Archive for October, 2009

This Week in Irresponsible (and Timely) Mad Men Recaps: Once Upon a Time, When We All Loved Doggy Chow
October 31, 2009

My goodness.  Has it really been nearly a week since this past week’s Mad Men?  Shitfire, y’all, it really has been!  And even though the interwebs have already had a week to give us thoroughly considered and Does that mean this week’s Mad Men won’t be recapped?  Absolutely not!  But does that mean this week’s recap is going to make like a Talking Heads’ concert film and stop making sense?  You’d best believe it!

First things first, serious talk and schadenfreude :

suzanne farrell hahaha

I mean, I hate to sound like an unsympathetic monster, but there was something waaay too satisfying having to watch her walk back home after spending half an evening hunched down in the passenger’s seat of Don’s car.  Seriously, I’d about had enough watching Don and Suzanne wreak havoc on my eyeballs plan their romantic getaway vacation this episode, but fortunately Betty and the kids came back early from their trip to Grandpa Eugene’s house, which brings us to the serious talk:

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TGIF! Now Here’s the Most Ridiculous Baby Costume of All Time
October 23, 2009

Seriously?  Seriously:

billion dollar baby costumeThis costume is called the “Billion Dollar Baby,” and though the baby in this picture looks as if he or she is having a gas, I can’t help but feel that–much like dressing up your pets for Halloween– this costume constitutes some form of abuse.  I can understand wanting to dress your kid up as something totally precious, like a kitten or a cowboy or a chicken:

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The U2 360° Tour Concert Film Will Premiere on YouTube?!? Shut Your Fabulous Face, Interwebs!!!
October 22, 2009

U2 360 YouTube best news ever ever

Oh, hello U2 news that elicited a thousand SQUEEE!s of enthusiasm:

U2 has announced that Sunday night’s concert at the Rose Bowl is being filmed for a future DVD release … and that it will be streamed live online, too. According to an email being sent to U2.com subscribers, the webcast will begin at 8:30 pm PT.

I don’t even care that 8:30 pm PT is 11:30 pm over here on the east coast, nor does it make a lick of difference to me that the L.A. Times reports that the concert will remain archived on YouTube after its live premiere, thereby making it possible for me to watch at my convenience.  I’m watching the stream live.  Every last minute of it.

Yes, there are downsides to staying up ’til 2 am on account of your inability to exhibit an ounce of self-control when U2 is involved.  You may be really tired at work the next day for example.  Or perhaps you find yourself having to hide that shiner your roommate gave you because you couldn’t stop shrieking at your computer.  Worthy sacrifices, I’d say.

Seriously, check out this trailer and tell me it won’t be worth a punch to the face:

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If the Music Video for Adam Lambert’s “Time for Miracles” Is Any Indication, 2012 Will Be a Time for Train Wrecks
October 22, 2009

Oh dear.  There’s a music video for Adam Lambert’s single off the 2012 soundtrack, “Time for Miracles,” and it is as fabulous and ridiculous as this image I found through Google image search for “2012 soundtrack”:

adam lambert 2012

So, you know, very fabulous.  And extremely ridiculous.

As with everything else coming down the 2012 pipeline, it’s a batshit crazy train wreck of histrionic performances and apocalyptic disaster.  And, as with everything else coming down the 2012 pipeline, I mean that as a compliment:

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The Best Argument for Gay Marriage to Date? I Do Believe So.
October 21, 2009

This sign was spotted at the recent National Equality March in Washington, DC.  Now we all know there are plenty of ways to argue against the conservative rhetoric that opposes gay marriage, and each of these counterarguments has valid points to consider, but I’m pretty certain this particular rebuttal is iron-clad: 

liza minnelli equality march

Oops, I LOL’d my pants.  I’d really like to shake the hand of whoever made this sign because this poster is ingeniously camp.  And totally spot on.

Yes, her birthright may make her royalty to us, and her storied career has affirmed her status as a true icon in her own right, but the gays cannot be blinded by love: LIZA MINNELLI IS NOT ABOVE THE LAW.  Equality is for everybody, not just for the people that are better than the rest of us because they were totally out-of-control amazing in Cabaret.  Get it right, Government!

Oh, and because no post that involves Liza Minnelli is complete without a clip of a her performing, here’s a lil’ something something for your viewing pleasure:

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On Easy Cheese, Elevators, and Evening Dining Selections
October 20, 2009

As I headed home this evening from work, I found myself confronted with the most delightful of scents that one could ever encounter in a New York City backdoor service elevator:

easy-cheese-thumb-250x333

Yes, Easy Cheese.  Its scent is so perfectly processed that it defies the categorization of any genuine cheese, or even any processed cheese-related product.  The smell, color, and consistency are all prescribed by a cheese-related notion, but what it actually is is nothing of the sort.

