Tuesday, April 30, 2013
Monday, April 29, 2013
Sunday, April 28, 2013
Saturday, April 27, 2013
Friday, April 26, 2013
Thursday, April 25, 2013
Wednesday, April 24, 2013
Tuesday, April 23, 2013
Monday, April 22, 2013
Sunday, April 21, 2013
Saturday, April 20, 2013
Friday, April 19, 2013
To follow up AC's post from earlier, Chris Thile and Brad Mehldau got together through a mutual connection to Jon Brion.
Any of you who have heard me talk about Jon Brion have heard me use the phrase "my favorite musician on the goddamned planet".
All of which is my way of shoehorning in the fact that Jon Brion came into the Varnish where I play twice a week and I got to play with him for a half hour.
Mr. AC and I and some Boston friends caught this duo at the Berklee Performing Arts Center last Sunday night. Mehldau is a jazz pianist (50p introduced him to the blog a few years back) and Thile is a bluegrass mandolinist. Their collaboration produces breathtaking, unique, and surprisingly accessible interpretations of songs spanning many different musical genres. For me, this will be the concert to beat this year. Here's a 12-minute sample, lengthy, yes, but gives a good taste of the kind of musical alchemy these two achieve.
Thursday, April 18, 2013
Wednesday, April 17, 2013
From USATODAY, he infamously mocked Darth Vader's "sad devotion to that ancient Jedi religion," but it's Star Wars fans who will be forever devoted to character actor Richard LeParmentier.
LeParmentier, who died at the age of 66 on Tuesday while visiting his children in Austin, was famous in geek circles for one small yet key scene in the original 1977Star Wars movie. As Death Star commander Admiral Motti, LeParmentier became the first man to be forcibly Force-choked on screen by the fan-favorite Sith Lord who found Motti's "lack of faith disturbing."
According to Star Wars lore, LeParmentier read for the role of Han Solo (which, of course, ultimately went to Harrison Ford) but director George Lucas instead cast him as a bureaucrat in Mos Eisley on the planet Tattooine. The small part was cut just before production started, but a month later he was hired to do two scenes as the tortured Imperial officer. (LeParmentier finally received his own Star Wars action figure in 2000.)
In addition to Star Wars, the Pittsburgh-born actor, who spent much of his acting career in Great Britain, also had roles in the James Bond film Octopussy, Who Framed Roger Rabbit, Rollerball and Superman II, which also featured his wife from 1981-84, Sarah Douglas.
In a statement from his three children, they said he "is one with the Force" and thanked their father's fans and friends for their longtime support.
"Every time we find someone's lack of faith disturbing, we'll think of him."
Tuesday, April 16, 2013
Sunday, April 14, 2013
Saturday, April 13, 2013
From slashfilm, Over the weekend, ABC Family aired a commercial promoting the upcoming showing of Christopher Nolan's "Batman Begins." But the dark and violent film was advertised more as a romantic drama or some TV series.
In the promo, Batman is labeled a "legendary hero [who] fights for family and lives for love." While there are ways to spin that to make it seem accurate, Bruce Wayne (Bale) hardly fights for his dead family and hardly lives for love. In fact, he keeps the women in his life as far from himself as possible.
Friday, April 12, 2013
Thursday, April 11, 2013
This woman is such a character and the "remix" is hysterical and catchy.
From EW, This trailer for the first film adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby promises a “marvelous picture.” Unfortunately, modern audiences will never get a chance to judge that for themselves. All copies of the original Gatsby movie, released four years after Fitzgerald’s seminal novel, have reportedly been lost to the sands of time — perhaps because they was recorded on extremely flammable nitrate film, perhaps because contemporary viewers just didn’t think the flick was very good. (The New York Times believed it “obvious that [the movie] would have benefited by more imaginative direction.”) Zelda and Scott Fitzgerald themselves allegedly walked out on the film, later calling it “ROTTEN and awful and terrible.”)
