Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Reviews Of Mediocre-To-Decent Movies

So the big news is, there's a solid 20 minutes of Anne Hathaway nudity in Love & Other Drugs. It's ridiculous. Her breasts had about as much screentime as Hank Azaria. Twenty minutes is a rough estimate since, uh, I wasn't exactly paying close attention to my watch during the scenes, but man alive, ol' Anne sure has some spicy material for the next entry in her Princess diary. Jake Gyllenhaal matches her nudity cheek for cheek, so don't worry ladies, there's some eye candy for you too. Two things: firstly, Anne and Jake are reunited after Brokeback Mountain. Did you also completely forget she was in that movie? Hell, she even gets topless in that one too. It's almost like there was some other relationship in Brokeback that grabbed all the attention. Secondly, Hathaway is but one of many lovely women (including personal favourite Judy Greer!) who Gyllenhaal beds throughout the film. Now obviously, Gyllenhaal's character is pretty pleased about this turn of events, but I think he oversold the happiness. Here was the expression he wore on his face during every sex scene:



Controversial. Anyway, yeah, the movie. Not great. It's the story of a mid-1990's pharmaceutical rep who basically bangs his way into becoming one of Pfizer's top salesmen, and along the way he falls for a free spirit with early-onset Parkinson's. Note: Hathaway isn't an actual free spirit, but rather that cliched brand of Hollywood Female Free Spirit that immediately domesticates herself upon entering a relationship since deep down, gosh darnit, all she wants is true love. You can tell when her character officially flips the switch when in one scene, her wardrobe suddenly goes from eclectic to the white cashmere sweater o'doom.

L&OD is directed by Ed Zwick, who has yet to make a solid movie in his life. Courage Under Fire, Blood Diamond, Last Samurai, Glory, Legends Of The Fall --- they're all in the same bin of generally okay, but rather than actually good. This film falls into the same category. I don't want to say that a movie about a Parkinson's sufferer has a shaky premise, but the plot lopes back and forth from a romantic comedy to a very poor man's Social Network-esque recent period piece about the rise of a major business (Gyllenhaal's sales rival even looks like the Winklevoss twins) to a wacky sex comedy with a load of Viagra jokes to a weepie about a couple forced apart by one of the partners' serious illness. The last scene, where Hathaway and Gyllenhaal have their big romantic confrontation, is one of the worst movie scenes I've witnessed in some time. The dialogue is a mash of Jerry Maguire cliches, the edits between the two characters' reaction shots don't match and it's just two minutes of total shittiness. Zwick's been making movies for 30 years, so I can't figure out how he submitted such an amateurish sequence.

In summation, there's not much here. It's almost like Zwick went to his leads and said, "Guys, I just saw the rough cut, and this thing is a mess. Would you mind if we went back and threw in a bunch of nudity, since otherwise we....whoa!" He reacted since Gyllenhaal and Hathaway both suddenly torn their clothes off in one swift motion, ready to go. What troopers.

Four Anne Hathaway notes....

* She is a solid catch-all selection for the "she looks kind of like..." game we all play about people we know, but with the twist that she doesn't usually look like one person, but rather a combination of two people. It's like the Joker's Smilex poison in the Michael Keaton Batman movie --- tainted lipstick alone won't kill you, but tainted lipstick and hairspray will. But, thankfully, comparing looks is much less murderous. For instance, Hathaway looks like a cross between my friends Caitlin and Kat, who are friends themselves so this comparison will actually be relevant to them. Hathaway also looks like the result of what would happen if Community's Gillian Jacobs and Alison Brie were morphed into one person. So if you're ever having a Jacobs/Brie looks debate (as my buddy Trev and I recently did; I was on Team Brie), Hathaway is an excellent middle ground.

* She is a fantastic SNL host. I'm ready to induct Hathaway into the pantheon after just two hosting gigs. Good impressionist, clearly up for anything, fits right in with the rest of the cast and even sings. She's basically the female Timberlake, except just lacking in iconic sketches to really put her over the top.

