Saturday, November 6, 2010

We've always liked you

It's also Sally Field's birthday. For all the awards (2 Best Actress Oscars, and at least 3 Emmys), I still have a special fondness for her alongside Burt in his late 70s/early 80s action comedies. I wish this clip went a little longer, Sally smoking a cigarette is funny as shit.
Movie Videos & Movie Scenes at MOVIECLIPS.com
Movie Videos & Movie Scenes at MOVIECLIPS.com

Happy birthday dude!

Happy Birthday Michael Cerveris

I saw him as Sweeney Todd on Broadway, like 4 years ago. The production was wonderfully dark and funny (Patti Lupone was exceptional). I'd never heard of, nor seen, Cerveris before, but apparently he's getting around.


He won a Tony as John Wilkes Booth in the 2004 revival of Assassins, and has 3 other Tony nominations. But back in the 80s... he was a kid from Fame. He might have seemed less ominous as Sweeney Todd had I know that 20 years earlier he was "Ian Ware" which, I'm sorry, has to be an intentional amalgam of Ian Marsh and Martin Ware of Heaven 17. It just does. Also he looks suspiciously like Richard Hamilton from Berkmar.
Penthouse or pavement, either way it's an amalgam I declare!
And now, NOW, back to TV on the show Fringe where he is Cancer Man Cigarette-Smoking Man The Observer. I haven't seen the show, but I love this from his Wikipedia entry (here):
Cerveris also appeared as The Observer at several real-life events covered by FOX as part of a viral marketing campaign for the series. These include appearing in the audience at a taping of American Idol, and being shown in the stands at various football and NASCAR events. He also made a cameo in a commercial for Glee.
I'll leave you with Michael covering "Heart of Gold" because, well, why not? (The video of him as Hedwig are just too poor of quality.)


Happy birthday dude! Rock on!

Song of the Day: "Not in Love"

First, I want to make it abundantly clear that my drag alter ego, Crystal Pepsi, is in no way affiliated with Crystal Castles. Crystal Castles are an electronic duo from Canadia, which is a country or a territory or something, and it's way far away from here. I can't even find it on my map, which totally means there are no Burgervilles there (it's a map of Burgerville locations, what map do you use?).

But I kinda wish the two Crystals knew each other now, because Sir Robert Smith* of The Cure sings on this TOTALLY NOT A 10CC COVER song from the new-ish Crystal Castles album: Crystal Castles II Electric Boogaloo (except the "electric boogaloo" is silent, and/or just wishful thinking on my part). I like the song except for the exceedingly tinny "early Casio" keyboard sound that starts things off. Maybe that's part of Crystal Castles' sound.

Crystal Pepsi, on the other hand, is all glamor. Ten thousand percent. Even without Sir Bobby. Which is what "she" calls him, late at night... he knows why.


Song: "Not in Love"
Artist: Crystal Castles/Robert Smith

* Knighted by God through me, not some stuffy queen. Well, not some stuffy BRITISH queen.

Friday, November 5, 2010

R.I.P. Jill Clayburgh

Two-time Oscar nominee, two-time Emmy nominee, Clayburgh passed away after a long battle with leukemia. I've written of my love for Starting Over before, and it seems like a good enough movie to give her a moment of reflection.


She was a quirky talent, and she will be missed.

Rest in peace dude.

Happy Birthday Sam Rockwell

First movie I ever saw him in was Lawn Dogs, a perfect little indie film from the early late 90s. He caught my attention by turning in a great understated performance and by taking off all his clothes... while looking like that. It was good. He's a talented young man.

I was a little surprised to discover that a young Mischa Barton is also in the movie, mostly since I didn't really remember anyone aside from a naked Sam Rockwell. There may have been dialog and a plot, I'm not real sure I remember those either.


Shortly thereafter he starred with one of my favorite actors, John Turturro, in the wonderful Box of Moonlight. Also much unclothed, but dammit, it's a good movie. Writer/director Tom DiCillo was something of a Sundance Film Festival darling, but BoM is the one that really caught my affections.


I've liked him a lot in a lot of other movies, but I will leave you with the trailer for one of my favorite under-appreciated SciFi movies of ever, EVER: Galaxy Quest. If you haven't seen it, you should. Despite the fact that Rockwell stays, pffff, clothed. Whatev.


Happy birthday dude! Rock on!

"With the windows clear and the mannequins' eyes"

To make things confusing, it's also Ryan Adams's birthday today. I fell in love 10 years ago, when Kozmo, or possibly Amazon, insisted I buy Heartbreaker. I think a coworker liked his former band, Whiskeytown, so why not. And his resemblance to Paul Weller on the cover was kinda taunting me.

