Wednesday, March 31, 2010

More Than a Mouthful: For Fuck's Sake!

Jeez Louise, you gotta be kiddin' me! No sooner did I finish writing my rant about KFC's rifuckindonkulous gimmick, the slab of fried chicken meat, than they go and make a product so insanely bad for your health that it's mind bottling. In my mail today was a KFC coupon mailer, and in the center was a huge image like this:

Not sure what you're looking at? Neither am I. They call it the Double Down Sandwich. KFC, in their constant quest to reinvent the way we think about food, has said, why the hell do you need sandwich buns when you can just replace them with two fried boneless breast filets? Honestly, just because the sangwich bread is made of meat, that doesn't mean you can leave out the filling. Let's stuff it with bacon, some pepper jack cheese and toss on a slice of Monterey jack for good measure. Then we'll top the whole thing off with Colonel's sauce, which looks strangely like honey mustard, but is probably something far more sinister they distilled from the grease they cook all their chicken in.

If you get the chance to eat one of these puppies and somehow the fat in your veins doesn't congeal, resulting in immediate death, leave me a comment about your experience.

Large Association of Movie Blogs

More Than a Mouthful: Five Foot Nine, Sir...

I didn't know they stacked shit that high. At least it is starting to feel like that around the Whore's abode.

I returned home from a weekend away, geared up to crank out some serious postage for the blog, but you know what they say about the best of intentions. Maybe next time I won't attempt to tighten the reigns in the same week as a major work deadline. Not to mention that Monday's grey skies have been evaporated by the heat of a near summer-like sun. The allure of shiny, happy nature is much stronger than the cold glow of my PC screen.

Alas, these are all excuses as to why I haven't posted about the metric shit-ton of things that have been on my mind. So, in no particular order, here goes:

In Movie News...
"The balcony is closed, this time for good." That is the first line of the New York Times article signaling the end of Siskel and Ebert's movie critic television program, At the Movies. Reading this last week, I was surprised the show was still on at all. Ironically, I caught the latest episode while in Charlotte just after that. It should be a sad time except for 1) Ebert's already in talks to create a new style of critic show and 2) I was always more of a Sneak Previews with Jeffrey Lyons guy growing up. That's not because I didn't like Siskel & Ebert, it's just that with my limited selection of TV channels growing up in the boondocks, it was the only available choice. So here's to you At the Movies; so long, and thanks for all the fish.

In Other News...
Has this ever happened to you? You order up a box of chicken nuggets and find yourself getting dipping sauce all over your fingers? Sure, you can buy chicken tenders instead, but having to pick up each individual strip and lift it to your mouth becomes so tedious. Fret no more hungry citizens, KFC has answered our prayers.

For the last month, the KFC Boneless Filet has been available to sate your nugget and/or strip snackin' woes (Watch the commercial here). It's a chicken breast, fried in the Colonel's secret recipe, swaddled in a paperboard wrapper. Mmmm.

The wrapper, akin to McDonalds' hash brown wrapping, soaks up the grease allowing us on-the-go individuals to gnaw on that huge honkin' piece of poultry without getting messy. How convenient! And since it's one massive chunk of chicken, there's no need to rifle through containers, crumpled napkins and paper bags in search of the last morsel of meat because it's all in the palm of your hand! But you best eat it fast, if the wrapper soaks up too much of that flavorful grease, you may find yourself chewing off your own hand while attempting to satisfy that voracious appetite. Rifuckindonkulous!

Across the Blogosphere...
Over at the LAMB, it is time to submit your predictions for the March to the Box Office Madness 2010! It's a tournament bracket for predicting the biggest movies of the summer. The deadline for submission is April 2. Do you have what it takes to topple the predictive prowess of yours truly, winner of the 2009 bracket?

Large Association of Movie Blogs

Still to Come...
I had intended to include a poll with this post, but due to it's already hefty length, the new poll will be up later this week. The first 2010 RW Quarterly will be up shortly and you can also expect my latest Trailer Trash by week's end. I'd like to say you can expect a movie review stuffed in there, too, but let's not get ahead of ourselves.


