31 October 2008

president of what...

man, this election season has been a letdown. all these jackasses in powersuits talking about this and that and the economy and taxes and schools and such. but nobody really seems to be talking about the real reasons behind these problems. nobody wants to do a little introspection.

honestly, do you wanna know why america is fucked up? america is fucked up because americans are fucked up. i mean look around. our populace in its current incarnation is probably the least likely in history to take up the role of the good semaritan. hell, we can't even find time in our busy schedule of accumulating things to be polite to one another anymore. everybody is so concerned with getting their one dollar double cheeseburger that they don't care who they cut in the mcdonald's line. just so long as they get to stuff their obese, uncouth faces.

face it jack, americans are lazy, fat, ignorant and above all, perfectly content to be as such. they want to work their forty hours, go out and buy big screen tv's and houses out of their budget, and then cry when the repo man comes to collect. all because they were too stupid to realize that just because you see it on mtv cribs doesn't really mean that it is necessary for survival(or that it is affordable)

and all this rampant consumerism has just made us more greedy, less fulfilled, and ultimately unhappy because our life isn't filled with the type of everything promised by our fucked up idea of what the american dream is. it is the pursuit of happiness. but in our fast food culture, if happiness isn't served up in bio-degradable paper wrapping, we want no part of it. i mean seriously, do they expect us to work for the products that should rightfully be ours as americans?

and then we have the nerve to try to tell other cultures that this is the way to live. fuck us.

america sucks right now because the average american sucks right now. learn how to say please and thanks. learn how to be thankful for the oppurtunities you have. do this and maybe we will begin to climb out of the murderous, poverty stricken, verge of financial ruin hellhole that our nation has become.

fuck obama, fuck mccain. change starts from within. change yourself first, and stop looking at others as some sort of messsiah that will make all your troubles go away. because even if they did, your greedy ass will just make new ones.

either that or learn to be a fat american living in the hellhole which we deserve.

because make no mistake, our behavior dictates that we do indeed deserve exactly what we get.

trick or treat.

28 October 2008

have a take, don't suck...

on the jim rome radio show, there is but one rule of the jungle...have a take, don't suck. i often think this mandate should be applied to basically all forms of communication. if one is talking to another on the phone, they ought be something. come correct, be original. have a take, don't suck. if one decides to waste time and watch television, don't watch some cheese ball fake shit like the big bang theory, watch something that has an idea, watch entourage, something that has a take and doesn't suck. and for god's sake and mine as well, if one is going to attempt to make some kind of piece of cinema(and i use that term loosely) then by all means, please follow the ultimate rule of the jungle. have a take, don't suck.

with his latest effort, w., oliver stone has failed miserably on both accounts. often hailed as some sort of provacateur, stone really bitched out on this one. there is no sense of detail, no underlying nuance that gave any sort of credibility to the freshman year psych/dr. phil daddy issues that stone uses to explain away the philosophical/mental defects that played into possibly the worst eight year presidency in the history of our nation. instead stone goes for a sugar ray greatest hits album type of feel, going over the "gems" of the slim bush timeline as if they aren't already played again and again on the radio "every morning" (hell yeah...a sugar ray joke!) mark mcgrath for president!

but really, oliver stone sucks now. whatever flare he had in the past is gone now. when he took all the bareknuckle journalistic investigation of barbara walters onto the set, he broke the law of the jungle. he made a movie about george w. bush, somebody everybody has a take on, and didn't even have a take. he made a shitty reenactment for the not so substantial a&e biography of bush II. and for that...

he sucks.

next caller.

18 October 2008

a moment of zen

for my boy justin, who has been in the mood to watch westerns lately...

a scene from the best, howard hawks lovely little film rio bravo.

