Friday, January 26, 2007

2006 In Review Part 3: Movies

This year and last have actually been pretty good in terms of movies. Three, four years ago besides LOTR there wasn't a movie worth seeing in theaters. The Oscars look like they won't dissapoint this year unlike last year when I thought Crash was only nominated as some kind of joke. Dear god that was atrocious. This year the film that seems out of place is Babel. I'm really getting tired of this intertwined ensemble movie bullshit. I cant tell one good story so I'll tell ten bad ones. Oh heres you're Oscar. The thing that boggles my mind is that the ensembles that  five years ago were good and fresh like Magnolia, Boogie Nights, and Amores Perros  won nothing and now that the formula has become just that, a formula, the Oscars are encouraging  writers to churn out more BS.  But like I said there were some pretty good movies this year. There were a lot of really good if not great comedies, but given the past couple of years in cinema that was very refreshing. Here's my top twelve, though, there were a bunch of movies I never got to see like the Queen or Clint's double features. Anyway:

12. Monster House and Over the Hedge - the best two animated movies of the year because unlike Pixar these movies understand that funny is better than cute even though critics will always side with cars and nemo which i thought were semi entertaining but not at all funny.

11. Borat - Not worthy of all its praise and demonstrated that even critics love band waggons. However, a lot of this movie is pretty damn funny.

10. Brick - what turned out to be a very mediocre plot was completely off set by a great script where the writer literally invented a new pop lingo reminiscent  of the new talk found in Clockwork Orange and great young performances most notably Joseph Gordon-Levitt who's proven to me to be the best under 30 actor working today.

9. Children of Men - good concept but not so great story. Even though this movie mocks all religious undertones the whole plot is just a series of events strung together and the fact that they make it can only be considered a miracle of god. Its so well made and acted, though, that even though the drama didn't really reach me because of how ridiculous the circumstances of each event were it was still a joy to watch.

8. The Good Shepard - what makes this movie hard to watch is what makes it good ultimately if that makes anysense.Despite its cast and director and epic scope this movie plays out nothing like a Hollywood movie. The story structure is completely unnatural throwing you right into this tough world and never climaxing just unraveling in complex layers. Its hard to digest, but this also makes it intriguing and once it sinks in it really does illustrate its power.

8. A Scanner Darkly -  even though it would seem this movie would be mostly a visual achievement  it is actually very dialog  oriented offering  a view inside the drug  addicted mind that is far more powerful than the one liners  and visual effects of other similar films.

6. The Departed - this would be much higher on my list if i had not seen the original hong kong version this movie is based on and improves upon in every way. My exact problem with the first one was its lack of charisma and humor making it too dark for the action movie it was. The new one of course completely demolishes this squabble and was actually one of the funnier and most entertaining movies i saw all year. But for me it was like watching the Sixth Sense after seeing the last scene first. A great movie, if only it could have been a greater movie experience. But i mean seriously. Hollywood never remakes movies better than the original, and the one time it does look what happens.

5. Little Miss Sunshine - I expected it to be a highbrow indie comedy, but it instantly demonstrated it was gonna play out more like a sitcom, but a funny one indeed. And a nice little message too.  Its weakest in the final act, but that seems to be the case with every modern comedy ie Office Space.

4. The Proposition - I have to admit I'm kind of biased towards this movie. I love westerns and there hasn't been a good one since before I was born. This movie wasnt phenomenal, but it felt good seeing outlaws with six shooters especially in such a well made and poetic film.

3. Thank You For Smoking - Little Miss Sunshine was the feel good comedy of the year. Clerks II and Jackass 2 had hilarious moments but drove themselves into the ground with terrible, crude jokes. Thank You For Smoking was the only movie with some nice dark humor that had me on the floor that had composure. It made me laugh, smile, and be angry without making me want to hurl.

2. Little Children - Imagine an American Beauty that doesn't try to appeal to the teenager demographic at all and you get an idea of this movie. It derails a little at the very end, but in its good moments, the more subtle ones, this movie is astonishing.

1. Pan's Labyrinth - After LOTR concluded fantasy movies have been embarrassingly bad even Jackson's follow up, the laughably bad King Kong. Chronicles of Narnia was too bad todescribe and I haven't seen any of the Harry Potters but theres a reason for that. Horror has sucked overall as a genre since the beginning of film. Then Pan's Labyrinth came along and made my day. I can't really describe how great this movie is. Especially in times when kids are only the lead roles in films were guys put their junk in pies this film was truly a breath of fresh air in every respect.

