Wednesday, September 29, 2010

The Hump: No. 9

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Monday, September 27, 2010

MMM: Amy Poehler Stole My Joke!!!

This weekend on the season premier of Saturday Night Live, Amy Poehler along with Maya Rudolph, used their skit Bronx Beat to address the over-hyped, banned Katy Perry/Elmo video. Before seeing this, I had toyed with the idea of posting same-said video today with the following intro:

"This Monday Mood Music has been brought to you 
by the number 32 and the letter D." 

However, in the skit Amy used my line, except she said "by the number 38 and the letter DD." Dangit! I'm actually quite pleased; it shows just how damn funny my joke was. Seriously, I had no intention of posting the Katy-Elmo video today, I'm just always looking for an excuse to ogle Ms. Perry's love pillows:

Now that I've got that outta the way, let's move on to the real Monday Mood Music selection. Last week marked the end of summer, but last week's 90+ temperatures made it hard to believe. Thankfully, the dry heat gave way to 70-80 degree weather and tons of rain yesterday. As a nice tribute to the end of one hot-ass summer, I've selected a song by the up-and-coming band, Chief. All I really know about these four guys is that they hail from New York and I really dig they're groove. Today's selection gives you a little taste of their folky rock and helps us say goodbye to summer.

Chief - Summer's Day

Now, I'm off to enjoy this cool, dreary day.


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Friday, September 24, 2010

Trailer Trash: The September 24th Quickie

Jebus help me! Where has the day gone? Hell, where has the week gone! It's already Friday afternoon and there are hot new movie releases ready to tantalize and please us. 

In its last ditch effort to get stargazers into theaters, September has three major releases slated to open today. There are also numerous limited releases, including Ryan Reynolds' latest, Buried, which intrigues me (and not just because it fulfills my closeted desires to keep a sweaty Ryan Reynolds locked away for emergency debauchery). But I digress.

Let's focus on the films that IMDb reports as the big contenders for our money. You know the drill; I evaluate each movie on my own scale of Yes/No/Maybe and we've got one for each category this week. Shall We?

Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps I have to see this, if for no other reason than to finally get an answer to my previous inquiry about the Gekko family continuity. Aside from that, this movie looks so good I don't even think the cinematic cuntblunder, Shia LaBeouf, can screw it up. I say everyone should go to see Michael Douglas reprise his scene chewing role.

Verdict: Moist With Antici...Pation! 

You Again I'm not usually one for the insipid-looking, dumb comedies, but when Kristen Bell beckons, I must go. If my petite blond friend doesn't float your boat, you have the good looks and comedic talents of Odette Yustman, Jamie Lee Curtis, Sigourney Weaver and Betty White. Even with its PG rating, this is the one movie you, your little brother, your father, and your grandfather can see and you'll all leave with age-appropriate spank bank material.

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

Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole If I see this, I'd have to watch it in 3D. Then I can hope that one of the owls of Ga'Hoole will burst from the screen and gouge out my eyes. Maybe the pain of the attack will lessen the awfulness of this plodding, unimpressive-looking mess. At any rate, I prefer to wait for Zack Snyder's next project, Sucker Punch.

Verdict: Exercise the Right to Cinematic Celibacy

That's all she wrote for September's new releases, stargazers. I'll be back soon with an actual review. Just you wait and see.

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Wednesday, September 22, 2010

The Hump: No. 14

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Monday, September 20, 2010

MMM: I Can't Pay My Rent...

But I'm fuckin' gorgeous. Those lyrics are the reason why I will be struggling to 'make dat money' at work today. The event that I was so stoked about in April finally came to pass last night; Lady Gaga ended the US leg of her 2010 Monster's Ball Tour here in Raleigh, NC.

I haven't had a Sunday night filled with such wildly dressed people bursting with crazed energy in like, two weeks! Gaga's show was amazing. I'm still trying to tally up the number of set and costume changes. Her opener, Semi Precious Weapons, was probably the best hype-band she could ask for. They really got the crowd wet and excited for Lady Gaga; their words, not mine, but I wish they were mine. They are also responsible for the spanky sentiment of this week's post's title.

This post, however, is not about Gaga's opener. It's about what a kick ass time her show was. Though she'll be overseas for a while, you Little Monsters are lucky she'll be coming back around in 2011. I suggest you pick up a ticket while you can.

In the meantime, here's a pretty decent video of my favorite song which she performed for her encore. I couldn't find a video from the Raleigh show, but this one is from her August show at the Staples Center. It's a little jumpy, but knowing how rowdy the crowd was, kudos to the videographer for capturing it this well.