It was the dot com era and we all had jobs and made a shitload of money! So fuck yes, Kozmo, bring me that CD and some deodorant and some blank VHS tapes! And hurry (for no particular reason).

It's a great album. He's a fucking talented dude. And it was this song (track 9 but song 8) when I decided it was love. Ryan was my birthday of the day last  year, but I fucking love this song, so here you go.


Happy birthday dude! Rock on!

"You keep looking back in desperation, over and over and over again"

Birthday boy Bryan Adams has 1 Grammy win out of 15 nominations, and 0 Oscar wins out of 3 nominations. And this is pretty much the only song of his I really like, his duet with Tina Turner.


Happy birthday dude!

Song of the Day: "Take Me Into Town"

If you don't know Dr. Dog, and you're looking for a new band to follow next summer, check them out. You could do a lot worse. And in this shitty economy, your trust fund dollars will go a lot further.


Song: "Take Me Into Town"
Artist: Dr. Dog

Notes on Inception

One word: whoa.

Two words: whoa... yeah.

Awards possibilities: probably locks on visual effects, sound editing, and sound effects editing. Solid chances on editing and original screenplay.

A really good shot at nominations for picture (with the expanded 10 nominees), cinematography and art direction. I don't see costumes picking up a nomination, although that's more because there are not period piece costumes, not because they're not well done. And Christopher Nolan deserves a nomination for direction, but probably won't get one unless the Academy really starts to appreciate action movies.

There's some really solid acting in the movie, but nothing so flashy I can see an Oscar nomination coming out of it. Perhaps best ensemble from the Screen Actors Guild. If I had to pick dark horses from the cast they would be Marion Cottilard for supporting actress, and Ken Watanabe for supporting actor. There's a real depth to the acting bench (if you will) including Pete Postlethwait and Tom Berenger, and they're almost exclusively white... hooray for white actors! I'm sure historically the people who sneak into your dreams professionally have been Caucasian so it makes total sense that they would have all those jobs in this kind of movie--it's just an honest representation. Yes, the actors are all very good, it's just a peeve of mine.

I'm more convinced than ever than Ellen Page will be Robin in the next Batman movie. And pretty sure Cotillard will be Catwoman. I'm not sure if DiCaprio will be Riddler or if Tom Hardy will be Clayface, but definitely maybe.

If I have a complaint it's that the violence in the movie was so consistently literal that it could have been straight out of any number of action movies that weren't supposed to be taking place in a dream state. Hey look, guns and cars, awesome! We totally used our imagination!

But I genuinely loved the movie, despite what it sounds like.

Honest.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Happy Birthday Will Rogers

I honestly had no idea how funny Rogers was until just now. Dude was truly a talent: cowboy, humorist, performer. He's the favorite son of Oklahoma, and I can understand why. Rather than rewrite his Wikipedia entry (here), I'll just recommend you go read it.


Happy birthday dude! Rest in peace.

"Can't stop 'til I see my name on a blimp"

Puffy Puffy Puffy Puff Puff Puffenstein III, or "Puff Daddy Diddy Ding-Dong" for short, has a birthday today.

Interpolation is the type of sampling where the entire melody of a song is used, and not just a short sample. I've been deeply frustrated by MANY Pufffffy Pufffington's productions where I just didn't realize, hey, I like this song because I fucking KNOW this music. Sometimes it takes me a while.

"Mo' Money, Mo' Problems" is an interpolation of the super intensely gay Diana Ross song "I'm Coming Out" and the video is like every rap video from the years 1996 through 1999 (almost all of them directed by Hype Williams). And I LOVE it. Because it's totally fucking gay.


Big gay kisses there Mr. Pufferello! Interpolate forward!

"That's right...

Laura Bush killed a guy."


Happy birthday dude! Thanks for nothing. (In addition to killing a guy, Laura didn't think it was her place to object to her husband's campaign using gay marriage as a boogeyman to energize the conservative base despite her feeling like it was wrong and her having "a lot of black gay friends" so she didn't do shit.)

Another awesum chart from I Love Charts

Song of the Day: "She's Always A Woman"

Sometimes you never know what YouTube is gonna suggest when you finish a video. I got through a variety of clips by Stornoway (loving them still) and this came up. It could have easily been a mess in any and every number of ways.

And it's not.

Not even a bit.

Fyfe Dangerfield is the lead singer of the Guillemots (or gUiLLeMoTs if you will... you won't? me neither), who were Mercury Prize short listed back in 2006 (back when Hillary Clinton was a lock for the Democratic nomination). But Fyfe is also a solo artist (like Phil Collins and Genesis, let's say), releasing Fly Yellow Moon early this year.

