Sunday, August 29, 2010
Friday, August 27, 2010
Thursday, August 26, 2010
Tuesday, August 24, 2010
I remember, a younger and dumber me, naive to the way of the Ferrell.
Lost was I, lost amongst the nerds without a herald.
I remember, a Caucasian rapper, resounding psalms with good vibrations.
His bunch was funky, thank god for the Boogie Night sensations.
I saw this flick with two cops, a Brit, and a wooden gun…
I smiled, I laughed, oh man I had so much fun.
Keaton blew my brain with TLC references…
Eva Mendez blew my mind with huge bouncing convexes.
Not much plot but for this I don’t really care…
For Will Ferrell merely had to be there.
This flick was fun but don’t expect too much or you will pout…
Just know that Narcosleepy is 10 kinds of Clutch and...
Glen Hansard will be returning to his band The Frames while Marketa Irglova will make a solo album. Here is what Glen had to say:
"I'll go back to the Frames, and Mar will make her own record at some point. This band (Swell Season) will eventually naturally end. But right now, all of us are just so grateful. Getting together and making music with Mar was a side thing for me, but it felt absolutely right.
"I followed through on it even when it felt like I might've been abandoning my band a bit. But I had to follow through. I knew there was something in this that I had to follow through on."
They made such beautiful music together...sad!
Monday, August 23, 2010
Sunday, August 22, 2010
Now, let's take a look at that facial hair! (If you're feeling lucky, clicky makes the little pictures bigger!)
|Note that it's difficult to determine whether or not the beard is growing out of his face, or is an extension of his perm-mullet.|
|Unfortunately, this ruins stealth mode.|
|Side View. As you can see, ladies were impressed.|
|Billy Dee wants to comment, but knows better.|
|This beard goes well with a beret!|
|I'm not sure if he's undercover as a business man or as the spawn of Sasquatch and Jack the Ripper...|
|Wouldn't you feel safe if you saw that beard flying a police helicopter?|
Narcosleepy and myself were fortunate enough to be able to spend last week in Florida at Walt Disney World. An inclusion to any perfect vacation would be film. While at Epcot, Narco and myself decided to give Captain EO (1986) a try. Following a popular return to Disneyland, EO has only recently returned to Disney World. Directed by Francis Ford Coppola and produced by George Lucas, this is considered the first "4-D" film, as it combined a 3-D film with in house theater effects.
The plot of the film is simple. Captain EO, played by Michael Jackson,and his misfit group of crew members are on a mission to deliver a gift to the wicked alien queen, The Supreme Leader, played by Angelica Huston. When, the crew arrives on the planet,they are captured and sentenced to be tortured. EO tells the queen he can unlock her hidden beauty, brings her the gift of song to unlock, and the queen turns in to the beautiful Huston.
This is a fun 17 minute film that is definitely not something to be taken seriously and is Spaceballs-esque in many ways. In addition to the enjoyable 3-D and 4-D effects, this film also has the inclusion of some great dance moves and some great songs performed by Michael Jackson-"Another Part of Me," and "We Are Here to Change the World." If you have the opportunity to see the film, it is a must!
Thursday, August 19, 2010
This idea, like so many great ideas, was born in a bad place. I'm having one of those evenings where I'm immensely annoyed, on my last nerve, and ready to hastily battle the forces that bring me this anger. And I realize that we've all had those days. Someone says/does/thinks/implies/reincarnates something that we disagree with. And we freak out, because we know they're full of crap. It's that age old "Hey, I know life's not fair, but you don't have to be ridiculous" moment. And when we're pushed against the wall like so, we have certain things that we go to that take us out of that moment. That's where the Things That Bring The Happy come in.
In my case, there's one thing that came to mind tonight immediately: John Belushi. Here's the thing about the late Mr. Belushi - every time I see him on screen, I laugh. He doesn't even have to say anything, I just start laughing. If he moves, I laugh. I can't explain it.
I started up my SNL Best of John Belushi DVD tonight (though I'm still mad the DVD cuts a few scenes I loved from the VHS version - which is in the other room, and I'm too angry to move), and I started laughing as soon as he showed up. By the fourth sentence ("I am afraid we are out of badgers. Would you accept a wolverine in its place?"), I was laughing out loud.
