Friday, February 27, 2009

The Birth of the Bro-Mantic Comedy

If you do not have plans for March 20th then I am telling you now to go to the movies and see I Love You Man. I was lucky enough to see a sneak preview (thanks to the General) last night and, I hate to gush but, god dammit I laughed my ass off.

The story is simple, Peter (played by the under appreciated for far too long Paul Rudd) just got engaged to the smokin' hot Rashida Jones. She discovers that he does not have any male friends and is slightly weirded out by it (she has a couple hilarious besties - one played by Jamie Pressly).

He decides to search for a male best friend. He goes on blind man-dates that go horribly wrong, until he randomly meets Sydney (played by Marshall himself - the phenomenal Jason Segel) at the open house for the Lou Ferrigno property (yup - the Incredible Hulk). Bro-mance sparks fly and the two soon become inseparable. Sydney helps Peter connect with his masculine side. According to my sources, Sydney's man-cave is like the mecca of all man-caves.

I Love You Man is one of the first movies I have seen that genuinely depicts the tight rope that is finding a hetero male bestie. It also is not afraid to show that friendships can definitely have parallels with relationships. There is the courtship, the honeymoon, the fall out and sometimes the break up.

Jason Segel and Paul Rudd completely sell this movie. They are funny, dumb, sweet, crazy and have an unhealthy appreciation of Rush. Please go see this flick - I swear you will be slappin' the air bass Leprechaun style as you leave the theater. By the way - the trailer does not do the movie justice. My cheeks hurt after watching the movie from laughing so much....seriously.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

The B.O.N.O Syndrome

Rock stars have big egos. They need to; the whole going out and yelling at a microphone in front of thousands of people requires a certain level of self esteem that I will never manage to muster. Not when wearing spandex, anyway.

The problem with Rock Gods (with capital letters) is that sometimes have egos that veer from the gigantic to the humongously megalomaniacal. They are not very happy to know themselves. They don´t just go around proclaiming how big their penis* is. That's not enough to satisfy them. They don't have enough with having mad monkey sex (TM) with thousands of adorating fans. That doesn't fill their ego. They just don't feel fullfilled by being reviled for perverting the morals of kids, destroying western civilization and just being plan fucking annoying.

No, that's not enough. Some Rock Gods feel like they are bigger than that. Some Rock Gods believe that they are powerful. They can move mountain. They can open the seas. They can change the world using the awesome power of Rock. They can muster their charisma, their awesome soundglasses, the deep, intense, cult-like adoration of the fans to change the course of human civilization as we know it.

There is one of these Rock Gods amongst us. He is so fucking awesome that he doesn't even has a name. His name is a latin word for some obscure legal shit or a virtue. He is so fucking amazing that he can make George W. Bush cry. He is fucking Bono, and he can cure cancer with his tears or by singing a little lulaby.

Bono is the best example of what we call Boneheaded Onanistic Narcicistic Oligophrenia Syndrome, or B.O.N.O. Syndrome for short. We find that in many musicians that believe, with all their hearts, that they fart rainbows and sweat expensive champagne and can solve any problem with a bit of music magic. There are many of them, prancing around happily, feeling that they are worth something.

Please, don't touch them. They are fragile. They are not aware that they are mortal. Trying to bring reality to them will probably confuse them, bring them to their knees and take them to the mountains of madness. They are precious, little snowflakes. Don't damage them.

*Side note: the history of Rock is the history of grown men and women discussing how big their penises are. True. All that grief in love songs is in fact disappointment for the lack of apreciation for their penises. True.

God loves Nick Fury

For those that watch comic book movies with the right level of nerd adoration, the Samuel L. Jackson cameo in Ironman playing Nick Fury was like a gift from the gods of Valhalla. Marvel comics retconned and redraw Fury to look like Sam L. Jackson. For some reason, Samuel L. Jackson was chickening out on playing him on new movies, to the dismay of the fans.

Until now, that is. He is in. He is going to be Nick Fury. All is right in the world.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Bollywood bites Hollywood, Oscar edition

1. The world needs more Bollywood musicals. I need more Bollywood musicals in my Netflix diet, for frack' sake. If someone even nerdier than me wants to suggest the Indian equivalent of "Singing in the Rain"?

2. Surprise foreign film winner! If a massive upset falls on a forest and no one has seen it, does anyone care? -I sorta do, for once, I wanted to see most of them-

3. I remember when I used to wake up at 2.30 am to watch the Oscars, back in Europe. The friends were good and it was fun, but I will rather see it on a more rational time.

4. It is me, or this year was terrible, deaths-wise. From Paul Newman to KHAAAAAN!, plus Ben Hur and many directors. Sad.

5. Reese Whiterspoon is talented, but I can't believe she has an Oscar. If you waste your talent only doing garbage cash-in, you don't deserve it. And yeah, I am not talking about the Slumdog death march. It is getting boring. Trainspotting director winning the Oscar, though, pretty crazy.

6. And I liked the movie! Less than "Milk" and "The Wrestler", though.

7. The ceremony so far pretty dammed good. It is actually stilish and fun.

8. Now, actress... About fucking time. Holocaust movies sell, people. Best thing of the speech was her dad's hat, the Peter Jackson shotout (Heavenly Creatures!) and the fact that she is almost as cute as Ann Hathaway.

