Monday, January 31, 2005

What is that aboot?

Good God everyone involed has jumped the shark, eh? From MTV News:
"Alanis Morissette will teach you how to be Canadian in a few easy steps when she appears in an upcoming episode of the Great White North's teen soap opera 'Degrassi: The Next Generation.' Morissette will make a cameo during a three-episode storyline in which Kevin Smith (as himself) visits Degrassi while doing research for a 'Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back' sequel titled 'Jay and Silent Bob Go Canadian, Eh?,' according to The Ottawa Sun. The singer will play Degrassi's principal in the story-within-a-story, and will spend the episode throwing out an obscene number of Canadian stereotypes, including references to the metric system and the notion that Canadians say 'aboot' instead of 'about.' The episode will air Stateside on the N channel during the next season of the show, which starts February 18."

The Mondays.

Mopey mope mope:
  • I guess I'm the only one who thinks the Coachella 05 is kinda wiggity whack. I just have a hard time justifying the Hell that is 'Chella parking, the heat, the crowds, etc for Coldplay and Bauhaus. Maybe if they added Skinny Puppy I'd be down. Maybe.

  • Criterion's Aprl releases: weak.

  • John C. Reilly: not sharin' any info on the/a new P.T. Anderson project.

  • Rrrrraaaaaa-haaaaa: Dave Poland on Inside Deep Throat: "It doesn't blow you away. But it doesn't suck either."

  • OK, here's a nice, un-grumpy one:The Top 100 Toys of All Time. (via Matos.)

  • 'Cause we were all holding our breath: Brett Ratner will direct the new Mariah Carey video. If only it's half as good as that other one he directed where Mariah fights evil-twin Mariah and then makes out with Jerry O'Connell.

  • Bleh

Sunday, January 30, 2005


Finished the Waxman book. I need a sec to digest it all and write a proper response, but, first, let me say this: if you are thinking of buying the book, please just get it from the library. Or get it used. You'll thank me and have the satisfaction in knowing you didn't help support the crazy woman. It's a really fun, gossipy book in places (i.e., learning that not only was Lawrence Bender a ballet dancer but a tango dancer too! P.T. Anderson once ate a comment card at a test screening! Gene Hackman repeatedly called Wes Anderson a cunt on the set of Tenenbaums!), but this woman knows little-to-nothing about film and just can't get basic facts straight. (Magnolia wasn't shot in '98, it was shot in '99. The film got three Oscar noms, not two. David Fincher had directed three films, not two, when he got Fight Club. Wes Anderson's debut film was not Rushmore, it was Bottle Rocket. Pat Dollard is Sodebergh's manager not agent. And on and on and on.) Consider yourself warned.

Thursday, January 27, 2005

People are afraid to merge.

I think a character from a Bret Easton Ellis novel is leaving comments over at Stereogum. How else do you explain this? (Some background: it was left under a post about Fiona Apple's much-delayed, in-limbo third album.)

i don't think the long-awaited album will be very good. the two leaked tracks were mediocre. her last two albums were awesome though.

when i was 17, i videotaped the criminal video and jacked off to it a few times. it was awhile before i noticed how skinny she was.

during her first tour, a concert promoter told me she was on heroin. i think it would have been cool if she married elliott smith.

The sexually-blunt-emotionally-remote-zen-trance-prose totally gives it away. "it was awhile before i noticed how skinny she was." Ha! Brilliant.

2 + 2 = 5.

1) "Good Love" by Prince.
This track appeared on the old iPod thanks to the shuffle function. Thank you iPod shuffle function for reminding me that even Prince's outtakes from the mid-80s are brilliant. This one, a reject from Lovesexy, is four minutes of poppy synth-bliss with Prince singing about Picadilly Circus, cherry pie, Gustav Mahler's Third Symphony, and crack addiction. Only Prince. (Well, only Prince circa 1987.)

2) Getting a postcard for Coke-Free J.A.P.: A F*cking One-Woman Show in the mail.
Usually I get lots of sad, desperate junk mail from actors inviting me or the office or someone who worked in the office 10 years ago to attend some weak actors' workshop or a dull university showcase. Not today. Today's special. Today I got an invitation to Coke-Free J.A.P.: A F*cking One-Woman Show Just to clue you in, the image on the front of the card is of a woman cupping her ample bosom as it spills from her nightie. Oh and the title is underlined with a line of (airbrushed) cocaine. And the tagline is: "Ninety days off Coke. First Blind Date. He's Toast."
I am so tempted to go.

