Friday, May 30, 2008

Thanks, love, monsters

Many thanks to all of my lovely friends, family and homies who made it a great 30th birthday.

Much love to those who have given me lots of support lately because of nightmare family drama. Mad, crazy love to Matt.

Last night I watched Cloverfield. What a honkin' piece of crap. What a freakin' gip. What a waste of time. It's a monster movie (although perhaps it's really a disaster movie as my husband pointed out) but they barely show the ding dang monster! Bits, pieces, glimpses of monster but nothing that makes ferocious monster seem tangible. The handheld camera stuff was gimmicky and tired. Look to the Danish for better handheld work and take a tip, you oh-so-hip makers of Cloverfield. The asinine characters that populated the movie just irritated me and I wanted them to get eaten. They bored me and irritated me from the beginning. Plus, there was not much monster and I wanted a lot more monster.

For a terrific monster movie, see the Korean film The Host. That movie was so rad. The monster shows up in the beginning (in broad daylight) and starts marauding and wreaking havoc whilst frolicking in the sunlight so that you can get a good, long gander at him. The host monster is given loads of screen time even though it's arguably a family drama rather than a monster movie. Plus, the characters are cool and sympathetic. I loved The Host. It was the highest grossing South Korean film of all time, and for good reason. I didn't love The Host because of it's relatively "happy" ending, nor did I hate Cloverfield for it's obtuse, fatalistic ending. I loved The Host for it's success in revamping the old monster movie cliches and I hated Cloverfield for it's pretentiousness (and sort of pretending not to really be a monster movie). I'd rather watch a hundred silly Sci-Fi originals than be subjected to that nonsense hipster bull that Cloverfield fed me.

Okay, enough ranting. Since I mentioned Sci-Fi originals, there's really good news on the Drago tip, folks! Then exceptional Billy Drago will be in a new movie premiering on Saturday June 28th at 9pm! It's called Copperhead and it's about a Wild West town that's terrorized by thousands of poisonous snakes. Snakes on the Plains. Wow, that's a horrible joke! Sorry. Anyway, mark your calendars cause this one's sure to be a winner (it's got Drago so it's better than Cloverfield already).

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Random crud

Today is Fairuza Balk's birthday. Happy birthday to her!

Four of my blogger friends went to see the band DeVotcka and blogged about it. Must be a helluva band.

My co-workers got me a book called "The Big Book of Breasts" for my birthday. Hahahahaha!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Musings on aging

I have less than five more days of being "in my twenties". The big 3-oh is imminent!

I am not nervous or freaked. I'm rather happy. I already affiliate myself with an older age group. Over the last year when people have asked my age I've replied "I'm almost 30" because replying with "29" sounds like a lie. My best friend refers to me as "The Old Bag Whisperer" thanks to my job and my uncanny ability to coddle and placate the elderly. It's because I know how they think and that's scary! I'm happy, though. This last year has been really great and I have only optimism for the future. This is strange because I was always negative and fatalistic in my "youth". It may attributed to my keen awareness of my own mortality. That sounds unpleasant, but it's really not. It's more of a real sense of carpe diem that I possess.

Work is boring. We have no shows on sale so I don't have to deal with old people (or young people), just the high-maintenance boss, and that's a job in and of itself. Tomorrow is my work birthday party (every staff member gets a potluck lunch and a gift on their birthday) so I'm excited about that.

Sorry, this is a rambling and ridiculous post. My work is just making me stir crazy so I've resorted to blogging!

Monday, May 19, 2008

Pretty colors

Last night Matt and I went to see Speed Racer in IMAX. My expectations were nil after reading so many crummy reviews, but I thought it would be a pretty way to spend two hours. We had spent all weekend house painting and doing chores, so we needed to sit on our bums and turn our brains off for two hours.

Speed Racer definitely a no-brainer. Heck, I'm not sure what it was about or if it was about anything at all. Car racing or something, I think. Who cares? It's beautiful. It's a big mash up of big bold bright shiny happy colors. No, I wasn't on drugs.

