Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Joyous Rapture! Interviews With Gregg Araki and Alejandro Jodorowsky Posted on The AV Club On the Same Day,50644/,50620/

Damn, this is awesome. Normally I wouldn't do a post like this, but I don't comment at The AV Club. I leave that hootenanny for their die-hards, the trolls and the simpletons who think they accomplish something by crackin' wise every ten seconds they're on the web.

But I had to put it out there that no matter what these two are discussing, it's a joy to see interviews with both of them posted on the same day. They are both filmmakers I admire for their audacity, their trangressions and their hearts.

Oscar Noms, Toy Story 3 Unknowingly Receives Yet Another Honor and Some Academy History Trivia For Ya!

Well the nominations are in and none of them are surprising. However, I am shocked that Nolan wasn't nominated for Inception, yet David O Russell was for The Fighter. Don't get me wrong. I liked The Fighter more than I liked Inception. I just can't imagine a director who is an Academy member nominating Inception for Best Picture and then not giving Nolan the nod over Russell. Nolan made something as far-reaching and nominally ambitious as Academy faves like James Cameron. Well, sorry Chris. You'll get it one day, I'm sure. This just isn't your year, as they say.

Toy Story 3 adds another to its long list of accomplishments by becoming the first Part 3 in a film series to be nominated for Best Picture, while neither of the two previous entries got the nom. Nice to see some acknowledgement for good sequels. True it's going to a sequel that wasn't the best in the series, and it is coming from a source that feels like it always honors safe bets and is constantly in a state of trying to catch up with trends and make amends for its own self-imposed limitations (hello, original score category). But it's some sequel love none the less and that makes me happy.

Finally, I've got Oscar trivia for ya. It's not hard. I actually answered this question on-air last year as part of a trivia contest at LA's beloved KROQ. I got the question right and for my achievement I was awarded with 5 of that year's Best Pictures on DVD. E-mail me your answer and I'll send you a goodie. Here ya go:

What are the only two trilogies to have every one of their respective entries be nominated by the Academy for Best Picture? Go!

Dellamorte Dellamore 2, aka Cemetery Man 2: A Sequel to an Unsequelized Film That I Never Thought Would Get a Sequel

Coming from BD, which came from a Fangoria article: Michele Soavi has a sequel to his classic Dellamorte Dellamore, aka Cemetery Man, on his mind! This could be interesting if for no other reason than Soavi has been out of the game for a while.

I'm a huge fan of the original (as I'm sure you've noticed its place in my top 10 horror films of all time), as well as the Dylan Dog comics the films draws inspiration from. (Really, I'm dying to see the Brandon Routh-starring Dylan Dog that still hasn't gotten a proper US release. The trailer looks great and Routh was amazing in SPVTW and as Superman) Hopefully this happens and the film picks up with a much older, way more burnt-out Rupert Everett back for the title role. Likewise, the one-of-a-kind François Hadji-Lazaro needs to return as Gnaghi. He owns the role.

If you've never seen it find a copy of Cemetery Man now. Yeah, it's out of print but I still see the occasional copy of the Anchor Baby DVD laying around at local retailers.

Surely One for the "He Will Be Missed By Me" File of 2011: Gerry Rafferty, April 16, 1947 – January 4, 2011

God, it's been too long between posts. I need to get my shit together. It's quite sad that the last thing I left you with was a U2 song. Shit.

In the midst of all the other stuff that's been going on I haven't had the mind or wherewithal to mention the passing of one of my favorite songwriters, the one and only Gerry Rafferty. Many people probably just went "Huh? Who?". His passing didn't get much press. Many people know his hits, but many don't the name of the man who created them.

Much like some Harry Nilsson and Captain Beefheart, two of my previously mentioned faves, Rafferty had a very shaky personal life and psyche that kept him from maintaining the kind of presence in the spotlight that guarantees "legendary" status. He couldn't handle live shows. That's gonna put a crimp in anybody's legacy, especially when they're doing songs like Gerry's. But man, could he write a song.