But this track wasn't initially on the album. This was used in a television ad and its popularity prompted prompted a "deluxe edition" release with this song included.

None of that shit is nearly as interesting and his version of this 33-year old song is. Check it out:


Song: "She's Always A Woman"
Artist: Fyfe Dangerfield

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

The Crypt Keeper, in a role that will surprise you

Crypt Keeper/Jerry Jones
Crypt Keeper steps out of him usual role as narrator for his first biopic role, in a joint production of ESPN and SyFy: Scary Jones, From the Super Bowl to the Crypt. It's the true tale of how Jerry Jones's deal with the devil, winning him 3 Super Bowl championships in 4 years, backfired and turned him into a wailing creature of the night, cursed to walk the earth as a ghoul. Also starring Bradley Cooper as Tony Romo, Eli Manning as Troy Aikman, and Shaquille O'Neal as both Emmitt Smith and Emmitt's wife Patricia Southall-Smith (Emmy voters, are you watching?).

Song of the Day: "Zorbing"

If that is an actual word, I have no idea what it means. But damn that would be a nice "bingo" in Scrabble. But only if it's actually a word or if I'm playing non-competitive Scrabble (it involves drinking and no scores). [UPDATE: It's a word, check this shit.]

The band? They're Stornoway. They're from Oxford (not Mississippi). And they're adorable.

Oh, and I'm loving the music (buying it now!). Check it out:


Song: "Zorbing"
Artist: Stornoway

Guess all those illegal aliens came through

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Happy Birthday Steve Ditko

Ditko lives in the shadow of Jack Kirby, but he's still a major contributor to the comics world. He's the co-creator (with Stan Lee) of Spider-Man, and his visual style is the blueprint for pretty much every Spider-Man comic of the last 5 decades.
Art by Steve Ditko
He also co-created many of Spider-Man's most iconic villains, including Green Goblin, Vulture, Sandman, and Doctor Octopus.

Then he co-created (or created, I'm finding mixed credits) Dr. Strange, another enduring member of the Marvel Comics universe.
Art by Steve Ditko
He created or co-created Charlton Comics characters like The Question and Captain Atom, and is closely associated with the visual style for the Blue Beetle.

And he created or co-created lesser (sorry dude) DC Comics characters like The Creeper and Hawk & Dove.
Art by Steve Ditko
I have a certain admiration for his maintenance of privacy in his life:
"When I do a job, it’s not my personality that I’m offering the readers but my artwork. It’s not what I'm like that counts; it’s what I did and how well it was done."--Steve Ditko
I'm totally gonna blog that! (Hey look, I just did.)

Happy birthday dude! Rock on!

"Me and the rest of my heathens"

Near the end of "Hot in Herre" (one of my top 5 singles from whatever year it was out [2002?], possibly top 3) birthday boy Nelly says he has a friend with a ______ in the basement. Any idea WTF he says? Pole? Ho? Boat? Foal?


And I have no idea whether or not Nelly is gay... 50 Cent either. Why do you ask?

Song of the Day: "MoneyGrabber"

This one comes via Chris Wilson in Portland ME; Fitz and the Tantrums are a newish band out of LA. It's indie pop meets soul and dude's voice is more than a little Daryl Hall. And we like Daryl Hall these days (he's the overlooked gem of the 80s).

If I have a complaint (and I don't really), it's the title of the song. It's written in that "take two words and push them together and capitalize the second" way that makes me think there's software or a website called MoneyGrabber or moneygrabber.com. Hey, I will check. There is not, I ended up at Bing.


Oh, and they're on tour (in Portland OR Nov. 11th, at Dante's).  You've been warned.

Song: "MoneyGrabber"
Artist: Fitz & the Tantrums

Monday, November 1, 2010

"What used to be happy was sad"

So much to share, and not sure how to prioritize, so pay attention cause we're gonna jump around.

It's producer/composer David Foster's birthday, and dude's had his hands in so many big musical projects from the past 30 years, that it's almost dizzying. And, AND, he's Brody Jenner's step-dad. Take that Daniel Lanois.

First up, the love theme from one of my guilty pleasures, St. Elmo's Fire. A coworker claims that she and her college roommate had some kind of interpretive dance set to this song. Still waiting to see that. This is not one of his 3 Oscar nominations, by the way (he lost an Oscar for a song that won an Oscar in The Bodyguard, which is almost as good, but not really, as Maggie Smith winning an Oscar for losing an Oscar in Sir Neil Simon's California Suite). If you are regular about getting your teeth cleaned twice a year, I'm willing to bet you've heard this song at least once a year at the dentist's office, for the past 25 years.


