Friday, May 06, 2016

This Week in Neat-O

Just a few things this week; I'm out for therapy, Five Guys, and Captain America: Civil War today.

:: Larry Wilmore eviscerated the media at the White House Correspondents dinner, and the media did not dig it... which is, of course, why it's necessary to tell the press to the face that they're not doing their damn jobs. Boy, the media really gets offended when they get called out for their attempts to cozy up to the rich and powerful...

The bit about Ted Cruz being the Zodiac Killer is the best bit, but I found Larry's closing remarks very moving.

:: Woman who defied 300 neo-Nazis at Swedish rally speaks of anger

:: New trailer for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows

:: This trailer for the upcoming Lego Star Wars: The Force Awakens video games shows off the wealth of new missions that will be added. You know I love me some Lego games, as well as Star Wars, so I cannot wait to waste half my summer on this baby.

:: Watch Sonia Manzano Receive Her Lifetime Achievement Emmy

:: Here's Where Everyone in the Marvel Cinematic Universe Stands at the Start of Phase 3. I'm really looking forward to the movie today; I get a little weary when one of these movies comes out, because they're always accompanied by think pieces where people just... talk a lot about how these movies aren't perfect and they left out something that worked in a different medium four decades ago, and... I don't know, man, I just don't care. What I care about is that the MCU has been the most consistently fun thing in movies for me for almost a decade now. Nothing has been so fatal that I haven't enjoyed all of the movies, even the less good ones.

I'm going to just enjoy myself today.



Postscript: I haven't been here much of late. Bouts of depression mixed with going through things at my late mother-in-law's farm so we can sell it and close out all of the estate business. It eats up a lot of time and it's very emotional. I'm thinking of doing something profoundly navel-gazing and biographical here in the future, and I do want to go back to my Marvel Comics series, so there are actual plans to do actual things. You know, eventually.

Thursday, May 05, 2016

Film Week

A review of the films I've seen this past week.

THE DIARY OF A TEENAGE GIRL (2015)
Funny, clever coming-of-age movie about a 15 year-old girl (played by Bel Powley) who begins a sexual affair with her mother's boyfriend (Alexander Skarsgard). It takes place in 1976 San Francisco and focuses in part on her emergence as a cartoonist, taking the great Aline Kominsky as inspiration, giving the film a number of animated sequences that really pop with the excellent, period-specific soundtrack. Bel Powley is quite good as Minnie; what I liked most about the movie is how we watch the story and, even when she's at the lowest point, we're never invited to judge her. The movie doesn't take a negative view of female adolescent experimentation, which is refreshing. (Some of this is addressed through the girl's stepfather, whose judgment is distinctly unhelpful.) I also liked that even though Minnie's mother (Kristen Wiig) is definitely not well-equipped to be a parent, there's never any real animosity between them. The movie doesn't blame the parents for anything. I don't know, it's refreshing. ****

DOPE (2015)
Excellent, fun flick about a high school senior in Inglewood (played by Shameik Moore) with a geeky bent for 90s hip-hop. He's in a punk band with his two best friends, trying to avoid gangs, and nursing a crush on a slightly older girl (Zoe Kravitz, and... well, who wouldn't have a crush?). He and his pals wind up at a drug dealer's birthday party and some dope gets hid in his backpack, and he finds himself in the position of dodging rival dealers while being forced to sell drugs as his future (he wants to go to Harvard) hangs in the balance. The great thing here is that it's all hilarious; I remember seeing it compared to Pulp Fiction, which works but also doesn't quite get across how funny the movie is. Fantastic soundtrack. ****

SOME CALL IT LOVING (1973)
Zalman King as a man who falls in love with a sleeping woman (Tisa Farrow) who has been used as a carnival attraction (The Sleeping Beauty) for eight years. He buys her and tries to turn her into his dream woman, bringing her into a series of erotic mind games he plays with a rich widow (Carol White). I see what director James B. Harris is going for, but it doesn't quite have the dreamy quality he thinks it does and comes off as pretentious. I was surprised to see Richard Pryor as King's junkie friend; interesting performance. Stylish, but not deep. ***

Sunday, May 01, 2016

Song of the Week: "Gimme Some More"

Always dug this one; I used to catch it late at night on MTV, during a time when I was going through some weird depressive stuff and I was leaving the TV on all night while I tried to sleep. The video was some trippy stuff, and I loved how high speed it was and how it sampled Bernard Herrmann's Psycho score to add this dramatic feel. This is some moody, spooky, haunted house style fun stuff. From October 1998, Busta Rhymes.