Wednesday, April 10, 2013
Tuesday, April 09, 2013
Monday, April 08, 2013
Props to 50P for sending me this, and Imgur for hosting the rest of them. Check out the family whose stupid mom brings a whole pizza to the table, and the family further down whose card game is ruined by their stupid mom trying to pour soda. Same kitchen!
From usatoday, long before Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera sported rodent ears, there was the original Disney girl — Annette — who won America's heart.
Annette Funicello, whose pubescent pulchritude made her a standout on TV's first Mickey Mouse Club in the '50s and an early crush for many a Baby Boomer boy, died Monday at age 70 in Bakersfield, Calif., from complications of multiple sclerosis. Her family confirmed she had been in a coma for years before being taken off life support.
Her daughter, Gina Gilardi, said in a statement: "She's on her toes dancing in heaven. ... No more MS. My brothers and I were there holding her sweet hands when she left us."
Funicello was born in Utica, N.Y., and moved to Southern California at age 4. Trained as a singer and dancer, she would get her break in show business after Walt Disney was among those who saw her as the ballerina in Swan Lake during a recital held at the Burbank Starlight Bowl in 1955.
Soon she was signed up as the 24th and final Mouseketeer on a popular variety show for kids, appearing in her own self-titled serial (where her signature tune, How Will I Know My Love, performed during a hayride scene, would lead to a singing career). With her innate wholesomeness and sweet disposition, the brunette beauty's pinup appeal was a major draw, generating more than 6,000 fan letters a week. She would go on to inspire one of her early beaus, Paul Anka, to write his 1960 hit Puppy Love about her.
The self-described "queen of teen" also became a recording sensation, releasing 15 albums for Disney that featured the top-10 hits Tall Paul and O Dio Mio. After the show ended in 1959, Funicello remained under contract with Disney, appearing in theZorro TV series in the late 1950s and such family films as 1959'sThe Shaggy Dogand 1961'sBabes in Toyland. Once out of her teens, she traded in her mouse ears for a curve-revealing bathing suit for 1963's Beach Party, the kickoff title in a series of six youth-oriented romps that paired her with Frankie Avalon.
"Mr. Disney," whom Funicello considered a second father, made one request of his demure discovery: that she not reveal her navel on-screen and besmirch her pure image. She complied in the first movie but would wear a two-piece fishnet suit in 1964's Muscle Beach Party and a blue-and-white bikini in 1964's Bikini Beach.
She left show business — save for her Skippy peanut butter commercials — to become a homemaker after marrying her first husband, Jack Gilardi, in 1965. They had three children before divorcing in 1981. She then married horse breeder Glen Holt in 1986.
When she and Avalon made a comeback as a team in the 1987 spoof Back to the Beach, she first noticed signs of multiple sclerosis. She kept the condition under wraps despite having obvious symptoms during a yearlong concert tour with her co-star. After news reports claimed her ailments were signs of alcohol abuse, she went public with news of her illness to USA TODAY reporter Tom Green in 1992. She would go on to raise awareness about MS and started a research fund in her name in 1993.
She said of her decision: "Sometimes I can't help but ask, 'Why me?' But I believe everything happens for a reason, and I know now that my mission is to help others raise funds for MS."
Funicello released an autobiography, A Dream Is a Wish Your Heart Makes: My Storyin 1994, and the book would be turned into a made-for-TV movie in 1995. She also created a line of collectible teddy bears in the '90s.
Sunday, April 07, 2013
Saturday, April 06, 2013
*** 1/2[Joint review of Crystal Math and Johnny Sweatpants]
Crystal Math: “What would Roger Ebert give this? ‘Thumbs up’ for an honest effort?”
JSP: Playing the “what would Ebert think?” game is a new and thoroughly depressing exercise. In Siskel & Ebert’s review of the original Evil Dead, Ebert did admire the craftsmanship and the simplicity of the film. (Siskel was a wet blanket; no surprises there.) I think Ebert would acknowledge the noble effort to capture the essence of the original without tarnishing its legacy but he would likely dismiss it as all style and little substance.
