Archive for the ‘Rants’ Category

For Fans of Trash TV, The Cougar is Your New Favorite Show. Period.
April 9, 2009

Someone in the television industry has clearly been working quite hard to make the absolutely worst piece of television ever.  After much work, though, they look to have finally succeeded.  Seriously.  The Cougar is part competitive reality dating show, part novelty pop-culture buzz word obsession, and a few dashes of totally busted faux-progressive gender politics to spice things up.  I need to find a new phrase other than “train wreck,” because hot damn does that phrase not do this nonsense justice.  Just look at this thing:

This show is like the train wreck of the future, where trains fly through space and are powered by nuclear engines, and then one day several of these space trains crash into each other and create a terrible nuclear explosion that showers the land below with flaming wreckage and radioactive fallout, yet throughout this whole terrible moment you JUST.  CAN’T.  TURN AWAY!  This mess is beyond epic, y’all; it’s bonafide life-changing.  Paradigms are shifting and bars are being raised and Vivica A. Fox needs to find a new agent like it’s nobody’s business.

The Cougar promises to have it all when it comes to the worst in television.  There’s the 20 desperate/pathetic tools spouting utter nonsense (“Stacey is like a gray squirrel I just want to pounce on!” may be the first great simile of the 21st century).  There’s the painfully ludicrous attempt by producers to sell the show as something radical and new (“Welcome to a show that will change everything you know about love, relationships, and getting older” is clearly the most profoundly true interpretation of this show that we shall ever know).  There’s also the tantalizing promise of a bevy of hot 20-something guys taking their shirts off for our collective (collective meaning “strictly gay men and their favorite gal pals”) viewing.

Mostly, though, there’s the Cougar, Stacey.  According to TV Land’s website, Stacey is “a successful and determined realtor” and “a beautiful, blonde mother of four.”  She’s also your fag hag.

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In Honor of Iowa, This Post is Extra Gay
April 4, 2009

So I’m sure that you’ve heard the excellent news by now, but seriously, y’all:

iowa-the-best2

It is always exceptional news to hear when another state recognizes that it is unconstitutional to ban gay marriage, and the fact that it’s Iowa is particularly exceptional.  You don’t really expect such a radical political change to come from the midwest.  You just expect potatoes and corn.  All of us New Yorkers should feel particularly embarrassed today for feeling like we’re such a progressive state.  Apparently it’s Iowa that’s for gay lovers.  New York’s just for smug jackasses.  Whoops!

Anyways, I decided I’d that, in honor of a little piece of history being made, I’d keep it light share a few of my favorite homo things.  First off, we have the inimitable diva, Barbara Stanwyck, in A Walk on the Wild Side.  I could bother to set this up with a little plot exposition, but where’s the fun in that?  Just know that these are the 17 greatest seconds of performance any actress has ever delivered.  EVER:

That, my friends, is not camp.  That is exquisiteness.  I like to imagine that Barbara Stanwyck’s performance is so fabulously intense and perfectly delivered that it physically hurls Capucine onto the couch with the strength of a perfectly placed bitchslap, kinda like a gay version of the Force push.  Did I just reference Star Wars?  I just said something totally gay and totally nerdy.  Two-for-one special on quips, y’all.  You’re welcome.

Equally homoriffic, yet in a completely different medium of pure fabulosity, is the music video for U2’s “Discotheque”:

A friend said these words to me after I came out during freshman year of college: “I always new that you were gay because you even liked 90s U2.”  Truer words have never been spoken.    It’s U2, drenched in a Jacques-Demy-in-neon aesthetics and extolling the virtues of the dance floor.  I’d later realize that this is what we consider high camp; at the time when I first saw this in middle school, I just knew it as awesome.  Besides Lady Gaga, this really is the gayest thing in pop culture.  And it came from four straight men!  Go figs.

But mostly, I think we need this little bit of homoness to honor these changing times:

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We Can All Agree: Gabe Delahaye is a Dreamboat Among Men
March 28, 2009

In my utter commitment to blabbering on about absolutely nothing of any relevance, I bring you the latest installment of Gabe and Max’s Guide to Man Style, which I stumbled upon over at Videogum:

Admittedly, this isn’t the funniest of their clips, but it’s still fabulous and with just enough homoeroticism to send me into a fit of vapors.  No, the funniest would have to go to their video on dining and wine, which might be the most brilliant thing I’ve ever seen (which might indicate that I don’t get out much):

Given my proclivity for cooking and fondness for dinner parties, I think my next party should indeed be themed “Erotic Nightmare.”  Whatever precisely that is.  I’ll figure it out after I’ve successfully hosted my “Divas of Classic Hollywood” dinner party.