From his stints with The Blues Brothers (one of my favorite movies ever, too) to his ranting on Weekend Update to his portrayal of a coke snorting Beethoven (not the dog), I laugh, and laugh and laugh. I also wonder how he could be so agile, and especially how he can control his right eyebrow so well. I'm a left eyebrow kind of guy, and wish I could pull that off.
In fact, I kinda wish I could be John Belushi (without the drugs, of course, I enjoy being the me I've created too much for that stuff). Somehow, he captures everything that I find hilarious. Even the outdated jokes work for him - his impersonation of a drunken Joe Cocker is literally the funniest thing I've ever seen, and I wasn't even around in the '70s to see Cocker on stage. Oh, and that brings up the issue of his musical talent, which cannot be forgotten. I so wish I could pull that off.
So here's to John Belushi for being a Thing That Brings The Happy. You were taken too soon, but I'll continue to run through every DVD you ever appeared on until the end of time. Whatever it was you had, I needed it tonight.
Monday, August 16, 2010
Tales of Woe, a collection of real stories about real events. The common theme? Suffering and sadness. Not necessarily my thing, but I was intrigued. I'm a horror fan who grew up with true crime stories on TV (so much so that my sister made forensics her beloved profession), and that was enough to convince me that something about this book would be entertaining to me.
From the start, I severely underestimated John Reed's collection of emotionally destructive true stories. I was sure I could find a way to enjoy what was spelled out within the pages of the book, which appeared to me as a small hardbound edition of black pages covered in white text, with some blood red print sprinkled in for effect. I've watched enough tales of woe take place on movie and TV screens, surely I could manage about 150 pages of sad tales and 50 pages of illustration, right? I picked up the book figuring I could power through it over the next 2-3 hours.
I ignored the warnings on the back cover which promised "Crushing Defeats. No Happy Endings. Abject Misery. Pointless, Endless Grief.". Another warning stated that there would be "No lessons of temperance or moderation". I didn't think that possible to a jaded lover of dark cinema like myself.
As I said, I severely underestimated Mr. Reed's collection. The early stories were easy to get through - a little sad, sure - but nothing that really hit me in the gut too hard. As I passed the 60-70 page range, I started to get a little tired of the book, but my inner tough guy figured it was just the strain of trying to read the white and read text in my poorly lit apartment. As I passed the 100 page mark, I realized that I really did need a break.
That old saying that us horror fans love to bring out warns about staring into the abyss, and that's exactly what I felt like I was doing as I read the stories collected here. There was animal cruelty (both by and against humans), racial injustice, freak accidents, lewd sexual behavior, and more. Some of the stories seemed too crazy to have actually happened. Did a baboon really eat a baby's brain and then drop it from a telephone pole? Could a female luchador really be a serial killer of epic proportions? I wasn't quite buying into what the book was offering, but it was gazing back at me with an unflinching resolve.
My pace slowed considerably as I continued to travel through the tragic scenes Reed and his artists painted for me. By page 140, I gave up. I was resigned to finish the book the next day. In fact, I momentarily considered giving up on the book entirely. Of course, that ended quickly, because there's no way would I slight my readers and the fine folks who offered me the chance to review this book. But the fact that the book was getting to me enough to make me consider giving up was a scary thought.
I went on to finish the book the next evening. There were more times when I had to put it down and shake my head in disbelief. A late tale about a doomed mother and child had me begging the back cover was lying - that maybe there would be just one moment of divine intervention in the book. I was completely broken down by the tales within this little black book.
The back of the book also made a claim that its purpose was Greek Catharsis, meaning that "You watch people suffer horribly, and then feel better about your own life." In my case, it made me immediately want to partake in things I enjoy (In the interest of full disclosure, that included watching a video of my 18 month old niece, some music by Meat Loaf, and an ice cream bar). I enjoyed these things a little more than usual, definitely, and I also found myself thinking a bit about the people in my life who I may unintentionally distance myself from at times. I'm not sure I was left feeling better about my own life, but I was more grateful.