Large Association of Movie Blogs

Monday, March 29, 2010

MMM: Bat for Lashes

Welcome to another week of 2010 stargazers. It's hard to believe, but it's already the end of March. Around here, the April showers have started early. I was jarred awake at three in the a.m. by thunder rattling my entire home and rains so hard I thought I was running our house through a rickety old car wash.

Despite the rain, it will be a good week because it's only a four day week for me! Plus the sun will be blazing through the skies before the week ends. In fact, we'll be going from sixty-degree weather to the high eighties. That'll feel like two suns bearing down on us after all this chilly, rainy weather.

Interestingly enough, Two Suns is the title of the second album released by Natasha Khan. Some of you may know her by her stage name, Bat for Lashes; others of you may have never heard of her. A British musician, she's been kicking tunes around the charts since 2006. The song that first exposed me to her was the fourth single from Fur and Gold (her first album). For those who have never heard of Ms. Khan before today, I hope you enjoy not only What's A Girl to Do? from her first album, but also a live recording of the biggest hit from her second album, Daniel.

Bat for Lashes - What's a Girl to Do?

Bat for Lashes - Daniel (live)

She also recorded an excellent cover of Bruce Springsteen's song, I'm on Fire on Fur and Gold. I highly recommend checking it out.


Large Association of Movie Blogs

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

R.I.P. Greatest American Buddy

Whoa. If you haven't already heard the terrible news, Robert Culp died today at the age of 79. I will always remember him fondly as Agent Bill Maxwell, the yin to Ralph Hinkley's yang on the 80's TV series Greatest American Hero. This role was but one of over a one-hundred and sixty he played in his fifty-seven year career as an actor. Details about his body of work and his untimely passing can be read here.

Robert Culp
August 16, 1930 - March 24, 2010

Sir, you will be missed.

Large Association of Movie Blogs

To Da Breaka Day, Baby!

Release: 01.08.10
Rated R
1 hour, 38 minutes


In the not so distant future of 2019, most of the human race has been transformed into vampires. Surprisingly, life still carries on as normal; vamps head to and fro, shopping and working. The only difference is that they walk in tunnels, drive cars with blacked-out windows, and buy their blood from cafes like Starbloods. Okay, I may be exaggerating that last part, but blood is their only food source and it is depleting rapidly, thanks to vampiric overpopulation and a nearly extinct human population.

Charles Bromley (Sam Neill, Event Horizon) heads a company that is looking to supplement its farmed human blood with a synthetic substitute. However, all attempts by vampire and hematologist Edward Dalton (Ethan Hawke, Gattaca) to make fake blood have failed. This really sucks for Edward because he is a human sympathizer. As the food supply dwindles, Edward crosses paths with a cadre of human refugees. One of their leaders is Elvis (Willem Dafoe, Shadow of the Vampire), a human-turned-vampire-turned-back-to-human miracle. Edward goes AWOL to do his people one better than an alternative food source; find them a cure.

That may be one long-ass synopsis, but you'd be surprised at all the details I omitted. That's because this story, written and directed by Michael and Peter Spierig, is a carefully crafted concept in every facet. It's an ingenious alternate reality, equipped with potential for a thousand stories. The Spierig brothers have a difficult time parsing out only those essential story elements. One prime example; a home invasion by a blood-starved vampiric mutation is menacing and foreshadows the approach of darker times, but goes underutilized.

In front of the camera, appropriate casting helps smooth over those rough patches. You couldn't make a better choice than Ethan Hawke for the brooding, angsty, pale lead. A personal favorite, Willem Dafoe, chews up the scenery as the quirky, to-the-point wild man. Sam Neill rocks the douche in the key of D-bag Major. Michael Dorman, who portrays Edward's brother Frankie, didn't impress, but wasn't given much to work with.

Dirty Undies
The only nudity to be found are the numerous men and women that dangle their bits from the farm's blood-drawing facility. You gotta wonder how that casting ad was worded:

Wanted: Pale and thin men and women
needed to literally hang in background
scenes. Women with saggy titties a plus.

