Georgetown Hoyas vs. Bayi Rockets
Except instead of playing basketball they decide to get into a bench clearing brawl. A really crazy sports fight, except we probably shouldn’t be pissing China off when we owe them about 1 trillion dollars. Gets boring after about a minute when everyone is cleared off the court. (Courtesy sportsgrid.com via ESPN)
Jeff Bridges is one of my favorite actors, and his film Crazy Heart where he plays a country star who is past is prime is possibly my favorite Bridges’ role. His songs on the soundtrack were pretty good, so when he decided to release his second album, aptly titled Jeff Bridges, I figured I’d check it out:
What A Little Bit of Love Can Do: A nice variety of pop and country, very catchy and upbeat. Nice starting song.
Falling Short: A soft country song, not very memorable. Barely realized it had ended.
Everything But Love: A nicer soft country song, definitely better than the previous song. A gentle little song about needing love.
Tumbling Vine: Bluesy, morose feeling to this song. Far different vibe than the first three songs, but in a good way. Somewhat short though.
Nothing Yet: Now a morose country song, I’m not entirely sure how much a famous actor and now musician’s life could really suck but it makes for a pretty good song.
Blue Car: A song that is supposed to drag you out of the deep depression the last few songs put you in. A bit more upbeat (as upbeat as any of these songs are going to get). A decent track, but it just doesn’t feel like Jeff Bridges’ soft singing voice is appropriate for this song.
Maybe I Missed the Point: A quicker paced, happy song that probably does less for me than any of the other songs thus far. A rather mediocre track compared to the others.
Slow Boat: This is where Bridges excels. This is a slow song where he can grumble his deep vocals over country music. A little lengthy, but an awesome song.
Either Way: Another soft, slow song that sounds great when the percussion comes in.
The Quest: Still slow, but not as quiet anymore. Really awesome song to end it.
It’s just not fair that one man could have so much talent stored in his body. A great singer and a fantastic actor. I’m certainly envious of him, but I will continue to give this album some spins because it is pretty damn good.
Flash Back Review:
Fast Times at Ridgemont High (1982)
A.) Why did Mr. Hand have a problem with Spicoli showing up late, but he didn’t have a problem with him presumably reeking of marijuana?
B.) That 26 year old guy should probably have been able to tell that Stacy was 15 years old and was born right before he hit puberty. I was expecting Chris Hanson to walk in and bust it up.
That being said Fast Times did have a lot of characters to relate to, or who we can at least say we know someone like most of the characters. Everyone knows a dumb ass stoner like Jeff Spicoli and everyone had a dick wad teacher like Mr. Hand. Everyone knows a small nerdy kid like Mark, which also begs the question how did someone who is basically Woody Allen with hair end up with the girl? In what other movies does that work (besides of course Woody Allen movies)?
I enjoy the scene where Stacy and Mark go out for the first time and they are in the restaurant in extremely large chairs. It really made them look young and inexperienced on the dating scene. This movie really nailed down a lot of the awkwardness of high school. The rough classes, the strange first relationships, the shitty high school jobs, the urge to have sex, etc. On top of that, this movie had a fantastic soundtrack.
This is a genuinely funny movie that actually touches on some pretty serious subjects, but for me it fails to live up to its potential as one of the greatest high school movies of all time. The movie jumps between too many characters for the audience to really start to care or understand any one of them. Stacy and Brad seem like they are supposed to be the primary characters, but even in Stacy’s darkest hour I didn’t really find myself sympathizing with her. Brad just seems to have shit luck with jobs, and even when his relationship ends it isn’t really portrayed as a big deal. Sean Penn of course is fantastic as Spicoli, but his role wasn’t really large enough for me to start to care about him as well. Great movie, but it is watered down with too many characters.
Welcome Reality is a huge album release by British dubstep artist Nero. Here’s the breakdown:
2808: Just an introduction, nothing to hear here.