If that is its goal, then Tales of Woe is a depressing and harrowing success. I'm glad that I've had the chance to experience these tales - from the silly ones (did we need so much emphasis on the evils of Sarah Palin?) to the destructive ones (I'll never look at the cupboards under my kitchen counter the same way), because they offered me something powerful and thought-provoking. If you think you can find your way through them, John Reed's Tales of Woe will take you on a journey of suffering. I must warn you, however. Tread that road carefully.
(Tales of Woe is available as of August 17th from MTV Press. Visit the official website for more information. For another take on the book, check out a review by Geof over at Enter The Man Cave!)
Sunday, August 15, 2010
But I don't think Cera's the entire problem I have with the film. I've very much enjoyed Superbad, Arrested Developement, and Juno, and in each of those cases I felt Cera was essential to the material's success. Seeing him pushed as a hero here doesn't work for me, but after pondering the film for a day I'm left thinking that he had less to do with that concern than I originally thought. The more I think about the film, the more I realize the story - as adapted from a comic - comes off as another lazy love story that assumes that "quirky" characters don't need to be deep or interesting as individuals.
It's a fun story, but people are reacting to these characters as if they're family members or loved ones, and I don't get why. The side characters are pretty entertaining, but there's little aside from Scott's t-shirt collection and knowledge of music (a must for any prospective romantic stalker) and Ramona's changing hair colors that make their relationship any different from any other characters in teen films. Director extraordinaire Edgar Wright does a fine job of blurring this dynamic with his skillful recreation of the hip/indie scene and video game love that was expected from the film, but after the film ended and I thought about it for a few hours, the underlying plot seemed like just another film in which infatuation is assumed to be synonymous with love.
From an entertainment standpoint, I wasn't disappointed with Scott Pilgrim as a film. There's a lot of fun action, cool special effects, and some great moments where side characters steal the show. Kieran Culkin, Chris Evans, and Brandon Routh all bring laughs; and a cameo by one of my favorite dudes (I won't name names, but I've been saying that he makes every movie better since Deep Blue Sea) was the highlight of the film for me.
Maybe Scott Pilgrim will become more likeable to me on repeat viewings - it definitely offered enough fun and originality for me to give it another chance - but for now I'm left feeling disconnected from that which is supposedly so incredibly cool. I guess I really am from Iowa.
(P.S. - Yes, I'm aware there's an Iowan in the movie. But he graduated from high school with more than 57 people and probably never fed a pig.)
(P.P.S. - One last serious question: Is the music Scott and his band "play" really supposed to be "good"?)
So, the married half of (O)PP's staff are gone away for a week, leaving myself and our mysterious fourth blogger to take the steering wheel of this site and drive it straight into your hearts. Like a stake, only of happiness.
The duo will be checking in from time to time (I won't drop names, but one of them already texted me to say "There are huge boobs everywhere at disney."), but you might expect a bit less from us over the next week. Between last week's craziness and this week's vacation, we've all been a little swamped.
In the meantime, I want to take care of some housekeeping duties. Big thanks to Zach of ZforZombies.com and Morgan of The Kid in the Hall for spreading some love to (O)PP during our first few weeks. Your support is greatly appreciated!
So, since I'm running this mofo at present, do y'all have anything you want from (O)PP? More movies, more music, less videos, etc.? Please let us know (like, you could even use the comments below or the facebook or the twitter!), so we can keep having fun and rocking your universe!
(For example, I'll be giving y'all my controversial review of Scott Pilgrim vs. The World tonight! BEWARE!)
Saturday, August 14, 2010
"How awesome is that! It totally put a smile on my face, to say the least. It ranks right up there with getting my own action figure."
Jorge also gave some insight as to how this all happened. He met Rivers Cuomo backstage at the George Lopez Show and asked if he could take a picture with him. Jorge added:
“And then two months later I get an email from my manager saying, ‘Listen, Weezer contacted us and they want you to be on the cover of their new CD…I thought that was really cool.”
