Wednesday, May 27, 2009

THIS WEEK IN NETFLIX


"Let The Right One In"

Damn, son! I know that picture is bad-ass but don't be fooled. This isn't some "Lost Boys" style vampire fun-fest. This is a significantly more serious piece of filmaking and doesn't really deserve to be lumped in with much of the other crap that falls under the phrase Vampire Movies. About three or so years ago I knew these two dudes. One was named Chad and he was a total seductive vampire-looking asshole: really tall, dark features, solemn face, monotonous bad attitude, well-dressed and all that jazz. The other guy was named Justin and he was a total 2,000 year old back to basics monstrous vampire-looking fruitbasket: also very tall, but repulsively thin with long scarecrow hair, wicked witch length fingernails, scary yellow teeth and translucent skin. Once I realized that I had never once seen them in the same place at the same time I figured out that they were in fact the same dude. Chad was the night-time form. He would go out to shitty dance-punk shows and seduce women with his vampiric style and good lucks. If they were unlucky enough to stick around too long the next day, however, they found themselves face-to-face with Justin. He was the day-time form, and he didn't give a shit if you found out how old and ugly he was. Your ass had already been seduced! Might as well sit around with him and listen to hippie music all day. I'm not really sure what happened to those/that dudes/dude, and I really don't care because I never liked them/him all that much anyway. But the point is, this movie isn't like that at all. It's classy. It's atmospheric. It's layered. It's tons of other words that real film critics use. But all you really need to know is that it is tight. And with the decline of that much black metal worth listening to it's seriously putting Scandinavia back on the cultural map.


"Blindness"

Wow. This is a really great adaptation of the book that took me about four attempts to finally get into. I started reading it while I was spending a month in Italy, attempting to travel on a gnat's shoestring budget. I know you're like "gnats don't wear shoes" but in Italy they do. Expensive ones. They also have shitty fashion mullets, very little respect for women and drive like blind retards in tiny little cars and scooters that you are still afraid of. After a pretty boring morning in the town of Ferrara (no offense to bike dudes) I was able to settle my mind down enough form the constant waves of culture shock to really get caught up in this story. If you've read the book you'll probably be pretty pleased with this film version, one of the few that I can honestly say really "gets" the overall theme and aesthetic vision of the original material and recreates it as well as possible. It was around five years ago when I read it, but certain scenes in this movie evoked near-perfect memories of entire written passages. This is the textbook definition of faithful. Luckily everything translates surprisingly well--with the possible exception of Danny Glover as a semi-mystical one-eyed puppy dog narrator--and works fine as a movie. You might be disappointed by not seeing a graphic depiction of a dude jizzing into a woman's mouth at the exact same moment that a knife cuts open his throat, or you might not because you aren't as fucked up and weird as I am. Your loss.

Monday, May 18, 2009

THIS WEEK IN NETFLIX

This week's theme was Dudes I Like (no homo).


"Special"

You may know Michael Rappaport as the guy whose leg twitches a little bit after a smart shark eats him in "Deep Blue Sea." Or you may just recognize him as that white guy who's in all of those black movies. I saw "Deep Blue Sea" in the theater three times and I've always sort of considered myself a white man in a black man's world, so I know him as both. Know him and love him. This movie's trailer sold itself to me as a slightly dark comedy that could really only be done justice by a word I cringe to use: quirky. However, the movie itself, when I finally watched it, had other plans. I'm sad to say that despite the incredible potential behind having Rappaport star in a somewhat familiar tale about a regular guy who is mistakenly led to believe that he has superpowers, all you're really getting in the end is a mediocre indie drama with unnecessarily washed-out visuals, a pretentious "ambient" soundtrack and very little laughs. There were a few bright spots, mostly thanks to the Ginger Giant himself. Plus there is something remarkably intriguing about a hot girl with a terrible stutter. But all in all this movie falls pretty flat. It's certainly not the worst thing Rappaport has ever been in, especially considering his short-lived T.V. show. But nothing about it really makes it worth watching if you already own the DVD of "Deep Blue Sea" which you watch pretty often because-holy shit-that movie has not only Michael Rappaport in it, but also L.L. Cool J and Thomas motherfucking Jane. Talk about "dudes I like!"




