&t skeet on mischa: 10/01/2007 - 11/01/2007

skeet on mischa

i wouldn't have given you it if i didn't agree

Oct 30, 2007

Michelle, My Belle

A Terrence Malick Film Going into Production as soon as March of Next Year!!!!!! Amazing, great, brilliant, awesome news! I wonder who his cinematographer is going to be? Emmanuel Lubezki? Harris Savides? Ellen Kuras? Roger Deakins? I could care less about the cast; it's honestly all about the cinematographer with a brand new Malick film. I hope it's either Emmanuel Lubezki or Darius Khondji, but maybe Malick will come through and just shock the nerd community with his choice.

This is my attempt at being a normal blogger; I hope it goes well. So, I saw a piece on the TMZ show about Dallas Cowboy quarterback Tony Romo (there’s a small part of me that wants to call him, Tony Roma’s) partying with Britney Spears over the weekend. Apparently, the Cowboys are having a great season and in the past this Romo character has been linked with some pretty decent famous girls in the past such as Sophia Bush and the surprisingly and increasingly hot Carrie Underwood. While here at the Empire, we find hot mess, I can’t take care of my kids, let alone manage to put on a pair of clean undies, but for a cat like Tony Romo, he could do so much, much better than Britney Spears. A man of Tony Romo’s stature should be hanging out with a “I’m A Slave For You” era Britney Spears; not Kevin Federline’s sloppy seconds. Tony Romo should be sticking around with a girl like Carrie Underwood or if he wants to slut it up, then holler at Eva Angelina or somebody of that particular caliber. Britney Spears of today is kind of like pop music version of Norma Desmond. Just wait for it, you’ll see what I mean. There’ll be some aspiring singer floating in her pool one day.

And I’m watching TMZ; I’ll be honest with you, I love TMZ: the TV show. I honestly try to watch it every night. I can’t explain why I watch it. Maybe it’s the “What the fuck” expression on Harvey Levin’s face every time he’s pitched a story or finally putting a face behind the woman who mysteriously fills my inbox with e-mail alerts about the David Copperfield investigation. Anyways, I’m watching the show the other night and they’re doing a story about Kate Hudson’s Halloween Party and all of the famous people who went to it. It seemed if you were either an above the line talent or an assistant or the assistant for Kate Hudson’s manager and agent, you probably had to be there. This is when I realized that I could never ever be famous. With fame and celebrity comes with the constant media attention and what not, but also comes that unwritten rule that you’re instantly best friends with other famous people because who else can understand what you’re going through, right? I don’t know if I could ever be friends with Kate Hudson or a person of a similar nature. If I can’t manage to make it out to catch the latest Kate Hudson picture, what makes me think I could go to her party? I’d go if I knew that Kurt Russell was going to be there because I’d want to meet him and talk about John Carpenter movies, but other wise than that, I don’t know if I could manage to be a room with a bunch of famous people. Large groups of white people tend to scare me a great deal.

At the same time, it goes to show that famous people are normal people just like you and me. You know that some guy was dragged to the party by his girlfriend as if he was being dragged to Karen from accounting’s party.

A potentially surprising fact about me, I don’t really like Halloween as a holiday. Obviously, I’m not the son of a dentist because post Halloween cavity season may have put many pairs of spiffy sneakers upon my feet. I just don’t know, but I haven’t been a fan ever since the fourth grade when I got a black eye from some guy who ran into me. He cried, I didn’t. It’s a holiday that I could do with, personally speaking. Nobody needs candy these days. Let’s try to be healthy for a change, America. Let’s have a holiday that encourages people to eat healthy and exercise.

Then again, if I had somebody to go to a costume party or two with, then I’d probably hum a whole new tune.

Apparently, somebody other than frequent commentors Najork & C-Dice reads this because the extremely funny Garth Marenghi’s “Darkplace” is coming to Adult Swim starting November 9th. Get Excited!

Also, the very excellent and very important and very necessary documentary No End in Sight is now available on DVD. Order it from Amazon, rent it from Netflix. Just watch this film by any means necessary. I’d give copies of the film away as Christmas gifts, but that’d be a shitty gift for any Republicans on my shopping list.

Get Excited! about the possibility of A-Fraud coming to the Angels. The Angels need a big hitter and Angles owner Artie Moreno wants to be the west coast version of George Steinbrenner, so it only makes sense. It beats fucking Barry Bonds, new general manager guy.

The thing about Anton Corbijn’s feature debut Control is that at first, the film feels exactly like every other musical biopic to come out within the last few years. The structure of the story is pretty much the same. Marriage problems, troubles dealing with fame and success, etc. Yet, the more I think about the film, the better and better the film becomes. Control is a very haunting film that will stick with you for a few days and most likely make you buy every Joy Division album that you can get your hands upon. It’s a rather dark and bleak film, but thanks in large to Corbijn and his cinematographer Martin Ruhe, Control is a visually rich and striking film. For a film that’s about music, it’s a largely quiet film that allows one to get lost in the black and white cinematography. The performances are amazing; in particular and it goes without saying, Sam Riley as Ian Curtis, one of the best performances of the year. Control is not only one of the best films of the year, but the best musical biopic thus far.

