Steve’s Got Bette Davis Eyes…
November 9, 2013

steve buscemi bette davis eyes

She’ll unease you, indeed…

Here’s Steve Buscemi with Bette Davis eyes, because internet memes and 80s pop songs make for strange, ouroborosian bedfellows. So exquisite.

[White-hot glamour pic via Bobby Finger]

Jersey Shore Deep Thoughts: On Enrique Iglesias’s “I Like It”
July 1, 2010

Last night, faithful reader and fellow pop culture blogger Alex brought this video to my attention, so you can thank/blame him for this one.  Here’s the music video for Enrique Iglesias’s “I Like It” featuring Pitbull.  Oh, and the cast of Jersey Shore:

First off: HUH?!?

Is Enrique Iglesias still cool kid music?  Did “Sad Eyes” make him hip again?  (Please let it be “Sad Eyes” that made him hip again because that video is AWESOME.)  Also, is a love of Enrique Iglesias some sort of secret, previously unspoken part of the guido subculture that Jersey Shore‘s second season will explore with the same nuance and cultural sensitivity that it brought to sausage and peppers and fist pumping and pickle sucking, or is this a we-set-this-one-in-Miami thing?

Where the hell is Sourpuss during this mess?

enrique iglesias i like it jersey shore version

Oh, I’m sorry, I meant Angelina.  Did she pack up her trash bags and head back home again?

Do you know who loves fist pumping?  Guidos.  Do you know who loves fist pumping AND doing their best moves from The Matrix on people’s couches?  Enrique Iglesias.

But perhaps most importantly:

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Earth Day Now Has Its Very Own Christina Crawford
April 22, 2010

She is NOT one of your fans:

On one hand, HUH?  I’m not sure if this is a sound argument, let alone a cohesive one.

On the other hand, she’s got at least one irrefutable point.  Earth Day really does create more garbage:

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TGI Good Friday! Now Here’s Here’s a Lady Explaining How Jesus Was a Mushroom
April 2, 2010

I’m not sure if posting this video on Good Friday counts as a religious no-no, but in my defense I’m also a terrible Catholic.  Seriously, I’m eating beef stew on a Friday, I’ve never been confirmed, and the only time I ever saw Jesus was in a Magic Eye poster at the mall when I was 12, which I’m pretty sure does not count.  Anyways, if your idea of blasphemy includes videos of British women possibly tripping balls and definitely insisting that Jesus was actually a psychotropic mushroom used in Sumerian sex orgies, then I highly suggest you DO NOT WATCH.  Otherwise, enjoy:

Okay then.

At first, I couldn’t really decide which response if more appropriate: this one, or this one.  But then I watched her performance of “Jesus Was a Mushroom”:

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Oh Look, a Poster for a Movie I’ll Probably Never See
July 21, 2009

Traditionally, teaser posters that come out nearly an entire year before their film’s release try to do what their name would imply, which is, you know, TEASE.  For example, that fabulous teaser poster for Cloverfield:

cloverfield teasiest poster

They don’t even give you a title, that’s how much they want to intrigue you with the delicious mysteriousness of it all.  And you know what?  As teaser posters go, that one teased me all the way into the movie theater!  Great job, J.J. Abrams and company.  Your posters never fail to work me into a frothing nerd frenzy.  I suppose it’s just my cross to bear.

Anyways, there’s a teaser poster now on the internet for next May’s Prince of Persia:The Sands of Time.  I know, I know, it’s TEN WHOLE MONTHS ’til it comes out, but I had to share it because it’s already tantalizing me with the prospect of avoiding the hell out of it:

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The Final Poster for The Ugly Truth Gives Me a Headache
July 6, 2009

Sometimes I editorialize images I find on the internet with pithy comments in pink letters.  But sometimes there’s an image that  speaks entirely for itself.  Such is the case of the final poster for The Ugly Truth, which I spotted on the streets while walking to the bank this afternoon:

ugly truth final poster

Yes, ladies and gents, it speaks for itself, and it says, “UGH.”  Even though this is essentially the same thing as the teaser poster (but now with actors),it’s still an embarrassment to anyone with a brain.  Or genitals.

