When Life Gives You Last Night’s Gossip Girl, Make Dancing-Lady-ade
March 17, 2009

To wash the bile-tastic taste of last night’s Gossip Girl, my friend Brynn and I decided to turn to someone we knew we can always trust to entertain and delight, even in our darkest of ours.  That special someone is Joan Crawford, and last night, she was our Dancing Lady.  

We watched the ending because I’d completely passed out the previous time we attempted to watch it late one night (a belly full of pot roast and a few Joan Crawfords will do that to you, so don’t judge me!).

Dancing Lady is a 1933 musical starring Joan Crawford and Clark Gable (who, by the by, is ridicu-handsome in his youth).  I’d bother and try to explain the plot, but the plot is paper-thin, and Dancing Lady is really just an excuse to let the sparks fly between Crawford and Gable (their scene at the gym is a hysterical and sexy in the same breath) while uber-producer of the era, David O. Selznick, tries his best to recreate the magic of the Busby Berkeley musicals.  Oh, and the Three Stooges are in it.  And Fred Astaire makes his screen debut in it.  Here’s just a taste of the singing, dancing madness:

They dance on a magic carpet before landing in Bavaria to sing the joys of German beer?  It’s both obvious and logical to ask, “What in the hell?”, but I prefer to simply ask, “Why the hell not?”  Trust me, it’ll ease you into the total explosion of insanity that is the finale:

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Having Now Seen Watchmen I Can Attest That I’ve No Idea What I’ve Seen
March 10, 2009

Well, Watchmen came out this weekend, and so we can now safely say that Billy Crudup’s CGI-enhanced blue full monty and Malin Akerman’s inimitable understanding of “acting” (apparently a mixture of reciting lines like English is your second language and posing like a crime-fighting tranny robot) have safely entered the pop-culture vernacular.  I’m not entirely certain either, particularly the latter, opens any useful conversations in our cultural discourse, but at least we’ve expanded our vocabulary, y’all!  And to paraphrase the great beacon of 20th century philosophical genius, Nomi Malone, Watchmen doesn’t suck, so I’ll freely admit it:

watchmen-review

Let’s clarify, though, in that I said “not too bad.”  I neglected to use words like “exceptional” or “awesome” or even (most disappointingly to me) “campalicious.”  I’ve also neglected to utilize phrases like “tonally consistent” or “narratively coherent in any way that resembles a movie” because Watchmen is completely lacking in any of those qualities.  Hell, Watchmen doesn’t even qualify as a movie so much as an explosion of adolescent id and existential angst moving on screen at 24-frames-per-second.

Yes, there are scenes, and when taken in the order presented in the film, these scenes seem to resemble a plot.  The problem, though, is that each scene is so hyperbolically extreme in style and, when compared to scenes before and afterward, contradictory in terms of emotion and feel, that the resulting product feels schizophrenic and unhinged.  Snyder dials the violence up to 11 (arms are graphically sawn off with hacksaws and punches are capable of causing compound fractures) and the sex up to ridiculous (the howlingly bad sex scene between Ackerman and Patrick Wilson is Cinemax-grade soft-core porn with a Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” providing the soundtrack and a firing of the flame-thrower on Night Owl’s jet to signal their climax; all parties involved should be thoroughly shamed for that one), yet there are also unexpected moments of beauty in this behemoth.    

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U2 “NLOTH” Haiku Review: “Get On Your Boots”
February 25, 2009

Benjamin made a promise to review every track off No Line on the Horizon, one a day, leading up to the official release on March 3.  Whoopsies!  Unfortunately, he can’t write about music for a damn as he studied film; it’s all “chiming Edge guitar” this and “propulsive rhythm by Larry and Adam” that, blah blah BLECH.  Instead, he’s embraced the new-found experimentation that U2 has clearly found: why review when you can haiku?  So put on your crazy boots, ‘cos here comes the next round:

A sad day has come upon us!  I’m over halfway done with this little exercise insanity/tedium.  Before you know it, the whole album will be reviewed and there won’t be any more haikus (show some respect and try not to look so damn happy!).  Shall I stop now (please?) so we never have to face the inevitable?  No?  Fine!  Get your hankies ready because the end is now in sight:

goyb-haiku

Le sadness.  Only five more left.  Next up is “Stand Up Comedy.”