* Attractive, which comes in handy when you're getting naked in every other film. The key to Hathaway's attractiveness is that she's plausibly good-looking; you probably know a woman that looks as good or better than Anne Hathaway. She isn't some absurdly hot creature like Megan Fox who gives off a vibe that she's a concoction of makeup and lighting effects. There's no effort made to hide the fact that when Hathaway smiles, her face suddenly gets really wrinkly. Like, "she'll be playing character parts by her late 30's" wrinkly. It's all the more endearing, however, since this is what normal people look like! I cannot believe a recent comment in a Bill Simmons chat about how he attended a wedding where Hathaway was also a guest, and "nobody hit on her the whole night." What? Simmons spins it into a theory about how famous people pass a point of no return where only other famous or rich people have the guts to approach them. My only theory is that when Simmons said 'wedding,' he really meant 'commitment ceremony.' NOBODY hit on ANNE HATHAWAY? Every single guy at that wedding should be ashamed of himself.

* Hosting the Oscars alongside James Franco. Huh? Speaking of which....


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...127 Hours is the first James Franco movie where Franco literally gets stoned. Aron Ralston (Franco) is an avid biker/hiker/outdoorsy guy who famously got stranded in the Utah desert with his arm caught between a boulder and a cave wall. Since this story got national attention for its sheer OMFGness, I'm not spoiling anything by saying that he takes rather extreme measures to free himself. The actual arm-hacking scene is surprisingly short and not 'too' graphic, and the rest of the film is basically Danny Boyle showing off director's tricks. It's not a bad film by any stretch, and it's actually quite gripping to see Ralston's escape strategies even when you know how he'll eventually have to get loose. But, Boyle's style works when he has a sprawling story like Slumdog Millionaire, where the scope of the picture almost demands a stylized treatment. When the story is just a guy in a cave for 80 minutes, one might want a bit more claustrophobia. Fortunately, Danny Boyle will get to redeem himself when he directs the upcoming '127 Ohers,' the sequel to The Blind Side.

Top 5 rejected options for that concluding joke...

5. "...when he directs the upcoming 127 Powers, the latest Austin Powers sequel. Austin Powers 4-126 will all be released within the next two years, one after the other. Hope you like dick jokes."
4. "...when he directs the upcoming 127 Orrs, an illustrated history of Parry Sound, Ontario."
3. "...when he directs the upcoming 127 Whores, the story of the most swingin' bordello in all of Manchester."
2. "...when he directs the upcoming 127 Ar's, the new Pirates of the Caribbean sequel."
1. "...when he directs the upcoming 120 Centaurs, an action movie based around Greek mythology."


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RED is notable only because the climactic shootout was filmed in my old parking garage in Toronto. It's true! My beloved Toyota Echo proudly sat overnight in the same spot where Helen Mirren stood with the mounted machine gun. In fact, I'll bet those empty shell casings I found under my car were from her gun! (At least, I hope they were...since I fused them into a heart-shaped locket containing Mirren's picture.) I'll say something about living in Toronto, it's become much easier to spot which movies are filmed in the city. Not only did RED feature my old parking garage, but it also featured the "Chicago Fairmont" --- clearly the Royal York --- and Bruce Willis driving his limo down the Gardiner in front of TO's well-known skyline. Not to mention the climactic scene when Willis punches Karl Urban out of a helicopter and Urban is impaled on the top of the CN Tower, which is called the "Chicago Space Needle." Or when Willis and Morgan Freeman enjoy a Chicago Argonauts game.

Well, I'm out of jokes. The movie stunk. The worst part is, if any person goes into a video store in the next few years and asks for the Krzysztof Kieslowski masterpiece 'Red' (part of the Three Colours trilogy), the clueless clerk will surely hand him a copy of this movie instead. Thank god all video stores in the world might be bankrupt within the next 56 hours.

Mary-Louise Parker is also, for the record, definitely a few stages ahead of Hathaway on the old smile/wrinkle scale. MLP is approaching Teri Hatcher territory. You have to cut Parker some slack since she is 18 years older than Hathaway, though...and by the way, whoa, MLP is 46? Huh. (golf clap) I'll also cut both Parker and Hathaway some slack since the boulder in '127 Hours' had way more wrinkles than the both of them combined. Should've used some Head & Shoulders, boulder!....wait, is there a Head & Shoulders-brand face moisturizer? Let's pretend there is, lest that rhyme make no goddamned sense.


