HE SAID: Case of the Mondays?

September 13, 2010

I don’t care if someone used a program to make himself look like this or not, but this is uncomfortably hilarious:

_________________

Ok so this is definitely not a typical link for me, but if you are at all interested in how our current food systems affect climate change this should interest you.

________________

Though I did not create this blog, “F*ck The Jets,” I certainly wish I had.

_________________

For all you M. Night Shmymamamalan fans out there.


HE SAID: Books Made Into Movies

August 12, 2010

I apologize a bit because this topic is kind of similar to our Remakes post a few months back, at least in terms of the underlying theme of lack of originality in Hollywood (ironic because I’m showing a slight lack of the same thing in my post).  But the fact remains this topic hit me karma is going to hit Lebron James last night when I was watching “The Lords of Discipline,” an early 80s flick based on the tremendous Pat Conroy novel with the same name.  The book climbed into my top 10 this summer, and the movie rendition made me want to vomit.  Though it starred a relative who’s who of 80’s stars who never really panned out (Judge Reinhold, Michael Biehn, David Keith), it was barely even a cliff notes version of the book.  After the movie I did what any normal individual does, and studied the crap out of it on IMDB.  What did I come upon? The movie version of Ayn Rand’s renowned “Atlas Shrugged” is finally in production.

At one time rumored to be starring the likes of Brad Pitt and Charlize Theron, it is now starring absolutely no one and being directed by a dude who’s main credits include 12 episodes of effing One Tree Hill.  Suffice it to say, I almost threw up on top of the throw up the movie I had just watched caused.  I know Congress is busy and all (oh wait, no they aren’t, they are in recess for a fu$king month, cause that makes sense), but since they have always been hellbent on getting involved in shit that shouldn’t involve them – steroids in baseball, concussions in football – why can’t they delegate a committee to put down productions such as a C- version of one of the greatest books ever written?

I don’t think we should just put the kibosh on making books into movies, but at the very least, a screenplay must be ok’ed by a committee of people who think it will do the book justice.  After all, some movies based on books are tremendous (Mystic River, Watchmen, the Police Academy Series).  But most suck.  We hear the same bullshit excuse all the time, “there just isn’t enough time in a movie to fully develop everything.”  Oh, ok…in that case…don’t make it!

All this anger probably can be traced back to October of 2004, because like everything in my life, it relates to the Red Sox.  What should have been unequivocally the happies moment of my life remains to this day slightly soured because the Farrelly brothers used the first Red Sox World Series celebration in 86 years to film the end of an abysmal version of Nick Hornby’s “Fever Pitch.”  Thanks alot assholes, you two clowns should’ve hung em up after “Outside Providence.”


HE SAID: Remakes

June 10, 2010

Not the same chemistry. Though that might be ok.

So I’ve touched on this before, but now that “K-Day” is actually just about here, I need to vent.  How can someone in good conscience remake a film as timeless as Karate Kid?  I just don’t understand it.  It is a classic that quarterlifers such as myself see as one of the major marks of their childhood.  Just because we have new technology to make things “better” does not necessarily mean we always have to use it (unless you are Bud Selig, commish for MLB, use technology for replay please so kids with perfect games can actually have them).

A little too close...

And the original Karate Kid was not just some joke of a kids movie…Pat Morita got nominated for an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor.  This was a well done movie, that I still have trouble turning off no matter how often it comes on ABC Family.  Were there issues? Of course…why would you move a junior in high school across the country for a waitressing job? Why did there have to be sexual tension between Daniel and Miyagi?  How inthe world is Elisabeth Shue actually into Ralph Macchio, which was the most unbelievable part of the original. Why do these things matter to me? Oops, that’s a whole different subject.

Now we are getting a remake, with a stunt man as Miyagi and an 11 year old learning effing kung fu (NOT KARATE).  I guess the bottom line is – what’s the point? I mean, I totally understand them making the A-Team into a movie.  It was never a movie, but even if you consider it a remake it makes sense…in this case our newer technology will make it a hell of a lot cooler than the original TV show, even if Mr. T isn’t involved.  Same thing with the two latest Batman flicks, which are not considered remakes either, but instead rebirths.  And after a Clooney and Kilmer sighting as Batman, it was definitely necessary.