Women love love, so Katherine Heigl’s holding her heart as an object unto itself.  And men love sex, so Gerard Butler’s holding his heart over his business while he lustily smirks at Katherine Heigl.  The lesson?  Men love you to take a ride on their discostick, so do it now in order to make them like you, ladies.  Don’t worry that this probably means they’re emotionally unavailable Neanderthal man-children; just give them a trip down your tunnel of love, and the sparks will be flying!

Look, I fully understand that movies like The Ugly Truth are intended to be light-hearted comedies that deliberately embrace tired gender stereotypes as opposed to having the creativity or intelligence required in saying something innovative about how men and women emotionally and romantically connect, but this Gender Wars 101 bullshit is the dead horse that’s been so thoroughly beaten that all you’ve got in front of you is a bucket of glue.  Never mind the trailer; this poster is so boring I damn near had a narcoleptic fit on Sixth Avenue.

More importantly, though, is how incredibly misogynistic these reductive gender politics are.

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Things That Should Not Exist: This “Slut Barbie” YouTube Video
June 22, 2009

I can wrap my head around a lot of things.  Like this Barbie, for example:

black_canary_barbie.jpg

Black Canary is a DC superhero, so a Barbie for nerds makes sense, but I’d rather pretend that this is actually an homage to Marianne Faithfull in The Girl on a Motorcycle.  Whatever works.

I can also understand the below video’s existence insofar as I guess it’s a relatively normal thing to make Barbies have sex.  It’s a rather harmless way of exploring sexual relations and identity in your developmental years.  Puberty, with all its changes and urges and general confusion, is a total bitch; so if making your Barbies have sex is a safe and comfortable way to make sense of your burgeoning sexuality, then by all means go right ahead.

Nevertheless, this isn’t that sort of thing.

This is a full on six-minute narrative, replete with duplicitous behavior, man whoring, and catfights.  The unprecedented levels of batshit insanity surrounding this video’s very existence will blow your mind on multiple occasions, but it’s nevertheless totally worth watching.  “Slut Barbie” is very much real, debatably not safe for work, and absolutely profound.  PREPARE YOURSELF:

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Orphan‘s Marketing Campaign Ages Like Fine Cheese
June 15, 2009

Some months back, I randomly stumbled upon the totally ridiculous looking trailer for Orphan,and I immediately began to wonder what the hell her secret is.  Of course, I’m equally curious as to why Vera Farmiga keeps getting saddled with Bad Seed rip-offs, and I’d love to know why Peter Sarsgaard said yes to this mess, but none of these questions can distract me from the most important fact that this movie looks ABSOLUTELY BATSHIT INSANE, and so I naturally can’t wait.  The latest TV spot is just a 30-second taste of the crazy, but–like a good cheese–things are looking ever more delicious as time goes by:

I first thought this looked more like trashy camp, and I still get tingly whenever I see Vera’s hysterics, and there’s apparently a scene where a car is driven into there house (totally awesome, but also huh?), but I’m beginning to think this movie looks to be both completely ridiculous and creepy as hell.  There’s something about the way that girl puts her homicidal bitchface on with such aplomb.  Seriously, when I see that final shot, I don’t know whether to giggle with camp glee or piss myself in terror.  After taking a good look at the poster, though, I’ve gotta go with the latter:

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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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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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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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From Beginning to End Proves Brazilian Cinema Does It Better
May 23, 2009

The less said about this trailer for From Beginning to End (Do Começo ao Fim) the better, other than it’s certifiably the most ridiculous thing I’ve encountered in quite some.  Just watch it and remember that this is an actual movie and an actual story that people felt committed to tell because they see it as having serious, artistic merit.  Also, before you click play and watch this, prepare to have your brain melt and then spew out through your ears.  Seriously, you’ve been warned:

Ermmm….neat?  And also, HUH???