9. Actor: I loved Sean Penn in "Milk". I really did. He is a sick actor. I really feel that Rourke was playing himself, but his performance has stayed with me so hard, so much, so deeply than I would have voted for him. Penn deserves the Oscar, but even him singled Rourke out in his speech.

10. Best picture: duh. It is a very good movie, but not that good. I admire it and see all the things it does well, but for some reason, it really doesn't click for me. I guess that I can't really get behind the destiny and salvation-by-lottery themes. It feels odd, out of context, like they needed to add fairy tale to madness.

That's all for me this evening,folks. Wrap up tomorrow.Hope you had fun!

Slumdog Takes it!

No big surprise here as Slumdog Millionaire takes home the big mamma jamma. Jai Ho (or how I thought it was pronounced, Tally ho!)!!! Those little kids are having the best night of their life. It was such a good idea to bring them to the show.

To sum up the evening - my predictions were spot on!! Too bad I was not in any pools this year. I believe that my fashion predictions were also quite good - Anne Hathaway and Kate Winslet did not dissapoint. Hugh Jackman was great and will probably be asked back next year if they are smart. The only prediction I dont know about yet is the Aniston/Jolie catfight...we will have to wait until tomorrow.

Oscar Update 8

Best Director is yet again no surprise. Slumdog wins again -Danny Boyle rocks my world so there is no complaining from me. This pretty much locks them for best picture, which was the prediction anyway.

Best Actress time, which means more ego-massaging for the nominees. Standing ovation for the past best actresses, including Sophia Loren and Shirley Maclaine. Kate Winslet finally broke her losing streak!!! Her speech was a big improvement from the Golden Globes, where she was practically hyperventilating.

Best Actor now. Maybe this whole thing with the former winners is to soften the blow for the losers. Robert DiNero's talk about Sean Penn was awesome. Great paparazzi reference. And Hells Yeah!!!!!!! Sean Penn takes it!!!!! He was amaaaaaazing in Milk. And he by far is giving the best speech.

Oscar Update 7

Time for the honorary awards. First up is the humanitarian award for Jerry Lewis for doing those fabbo MDA telethons. I was expecting a more controversial speech from him after reading his interview in EW but not so much.

The music categories are up now. Best original Score for Slumdog is no surprise. The music rocks from that flick. The performances of the original songs were really good. I must admit I am very partial to John Legend (ummm he is hot and can sang). They melded the songs really well - it worked. Jai Ho took home the gold from Slumdog, again no surprise.

We are heading into the last leg - only a half hour to go (in theory). Foreign Language was a big surprise. I thought for sure it would be Waltz with Bashir or the Class but it went to Departures from Japan. Have to admit the Director's speech was the best of the night so far. Is it just me or have the speeches been totally lame up until now? Penelope Cruz's was ok, as well as the Milk writer but not so much for everyone else.

This year for the In Memorium they are having Queen Latifah sing a song over the video instead of having the awkward random applause that turns into a popularity contest. Good move. Accept the audience didn't get the memo and they are clapping for the big names anyway. It was a very rough year for celebrity deaths. Sadness.

Oh Oscar, don't cry

1. Will Smith is making editing sound fun. I still can barely understand what is good, but according to the academy, it involves moving the camera a lot and having lots of cuts. Slumdog was like that, and I liked it.

2. Heidi Klum is everywhere.Yet another ad.

3. So far, the academy has a odd fixation on the Button borefest and on cheering the poor. Sign of the times, I guess.

4. Jerry Lewis is really funny. I am not French, and I love the movies. I am from close to the French border, so maybe I am tainted, but please go see the movies again.

5. WTF is on with Seymour Hoffman's head? I hope he has a good reason / horrible gangrene on his scalp to justify that hat.

More Oscar deliciousness

1. Was that little Pineaple Express skit a cry for help? Franco and Rogen are very talented, but they won't get any recognition until they play crippled nazi homosexual hero in a holocaust drama or a slightly retarded dad (never go full tard). Downey in "Tropic Thunder" was an oddity, and it should happen more often.

2. Jackman was born in the wrong Hollywood decade. Give him a 50s musical, ASAP.Beyonce, not so much, as the 50s were not as nice with colored women, sadly. The medley is actually pretty awesome, very old Hollywood. Me likes.

3. Of course it was Bahz Lurman's. Moulin Rouge was robbed!

4. Glad to see Joel Grey. The five supporting actors are wonderful picks (Cuba excluded), although Arkin won it for the wrong movie. In terms of the winner, really, who else could win. Heath was just inhuman; the most terrifying anarchist ever seen on a screen. He carries what for me was (fuck Slumdog) the best movie of the year. Period.

5. For accepting Heath's Oscar, I would rather have seen Gary Oldman being humbled or Christian Bale freaking out at the guy that does the lighting.

6. Seeing Bill Malher (who is awesome) cracking jokes and talking about highbrow documentaries is just odd.

7. Less tributes to action and comedies and more true recognition. LOTR aside, nerds have been left in the dust in these shows. Christ, a lot of good action this year; "Iron Man" alone was a riot worth four Benjamin Butons. Using The Hives, in any case, screams awesome.

8. FX for fucking Button. Really. Really. Have they seen it? While awake?

9. Less moron presenters, more Tina Fey. Please.

Oscar Update 6

Here come the post production awards!!! My geeky film friends (and myself) love these awards, because honestly if any of us ever wins an Oscar it will be for one of these suckers. Benjamin Button won for special effects, which is what I hear all the movie is good for. Dark Knight barely used CGI so I am not horribly upset it lost.