Doomsday: Here we go, song starts right off with a build up then it drops to gut wrenching party music. Made me wish flashing lights were going off in my room. In the middle of the song it slows back down just to punch you in the gut again, but in a good way. Great way to get me excited for the rest of the album.
My Eyes: Not as loud and rocking as doomsday. Still a great song, but a bit more chill. Like the change of tempo, not every song is going to be a banger but that’s probably a plus because that just gets repetitive and boring. Well…at first. Then wait for it…a killer build up in the second half of the song and then it kicks you in the teeth. God I love Nero, managed to put two entirely different elements into one song.
Guilt: One of the singles from the album, great vocals and a killer wub. You have to turn your speakers up to 11 for this one. Nero probably feels guilty for making a track that will blow your freaking mind. I was looking for a better pun there, I tried.
Fugue State: This makes me feel like I’m in a science fiction film set in the UK. I don’t know why. A highly enjoyable track.
Me & You: Another single, don’t like the vocals on this one as much but the drop works well. This song actually sounds fairly poppy for being a dubstep song, a damn good song. Didn’t like it a lot on the first play through, but I liked it a lot more the second go round.
Innocence: This track was a single as well, and I got this a couple of months before the album dropped. Just a great song, sounds like a lot of the Nero I had listened to pre-album (Bad Trip, Act Like You Know, etc.), but that is not a bad thing. I love those songs and I love this one as well.
In the Way: A chill track that is a change of pace from the last couple of songs. Chillstep can be great, but this song just didn’t do anything for me. It was kind of boring up until the very end where it just sort of becomes the intro for the next track.
Scorpions: A tedious build up at the beginning results in a pretty sweet chill song. Then a second build up kicks in and pumps up the song a bit, making it a heavier. Far from a banger, but far from a bust, this is a good song.
Crush On You: Remix of The Jets 1985 song “Crush On You,” and it rocks my shit. It kind of sounds like the 80s on steroids. And I like the 80s…and steroids.
Must Be the Feeling: Remix of Carmen’s 1984 song “Time to Move.” Same mold as the last track, a bit less enjoyable.
Reaching Out: This song has a special place in my heart. Putting a sample of Hall and Oates in your song is going to make me instantly interested. A pretty chill track, but besides the lovely vocal sample this song didn’t do much for me. With two songs left I hope the album hasn’t lost it’s oomph.
Promises: There’s the gut punch I was looking for. Another single, another hit. Great vocals, straight banger. This deserves to be played very loudly on high quality speakers, everywhere.
Departure: Sad sweeping music at the onset, probably with the realization that the album is coming to an end (thank God there is a bonus deluxe edition), but then the music kicks up a notch. A fantastic farewell to the listeners, and a nice ending. The song just sounds really cool. Halfway through it just stops, starts up again and then sort of just fades off until it ends.
Angst: Remix of Justice’s “Stress,” I like the original and I like this one as well. Same concept, it just gives the track a set of balls. Sweet build up followed by a killer drop. Probably should have made the album, very enjoyable.
Welcome Reality VIP: Fun track, upbeat and pretty heavy, but somewhat generic. I can see why this one didn’t make the cut. Good, but not quite good enough.
This Way: Dear Jacob’s Face, Sorry you melted off. We’re sorry. Love, Nero. This letter has not yet been written to me, but I’m expecting it. Absolutely love this song and the vocals.
New Life: Real futuristic sound and cool robot voices make this song pretty cool. Fast tempo, once again this one deserves to be played at very high decibels.
Choices: Like if Al Gore made a drum & bass song about global warming instead of a really boring movie. As the title implies, the song brings up choices. We apparently have choices in our lives, and we had choices that we made that are ruining our planet. Go recycle. Also, I think Kenny G might be laying down some saxophone at the end.
