Monday, December 31, 2007

Juno - Movie Review

Juno (PG-13) 92 minutes A
I'm in if your still in
Starring Ellen Page, Michael Cera, Allison Janney, J.K. Simmons, Olivia Thirlby, Rainn Wilson, Jason Bateman, and Jennifer Garner

I am really impressed with Jason Reitman's first two films. First there was Thank You For Smoking, and now Juno.

Juno has been called this year's Little Miss Sunshine, but it's actually a more superior film. Everything about Juno is interesting, funny and intriguing... even the soundtrack is catchy as hell.

I could go on and on about the great acting and witty dialogue, but go see it for yourself... it's a charmer!

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Back to Back Loser

Congratulations to the Mighty Sausage. Tonight they were victorious over my team, Writer's Cafe, in the Cowboy Joe Fantasy Football Superbowl.

For the second straight year I made it to the Superbowl as a wild card... and lost. But, like last year, it was an exciting and surprising season. My team didn't have a lot of big names, but they got hot at the right time and made a run at the championship (much like the Colorado Rockies did in baseball).

Next year will once again be Superbowl or Bust!

Thursday, December 27, 2007

I Am Legend - Movie Review

I Am Legend (PG-13) 100 minutes D-
Forgettable Legend
Starring Will Smith, Alice Braga, Salli Richardson-Whitfield, Willow Smith, and Charlie Tahan

I Am Legend is based on Richard Matheson's 1954 novel of the same name. It was first adapted to film in 1964 as The Last Man on Earth, and adapted a second time in 1971 as The Omega Man. The most recent installment stars Will Smith and a very cute dog. Will Smith is an immensely talented actor, but his four-legged co-star gives the best performance in this film.

Robert Neville (Smith) is a military scientist and the last man on earth. Immune from the deadly and incurable virus that has either killed or transformed humans into "darkseekers" (scary monsters that only come out at night), Neville is left to his own devices. With nothing but time on his hands he works to find a cure, hunts deer, exercises, drives his fancy red mustang, memorizes lines from the movie Shrek, talks to mannequins, etc... All of this is very interesting and intriguing- NOT!

Will Smith's role in this film seemed awkward and unnatural. From the opening scene (I won't give it away) that is meant to wow us with typical big budget Hollywood machismo, to Smith's perfectly sculpted physique, to the "surprise" ending, I thought this film was total crapola. If not for the breakout performance from the dog (credited as Abby- canine actor, German Shepard) I would have surely given this film an F.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Ear Bleed

Tonight I got what I wanted, cold beer... check!
A rock show that rocked my balls off... check!
So why am I still not satisfied?

Tonight Diddlefinger and I went to the Dinosaur Jr show at the Ogden Theater. It was easily the loudest show I have ever attended. The band rocked! The amps were turned up so loud that you rarely heard any lyrics. This wasn't necessarily a bad thing, but unless you were a Dinosaur Jr fan, and/or you fancy loud as f*ck guitars, this show was nothing but instrumental guitar noise and ear bleed.

When J and company took the stage around 11pm, they rarely spoke and they rocked the house like they didn't give a sh*t about anyone, anywhere, anyhow. No witty rock star banter, no slow songs, no pretentious bullsh*t. Strictly business... a straight up guitar assault.

The one stand out was Feel the Pain, OMG, they could have played that song 10 times tonight and I would've been happy. It sounded so amazing live. This Is All I Came To Do from the new recorded sounded really good also.

The show had sort of a strange vibe. Having never seen a Dinosaur Jr show I didn't know what to expect, so I didn't expect anything. I respect these guys for doing their thing their way, and even though I enjoyed myself at the show, I walked away feeling a little unsatisfied because I know it could've been better.... better meaning that I would have liked to have heard more vocals. J has a lot to say, so why not let it be heard.

Monday, December 10, 2007

My Kid Could Paint That - Movie Review

My Kid Could Paint That (PG-13) 82 minutes B+
But can yo Daddy paint that?

Starring Amir Bar-Lev, Anthony Brunelli, Elizabeth Cohen, Michael Kimmelman, Laura Olmstead, Mark Olmstead, and Marla Olmstead

My Kid Could Paint That was suppose to be a documentary about Marla Olmstead, a four-year-old art prodigy, who at age four had sold over $300,000 worth of paintings. Her talents were being compared to Pollack and Kandinsky, and she was taking the art world by storm.

That is, until 60 minutes aired a story implying that the young artist couldn't have created these paintings on her own. Coincidentally her father, a night shift manager at Frito Lay, is also an aspiring amateur artist, hmmm...

The documentary plays out like reality TV at its best. The adorable and precocious four-year-old was discovered on a whim when a family friend hung one of her paintings in a nearby cafe, the painting sold and the rest is history. Her mother, a dental assist, prefers to shy away from the spotlight, while dad revels in it. They're an all-american family with all-american looks. But once doubt and suspicion began to penetrate their new found semi-celebrity status it spread like a disease. All of a sudden everyone questioned the validity of the young artist and her parents. Even the creator of the film began to wonder if he was being punk'd.

