Tuesday, September 14, 2010
My desktop has paid its dues and is hinting that it wants to be put into the nursing home. Fortunately, I've always wanted a Linux machine in the house. Unfortunately, the desktop was already stripped down for use by my non-tech-savvy dad and Linux is going to blow his mind. So, I bought an iPad. Sure, it's mildly expensive but it's easy as dirt to use and I felt it was the best solution for my dad.
In my opinion, the birth of the iPad was absolutely necessary. After all, someone's gotta take the first step, fall flat on their face, so that the rest can learn what not to do. On the scale of usefulness, I'd rate the iPad a 2 (the Netflix and Star Walk apps each get a point). Another blog criticized the iPad as being a pure consumer of content rather than a producer of content and I couldn't agree more. You can read blogs, you can view [non-flash] video clips, you can listen to music, and you can read blogs...oh, and you can view video clips. Beyond that, though, the power of the iPad limits the user to updating blogs.
It's been said that the power of the iPad is in its apps and that the right app will make the iPad the machine to have. But how much can you really do with a machine that doesn't support Flash, doesn't have USB ports, and whose processor is capped at 1Ghz? 1GHz? That's like announcing the exclusive Ferrari with a Camry V6 engine (I love my Camry, by the way...thank you for asking). Even with the little that it does, I'm seeing how slow it can be (oh, forgot that multitasking isn't supported natively).
All that said, it's a slick ass machine and very fun to play with. If your needs don't extend beyond internet browsing, YouTubing, and other useless shit, the iPad is absolutely the best option for you. However, even the serious blogger should cross the iPad off their list and consider something like a netbook.
The Pub's alive, bitches!
Thursday, July 15, 2010
chair: how did i end up here
memories, retrospect, hindsight. these cerebral relics of the past will either make or break me. lately, it seems as though i’m leaving imprints in other people’s memories but retaining none of it for myself. let me tell you though, technology can be your best friend or worst enemy when it comes to wanting to remember (or begging to forget) certain things.
i don’t like waking up and checking my phone to see if i’ve said anything stupid, embarrassing, or hurtful. on nicer days, i will see that people texted me fun times, good night, and so forth. on bad ones, i would visibly flinch at things i wrote directed to very specific people. even worse is when you wake up to an empty log. half of you want to believe it was an accident that it got cleared, but most of us know it takes a couple of confirmations before the shameful history can be erased. this is one of the rare moments where i miss the days where people just called. drunken calls and voicemails can at least be put into their appropriate context.
do i even have the luxury of feeling this bad these days? i mean, i said and did things. i was fucked up. but it was me nonetheless. there’s no compromise. i can’t just go out and have fun and end things there. i want to remember all the good feelings, but once i get to investigating why i had such a good time, i’m finding out things I don’t particularly remember saying or doing. welcome to Blackout-ville. how may i not help you today?
so it’s goodbye to dignity, hello to insecurities and utter remorse. i can only piece so much of the puzzle together with what bruises appear in the next few days (right now i have eight new ones since tuesday evening, some spots are still tender and others I’m not able to see without another set of eyes). the investigation usually backfires when people laugh and the only answer i’ll ever get is “you really don’t remember?”
it sucks because i remember it being so much fun. i guess it’s time to embrace fun as a fleeting sensation, but it would be nice to have some solid memories to go with that. can’t just squint my eyes to make things appear clearer—there is no optical illusion in this except i can't/don’t know how to distinguish between what actually happened and what was just an embellished thought i mistook for reality.
i probably deserve this. what person runs around punching and kicking people (half of whom i just met that night and whose living-room-turned-dance-floor i was being crazy on) and calls it fun? from the looks of it, i inflicted more damage on myself than anyone else. sigh.
“hey, did i fall on my head? it kinda hurts”
“well, after reviewing the video…i think you may have a few times”
“there was a video?!”
damn. reading this post over was like vomit on my ego. i swear i'm not so obsessive all the time and am able to have a good time, sometimes, maybe.. ? ugh.
Thursday, July 01, 2010
Tuesday, June 22, 2010
Tuesday, May 25, 2010
Wednesday, May 19, 2010
Monday, May 03, 2010
This video is one of those that if you're on the web at all this week, you're probably going to come across. But if you haven't, well, check it out.
According to the YouTube page: This stray cat was filmed in Turkey( Kızılsaray district of Antalya ) trying to reanimate his female friend who got hit by a car. Even though some people tried to help him, the white cat wouldn't let them come near for two straight hours. Finally a vet arrived and took the injured cat. Sadly, it was too late and he couldnt resuscitate the feline.
Or, as The Daily Wh.at put it, "Excuse me, I’ve got something in my eye. It’s tears. From crying forever."
