Monday, February 25, 2008
The knives are already out, and absurdly pretentious. Nothing makes me prouder of my Team Juno support than the overwritten putdowns from her detractors. Here is from the boards this morning on CHUD.com, from a real person, or at least a ripe and demented machine:
"I, too, was appalled (but unsurprised) by the Diablo Cody win. Juno went down like spoiled shrimp: while watching I thought it was diverting but thin, but the more I thought about it, the more it raised my bile."
Uh huh. How's that screenplay coming, bud?
Sunday, February 24, 2008
7-8PM: Red Carpet. John Travolta is now consistently hilarious looking. His wife is an embarassment. I feel like telling someone what you're wearing before they ask is the ultimate in sadness. George Clooney looking damn fine for all of us sinners. He'll win his second Oscar for playing Romney. Viggo Mortensen looks exactly like the old neighbor in Home Alone.
Will someone please explain the appeal of Ryan Seacrest to me? He doesn't make me want to buy cigarettes, which even 50 years on should still be the first role of a TV host.
8-830 PM: Regis Philbin. This is a fucking TV host. To the crowd: "This is George Clooney! What's wrong with you people?!" I want to buy Lucky Strikes now.
8:18 PM: These interviews with people from the bleachers are entirely unacceptable. This is a republic, not a democracy.
Here's Daniel Day-Lewis. No one would ever call this man Danny except Regis Philbin, which is why they assigned the woman instead. A Serious man. I wish they would stop saying Daniel Plainview was an inhuman character. He's perhaps the most human character ever. Mmmm, Amy Adams.
My dad already has two zingers. He says that Tilda Swinton looks like David Bowie, which makes it officially true. And upon seeing Cameron Diaz he exclaims "They padded her rear end!"
People need to stop calling JUNO the little indie that could. It's a tired narrative. It was put out by Fox Searchlight. It may yet prove to be the best John Hughes movie ever made, but this is not THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT.
8:27 PM: Almost there. Stay on target. Stay on target. Regis is now inside, Jack Nicholson is vaguely trying to grope a pregnant Cate Blanchett. "Xavier Bardem". Somebody is giving these things alcohol!
8:30: Here we go. This opening segment is beautiful. It's very much peyote in the Modest Mouse sense. I can see how someone thought this was sentimental, but it's just terrifying. Transformers chasing Wyatt and Billy from Easy Rider. If that's not America, I don't know what is.
8:43: First Award of the night, Costume to ELIZABETH 2: ELECTRIC BOOGALOO. Eh.
Wesley Snipes! Jon Stewart is killing.
8:47: Within 20 years, George Clooney will be President. By force if necessary.
Ehhhh Amy Adams.
Katherine Heigl, if you are not good at this get off the stage. God damnit man you're wasting my time! It makes me so unbelievably happy that a clip from NORBIT recieved prominent time. Makeup goes to LA VIE EN ROSE. I'm kind of sick of making pretty girls ugly. The opposite is so much harder.
My dad, on PERSEPOLIS: "This is a cartoon in a foreign language? Fuck." Second award, RATATOUILLE, well deserved.
This clip is pretty good. Nobody really does these any better, except maybe the Republican Convention. But they have 9/11 and Reagan.
9:07: The Rock should probably host this next year. ZODIAC should really be up for Visual Effects, but no one noticed them because it was so seamless. TRANSFORMERS win. Any friend of Shia is a friend of mine.
9:11: Art Direction to SWEENEY TODD. The first category in which THERE WILL BE BLOOD was robbed. I just got a diatribe from my dad on why Cate Blanchett's dress could have been better and still accentuated her pregnancy. He clearly missed his calling in fashion.
9:18: Javi. Fuck yeah. It's a very strong category, I would have accepted Casey, Hal or Tom. But Anton was just too legendary. Now he's talking to his mom in Spanish, which is making my Venezuelan dad very misty.
Short film to French guy. Don't you have to be fairly retarded to be French and not speak English?
This new cast of Dancing with the Stars is without question the most insane thing ever assembled. Adam Carolla, Marlee Matlin, Priscilla Presley, and Steve Guttenberg. Show's back. Tommy Lee Jones looks exactly like LBJ.
9:35: Best Supporting Actress. I'm a big Cate supporter, and would accept Amy Ryan as well. I should support Tilda Swinton since I'm of the select few who finds her really hot, even in this. Plus, again, David Bowie. Whoa Tilda. I am a golden god.
9:47: Coens. I thought they'd spread the wealth, go with Harwood or Anderson. This is good though. That dialogue was austere murder.