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Remember when you were reading Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows and were bored by that 60-70 page segment where Harry, Ron and Hermione literally sit around in the woods and bitch at each other? And remember when you thought that scene would be an insta-cut from the eventual film version? Well, I'll bet your 2007 self didn't count on Warner Brothers wanting to squeeze every last drop of cash from the Potter franchise and splitting 'Deathly Hallows' into two movies. Twice the screentime means that the forest sequence is included into DH1, and it's just as interminable to watch as it was to read. There's seriously a two-month gap in story time when they're just moping about, made all the more absurd by a) Harry figuring out a clue and then a few weeks passing before Hermione thinks of a follow-up that should've instantly come to her after hearing Harry's info and b) a Harry/Hermione dance sequence that serves less than zero purpose. Ooh, is this stoking a love triangle? No, because everyone on the goddamn earth knows that Hermione and Ron end up together! Why bother making up that scene, especially when we already saw a passionate kiss between Harry and his actual love Ginny Weasley* earlier in the movie? In short, the entire forest sequence once again came back to haunt us, and I'm sure it will be there to haunt us again when the Harry Potter franchise is reimagined in five years with a new director and cast. Oh wait, that's just the Spider-Man franchise. [/bitter]

* Bonnie Wright, the actress who plays Ginny, is...wait, let me check up IMDB...okay, she's turning 20 in two months, go ahead...Bonnie Wright, the actress who plays Ginny Weasley, is getting about 25 percent more attractive with each passing film. Well done, Harry! And well done to the casting directors for lucking into a young red-haired actress that seems to be turning normal, rather than into a freckled nightmare like some gingers. It would've taken a lot of steam out of Harry's victory if he'd ended up with the "It's A Fact!" girl from Kids In The Hall.

Forest sequence aside, HPATHD1 is about what you've come to expect from a David Yates-directed Potter movie. Competently well done, humourous bits involving the three kids that are oddly strained since only Rupert Grint has a modicum of comic timing, excellent special effects and overall a solid way to spend, yikes, two and a half hours. The last film is out next year, bringing an end to one of the longest and most average franchises in movie history. Maybe the Potter series really was unfilmable. Maybe it would've been better served as a TV series on HBO or something, preferably helmed by David Simon. "Where the boy at, Severus? Where the boy at?"

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Hot! Live! Music!

Florence and the Machine, Halo
Ever thought you'd read a comparison of Beyonce and Leonard Cohen? Well, buckle up. The similarity exists since both Beyonce and Cohen's songs unerringly sound better when covered by other artists. Have you ever actually heard Cohen's original "Hallelujah"? It's boring as hell. I made the mistake of throwing it on the air unheard during my college radio days since I figured hey, Hallelujah, why not. Let's just say that Jeff Buckley, Rufus Wainwright, John Cale, k.d. lang, etc. all made that song what it is, not Cohen himself. The same is true for Beyonce --- Antony & the Johnsons rose to fame on their cover of 'Crazy In Love,' Reba McEntire is having a mild comeback with her awesome version of 'If I Was A Boy,' and now there's this take on Halo by Florence + The Machine (which is actually just Florence Welch and a rotating series of side musicians). Florence gets the repost here since she's my latest musical obsession; picked up 'Lungs' a couple of months ago and have been listening to it ever since. The only downside is that the image chosen for this YouTube video is about the uglier picture you could've taken of poor Florence. I wouldn't call her attractive per se, but...remember the 'Two-Face' girl on Seinfeld who looked good or bad depending on the lighting? I'll take the Batman villain analogy a step further and say that Florence is a Clayface. These women don't just look good or bad in different lights, but rather completely different every time you see them. Tina Weymouth from Talking Heads is another well-known musical example of this phenomenon. Florence Welch could walk into my house right now and I wouldn't recognize her. But still, whatever she looks like, trust me, she has to look a damn sight better than that YouTube picture.



James Dean Bradfield, An English Gentleman
Hey, remember the Manic Street Preachers? Late-90's, early-2000's English rock/pop group? Made a middling impact on this side of the pond? Well, they're still around, but their lead singer (JDB) has also stepped out for a couple of solo records. This is one of his solo singles.

"Mark, you do realize that this might be your most obscure Hot Live Music entry yet, right?"

Oh yeah.



