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Last Build Date: Sun, 05 Oct 2014 00:13:05 +0000


We've Moved!

Wed, 21 Mar 2007 00:49:00 +0000

Poison Scooter

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Amy Winehouse

Tue, 20 Mar 2007 03:00:00 +0000

Amy Winehouse looks like Sarah Silverman dipped in make up and covered in tats. Oddly enough, when she opens her mouth she sounds like Shirley Bassey. Hmmm? Amy's musical stylings are something to absorb; the vintage sound crossed with her modern day venacular. Tales of drink and bad girl behaviour, cleverly played just straight enough to make you take note of her vocal talent. Although you get only a small snip on her Myspace and ITunes, I can tell you that her breezy 10 track CD is worth the gamble.
People are falling in love with her, if 10 myspace pages cropping up since Saturday is any indication. And I've seen her mentioned in no less than 5 magazines this month. A star on the rise or a flash in the pan? I'll admit, I've fallen in love with this girl before. Nelly McKay ring a bell? The comparison isn't exactly fair, as they are worlds apart when it comes to their sound, but what I mean is that I was so into McKay and she never captured the hearts of the many like a thought.

Stand out tracks: Rehab and Back In Black

Dancing With The Stars!

Tue, 20 Mar 2007 01:33:00 +0000

Ballroom Blitz is the opening number...oh my god, this is going to be sad. Cha-Cha-Cha.

Joey Fatone is a front runner? Not bad for the fat N'SYNC dude. Clyde Drexler looked like Sasquatch. Heather Mills looked creepier though dragging her fake leg around the floor. All in all, a hot mess.

And yet...I'll watch it.

Fun With IMDB

Tue, 20 Mar 2007 01:24:00 +0000

April, Courtney and Monica are three beautiful, intelligent and tough college freshmen. They are finishing their first semester at Los Lomas Malas community college, the armpit of community college's. They must do well on finals to gain entrance to an Ivy League University, cheer at the big game and rescue their Sensei, who has been kidnapped by the mob, all by midnight so they can compete in the all-city strip off with the hopes of winning college money. All the while, dodging nosy cops, keeping their parents at bay, dealing with a perverted coach and smiling, talking or fighting their way through a slew of odd characters.

Okay, so this is the description of the soon to be released (straight to DVD I'm sure) film Ninja Cheerleaders. Now if the name alone doesn't grab you, let me throw this by you...

Sensei is played by Mr. Sulu, George Takei.

Oh wait, there's more. Trishelle Cannatella is one of the cheerleaders. Yep, that Trishelle. And yet there is still more...

Michael Paré. You know, from Streets of Fire.

And...Max Perlich as Jimmy the Snitch. Max is from Beautiful Girls. And the Luscious Jackson video for Naked Eye. A song that I heard just the other day on Sirius.


Mon, 19 Mar 2007 12:17:00 +0000

I'm not a comic book guy nor am I a period piece guy, so approaching the 300 I was skeptical. Especially since all I heard about was that this was a film for guys, or rather guys who love video games (another thing I am not). The look of the film is interesting but starts to teeter toward odd about 30 minutes in, the washboard abs look airbrushed and it becomes very obvious that the film was shot entirely on green screen much like Frank Miller's other graphic novel adaptation Sin City. So what keeps you interested when the visuals start to wane?

My guess would be the story needs to hold up, but this is kind of like Persian/Spartan history for dummies and not exactly a sweeping, well crafted examination of the cultures of the people. You get the general idea of what is going on, Sparta sends 300 tough guys to hold off thousands of Perisan army (made up of hundreds of countries), but the story doesn't allow you to invest in the characters because it's all about the action.

Ah, the action. If there is any reason to see this film, without a doubt it is the visually stimulating action sequences. The backbone of the film is the gore and the incredible David vs. Goliath battles that take the foreground. If you don't get to bogged down on why the King of Sparta looks like Mel Gibson and talks like Sean Connery, you will most likely really enjoy the graphic violence and come out of the film saying it was pretty good.

Sometimes you need a popcorn movie in your life. One that doesn't require you to think, just observe, chuckle and be entertained. But Shakespeare this is not.