Sid Ganis blabbing about about the Oscars. We enter the dark period for the next hour. This would be like Jack Johnson doing the halftime show. Here's Travolta with Gary Oldman's hair from Dracula. Consistently. Never mind, this video is actually fairly amusing.
9:53: Miley Cyrus. I was really hoping she would present Best Picture. All right, it's over. Turn the kids off now.
9:56: Some of these songs are too long. They probably should have had a revue of some of the best Oscar-winning songs of all time. By which I mean the Theme from SHAFT.
10:01: Seth Rogen and Jonah Hill. Funny. I do hope that are from a different species of extremely curly-haire people. Sound Editing goes to BOURNE ULTIMATUM, which is fine. I was dreading TRANSFORMERS, which is one of the most non-sensically loud movies I've ever seen.
NO COUNTRY needs to win at least one sound award. But O'Connell's dry streak has gotten tragic, so I can't begrudge him. If 3:10 TO YUMA's editors are responsible for Peter Fonda's growling, they will also be acceptable.
10:07: Kevin O'Connell has now lost 20 straight Oscars I believe. Are they doing Best Actress already? "Every faceless woman of color". Ugh. Probably Christie, but I can feel a Cottilard. We'll see. I probably shouldn't be putting myself out there with predictions.
In 21 years, Forest Whitaker will be President. Why the hell aren't Jodie Foster or Angelina Jolie up for this? Wow Cottilard is possibly mentally ill in addition to being pretty and French. I don't have to explain how hot that is. I'm doing well so far.
10:19: Wii. Don't get it. If I want to do something physical, I would do it. When I play a video game, I play a video game. I think Colin Farrell is now homeless. He's very good in IN BRUGES by the way, go see it. Here comes ONCE song. This should be up for more. I'm bracing for my dad to insult this terribly. This is the only legitimately great song nominated. It's a consolation prize but they deserve it.
10:30: BOURNE ULTIMATUM has taken Editing from Roderick Jaynes. If they love it this much why isn't up for Best Picture? Seriously.
I have no idea who Robert Boyle is, but that's some good work. I love when men reach a certain age that they start wearing scarves with their tuxedos.
Jack Nicholson with the Best Picture revue clip. I am shamed how many of these I have not seen. I would say 30%. Some pretty damn good movies, my dad says.
10:42: Best Foreign Language. Everyone is so angry that 4 MONTHS, 3 WEEKS and 2 DAYS and PETROPOLIS aren't here, will the winner be forever tainted? Odds I would say go to the Holocaust film, though MONGOL looks fucking awesome. Yep, THE COUNTERFEITERS.
MCDREAAAAAAMMMMMMMMY. Oh man, sung by John McLaughlin. Apparently it's a different person. They shouldn't tease me like that.
10:49: Best Original Song, to ONCE. Excellent. T'anks.
10:57: Jon Stewart is as classy as Josh Brolin is hot. Marketa has the best speech of the night so far. Nice they let her say it after all. Fair play to those who dream, well said.
10:57: Cinematography. Deakins needs his Oscar. I would prefer for JESSE JAMES, but NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN is also legendarily shot.
And it goes to Elswit. Well deserved. As Justin said, some of the shots could be paintings. Probably the most painterly film of its type since ROAD TO PERDITION. Now Deakins will have to win for almost anything he shoots. This will probably inspire a Cinematography fetish blog down the road.
Damn Hillary Swank looks good. And here comes the Memoriam. Heath will probably devastate me.
11:09: Amy Adams presenting Best Original Score. The music reminds me I believe they left Roy out of the Memoriam. Madness. Dario Marinelli wins for ATONEMENT, which is fine, though that fucking type-writer drove me insane. This is Johnny Greenwood's Oscar in any just world.
The insanity of Tom Hanks is very underrated. Enjoyed the presentation from "Bagh-DAD". Go SICKO, the most moving film of the year.
11:17: I look forward to a lecture on torture that will in fact be torture.
This man is very wrong if he thinks Guantanamo bay makes it impossible to make a romantic comedy. I guess after his BOWLING FOR COLUMBINE speech Michael Moore will never actually win an Oscar again, or be allowed to speak. It's a shame they didn't let him bring Castro, but I suppose there is already too much sexiness in the building.
11:25: God bless Harrison Ford for piercing the veil of glamour and revealing that there is apparently nothing more miserable than presenting an Award. Original Screenplay to Diablo Cody. Her speech is kind of a mess, certainly very human. She did herself a lot of favors by not trying to crack any jokes. I know girls exactly like this. So the dream is only getting closer.