Super Cool!! Here is the cover:
Friday, August 13, 2010
Thursday, August 12, 2010
My boss seems to think that my hair is gonna fall off & go into the ice cream. This hair ain’t movin’ my dude. 150mph on the highway on a street bike… it doesn’t move! What makes you think it’s gonna move in a gelato shop?
There are a few things I understand on this planet. I understand how to be a student as I have been a college student for around a decade now. I am sittin here, right now as I type, watching Jersey Shore. I just don't understand why in the world I love this show. I am breakin' down laughing so hard at these cats.
In any given night this show is on, you can guarantee the words grenade, land mine, situation, gym, tan, and laundry. Also, you can count on a vicious fight between an on and off again couple. This is classy TV. One person calls the other word the b-bomb (or biatch), then the other person leaves cuz they are extremely sad and pouty. Following this barrage of swearing, booze is sipped and dancing is exchanged...As I am watching now, the words "Bronx Zoo and hyena" were just used as they are tossing around a fake boob that reminded one of them of a "chicken cutlet." I frickin love this show, for the shear mindlessness that it produces. As I am sitting here giving you a play by play of the action, I don't really have to even think about what to write about.
So, in honor of the Awesomeness of Jersey Shore and delinquent behavior...I am giving myself a nickname. I am thinking "The Exclamation." I'm that long extended line with a dot under it that makes any statement scream with both meaning and enthusiasm. I am the same level of the punctuation you need to use when you want to yell. If you want to really scream via typing...you can type in all caps and have many exclamations...like so...BOOOOYYYYYYAAAAAA!!!!!!!!!!!!! Notice me...all those exclamation points after booya...notice how I am putting the awe in awesome. I am the grammatical tool you use to proclaim all that is righteous and "bangin."
In closing, I have no idea why or how I even like Jersey Shore...but Damn it is hilarious.
Wednesday, August 11, 2010
As the events of the day in Ames unfolded - and as I worked to deal with a myriad of transportation, sanitation, evacuation, and problems during a 13+ hour shift at work - I was reminded of the society-gone-astray thriller The Trigger Effect. It's a movie that landed on my radar back in the summer of 1996 (Which is completely my favorite year, but that's a different story for a different time) thanks to the presence of my beloved Elisabeth Shue and a mixed review from Siskel & Ebert that got me interested in the idea of the film.
Written and Directed by David Koepp, The Trigger Effect opens with a wonderful tracking shot that shows how easily anger can be transferred from person to person in a populated setting. A waiter trips over a cord, spills on a man who doesn't speak English, who then bumps into someone else, who then argues with someone else, and so on. It's all simple human frustration; the kind of thing that happens every day. But it's something we rarely stop to witness, and Koepp's camera does a fine job of pointing out the ease with which our frustrations can boil into aggression.
What happens when we let these frustrations gain momentum? What if we always take the easy way out and avoid them? Those are the questions raised as The Trigger Effect moves on to its setting event, a blackout that shutsdown large portions of L.A. and its subrubs and leaves a married couple (Kyle Maclachlan and Shue), their sick daughter, and a family friend (Dermot Mulroney) fighting for their survival against a sea of troubles. The movie references predators that feed on the weak in early scenes where we see coyotes eating dead animals and get a quick glance at George Romero's Night of the Living Dead (another film in which normal people let their frustrations boil over while facing a change in their reality), but shocks us by making the human condition the host of predatory behavior.
And that's what made me think of The Trigger Effect today. As the river banks rose and conveniences that we take for granted disappeared, rumors spread throughout the town. People took to the streets in search of safe water, and I'm sure more than a few people cursed their neighbor in frustration. While I have faith in my town to not reach the extremes of The Trigger Effect - which definitely has its characters act in a highly metaphorical and illogical manner - I think the message the film sends rings true for Ames today.
In extreme conditions, we have to remember that most everyone is having a bad day. We seem to lose sight of that too often. We point fingers at others and believe that everyone's out to get us, but deep down inside we're all just fighting to survive and trying to feel like we still have some control over our lives when the things we thought were certain suddenly become variable.