U2, A Celebration
'A Celebration' is kind of an oddity in U2's catalogue. It was actually released as a single in 1982 between the October and War albums (kind of as a 'hey, keep us in mind' single) but it didn't actually appear on an actual official U2 recording until the remastered version of October came out a couple of years ago. Why the long delay? For one, U2 aren't big fans of the song. The Edge is on record as saying that he's forgotten how to play it, which is part of the reason the band hasn't done a live cut of the song in, oh, almost 30 years or so. U2 may not like it, but I love it. 'A Celebration' ranked absurdly high on my Top 100 U2 songs list and even though I'd put that list through a big revision if written today, this track would still be a top-twenty entry. Also, everything about this live performance is hysterical. Bono's Rod Stewart outfit, the completely rhythmless dancing of the studio audience, and, in the perfect marriage between these two things, Bono inviting a girl in overalls up on stage. She's up there for, like, five seconds, too. Presumably it took that long for Bono to think, 'Oh yikes, she looked better from ten feet away.'



Mark Knopfler, Romeo and Juliet
That U2 video got me in a "Hey, remember the 80's?' mood, so here's a recent live version of 'Romeo & Juliet,' arguably the best song by one of the more underrated 80's bands, Dire Straits. Fun fact: at its peak, Dire Straits' record "Brothers In Arms" was owned by one in every five UK households. Also, Knopfler (who was the lead singer and songwriter of the Straits, I should note) wrote Tina Turner's big hit "Private Dancer" after he didn't think it would work well as performed by the Straits on their own album 'Love Over Gold.' Now, these two anecdotes are kind of pointless because 'Romeo & Juliet' appeared on neither of those cited albums but....uh, yeah. You know it's a good song when you have a line like "When we made love you used to cry" and nobody even thinks twice about laughing.



Gorillaz, Crystalised
Like the Florence track, this one is an entry from the BBC Live Lounge program. It's obviously another cover though, since we all know the real Gorillaz are 2D, Russel, Murdoch and Noodle. They must've not been able to make it into studio that day.



U2, North Star
Oh that's right, another U2 entry! On their current tour, U2 have been taking the unusual (for them) tack of playing unreleased songs in an effort to test them in front of a live audience to see if they're album-worthy. Based on the quality of this version of 'North Star,' this one's good to go. Here's hoping it stays in the set long enough for me to hear it in Toronto next summer. Also, if U2 wouldn't mind releasing that next album between now and July, that would be appreciated. Nuts to this 4-5 year gap between records.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Fifty Musicians I Have Seen Play Live

My buddy Jeff recently wrote up a blog post listing 50 bands/artists that he's seen play live. Well, I think I've seen 50 in my lifetime, but a good chunk of that are anonymous bar bands or toque-wearing coffee house jerks. In terms of actual bands that I've specifically gone to see (well, or at least seen as opening acts), here's the honour roll. Now, even as I post this, I have a nagging feeling I'm omitting at least a few acts from this list, so feel free to correct me if you've ever attended a concert with me and know of at least one more musician that should be here. Also, please don't be offended that I've apparently forgotten this time we hung out. Uh, I apologize?

I'll start by listing these three acts whose names I don't remember, and then we'll get into the alphabetical list....

* The AC/DC cover band that played when I was a doorman at my campus bar

* The Led Zeppelin cover band that played at a UWO soph event that I attended, in spite of never being a campus soph

* My friend Sarah's ex-boyfriend's shitty metal/screamo band that are easily the worst act on this list

Andrew Austin (thrice)
Basia Bulat
Britta B and the Banter
Collective Soul
Dashboard Confessional
Diamond Rings
Peter Elkas
Garbage
Girl Parts (at least twice)
Grizzly Bear
Sarah Harmer
PJ Harvey
Hot Hot Heat
I Mother Earth
Elton John
Rick McGhie
No Doubt
Pearl Jam (twice)
Fred Penner
Joel Plaskett
Radiohead (twice)
Raffi
Ben Raftus
The Rolling Stones
Sharon, Lois & Bram
Sarah Slean (three times)
Sleater-Kinney
The Slow Clap
The Snipes (twice)
Snow Patrol
Bruce Springsteen (thrice)
Teenage Fanclub
Three Seasons & The Move (twice)
U2 (five times)
The White Stripes

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Cookie Monster Hosts SNL

Yeah, this has to, HAS TO happen. An all-Muppets Saturday Night Live would eclipse even the Betty White episode's ratings.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Arnold Screaming

We've had seven years to adjust to it, but still....can you really believe this guy was governor of California?

