Archive for the ‘Film’ Category

10 Things You Hate About Me? BUT I LIKE YOU!!!!

September 1, 2015

’10 Things I Hate About You’ was a1999 teencom, most simply described as Shakespeare’s ‘Taming Of The Shrew’ in a high school. Among the many young stars, you had Julia Stiles at just about her peak fame, Heath Ledger breaking out in the US, Gabrielle Union before cheerleading roles, Joseph Gordon Levitt before he took over the world, and Andrew Keegan before he became a cult leader.

So many more actors who went onto great careers and not leading cults.

It hit a sweet spot as teen movies moved into the 21st century… catching the odd mix of grunge, nostalgia, and a time before the omnipresence of the internet. Cell phones barely play into this movie… matching the timelessness of the source material. See it. It’s good. It’s fun.

The soundtrack… has some pretty good moments, and falters in others. In a move copied by other movies… the less successful ‘Sky High’ in particular… then current groups recorded covers, mixed with originals. Letters To Cleo recorded two covers, their ‘Cruel To Be Kind’ a particular favorite of mine. The nicely accentuated female voices in the soundtrack matched the fact that the women in this movie were not prizes, but people themselves.

Sure, it’s a fan made clip video, but hey, it works.

I mean, picking Joan Armatrading’s 1981 “The Weakness In Me” for a late ‘90’s teen flick? You could argue they just said WWCCD – “What Would Cameron Crowe Do?” – but even so, it was nice out the blue choice and a great song to boot.

And while some songs hit flat- Jessica Riddle’s ‘When Angels Fall’ comes across a touch saccharine, Leroy’s ‘New World’ is just a vague bit of not quite ‘90’s funk, this is a decent soundtrack that works as a good mix cd. Long commute? Road trip? Work out?

Slap this on. Skip the ending instrumental. Enjoy. 4 out of 5 starts for some great originals, covers, and classics.

Artists: Various
Album: 10 Things I Hate About You
Year: 1999
Date Listened in Tour: 4/11/14
Rating: ****
Best Songs: “Cruel To Kind”- Letters To Cleo “The Weakness In Me”

My Music Blog Is A Golden God

November 30, 2014

So, if I haven’t said it already, or, if this is your first look at my blogs noting my Grand Tour- the moderately alpha/chronological tour of my music collection, I am a complete soundtrack (Original Soundtrack or OST) whore. Good soundtrack cd’s.. including or exclusive of the Original Musical Score… are the stuff of music geek life. You get either a great capsule of hits, or better, b-sides to fill out your own mixes. You get introduced to the next big bands that will soon take over the world, or once ruled. Some times, OST’s become series or entities in their own right.

Wait till we get to the ‘Mortal Kombat’ OST’s. JUST WAIT!!!!!!

Now, if you talk soundtracks, one film maker stands out as much as a OST maker as a film maker. And this is not an insult. Except for ‘Elizabethtown.’

Cameron Crowe.

From the start, music has been a part and process of his films. From writing to rehearsing to scoring , specific songs are the key to his films. And his soundtracks, another layer to themselves. I was really tempted to organize key sound track masters- like Crowe and Alan Silvestri- as artists themselves, as opposed to the individual movies. But in the end, I’d rather each OST stand out. Why miss an opportunity to blather?

Crowe is a very auto-biographical film maker. All his films reflect either his point in life, or experiences from a similar point in his life to the characters. ‘Almost Famous’ was very much rooted in his real life. During his time as a teen writer for Rolling Stone, the young Crowe toured with some great (and not so great) bands of the 70’s. The film… both in it’s release version, and directors cut, was a career peak. After ‘Jerry Maguire’s’ commercial success, and some would argue artistic sell out, Crowe came back with a movie that perfectly caught the analog wonders of 70’s rock. Multiple complex characters, all flawed and perfect in their flaws.

Yeah, I loved the fuck out of this movie. And the OST, equally amazing. The only reason it doesn’t get the whole five stars is that it a little too on the nose. These are mostly the hits, the big songs… not the obscurities or unknown gems. And the obligatory Nancy Wilson song.. but you marry a member of Heart, you user her in your movies.

This is a must watch, must listen, must own. I wouldn’t fault anyone giving it the highest of their ratings. And I would encourage anyone to buy both at the soonest convenience. We’ll see more of Cameron Crowe in the Grand Tour.. but this is a good way to start with him.

Artist: Various

Album: Almost Famous
Year: 2000
Date Listened in Tour: 7/29/08
Rating: ****
Best Songs: ‘Simple Man’ – Lynrd Skynrd, ‘Slip Away’ –Clarence Carter, ‘Something In The Air’ – Thunderclap Carter

Go on girl, go ahead “Gone Girl” (Hell Yeah, Spoilers.)

September 27, 2014


So I finished ‘Gone Girl,’ largely because I wanted to see the movie, and I occasionally read the popular fiction book that EVERYONE is reading. And, while I didn’t lurve, I thought I’d put some thoughts on pixel about it.


First- this is an ridiculously well crafted tale. Gillian Flynn’s tale hangs together, flows well, and as the characters get stranger and stranger, you see it build.But it’s not a mystery. While her narrators aren’t completely reliable, they are regularly waving flags for you. I mean, Amy was crazy as fuck from the start. No, really. She was insane. Like, from the start, this lady was wound tighter than a Real Housewife’s hand on a bottle of vodka. The treasure hunts she forces Nick to endure, and ignores how much he hates them… that was a flag she will take you on a treasure hunt.


And Nick is telling you he’s a liar, and shallow guy. And guess what.. he is.