The dude has 15 Grammys, including 3 for Producer of the Year (Non-Classical) and 3 for producing Albums of the Year, and 2 for producing Records of the Year. That they weren't particularly good albums is almost irrelevant (and the Natalie Cole album is really quite good). But his very first Grammy, from 1979, was for writing this Earth, Wind and Fire hit:


But best of all, at least right now for my mood, is the knowledge that the dude won an Emmy for writing a song called "Aren't They All Our Children?" One of these days I will make a compilation of Emmy-nominated inspirational songs with this, the Toni Childs song about domestic violence, the Nona Hendryx song about children of the world, and a gazillion songs from various Olympics (including at least one that Foster wrote). Oh, did I mention Celine Dion AND Andrea Bocelli AND Josh Groban AND Enrique Iglesias and others who aren't even worthy of bothering to look back to see (sorry Yolanda Adams)! You will see "Dick in a Box" and "I'm Fucking Matt Damon" with a new appreciation, I think.


So there you go!

Happy birthday, eh! Rock on!

The I Love Charts trifecta!

I love I Love Charts. And now that they've posted one of my charts, I really REALLY love them.

They posted my Obama Outrage Flowchart (here) which I'd forgotten about and just sent them—it's visually bland (the humor requires reading, sorry) but... well, yeah, it's visually bland. Next time I've cornify it. It will look something like this:
My flow chart had it been cornified.

They've also got a great graphic that contrasts the handling of Las Vegas slot machines and electronic voting machines (from the Washington Post here).
From Steve Freeman, U Penn professor

And last but totally not least is an amazing amount of data compressed into a single overwhelming graphic that includes shirtless beefcake: "Do People Spend More Money on Bad Movies" (here) from Canadian blogger MightyGodKing (here).
2008 Domestic Market Share by Rotten Tomatoes Freshness Rating as Depicted by People's "Sexiest Man Alive" Hugh Jackman (duh, it's so obvious)
There really is a ton of data in there (check this shit out):
http://mightygodking.com/

"You're not going crazy, you're going sane in a crazy world!"

(h/t Sonya)

The Rally to Restore Sanity/March to Keep Fear Alive happened in DC this past weekend. Duh. I didn't go, nor did I watch (however I am hoping for a crisply edited recap tonight). But Buzzfeed (here) has some of the best signs, and here are my 3 favorites from theirs:
Love it so much I didn't even notice the dude in the habit.
I am known to have a pro-Homer Simpson quote bias.
Ignignokt rulez!
If you don't understand the third one, it's about this.

Happy Birthday Jeannie Berlin

One of my many claims to fame is holding the purse of this Oscar nominee while she went to use the rest room, but as I type this, that seems less than credible. I mean, what woman, Oscar nominee or not, leaves her purse with a relative stranger to use the rest room? Sure, I was part of the entourage (hey, I got a non-vitation* to a celebrity party, I played naive and swooped in, "I'd love to go with you" I said, and voila, I know that Tom Hanks likes dark meat, but that's not code for anything, just chicken legs [also not code]) but still... your purse?

Okay, I could see if you were camping way out in the woods, you might not want to take your purse with you, but then in that scenario, why am I there?

[UPDATE: I think it might have been her coat, which makes a lot more sense, unless you're camping, cause then you totally do want your coat. But you still don't want me there--I'm not a good "roughing it" kind of guy.]

Jeannie's biggest film is The Heartbreak Kid, a pretty good movie before it was remade by Ben Stiller. Berlin was nominated for Best Supporting Actress and Eddie Albert for Best Supporting Actor. Berlin lost to Eileen Heckart for Butterflies Are Free and Albert lost to Joel Gray for Cabaret.

Did I mention that it was written by Sir Neil Simon**? And directed by Elaine May (yes, and Ishtar is a great movie). The American Film Institute includes it in their 100 Years... 100 Laughs list of the funniest movies ever made.


And, AND, Charles Grodin. You know he's teh awesum. And Audra Lindley looks strangely like Ellen Burstyn. And Cybill Sheperd is in this movie***.

Happy birthday Jeannie! Rock on!


* An LA-ism, where you offer what sounds like an invitation but is actually a way to brag about going somewhere. "I have a box at the Hollywood Bowl, you should come one night!" (Translation: I have a box at the Hollywood Bowl and you don't.) People savvy to the LA scene know that the non-vitation has no substance, but that didn't prevent me from acting like I thought that non-vitation was genuine. Which is how I got to go to Penny Marshall's house... how did you get there?