March Madness

Fri, 16 Mar 2007 12:26:00 +0000

Ah, so you think I'm going to post on here about college basketball, do you? Hell no. Although I am in two bracket pools. What I'm referring to from this headline is the latest crop of reality television that is headed our way.

INFERNO 3 on MTV gives us what appears to be a more physically demanding challenge show bringing back the theme of good guys vs. bad guys. (April 10th) The currently running trailer on MTV shows a very heated exchange between Kenny the Jersey doofus and hothead CT who apparently gets banished from the show early this season. And old steady Tonya is back to rile up the ladies. I saw tears! And cheating! You go girl!

VH1 is giving us a new round of Celebrity Fit Club with Kimberly Locke and the intern kid on Leno. From what I hear, this season is men vs. women and all of the celebs are bulky but not obese making it actually competitive.

They are also bring back the "finest" ladies from two seasons of Flavor of Love for Charm School which drops on April 15th. Great, just what we need to distract us from the tax deadline, Buckwild wiggering out on some hoochies.

If depression is your thing, Intervention is back tonight on A&E with fresh episodes of druggies getting high and then clean. And right now, HBO is showing a 9 hour documentary called Addiction that is getting rave reviews from everyone who sees it. They are one hour installments, so check your listings or put the 4-disc series on your Netflix queue as the set comes out March 20th.

Dancing with the Stars is relaunching on Monday night, moving away from the time slot that goes up against American Idol. Steve from 90210 is my underdog pick this season, but you can't trust that one legged wonder Heather Mills. Look what she did to Paul! And this season's Jerry Spring is none other than Cliff Claven!

With The Office, 30 Rock, Heroes and Studio 60 on a break, a guy like me has to find something to watch.

Sundance Film Festival

Fri, 16 Mar 2007 01:56:00 +0000

Over the past two decades, a lot of quality films have come out of the snowy, Utah film festival that Robert Redford started. So keeping that in mind, Premiere magazine is touting a dozed films that we should all be hyped to see during the next year as they roll out to a theater near you in their latest issue. That got me thinking...what looks good to me?

Snow Angels from director David Gordon Green (George Washington, All the Real Girls) is an adaptation of the thrilling novel by Stewart O'Nan and stars Sam Rockwell and Kate Beckinsale, a couple of my favorites.

Gregg Araki has done some weird films like The Doom Generation, Totally Fucked Up and Nowhere, but this new one Smiley Face is apparently a stoner film starring the Scary Movie chick Anna Farris. Huh?

The Savages brings two of my very, very favorite actors together as siblings who are dealing with their asshole father's dying days and confronting their own miserable existences. Laura Linney and Philip Seymour Hoffman are worth the viewing no matter the material.

Grace is Gone will be one of those tearjerkers that will just destroy you. Mommy dies in Iraq and Daddy (John Cusack) wrangles with how to tell his two small children for ninety minutes. Yikes.

An American Crime is about child abuse, another downer subject, but Catherine Keener beating the crap out of the girl from Hard Cardy could be intense and very watchable.

The Ten, from the guys behind The State and Wet Hot American Summer, also sounds interesting and has a star studded cast thanks to the cult appeal of WHAS. This funny take on the Ten Commandments has potential.

A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints

Tue, 13 Mar 2007 03:58:00 +0000

Dito Montiel has put together what can only be called a true piece of art with his film A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints. Full of powerful performances from a stellar cast, this coming of age story set in a sun drenched Queens circa 1986 zeros in on Dito and his gang of buddies. Robert Downey, Jr and Shia LaBeouf both take on the role of Dito at different times of his life, and draw you in with their reserved approach. But the stand out star is Channing Tatum who plays the hot head Antonio, a battered kid hell bent on protecting his buddy Dito at all costs.

If I have to compare this picture, I'd mesh Kids with Basketball Diaries. But the reason I would put this movie above them both is the style that Dito drenches this film in. Setting a movie in the 80's could have led to trouble with getting over the top with songs and costumes, but Dito underplays the whole thing and manages to make the film about the performances.

