Archive for September, 2009

Things That Rhyme With Orange

September 21, 2009


I Set My Friends on Fire is easily one of my all-time favorite bands. They’re one of a VERY select group of artists (Tenacious D, Bloodhound Gang, Electric Six…yep, that’s about it) that have the ability to produce INCREDAMAZING music and humor at the same time. Their first and only album to date, You Can’t Spell Slaughter Without Laughter came out on October 7th, of ’08. A video for Things That Rhyme With Orange apparently came out in July of this year, yet it managed to completely slip by me. So, without further ado, here is the entire canon of ISMFOF videos. Things That Rhyme With Orange, and my two FAVORITES that the boys did with Smosh.


Welcome to Gimmicktown!

September 20, 2009


Being the old, crotchety miser that I am, I try to stay open-minded to new endeavors in cinema, but the truth is, I’m always reluctant to accept a new, sensationalist change on a classic tradition that I hold near and dear. Reason being, is that most of these changes I’m referring to come about in an effort to increase revenue, not to increase creativity or production. My topic of concern is that movies are being more and more redily made into 3-D. Dreamworks, the perpetrator in this situation, started the machine tentatively, producing only a handful of 3-D movies in the last two years. However, the movies that they did release in 3-D went above and beyond their monetary expectations. While the argument still stands that this could be the wave of the future for film and that any revenue is good revenue in an economy where most people have LITERALLY no income, it’s still very hard to look anyone in the eye and tell them that 3-D IS more than just a money-making gimmick. Harder still to tell them that Hollywood will use 3-D to further storytelling and enhance the medium rather than to cheapen good narratives for the next few years and then suddenly drop once its profitability wavers. DON’T TAKE MY WORD FOR IT, THOUGH! Just take a gander at actual quotes from Jeffrey Katzenberg which I found on /Film:

The consumer has shown now time and time again not just a willingness but an aggressive ambition to trade up for a premium experience. There’s been zero price resistance, in the worst economy in our lifetime. And as the economy changes and improves, that’s only going to continue to grow….The research we’ve done everywhere in the world said the consumer said they got a valuable experience at a $5 premium. And nobody has done a $5 premium.


In a business where margins are sinking like a stone in water, suddenly something comes along that for a small incremental investment you create huge incremental income possibilities for you. Why every studio isn’t out making three, four, five 3D movies is inexplicable.

Now, before you get your pitchforks and torches out let me reiterate a VERY valid point that /Film makes. Katzenberg is an executive. His sole purpose in life is to drive sales and fill the company’s wallet. That’s what he’s paid to do. In /Film’s Russ Fischer’s own words, “Granted, Katzenberg is an exec. It’s his job to make money, and his job to drum up support for plans that will put coin in his coffers. So a statement like this isn’t too surprising.” But my earlier point only stands strengthened. I hardly believe that anyone in the upper echelons of Dreamworks have any intentions other than fiscal ones when they add 3-D to their films. This gold-plated gimmick is far from being used for the right reasons, and until we can even fully undertand what the “right” reasons for using 3-D storytelling are, we shouldn’t do it. I SAID, “GOOD DAY,” SIR!

MORE Making fun of Shakira!

September 18, 2009


Apparently, I was a bit impetuous with my previous post, as there are a LOAD of She Wolf spoofs out there.  Below are a few of my favorites.  Granted, some of these are FAR better than others.  Oh, just make sure to watch the She Worf one.  It’s amazing and actually kind of catchy in its own right.  I can’t help it, I’m a sucker for Auto-Tune.


September 17, 2009


So, like most Americans right now, I have had that new Shakira song stuck in my head and have been playing it constantly on loop on my mp3 player. It’s beginning to border on purely unhealthy compulsion. The video, oddly enough, is just as catchy as the song. Mostly because Shakira has invented a new form of dance I have affectionately dubbed “Structured Epilepsy.” Don’t get me wrong, the girl looks good doing it, but, to put it bluntly, if anyone else attempted those dance moves, they would immediatly be rushed to an emergency room, a psychiatric ward, or both. This is where Alphacat comes in. Due to my recent Shakira fixation, I just recently stumbled upon this internet celeb, but apparantly, he’s been around for awhile now. The internet impressario struck gold around the middle of summer 2008 when the ’08 election campaign was at its peak. Alphacat, better known to the woman who birthed him as Iman Crosson, has a knack for impersonating Barack Obama. So much so that he has performed at multiple corporate events, on Television shows, in animated endeavors, and even at Aretha Franklin’s birthday party. This talent, coupled with a Denny’s promotion that sought the best Barack Obama impersonator at the time (guess who won) launched him to the minute stardom that comes with being a Youtube star.

