Chandler, Arizona, United States

There's an old saying. If you don't want someone to join a crowd, you ask them, "If everyone were jumping off of a cliff, would you?" Well, I have. So my answer would be "Yes". True story.
Profile continued . . .


Monday, May 26, 2008

this you entry to you by tori amos, "big wheel"

Black Snake Moan I was a big fan of Hustle & Flow, despite the fact that I didn't initially think I would care-- what the hell do I have to relate with a pimp trying to make it in the rap game? Yet the movie was positively captivating, and the directing, by then-newcomer Craig Brewer was slow, methodical, and intensely interested in its characters. When I heard about Black Snake Moan, Brewer's follow-up, there didn't seem to be anything not to like about it. Christina Ricci, who I've always been madly in love with, plays a nymphomaniac (half naked through most of the movie, no less)? Samuel L. Jackson, one of my favorite actors, plays a blues man, who aims to rid this poor girl of her wickedness, so he chains her up to his furnace? What the hell could go wrong? Yes, the concept seemed a little sexist, but people complained about Hustle & Flow's sexism, but that didn't bother me. Yes, Hustle & Flow is sexist, but it's also about a pimp and his hos-- and one of those hos, in fact, uses her sex as a weapon to become a manager for her pimp by the climax, so any sexism in the movie that's latent in the very premise was erased by that point. And for the record, Black Snake Moan is in fact kinda sexist-- the women in the movie are all portrayed as being trashy, with the exception of S. Epatha Merkerson as a pharmacist who has a crush on Jackson's character, but she is a stock sweet character (admittedly given loving warmth by Merkerson). But that didn't bother me. What did bother me is that Black Snake Moan seems to be a metaphor for something else entirely than sex and abuse and relationships, but I can't figure out what. Ricci's character, Rae, gets this burning from inside her, this itch, and she just has to fuck, which is a weird concept when you see it, and it's worse for its execution: every time it happens to her, the movie accompanies Ricci's squirming with a rattling of a snake that seems, well, a little over the top. One scene in particular, Rae gets the itching when Jackson's character starts playing the guitar and singing during a thunderstorm, but she fights the urge because he's a paternal figure for her, so she grasps onto him for dear life, and he sings and plays his guitar, and lightning explodes around them, and the whole thing seems so silly that I have to assume that I just don't get what's happening. Despite Brewer indulging himself with these weird, over the top moments, he still does what he does best: the movie is slow and as thick as a bar full of cigarette smoke, and he gets excellent performances out of his actors who are all fascinating and compelling. While there is less to relate here in this movie than in Hustle & Flow, the characters have left an impression in my head, so ultimately, it does its job.

In Rainbows' Bonus disc After I downloaded In Rainbows put it on my Ipod back in November, it's become the album I've listened to the most. My Itunes tells me that I've listened to it 18 times, and it's at the top of my list-- and I've got 9,000 songs on my Ipod, so I have a lot to choose from. I was starting to think that perhaps my review of it was a little too negative. I said the album is "very, very good"-- and it is-- but I also said that it felt like a stopgap, that it didn't feel vital. After listening to it more than anything else, I started to feel like maybe I was wrong. Then I listened to the bonus disc (it took me, oh, six months to get it, I know), and my original feelings for the first disc were immediately validated. There are four tracks on the bonus disc that are awesome-- "Down is the New Up", "Up On the Ladder", "Bangers and Mash", and "4 Minute Warning" and they're so good you could easily see them being on the album. In fact, the first three songs that I mentioned, are rocking-- my first complaint about In Rainbows after hearing it was that it started off with some throttling rockers, then went into mid tempo songs and never went back to that starting pace. There's nothing wrong with a slow album (my favorite Radiohead album, Kid A, is plenty damned mid-tempo), and I wouldn't have a problem with that from Radiohead, but by starting off with two songs that rock so hard, the rest of the album doesn't feel like it was balanced right. If "Down is the New Up", "Up On the Ladder", and "Bangers and Mash" had been sprinkled through the album (the latter would fit perfectly between "House of Cards" and "Jigsaw Falling into Place"), I feel like it would've been a better album. Usually when I hear B-sides, even if I think they're totally frigging awesome, I can see why they weren't put on the album-- Radiohead's "Paperbag Writer" is a Kid A/ Amnesiac leftover and is great, but wouldn't fit well onto either of those records-- but in this case, I have no idea why they weren't put in. In Rainbows is only 10 tracks long-- there's absolutely nothing wrong with its brevity, but these bonus songs certainly weren't left off because the album was getting too long. I feel that if these tracks were put on, In Rainbows would have that final oomph to make it as great of an album as Hail to the Thief. While I don't necessarily believe this, I have a sneaking suspicion these tracks were left off because of size, not time-- they needed to keep the zip size smaller because it was only available on download.