Thsee vamps prefer their blood in their coffee rather than straight from the tap, but hold out until the end for an insane bloodbath. Since vampires flame and explode in the Spierigs' world and the humans are tranq'ed for domestication, don't expect too much gratuitous gore.

The Money Shot
Expecting little from this flick, I was delighted to discover Daybreakers was built upon a solid foundation. Mediocre execution and one or two unneeded final twists stumble its potential to become a burgeoning franchise. As it stands, I'd definitely give an unrated version the chance to show me more.


Large Association of Movie Blogs

Monday, March 22, 2010

My Exaggerated Death and a MMM

To apologize for my extended absence, I'd like to misquote Mark Twain, "The rumors of my death have been greatly exaggerated." For future reference the actual quote is "The report of my death is an exaggeration." But that is neither here nor there.

Last week I took a (somewhat impromptu) vacation. That may sound strange, but the wife had a conference at the luxurious Grove Park Inn in Asheville, NC and for those who know of the place which I speak, you know that you don't pass up the chance for free accommodations at this place. Despite some overcast weather, it was mostly a good time and I got some much needed rest.

Now that has all been cleared up, it's time to toss out some new music for this Monday. This is a great blast from my past song. The tune, the first single for Timex Social Club, was the only Billboard hit the group ever had, landing at the #8 spot in 1986. It also topped the R&B and U.S. dance charts that year. A couple of other releases followed, but none would ever be as recognizable as their hit, Rumors.

Timex Social Club - Rumors

Now that I am fully rested, look forward to some serious catch-up posting...assuming work doesn't punish me too much for my excursion.


Large Association of Movie Blogs

Monday, March 15, 2010

MMM: Two P's for the Pod

In case the title didn't give it away, today's Monday Mood Music selection is actually a double feature! It was done more so out of necessity rather than extravagance. For those that don't know, tonight on FUSE is the 2010 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony. Several musical legends will be honored, but my focus today is the favorite group of one of my bestest buds.

Everyone knows Phil Collins and Peter Gabriel, but the group Genesis may not be quite as recognizable. Some of you may recall they were the group that had a couple of hits in the 80's before Phil scurried away to seek solo success. My buddy could do a much better job than me of explaining the circumstances that led to the band's separation, reunion, separation and re-reunion. He could also go on about how Phil was never part of the original Genesis and when he did join, it was as the band's drummer. That was because the frontman of the group in it's formative years was Peter Gabriel.

Instead of attempting to give an exhaustive history of the group (and most likely embarrass myself in front of you all and my buddy), I recommend you check out the Genesis Biography over at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Needless to say, the Peter Gabriel years and the Phil Collins years are quite different. Some of it had to do with the time period, but mostly they were two brilliant chaps with vastly different styles and sounds. In honor of Genesis's induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, here are two tunes from their respective eras. The first is their ten-minute epic The Musical Box and in the video you can see both Peter and Phil sporting long, lovely locks. The second, Invisible Touch, is the first and only #1 single and features Phil sporting a much shinier pate. Enjoy!

Genesis - The Musical Box

Genesis - Invisible Touch

If you dig Genesis, don't forget to tune into FUSE tonight to see what kind of performance they have in store for their fans.

Large Association of Movie Blogs

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

The Jizt: Alice in Wonderland

In this fast-paced world of blogging, tweeting and fly-by-night film voyeurism, sometimes one doesn't have the time to give a film proper treatment. More importantly, others do not always have the time to read it. Sometimes you just have to take it around back and squeeze one out in 1-2-3 quick licks.

Think of
The Jizt as the wham, bam, thank you ma'am of reviews.

Alice in Wonderland

elease: 03.05.10
Rated PG
1 hour, 48 minutes

Second Run Seats

Mia Wasikowska (Defiance), Johnny Depp (Edward Scissorhands), Helena Bonham Carter (Big Fish)

The Build-up: As Alice runs away from a destiny of tedium, she tumbles into the bland Wonderland, and into her destiny to end the reign of the mean Red Queen.

