for the past few weeks i've been listening to the original case recording of the musical spring awakening. unfortunately i missed out on the tour when it came through portland, but the music is enough to make up for my loss (cheaper too!) spring awakening is a musical about teens in the late 1800's exploring sexuality in a repressive society. fun stuff, and the music is quite modern and "alternative"
in fact listening to the music has reminded me of a band i've been listening to the past few years say anything
i suppose it should be fair to note that say anything's first album "...is a real boy" was originally invisioned as a rock opera about a boy (the lead singer of the band i imagine) who was put under a spell that forced him to tell the truth all the time, hence the pinocchio allusion.
the song that got me into say anything is one title "alive with the glory of love" it's a unique song in that it's about love and lust in a jewish ghetto during world war two.
the song that got me into spring awakening would be "i don't do sadness" about a character contemplating suicide. good times.
this is from the 1983 movie "the return of captain invincible" this film has a brilliant story, music that sometimes works, and hey it's freakin' superhero musical! and if the internet is to be believed, this is one of terry pratchett's favourite films.
as for the brilliant story line, it involves the super hero, captain invincible (obviously) who was active in the forties, you know the golden age of superheroes. when the fifties and mccarthyism rolls around he gets accused be being a communist for his red cape, and viewed as suspect because not only does he fly without a license, he also runs around in his underpants! in public!
in a world twenty years after the watchmen, this story may sound pretty humdrum, but back in 1983 that was a pretty ground breaking idea was it not?
after this he goes into retirement, and decades later when evil is afoot, he's forced to come back, to fight the ultimate evil, christopher lee; in the guise of mr. midnight.
Intolerant society rears it's ugly face you're turning your native music into a homophobic disgrace the gay ones, the straight ones, the white tan yellow and black gay rude boys and girls, we're gonna take that dancehall back we'll take it back! because without respect there's gonna be nothing left
ah leftover crack. one of my favourite bands for the past eight years. this shirt is amazing, not only is a great message, but also because it's going to freak people out. (as if i didn't get enough odd looks for wearing pink shirts, omg, right?!?!) one of the reasons i've always loved the band is their use of shock to get attention. here are some of their other shirts:
and let us not forget the cover of their amazing album from 2004:
the shirt obviously wasn't just created for shock value though (they do tend to have reasons behind their shenanigans) in fact i'm fairly certain this shirt was created in response to proposition 8 in california.
as you can read in this interview the song was written in response to homophobic tendencies over at hell cat records. which is really fucking disappointing. i did always wonder about the op. ivy references, so while "lint" may be a homophobic disgrace, i'd like to think jesse michaels would be better than that.
it's great that leftover crack tackles this issue, as it's something most people won't touch. there's so much ignorance out there, i can't express how sick it makes me that using "gay" as an insult is generally accepted and embraced in our society. here's a great article about the book "guyland: the perlious world were boys become men" deals with issues of manhood and how society views being gay and not masculine. great band, fun shirt, and a hope for a better tomorrow.
the first time i saw one of those pro corn syrup ads on tv, i couldn't believe what i had just witnessed. it did however inspire me to start completely cutting high fructose corn syrup out of my diet, so hey thanks for that. it's surprisingly easy to do! which is probably why they're afraid.
so despite what pretentious zombie might think, i do believe this is one of mr. allen's best movies in years.
ah, what to say about woody allen...
"You know, I like his films except for that nervous fellow that's always in them."
but hey, problem solved with this movie! seriously though... vicky christina barcelona is a look at life and love, and how people are never happy with what they've got, and honestly it's quite fun. i don't have much to say about the movie, if you like woody allen go see it. it's good, i promise!
you know, i've seen annie hall, and manhattan and while they're great movies they're not my favourite. my favourite would have to be "sweet and lowdown"
it's a typical woody allen story, in the guise of a documentary about a fictional guitar player in the 1930's. i may be biased due to my love of jazz guitar and the era the film takes place in, but the story itself is brilliant and sad. emmet is such a quircky and odd character, really unlikable honestly, but interesting.
so yes, i recommend you go see the movie about sexy spaniards and also the movie about the world's second best jazz guitarist.