16 October 2008

creatures of habitat

in last week's issue of indy.com or intake or whatever it is being called this month, the cover begged a rather interesting question. is indianapolis cool proof? naturally, as is normal for the same publishers of the star, a lack of journalistic integrity led not to an unearthing of answers, or an honest look at this question, but to merely a hipster friendly list of goods and services provided by towns that the rag deems as "cooler" than ours(what can we expect from a shit mag that employs joe shearer as a film reviwer) but, while the story inside proved to be bunk, the question on the cover was indeed a valid one and one that we here at the beer cannes have been mulling over for the last week, unable to find an angle from which to approach even the smallest beginnings of an answer.

and then this week's edition of the rival paper nuvo dropped into my lap the origins of a thesis on this particular quandry.

on its cover and within its pages, the issue presented the latest local "it" band of the moment margot and the nuclear so and so's on the verge of the release of its major label debut. to my suprise the story related seemed to offer a fairly interesting take on the question posed a week earlier.

the story relates the struggle between the band and their new benefactors at sony in coming to terms with a set list that is acceptable to both sides. margot wanted to put out one version, sony their own version. incredibly a compromise was reached and both sides got to release their own versions on specific formats(vinyl/cd/itunes)

and while this is a lovely little story of corporate compromise and all, it also seems to me a symptom of the greater problem of indianapolis' alledged "cool proof" ness in that when some entity,in this case margot,around these parts attains a certain level of cool, they automatically get thrust into this strange vortex where they begin to believe that they are much much cooler than they actually are.

i mean, who the fuck do margot and the nuclear so and so's think they are?

while they are so busy whining about how their songs need to go in this very particular order, there are literally a thousand bands around here that would kill to be in their position. good bands like red light driver and small arms fire would love to be reaping the promotional and touring benefits that come with releasing a major label album. yet all margot can do is whine and bitch about their "artistic integrity."

it makes me think about one of my favorite bands, van halen. i mean, can you picture eddie and david lee roth sitting around all mopey, wanting to release a different version of their first album because they wanted jamie's crying to come before running with the devil chronologically. no, they were just some future rock gods from pennsylvania that were ecstatic to be in a position to have their music heard beyond the region in which they lived. they got big heads much later, you know, after they had actually done something relevant.

margot pulls diva shit now, with marginal talent and an even smaller fan base because their songs are not memorable(unlike jamie's crying) so they try to pedestal themselves as true "artistes"

and that in a nutshell is something that is fundamentally flawed in this city. it's not that we are cool proof...it's that we are cool allergic. we get a little cool in our system and we can't handle it and we puff up like the mumps and blow things completely out of proportion.

when something becomes a big fish in our rather small pond, it goes straight to their head and they almost instantly become pretentious as all hell. like margot.

seriously, artists: just keep your nose to the grind and let your work speak for itself. if your shit is any good it won't matter what order it is placed in. it won't matter if some are b-sides and some are a's. if margot's songs are any good they will get out there. if the work on the album is any good, it will show through, no matter which version it is. just shut the hell up, and i might be able to take you seriously.

but as we here at the beer cannes are big big fans of humility, we can not in good faith recommend this trite bullshit. if you absolutely must drop coin on an album in the near future, buy the album by a tight little scottish outfit known as glasvegas. besides the fact that the singer croons like the new billy bragg, they strike me as the type of dudes who wouldn't bitch at their record label over whether geraldine comes before daddy's gone on the track listing because they are thankful for the oppurtunity just to get out of the hell hole that is glasgow, scotland. (or buy the red light driver album on itunes)shameless plug!

glasvegas-daddy's gone

glasvegas-geraldine(not the official video...but better)

red light driver

13 October 2008

nothing that you didn't think about sex in the second grade...a question i have to ask

can somebody, anybody explain woody allen to me?

because personally, i don't see the appeal.

i've cycled through the majority of his exercises in genre, be it his neurotic rom-com's(annie hall) his murder capers(match point, manhattan murder mystery), his old man fetish films(the jazz cycle-sweet and lowdown,deconstructing harry) his phony fake gene kelly, jaques demy ode(everyone says i love you) and even half of interiors(his "bergman" series) and all i see is a mere stylist, i.e. not an auteur on the sarris scale, working his neurotic way through the popular genres of his probably disheveled youth. he adds these overly-idiosyncratic touches and a grab bag of borrowed and already tired tricks from sixties european art films and mangles them into the pre-existing codes of traditional genre in a way that isn't really interesting at all.

last night i troubled myself to watch possibly his most uninspired and abominable take on the bawdy comedy when i watched the sickening everything you always wanted to know about sex but were afraid to ask. seriously, did he write that piece of sophmoric trash when he was eight after his first glimpse of a playboy magazine. no, probably not as that would be far too freudian and therefore interesting on some level, as opposed to this film which is not interesting on any level.