So, at this point, I’m sure you’re wondering, “Alex, why in God’s Green Earth did they produce a Donnie Darko 2?  And how in the world could they greenlight a third?  Do they want me to commit hari-kari in Time’s Square?”  Of course, the other question I’m sure you’re asking is, “What do Alphacat and Shakira’s dance/mess/slop have to do with each other?”  Well, the man made a hilarious spoof of Shakira’s video and I wanted to broadcast it because it clearly took a little time and it’s actually pretty darn funny.  Below I’ve listed Shaky-Hips vid, Alphacat’s spoof, and one of his dead-on Obama impersonations.

2009-2010 Must-See List

September 15, 2009


After a lackluster-at-best summer movie season, we have all been (strangely) blessed with an incredible 09-10 season to look forward to.  I seriously haven’t been this jazzed about movie-going in a few years.  It seems that an amazing new debut is announced weekly at this point, which is really cutting in on my Hollywood bitching time.  Below, I’ve created a haphazard, make-shift rundown of what I am absolutely chomping at the bit to see in the upcoming season:

The Road-Cormac McCarthy’s novel’s big screen adaptation was recently pushed back to Thanksgiving, frightening me all the more as I fear that studios are losing faith in its bankability.

Sherlock Holmes-Robert. Downey. Jr.


Alice in Wonderland-Tim Burton’s CGI-fest update of Lewis Carrol’s classic.  Though I am EXTREMELY skeptical, Depp as the Mad Hatter with Matt Lucas, Helena Bonham Carter, Anne Hathaway, Michael Sheen, Crispin Glover, Stephen Fry, and Alan Rickman are keeping my cries of “CGI-FOUL!” at bay.


Iron Man 2-I’m intrigued to see Downey fight Mickey Rourke.  Intrigued enough to include this entry on this list.  Past that, to be honest, I don’t see this film panning out much differently than its predecessor, but, as long as they deliver on some great Downey/Rourke headbashing, I’ll be content.


The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus-This is, hands down, the crown jewel of this list.  Terry Gilliam’s fantasy epic starring the late Heath Ledger had to improvise with its script as Ledger passed away during filming.  So what is one of the most revered directors in Hollywood to do when he loses his lead actor?  Simple, he calls in Johnny Depp, Jude Law, and Colin Ferrell to replace him.  All in one movie.  Johnny Depp, Jude Law, Colin Ferrell, and Heath Ledger all play the same role.  I was trying to come up with a new word to describe this event, but I simply can’t.


Zombieland-I’m not even a self-professed zombie-buff like many of my co-horts, but the trailers for this endeavor look too astounding to pass up.  Watching Woody Harrelson annihilate zombies while taking the less-than-menacing Jesse Eisenberg under his wing is all I wanted over the summer ’09 movie season.  Was that so much to ask?


I Love You Philip Morris-Jim Carrey and Ewan McGregor in a dark comedy about an inmate who breaks out of jail once his lover is released from the same prison.  I love Jim Carrey.  I love Ewan McGregor.  I love the premise.  I Love You, Philip Morris.  (I’m sorry, I couldn’t resist.)


A Christmas Carol-Robert Zemeckis retells Dickens’ classic utilizing Jim Carrey as Scrooge and all three ghosts.  Need I say more?


Fantastic Mr. Fox-Wes Anderson helms this Roald Dahl retelling with a cast the likes of Meryl Streep, George Clooney, Jason Schwartzman, Bill Murray, and Owen Wilson.  CAN. NOT. WAIT.


Inception-Christopher Nolan’s first at-bat (no pun intended) since The Dark Knight.  A sci-fi/thriller starring Leo DiCaprio.  How many good things can we combine into a single movie? 


Youth in Revolt-Michael Cera adopts an alternate persona all in the hopes of wooing a love interest.  My description doesn’t do the title nearly as much justice as images of Cera with a faux mustache. 


Bronson-Having been called A Clockwork Orange of our time, Bronson chronicles the true story of Charles Bronson, the prisoner, who attained superstar status from simply being an unruly inmate.