i've heard some people are getting all uppity about there being dark knight merchandise aimed at children, and i have to admit, it does seem a bit weird. until i stop and remember my own childhood that is.
and check out this commercial from '79
hell i even had toxic avenger toys growing up, well technically toxic crusaders, but still. i saw the alien movies, the predator movies, even the terminators, all between the ages of five and ten, i also had their toys, i don't think it warped me. granted i had a more liberal childhood than most, however i still fail to see how a pg-13 batman is any darker than those r rated movies.
random commentary here, but it's funny how the movie ratings have changed over the years as well. and no, they haven't gotten more lapse, they've gotten stricter, check out these two scenes from "pg" movies in the 80's.
not to mention all the sexual innuendo and other fun stuff in both of those movie. no way they would get away with that today.
i highly recommend the documentary "this film is not yet rated"
the mpaa is fucking ridiculous.
movies shouldn't be censored, children should play with crazy toys (i mean why not?) and parents should decide what appropriate for their kids. i don't think my parents failed me, i mean even if "tales from the crypt" was one of my favourite shows as a kid, it was balanced out with a love for "i love lucy" and "the bob newhart show" "beavis and butthead" and "the maxx" were evened out by "teenage mutant ninja turtles" and "looney tunes" the balance between light and dark is an important one! and my friends from strict families were more likely to act out as "hoodlums" and swear than i was. kids swear and get in trouble, sounds crazy i know! it's like everyone forgets the johnny deeper jokes of grade school when they grow up. everyone's past turns into imaginary pleasantville, it's odd.
i like that the inker is listed as a. sorted. at six i had a vague idea of the the thing and fantastic four, machine man and jocasta however, i knew nothing about. and still know very little! the story is nice enough to include some back history on jocasta though.
there's some fun stuff in this comic.
here it introduces the idea that love is blind, that's right horrible monsters of the world, you too kind find love in the form of blind people! cynicism aside, it's a sweet and ridiculous scene, look at the flame heart!
let's get some more back history here, hank pym creates ultron, then ultron decides to make a robotic wife and copies the brain waves of the wasp, pym's wife. hence the name jocasta. as for the spousal abuse, i guess he takes after pym. (which is weird, and also terrible)
oh 1980's and your atari video games. is machine man this fun every time he's written? i never have read the next issue, the internet tells me that jocasta is the one that dies though. do robot women count for women in refrigerator syndrome? seriously, she gets ignored by the avengers, loses her powers, slapped around by ultron, and then killed. shame, i feel she could be an interesting character, if only they weren't trying to get her to out mope marvin.
abuse aside, it's a pretty fun issue. so i thank tom defalco for writing a fun story, introducing me to comics.
that's a genuinely creepy premise. very pulpish, ah the days before the code.
i'm still not sure the reasoning behind underling gaycity.
although thanks to modern day giggling about it i was introduced to this fantastic story.
it's from superman 7, for those interested in gaycity or people turning into glass.
set in the 1920's the fall is a story of an injured stuntman who tells a little girl with a broken arm an epic story, all in a ruse to get her to steal him morphine so he can kill himself. we see the story through her mind, and it's quite endearing. she makes the characters people she knows in real life, for example she knows an indian (from india), so when the the stuntman tells her one of the characters is an indian, she imagines her friend, instead of a native american. her imagination is quite superb, as the costumes and scenery are quite beautiful. some of the movie's claims to fame are that it was shot in 19 countries, and uses little to no cgi, and the results are quite beautiful. after seeing the eye-sore cgi in the latest indy flick it was refreshing to see actual explosions, traditional stunt work, breath taking scenery, and an elephant swimming in the ocean. the story sounds a bit dark, but it has an uplifting ending, and ends as a tribute to all the silent film stuntmen.
i quite liked the seemingly random addition of charles darwin.
the main comparison i've seen brought up for this film, is pan's labyrinth. and while i love pan's labyrinth, i felt it was more a movie about the real world being more magical than most people expect. in the first part of del toro's spanish civil war trilogy (i believe the third movie 3993, has been put way on the back burner due to the hobbit movies) the devil's backbone, a ghost of a child helps point out his murderer, and then avenge his own death. in pan's labyrinth, the faun was real, she really did use the chalk door to escape, the reason the captain didn't see the faun is because he's wicked! or perhaps such beings are only seen by those they want to be seen by.
