Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Favorite Moments in Film

Every year, I pick a favorite movie. I make many lists (usually for myself) each year from best to worst films, but I always manage to have just one favorite. The only year I can't hold this to be true is 2007. I will often tell people that my favorite that year was There Will Be Blood, but it's a lie, a goddamned lie. The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford is right up there with TWBB, no matter how much I try to like Paul Thomas Anderson more. I hate that no one saw this movie, I really do. It's fucking beautiful. Like, I would date it beautiful. I would also date the entire ensemble cast. Brad Pitt (given), Mary-Louise Parker (given), Jeremy Renner, Sam Rockwell, Garret Dillahunt, Paul Schneider, and of course Casey Affleck (those eyes...). Nothing I can write will describe how well they all play off of one another, losing themselves in their characters, each dark and secretive yet emotionally open.

The cinematography and actors are only background noise compared to the real star, the score. The music is what puts this movie over the edge for me. Nice Cave may be a scary evil man when he rocks out with his cock out, but fuck can he compose something of amazing beauty and depth. It's the only score I have in my car and workout playlists, it's just that good. I can't wait for his score to The Road later this year. Cave's little cameo in the movie is pretty inspired as well. I cannot say enough good things, but the last thing I will say is this is one of my favorite movie endings ever.

And, of course, the title scene of the freakin movie. (Spoiler: THE TITLE OF THE MOVIE)

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Favorite Moments in Film

To quote a wise man's words, as spoken by Seth Rogen, "Every movie with Jews, we’re the ones getting killed. 'Munich' flips it on its ear. We’re capping motherfuckers.”

Munich is heartbreaking. And violent as fuck. Schindler's List was Spielberg being sad and mournful, but Munich is his revenge flick. It's a hell of an emotional and breathtaking ride, and it's sad that this film is so often overlooked when comparing The Beards works, especially with Eric Bana's outstanding performance. This film is perfectly crafted on every level, from the pacing to the editing to the acting. Each assassination and bombing sequence has it's own texture, while at the same time showing the toll they take on those who bear the burden of performing them. The opening gives a look at what might have transpired that one night in September when the terrorists took the Israeli athletes hostage, and I warn you, it is not easy to watch.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Favorite Moments in Film

There's a lot of great moments from the three Indiana Jones films (yeah, that's right, THREE). The opening to The Last Crusade is just plain awesome. It gives us the origin story for Indy (the hat!, the whip!), has River freaking Phoenix, and is overall a fantastic action sequence. Did anyone in Spielberg's camp watch this before the last piece of crap they put out? Anyone?

And you gotta love the Hitler gag:

And I couldn't find the original clip, but lego birds are just as good, if not better:

Friday, August 7, 2009

Favorite Moments in Film

Dear Mr. Hughes,

You lied to me about high school. It was worse than you said it would be, but you were right about pretty much everything else (especially road trips, teen angst, friends, weird science, romance, family, and beating the shit out of robbers with household objects). I'll miss you. You were the 80s.


P.S. Drillbit Taylor, wtf guy?

P.S.2 The music, so choice.

Some of the best:

And of course:

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Favorite Moments in Film

When I was growing, there were many lessons that I was taught. The main three were: don't take candy from strangers, don't microwave metal objects, and never fuck a stranger in the ass. The repurcussions for the the first two were pretty clear (you'll be raped/killed, shit will blow up), but I was never sure about the third one. Until I saw the Big Lebowski. Walter Sobchak changed my life. This is what happens when you fuck a stranger in the ass.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Favorite Moments in Film

Like I said, I love Wes Anderson. And Bill Murray. And anything they do together. Jeff Goldblum getting shot? Bonus.

I also can't hear The Stooges "Search And Destroy" without thinking of this scene.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Favorite Moments in Film

I love Judd Apatow. I think the man is a fucking genius. He was a brilliant writer on The Larry Sanders Show, man created Freaks & Geeks and Undeclared, and he's completely raised the bar for comedy over the past 5 years. That said, I really hope people are starting to realize that not everything Apatow touches is, in fact, the funniest shit ever made. For every two hits, there's at least one miss (Drillbit Taylor, Year One, Kicking & Screaming). He also wrote You Don't Mess With The Zohan. Just feel like I need to point that out.

