Archive for April, 2009

Let’s Build the Ultimate Netflix Queue of Insanity! I Need Netflix Suggestions, STAT!!!
April 30, 2009

netflix

A bit over a year ago I finally started making use of my Netflix account after I realized I had the same copy of In the Mood for Love for an embarrassingly long amount of time.  I sent it off, updated my account, and got to work on crafting a queue that’d constantly keep me excited about what was coming next in the mail.  No such freakin’ luck.

The first problem with Netflix, it should be noted, is that there’s just too much selection for a person like me.  I struggle making decisions at a Starbucks, let alone a Blockbuster, so Netflix is a bonafide nightmare.  My logical response?  Put everything in the queue.  

Movies I saw once at Virgin Megastore that piqued my interest for two seconds?  In the queue.  That one movie with that one actress from several years ago that got reasonably decent reviews?  In the queue.  Netflix’s suggestion on something I might like when I put another suggestion of theirs in my queue after I selected a movie with Julianne Moore?  You guessed it: in the queue.

Needless to say, I had a full queue–yes, 500 selections–within three days.  Because I’m ridiculous.  And, quite naturally, within a few months time I’d gone from voracious DVD consumption to my standard “Whoops, I still have that, don’t I?” mode.

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Not Even a Pound of Cheese Will Convince Me to See X-Men Origins: Wolverine
April 29, 2009

Have you heard of Papa John’s Pizza’s X-Men Origins: Wolverine promotional tie-in pizza, the XL X-treme Cheese Pizza?  It’s an extra-large pizza that purports to have nearly a pound of cheese on it.  It’s a cheesy monstrosity of instant obesisity.  It’s also completely delicious.  Just take a look at it and try not to slobber in Pavlovian glee:

pj-xlxtreme1

There’s just one problem with this pizza though, and that’s that it serves as a promotional tool for X-Men Origins: Wolverine.  I mean, movie trailers are not form of promotion; and, judging by the trailer, this movie doesn’t deserve a pizza of such uninhibited, greasy deliciousness:

I’ll admit that a part of me is inherently disinterested because I’m still incredibly bitter for what Fox and Marvel did to the X-Men franchise to Brett Ratner and let him make the embarrassment that is X-Men: The Last Stand.  Seriously, we aren’t going to talk about it because I don’t want to head home being ragey.  It’ll give me a terrible eye twitch while riding the subway home, and that’s no good for anyone.  

Mostly, though, this movie just looks bad.  The special effects are incredibly cheap looking, and the whole movie just seems to aesthetically remind me of a moderately budgeted made-for-TV movie.  Add in the fact that, beyond Hugh Jackman’s good looks, Wolverine does nothing for me as a character, and you’ve just put this movie on the Do Not Want List, Fox.  Guess you shouldn’t have gotten rid of Phoenix Effect, assholes.

The one redeeming factor to this movie is that all this promotional material coming from Papa John’s has confirmed something I’ve long suspected:

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Lost‘s Jeremy Davies Was on Melrose Place? Whaaa???
April 29, 2009

If you watch Lost, you know that it’s the greatest show on TV, but every once and a while once and a while don’t you find yourself wishing that there was just a little less of the smoke monsters and the time travel and a little bit more of the tawdry, gay melodrama?  Goodness knows I do!  Thankfully, Jeremy Davies once had a role on Melrose Place.  As a recovering crack addict/gay hustler.  Perfect.

Sweet mercy, between the pitchy, shrill laughs and the sheepishly limp wrist, he really nailed the 90s stereotypical gay male caricature.  If only he had a lisp, then it would have been truly complete, a veritable trifecta of faggotry, if you will!

Having seen this, though, I’m going to from now on pretend that Daniel Faraday’s neurotic tics and general nervousness aren’t traits related to his crazy brilliance; no no, I’m going to pretend it’s from the crack withdrawal.  Looks like I just made Lost a little bit more interesting.  Hire me, Damon Lindeloff!  I’ve got so many great/inappropriate-for-the-direction-of-your-show ideas to give!