Lady Gaga - Bad Romance

This was how I spent my Sunday night. What did you do?

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Friday, September 17, 2010

Trailer Trash: The September 17th Quickie

Welcome to the third week of September's quick and dirty Trailer Trash series. IMDb reports eight new releases opening this weekend, four of which are limited. Of those limited, only Jack Goes Boating looks even remotely interesting. The four major releases are a mixed bag at best. Here's how this week's offerings float my boat:

Alpha and Omega (09.17) What's it been, two weeks since Justin Long was Going the Distance with Drew Barrymore and already he's steppin' out? Granted, it's for a chance to 'howl' with Hayden Panettiere, but did he not see how poorly animated they are? Why Lionsgate is trying to get into family entertainment baffles me, but not nearly as much as who greenlit this sloppy-looking mess.

Verdict: Exercise the Right to Cinematic Celibacy

Devil (09.17) I think Universal was too little, too late in dissociating The Night Chronicles moniker from the posters and trailers. I still recall sitting in an audience that booed and jeered when M. Night's name appeared. Even if I didn't know the Shyamalan curse had tainted this project, this latest horror offering will fail for two reasons; it's rated PG-13 and I can pretty much guess which of these five people is a devil in disguise. Care to make a wager?

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

The Town (09.17) Either Ben Affleck is itching to garner a Best Acting nod from the Academy like his heterosexual lifemate Matt, or he's just in the mood to dust off his Woody Allen ego. Since The Town trailers have had me hooked since first viewing, I ain't mad at him. Phantoms, Forces of Nature, Paycheck; now those are reasons to be mad at him.

Verdict: Moist With Antici...Pation!

Easy A (09.17) You know you have to see what may or may not be the last movie of the may-or-may-not-be-retired Amanda Bynes! Seriously, I have much faith in the future uber-stardom of Emma Stone so there's no way I'm missing out on her rise to the top. Besides, there's a good chance the script is pretty special, considering Stanley Tucci and Patricia Clarkson are both co-starring.

Verdict: Moist With Antici...Pation!

Who could say no to this face:

Next Friday will mark the last of these quickie Trailer Trash installments. That is, unless you stargazers enjoy these short bursts of insight over the lengthy gang bangs. Catch you on the flip side!

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Thursday, September 16, 2010

Piranha Bites.


Release: 08.20.10
Rated R
1 hour, 28 minutes

Second Run Seats

Sheriff Julie Forester (Elisabeth Shue, Hollow Man) was prepared for the drunken debauchery that floods Lake Victoria over Spring Break. She hadn't expected the universe to send her a big 'ol double-barreled 'Fuck You!' by dumping schools of prehistoric, man-eating fish into the mix. To make matters worse, her teenage son, Jake (Steven R. McQueen), shrugs off watching his younger siblings to protect his not-girlfriend, Kelly (Jessica Szohr) and babysit porn producer Derrick Jones (Jerry O'Connell, Scream 2) and his colleagues. Partying, poon, and piranha...sounds like the recipe for a perfect B-movie cocktail.

Thanks to the buzz, I went into Piranha stoked for some cheesy, B-movie fun. I have to ask, what the fuck are they talking about? This was only passably watchable, even by B-movie standards. I lose a little more respect for director Alexandre Aja (High Tension) with each new project. Aja's attempt to capture the camp vibe of 80s horror succeeds in parts, but fails on the whole.

The opening sequence with Richard Dreyfuss (Jaws) had CGI effects worse than many a low-budget television movie. There's a thin line between unmistakably lame and passable cheese, and this established the tone as the former. Later CGI effects are equally weak; the underwater piranha attacks are indiscernible blurs of fish and swirls of blood. To the contrary, the makeup and props nail the 80s camp right down to the off-red coloration of the dangling bits of flesh.

Overall, the acting isn't great, and I can only assume it wasn't meant to be. As annoying as it was, I totally got O'Connell's over-the-top, obnoxious portrayal. Shue was great, but her character was given little to do. Ving Rhames (Dawn of the Dead) had barely any screentime; same goes for Christopher Lloyd (Clue) and Dina Meyer (Saw IV). The lack of development would have been excusable had the movie kept a quick, tense pace. Instead, it dragged along filling the time with stranded children, an uptight teen and underwater lesbians.

