Sunday, March 31, 2013
Tuesday, March 26, 2013
Monday, March 25, 2013
Sunday, March 24, 2013
Saturday, March 23, 2013
Friday, March 22, 2013
Thursday, March 21, 2013
SPORTY SPICE IS A SCANNER AND A SEXY GIRL I don't care about your warnings, this is real-- Yeah, she's fourteen, I'm aware of that fact, fine, fine-- Yeah, this hallucinogen is super-dangerous, I won't forget-- Yeah, we'll all be killed for certain if we try, I'll remember-- Understand, please, this is not for suicide, this is a real attempt to improve the quality of our lives, that's all. Have you never really heard of Risk? Sporty Spice is about to murder you, no, really, I am Sporty Spice and I am going to kill you in five seconds. Yeah, that's me Sporty Spice in that commercial, on the cover of all kinds of magazines, and the featured player in ten thousand snuff films. My other name is YOUR GIRLFRIEND. So, you're either with Sporty Spice or you probably never really existed at all.
Tuesday, March 12, 2013
Saturday, February 23, 2013
Thursday, February 21, 2013
Monday, February 18, 2013
Friday, August 16th is just around the corner kids, and it’s big movie day with not one but three premiers set for wide release. It’s not too soon to fill your bookbag with airpopped O. Redenbacher’s and line your inner pockets with airplane bottles of Jägermeister because folks, this is a TRIPLE FEATURE.
Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters
You already know it’s the sequel to The Lightning Thief, based on The Sea of Monsters. Percy Jackson (Logan Lerman), who is the son of a god, sets out with his friends, who are also kids of gods (an obvious reference to Hollywood brats and the spoiled kids of the power elite) to snag the Golden Fleece and save Camp Half-Blood! What really has us writhing in anticipation, however, is the much vaunted promise of Missi Pyle, Yvette Nicole Brown, and Mary Birdsong as the Graeae. Should achieve 3-D fabulousness in post.
The To-Do List
Set in 1993 (we’re already salivating for that soundtrack) good-girl Brandy Klark (Aubrey Plaza) wants to make up for lost time before college so she assembles a “to-do” list of the following all-star cast: Josh Weston, Sammy Case, Blake Masters, Anthony Holloway, Logan McCree, Diesel Washington, James Deen , Tommy Blade, TJ Cummings, Billy Glide, Mikey Butders, Erik Everhard, and Bryon Long. (And, we hope, Vaseline!) R rating should be achieved through clever cutting in post.
Mark Wahlberg again as a DEA agent and Denzel Washington plays yet another Naval Intelligence officer—but the real reason for seeing this movie is: Bill Paxton, Edward James Olmos, Fred Ward—together again. Convoluted plot about the two stars investigating each other, each suspecting the other of stealing money from the mob, or the Russian mafia, or the Yakuza—when in actuality they are unwittingly stealing money from either the CIA or the FBI, while Doris Day performs on the BBC. Matt Busby. Dig it, dig it, dig it.
Friday, February 15, 2013
Thursday, February 14, 2013
Thursday, January 31, 2013
Wednesday, January 30, 2013
In a combat zone /Called "I'm-So-At-Home"/Line up for cheap rates on your very own grave!/ Pretty faces, pouty faces, worthless farces/Yet you pay and you pay/For the right to fall into this bed!/No, that bed!/This nightmare won't stop/So I guess I'll walk awayThen, shockingly, the frail-looking DJ throws an effective punch at John's jaw and the wasted young man collapses into Paul's arms. Later, driving north on The Interstate, Paul asks tentative questions about Betty which John answers. Paul announces that they are going to drive all night to Cleveland and John falls asleep happy and calm.