3) Sharon Waxman's Rebels on the Backlot.
I'm working on a proper blog entry on this one, but let me just say that this book is like crack . Ms. Waxman is not the most interesting writer and the book is riddled with factual errors and goofs, but it's filled with eyewitness accounts of the making of some of the best films of the '90s and I can't put it down.

4) My dream on 1/24/05.
In it I watched the new P.T. Anderson film. I can't tell you a thing about it other than it wasn't set in the Valley and it was shot in a really gorgeous, tropical location. God knows it's probably the only new P.T. Anderson movie I'll be seeing in the next five years.

5) Manohla Darigs on Hustle & Flow.
For days everyone has been talking about how brilliant Hustle & Flow is and how exciting it is that the little film secured a 15 million dollar deal at Sundance. Blah blah blah. I am wary any time a movie at Sundance is sold for that much money. (Remember Happy Texas? Remember Spitfire Grill?) This one has just been the untouchable, belle of the ball. Leave it to my girl Manohla Dargis to cut it down to size in the pages of the New York Times. Her verdict: "Hustle & Flow is rubbish. But it is precisely the kind of rubbish movie executives seek at Sundance, hoping that the film's beats, pimp hero and putative exoticism will attract young audiences." For whatever reason, that makes me feel better.

He-Man and Skeletor.

This pic from the made for television movie See Aronold Run made my morning. That's Jurgen Prochnow as Ahnuld and Mariel Hemmingway as Skeletor

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Fun fact of the day.

Alas, I wish the waters of the Whine Colored Sea weren't so tranquil. Effing work. Before I get back to my meaningful and fulfilling job, let me share my favorite factoid of the day. Scott Peterson's ho-bag, Amber Frey, wrote a book called Wintess. (That wasn't the factoid. It's the next item.) One of the book's chapters is entitled "Oh my God! Laci's baby is due on my birthday!" Pause. Isn't it rich? (And wouldn't it work as the title of a Shania Twain song?)

Factoid provided by Bryan Curtis.

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

The sage speaks...

...and he needs another cup of coffee and a better PR hack.

"I wouldn't use the term excited, I think probably the best term would be disappointed if I didn't get one."

--Morgan Freeman reacting to his Oscar nom.

Knee jerk reaction to Oscar noms.

Blah blah blah, some thought on the noms.

Wait, Clint Eastwood sneaks into Best Actor and not Paul Giamatti? Er, no.

Phantom of the Fucking Opera is nominated for Best Cinematography over Collateral.

I know nominating Jon Brion for anything is unrealistic, but is John Williams' third score for a Harry Potter movie really one of the year's best?

I am kind of amused that they snubbed Mick Jagger in the Best Song category.

Go girl from Maria Full of Grace.

Go Mike Leigh.

Monday, January 24, 2005

When voracious sound nodes attack.

I discovered this brief summary of a film that is actually being made and I felt compelled to share.
PROFESSOR DANIEL SHAW's revolutionary experiments in the field of living sound go disastrously awry when a voracious sound "node" with ravenous tendencies escapes its microcosm and starts hunting Shaw and a handful of students, trapped in a deserted building with the menace, which locates them through sound...

Wait, a sound node escapes its microcosm? The kids are gonna love it.

Wake up little sushi.

Things I would blog about if time permitted:

  • How Silence of the Lambs is still (after 15 years and total pop-cultural saturation) a trip and twisted and gets under your skin (so to speak). Also, how J. Demme is really brilliant and should stop wasting his time by making bad movies based on really good movies.

  • How Punch-Drunk Love is about aliens. You think I'm joking. I am not. More on this later.

  • How I am hella psyched to hear the new M83 album and cringe at this line from a Pitchfork review of one of the album's tracks. The cringe-inducer: "This song is the utopian endpoint to a teleology begun by those nineties groups such as Polara and Certain Distant Suns who struggled to be utopian endpoints to a teleology begun by My Bloody Valentine. " Am I wrong? Doesn't that make you want to throw something (mayhap, oh, a hardback copy of Baudrillard's Simulacra and Simulations) at the writer's head?

Bleh. More later.

Saturday, January 22, 2005

And you know it's the truth.

Taken from the back-cover of Sharon Waxman's book Rebels on the Backlot: Six Maverick Directors and How They Conquered the Hollywood Studio System:
Several actors were considered for the role of Jack Horn, the porn producer; among them was Warren Beatty--that is, until Paul Thomas Anderson realized that Beatty was more interested in the Dirk Diggler role.

Friday, January 21, 2005

Alex & Emma II.

