Saturday, November 29, 2008

More Andy Warhol!

First of all, I am sorely disappointed that ABC is cancelling Dirty Sexy Money. This show has the best cast on television, but I'm also sure it's one of the highest paid, sigh. But, they are not cancelling Life on Mars, although, it's on hiatus until January. Great great show. Reaper is coming back too!!! But alas, they axed Aliens in America ... a truly unappreciated show.

True Blood ended the season. Rene was the killer and Bill went into the daylight to save Sookie from Rene. Sam is a shapeshifter who turns into a dog ... for anyone who doesn't watch, reading this is strange, but the show is just incredible. Not sure if these Twighlight movies/books have anything to do with True Blood. Maybe Twilight is the teenage version of True Blood. HBO ordered up season 2, so COOL!!!!

My Andy Warhol fetish continues. The more I get into it, the more I don't like the guy. Total user, enabler, contributor to his own demise. Ovation has been running a series called Andy Warhol's Factory People. What a bunch of whackos. It's a great series. I think that Bob Dylan knew Andy's deal and refused to be a part of it ... even made off with a print for sitting for a screentest, HA, you go Bob!!! Andy was just really really strange, but he completely manipulated people and honestly, I think some of them wanted to be manipulated. And some of the aging Factory "superstars" are still delusional. This Ultra Violet woman??? Yea, right lady, your hair is now naturally violet ... ca-razeeeeee!!!! Some woman named Ivey claims that she and Andy were going to get married ... hellllooooooo ... he was gay! There was one woman, can't remember her name who was very straight and to the point about how stupid the whole scene was ... she was there for the drugs. I can respect that. I respect people who don't lie to themselves. Unfortunately, many of the Factory people met awful demises, OD's, suicides, hit and runs ... even Andy died a slow painful death. He was never right after being shot by Valerie Solanas .. no surprise, he let her in. She's dead too. I don't think that Lili Taylor portrayed Solanas quite crazy enough in I Shot Andy Warhol ... the woman was just insane.

Also watched a great film called The End of the Century. It's about the rise and fall of the Ramones. I still can't believe Joey is dead. Heck, Dee Dee and Johnny are too ... the front 3, original members, sigh. Those guys were great. While I believe they created a new form of music ... well, not created, because, to me, the godfathers of punk are Iggy and the Stooges, but there were stages ... Stooges, NY Dolls, Ramones ... in that order. Ramones never got the recognition they deserved and they spawned more bands who were far more successful. Heck, they did give birth to the British punk movement, Pisols, Clash, Damned, which begot Joy Division/New Order, Buzzcocks, oh the list goes on and on. Ramones kept it going ... 22 years of touring. I love those guys and I wish Joey was still around.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Taxi to the Darkside and Rosemary's Baby

How's that for a happy night of tv viewing???

Taxi to the Darkside was on HBO and it details the horrendous torture that our government not only encouraged and condoned, but will probably also be forgiven as a result of the current administration gutting the torture sections of the War Crimes Act. Yep, the people in charge are going to get off scott free .... I watched this film over several nights because it was very very graphic. The undoctored photos that were seen on tv and in magazines from Abu Graib (which took it's cues from a prison in Afghanistan called Bagram) and going into even more detail of the abuses in Gitmo (please president elect Obama, close that damn place). I'm so incredibly happy that they want to give the detainees proper trials in the United States. It's only fair and if the prosecutors can't make their case, then either they stink as attorneys, or the evidence (read habeus corpus) wasn't there to begin with. Shame on this country's administration ... what a bunch of sick *insert whatever expletive here*.

Finished Rosemary's Baby too. Was it supposed to be a horror movie? It wasn't scary. It was really campy. I mean ... all these old people were Satanists? No young people were part of the group? I didn't get that at all. Was it supposed to be campy? Mia Farrow was kind of shrilly ... I don't know ... why does this film make all these "great" lists.

I'm watching another Michael Winterbottom film called Go Now. It has one of my favorite actors, Robert Carlyle, who I cannot understand a word he says, but I love his acting. He played Begby in Trainspotting, brilliant film, couldn't understand a freaking thing he said in that one either. Carlyle plays a guy who gets MS, which is just horribly debilitating ... it's really depressing to see him deteriorate and Carlyle plays the part so well.

