10 Winter Film Releases That Didn’t Suck

10 Winter Film Releases That Didn’t Suck

The first quarter of the year tends to be dumping ground for Hollywood films that don’t otherwise fit into a studio’s release schedule (see our review for “Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit“). They are movies that they either don’t have faith in, or, don’t believe they’ll bring in the summer tentpole dollars, or, any sort of awards. [Read more…]

5 Awesome Criterion Collection Films

5 Awesome Criterion Collection Films

This isn’t a “Top 5” list, in fact, such a list would be near impossible to do when regarding something like the Criterion collection. But I wanted to come up with a list of 5 films that are available on Criterion and streaming Hulu Plus that people should totally check out! So here they are, in no particular order:

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5 Great Concert Films

5 Great Concert Films

There’s something about this season that brings back the memories of summers gone by. Memories of friends.  Memories of particular nights.  Memories of particular songs, sung along to, full-throated, beside 10,000 strangers who, for that one moment, could be considered close friends. And while film can never completely capture that feeling, there are a few that at least replicate it enough to warrant multiple viewings.  The following list shares a few of these films. [Read more…]

That Was Bad

That Was Bad

History is written by the winners because, well, everyone likes a winner and because losers tend not to write of their defeat.  Movies are the same.  We like to look back at films and discuss/debate over which were the best of last 365, which ones captivated, inspired, touched us, etc. etc., but in the words of Neil McCauley: there is a flip side to that coin …

Now I am not going to make a list of some of the worst movies of ’09 (Only I am actually going to make a list, but there won’t be an order to it.  Maybe we can call it some random musings?  Could we do that?  Please?  Just this one time?  I love you?), but I do think that we need to take a moment and smell these movies that reek like reheated broccoli.  These swift kicks to the sack serve to help us appreciate those cinematic marvels that we hold, rightly, in such high regard.  And there were more than enough of these this past year to go around.

The Ugly Truth:  If given the choice to watch this movie or try to stop a charging rhino with my crotch, I would choose the rhino.  Gerard Butler took his ultra dude macho-ism from 300, went back about another 2,000 years in evolution, multiplied that times a billion and created the most stereotypical guy that never existed.  Hey, isn’t it funny when he says what guys think? No.  Dirty sex jokes are funny, right? Wrong.  Dirty sex is not funny.  Dirty sex is tender.  PS – Katherine Heigl, trying to get away from doing misogynistic and offensive movies by running directly into one is stupid.  Don’t be stupid.  PPS – I viewed this with the Lady, and she had to stop it halfway through.  And this is a girl that owns Love Wrecked.  Think about that.

Sorority Row:  Poor Audrina Patridge, she has been blessed with the IQ of nutmeg, so how was she supposed to know this movie sucked when she first read the script?  Trick question, she can’t read.  “LOLZZZZ.”  This movie does answer one of the more fundamental questions about death that has faced humankind since the beginning:  What do you do with a dead body?  You stab it with a tire iron to kill it again.  We’ve seen too many undead walking the Earth, so it never hurts to double check.  Plus the movie ends if we don’t actually kill the sorority sister, rather it would just be a pretty good prank.

Transformers 2:  How loud can you make a movie?  Michael Bay says he can make it louder.  He says, “forget 11, this one goes up to a gruptepzillion.” (You think M. Bay sticks to our stupid number scale?  Pssh.  He makes up his own numbers them blows them up so you can’t use them.)  Megan Fox worked hard for her worst actress of the year award, but really?  Is that why she gets cast?  No, she gets cast because she has the thespianatic foresight to take a scene where she is asked to be a mechanic, and morphs it into her doing a centerfold spread on a bike.  I just watch her movies for the articles.

These are the movies we tend to, or maybe wish we could, forget.  Fantastic Mr. Fox was amazing.  Inglorious Basterds was great as Christoph Waltz stole the show.  The Hurt Locker, Up, Ponyo, Up in the Air, blah blah blah.  It’s like: how would we knows these were good if we didn’t have anything bad to compare them to?  So, while we look forward to this years big releases, let’s not forget all the movies that make the good movies look even better.  Even Paul Blart serves a purpose.

-Brandin

Justin Presents: Best Albums of 2008

Justin Presents: Best Albums of 2008

photos_large5.jpgFor the most part, 2008 musically passed with the grandeur of an oboe solo for me: nobody noticed or cared, except for the occasional court-awareness, awe-struck moment of, “Whoa, hey! There’s an oboe solo going on right now.” [Read more…]

Lyric-Less Wonders: Great Instrumentals

Lyric-Less Wonders: Great Instrumentals

In celebration of Nine Inch Nails’ new album, Ghosts Volume I-IV, an entirely instrumental collection, I thought it fitting to go back and look at a few stand out lyric-less tunes in the old music collection. For me, instrumentals have always been an exciting venture for an album. In a lot of ways, they express more about the musicianship of a band than a standard track may (although this is not always the case), as the music now stands alone and needs to conjure up the emotions within the listener without the aid of the lyrics telling the story. It’s almost a litmus test: can the musicians truly write a good piece of music or is it all catchy hooks that lay the foundation for a front man?

Take a look below at my list of great instrumental tunes (and my clear metal-bias) that pass the litmus test.

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