if one were able to get over his appaling godard rip-off when allen himself breaks the fourth wall with his most unsophisticated impersonation of groucho marx musings(a privledge only granted to characters played by the egomaniac himself) then i imagine one would surely be offput by the locker room humor of a giant, blob-like breast and the terrible one liners that accompany its arrival. but, however, if one is to mercifully look past this and press on, then surely they cannot condone the vast uninclusiveness as almost every fetish is welcome just so long as it is heterosexual. the most unappealing scene being that when woody allen playing a neurotic sperm makes the most detestable face at the thought that he could be discharged in a homosexual encounter. apperantly the 70's were a time of thoughtless bigotry, either that or in woody's world it's okay to date your stepchildren, so long as it isn't a same sex courtship.

hmm...inbreeders or homosexuals? not so tough a question...i will take homosexuals every day.
they are more fun...and generally have better/all of their teeth.

and besides all that liberal-agenda bullshit that i mention above...it's just not funny. not funny at all.

so seriously, why is this ass hat revered as a cinematic god of sorts?

on a happier note: it's my jam(s) of the week(both new school and old)

new(ish) school...with all apologies to vanessa hudgens whose song i'm amazed would be here if it had an official video(damn disney!)

old school

11 October 2008

we're caught in a trap, i can't walk out

this horribly embarassing gap in publishing owes itself to the fact that the publisher in question has momentarily lost his mind. i am not sure where or when or how exactly this occurred, but i know that it has, indeed, occurred and i feel that before a solution can be engineered, we must first identify and diagnose the problem.

and what exactly is the problem, one might ask. and with the way my mind is working right at the moment, i would have to answer that the answer to that question is quite tricky. but, as i am trying now to focus this free range mind of mine right now, i will put it as simply as i can.

lately, i haven't been able to clearly, coherently judge films.

which is actually a problem when my small little sliver of cyberspace is devoted primarily to the art in question. it seems to me that, as of late, i am unable to even come up with a positive or negative opinion on the films that aren't blatently one way or the other. what i mean by this is that, unless a film has been either spectacular(rare) or spectacularly bad(sometimes), i can't seem to pull any sort of focused analasys from them that would color my opinion one way or the other. everything seems so caught in the middle, whether the work in question can be deemed to be mediocre or not.

a case study of my recent viewing activities will hopefully shed some light upon this problem, so that we may press forward and attempt to remedy this overarching case of the "blah's."

at this point, i wish everything were as easy to evaluate as the film 27 dresses. this is a film so mired in cliche, so caught up in the unexamined tropes of the most banal aspects of the genre of romantic comedy, that even actors the quality of the otherwise lovely judy greer seem to realize that they are floating in the middle of a shit andwich that only serves to attempt to enhance the box office appeal of the utterly awful and unlikable bitch princess katherine heigl. she sniffs my nuts. fucking terrible, but sadly enough the only slam dunk review that the week handed me.

beyond that garbage, everything else handed me a big bag of mixed emotions, or perhaps just thoughts that conflicted with knee jerk emotions, which in the end is what this is really all about anyway.

which brings me to the centerpieces of our quandry: the emotionally sublime, yet intelectually upsetting nick and norah's infinite playlist and the feeling deprived, thought provoking joe swanberg "mumblecore nadir" hannah takes the stairs.

nick and norah pasted a goofy, high school crush grim on my face from moment one and pretty much kept it there during its entire duration. i thoroughly enjoyed sitting through this film, but unfortunately when it was over, the details were almost completely forgotten like a hazy recollection of a great time spent drinking one's mind away. and then the old intellect kicked in, and i started chipping away at its lovely veneer with the type of philosophical gripes that often take over post viewing.

i complain, because it is another in a long line of films that portray the urban experience of youth in new york city as if it were the only urban atmosphere where youth can have a formative experience. just once i would like to see a film about young urban nightlife in a city more like the one i inhabit. not the "infinite" possibility of a vast metropolis. i bitch because of the relative objectification of michael cera's previous romance with tris and how it makes me feel that he is somehow more vapid than his sensitive demeanor would indicate. and oddly that makes me happy as i believe that that somehow vindicates my stereotypical belief that most indie rock dudes are like that and not like the sensitive, artistic types that they act like.

and all this leaves me questioning whether i should truly be recommending this film to people or not. i mean, i did have a good time...but it left me with a bad taste in my mouth. what to make of this film?