Friday, April 30, 2010
Friday, April 23, 2010
...I went through the ceiling.
I was pissed when it happened. But now it's total hilarity. I could've easily banged my head against the wood braces but managed to walk away with a bruise and some scratches.
This proves it: I'M INVULNERABLE!
Friday, April 09, 2010
Friday, April 02, 2010
Back from vacation. Had a lovely time. More words/images from that to come, possibly later on today. In the meantime, I'm catching up on posting some pics I've been neglecting. So here are some photos from our last trip down to SoCal, the Getty Museum in particular. Not a lot really, just a few we snapped for fun.
Monday, March 22, 2010
Rather than take any time to actually write a new post, I resorted to pressing "Record" on my webcam at random on Friday night. I was trying to play FIFA, my buddy George was ranting on and on about GTA and downloadable content. Kiel was sitting in the shadows laughing at random intervals. Chewie was nonplussed. I guess what I like about it is, George doesn't know he's being recorded. He just fucking goes off like this all the time...
Friday, March 19, 2010
Leave the sun behind me
And watch the clouds as they sadly pass me by
And I'm in perpetual motion
And the world below doesn't matter much to me
This time tomorrow, where will we be?
I know one thing. I won't be at work. That's all that matters to me.
Beautiful San Francisco days have returned. Warm nights. Hold please. Need to hit "Replay". The Kinks will get me through.
This is the weather for mashing. For laying in the park with someone loved. Or someone new. Or someone interesting. Cold beer. A cigarette.
This time tomorrow.
Tuesday, March 16, 2010
one of my fav poems from the perpetually drunk (and equally brilliant) charles bukowski.
there's a bluebird in my heart that
wants to get out
but I'm too tough for him,
I say, stay in there, I'm not going
to let anybody see
there's a bluebird in my heart that
wants to get out
but I pour whiskey on him and inhale
and the whores and the bartenders
and the grocery clerks
never know that
there's a bluebird in my heart that
wants to get out
but I'm too tough for him,
stay down, do you want to mess
you want to screw up the
you want to blow my book sales in
there's a bluebird in my heart that
wants to get out
but I'm too clever, I only let him out
at night sometimes
when everybody's asleep.
I say, I know that you're there,
so don't be
then I put him back,
but he's singing a little
in there, I haven't quite let him
and we sleep together like
and it's nice enough to
make a man
weep, but I don't
Monday, March 15, 2010
Tuesday, March 09, 2010
i got nothin'. not a youtube clip. not a sound byte. not a picture. not a link. not even a nice little anecdote. nothing. i feel really obligated to say something, though, not because i have something interesting to say, but to let the accounting department at The Pub know that i'm alive and not to cancel my 401K.
i hope everyone is doing well. i'm content. that's an efficient way of saying 'happy but bored'. what's that they say? "no news is good news."
Thursday, March 04, 2010
I'm fairly certain that Jason Alexander wishes this could be purged from history. Alas, thanks to youtube, it shall remain! I think my favorite part of this ridiculous commercial is at the 0:36 mark where he fails to conceal his natural "George" accent. "Put it togetha". I half expected him to call it the "best tasting lettuce and tomato hamburgah" at the end of the commercial...
Tuesday, March 02, 2010
I'm getting World Cup fever. Literally counting down the days... So, I'll be posting some moments of World Cup brilliance here, trying to pass it on...
Let's start with Argentina in 2006. Maybe the best "team goal" in World Cup history. 24 passes, a cheeky back heel, and a splendid strike by Cambiasso. Enjoy.
So, I've been obsessed with tumblr lately. Eventually I'd like to move the pub there. At any rate, I just hit 100 posts on my new tumblr, 20th Century Man. So, now that there's some content to page through, check it out. Follow it. Love it. Or, whatever...
Wednesday, February 24, 2010
Friday, February 19, 2010
So, I just find myself having to watch this from time to time. The NBA All-Star Game usually makes me think of it. Fact: Marvin Gaye is my favorite singer of all time. I've heard the bongos in "What's Goin' On"! For me, it's Marvin Gaye, Bob Marley, and then everybody else.
So, it's the 1983 NBA All Star Game, a simple beat fades in, and up steps Marvin looking cooler than the other side of the pillow in a double-breasted suit and some sunglasses. He humbly acknowledges the crowd, adjusts the mike stand, and then gently eases his way into the coolest version of the National Anthem ever. Think I'm exaggerating? Then explain the 2:20 mark when the entire crowd forgets they're listening to the National Anthem at a basketball game and just starts grooving with Marvin. Try not to dance.
Ya, a good National Anthem can be moving, and people love to talk about pre-crackhead Whitney's Super Bowl version. The Dixie Chicks and others have gotten love. Hell, Jimi turned the song inside out way back at Woodstock.
