor, but if you're willing to sacrifice a crucial election to conservatives simply to achieve your own empowerment, you deserve not the actual feminist candidate you will probably get thanks to Hillary's historic bid.

Love Games

You know, I expected much worse than hits from Newcastle Upon Tyne from the last post. General Chang has apparently possessed the minds of peoples the world over.

In the spirit of making things even more inscrutable, as well as insuring that my website doesn't just languish as that donkey-fucking blog:



This is my most favorite mashup, lately.

Monday, July 28, 2008

For The Googles



I've been getting a lot of hits for this image, so here's a little test:

THIS MAN FUCKED A DONKEY.


Bring it on, sexual-starved internets.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

I Really Don't Know

...If it's too early to say this, if making these points would politicize a disaster. I'm not a politician, so I'll take a chance.

It's infuriating that our Supreme Court just ruled as it did. It's nothing new that the attitude that prevails in this country is that gun ownership should not be HEAVILY regulated.

Not that crazy ass, stupid murder and violence like this won't take place after severe regulation and restriction of weaponry, but it might stop the looniest of people from doing anything but offing themselves in the future. When was the last time you heard about seven people stabbed in a church?

This happens all the time, and it's no surprise, even this close to home. How terrible.

Churches and schools are supposed to be sanctuaries. And we just let any fucking wackjob who wants to buy a gun do so because of an ad hominem attitude that coalesced around a revolutionary war fought with muskets a thousand years ago.

What sucks the most is that nothing transpiring today nor contemplated in its aftermath is a surprise to anyone at all, and moreover, nothing will change.

But by Golly, if Joe Crazy can shoot the liberals, professors, fags, and atheists, then I can gosh damned darnit buy a daggum gun too!

Friday, July 25, 2008

The Balcony is Closed

This would be sadder news if not for the fact that, due to unfortunate circumstances, Ebert and Roeper has just been Roeper and Other Guy for awhile.

A.O. Scott getting his own show would just be surreal, but if he'd mud wrestle with Manohla each night, I'd watch.

I haven't watched the show very much since Ebert's illness, and have always felt saddened at how over-matched Roeper was since he joined after Siskel's death in '99. I have to admit, though, that the show always had its drawbacks, and I've never enjoyed Ebert's upthrusting/downdangling-appendage-persona as much as his print one. It strikes me that the nuances of his various observations are lost when he's arguing with someone. Truly, I preferred the show to his print reviews only when he was wrong about a movie, and Siskel (or one of Siskel's various replacements pre-Roep-a-dope) was there to fight him.

Love you, Roger, though you never got it right on Fight Club, Crash or almost any Terry Gilliam film. Sorry to see your baby go off the air, in spite of what I just said. Always dreamed I'd be up there arguing with you, but I'll count my blessings you're still writing now.

It was Truffaut who said that he sometimes never even could tell you what a movie was about after the first time he saw it, due to being overwhelmed by the sensory experience of watching it.

I've had a lot of people tell me they think you're awarding too many stars to too many movies lately, and I keep telling them that you're elated to be alive and watching movies in the first place. Right now's the best time I can remember to be covering this beat, and I'm with those who are damn-crazy righteously, heedlessly blinded by their love of the incandescent arts.

To quote (or perhaps paraphrase) you, Roger: "How easily we become accustomed to wonders."