As some of you might know, I'm not the biggest fan of Finding Neverland. I'm especially unimpressed with Marc Forster. I don't think this is going to help matters:
Queen Latifah and Emma Thompson are joining Stranger Than Fiction, director Marc Forster's follow-up film to Finding Neverland... Will Ferrell already has been cast as an obsessive/compulsive IRS auditor who begins to hear a voice that turns out to be an author who is writing a novel in which Ferrell is the ill-fated protagonist. The auditor heeds the narrator's advice and turns his life around. Thompson is in final negotiations to play the author suffering from writer's block, and Latifah is in final negotiations to play a book-company employee whose job is to unblock writers. Maggie Gyllenhaal signed on this week to play Ferrell's unlikely love interest, a baker with anarchist leanings. (From The Hollywood Reporter.)

First of all, I can't believe Rob Reiner isn't directing this one. It's got his name all over it. And what the hell are Ferrel, Mags, and Emma doing in this? Shouldn't it be Luke Wilson or Jimmy Fallon and Kate Hudson and, er, Queen Latifah? Bleh all over that one.

Apology of the day.

'We apologize if anyone was offended by the implication that Satanists drink baby Jew blood. We now understand it's just baby blood in general."


Thursday, January 20, 2005

Like Chik-Fil-A on Sunday.

Has anyone else been watching American Idol 4? People, this is the super best time. Normally, the early stage of the competition is filled with tardems and untalented theater queens. This season it's filled with unhinged and brain damaged people. It's evil, but (sorry to say) hilarious.
On last night's episode we were introduced to Adam and Dirk, two hopefuls who had never met prior to waiting in line, but who were now best buds. Unfortunately, they looked like... well... not pop stars. At all. Maybe Dairy Queen and/or Suncoast* employees, but not pop idols. (For Christ's sake, Dirk admitted he was obsessed with Baywatch because of David Hasselhoff and then auditioned with a Hasselhoff original.) Anyway, Television Without Pity was really smitten with Adam and their aria to his greatness is too wonderful not to reprint:
But Adam Pratt? I truly, madly, deeply love [him]. I love him like a crazy person in the desert who desperately needs water and hallucinates a Deja Blue vending machine. I love him like Taco Bell, like Chik-Fil-A on a Sunday. I love him like that weird Spelling Bee girl that coughed a lot. I love him like Buffy. That’s all, it’s that simple, and I don’t want to talk about it further. I don’t want to sully it. He’s a boy, and he’s my friend, and that’s enough for me.

*=As a former Suncoast employee, I am allowed to mock.

Doing what he does best.

"I knew to be Linda’s friend I had to be friends with Johnny, and he seemed so crotchety and mean and nasty. I’m more avant-garde than Johnny. Of course, I liked the Ramones, but I was more into more arty bands. It wasn’t like I needed to meet Johnny Ramone. I would have preferred the guitar player for Magazine or Ultravox or something... [Johnny] told me that, other than him, I was the smartest person he knew."

--Vincent Gallo eulogizing Johnny Ramone at the unveiling of the Johnny Ramone memorial statue.


Happy Inauguration Day. Random stuff:

  • Have you been to the Fiddle and seen the latest pics of Courtney Love? Oh. Oh dear. And is she wearing a Looney Tunes t-shirt? (For the record: the above pic is not Courtney Love. That's a NJ girl named Katie. She's eating a 6 lb. burger.)

  • The always-dependable Fluxblog has the new Basement Jaxx track... it doesn't disappoint. It reminds me of the best Prince-produced Vanity 6 track that never was. Or something.

  • Hey what was Mo's band's name in Real World: San Fran? Was it Midnight Voices or something? Why do I feel like they renamed themselves and then put out this press release?

  • Kathie Lee's recipe for Artichoke Dip.

  • Horny Gandhi goes Patrick Bateman.

  • I know it's really insensitive, but this makes me want to barf.

  • Pres. Bush makes Ashlee want to la la.

  • Speaking of which: "I didn't know what to say, so I said, 'I love you.'" That's Ryan Cabrera on meeting the Pres. (For those of you not in the know, Cabrera is the talent-challenged muppet/singer that is currently schtupping 'Shlee Simpson.)

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Adventures at 7Eleven.

Fact: People eat the Southwest Jalapeno and Cheese flavored Big Eats Griller Sausage™ sandwich from 7Eleven.
Furthermore, I guarantee you someone has washed said "sandwich" down with a Halo 2TM themed cup with Mountain Dew®-flavored Slurpee® drink.
This concludes Adventures at 7Eleven.

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Um, at least it's not, uh, boring.

"Guy shot in head. Guy stabbed in neck. Adam's apple clawed out. Guy shot in eye. Blood spurts."

--D. Edelstein shares the notes he took during a screening of the Assault on Precinct 13 remake.

2 + 2 = 5.

1) The look of Code 46.