Perhaps this is simply an example of a movie that touches on a taboo that I can’t even wrap around my head, but I’m willing to bet that the large majority of the world would equally agree with my sentiments that this is kinda creepy.  I could even see this movie as trying to be more a metaphor for the broader socially forbidden love of homosexuality, but that doesn’t really work because we don’t need an extra layer of uncomfortable icing on our sexual taboo cake.  Homosexuality still holds enough of a taboo in mainstream film to where it’s pretty a shortcake: you just add some strawberries (like being a cowboy in Brokeback Mountain) and then serve.  From Beginning to End is too much of everything, though, and so it looks like it’s a multi-tiered cake of various taboos that’ll inevitably collapse in on itself.

That said, I totally appreciate any movie that’s seeking to confront what we perceive as right and wrong in order to make us evaluate our moral codes and social fabrics.  I could and should be capable of treating this movie as a serious endeavor that demands an intelligent, open-minded  discussion about cultural sexual mores, but instead I just keep replaying this trailer in awe of how–in spite of its polished direction and competent performances and attractive male leads and Philip Glassian score (and I do so love my Philip Glassian scores, y’all)–this movie looks so epically trashy!

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Oh Noes! Lisa Kudrow’s Also Taking a Ride on the Powder Blue Train-Wreck Express
April 13, 2009

And her character is just filled with great ideas.  What do you give to the man who tried to unsuccessfully pay a transgendered prostitute to kill himself?  A piece of apple pie, obviously!

And, damn, her waitress looks good, y’all.  How does she do it?

Ohhhh, she has a secret to her success, and it apparently involves hanging her dress over the dining table  to help motivate her to forgo sharing a slice of apple pie.  I totally forgot how detrimental having a single bite of apple pie can be to one’s waste line.  Seriously, the second a bit of that flaky crust hits your lips, you just balloon up like the incredibly obese Hulk.  It’s true; I’ve been there.  The whole experience quite unpleasant, and the purple pants you inexplicably always find yourself in are just such an unflattering shade of mulberry.

Or perhaps it’s a slippery-slope-of-addiction sort of thing.  One minute she’s trying a bite of that freshly baked deliciousness, and then suddenly the morning shift at her diner is waking her up.  Pie pans and bits of crust are strewn across the floor, and her hands and face are covered in the syrupy fillings of a dozen unsuspecting left-over desserts that met their unpleasant fate in her orgiastic and untethered thirst for scrumptious fruit-filled pastries.

Admittedly, the acting in this scene is shockingly subdued in this scene.  Gone are the over-the-top camp theatrics in favor of people behaving more like awkward robots programmed to execut sighs, smirks that mask deep-seated pain, and unnecessary conversational pauses in order to make them appear more naturalistic and human and less completely dead behind the eyes.  

Added to that, the dialogue in this scene is profoundly worthless.  Lisa Kudrow wanting to be thin and observing that Forest Whitaker’s smile deceptively hide his sorrow are things that say nothing relevant about either character.  They’re ciphers of psuedo-illuminating dialogue meant to make you ask deep questions about human interrelations; however, “HUH???” is the only question that this scene really leaves you asking.  

Let’s be clear: everything in this scene is still completely terrible, but this is terrible in a new and different way.  This clip suggests that Powder Blue is like an onion of bad movies; each scene reveals unto us a whole new level of awful that this movie is capable of achieving.  If these clips are any indication for how tonally inconsistent yet consistently misguided Powder Blue will be, then congratulations are then in order for Timothy Linh Bui.  I won’t start the the one-man’s-slow-clap-that-gradually-grows-into-a-thunderous-applause-from-the-entire-crowd just yet, but I’d be lying if I didn’t admit to doing my wrist exercises in preparation.  After all, May 8th is just around the corner…

Gay Marriage with a Side of Pancakes
April 7, 2009

Hey, y’all, it’s official: Vermont’s the greatest state.  Ever.  Why?  They’ve gotten rid of those silly civil unions in favor of letting the gays actually get married!  Added to that, let’s not forget that this state is also famous for its maple syrup.  I think we all know what that means: Homo Marriage Pancake Party!  Yaaay!  