Now I cannot wait for Funny People (if only for Eric Bana) and I highly expect it to become one of my favorites, but so far my favorite Apatow film has been Walk Hard. This article over at the AV Club pretty much summarizes why this film is amazing, but while you're watching the film, you can tell how much love Judd had for these characters when he was writing this. Jake Kasdan, who's had an unfortunate career working in his father's shadow, does an amazing job showcasing the different musical styles Dewey Cox goes through, and manages to make it feel like a true biopic. It takes shots at the drama and ridiculous gravity of other films like Ray and Walk The Line, but it's all in good fun. The supporting cast adds a lot of depth to the film (Jenna Fischer, Chris Parnell, the woefully underused Tim Meadows), but showstealer is John C. Reilly. Dude can act, and sing, and bring the funny, all at the same time, especially when he tells a monkey to go fuck himself. The following clips (and the monkey thing) may not paint the best picture of what this film is as a whole, but I do know that they make me laugh everytime.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Favorite Moments in Film

Sometimes it's hard to find the clips you want, so for this one I said "Fuck it" and just posted the first 10 minutes of Shoot'Em Up. Excellent rarely-seen film, Clive Owen and Paul Giamatti play off each other brilliantly, and that opening shootout is bliss. Any movie that plays Nirvana's 'Breed' in the first 5 minutes is instantly a favorite for me. Feel free to watch past that, it's all good.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Favorite Moments in Film

In honor of the 40th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing, I present a clip from (not Apollo 13 surprisingly) 2001: A Space Odyssey. Yeah, it drags out, but it's just so awesome.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Favorite Moments in Film

I feel like Ralph Fiennes has yet to find that one role that will get put him on the A-list, instead of being on the cusp of it. His portrayal of Satan Amon Goeth in Schindler's List should have been that role. At least he's got Voldemort to fall back on...

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Favorite Moments in Film

The infamous corridor fight from Oldboy. Incredibly fucked up movie, but this fight is an amazingly choreographed long take.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

My Problem With Indian People (Part 9 of a 500-part Series)

They think they're so fucking crafty.

They think they can get away with anything, especially if it involves saving money. The worst example of this is the Depression-Lemonade maker. Usually they're female, between 30-60, and have a scratchy irritating voice because of all the lemonade they drink. They'll start off with a glass of water, no ice. After 2 minutes, they'll ask for a few slices of lemon on the side. 4 minutes later, they want some sugar. Then the squeezing and mixing frenzy begins! Before you know it, just like those guys in the 1930s who mixed the ketchup and water in diners to make tomato soup, they'll have a perfect "free" glass of lemonade. Until I charge them for it.

Other offenders include the guy who parks in two spaces in Cerritos, the lady that uses her baby as an excuse to cut in front of you in line at the grocery store, and the guy who loves the food when you ask him 3 times during dinner how everything is but when it comes time to tip the food apparently wasn't that good despite the table eating the whole lot even the piece of mint that was a garnish in the raita.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Favorite Moments in Film

Montages are just the best thing ever, specifically 80s montages. The key ingredient in every good montage is the song, and Joe Esposito's "You're The Best, Around" catapults the Karate Kid right to the top. One thing I've always wondered though, why is it that all the white people in this are so tweaked out and jumpy when they're fighting?

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Favorite Moments in Film

Great little film with some really touching music. Check it out if you haven't already. You'll cry.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Favorite Moments in Film

In honor of today, I present the best/worst part of Rocky IV: The Quest for Peace. Words cannot describe it.

Ok, the best part is when Apollo dies.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Favorite Moments in Film

Simon Pegg + Nick Frost + Zombies + Queen = Genius.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

WTF Hollywood?

So I'm gonna go ahead and state the obvious: this summer movie season sucks. I'm not saying that there aren't some good films out there, but this is the time of year where I'm supposed to be able to put away my brain and just enjoy some random cool shit. Instead, I have a franchise ruined for me and Shia. Again.