Somewhere in the midst of the Slate Movie Club, Charles Taylor wrote about how fantastic Code 46 looked, how it was set in the future but was primarily shot on location, in places that looked vaguely futuristic. This piqued my interest, I Netflixed it and was blown away. There's much to admire about the film (Tim sums it up nicely over here), but I think I love the way Michael Winterbottom shot "Shanghai" most of all. I'm assuming that he shot a lot of footage in Shanghai and then tweaked it, adding slight digital details. I think. But that's the beauty of it, it all looks so alien and gorgeous and shimmering it's impossible to tell.

2) The Christmas dinner in Vera Drake.
I don't want to spoil the movie for anyone, but this might have been the most heartbreaking moment in the film for me. The quiet misery, the tension, and then Reg's declaration... thunk. Mike Leigh sends a dagger to the heart.

3) The egg sandwich from Spanglish.
I'll never make this monster, (a) because it'll kill you (1,115 calories...? Hey now!) and (b) becuase you know it won't be as good as it looks in the movie. (Plus there will be no Paz Vega to pleasure-delay the eating of the sandwich.) But it's nice to know that I could (attempt to) make it if I wanted to.

4) "No One Takes Your Freedom" (mash up).
In which the Beatles' "For No One" is mashed into Scissor Sister's "Take Your Mama Out" with a little of George Michael's "Freedom '90." I know: somehow they made the Scissor Sisters gayer (in both senses of the word). Retardedly fun.

5) The Fug Ladies on Chloe Sevigny.
O Ladies of Fug, thank you for making me laugh nearly every day. Your levels of snark are so off the chart it just boggles me mind. I literally snorted water up into my nasal passage upon reading this catty comment re: V. Gallo's BJ Queen:
Chloe, if your zipper is longer than a man's erect penis, your pants are too high-waisted. Period. Now smile, stand up straight, and wash your hair.
(It helps if you click on the link and look at Chloe's pic.)

Monday, January 17, 2005

A word of warning.

Yeah, so, let's (hypothetically) say you go to see Elektra. You figure: eh, it's the J. Gar doing ninja stuff in a tight red costume, it'll be fun fluffy stuff. No, you would be wrong. Wrong wrong wrong. And she only wears the costume twice, for a combined 20 or so minutes. (Or so I'm told.) Oh and the much-ballyhooed Fantastic Four trailer is uber-whack. (At least that's what I hear.)

Sunday, January 16, 2005

Hell Portal.

Roger Ebert is on a mission to get Clint Eastwood's Million Dollar Baby crowned Best Picture on Oscar night. He's written a number of annoyingly earnest pieces about the purity of the film and how its makers aren't going out of their way to campaign for it (Ha!) and how it's just the wittle engine that could. Spare me. He also uses his TV show to push for it and, in the past three or so weeks, he's brought it up every time and always mentions that the film "doesn't rely on fancy special effects."
This has become something of a mantra and I am sending it straight to the Whine Colored Sea Hell Portal.
I hate knee-jerk technophobia and that's what that statement is. "Oh, don't you remember the good old days...?" As if your film is automatically better or more sincere or pure or whatever if you don't have special effects. It's bullshit. I'm not going to deny that there are a lot of really awful movies that are just long CGI parades; Yes, those movies suck. But a memo to Mr. Ebert: you're not allowed to make a big fuss about a movie's quality in relation to its lack of special effects when you called Spiderman 2 the fourth best movie of 2004. Or when you called Dark City the best film of 1997 and Minority Report the best film of 2002. (Out of respect for Mr. Ebert, I won't bring up the fact that he called the cinematic abortion that is Spawn an "experimental art film" and compared it to Lang's Metropolis... Oh, oops, I just did. Sorry, Ebs.)
Clearly the Ebs is really down with special effects, which makes his harping that much worse. He's pandering to old, curmudgeon-y Academy voters who buy into that crap (people like Clint Eastwood, who is now using that very line in TV spots promoting the film).
End of rant. Just rest assured that that sentiment is currently burning in the flames of the Whine Colored Sea of Brimstone.

Saturday, January 15, 2005


In 1991, I decided that I was going to keep track of every film I watched during the course of the year. I think I made it a week and logged one viewing of T2. I never attempted it after that. But with these new-fangled blog-thingamajigs, it seems possible. So, I'm keeping track over here if anyone wants to partake in the OCD insanity.

Friday, January 14, 2005

WCS Hell Portal.

Welcome to a new feature that I'm calling The Whine Colored Sea Hell Portal.The concept is this: because I am God of this humble little blog, I can send whatever I see fit straight to Hell. Simple enough. First up, two commercials and a performance.