Finally Dark Knight wins a non-Heath Ledger award for sound editing! Well deserved! Slumdog has taken home sound mixing which is also deserved. They must have had to deal with so much ambient noise filming in such a densely populated area. As for editing (my fave category) we have Slumdog taking home the golden statue. The editing is great for this flick but personally I would have given it to Milk.

Oscar Update 5

The Pineapple Express comedy short was excellent. Comparing The Love Guru with Slumdog Millionaire was inspired.

We are getting into the heavy commercial section of the evening. Less show more breaks. Uggh.

Musical number!! Here comes Beyonce in a slinky red number. Hugh Jackman is both affable and charming as I predicted. I think Beyonce is lip sinking. WTF? Ok -random cameos by the high school musical douches. As well as Amanda Seyfried and the hottie boy from Mamma Mia. Not sure why they needed the marching band, but I'll just go with it since Baz choregraphed that little number.

The Best supporting actor award is going the same way as the actress - old winners coming out to talk about how wonderful the nominees are, blah blah blah. Not a big fan of this set up. Cuba Gooding Jr.'s bit about RDJ was pretty good though. Not surprisingly Heath Ledger wins. So so so sad that he is not here. Question of the day posed by fellow blogger from WTF - Would he have won - or even been nominated - if he had not died? I am a strong believer that he would have - especially since he didn't win for Brokeback. The Academy has a way of paying you back for past performances, aka Renee Zellwegger for Cold Mountain (payback for Chicago) and Nicole Kidman for the Hours (payback for Moulin Rogue). She is skeptical because comic book flicks tend to be ignored. Discuss.

More random Oscar fartage

1. Benjamin Button has a better art direction than Dark Knight? Really? Really?

2. Happy that Penelope won. The movie was woefuly underrated, I must say. The academy only remembers Woody when he is quoting Bergman. Yeah, "Annie Hall" won, but in the 70s they were on drugs.

3. Talking about nobodies, the creep from Twilight is up there pretending the movie was any good. And introducing a pointless montage on love or something.

4. The more I see the gorgeous clips from WALL-E, the more I believe it deserved better than best animation. The second half of the movie is not as brilliant as the perfect first 45 min, but is a masterpiece anyway.

5. Hugh Jackman is awesome, but Ms. Hathaway... Marry me!

6. Ben Stiller as the Joaquin-on-drugs. Fucking awesome.

7. On a sidenote, did you know that "Gran Torino" has made more than $120 million? And my wife doesn't want to go see it!

Oscar Update 4

The art direction/makeup categories have been given out to Benjamin Button and Duchess. All I can say is that Sarah Jessica Parker is going to knock herself out with those puppies!! Poor Daniel Craig - I barely looked at him because all I could see were those things poppin out like 3d!

Ben Stiller doing Joaquin is amaaaazing. One of the funniest moments of the evening by far. Slumdog take home another award - Best Cinematography. I was a bit disappointed because it is one of the few categories Dark Knight was nominated for, but alas no love.

Of course they have the obligatory hot actress hosting the tech awards blurb. This year Jessica Biel. They always do the joke about how it is the real happening party. Whatever.

Random Oscars Musings

Roger here, taking Oscars notes for the Dump in my bright and shinny THC Touch Windows Mobile smart phone. Hey, we got them for just $20, so I will be bragging early, bragging often on this baby.

So what we have seen so far:

1.The spawn of Phil Collins in the form of Disney channel tweener fodder is everywhere. Damm you ABC. And sorry, Cyrus is too young to be seen as hot and not feel bad about it.

Oscar Update 3

Tina Fey looks awesome. Nice little writing bit between her and Steve Martin ("Don't fall in love with me"). First win of the night for Milk for Best original screenplay which is so very deserved. So far so good Academy... Loved the speech - Equal Rights Now!!!! Slumdog Millionaire is already on its way to winning a crap ton of awards with the Best Adapted screenplay win.

Jennifer Aniston looks hot - take that Angelina Slutlie!! It must be weird having Brad and Angie in the front row staring at you. Big Shock - Wall-E wins best animated feature!!!

Oscar Update 2

Hugh Jackman is doing an bang up job so far. That was one of the best opening numbers I have ever seen in my years watching the show. The best part was Anne Hathaway's Nixon and Hugh singing that he is Wolverine at the very end of the song. Also loved the shout out to Dark Knight.

Not sure I like how they are presenting the acting awards. The way they are having five previous winners fawn over the nominees is a bit weird and boring. The show is going to take forever at this rate. However....Penelope wins!!!!!!! Go Mosquito, Go!!! Because You are Worth It!! Score one for me! Finally Vicky Christina Barcelona is getting some recognition. Should have been nominated for best picture in my opinion.

Oscar Update 1

Red Carpet Time!!! First of all - Lisa Rinna on the TV Guide network looks crazy scary! Her big injected lips are pale so she looks a special brand of cracked out. Not to mention her and Joey Fatone have zero personality interviewing the celebs. The questions have been mind numbingly pathetic - even for the dumbed down LA crowd.

CNN's red carpet coverage is not much better. They have all of the action shown in two small boxes on the screen so you have to squint to see the starletts on the carpet. And they never tell you who you are looking at, which makes deciphering who the hell's back you are looking at impossible.