As always, you can stream No Line on the Horizon on U2’s Myspace, so you can hear of which I haiku.

Why Didn’t Anyone Tell Me That Joan Crawford’s in the Greatest Movie Ever?
February 19, 2009

She is.  And it’s called Humoresque.  Humoresque is so incredible, in fact, that we can understand its brilliance through a simple mathematic equation, and math is infallible.  To wit:

Joan Crawford melodrama+classical music concert numbers=the greatest movie ever.  Le duh.

To give you an idea as to just how great it is, here’s a still:

humoresque1531

Whoa.  Just whoa.

In case you were confused by this picture,  Humoresque is a melodrama that stars Joan Crawford.  It’s not a comedy, which may come as a surprise given that the title has the word “humor” in it.  Language comprehension is hard like that (unlike math).

Whatever.

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Crimminy Crap! No Line on the Horizon Has Been Leaked!
February 18, 2009

No Line on the Horizon leaked today, y’all.  According to @U2:

For the second time this month, an online music store has started prematurely selling No Line on the Horizon. This time, the Universal Music Australia storehas made the entire album available as digital downloads, and fans all over the world are buying it up, putting it on file sharing sites, and sending it to friends. The album’s out there now; no turning back. Update: Universal Australia is no longer selling the album; it was available for about 1-2 hours.

Little did anyone know that NLOTH was also available on the Napster Mobile online store. An @U2 reader found it and bought the album on February 8th; it was available all last week, and finally removed yesterday (Feb. 16). 

I think we all know what I had to do, because I certainly lost all patience and will power about a week ago.  And, well, about all I can say right now is this:

nlothomfg

My head hurts from how many thoughts I’ve spinning around about this fabulousness.  Ever since I became a fan with the release of All That You Can’t Leave Behind (lay off me, I was a late bloomer!), I’ve longed to have the thrill of getting a U2 album that would have the same game-changing feel of excitement that Achtung Baby had for a certain generation of fans.  

Well, that moment has arrived.

Every song on No Line on the Horizon is a hands-down triumph.  Simply put: this one is a beaut.  So much sonic texture to the production!  So Much Album-As-Spectrum-Of-Human-Emotions-In-Our-Current-Moment Deliciousness!  SO MUCH AMAZING!  GAH!!!

See?  I can’t deal with it right now.  My homo-wittiness has disappeared in an ocean of fanboy hyperbole!   I’ve given it three full listens and I’m still an atomically hot mess of unadulterated school-girl giddiness.  I don’t think a frosting-scented Jon Hamm could get me this excited.  I need a cold bath (stiff drink).  I’m going to have to take a few days to properly digest this album, but you’d better believe a lengthy review is coming.  LENGTHY.  You’ve been warned.

U2 is back, bitches.  I hope you’re ready to deal with my ensuing craziness.

Thanks, @U2 for the tip.  You’ve ruined my ability to be a tolerable human being for the next year.

Finally, a Movie Review! For Friday the 13th!!!
February 17, 2009

Remember last Friday, when we were still living in a world where Friday the 13th wasn’t out in theaters yet?  Well, now we live in a brave new world where it’s out in the theaters available for mass consumption.  And just as Lost has taught us that you can’t go back in time to kill Hitler, we also can’t go back in time to stop them from making the new Friday the 13th, so I guess we should stop building that time machine and just start adjusting.  That doesn’t change one crucial fact, though:

fth13th-review1

I mean, Friday the 13th is just like Brave New World, except instead of everybody taking Soma to emotionally anesthetize themselves while worshipping Henry Ford, everybody’s taking stupid pills while worshipping boobs.  Seriously, so much of the boobs in this movie.  

But I’m not here to (only) complain about boobs.  Nope, I’m here to complain about Friday the 13th. (more…)

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