Most people know him for two things: his hit "Stuck in the Middle With You" as part of the duo Stealers Wheel, and his SMASH hit "Baker Street" from his solo record "City to City". That one, with its blaring sax parts, has been a radio staple for the better part of four decades. As for "Stuck", yeah, Tarantino gave it a nice bump again with "Reservoir Dogs" but think of it this way - if Rafferty and his partner Joe Egan hadn't written that song would THAT SECNE have half the impact?

As for the rest of Rafferty's stuff, I can remember the moment I fell in love with it. Looking for the record that "Baker Street" was on, I picked up a copy of "City to City". When I threw it on I was greeted with one of the best album openers I've ever come across. I'm damn near tears listening to it right now as I write this. Ladies and gentlemen, "The Ark"...

Monday, January 17, 2011

"TrueGrit", "Piranha", "MacGruber", "Somewhere", "Straight Outta LA": Catching Up on 2010 (Part 1) - January 17, 2011

Weeellllll... I need to stick to my guns and keep up with my writing. One way I'm gonna do that is by talking about all the stuff I missed in 2010, which, as of my top 10 article, was still plenty. The reality is that I would love to have had a concise, well-informed top 10, after seeing everything that was released in the 365-day span of 2010. But that, for countless reasons, including the fact that I don't get PAID to do this and just this all day long, wasn't gonna happen. So today I begin a series where I will discuss the stuff from 2010 that I have been catching up on. Hence, the title.
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Sunday, January 16, 2011

My First Non-Sequel-Related Piece of 2011: "The Green Hornet" Is Really Good

I'll keep this short and sweet. I had ZERO expectations for "The Green Hornet". The trailers didn't "wow me". I was taken aback by Gondry's involvement from the word jump. Cameron Diaz seemed a rather boring choice. The buzz about development and casting didn't fill me with any hope. And yet, when I saw the film opening night, I was absolutely engaged.

Rogen and Goldberg's script, while far from perfect, really has a lot of fun in mind while playing with the notion of two superhero wannabes getting their shit together long enough to BARELY fight crime. Gondry's direction in the action sequences is superb and suprised the hell out of me. And bad guy Waltz and brand-new "Kato" Chou absolutely steal the show.

Are there problems? Sure. But they are, surprisingly, so unremarkable that to recount them here would be less than beneficial. If you've had any doubts about seeing this flick, please take the time to catch it on the big screen. You can skip the 3D and go right to a 2D showing, but, please, see it on the big screen. It's worth it.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Natalie Wood "West Side Story": The First Time... - January 15, 2011

I know, I know. Yet another crush on a brunette singing her heart out. What can I say? But this, this is as old school as I've gotten with my crushes so far and it's one that is a little more obvious than some of the others I've laid on you. I like musicals. Duh. I like gorgeous brunettes. No doubt. And West Side Story is one of my all-time top 10 films, and probably always will be. While movies like "Streets of fire" and "Phantom of the Paradise" stoked the fire that was my interest in musical cinema, West Side Story is the benchmark for my love of musicals, period. It was (I think) the first one I ever saw and its effect is still felt today. A lot of that effect came from the performance of Natalie Wood.

Yeah, it's hard to deny that white actresses doing brownface is a little frustrating as we've become more progressive in our casting. But Wood, who would continue to worm her way into my heart in "Rebel Without a Cause", "Splendor in the Grass", etc., is classy enough that this kind of slight can be forgiven. We ain't talking Mickey Rooney in "Breakfast at Tiffany's" here. Maria is a heartfelt character, that any starry-eyed young man would fall head over heels for, and Wood's grace shines through in her performance.

Tangerine Dream "Thief" / "Near Dark" / "Legend" - Seeing Sounds: January 15, 2011


I think that if you follow this page you know I started out as a film geek and moved into music geekdom from there. I know I'm both, but those who know what I do for a living know that it is the music geek thing that pays the bills, while the film geek thing (for the most part) has been a hobby. With Seeing Sounds I am going to talk about the movies that made me a music geek. These will be films that feature (mainly) the music of pop, rock, jazz, classical, etc,. performers and composers, as opposed to a traditional score you may find in, say, the films of Steven Spielberg.
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