The film looks like the cinematic equivalent of a mating between the neon signs of Shinjuku and IKEA. It's a glorious feast of candy-colored sets and costumes. I was eating a Jelly Belly bubble gum flavored lollipop I felt as though I could taste the movie.

The plot is ridiculous (or, rather, non-existent). The actors are pretty and everyone looks terrific (I'm seriously considering getting a Christina Ricci Trixie 'do). It's technically quite an achievement, seamlessly integrating live action with enough CGI to melt your brain. There's car racing and the races are so confusing and cluttered that you can hardly tell what's what. There's one long race that's a bit boring and not that pretty but the one at the end is very pretty indeed.
And there's a poo-flinging chimpanzee. What more could you ask for?

Anyone who knows me is aware that I'm a huge movie buff with a wide range of tastes. Sometimes I want to delve into the dark psyche of man (There Will Be Blood) or sometimes I love the layers of meaning and subtext found in the works of Kubrick. But occasionally I want eye candy and nothing more. Speed Racer delivers two hours of exactly that, and it's a beautiful ride.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

What about Bob?

In 1999 I must have watched director Todd Haynes' film Velvet Goldmine 20 or more times. I had seen it at the theatre while living in London and I was baffled. I didn't really know much about '70s glam rock at the time. Six months after initially watching the film, I was obsessively waiting for the VHS release back in the states. I bought it and played it over and over. I went out and bought all of the early Roxy Music albums and even tracked down the limited edition makeup that was produced (I still have the little bits of eye shadow in the worn cases). At this point I had seen Todd Haynes' Safe, his Sonic Youth video and even the elusive Superstar: The Karen Carpenter Story. I thought they guy was cool, but he blew me away with Velvet Goldmine.

So fast-forward and he's released I'm Not There. I had only slight interest in seeing it cause it just seemed gimmicky and pretentious. I went through a big Bob Dylan phase about 8 years back and I was only mildly curious about the film despite the presence of two of my favorite actresses, Charlotte Gainsbourg and Michelle Williams.
On Monday Matt and I went shopping and he picked up the soundtrack to I'm Not There and showed it to me. After seeing so many artists I enjoy were featured, I bought it. Before I had even listened to one track, I decided that I must see the movie right now. So to Blockbuster (or, rather, Coc#bloc#ers) we went cause my regular ghetto video store had rented all the copies out!

Todd Haynes really is incredible. I'm Not There is a really huge achievement. I had imagined that six actors playing these incarnations of Dylan would be confusing and distracting. Since I am familiar with Dylan and with so many facets of his career, it was a cinch to piece it together. My husband was a bit more lost. I think it's probably quite a stretch for those not in the know about Bob Dylan. It is indeed pretentious and gimmicky, yes, but it works. There's an essence of Dylan and his music that is captured better than any previous cinematic interpretation (see that crappy version Hayden Christensen did in the crappy film Factory Girl).

I'm Not There is a bit overly long, that's for sure (2 hrs and 15 min). However, there's something utterly unique and magical about the film. It has a great deal in common with Velvet Goldmine stylistically and emotionally. There's an artistic sensibility that's sorely lacking in the more mainstream, narrative driven biopics like Walk the Line, Ray, Talk To Me, Factory Girl, the list goes on and on. In recent years Bob's been whoring for Victoria's Secret and Cadillac, and my interest waned. This beautiful movie reminded me of all of the reasons why Bob is an artist, a poet, an icon and so many other things at once.
I have a feeling that in six months or so I'll be wanting to see this one again (and again). In the meantime, I had better go ahead and unwrap that soundtrack album.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Basketball Diaries

