Archive for June, 2009

Bestest or Bad Idea?: MoMA’s Tim Burton Retrospective
June 15, 2009

Did you hear the breaking science news?  The Museum of Modern Art’s developed a nuclear-grade nostalgia bomb: on November 22nd, they plan to drop a career-wide Tim Burton retrospective, after which scores of movie lovers will be indubitably reduced to smoldering piles of enthusiastic screams and hyperventilation.  Really, every day at the MoMA will look like this:

janet-leigh-pyscho-squeee

My breath is quickening, my hands are shaking, and my ears are already bleeding from my anticipatory shrieks!  It’s just.  Too.  MUCH!  GYAH!!!

(…sorry ’bout that.)

Anyways, it’ll feature over 700 pieces (ranging from illustrations to film props and beyond), as well as a retrospective film series, so MoMA’s also discovered the way to beat the recession.  An exhibition this elaborate is going to inspire pilgrimages from the world over, and I highly imagine NYC is going to have to go on Nerd Alert: High ’til April 26th.  I be up on this exhibit like an ornate pattern on Nomi Malone’s fingernails, natch, yet I can’t help adding a splash of Maybeline’s “Conspicuously Cautious” to my Excitement nails.

It’s certainly spectacular to have Tim Burton’s work get such prestigious treatment.  He’s built a career on channeling his darkly whimsical imagination into camp, kitsch, and pop sensibility.  His moviess have a distinct look, and his stories frequently center around the Other as misunderstood protagonist.  He’s parlayed awkward-kid status into an career that transcends niche.  For those of us who were sympathetic to characters’ alienation, Burton built us a home that wasn’t erected in the seedy back alleys of nigh-forgotten cult; we got the warm flicker of celluloid and the buttered-popcorn scent of the multiplex.  Can any other contemporary filmmaker claim such success?  I think not, so YAY!

Plus, let’s not forget that whole film retrospective.  Like most all movies, his filmography will play better on the big screen, but I think a few are particularly well-suited.  Like Batman Returns:

Inspiredly insane performances by Danny DeVito and Christopher Walken?  A Batman movie about a nefarious business man and a twisted scheme to kill Gotham’s first-born children?  The sublime camp pleasure of Michelle Pfeiffer’s vixen-bitch Catwoman?  The undeniable batshit insanity that this was all squeezed into a studio-funded, action-figure shilling summer blockbuster?  Yes, my dears, the 90s were littered with Hollywood’s strange decisions, and Batman Returns was one of the strangest for sure.

But Mars Attacks! probably takes the strange cake:

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Fact of the Day: Zachary Quinto Makes Everything Sexier
June 12, 2009

It’s common knowledge that Zachary Quinto’s one seriously delicious piece of man:

zachary quinto swoon

It’s also common knowledge that, no matter what he does, he sets the world’s loins afire.  Can you blame Uhura for wanting to get it on with his Spock in Star Trek?  Nope.  Even eating superhero brains in Heroes can’t act as a deterrent to his dangerously high levels of sexy.  I feel like he could play Nazi that kicks puppies and hates babies, but I’d still gladly play hausfrau so long as he please not talk about work at the dinner table; he knows how it ruins my appetite for spätzle.

Needless to say, Mr. Quinto continues his tyrannical reign of sexy with this inexplicable 56-second video.  It doesn’t make damn drop of sense and probably constitutes a total waste of milk, which is obviously ridiculous to waste because WE’RE IN A RECESSION, but that doesn’t stop me from getting a fierce case of the vapors:  

OH, THE VAPORS!

Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to watch this on loop for the next hour.

Cheers to Best Week Ever for finding this sexy thing, whatever precisely it may be.

It’s Official: You Can Now Chew My Blog
June 12, 2009

Sometimes brevity is the soul of wit, and this is one of those times.  Seriously, I just thought you should know that you can take the deliciousness that is my blog anywhere you go:

bigger bitch gum

When you think about it, the fact that it tastes like fruit is all too fitting.

Fact: Saved by the Bell Is the Second Most Important 90s Pop Culture Reunion
June 11, 2009

For many of my generation (myself included), Saved by the Bell stands as a pop culture touchstone.  Like Scott Baio in Charles in Charge, the constant excuses to strip Zack and Slater of there shirts was really just an excuse to teach young girls and gay boys the joys of objectifying the male form, and of course there’s also those unforgettable episodes.  Who doesn’t remember the day they found oil under the Bayside High football field, or when Jessie was so excited yet so scared, or the way Screech forever pined after Lisa Turtle, or that time the lesbian replaced Kelly and Jessie:

Tori8

Remember her?  Such a lesbian.  But an iconic lezzie, to be sure.  My point is that everybody (of a certain generation) loves Saved by the Bell.