Unfortunately E! comes in like crap on our tv (thanks comcast!) so I have no critiques for their pre-show. Although Julianna DiPandi-Rancic annoys the hell out of me so no loss really.

Biggest red carpet pre-show pet peeve...when Angelina and Brad show up the cameras never leave their sight. Sorry, her dress and make up are boring. I would rather see what Taraji Henson is wearing.

Now the Official pre-show is on with Robin Roberts and Tim Gunn - a definite improvement. And Robin Roberts went with the coral JCrew dress which makes me happy. BTDubs - best dressed man so far is Robert Downey Jr. by far.

As for the ladies - my predictions are quite good - Anne Hathaway looks phenomenal, as does Kate Winslet. I stand by me. Although big ups to Diane Lane, Penelope Cruz and Evan Rachel Wood (more for the hair and makeup than the dress). I am torn about Marissa Tomei's dress. The color does not translate on screen but the cut is very glamorous. I forgot to mention that Natalie portman looked fab - the color is probably the boldest of the evening (other than Alicia Keys - but I was not a fan of her look.) Beyonce I am also a bit torn about. It is very va-va-voom but the print is kinda like an egyptian bedroom duvet cover. Amy Adams dress is very pretty but I think the "necklace" (more like bib) is a bit tooooo much. Especially since the detailing on the dress stands alone. Anyhow - the show is about to begin!!

Oscar Predictions

Before the big show begins I wanted to make some mind blowing predictions. First - best dressed will be Anne Hathaway, with Kate Winslet a close second. I think Hugh Jackman will be a charming and affable host. There won't be any shockers, although I think Jennifer Aniston and Angelina Jolie will have an epic cat fight at the Governor's ball.

The official picks:

Best picture - Slumdog Millionaire
Best Actress - Kate Winslet (because she followed her own advice from extras and did a holocaust movie)
Best Actor - Sean Penn (although Mickey Rourke could also easily take it)
Best Supporting Actress - Penelope Cruz (normally I think she is too mosquito-like to enjoy her performances but she is hilarious in Vicky Christina Barcelona)
Best Supporting Actor - Heath Ledger...duh
Best Director - Danny Boyle (because he didn't win for trainspotting and everyone seems to love Slumdog)

Well that is it. We will have to wait and see if I come close. The only real lock is the catfight, really.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Workship primer: Watchmen

Just a quick note: get ready for some messy drooling coming this way in the upcoming weeks. Watchmen, the Hamlet, Citizen Kane and Don Quixote of comic books all rolled into one, is finally getting its movie adaptation, and I can´t fucking wait to watch it.

Not that I expect it to be a great film, mind you. Even with a running time of 2h 40 minutes, Watchmen is dense the same way a season of Lost is dense; it has a ton of background, flashbacks, details and minimalistic clues in every page. After all, Lost owes its structure to Watchmen a great deal. To make things worse, the dialogue is much more elaborate and literary than any TV show out there, so I don´t really know how they will get the whole thing to squeeze in a single movie.

I will write more on Watchmen in the coming weeks; it is, after all, one of my favorite books of all time. It is not just a graphic novel, that´s for sure; its influence goes well beyond the geek ghetto of comics. One could write books just about Rorschach, after all. More soon.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

That was not funny

That was not a funny movie at all, really. The tittle is really misleading. "Funny Games", though, the Michael Haneke remake of the really disturbing Michael Haneke movie of the same name (yup, odd) is one of the most disturbing, wacked out, crazy, opressive scary slasher movies I´ve seen in ages.

Many ridiculously awesome thinks going on in this movie. First, despite being an oppressive psychological slasher, it is really not too violent -or at least, does not display any of the violence on camera. That old adage that it is most disturbing to force the viewer to imagine what is going on instead of showing the blood and guts is completely true here.

Second, Michael Pitt. The highest level of praise for this guy; it made me think that if some hopeless individual is to play the Joker after Heath Ledger, he is probably one of the very actors that could pull of that level of creepy in a convincing fashion. He is smooth, polite, uppity and just terrifying.

Third, something that is a bit odd, but I think it works well. The movie (Pitt´s character, actually) breaks the fourth wall a few times during the movie, looking to the camera and making snarky coments to you, the viewer. The breaks are always very short, but masterfuly placed; they basically get inserted in really tense, really dramatic, really uncorfortable moments, and -for me at least- they only make the scene even more painful.

Is it better than the original? To tell the truth, I don´t know. I haven´t seen it. I have seen many Haneke movies (a director that has a penchant for inflicting painful amounts of suffering and distress to characters and spectators alike), but I missed Funny Games. For what I´ve read, the remake is pretty damn close to the original, and after all the "fun" I had watching this one (tremors, uncontrolable shaking, crazy panic attacks) I will pass. At least for awhile.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Master Nerd tackles the Oscars

Probably most of you don´t know the guy in this picture. Congratulations; you are not a political science nerd, a baseball geek or you don´t live with one.

He is Nate Silver, the mastermind behind one of the best political blogs you can find, Five Thirty Eight. His claim to fame is being good with numbers. Really, really good. So good, in fact, that his site was an oracle that completely nailed the election results both in the primaries and the general election. Before delving into statistical modeling of elections and politics, Silver was famous for being one of the best baseballs annalists out there, also using a very empirical, numbers heavy approach.

What is Silver doing here, in the Culture Dump? Well, the guy is a firm believer on the power of numbers to predict stuff. Today, we have his Oscar prediction.