Kudos to Movieline for noting this early 90s artifact.

Heidi Montag’s “Sex Ed” is Your New Favorite Song
April 29, 2009

Do you enjoy having your ears bleed?  Have you ever wondered what awful sounds like?  Is good taste your enemy, and do you imagine opening the Lament Configuration to be your idea of a pleasant way to spend a Saturday afternoon?  Well, if you answered yes to any of these, then do I ever have the summer jam for you.  It’s Heidi Montag’s “Sex Ed,” and it’s profound(ly bad):

I mean, are there words for this?  Heidi Montag’s totally raised the bar on scraping the bottom of the barrel, and for that she genuinely deserves applause.  On one hand, this is without a doubt the single most dreadful piece of noise that’s been misnomered as music I’ve ever heard in my entire life, but on the other hand I just can’t stop listening to it.  This is the soundtrack to my dreams when I dream of Showgirls 2.  This “song” is so terrible that I imagine it’s come from a different universe where everything’s indubitably the worst, or at the very least a another planet where everything is backwards.  “Sex Ed” is the new gold standard of bad ideas, and this mess is completely amazing.

Also, I think it goes without saying, but the photo that accompanies this mess merely confirms what we’ve all suspected: Heidi Montag is one classy bitch.  When Spencer Pratt tries to run for President of the United States, which is a horrifying prospect that I’ve never the less accepted as most likely inevitable, this woman could be First Lady.  Remember that when you go into the voting booths of the future, America.  Remember that.

Thank goodness we’ve got Videogum to discover the finest pleasures in life.

Damn You, Post Grad Trailer! Must You Exploit My Weaknesses So?
April 28, 2009

I fully recognize that, over the past few weeks, I’ve taken a rather aggressive dive into what some people may call “insanity,” but I prefer to call it “camp appreciation.”  Whatever.  The point being, while I may get rather excitable when talking about Obsessed and super duper excitable when even alluding to Powder Blue, I can still tell a bad movie when I see one.  Ladies and gents, Post Grad is one such movie:

It’s a Hollywood take the quarter-life crisis!  Lots of laughs (ruh-roh, you’ve been spotted making out by your whole family, and your little brother’s fascinated by the fact that you’ve got boobs; incest: it’s always a riot!), tons of drama (he’s moving to NYC for law school?  mais non!), and many an important life lesson (“What you do with your life is just one half of the equation.  More important is, who you’re with when you’re doing it.”  PROFOUND!) are all packed into Post Grad!  Yikes.

This movie frankly looks about as exciting as a stale rice cake and as original as a stack of photocopies printed on recycled paper; furthermore, it doesn’t help this movie’s cause that it’s staring Alexis Bledel, the actress who has done absolutely nothing for me ever since Gilmore Girls.  The plot looks predictable, and it’ll indubitably end up with Alexis Bledel finding a job in New York City and living with the rather dreamy boyfriend because that’s how living in New York City is.  All of us find jobs in a snap and have dreamy boyfriends.  There, I’ve saved you $12 dollars and made you enviable of the NYC lifestyle all at the same time.  You’re welcome.

All that being said, I still plan on seeing this movie.  Why?  It’s really quite simple:

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As a Fellow Theatergoer Was Overheard to Observe, I Can Attest to the Following: Obsessed is Definitely NOT Whack
April 28, 2009

If anything, Obsessed is something of a small miracle.  Hollywood seems to love producing mirthless crap on a daily basis, so much so to the point where you point where one might think that Hollywood’s only business is producing joyless cinematic equivalents to pond scum.  But such is most certainly not the case with Obsessed.  Is it bad?  No doubt.  Terrible?  Quite possibly.  But I liked it, nay, loved it:

obsessed-ring-on-it

Obsessed is, to be certain, a terrible movie.  The acting is at very best vampy sexpot camp (Ali Larter) and the inimitable brand of steely faced, bitch-please crazy that Beyonce has elevated to a minor art, yet it’s in other places rather tepid (Idris Elba’s performance seems rather befuddled, almost as though he hired by simply wandering onto the set) or head-scratchingly absurd (Jerry O’Connell’s horndog schtick seems to have been beamed in from another planet).  