Oct 29, 2007

No More Bad Town aka Fish & Chips

I think I saw an article a couple of weeks back somewhere or in many places about the failure of adult dramas recently as well as the failure of Iraq War related dramas at the box office and with critics. The marketplace is over crowded with films for the adults when a majority of the theater going public would rather watch the Rock take care of a small child or people getting poked with sharp objects for 90 minutes instead of Jake Gyllenhaal dealing with the rights and wrongs involved in torturing an alleged terror suspect.

Perhaps the main reason why people are staying away in droves because these Iraq films aren’t very good and who wants to spend money just to be bummed out by what’s going on with the world? Also, I personally think it’s just too soon to watch films about what’s going on. We need a little more time and distance and space before we can watch films about what’s going on with the world. Or more importantly, if anybody wants to watch a film about the war in Iraq, they should just watch Stanley Kubrick’s Full Metal Jacket. On the newly remastered DVD, there’s a mini documentary about the making of the film and there’s a great line from cinematographer/director Ernest Dickerson about the film. Dickerson basically said that Kubrick made a film about urban warfare. Not only the Vietnam, but also fighting a war in an urban environment and I don’t think any film out there now or coming out within the next year or two will be able tackle warfare in such a strange and weird and urban environment the way that Kubrick has with
Full Metal Jacket

That film is over twenty years old, but still holds to this date, if not it’s strangely more relevant today. I mean it goes without saying, but that new Stanley Kubrick box set is essential and very, very, very necessary.

Speaking of very, very, very necessary: “42nd Street Forever Volume 3: Exploitation Explosion” comes out in January 2008. The first two volumes were nothing sort of outstanding; so hopefully the third installment will be just as good. Now only if we could get a decent wide screen release of Raiders of Atlantis on DVD, then everything would be just kosher, wouldn’t it?

Well, not really. There’s a lot of bullshit going on in the world that’ll probably never ever be solved. The Red Sox won the World Series again. Something is definitely not right in the world if that can happen, again. Something is of course wrong with the world if I’ve found myself enjoying songs by Spank Rock. Something has to, just has to be wrong with the world cause whenever I try to record “Zoey 101: Curse of the PCA” on DVR, it never ever records or just disappears all together from the programming grid. Something has to be wrong with the world, just has to be wrong with the world if we all know who Brody Jenner is.

I know that it may be very in vogue to complain about “30 Rock” these days, but the problem with it this season, is so simple to solve. Remember during the first season how pretty much every episode was about Jack and Liz Lemon. Those were usually the A & B storylines with a fairly decent C storyline involving Tracy Jordan. Then the writers would weave the supporting characters into each of the storylines and occasionally giving one of the said characters their own storyline. The show would go weeks without featuring the Jena character and it’d be great. It was funny and it was consistently. Yet now, it seems as if “30 Rock” is playing it a little too safe. The storylines are spread too thin this season. There’s a Kenneth the Page storyline cause people love Kenneth; there’s a Tracy storyline; there’s a Jack storyline; there’s a Liz Lemon storyline and there’s a Jenna storyline. It’s too much. They need to scale back a tiny bit and just have characters like Kenneth, Pete, and Jenna just pop into storylines and be funny. It’s just too much. It’s still good and better than most shows today.

So, I guess that the Blood Brothers broke up, total bummer. But Johnny, the main vocalist of the Blood Brothers is in a new band called Jaguar Love with another dude from the Blood Brothers and J. Clark formerly of Pretty Girls Make Graves. They’re going to be at Cine Space on Tuesday night if you want to brave that social cluster fuck. I’d go, but I’d probably wear something plaid and give off the appearance of trying way too hard. Jaguar Love is also opening up for Queens of the Stone Age at their show tonight at the Nokia Theater in Downtown. The thing about the new band is that it sounds an awful lot like the Blood Brothers just a bit slower and not as chaotic and maybe a bit more jazzier and mellower; it’s kind of Neon Blonde, but not as upbeat.

Can somebody please explain the appeal of the Saw films to me? I was watching one of those Bravo specials about the scariest movies ever made and the special naturally featured clips from a couple of the Saw pictures and I just didn’t get it. So, it’s basically 90 minutes of people being forced to do horrible and terrible things to themselves and others in order to live? And there’s a bunch of jump cuts and shitty, hacky editing techniques as well? I’m not a fan of the Hostel films, but at least Eli Roth has an interesting visual style behind his films. I just don’t understand the appeal of these movies beyond Miike’s masterful Audition. That film is a masterpiece of torture horror because it fucks with your head and you actually care about the main character. These films, granted I haven’t watched any of the films, but it seems that the characters in the Saw films are just presented together in some room and basically cut each other up without any back story or any history given, right? I understand the appeal of horror films. I’d consider a fairly decent fan of the genre, but I enjoy a horror film with a certain degree of style to it. Why can’t the young folks be into movies like Suspiria? Why can’t the troubled youth of today appreciate a sequence like this one[NSFW]? It’s still scary and gross and disturbing, but look at the production design! Look at the cinematography! It’s a violent act, but it’s still beautiful.

Maybe it’s a lost cause like a girl wearing glasses even though she doesn’t need them. She just wants that cute, nerdy girl vibe coupled in with that handsome actor affect. Or perhaps a better statement is: maybe, it’s a lost cause like trying to find a photo of Audrey Kitching without any make up on.