Today is the 30th anniversary of Jonestown. May each person who died on that day, with the exception of Jim Jones, be at peace and may each of their families find peace on this day as well.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Boogie Man: The Lee Atwater Story

Lee Atwater is the poppa of negative campaigns. He started out running a negative campaign the head up the College Republicans, with, none other than .. Karl Rove. Rove is Atwater's protegee. The 1988 election was my first election and I honestly don't remember the negative campaign influencing my vote at all. I remember his racist Willie Horton ad, but at that time in my life, I was a 22 year old clueless kid from an extraordinary conservative town and I voted straight ticket republican. I'm still exorcising that demon and writing it down helps. What was I thinking ... well, I wasn't thinking. My democrat Dad was ashamed of me, but he knew that I was voting my age, not my issues and he's right .. I've grown up since then.

Anyway, Lee Atwater. Now, he was a rat, a brilliant win at all costs anti-establishment rat. Note, I said brilliant. He accomplished more by the time he was 40 than most will accomplish in a lifetime in politics. He worked his ass off to get his candidate a victory, but he never pierced the veil socially. He was considered nothing more than the hired help and was expendible, which hurt him. He knew that if he failed, he would be thrown out with the rest of the garbage. He had to win that election for George HW Bush and he did, in the most rotten campaign ever run at that point. And then at 40, while he achieved the position of chairman of the RNC, he got brain cancer, and then get got guilty .. which deflates his image in my view. He went on a religion tear, converted to Catholocism and set about sending I'm sorry letters to everyone ... including Willie Horton!!! What an idiot move that was. I hate it when bad people turn to religion and look for forgiveness when they are on their deathbeds. It's dishonest and manipulative and COWARDLY. Even Mary Matalin, who defends Lee Atwater's style as if he were her child, didn't get why he went on his "please forgive me" campaign, his final campaign. Fooey on him. My parting words to Lee Atwater, whereever he may be are "you reap what you sow". Amen.

Watched the final 30 minutes of Boondock Saints. I just had to finish it. I love Billy Connelly and he was worth watching, actually, but the best business decision that Harvey & Bob Weinstein made was cutting that piece of doo of a film and Troy Duffy loose.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

No title necessary

Random TV viewing

I remember hearing about Jonestown when I was a kid. I remember the cover of Time Magazine, with the vat of grape Kool-aid and bodies lying everywhere. What ... was I 11 or 12 when that happened? I remember feeling not being able to grasp why anyone would willingly kill themselves in a mass suicide. I also remember being shocked when the pictures of Leo Ryan lying dead by the plane emerged. Man, my parents probably shouldn't have let me watch the news or look at newspapers ... sigh. Anyway, I watched a "great" documentary on MSNBC called Witness to Jonestown. New footage, including one of the gunmen shooting people at the airstrip, before the cameraman was shot himself, sad. They interviewed former temple members, even one member who watched his wife and baby son die before he took off for the jungle (can't imagine his suvivor's remorse). I don't think there was any new revelations, but I think it's important that history not forget what happened in Jonestown. Over 900 people died. Leo Ryan is the only sitting congressman who has ever been assasinated while in office. His assistant was interviewed extensively. She now has his seat in Congress. She almost died on that airstrip. Watching it for 2 hours brought back all those feelings of confusion I felt when I was a kid seeing it right when it happened.

Another show I've been watching is Californication. I really don't know what to write about the thing. It's funny, but now like Seinfeld funny ... it's guilty funny I guess. It's an incredibly adult show. David Duchovny's character is bizarro Mulder, which is good because it proves the guy can act, kind of. The female lead is positively gorgeous ... Natascha McElhone, yet another European playing an American. Evan Handler plays a Hollywood agent. I love him. I first became a fan when he was on this short lived show called "It's Like You Know". I think I was one of 5 people who watched the entire run. The most annoying character is the daughter ... ugh! She talks like a robot and looks like a goth. For any graphic novel fans out there, she's a complete rippoff of Emily the Strange. It's sickening and I wish they would send her to boarding school. Anyway, it's funny, but man, not in a good way.

A few years ago, I watched this documentary called Overnight. It was about this flash in the pan writer named Troy Duffy. He wrote a script for a movie called The Boondock Saints and apparently, he became an overnight success and went crazy, ego crazy and became such a jerk, that the Weinsteins pulled funding for the movie and as fast as Duffy's rise came, his crash was even worse. Ok .. so this channel called Spike has been running Boondock Saints, so I am watching it ... holy cow!!! This movie is so freaking BAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAD. I mean BAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAD. I guess it played in 5 theatres, which is a good thing because Willen Dafoe should be lashed for being in the film. I mean, it's hard to watch! The movie so badly wants to be Pulp Fiction. Dang!!! The Troy Duffy documentary is better than the film!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

And Yet, the World Hasn't Ended ....