The screenplay is an impressive black hole for logic and character motivation.  Beyonce’s the dream wife because the movie says so.  Ali Larter gets obsessed because the movie says so.  The cop doesn’t believe that Ali Larter’s wearing the least seductive pair of business casual crazy pants because the movie says so.  Showgirls infamously asked that you leave your inhibitions at the door.  Obsessed demands you to do the same with you deductive reasoning skills.

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Here’s the Greatest Catfight Ever to Hold You Over ‘Til the Obsessed Review Posts
April 27, 2009

obsessed-ridics

Were you one of the many who helped contribute to the $28.5 million opening weekend box office for Obsessed?  I know I was, and we can all agree that it was one fabulous mess of a movie that I for certain will not be getting over any time soon.  Hopefully Hollywood gets it right and realizes that this movie’s success is not just because it’s a Beyonce vehicle; it succeeded because it plays like the love child between Fatal Attraction and Lakeview Terrace.  If their love child just so happened to eat paint chips, natch.  Beyonce starring in it is just diva icing on the awesome cake.

Anyways, there’s just so much to talk about with Obsessed that I plan to take my sweet freakin’ time writing up that review.  So, in the mean time, let me leave you with the most incredible catfight the world has ever witnessed.  It comes from Dynasty, but that should come as no surprise to catfight connoisseurs:

The catfight in Obsessed sadly pales in comparison to this one.  Nobody gets beaten over the head with a mannequin’s arm, the Beyonce/Ali brawl doesn’t at any point devolve into a glitter fight, and Ms. Sasha Fierce certainly doesn’t try to choke a white bitch with a pink feather boa.  Then again, nobody’s perfect.

Beyonce should take notes on this clip for Obsessed 2: This Time I’ll Show You Even Crazier, which is a movie that we can all recognize must be made.  Immediately.  Get to work, Hollywood!  America has spoken, and it wants more bitch fights!

The Girl on a Motorcycle‘s Mind-Blowing Ridiculousness Defies Understanding and Description
April 27, 2009

After the very sad passing of Jack Cardiff, one of my dearest professors/good friends/fellow lover of bad movies turned me onto a movie that the great cinematographer also directed.  This movie is called The Girl on a Motorcycle, and it stars Marianne Faithfull as (you guessed it!) a girl on a motorcycle.  Alain Delon also stars in it as the lover the Girl has left her husband for, and there’s lots of psychedelics because it’s the 60s and that’s just what happened.  Judging by what I’ve found online in terms of clips, I cannot tell if this movie is a profoundly bad movie that’s made even more magical by being so dated as a product of the late 60s, or if The Girl on the Motorcycle has always been the transcendentally bad experience it looks to be.  Whatever the case, there’s little I can say about The Girl on a Motorcycle other than the fact that these clips make it look TOTALLY AMAZING.

To start, there’s the trailer:

Absolutely incredible.  In a mere 50 seconds, my mind has been blown multiple times by the unbridled lunacy of this affair.  The music is spectacularly kitschy, the sex looks like the antithesis of erotic, Marianne Faithfull’s face are priceless, and that narration sends me into an unprecedented fit of giggles from the sheer camp of it all.  

And trust me when I tell you that it’s not just a bad trailer.  These are the opening credits:

Whoah.  Before seeing this, I never realized that a freakin’ credit sequence could be such a dazzling train wreck, but they apparently can.  Learning is fun, yay!  It of course doesn’t hurt to finally see where the total campsterpiece that is Batman Forever took inspiration for its title sequence.  Ladies and gentlemen, if title sequences are any indication for what cinematically lies ahead, I’m gonna hazard a guess and say that this bodes very well for the rest of the movie.