the fall in contrast, is just about the imagination and magical world inside of a real girl in a real and confusing world, and for that it reminded me of the wonderful movie tideland.
in the first, twenty minutes of this film, the protagonist jeliza-rose, prepares heroin for her father, twice, has her mother die of a methadone overdose, runs aways to dilapidated house in the middle of nowhere texas with her father, and then her father o.d.'s on heroin soon after. she protects herself from all this by living in her imagination, her father is sleeping, her doll heads are alive and her friends, her neighbours are completely normal... things only get worse and crazier from here. the point of the movie though is to show how resilient children are, how they're not things of porcelain, that they have ways of coping. there are very intense and disturbing things in this movie, it took me quite awhile to watch it again, i suggest watching it a second time to anyone that's seen it, i also suggest watching it with terry gilliam's commentary. he does well explaining how things aren't as bad as they seem. the kissing scene for example, people freak out because jeliza rose and a mentally handicapped man like eachother. gilliam points out she's the aggressor in those scenes, and while he's older, it's not as though he knows better. it's all far more innocent for the characters.
it's an honestly beautiful movie, and if you can follow mr. gilliam's advice of remembering what it's like to be a kid, i'd suggest giving it a chance.
after finishing up batmanga, it only makes sense to move onto this!
i have to say i quite enjoyed it, "have i got a story for you" is a premise that is always fun, and robatman was good times for all.
"field test" and "working through the pain" were definitely the best. field test was great simply for batman getting a compromise between the the two mobs, knowing that getting them thrown in jail won't do any good. great characterization of batman, helping the injured mobster and ultimately deciding putting his life on the line was worth it. although the best defining moment i've ever seen for batman was at the end of "working through the pain" kudos to brian azzarello for hitting that note, it's hard to express how right he got it. which really reminds me that i need to find a copy of broken city.
"deadshot" was interesting, if not a bit anticlimactic, "crossfire" wasn't bad, however the only thing i was impressed with is how bulletproof that car was, i really did like the idea of all the freed "psychos" running around the island though. "in darkness crawls" was probably my least favourite. the element of killer croc was just random and didn't really lead anywhere, i didn't find the scarecrow hallucinations to be up to par, batman seemed to not care that he killed all the henchmen (come on, he barely escapes himself!) the ending was a nice moment though.
overall good times.
i haven't watched all the extras yet, on the bonus disk there are some episodes of the animated series picked by bruce timm, heart of ice, while a good episode i've seen far too many times, i am the night was a nice touching episode i hadn't seen in awhile, i also love the oldschool gangster bad guy "jazzman". legends of the dark knight is an episode long after i had stopped watching the cartoon, yet it was fun to see the old campy batman compared to frank miller's batman, and seeing an animated version of "the dark knight returns" was just crazy. over the edge i didn't like at all, it made no sense, and how i hate dick when he has a mullet. i guess they can't all be winners though.
ah sigur rós, one of the many great bands i discovered back in the napster days of yore i realized the greatness of this band after hearing the sublime beauty of "starálfur"
they've had some quite memorable videos to go along with their beautiful and haunting music:
and do yourself a favour, head over to the band's myspace and listen to gobbledigook, the use of stereo like that always makes me happy.
and while i may love "Ágætis byrjun" the most due to it's sentimentality and beauty, i do believe this band is one of the few that gets better with every album.
i can't get enough of this song.
it was my favourite song of 2007, and i still haven't tired of listening to it.
funny though, another one of the best songs from 2007 was arcade fire's cover of guns of brixton
(it's beautiful and haunting)
so that means last year two of the best songs were in someway related to the clash. (listen up ye uneducated)
i don't know about you, but for me that makes it a good year in music.
unlike most people my age, i grew up watching old cartoons. i know very little of t.v. from the late 1980's and early 1990's. instead of watching g.i. joe, thundercats, or he-man, i watched looney tunes/merrie melodies, the flintstones, and tom & jerry.