But as far as I'm concerned, no one will ever be able to top what Marvin did in the Great Western Forum in 1983. It was too cool, and too classy.
Thursday, February 18, 2010
In honor of the Winter Olympic Games, I played a bit of Ski Free today. Oh what, you don't remember Ski Free? Shit. I only survived my first tech job because of Ski Free. I would kill hours and hours of time with it.
Of course, I still can't outrun that pesky Abominable Snow Monster.
Get Ski Free here.
Friday, February 12, 2010
Monday, February 08, 2010
Friday, February 05, 2010
I can't stop watching either one of these two plays from the last couple weeks...
First, I thought this goal from Stephano Okaka was the illest. 88th minute of a 1-1 match, and then absolute brilliance. (Plus, bonus points for the conniption suffered by the announcer.)
But then, a few days later, I saw this play from Real Madrid's Guti, which has now been dubbed the "Heel of God". Unselfish and amazing...
So, which one do you fancy? Let's use this as an excuse to have some fun with a little poll you can find on the right hand side of the page. The over/under on poll responses is opening at 2.5.
Thursday, January 28, 2010
"To be hopeful in bad times is not just foolishly romantic. It is based on the fact that human history is a history not only of cruelty, but also of compassion, sacrifice, courage, kindness.
What we choose to emphasize in this complex history will determine our lives. If we see only the worst, it destroys our capacity to do something. If we remember those times and places--and there are so many--where people have behaved magnificently, this gives us the energy to act, and at least the possibility of sending this spinning top of the world in a different direction.
And if we do act, in however small a way, we don't have to wait for some grand utopian future. The future is an infinite succession of presents, and to live now as we think human beings should live, in defiance of all that is bad around us, is itself a marvelous victory." - Howard Zinn
Howard Zinn passed away yesterday at the age of 87.
A People's History of the United States
Wednesday, January 27, 2010
ag's boy Obama is giving the annual State of the Union address tonight. Propaganda ensues.
As for me, I throw these things out there every now and then. It certainly seemed fitting today. Silly me though, I pissed all my good content away today in previous posts...
This post will be disappointing at best.
* * * * *
I'm going to be an uncle soon. Any day now. Which is to say, my brother is going to be a father. It's exciting. I'm basically on-call, waiting to make my way down to Southern Cal. I'm looking forward to seeing my family. Hopefully I will see some old friends. I'm ready. Just waiting on you now Elle. C'mon!
* * * * *
I feel like I'm suffering from a lack of creative outlets right now. There's just so much I want to do. I feel like I need to do. I'd like to be writing more, but working all day is more of an atmosphere conducive to things like blogging. I'm dying to do something musically, and I'm frustrated that right now I don't have the equipment or the chee$e to buy it.
I've also been thinking more lately about filming a short. ag and I have discussed this in the past. So maybe when he's done with school I can kidnap him for a couple of weeks and we can do something.
In the meantime, I think I'll need to pick up the camera a bit more.
* * * * *
Chewie goes under the knife tomorrow. Losing the lady parts. I guess I'm a bit nervous. Trying not to think about it. I'm sure she'll be fine. She's just the sweetest fucking thing and I hate to think of her suffering at all. Unless of course I'm verbally berating her or punching her in the face. Jokes.
Here's a recent shot I took of her with Kristen's new 50mm lens...
* * * * *
Fact is, for the most part, things are great. Kristen and I are settling into the apartment. She is such a pleasure to be around, I'm lucky to wake up next to her everyday.
As for this nation of ours? Well, I'd hate to be Obama tonight. What do you say? War, Recession, Millions without health insurance... It's not all good. I doubt I'll even watch...
The Bible says, "God is love." (1 John 4:8) So, why so much hate?
These despicable hate mongering "Christians" are bringing their pathetic message of hate and discrimination to San Francisco this week.
Please, go back to Kansas.
Their tour of hateful protesting through San Francisco "includes the Contemporary Jewish Museum (12:15 p.m.), the Anti-Defamation League (1:10 p.m.), Jewish Community Center (1:50 p.m.), Lowell High School (3:20 p.m.), and Golden Gate Theatre's "Fiddler on Roof" (7:20 p.m.)"
See, not only do they "hate fags", but they're also Anti-Semites! Charming bunch.
The Jewish Contemporary Museum is about 3 blocks from where I work. If it weren't for the unavoidable feeling of self-loathing resulting from stooping down to these degenerates scummy level, I'd be all for some brick throwing violence during my lunch break tomorrow.
As it stands, I'l likely have to settle for making a witty sign of my own and hoping others turn out to drown out these racist, hateful, misguided people.
30 Best Anti-Westboro Baptist Church Protest Signs
I'm back on my bike after getting hit about nine weeks ago and breaking a tiny bone in my wrist. Not good times. Yesterday was my first mash. My taint hates you. My first ride was all nerves and apprehension. No confidence.
