Thanksgiving weekend: the time when lots of Americans go out and exercise mass consumerism. This year I actually managed to buy nothing this weekend (except more cat food and toilet paper. So sue me.) This is a weekend where I consume mass amounts of pop culture.
Watched Hairspray on dvd. I was actually dreading it, because I had really low expectations. As far as broadway musical to movie adapatations, I had both Rent and The Producers on my mind. However, I was pleasnatly surprised. Nikki Blonsky was fantastic, unfortunately this is probably the only role she is ever going to get. Amanda Bynes, when given the right role, is actually quite hilarious. The adult cast, except for James Marsden, was pretty sub-par. And John Travolta was absolutely horrendous. First, he looked hella scary, and what the fuck was with the accent he put on? Was he trying to do a Baltimore accent? Zac Efron was actually quite adorable too, and I am not saying that because he is Zac Efron. I think he could even try his hand on Broadway, his dancing is pretty good. Here are my complaints: of course the movie couldn’t include every musical number from the show, but they left out the best ones! “Mama I’m a big girl now” could have showcased more of Penny and Amber, who now seemed like peripheral characters. “The Big Dollhouse” is one of my favorite numbers too, but they actually changed the plot to where Tracey does not go to jail. Link’s “It Takes Two” was on the soundtrack but not in the movie. Or did I maybe miss it? It could have been a huge Zefron moment. The movie also suffered from what the musical did: the first two thirds of the movie were great, and then the last third really lagged. If I had to put my thoughts to a mathematical formula,
John Waters’ original movie version > the Broadway stage version > the 2007 movie
Also finished Heroes, and I know I am going to disappoint a lot of you by saying this, but somehow it just didn’t do it for me. I really thrive on character development, and the only character I really felt I saw develop was Sylar (and I am not just saying that because I lurve Zachary Quinto). I felt like the whole season unraveled into a web of significant plot twists, and every five seconds we learn that a character is not what they seem. Dun dun dunnnn….Mr. Bennett is not trying to kill the Heroes, he’s really protecting them…dun dun dunnnn…Nathan is really Claire’s father…dun dun dunnnn…Nathan and mom are really behind the NYC explosion….it was fun to figure out, but didn’t suck me into the lives of everyone. And quite frankly, I am getting really sick of Milo Ventimiglia’s bangs. I am glad he cuts his hair in season 2. And as I have said a million times before, Heroes is a total ripoff of The 4400, who was able to keep the story going with character development.
I also watched The Girl Next Door, which, believe it or not, is a pretty kickass movie. I think it was marketed as a teen sex romp, but really it is not. Really awesome use of a soundtrack as well. And, as mentioned, Enchanted and BSG: Razor. Also got a crapload of music, but really haven’t had a chance to listen to it.
Against my better judgement I saw Enchanted. Oh hell, who am I fooling, I intiated the whole outting. I needed something totally mindless and entertaining. Although I swore off Disney movies forever, I figured a Disney movie that makes fun of Disney movies would be good. They really did have a go at themselves, and the beginning animated sequence included every cliche in Disney movies. I am not sure if the kiddies will get the sardonic respresentation, but oh well. However, in true Disney fascism, they are equal opportunity offenders, where they showed stereotypes of “supposed” Middle Eastern cab drivers, angry black women, horny gay men, and practically crucifed the chipmonk. The whole love story thing made me cynical too- how did they really end up together? Does she even use the bathroom? How do they explain their relationship to people? And I don’t think that was part of the irony. Also, I am over Patrick Dempsey at the heartthrob. I was kind of on the bandwagon when he made his comeback, but I’m over it. I think they should totally re-release Loverboy.
But James Marsden, be still my heart, totally played the dumb prince to perfection. Check out the tights! My obsession with him is growing. I also saw Hairspray this weekend and passed a couple of Gap ads with him in it as well. His bone structure can solve world peace.
Planet Terror came out today (or last week I think) and a reminder to SEE IT NOW. It is one of my favorite zombie movies, along with 28 Weeks Later and Dawn of the Dead. The ficticious trailers are also in this one.
Also, Robert Rodriguez and Rose McGowan are now engaged, which makes them possibly the most awesome fucking couple on the planet.