Particularly Jimmy Fallon.

He’s been trying to organize a Saved by the Bell reunion in a desperate bid for late-night relevancy an effort to listen to the hopes and dreams of a generation.  It’s been gradually gaining steam, particularly with Mark Paul Gosselaar’s recent in-character appearance as Zack Morris.  Seriously, the interwebs went crazy for that clip, but of course the real story got buried beneath all the hoopla over the nostalgia for giant early-90s cell phones and frosted tips: Elizabeth Berkley’s confirmed that she too shall take part in the Saved by the Bell reunion!  That’s exciting, but I think we know what we all really need:

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Shutter Island is Already My New Favorite Movie
June 11, 2009

I didn’t wake up this morning expecting my brain to fall straight out of my asshole this morning, but it totally did.  Movie magic tends to move me in mysterious ways.  And, really, Shutter Island looks to be totally magical:

I’m sorry, but if I had my way, it’d be a federal crime to make a movie that looks this good.  Yes, Martin Scorsese’s one of American cinema’s all-time great directors, and the fact that he’s still making consistently good–if not flat out excellent–movies this late in his career is only further proof of his talent.  Added to that, the man loves himself some Powell and Pressburger, so it’s pretty much impossible to make a case against his greatness.  It also doesn’t hurt that he’s the world’s most adorable old man:

Martin Scorcese adorable

Don’t you wish they made Pocket Scorseses that you could take everywhere and would tell you all about the rich history of film?  I know I do.

ANYWAYS, in spite of Martin Scorsese’s all-around and totally indisputable greatness/cuteness, I’ve gotta say I hate him for making this movie because it’s not out yet.  Just look at the cast!  Leonardo Dicaprio and Mark Ruffalo and Ben Kingsley and Michelle Williams and Max von Sydow and Patricia Clarkson and Jackie Earle Haley and Emily Mortimer and Elias Koteas?  All together in one gorgeous looking, gloriously pulpy detective movie/supernatural thriller that’s apparently littered with film references?  I caught references to The Red Shoes and Psycho just in the trailer, so I can only imagine what’s in the rest of the movie.  It’s like Christmas, but sooner.  And better.  And as a movie.

But October 2nd?  For real, Martin Scorsese?  Not fair.  I’ve spent far too many months anxiously anticipating total garbage like Obsessed and Powder Blue!  All my patience is spent as is!  The fact that Shutter Island looks like an actual good movie only makes things infinitely worse.  I love you, Mr. Scorsese, but that’s not going to stop me from cursing your name until this movie is out in theaters.

So, yeah, Shutter Island, y’all.  It’s the awesome-straw that broke my patience-camel back.

Adam Lambert’s Rolling Stone Cover Shocker(?)
June 9, 2009

The interwebs are going bonkers today, y’all.  All because of this mind-bomb dropping Rolling Stone cover:

lambo_01

Mon dieu!  You mean to suggest, nay, report that American Idol‘s Adam Lambert doesn’t prefer the traditional straight fit jean, Rolling Stone magazine and internet at large?   You mean to tell me it can finally be confirmed that he prefers a low-rise boot-cut (aka, homo cut), and he enjoys accessorizing with bedazzled butterflies and snakes?  Congratulations, you’re officially the new masters of glaringly obvious journalism!  Previous honorees have included Blue Sky Quarterly, www.everybodys-farts-stink.com, and this little guy:

o rly owl

Anywhosie, for all the we-already-saw-this-light-years-away noise and the no-shit-Ask-Jeeves fury of this all, I do find one part of this whole cover story genuinely shocking.  When you think about it, it’s rather surprising that everybody’s talking up the non-story when there’s a real story staring right in the face:

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Let’s All Take Another Trip Down the Rabbit Hole That is Sara Carlson’s Career
June 9, 2009

Of all the curios I’ve come across the internet since beginning this blog, the kinetic wonder that is Sara Carlson is indubitably a personal favorite.  For the camp aficionado, watching her dance is a transcendental, yet enigmatic, experience.  She moves in ways that are positively superhuman, her facial expressions are like tractor beams determined to pull you into her orbit of fabulousness, and those costumes are simply out of control.  At the same time, there’s so little information about Sara Carlson that she’s practically like the Loch Ness Monster of camp pleasure.  We have document occurrences but little substantial information to support or explain her existence.  