Saturday, November 20, 2010

UFC 123 Predictions



* Maiquel Falcao over Gerald Harris, decision
I know literally nothing about Falcao aside from his awesome name, but since I always pick at least one upset on these cards, I might as well go with the unknown quantity. Some might argue that this is a stupid tactic given that I'm not just picking an upset, I'm picking against Harris, a guy who hasn't lost a fight in over three years (discounting his loss to Amir Sadollah on TUF, which technically was an exhibition defeat) and has quietly been one of the UFC's more aggressive finishers. But since there's at least a small chance that Falcao comes to the ring to "Rock Me Amadeus," I cannot pick against the man.

* George Sotiropoulos over Joe Lauzon, decision
Big fight for George. A win puts his record at 7-0 in the UFC and probably puts him in line for a lightweight title shot. When this shot happens is anyone's guess --- Edgar defends against Maynard in January and then the winner there faces the WEC lightweight champ in a unification bout --- so Sotiropoulos may choose to take another fight in the interim just to keep from going on the sidelines for 9-10 months. The UFC might also want to save a Sotiropoulos title challenge for a future PPV in Australia. Lauzon is a good fighter but he's not a top-tier guy.

* Phil Davis over Tim Boetsch, submission, round one
My pal Morgan recently commented on the incongruity of Phil Davis' "Mr. Wonderful" nickname. If Davis is going down that road, he should go all the way with it and start wearing sequined robes to the cage. Too bad the piledriver is banned in MMA. Davis might want to consider a "Mr. Perfect" nickname should he continue his unbeaten record here. Boetsch is no small challenge and could definitely score a knockout given Davis' less-than-wonderful striking ability, but Davis should be able to wrestle Boetsch down and pound him out.

* Matt Hughes over BJ Penn, decision
If you had told me seven months ago that I'd be picking Hughes over Penn in a fight, I would've laughed in your face. That was before Penn laid two straight stinkbombs in fights against Frankie Edgar and went from undisputed lightweight champion to guy at a career crossroads. Hughes, meanwhile, was written off two years ago following consecutive losses to Thiago Alves and GSP, but has quietly put together a three-fight winning streak. (Well, two of those were over Renzo Gracie and Matt Serra, but submitting Ricardo Almeida was a solid victory.) Leaving Marv Marinovich's training camp was the worst mistake of Penn's career; he's too old to get by on natural talent anymore. At least with Hughes, you know he'll come in prepared and in good shape. Hughes can outwork BJ for two out of three rounds and 'win' their rivalry by the same score. After this bout, I'd like to see Hughes take on someone like Jon Fitch or Josh Koscheck just to see where Hughes really stands in the welterweight division these days.

* Lyoto Machida over Rampage Jackson, decision
Sort of like how I'm picking against Penn, I'm going with Machida since the jury is still out on if Rampage is still a fighter or if he's in the twilight of his career. A long layoff, shooting 'A-Team' and then showing up out of shape in the Rashad Evans bout didn't exactly do much to convince me that Jackson is still a contender. There's also the fact that Machida needs a big win here to get back on track after (virtual) back-to-back losses to Shogun Rua, and the fact that Machida is pretty much the worst possible style matchup for Rampage's straight-forward style. This has all the makings of a classic three-round unanimous decision for Machida, followed by a whiny Rampage interview complaining about how he came to fight and Machida came to dance.


Undercard....

* Edson Barboza over Mike Luilo, KO, round two
* Dennis Hallman over Karo Parisyan, forfeit, since Karo will probably duck out at the very last minute again
* Mark Munoz over Aaron Simpson, KO, round three
* Brian Foster over Matt Brown, submission, round two
* Nik Lentz over Tyson Griffin, decision
* Paul Kelly over T.J. O'Brien, decision

Friday, November 19, 2010

Out-Of-Context Texts In My Phone Inbox, Volume X

It's hard to believe this is the tenth edition of the out-of-contexts. How time flies. It seems like just yesterday that crusty Blogger editor J. James Jonahson stormed into my cubicle and announced that I had to produce more material or else I'd be out on my can. The joke's on him --- my can is so fat that I would've landed safely on the pavement none the worse for wear. I might've been bounced down the street on it like Tigger from Winnie the Pooh.