And if you take into account the ending, well, hot damn.  The ending does feature some Marianne Faithfull boob, so it’s probably NSFW, but it also features unbridled hilarity to the bajillionth degree, so there’s no reason you shouldn’t watch it immediately. Also, as it’s the ending, consider this your spoiler warning for all further discussion:

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The Boycott Against the Videodrome Remake Begins Today! Long Live the New Boycott!
April 27, 2009

In the past weeks, I’ve oh so gradually begun to rethink my initial and total disgust at the prospect of a Nightmare on Elm Street remake, in large part because of the rather inspired casting of Jackie Earle Haley as Freddy Krueger.  I still remain hesitant, of course, but I’m willing to lay off the knee-jerk backlash for a moment in favor of (incredibly) cautious optimism.

This reaction, however, will never ever EVER be the case with the just-announced Videodrome remake that’s to be written by Ehren Kruger, the man responsible for both some pretty damn good (Arlington Road, The Ring) and really damn dreadful (Reindeer Games, The Ring Two) movies.  I already feel thoroughly confident in saying that this remake will firmly fall into the latter camp.  I mean, just consider this tidbit that Variety reported on the remake:

The original “Videodrome” starred James Woods as the head of Civic TV Channel 83, who makes his station relevant by programming “Videodrome,” a series that depicts torture and murder that transfixes viewers.The new picture will modernize the concept, infuse it with the possibilities of nano-technology and blow it up into a large-scale sci-fi action thriller.

Neat.  Because despite it being one of the most fascinating and ambivalent takes on media and technology and sex and violence in modern culture, I totally forgot that—since it was released in 1983–Videodrome clearly has absolutely nothing to say about our current moment.  It really might as well be about people in Victorian England, or maybe the Stone Age.  Really, just look at this:

Yikes!  Looks like David Cronenberg got it all wrong the first time.  Videodrome obviously can only interesting as a “large scale sci-fi action thriller.”  Movies with any restraint and minimalism are sooo booooooring.  So are practical special effects.  The only way to make Videodrome interesting or relevant is through CGI and explosions. Universal is clearly right with this remake, and I’m just a dunderhead who writes total nonsense!

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What Do You Mean Obsessed Wasn’t Prescreened for Critics?
April 24, 2009

Never mind that I’ve got a heightened case of the Fridays given that, after a seemingly interminable winter, spring has finally quit it with the false starts and seems to officially be upon us.  I seriously just want to skip down the streets singing “Put on Your Sunday Clothes” from Hello, Dolly! while doing my very best jazz hands.  It should be illegal to keep offices open on a day like today.  Illegal, I say!

Anywhosie, all of that’s only compounding the fact that I’m already way too excitable about getting off of work today to go see Obsessed.  Now, of course, Rotten Tomatoes has gone and added the last, yet most integral, seasoning to turn Obsessed into a perfectly crafted CannotWait Stew.  As of this morning, this is the Rotten Tomatoes score for Obsessed:

obsessed-rt1

Yes, that’s correct.  Do not adjust your monitor or question the prescription strength of your contacts or glasses.  Obsessed, the movie that has clearly revealed itself as 2009’s first great (camp) film, has NOT been prescreened for critics.  I know, I know.  I’m in a state of utter shock that Hollywood doesn’t have enough faith in the movie that’s obviously containing some of the year’s best performances and sexiest moments.  This just goes to prove what we’ve long suspected: movie critics are nothing more than a bunch of uptight, old biddies that wouldn’t know a good movie if it bit them on the ass.  

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What Sort of Insanity Will Obsessed Be?
April 23, 2009

Well, if the content of this clip allows us in any way to preemptively make a call on it, I’m going to qualify Obsessed in the category of “insaniest insanity”:

This is obviously the tip of the iceberg, but it’s already quite clear that catfight climax of Obsessed is going to be one for the ages.  If a lamp is part of the makeshift weaponry this early in the game, you know it’s going to get more absurd (and therefore incredible) as the scene goes on. 