And finally, Lars and the Real Girl is good. People should watch it. It’s funny. It’s weird. It’s a little bit touching. Ryan Gosling is excellent. Paul Schneider needs to be in more movies; he’s good. Kelli Garner is kind of like a hotter version of Sarah Polley (I need to watch The Sweet Hereafter, by the by). Everybody’s good in it. Sure, the film turns up the quirky factor a little too much, but it’s still good. It should be noted that the audience I saw the film had me a bit confused at the beginning. The trailer for Juno was attached to and it didn't get many laughs; I started to worry that if they weren't laughing at Juno, I'm going to be the only one who'll like this film. It'd be like The New World all over again. Yet they got it and were into it.

Oct 24, 2007

The Karyn Meeting

I don’t mean to bum everybody out, but the fires in Southern California are still weighing very heavily on my mind. You know, there’s nothing that I could do other than hope and pray and hope some more and pray some more and check in with the people that I love and care about who may or may not be in fire danger. You know, just gotta let the fire fighters do their job to the best of their ability and hope that Mother Nature becomes a major buddy and does a solid. I understand the need and the desire to stare and gawk at the fire; take a cool picture and put it on Flickr or whatevs, but maybe, it’s for the best if we let the firefighters do their thing and watch for coverage on the TV and the intranet. Another thing about the fire or at least the way it’s being handled aside for the OC Fire Authority chief and politician Todd Spitzer (I think I may have voted for him, I can’t recall)’s collective flare up about the inability to use helicopters yesterday, but the state government has been doing an amazing job the past couple of days. Yes, it is a state of emergency and people will need government assistance to help them back on their feet, but I think the last thing that Southern California right now is a visit from GW Bush. I believe I read in the LA Times on Tuesday morning that Bush was somewhat reluctant on releasing cots and other supplies from Camp Pendleton to Qualcomm Stadium. It’s just a photo op and I don’t think he’s going to do some wondrous magic to help stop the fire or rebuild peoples’ homes. Just let the Governator keep on doing what he’s doing and we’ll be kosher like a sandwich from Canter’s.

Now, I worry about a couple of things. One, in the next local election, it’ll become a battle between politicians about how much they love and care and support the firefighters and how we need more equipment and support for firefighters. The firefighters of Southern California deserve all of the best equipment, supplies, whatever they want because if anything is a real and scary danger out here, it’s a fire. Yeah, an earthquake will be a major problem, if one ever hits. Where as fires, they tend to happen right around October every year. Get on the trolley, Scaratomatoe and pass more laws to help out with the people that are breaking their backs to save houses and places of business.

I also worry that all of this endless fire coverage is beginning to take a toll on some people. Hand to god, I was walking into a supermarket yesterday afternoon, humming the opening keyboard part of the Mika Miko song, “The Dress,” and this old guy who was leaving the supermarket hummed the same part back at me. So, either old guys are getting cooler and into Mika Miko or people are just losing their mind watching endless hours of aerial footage of Stevenson Ranch burning.

Although, I’d say this though I wish that TMZ or more of a show similar in nature was more involved with the local fire coverage. I’d like to hear Zannessa’s opinion about the fire as well as their thoughts on Britney’s new album.

And now a moment of brevity: Twins!

Back to the stupid stuff that we’d rather talk about because it’s less of a bummer than politics and stuff burning down.

I tried to watch “Heroes” the other night, but I didn’t understand anything that was going on. That Conor Obsert guy is in Ireland for some reason and that fat cop guy from “Alias” was stuck in a jail with a backwards talking guard and these horrible, just awful electricity things shot out of Kristen Bell’s fingers. Thankfully, I got a phone and missed the whole rest of the show. I can understand why the ratings have been slipping this season. The show sucks again, but the sucking is on whole other level. I know that there are people who are caught up in the show because they have to know what happens next, but I’m telling that if you skip a couple of episodes, you’ll be good. You do not need to subject yourself to the “acting” of that Conor Obsert guy or whatever that spilt personality lady ever again or clog up your DVR with unwatched episodes of it when your DVR could be filled with hilarious episodes, well, I don’t know what show is hilarious right now. I’m a couple of weeks behind on my stories. Either way, it’s a win win situation. People, I have faith that if I can walk away, you can walk away too. And if you have to know what’s happening with just check out the Wikipedia article.

Why is Perez Hilton in magazines and on TV when he’s nowhere as funny or as interesting or as talented as the Thigh Master? Come on, the dude invented sliploos, what did Perez Hilton ever give the world? That “Leave Britney Alone” guy, right?

And Twins!

Somebody told Megan Fox that I didn’t think she was that hot, then she started to crack up and then said, “Yeah, right,” then high fived her publicist who said, “BOOSH!”. Even though I think Diablo Cody is a wee bit over rated as a writer. I read a draft of Juno and honestly, who hasn’t read a draft of it in this town? It’s a good script, but that thing she’s going to do with Megan Fox actually sounds pretty killer. Hope they get a solid director to do it. No whammies and no music video directors unless it’s like Anton Corbijn or Jonas Akuerland.

Still haven’t seen Control yet, but things have been crazy lately. One of these days. Anybody else seen it yet? I have a list of movies I need to see as long as Jesse James' nightgown.