Sunday, January 13, 2013
Odds: 12 – 1
This shameless crowd pleaser has very little chance seeing how the last time a musical won an Oscar was like… never. Though it’s not a musical in the strictest sense, since it’s actually a dramatic feature about a documentarian’s failed attempt to create a feature length non-fiction film about the making of a film based on the musical version of Victor Hugo’s classic story of lust, dentistry, and false accusation. Orson Welles did it much more simply, by merely reading in front of the camera, but alas his film has been lost. Director Tom Hooper has come a long way since his classic Texas Chainsaw films delighted children of all ages, but with a nearly four hour running time, one wonders if editing is the first thing to go as the mind atrophies with age. The casting of real-time porn superstar Huge Jackman in the lead is daring, if not misguided.
Odds: 18 – 1
Quentin Tarantino’s “’Blaxploitation” approach to the historical drama is a breath of fresh air among this years mostly stuffy “big movies,” but Oscar has not been known to shine kindly on the “postmodern” approach and it isn’t likely to start this year. As a simple “western” the movie shines as a cross between High Plains Drifter and Blazing Saddles, but one wonders about the lack of historical accuracy in favor of an idyllic, harmonious depiction of what is generally thought to be a brutal period in this country’s history. Still, one can’t help enjoy QT’s trademark humor (men on horseback unwrapping their “Royale with Cheese,” KKK members cutting mouth holes for their Slurpee straws, and QT’s inevitable cameo: “Do you see a sign that says ‘Dead African-American Storage?’” —as offensive as it sometimes is.
Zero Dark Thirty
Odds: 12 -5
What we’ve seen this year is a trend of what once would be documentary films that take a dramatic approach so as not to be “ghettoized” in the overlooked documentary category, ZDT being basically the most audacious with its mix of lusciously filmed night-vision footage and grainy security camera spy video, hot-button subject matter, and nearly four hour running time. Still, director Kathryn Bigelow’s past snubs by Oscar make this a dark-horse long-shot in what is turning out to be “The Year of the Woman II.” The story of the intrigue and backstabbing behind the development of the eponymous energy drink has the stuff of John le Carre, though the misguided casting of Jessica Chastain in the lead nearly sinks this ship (despite the “sports-bra moment”) as she hasn’t quite made the transition from soccer star to leading man.
After pic's uphill battle of being confused with animated kids pic with same name, Ben Affleck’s mockumentary on the Iranian hostage crisis could pull off victory as Oscar wants to justify Himself for crowning a wet-behind-the-ears Affleck for Good Will Hunting—while snubbing him in director category this year. Going for Argo, also, is the 2 hour running time, meaning voters will have been able to see entire pic on NYC to LA flight, between meals. While the movie within a movie within a movie structure confused some, others delighted in the classic Hollywood approach to the basics, and the cruel yet hilarious ridicule of light-skinned, non-Jewish ethnic groups.
Odds: 8 -1
The title alone insists that pic is the last word on the subject despite the long-playing Hollywood franchise of our most celebrated President. The brilliant casting of Bruce McGill in the lead is a fine assault on the gold-standard version emblazoned by Hal Holbrook, but the nearly four hour running time and ticking-clock device in the attempt to dramatize the art of speech-writing, while leading up to the (spoiler alert!) Gettysburg Address may have tested the attention spans of voters. That and reports that Academy members have been rankled by assertions that Spielberg now has so many Oscars he fashioned one as a hood ornament for his Prius.
Beasts of the Southern Wild
Odds: 18 – 5
Low-budget Sundance pic fought an uphill battle after misconceptions that it was animated, but this quirky, Southern tale of the power of the magic of childhood certainly has struck a chord with voters who look at their own children and are able to remember the pain, confusion, magic, and misguided perceptions of their own childhood. Very little chance, however, that unpronounceable names will challenge those presenters tipsy at the podium, and that includes names of the director, screenwriter, lead actress, and much of the cast. Unconfirmed at press time is that the optimal running time may be compromised by opportunistic and misguided attempt to infuse Superstorm Sandy’s tragic devastation into the plotline.