But now people are calling for The Outsiders, The Goonies, Red Dawn (already in production, to be released around Thanksgiving).  When does it end? Maybe I’m just being selfish because these are some of my favorite childhood memories that I don’t want ruined by Michael Bay, who was most accurately described in the movie Team America – “Why does Michael Bay get to keep on making movies?”  Would there be an uproar from our parents generation if some jackass in Hollywood announced a new Butch Cassidy & The Sundance Kid starring Nicolas Cage and Aston Kucher? Alright that’s it, I’m done…I hate being angry.  But if this enrages you as much as it does me let me know, I’ll picket with you outside theatres this weekend.


SHE SAID: Remakes

June 10, 2010

Jeremy, I hate it when I agree with you because I feel like it makes our blog so boring.  Instead of lambasting you, I’m just saying, yeah, good point.  Which is not that interesting because we are supposed to be contrasting views on arbitrary themes.

Also, as we discussed online earlier, you writing a post about the Karate Kid (or the remake) with me as a sounding wall is kind of pointless since I have not seen either film.  Although, it sounds like I’m not to blame for the second one since it hasn’t been released yet.  It’s akin to me posting about the hassles of getting my period and expecting you to deliberate what it’s like being a woman with me.

Carrie - Original and Remake

On a broader note, as far as remakes go, Hollywood is to blame for the the general impressiveness:  either the original stunk and a remake was necessary, or they are unimaginative and running out of ideas. Either way, both are depressing realities to face for a nation waiting patiently while reclining on the couch for someone to inspire us pay $12 to sit in the darkness snacking on overpriced junk food while visually ingesting drivel.  A positive outlook, I know.

To compare it to a similar idea … why are some musical covers more successful than others?  Why is it okay for Susan Tedeschi to slay Angel From Montgomery and Don’t Think Twice, but it’s not okay for a director to remake Karate Kid, The Parent Trap or Carrie?  Why is it okay to remake the Bourne Identity, but not okay for Madonna to massacre American Pie?  Why can I not stomach American Idol?  If an artist, be it an actor, singer, musician, producer or director, can somehow make the piece their own and it is artistically new and interesting enough, then bring on the covers and the remakes.  If you are going to revisit history, best to interpret it, rather than regurgitate it.  If, however, you are simply going to record the original with your voice and/or new mediocre actors, please don’t bother.  The original, even a completely forgettable one, will still blow any successive version out of the water.

Movies are a much more challenging undertaking due to the amount of people involved, the length, and the confines of the story.  Baz Luhrmann’s 1996 remake of Romeo and Juliet is one of the few that comes to mind and its success lies in his placing it in modern day.  Unfortunately, this was not an effective approach for Gil Junger’s 1999 movie, 10 Things I Hate About You.  Had Julia Styles not been hot and grating on a table, this would have been forgotten rapidly.  On a side note, I’m relieved that Hollywood has stopped trying to push crappy movies with the whole “based on a Shakespeare text” defense.

Will this new version of The Karate Kid shed new light on the relationship between student and teacher?  Will the acting provide new depth to the characters?  Will the setting, the medium switching to kung-fu, the star power of young Mr. Smith and Jackie Chan make this newer version go down in the record books?  Probably not.  And chances are, I’m not going to see it anyway.  But, I am looking forward to Grace Potter’s new album, if I can get my hands on it.  She killed, in a heel stompingly good way, the Beatles classic, Come Together, the last time I saw her live in Burlington.  When done well, I love the revisiting of an old classic, the respect shown to the artists that have come before and influenced today’s creators.  I would be upset if it weren’t happening.


HE SAID: Retiring

October 20, 2009

A few months ago in this space, I wrote about how I thought Brett Favre should just retire.  In fact, I felt so strongly about it I posted twice.  However, I wasn’t really referring to his skill level so much as the way he would wait until the day before the season started and thus acting like a complete dbag in the process.  Today I’d like to focus my attention to some people in the limelight that might want to consider hanging it up, for good, because while these people used to be relevant, they simply suck now.  Some of these names might surprise you, if I’ve offended anyone, feel free to explain why you oppose my opinion.

al_pacino

#1. Al Pacino – Yeah, that’s right, I said, I think that Michael effing Corleone (possibly one of the best characters of all time) should give up acting.  Why? Simple, Pacino hasn’t made a relevant movie in a decade (The Insider & Any Given Sunday), hasn’t been in a decent movie since 2002 (Insomnia), and for lack of a better phrase – sucks at acting now.  He has become a complete and utter charicature of himself.  He overacts, he plays the same over-the-top jackass in every movie, and I’m simply tired of him yelling at me when he doesn’t have to.