How did she find herself in Italy, and where did she go after her stint on Al Paradise?  What’s she been up to in the past two-and-a-half decades, and where is she now?  While many of these questions demand answers, I’m quite pleased to say that I can at least vouch for Sara Carlson’s existence.  We’ve made contact, and she walks among us!  Seriously, check it out:

sara carlson comment

And not only has she found us, but we can now find her whenever we want thanks to the wonders of MySpace.  Thanks, outdated social network of the early aughts!

Even better, though, is that her MySpace has several more videos posted, and–dare I say it?  Yes, I do dare!–they’re even more incredible than the last round.  I hope you like your paradigms shifted, because that’s what these videos will do.

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Why So Serious(ly Awful), S. Darko?
June 8, 2009

Back when I saw the trailer for S. Darko, I had high hopes that it was going to be a campalicious train wreck.  It seemed to have the pedigree, after all.  It’s a straight-to-DVD release, it has a truly bizarre cast (Elizabeth Berkley, Ed Westwick, and Daveigh Chase???), and it’s automatically one of the worst ideas ever.  Seriously, a sequel to the cult classic Donnie Darko is pretty much the one thing absolutely nobody asked for, but that’s never stopped Hollywood before, so all we can do is cross our fingers for a new camp classic as we watch the bad ideas pile-up like a multi-car highway accident.  At least it’s got Elizabeth Berkley as a Jesus freak, so that’s something, right?

s darko wrong

On one hand, I really shouldn’t be surprised by how bad S. Darko ended up being.  Everything that could have made it the great camp sensation is also a liability.  Straight-to-DVD is always a coin toss between fabulously bad and just plain bad, so I guess for every Powder Blue there must also be an S. Darko.  Still, it’s an impressive feat to witness just what a spectacular failure S. Darko actually is.  Not in a fun way, mind you, but in a whoabitch-is-this-movie-terrible sort of way.

The plot involves Samantha Darko (Daveigh Chase) heading out on a road trip with her rebellious friend (Briana Evigan) only to end up in a small town when their car breaks down.  There’s a crazy Christian cult in the town, disappearing children, and a crazed war veteran the town refers to Iraq Jack (James Lafferty).  Iraq Jack keeps seeing a Samantha ghost warn him of the impending end of the world, everybody in town loves Samantha because behaving like a melancholic zombie is the new sexy to Chuck Bass and the town nerd, and then a weird geometric shape travels through one of those space/time worms, bursts into flames above Earth, and becomes a meteor shower.  Meteors that give you nasty skin rashes and drive you violently insane.  Of course.  

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Things That Should Not Exist: This Pillsbury Doughboy Video
June 4, 2009

Perhaps it’s just me, but the Pillsbury Doughboy is the stuff of nightmares.  Like nannerpuss, he’s supposed to sell a product, but instead just creeps the living hell out of me.  Don’t get me wrong: I love me some Pillsbury products.  They’re delicious.  Hell, one time in undergrad I ate their croissant dough.  Literally, the dough.  Without baking it.  Because I’m a human garbage disposal like that.  But I digress.

Anyways, while you might see this:

doughboy

I look at the Doughboy and see THIS:

149921_f260

He’s no mascot; he’s a dough monster!  I wouldn’t be surprised if he stays so plump by feasting on human flesh and adorable puppies.  He probably bakes children into meat pies using Pillsbury Frozen Deep Dish Pie Crusts and makes Funfetti-and-kitten cupcakes.  Seriously, how is this woman not fearing for her very life?  She’s clearly a braver soul than I.

Fortunately I found a support group for my phobia today.  It’s a 12-step program, and it involves watching this video, taking 5 minutes to realize that it’s a real video that–fake or not–was actually conceived and executed by someone, and then replaying it 10 more times:

I’m sorry, but did he just poop a croissant?  He just pooped a croissant!   Hahahahaha, AGAIN!

Doctor, I’m cured!