At the moment, there's still a few large films to look forward to: Public Enemies, Bruno, Harry Potter 6, Funny People, Julie and Julia, and The Time Traveler's Wife. Considering how things are going, I'm gonna assume that half of them will fail me . Luckily, there's always some smaller-release films that I can depend on, even if it means I have to pay attention to plot. My list of small films that will save the season:

The Brothers Bloom - I cannot recommend this movie enough. My favorite film of the year (so far).

The Hurt Locker - Best war film I've seen since the whole fad started 2 years ago. Amazing performances and real explosions. Just... wow.

Away We Go - If you know me, you know that I don't plan on having kids. This movie made me want kids. I don't know what else to say other than Maya Rudolph is not only a great comedian, but a damn fine actress.

500 Days of Summer - Pretty great breakup movie. Also, ballsy use of Hall & Oates.

Moon - Best sci-fi option at the moment. Sam Rockwell just gets better and better.

Thirst - A priest turns into a vampire. Falls in love. Things get weird. In Korea!

Paper Heart - A lot of the Apatow crowd. I'm hopeful.

The Goods - One name: David Koechner. Oh, and Jeremey Piven I guess...

It Might Get Loud - Jimmy Page, Jack White, and The Edge talking about being awesome.

Taking Woodstock - Liev Schreiber in drag.

District 9 - I think people don't know what to expect from this, being a mix of sci-fi and political commentary, but judging from the director's original short film, it looks like win.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Restaurant Somewhat Confidential: Coke, Vindaloo, and Other Things That Will Fuck Up Your Sinuses

So cocaine is making a comeback. Not that it's ever really gone away, it's just kind of taken a backseat compared to all the other wonderful drugs out there. Marijuana has been the drug of choice for movies, television, brownies, magazines, and hipster douche bags since the mid-90s. Half-Baked made it apparent that it was the comedy world's drug of choice at the time, a trend that continues to this day with movies like Pineapple Express and, of course, Weeds. Part of this was due to the resurgence of 1970s ideals and attitudes in the 90s, but now, in 2009, the 1980s are making their way back, whether it be fashion, new-age dance rock, movies, or 80s stars making their way back into our lives as more than a pop-culture reference, and riding that wave of popularity is cocaine.

While entertainment and media are usually the place to go for the latest trends, nothing beats clubs and dive bars (or, in the case of Orange County, the Yard House). Driving through the streets of the Orange Curtain, it's visible that the stoners of yesteryear have been replaced with the nouveau hipster thumbing their nose at society, and removing any evidence. If clubs aren't your scene, then look no further than your local house of Mughlai, where hipsters travel to occasionally to Yelp about their experience and maintain their diversity cred. I'll look over every now and then and see a sun-glassed douche saunter into the bathroom and exit minutes later, bursting out with new-found energy gained from, judging from the snorting sounds, either riding the white horse or harshly scoffing a silent art film.

Now, I know I'm harsh on hipsters (stupid hats/belts), but it's not just this crowd that cocaine has regained. Recently a young man out for dinner with his family managed to use the restroom 5 times within a 2 hour span. By the fourth time I could guess what was going on (I'm slow) and during the fifth I could hear that art film being judged again. When he came out after that round, he still had a little powder caked around his nose, and after pointing out to him that he missed a little (Die Hard anyone?), he just stared at me blankly, told me to fuck off, and didn't bother wiping his nose. Needless to say, their table got real quiet real fast.

We've had in-house problems with users too. Two years ago one of our busboys was constantly using, which made him binge on leftovers. Strangely, it was the eating that my dad fired him for, which leads me to believe that he didn't know about the coke use. Also, no one dares to touch any leftovers anymore.

The worst encounter though had to be 3 weeks ago with a real asshole. The guy only did like 1 or 2 lines, but he ended up getting a nosebleed at his table during dinner. Not wanting his (ditzy) girlfriend to know the real reason, he calls me over to tell me that our vindaloo was dangerously hot and had given him a nosebleed. After informing him that spinach was, unfortunately, not a vindaloo, he demanded a chicken vindaloo post haste to skirt the whole nosebleed matter.