I saw The Darjeeling Limited a week or two ago, but haven’t gotten around to writing about it. I liked it. Didn’t love it. Didn’t hate it either. I liked it. I liked a lot more than The Life Aquatic. Do I think that Wes Anderson needs to destroy the Wes Anderson as somebody have suggested? No or at least not right now. I think he needs to take a break and just hang out in Texas again.

Mark Wahlberg may have been in a few of my favorite films and was most recently great in Scorsese’s The Departed, but he can’t fill the shoes of Ryan Gosling. Granted, I probably wasn’t going to watch Lovely Bones in the first place, but I would’ve strongly considered it. Here’s the thing though, Peter Jackson made a really boring movie with all of his post LOTR clout and I honestly believe that he’d make another really boring movie with another set of decent actors that puts me to sleep. I never read the book, which the film is based on, so I don’t know if it’s an edgy or interesting piece, but from what I read of it, it sounds like a bit of a bummer. I’m not into bummers these days. Perhaps, Ryan Gosling made the right choice in leaving the project.

The director approved remastered Criterion edition of Days of Heaven is out in stores right now. Pick up a copy, then buy the best and biggest TV you could afford.

And Twins! Although, I think I’m now starting to realize that they probably aren’t twins, but just regular sisters. Either way, it should be in a commercial for PBR, if they ever make commercials for PBR. Cool Kid Twins.

Oct 22, 2007

This is the part of the movie where they play a Explosions in the Sky song

I don't know if it's going to be in poor taste to say, but either way, I may not be saying "holy smokes" for a while.

I hope that everybody in San Diego and in Malibu and in Lake Arrowhead and in the Inland Empire and perhaps, the closest to my heart, everybody in the Irvine/Foothill Ranch and their pets are out of harm's way and safe. The Santiago Canyon is perhaps the worst of all, since, it appears to be caused by arson.

Stay safe, stay strong Southern California people. Much, much respect to the overworked and just awesome firefighters of Southern California.

Oct 16, 2007

Give Me A Minute...

Not stopping again. Some shit came up. It's kind of serious. Real serious. I'm not going to say real talk because Andre Three Stacks won't trust me anymore. So, other things are sort of more important than me eventually complaining about how disappointed by 30 Days Of Nights. I mean, will eventually get to the point where I'll complain about 30 Days of Night. Just give me this week and maybe next week?

If you're ever in the Atlanta area, I highly suggest stopping at Hand in Hand for a drink. Granted before I went there I did a serious work out and had a semi Mexican shower, so it could explain why I got so drunk, but I had a real great time there and they'll treat you right.

Also, just because one has over a million friends on MySpace and fake boobies, doesn't mean that they should have their own TV series, Tila Tequilia and MTV. TV personalities need a little something called a personality. Fake boobies can only take a person to what... a so-so appearance on the Stern show?

And on that show, "Pageant Place", why is Miss Teen USA dating the guy from "Color Me Badd" or at least somebody who aspires to have facial like a member of a group akin to Color Me Badd? Come on, Miss Teen USA could do better than that. Where's Shia Labeouf?

Oct 10, 2007

The Pearly Gates

You know that "Mr Show" sketch where Bob Odenkirk is taking a lie detector test as a part of his job interview? There's a part when they ask Odenkirk's character if he tried crack and he said, yeah. Then they ask if he liked it, he said, "Yeah. It's Crack. It gets you really high." You vaguely remember that sketch?

Okay because that's how I feel about the new Radiohead album. Saying that the album is great isn't an opinion, but a matter of fact. It's Radiohead. It's really good.

Sugar Shark Part 2

Chalk it up laziness or call it excitement, but here’s a list of thoughts running in my head while I constantly checked my global clocks and inbox for the download link to obtain Radiohead’s “In Rainbows”. Hey man, we’re going to be a part of history with this one.

-Sienna Miller should never ever wear clothes again. She should just become a nudist and make it hip and cool. [NSFW] Seriously, she should just burn all of her clothes and become a hair model or something.[NSFW]

-I wonder if the guards at Guantanamo Bay subject the prisoners to ABC’s power hour of shitcoms: “Cavemen” & “Carpoolers”? Those shows have to be the definition of torture.

-The song, "Slow Show" by the National is amazing. I should listen to that album all the way through one of these days. Yet I have a problem with the National. I'll listen to their stuff and like it, but I'll end up falling in love, like madly in love with one song and there'll be a line that just wrecks me. The line this time around is "You know I dreamed about you for 29 years before I saw you." Does song writing get any better than that? I heard Kid Rock call himself a songwriter the other day on Stern, but I don't think he'll ever write a line as amazing as that.

-This girl is still insanely hot. Who’s her representation and various questions that Kevin Spacey’s character in Swimming with Sharks would ask regarding the matter.

-Aren’t films coming out onto DVD too soon these days? Knocked Up came out in early June and it’s already out on DVD. Transformers comes out next week, what gives? Has the DVD market become that lucrative and heaven forbid, more successful than theatrical distribution? I know that the theater going isn’t for everybody especially if you have a small child and drag said child to a screening of The Kingdom; crying babies don’t enjoy political action thrillers that much. I always thought that a little distance between the release and the video may change a film’s critical standings. Yet with the instantaneous releases of films, nobody is going to go to the movies anymore which is a super bad thing because more and more people are going to shoot their film to be seen not on a large screen, but instead a TV screen. Then again, there’s an upside because those films that slipped through the cracks of the multiplex I.E. the extremely underrated and recently released 28 Weeks Later can be seen a much larger audience.

