Friday, August 14, 2009

Reality Check-

Ok, so maybe I don't write reviews for the New York Times, but it gives me a sense of gratification to emulate top-notch critics. Maybe it's my longing to feel accepted by adults. Or it could be the need to be loved by everyone in the world. Either way, I wants me some damn attention!
I know what YOU PEOPLE want to hear, so I'm going to give it you. This time, and this time only.


Thursday, August 13, 2009

At Least Wilco Loves You

Jeff Tweedy and his fearsome 5 assures listeners of this from the very start. The opening track of the eponymous album also happens to be named "Wilco", and is basically the theme song of the bands entire career. " Wilco Will Love You, Baby"- Tweedy exclaims early on this highly-addicting track. If you've heard any of Wilco's other 6 albums, then you've already been loved by Wilco( and most likely, the feeling is mutual). In case you wondering, YES Wilco does have their old sound back, sundry twang and all. In fact, surprisingly enough, most fans will find 'Wilco' (the album) reminiscent of 'Summerteeth'. It's "less country" to assert, but that's not to say it's lacking in the melodies that make Wilco so great. It seems this time around the band's going for a some-what more universal sound than "Sky Blue Sky". Then again, they can do whatever the hell they want and still garner critical, and commercial attention.

On the track "You Never Know", Tweedy writes " It's A Secret I Can't Tell/ There's a wish down a well, I Don't Care Anymore".JT could be talking about his struggles with some of his earlier bandmates, or pretty much anything. The lyrics are just icing on top of an already sweet cake of a song. Mikael Jorgensen's knack for infectious keyboard melodies stand out the most on on this track, and John Stirrat's baselines aren't so bad either (biggest understatement I'll ever make). Where Tweedy's dark and gritty vocals shine however, is in the Petty-Esque "Sonny Feeling".

Even when some of the songs fall-flat when it comes to lyrical or melodic creativity, they're is always something that gives it flare. Whether it's the background sound of a brilliant snare fill, or the addition of a non-conventional instrument that gives it some flare, it's completely up to the listener. It's the excellent attention to detail that makes Wilco, and this album, one of the most refreshing on the market. It isn't their best, but 'Wilco 7 'stands on its own as a satisfying addition to their ever-growing catalogue.

Grade- B+

Stand Out Tracks:
Wilco-the song
You Never Know
I'll Fight
You and I

Friday, July 10, 2009

Bruno: A Very Deep Film About Self-Discovery?

Hardly, but it is one terrifically funny movie.

As he did 3 years ago with Borat, actor and writer Sacha Baren Cohen delivers a daring and shocking contribution to comedy with his latest film 'Bruno'. Bruno is unlike any other film this year, and arguably, this decade. For the most part, that's a positive thing.

There aren't many filmmakers these days that will go as far as to mock just about every race, religion, ideology, political standpoint, and fashion view in modern society just to get a good laugh. And if it works, who can blame them? Cohen latches on to this concept like it's the only thing that will keep his career alive.

Unlike it's roots of Da Ali G Show, "Bruno" is undoubtedly funny, but yet thematic at the same time. Throughout the film, fashionpolizei Bruno( The biggest Austrian celebrity since Hitler)
aspires to achieve success in Hollywood after being exiled from every night club in Europe ( not even the bouncers he's slept with 9 times will let him in!). It is the finest example of what some misguided foreigners (and even citizens) believe to be the American Dream. Of course, he discovers that it's more difficult than he could ever have imagined.

After failing a gig as an extra on the show 'Medium' and being rejected by every cable network on TV, he decides to make a sex tape. This is where the real laughs start to roll in.

An un-aware Ron Paul, in what is potentially the funniest scene in the movie, agrees to be interviewed by the infamous Bruno himself. While the interview is being conducted, one of the camera's lights "accidentally" blows out and so Bruno requests that Paul "relaxes" with him in the other room. Wetting of the pants ensues.

Unfortunately, this isn't the only part where jokes like this are used. In fact, one of the downsides of having a mockumentary film of this nature is that there is often recycled humour.