Odds: 28 – 1
Undoubtedly the artiest of the nominated films, pic has not a snowball’s chance in LA for several reasons: it’s about old people, it’s about French people, the title is not in English, and its director, Michael Haneke is not allowed in North America due to his movie, Funny Games (1997), one of the rare films that is considered, itself, a crime (and in a bizarre twist was remade in 2007 by someone impersonating Haneke). Amour is also a horror movie, and the last time a horror movie won the Oscar was like… never. It’s edginess, and the controversy surrounding the director, increase the weight of the nine nominations, however—however, it’s a foreign language film and the Academy has a foreign language film ghetto for foreign language films.
Life of Pi
Odds: 7 – 1
BO stands for “box office” in Hollywood, unlike Peoria, and that counts for a lot when figuring the odds. Plus, having been snubbed by Oscar in the past, director Ang Lee has an inside track, though he might just be the kind of guy, like Scorsese, they continue to snub. The biggest things pic has going for it, CGI and 3-D, are also detrimental, as those features are unable to be exploited on a flight between NYC and LA. But is it live action or animation? Oscar voters are likely to be as confused by that issue as they are about pic's dream within a dream within a dream structure. Also, there are no movies stars within a thousand miles, except for the great Gerard Depardieu—who is like the final nail in the coffin.
Silver Linings Playbook
Odds: 2 – 1
Accolades abound for this delightful and offbeat romantic comedy about mental illness, violent jealous rage, sexual addiction, and sports betting, and the time might be right for director David O. Russell who was previously snubbed by Oscar for his undisputed masterpiece, I (heart) Huckabees. While the excessive attention to the particulars of pharmaceutical details will put voters on comfortable ground, the bizarre, existential ending—essentially a retelling of the “donut shop” scene in Buffalo 66 (and the donut shop scene in Boogie Nights)—is liable to leave them scratching their heads.
Saturday, December 1, 2012
This article was delivered to me by a bike messenger wearing a T-shirt with that Pynchon Trystero muted horn symbol on it (making me suspect he worked for some kind of post-post underground postage courier) as I made room for cream in my morning Venti brewed house roast at the Starbucks on Beverly and La Cienega. Handwritten with what seems to be a piece of coal on margins of discarded newspaper, I found it necessary to type it up myself — so Mr. Smith will forgive me if I have made any mistakes — and I withhold his usual fee. —Anthony Franciosa, 2012
Heather Prescott—true Queen of England and future Empress of New India. A full-kit rock'n'roll drummer and former L.A. studio whiz kid, she is now plotting her next move in New Zealand. Pay heed, kids.
What do I know about Tiffany Richardson? Well, she carries Flowers of Evil with her wherever she goes for the past three years (she is 22). Also, she is the premiere visual artist of the Western Hemisphere, and the finest performance artist worldwide. A quick example of her third towering ability, her sometimes kind, sometimes devastating wit: "We loved you until you were a success. When you were a has-been we loved you again (some of us) even more. When you died, when we played your songs, we died a little in a happy way and you were reborn, every time." Actually, I suppose this isn't "wit," only an excerpt from a paper (!) letter, including envelope and stamp.
Who is Monica Todd? She is a mystery girl, a Girl Scout, a Marine squad leader, librarian, and mad poet. Currently Secret Queen of America, in love with the modern world and at war with the modern world, Monica is a go-go Eighties Anti-Christ, and my favorite person who ever lived.
Sybilka "Eye-Witness" Storie is everywhere I look, as a model for a Supergirl comic book, her face on an acne treatment box for ten years, lately is seeing everything as for the first time, becoming alternately exuberant and deeply despondent all day every day—so she bought a camera so to have a little more control over what she sees for now—in the end she will control an entire Empire. If she even dared to learn guitar and voice she would soon command an Empire of Sight and Sound.