Anywhosie, the real point of this blabberfest is to point out the terribly obvious fact that these two men are comedic geniuses, and also the even more obvious fact that Gabe is the dreamiest thing known to (gay) mankind.  When I say this to people, I get looks of extreme confusion, but it’s really quite obvious:

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Who Exactly is Adventureland Made For?
March 28, 2009

Every time a commercial for Adventureland comes on during Gossip Girl, I lose all self-control as I turn to my Gossip Girl viewing buddy Brynn and screechily ask, “Who is this movie made for?”  We are, of course, fast-forwarding through that nonsense thanks to the miracles of DVR, but I still want to know who precisely wants this movie?  Just look at this thing:

Yes, movie trailer, life after college is not exactly what any of us expected.  Maybe if you weren’t so focused on such a stupid idea as taking a post-graduation trip through Europe and instead focused on finding a real job like the rest of us do, you wouldn’t be in this conundrum horribly plotted movie.

I really don’t grasp how this is an actual movie that got a greenlight from the studios.  Sure, we’ve all worked crappy summer jobs with quirky coworkers, and I myself can even sympathize in working a post-graduation job in retail to fund my summer exploits before moving to New York City for grad school, but I wouldn’t say that’s a sturdy concept for a movie because nobody, myself included, would want to see that.  Whoops, I just became my dad!

The problem with Adventureland, like all movies that romanticize a summer of discovery and lessons learned before entering adulthood, is that these summers don’t in fact exist.  We wax nostalgic about these moments because they’re the final moments of womb-like security that comes with the adolescent impulse to live for the moment before we’re birthed into the often frustrating world of financial responsibility and bills and 9-to-5 work schedules and all the other joys that come with being a grown-up.  It’s a universal experience, for sure, but also one that you eventually realize is completely unrealistic once you gain a little perspective.  These movies aren’t based in any truth; they’re just an opportunity for one filmmaker to cinematically masturbate about their own refusal to grow up and immature yearning for times long past.  Let me play you a dirge on my tiny violin while you cry me a river.  Or not.

Throw in the fact that Kristen Stewart is painfully annoying with her perpetual face of disaffected youth and that this movie is set in 1987 (80s nostalgia in movies is completely a completely lazy technique for adding texture to a story unless its Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion or Grosse Pointe Blanc; those movies are great), and it’s made its way to the top of my do-not-want list.  This movie is made for nobody, but I’m sure it’ll make bank in theaters.

Woof.

(Also, as noted in the comments, I had a brain fart while initially writing this and claimed it was Kristen Scott, not Kristen Stewart, who is in Adventureland.  The correction has been made, and I obviously need a fact checker.)

Looks Like Someone’s Got a Case of the Fridays
March 27, 2009

Seriously, y’all, I woke up this morning to my alarm pondering, “Why would I set my alarm so early for a Saturday morning?” Roh-no!  All studies indicate that this is not the way to begin your Fridays; it’s like waking up with a major urge to just stay at home in your pajamas eating ice cream sandwiches and pickles and grilled cheese sandwiches because you just know it’s going to be your heavy-flow day, but you’ve got important meetings all day so you can’t call in sick.  It’s a frowny-faced, sad panda sort of feeling, and trust me when I say this: New York City subway commutes are not going to turn that frown upside down.

FORTUNATELY, though, I’ve been abusing my favorite stimulant (coffee) like it’s going out of style, so I’m Lil’ Miss Perky Pollyanna right now, but in case anyone else needs a pick-me-up, I bring to you the already quite wonderful LCD Soundsystem ballad “New York, I Love You But You’re Bringing Me Down.”  As performed by Kermit the Frog.  It’s like “Rainbow Connection,” but totally better:

See, aren’t you feeling better already?  James Murphy (the guy behind LCD Soundsystem–and the Kermit puppet) is the best.  Now I won’t be tempted to make (as many) bitch faces on my ride back home.

Excellent.

Since It’s Quite Popular, Let’s Talk Some More About the Dr. Manhattan’s Blue Weiner
March 23, 2009

Over the weekend, despite not being particularly active with my blogging duties, I noticed a relatively unusual spike in views:

bludity-dashboard

I recognize that, in the infinite traffic of the interwebs, this level of activity is hardly astounding.  At the same time, though, it’s barely not yet noon, and the numbers on on the rise.  All because I had to go on a rant a few week’s ago about the full frontal bludity in Watchmen.  

Having seen Watchmen, I can safely attest that it’s there.  Frequently.  Unlike the graphic novel, which largely obscures Dr. Manhattan’s kibbles and bits through selective panel compositions, the movie parades that thing loud and proud.  Much to the chagrin of the groaning fanboy sitting next to me, it has a tendency to flop about when Dr. Manhattan walks around, which makes sense.  Because he’s not wearing pants.  And that’s what happens to your business when you’re not wearing pants.  