Dirty Undies
Since I'm on the subject of lesbians, let's discuss the Wild Wild Girls, Danni and Crystal. Danni (Kelly Brook, The Italian Job) is really hot, really naked, and has a surprisingly developed character. You can expect to see a lot more of her next year. Crystal is portrayed by porn star Riley Steele. Steele is given little to say or do aside from be naked. I recognized one other porn star, but I'm sure I missed a couple. Where Aja failed in storytelling, he overcompensates with nudity. I'm not one to complain about an abundance of boobs and butts, or even a quick female full frontal or some man meat, but some of these scenes take up valuable real estate in the story. Besides, if I want to watch sexy porn stars strut around naked, I'll hit the internets (and I suggest you do the same).

As I mentioned earlier, the gory effects were on point. I loved the chunks missing from people's backs and body parts. In fact, the one thing Aja films perfectly is the unbridled mayhem that ensues when the piranhas violently attack the Spring Break congregation. He captures all the varying archetypes; the noble Samaritan, the sacrificial lambs, the every-man-for-himself. The tense vibe from that extensive sequence should have been present throughout Piranha.

The Money Shot
I can always tell a bad movie from the pacing. When a film that clocks in under ninety minutes feels like I've been seated for over two hours, there's a fucking problem. Piranha has its moments, but those moments never add up to a film worth watching. I'm just glad I didn't pay the extra cash to see it in 3D; I was already pissed enough for paying to see this in the first place.

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Wednesday, September 15, 2010

The Hump: No. 100

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Monday, September 13, 2010

MMM: I Just Want You To Stay

Due to Labor Day, or rather, me being stuck in an airport all day on Labor Day, I was unable to post a Monday Mood Music last week. Based on your silence, I can only assume no one was heartbroken.

However, today's just another Monday so I owe you quality music to kick off your week. My selection is in honor of Peter Cetera, who turns 66 today. Movie fans may remember him as the guy who wrote the mid-80's love ballad Glory of Love which was the theme song for The Karate Kid, Part II.

Long before his solo success, Peter was a member of Chicago. It wasn't until the music video age that he was dubbed their "frontman." During his time with Chicago, Peter wrote and sang lead on many of the bands best loved songs. His biggest hit came ten years before the Glory of Love with a song that went to No. 1 with a bullet all over the world. In honor of Mr. Cetera's birthday and his awesome musical contributions over the years, I hope you enjoy:

Chicago - If You Leave Me Now

Sometimes a nice mellow groove makes for a good start to the week. Do you dig Peter's 'do?


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Friday, September 10, 2010

Trailer Trash: The September 10th Quickie

I know I'm throwing around the word "quickie" on the site a lot lately, but I promise it won't always be so. I'm still trying to regain some semblance of normalcy after my crazy long weekend in Atlanta. I have muchos photos to sort and organize into albums. Don't worry, these are not for my eyes only; I'll be sharing soon.

In the meantime, we need to discuss this weekend's box office offerings.
According to IMDb, there are seven films opening to some degree or another this week. I'm really only concerned about the two wide releases; who knows when the rest of these will actually see the dark of the matinee in my local theater? Neither film is Earth-shattering, but one will most likely get my money before the other. Can you guess which one?

The Virginity Hit (09.10) I haven't heard much buzz about this film, other than it comes from producers Will Ferrell and Adam McKay, but I'm mildly intrigued. It looks like a cross between Jackass and BBC's The Inbetweeners. Actually, I believe there's an Inbetweeners marathon this weekend. Sorry, movie; you lose.

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

Resident Evil: Afterlife (09.10) I've sat through all of the Resident Evil films, the good and the bad, so why would I abandon the franchise now? Granted, I'd sooner stab an icepick in my ear than sit through a 3D film, but I can never have too much ass-kicking Milla Jovovich. Although, if the trailers are any indication, there appear to be more murderous Millas than even I can handle.

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

That's a wrap, stargazers! I'm off to enjoy some fried seafood and blues. Hopefully, that will be the kind of comfort evening I need to get fully rejuvenated.

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Thursday, September 9, 2010

A Quickie: The Expendables

The Expendables

Release: 08.13.10
Rated R
1 hour, 43 minutes

Full Price

Lee Christmas (Jason Statham, The Transporter), Ying Yang (Jet Li, The One), Gunner Jensen (Dolph Lundgren, Universal Solider), Toll Road (Randy Couture, Redbelt) and Hale Ceasar (Terry Crews, Idiocracy) are a band of highly skilled mercenaries led by Barney Ross (Sylvester Stallone, Rambo). Barney's group, the Expendables, is tapped by a mysterious man known only as Mr. Church (Bruce Willis, Die Hard) to overthrow the dictator of a South American island. After a recon gone wrong, Barney and Christmas must leave their rebel contact, Sandra (Giselle ItiƩ), behind. Though a suicide mission, Barney, haunted by Sandra's compassion and most ample bosom, decides to unseat General Garza (David Zayas, TV: Dexter) and the island's true threat, James Munroe (Eric Roberts, The Dark Knight).