1) The ad for the Carl's Jr. Breakfast Burger.
I despise all the advertising for Carl's Jr.* The ads always follow this format: you're in a "real" restaurant. There are annoying people and servers and overpriced food. The smug voice over dude asks why are you putting up with this, why not just go to Carl's Jr.? Cut to all white. An enormous Carl's Jr. sandwich falls from above and lands with a splat. Literally. The ad agency seems to think that it'll be really appetizing to watch a gargantuan sandwich leak ketchup and mustard and beef bits everywhere. Plus those foley editors work overtime recreating the sound of ketchup and death oozing out of it.
What makes this particualr ad so offensive is the sandwich itself. Please stop for a moment and try to imagine a sandwich made from "fried egg, crisp bacon, hash brown nuggets**, cheese, ketchup and a charbroiled all-beef patty on a sesame-seed bun"*** landing with a squishy thud. (The Carl's Jr. webstie has a simulation of the Breakfast Burger's fall. Please note, it's not the exact one from the commercial, but you'll get the picture.) Now imagine being subjected to this, oh, four or five times when you're innocently trying to watch Lost/Alias. This is why it is being banished.

2) The Volkswagon ad entitled "Cornering."
Why would anyone put this ad on TV? Why? In it, some dude (who looks a lot like Nick Swardson after eating thirty-or-so Carl's Jr. Breakfast Burgers) takes a VW out for a test drive. He likes the way it handles corners (or something) so he starts having a laughing fit. A really ugly, ugly laughing fit. Oh and he's so filled with joy he screams at another driver.
Yeah, no.
No no no no.
Fat-Nick-Swardson-with-the-ugly-laughing-fit: you're goin' to Hell.

3) John Lithgow in Kinsey.
Wait, was Mike Clark making a case for Lithgow to get an Oscar nomination? I know Kinsey has somehow tricked people into thinking it's something special, but even lovers of the film have got to admit that Lithgow is wretched. His two or three scenes are so laughably over-the-top (and identical to his work in Footloose), it's amazing that anyone could take him seriously. At all. Except for maybe Lucifer, Prince of Darkness.

* = For whatever reason, when you go west of the Mississippi Hardee's becomes Carl's Jr.
**=Hash brown nuggets? Surely this is a fancy way of saying tater tot.
***=Wording taken from, where one also learns that said sandwich contains 830 calories (410 from fat) and gives you 92% of your daily cholesterol intake.

I guess it's a compliment.

"That face is really strange—long and fish-lipped, with different planes going at different angles. She's like a Picasso guppy. I dig her slinky dancer's torso, too; it keeps her supple in her stiffness. "

--David Edelstein on Elektra's J. Gar. A Picasso guppy? Channeling Elvis Mitchell much? Next thing we know, Edelstein's gonna be comparing Constantine to eating a bowl of Honeycomb drenched in Red Bull.

Thursday, January 13, 2005

Quote of the day.

"And what the fuck is wrong with the hosts of this party? I don't care what worthless title you have or what you have no control over in the country where you may one day be king. You can't come into my flat dressed like a fucking Nazi. Sorry. No. Go back to Buckingham, eat a cucumber sandwich, comb the mane of your favorite pony, and suck my balls."
--Tim on the latest f-ing royal scandal.

I'm deranged.

I bet you didn't know it, but the Robert Blake trial is about to enter its fourth week. I know. Who cares.
But is anyone else kind of amazed that Lost Highway is never brought up when journalists/pundits cover Blake? I know, I know, it's a David Lynch film that most of the population has never heard of. But this thing has been dragging on for nearly four years and I have never heard anybody mention it. Consider: (1) it was Blake's last "major" role before "the incident" and (2) it's the tale of an Angeleno who, in a fit of paranoid, jealous rage, murders his wife and then constructs an elaborate alternate reality to deal with the trauma. (Lynch says the film came to him when he saw post-trial O.J. on the golf course, looking totally at peace.)

I'm just sayin'.

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Be still my heart.

"Actually, I am going to Shanghai to do a film with Wong Kar-wai, who I think is a genius."

--Nicole Kidman. (Thank to The J for the heads up.)

Hey boss.

I wish I coulda seen that:
"Coincidentally, earlier in the evening, director Alexander Payne did his best impression of Hilary Swank’s character in Million Dollar Baby by shucking and jiving for the starlet. Ms. Swank, who cleans up nicely, was there to present Mr. Eastwood with his award for Best Director. Her husband, actor and activist Chad Lowe, looked on sheepishly—perhaps praying that his wife wouldn’t kick Mr. Payne’s ass, or his own."