Best Acting Male: Matt Damon in Good Shepard
Best Acting Female: Kate Winslet in Little Children
Supporting Actor: All the guys in the Departed, and Steve Carell in Little Miss
Supporting Actress: Sara Morton in The Proposition
Directing: Guillermo
Screenplay Original :Guillermo del Toro for Pan's Labyrinth
Screenplay Adapted: Todd Field and Tom Perrotta for Little Children

And now to celebrate the crap. Like I said the comedy front was looking good. Some good dramas. The field that really disappointed was the high budget, Hollywood blockbusters. Some of them were disappointing. Others just sheer garbage:

5. Casino Royale - Very disappointing. The new bond is great. I like how Le Chiffre was just a douche bag in a bad situation not some maniac trying to take over the world, but man was the plot terrible. And the worst case of 'i don't know when to end my movie' since Return of the King. What the hell is bond doing in the biggest hand of the night with 2 5? But they're suited...

4. Mission Impossible 3 -  The wire fu and  100 masks of jonny woo's terrible second installment are gone, but the guns are still here. Now there's missiles and helicopters too. In the first one it took an amazing and elaborate plan to get into the CIA building. In MI-3 Ethan gets out of a similar high security compound by well walking out the front door. You'd think thats the first thing they'd block. The climax? A bomb will go of in his head in five minutes(so that he has a chance to get away as opposed to just blowing up) so he kills himself and his wife ressurects him after shooting all the bad guys in the movie with a pistol. Is she going to be the hero of the fourth one?

3. The Prestige - Christopher Nolan! Christian Bale! Hugh Jackman! Scarlett Johanson! Michael Caine! Oh man. This movie is going to be sweet. Not at all. It could have just not been good but instead chose to be flat out terrible. Repetitive, ugly, stupid, and I've never cared less about characters in my entire life. 

2. Superman Returns - The writers got the plot of this movie by searching through the waste barrel at cartoon network and piecing together the worst Invader Zim and Powepuff Girl reject plots. Worst super hero movie I've ever seen. At least Fantastic Four doesn't take itself seriously and Daredevil was funny it was so bad. This movie is just sad.

1. Lady in the Water - Basically if M. Night Shamylan is releasing a movie in a year then everyone else has a free 'get out of being the worst movie of the year' pass.  If M. Night never makes a movie again(which seems likely) then I don't know if a worse movie than this can ever be made. He's put the bar at almost unreachable heights. You'd have to put Sophia Coppola, Gus Van Sant's pretentious personality, two retarded kids, some x-powerrangers, flava flave, and whoever wrote Superman Returns into one room and give them the task of making the worst movie ever filmed in order to top Lady in the Water. Even then a blind person with down syndrome would have to direct it.

Monday, January 22, 2007

2006 In Review Part 2: Footbal

Lame lame lame lame lame lame lame lame lame lame lame lame lame lame lame lame lame lame lame lame lame lame lame lame lame lame lame lame lame lame lame lame lame lame lame lame lame lame lame lame lame lame lame lame lame lame lame lame lame lame lame lame lame lame lame lame lame lame lame lame lame lame lame lame lame lame lame lame lame lame lame lame lame lame lame lame lame lame lame lame lame lame lame lame lame lame lame lame lame lame lame lame lame lame lame lame lame lame lame....GOD DAMN IT! Reasons I'm pissed:

1.) Uhhh...we're not going to the superbowl even though we should. Win or lose there(probably win i mean we are talking about facing the NFC here) southwest would have lit itself on fire and killed two cops and we wouldnt have school for a month. Hey, maybe. You never know.

2.) If we can make it this far with no other star players on offense besides Brady and a defense whose average age is higher than a baseball team than just imagine what might happen if cheap ass Bob Kraft was willing to resign one of the many players we turned from average into good and acquire some other real talent. Sell some god damn shares of Carmel Container Systems, and buy us some damn receivers that can catch. Israel can win the war after we win another superbowl. I remember when Bob bought the team for 175 million to save us from being relocated to St. Louis. Big risk. Big reward. Lets get back to that.

3.) Peyton won a playoff game and now everyone will shove their dick up his ass even further. He still cant throw under pressure, and his commercials are ubber gay. And god damnit Bill. This is what you do in yesterdays situation. You take Larry Izzo and you have him blitz Peyton every other freaking play. He's like a 250 pound ninja; can we please take advantage of that?  And Corey Dillon is big and slow.  Patrick Pass is like a  big black cock pounding through a virgin defense. Lube him up and put him in there.

4.) We dont get to wave to Adam Vinatieri from the plane to florida.

5.) The pats didnt get to do their vintage victory dances, but wait...they don't have any. Fuck LT. Fuck Sean Merriman.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

2006 In Review Part 1: Music

Sure. There were a few good albums that come out this year. It was a Tool year after all. In addition a few mentionables include: Ashes Against the Grain by Agalloch, Monday Morning Apocalypse by Evergrey, Tom Wait's three disc plethora Orphans, Mastodon's newest metal extravaganza Blood Mountain, and a bunch of good if not remarkable rap albums from legends such as Roots, Nas, Mos Def, and Ghostface Killah.  Hell, i'll even throw Oral Fixation Volume 2 into the list cuz at least one pop singer working today is satisfied with making catchy dance tunes and not about being the double standard of mega slut and good girl that Christina and Jessica and Britney have been trying to bullshit for years.