As a first time director, Dito is remarkably self assured taking the helm on his own autobiography and baring his wounds for all to see. This story is tough, gritty and incredibly moving, and for his efforts Dito was awarded both Director's Award (Dramatic) and Special Jury Prize (Dramatic) at the 2006 Sundance Film Festival. It's a triumph, an independent movie that gives you an engrossing story, rich characters and incredible heart.

The Pick of Destiny

Sat, 10 Mar 2007 17:09:00 +0000

Sometimes movies come out and you just know you should avoid seeing them in the theater. The problem is that you wind up avoiding truly horrid movies at the same time you overlook movies that look bad, but wind up being on the good side of things. Does that make any sense? Let me further bring the point home with an example. It doesn't take a genius to realize that you are better off skipping Norbit regardless of medium, but once the DVD rolls out you might be tempted to put on the Netflix queue and eventually realize that your reason for avoiding it in the theater in the first place is the same reason you should have just avoided it completely. But then there are times like this, when you say "no way I'm paying $9 to see a Tenacious D movie" and then slap it on the Netflix queue and pop it in the DVD player on a quiet Friday night...and actually enjoy yourself.

Now I'm not suggesting that this movie was worthy of seeing in the theater, afterall it's a comedy and the big screen is only useful for action films anymore. No, what I'm trying to say is that even though the trailer made it look a bit hookey, the premise is kind of funny and not nearly as poorly executed as it could have been. Now I will say that I'm a D fan, so if you have heard some D in the past and think it's shit, you might want to shy away.

Things you can't deny about this film however:

Jack Black is charismatic and hilarious when he is let loose. (See High Fidelity.)

JB and KG are talented musicians and know how to write songs that could fit into a metal record or a musical on Broadway.

The cameos are clever. (Meatloaf, Dio, Tim Robbins and of course, Ben Stiller.)

The movie's plot is silly, but silly like Mr. Show and not silly like the umpteenth American Pie direct to DVD film. But the movie is quick, no fat on it, and the bottom line is that a comedy only works if it makes you laugh and I laughed a bunch watching these two chubby rockers ham it up for 90 minutes.

America, it's your Top 12!

Fri, 09 Mar 2007 02:34:00 +0000

American Idol becomes a charity show? No, I'm not talking about the trip to Africa that Ryan and Simon took to visit the poor. I'm talking about how the voters kept in Sanjaya!!! What the hell? And then on top of that, The Wedding Singer Haley gets to stay as well? Unreal.

Adios Jared, Sundance, Sabrina and Antonella!

And now the fun begins...

Amazon Unbox

Fri, 09 Mar 2007 00:05:00 +0000

I liked this better when it was called Itunes.


Welcome to 2004 Amazon. We've been waiting for you.

American Idol: Road to the Top Twelve

Thu, 08 Mar 2007 02:54:00 +0000

Time for the ladies.

Much simpler assessment here. Anyone who is not white, please step forward. That leaves 1 slot open and I'll bet it is Kelly Clarkson light, rocker chick Gina Glocksen.

Melinda Doolittle and Lakisha Jones are the front runners on the ladies side. Both are very, very strong singers of the soulful variety. Melinda comes off to me as a little strange, so I think that gives the edge to Lakisha.

The next tier is Jordin Sparks (the youngster), Stephanie Edwards (the manish looking girl) and Stephanie Sloan who kind of looks like a black Barbra Streisand. All three have some ethnicity in them and I consider them all to be pretty solid singers.

Below that we have Gina Glocksen as the stand out white girl. What is helping Gina is doing songs like she did tonight, an Evanesence tune. Being the "rocker" gives her an advantage because no one else is trying to pull that off.

And bring up the rear are my picks to get the boot tomorrow night, Antonella Barba (has a girl ever made it this far on just looks?) and Haley Scarnato (the wedding singer). Both of these girls just look so horrible compared to the company they keep above. How can you follow Lakisha and bust out an Aerosmith song? It's not working chickies...