I still can’t believe that this e-mail hasn’t come yet. What a drag. Then again, that’s what I get for a euro.

-Why is Samuel L Jackson playing Sisqo in this movie? Remember Sisqo and why hasn’t his sitcom pilot made its way onto those found footage, bootleg DVD things?

-I thought I had a bunch of ideas but I started to get sleepy and I got over waiting for word from Radiohead. It’ll be there in the morning.

See you in the South, if you’re out there.

Oct 9, 2007

The Jerk Store is closed aka Yaw Control

I blame the Angels’ collapse on Dane Cook and his beyond awful promos for the playoffs. Hasn’t Hollywood or at least a good portion of Hollywood learned that nobody likes Dane Cook? His time has already come and gone. Oh, he has a million friends on MySpace, but hasn’t the failure of many intranet fads turned TV and film projects with exception to Borat taught us anything yet? Nobody went to see his movies and now, people aren’t watching the playoffs for fear of not only Joe Buck’s long and luscious verbal make out with A. Rod, but some protracted and extremely unfunny monologue about talking with your hands by Cook. I don’t believe in censorship in any form or tampering with somebody’s artistic vision, but I’m seriously considering contacting one of those ultra conservative Christian video stores that edit out all of the swears, sex and violence from all the movies we love and asking if they could edit out Dane Cook of Dan in Real Life or if they could do a bad Photoshop job and place a photo of Ryan Gosling or Clive Owen over Cook’s face.

Just wondering how a film called Pornstar starring local favorite Diora Baird slipped through the cracks?

Other local favorites include The Hutchinson Brothers, this kid, and the Spears sisters.

It should be noted that we at the Empire… personally prefer Britney Spears as the hot mess sheepishly holding onto her child as she shops on Robertson wearing glasses as opposed to the slick and cleaned up one found in that new music video. Now if I was a teenaged girl driving around with the top down with another friend and my gay bff, I’d totally be into slick Britney, but I am what I am and I like the one who doesn’t know how to roll down the window while at the drive thru at Taco Bell.

The trailer for Miike’s Sukiyaki Western Django. I’m into it, but I still think the best western for your dollar remains Andrew Dominik’s The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford. It’s slowly but surely rolling out across the country and hopefully your neck of the woods within the next couple of weeks. Support quality films.

Jeffrey Wells begins the campaign to have Anton Corbijn’s Control to play at the Landmark as opposed its one week run at Nuart. I fully support this idea because I love the Landmark and its five levels of underground parking. Even though I need to make a trip to a Cinefile and I’d kill two birds with one car trip. It should be noted that I’m looking to watching Control either way.

I didn’t go to Detour Fest this past weekend, but I think I got caught in some traffic related to it while on my way to watch Blade Runner, but I’m assuming that other than dancing to “Phantom Part 2” with a bunch of cool kids in flannel and neon colors that this was the main highlight of the event. Moving Units, smoving units. Bloc Party, Smoc Party. That girl and Justice had to be the best things about the whole thing and then, watching every creepy guy trying to talk to her the whole day.

Although, I don’t know if I could watch that because I was at an event and this girl who was cute and drunk and this really creepy guy was just feeding her drink after drink. Rum was spilling down her arm or at least, I assume it was rum. It just bummed me out for the whole rest of the night. That and all these people who were stepping on my sneakers. I should’ve said something or done something, but then again, what is one supposed to do? I attempted to put it out of my mind and I think I saw that creepy guy without that girl at the end of the night. This is why I rarely go to functions anymore, I see something that bums me out and I’m just a wreck the rest of the night.

Could those Kardashians get any more wackier? I heard that they’re like that all the time in real life and on TV. Although, I heard that the Kardashian reality show is nothing more than 22 minutes of booty shots. It’s the triumphant return of jiggle TV! Thanks Ryan Seacrest.

Whatever happened to John Bread? He is and will always be the main guy (shout outs to over hyped and ultimately disappointing JJ Abrams’ movies.) for news in Southern California. He was a reoccurring character in one of the greatest TV shows of all time. Who’s this Carlos Amezcua character anyways? I know that he was the channel 5 morning guy, but he’s clearly not the man to step into the shoes of John Beard.

Vanessa Hudgens knows what you’re thinking about and no, she will not trade nudes with you. Even if you’re the star of your own teen Nick jam or remotely important enough to be featured on a celebrity gossip based web site, it’s still no dice. Maybe Ryan Sheckler, star of MTV’s hit show “Life of Ryan,” who happens to be a professional teenager as well as professional skateboarder could probably make a deal as if he was Monte Hall.