I watched Caligula this weekend. After discussing my obsession with ancient Rome, a friend told me to NEVER see this movie. And, of course, I went out and got it right away. This was one trippy mess. It was like it took place at the Caesar’s palace in Atlantic City. Throw in some unnecessary porn and the worst.acting.ever. And why did Malcolm McDowell always look as if he was wearing a figure skating costume? You can see the embarassment of everyone involved. In fact, Gore Vidal was all fuck off, I don’t want to be attached to this anymore. A few years back, an filmmaker made a fake trailer for a remake which is pretty awesome. For a while people thought is was coming out…and how I wish it was. Heads up for Benicio del Toro looking mighty fine.
Not safe for work (fortunately).
I pretty much have been meaning to see The Doom Generation since it came out in 1995. Finally was able to watch it, and it was totally not what I was expecting. In fact, I’m not sure what I was expecting. I always wonder how projects like this get greenlighted. Obviously, it was not a major studio but it’s great that some producer out there has a heart for subversive ideas. Also, wtf is with the comment “A savagely funny film” being the lead quote on the ads, I guess it was funny in a dark way, not funny ha ha. I guess whatever sells. Anyone have a rec for which other Gregg Araki films I should watch? I am already planning on watching Mysterious Skin.
So after waiting maybe a year or more, I finally sat down and watched Factory Girl. God, how dreadful. I’d prefer it to be about Andy Warhol because he is a pretty fucked up guy. In this movie he played the quirky gay sidekick. And really, who the fuck cares about Edie Sedgwick? She is really annoying and didn’t do much but look pretty. But uh. mah. gawd. Hayden Christiansen is beyond hot as the Bob Dylan character. Like, it was kind of unbelievable. It almost made up for the dreadful dialogue and acting.
So today, Death Proof, one half of the Grind House movie, is out on dvd, and barely anyone saw it in theaters. I am telling you that this movie gives me the freaking chills it is so genius. I think that some people will actually hate it and not appreciate it. The plot is nonexistent and for about an hour and ten minutes, there is just banter amongst the actresses that don’t have anything to do with the plot. But the homage to bad grindhouse movies is striking as well as the camera work. And Kurt Russell’s best movie yet. And probably the best soundtrack to a movie ever.
My god, I am so sixk and tired of using gay characters as a comic device. Why would you think that Stardust, as a british histotical fairytale, would throw some bullshit cheep shot gay jokes in there? Namely Robert DeNiro dressing in drag as a comedy. What a freak! Omg! He is going to caught by his enemy and killed during it! Oh, my aching sides! And hiding his effeminate nature in return for not getting the shit beat out of him from his crew. Namely, the one crewmember has to keep reminding him to be manly because god forbid he should be himself! HAHAHAHA! SO FUNNY!
Besides, it wasn’t a great movie anyway, and was about 40 minutes too long. And I am gonna say it. Claire Danes is so fucking ugly; I couldn’t beieve they made stars look like that. Horribly miscast. Yay Sienna Miller! Totally playing herself.
Finally saw Superbad, was pleasantly surprised.But oh my god you couldn’t pay me millions to go back to high school.
Michael Cera = adorable.
Seth Rogan as a cop = orgasmic.
What was with the women in this movie and their extreme annoyingness? And I wanted that one girl to push the fucking hair out of her eyes.
I usually don’t go around quoting movies, but I will start using “I’ll be there, full throttle…like Charlie’s Angels 2″ in my everday conversations.
If there’s something I hate, it’s mediocrity. Lately, some things I’ve watched/read have really let me down, considering I’ve had high hopes for it.
Weeds, Season 2.
Ugh, what happened? Season One was really a black comedy with some real feeling. You really sympathized with Nancy Botwin and there was great character development and somewhat realistic storylines. This season turned into some slapstick, set up “comedic” scenes that had no basis in reality. Characters were shallow and it was hard to connect with any of them or care about their story lines. Some were added for no reason at all other than to get some comedy including the incredibly fucking annoying Zooey Daschanel. The only one I still enjoyed was Justin Kirk because I enjoy his creepy/sleazy sense of humor. I am also becoming increasingly irritated with the depiction of the Black characters; as if their “sassy blackness” becomes the whole basis to their character. Characters that were interesting last year basically played no part (Sanjay?) in this series. I don’t like the direction this is taking and I don’t know how Season 3 is doing, but it really felt like a totally different show.