The Cure show last Friday was good. The band evidently only consists of one original member. Thank goodness it's Robert Smith (who looks a bit like a bloated shitzu from a distance, sorry Bob). He's in top form, if not physically the at least vocally. The band sounded terrific, they had a beautiful backdrop on which images of their old singles covers were projected. The lights were twinkly and pretty. They opened with a glorious "Plainsong".
The venue blew chimp. Hard.
It's a g.d. basketball court. The sound bounces like, well, basketballs. The sharp drums of songs like "Lullaby" hit the back of the room and hit your ears a good .25 seconds later for the second time. Thank goodness The Cure is heavy on reverb and distortion so some of the uglier acoustic elements were drowned out somewhat. Still, it will be a cold day in hell before I hit the George Mason Patriot Center again.
The Cure on a basketball court. Never thought I would live the day!
It was getting very late and they had played for nearly 2 hrs. Matt and I hit the road back to Hampton cause I had to get up and go to work the next morning. Turns out we missed three encores and another full hour of music! Matt is bummed that we missed "Boys Don't Cry". I can sleep a little better at night now having heard "Pictures of You" played live and played surprisingly, remarkably well. On a basketball court.
Work is boring. Utterly boring. We have no shows til July 19. I run the box office and nothing is on sale. I don't know what to do with myself! It's rather lovely but boring.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Old bands, new music

So all these oldies are hitting the road and making new records when they should probably be contemplating a retirement to Shady Pines. Instead the geezers are touring and fools like me are paying silly money for tickets.

Today the Nick Cave tickets are on sale for the 9:30 Club show (see yesterday's post). His new record is Dig!!! Lazarus Dig!!! and it's pretty good. I don't think it's anywhere near as good as Murder Ballads and I even liked Lyre of Orpheus/Abattoir Blues better. Still, it's a heckuva step up from Grinderman which I didn't care much for at all. I'm so excited to finally see the man live!

The big Cure show is tomorrow. I bought these tickets last July. The show was supposed to take place in September. This is a long time coming and I hope it's not one huge disappointment. This is the first show of their major U.S. tour so it could really go either way. If you visit their official site, http://www.thecure.com/ then you can hear a snippet of the first single, "The Only One". It sounds a lot like Wish, "Friday I'm In Love"-era Cure. That's not necessarily bad. At least it's a lot better than that last piece of junk they put out. I've loved the Cure since I was about twelve years old, so I'm getting geared up for this one. Let's hope the band has taken their Centrum Silver and are ready to rock! The image above is taken from The Cure's official site. It's really a terrible picture and that's an indication that perhaps the years are not being very kind.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

For those interested parties...

Tickets for Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds at the 9:30 Club on Sunday Oct 5th go on sale tomorrow, Thu May 8th at 10:00am.

I'm O.C.D. about things like this so I'll be logging tomorrow am for tickets.

I have found myself constantly thinking about that movie Wristcutters: A Love Story and the cool music and the little dog. I originally rented it from Netflix but I was compelled to go buy a copy today. As much as I detest Blockbuster (their online rental system is atrocious and I am against their banning of adult videos), they often have an excellent selection of reasonably priced recently released used DVDs for $15 or less.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008


Please read this article that hit national news today:


This reminds me of my own experience. Except I didn't know the dumbf^c#s were cops and I also didn't crash.

Still, I wonder why the cops "gave chase" like they did in my scenario. It seems like flippin' the bird wouldn't warrant a car chase. Cops have too much time on their hands.

Also, a bird flip doesn't seem like it would warrant a verbal berating like I received. One of the two (!) cops that stopped me told me that I could be charged with a felony and that some judges looked upon road rage as "being as bad a murder". Seriously, that's what he said to me. My cops (probably just like the ones in the news story) were just very peeved that someone had given them a rude gesture, therefore they had to prove their merit and show how big their you-know-whats are.

I gave my cop a mouthful about how I was sick of being treated so poorly and how I was tired of not even being able to walk to the local mailbox by my workplace without being harassed or bothered. I was sick of this crummy neighborhood and the crummy lowlifes. I told the cop that I figured he and his buddy were just more of the sleazy residents cruising around ogling folks, being that they were in an unmarked beat up old Buick. Cop shut up, cop let me go. What a jerk off.

Now I secretly flip off every single cop I pass. I just do it discreetly under the dashboard cause no damn cop is work getting a stupid ticket and paying a fine (or doing time with murders, evidently). They're not worth my time.

Several small updates

Toggle Switch posted a good review of the Lou Reed show here.