I’m also glad to see that Beyonce’s performance is more Sasha Fierce than Foxxy Cleopatra.  She really has quite a wonderful plethora of I’m-gonna-cutta-bitchfaces.  I hope she explains the nuanced differences in a commentary track or special feature on the dvd!  

And, judging from the next clip, it’s nice to know that Ali Larter is really quite consistent when delivering her balls-to-walls ridiculous performance.  A particularly magical moment starts at 1:28:

“Make it filthy” needs to become my new cellphone ring.  I’m pretty convinced that Ali Larter needs to be my best friend, provided that she stays in character whenever we hang out.  Every new clip is like a different Pokemon of batshit insanity, and I’ve just got this overwhelming urge telling me I’ve gotta catch them all.  And, oh, shall I ever.

An instant camp classic is soon among us!  Obsessed is out tomorrow, y’all!

PS: I tingle as the waves of profundity wash over me when he pontificates about Ali Larters character by suggesting, “In a way, she’s monstrous.”  Can we please give this movie’s director an honorary PhD in Film Studies from Le Duh University?

Rest in Peace, Jack Cardiff
April 22, 2009

I hate to be a Debbie Downer at this late hour in the day, but the BBC is reporting that filmmaker Jack Cardiff has passed away at 94.  He had a wonderfully long and varied career as both and a director and a cinematographer.  I think he’s a Technicolor genius, and his cinematography work with Michael Powell and Emerich Pressburger on the exceptional melodramas Black Narcissus and The Red Shoes may be some of the greatest ever.  I cannot recommend these films enough; his work in these movies is one of the great cases for film as a true art.  It’s a testament to his talent that, even on YouTube, his ability to capture color is simply stunning.  Let’s celebrate the life of a true artist with (what I believe to be) the crowning achievement of his work:

I recall sitting in a film class and encountering this scene for the first time.  I see plenty of movies, and many of them excite me in some way or another, but this scene was something special.  I crackled with an electric shock, like I was a human battery, as I sat through these moments, and the sensation never leaves me.

If it were not for the way that Mr. Cardiff captured the redness of Sister Rose’s lipstick of eerily calm pinks of the Himalayan sunrise in the sublime manner that he did, I wonder if this scene would have the same hypnotic control over me.  Powell and Pressburger indubitably played a large and important part in crafting the perfect finale of Black Narcissus (they’re the directors, and geniuses in their own right, after all), but the colors–so necessary to the feel and mood and affect of the film–are Cardiff’s doing.  He’s a man of supreme talent, and he shall be missed.

If You Do One Thing Today, Make it Voting for Beaker’s “Ode to Joy”
April 22, 2009

 Over Christmas break, my friend Bethany informed me that her brother’s production company was responsible for the totally brilliant Muppet videos that had sprung up on YouTube.  I’m not saying that I’m jealous or anything, but let’s just say that I hate her face for being so badass.  

ANYWAYS, she just informed me today that one video in particular, Beaker’s “Ode to Joy,” has been nominated for a Webby, which is like the Oscars of the internet.  In case you haven’t seen it, here is the Beaker brazilliance in all its glory:

I mean, we can all agree that this video is completely amazing, and by “agree” I mean that I will not tolerate any dissenting opinions so shut your trap and deal with it.  That being said, you really should go sign up and vote for the video over at the Webby’s to make sure it wins.  Just find it under the “Music” subsection of “Online Film & Video.”  And don’t forget to tell anybody you’re remotely connected to via the interweb!

Seriously, y’all, it’d make Bethany happy, which’ll in turn make me happy, and  I’m really not in the mood to beg.  Or hate your face.  Voting closes on April 30th, so hop to it!