My Tania Shelley: Born a White Goddess in Central Africa, sometime suburban punk, sometime street punk, sometime gutter punk, Miss Shelley currently plays a feisty, aggressive, sometime drunk skate punk on a Russian comedy-drama called Every Young Superstar You Could Imagine. Of course they are all unknowns on the show, but yes, the actors all command a forceful style, especially Tania, and it would be a crime against humanity if Miss Shelley doesn't become a worldwide star. Not that she really cares….
Here's all I know about Heather Dameron: she successfully revived The Popular Front in 2000 and now tens of millions of Americans are secret communists. They wait only for Miss Dameron's signal to crush the U.S. Government. It should take ten minutes. She said it's OK to admit that The Moss Problem is a key part of the Popular Front, all the better to admit it now when it comes across as just another joke. But, reader, realize this: Heather Dameron is the only child of Miss January 1962. Her father is JFK. So there.
Wednesday, August 1, 2012
Saturday, July 21, 2012
First of all, when you see pictures of the The Saints from that time, on say the cover to this record, "The Saints" and "(I'm) Stranded" is painted on the wall behind them in a red scrawl (meant to evoke, no doubt, blood). Not spray paint, but definitely graffiti-style. But who ever used a parentheses in graffiti? The answer is NO ONE.
The band name itself, The Saints, is an odd choice, and one must presume, ironic. The 1976 New Orleans Saints were a lackluster affair, with one strange exception. The team happened to be graced by a defensive bench warmer named Robert Pollard, who then went on to become the greatest American pop/rock songwriter of his, or anyone's, generation. But that's another story.
Perhaps The Saints, growing up "Down Under," were fans of the 1960s TV show The Saint, as they were unable to import the classic American fare, lost in translation as is was, like All in the Family and Sanford and Son. The Saint, nearly forgotten now, was the training ground for actor Roger Moore to later become James Bond. And The Saints, a band that over the years has had more members than the UN, no doubt was graced at one point or another by a musician named Simon Templar.
But back to "(I'm) Stranded," the song. It's one of those songs, when you think about it, you say, ehhhhhh, pretty good song, but so-so. But then when you actually listen to it again you're astounded by its energy, its catchiness, and its perfection. There are songs that rate very high in one's memory, when heard again, pale and buckle under the weight of expectations. "(I'm) Stranded" is the opposite. It's a song that always surprises you, and has stayed fresh and vital for nearly four decades.
But what does it mean? "Like a snake calling on the phone," it starts out, and then goes on to make even LESS sense. My theory is that the lyrics are deliberate nonsense, just meant to fill space between the crucial word: "stranded." Even the brief chorus ("on my own/so far from home") is just filler, as is the "(I'm)" of the title. The crucial word here is STRANDED. This is, essentially, a one word lyric.
And so, what does "stranded" mean? It means everything, or if not quite everything, it means A LOT, and that is the beauty of this song. First of all, though Australia is a happening place, with its own vibrant culture, music scene, blah blah blah, it is STILL far from London, New York, Hollywood. It is, essentially, a desert island, though a big one-- as big as a continent, in fact it IS a continent, last time I checked. Yet for a band with the talent and lofty aspirations of The Saints, it must have seemed to some degree like a desert island on which they were "stranded."
Another meaning of the term "stranded" is when you find yourself, immediately post-defecation, with no toilet paper, preferably (as in preferably NOT) a public toilet stall. This happens to me at work all too frequently. High and dry. Though, unfortunately, NOT dry. These moments are only made bearable by launching into an A CAPPELLA version of "(I'm) Stranded."
Finally, the most likely meaning of "stranded," and the one most often evoked by this song, can be summed up with one word: BLUE BALLS. And while there have been countless, over the years, odes to that somewhat uncomfortable state, including many songs actually NAMED "Blue Balls" (and indeed, bands named Blue Balls), this song is the ultimate blue balls song (and, as the greatest rock song ever recorded, why not?). What is the cure for blue balls? Write a song like "(I'm) Stranded."