This film starts sweet and simply, but turns emotional and mysterious. It's also an interesting take on honest journalism and honest documentary film making. Bravo to Amir Bar-Lev (the film's creator) for taking such a simply subject (in concept) and turning it into an intriguing "whodunit"... literally.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Y34RZ3R0R3M1X3D/Ruby In Paradise

Today I went to Independent Records & Video for the first time. I've always wanted to check it out, but never made the time. It's a pretty cool record store. It reminded me of the record store from the film High Fidelity, except this record store sells pipes and varies stoner supplies as well as music, videos and t-shirts. The shop is everything I love about living in the city; diverse, edgy, urban, and a little seedy. Their used cd's were generously priced, some of the lowest prices in town. They also had a few cds that were new at used prices. Nice!

So I bought the new NIN remix album (Y34RZ3R0R3M1X3D), matter fact I'm listening to it right now. It's funky as hell and Reznor has really out done himself this time. I'm only 10 songs in but so far so brilliant. I also bought Jarvis by Jarvis Cocker. I think Diddlefinger had this disc 4 or 5 months before it was officially released, so from the time he raved about it until it was actually released to the public it fell off my radar.

It's cold and snowy in D-town, it's suppose to be like this all weekend. It's really getting me in the holiday mood. As long as the roads aren't icy, I don't mind this weather too much. It gives me an excuse to stay inside... (when did I become such a shut in).

I saw a really good movie last night called Ruby In Paradise (I'd give it a B+). I'm not going to do a review on it because it hasn't been released on DVD. In 1993 it won the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance for Best Dramatic Film. Ashley Judd won an Independent Spirit Award - Best Female Lead, and it was also nominated for Best Feature Film. Visually it's a little dated but the journey of a young woman trying to overcome her demons is wonderfully done. If you've ever fantasized about running away and starting anew, this film is a good look at the dark side and loneliness of starting over in a new town.

If you like Ashley Judd, I recommend seeing Ruby In Paradise and a little film called Come Early Morning, a very good film that didn't get its due.

"Babies don't need vacations, but I still see them at the beach."
-Steven Wright

Friday, December 7, 2007

Skydiving With Republicans

Last night I dreamt that I went skydiving with Diddlefinger and his dad. But Diddlefinger’s dad was George Bush (except George Bush wasn’t George Bush, he was Diddlefinger's dad... you follow?)

Prior to our skydiving adventure I thought I might not like Diddlefinger’s dad. But he turned out to be a really nice guy, and he even offered to buy me lunch.

The jump was very exhilarating! Afterwards Diddlefinger got all bent out of shape because he said I was showboating during my landing. We jumped out of the plane and landed at a Texas airport, which inside looked a lot like the Las Vegas airport.

After skydiving we all met up inside, Jim (RW's dad) was there. I assumed he was a friend of Diddlefinger's dad. We all decided to go to the restroom before going to lunch.

In the restroom all the urinals were unflushed and full of gold colored piss, almost to the point of overflowing. I looked down at my feet and I was wearing sandals. I was afraid that I would get urine on my feet, so I walked around the restroom (pants unbuckled) until I found a urinal that wasn't about to overflow. I carefully walked out of the restroom, but not before I noticed a man sitting at a cash register, taking tickets by the restroom sinks. Jim was waiting for me at the door, as if he was worried something might happen to me... it was comforting.

The end.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Dinosaur Jr - Beyond

I just read Pitchfork's review of Beyond, the latest effort from Dinosaur Jr. Pitchfork gave it an 8.4 (out of 10) which means it's pretty damn good. I generally agree with the review but I can't say it's my favorite Dinosaur Jr record. The review by Zach Baron points out a few songs specifically; Crumbles, Pick Me Up, and Been There All the Time which Baron describes as "crusading guitar line and signature self-doubt". Nice!

After reading the review, I promptly put the cd into my player, put on my head phones, and cranked it up. Baron is right on, and Been There All the Time is now my new favorite track on the album. Diddlefingers and I are going to the Dinosaur Jr show next week (if I can get off my ass and buy the tickets soon!). I'm looking forward to a rockin show and a few cold beverages. Good Times!

"Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich."

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Before the Devil Knows You're Dead - Movie Review

Before the Devil Knows You're Dead (R) 117 minutes A
"Break up the Family"

Starring Philip Seymour Hoffman, Ethan Hawke, Albert Finney, Amy Ryan and Marisa Tomei

Before the Devil Knows You're Dead is a masterpiece. This film grabbed me from the opening scene and never let go until the closing credits... even as I walked out the theater, mentally I was still in the film.

It's a wicked and emotional tale of two siblings whose lives are increasingly filled with anguish and despair. Andy (Philip Seymour Hoffman) is a real estate executive with a nasty drug habit and a troubled marriage, while his brother Hank (Ethan Hawke) is broke, divorced, and struggling to make his child support payments. Both are in need of quick cash so they devise a plan to rob a jewelry store.

Andy is the older more domineering brother, but he leaves it up to Hank (nervous and less competent) to execute the heist. Needless to say things go terribly wrong.

The film is a mediation of desperate men, in desperate times, taking desperate measures. Director Sydney Lumet does a brilliant job of creating a dark, moody and edgy film recounted in choppy segments from varies perspectives.

The entire cast shines, Hoffman and Hawke are superb, and Marisa Tomei is seductively mesmerizing. This is truly one of the best films of the year, a can't miss!