For action movies, a single, simple premise can spawn a wealth of carnage, and The Expendables, by writer-director Sylvester Stallone (Rocky Balboa) and writer Dave Callaham (The Horsemen), does exactly that. Sly's Barney is a mercenary with a good heart; his men know this, and will follow him to the bitter end. A speech by the now retired Tool (Mickey Rourke, The Wrestler) adds just enough emotional heft to legitimize the ensuing insanity. The camaraderie between the fellas feels authentic and plays well, even if you can't always hear the witty jibes above the hail of gunfire.

And, oh yes, how the bullets do fly. And knives. And grenades. And bodies. Oh, the bodies. Just during their recon, Barney and Christmas manage to annihilate forty or so of the general's soldiers and they were barely even trying. You can only imagine how much bloodshed there was when the entire team returned, armed to the teeth. It's not all a blur of gunfire and splatter; audiences get to relish at least five mano-a-mano confrontations featuring the various team members.

Dolph Lundgren chews up the scenery as the off-his-rocker Gunner almost as much as Eric Roberts does as the evil mastermind. It's amazing there was any film stock left to shoot the scenes they shared together! On the flip side, the Barney and Christmas rivalry felt like Stallone, the Godfather of action, passing along the torch to the younger Statham. From the ass-whooping scenes Statham was given in The Expendables, he is definitely up to the task.

If you're looking for pure unadulterated action, look no further than The Expendables. Stallone and the crew deliver everything the trailers promised and more. I for one can't wait to see what other great action legends are included in the next edition of the mercenaries' saga.

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A Quickie: Eat Pray Love

Eat Pray Love

Release: 08.13.10
Rated PG-13
2 hours, 13 minutes

Second-Run Seats

Successful writer Liz Gilbert (Julia Roberts, Erin Brokovich) is told by a shaman in Bali that she will have two marriages, one short, one long; she will travel the world, and she will lose all her money only to have it come back to her. After this bit of inception for the soul, Liz finds herself in the wake of a terrible divorce and in dire emotional crisis. She embarks on a journey that takes her to Italy, India, and back to Bali in the hopes it will cure what ails her.

I hadn't expected to be amazed by this movie, but I am shocked at how underwhelming and unsatisfying it is. Writer-director Ryan Murphy, who did an excellent job at mining a wealth of emotion from the cast of Glee, finds that this goldmine of inspiration never pans out. As to be expected, Roberts' performance is great; she fights back tears, appears introspective, and opens herself to fun and frivolity. Despite her warmth and openness, the subject material never lets audiences in.

Eat Pray Love is supposed to relate the physical, emotional, and spiritual journey of a woman lost in her life. The experiences, people, and places she encounters should inspire audiences as much as they did Liz. The experiences were underplayed. The people should have provided the main vehicle to display her evolution, but rarely did. There was a plainness in the cinematography that gave these exotic and elaborate locales a mundane appearance.

When Liz finally found herself, I felt more lost than ever. Best I could glean from this film was that the journey to self-discovery involves trading up men, being sure each new love is more handsome and fawning than the last (no offense, Billy). One might argue Eat Pray Love is not a movie men can relate to; I'd argue a truly heartfelt story would have tugged at the soul of any viewer.

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Wednesday, September 8, 2010

The Hump: No. 7

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Friday, September 3, 2010

Trailer Trash: The September 3rd Quickie

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Thursday, September 2, 2010

You Think I Forgot?

Of course not! For those confused, I did not forget to induct a new member into the Spank Bank. See, what had happened was, I started the lengthy, but quite enjoyable selection process, when other, more immediate concerns surfaced.

First and foremost, finalizing my travel plans to the ATL for DragonCon. I will be off shortly to revel in my own geekery and, hopefully, meet former Spank Bank inductee, Summer Glau.

As you can see, when faced with the decision to either write a new Spank Bank column or meet an actual inductee, the choice is rather easy. I just wish I had some sort of physical trophy to present her in honor of being part of such a prestigious group. Hmm, depending on what that would look like, she may not want it!

But, I digress. The newest inductee will be named next week. In the meantime, Julianne Moore can relish the limelight a little longer. I know I won't mind.

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Wednesday, September 1, 2010

The Hump: No. 18

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