First post-election post and all is good :)

The Daily Show's election night coverage was lame. Stephen Colbert is playing a character, Jon Stewart is not doesn't work having them work the same room.

Life on Mars was great ... they are blending the current with the past in a really cool way, using his mentor and the local priest and then showing the funeral of his mentor with the priest presiding. This was the best episode focusing on Tyler. Whoopi even made a cool cameo as a Angela Davis afro'd dj. The best part though, was the music. Using Garland Jeffrey's Wild in the Streets as the theme for the show was perfect. I remember loving that song when I was a kid and it will always remind of this friend who took pity on me when I was a pathetic newcomer to Chicago. He used to sing this song to himself all the time, emphasing the W in Wild. And Tyler gaining cred with the militants by rapping Ice Ice Baby was classic!!! I wish ABC would put it on a different night ... Thursday nights are a killer. I heard the ratings aren't that great. If they cancel this show ... well, I won't give up tv altogether, but I may boycott ABC.

Dirty Sexy Money is still chugging along. I heard that ABC is telling it's shows to trip 2% off their show budgets. I'd imagine that the DSM cast is probably one of the highest paid, but each and every one of them are crucial to the storylines. C'mon Donald & Jill, you don't need all that money right???? And Blair, you have a good gig over at In Treatment ... HBO may pay you a little more. Peter Krause is worth every dime though.

Gossip Girl is positively delicious. I can do wtihout Jenny though ... the chinless wonder is just grating. She's even more grating than Serena. Send her to study fashion design in Paris ... she's not needed.

Do not touch a freaking thing in True Blood. Just more Bill would be nice.

Finished watching Michael Clayton ... sigh ... I knew it, another makeup Oscar. Tilda Swinton was good, not Oscar worthy. Tom Wilkinson DESERVED an Oscar. Ok, so maybe he'll get a makeup Oscar at some point in his career. Who knows, maybe Hollywood is mad at him for playing a transsexual in the HBO movie, Normal (which was kick butt btw). He was also freaking fabulous as the leacherous Ben Franklin in HBO's John Adams (he really was the only reason to sit through it, honestly). It was a good movie though. Clooney has really made himself a great actor. I had my doubts, but now I'll at least give a look to anything he does.

And now for my "loser movie fan moment": I'm watching, for the first time, Rosemary's Baby.

And now for my cool book moment ... snagged a copy of David Sedaris's "When you are Engulfed in Flames" from our local library. I have a month to finish it. Since I read as fast as a turtle, it will take me that long. Bad librarian, bad librarian! I listened to Holiday's on Ice, read by Sedaris, which was better than reading the book. His voice is incredible.

And the sun is still shining.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Quite Possibly the Worst Movie I've Ever Seen

It's called Tideland ... at Terry Gilliam movie that I didn't know existed and now I know why. I hate deleting movies before they are finished, but I had to delete this one. The premise sounded interesting ... a little girl dealing with the death of her parents. The Dad was played by Jeff Bridges, whom I normally love ... he was great in Gilliam's Fisher King and of course, he's Jeff Lebowski ... why Jeff, why??? First of all, Bridges spends most of the movie decomposing in a rocking chair ... but the little girl .. and I don't mean to say this, really, I don't .. was just awful! I couldn't understand a word she said. I think she was going for a southern accent, but it was so terrible, I couldn't understand her. She lives in this fantasy world with 2 doll heads stuck on her finger and every once in awhile, they come to life .. I don't know ... what was Gilliam thinking???? I like Gilliam movies, well, usually I do. I still don't get Brazil, but I love 12 Monkeys and Fisher King and I will always have a soft spot for anyone involved with Monty Python, but man ... this, quite possibly is the worst movie I've ever tried to watch. I loathed Crash, but I go through it and there are many other stinkers that I've endured, but this one ... I couldn't finish it and I don't think I'll ever be able to finish it. Maybe Gilliam can do a do over on this one because I think it could be good.

This week's Life on Mars was kind of sappy. Tyler runs into his mother and saves her and then we get into a rat in the house story, blah blah blah. Keitel was a total sap ... very un-Keitel. Boo to the writers on that one. HARVEY DOESN'T CRY!!!

I'm in the midst of watching Michael Clayton. So far, I don't understand why Tilda Swinton won the Oscar, but maybe she'll wow me. I have a feeling that her Oscar is a makeup Oscar, which Oscar is known for. Judy Dench should have won for Mrs. Brown but was given one for her 3.5 second performance in Shakespeare in Love (blech), Russell Crowe won for Gladiator, when he should have won for The Insider. I loved Swinton in Orlanda, she should have won an Oscar for that film.