Christina Ricci Every time I see her in a movie, she starts off basically playing the exact same character she always plays, and ever since-- well, I'm not sure exactly what movie it was, but it's whatever Ricci movie I saw after The Ice Storm (where she was excellent), but I started off the movie thinking, you know what? Christina Ricci isn't that great of an actress. She's acceptable, but she's not great. Not as great as my undying love for her would hope. But then there was a point about 3/4ths of the way through the movie where she had this emotional moment where her character suddenly becomes vulnerable and fragile, and she does really well, to the point where I'm moved. This has happened in every subsequent movie I've seen her in (minus Pumpkin, which I hated)-- she starts off with me thinking "She's not doing that great of a job," to a particular moment where she completely wins me over and I end up completely satisfied with her performance.

Kim Kardashian on the cover of Fitness RX magazine I've done a 180 on Kim Kardashian. I didn't used to think she was very attractive, and if you look at the places she was being seen around town with paparazzi, you can see why I would complain. But anyway, that's not the point. The point is she's on the cover of a fitness magazine, and my goodness, she's a fine specimen of a woman. I just wish she were famous for a reason. I wish she would use her fame to try and do things that are interesting or worth paying attention to, instead of just being another person famous for being famous. But still, she's quite a woman. It's so nice seeing someone with curves in this pack of famous chicks that look like trannies.

The chick with the brunette hair and the red dress in the video for "Flathead" by The Fratellis I like The Fratellis a lot. Their album, Costello Music, is really good, and I hope to have a review of it sooner rather than later-- in the meantime, I would hope that you listen to it, because I think you'll enjoy it. But the reason I'm pointing out this video is because of the girl with the red dress. Holy crap!


Bill O'Reilly outtake from Inside Edition Bill O'Relly, despite being a trained, professional journalist, had never, apparently, heard of the term "play us out" back in the 1990s when he was on Inside Edition. So since he isn't familiar with the term, instead of merely saying "I don't understand what that means, could somebody explain it to me for a second?" like a normal person, he denies that they are words at all, then throws a temper tantrum. I'm not the first person to point this out, but I've got to say it: the director (off-screen), is hilariously non-plussed about O'Reilly's outburst. What a professional. He just explains "Uh, yeah, it's a Sting video. It's for the credits. Aaaand 5, 4, 3..." Even after O'Reilly attempts to get up and leave but can't because his mic is still attached, the director goes right back into "Aaaaand 5, 4, 3...." Hilarious.

Sierra Mist: Undercover Orange I don't much care for Sierra Mist, but I absolutely made no bones about loving Sierra Mist: Lemon Squeeze. It tasted like it was drenched in lemon flavor, and I was hoping that's what Undercover Orange would taste: like Sierra Mist drenched with Orange. In reality, it's just Sierra Mist, with the slightest hint of orange. I mean, it's tasty, but I can't see why anybody would drink this over normal Sierra Mist, or just a normal orange soda.

Context free commercials on Youtube I've complained about this before, but last time I did it was before I was using Youtube. People take commercials that look like they could possibly be from reality-- for example, a commercial where the concept is security cam footage, but they take out the last 5 seconds where the company logo would show. Without the context of it being fiction, often what you see looks like horror. For example, I saw a commercial for pizza delivery in like, Finland, where a man walks out of a pizza joint with pizza in hand and gets violently hit by a car, his leg gets stuck under the car, and his body is horrifically drug off the screen by the car moving full speed, and while it's horrible, in the context of it being a commercial, it simply looks like a shocking commercial-- oh my god, did you see that? Wow, commercials are getting weird these days! Without context it just looks like a man getting killed. Who the hell are these monsters going around removing context from fake things so that it looks real?

Jimmy Fallon to replace Conan O'Brien on Late Night So everybody knows by now that Jay Leno's leaving The Tonight Show in the next couple years, and Conan O'Brien will be replacing him. So who to replace Conan? Jimmy Fallon. I don't hate Jimmy Fallon, but I do not think he's funny. I think I liked him the first time I saw him, but with each subsequent appearance, I liked him less and less. He's just not funny. And he seems to be way too smug and self loving-- he has this cocky smirk on his face all the time, like he's Bugs Bunny or some shit. And also, he's not funny. And I can't imagine him getting his own show-- I know nobody thought Conan O'Brien would last when he was first announced as the host of Late Night, but I seriously cannot picture the Jimmy Fallon Show lasting more than a few months tops.

Ipod Solitaire There might be another paid solitaire you can buy off Itunes, but if you have an Ipod video or above, it came with a version of Solitaire that, quite frankly, is very unsatisfying. When you win, all you get is text that says "WINNER" down on the bottom of the screen, and it flashes. You don't get the awesome cascading cards like you do on the version that comes with Windows. Plus, getting all the cards on the field onto the aces, which is the last thing you do in Solitaire to win, takes fucking forever to do with the click wheel. So whenever I get to the point where there's nothing stopping me from winning-- all the cards in my deck are overturned, there's nothing face down, I just quit, because it's not worth it.

on this day last year it might get me fired, but there is absolutely no way i would give in to government pressure to say how old the goddamn grand canyon is.

with love from CRS @ 11:14 AM 


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