** I've started to knight Americans, because, why the hell not? Oh right, I mean, God ordained me the same way he did the British royals. He totally did, like a few weeks ago, I was just, you know, too modest to mention it.

*** "[name] is in this movie" was a recurring phrase from when I wrote more traditional movie reviews, and is derived from the early Oscar campaign for A Few Good Men. Early Oscar campaigns cast a wide net (the studios will mount such campaigns for Hot Tub Time Machine and Life as We Know It in a matter of weeks). This particular ad included "for your consideration" mentions for Kevin Bacon, Kevin Pollack and Demi Moore (in addition to Tom Cruise and Jack Nicholson). While I don't remember the exact quote the ad used in pushing Demi Moore as Best Supporting Actress, it amounted to "...and Demi Moore is in this movie." [Note to Demi, I actually think you're a fairly talented movie star, cause I know you're probably reading this and would get your feelings hurt if I didn't add that disclaimer, and if you picked up on the fact that I said "movie star" instead of "actor" then you are smart too!]

A quick note to Chris Dudley

I hate to break it to you, but you're not putting working families first if you support renewing the temporary Bush (war criminal) tax cuts for the wealthy.

You're not. Unless you're cynically suggesting that "working families" includes everyone from minimum wage employees up to multimillionaire NBA players. Many millionaires do work, I am told.

But you can't have an agenda that will require massive cuts to programs on which working families of all income levels rely, to ensure that the wealthiest receive an extension to the temporary tax cuts. Because while all working (and unemployed, thank you George W. Bush failed economy) families rely on programs and infrastructure paid for by tax dollars you want to cut, it's the non-wealthy working families that will actually suffer.

I'm pretty sure the NBA players can come up with a work-around.

Song of the Day: "The Engine"

I don't think I've posted anything by Trashcan Sinatras recently (certainly not as song of the day),  so here's another track from In the Music.


Song: "The Engine"
Artist: Trashcan Sinatras

R.I.P. Maurice Lucas

Maurice Lucas 1952-2010
Maurice Lucas is a local sports legend--he was part of the 1977 NBA champion-winning Trail Blazers  (basketball, if you hadn't picked up on that), and recently he worked as an Assistant Coach for the Blazers. He is an inductee in the Oregon Sports Hall of Fame, and the number 20 has been retired by the Trail Blazers.

Lucas passed away yesterday after at 2-year battle with cancer.

Rest in peace dude.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Birthday Edith Head

It's a little late, she's October 28th, but I didn't want to miss her. Edith won 8 Oscars (out of 35 nominations) for costume design. It is the most Oscars won by a female woman type. There's a little bit of rancor over her win for Sabrina since, as you know, Audrey Hepburn's wardrobe in that movie was designed by Givenchy but he wasn't a co-nominee. I know, right?



She cultivated a personal look that verged on uniform--the same hair, same basic outfit, same styling, same dark glasses. She didn't want to distract from the stars. That look became the basis of Edna Mode in The Incredibles but I don't think Edith was quite so dogmatic about capes.



It's interesting to me that most of Head's wins are for wardrobes that were current and not particularly showy or lavish. Sandy Powell lamented the heavy focus on period piece costumes during awards season (granted it was as she won her third Oscar, this one for The Young Victoria, still it was a great point). All About Eve and A Place in the Sun are true classics, but I'm sure you'd be hard-pressed to find someone who mentions the wardrobe as either of those movies' high points. I can't decide what that means.

Regardless, belated happy birthday dude! Rest in peace.

Or consider living in Florida

Happy holiday.

About Time: The Last Word on Project Runway Season 8

The awkwardness of the reunion segment kinda underscores just how weak this season has been.

I wasn't super surprised with the final 3, and I found myself really feeling for Michael C. at the end. Hopefully he can enjoy outlasting most of the haters.

As for the winner, I wasn't entirely surprised after Tom and Lorenzo said something like "you never know what flavor crack will be in the judges' pipes" so I didn't have any expectations. And then it got spoiled from an unlikely place, so I now know the winner before actually watching (it's on right now).

And T Lo really wrote a solid piece on the finale (here) so I'll save myself the effort.

Worst season ever? Certainly of Project Runway, but probably not of all television.

Surely not.

Happy holiday!

You can send the card by going here.

Song of the Day: "I Want the World to Stop"

And despite what is presented in this clip, it really was a damn good concert.


Song: "I Want the World to Stop"
Artist: Belle and Sebastian