Today felt a little better. A fleeting moment of feeling good again. I'm almost forcing myself to do it. The rain had been providing a convenient excuse. Today was dry. Had to push.
It won't be long now, I'll get my swag back...
Which leads us to, this weeks Wednesday Wobble...
Tuesday, January 26, 2010
I forget how my love affair with pharmaceutical drugs began. My journey through the adolescent drug phase didn’t’ even take off until I entered my twenties. High school was a sheltered, sugar-coated daze where I drifted between groups of friends, anchoring myself with the bad boys but never participating in their afterschool activities. I would only hear about their shenanigans the day after, when threats of suspension or expulsion would spread quickly across the tiny campus.
Growing up, I watched my single mother buy cases of Heineken and inhale packs of Marlboro Lights—an image that grew taboo in our family because in our culture, women don’t do that. Men are allowed their cognacs filtered with sparkling club soda and ashtrays reaching their brim, needing to be emptied every few hours. Even now, two decades and a stroke later, she secretly sips wine with her medication. The cruel irony is that she’s asking me to pour it for her. Somehow, growing up in her shadows, I’ve inherited her traits. The smoking and drinking that I grew up hating is now my lifestyle. Her indulgences were, no doubt, a result of a lonely life. And I’m filled with remorse and sadness when I think of what she might see as I come home stumbling from drinks. I’m approaching my mid-twenties now and the layers are beginning to peel. It’s funny how our silent common denominator is also reason we’re growing miles apart. I can only begin to fathom her train of thought. Me, her youngest daughter, caught up in drugs and alcohol, an obvious reflection of her past. She’s brought the topic up various times, caught me red handed and even ate my stash of tainted brownies that I carelessly stuffed in the freezer. “I feel funny,” she said. I tried to laugh it off and told her they were spoiled, while having an anxiety attack but carefully battling it with a helpful green pill.
That green pill is the product of months of feigned mental sickness. It first came in the form of a scored, yellow pill that my ex-boyfriend’s dad was prescribed for anxiety. I remember going through their medicine cabinet, looking for bottles with warning labels and checking online to see if there was any potential for abuse. I struck gold with a bottle labeled “Clonazepam”. I convinced him to give me most of the bottle, and I began experimenting. The pills became party favors that I would wash down with a beer and hand out to unsuspecting friends to try. No harm was done, or I just had no memory of it.
I do remember my next episode, a kind of follow-up introduction to this family of prescription drugs. I was in tear-inducing pain from an infected front tooth, sending me to the dentist’s office. I was still an undergrad, working part-time at an office job and uninsured. I was told that I needed a root canal for my left front tooth, which sent me into a fit of vain hysteria. Eventually, I calmed down. The dentist gave me a prescription for valium, which I knew via popular culture, made you literally melt in a sort of anxiety-free dreamland. I remembered this, shed a few extra tears, and got a few extra pills.
Idle days at the office meant my rate of online productivity in all things useless went up. I bookmarked sites with pages of information on prescription drugs, the symptoms under which patients were prescribed specific drugs, and started to memorize them. At this time, I was already an experienced drug user and loved my highs. I dabbled enough to know which highs I preferred, but prescription drugs was a new territory. My reservoir of information proved useful, as I began seeing a psychiatrist at school. It’s insanely easy to be diagnosed with depression, brainwashed into thinking there is maybe, no definitely, something wrong with your chemical makeup. I was prescribed various anti-depressants and would pretend to be taking them, but complain of the various side effects that were popularized online and eventually, I got the medications that I came in for.
I was already buying various drugs off the black market, but obtaining a legitimate prescription made life easier. I now have a certified history of mental problems and could pretty much get what I wanted out of my fifteen minute sessions. These sessions continued after I graduated and I was getting refills that I would have no use for, since my medication was taken on an abuse-only schedule. But by this time, I had shared the wonderful care-free drug with too many friends, most took to them well and I didn’t mind sharing. It was like I was injecting a modicum of happiness into people’s lives, and it made me happy.
Anxiety though, is not something to be fucked with. What started off as a casual encounter is now making me question my own sanity. I haven’t stayed sober long enough to really figure it out—but I think these periods of experimentation and abuse has made me somewhat dependent on these pills. My bookmarked pages are less about ways of potentiating the drugs and more about possible withdrawal symptoms. I’ve grown kind of obsessive, creating a calendar to track my binges, and subsequent breaks. Recent stories of celebrities overdosing make me laugh and cringe simultaneously as the autopsy reveals the list of drugs found in their bodies at the time of death. I go down the list, putting a check mark against the clinical name, quickly recognizing them in my own medicine cabinet.