Crystal: And in the wake of the great movie critic’s unfortunate passing, it is crucial now more than ever to honor his memory by either praising -- or bashing -- a movie with the same amount of thought and impeccable phrasing the late Mr. Ebert would have granted. It’s been years since I’ve seen the original Evil Dead, and remember precious little of it, so sitting in a dark room for an hour and a half staring at a screen with blood and guts spurting everywhere had the elicited the right amount of squirming from me. I spent the last 15% of the movie hiding behind JSP going “Ewww -- eww -- eww make it stop!”
It is worthwhile to know that writer/director rookie Fede Alvarez had Raimi’s blessing and dinero to back up the film project -- a message to a true horror movie enthusiast of a promising bloodfest. The movie opens with a vulnerable young woman hobbling through the woods to evade some backwoods hillbillies bent on kidnapping her. When it is revealed that her own father was behind the hunt, this compelling prologue abruptly ends and you feel thrust into an alternate reality of pain and torture and demons who swear worse than your senile grandmother. A cinematic tone of unapologetic gore and violence has been established as an undisclosed amount of time passes and we see five young people arriving at this eerie and totally unwelcoming cabin in the woods. With the Necronomicon and possessed ones foretelling of everyone’s demise kept intact, we can now proceed with the idea of the original Evil Dead -- people must die to appease demons.
JSP: Even with the original director overseeing the project, remaking a beloved cult horror flick like Evil Dead in 2013 is tricky bidness. Is it possible to capture the brilliance of the trendsetting low budget shlock-fest that introduced Bruce Campbell to the world? There were a million ways in which they could have screwed this reboot up. On one side if it was unrecognizable from the original then we would cry blasphemy and if it was too faithful then we would dismiss it as an unnecessary exercise. Fans of the original who feared that it would skimp on the grossness have nothing to gripe about. There are several utterly revolting sequences to satiate even the most disturbed aficionado.
Crystal: The change of motive for the five individuals spending time in the cabin from a casual Spring Break vacation to a heavy intervention of character Mia’s heroin addiction created a heavier atmosphere which also served as a clever plot device to raise the stakes. When Mia starts seeing things in the woods and acting violently, who would believe she wasn’t just going mad?
JSP: Heroin detox as a metaphor to ‘exorcise the demons' was a daring decision that paid off. It set the perfect manic tone for a film that warrants urgent decisions. It's understandable why Mia's friends choose to ignore to her pleas to leave the woods. What does she know? She’s a junkie.
|Silly junkie lost in the woods.|
Crystal Math’s gripes:
1.) Ladies, brush your damn hair out of your face! Any ounce of moisture in the air seems to necessitate a messy hair-in-face look out of any chick in a horror flick. I understand that this is for effect, but you know -- it’s a bit overplayed??
2.) Stop piecing together sound bytes of fingernails on a chalkboard every time a girl screams. I feel like whenever I go to the movies I’m subjected to a variety of animals’ roaring and screeching and I’m supposed to buy that as a wolf growling, or a person screaming, or any singular being that *magically* has the voice of five or more beings? Puh-leease.
3.) Conclusion: for the same budget, effects, and creativity exercised in this remake, Alvarez could have made a smashing original that brings something new to the table other than spastic possessed girls and things jumping out at you.
1.) I don’t have too much to say other than I enjoyed it but I still feel it was wholly unnecessary and ultimately forgettable. Why not just watch the original again?
2.) Little to no investment in the characters. True, the characters in the original weren’t very memorable aside from Ash but it was ok because we still had Ash. The character of David (played by Shiloh Fernandez from Deadgirl) was hardly a worthy successor.
3.) I just spoke with JPX about it and he remarked that he found it gross but not scary. I agree!