A couple of weeks ago I posted about Wristcutters: A Love Story and specifically wrote about the dog. The dog was played by the actor dog Foxie, so I did a little research and found out something cool. Foxie doesn't just look like my cocker spaniel and Eskimo spitz. Foxie is exactly that. She's a mixed breed, a Cockamo. Great breed name, huh? Visit this site for more info, plus a picture of Foxie wearing sunglasses. I want a cockamo. Not now, but someday.

A the end of June I'll be teaching a course on Surrealism in Film. I think it will be pretty easy, but please feel free to offer comments or suggestions for material. It is always more difficult than I anticipate once I get started on the research. Go here to read my class description or to register if you are masochistic.

Monday, May 5, 2008

My brain hurts

My work has been crummy and I'm dealing with some family drama. I don't wish to blog about such things, however, I want to blog about the fun and delightful things happening in my dullsville life in VA. So I will use this opportunity this blog presents as an outlet for presenting the fun and entertainment-oriented stuff rather than the depressing or downright boring details of daily life here.

Good news numero uno: The fantastic Gogol Bordello will be performing at Toad's Place in Richmond in June. Yes! I've missed them before because of my unwillingness to drive to D.C. or Blacksburg or due to poor time with work schedule. This time, it's on!

Good news numero dos: Word has hit the street that the legendary Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds will be in D.C. at the 9:30 Club on Sunday October 5th. No word on when tickets go on sale. I must attend this show. I've been into Nick Cave since I was in high school and I've passed up his shows before. I won't make the same mistake again.

Treis: The Cure show at the Patriot Center is Friday! Yeah! It's about freakin' time.

Quatro: Got my husband his early birthday gift: tickets to Weird Al Yankovic at the National in Richmond.

Cinco: Bellydance Superstars Raqs America extravaganza weekend in June! I've registered for a bunch of workshops and all sorts of fun stuff. I'll get to learn from my favorite dancer, Sharon Kihara (pictured above). Although her video is a bit advanced and too fast-paced, she's incredibly talented and I'm looking forward to the workshops. Matt's coming so that we can make it a weekend getaway and snuggle up at a hotel, too.

I took French in high school so I don't know number six in Spanish. It's rokku in Japanese. Numero Rokku: My beautiful Leah from NYC will be town this weekend. It's her birthday on Sunday so hopefully I'll get to see her.

I wish everyone a happy Cinco de Mayo! Hope to see some of you out at these upcoming shows (give me a shout if you're going to be there).

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Wow, time flies

March was the longest month ever, April was the shortest. I can't believe it's May already.
The Lou Reed show was pretty good, especially considering the fact that we're talking about a guy who's pushing seventy. Unlike Iggy and Morrissey, Lou had the courtesy to keep his shirt the whole time. He also avoided breaking a hip, which was nice. The show began around 8:45 and ended at about 10:15, so I was home by 11pm so I was a happy camper. Lou was perhaps the coolest 66-year-old rocker I've seen. Instead of playing the insanely boring set of experimental new music that I anticipated he would perform, he actually played "I'm Set Free", "I'm Sticking with You", and my fave, "Sweet Jane". It was actually kinda rad. Go Lou.
In happy news: Matt and I finished all 29 episodes of Twin Peaks, starting with the pilot and finishing up with Fire Walk With Me. I may expand upon this cause it's quite a story, but I saw FWWM when I was a naive fourteen year old and when I hadn't seen any episodes of the television show. As a horror movie buff, I was pretty resilient at that age, but FWWM scared the living crap out of me. Terrified me, couldn't sleep for nights on end. Saw it again at the age of 22, still hadn't seen any of the tv show, still scared the s#!t out of me. When Matt said that we should watch the film, I was freakin' and was not excited to see it again for fear of endless sleepless nights. However, after taking in the tv show, I'm delighted to report that the film made so much more sense and I conquered my fear! Yay! I kinda even want to see it again soon.
The new Portishead album, Third, is out now. Do not walk, run to the store to buy it right now. Also, the Flight of the Conchords full - length is now available and it's wonderful. I laugh so hard I nearly cry every time I hear the track "Think About It".