another one of my favourite cartoons growing up was the superman cartoon from the 1940's
look at all the great things in this, the style is amazing, the animation works nicely, it puts nearly all cartoons since then to shame. look at that machine, it's beautiful. and how awesome is lois lane's pilot outfit? kind of funny this version censored out "for a girl". (i'm not saying it's alright i'm just not for censorship, especially retroactive) lois lane always seemed more a strong independent trouble maker than damsel in distress in these anyway.
a random note: see how superman fights against the electrothamasia ray? i still sometimes do that in the shower.
this probably kicked off my love for robots.
seriously i can't get over how beautiful these cartoons are, the amazing art deco style, the sound, scenery, all great! and i love how superman moves, it's so quick and light, that's a superman you can believe in, because honestly it reads as something not from this world.
i'm not really a superman fan these days, superman has become too powerful, too much drama. old superman though, i like him, when he wasn't immortal, when kryptonite wasn't the only thing that could hurt him. although i do love the idea that this man, so dedicated to our world, is completely and totally crushed when brought into contact with fragments of the dead world from which he was born.
superman was a product of a certain time and stood for certain things, this cartoons show that well.
it's easy to see why the batman cartoon of the 1990's took so much influence.
i honestly just considered leaving my review as that joker smile.
because sometime pictures are just so much more expressive than words.
i really liked the dark knight, the joker was amazing, everything came together so well. and it's two and half hours long! there is no such thing as too much batman my friends.
this movie is still number one on imdb, i mean at this point it has more votes than classics like rear window and chinatown. those crazy internet kids. and while this is kind of neat, i really can't say this movie is perfect or "omg teh best movie evar"
one problem i had that carried over from batman begins; christian bale's batvoice.
i'm sorry bale, batman is not a grizzly bear.
kevin conroy is batman
i was pretty sad that they killed off two-face, he was pretty fun and scary looking while he lasted. and other than his death everything else was great about him. his fall as harvey dent, making his own luck with the trick coin. i mean come on, we all believed in harvey dent.
another thing that bothers me, that batman begins exists, i mean tdk blows most other movies out of the water anyway, but this movie is so far beyond the first one. the first one wasn't horrible, it was just slow moving, and that microwave weapon was one of the worst cases of "science doesn't work that way!" i've ever seen.
my last complaint, and this one i don't think was intentional. batman is silly. this movie was trying to go for realism, i mean you could believe in that joker, and it's scary as hell. but that scene when batman meets gordon in the bank vault, batman looks so out of place i almost started laughing.
and while i do find this batcostume ridiculous, i think it goes beyond that to where the idea of a masked vigilante is just silly, not matter how much ass he kicks.
that said i still gave this movie a ten star rating on imdb.
heath ledger's performance as the joker was amazing, he scares the hell out of you, he makes you laugh, he's odd, and you just love him completely (or maybe that's just me) i have to admit i predicted all of his tricks from the disappearing pencil to the bomb in the fat guy, however that doesn't matter, it's the style he pull off these tricks which is the key. i mean watch the way he leaves the hospital in the nurse's uniform as his bombs are going off, the way he waits for the last large explosion, it's brilliant. he is chaos, he is a force beyond nature.
harvey dent/two-face; i've never been a fan of harvey dent, he always seemed like somewhat of an asshole in the first place. this version though was quite likable and very sympathetic, and two-face, like i mentioned above was great for the short time he was around. although with that kind of damage i guess it wouldn't make sense that he would stick around for awhile.
while i did predict most of the joker's tricks, gordon not really being dead snuck past me, it was crazy enough i thought they might go through with it. for awhile i was thinking that maybe the driver of prison van was batman, but then i couldn't think of who it would be in the batmobile. turns out they pulled a reverse long halloween on us. it was nice to see gordon alive and well though, and he saved a very stupid batman, good times. i suppose the price of bringing him back was rachel and harvey. that's one trick i learned from joss whedon's dvd commentaries, no one is going to buy a character "coming back" if another character doesn't actually die.
the odd electric hum throughout the movie kept a nice feeling of general insanity.
just felt that needed to pointed out.
the story was great, the characters were amazing, more realistic atmosphere than that of batman begins, it's just a great movie.