American Idol: Road to the Top Twelve

Wed, 07 Mar 2007 01:42:00 +0000

This week we will have our final 6 guys and 6 girls rounding out the all important Top 12 for American Idol. With that in mind, I think I owe it to you all to break down the remaining guys tonight and the remaining girls tomorrow night to see who we have to choose from.

Blake Nelson, the beat box faux hawker. This kid is doing something that no one else is doing, and that is bring some coolness to what has become a somewhat corny show. Keane, Jamiroqui and this week 311's All Mixed Up is stuff that has never been heard on this program and it's giving the guy an edge.

Sanjaya Malakar is a hot mess. Clearly this kid with his long flowing locks and baby voice are tragic to watch. This week he busted out the flat iron and just looked incredibly creepy. It sucks because I kind of liked him during the audition process, but man oh man....John Mayer he is not.

Sundance Head gave us some Pearl Jam this week and I think I can still hear Eddie Vedder streaming in his Seattle living room as I type this. The guy has serious pipes, but that chest hair is flat out nasty looking. And I feel really bad saying this considering my propensity for facial hair, but his beard is annoying.

Chris Richardson is a bit of a front runner, he is like Justin Timberlake light. Spicing it up with some Jason Mraz last week and getting smooth tonight with his five o'clock shadow and Keith Urban slow jam. I think considering his competition among the men, he is one of the best by default.

Jared Cotter...flat out forgettable. I cannot remember any song he did before tonight, and tonight he just did a piss poor impression of Stevie Wonder. I fully expect to see him missing next week.

Brandon Rogers, the male back up singer (not to be confused with Melinda Doolittle the female back up singer) is famous for pandering for votes after a horrid performance during dedication week. This week he sings a song that sounds mysteriously like a car commercial.

Phil Stacey, is the bald guy. Very capable singer, but very generic. Missing You was an interesting choice last week. This week, terrible song choice. Probably getting by on the fact that he is a Dad and not exactly his talent and that won't get him far enough.

Chris Sligh, the mop top, chubby dude from South Carolina, absolutely working against himself each week with his song choices. The kid is perhaps the best singer in the bunch, but refuses to do a song that people can recognize and that will wing up hurting him as the contest progresses.

Okay, so there's your field of men. I see Jared and Sanjaya heading home this week. My odds on favorite to finish as the top dude...Chris Richardson with Blake Nelson on his heels.

Guilty Pleasure of the Week

Sun, 04 Mar 2007 19:06:00 +0000

Style Network has a show called Split Ends that is essentially the same concept as Wife Swap but with hair stylists. A stylist in one city swaps out with one in another city and they work in each other's salons for a week. It's so gay...but I love it.


Sun, 04 Mar 2007 18:24:00 +0000

Oh, dear. Andrew "Dice" Clay has decided to mount a comeback. According to the first two episodes of his new VH1 reality show, his goal is to sell out Giants Stadium. I guess selling out Madison Square Garden in 30 minutes almost 20 years ago gave this guy the idea that he is some special kind of talent. Well, I can say that Dice can still be funny. At least his stand up clips from the present day show he can execute a joke with ease. But come on now, selling out a stadium? That's a joke right?

Dice has become a cartoon. His urban street wear in plus sizes that clearly he bought at TJ Maxx couple with his giant black glasses make him seem even more aloof than you were expecting. However, the show's "reality" "scenes" are so contrived and set up, clearly the guy is working some schtick to the nth degree in the desperate hope that someone will care. What's truly sad is that the show does have some moments that are funny, so when the set ups take place you feel cheated a little. After seeing this path taken by Bonaduce, Hulk Hogan, Britney and Kevin, Gene Simmons and many, many, many more this just feels like Osbornes light. In a word, terrible.