What’s Japanese for Train Wreck?
June 4, 2009

Yesterday, one of my co-workers sent me this e-mail:

e-mail

It should be noted that this is the co-worked who introduced us all to the dance magic that is Sara Carlson, so I immediately was optimistic.  Had he found Sara Carlson’s dance interpretation of the life of a Passion play?  Nope.  Even better.  It’s the straight-to-DVD revival of Brittany Murphy’s career.  The Ramen Girl, y’all:

Hot toddy!  Wouldn’t it have been more appropriate to just title this Japanese Cultural Fetish: The Movie?  Or Lost in Translation 2: Miso Sad ‘n Hungry?  Whatever.  This is a movie about Brittany Murphy learning to make schadenfreude soup with her tears of sadness because it’s her destiny (huh?).  Or at least that’s what the cat statue tells her (what?).  Riiiight.  

Was Brittany Murphy’s character high on something in the soup (mushrooms?  crack noodles?) that caused her to trip balls and devote her life to being a soupmonger?  Was the screenwriter high on something when they thought this was a story that needed to be told?  I’m personally betting it was weed because a movie all about ramen noodles is totally something a stoner would write.  That, or a movie all about Pillsbury Toaster Strudels.  

Whatever, I shouldn’t throw stones of bitchery because we all know what’s going to happen.  I don’t know how she does it, but Brittany Murphy sings the most irresistible siren’s song that always brings me crashing onto the jagged rocks of her bad movies.  It’ll probably be terrible, and I’ll probably hate myself for watching it, but at least I can safely say it’s not going to be as bad as Little Black Book.  Or Uptown Girls.  Really, if I can make it through the following mess, I can make it through anything:

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Things That Should Not Exist: This Joey Tribbiani Fan Art
June 3, 2009

I understand that the internet is an incredible tool of connectivity and self-expression.  We can share out thoughts, feelings, and creative impulses in a forum unhampered by cultural and geographical distances and differences, and in this space of endless frontiers we can find like-minded people who share our tastes, no matter how curious or particular they may be.  We can build homes and neighborhoods and communities on there, carve out spaces built entirely upon our shared perceptions and interpretations of the world around us.  As Martha Stewart would succinctly observe: it’s a good thing.

Given all that, I on one hand feel almost obligated to support–or at the very least not pass judgment on–this piece of Friends fan art.  On the other hand, I never much cared for that show, and this is also ridiculous enough to deserve judgment.  As it contains a snake, I’ve safely hidden it behind the jump so as to not emotionally scar my mother, but this is absolutely too much “HUH???” for us to not discuss:

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Heidi Montag’s Sad Face is the New Face of Schadenfreude
June 2, 2009

Never in a million years would I consider watching something like I’m a Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here!  I get that my pop culture eating would suggest I’ve the diet of a subway rat, but even I’ve gotta draw the line somewhere, and my line is Heidi Montag and her pet monster husband, Spencer Pratt.  Other than producing mind-meltingly awful (yet occasionally masochistically catchy) music, they’re pretty terrible human beings who’re famous simply for playing fake versions of themselves on The Hills.  They’ve no cultural value beyond being a prime example of shameless self-promotion at its narcissistic worst.  As such, it’s no surprise whatsoever that I take such pleasure in this image:

heidi montag schadenfreude

Apparently Heidi and Spencer a fit over being forced to slum it Survivor style, and this caused Heidi to have an on-camera breakdown.  Gawker has a clip of it, and it’s poetry in motion to be sure, but all I really need is this picture to get me through the day.  I’m going set it up as my wallpaper on my computer, and I’m going to print out a copy and laminate it and keep it in my wallet in case I ever need something to make me smile during my MTA commute.  I’ll paint a fresco of this picture, Sistine Chapel style, so I can wake up to this sublime beauty every morning.  Ben and Jerry’s needs to use this picture as inspiration for a new flavor called “Heidi’s Decadent Tears of Sorrow.”  I’m thinking black raspberry and sweet cream swirls with white chocolate tears, but that’s just me.   

This picture says so much about celebrity culture today, about the grotesque sense of entitlement and the monstrous egos that balloon because we allow the frequency of being written about in Us Weekly and blogged about on the internet–as opposed to being appreciated for an actual talent–to be the new barometer for being famous.  More importantly, this picture is like looking at that sort of “celebrity” fall into itself like a black hole of self-importance.  When you think about it, this picture’s a train wreck of the uglier impulses of the human condition.  A beautiful, beautiful train wreck.

Cheers to E! Online for the screen grab.