Easy Cheese is a cheddar-flavored mystery that’s easily dispensed upon Ritz crackers.   Or any cracker.  Or, quite simply anything that benefits from tasting like what it is plus “cheese.”  So, in short, everything.  It’s as much the antithesis of authenticity as it is the epitome of artificiality.  When you smell Easy Cheese, you smell CHEESE FLAVOR, which is frequently (yet understandably) mistaken for DELICIOUSNESS.

I can’t imagine how that scent translates to anyone else (Kraft Easy Mac and unbridled desperation, I suspect), but–at the moment–it smelled heavenly.  I could’ve stayed in that elevator all evening, but I didn’t want other people finding it odd when I just stood there, blissed out of my mind, while everyone else got off on the ground floor.  No no, that would be weird.

So instead I went home and ate my weight in leftover cheese dip, all the while wishing it tasted a little less homemade and a little more like Yellow 5.  Which is totally not weird at all.

This Week in Irresponsible Mad Men Recaps: Where’s My Betty Draper Hysterics?
October 20, 2009

Responsible Mad Men recapping blogs probably try and follow the narrative arch of the episode, and they’d probably delve a little more into the fact that Sterling Cooper is once again up for sale, which makes Lane Pryce sad and his wife very happy.  I am not that blog.  Now let’s do this thing irresponsible style!

So Paul Kinsey was intimidated by Peggy and her keen improvisational skills, and then he got too drunk while working on his Western Union account.  This taught us all the important lesson that you should always write down the brilliant ideas that you have when you’re drunk so you don’t forget them.  If he had written it down, we’d have instead learned the equally important lesson that the brilliant ideas that you have when you’re drunk are never as brilliant in the sober light of day, but that’s neither here nor there.  Anyways, Peggy fortunately used his screw up to save him, and I was I left baffled that telegrams were something people still actually used in 1963.  Also, maybe it’s just me and my love of all things of questionable taste, but Aquanet is doing wonders to Peggy’s hair.  

In other plot lines, Don’s relationship with Suzanne Farrell unfortunately continues to happen:

don draper suzanne farrell do not want

I find this plot to be like the narrative version of Ipecaca, and I blame this largely on the fact that Ms. Farrell hasn’t once seemed interesting enough to warrant such of devotion.  A scene with a Maypole, a drunk dial, and a few lines of straight up crazy is all it takes to have Don Draper all up in your lady business in a serious sort of way?  I’m deeply unimpressed with the both of them.  And the fact that the writers continue this charade.

The lone silver lining to their bumping uglies, though, came in the form of Suzanne’s epileptic brother, Danny, who was helped by Don to do what else?  Pull a Don Draper.  That’s just him being philanthropic by sharing his secret to happiness and success: it comes from running away from the unpleasant parts of your identity.  Or, in Don’s case, all of it.  You may be constantly haunted by your past and incapable of genuine human intimacy, but at least you’ll get signing bonuses and shiny awards at the fortieth anniversary Sterling Cooper parties.  Fair trade, I’d say.

And speaking of fortieth anniversary Sterling Cooper parties, Trudy Campbell’s party ensemble was some kind of wonderful:

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Just A Few Reasons to Have the Most Vapors Over A Single Man
October 16, 2009

I’m not quite sure why I never got around to dropping this trailer hotness until now.  The trailer itself has been floating about the internet for about a month, and the film’s been getting some early Oscar buzz since its premiere at the Toronto Film Festival.  Also, this trailer’s pretty much all of my favorite things ever ever.  Anyways, here’s the trailer for A Single Man:

I may know next to nada about Tom Ford’s career in the fashion world, but I do know that man gives me the vapors in a serious way:

tom ford serious vapors

As such, I’m pretty certain that him adapting a Christopher Isherwood isn’t going to help 2009’s cause célèbre, Stop the Vapors.  He’s amassed Julianne Moore and Colin Firth and Matthew Goode and fabulous production design from the people behind Mad Men for a story about loss and other homo things in the ’60s, which is like vapors on top of vapors.  It’s just too much, y’all.

But wait!  There’s more (cause for vapors):

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Is Women in Trouble the Cornucopia of Camp Pleasures We’ve Been Waiting For?
October 15, 2009

Now don’t get me wrong, Powder Blue is a howlingly bad movie experience.  It isn’t so much a movie as a string of individual cinematic train wrecks that have been confused for scenes, and it’s definitely in the lead as the most campalicious movie of 2009.  Well, was.

Dear readers, I give you the new Great Camp Hope of 2009: 

women in trouble poster

First off, I don’t need to get started about the tag line.  It pretty much speaks for its ridiculous self.  But there’s the pink font that looks like it’s straight-up out of a bad 70s European art house sex farce, and let’s not forget how I feel about Carla Gugino.  I don’t recognize anyone else mentioned in this poster save for Simon Baker, but who cares?  This poster is basically about pretty girls and boobs, which I’m pretty sure was the high concept for Showgirls, so consider my appetite whetted.  