(From Jake Brooks' NY Observer piece on the NY Film Critics dinner.)

1. I like that Chad Lowe is credited as "husband, actor and activist."

2. While I love that it was Mr. Payne doing the imitating, I really wish it was Matt Damon. Although, that might've opened the space-time continuum and sucked the entire Roosevelt hotel into a wormhole.

3. I also loved this bit from the article. Brooks asks Payne about Tony "Not-the-director-of-Spy Game" Scott's NY Times essay on Sideways being the most overrated film of the year. Payne's respose? "'Fuck it,' he retorted, looking tired yet dapper in a dark suit, before admitting that he always worried about the film being overexposed: 'I thought it was overhyped,' he said."


Run, Michael Mann! Run! That scary shoemakercobbler (or whatever) is going to eat you. (via Fug.)

Fiddle Faddle.

  • Were the four days of Slate's Movie Club too fleeting for you? The Cinetrix has fixed the problem. She's created the CONVERSATION--wherein she and four other film bloggers tackle the Golden Globes and the year in film and whatevs else. Should be fun. (The 'Trix's intro can be found over m'ya. Oh and while you're at it, read her excellent post on music supervisors over m'ya. It's so lovely that I won't dock her points for worshipping the use of Damien Bleh Rice in Closer. )

  • Spencer is back! Let's hope his trip to rehab (for "exhaustion"-- which means coke and whores) only increases the heatt.

  • As if Abe couldn't get any gayer, Steven Spielberg announces he's making a biopic of everyone's fave emancipator, starring Liam Neeson, from source material written by (in Josh's words) "Harvard ethics board member and plagarist" Doris Kearns Goodwin. Boo-urns.

  • March 27th. Mark it. Brett Ratner's opus, After the Sunset, is out on dvd. It has commentary. Can't wait.

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Er, no.

Defamer ran a piece today on a writer "situated at the intersection of 'writerly desperation' and 'too much money lying around.'" Yes, indeed, the poor schlub is posting billboards on Sunset Blvd. telling NBC that he's written something called "Hawgs" and signing it with his website (

As you can imagine, it's not pretty.
"Hawgs" turns out to be a "sitcom treatment" about Jesse Ballou "a young Dallas lawyer-lady…who hates practicing law, loves motorcycles… [snip] It’s like Taxi, but set in a funky Harley shop. Super contemporary." Yeah.

I'm more interested in his feature Whackers (it's a "farce comedy, 97 pages.") Here's the whole summary: "'Did you ever have a day when you just don’t feel like killing anyone?' Isn’t that a neat opening line of dialogue? Trailer moment. A goofy New York family starts a business whacking for other people…kind of a temp agency for when your hit man calls in sick. And the competition is murder.
Feature: The ghosts of Al Capone, Dutch Schultz and Pretty Boy Floyd."

You know, I'm often caught in a jam when my contract killer just can't make it 'cause he's got the flu or he's stuck in traffic 'cause Laurel Canyon is still flooded. It sure would be handy to have that killer temp agency.

Quote of the day.

"And then there are times when I'm on the subway and I've finished my book.  Then I like to look at my fellow passengers and imagine what they would look like if the men were women and the women were men.  For example, how would that guy looked if he had nice, shaped eyebrows, a little foundation, and a pretty skirt?  Or, how would she look if she had a closely cropped haircut and possibly a beard?  It's hard, man.  But rewarding!  I recommend it."

-- Nayiri lets us into her brain. I imagine it often gets way sexier, scarier and craftier. Like MTV's House of Style*.

* = With Shalom and Amber.

He had to go and bring it up again.

When he's not protecting the facist state of Fagistan from being overrun by infidels, Josh writes for a political blog called BlueOregon. Today's column tackles the little-written-about subject of Michael Moore v. Mel Gibson. But there's a twist: Josh slams Moore and "defends" Gibson...all on a lefty blog. Huzzah!

Money quote:
[The Passion] won't convert many secularists, may be offensive on many levels, but at least it is an act of pure artistic bravery in the way that Michael Moore, coddled by his studio, is incapable of. The Passion of the Christ isn't a great movie; It's antisemitic, heavyhanded without subversion, technically solid but not masterful.  But it is, at least, an interesting artifact of the ongoing theological debate about the meaning of Christ's life, death and resurrection.  As such, it will be of great value for many years, whereas Moore's movies, rooted completely in their moment, have no chance to be of any but purely historical interest.

Any time a member of the left exposes Michael Moore for what he is, I'm happy. And any time someone calls out The Passion as antisemitic I'm thrilled. (I'll never understand why more people didn't call it out and why most Jewish organizations remained silent or worse, said it was fine.)