"He is one lab accident away from becoming a supervillain"

The above quote comes to one of the most tragically underrated sitcoms in TV, the nerdtastic (and really, really, really, really funny) Big Bang Theory. The set up is quite conventional, with four hopeless nerds playing the crazy role with a slightly dumb blonde as straight woman, but the execution is pretty much flawless.

For starters, the nerds are strangely realistic. Although they are a hard-science, physics and stuff brand of nerds and thus come from a different origin than a social science, statistics and game theory nerd like myself, they definetely speak the language of geekdom fluently. The writers are definetely members of the tribe that understand that playing Rock Band is simply awesome, speaking Klingon is fun (although in my nerd-clan we only had two Sindarin speakers -yup, LOTR elvish) and robots -speacially killer robots- are just cool.

What really makes the show, however, is Sheldon. Sheldon is the father of all nerds; the one nerd to rule them all. Socially akward, incredibly intelligent, ridicolously petty and able to break down in tears at the sight of the napkin of Leonard Nimoy, Jim Parsons makes his character one of my most beloved TV heroes; the nerd that I always aspired to be but never had the balls (or the insanity) to become.

To top that, so far the creators have been really good at keeping history archs tight (they avoided turning the show to one of those endless on and off romances) and they have kept the screen time for each character well balanced, without anyone really hogging the spotlight too much.

This is coming from someone that really though that multiple camera sitcoms were dead to me, by the way. Big Bang Theory and the (even better) How I Met Your Mother proved me wrong.

Heroes update

Yesterday´s episode confirms that the Cheerleader is definetely the most pointless character in television. Not only is Hayden Panetiere an awful actress, but the writers have been playing the same history arch over and over again with her. The Noah-does-bad-stuff-to-protect-her, she-rebels, argument and redemption crap is identical every single season. It was awesome in the first season (mainly because we didn´t know who HRG was) and it was focused the right way (the rare episode about a single character, "Company Man") but by now it is beyond stale.

Next week´s teaser looked good (Noah is a great character when that stupid moron of a daughter he has is not around), but I am putting the show officially on notice. They either stop being lame, or I am dropping it from my carefully planned schedule.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Department of not-really-being-there

Joaquin Phoenix deepens and reinforces his awesome slide into the confusing genius of Kauffman / Rourke and provides the masses with one of the most awesomely surreal interviews ever. Dave Letterman, far from being confused, enjoys the absurdity like a champ.

Just plain magnificent. Long life Joaquin, our absent overlord.

The Other Woman

As we have all been hearing on the news, Chris Brown allegedly (ummm definitely) hit his girlfriend while having an argument. This would be horrible news by itself, but the fact that his girlfriend is the well loved Rihanna makes this story the stuff of Ike Turner legends.

From what the gossip rags have been saying, the two went to the Clive Davis preGrammy party, wherein Rihanna became jealous of the attention Chris was paying to another hot female celeb. Supposedly Rihanna saw Chris with his hand on the small of this other woman's back. How stupid can CB be??? You are supposed to only hit on women when your girlfriend is off touring!!!

Soooooo.....Rihanna is already mega-jeal but then they drive home and CB gets a call on his cell. Wouldn't you know it is the mystery "other" woman!!!!! This is when the big fight started. They got out of the car. They screamed. He hit. She called the PoPo. There has been a lot of speculation as to who this woman might be. My sources tell me that she is none other than the hottie from across the pond...Leona Lewis. Rihanna is the one who is literally Bleeding Love now. Thanks Leona.

The saddest bit of this story is that Chris Brown is someone who witnessed abuse first hand. His mother used to get beat by his stepdad. In an interview with MTV Chris once said, "I used to always feel the hate for anybody that disrespected a lady. Or called a lady the B-word ... or just disrespected her." He said that witnessing his mother's abuse was, "an influence in me about how to treat a woman." I guess like stepfather like son.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Heroes: a Zellweger infestation

Watching the formerly awesome show named Heroes on Monday, I noticed several things.

First, in comparison to the bad second season and dreadful fall 2008 chapter, I was in fact slightly amused, even enjoying myself at times. Considering how the show started (with a ridiculously great first 18 episodes and a pretty good season one finale) and how far it fell, actually having a bit of fun is a welcome addition. Yes, they are still relying in the same old plot points and tricks (how many times can Noah change sides? Why is Peter Petrelli so fucking stupid?), but at least there is some decent pacing there, and the characters are not spread out in eleven different retarded plot lines at once.

Despite that, however, the show still has something... off. Something is not really working. Which brings me to the second point: the show has been infested by the spawn of Zellweger.

Let me explain myself. In Heroes there are three terrible, terrible, terrible characters: the fucking cheerleader, the moronic Mohinder, and whoever Ali Later is supposed to be this season. All three of them are played by really bad actors (and Hayden Panettiere is probably the worst of them) that are dealt with boring characters that are flat, stupid, completely superflous and basically irrelevant.

The cheerleader is inmortal in a completely moronic way. She is useless unless you are using her as a human shield or to make Noah field bad (and seriously, why does he worry? It is not that they can kill your daughter), and always end up being some sort of bizarre holy grail / living target. Mohinder is a weak willed, constantly flabergasted, persistently confused, easily manipulable wimp with an annoying voice. And Ali Later is basically an awful actress, so no matter what charecter she has she will make a moron out of it.