(Untitled)-An art flick commenting on the absurdity of art flicks and art in general.  Seems to be everything Art School Confidential promised to be but failed to deliver on.


Gentlemen Broncos-Jared Hess’ latest directing forray is a surreal fantasy about a down-on-their-luck sci-fi writer who steals a young boy’s manuscript and profits greatly.  I was sold upon reading “A surreal fantasy.”


The Box-Richard Kelly (who I’m STILL giving credit for Donnie Darko) directs James Marsden and Cameron Diaz in a thriller about a married couple who discover an obscure box left on their doorstep.  Try to forget Southland Tales for just a minute and remember: James Marsden.


World’s Greatest Dad-This could very well be the role that brings poignancy back to Robin Williams’ career.  Williams plays a failed poet father who finds his son dead due to auto-erotic asphyxiation.  To lull his son’s unfortunate fate, he writes a beautiful suicide note that gets absurd publicity and paints his son as a genius.  Williams then must decide whether to out himself as the genius or maintain his son’s newfound celebrity.  Did I mention that Bobcat Goldthwait is helming the project?


The Vampire’s Assistant-All production stills simply do not do this flick justice, you HAVE to check out the trailer.  Otherwise it just looks like John C. Reilly attempting a recreation of Nic Cage’s The Magician’s Apprentice, and that isn’t even out yet!  This quasi fantasy-quasi comedy-quasi drama seems to be perfect for John C. Reilly who stars in the lead role. After pulling schlock duty at the Apatow-Factory for the last few years, it will be good to see him be able to stretch again and actually play with something with some meat to it.


Where the Wild Things Are-Spike Jonze’s adaptation of everyone’s favorite children’s book looks amazing and I’m very curious to see how good/bad it pans out.


9-Back to John C. Reilly!  This voice cast is amongst the best I have seen in years.  Christopher Plummer is a catch in any medium. 


The Lovely Bones-The trailers all look AMAZING and have kept my appetite satiated for this neo-fantasy thriller involving a young girl slain before her time and her attempt to reach out from beyond the grave.


Big Fan-Patton Oswalt has put down a show-stopping dramatic performance that has stunned and stupefied most critics with its un-abashedly powerful and sincere dramatic intent.  Oswalt steps out of the image he has been stereotyped with and fully explodes on the scene with a (hopefully) attention grabbing portrayal.


Not Quite Hollywood-A documentary (which I am usually a sucker for) about the explosion of the Australian film market in the ’70’s.  Pure.  Genius.


Kick-Ass-Michael Cera and Nick Cage star in Mark Miller’s adaptation of his own graphic novel in which an everyday kid takes on the mantel of the superhero.  Miller’s graphic novel has a die-hard, monstrous fan base while being a relatively new title.  Plus, Nic Cage.


Cold Souls-Paul Giamatti plays himself in a Being John Malkovich sort of drama, in which Paul, a successful actor, takes part in a breakthrough soul-removal-procedure.

This entire effort seems fairly frivolous, because, while this is all I can think of now, as soon as I finish writing this article, fourteen more trailers will be released and will stupify me.  I’m FAR from complaining, however, as it has been years since I’ve been anywhere near this excited about anything Hollywood has done. Happy movie-going everyone!

Shameless self-promotion, everyone!
Bears With Sparklers

Robots in Disguise

September 7, 2009


It’s been a long time.  Shouldn’t have left you, without a dope beat to step to…I really need to stop quoting old Timbaland songs.  Anyway, I intend on writing much more.  I’ve been trying to get my life in order so the ‘ole Shwayblog was a bit on hiatus.  During this time, though, I’ve been watching a ton of The Mighty Boosh to keep me going.  The Boosh are an institution onto themselves that continually churn out and discover the best comedy, live performances, and music.  For this post, we shall focus on the music.  The Boosh are big fans and advocates of electroclash outfit Robots in Disguise, which, after hearing about them, I became a big fan, as well.  Robots in Disguise consists of Dee Plume and Sue Denim.  Their music is fast-paced, poppy, and capable of making you dance whether or not you want to.  It’s fascinating.  And their videos are on a whole ‘nother level.  They are absolutely hilarious, appropriately almost always contain robots, and sometimes involve members of The Boosh, themselves.  Below, I’ve listed my two favorite videos and below that, one of my favorite songs by them without a video.  Extra credit for those of you who can spot the Fielding brothers in one of the two videos!