The Blurt-out: Director Tim Burton applies great voice casting, mostly great CGI, and some bits of great acting to the beloved tales of Lewis Carroll to create the laziest, most uninspired project of his career.

The Jizt: Like a raven and a writing desk, Burton's Alice in Wonderland can also produce a few notes, though they are very, very flat.

"Here Alice. A spoonful of Jizt is what every growing girl needs."

Large Association of Movie Blogs

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Tinsel Alert! - March 9, 2010

Attention stargazers! The following is a Tinsel Alert for actress Linda Fiorentino. Today is Linda's birthday. She is 52. She was last seen on the big screen ten years ago in Where the Money Is and What Planet Are You From?. There have been rumored sitings of her on the festival circuit since, but these have not been confirmed.

If you have any information about this actress or the whereabouts of her career, please call Hollywood. You need not give your name.

This has been a Tinsel Alert. We now return you to your regularly scheduled blogging.

Large Association of Movie Blogs

Monday, March 8, 2010

MMM: Ain't No Shame

I woke up this morning thinking I'd take the easy way out for this week's Monday Mood Music selection by posting the Academy's latest Best Song inductee, The Weary Kind. It's a good song and I'm glad it won, but if you're as over all the Oscar talk as I am, you're ready to move on.

Instead, let's dig back into my past. Sometime last fall I was at my parent's when my sister comes in and dumps a huge plastic bag in my lap. Inside were dozens of cassette singles from my high school days. (For all you whipper-snappers, a cassette single was what you would purchase before mp3s or even CD singles were available.) I tossed it into a dark corner of my house until about two weeks ago. It was about 1am on a Saturday night, I was wide awake and inspiration struck. I jumped on Amazon and created a wishlist, Cassettes to Digital, for all those dusty, faded memories. Now whenever I have a credit or two to burn over at Amazon, this will be the perfect source to reminisce.

When I first started transcribing these 'hits', more than a few singles gave me pause. I couldn't believe I had some of these tunes, but ultimately I put every track on the list because as bad as some of my choices may seem, they are a part of me.

Proving there ain't no shame in what was my game, this week's selection is one of those WTF?! cassette singles:

*image courtesy of tOkKa's phtostream

So how many of you remember Partners in Kryme and there only hit Turtle Power? I hit the Wiki to see where are they now and this is what I found:

Excerpt from Wikipedia:
"Partners in Kryme (or Partnerz in Kryme) was an American hip hop duo from New York City. Its members were James Alpern and Richard Usher. Their first single, "Turtle Power", was written for and featured in the movie Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles in 1990, and became a smash hit in the US and UK. A second single, "Undercover", was released on Capitol Records, but this failed to chart, and the group never released a full-length album."

Not a whole lot, huh? Well, they can't all be winners. This one goes out to all you TMNT fans:

Partners in Kryme - Turtle Power

So tell me, who was your favorite turtle?

Large Association of Movie Blogs

Friday, March 5, 2010

Trailer Trash: The March Gang Bang

I wasn't sure I could do it, but after yesterday's grueling Oscar Gang Bang, I got back in the saddle for today's Trailer Trash extravaganza. After this, I probably won't be able to sit right for a week, but it was worth it.

March's new releases may not be foremost in your mind, but trust me, once the Academy blows its load Sunday, you will be more than ready to enjoy a new movie or two.

Hollywood's offering up ten major releases (according to IMDB). Like the last two months, the prospects are largely mediocre. Wouldn't you agree?

Exercise the Right To Cinematic Celibacy.

The Bounty Hunter (03.19) Best as I can figure, Gerard Butler is the tequila of romantic comedies; mixing him into any lovey-dovey premise is a bad idea. While I'm sure I would get a lot of pleasure seeing Jennifer Aniston tackled, watching all the other weak jokes fall flat is more than I can stomach.