Rilo Kiley- Under the Blacklight
The new album from my favorite fucking band ever is abosultely terrible. Their first two albums were genius, More Adventerous was decent, this is elevator music, plain and simple. Ugh.
I love David Fincher movies. Scratch that. I love love love David Fincher movies (Fight Club, Seven, Panic Room, Madonna’s “Express Yourself” video). But why was this one so goddam boring? Sure, the murder scenes were creepy, but whu could I barely keep my eyes open? I think we’ve also seen Jake Gyllenhaal as the wide-eyed nubie a zillion times before. mark Ruffalo was just going throught the motions.
Love is a Mix Tape by Rob Sheffield
Rob Sheffield write the way I think: memories are made from music, and listening to a certain song can take me back, and music is what defines memories for me. He uses mixtapes he found to remember old loves and times his life. I was looking forward to this forever, but god was it boring and whiny. I wonder why the hell he is a music journalist and not.
Interpol- Our Love to Admire
I am really trying to like this, but I think Interpol’s ship has sailed.
So this confirms my theory that I should always keep my standards rock bottom, so I will never be disappointed. However, some things I am looking forward to which I hope will not let me down:
I caught a matinee of The Ten, and it might as well have been called Wet Hot American Summer 2.
It is the same writer/director and the same group of actors. Everyone included in The State/Reno 911!/Wet Hot posse, including a hilarious deadpan Paul Rudd, Thomas Lennon, Jason Sudeikas, Kerri Kenney, Mike Powers, Justin Theroux as Jesus Christ (DM), Liev Schreiber, and brief cameos by Michael Ian Black and Michael Showalter. Come to think of it, it was like all my celeb boyfriends in one movie. Also with a surprisingly hilarious Winona Ryder- where the hell has she been lately? Some of the stuff fell flat, other stuff was hilarious. The movie ran like a 90-minute episode of the State. So if you never found that or Wet Hot funny, this will seem entirely weird. Also, if you can’t laugh at a scene using prison rape as a punchline, then maybe it’s not for you. Also, if you have no appreciation for comedic delivery, then forget it. Also, a great comedic tribute to Y Tu Mama Tambien.
I’ve been critical of HP stuff lately and apparently people I talk to re getting very defensive, like how DARE I criticize. I’m not talking about any of you, my dear loyal readers. This whole HP blitz has been quite emotional for me. I’m going to talk about the Order of the Phoenix movie, which I reluctantly drgged myself to see today.
OOTP is my favorite Harry Potter book thus far. Why? Because it begins to get into political allegory about progessivism v. conservatism. Because we get a lot of charcter development and learn a lot more about the complexity of some people’s relationships, and delve into the pasts of a lot of characters. We learn more about Neville’s family, the original Order, why Sirius is such an outcast, the list goes on….
None of that was portrayed in the movie. And I understand that. I understand the art of movie-making in that there is only a finite amount of time one can use to move the story along. They needed to get to the main point, which was a big Harry/Voldemort showdown. Yawn.
So the movie was well done, it was enjoyable, but I had a pit in my stomach the whole time. What astounds me is when they remove plot points. 99% of people who will see this movie has read the books. They know the plot, there is no getting around it. In fact, I have seen close to nothing in terms of marketing of this movie; people just know the date it comes out and then they go see it. So why did they make it that Cho gave up the names of Dumbledore’s army? And that is why Harry loses interest? Um, no, I wanted to see the touchingly awkward Valentine’s date. If I hadn’t read the book twice, I would be totally confused as to why Harry thought Sirius was in the Dept. of Mysteries. Kreacher gave him up, but we did not see that at all. So, why did we even get a glance of Kreacher in the beginning? I know it probably sets us up for the next movie, but still, it did not make sense.
Something else I was looking forward to was when we see Snape’s memory of being tortured by James Potter and company. This give a lot of insight into why Snape is the way that he is and shows Harry that his father and Sirius and Lupin were not the perfect people he has made them out to be. In the movie, we get only a brief flash.
I thought Imelda Staunton did a wonderful Umbridge, but somehow her evil did not come through in the movie like it did in the book. Also, I rully want a kitten room.