These three characters drain the life of any scene they are in. The turn plotlines into turds. They basically derrail the show everytime the walk past the cammera. And on top of that, they just won't die, no matter how often they get shot, impaled, mutated, poisoned, blown up or tortured, why a whole legion of vastly more interesting characters kick the bucket left and right without ever getting fully developed. The speedster, google girl, invisible guy, Veronica Mars, all vastly more interesting and all six feet under, while this trio of losers keep ruining my show.

Please, make it stop. Take the Zellweger away. Please.

Monday, February 9, 2009

The Hot Jams

i'm a music whore. i just need to get that out. indie, pop, rap, r & b, bluegrass, jam, techno. you name it, i love it. and respect if for what its worth (for instance, we would never compare britney spears to tori amos, who does that???)

yet i generally change what i'm listening to every few weeks. i find something i like, then i play the shit out of it for a few weeks before i move onto something else. this has been going on since i was about 14.

well, here i am to tell you about the current shit (aka hot jams) that i am listening to in hopes that you will also fall in love with them.

ra ra riot

p.s. i love you

they totally played at the siren music festival on coney island last summer and i went and didnt see their show. here it is the frigid month of february, and HOT DAMN do i regret missing that.

the leader singer is possibly the coolest guy that i havent met. and the band in general looks like a bunch of indie rock college kids (umm they play cello's and violins) totally having an indie rock dance party extravaganza. this is the kind of music that you try to listen to while doing dishes and end up having a dance party in your kitchen. so right now my fav tracks are "can you tell", "run my mouth" and "too too too fast".

and now, for your viewing pleasure, the dish doing dance song of the week......."too too too fast"

if this video didnt convince you then i dont know what will. this song is from their first and only full length album "the rhumb line" and its super amazing.

so get in the damn kitchen and dance.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Ultimate selling out

"Rob, top five musical crimes perpetuated by Stevie Wonder in the '80s and '90s. Go. Sub-question: is it in fact unfair to criticize a formerly great artist for his latter day sins, is it better to burn out or fade away?" Barry, in High Fidelity, 2000
February 8th, 2009: Stevie Wonder performs life in the Grammy Awards show with the motherfucking Jonas Brothers.

Some place in the universe, the music Gods just killed a kitten.

In Defense of: Pauly Shore

"Hey buddy," I know I may get some flack for this but I love Pauly Shore. I love his "Weasel" stoner character, the way he pauses between syllables and his horrifying fashion sense. I loved Totally Pauly on MTV (and he was by far the best Spring Break host they ever had.) But what I love most of all is his movies. Yes, the movies that most film critics still use as the base line for determining how crappy other films are.

The list of his films is not long but gosh darnitt if they all aren't excellent! His first foray into a somewhat starring role was Encino Man, which launched the career of Brendan Fraser. Pauly's character "Stoney" was basically him doing his "Weasel" MTV persona, so I loved it. He added the suffix "age" to almost everything he said, i.e. Grind-age, Link-age, etc. with the signature syllabic pause thrown in. Genius. By far the most quotable line from the movie was his "Weazing the juice." He won the Razzie for worst actor for his performance which is total bull. The movie would have been an utter bore without him. He got the last laugh when the flick made over $40mill. domestically.

After Encino Man he went on to do Son In Law, wherein he played "Crawl" who is a bad influence on a cute farm girl at college in SoCal. She ends up turning into a liberal and she brings him home to meet the folks on the farm and culture-shock high jinks ensue. Again, he basically plays his MTV persona but the Weasel on the farm is hilarious!!! The scene where he tries to do farm work - classic. And when he gives the mom a crazy makeover for the square dance - brilliant!!!! Again - panned by critics but it grossed just slightly under $40mill. domestically.

The next film up Pauly's sleeve is a personal fave of mine, In the Army Now. In this movie Pauly plays "Bones" and for the first time he isn't just doing his Weasel character. The cast was actually really good - it has Lori Petty, David Alan Grier and Andy Dick (before the fallout.) Pauly and Andy Dick play best friends who join the National Guard to make some extra cash. They pick what they think is the easiest job - aka Water Purification - and then get sent to Chad because they need water boys in the desert. Of course - military themed high jinks ensue. Pauly took this gig seriously - he actually did the training that water specialists do to better understand the process. He was starting to go method and it really showed in his performance. This film grossed just under $30mill. domestically.

Then there was Jury Duty. It is probably my least favorite Pauly movie, but it still made me laugh. In this flick he plays "Tommy Collins" who is a stripper who gets kicked out of his parent's mobile home. He and his chihuahua need a place to stay so he manages to land on jury duty for a high profile case and gets the jury sequestered. Of course legal themed high jinks ensue! It is probably one of the few movies he starred in that had Oscar and/or Golden Globe winners in it - aka Shelley Winters and Stanley Tucci. It did not do so hot in the box office (I guess I was one of the few who saw it in the theater) as it only grossed about $17mill.

Mr. Shore bounced back in a major way with the creme de la creme of his film library: Bio-Dome. In this movie Pauly is paired with the equally amazing and totally under appreciated Stephen Baldwin. This is the best onscreen duo since Bogie and Bacall people! The two play losers who somehow end up being stuck in a bio-dome for a whole year. Environmentally themed high jinks ensue! Of course they are obnoxious and piss off the scientists in the dome until they finally wear them down and become likable in the end. The best scene by far is when the two find Nitrous Oxide and have a good 'ol time ("Hey look - I'm a duck billed platypus!"). It ended up grossing about $26mill. which ain't too shabby.