She's Out of My League (03.12) What's more out of Jay Baruchel's league than hottie Alice Eve? A starring role. No offense, Jay, but of all the R.I.T.s (Rogens-In-Training) from Knocked Up, I'd bank on Martin Starr to be the next rainmaker. Not to mention, is that not the dullest poster ever?!

Looks like they've tried to shellac the Judaism off his face.

How to Train Your Dragon (03.26) This will make the second March release for Jay Baruchel, Gerard Butler and America Ferrera. I expect this will outperform all those releases combined, especially with the kiddies not having any animated fare since December. The premise looks entertaining, but the salamander with Nerf horns they're calling a dragon ain't cutting it.

It's Friday, I Don't Want to be Alone.

Our Family Wedding (03.12) So much about this trailer screams to turn and run the other way: lame stereotype jokes, Carlos Mencia, lame Viagra jokes, Carlos Mencia. That's pretty awful, but I adore America Ferrera and now that Ugly Betty has been canceled, baby needs the exposure. Besides, I'm a strong advocate of GAG, and their triumphant return to Hollywood mainstream.

Alice in Wonderland (03.05) I've come to expect nothing less than stellar visuals from Tim Burton. This should be Alice's adventures, yet it feels more like the escapades of Depp and Bonham Carter. After seeing SyFy's Alice, the entertainment has just about squeezed all the wonder out of Alice's tale.

Green Zone (03.12) Advertisers did everything short of naming this Bourne 4.0, despite trying to define Damon as a different, highly trained military operative. It's like when Eastwood starred in The Rookie and everyone swore it wasn't another Dirty Harry sequel. Luckily, Green Zone looks more like In the Loop with guns.

Repo Men (03.19) Wow, I guess if you ditch all the off-key singing, the premise of Repo! The Genetic Opera is promising. The plotting is far from original, but you can't help but be excited to see the final confrontation between Ghost Dog and Dr. Watson.

Remember Me (03.12) An angst-ridden young man finds solace in the arms of a young coed? That wouldn't normally appeal to me, but the performances by Chris Cooper and Pierce Brosnan promise some emotionally fierce portrayals. For that, I can stomach an audience flush with Twilighters.

Moist With Antici...Pation!

Brooklyn's Finest (03.05) Antoine Fuqua has directed some solid thrillers and Brooklyn's Finest has the story and cast to be second only to Training Day. The real reason to see this is that it's been nearly six years since Wesley Snipes was on the big screen! Plus, a portion of every ticket is going to rebuild the U.S. economy via his garnished wages.

Hot Tub Time Machine (03.26) The first time I heard those four words, I groaned aloud. But I'll be damned if this isn't the most awesomest movie to come down the pipe in a long time! Rob Corddry, Craig Robinson and Clark Duke have proven themselves to be hilarious comedic wingmen, so hopefully they can lift John Cusack out of the cinematic cesspool he's been drowning in.


I just hope with three weeks left, the trailers won't ruin every joke in Hot Tub Time Machine. I know at my local indy theater, the trailer for this month's limited release film, Greenberg (03.26 ltd.), is weighing on my last nerve. The movie looks good, but it looked better when I hadn't seen the trailer fourteen times!

Enough trailer talk. After consecutive gang bangs, I need to ice down.


Large Association of Movie Blogs

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Dressed for Success: The Oscar Gang Bang

All in all, I've done quite well in terms of Oscar contenders watched. What I haven't done well is post reviews about those nominees. With the Academy Awards just a few days away, there's no better time than the present to play a little catch up. I'll start with five films with two commonalities: their stories involve some degree of lost love and all are nominated for Achievement in Costume Design.

Let's begin:

Bright Star
Release: 09.18.09 (ltd.)
Rated PG
1 hour, 59 minutes

Full Price

Abbie Cornish (Elizabeth: The Golden Age) has gone from wearing Queen Elizabeth's bitch collar to creating her own high fashion as Fanny Brawne. While living in London in the early 1800's, Fanny meets aspiring poet John Keats (Ben Whishaw, Layer Cake). Over many a walk and many a poetry lesson, the two fall helplessly in love. Forces conspire against the lovers as John's indebted status and health problems keep the couple at arm's length from true happiness.