But if you don’t see where the story is going, when it gets there, it is grounded in what has been written before. There is no “WHERE THE FUCK DID THAT COME FROM!??!” It’s all “DUDE, THAT’S CRAZY AND GROUNDED IN THE NARRATIVE BEFORE!” Or, “ok. that makes sense.”

Second- I continue to be uncomfortable that the lead character is a psychobitch manipulator playing the abused woman. Too many people are ready to believe victims manipulate to get what they want. This will certainly give them the sense of “THEY WE’RE RIGHT!!!!!” Yes, in her mindset.. she was the victim. Never mind it was a psychotic passive aggressive mindset, and if she applied herself, she could manipulated half her neighbors into the AMWAY CULT FROM HELL! She could have made millions in cheap vitamins off the slack jawed cattle the author portrays these people as, with only Go having brass ovaries to tell her to fuck off. And then, with that money, she could have divorced Nick for infidelity, and written a “Eat Love, Pray, Hate The Flyover States” that would have made her the toast of the fucking town.

With Amway money. THINK ABOUT IT!

Three- Inspired by Bill and Hillary Clinton. Too on the nose? Too crazy? Discuss.

Four- I realized near the end that this is the perfect romantic comedy. Take two people, who really shouldn’t be together. Make the guy need some redemption, a womanizer. Make the woman silly, crazy. Have them brought together, split apart, and then brought together by sheer writers will and force of events FOREVER AND EVER! Yup.

Rom-Com Gold.

Nick is even redeemed. He can’t leave or kill Amy because he realizes he will have a son who needs protection. He is actually heroic here.. going to a personal hell to make sure the next man in his family line isn’t the failure his forefathers have been. Dude… i knew love was a battlefield, but this is a killing field.

Five- I’m seeing a huge double standard here. Hannibal Lecter kills and eats people over table manners, we love him. Take him half way to Batman status. Amy, who could kill and completely destroy lives, kills one sleazeball, leaves most of her victims alone to live their lives, and is the devil.

Fair is fair. She is actually a better person than Hannibal Lecter. Only one person, who we really don’t mind getting killed, is killed.

Six- The thing I hated most about this book was the reading club notes. I love reading clubs, but I hate the fucking publishers spoon feeding critical content to the readers. WE ARE READERS! WE SHOULD COME UP WITH THIS SHIT, YO!!!

So, you don’t need to read this book. But it is worth reading. And I am betting that Fincher, who has made a career on long twisty mindfucks of movies, will direct the shit out of this.


December 10, 2007

Ok, so the Matrix sucked less than the sequels, but it was still a bad mash up of Phil Dick and better Hong Kong movies.

“V For Vendetta”, while not great, and not as engrossing as the comic, was a solid film experience. Beautifully filmed, decently acted, it deserved respect.

Then I heard that the Wack Brothers were doing Speed Racer. Now, seeing the technique if not the art they brought to their other movies I’ve seen, I knew they could do a good Speed Racer movie. It was possible.

I don’t like their stuff for the most part, but they commit to creating full cinematic worlds. They are the true heir’s of Lucas… those who use amazing craft and technique for the most mediocre of movies. And they are real geeks.

Transexual, sm freak geeks. But real geeks.

I just saw the trailer.

Folks, the trailer sold it. They have great actors, they catch the feel of the cartoon, adding more dramatic weight to make it matter. Emile Hirsch is fricking, Speed, man. SPEEEEEEEEEEDDDDDD!!!

If the Wack Brothers pull this off, and they are looking like they will just on the strength of this trailer, I promise to henceforth call them by their real names.

I won’t cut the sh-matrix any slack, but I will at least give them the respect they earn from Speed Racer onwards.

Watchmen Casting

July 27, 2007

Zack Snyder has cast “The Watchmen.”  ( And overall, I’m digging it. Jacky Earle is perfect for Rorshach, Billy Cruddup is right for Dr. Mahattan.

Patrick Wilson, who I haven’t liked but haven’t seen the best of, is right for the tortured Nite-Owl.

The only problem I have is with Malin Ackerman. Yes.. she’s gorgeous and has comedic timing (Harold and Kumar.) Yes.. she’s shown she can do some levels. (Entourage… honestly. She had some good beats.)

I just think of all the characters, she looks the most young, AND the least like her character, Sally.

With the wonders of make up, who knows? I just think for a beautiful woman just starting to see her age, you might just cast older. We’ll just have see how they use the different time periods from the storyline to see if they can make it work.

Opting out of the Summer Blockbusters

July 11, 2007

As much as I just don’t have as much time to catch the Summer movies, the fact is the big blockbusters just haven’t interested me. “Pirates” was always too much hype over a rock star impersonation and Kiera Knightly in tight, but unrevealing, clothing.  “Spiderman” just went really wrong with #2, and while I’ll likely see “Transformers”, the only thing that excites me about it is that the real Optimus is doing the voice.

“Evan Almighty?” Someone please send Richard Dawkins and a brigade of Bright Commandos to take out the exec’s who thought we needed another Almighty.

“Shrek 3?” When Mike Myers gets new material, then I will pay money to see him. So he’s nothing to me until the Keith Moon biopic happens.

The only big summer flick I need to see? Harry Potter. I know it won’t be as good as the book, but the movies have gotten it right ever since Chris Columbus disappeared of the face of the earth.

It’s sad enough ot think all the quality flicks I’ve missed seeing in theaters the last couple of years, but when the flicks you really *need* to see on the big screen just don’t need to be seen in the first place,  we got problems in mass media land, people.
Well… here’s holding my breath until Iron Man and the Trek reboot come out.