Found: Mischa Barton’s Career. Still Missing: Her Appreciation of Solid Food
June 2, 2009

Judging by all available pictures, Mischa Barton is Hollywood’s hardest working actress.  Why?  Because she doesn’t even have time to eat:

mischa barton hungry

Even back in her glory days as both a cast member of The O.C. (best show EVAH!) and the spokesperson for Neutrogena, I always found myself inexplicably compelled to throw bagels at the television screen and screechily demand her to eat something.  But then she died on The O.C., and with the death of Marissa came the apparent death of Ms. Barton’s career.  WRONG!  Bitch is back this fall on the CW, and her new show is the trashtacular The Beautiful Life.  Just feast your eyes on this mess:

If nothing else, I will watch this show in its entire run just to learn Mischa Barton’s stomp walk and head swivels.  Seriously, when I deliver mail at work, I want to STOMP STOMP STOMP over to my coworkers’ desks, give a hungry-hungry-bitchface look as I toss their mail down, HEAD TURN, then STOMP STOMP STOMP away.  Fortunately, though, Mischa and The Beautiful Life aren’t just educational tools on how to be a fierce bitch.  No no, they’re also a lesson in crafting mind-bending drama:

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Gerard Butler Will Do Anything for a Klondike Bar
June 1, 2009

I don’t know about you, but I always think of the first phrase “hot piece” when Gerard Butler comes up.  Yes?

gerard_butler

I tend to prefer my men’s facial hair to be a little more trimmed, but I most certainly wouldn’t kick him out of bed for eating crackers.  Something about him just screams “roguish devil,” and those eyes are simply incredible.  Anyways, because he’s payed his dues [aka, screaming all his lines in 300 (a terrible, terrible movie that I unfortunately saw) and posthumously sending Hilary Swank on a ridiculous scavenger hunt in P.S. I Love You (a terrible, terrible looking movie that I fortunately avoided like the plague)], 2009 is going to be his breakout year.  Why?  He’s the lead in not just one, but two movies!  He’s got The Ugly Truth, a rom-com designed to appeal to the ladies:

Yeesh.  Are Hollywood’s notion of ladies in actuality brain-dead, zombies with a penchant for masochism?  

I know that most people think of Katherine Heigl as that actress from Grey’s Anatomy who wears the same pair of bitch pants every day when she goes to work, but I really like her.  She was charming in Knocked Up, and she’s the best part about the second season of Grey’s Anatomy (other than Sandra Oh and Sandra Oh’s fabulous hair).  She even made me think about seeing 27 Dresses, so she obviously has a hold on me.  Still, this movie looks terrible!  And not in a fun way!  

Who thinks these bullshit gender wars movies are insightful entertainment?  I get it, Hollywood: women are all about communication and emotions, and men are all about boobies and sex.  Neat.  I could go on and on about how this movie isn’t worth seeing because it relies on lazy observations about the sexes for cheap laughs and how we already know that Katherine Heigl and Gerard Butler will get together in the end.  Really, though, I think the trailer says all that for me, so let’s spare me the carpal tunnel and move right along.

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Werner Herzog’s Made His Showgirls
June 1, 2009

This is Werner Herzog:

herzog

(portrait © Robin Holland)

It’s rather safe to say that he’s one of cinema’s indisputable masters.  He’s made masterworks like Aguirre, the Wrath of God and Fitzcarldo and Grizzly Man.  He’s also a man of his word.  In short, Werner Herzog’s on the short list of the Bestest, and he’s now made Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans.  It’s about a cocaine-addicted police officer without any moral scruples and a major case of sailor’s mouth (ruh-roh!), and it stars Nicolas Cage (double, all-caps RUH-ROH!).  This is the trailer, which is not safe for work and will probably have my mother asking me why I get a thrill out of such garbage:

Crimminy crap, such garbage!  But hilarious garbage, to be sure!  There’s no point in even commenting on Nicolas Cage’s performance because we’ve all come to expect him to be consistently, categorically insane.  He has a lucky crack pipe, he hallucinates iguanas, and he fires off his gun so onlookers will leave him be while he has public sex with crack whores.  Nicolas Cage’s officially our generation’s John Wayne, the grand camp jester of histrionic masculinity; he’s brilliant.  I think what’s more important is the rest of this cast.  Serioulsly, y’all, it doesn’t make a damn lick of sense.

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