Monday, June 29, 2009

Friday, June 26, 2009

Farrah Leni Fawcett

February 2, 1947-June 25, 2009

Michael Joseph Jackson

August 29, 1958- June 25, 2009

If you think about, send a thought to or say a prayer for their family, friends, and especially their children.

6/26-Summer movies

are always something I look forward to.  I love love love summer flicks especially if they are poorly constructed narratives with pretty people and lots of explosions.  I used to feel guilty about going to see movies like James Bond and Pirates of the Caribbean more than once, but have since reconciled to my geek-dom and will proudly declare that I intend to see HP6 on Wednesday, July 15 at Midnight and probably once or twice after.

But, I'll be damned if I see Transformers 2.

"Transformers 2: Revenge of Megan Fox's Ass or Some Such Shit"/UN-PLUG

Maybe I just have a thing against robot movies.  Maybe that's the line I draw in the science fiction/fantasy sand.  I didn't like Robocop, I thought that Will Smith movie with all the AI drones was awful, had no desire to see T3 or 4, and I will go ahead and tell you right now that GI-JOE: Robo Suit Reload will be getting a "no" from me.

Or maybe it's just that Michael Bay can't make a movie to save his smarmy ass.  So instead, he recruits James Cameron's old FX people and shoots Megan Fox like she's in a softcore porno as evidenced below (And, as a fun trivia side note: Michael Bay did, in fact, use to direct pornos).  

Is Megan beautiful? Yes. Do I envy her? Of course.  Would I ever make out with her? No.  There's just this waxy desperation about her.  And I will go ahead and say it...she has had work done. As in lots of work.  That bike she's straddling and pretending to fiddle with could be a metaphor for her face. Have you seen pictures of her before she became famous? Sorry, but puberty does not do that to ANYBODY. 

And she's not a great actress.  But Shia LaDouche is which is upsetting because he's totally wasted on these movies.  The trailer is below.  If you didn't see the first movie (and this is the only reason you would be curious about the second) you can watch it and see why it will be awful. Or you can save 2 minutes of your life and take my word for it.  

And the other weekend opener:
"My Sister's Keeper"/UN-PLUG

If you saw Star Trek and were at the theater in time to see the previews then you can corroborate with me on this.  I didn't make it through the mother fucking trailer.  Did you?  If you did, you are stronger than me.  Because the tears were flowing hot and heavy.  Seriously, if you haven't seen this, watch it and try not to get emotional.  I dare you.

So why the UN-PLUG? 

Because when those hot and heavy tears rolled down my face in the dark theater where no one could see, they felt shameful.  Not beautiful and liberating like they feel when I watch Little Women or read Mrs. Dalloway.  There is no pathos mingled with joy, no sympathy that approaches uncomfortable proximity, no spark of the divine.  They are cheap tears. 

Like Pavlov's dogs, we have been programmed by the powers that be to feel the deepest imaginable pain for the cute kid with cancer and the tortured mother trying to save her.  And this is what hack writers like Jodi Picoult and Nicholas Sparks prey on.  They spin weak yarns designed to hone in on these soft spots and manipulate and exploit them so that we think we have actually encountered something true and beautiful.  But it's all just a sham.  There is no real depth, development, or resolution to these stories.  They are just cheap and easy parlour tricks.

Next Week: "Public Enemies"-at a glance UN-PLUG

I dunno.  I haven't heard one way or the other, but I'm just not convinced.  Not a huge Michael Mann fan.  Don't think he makes as good of films as he thinks he does.  I won't be seeing this one.  

In reviewing this noticing I'm especially snarky today.  

Harry, you can not come soon enough.

Friday, June 19, 2009

6/20-I think I may be switching

bookstores.  For years, I have been a B & N advocate.  But Borders has been kicking ass lately. Great, great coupons.  Yesterday, I got a coupon for 40% of anything in store.  Add to that my 10% members discount, and needless to say, I went book shopping. Plus, I always get a warm fuzzy feeling when I remember the Borders on Magdalen Street in Oxford that was my home away from home.

Now that I have finished my first round of summer reading books, here's my feedback.

The Hours
On the second read through, it is still wonderful.  Not as wonderful as Mrs. Dalloway of course, but still one of the most impactful books. 

The Shadow of the Wind
This books was really gothic and fun.  Nice and creepy at places, touching and insightful at others.  My only gripe: there was a bit of a third act collapse.  It kinda slugs along at the end, which is disappointing because the first two-thirds have a nice, consistent tension.  Overall, a good read. I could put it down, though.  Unlike the Outcast.

My next reading list is:
I Capture the Castle
A Spy in the House of Love
A Brief History of Time (re-read)

And between two Brontes, which should I read? ... Should I re-read Wuthering Heights (I read it soooo long ago that all I remember are the basic plot points and I'm sure I didn't appreciate it as much as I would now) or Jane Eyre (I've actually never read it, but I saw the movie in high school so I remember the plot).