Academy Awards Recap

Mon, 26 Feb 2007 12:09:00 +0000

First, let me say that in my annual Oscar pool, 23 people participated and someone who took the genius approach of providing only the name Chris took home top honors by correctly predicting 15 of the 24 categories. Hmmm...Chris....not a very popular name...and certainly not a name that could be used for a boy or a girl. In any case, congrats to you on your victory whoever you may be. I will say that Poison Scooter made a strong showing with a Joolie coming in a close second with 14 right and me rounding out the top 3 with a weaker than usual showing of 13. I'll try to justify my off year in a moment, but first let's review the show. Ellen Degeneres: Was it just me or did some of her jokes seem to fall flat on the crowd? I've always liked her, even before she came out as a lesbian and a closet dancer, but her style is very different and I'm not certain that it worked completely. Melting Pot: As Ellen pointed out in her opening monologue, this year's field of nominees was the most diverse in the history of the presentation. Two African American men nominated for Best Actor, many tech awards recognizing the three strong films by the Mexican Amigos (Babel, Children of Men and Pan's Labyrinth) and Penelope Cruz getting a nod for Best Actress in a Spanish speaking film. The only downside was that as a result of this melting pot kind of night, it made for shitty television. 75% of the acceptance speeches were incoherent, thick accents and in the case of Ennio Morricone's honorary trophy, the man spoke Italian and we had to have Clint Eastwood awkwardly translate. Yikes.Predictable: Chris Connelly kept talking about surprises on his back stage camera, but come on know...Whitaker, Mirren and Hudson were guaranteed winners before the night even started. And you think someone had a hunch about Director and Best Picture? Spielberg, Coppola and Lucas giving out the Best Director trophy and joking about winning one right before they read Marty's name off the card. Jack Nicholson presenting with Diane Keaton giving out the trophy for his movie The Departed. Lame. I will agree with Connelly on two surprises, Melissa Etheridge taking down powerhouse Randy Newman (19 nominations) and three tunes from Dreamgirls in the Best Song category. And how the hell does Pan's Labyrinth lose Best Foreign Film to a German copycat of The Conversation? You can't say Pan's had the best Art Direction, Make Up and Art Direction in all of film and then let it lose out to The Lives of Others. You just can't. Acting? Awards: As far as the acting awards went this year, I was 4-4 on my predictions. Why then do I feel completely disappointed? Well, I hate awards going to people who are impersonating a real person (Idi and the Queen), is that really acting? And Jennifer Hudson's win is just stupid, although Supporting awards sometimes are this silly. (See Marisa Tomei or Cuba Gooding, Jr. as examples)The only person I was happy to see win was Alan Arkin and that makes me sad. Politics: Al Gore did take home his prize for putting out the best Documentary this year, and in the course of the show he and Leo Decaprio made some fuss about how the Oscars finally went green. (It's 2007 for christsake!! What took so long???) And in the course of his two times on stage, the vibe in the room just got odd. I don't think people really want him to run for office again, but they seem to be forced into faining interest for the sake of television. No Frontrunner: What killed my predictions this year was that there was no real frontrunner film out there. As mentioned, the top acting prizes, director and you could even say the screenwriting awards were slam dunks and did well to[...]

Spirit Awards

Sun, 25 Feb 2007 23:09:00 +0000

Film Independent's Spirit Awards were doled out last night and the two big stories were that Little Miss Sunshine took home pretty much all the trophies (Best Feature, Best First Screenplay, Best Supporting Actor) except for the one-two punch of Best Actor and Best Actress which went to the two leads in Half Nelson, Ryan Gosling and Shareeka Epps.

For me, the joy of watching the Spirit Awards is three fold. Sarah Silverman hosted last year and returned this year, and that woman is just super funny in small doses. Her opening filmed segment and monologue were pure gold.

Secondly, the musical tributes to the Best Feature nominees throughout the show are hysterical most of the time.

And finally, the films rewarded are always the best stuff out there. Little Miss and Half Nelson were both incredible and made outside of the studio system. All the actors at this show are relaxed and come across as real and as artists, something you loss with all the pomp and circumstance at let's say the Golden Globes or Oscars.

AMC replayed last night's live telecast this morning at 9 AM, and another opportunity to watch them is on IFC Wed, Feb. 28 at 06:30 PM EST. Set your DVR and give them a look see.


