Tuesday, April 28, 2009

THIS WEEK IN NETFLIX


"Timecrimes"

There was a lot of internet nerd-hype surrounding this one for months before I had a chance to see it, so you can understand why I ended up a little bit disappointed by its deliberate pacing and lack of action. That's not to say it isn't a great film, because it is. I guess I just expected something with more of a cheesy B-movie feel, and not so much the mind-bending array of cerebral nut-punches that this turned out to be. Try to imagine a remake of "Back to the Future," co-written by Ray Bradbury and Franz Kafka and directed by a post-retirement Alfred Hitchcock more interested in pulling off some random ideas than piecing together an impeccable air-tight thriller. Throw in some goofy humor, a cool Darkman-looking mystery character, some truly white-knuckled suspense sequences and one incomprehensibly perfect set of Spanish ta-tas and you've got a solidly entertaining thinking-man's time travel movie that replaces Marty McFly's Huey Lewis obsession with wisely opaque meditations on consequences, regret, and the ultimate bummer of deciding the importance of one human life compared to another. Oh shit, and did I mention those ta-tas?

"Barbarella"
I never saw "Barbarella" as a kid, so I missed out on the obvious Pavlovian response to a PG-rated film featuring lots of intimated sex scenes, brief nipple shots and otherwise lame innuendos. There's no denying that Jane Fonda is a stone cold solid space-fox in this movie and I would certainly pay any amount of space-cash to space-jizz all over her space-boobs. Unfortunately-and remarkably-that's not enough. I came into this film after a childhood of Princess Leia-inspired boners, an adolescence of Marilyn Chambers-based masturbation sessions and an adulthood poisoned by endless waves of soul-souring hardcore pornography (some of which, I might add, has also featured not only space-babes and space-boobs, but space-blowjobs and occasionally space-anal). So the nostalgia-tinged aura of eroticism that probably makes this movie a campy classic for many people my age and a little bit older was pretty much lost on me, leaving little more than shit dialogue, the wispy ghost of a seriously weak plot and one amazingly gay angel. A lot of the set design was cool, and probably mind-blowing for its time. But after it was over I immediately forgot about almost everything that I had just seen and promptly hopped onto the internet to bust a posthumous nut to some classic Marilyn Chambers footage. R.I.P. Marilyn, one of the greatest adult actresses of all time. And R.I.P. "Barbarella," apparently one of the most beloved cult films of all time that I personally diagnosed as D.O.A.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

SMOKE WEED EVERY DAY?