Oct 8, 2007

Some Nashville Faker

There was a moment when I was watching Sean Penn’s Into The Wild where I seriously thought about walking out on the film. Well, there were a lot of moments that made me want to walk out. I don’t understand how some critics can blast a beautiful film like Andrew Dominik’s masterful The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford as a poor man’s Terrence Malick while heap praise upon Into The Wild. Did I see the same film as critics like Robert Wilonsky did because Into The Wild is a mess of film that wants to be a Terrence Malick so fucking badly. I’ve never seen such an over stylized and pretentious film by such an established filmmaker. I mean, Penn has only made a few films as a director, but speaking about his career in general, but the film just feels as if Penn went nuts in the editing room with all of the cool effects and transitions programs that his editor must’ve had on his computer. Split screens, zippy montage after zippy montage set to all of our favorite clichéd road trip songs. Tremendous and groundbreaking filmmaking to say the least!

The film never worked me for a couple of reasons: one, that scene where Emile Hirsch’s character turned down having sex with Kristen Stewart’s character; that’s the biggest bunch of bullshit I’ve seen/heard since G.W. Bush said that we don’t torture prisoners. And secondly, I think the guy, whose life story was the basis for the film made a connection with nature and found peace in nature. I never got that. I mean assumed that, but what I got from the film was that Hirsch’s character was a guy who traveled the American southwest, hung out with some hippies and old timers and spouted off a bunch of lines he read in self help books. Hirsch’s performance is all right and all and he lost a lot of weight for the part, but his performance just reminds me of those smug assholes that think that they’re better than me cause they’ve read “Crime & Punishment” and recycle. I already know that I’m a semi illiterate piece of shit, I don’t need a film to remind me even more that I should reading books instead of watching Jack Hill’s Spider Baby and my teen Nick jams. And how can it be a film about isolation and loneliness with loud rock music playing all the time? I don’t know.

Into the Wild is a long, boring trip into the abyss of nothingness with some good performances hidden in the muck of self-righteous and gimmicky visuals. It’s a ham handed attempt to be a poetic film, but Penn’s script is what keeps it from being the free spirit that the main character strives to be. The screenplay is so structured and predictable. Aside from the film’s final act, the script forces the film into this structure where the hero runs into some one who’ll provide some advice and in turn, the hero will provide them with advice after two or three scenes where our character is alone and isolated. Into the Wild becomes what a film dreads, dull and boring.

Oh wait, I sent a resume to one of the companies that produced it. Um, never mind, Into the Wild is totally awesome; best film of the year.

And you see, that’s why I haven’t been writing as much lately. I don’t know if people who get my resume, google my shit up and read this nightmare of angst, contempt, and, animosity towards particular films. Of course, I could take the advice of “If you don’t have anything nice to say, then say nothing at all,” but where would that leave you guys? The handful of random people, literally the handful of you who may read the mess while at work or killing time on your iPhone? You’d have no content or worse, you’d go to some other blog that encourages and supports proof reading and the use of sassy photos of all your favorite stars and perhaps even feature MP3 exclusives without the DJ drops. There’s the punch line, dudes. That’s the punch line.

It should be noted that The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford is even better a second time around. As opposed to getting lost in the cinematography and the production design, I was stunned by Brad Pitt’s performance. It’s his best work since True Romance and 12 Monkeys.

DVD Beaver reviews the Criterion edition of Malick’s essential Days of Heaven. It can be purchased directly from Criterion here. Man, I’ve been talking about Malick too much lately. He’s like the Rachel B of filmmakers around these parts.

Speaking of Rachel B, well not speaking of Rachel B, it’s a mere mention, but that’s beside the point. What I was going to say since Rachel B has been MIA lately aside for the news that she’s going to be on a couple of episodes of “Chuck” with a “Senior Spielbergo” esque Adam Brody. Anyways, what I wanted to say that I have a new semi replacement celebrity crush, if you couldn’t tell by the photo above, it’s Michelle Williams. I can’t explain why, but a couple of weeks back, somebody mentioned her to me and it just clicked in my head. She’s cute, she works with good directors on a semi regular basis, looks good as both a blonde and a brunette. And she’s held up a lot better than some of her other “Dawson’s Creek” cast members. It was either her or Lacey from “Rock of Love”. So, if things get a little Michelle Williams centric, you’ve been warned.

So, the other day, I saw Clark Duke of “Clark & Michael” and said to him, “Hey, I like your show.” Now, I’m wondering if he knew that I meant “Clark & Michael” as opposed to “Greek”? May need to call up Robert Stack for this one and dust off those “Unsolved Mysteries” graphics.

Speaking of sort of Michael Cera, Superbad is coming to DVD on December 4th. Just in time for the holiday season. So if you’ve got a frat guy or a teenager or a just any guy in general on your list, can’t go wrong with Superbad. It just should be noted that if you’re going to go to a party with a game plane to speak entirely in Superbad quotes, it’s not going to win over the ladies. You’ll impress the dudes more often than not and let’s be honest, one is going to run out of material after about 10 to 15 minutes.

“The Office” is still funny, right? I’m laughing a lot, but I want to make sure that everybody else is still laughing as well. I just appreciate the fact that the humor is being spread all through out the cast. It’s now become a neck and neck and neck race between Toby, Kevin, Creed, and Darryl as the real funniest character on the show. All of those characters have had gut busting moments in the first two episodes. I also have to admit that the PB&J storyline isn’t that bad after all is said and done. It’s not ruining the show because the show is still funny at its core.