However, overall, and especially in terms of popular music America has reached an all time low. I long for the days when shitty but at least not demeaning songs littered the airwaves by the likes of Sugar Ray, Smashmouth, Billy Ray Cyrus, Vitamin D, No doubt, and boy bands.  Today it seems the  dumber the song the more popular.  Two events occurred in 2006. First, hip hop and R and B took over the scene after country had a quick run late last year and earlier this year. Second, hip hop and RnB decided to become terrible.

When Nas's new album is called 'Hip Hop is Dead', you know there's a problem. When Young Jeezy(one of the top rappers of 2006, i know its sad) rebuttals saying "yah naw nas  nev been bangin  ins the hood. mans got homies up in the feds n shit," thats when you know its worse than imaginable.  Young Jeezy's songs go something like this, "
This aint a rap song, nigga this is my life (this is my life). And if the hood was a battlefield then I'd earn stripes (Yeah)." So maybe you're right Jeezy. Hip Hop isn't dead. But if you call yourself Hip Hop then its definitely brain dead.

As for RnB i can't even wrap my head around whats been going on lately. Ten years ago Boys II Men sang lines like this..."
In comes the winter breeze that chills the air and drifts the snow/And I imagine kissing you under the mistletoe." Yeah thats cheezy. Yeah thats lame, but at least its not insulting. 2006's most popular RnB tune went a little like this..."Wanna jump up in my Lamborghini Gallardo.  Maybe go to my place and just kick it, like Taebo. And possibly bend you over. Look back and watch me..." You know what comes after that. He 'smacks that' all over the place. If this song comes on at a party then all females present will momentarily stop drinking and talking and groove to the song that celebrates sexual violence against their gender. Wonderful. And at the same time I momentarily drift off into a day dream where all the girls in america are lined up single file and i walk past all 30 or so million of them and 'smack that' with a wooden paddle and grab each one by the skin on their face, shake their head violently, look them in the eyes, and say "NO! Okay? No."

But alas. Fuck that. I got a better idea. Maybe Akon isn't a moron...though "kick it like Taebo" does seem to lend itself to such conclusions. Maybe he or someone he works for at least is a genius. The greatest business in america after all is taking advantage of 10-25 year old females. "But Uggs are comfortable." Whatever helps you sleep at night ladies. So instead i'm sending out my demo tape. I've supplied an exclusive sneak peek at some of the lyrics off my new RnB album which will be called 'If You Buy This You Will Be Cool.' Akon's 'I Wanna Fuck You' obviously shows that chicks don't dig subtlety so thats the album name and the first single will be called 'Up Yours', check it:

Grab a blanket, baby we can chill under the stars
When you touch me, you heal my internal scars
Take my hand
Its like you understand
Everything I'm tryin to say
I wanna be with you every night and day

Then our lips touch
I want this so much
The two become one
And before I know it its done

Then I light a Malbero
Pants on, ready to go
But then I hear you whine
Didn't you have a good time?
Uh uh, "cuz you got yours, and i didn't get mine."

Check it baby, maybe i got mine but you got yours
Just think back to three hours before
When you ate for free
Saw that movie for free
All your whining is making me sick
So just hurry up, and suck my dick
Its almost seven thirty, gotto go pick up this other chick.(uh-ha uh-ha)

Eminem or Snoop or now sold out rapper:
Shit yeah i got mine, but hell you got yours.
I don't remember you doin any chores.
At the restaurant you ordered the fish.
I can't remember you cleaning that dish.
Last time i checked, i picked up the check.
Last time i checked, we had tosee a chick flick.
I think I'm right, you drank my sprite
I think I'm right, you asked me for a light.
Shit, that hummer goes two blocks a gallon honey
But you didnt give me any gas money.
My pockets were heavy, now they light
So if i want head on the ride home you better not bite
You got that, all right?  Now get out my car, bitch, good night.

Check it baby, maybe i got mine but you got yours
Just think back to three hours before
When you ate for free
Saw that movie for free
All your whining is making me sick
So just hurry up, and suck my dick
Its almost seven thirty, gotto go pick up this other chick.(uh-ha uh-ha)

Outro(special guest akon) x2:
Smack that, upon the floor
Smack that, even more
Smack that, till it gets sore
Was that too hard? Up Yours!

Other tracks will include: skinny chicks with big tits, lube? thats why god inventedspit, are u sure you're eighteen?, rape? please im a celebrity, untitled product placement song,  untitled start a feud with a random other artist for publicity song, i wanna skull fuck you feat. akon, and nature's facial cream. High School girls everywhere...start saving now.