and then there was hannah and her stairs. this movie elicited approximately the same response as 27 dresses as while i was watching it, i was convinced that i was watching a complete turd, with a heroine as unappealing as bitch katerine herself. i found myself counting down the seconds during the awkward interactions between greta gurwig and andrew bujalski, who was terrible in reprising his sad sack role from his own deft, touching film funny ha ha,(he should stick to directing) waiting for either the end, or the infinitely cool mark duplass to come back, or fore more gratuitous nudity. i just wanted this 85 minutes to end. and it did, thankfully.

but then i started thinking. and i really dug the fact that the entire film, outside of a few exterior shots of hannah waiting for public transportation, was shot in what seemed to be rented apartment spaces. and when i thought about it i realized that this film probably cost about two bucks to make and i really started to respect that they got all that mileage out of two bucks. then i started to be impressed with the spontinaeity of the ramdom acts of nothingness that occur in this film and how they never tried to put a humorous spin on them a la seinfeld, but merely chose to let them represent themselves of acts inspired by the often times monotonous and boring existence of the every man. and a funny thing happened. i actually started to enjoy this film in hindsight.

and that got me all fucked up.

i mean, seriously, how am i supposed to rate these films on netflix?

that is what it all boils down to. it comes down to questions. what is a film's purpose? is it meant to intellectualy stimulate, or is it merely meant as a momentary diversion? is it brain candy, or food for the soul? personally, right now i don't know and i don't really care as either way, i am no closer to sipping mai-tais on the beach with my girl ashley tisdale.

but right now i am okay admitting that i have no idea, so i think i will rate them both as a three star rating on the old netflix. because i guess i liked them both, only at different times during the process and in different ways.

i wish i could find the inverse of 27 dresses...a slam dunk masterpiece.

that would make this all so much easier.


03 October 2008

the top five things i'm looking forward to

i know, i know. i haven't been keeping up lately. and while my audience might be compelled to call me lazy, i would first like to plead my case before judgement is passed.

i was originally going to do this week's version of the tuesday tops about my vast collection of film literature, and i even wrote a draft to that effect. but sometime before i hit the publish button, i changed my mind and decided because of it's length to leave it for a slower week down the road. i came across information that let me know that this was gonna be a big week for new releases(thanks john peddie) and i decided that i may want to save this weeks list for the purpose of running down the newest cinematic offerings to this city. this week offers numerous choices for one's viewing enjoyment. this weekend is pretty huge.

so with that in mind here is this week's top 5 things to do with your weekend...

1. nick and norah's infinite playlist looks awesome. i mean, i like cool music. i like cute girls. and i freaking love michael cera. (especially when he gets the girl) but i think what i am most looking forward to is the (hopefully) triumphant return of director peter sollett whose wonderfully charming film raising victor vargas was among my favorite films released to castleton arts during my tenure there. i expect something touchingly, sweetly humanistic, and i doubt i will be disappointed.

2. blindness, the new film from fernando merelies, is well worth a watch. thanks to heather for allowing me to take an early sneak peek. mark ruffalo is great as always in a film that goes a long way to destroy nick and norah's good feeling towards humanity. this film doesn't have a ton of faith in people, which is easy to understand yet still a turn off, but it's wonderfully gritty style carries it into that rarefied air of something that becomes both ugly and beautiful simultaneously. an infinitely interesting work that probably didn't deserve the shelling it recieved as the opening night selection at this year's cannes film festival. plus gael garcia bernal sings the most hillariously placed song for a rare moment of levity.

3. after sollett makes you think people are wonderful, and after merelies makes you think they are awful, bill maher and larry charles film religulous will do its best to make you think that people are just plain stupid. borat with bill maher on the subject of god, i'm there.

after seeing all three one will probably have a pretty good overview of all that humanity has to offer. it's glorious and heartbreaking and occasionally leads one to believe that we are spiraling toward a large scale disaster.

4. and that disaster is taking place via the chicago cubs this weekend. it's sad, but i really am looking forward to another offseason of dissapointment for cub's fans, especially the one's who have insisted all summer that this is "their year." it isn't. and it won't be next year, or the year after that, or the year after that or any year in the entire future history of years to come.

they are the cubs. they lose. get used to it and become a happier person.

i have.