Last night while closing down at work we all got high and gave each other temporary tattoos. Mine was a dumbass bulldog with a crown on its head, Drew's was a skull confusingly wearing a golf hat, Kate's was some probably made-up Asian mix between a dragon and a wildcat, I don't remember what Jill's was, and after several failed attempts it was decided that Jay couldn't have one because his entire body is covered in too much hair. It was a stupid, stoned gesture, but it added to the already enjoyable process of closing down a restaurant you love working at with a handful of genuinely fun people. Smoking the weed was an afterthought to an already good time, and was almost as natural a part of the closing process as scraping the grill. And yesterday's date was 4/21.
The night before, on that admittedly lame holiday celebrated by bleary-eyed herb enthusiasts in doo-rags, tye-dye and everything in between, I took a few GB hits with my next door neighbors and got too high to carry on a reasonable conversation, let alone go out anywhere. I feigned interest in what everyone was saying for about an hour, zoned out hard during an episode of "30 Rock" and then went home to eat ice cream and cake and fall asleep on the couch with my girlfriend. Woo-hoo, 4/20!
The point I'm trying to make is, as I grow older and "more mature" the whole concept of getting high in general is taking on a new persona for me. Long gone are the days of getting high every day, laughing at the TV news, head-banging in slow-motion with my best friend's dog, having 2 hour conversations about "Mask" and "Jayce and the Wheeled Warriors," losing my head inside of Isis's "Oceanic," ordering a pizza at 2am, then totally freaking out when it shows up and finally puking out the window. Weed was an event back then. Something you looked forward to at the close of the day. My roommates and I would pool our $$ throughout the week to make purchases from someone we only referred to as "Supergirl," and then we would watch 2 episodes of "Lost" back to back and cry during them. At work, my co-workers and I would blaze up in the bathroom or the alley out back and then make pizza with our hands while our minds wandered around inside of ThreeSixMafia songs or the "Akira" soundtrack. Getting high was a given, but Being high was still a totally unique and noteworthy sensation.
Fast-forward a few years and my life is significantly more stable than it was back then. I live with my girlfriend, I take school a lot more seriously and I rarely have the time or the money to go out. I still get high, but it's different. There is no ritual surrounding it. No queing-up of a Boris song or long process of completely cleaning out the bong. We don't have handfuls of people over just to get high. It's just a thing that happens every once in a while. Like drinking some beer. And yes, I still get fucking high as balls. But I can handle it better now. It's a conversation enhancer, rather than a conversation retarder.
I'm not sure what this signifies, if anything, about my life in general. I suppose I am still teetering somewhere on that invisible line between early 20's constant partying, and late 20's cleaning-up-your-act. The fear inherent in all of this is that I will eventually become some square who takes everything way too seriously. I know it's pretty unlikely, but I can't help but think about it a little bit when the once-revered process of getting so fucking baked on 4/20 that I watch foreign films without subtitles so i can "figure it out myself" and eat whole celery stalks dipped into jars of peanut butter and coated with Corn Flakes (Cerealery) is a hazy memory that has finally revealed itself as nothing more than a cheesy novelty act that does little more than trivialize the blunt truth about things: I like to get high. Everybody likes to get high. So why not streamline the process into something-dare I say it?-normal, instead of putting a silly hat on it once a year and forcing it to dance around for our entertainment? But at the same time, is that just the feared square inside of me talking? Fuck man, I don't know. I guess I'll just close this dialogue with the best text message I received this holiday: "Celebrating right now! Hitler knew whats up"

Sunday, April 19, 2009

THESE WEEKS IN NETFLIX

I realize it's been a while since I updated the three people who read this thing on my recent movie viewings that they probably don't care about, and I'm sorry. It's been pretty nice out over the past couple of weeks and I haven't been spending as much time inside. That doesn't mean I haven't been watching movies. It just means that as soon as I finish them, instead of debating their merits with my girlfriend and then trying to fuck her and then typing up my boring opinions, I've been going directly outside and crushing beers for the rest of the evening. But it looks like it's about to rain and my girlfriend is out of town, so here's some bullshit:

"Blood and Black Lace"
Hell yeah, Mario Bava is the shit. As an admitted superfan of all things 70s and Euro--particulary things of Italian origin--it's a shameful fact that I spent a good amount of time nutting all over Dario Argento and Lucio Fulci movies before I even recognized the name of Bava, a grand pioneer of all things I'm "into," who was doing this shirt perfectly in the earlier 60s. Over the past few years, however, I've been able to rectify this matter by hounding down the bulk of his cinematic output (I highly recommend the two box-sets put out by horror fan favorites Anchor Bay). There have been countless words written about this film in particular by much more talented and knowledgeable dudes than myself, so I'll just sum up the entirety of the viewing experience by comparing it to giving your eyeballs some acid and then scaring the shit out of them, while your eardrums just chill with that joint you sold them and try to bang heartless Italian chicks sporting those glorious 70s Euro-titties. If that sounds like a good time, then get into this movie hard. If that sounds like a bad time, then you're weird and I'm totally not into you reading my blog anymore.