Seriously, though, until New York finally gets its act together, I’ve now decided that Vermont’s the place to go for your big gay nuptials.  I mean, perhaps it’s just me, but I don’t think there could be a better wedding reception than one consisting of breakfast foodstuffs slathered in maple syrup.  And, on top of that, you could do a themed reception!  Seriously, just base it off this completely bizarre ad for Spike TV that I found earlier today:

Your reception is sure to be wild and crazy with all those bikinis and pancakes and waffle fights.  Not only will your wedding be a little part of history, but it’ll also be the “Huh?”-vent of the century!  Everybody will ask you what the hell you were thinking, and you can simply respond, “Well, I don’t really know, but–just like my love for Theodore–it’s always felt right.”  And really, with an answer like that, all doubt shall cease, ‘cos who doesn’t love love?  Or pancakes, for that matter?

Nobody, that’s who.

Here’s a French Pop Song Devoted to Shaving Your Lady Bits
April 6, 2009

I’m really serious.  This is a real artist with a real song and a real video that’s playing in France to help sell razors specifically marketed to shave your va-jay-jay.  Thank goodness my grasp of the French language has almost completely deteriorated since graduating college; otherwise, I suspect my ear’s might start bleeding from this dance-pop ode to shaping the perfect landing strip.  Trust me, the visuals alone are insane enough to riddle your brain with questions:

Is this brilliant synergy or a sign of Western civilization’s impending cultural apocalypse?  Is the “garden party” the 21st-century version of the Tupperware Party?  Who thought this was a good idea?  Is Simone elle est bonne supposed to be the French version of Lady Gaga?  

I really have no answers.  None at all.  Although I’ll say this much: it reminds me of the time I was in the south of France for a study abroad and I thought that the waiter at a restaurant we were dining at one evening was staring me down with I-will-be-your-study-abroad-French-lover eyes.  So of course I had to send my friend over to ask what was going on.  I would have asked myself, but the Amélie-esque fantasies of him whisking me away on his moped to get croque-madames and lemon tarts at his favorite cafe had rendered me incapable of properly speaking English, let alone French.  None of this mattered, though, because wasn’t gay; he’s just French, so he gets that all the time (probably from American tourists)!  Whoopsies!

And, really, that’s the lesson of “Ma Garden Party,” y’all.  It’s just French.  French culture is so hermetically sealed from the rest of reality that any attempts to evaluate its pop culture indubitably ends in failure if you’re not sitting around sipping an espresso with a beret on your head and a baguette in your hand.  This is not a bad thing at all.  It’s just a thing that makes you frequently go “huh?”

Added to that, the high proliferation of Frenchness that is exuding from this video completely shutting down my Gaydar, so I can’t even begin to discuss the camp value of this video.  I frankly don’t understand this at all, but then again, I’m not French; I’m just gay.  Don’t worry, though, I get that all the time.

S. Darko Will Be the Showgirls of Donnie Darko Sequels. Literally.
March 10, 2009

Ruh-roh!  Someone in Hollywood put on on their best Armani bad idea suit, had it dry cleaned and pressed at Train Wreck Washers, then walked into an office and pitched this hot mess:

I’m left with so many questions, such as:

  • Is that Chuck Bass?  Why is Gossip Girl‘s Chuck Bass in the sequel to Donnie Darko?
  • Why is that one guy dressed like an extra from Mad Max?
  • Who thought this was a good idea?
  • Wait, there’s a meteor shower?
  • And a firebird???
  • And dancing in said meteor shower?!?!?

UGH.  This is such a colossal assortment of bad ideas gathered under one straight-to-dvd roof that I…

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