Where 'Bruno' squanders however, it makes up for in it's shock value. When I say shock value, I don't mean it as shock value found in lousy D-movies such as "College" or "American Pie 10". For there's something much more, do I dare say it, "elegant" in a film that takes it self seriously. One scene in particular, in which our hero attends an American Originated swingers party, is both uncomfortable and suffocatingly-funny at the same time. Uncomfortable if seen with a family member, but funny under every circumstance.

Some of the interviews with real people are so outlandish that audiences are forced to believe that a bit of at least has to be fictional. Believe what you want, but the majority of it is stranger-than fiction; so bizarre that it feels the behavior is pounded in to your system. This however, can be quite annoying at times. The feeling of being forced to laugh in order to your enjoy yourself is fairly conceivable, and amateurish. After minor petty humor though, 'Bruno' pulls through as one of the funniest movies in years. With all his boldness, Sacha Baren Cohen is one of the most committed satarical actors around. Yes, funnier than Borat. A-

Thursday, June 25, 2009

R.I.P. Whacko Jacko

All I have to say is, I loved Michael. I loved everything about him. Even his fondling of children. Because I'm into that too. He was my role model. And the world of pediphiles has lost a great man. Too bad he didn't get to fondle me. I know I usually try to sound smart about everything and act like I know everything, but for now, I mourn for this great hero. Heck, later I will probably bad-talk him, but that's cuz I'm trying to talk like I know everything and look cool for everyone. I'll bore you guys later about anything else I don't have a clue about and talk about it without end, but for now, my thoughts and prayers are with Michael.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Transformers 2 Does Not Roll Out The Goods

Last night, I was given the opportunity to view a midnight showing of Transformers 2: Revenge Of The Fallen here in Chicago. As you can imagine, the place was packed to the bone; a line stretched from around the building. Fortunately, simply because we're awesome (and my uncle owns a comic store that sponsored), we received the V.I.P. treatment and cut to the front.

Now most fans boys would be freaking out about this film, and lots were. However, I never truly felt any sort of anticipation building as I had with the first. Am I not a fan boy? No, I am a pretty huge fanboy, but I cant help but feel that "It's All Been Done Before." The first time around, audiences were excited to see just how well Micheal Bay's presentation of the quick-talking, heartful, and witty robots just was. Bay delivered the goods to both fan boys and moviegoers alike with fast-paced and fluid fun. Additionally, without a doubt, the CGI was brilliant, but one just can't help but think that they are simply just talking robots.

The second installment further proves this. There are only a few additional characters, and most of them are far from well developed. The introductions of The Fallen and The Matrix were pretty satisfying, but it's not enough to say the saga reinvented itself.The script was loopy and contained a lot of plot holes. That's not the worst part about it, though. potential *spoiler*

Both films share almost exactly the same climax, and resolution. Another arid aspect of this over-budget film, is that it;s length drags out an extra hour that could have easily been cut. In fact, I found myself falling asleep during the most action-packed scene of the entire film. Random toilet jokes from the robots such as: "I enjoy feeling your flesh" and " Punk ass Decepticon" do not save this sappy script by Roberto Orci . Instead, it makes the robots less realistic.
Once again, performances from Shia Leboof and Megan "smokin' like a" Fox are far from notable. Fox's sex appeal is without a doubt, fantastic, but does not fool anybody. Her "acting" is cringe worthy. To be honest, I have no idea what this tool Leboof has got going for him either, but it must be enough to earn him an 8-digit contract. Peter Cullen was brilliant as Optimus compared to them.
The one thing 'Transformers 2: Revenge of The Fallen Director' has going for it, is the scintillating cinematography and special effects. There are certain breath-taking moments of farce, and if viewing in Imax, lots of the robots can be seen in "life-like form".
"Transformers 2' is entertaining at most, but lacks the substance needed to be an excellent sequel. Without a doubt, fans of the license will enjoy it, but girlfriends might not.