Writer-director Jane Campion (The Piano) floods the screen with lush colors, stunning costumes and passionate performances. Whishaw's noble refusals of Fanny's affections are second only to Abbie Cornish's roller coaster of reactions to the poet's attempts to quell her love. Neither performance tops Paul Schneider. Schneider (All the Real Girls) is exemplary as Keats' partner in poetry, Charles Armitage Brown. He owns both the Scottish accent and the ridiculous, yet no doubt fashionable, plaid pantsuit.

Award Chances
The costumes are so vibrant and detailed that Bright Star is one of my top contenders, if not the one to beat. Now a four time nominee, Janet Patterson was snubbed by the Costume Design Guild in their nominations, which does not bode well for her Oscar chances.

The Money Shot

The visual elements and performances of Bright Star are resonant. I only recently saw this film, but it would have given some serious contention to (500) Days of Summer for best romance had I seen it in 2009.

Coco Avant Chanel
Release: 09.25.09 (ltd.)
Rated PG-13
1 hour, 45 minutes


Gabrielle 'Coco' Chanel (Audrey Tautou, Dirty Pretty Things) is a seamstress and singer for a bar. When a visiting baron becomes smitten, she uses the opportunity to escape her station, inserting herself into his life and his estate in the French countryside. Despite being little more than a mistress to him, she uses her time to wow the ladies with her designs. When Arthur 'Boy' Capel (Alessandro Nivola, Junebug), an English businessman, falls in love with her, Coco sees her future broaden.

A slow affair, Coco Avant Chanel is captivating, thanks to how Tautou balances Coco' stubbornness of the character with vulnerability and naivete.
Despite a ridiculous-looking mustache, Nivola is as charming as ever. The blossoming romance between Boy and Coco and the complications of her place at the baron's estate makes their romance interesting, to say the least.

Award Chances

Catherine Leterrier received her first nomination for her work on Coco. It may seem simple to mimic the works of a designer, but Leterrier also had the daunting task of showing how Coco's designs defied the status quo of the period. The clash between Coco's outfits and those of the elite are the most memorable scenes. Coco Avant Chanel relies heavily on its costumes and easily makes my short list.

The Money Shot
See it for the romance, enjoy it for the costumes. Coco Avant Chanel puts a face to the name of a brand that everyone knows.

The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus
Release: 12.25.09 (ltd.)
Rated PG-13
2 hours, 3 minutes


Doctor Parnassus (Christopher Plummer, The Last Station) is a man who has lived for more than a millennium, thanks to Mr. Nick (Tom Waits, The Book of Eli). Parnassus and his companions now travel London, offering people the chance to experience ultimate joy in his imaginarium. However, people not willing to sacrifice for happiness may be swayed by Mr. Nick down a path of darkness and destruction. For his own happiness, Parnassus now owes his daughter Valentina (Lily Cole) to Mr. Nick on her sixteenth birthday. Days before it's time to collect, the troupe comes across a stranger, Tony (Heath Ledger, The Brother Grimm), who spices up the bargain.

The words, "From the mind of Terry Gilliam (12 Monkeys)" are never more true than with Parnassus. Gilliam can be an acquired taste, and he is in full, far-fetched mode with his latest work. Thanks to the imaginarium,
Ledger's last role was able to be parsed out among Colin Farrel (In Bruges), Johnny Depp (Blow) and Jude Law (Alfie). The imaginarium is a fluid, colorful world where anything goes in contrast to the dismal reality where Parnassus and his crew dwell.

Award Chances

Kudos to first time nominee Monique Prudhomme. It could not have been an easy task to craft the multitude of costumes Parnassus demanded: from past to present, real and imagined, high society to homeless. Prudhomme's design gave each aspect of Gilliam's piece added depth. However, with more than a few audience members confused and frustrated by Gilliam's premise, admiring the costumes will be last on many a voter's mind.