Symphony 2808: Listening to a 17 minute song is a commitment. It is an endeavor that shall not be taken lightly. I cannot name any other song longer than 12 minutes that I have sat through (La Dispute’s “The Last Lost Continent” is 12 minutes, great song). The song begins slowly, then samples This Way and does This Way better than the original did. The middle sounds like a fantastical action/adventure film score. Towards the end Innocence is sampled as well. A very entertaining symphony, I never really got bored listening to it.
I really, really loved this album. This will be blasting through my speakers for a long time. I hope more popular dubstep artists come out with albums that are this quality.
Watch the Throne is obviously not a movie, but it was hugely anticipated and I wanted to see if it lived up to the hype. After two consecutive listens, this is what I think,
No Church in the Wild (ft. Frank Ocean)- Nice track and it’s great to see Frank Ocean getting a lot of attention now. He’s the real deal. 88 keys drops a sweet beat.
Lift Off (ft. Beyonce)- The mandatory Beyonce track, and it’s not a memorable one. Low point of the album. Nothing ever really happens.
Niggas in Paris- Pop beat, could be a single, interesting Blades of Glory sound bite certainly never thought I would hear Will Ferrell’s voice on this album. Pretty good song.
Otis (ft. Otis Redding)- Second single, probably my favorite track, but what they did to the Maybach in the music video is inexcusable. I nearly cried. Hearing Otis Redding on the sample made me feel better though.
Gotta Have It- Seemed to end as quickly as it had begun, nothing special. Another song about flaunting wealth. One of the more popular songs off of the album, but I’m not sure why. Disappointing Neptunes production.
New Day- A nice change from the lyrics that solely commented on their wealth, this track has both Jay and Kanye hoping their sons will have good lives. Noble sure, but with all the dough they previously rapped about their sons should be fine. The beat on this one isn’t very good.
That’s My Bitch- From flaunting wealth to clear male chauvinism, I mean the track is called That’s My Bitch… If you can get over that it is one of the more enjoyable tracks on the album. Upbeat and somewhat old school feel.
Welcome to the Jungle- Fresh beat by Swizz, Jay and Kanye both do well but Swizz coming in only to say welcome to the jungle occasionally was somewhat annoying.
Who Gon Stop Me- I love the Flux Pavillion sample, dubstep needs to get more mainstream attention in the United States. (I Can’t Stop is the song sampled) Dubstep and hip hop combine quite nicely. Kanye West’s auto-tuned parts are obnoxious, but the rest of the song is great.
Murder to Excellence- Finally a track that is socially aware, something I was looking for from Jay and Kanye. Great sample, also apparently Kid Cudi helped write the track. I thought that was interesting. Second half contrasts the first half quite nicely.
Made in America (ft. Frank Ocean)- Very low key track, great vocals by Frank Ocean again, but other than that nothing that special here.
Why I Love You (ft. Mr. Hudson)- Another fantastic sample, this time of I Love You So by Cassius. Jay just kills this one, glad to see he finally gets an opportunity to show off on this album.
Illest Motherfucker Alive- Didn’t really do anything for me, quite clear why it didn’t make the cut to be on the album.
H.A.M- The first single that started all of this hype. Both Jay and Kanye rap well on the track, but it’s producer Lex Luger that steals the show. The beat is straight fire.
Primetime- Nifty beat on a pretty good track, probably should have made the album, but it’s not as poppy as the album tracks. Probably wouldn’t have appealed to as broad of an audience.
The Joy (ft. Curtis Mayfield)- The live Curtis Mayfield sample doesn’t really do it for me (probably the awkward grunting that continues throughout the song), and some of the Kanye lines were really unexpected (you’ll see) but Kanye kills it and Jay puts on a strong performance.
What would be a solid album from anyone else comes off as a disappointment from Jay and Kanye. These titans dropped The College Dropout, The Blueprint, and Reasonable Doubt. I would have liked to hear a bit more from them, still a pretty decent album. Some of these songs will get a lot of plays, others I’ll probably just delete.
