Saturday, June 28, 2014

Random Nonsense

I went to see "The Immigrant" this past week due to my See Everything Marion Cotillard Is In policy, yet this one definitely isn't going into Marion's hall of fame.  It's a pretty lacklustre melodrama that is perhaps only notable because of its weirdly old-timey stylized feel to it.

If you could sand out the rougher edges (Marion's character being forced into prostitution, the bad language, her being sexually assaulted on the boat ride over from Poland), that wouldn't have flown in the days of the Hays Code, this film could've easily been made 80 years ago.  It wouldn't surprise me if writer/director James Gray was going for a similar type of feel as Todd Haynes did with "Far From Heaven," though while Haynes was specifically trying to ape the style of the Douglas Sirk 50's melodrama, Gray wasn't as focused and the film ended up as a depressing melange.  Jeremy Renner tries his best to bring some life to this unrelenting dark movie and Joaquin Phoenix seems miscast.  I don't buy him at all as a burlesque showman, though I guess his in-over-his-head awkwardness was kind of the point.
Even my beloved Cotillard is nothing special.  This is probably the worst performance I've seen from her, though it's not a bad performance -- it's a testament to her talent that her bottom of the barrel is only a C+.  Never fear, she still holds the title of Mark's Favorite Actress.  "The Immigrant" is only a speedbump before she stars as Lady Macbeth (alongside Michael Fassbender) in the new adaptation of the Scottish Tragedy, and yikes, my expectations couldn't be higher for that one.


Jack Handey's Deep Thoughts were all great, but this is my favourite one.


It's a sign of a great game when it's still challenging and engrossing even after you beat it, yet for a brief period last week, I thought I had cracked 2048 once and for all.  I beat the game three out of four times, and wondered if I'd achieved some type of higher level of intelligence not unlike that of John Travolta in 'Phenomenon.'  Then, however, reality set in and I'm approximately 0-for-100 since, and I'm back to my usual Travolta-in-Welcome Back Kotter brain activity.

Overall I think I have six or seven 2048 wins thus far, and I'm probably too proud of this achievement.


Paste Magazine's list of the top 50 Britpop songs of all time is so solid that I really have nothing more to say about it.  How could I, given the slam-dunk awesome choice of the #1 song?  The obvious pick would've been to just go with Wonderwall, but Paste knows what's up.

If you go by the old belief that a person believes the music that was big during their freshman year of high school is the best music ever made, then that would explain why I still love Britpop so much.  (Also, I weep for today's high schoolers.)  I dug Britpop so much that about a decade ago, I bought a Suede album solely because I'd heard they were big in that scene, though I'd never actually heard their music before.  The record was terrible.  My belief system was shattered until five minutes after when I put on a Pulp album to restore my faith.


This one is 95% for old-school pro wrestling fans and 5% for video game fans (though really, I'm not sure it'd be funny for them without knowing who Jim Ross is).  Anyway, it's a collection of scenes from games with some of Ross' best commentary calls dubbed over the action. 

For those unfamiliar with good ol' J.R., he's widely regarded as the best wrestling announcer of all time for a number of reasons.  What made Ross so suited for the unique challenge of calling the often-nonsensical world of pro wrestling is that a) he was a legitimately good play-by-play guy, with a background of calling both pro and college football, and b) often he knew when to play it straight and when to wink at the audience.  He didn't always quite act like things were "real," though he took it seriously, if that makes sense.  Of course, Ross being emotional added immeasurably to countless matches, though after the fact, his fired-up calls are pretty funny out of context.  A Ross-esque "Mah gawd!" has become something of an internet meme in itself.

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