I must say that I do applaud Zack Snyder for so determinedly keeping the johnson in the picture. I like to imagine long meetings with the animators in which they propose to him various looks for the penis before deciding on the right one; he has to battle with producers who keep wonder why Dr. Manhattan can’t have a Ken-doll crotch or be an ardent supporter of Hanes boxer briefs, and the MPAA is positively having a conniption fit trying to figure out how to rate the movie.  I say this not because the thought arouses me, but because I have the sense of humor of grade-school student.  I’m terribly mature.

But anywhosie.

He’s obviously a man that’s comfortable with his own sexuality, and the ample peen screen time ends up being politically charged in that it demands audiences to be comfortable in their own sexuality.  The groans and award shifts-in-their-seats elicited from male audience members goes to show that quite a few heterosexual males still have issues with accepting that seeing another man’s penis doesn’t actually turn them gay (although you can easily make the argument that it’s a little bit gay to be searching for pictures of said penis on the internet).  I’m certainly appreciative that interest in a blue wang is providing my crazy talk an audience, but, seriously, internet:

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Let’s Start Sunday With The Most Important Question: Where’s My Eno?
March 22, 2009

It’s safe to say that my U2 love is quite well documented on here, so it should come as no surprise that I frequently search YouTube for live clips.  So color me giddy when I stumbled upon this little piece of deliciousness this morning:

In an album that stands out as easily being their best work in well over a decade, I think “No Line on the Horizon” is without a doubt the best of those tracks.  U2 has a knack for making great album openers, but this tripped-out sonic ocean of guitar noises and layered drum loops simply nails it.  And when the final verse explodes from spacey-ambiance it to full on sonic assault, well, I pretty much lose it; needless to say, that makes for the morning commute to work pretty special when I suddenly start screeching like a total crazy.

Given that the success of the song is as much in the production as it is the raw form of the songwriting, snaps must go to U2 for finding so much drama in such a stripped down, intimate setting.  But, seriously: Where’s my Eno?  June 30th marks the beginning of the U2 360° Tour, which is guaranteed to be a completely fabulous affair.  I’m so excited that I’ve completely accepted that I’ll be making a sojourn to New Jersey, which is like Orpheus walking into Hell for his true love, except with more Aqua Net and ridiculously painted nails.  As such, I fully expect to have Eno-riffic beeps and boops contribute to a day’s worth of stunted hearing after the show, otherwise things just won’t quite feel complete.  Don’t let me down, U2!  I don’t want to suffer the soul-crushing experience of day-tripping to Jersey just to hear a complete lack of Eno sounds; that would be dreadful.

Oh, who am I kidding? Nobody will pick up their phone for weeks after I see that show because I’ll be such a nightmarish ball of let-me-bend-your-ear-some-more-about-how-amazing-U2-is adoration.  Work will forbid me to listen to music because it’ll be all U2, all the time; and I’ll generally become completely socially ostracized until I get it all out of my system.  This is just part of the cycle.  So carry on, U2.  Carry on.

Funny People Is the Least Plausible Comedy. Ever.
March 19, 2009

Lots of people like to get all cranky about Judd Apatow’s movies because the formula is pretty standard.  They’re all unrealistic male fantasies in which men always get women way out of their league by emphasizing the importance of personality over looks while simultaneously not adhering to that same standard with its female characters.  Fair enough, but I’ve frankly found the Apatow leads to be an attractive crew.  Seth Rogen’s good looking, and Jason Segal’s flat out attractive.  Throw in their sharp sense of humor, and I’m sold.  Added to that, I can’t call shenanigans on the gender politics of a group of movies that still cares to actually respect its women by making them characters as opposed to caricatures. 

But I must call shenanigans on Funny People:

This movie is so far from being grounded in reality that it’s entered the far reaches of outer space.  In what world would any sane person leave Eric Bana, particularly when it’s Eric Bana that’s also smart enough to be FLUENT IN CHINESE?  That the chief issue in an otherwise perfect is his going to a massage parlor, possibly to be finished with a “happy ending,” and that’s enough to drive you into the arms of ADAM SANDLER???  

Shenanigans, y’all.