But, fortunately, that didn't happen.



"Hey Mark, Sarah and I are at the Gladstone, waiting and starved."

"Yes please!"

"There is another Charlie Brown on!!!"

"Ok, I will be there."

"We were a classic Lions gag job away from being the only two teams left in the survivor pool."

"You driving?"

"Last time college #1s have lost in three consecutive weeks?"

"Jon Hamm on SNL next week!"

"Yeah, madness."

"Have your postcard here in London."

"Can you let me know that you are still coming and ballpark time? Thanz."

"I am at the Blue Bombers game. Clearly a new low in my life."

"Almost there!"

"Okay! Let me know when you are there!"

"Wow, bottom of the eighth!"

"Are you picking me up or vice versa?"

"Have your watch with me."

"Hey, must have misunderstood. I thought you would be here at 1?"

"I retract 'fucking terrible.' However, I think that's been consistently been called a ball throughout the game. Also, seemed like he hesitated. How's UFC?"

"Hey man, no briefcases. Sorry."

"2 left. No misses."

"Come downstairs. Trev needs drinks."

"I'm concerned there aren't nearly enough reaction shots during these telecasts."

"Game on, my boy."

"Yo! Where r we going for ur birthday?"

"Orrrrr borderline."

"Awesome. At the car. See you in the car, Milhouse!"

"Got postcard #2 today. Bring to you in three weeks!"

"LOL"

"Hey! So far I see two towels, your watch and your postcard."

"Indeed."

"Nailbiter! What was that!"

"Nathan Riva should not see the field for the rest of the year...he is awful."

"Excellent."

"WOW...fucking terrible call."

"I'd call it Bloody Sunday if my wife weren't Irish and would thus be horribly offended..."

"It is cold, yes. But it's fun to see downtrodden people lose their last glimmer of hope in life."

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Like A Bosh

Part of me is pained by linking this video since Chris Bosh is probably my Raptors-loving grandmother's favourite player of all time. Then again, my grandma has no time for overrated power forwards.

TBJ exclusive: Like A Bosh from The Basketball Jones on Vimeo.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Other People's Writing


(photo credit: from the Onion caption, "Evil Red Wings Owner Wario Lemieux Steals Stanley Cup")

It's Friday, I'm itching for the weekend, so let's just have a bunch of posts and videos and whatnot from others. Surely I can't be counted on to produce original material. What am I, a machine?

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Not a machine like, say, Florence & The Machine, my current favourite band (ok, well, really a solo act) of the moment. I am kicking myself for not attending their show in Toronto last week. My reaction to seeing that live show would've been similar to how this baby reacts to "Dog Days Are Over." Warning: this may be the most adorable thing you see today. Diabetes sufferers, have your epi-pen handy due to the overwhelming sweetness.

(Added hilarity: the YouTube commenters chewing the mother out for not properly fastening the child into the car seat. If God decides to use YouTube comments as his basis for deciding if humanity deserves another flood or something, we're all in big trouble.)



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The great Joe Posnanski is back with another fantastic post about his father, Bruce Springsteen's forgotten classic "The Promise" and the recent release of songs Springsteen recorded around the time of his Darkness At The Edge Of Town album. If you're a Boss fan, this is a must-read. If you're not a Boss fan, then a) what's the matter with you? and b) read it anyway.

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The Jersey Shore RPG. There are no words.

See more at CollegeHumor.


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In the spirit of Conan O'Brien returning to TV this week, here's a compilation of some of Conan's best sketches and routines from his old Late Show (and one from the Tonight Show). It's not a bad set but it's omitting any of the great Conan/Andy staring contests, or that segment where Tom Selleck mercy-killed his old mustache. I love how that sentence makes absolutely no sense out of context.

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A great movie review can be a joy to read, but perhaps just as joyous is a terrible movie review. Not a review of a terrible movie --- I mean a review that is in itself horrible. This is where 'This Is Not Helpful' site comes into play. They take the most asinine Amazon reviewer comments for various films/TV shows/books/music/etc. and repost them for the entire world to enjoy. For instance, these mini-reviews of UP and CRANK 2. I, for one, would also pay to see Jason Statham play a disciple. "Oi, is dis da blood of Christ?"