You Do Not Come Between Gerta and the Pink Lingerie
April 22, 2009

I mostly know of Germany through Tom Tykwer’s movies and going to an Oktoberfest years ago in Georgia, so I’ve clearly got much to learn about the Germans and their culture.  Fortunately, this ad has given me a little more insight about the land of bratwurst Rainer Werner Fassbinder, which is that apparently German women go batshit crazy for a sale:

Hot damn, German women are clearly not afraid to cut a bitch if the price is right!  Or club a bitch with her own dismembered arm, for that matter.  It’s safe to say that, in between constant trips to the emergency room, you love to go shopping with all of these German women because they’re clearly your fag hags.

I guess I can now add “They’re rather aggressive during a recession” to my list German trivia facts, which also includes bon mots of factual wisdom like “Sauerkraut is delicious” and “Germans really know a thing or two about beer.”  As the Germans would say, fantastisch.  

More importantly, though, Hollywood really needs to important this director like he’s the new German Expressionism.  He could totally expand this into a full-length feature; it’d be like Battle Royale meets Confessions of a Shopaholic.  I totally would see that opening day, and don’t even try and pretend you wouldn’t as well.

Cheers to Videogum for finding this through copyranter.

Gossip Girl IV: A New Hope
April 21, 2009

Last night’s Gossip Girl was rather peculiar.  The Blair/Nate/Grandpa Archibald plot?  A curious plot of deception and double-crossings involving Nate wanting to go to Columbia because he got in on his own, and Blair and Pop-pop Archibald wanting Nate at Yale so Blair could be a socialite and grandpa can still feel in control of the family legacy–except that it turns out that he turned Nate’s dad in to the SEC!  Muy escandaloso!  Perfectly fine as filler, I suppose, except that it tried to act like this was riveting political intrigue; instead, it felt over baked and underdeveloped (particularly in terms of Blair’s turn).  I mean, was there really no easier way than this to keep both Blair and Nate in NYC for the third season?  I’m just going to guess and say there was.

Added to that, the Seder dinner plot line played out like an equally overblown poor man’s comedy-of-errors dinner party.  Dan’s a cater waiter at the dinner to help pay for college, but Lily and Rufus are there and can’t know because Dan has pride!  Eeks!  Serena’s maybe-husband-due-to-a-debauched-night-in-Europe shows up, so Serena pretends she and Dan are back together (don’t worry, she’s not married, but she is totally crushing on her fauxsband)!  Yipes!  Eleanor Waldorf is sick of tradition and just wants to get her kosher eat on!  Gosh!

One particular sequence was shot and edited as if  the director of this week’s episode had just seen the dinner party scene at the end of the original The Thin Man.  All the tight shots of faces and quick cuts in conversation crave to be ZANY, SCREWBALL DRAMEDY!  Sadly, none of it’s particularly compelling.

Then, in the minor plots with characters that are momentarily entirely useless to everyone, Jenny continues to look like a depressed raccoon, but now she has a crush on a total butterface.  Chuck is so dramatically useless as a teenage billionaire that the best the screenwriters come up with is to have him apologize for forcing himself on Jenny from way back in the beginning of the first season.  I’m not saying that the apology wasn’t warranted, but I am saying that this show is clearly running on empty for ideas.  

That all said, I see a light at the end of the tepid tunnel:

HUZZAH!

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Love Means Never Having to Say You’re Sorry (to the Other Passengers on a Crowded MTA Car)
April 21, 2009

Back when I first started working, I relied upon my iPod and the occasional book to entertain me during my morning commute into the city from Brooklyn.  Then one day, I spotted them: the PDA Couple.  Chances are that if you’ve ever ridden a subway in New York City, you’ve encountered one of their kind at one point or another.  There are plenty of Drunken Hipster PDA Couples that you can spot on the L train late at night on the weekends, so those aren’t really unusual.  In fact, they’re really quite common.  This couple, my PDA Couple, however, was special.

pda-couple(artist’s interpretation; not actual PDA couple, though these people are totally classy in their own right)

Like some magical clockwork we’d find each other in the same cart at least a few times a week.  They’d be pressed up against the doors of the train, dressed for their respectable adult jobs while making out like they were middle schoolers who’d just discovered the rapturous pleasures of first base.  Every morning that I’d see them, the air must’ve been filled with a strange magnetism that inexplicably brought them into my line of vision and quite explicably brought me to near tears/vomiting.  There love was moving to behold, inspiring to the bitter and heartbroken, and completely inappropriate for 7:50 in the morning.  This ballet of romantic mutual delight continued for months, and everyday it was a train wreck of passion from which, once spotted, I could never turn away.