Monday, January 10, 2005

Rain rain, go away...

The seas of whine are swollen today, yo. My usual 45 minute commute to work took two and half hours today-- thanks to a bunch of waterfalls, mudslides, an imploding house, and closed streets. This is Los Angeles? Yeesh.

While I plot my route home (and shirk any blogging duties), check out Horny Gandhi. It's the creation of my college chums Nayiri and Marcella and, well, with that name/url do you need another reason to visit?

Friday, January 07, 2005


Even if he did fall for the old "Melissa Ethridge-in-The Transporter 2" ruse, Tim proves that he's wicked smart with his
eloquent top 10 list. Fuck. Now it means that I should get around to making one...

Quote of the day.

"So, basically, the moral is you can't trust-fund hippies?"

--The Cinetrix giving the best summary of M. Night's The Village yet.

A real conversation that I had.

Me: I can't believe they're making a sequel to The Transporter.
Other: Is it going to star the same guy or are they getting a new Transporter?
Me: They're getting a new Transporter.
Other: Who?
Me: Melissa Ethridge.
Other: Seriously? (He then realizes he's retarded. I laugh.)
And scene.

Thursday, January 06, 2005

Ding Ding Ding!

"I kept getting thrown out of it by the star's actorish epiphanies and his big teeth."

--David Edelstein nailing Garden State in today's Movie Club.

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

Heresy watch.

Stephanie Zacharek (taking a break from Salon / the Movie Club and who will now be referred to as SteZaZa) heads over to the NY Observer and offers up a DeNiro assessment. The lady isn't afraid to ruffle feathers. SteZaZa has this to say about DeNiro as Raging Bull's Jake LaMotta: "Mr. De Niro’s gears are working at full-tilt, but the overall effect is one of overactive blankness." And then she goes for the kill: "It’s heresy to say that I prefer Mr. De Niro in some of the lighter performances he started giving in the late ‘90s, in pictures like Analyze This and Meet the Parents. But I’ll say it anyway. Those performances shook something loose in Mr. De Niro, both as an actor and as, simply, an onscreen presence."
She also prefers his work in 15 Minutes over Goodfellas. I'm thinking that Armond White just might be rubbing off on her.

Quote of the day.

"To have the individuals on the show eat (yes) and drink dead rats was crazy and from a viewer's point of view made me throw-up as well an another in the house at the same time."

--From paralegal Austin Aitken's hand-written lawsuit against Fear Factor. I'm hoping he wrote said lawsuit (which asks for $2.5 million) in a post-vom haze as... well... it's kinda incoherent.


The newly resurrected TMFTML (hoorah!) links to this take-down of The Life Aquatic. I think it articulates a lot of what everyone has been saying/thinking/trying-to-write (well, except for Josh) and is hilariously snarky to hipsters.
Best of all, like Degrassi, it goes there. If David Edelstein is a little too timid to tackle Anderon's "race isssues," this dude isn't.
This all seems resonant with a theory I have heard spouted (though never read) by and about young people today—that growing up in 'diverse communities' with friends of every color and creed, they are 'postracial.' It follows that they make racist jokes without malice, as a way of rebelling against the tyranny of political correctness. Perhaps this is true, and maybe it’s not even such a bad thing: racism isn’t racism anymore it’s just breaking of taboo. We can poke a little fun at Phillipinos and Sikhs and Arabs and Germans and people from Kentucky, and then all listen together to the ebony-skinned Brazilian man on the deck of the Belafonte singing 'Ziggy Stardust' in Portuguese.

Whoo. See? Check it out. And rejoice in the return of TMFTML.

Rabid Insanity Watch, Day 1.

Tuesday's debut of Slate's Movie Club didn't disappoint. And, as expected, Armond White is turning out to the (unstable) belle of the ball. Dig:
I'm way past Dogville. I also think I'm way past seeing any more Lars von Trier movies unless he can rope some pop star, Ricky Martin or Mary J. Blige, into his circus tent. (Wow! Imagine what an interesting movie Bad Education would have been with Sr. Ricky instead of being an Almodóvar retread! Imagine if Mary J. Blige or Iris DeMent had busted the conceit of Dogville with some soul-singing or gospel!)

Just what Dogville needs: Iris DeMent. Today's edition of da club is already turning out to be a humdinger, as Armond unloads on fellow panelist A.O. Scott: "I'd have no problem... waiting for Tony Scott to make sense of things if he didn't write for the Times. It just seems to me that in the end, the whole cowardly middle-class world is always essentially waiting for the Times to claim authority once a-fucking-gin."
When film crix attack! Huzzah! Developing...