Another scene I was greatly anticipating was Fred and George’s major sabotage of the OWL exams. I had heard so much about this scene, I had high hopes. But, seriously, didn’t they do more than just fireworks? Is that really advanced CGI? I thought they also filled the place with suds too. Did they run out of budget?
At the department of mysteries showdown, what was with all the gray swirling around? What is this, Nightcrawler? Just show the magic. And the brain thing. And the thing that makes the bird go from old to young. You know what I mean. Sigh.
And Gawp- was it even necessary? Since they didn’t even explain why Hagrid had him? I guess they needed some comedic relief. Or something.
Luna was pretty cute. But wasn’t she picked from like 100,000 other hopefuls? Was she really the best?
Ok, I’ll try to be positive:
*Loved Tonks. I wished there were more of her.
*We finally see a non-white wizard.
*The flight from Privet Drive to Grimwald place was pretty kick-ass.
*Lupis and Sirius: totally gay for each other.
*Young Snape: emo goth. Cute!
*Ever notice the actress who plays Ginny and the actress who plays Lily Potter look a lot alike? Coincidence?
*Neville is so dapper. I don’t know what that means.
The 4400 is blowing my mind right now. I’m halfway through Season 2. It’s the kind of science fiction I like: the one that makes sense within its own universe. One part x-files, Heroes, X-men, and Roswell. Good allegory and enough suspense. Anyone else watch it? I wouldn’t have even heard of it if a friend of mine hadn’t forced me to watch the first season.
(And I TOTES have a crush on Marco, the geeky forensics guy.)
I usually don’t like books to be made into movies, but Perfume was an exception. An amazing book, and you would never think it could be made into a movie. If you get the genius behind Run Lola Run, it could be done. It is not as gimmick-y, but it does have some great visual scenes. My only complaint is that there is a narrator, which to me signifies weak screenwriting. Then again, I don’t think you could do without one. Dustin Hoffman basically plays himself. For those of you that have read the book, yes, they really do have that ending in there. I think it did not get a wide release in the US because of it is incredibly graphic and it is about a murderer as the protagonist. That and the US likes shitty movies. For me, this may go up there along with Fight Club as one of the best book-to-movie adaptations.
- The Silver Surfer, which was completely CGIed creation, was a better actor and had more depth than anyone in the movie
- Sue Storm’s hair was the exact same color as her face.
- Sue Storm had better powers, and saved everyone multiple times in the movie, although all was mentioned was that she was hot and she was going to have a beautiful wedding.
- The Thing was dating a woman who was blind for no reason.
- When Mr. Fantastic’s arms stretch, so do his clothes. What the fuck? Inspector Gadget was more believable.
- It made me hate Chris Evans.
- He runs into someone coming out of the shower in his science lab. WHY IS HE TAKING A SHOWER AT THE LAB AND WHY IS THE BATHROOM RIGHT OFF A PUBLIC HALLWAY?
- Within three hours, Reed Richards created a planetary homing device complete with a lcd screen remote.
- An intergalactic cloud was threatening to engulf planet earth. The only people involved with saving it were the fantastic 4, and three miltary officials. All American, of course.
- They fly from New York to Siberia in a matter of seconds.
- Since they are in China, they decide to get married Asian-style. Sue Storm dresses like a geisha. There are giggling Japanese women as guests.
Seriously, I don’t even know why I saw it. At least I didn’t have to pay.
Ok, so several people have have brought up the movie Mannequin in recent conversations (weird, I know!) so I decided to rewatch it, knowing it would be bad. But oh my god, the horrosity. Okay, excluding the costume montage, because that was obviously awesome. Ok, I need some suspension of disbelief, but thw creators weren’t even TRYING. So, Emmy was supposed to be an ancient Egyptian princess, but when they showed her in Egypt, she was wrapped as a mummy. As in, mummies are Egyptian, so everyone must dress like that. Come ON, people, look in the Encyclopedia Brittanica or something. Also awesome: James Spader and Andrew McCarthy are in the same movie, proving to me that they are not the same person. And, of course, they get married at the end of the movie, because it isn’t a happy ending until there is marriage. Also, it ended the way every movie in the 80s did: with a still frame underneath the credits.
Ummmmm, awesome fan mix!