"The House with the Laughing Windows"
Here's one kind of in a similar vein to "...Black Lace" in that it's Italian, atmospherically spooky and more than just a little bit "trippy" in that way that only European genre films of the 60s and 70s seem to be. I read about this one in the fantastic 100 European Horror Films, the same book that introduced me to long-ignored surrealist gem "Malpertius" and essential bathroom reading for anyone who really does give a shit about good movies and good bathroom reading. This one was a tad bit disappointing, though. It certainly had its fair share of quirky characters and cool locations, but the pace was pretty laborious and the scares were a little on the weak side. It's not a bad puzzler by any means, it's just lacking in the gut-punching weirdness that I tend to gravitate towards, and I honestly found it hard to maintain interest long enough to really care about the totally unexpected moment where the dude-priest's lady-titty pops out. The gore, when it comes, is pretty top-notch though, and the male lead was uncharacteristically attractive enough to keep my g/f happy, which in the end keeps my penis happy by transitive property.

"Harlan County USA"
This shit is the real deal. Probably one of the best documentaries I've ever seen, and a total emotional investment for any viewer with even a modicum of human compassion. Not much can be said about the plotline, seeing as how it's just some real-ass history involving poverty-soaked coal miners attempting to unionize against the wishes of asshole fat-cat blah blah blah blah blah. It's your basic Neil Young song, and it's pretty fucking intense. But hands down the best thing about this documentary is the fucking people. Completely disregarding all of the bullshit about both education and fashion that has been pile-driven into your brain by standardized testing and the fucking Vice magazine "Do's and Don't's," try to view these people as the 100% real-life human badasses that they are. Yes, they speak a po-dunk local dialect that could be devastating to the ears of an English professor and yes, they can sometimes look like mongoloid mish-mashes of teeth, hair and fingernails, but these people are the grime-encrusted underdogs that songs have always been written about. The men are tough, the women are tougher, and if watching this doesn't constantly remind you of hanging out with your dad's side of the family then you are missing out on a large chunk of what really does make America beautiful and I feel bad for you.

"Tell No One"
I'll let this one speak for itself. My boy Jojo recommended it to me and the only way to truly sum it up would be: IT DOMINATES. Some people might describe it as a French "The Fugitive" featuring a French Dustin Hoffman, and that'd be an OK description I guess. The last time I watched "The Fugitive" I was on an airplane and in a moment that I can only justify through the phenomenon of high altitudes heavily affecting the human emotional response, I began bawling my goddamned eyes out and shouting at the tiny screen embedded in the back of the person in front of me's seat "Get him Dr. Kimball! Fuck that one-armed dude!!" That was probably a weird thing to hear a dude wearing headphones yell at the inanimate object in front of him. Especially if he was crying. But I don't care because it was an international flight and the drinks were free and fuck fellow airplane passengers anyway. Who are they? No one you should give a shit about. The only time you'll really need to form some kind of genuine relationship with those dudes and dudettes is if your plane crashes in the mountains somewhere and you have to eat them. And even then, would you really want to know them on a personal level? I wouldn't. But anyway, back to this amazing movie. It is amazing. I watched it twice in two days. The chase scene alone is worth at least a rental. And it almost even made me like a U2 song. U2 blows, and has always blown so that's a pretty remarkable achievement. That's why I'm not even putting a picture up for this one. I just want you to go out there and watch it. If you aren't at least a little bit blown away, feel free to send me an email at youarestupid@andwrong.com.

OK, so that aforementioned rain isn't happening yet. I guess it'd be in my best interest, and the best interest of the company, if I went outside and banged out an hour or two of napping in the hammock before I leave for work. Peace.



Thursday, April 9, 2009

TONTO

just found this terrible "video project" i did for my spanish 101 class.
somewhat ironic that i had no mustache at the time.
peep the pronunciation and feel free to cringe.
also take note of the beer can that magically appears in my hand.
aaaahhh cerveza.


video

WHAT'S POPPIN'