"JCVD"

As far as I'm concerned there are two types of people in this world: those who grew up watching Jean-Claude Van Damme movies and those who can fuck right off. "Bloodsport." "Cyborg." "Universal Soldier." "Hard Target." Fuck, even "Timecop." They're all great action movies and they are all fortunate enough to feature the Muscles from Brussels, by far the brightest star in the admittedly murky galaxy of 80's and 90's B-grade action icons. Bruce Willis is cool but he never really topped "Die Hard." Arnold Schwarzeneggar is a meaningless household name and apparently the governor of a state somewhere. Steven Seagal sucks fucking ass and he always has. Dolph Lundgren is pretty cool but mainly because of this. Van Damme towers above the rest for a multitude of factors, including but certainly not limited to his adorable French accent, the indisputable majesty of his roundhouse kick and the fact that he always, even in his darkest times (and boy have there been plenty!) seemed to exude a level of heart and sincerity that was noticeably absent in his peers. Don't try to act like you don't know what I'm talking about, you assholes. Regardless of whether you are a superfan like myself bordering on homosexual idol worship or just some idiot who has never seen an action movie, this film will probably change the way you feel about the man whom you may or may not have even heard of. It's an unbelievably well done pseudo-documentary/mock-action/character study that you really should see with your own eyes to appreciate. The opening scene almost tops the single-shot fight scene in "Oldboy" and there is a surreal moment later on where Van Damme floats right out of the film and delivers a seriously phenomenal monologue directly to the camera. If this scene-the pinnacle of the film and without a doubt the greatest piece of acting Timecop has ever mustered-doesn't bring a tear to your eye, then you just don't get it. Better stick to Jane Austen novels, themed parties and the lifestyle of total douchery you're familiar with.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

GET BIG: THE SOUNDTRACK

As you can clearly see in this picture, I like to get wasted. Not as much as I used to and certainly not as much as some people I know. But getting trashed is just some shit that has to happen. It's just a hobby. Maybe you collect vinyl toys or go to dog shows or wear one of those stupid no-bill-having bicycle hats. I don't know what you're into and I don't care and I will never give you shit about it. At least not to your face. Not unless I am wasted. So don't judge me. The point is: I have this shitty tendency to get a little bit older with each passing year and I am no longer able to bounce right back after a long night of whatever the fuck is happening in this picture as easily as I could in the past. So now I have a gym membership so I can keep my body in tip-top shape so I can keep destroying it. There are lots of gyms out there and they probably all have the same shit going on (unreasonably hot moms, scary young thugs, creepy gay dudes) but I personally go to the YMCA because I'm broke and I only have to pay 10 bucks every month. It's an O.K. place to spend an hour or two sweating and trying to covertly ogle tits and asses through the system of full-wall mirrors. But the soundtrack sucks. I don't like Kylie Minogue and I don't like the sound of huge apes in sweatpants grunting so I always bring an iPod. I like to get into a real particular mood when I'm at the gym because I love to daydream. I'll change it up every once in a while but I always find that the following three albums keep me pumped on PUMPING UP.

Burzum - "Filosofem"
Yeah yeah, I know. Varg is a murderer. And a racist. And a weirdo. But whatever, that's just what has to go into making an album like this. This is just some straight-up desolate classic shit. Dude is 100% composed of misguided hate and it is an undeniable fact that that makes for some pretty stellar black metal. Usually when I'm listening to this I zone out and picture lots of long, slow shots of ice-covered wastelands and embittered winter forests. I know that's pretty predictable but about halfway through the first song my mental backgrounds start to fill up with handfuls of busty Satanic bitches wearing robes (for about 10 seconds!) doing some seriously non-Christian shit to each other. I'm talking deer-antler dildos and shit. Snow-encrusted chalices full of blood and pussy juice and I guess probably some melted snow, inevitably. You're probably wondering how I keep from getting a boner but you also probably don't work out much and don't realize it's kind of hard to get one while your body is focused on other stuff. Anyway, if you watch "Schindler's List" or "Life is Beautiful" a lot and you really can't let yourself jam out to music made by a pseudo-Nazi, an acceptable replacement album would be "Two Hunters" by Wolves in the Throneroom. It's also really cold and harsh, if not a lot better recorded, but is probably about the majesty of nature instead of the weakness of races. A lot of scowl-faced dudes in trenchcoats will try to tell you that it is not "real black metal" but all of those dudes grew up in the suburbs and hang out with girls who smell bad, so fuck them. They never go to the gym, anyway.

Various Artists - "After Dark"
This is a compilation album put out by the label "Italians Do It Better" and it's really great. I really like that label, and not just because I'm 1/4th Italian and I know it's totally true. This is just some really good zone-out-and-daydream music. I downloaded it a while ago because I remember the days when Chromatics and Glass Candy (two bands featured on this album) used to be more punk-sounding. I kind of lost track of all that shit when I started listening exclusively to rap and grind for a while, so you can imagine my surprise when I found out that both bands are now all about futuristic disco from the part of space where all of the aliens are skinny babes that wear perfect eye makeup and fuck solid silver vibrators all night long. Oddly enough, that is not what I daydream about when I listen to this. I usually just think about the one night I spent dancing at some supercool club in Barcelona. We all got so wasted I ended up dancing so hard that I chipped one of my friend's teeth. Later a guy in the bathroom asked us if we had any cocaine by simply pointing to a tattoo of coke-lines on his forearm. It was weird and awesome and probably the most music-video shit I've ever been involved with. I also sometimes just think about listening to this shit at home with my girlfriend while we make dinner. If we have some weed we smoke it and if we have some wine we chug it and we end up dancing together while the pasta boils. That's probably the best time to listen to this, actually. While you make dinner with your girl. If she is cool and not into stupid shit like Belle & Sebastian or the goddamned Decemberists then she'll probably put on a dress and some sexy heels and eventually start dancing pretty nasty and finally just let you bone the living shit out of her over the kitchen counter while she still has the shoes on. Holy shit. I'm not in the gym right now, so I accidentally just gave myself a boner. In the library.