Also, Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle was much funnier than I expected.
So was Reno 911! Miami. Go figure. The extended scenes were about a thousand times funnier than any part of the movie or any of the shows.
I was just informed that 25 years ago, Grease 2 was released. I have never seen a sequel shit on so much, when, in fact, it is pretty much the same thing as the original. Secret: I love this movie. When it is on tv, I sit glued to the tv. The acting was just as bad, the characters were basically the same, and the plot was just as stupid and unrealistic as the original. AND I am going to go ahead and say that the music was just as good, probably better, than the original songs. Yes, you heard that here. I know the original was based on an award-winning play and is obvi catchy, but lest we forget the bowling alley anthem “We’re gonna Score Tonight” or the fanstastic song done during the sex ed class? OR the song about Brad that those twins did during the talent show? I rest my case.
Someone with sliiiigggghhtly more time on their hands compiled some cool stuff about the movie, I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did.
Also, for viewing pleasure:
As some of you know, The Heart is Deceitful Above All Things is one of my favorite novels. I was less than ecstatic when indie-hipster Asia Argento decided to make a film version. Finally saw it, and it was so pointless. The book is about extreme child abuse, but it is told in a way that the narrator makes excuses for his mother. The film did not portray this, and just ran as a straightforward narrative and seemed to be running off of shock value. It also seems like she wanted to make a movie to show off all her indie film friends. Plus, it starred the SPROUSE TWINS! Yes, those who star in the Disney Channel hit The Suite Life of Zack and Cody. I wonder what their tween fans would feel if they knew their beloveds starred in a movie where they hang out in meth labs, dress in their mother’s clothes and prostituting themselves. A very special episode maybe?
I just watched Dream A Little Dream for the first time in maybe 15 years. You know what? It is pretty damn good. The Coreys are in full form and even 80s jovk hottie William McNamara makes a good showing. The plot is also kind of some meta-Zen Buddhism shit. And who can forget the fantastic dance sequence where Corey Feldman channels Michael Jackson.
Also, I wanted to BE Lainie soooo bad. Damn this movie for giving me a warped and unrealistic view of what high school is.
In other shameful news, I sat through Bring It On: All or Nothing. Seriously, they should show this movie to the UN to help solve race relations.
I’ve been floating in a sea of crappy movies lately (Eragon, anyone?), but two have really stuck out. Notes on a Scandal was basically a textbook of good acting. Although, Judi Dench’s character is me in 30 years. Brandon confirmed this and mentioned that the way she treated Cate Blanchett’s character is the way that I treat him. I would have gotten really angry but he was actually quite correct. It’s rare that you get a movie that is a slice of realness.
I didn’t think that I could think Kate Winslet was anymore incredible, but Little Children totally proved me wrong. Her character was supposed to be somewhat frumpy, so that part was unconvincing. Finally a movie that does not make being married and having children the happy ending of the fairy tale. I’m not so much a Patrick Wilson fan. I still see him as a gay Mormon or Raoul from Phantom of the Opera, and I will never forget him for being in that douchey Gap commerical with Claire Danes. The movie may actually be better than the book. THis was also the case for Election, which was also by the same author.
Pirates 3 actually looks good. I like how they made Keira Knightley kick some ass. I’d better watch the second one pretty soon. I tried several times but fell asleep.
or was Pan’s Labrynth boring as hell?
In other news, 28 Weeks Later was fantastic. Dare I say, better than 28 Days Later.
Wow, the 3+ hours was one of the best moviegoing experiences of my life.
- Robert Rodriguez/Quentin Tarantino are the best directors of our time. Maybe Rodriguez more so.
- One of the best-looking cinemagraphically filmed movies ever, even if content was a bit lacking. Loved the added scratches.
- I can’t beliiieeeeeeeve this didn’t get an NC-17 rating. It just shows the hypocrisy in the rating system. I’d allow my child to see Shortbus and The Dreamers before this. Probaby the most graphically violent movie I have ever seen. Your most gruesome nightmares realized. Heads exploding, people being cooked alive, melting genitals, grusesome car accidents, limbs being torn from bodies, organs being eaten. It’s all there, and more.
- I think I’m in love with Rose McGowan. Gun leg included.
- Fake trailers= incredible.