I’d like to think I’m a responsible drug user. Legal troubles aside, I try to keep my recreational doses at safe but enjoyable level. Last Saturday, a close friend called me after I had gone to bed. It was an early night, only because I had started drinking at five that afternoon. “Dinner” ended with two pitchers and a little green pill that I took on occasions where I wanted to be extra sedated (that night being one). He was calling to see if I had Xanax. I did. It wasn’t my prescription, but having established a pretty effective medicinal bartering system with some other friends; I had pills of various colors, sizes, and uses. He was in a fit of desperation and although it worried me, I agreed to give him a few of everything. He was going to make a trek down from the Valley, roughly an hour commute, to pick up his bag of goodies.
I’ve had many moments of epiphany that made me want to quit, get my act together, whatever. I’ve gone on enough self-awareness hiatuses to prove to myself that these pills don’t control me. I handed the stuff to my friend, someone I considered intelligent but misguided, having only begun his drug experimentation phase less than a year ago. I gave him my verbal warning, expressed my concern, and sent him on his way with mood stabilizers. He drove off, probably back to his apartment to enjoy whatever cocktail sent him into euphoric bliss, and I went off on my own dreamless, voiceless slumber. The perfect kind.
Monday, January 25, 2010
"I used to think the worst thing in life was to end up all alone. It's not. The worst thing in life is ending up with people who make you feel all alone."
In my review of films from 2009 earlier this month, I listed several films that I was planning to watch that I felt could shake up my Top 10 list upon further review. At that time, I'd intentionally left World's Greatest Dad off of that list. I had planned to watch it, but held out very little hope for enjoying it. Well, let the shake up begin.
I loved this film. Written and directed by (four words that always put a hop in my step) Bobcat Goldthwait, it is the epitome of a black comedy. It explores the most selfish, narcissistic and easily influenced nature of people, and somehow, manages to squeeze just enough redemption out of it to make you feel good.
The subject matter is, well, I don't know... Taboo? Inappropriate? Cold? The characters are, well, unlikeable? Pitiful? Disturbed? So... why do I wish I was sitting on the couch with them at the end of the film? Why was I nearly moved to laugh and cry at the same time by someone being called a "douchebag"? Why will I never be able to hear Queen's "Under Pressure" again without recalling this film and how much I love it? (Think "Ooh La La" and Rushmore.)
Well, the answers to those questions, surprisingly enough, are, Robin Williams, Robin Williams, and Robin Williams. And if that doesn't fuck with your head as much as it did mine, then you clearly aren't familiar with my taste in film. The truth is, Robin Williams as Lance Clayton is to this film what Bill Murray is to Rushmore. And listen, I just don't go around throwing out comparisons to Rushmore on whims and fucking cookie crumbs.
Another thing, and this is something that I didn't appreciate immediately. This film is beautiful to look at. The shots are gorgeous and profound without being obtuse or pretentious. For example, near the end, Lance is walking across a parking lot, and is stopped just short of stepping over a painted parking space line by another character, Andrew, impeding his path. The symbolism in this shot is simple and moving, and when you see the film, you'll understand that at this point, although nearly there, Lance Clayton is not quite ready to cross the finish line.
I've purposely avoided talking specifically about the story. There is not a twist, so much as there is an event that drives the story forward for the last two-thirds of the film. A lot of reviews or synopsis of the film you can read will talk openly about it. Personally, I knew nothing about the plot going into watching the film, and, I think I gained more satisfaction from seeing it this way.
If you feel compelled, watch the trailer. Or, you can take my word for it. But either way, I hope you'll give this film a chance.
Bobcat Goldthwait has crafted a work of dark, foul humor, full of scathing satire and selfish, loathsome people. It's simply brilliant.
* * * * *
I have to say, the soundtrack for this film was also top notch, and introduced me to this tune, which has been wrapped around my head ever since...
Friday, January 22, 2010
Thursday, January 21, 2010
Wednesday, January 20, 2010
Sunday, January 17, 2010
Thursday, January 14, 2010
I'm headed for Level 2 archery coaching status soon (two of four, I think) and the prerequisite is a background check. Here are list of things I hope they don't find:
1) The stash of kiddie porn on my computer.
2) The stash of cocaine in my computer.
3) Modified rifles in my closet.
4) The master $100 plates in the tank of my toilet.
5) What I did to Ms. Karen in the girl's bathroom in the 3rd grade.
6) How I skipped grades 4, 5, and 6.
7) I'm really from St. Louis...Quebec.
8) I sold weapons to Iran back in '85 in exchange for Persian carpets.
9) Documents that show my support for the Palestinians and their cause!
10) My date of birth.
I think I'm really going somewhere with this archery thing. I'm pretty sure I placed fourth (out of 30+ shooters, I think) in our last competition, which only pushes me to train harder.