Pauly did another couple of movies after Bio-Dome that went straight to video. His career pretty much tanked once the 90s were over.

Roger Ebert once said of Pauly that he was the "cinematic equivalent of long fingernails, drawn very slowly and quite loudly over a gigantic blackboard." It always bothered me that Pauly became synonymous with bad acting and lameness, because I honestly always enjoyed his flicks. The biggest bullshit was when he was given a golden Razzie for "Worst New Actor of the Decade" in 2000 (he lost "Worst actor of the century to Sly Stallone.) Do these people watch the same movies I watch???!!!! Pauly is comedy gold!

I bet he is revered in other countries (you know, the whole Jerry Lewis French thing.) If he isn't then he should be. Maybe I will mail some of his DVDs to Finland to get the ball rolling.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

U2, that sham

In one of our frequent and deep, reasoned, magnificent conversations on all things cultural here at the Dump World HQ (aka the dumpster) we just reached this conclusion: U2 are a sham.

Case in point: what album is usually considered to be U2 seminal, classic, ultra-awesome album? Legends say that Joshua Tree is the holy grail of all things Bono; their creative peak. Well, let me offer a track list, and please, be sincere: how many songs do you remember?

1. "Where the Streets Have No Name"
2. "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For"
3. "With or Without You"
4. "Bullet the Blue Sky"
5. "Running to Stand Still"
6. "Red Hill Mining Town"
7. "In God's Country"
8. "Trip Through Your Wires"
9. "One Tree Hill"
10. "Exit"
11. "Mothers of the Disappeared"

Here is the cruel truth: there are only three good songs. Four, if you catched "Bullet the Blue Sky" on the B-side on the greatest hits or something. The famed Joshua Tree is actually three (amazing, mind blowing, absolutely classic) singles and a whole ton of filer.

Do you thing Joshua Tree is the only one? Check the track list of pretty much any album from them. Bono manages to squeeze two or three stunning songs on each CD, and the just vomits his way until the end of the album. This is a band that has writen songs called "Elvis Presley and America", for fuck's sake. With the possible exception of All That You Can't Leave Behind (and even there you find some amazing turds, like the inane and self important "When I Look at the World") every single album is either half finished or gets clobbered on the way to release by Bono's gigantic ego.

I would get into the dangers are perils of Bono Syndrome and other types of music megalomania in another post, but you know, "Miss Sarajevo" and all that.

In any case, U2 are an awesome band... an awesome greatest hits band. If you are a bit patient, you will be more than well served by sitting out their albums and waiting until the end of the decade, when they release a compilation. Bono will still make sure that there are at least a couple of turdtastic songs on the CD (hello, "When Love Comes to Town") and an irrelevant B-sides companion (so you know, don't but the deluxe edition), but you will get a great seat of absolutely magnificent songs.

They should release them on Rock Band. The bastards.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Snuggie Backlash!

Well not everyone thinks the Slanket is the best thing since sliced individually wrapped processed Kraft Singles.

However - remember he is making fun of the Snuggie, not the Slanket. The Slanket is better. Much much better.

Thanks to Jenny for sending this to me.

Thursday, February 5, 2009


He's aliiiivvvvvvvvvvvvvvvveeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!!!!! I must say I squealed like a little girl when they did the big reveal at the end of the episode. Happy about it? Think its lame? Discuss.

Random caffeine-fueled mussings

  • Dear EW:we are finally caught up with Battlestar Galactica. The last two episodes were much less exciting (albeit still totally awesome) thanks to your wonderful spoilers, thank you very much.
  • Why Orlando Bloom still has a career? He is a talent of Zellwegerian proportions. And no, being in the LOTR movies doesn´t give you a pass. Even playing an inmortal elf not prone to sentimentality, he was still terrible in many scenes there.
  • Keeping with EW, their videogame reviews are pretty terrible. You are not supposed to review gaming using movie-based criteria; it is a completely different medium. I won´t claim that videogame reviews are a settled matter (gaming sites use a wildly inconsistent set of criteria) but the focus should be in mechanics and player interaction with the medium, not on how-movie-like the game is. Prince of Persia is not a bad game, but its main innovation / drawback (depends on who you ask) is that it takes a lot of control away from the player. You must mention that in a review.
  • Oh, and it´s me, or Lost has been pretty lame so far this season. For some reason it is not really getting me the same way. Of course, the season finale last year was stellar, having a killer build up and all, so it could be a matter of expectations. The thing is, there are so many things in the process of being answered right now that I am deadly afraid that some of them will lead to disappointing anwers. I have faith in you, Lost, but I am scared. Please, don´t disappoint.

Let me Clear My Throat

Ok, I know I'm a few days late on this one, but I really needed to voice my opinion. First of all, let me preface by saying that Micheal Phelps's achievments during the 2008 Summer Olympics transcended sport into something that can not be explained. I was one of those people yelling at the television cheering for the "Aquaman" as he swam towards history. My buddy Jim Kel even started the coveted USA! USA! chant in the living room after Mr. Swimmy broke the record. Ok now lets hop in the time machine so we can flash forward to 2009.
Zip Bang Bong!!!