But there’s also the trailer, and…well…it can only be described as some bizarre amalgamation of Showgirls and Magnolia and Almodovar and every women’s dramedy from the past two decades:

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It’s Times Like This That I Question My Commitment to Sparkle Mad Men Motion
October 14, 2009

Oh thank goodness!  A video recap of this past week’s episode of Mad Men that spares me the emotional agony of having to really go into detail with this episode:

It’s not as though this past week’s episode was bad.  Au contraire!  This past week’s episode was quite exceptional.  There were little pleasures to be had, like how Pete Campbell spent the entire scene where Sal was filming the Lucky Strike commercial histrionically coughing up his lungs after some of the Lucky Strike fellows convinced him to try a cigarette.  It may not be this:

But then again, what is?  That’ll do, Pete.  That’ll do.

Then there’s Conrad Hilton, and he is one fantastically crazy old man!  When he’s not thinking of his hotels as missions bringing American values to Godless nations or have a depressive episode, he’s getting ornery over saying that he wants the moon and not literally getting the Moon in his ads.  Damn, y’all, looks like somebody needs his gilded Depends changed, ASAP!

Also, I think it’s safe to say that AMC needs to start making webisodes of Betty Draper writing letters that are set to montages of her doing things in the Draper household.  It was like The Lake House, except without time travel and ugly turtleneck sweaters and general awfulness.  So really it was nothing like The Lake House.  I just enjoy referencing that movie because it was so ridiculous.  And Sandra Bullock’s turtleneck sweater was so ugly.  

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Calm It Down, Shep Smith. It’s Only a Krispy Kreme Cheeseburger
October 9, 2009

Now this is what I’m talking about:

krispykremeburger

Krispy Kreme Bacon Cheeseburgers.  Just beholding this heavenly beauty raises my cholesterol level threefold, and I mean that as a compliment.  I know that this is the sort of gastronomic nightmare that I could make from the comfort of my own home, but I can’t imagine it coming out half as delicious as the gutbombs in this picture look.  And it’s best I keep telling myself that for fear of actually making one.  One day I’m making Krispy Kreme Bacon Cheeseburgers, and the next day I’m freebasing them.  It’s a slippery slope like that.

Of course, one man’s paradise is another man’s Hell on Earth, and so it’s with great pleasure that I introduce to you Shep Smith, my arch-nemesis in all things scrumptious:

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It’s Safe to Say That I’m Not the Worst at Karaoking “Like a Virgin”
October 8, 2009

True story: I got a karaoke machine for my 21st birthday because I had a penchant for getting up on the table in our apartment during my junior year of college and drunkenly belting out Scissor Sisters and Franz Ferdinand and the final number from Hairspray.  It really was a great gift, if for no other reason than that it prevented the inevitable trip to the emergency room when my drunk ass attempted a high kick and fell off the table.  As I recall, the karaoke machine looked like this:

memorex karaoke machine

I spent most of the evening of my birthday party karaoking to my copy of U2’s recently leaked How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb, and while this was tolerable during “Vertigo,” it was not flying by the time I was taking a shot at “Love and Peace or Else.”  At one point, a friend of a friend at the party even gave me what I thought to be a stink eye during my performance, but that could’ve been all those birthday cocktails talking.

ANYWAYS, I was finally persuaded to take on something a little more crowd pleasing.  Naturally this translates to “putting on your drag costume from Halloween and singing ‘Like a Virgin’.”  I’m pretty certain the end result–coming from a combination of drunkface and inability to find a proper pitch–sounded like a tranquilized cat warbling for mating call.  It.  Was.  BLEAK.

After that, I always thought that nobody could ever do any worse, but then I saw this demo video from an aborted American Idol karaoke arcade game (which is obviously something the world really needed but will now never have).  I was obviously wrong:

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Showgirls 2? There’s Going to Be a SHOWGIRLS 2?!?
October 8, 2009

Anyone who knows me or has spent any time with this blog is well aware of how I feel about a certain cinematic masterstroke:

showgirls best movie of all time ever

Sure, I imagine that every time I fall into some tangent extolling the virtues of this classic of classics, my mother rolls her eyes and wonders how I could ever love such garbage.  Garbage like this:

Based on the above clip, however, I believe the more important question is “How could you not love such garbage?”  Seriously, Showgirls, you had me at “DIFFERENT PLACES!”

Anywhosie, there’s now a rumor circulating all over the internet about a sequel to Showgirls, and though I honestly am inclined to call shenanigans, we still need to talk about this like it’s chips and nails.