Although, I think I’ve reached the point where I can successfully make a break from my addiction/problem with “Heroes.” I was sucked in the first season because of the storyline and I needed to know where it was going to go. The acting never won me over. The production design never won me over. The dialogue never won me over, but the construction of the whole first season was brilliant. Now, that the new season is a few episodes old and I haven’t really watched any of them, I think it’s the perfect opportunity to part way with the show. Despite being a fan of her work, I don’t believe that Kristen Bell being on the show can keep me around for the rest of the season. The point of television or at least what I believe it to be, a form of entertainment and what’s so entertaining about watching a show week after week that just upsets and frustrates me? Sure, it’s material, but I don’t want to yell at the TV anymore. Yelling at the TV just isn’t fun anymore; it’s another reason why I never watch sports anymore. I’ve spent much of 2007 attempting to reduce stress levels and not watching “Heroes” will be another step to being stress free.

Other keys to a stress free life include:
-Drinking Mexican Coca Cola
-Wearing 100% cotton Flannel shirts; there’d be no wars if everybody wore this cuddly fabric.
-Watching The Holy Mountain every couple of months.
-Listening to Crystal Castles’ remix of the Klaxons and Artie Lange on the Stern show.
-Signing my petition to have the city of Santa Fe Springs or at least all of the buildings surrounding demolished to add additional lanes to the 5 freeway.

And finally, I don’t understand why LA people are reading this mess instead of heading over to the Landmark on the Westside to watch Blade Runner: The Final Cut. I’ve only seen two version of Blade Runner: the International version and the first director’s cut from the early 90s and to be honest with you, I didn’t detect any real differences between the various cuts. To be honest, The Final Cut is an awful a lot like the first director’s cut except that the special effects look a lot better. Not to mention, the film is a completely different animal on the big screen. I found myself getting distracted by the little details that filled the frame and the lines that fill J.F. Sebastian’s face. It’s a beautiful film to watch especially in the 4k digital projection at the Landmark. It runs through Thursday, so keep the car running.

Oct 3, 2007

The Bear in the Barn

If it wasn’t any other TV season, I wouldn’t have as much disdain for “Cavemen,” as I do this season. I’m just bitter and frustrated that network executives went with a show based on a series of mildly amusing commercials as opposed to a series that was executive produced by Mitch Hurwitz aka Ramsay from “Clark & Michael” aka the creator of “Arrested Development”. I’m still asking myself, “Really? ABC didn’t want to air a comedy about politics from a bunch of smart and funny people?” I know that I’m not that the brightest bulb in the batch, but I don’t get “Cavemen.” It’s funny cause they look like guys from a chart of man’s evolution and dress like metrosexuals, right? That’s the punch line, right? Oh, that guy’s weird looking, but its funny cause he’s using a blackberry or something like that, right? For me, the show feels not like one prolonged commercial, but an overblown clip from the Bob Saget era of “America’s Funniest Home Videos.” Remember those clips where people would over sell the laughs as a cat moans out “mommy” and the voice over banter says something to the affect of “the cat thinks its people.” It’s just one long unfunny joke and that has nowhere to go or even grow. It’s a shame because the show wastes the talent of “Best Week Ever” regular Nick Kroll.

Then again, I probably have too much of a chip on my shoulder about what did and didn’t get picked up this season. Not to mention, I just don’t have the patience to watch the one hour dramas and pretty much every other show on right now other than like “Weeds,” “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” “30 Rock,” “Frisky Dingo,” and my Teen Nick jams (Say what you will but, Miranda Cosgrove is the next Amanda Bynes). Either the actors on these shows annoy me or I just don’t have the patience to watch the rebellious doctor or the rebellious crime scene investigator or the rebellious detective or the rebellious skeletal expert solve a crime in less than 45 minutes. It’s all the same show or it’s just a show overloaded with zippy pop songs drowning out the dialogue about doctors sleeping with each other.

A show like “Weeds” has ruined network TV for me. On what other show would be there a storyline about a guy becoming a porn star using his deformed foot with a cameo by Lexington Steele no less? I can count on a show like “Weeds” to go in some new weird yet entertaining direction without getting too sidetracked from the main storyline. I can count on it to be always make me laugh. These other shows, these hour longs, I can always count on yelling at the TV because some actor is just so awful or their particular line delivery is like nails on a chalk board for me. And the same goes for “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” I can count (with exception to the last season) on it to always crack me up.

Although, it should be noted that I’m starting to get into “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia.” It’s kind of hit and miss, but I believe the more and more I watch it, the more I’ll get into it. It feels like a live action cartoon to me, for some reason.

People who work in the “biz,” if you will are calling “Pushing Daises” the new “Studio 60” or at least that was their reaction to reading the pilot script. I don’t know if I have the patience to watch a show that’s quirky for the sake of being quirky. And you know if I watch to a Barry Sonnenfeld project, I’d just watch Miller’s Crossing.

If you’re in the greater Los Angeles area this weekend, I suggest heading over to The Landmark Theatre to catch Sir Ridley Scott’s definitive cut of Blade Runner. Finally catch it on the big screen or just wait until December and the DVD released. Production design groupies and nerds are already camping out.