I’ll admit that I’m not a huge Adam Sandler fan, whereas I’d gladly watch Eric Bana make sandwiches for two hours.  Preferably shirtless.  So perhaps I’m a bit biased.  But seriously:

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Looks Like David Hayter Will Not Be Invited to Take Back the Night
March 11, 2009

david-hayter-gross

As Videogum noted, one of Watchmen‘s scribes, David Hayter, has posted an open letter on the internet imploring fans to see the movie again this weekend to keep box office up and therefore make studio heads feel confident in green lighting future Watchmen-esque projects.  Much of Hayter’s argument requires him to indulge in a little self-congratulatory ego masturbation, because that’s how you make a convincing argument.  For example:

I’ve seen it twice now, and despite having run the movie in my head thousands of times, my two viewings still don’t’ allow me to view the film with the proper distance or objectivity. Is it Apocalypse Now? Is it Blade Runner? Is it Kubrick, or Starship Troopers? I don’t know yet.

I’m gonna go for d) none of the above.  And also, Mr. Hayter: Kubrick is a filmmaker, so he probably shouldn’t be in a list that consists of movie titles.  But maybe that’s a stylistic choice irksome only to me, so I won’t dwell.

I certainly agree with his sentiment that, particularly when it comes to the film industry, you cast a vote every time you purchase a ticket.  It’s rather tacky that he has to be the one to make this plea for audiences to see Watchmen again; the movie’s as much his (ridicu)baby as it is Snyder’s, so Hayter’s essentially one of those parents with those awful bumper stickers on their vans about how their child’s on honor roll or Mensa.  Except whenever he has you come over and babysit, he makes you pay him.  He’s wrapped the ugliest sales-pitch sweater in a box with lovely pity-party ribbons and glossy sophisticated-taste paper as if that makes what he’s giving you any better.  Thanks, but no thanks.

But when Hayter gets to his climax, in which he uses a particular scene from Watchmen to articulate how the movie’s supposed to be dark and challenging yet ultimately rewarding as entertainment, he completely shits his (crazy) pants:

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Whatever the Way, Watchmen Will Be Amazing
March 8, 2009

Later today, after months of anticipation, I’ll be seeing this nonsense:

poster-theatricaljpg
The poster alone is positively ridiculous, and judging by the reviews, so is the movie.  I keep on hearing talk that the acting is essentially tone-deaf and that the movie is life-less and fetishistic of its source material, but that merely gives me hope.

Given that I’ve never read Watchmen and therefore have no basis for criticism as an adaptation, I merely get to watch it as a movie.  And, as I see it, Watchmen will either be completely enthralling as an intelligent deconstruction of super-hero mythologies (as the graphic novel apparently is), or Watchmen will be absolutely terrible.  We’re talking Batman & Robin terrible.  As far as I’m concerned, that’s excellent.

I’ll certainly give Zack Snyder slack seeing as he’s tackling an incredibly ambitious text with multiple narratives within narratives that doesn’t particularly lend itself to film.  Added to that, there’s been much talk about how DVD releases of the film will only increase the nearly-three-hour running time so that even more of the comic can find its way onto our screens.  Watchmen, or at least the incarnation that’s been released into theaters this weekend, is obviously little more than a cinematic working draft for Snyder, and that’s fine.  We’ll all have to wait months more to witness his true vision, and that’s perfectly acceptable.

Particularly if Watchmen is terrible.

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Watchmen is About to Make Our (Non-Existing) Wildest Blue-Wiener Dreams Come True
February 20, 2009

Last summer, the teaser trailer for Watchmen was attached to The Dark Knight and nerds the world over collectively rejoiced (orgasmed).  Here, in case you forgot:

I’ll freely admit that it got me excited, but not in that way.  I’ve never read Watchmen, so I’ve no profound attachment to the source material or deeply preconceived set of expectations.  Instead, I just think it’s pretty.  Added to that, I’m waiting for “visionary” (HA!  such lies!) director Zack Snyder to make penance for 300; Dawn of the Dead showed promise, so I thoroughly believe that Watchmen may be his redemption due to its distinct lack of being associated with Frank Miller.  At least we know that Watchmen won’t be ridiculously misogynistic and homophobic (maybe?).  Oh, and let’s not forget that Frank Miller is absolutely the worst.  That’s a tangential thought, but one worth repeating until we all remember.

More than anything else about the teaser worth noting, though, was the fact that there was this:

watchmen-bludity

Wait.  What?  Are we looking at full-frontal CGI blue-dity?  Is this some sort of PFLAG-mandated  penance for the 7-foot-tall Xerxes tranny?  Did the CGI Billy Crudup lost his Kibbles ‘n Bits in the explosion and now is the walking equivalent of a blue-energy Ken doll?  I’m not worried about who is watching the Watchmen, people; clearly the real important questions involve these above-mentioned shenanigans, and they demand the important answers!   

Thankfully, Defamer now has the answers.  Well, the first and third, at least.

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