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I've had 'best music videos ever list' written down as a potential blog topic for a while now, but there's one major setback keeping me from writing it. I can do a 'best movies' list since I go to a lot of movies. I can do a 'best TV shows' list since I watch a lot of TV. I can't really do a best videos list, however, since I simply don't watch a lot of music videos. Unless I'm specifically pointed to them on the internet, what other vehicle exists for a person to sit down and actually take in a few music videos in a row? Certainly not MTV or Much or music stations that devote their programming day to actual programs. If I made such a list, it would be almost entirely comprised of videos from the 1990's since (surprise) that was the only time when I was frequently exposed to the medium.

What modern videos would be on this hypothetical list? The well-known stuff from major artists and video directors, naturally (i.e. Beyonce's Single Ladies video, OK Go's stuff, pretty much anything from Michel Gondry or Spike Jonze) but the real weakness would be an omission of great videos from lesser-known artists like, say, Oren Lavie. His video for the song "Her Morning Elegance" is jaw-droppingly awesome, but I'm only seeing this two-year-old video now based on pure chance. Lavie's video was a minor viral hit, but it's not like the old days when a keen video would be as or more effective as song in making someone a one-hit wonder. For example, how many people still remember Daft Punk as the "dog head video" guys?

Sunday, November 07, 2010

Demotivational Posters, Vol. 2, Part II

My brother and I made a gentleman's wager of five bucks on the Giants-Seahawks game today. I picked Seattle. As I write this, it's currently 38-0 for New York with about 10 minutes left in the third quarter. :(

To cheer myself up, it's time for some more wacky demotivational posters. Yes, I realize that this does against the logic of these posters being 'demotivational,' but give me a break.










Friday, November 05, 2010

Shatner Does Cee-Lo

I referred to Cee-Lo Green's Fuck You as "the best song in years" a couple of months ago, but if the song had any flaw, it was that it wasn't performed by William Shatner. Problem solved.

(By the way, Vegas has set the odds at 7-1 of this being the only time I ever include a 'Lopez Tonight' clip on my blog.)

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Rumors Of My Vampirism Have Been Greatly Exaggerated

In the spirit of the Sex Chat hotline not being as hot as Apu had anticipated, a recent Yahoo news story about how humanity could devolve into vampirism was sadly lacking. Just look at that headline: "Asteroid strike could force humans to live like vampires". I mean, is that an insta-click, or is that an insta-click? Sure, one might be disgusted by the lame 'humanity could face a permanent Twilight' subheader, but hey, including the word 'Twilight' gets this story pinged by hundreds of needy teenage girls. Never let it be said that the Yahoo News gang doesn't know how to generate pageviews.

So yeah, it's basically just about how a hypothetical asteroid strike could ruin the ozone layer and basically force humanity indoors during the day, lest our skin be slowly burned off. Basically, the human race would turn into any redhead at a beach. That would certainly be a dire situation...but saying this would "force humans to live like vampires" is a bit much.

Pretend you're on Family Feud and are asked to name the top traits of a vampire. Where does "can't go out in the sun" rank on that list? The top answer is clearly sucking blood. 'Stake through the heart' is probably second, since that's how the vast majority of vampires are killed in movies, TV shows, books and other pop culture outlets. (Though technically, I'm not sure staking is all that unique a weakness. If you stabbed me through the heart with a wooden stake, I'd die too, and I'm the least-vampiric guy you'll ever meet. Not that there's anything wrong with that. I have plenty of vampire friends.) Aversion to daylight would be at best the third most-known trait, possibly even behind such other weaknesses as crosses and garlic. So yeah, when I read an article about how an asteroid strike in the ocean might turn me into a vampire, I'm thinking, "Geez, will this meteor be made of some odd material that makes blood extra-delicious?" I'm not thinking about the ozone layer, since let's be honest, I'm half-expecting that to bite the dust in my lifetime anyways. That's much less interesting than wondering if I should invest in Mott's, knowing that they'll be able to pawn their tomato juice off on gullible future vamps.

So don't worry, humanity, nobody is going to be turned into a vampire anytime soon. The real victims here are the aforementioned sad and lonely Twilight fans who were momentarily hoping for an asteroid to strike the earth just so they'd have a better chance of finding an Edward of their very own. Am I poking fun at a stereotype by saying that these girls are so pathetically lonely that they'd actually welcome the probable end of civilization just so they could get laid? No. No I'm not.