This Best Actor montage is my favorite thing of the night so far. It's a mix of sad and happy to see Marlon Brando jogging up to the stage like that. Mmmmmmmm Helen Mirren.
It seems the height of disingenousness to not play the naked fight as Viggo's Oscar clip. And the winner is Daniel Day-Lewis, fucking great. It's absurd how nice he is in person. He is the Third Revelation.
11:44: Director to Coens. Sweet. Everything seems assured. Denzel is here to give me what I want, or is he?
Best Picture of the Year to NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN. Nice to see McCarthy there. What evil thoughts he must have in his mind. It's nice that the Academy and I are in total agreement.
All in all, a good show. Jon Stewart did an excellent job. I enjoy how we accept rudeness from him but not Chris Rock. I suggest locking him down every year. My own thoughts on the film year soon to follow. Good night and good luck.
Wednesday, February 20, 2008
Thursday, February 14, 2008
Apparently, this is a double holiday. Our baby Surge is turning one. From AP:
'A year ago in Baghdad: Shiite militiamen and Sunni insurgents owned entire neighborhoods and key areas beyond. Iraq's government was adrift, and U.S. commanders weighed the real possibility of being trapped in a full-scale civil war. Washington's response was 'the surge,' launched Feb. 14, 2007, with the 82nd Airborne as the vanguard of an American troop buildup that would climb to 30,000 extra U.S. soldiers by summer. A year later - through a mix of military might, new allies and some fortunate timing - Iraq looks very different.'
I will concede that the surge has appeared to lower violence, though political progress amongst the Iraqis is still almost nonexistent. It would seem just enough has been done to push it all into the lap of the next president. Interesting milestone. I already associate Valentine's Day with 9 Gangsters getting machine-gunned to death in Chicago, so this was clever of them. Happy Single Awareness Day, and God Bless Our Troops!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Monday, February 11, 2008
Bruce Springsteen is past the point of singles in the traditional sense, as radio won't play him anymore because he's not hip, also I'm sure politics has something to do with it. We'll take a moment to treasure the sublime irony of radio conglomerates refusing to play a song called 'Radio Nowhere' and then move on. It was indeed an excellent song, as my friend and colleague Justin discussed:
Still, this is probably the best 'second single' choice I've seen from anyone in a long time. Some people say it sounds an awful lot like Magnetic Fields and that's a fair point, but Stephin Merritt has never been interested in girls. This makes me want to want to purchase Magic immediately, even if I have to go to Wal-Mart. I look forward to singing along to this out of a convertible radio forever. Even with the twinge of regret, Bruce has rarely sounded so boozy, so charming, and so young since he actually was.
Sunday, February 10, 2008
Roy Scheider, one of the most badass and underrated actors ever, died this morning at the age of 75. From THE FRENCH CONNECTION to SORCERER to ALL THAT JAZZ and of course JAWS, he's a man you come to appreciate very much as you get into film. He was the quintessential Everyman, and it's a shame his career was never everything it could have been. He was a Jersey boy who did a bit in the Air Force. The type of actor you just don't see anymore.
The death of an old man is never a tragedy, but the world is going to suck more without him. We're gonna need a smaller boat.
Friday, February 8, 2008
After 9/11, we were told it would be the death of irony. Little did they know quite how festering and resilient irony is, or how it would come back stronger than ever. But a few years before that fateful day, irony had apparently already been delivered a swift kick in the teeth. The saddest thing is I saw them on this tour, though I dont believe Bob Dylan was there. Even at the age of 11 I'm fairly sure I would have lost my shit. Notice especially how the wind/wind machine does not affect him at all while Mick billows gorgeously. Edie Sedgwick is waiting in hell with brass knuckles.
Thursday, February 7, 2008
My friend Jessica linked this to me the other day, it was still up. It has something for every contigency. Daniel Day-Lewis needs to do ads for them. "I have a competition in me, I want no one else to succeed. That's why I keep my belongings in a fake head of lettuce. It's all I need."
Mitt Romney, who was briefly a Republican contender until some shenanigans (he was for it before he was against it) forced him out of favor, dropped out of the Presidential race today. He really was just a central-casting President from one of the X-Men movies, but his charm and creepiness will be missed. Bonus points for announcing his dropping out at CPAC, breaking as many hearts as possible. Conservatives all over the country are probably doing a Budd Dwyer right now. Speaking of Budd Dwyer watching it right now on the news I'm really quite sure he at least considered shooting himself. But he just loves America too much.