and holy shit, who would ever think that a batman movie would be this big?
not the best movie ever, but it's pretty damn far up there, certainly one of the most entertaining.
i believe stan lee has to eat his words about spider-man 3 being bigger than any batman film.
twenty-three years and some change ago, my mom went and saw the beach boys when she was eight months pregnant with me.
i'd like to think it had some effect on me.
i went and saw them in concert last night, well really it was mike love and some random people, but they sounded great, mr. love's voice is still quite impressive. at the best part part of the night, i got to see the "beach boys" perform good vibrations
the beach boys weren't just influential on me, they're also a large influence on one of my favourite bands....
i love me some queers.
dark knight revue to come after i digest it a bit more.
when i first heard announcements of the watchmen movie, i was excited and very skeptical. it's one of those things you really wish won't get fucked up. originally it was to be directed darren aronofsky, and that could have been interesting... then you find out david "solid snake" hayter wrote the screenplay, and he wrote the first two x-men movies... eh. and it got worse from there, he took it out of the eighties and supposedly changed it from ozymandias catching a bullet to him catching some energy ball; a power that dr. manhattan gave to the silk spectre for her birthday...
then in the wake of 300, zack snyder becomes the new director! i wasn't a fan of 300, that was due to frank miller's story though, it still looked really unique and was quite pretty! so zack thankfully not happy with hayter's script had someone go over it, put it back in the 80's and hopefully try to keep it as close to comic as possible. yay.
then some shots of the set and the heroes costumes came out, all very neat, the still of rorschach burning that swat agent was my desktop background for awhile.
his early work is beautifully surreal, amazing absurd, and decadently guttural.
emotional weather report (1976)
nighthawks at the diner (1975)
one of my favourite albums, excellent reference as well.
asacp awards speech (2001)
his writing became more literal and abstract as time went on.
rain dogs (unknown)
all the world is green (2002)
i don't wanna grow up (1992)
off the great album "bone machine"
i never have been able to find out if it was named after the pixies song or not.
originally i was just thinking about posting the above song as another "theme song" of mine, however decided to instead share my love of this fascinating man.
waits is so intense and crazy that screamin' jay hawkins covered heart attack and vine.
and if you don't know who screamin' jay hawkins is, then for shame on you!
the appeal of his music goes beyond the offbeat though, i'm quite sure at some point you've heard his song "downtown train"; most likely the rod stewart version though.
as far as tom waits covers go, scarlett johansson is bad and she should feel bad!
so the first half the futurama movies are out, and i couldn't be happier! one with the reviews of the first two:
bender's big score
scamming nudist aliens with disgusting organs and paradox correcting time travel? where do i sign up?!? this movie starts off two years after we last saw the crew of the planet express, and here we find out they've been fired by the idiotic box corporation! it continues on in this fashion, ("what does this mean to us and our many fans?" asks leela infront of a wall of various electric fans) and even with hermes getting decapitated things are pretty slow until leela starts dating lars and the time travel begins. what follows is the futurama goodness we all know and love, and some horrible damage to the timeline of earth. the ending is very sincere and touching like most of my favourite episodes were (the sting, the devil's hands are idle playthings, luck of the fryish) and i won't ruin it for you here if you haven't seen it. great movie all around and can't recommend it enough. also screaming skulls are romantic
the beast with a billion backs
spluh! this movie, oh man. the first time i watched it i couldn't get over how disturbing and disgusting it was in a good way! i really don't like david cross (his stand up anyway) however he does play some excellent roles, and yivo was perfect for him. yivo is, for those of you not paying attention, a universe raping tentacle monster. okay so you find out he's really an all powerful divinity and loves everything with all of his being, but seriously, those tentacles, oy. while bender's big score had the more serious and heartful ending, this one was just about humour, straight up. i won't ruin the ending of this one either but i saw it coming a mile awhile, hilarious. and bender, bender has some amazing truths in his crazy logic. so if you love bender being bender, tentacles, and robot pirates this movie is for you! one thing bothers me though, this random blue hand that keeps popping up, it seems it's supposed to represent the hand of "our" universe but it's never really explained. it's just odd. final thoughts: paris hilton in a jar. also stephen hawking is hilarious.