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Clearly We’re All Seeing 2012 For the Oscar-Calibre Performances
October 6, 2009

Truth in advertising, y’all.  We really were warned:

2012 ridiculous

With disaster sequences like this, how can it not be?

But now someone’s decided that the only thing better than the five minutes of 2012 that recently made their way onto the internet would be editing out all of the ridiculous CGI footage, thus allowing us to instead focus our attention entirely on the ridiculous performances.  In other words, someone’s my new favorite genius:

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Why Must Shutter Island Continue to Look Amazing/Be Unreleased?
October 6, 2009

Hey, y’all.  You know what movie was supposed to come out this past weekend but didn’t come out this past weekend?  This one:

shutter island

UGH.  I was so excited about this movie coming out, but Paramount apparently hates us, so now we have to wait ’til February.  Boo.  And now there’s a new trailer for Shutter Island?  One perfectly constructed to again remind us how great this movie is going to be?  Oh, and also about how it’s still MONTHS AND MONTHS AWAY?  Double boo!

Oh well.  I guess if we’re going to have to now wait ’til February, we might as well enjoy this new trailer, so let’s make like a masochist and salt this wound: 

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The Mad Men Recap That’s All About That One Scene in Italy
October 5, 2009

A responsible recap for this past week’s episode of Mad Men would go into more detail about all the developments in the plot.  After all, this episode found Pete Campbell home alone while Trudy vacationed with her family, and so he naturally had to take his shirt off in celebration:

Looking good, Pete Campbell.  Sadly, all this free time left him at first helping (how kind!) and then forcing his lovin’ (how gross!) on  his neighbor’s German nanny.  Sure, he’s wormy and pathetic, but I still delight in his ways, but this was a sad new low.

There was also that kiss between Betty and silver fox politico Henry Francis, which was certainly high on the list of Benjamin’s Giddily Anticipated Mad Men Plot Developments.  Then Betty and Don went to Rome to visit Conrad Hilton’s hotel.  Oh, and Sally hit Bobby because she’s a lesbian because Bobby teased her for kissing a neighborhood boy.

Yes, responsible recaps would expand upon such significant plots and use them as opportunities to wax poetic/analytic/philosophic.  This is not that sort of recap, though, and so I give you this video to make sure I didn’t miss any of the important details:

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2012 Just Keeps Looking Better and Better
October 4, 2009

Perhaps I’m slowly losing my few remaining marbles on account of my feverish anticipation for 2012 (currently 103° of PURE EXCITEMENT*), but this poster is destroying me like Mayan-calendar-predicted global-scale apocalyptic disasters destroy giant statues of Jesus Christ:

2012_poster

This poster is so brilliant that I just can’t deal with it, let alone articulate why I can’t deal with it, but let’s still try.

A part of me just thinks it’s a spectacular and clever image.  It evokes the Jesus-Saves/God-Is-Dead dichotomy central to the spiritual/existential anxieties that surround doomsday scenarios.  You can’t tell if 2012 will be popcorn nihilism or a blockbuster call to repent.  Sure, it’s a Roland Emmerich film, so it’s probably best not to think too hard about these topics for fear of giving yourself a brain aneurism, but I’m happy 2012 has a teaser poster that offers such a fun little intellectual exercise for us film nerds.  It’s kinda like a pop-quiz, except one that makes you want to buy movie tickets in the process.

Of course, there’s also the part of me that loves this poster for hyping 2012 as straight-up disaster porn.  Sure, this movie stars John Cusack and Amanda Peet and Oliver Platt and a Space Ark, but sometimes it’s better to just bank on images of stylized destruction over big name stars.  After all, Space Ark–like Megan Fox–has yet to prove herself to be a box office draw.  This poster is completely over the top, and I love it for that much like I love this clip from the movie:

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Mad Men Brings the Sexual Intrigue/Grossness. Oh, and Let’s Not Forget the Chaise Lounges.
October 1, 2009

I think the best way to start this week’s (much belated) Mad Men recap is by appreciating the perfect perfection of this still:

don draper face-plant

Huzzah.  Yes, today’s moment of embarrassment comes as a result of Don make the smart decision of hopping in his car with a tumbler full of whiskey, picking up two seemingly innocent ne’er-do-wells, pops a couple phenobarbitols, has a hallucination of his awesomely white-trash father:

archie whitman awesomely white trash

And then the two kids beat up Don senseless and take his money.  Given his self-destructive recklessnes, Don seems to be an ad man on the verge of a nervous breakdown.  Perhaps I should muster up some sympathy, but instead I’ll just relish how–as a single image decontextualized from the narrative itself–the Don Draper post-face-plant picture is pure comedy gold.  GOLD!

But it was just Don making bad decisions this episode.  Oh no no no.  Peggy was in the bad decision business as well:

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