On February 1, 2009 Michael Phelps admitted that a photo published in a British tabloid showing him smoke a marijuana pipe or "bong" was indeed him. Apparently, he had been at a party in South Carolina having fun and forgot that he is a mega star with million dollar endorsments. I have a couple issues with Mikey. First of all, "YOU FUCKING MORON!". You are at a college party ripping bongs and EVERBODY has a cell phone with a camera! Seriously. I'm not one of those anti drug guys, in fact, I do condone smoking weed. Fuck it, I think alcohol is much more dangerous to society. The point is marijuana is illegal and when one is in the media spotlight, one should be a little more careful about taking part in illegal activities.

No to the real reason for this post. When the story first broke a number of thoughts were running through my mind. Initially I was happy to see that this God of an Olympic icon was indeed human. And honestly, I can't think of anything more American than ripping a Bong in South Carolina. Sounds like good times. My mind wandered further and I realized, "Fuck Michael Phelps!" Ripping bongs is my territory baby, and if a superstar athlete thinks he can just step in take all the fame for smokin bongs than he is gravely mistaken. I been smokin bongs since Michael Phelps was doin the backstroke in his daddy's nutsack. All MY hardwork and training has all amounted to nil, nathan, squat. This "Aquaman" (the most pussy of all comic heros) just decides to step in and start smokin pot and now he gets all the credit. Man, I can not explain just how this vexes me. It takes years and years of sweat and smoke to get to my level of bong prowess, and I will not stand for an amateur stealing my shine.

So Mikey P, if you're out their cabron I'm callin you out. Me and you, and a pile of dank green shit. I'll even let you pick the pipe. Olympic gold can't save you now, so start training.

Fuck Michael Phelps

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Going Postal, Bale Style

Yup, Christian Bale goes ballistic and sorta yells to the director of cinematography on the set of Terminator Salvation for about... three minutes, non-stop. Call it the O'Reilly/We'll-do-it-live school of method acting.

When Batman / Patrick Bateman flips out, he flips out for real.

Of course the internets are not standing still. We already have the techno remix of the whole piece. Fuck yeah.

I Just Read it For the Articles...

As almost all Americans know, Super Bowl was this past Sunday. Of course I made a sickening amount of appetizers and settled in to watch the game with my husband. Well actually I read a book (Julie & Julia - which I loved btdubs) and only looked up when Roger yelled "Commercials!" Because seriously, does anyone realllllly want to watch the game.

First things first - Budweiser sucked the big one this year. Maybe I am just cynical but I thought the Clydesdale commercials were lame/pathetic/pandering pieces of clydesdale-sized turd. The Bud light commercials were sliiiiightly better - but they honestly need to fire their ad peeps. Their humor is so 5 years ago and, similar to Mike Myers, we just don't find you funny anymore.

For me the highlights were the Career Builder ad where the koala bear wearing glasses gets punched in the face, the Doritos ad (which was submitted by regular peeps) where the guy throws the snowglobe into the vending machine, and the ad where we learn the truth about Alec Baldwin...he is an alien.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Into the dark void: the case against Zellweger

We know there is evil in this world. We know there is lame. Today we reveal the last source of terror, despair and loss of all hope in this world. Today we reveal the true face of Zellweger, the darkest vortex of suck in the known universe.

Zellweger is the missing link in the universe. Zellweger is the reason scientist can not explain why the universe is expanding. Zellweger is the biggest, most dangerous agent known to man. Zellweger is the damp, empty night of the soul; the maelstrom that attracts and sinks all; the darkest, bleakest, most terrible gravity wheel man can imagine.

Zellwegger sucks talent. Feeds on the talent of others. Leeches on the grace, charisma, brilliance of anyone around, and drains it, completely, making anyone in her presence a zombified, empty shell of a man or woman. A ghost. A Wraith. A Ghoul. A shambling, moaning, undead entity.

The entity know as Zellweger basically walks into movies, and destroys them. She makes anyone around her completely moronic, a pale caricature of themselves. She turns any actor into a boring pile of rubish, any script into a pathetic recitation of a shopping list, any song into a pathetic rendition of a High School Musical number performed by a fat kid with parents that force him to sing in front of his friends because the mom wanted to be a Broadway star.

Remember Jim Carrey? He used to be funny. He married Zellweger. Remember Cold Mountain? Not only Zellweger turned the whole academy into idiots that gave her the oscar, but she was able to drain any charm or hope from both Jude Law and Nicole Kidman, wrecking their careers forever. She ruined Appalosa, made Cinderella Man an exercise of pain (and destroyed Russell Crowe in the process), butchered Down with Love (eviscerating Ewan McGregor, who left so traumatized that went on to commit The Island) and managed to make both John Krasisnki and George Clooney boring in Leatherheads.

She destroys careers, ruins every single scene she is in and basically sucks all the talent out of the room. On top of that, she is both prone to be in terrible movies from the start (even her "big break", Jerry McGuire, is a piece of trash) and to atract people that definetely should know better due to her massive, terrifying gravitional pool. She does not discriminate, she destroys everything around her, probably because she really doesn´t have eyes; she guides herself by smelling souls to predate from.

The universe is not really expanding. The universe is running away from Zellweger.

The mother of all resumes

Is here.

You will thank me later. How I Met Your Mother is just plain awesome, and if you are not watching it right now, you have no soul, taste, or sense of humor. It is geeky, sweet, sensitive and just plain funny. The fact that the almost as awesome (and even dorkier) The Big Bang Theory is in the preceding slot makes for a killer combo.