I might have to flip through my Book of Mormon that I bought for 3 dollars outside HFStival. I don't know what kind of afterlife he believes in, but I'm sure he's sitting by Mike Huckabee's final resting place, waiting.
Wednesday, February 6, 2008
Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, briefly Guru to the Fab Four until some shenanigans ( http://www.rickross.com/reference/tm/tm156.html ) put him out of favor, died yesterday in Holland. Ever notice whenever something bad happens in The Netherlands, Anne Frank etc., they call it Holland? Anyhow, if you don't know him from Ravi Shankar or Gandhi you should probably study him.
He has a lot to do with the Me Decade and also why really earnest guys think the subway platform or the mall is a good place to enlighten you spiritually. I may actually have to flip through my copy of the Gita I bought for 3 dollars outside HFStival. I'm not sure whether or not he was a serious interlude for John and George or just a stepping stone between marching band uniforms and mountain beards. Yet the fact remains that after WWI veterans, the figures of the '60s are dissapearing at an alarming rate. I dont know what kind of afterlife he believed in, but he's probably standing outside of Mia Farrow's final resting place, waiting.
P.S. I don't know if that is the same Rick Ross but I'd like to think so. Everyday I'm Hustling is certainly our mantra.
Tuesday, February 5, 2008
I will concede the first time I watched this I thought it was way too earnest, but it syncs up really well. I kind of enjoy thinking that this is America, and not blue-haired bingo night Mexican-hating old folks. By the way, he gave this speech when he LOST in New Hampshire. If you wanna be my lover, you've gotta get with my friends, and vote.
Monday, February 4, 2008
If you emerged from a coma, were a Cosmonaut, or were just paroled, this would catch you up on everything cultural. History class is pointless now. It's a shame Ossie Davis didn't record every word in the English language before he passed. He makes Morgan Freeman sound like Matt LeBlanc.
or: The Day I Became a New York Giants Fan.
Coming in shortly before halftime, my father exclaims "7-3. It's baseball", which filled my heart with dread, because turning the Super Bowl into a baseball game is probably Al Qaeda's master plan. In all honesty, for a long time it was not a very sexy or exciting game, plus the commercials were underwhelming, but like any good '80s action film, the character development was leading to a slam bang finish. Tom Brady, remember when we promised we'd kill you last? We were telling the truth.
You probably never want to watch a football game with me. I am actually the type of person that throws my fists in the air and yells YES! when my team scores a touchdown. I also did this during the Oscars in 2003 when Roman Polanski won Best Director.
Eli Manning is now Luke Skywalker. Many Bothans died to bring the Giants the plans needed to destroy the Death Star, including the Jaguars, but only through believing in the force could he achieve. Watching him break free from 4 tacklers and gunsling it to Tyree was sexier than naked ladies. It was the essential scrappiness that invalid agoraphobic historians believe is essential to the American character.
For a few days, our hearts are open to ridiculous scenarios. Obama may actually be President, Paul Abdul has actually released another single. Perhaps learning how to play guitar may actually get us laid. All things are possible in the Meadowlands.
Saturday, February 2, 2008
Has there ever been a larger collective desire than for the Giants to pick off Tom Brady and the Heartbreakers in Super Bowl 42? Imagine how futile we are going to feel on Monday morning when they are still slaughtered, or at least bruised and beaten. We pride ourselves as a nation that can will itself to war with a few belligerent country-western anthems, and yet we actually have no power to change the outcome of our national pasttime. It will be swift and merciless. A bayonet to our soft gut, to our belief that, at least since John Hughes, pretty boys shouldn't win against the goofy kids. The last stand of our American dream put down on the fields of Phoenix, which is clearly a fake city to begin with. The audacity of hope! Yet to paraphrase our President, perhaps the only man ballsy or foolish enough to put money on the Giants, were he not sure gambling was a mortal sin: Go Giants, Beat Patriots.
Friday, February 1, 2008
Now that quota is over for the month, I can post this for sure. If you've noticed more cops on your streets in the last few days, get used to it. Pretty soon it's going to be constant.
We hear all the time that fascism is coming to this country, but it's already here, in our State and local Police. These are men who have no education to speak of, obsessed with their uniforms, ranks, and the violent commision of their duties. They are bitter, intensely bored, and usually at odds with their surrounding constituents. They're followers, and they will serve as the backbone of whatever movement ends democracy in this country.
But for the next couple of weeks, breath easy. Also, they're usually pretty good with directions, because all they have is maps. Maps and guns.
P.S. that is a real picture.