Sun, 25 Feb 2007 22:48:00 +0000

Alejandro González Iñárritu's Babel is a multicultural, interlocking story involing a Japanese business man and his teenage deaf-mute daughter, a wealthy American couple visiting Morocco and the Mexican immigrant nanny left behind in the States to care for their two small children. While Iñárritu plays with time structure, jumping through time within a 5 day period, you begin to anticipate what is going to happen, expecting it while not completely sure you know exactly how things will unfold.

The basic theme of the movie is loss, much like Iñárritu and writer Guillermo Arriaga's first collaboration 21 Grams a few years back. In their recent film, the loss of a child between Brad Pitt's Richard and his wife Susan (Cate Blanchett) send the course of events in motion as they try to reconnect on a vacation in Morocco and leave their living two kids in the care of their nanny who travels with them back into Mexico for the wedding of her adult son. A freak accident with a gun given as a gift to a Moroccan hunting guide by a visiting Japanese business man disrupts the lives of Richard and Susan and shifts the focus over to the sexually blossoming and depressed daughter of the business man, played with intensity and grace by Rinko Kikuchi.

Both Adriana Barraza as Amelia (the nanny) and Rinko Kikuchi are up for Best Supporting Actress at tonight's Oscar and it's a shame that the Jennifer Hudson express is pretty unstoppable this year. Barraza brings a voice to an illegal in this country, something that we have a tendancy to avoid thinking about as a nation. And Kikuchi is raw and fearless as a deaf mute that wants so depserately to be normal enough to be attractive to boys and wishes she could just tell someone to take her sexually. The awkward situations that Kikuchi's Chieko gets herself into allow the actress to put forth the most demanding performance in the film and from a relative unknown, well it's just a wow type of job.

This film completes the much triumphed trio of strong films from Mexican filmmakers in the past year. And I'll have to say when I'm putting together my own top ten of 2006, something I honestly need to do, Babel is up there in the top five with both Pan's Labyrinth (del Torro) and the much under rewarded Children of Men (Cuarón).

Oscar Fun

Fri, 23 Feb 2007 22:34:00 +0000

Sunday night the Academy Awards take place. I like predicting the winners. It's a long standing tradition. If you are interested in going head to head with me, then by all means join in the fun.

Enter your picks!

The Departed

Fri, 23 Feb 2007 00:56:00 +0000

Dread. That was my feeling about this remake of Infernal Affairs that did well in the theater and is generating a lot of buzz for Martin Scorcese to take home a Best Director Oscar (finally.) Personally, I don't care for Scorcese's work. Perhaps one reason I avoided seeing this film in the theater. Secondly, as a fan of the original, I was disappointed that Marty was going to fuck with a really good movie and perhaps tarnish it.

Well, let me say that I was completely wrong. And for that, I'm sorry.

Yikes. For a movie that is 2 1/2 hours, it flies by. The story might even be better in this re-telling than the original, and the ending is literally breath taking. Stellar performances across the board, even by guys not getting much press like Alec Baldwin and Ray Winestone. I would like to point out that Marty shouldn't win Best Director on Sunday just because of that cheesy as hell final shot in the film, but something tells me he's going to finally score a bald guy despite my feelings.

Not only did I enjoy the movie, but now I'm kind of pissed that Matt Damon isn't up for an Oscar. In fact, I would have probably nominated Leo, Jack, Mark and Matt.

Love Is a Mix Tape

Fri, 23 Feb 2007 00:40:00 +0000

Rolling Stone columnist Rob Sheffield's book Love is a Mix Tape will appeal to the cassette tape generation, those of us who communicated to each other via the perfect mix. Sheffield does a great job of capturing a generation of music fans, although he's a little to into Pavement when I was more of a Sebadoh guy, and explores the process of making and listening to a mix tape in this quick read. However, let me caution you that this book isn't a throwaway look at a bygone musical phenomenon. Nope, it's a wonderful love story, or rather a dedication to Sheffield's deceased wife Renee who died suddenly at the age of 31.