"The Spiritual Journey of Alejandro Jodorowsky"
by Alejandro Jodorowsky

I bought this paperback in a little bookstore in Brooklyn buried inside of some bizarro strip mall that also housed an electronics boutique specializing in weird turntables and Asian-exclusive technology that only the Transformers can decipher, and a standard coffeeshop that only employs Lesbians. The bookshop was tight, although completely unorganized. They did have some pretty great used shit and one of those bookshop kitty-cats that is always asleep in a tiny rocking chair, though. Both the librarian-looking girl who rang me up and the well-dressed dude on the computer behind her were grilling me pretty hard the whole time I was in there. If I had been in Richmond and feeling real scummy I would have assumed it was because they thought I was going to steal shit. But I had just gotten into NYC the night before and was rolling with some dimes and wearing cool shoes, so I think they were both just checking me out and ::swooning::. All in all it was a great New York weekend, and some other things I got up there include:
- hot bubble tea
- crucial chill-time with my buds Sumitra, Duncan, Kristen, Allison and Matthew
- bangin' breakfast food
- free dessert from my buddy Brent the Butcher
- a big, blood-soaked hug from the aforementioned Brent
- fourteen RedBull & vodkas (I think)
- two blowjobs

As far as the book itself, I'm only on page 6. I love Jodorowsky so I'm sure it'll at least be a pleasant ride. But homeboy is already straight-up wilding out over some seriously hard to swallow psychomedicinal bullshit. I'm sitting there reading about how he was somewhere in South America assisting this lady who used her bare hands to open up some fully conscious dude's chest to replace his beating heart with another, completely dead heart. Then she seals up dude's chest with the same bare hands and is like "All done." And Jodorowsky just recounts this entire episode like it aint' no thang. It reminds me of this videoclip I watched a few years ago where Grant Morrison is at some weirdo convention accepting an award for something that I assume was comic-related. Morrison is tanked out of his mind and delivers about a 25 minute acceptance speech, slurring his words and going off on excited tangents in his already confusing Scottish vernacular, talking about how cool it is that magic is real and how equally cool it is that he and everyone else at that convention have figured out how to master it. Just another drunk artist rambling, right? But then the camera pans around the room and everyone is just nodding their heads and tipping their glasses like "fuck yeah, Grant. You know the score" and I'm watching it all and starting to wonder if magic actually is real and if these dudes have really mastered it and if there is any way that I could possibly get into some of that shit myself. Then I remember that all of that requires a whole lot of personal discipline and emotional fortitude and intellectual adventurousness, and I am sitting here right now typing a blog to no one, listening to an Akon record I spent my last ten bucks on and working on a nice little day-off buzz (it's almost noon). Magic probably isn't for me. But Grant Morrison writes good comics and Alejandro Jodorowsky has fucked a ton of women.
That's what's poppin'.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

THIS WEEK IN NETFLIX

"Running Scared"

I've probably seen this movie about fifteen times. I have no idea why I rented it. I also have no idea what to say about it, other than that it's one of those movies where I feel like I have to keep making excuses while I watch it with someone new. But I have no idea why. This movie is a total beast and look at how fucking HARD Paul Walker is looking right there. And that girl is so New Jersey hot that I'm suddenly teleporting back to middle school and getting a boner. What was it about "skanky" girls back then?
Anyway, you know that scene in "The Protector?" That unbelievable scene where Tony Jaa makes his way up a huge club in a single shot, beating the shit out of everyone and you almost can't believe that what you're seeing is real and then at the very end of it all, some desperate dude actually throws the kitchen fucking sink at him? This movie is basically that exact moment repeated ad nauseum until instead of slapping your head each time, you just start rolling your eyes. I'm trying to mean that in a good way. On a somewhat related note, I'll bet Paul Walker's dick has a crew-cut.


"Marathon Man"

When my girlfriend's mom found out we were watching this she immediately said "oh! I've got a factoid" and excitedly started dropping some behind-the-scenes shit. I suddenly knew that I was dipping my pen into the right gene pool. This is one of those you've-somehow-never-watched-it classics that seem to only spawn from a certain strain of superior 70s cinematic sperm. Alliteration for the extra point!
There's not much left for me to say about this badass motherfucker other than to confirm that this shit is a badass motherfucker. Watch this movie all the way through, and then ::SPOILER ALERT:: realize that Dustin Hoffman was pushing 40 when they made this. What fountain of youth is that guy throating?
Most Genuinely Important Fact: Roy Scheider plays his greatest character in this movie and you will want to be him. Or else you are a tampon.