And, finally, here it is. Your moment of body Zen.

Thank-you Vanity Fair.  These are the "New Girls of Summer".  They are pro and amateur surfers.  And they are REAL.  Their bodies are wonderfully strong and fit, but you can tell that these girls also like to eat cheese and drink beer. Yes!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

6/18-If you don't like sports, you can ignore this post. 

Because I am compelled to diverge from film and fashion for a bit.  Because for the next 4 days, my focus will be on the 2009 U.S. Open.  It started today.

And then came the rain.  Right now, the greens look more like ponds and those little squeegees they use to rake away water just aren't cutting it.  So it's delayed.  Which means that the next three days will be a cluster-fuck of overlapping tee times and sloppy, sloppy golf.  Bethpage Black is an impossible course on a good day.  But with rain, it will be like watching a mud bowl. Except there won't be 250 pound guys running a football into an enormous end-zone.  Instead, overweight 40 yr. olds will be trudging up slick grass hills and trying to put a ball the size of a cherry tomato into a hole the size of bath tub drain.  It will be oh so ugly and oh so fun to watch.

The most fun thing to watch will be Tiger.  He knew the rain was coming, but he's still pissed. And when Tiger gets angry, wonderful things happen.  

Which leads to my confession.  I am always an advocate for the underdog.  I hate Kobe Bryant. I can't stand the Yankees.  I want to strangle Steeler fans with their terrible towels.
But I love Tiger.  I simply can not cheer against him.  Ever.  In fact, I can't remember a time in the past 3 or 4 years when I have not watched him play in a major on Sunday.  

For those of you who have never watched or cared about Tiger or golf, you may be wondering if he is really worth all the hype...if he's really that good.  Think about it this way.  In the NCAA basketball tournament, 65 teams get to play for the title, but only one wins.  Any team that has more than one championship is considered bad ass.  But a school very rarely wins two championships within the same decade, let alone with the same team.  If Tiger was a NCAA basketball team, he would win the championship by himself every other year.  He's insane.

Right now, he's at +1 through the 6th hole.  But he kicked ass at the Memorial Tournament a couple weeks ago.  He's in a groove. The Vegas line is 5/2.  David is betting on Mickelson just to be contrary.  You should bet on Tiger.
He's as competitive as they come.  Like, it's kind of ridiculous how competitive he is.  Watch Scott Van Pelt's interview with him. It's scary.  

But he also has a nice side.  And he may have the best "man tears" moment in recent history. This is when he won the British Open.  His father (bff and mentor) had just died, but Tiger hadn't cried.  
He won, and then he broke down.  He just clung onto his caddy and sobbed.  Sigh.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

6/11-Thank God I'm not living there now.

Maybe this is the real reason my mother and father have decided to take a month long vacation out West.  I will have to ask them.

I love Savannah, really I do.  Sure, it's an absolutely nuts-o place to grow up in, what---with the deep seated racism, economic polarity, and social snobbery.  But it's beautiful.  And amidst the evil people, there are beautiful ones as well.

But I am so glad I am not there right now.  Why? Because of all the bigoted bubba's, racist rednecks, superficial social climbers, and holier-than-thou hypocrites, Savannah has never had to deal with the likes of Bumfuck Cyrus.

That's right.  Miley Cyrus has invaded my city.  She has been photographed literally hoofing it on her unsteady, pre-pubescent colt legs around downtown, and most recently, tainting the waters at Tybee on a jet ski with a Vagina Virgin.  Apparently, she is filming some crap movie and decided Savannah was the perfect place.  

Miley, speaking on behalf of all Savannahians...Please, do not insult us.  We are not the perfect place for you.  We are above you.  

Apparently everyone else within the 912 feels the same way I do.  How do I know?  They recently held an open casting call for local guys to audition for a love interest role as well as minor speaking parts or to be extras in the film.  Do you know how many people showed up? 

Less than Ten. 
I shit you not.

The press, news media, and Miley's camp still can't figure it out.  How could a tween/international/paparazzi sensation such as Miley suddenly garner so little attention?  I will tell you.  

Only Savannah is impervious to star power.  That's why people like Sandra Bullock live there year round.  No one gives a shit about her, and she likes it that way.  But famewhores like Paula Deen and Miley...we hate.  We are the only breed whose sense of self-importance is above the ministrations and manipulations of Hollywood.  Their snob has nothing on our snob.  And THAT is why Savannah is the last great outpost of America.  In an age where people compete to be Paris Hilton's BFF, sell the souls of their 8 kids for a buck, or just generally worship all those who have been recorded by a camera, Savannah sets itself apart.  