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

Get yo' geek on.

Vanity Fair goes geek.

2 + 2 = 5.

1 - 3) My Sunday Film Festival: Fanny and Alexander/Kill Bill Vol. 2/ The Talented Mr. Ripley.

  • F&A: It's so refreshing to watch a film and, within the first five or so minutes, know that you are witnessing something great. At the time, it was intended as Bergman's swan song, his final filmic statement. While he kept making films, F&A would've been a perfect career capper: a warm-for-Bergman slab of Dickensian melodrama that tackles childhood, family, God, and theater. Just... masterful. On every level.
  • KBV2: I've come around to liking this one. I still think it's a bit of a let down and Carradine doesn't work for me at all (that much-ballyhooed comic book monologue is a crock), but it's grown on me.
  • TTMR: An old standby. I love Patricia Highsmith's sick little novel that's the basis for the film and I love Minghella's glossy, old-Hollywood interpretation of the material. (And that Murch touch! The man is a wizard.) True, I was forced to drunkenly impersonate Hillary Swank in Millon Dollar Baby every time Matt Damon showed up on the screen (as they are the same person), but that only added to the tension.

4) Popalloon.
AKA crack.

5) Rain in L.A.
I'm enjoying the anomaly while I can.

Monday, January 03, 2005

Watch out Baz.

Scott Stereogum has the latest fan-club letter from Brit Brit and, y'all, it's illuminatin'. Y'all, Brit wants to direct.

Check it:
Speaking of, I’ve been working on writing and hopefully eventually directing a musical which makes fun of the whole Hollywood scene, which is appropriately titled “Hollywood”.

It couldn't possibly be any worse than Beyond the Sea.

Why I ♥ Armond White.

Here is Armond White's list of the worst films of 2004. On such a list one might expect, oh, National Treasure or Alexander. Not Mr. White. Oh no. His list includes Closer (a "grotesque fantasy"), The Aviator (it "makes a mockery of Hollywood while glamorizing capitalist excess"), Maria Full of Grace ("This pseudo-Third World indie is actually full of crap"), and Dogville ("Lars Von Trier's anti-Americanism is only superficially political. He's really anti-art, and this travesty of Our Town is no more than a hoax, a hipster's way of denying emotion in art.") Don't get me wrong, I love most of the above-mentioned titles. (Most. Sorry Dogville.) But I totally ♥ Armond for his rabid insanity.

I can't wait to see what Mr. White has in store for the Slate Movie Club.


Back in the saddle again, y'all.
Left the snow for the rain. Hey now.
Hope everyone had a merry, drunken holiday(s) and all that blah blah blah. Now some useless, random stuff:

  • Hey, celebrate the new year/return to work by not downloading Britney's new single. I'm a big apologist for the Spears, but this one... it sounds like she had a stroke. (But do celebrate by downloading LCD Soundsystem's excellent new one "Daft Punk is Playing At My House.")

  • Josh nails Sully (so to speak). Sully was asking for it.

  • David Thomson in Variety: "I am writing on Dec. 16, 2004. I stress that because I want to say that I know Clint Eastwood's Million Dollar Baby is going to win Best Picture at the Oscars early next year." He's right.

  • A warning: not only is Phantom of the Opera a wretched movie, but Lord Lloyd Weber's musical shrapnel will lodge itself into your brain. I'll wake up in the middle of the night, look at the clock to figure out what time it is, and--BAM--some shit about angels of music and darkness starts chiming in my head. It's horrible.

  • I happened to catch the last 40 or so minutes of Shattered Glass on HBO yesterday. Have you people seen this movie? God, I love it. I'd forgotten just how great it is and how brilliant it is that a film about ethics in journalism can be that compelling. With that in mind, check out this piece that Stephen Glass co-wrote for Slate back in '97.
    It's a consumer piece, testing out just how reliable this new-fangled is, but it's filled with eye-raising details that (in hindsight) are shaaaady. For instance, Glass calls Borders, gets service-person Drew on the line and asks if they have Scott Turow's latest novel and if they'll send it to him. "When asked to send the Turow, Drew groaned at our lowbrow taste, but quickly said he'd send it the next day." He groaned at your lowbrow taste? At a chain bookstore that has its own section devoted to hawking Chicken Soup for the Soul? Right.

  • Slate's annual "Movie Club" (wherein David Edelstein moderates a bunch of cranky film critics as they discuss the year in film) begins tomorrow. Huzzah. Participants include: Chuck and Steph from, Wes Morris of The Boston Globe, Scott Foundas from LA Weekly, and Armond White. Yes, Armond White. Prepare for some Million Dollar Baby hatred and Spanglish love.