This last competition, though, had only California archers and word has it that the east coast boys are the real competition. To this I say, "Fuck them! They ain't my boys! First place is mine!"
Recurve and PSE fo' lia nia!
So, yeah, that's my life these days. What's up with you?
Update: I just found out that I placed 6th out of 39...which sucks entirely.
Shit. I don't even have jokes.
From Bangs8.com:Bangs is a 19 year old rap artist born in North Khartoum, Sudan. At the age of 11, he moved to Egypt with his family after his Father married another wife. He spent two years there before coming to Australia in 2003.
He has been writing rap, hip hop and pop since settling in Melbourne in 2004.
“Music is my wife”, Bangs sang in a live jam recently. He writes about life, love and hope and his music grows with him till the end of life.
It's not clear if Bangs actually meant to say, "Music is my life", and just got his English all fucked up. What is clear, though...
FROM SUDAN... TO AUSTRALIA... TO 1 MILLION VIEWS ON YOUTUBE...
Actually, 1.6 as of this posting. How many of those hits does Unintentional Comedy account for? You be the judge of that...
It can, and does get worse...
Tuesday, January 12, 2010
I don't think I'd personally ever care to play a Transformers video game, but this looks entirely disappointing, which is saying a lot from someone with zero expectations.
Thursday, January 07, 2010
Back on our original bg/ag publishing site, I wrote a column called Movies So Bad, They're Effin' Rad. Your boy and mine, ag recently suggested, no, demanded that I bring this column back to life. He went as far as to entice me with a day at the beach with the interns.
I won't do it though. I cannot. The thing is, I just don't feel the same way about movies as I did back then. I don't have the same enthusiasm. My movie watching habits have changed dramatically. I no longer suckle the theaters I loved, and I don't purchase DVD's at an alarming rate any more. I'm more of a pirate now.
However, after some thought I realized, I do miss writing about movies, so, I need a column about movies that falls into line with my current sensibilities. And so, I'm pleased to announce the new bg/ag publishing movie column...
Y'know, I have to admit, 2009 was a solid year for film. Like a little blue pill for my movie mojo, 2009 actually gave me a rush of blood to the head. Erection. Ahem.
For the first time in a long time, I actually saw a movie in the theater. Twice. I rented DVD's, although that probably had more to do with the quaint charm of Faye's Video & Espresso Bar and the prospect of a cozy night on the couch with Kristen.
Primarily though, these days, I'm content to bootleg and watch movies in my leisure time, at my own pace. "Hype", you are a evil temptress, and I say, "Good day to you!"
Surprisingly, I actually saw enough films this year to compile a Top 10. And, y'know, I really like every movie on this list. Of course, due to my viewing habits, I'll also include a list of films I've yet to see that I feel could possibly be Top 10 worthy. So, let's get to it.
* * * * *
First, let me mention the films from 2009 that I have not yet seen, but have plans to watch, and am somewhat looking forward to:
Fantastic Mr. Fox
I don't have this one yet. I'm hesitant to bootleg this one because I really want to appreciate the animation, colors, and set design. Wes Anderson is my favorite writer/director, and George Clooney and Jason Schwartzman as voice talent only add to my hopes for this one.
Where The Wild Things Are
I've always been a fan of Spike Jonze, although I don't have any real memories of the book this film is based on, and what I mean by that is I've never read it. It comes highly recommended by my brother though, so I'll be looking forward to doing the wild thing with it. Eh? Get it?!? Wild Thing?!?. Well moving on...
I've been sitting on a copy of this film for a few months now. For one, it's directed by Alex Proyas, and because he directed Dark City, I'm going to give this one a shot. However, since it stars Nicolas Cage, I'm not in any hurry.
Again, based on director cred (Darren Aronofsky) and from what I've heard a fabulous performance my Mickey Rourke, I'm ready to get into the ring and go a few rounds with this one. Eh? Get it?!?! Oh never mind.
Another one I've been holding onto for a couple months now, I've just been waiting for the right time. Like, when I'm not alone and won't piss my pants out of fear. I kid, I kid...
In The Loop
Downloading as I type this. Everything I've read / heard about this film makes me want to see it. Hella funny is what I expect. We'll see...
Up In The Air
Just got this one. Of course, it sits atop many of the year's best lists I've seen, so, clearly the hype is too much. Even your boy and mine ag suckled it without qualms. I'll probably never watch it.
* * * * *
Ok, before we get to my Top 10 list of 2009 (SO fucking played, this concept, and I know it), let me discuss the movies that inspired hate and dick punchery in me...
