Thursday, June 26, 2008

Howdy and a random Nick and Shane post

SO. I promised B I'd do some posts while she was across the pond, and since I'm a horrid and lazy person I haven't done anything yet..... My pathetic little excuse is the 8+ hour workday+ commute is whooping my ass and I stare at a computer all day so I don't do the same when I get home cos I fall asleep immediately (and I do mean immediately), at a sorry expense to this blog. Sorry. :( However flimsy that excuse is...... Welcome to real life, I suppose.... ugh.

SO, I thought I'd start off posting a post I started back during the semester, never finished, and forgot what I was going to say about. (I can't even remember; all I've been listening to lately is the Riders In The Sky and Xavier Cugat so.... may a post about them coming up in the future, knowing me, not too soon a future. sorry for being a lazy bum. )

So ANYWAY, you can have the songs, and get to skip my chatter. Yay!

Here's some Nick and Shane, those two lovelies:

you know you love them.... <3

What A Wonderful World with Shane here

A Rainy Night In Soho here (just Nick) (WARNING: B and I agree that it is fairly awful, the only nick cave I don't like...)

Lucy (version 2) here

Friday, June 13, 2008

The Robert Downey Jr Post

I'm gonna go ahead and admit it- like every girl across America who saw Iron Man, I am jumping on the massive-crush-on-RDJ bandwagon, and boy is it worth it. For everyone who was a bit disappointed with Indy IV (and when I say everyone, I mean everyone), Iron Man is pretty much The fun summer movie that people look forward to once summer movies start coming out (and no, Prince Caspian isn't it.) I have seen it twice in theaters, something I haven't done for a very, very long time.

Iron Man is officially the best Marvel hero movie that has been made, and yes, I am including Nick Fury: Agent of SHIELD. Where the X-Men and Spider-man films never felt like they had very much meat and punch behind them, Iron Man has a great cast (Jeff Bridges, Terrence Howard, Shaun Toub, and Mrs Chris Martin, even though I've never been a fan), a relevant story line that has been suitably updated into our world (here, Los Angeles and in general, a post-911 world), and thrills and giggles. If you haven't seen it yet, I highly recommend it. I am not very familiar with the Iron Man of the comics, so I don't know how purists feel about the film, but on its own as a film- it's excellent. Definitely check it out, it's probably still in theaters.

If you're all over the place for more Robert Downey Jr, I'd like to recommended Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, starring the man himself in addition to Val Kilmer and Michelle Monaghan. I meant to see it when it came out, but a Blockbuster monthly pass plus this newfound RDJ obsession made sure I gave it another go, and it's well worth the- whatever it is that you do to get your movies.

Kiss Kiss Bang Bang is an updated noir-comic film, with "chapter titles" that just so happen to be the names of Raymond Chandler novels. And as you know, Raymond Chandler just so happens to be God. The film follows Harry (Downey Jr), who stumbles into a film audition after a botched toy store robbery and so impresses the audition people that he is brought to Hollywood. He is assigned to accompany Val Kilmer's gay detective character on the job so as to do research for his upcoming role, and as you can except, gets into all sorts of trouble. Michelle Monaghan plays a girl from his past. You get the idea. Dark alleys, corruption in the seat of authority, perversion, strange situations, ladies. The movie takes appropriate genre elements and uses them to its advantage.

Downey is ideal as the ironic antihero, interrupting his own narration when he remembers things he has forgotten to tell us. He's in over his head, and Downey plays Harry to perfection. It's especially fun to watch Downey and Kilmer square off, with Kilmer's character making it clear that he has little use for movie detectives in general or Downey in particular.

Although there are many laughs, this is a violent film, as Black honors the genre while he plays with it. This is not a "Scary Movie" style spoof where we don't have to take anything seriously. People get hurt and some die in the course of the movie, and sometimes it does hurt. That's part of the reason these films continue to resonate. It's not merely about solving the mystery. There are some real human emotions at stake. [Daniel M Kimmel]
The movie is a lot of fun, the characters interesting, dialogue sharp, good pacing.
Aand, if you're not gonna go see the Hulk this weekend, here's the TV spot with Tony Stark. Yippee.

Monday, June 02, 2008

The Indy 4 Post

Hopefully you grabbed a minnit to go see the new movie, but if not, a heads up that there are spoilers for those who haven't. For a spoiler-free review, check this one out. I spent most of the movie with either a WTF?! face on or a shit-eating grin across my face. I'm quite torn over the whole thing in a fairly positive way. I think the first half is much better than the second, which descends into a step-by-step, almost draggy puzzle/quest. But it is a ton of fun and stays true to the spirit of things.

But let's get this out of the way.