Various Artists - "Fear & Loathing in Hunts Vegas"
Another comp? Sort of. This is just a bunch of Paper Route rappers doing different songs that are all tied together by remixed beats from Diplo. And it's fucking awesome. Once again this was recommended to me by my boy JoJo and once again he has hooked me up with solid gold. I'm starting to feel weird sitting here in the library with a hard-on so I'll just let you make your own judgements on this one. Just Google it and you will find it available for a free download. It's good for the gym because it's totally hypnotic and exists in a perfect world that somehow combines stoned-out shoegazing musical cues with some hard-ass Southern rap ignorance. It's perfect. I listen to this shit and picture myself popping an endless rainbow of pillz driving superfast on the Audubon while a supermodel gives me an extremely slow BeeJay. It's also very inspirational to look around at all of the women in the gym and think about how fucking fit you're going to look soon and how healthy your mind and body and spirit will be and how irresistible you'll be to not only those but all women and how maybe if you are extremely lucky one day in your life you will finally and completely be able to live your entire life by the greatest line not just of this album but of any album ever: "And if my dick don't work, tell the bitch 'suck my sooooouuuuuullllll.'"





Monday, May 11, 2009

THIS WEEK IN NETFLIX

"Encounters at the End of the World"

Werner Herzog is a retard. Is it okay to say that? I mean, I love the dude. Every movie he did with Klaus Kinski is a masterpiece and "Rescue Dawn" is the only movie that's ever really made me afraid of the jungle. If you ever tried to tell me that "Grizzly Man" is not the single most genius cinematic attempt at intentional comedy then I will probably punch you in the face. You have it coming. But this movie was too much. Yes, Antarctica is a crazy place. Yes, the people who choose to live their lives there probably have some serious off-the-margins shit going on upstairs. But if you are given the chance to talk with a seriously unstable man who has all but completely given up on human interaction to spend the rest of his life hanging out with penguins and all you can come up with to ask him is "Are there any gay penguins?" and "Do penguins ever go crazy?", then you are Werner Herzog and I don't know if I would ever actually want to hang out with you.



"Inside"

Hooooooooolyyyyy Crap. What has been going on in the land that gave us self-important romance, delicate croissants and Pepe' Le Pew? I don't know when all French filmmakers started to hate people but their Horror New Wave is fucking KILLING IT. As a fair warning, if you are the kind of person who has ever written a poem without a single swear word in it or you are somebody's mother, this movie probably isn't for you. A small part of me (my vagina) almost wants to be "outraged" by this unrelenting assault of misanthropic bat-shit. But a much larger part of me (my everything) remembers that I spent my prom night completely sober and miserable, went home alone and fell asleep watching Lucio Fulci's "Zombie." This shit was made for people like me.

Monday, May 4, 2009

WATCH MY SHOES















I dunno what else to say about these shoes other than that I finally understand where Webbie is coming from. I've never been the type to give too much of a shit about fashion. I don't like to walk around looking like ass-boogers all the time or anything, but I've never put a ton of thought into shit like seasonal color schemes or limited edition hyper-neon dick massaging sneakers n' shit. But look at those motherfuckers up there and realize with me that they are about to change EVERYTHING. I found these bad boys for $5 at a thrift store in San Francisco and I haven't taken them off since (except for when I'm at work 'cuz fuck spilling grease all over that ice cream). I seriously feel like I could strap them on underneath an outfit made entirely out of wet trash from the street and some other dude's back hair and I could still get a blowjob at a Mouthless Convention. Plus every time I look down I'm reminded that I want a Pepsi and that "throwback" shit is poppin' off right now so no high fructose corn syrup for me! So far I've gotten more compliments for these shoes than I ever got for getting good grades, and within a week of purchasing them some random dimepiece on campus was walking by on her cellphone and told the person on the other end to "hold on a second" so she could look me straight in the eyes and say "I like your shoes" all sexy like a James Bond bitch. Not to get too Juggernaut's helmet about it, but if anything ever happened to these shoes I seriously don't know what the fuck I would do.