5. Old Dogs
Fuck no I didn't see this nonsense. But I had to walk by a poster of it almost every day for a few months, and that alone was enough to inspire Hate and Fury in my soul. Let's put it this way, this movie was released on November 25, 2009. Bernie Mac is in it. He died on August 8th 2008. That should tell you all you need to know about this steaming pile of crap.
4. Transformers 2: Revenge of the... Aw Fuck, Who Cares
Don't get me wrong. I expected nothing at all from this movie. Nothing. Still...
Like my roommate said at the time, it felt like "Michael Bay just Michael Bayed all over your face."
Seriously, fuck this movie. I've already discussed this before. Moving on...
I really wanted to like this movie. I expected to like this movie. I suppose that, more than anything is what propels it towards the top of this list.
In the end however, I found it pretty much unwatchable. It wasn't funny. It wasn't clever. It was poorly acted, and I didn't give a shit about a single character. Let's just call it Adventurebland shall we? Haha. I'm full of this bullshit today...
1. Public Enemies
Michael Mann. Johnny Depp. Christian Bale. Fucking surefire combination for success right? Eh... Maybe not so much.
This film opens strong. The first 20 minutes or so had me prepared to see something brilliant. Everything I'd expect from said trio. And then, well, I don't know what happened. The story fell to pieces like a jigsaw in the box. I realized I didn't care about any of the characters. Even Mann seemed to be mailing in the directoral duties. It just made no sense. This film had every reason to work, and yet it failed. And that is why it tops my list of Hate and Fury, because it had all the right ingredients and still ended up tasting like a shit sandwich.
* * * * *
Top 10 of 2009
10. The Hurt Locker
I have a feeling that over the next few weeks this film could start to move up this list. I really like what I've seen of it. And by that I mean, yes, I've yet to watch it in it's entirety. It's fucking intense! It's visceral! It's gripping and stunning and fucking keeps you at the edge of your seat the entire fucking time. And that's why I haven't finished it. Shit, I come home, I need to relax son! Oh but it's good. It's excellent. I can't wait to finish it.
Although I am a fan and sometimes reader of comic books, I am one of those few geeks who had never bothered to read the Watchmen books. I finally got around to reading the books just before the movie came out. I could see why fanboys were frothing at the mouth over it. But the film had a lot to hold up on it's end. No easy adaptation this one.
As far as I'm concerned, the movie held up it's end of the bargain. Violent, sexy, true to the books, dark and brooding, explosive and surreal. Everything I want in a comic book / super hero movie.
Moon is one of those movies that grew on me a lot after I watched it. I certainly didn't appreciate it when I saw it. There were a lot of factors I guess, the main one being, my roommate set it up all wrong for me. But that's the beauty of a film like this, is it really should be watched without any setup at all. Don't read about it. Don't watch a trailer. Just watch it.
And don't be surprised 30 minutes in when you're mocking it openly and thinking you're all fucking slick cuz you've got it all figured out. Just let it play out. Appreciate Sam Rockwell. Rarely do actors get to chew every last bite of a role like this, and trust me, he is absolutely fantastic.
I hear a lot of praise for Kevin Spacey from critics, but in my personal opinion, I didn't care for his work much in this film. In fact, he might be the reason it's not higher on this list. Don't let that hold you back from Moon though. It's worth a look.
7. Funny People
We're getting into the range of films now that I'm going to find it hard to pick on too much. Funny People was engaging, funny, and really not the film I expected it to be.
Here's the thing. I like Adam Sandler. And not just Happy Gilmore silly / funny Adam Sandler or Punch Drunk Love serious / neurotic Adam Sandler. I also liked Click and Spanglish, and I think that's the type of balance that Sandler shows here. His role in Funny People fits him perfectly, and he plays it exactly how it should be. Strangely enough, it's Seth Rogen who I didn't really care for in this film, and that's not a knock on Seth Rogen so much as it was just for me, a miscasting.
Worth mentioning, Eric Bana. He has one of the tougher roles I think, and is exceptional.
Yes, it's essentially "Dances With Smurfs". And sure, the story is for the most part, predictable and slightly preachy...
But did you fucking see it?!? I mean, with your eyes, in 3D?!? The fucking glorious fantastic 3D world of Pandora?!? Visually stunning. Pandora is as dense and immerssive a world I've ever seen in a film. I mean, I would have shit my pants and gladly sat still for another 2 hours if George Lucas had pulled off anything close to the world of Pandora with any of the Star Wars prequels. The care, the detail, the amazing creatures and plant life. Who fucking cares about the story?!?
Add to that some pretty kick ass action scenes, some absolutely fun-as-hell character work from Giovanni Ribisi and Stephen Lang, and a solid performance from Sam Worthington and it all adds up to a nice tall glass of "fuck yes, I'll have another".