Why the Aliens Didn't Suck:
1. It is in the mythology/history of the skull. This I learned from an uber-dramatic SciFi special and a not-quite-as-dramatic-but-hey-it's-still-the History Channel special.

2. More importantly, it fits in the 1950s Atomic theme. Which we get hit over the head with in what I thought was a great opening first act, mushroom cloud and all.

Why the Aliens Totally Did Suck:
1. Did you look at them?!
2. Steven Spielberg made this movie already, right?
3. Did you look at them?!
4. This was a big step away from the artifacts aspect of the first three Indy movies. The Sankara Stones, the Ark, and the Grail are all specifically man made objects, and the supernatural element is channeled through these very much earthly objects. This time, it was an alien skull, not an object "made or shaped by human craft." I don't know why this is such a sticking point for me. But it is. And in the end, I'll admit, I'm not a big fan of aliens.

What Worked:
1. The opening credits: Established time and place and was beautifully shot.
2. The Marion-Indy banter: Because thank god the screenwriter didn't learn from the Attack of the Clones School of Romantic Leads Dialogue. Likewise, the general Harrison-Shia-Karen dialogue sparkled.
3. Indy Being Old. It was a treat to see him as the professor, though beyond the dry sand moment they didn't take advantage of it throughout. I didn't have any doubts that Harrison Ford would be able to pull it off, but I wasn't sure if the screenplay would spend the whole time in a confusion of contradictory geezer jokes and crazy action moves. Thankfully, they've allowed Indy to mature rather than just age.
4. Okay, let's admit it. Even though all the self-referential things were about as subtle as that giant hammer, you enjoyed them.
5. Shia LaBeouf's character, Mutt, was genuinely charming and well-acted. I had concerns, but I think in the end. . .
6. The "passing of the hat/whip" was classy AND badass as fuck.
7. John Williams' reworking the theme for the end credits! A little treat at the end.
8. The format. While I feel that the end suffered, the general idea of a big baddie after a source of ultimate power, the big minion dude, the sidekick.
9. Marion! Severely underused and -appreciated Karen Allen was lovely, and the writing kept Marion in character.
10. The Cast. No false notes or weak points.

What Didn't Work:
1. The Quest part. Three waterfalls and the-skull-as-key later, there was little satisfaction in the payoff. Even if it was a big fucking room full of big fucking priceless artifacts.
2. Oh god. The Aliens and their Saran-wrap skulls and their spaceship.

What the Fuck:
1. The destruction of the valley. I ALREADY SAW THAT MOVIE. (A billion times.)
2. They wasted the always great Ray Winstone in a dull, uncreative role. His sole motivating force was greed, and, sure-- you can do things with that. They didn't. They tried to throw in a little something in the end with the wink, but by then, it was too late.
3. Sallah?
4. Denholm Elliot's statue's head being knocked off is so not funny.
5. John Hurt apparently didn't need any costume/makeup change between this and The Proposition set.
6. Wait a minnit, here it comes. . . What the FUCK was up with those fucking prairie dogs (?) and the fucking monkeys? Huh?

Sunday, June 01, 2008

We're Back

Hello everyone! I guess I took an unintended haitus, during which I did not unpack like I kept saying I would. . . ANYWAY, we're back for regular posting, and I have a few announcements before that goes into effect.

1. The ever-gracious Ken provided an alternative link to the Jam Rarities album that was giving everyone problems. If (or even if you don't) grab it, MAKE SURE you head on over to Ken's blog, check his stuff out, and thank him. It was exceedingly generous of him to share the link, and you should visit his place for extraordinary, high-quality posts on music, books, movies, and anything and everything. Please make sure you do this. I'm gonna sound like someone's grandmother, but I was slightly appalled at the lack of propriety that I had been fortunate enough to have avoided upto a point. If you got pissed at me for fucking up the link, fine. But make sure you go say thank you to Ken.

2. Jim's back! He's closing down the old shop and starting a new and totally awesome project, Aye Tunes. I've updated the link but I'll leave the link to Geez Back Ma Heid! for a little while. If you haven't been there before, stop by- Jim is a fantastic dude both in person and on the page who has great taste in music and always puts together awesome posts, and I'm really excited that he's back!

3. A few changes will be coming through. I hope to widen the content in general, and this will include a shift to fewer full albums and more single tracks. This is in part because I will be out of the country and HD-less for a good part of the summer, but also because I think it will facilitate a greater amount of new and different music for readers to discover. Requests are still open, though, so feel free to drop a comment. I've added a new feature that lets me know the most recent comments, so hopefully response time will be cut in half, but go ahead and leave requests on the most recent posts anyway. And as always, let us know what you think, what you like, what you'd like to see.


© New Blogger Templates | Webtalks