Rob and Renee are the typical indie rock couple from my memories of college. (For those who knew me then, I picture a Tim Murray and Theresa Madden type of union.) Renee is a wild child, Rob is more of a music nerd and they both DJ at a local Charlottesville college station. In great nostalgic detail, Sheffield recounts who they met, fell in love and does it all cleverly through chapters dedicated to various mix tapes he is revisiting that his dead wife made him. The passion behind Sheffield's writing about not only his love of music, but his grief over becoming a widow at a young age is very touching. I would suggest this book to you specifically if you ever had a love that you shared mix tapes with or if you were a music fan between 1981-1995. A sweet ode to music, a dead artform and a woman who sounds like an amazing person.

Half Nelson

Tue, 20 Feb 2007 16:12:00 +0000

Looks like Ryan Gosling's performance in this little indie film is legit. Gosling is a dark horse Oscar candidate this year for playing a crack addicted middle school History teacher and does a remarkable job of making his character incredibly likable with little more than a sideways smile or a tossle of his hair.

Gosling's Teach is an addict. We never know exactly how that happened, short of seeing glimpses of his folks towards the end of the film in full on drunk mode. Genetics at work? Depression over losing the love of his life? The strange thing about his addiction is that he never wavers from wanting to teach his students about history. All nighters take their toll on Teach, but he never misses a day of work.

The crux of the film is when a free basing Gosling is caught in the act by one of his students, the very capable Shareeka Epps, and is forced to formulate an odd friendship with her to avoid the inevitable, losing his right to teach due to his habit. Both student and teacher look out for each other, making sure that each is making the right choice.

What I found refreshing about this movie, aside from the performances, was the utter lack of judgment towards these characters. No one in the film is perfect, they all wear their flaws on their sleeve and you cannot help but respect them for that. Gosling as a crackhead seems like a better teacher than 90% of the teachers I had as a kid. Even the drug dealer's appear to be men just trying to make ends meet, which is more the reality than the way television and media portray the lifestyle.

This is for me, the male version of Sherrybaby. Stunning performance, gritty story and a simplistic approach to filmmaking. You don't need car crashes or big name stars to make a move touch you.

Pan's Labyrinth (El Laberinto del Fauno)

Thu, 15 Feb 2007 20:54:00 +0000

(image) My entire life I've loathed kid's movies. Not because I hate children, but rather as a child I was bored with their predictibility and niceness. I guess over time I just learned to gravitate towards darker fare as I hit elementary school. Labyrinth, The Dark Crystal, Return to OZ, these were the kinds of kid's movies I enjoyed. Not Disney crap like Flubber or Herbie Goes Bananas. I wanted the dark stuff.

Guillermo Del Toro has perhaps accomplished something rare and divine by making a kid's movie for adults with his universally acclaimed Pan's Labyrinth. This Spanish language film devotes equal time to both fascist Spain during war time and a mythical underworld where Ofelia, our child protaginist, spends her daydreaming time to escape from her brutal stepfather and the war going on around her.

The visuals are stunning, the creatures and fairies are at once scary but oddly endearing. Sergi Lopez, who was fantastic in Dirty, Pretty Things, is mesmerizing and terrifying as the brutal and authoritative Captian. But the real feather in the cap on this one is the storytelling. Wow. A perfect blend of history and fantasy, equal parts Diary of Anne Frank, Alice in Wonderland and the Princess Bride smothered in muted tones and espanol. Fantastic film.

American Idol

Thu, 15 Feb 2007 20:30:00 +0000

A month of build up is now behind us and America, you have your Top 24. Simon, Paula and Randy made some curious selections this year.

Check out the full contestant roster here.

My underdog pick of the year is mop top, Jack Osbourne doppleganger Chris Sligh. Chris just so happens to be from South Carolina, so should he pull of an unlikely victory like Taylor Hicks we would have another Idol from the South.

On the whole I'm not impressed with the girls at all. Gina Glocksen has that Kelly Clarkson charm, but I'm not sure she does much better than Top 5. The real talent appears to be on the male side of things, Sanjaya Malakar and Paul Kim are nice additions to the usual black and white world of idol, and I like them both.

Sundance Head, this year's Chicken Little or Scott Savol?

Happy Valentine's Day

Thu, 15 Feb 2007 04:53:00 +0000

While you were all out with your valentine, I was painting a piggy bank and posting to my design blog, je ne sais quois.