The Money Shot
Doctor Parnassus is not the least accessible of Gilliam's films, but it's out there. While I mostly enjoyed it, I'd be lying if I didn't admit to glancing at my watch more than a few times.

Release: 12.25.09
Rated PG-13
1 hour, 58 minutes

Second Run Seats

Everyone is pestering acclaimed Italian director Guido Contini (Daniel Day-Lewis, Gangs of New York) about his latest film, Italia. The press, his producer, his costume designer Lilli (Judi Dench, Iris), and even his star, Claudia (Nicole Kidman, Moulin Rouge!), all want a peek at the pages of his next masterpiece. The problem is, there are no new pages because Contini is blocked. Contini revisits his sources of inspiration--the women of his life--in hopes that Italia will reveal itself.

Director Rob Marshall's (Chicago) latest work is one mess of a movie. It's a jumbled blur of glittery costumes and shadowy stage pieces as Guido runs about, on the edge of pulling his hair out. With the exception of the song Be Italian, every musical number blasts the audience's ears with the name Guido, Guido, Guido; in case you forget who's at the story's center. Somehow the actresses portraying the women of Guidi's life still shine above the glitzy flurry, except Kidman, who casts an eerie glow more akin to a spectre than a living person.

Award Chances
This makes the eighth nomination for two-time Oscar winner Colleen Atwood. Needless to say, the Academy appreciates her work. The glimpses of the cabaret showed promise and the bedazzled bustiers worn by Cotillard, Cruz and Dench were quite flattering, but the jittery, spastic whooshing of the camera made it difficult to appreciate.

The Money Shot
Aside from Fergie's lady lumps, the only other performance I appreciated was Judi Dench's number. I plan to lobby that the next James Bond theme be performed by 'M' alone because she's definitely got the chops.

The Young Victoria
Release: 12.18.09
Rated PG
1 hour, 45 minutes


Before becoming the longest-reigning monarch in English history, Victoria (Emily Blunt, Sunshine Cleaning) had to contend with her power hungry mother, the Duchess of Kent (Miranda Richardson, Sleepy Hollow), and her comptroller, Sir John Conroy (Mark Strong, Sherlock Holmes). She finds a friend and equal in Prince Albert (Rupert Friend, The Libertine), who, though sent to woo her affections for the good of Belgium, wishes for her to love him.

Emily Blunt glows before the camera. She captures the naivete and stubbornness of a woman above taking orders, but shows vulnerability, too. Friend's Albert is at his best when he sets aside his fawning for Victoria to set someone straight, be it Lord Melbourne (Paul Bettany, The Da Vinci Code), Sir Conroy, or even Victoria. Jim Broadbent's (Moulin Rouge!) portrayal of King William is brief but most delightful. I could watch him lambast Victoria's mother for her wickedness over and over.

Award Chances
The costumes are lavish and Ms. Blunt wears the adornments of queen well. The cinematography melds the wardrobe subtly into the background rather than showcasing it. This makes designer Sandy Powell's eighth nomination and with two statues already on her mantle, it's a good possibility there may soon be three.

The Money Shot

As some critics mentioned, the characterizations in Young Victoria are flat, but that is more a fault of a story simplified for younger audiences than any of the actors' portrayals.

Large Association of Movie Blogs

Monday, March 1, 2010

MMM: Ohayou!

Welcome to March, stargazers! Unlike last week, I'm trying not to get down on the fact that more snow and cold is headed our way. I'm ready for spring, warmer weather and color to return to the landscape.

I've seen this little video popping up over the past week (thanks Electric Cerebrectomy & Film Experience Blog for posting). For the next four plus minutes it's the perfect, bouncy energetic escape from the Monday blahs and weather worries.

Just to answer your questions; yes that is Kirsten Dunst in cosplay singing a version of The Vapors' song Turning Japanese. You worker bees be warned, the video does feature brief flashes of cartoon nudity so know who else is watching when you crank it up.


Kirsten Dunst - Turning Japanese

Mata ne!


Large Association of Movie Blogs