Now, we use homegrown habaneros in our vindaloo, cooking down the pods inside to get a nice concentrated vinegar. Usually, we'll use about a teaspoon of that for each order, but being a special case, I asked for about 5 to go in this one. I may have had to wait a hour after closing, but I enjoyed watching him sweat and cry through every last drop of that dish, just to prove his point. Also, apparently too much chili really can give you a nosebleed. The things you learn.

I'm sure there are better public places to observe drug trends and rock a coke 'stache, but restaurants seems to be a good place for both. It just makes me appreciate the alcoholics more and more. At least when they ask me to join them, I actually have the option to say yes.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Favorite Moments in Film

Warning: If you haven't seen There Will Be Blood, this is the end of the film.

One word: Milkshake.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Favorite Moments in Film

There isn't a single more qualified person to write the next Muppet movie...

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Restaurant Somewhat Confidential: Bitch Said What?

A few of the weirdest/saddest/grossest/(insert superlative adjective) things I've overheard and written down over the past few years:

"It's called shrimping, and it's amazing."

"It's not that I don't love you. I just don't love anyone."

"Why the fuck did you order this if you know I'm allergic to mango? Do you even know that?"

"...and I thought that yeah, I totally would have stabbed the guy too if I was there."

"Wow, there are actually black people here."

"It was my first threesome, but I think next time I want two guys because with another girl it..."

"...but I was like 'Fuck you, I never fucking cheated on you, but I will now you piece...'"

"Is that Hank Azaria on that table or just a really ugly guy?"

"What the fuck did you just say to me?... Just kidding!"

"If I ask for a hamburger do you think they'll be offended?"

"I've only gone down on him once, it just doesn't work for me."

"I just got promoted and I think it's because I slept with my boss. I'm not sure, what do you think?"

"Do Indians eat dogs, or is that a Chinese thing?"

"You hear about this Obama character? Some black senator or something from Chicago, thinks he can be president just cause he speaks like a white guy." - After the DNC in 2004

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Favorite Moments in Film

I can't wait for Steve Buscemi to go broke and start narrarating books on tape. I might actually get through Tess of D'Urbervilles for once...

Bonus points for "The Client Is Always Wrong."

Monday, February 2, 2009

Favorite Moments In Film

Making out with Elizabeth Banks (or Paul Rudd) is a perfectly acceptable reason for letting a child drown. Just saying.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Watch Now!

If you've never seen Broken Flowers or it's just been sitting around on your list of movies to see, this is your chance to right that wrong. Bill Murray is still on a roll after 'Lost in Translation' and the supporting cast is just as amazing, from Tilda Swinton to Jeffrey Wright. Seriously, just take 2 hours and watch the thing.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Favorite Moments In Film

Yeah, I love Wes Anderson. Wanna fight about it?

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Favorite Moments In Film

What I aspire to be everytime I'm shitfaced.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

My Problem With Indian People (Part 8 of a 500-part Series)

Everything is a fucking problem when it's not convenient.

An example from last Saturday night:

Indian Deuche: Excuse me.

Me: Yes sir?

Indian Deuche: What is that? (Motions to a sizzler on a table behind them with chicken and a small amount of smoke coming off of it)

Me: That is our Jerk Tandoori Chicken.

Indian Deuche: There's too much smoke coming off of it.

Me: That's actually a normal amount.

Indian Deuche: The smoke is bothering me very much.

Me: I'm sorry about that. It will go away in a minute.

Indian Deuche: Can we change tables?

Me: We're completely full at the moment.

Indian Deuche: Do you plan to sell many more of those?

Me: Of the sizzlers?

Indian Deuche: Yes.

Me: Well we were, but I guess we can stop for tonight and just tell everyone that we changed our menu. Would that work for you?

Indian Deuche: Yes thank you. Come back in a few minutes and we'll give you our order.
Me: (muttered curses)


Me: Are you ready to order?

Indian Deuche: Yes. We'll have one Tandoori Chicken, one Seekh Kebab, and two Onion Kulcha.

Me: You do realize that the meat dishes come on a sizzler?

Indian Deuche: Yes, that's fine.

Me: So you want them on sizzlers?

Indian Deuche: Yes.

Me: And the smoke won't bother you?

Indian Deuche: No, it's ok.

Me: ...Alright then.