Oct 2, 2007

Roof Top Pop Top

Don’t let its running time scare you away. Don’t let the fact it’s a western scare you away. Don’t let the fact it’s a film starring Brad Pitt and Casey Affleck scare you away and for heaven’s sake, don’t, I repeat, don’t wait for the DVD release. Andrew Dominik’s The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford is one of those films that demands to be seen on the largest and best movie theater humanly possible. With the direction that film industry is going or at least will be going within the next few months; a rush to crank out enough product just in case there’s a strike and everything shuts down for a few months. Not to mention, the ever-dwindling window between theatrical release and the DVD packed to the gills with bonus features that we and let’s be honest here, we never actually watch all of those features. It’s beyond refreshing and extremely rewarding to be watch a film like Jesse James because it’s a film that isn’t a rush to tell its story or feature the latest hit songs from the radio in between every other scene and perhaps best of all, a cast, well a majority of a cast that’ll and thankfully never appear on a website like Perez Hilton cause they’re brilliant actors.

I’ve had a few conversations recently about films from the mid to late 60s that sort of sneaked out of the studio system of that day. That weird period where films like Blow Up and Bonnie & Clyde sneaked out of the studio system around the same time as films like Skidoo and Beyond the Valley of the Dolls sneaked out of the studio system as well. The major studios attempting to capture that counter culture, hippie dollar. Now, that I’m not implying that Jesse James is a weird, hippie movie, but it feels that this film just managed to sneak its way through the system. Granted, the film is being treated like a grenade dosed in AIDS by the studio, but that’s beside the point. Jesse James is a film that washes over the viewer; taking whatever the eye allows to capture.

It’s becoming a rather clichéd statement to make, but Andrew Dominik made a film that is on par with the works of Terrence Malick. It’s also just an easy way to say that it’s a film that’s all about beautiful cinematography and nothing else. If anything, Jesse James in tone and style is more akin to Kubrick’s Barry Lyndon. Lyndon and Jesse James are literal adaptations of their source materials that refuse to present loose ends, illogical endings and most importantly weren’t made with the inevitable DVD release a few months later in the back of their minds. Easily, The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford is one of my favorite films of the year thus far. It’s just a rich and beautiful film that I can’t wait to see again.

Have to catch up on the rest of my movies before I watch anything for a second time. Still have to watch Into the Wild and that new Wes Anderson film. I don’t know why, but I’m dreading The Darjeeling Limited. I know that there’s a point where in some director’s careers were we break up. Steven Soderbaugh and me broke up after Solaris, but then he did Bubble and I thought we were going to get back together, but then there was The Good German. I believe that this is the film where I just throw my hands up and wonder if Wes Anderson has any tricks in his bag or we as the audience seen all that he has to offer? I wish that Paul Thomas Anderson would pull Wes Anderson aside and talk to him about switching it up a bit. Maybe it’s time for Wes Anderson to take a break from writing his own material and direct somebody else’s script. Inject his style and vision into someone’s else world. I think we should all collectively send him a memo that says: “Kanye said that Fifty said that Banks said, ‘Go ahead and switch the styles up. And if they hate, let them hate and watch the money pile up’.”

Speaking of films made with the DVD in mind, I was checking out some of the extras on the Knocked Up DVD, I just have to say that Judd Appatow wants to give people the biggest bang for their buck.

Other films that I’ve seen recently include:

-Eastern Promises; Completely indifferent to it. There are things that are great in it, but there are also a lot of things that left me scratching my head. It doesn’t really add in my head. Love Cronenberg’s films. Love Naomi Watts. Steven Knight is an excellent writer, but it just doesn’t come together in the end.

-All the Boys Love Mandy Lane; Why did the Weinsteins dump this film? Why couldn’t they release it this past summer? Because there’s no brand name recognition with the title of the film? It’s not a Saw or an unnecessary remake of a horror classic? Instead, it’s this crazy thing called an original idea. I mean, it’s not the most original idea in the history of horror movie. Perhaps, I should say an interesting take on the modern day slasher picture. Amber Heard is great as Mandy Lane. Beautiful cinematography. Just a nice change of pace from horror films about people being tortured in dank basements.

-The Kingdom. It’s kind of slow, but I liked the last twenty-thirty minutes of it.

-Manda Bala aka Send A Bullet is probably on par with No End In Sight as the best documentary of the year and one of the year’s best films. Seek it out.
I tried to put a ringtone I made of Slayer’s “Raining Blood” on my iPhone and my phone crashed or something. Perhaps, the devil isn’t down with the iPhone or vice versa?

I paid a buck to preorder the new Radiohead album. Is that too little? I dig Radiohead and all, but I’m beginning to feel that I didn’t pay enough for the album. Radiohead has given so much over the years and I’ve given so little back. It’s at times like these days, I wonder what would Ryan Sheckler do?

I was thinking about Britney Spears and how she had her kids taken away from her and all. She wasn’t meant to have to kids, but she did. Spears is so wrapped up in her own world that she barely has time for her kids other than an bizzaro photo op clutching onto a baby outside of a boutique on Robertson. She never engages in any baby talk or any real mothering. It seems as if she never takes these children anywhere they’d enjoy. Now if you look at someone who’s as melodramatic and as egomaniacal and as business as Britney Spears, like Ryan Sheckler, star of MTV’s and one of my favorite shows, “Life of Ryan.” Now, he manages to make time for his younger brother in his beyond hectic life as a professional teenager and as a professional skateboarder. He takes the little dude to Legoland and has a great time.