#2. Rivers Cuomo/Weezer – For those that don’t know me, even writing down the name Rivers was painful.  They were my second favorite band all through high school and college, and the Blue Album & Pinkerton will forever remain two of my favorite albums of all time.  That being said, they haven’t made a great album since Pinkerton.  And while I’ll agree that it is incredibly hard to live up to amazing debuts, other albums should at least have songs that make you think, “wow, they still have it.”  There have been some catchy tunes on each album since, but they lost me at “I Am the Greatest Man that Ever Lived.”  Maybe the album coming out Tuesday will negate this paragraph, though based on a couple early songs I highly doubt it.

And for those who wish to put Pearl Jam in this same category, just to spite me, I concede the fact that no album after the first three have been as good.  However, on each I can point to at least two or three songs that would stand up against any from the first few.  And besides, their newest album rocks out like it’s 1994.

#3. Michael Bay & Roland Emmerich – While each of you have a couple of exceptions, for the most part, your movies suck. I mean, really, really suck.  Anyone with a bankroll and some access too good CGI computer can do what you do.  The worst part is, you are making me hate some actors I used to love.  John Cusack, what the eff are you doing starring in 2012?  Shouldn’t you be professing your love in an angst ridden way to some attractive, yet slightly unknown actress?  The answer is “yes, yes you effing should.”  But instead you are making this trash, all for a big fat paycheck.

I could keep this list going on forever (Nicolas Cage, Axl Rose, Jon Bon Jovi, Cameron Diaz), and maybe one day I will.  But for now it’s time to watch the Angels beat the Yankees.


SHE SAID: Retiring

October 20, 2009

So here’s what I envision:

It’s late. Al can’t sleep. He’s on the couch, sprawled out with his laptop overheating his lap, and to compensate for this, one bare leg is out of the bathrobe. He’s got some hard candy his mouth is working on, his glasses have slipped forward on his nose due to the slight sweat from the heat and he’s not so much typing as clicking while his eyes ricochet back and forth across his monitor.

It’s three thirty in the morning on a Tuesday and Al Pacino is googling himself because it’s slightly more interesting than counting sheep and he comes across our little blog.

This is a man who has … this is The Godfather. This is Scent of a Woman. This is Scarface. Was he apparently in Gigli (thanks, imdb)? Yes, but after his line up, he could have done anything, including Gigli, and still, his bio on imdb starts with “One of the greatest actors in all of film history…”

He’s untouchable and I’m mortified that he might read that we, because I am implicated by association, I fear, think he should retire.

And then consider, while attacking great artists who aren’t as monumentally prolific at the moment that this is the America of second chances. This is the America that rooted for Britney when she had a shaved head, covered with a pink wig, driving with her knee down the freeway with the top down while talking on her cell phone, chain smoking cigarette butts and drinking a vente frappachino with her unstrapped toddlers in the front seat. This is the America of “Rock of Love III” and other numerous washed up celebrity reality shows. We are dying for the troubled underdog to come out on top, we are rooting for the sitcom star from the early eighties to lose those pesky 135 pounds he’s put on since then. And if not, if they don’t come out on top, well then we laugh at them from our couches. It’s a win-win for the American viewer.

And so, amidst this gigantic load of garbage we’re supposed to swallow as entertainment, I’m supposed to pick three people who made contributions to society to retire and claim them no longer relevant?

I don’t feel up to the task tonight. I don’t think I’m riding high enough on my horse. And so I know it’s not the guidelines I was supposed to follow, but …

I think Jon, Kate, the nanny, the body guard and all of the eight should retire.

I think Lindsay Lohan should retire and not necessarily because her work is terrible, but because it’s clearly not a healthy environment for her. The girl needs some down time.

I think Perez Hilton should retire and take his minions with him to some deserted island.

I’m going to take this time to plug two friends of mine who are doing really great work and should most definitely not retire. Fellow Ephs (I think that’s the first time I’ve referred to myself as such), Matthew Swanson and Robbi Behr publish books that he writes and she illustrates. They are inspired and imaginative pieces of work and their creation and existence makes me less worried about exactly where our society is heading. Which will probably make them both laugh. Check their work out here.

On that note, I’m going to retire for the night. See what I did there? Hahahaha.