5. Star Trek
Honestly, I'm surprised I like this movie as much as I do. Perhaps I shouldn't be though. I grew up a fan of the Star Trek movies. Not a "Trekky" by any means, but I enjoyed seeing them in the theaters, usually went with my parents, and always had a good time. Star Trek IV set right here in San Francisco remains my favorite.
So really, I guess I was skeptical before seeing this one. Now, I wish I'd seen it on the big screen. It kicks major ass! (By the way, I'm no film critic, so, expressions like "kicks major ass" or "it's really good" or "it felt like a punch in the dick" are pretty much as far as my range goes for these type of summary reviews.)
J.J. Abrams knows what the fuck he's doing. He entertains the shit out of me. Sometimes, that's all I want. Just fucking hit me with it. Make me laugh. Make me say "whoa" a couple times. Make me root for the hero, rue the villain and such. Hell, make the room get a little bit dusty even, if you know what I mean. Fuck. Star Trek gets play any time it wants at my house.
4. Land of the Lost
Again, just a fucking pleasant surprise for me. I mean, I would never have expected to like this movie, let alone have it crack my top 5 in any given year. Here's what works for me...
The effects are somewhat cheesy. I believe, on purpose. Love that fucking campy quality it has. Will Ferrell is absolutely one of the funniest actors working today, this we all know. But the brilliance of this film, is that Ferrell gets to showcase his toned down, understated humor, while Danny McBride brings the over the top hilarity to the mix. It's a perfect combination to me. And it had me laughing consistently the length of the film. What's more is, I was rooting for these guys, and the Land of the Lost they find themselves in is pretty cool when it's all said and done.
"I finished building it, yes, but... I didn't have the nerve to test it out. So, I thought a trip to Arby's might give me some courage, but no dice. Then, I hit Popeye's, Del Taco. 14,000 calories later, I found myself down at Subway... powering through a 12 inch veggie on whole wheat babbling to a cut-out of Jared. Still didn't give me the strength to turn that thing on. I'm a coward."
3. The Hangover
Could easily have been #1. Just. Fucking. Brilliant. In every way. You know the expression "hilarity ensues"? Well, that's The Hangover. In fact, I can't think of anything that I don't like about this movie. It's everything I'd want it to be. It never deviates from what it's supposed to be. It never takes any wrong turns. It never slips in a throw away joke. It's just a fucking romp through Vegas and if you've ever spent more than 24 hours in that town you know it's either extremely fucking insane or just another night in that filthy desert town.
Love, fucking love this flick. Hell, what could possibly have beat it?...
2. Observe and Report
Black Humor - in literature, drama, and film, grotesque or morbid humor used to express the absurdity, insensitivity, paradox, and cruelty of the modern world. Ordinary characters or situations are usually exaggerated far beyond the limits of normal satire or irony. Black humor uses devices often associated with tragedy and is sometimes equated with tragic farce. - Columbia Encyclopedia
There should be nothing, and I mean nothing funny about Ronnie Barnhardt's life, his job, his dating options, his home life, or his delusions. It is fucking tragic. And when you're thinking, "what the fuck?!?", you only realize, that not only is his life seriously tragic, but he is not in any way amused by it. He is fucking dead serious.
Seth Rogen... fucking aye Seth. I never in a million years thought you had this performance in you. (Yes I'm speaking directly to Seth Rogen, he deserves no less.) You've become a bit typecast I'd say. I'm sure you'd agree. But hey, Pineapple Express and Superbad and Knocked Up... all that shit was really funny. And you were fucking good in all those movies. But in Observe and Report, well, fuck man, you are just fucking brilliant! You make me want to laugh and cry and cringe and shout at my television like a madman and fucking cheer for Ronnie fucking Barnhardt!
I never expected it. A fucking space alien could have landed in my fucking living room and I would have been less surprised than I was by this movie.
Jody Hill, thank you for writing and directing this fucking work of genius. Ray Liotta, Michael Pena, The Yuan Twins... fuck, thank you all. Jesus fuckall this movie made my year. I mean, only one film could have knocked it out of the #1 slot...
1. Inglourious Basterds
Quentin's best film. Hands down. I almost thought putting this at #1 was taking the easy way out. But nah...
This is just sheer brilliance. This is why I love film. This is tension and drama created only with words, and the possibility of shit going very, very wrong.
Best character / performance? Start with Chrstoph Waltz as Hans Landa. Then what? Can any separation be made? Brad Pitt as Aldo Raine? Melanie Laurent as Shosanna Dreyfus? Diane Kruger as Bridget von Hammersmark? Daniel Bruhl as Fredrick Zoller? What about Til Schweiger as Hugo Stiglitz? Jacky Ido as Marcel? Denis Menochet as Perrier LaPadite? Seriously, I can't say any one is better than another.
"Wait for the crème."
Well, this is it.