Then, one terrible day, I stopped seeing them.  Nothing had changed in my schedule, so I knew something was amiss on their end.  I grew frightened.

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Hell No, “Valley Girls”
April 20, 2009

Once upon a much more innocent and simpler time, I really loved the hell out of Gossip Girl.  It was completely absurd, but I loved it so.  The plot lines always resolved themselves in a matter of episodes, and a great deal of drama was either totally regurgitated whenever needed (Serena and Dan, together yet again!) or totally ludicrous (Lily and Rufus have a secret baby!), but that didn’t mean the show lacked flair.  Like good trash television, it knew the marks to hit and hit them with aplomb.  

The costumes were either fabulous or fabulously tacky, so either way they’re good for conversation.  The dialogue was frequently smart, and the Chuck-and-Blair banter occasionally even reached rather Hawksian heights of verbal sparring.  And let’s not forget that Gossip Girl birthed Georgina, an F5 tornado (F is for fierce) of pure bitchcraft that made the show briefly crackle with a palpable electricity.  

But the past few weeks of Gossip Girl have been pretty miserable, and tonight’s episode doesn’t really put me in anticipation of any great review.  Between the teacher/student affairs, the secret sex clubs, and the reunion between Nate and Blair that rests firmly atop the Do Not Want list, I’ve pretty much accepted that I’ll follow Gossip Girl through the rest of this season out of loyalty alone.  Even Georgina’s return just makes soul hurt; why drag her down with this sinking ship, Josh Schwartz?  You already introduced those terrible (and by terrible, i mean boring and poor) public school kids in the third season of The O.C.!  Haven’t your wrought enough carnage?

Obviously not, because we’re getting this mess May 11th:

valley_girls_poster

This is the promo poster for the Gossip Girl flashback episode involving Lily van der Woodsen’s youth in L.A.  This poster says, “I’m a twenty-something actress that’s been lit in this poster to more closely resemble a thirty-something drag queen because I’m a show that’s all about quality.”  This poster also says, “Please watch me despite the fact that I’m a terrible idea made real only by riding the wave of middling hype of a once-great-but-now-rather-dreadful show.”  This poster is the new (tranny) face of the Do Not Want list.  

Let’s hope this is not suggestive of what’s to come with these final episodes of this season’s Gossip Girl because that’s one gaudily styled train wreck of despair.  Le sadness, indeed.

Update: This post was initially written under the impression that “Valley Girls” was to be an official spin-off show.  It has since been reported that “Valley Girls” is merely a flash-back episode in the second season; however, depending most likely on fan reaction and ratings, this train-wreck could be a go for this fall.

Stop What You’re Doing and Go See Miroir Noir. RIGHT. NOW!
April 20, 2009

Really, y’all.  Saturday afternoon, amidst soup making and reading camp theory outside because the weather’s just too gorgeous to stay indoor (that’s what everybody does with their Saturdays, right?), I took a break from getting my academic nerd on and switched nerd gears and went full on music+film nerd.  I couldn’t help it; there was a two-for-one nerd sale at Nerdazon.com, and–let’s be frank–I’m a sucker for discount prices.  They’re my Waterloo.

Anywhosie, I’ve digressed.

The point of this all is that I watched Miroir Noir, the recently released documentary about the recording of and subsequent tour for the Arcade Fire’s Neon Bible, and this movie was nothing short of spectacular.  I mean, there are no words to describe it.  