The Trigger Effect never quite understands these facts entirely, the same way most people - including myself - don't understand them entirely. But I like where its heart is.
Tuesday, August 10, 2010
This has long been one of the biggest thorns in the side of movie nerds, or at least in the side of a movie nerd named The Mike. But really, we've all been there. We're with friends, watching whatever we're choosing to watch, and someone goes "Isn't that the guy from Trog?" or "Where have I seen that detective before?".
Now, I've long been a big fan of what I call "the phoneternet" - I actually went about two years without actual internet thanks to it. But for some reason, IMDB has never made that transition to this awkward medium of information sharing that I've grown to love. So when those questions come up and the laptops aren't handy, or when you're arguing over who played the Predator in that 1987 classic (No, it wasn't Jean Claude Van Damme, alright! He dropped out of the movie and was replaced by Harry himself, Kevin Peter Hall.) at dinner, it was difficult to get to the info. Wikipedia was the easier source to use, too! And they're totally not as reliable as IMDB!
Now, despite what appears to be a toddler version of the mobile page, those questions can be answered with a bit less frustration. Thus, we say thank you to you, IMDB! You've made the world a better place for nerds and cinephiles everywhere, and you've made us as excited as that weird chick from Harry Potter!
What say you, members of the (O)PP Brigade? Check out the official site and/or the trailer below, and let us know what you think!
Several hard-core Star Wars fans who had tickets for the first showing actually said that when the movie finally began, they started crying. Mainly because they realized that it's 22 years later, and they still haven't lost their virginity.
Monday, August 9, 2010
Why does Hollywood feel the need to remake classics?!?!? Money??!? Lack of ideas?!? Most likely it is both. There are soo many remakes over the years that have upset me, I could go on and on! When Tim Burton remade Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory in 2005, I boycotted the film and am still boycotting it to this day!! I just recently got wind another remake that will be added to the mix is My Fair Lady! A spectacular film that should never be touched! Emma Thompson is committing a crime by writing the screenplay. In addition to that, Emma recently had the audacity to criticize Ms Hepburn. Here is what she had to say:
"I was thrilled to be asked to do it because, having a look at it, I thought that there needs to be a new version. I'm not hugely fond of the film. I find Audrey Hepburn fantastically twee. Twee is whimsy without wit. It's mimsy-mumsy sweetness without any kind of bite. And that's not for me.
"She can't sing and she can't really act, I'm afraid. I'm sure she was a delightful woman - and perhaps if I had known her I would have enjoyed her acting more, but I don't and I didn't, so that's all there is to it, really."
I have loved Emma throughout the years, but her distaste for the fabulous Audrey makes me question my admiration of her. Does anyone else share these feelings of remakes/My Fair Lady?
Sunday, August 8, 2010
Saturday, August 7, 2010
Friday, August 6, 2010
Thursday, August 5, 2010
Though it was advertised as a horror film, Whiteout is your basic "female cop on the trail of a killer" film, which plays like a tamer version of Taking Lives (with Angelina Jolie) or Murder by Numbers (with Sandra Bullock). Those films both had some interesting twists psychologically, even if they were a little muddled, while this one just has the fact that it's set in Antarctica as a twist. It's, surprisingly to me, based off a graphic novel - and I have to imagine there was more to that story than was put into this drab movie.
Director Dominic Sena (making his first big-screen feature since Gone in 60 Seconds and Swordfish were summer hits) doesn't offer a lot if interesting visuals (except for the last few moments of the film, which feel tacked on), and the supporting cast (The Spirit's Gabriel Macht, Armored's Columbus Short, and veteran cool guy Tom Skerrit) seems wasted on the dull script. Ms. Beckinsale is adequate in the lead, and is quite cute, though she seems skinny compared to how she's appeared in more luscious roles. (Kate, you can come over to The Mike's Lair for a cheeseburger anytime.)
There's not much really wrong with the movie, there's just little that's interesting. There's a bit of amputation and the moment when Beckinsale's character has a DVD copy of the giant-spider classic THEM! in her room excited me, but that's about it. I'd say you're safe skipping this one, even if Ms. Beckinsale looks pretty good.