Ironic, I know, but the snobs of Savannah may just save the world.

Here is a link for the article detailing the disastrous auditions.  I love that out of the ten people who showed up, one was a Savannahian/SCAD student just there to make fun of it.

Friday, June 5, 2009

6/5- Hangovers...
are never fun.  Mine this morning is especially brutal.  Last night was a free for all. So today, I am curling up on the couch with an "easy reader" book and waiting for 7:30 when I will go to the movie theater and see a film about a hangover that is way more funny and consequential than mine.

"The Hangover"-PLUG

Right now, on Rotten Tomatoes it's at 80-something percent.  But even if it was at 20% I would probably still see and recommend this movie for the simple fact that the cast is bad-ass.  It's got Ed Helms (from "The Daily Show" when it was in its heyday and "The Office"), Bradley Cooper (super funny/smart cute) and Justin Bartha, who, for those of you who aren't Nicholas Cage fans, played the computer geek in the "National Treasure" movies.  He is adorable and his sense of timing is pretty damn sharp, so I'm happy to see him getting more work.   Plus, the buzz on this movie is that, aside from having a deliciously pre-pubescent and raunchy sense of humor, it's a good story.  Apparently, the script and the plot are tight enough that even if it didn't have the comedy element, it would still be a good "who dunnit"/mystery.  The gist is: a groom to be and his three pals go to Vegas for a bachelor party and get wasted. Then they wake up, not remembering anything from the night before, to find their world turned upside down.  Plus, the groom has gone missing.

And if this isn't enough incentive to see it, I should mention that this movie also has the guy who, in about two weeks, will be known everywhere as the next "funniest dude".  Zach Galifianakis.  Zach has been around for a while and has done stand up, TV shows, and produced such gems as the web distributed "Between Two Ferns."  But now, he is about to blow up.  And it's about time.

If you liked that video, watch the "Between Two Ferns" with Natalie Portman. Hilarious.

And yes, believe it or not, Kanye West did authorize this as his second music video for "Can't Tell Me Nothing" and even had his director shoot it in North Carolina where Zach's from.

Finally, if you think about it today, say a prayer or reserve a thought for David Carradine ("Kill Bill", "Kung Fu") and his family.  He passed away yesterday in his hotel room in Bangkok. Details around his death are still sketchy, but I really don't want to pay attention to all that crap. The important thing to remember is that he was an amazing talent.  And he will be greatly missed.

David Carradine (December 8, 1936-June 4, 2009)

Monday, June 1, 2009

6/1-I hope you didn't watch.

Because the MTV Movie Awards were AWFUL.  Epic, epic, epic fail.  Andy included.  
I came home from a bbq Sunday night slightly drunk and it still didn't make him, Sasha Baron Cohen, Eminem or anyone else funny.  Just pathetic, staged, and slightly sad. 
I watched for about 20 minutes, then turned off the TV and went to smoke a cigar on the back porch.  This was a good decision.

Even the fashion was lame. 

Let me clarify.  We all knew the fashion would suck, but I was at least holding out for some truly spectacular misses a la Bijork and the Swan, but I got nothing except a lot of black bubble hemmed dresses, fake spray tan, dyed blonde hair, and "beach wave curls".  In other words, the girls from the Hills are actually zombies and have taken over every single celebrity in Hollywood under the age of 30 infecting them with their stupidity and boresville style.  Seriously, I can not accurately convey my loathing for this red carpet.  Way to go Megan Fox. Way to look like a tranny.  Nice dress Rummer Willis.  I saw about 20 of those left un-purchased on the clearance rack at Urban Outfitters. Ugh. Ugh. Ugh.  

There is no charisma, intelligence, or edginess left in Tinsel Town.  Instead of embracing the fourth wall thereby reinforcing that films are a suspension of disbelief while simultaneously creating stories that evoke the questions and problems of lived experience, Hollywood is content to script "reality" moments that deal with issues that are neither touching nor illuminating like "omigod did Brody come with her?"  In a world where two people have actually altered themselves to look like the base and cheap plastic dolls we were given as children, there is little hope left for art.  

Barbie and Ken. Soul Destroying.

The only pro's. 
First: We got a Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince clip.  For the simple fact that in T-minus three weeks all I will be talking about is this movie, I will spare you my commentary for now.

Second, Kristin Stewart (overlooking the fact that she was in the sub-par "Twilight") threw her pretentious and self important middle finger to the very awards she was attending by wearing Chuck Taylor's with her dress and dropping (hence breaking) her golden popcorn while Sparklefuck laughed.

What ingrates.  But, I can't blame them.  I would have felt the same way.  Last night was a depressing reminder that Hollywood has become a mediocre, lukewarm community that I want to vomit out of my mouth.

Now that that's done, I'm going to go read a book.