Brick is far from a perfect film, but it doesn’t have to be. It is still fantastic. It was Rian Johnson’s directorial debut and it certainly seems like he has a bright future ahead. I love film noir and it is interesting to see one set in a California high school. Brendan (Gordon Levitt) is basically an anti hero. He is clearly meant to be the protagonist, but sometimes it is hard to connect with him as the hero. He is extremely intelligent (actually basically everyone in the film is) and might be a better detective than a lot of actual detectives. The quick dialogue and witty banter is what really made this movie for me. The story is somewhat challenging to follow. It can easily be sorted out after watching the film, but it often feels like there are too many parts for the movie to reach its full potential. Thankfully, even though the film can be confusing it more than makes up for that with originality and some great acting by Joseph Gordon Levitt. I highly recommend this film.
Side Note: Rian Johnson is releasing a film next year called Looper which also stars Joseph Gordon Levitt
I tend to really enjoy Simon Pegg and Nick Frost movies, Paul was no different. Paul tells the story of two geeks who travel from England to Comic-Con in San Diego, CA and then map a route through the American South West to visit all of the UFO attractions. While visiting The Black Mail Box they actually encounter an alien whose name is Paul. Paul is on the run from government officials who are trying to bring him back to their secret base. Paul isn’t exactly like all of the other Pegg/Frost films as it is a bit more Americanized in its sense of humor. The comedy isn’t as dark and there is a lot more sexual references and vulgarity. Still, a very funny movie though. Pegg and Frost are as hilarious as usual, and Bill Hader and Joe Lo Truglio also add a lot of humor to the film. The story is fresh and original. I don’t believe I have seen any other alien road trip comedies lately, so that certainly is a plus. I would recommend this film, especially since nothing else that is that great has come out on DVD recently.
Before beginning the review it must be noted that I have been frequently compared to Topher Grace (specifically the character Eric Forman from That 70’s Show) and I enjoy a good 80’s movie, so this movie may or may not have been more enjoyable for myself than for others. Take Me Home Tonight never takes the necessary steps to become a hilarious comedy that will be frequently quoted and discussed (Hangover, Anchorman, etc.) but it is a pretty entertaining movie. If you have seen the trailer for the film you basically know everything that happens all the way up until the end. There are no surprises. There are many, many funny moments in this movie but there are also some moments that just seem to try to hard to get a laugh. The story is simple and EXTREMELY predictable, like before you get 5 minutes into the movie you have it all figured out predictable. However, once again this movie is a great little to no thought movie with some laughs mixed in. Look for the Demetri Martin cameo, personally I would consider it one of the best moments in the movie.
Side Note: Michelle Trachtenberg (Ice Princess, Harriet the Spy) plays a small role as a creepy goth girl, it was fun seeing her like this seeing as I totally forgot she existed and I haven’t seen her in anything without the Disney stamp on it.
Paul Rudd pitches Our Idiot Brother marketing ideas to Harvey Weinstein, funny shit
Shades of Ray, starring Zach Levi (Chuck) did exactly what I wanted it to do. It is a movie that does not require much though, a movie that is funny but not hilarious, and a movie where the acting isn’t so terrible it makes you cringe. This movie is perfectly adequate. The writing is interesting in that the story is a fairly generic romantic comedy about an engaged man who meets another woman, but the cultural issues in the movie are what really make it stand out. Ray (Levi) is half-Pakistani and half-Caucasian and lives under the strict guidance of his Pakistani father. The movie is fairly predictable, but at the very least it is sometimes funny and decently entertaining. I personally watched the film as something to pass the time right before I go to sleep, so for down times like that where you don’t want to watch something intense or deep this is a perfect film.
Fun movie fact: At one point Ray (Levi) goes on a website that is clearly Myspace…which begs the question when exactly did Myspace go from cool and hip to lame and a mocking point? This film came out in 2008 so it must have been right around then.