Oh wait, there are:

miroir-noir-fantastic

I’m not kidding, either.  My face is so melted right now.  Thankfully melted face is all the rage in Milan right now; I’m always glad to find myself accidentally au currant with the latest trends.  But enough with these caffeine-and-enthusiasm-fueled digressions!  

ANYWAYS, I’ll fully admit that you probably need to be a fan of the Arcade Fire for the movie to be a pleasurable viewing; otherwise, you may find yourself unimpressed with a 70-minute experimental documentary that shirks traditional narrative forms in favorite of embraces an audio-visual atmosphere that quite brilliantly captures the mood and thrills of both Neon Bible and the live tour that followed.  The audio mix variously juggles songs in their final form on the album, in early stages of production, or in the raw form of a live performance; it’s a rather psychedelic effect, but in all the best ways possible.  

Chronology of imagery is ignored in favor of building towards an emotional climax.  Without any context to the space and time of where the raw footage is coming from, Miroir Noir abandons the notion of documentary as a specific historical narrative.   Alternating between the epic spirit of their shows and the intimate moments of building their album, Miroir Noir is a love letter to the creative impulse, both a document of and a tone poem devoted to the affective power of music.  

Don’t worry, though.  There are also playful moments, like this one:

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The Cougar Really Does Make Dreams Come True
April 16, 2009

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Did you see The Cougar last night?  If you didn’t, you honestly missed out on something truly magical in the realm of trashy, reality television.  It turns out that this show wasn’t a bad idea; it’s the best idea!  There were so many trains in this colossal train wreck that it’s difficult to know where to begin.

There was, for starters, the Vivica A. Fox train wreck.  She’s actually pretty likable as a hostess, and you feel kinda bad for seeing her have to sink so low for a paycheck.  That said, though, I’ve never seen a forehead been more botoxed in my entire life.  It really.  Doesn’t.  Move.  I guess that means the train wreck is actually Vivica A. Fox’s forehead, but still, yikes!

Then you have their version of the rose ceremony, which is called “the kiss off.”  She literally kisses contestants on the lips if they stay or the cheek if they’re out.  Trust me, it’s far more sexy than it sounds, particularly when she’s clearly making barf faces while kissing some of the 15 guys she had to keep on the show past this first elimination.  Oh the things a cougar must do in the quest for true love (of sex with men nearly half your age).

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I Promise This Will Be the Last Powder Blue Post. For This Week.
April 16, 2009

Not by choice, mind you.  It’s just that after this one, there’ll be no more clips from the destined-to-be-a-masterpiece wunderfilm Powder Blue for me to post.  It’s seriously sad times, y’all!  I’m already feeling disoriented and confused about this bleak future where we are without indescribable pleasures of constant Powder Blue posts.  Expect the chills and nausea to set in soon because it’s a scientific fact that Powder Blue withdrawal is like heroin withdrawal.  But worse.  So much worse.  

So here it is, the last hit we’re gonna get for a few weeks.  May 8th is still several weeks away, so you’d better savor this deliciousness:

Oh man, this clip totally makes things all better.  You know what’s better than Lisa Kudrow’s secret to dieting?  Jessica Biel’s creeptastically crazy-ass secret about being visited by her father in her sleep when she’s been good.  And you know what’s better than that?  NOTHING.  Well, perhaps the fact that she’s sharing her uncomfortably insane secret with someone that she BARELY KNOWS and then invites him to visit her at work.  Which is a strip club.  Because that’s a safe thing to do with a stranger.  Other than that, though, NOTHING IS BETTER.  

Really, the more I think about it, I feel like my soul is at ease.  If this scene, with its stunningly awkward and failed attempts at sentimentality and emotionally-moving acting, doesn’t convince you that Powder Blue promises to be a magical experience in the art of pure camp, then I don’t know what to say to you at this point.  I guess everyone is entitled to their own tastes and opinions, even if they’re wrong.

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