- Love how they followed old genres but updated it a bit.
- Tarantino is a master of choosing soundtracks.
- Casting was perfect. Love Freddy Rodriguez. Loved Sydney Poitier’s daughter. Even Rosario Dawson was bearable.
- Ok, so there was massive glorified violence, INTENSE misogyny….but is it to be taken for face value or was it used as an homage to a movie genre or used to make a point about exploitation? Either way, not everyone who sees this movie is going to think that deeply, and the violence/misogyny will be subconsciously justified. This is the same thing that worries me about shows like South Park and Reno 911!, which is a veiled social commentary.
Like I said, Quentin Tarantino is a genius when it comes to soundtracks, and understands how it is as important as the movie (Sofia Coppola comes in a close second). Death Proof is no exception. I’m still on the prowl for Planet Terror.
1. The Last Race – Jack Nitzsche
2. Baby, It’s You – Smith
3. Paranoia Prima – Ennio Morricone
4. Planning & Scheming – Eli Roth
5. Jeepster – T Rex
6. Stuntman Mike – Kurt Russell
7. Staggolee – Pacific Gas & Electric
8. The Love You Save (May Be Your Own) – Joe Tex
9. Good Love, Bad Love – Eddie Floyd
10. Down In Mexico – The Coasters
11. Hold Tight – Dave Dee
12. Sally And Jack – Pino Donaggio
13. It’s So Easy – Willy DeVille
14. Whatever-However – Tracie Thoms
15. Riot In Thunder Alley – Eddie Beram
16. Chick Habit – April March
Well, you would think that Clive Owen + Alfonso Cuaron + post-apacolyptic Britain + single-shot sequences + themes of hope and myth would really wow me. But Children of Men was really…underwhelming. Maybe because I am dead inside.
Stranger Than Fiction = most pointless movie ever? I know there was the whole message of live your life to the fullest, etc., but things just made no cinematic sense. It was like it had some undertone of biblical evangelist message that I didn’t get. And Maggie Gyllenhaal, reading from cue cards does not constitute acting.
I was skeptical, but Shortbus was….good. I think. For the first half hour, I wanted to punch everyone in the movie in the face. If I ever meet Ceth with a “C” on the street I would seripously harm him. But then the last half hour or so was pretty good. John Cameron Mitchell has good filmmaking moments, but he’s not quite there. I haven’t watched any of the making of, behind the scenes dvd extras stuff yet.
Saw 300. Still deciding if I loved it or loathed it. Visually, it was fantastic, the best visual effects and artistic direction I’ve seen in years. I didn’t realize until I saw it that Zack Snyder directed it. He also did Dawn of the Dead, which doesn’t surprise me because basically the whole middle half of the movies was a freaking bloodbath battle. Even I at one point had to leave to go the bathroom to take a break. It was like Gladiator meets the Matrix with all the slow motion, stop in midair shots. Despite actually enjoying it while watching it, I had many findamental issues which I just couldn’t ignore.
- The whole thing was like one pro-war infomercial. I know the book was like that too, but it was interesting that this came out now.
- The depiction of the Asians and Persians was quite one sided, barbaric and quite frankly racist.
- The women were basically created as ideal figures for hetero men. All the women in ancient Greece were depicted as Victoria’s Secret models who wore revealing clothing all the time. There was unecessary nude shots of most of the women, including and unecessary sex scene. And why does the oracle have to be naked? Was that necessary?
- Don’t get me started on the depiction of King Xerxes. He was depicted as somewhat effeminate, and the actor’s voice was manipulated to make him sound extemely ambiguous as far as gender. When he met Lionides, he also seemed to “put the moves on him” which angered Lionides. Why was the evil king the one depicted as gender variant?
- Plot and dialogue were non existent. Most of it was Lionides shouting orders in a booming masculine grunt and the troops responding. The hyper-masculinity and the scores of half naked men just reeked of latent gayness. I’ve never seen so much latent homosexuality in a movie since Jackass. Not that I didn’t mind it, but what was going on with that dynamic? Was it put there puposely?
Ultimately, I am going to blame Frank Miller for all the fundamentally disturbing social issues. He did create the story and the images. It’s not a surprise- although I adore Sin City, there were a thousand disturbing things.