Saturday, September 27, 2008

RockNRolla Follow Up

Beginning with some sad news, actor Paul Newman (Cool Hand Luke, The Hustler and The Sting) lost his battle with cancer on Friday, September 26th at the age of 83.

For something almost completely different...
My Excitement for Guy Ritchie's newest work, RockNRolla is running a little thin... at the moment anyway.
Here's WarnerBros. official site/trailer/thing:
Tell me what you think.

Then watch this one:
Much Better Theatrical Trailer For RockNRolla

Stupid WB...

Anyway, I'm really not sure what to think about it anymore. I followed it kinda closely for a while, but got annoyed with the lack of publicity. I rekindled my excitement when the first trailer hit, but lost it again when WarnerBros. came out with that piece of crap. My hope for avoiding the disappointment of 2005's Revolver, a fake-out gone wrong, is all but smashed. I mean, the first trailer was really dark and sexy and had Gerard Butler (300) and Tom Wilkenson (Michael Clayton, Eternal Sunshine...), who are also sexy, and Thandie Newton (The Pursuit of Happiness, Interview With a Vampire), whom is both dark and really, really sexy and it seemed to be strongly anchored by a painting and some real-estate mischievousness. Sure, Warner put out a "dark" and "sexy" version too, but it has all the hints and mystery taken out neglectfully removed. Where did the damn painting go!!?! Without all that central unification which teases and taunts us, no one's gonna want to watch this movie.

Maybe I expect too much from Mr. Ritchie after debuting with Lock, Stock... and Snatch. After all, one can't be on top of one's game 100% of the time... especially when you're married to Madonna (I'm still holding out for divorce news).
Perhaps I won't be disappointed with it... RockNRolla received a solid grade B at the Toronto International Film Festival '08, for whatever that's worth. It still looks like it could be really good.

So, TIFF 08 gives RockNRolla a Fu Man-chu (4 out of 5).
I won't even rate WarnerBros. right now... we have some heart-to-heart talking to do... or rather heart-to-my heart crushing fist talking to do.

Other coming attactions:

Quantum of Solace (Quantum of Awesome)

Max Payne

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Heads up!

If you head on over to you can pick up a free download of Wilco and Fleet Foxes covering the Bob Dylan tune, "I Shall Be Released." All you have to do is pledge to vote in the impending election. They even have a link for you can even register to vote if you have been putting it off. So don't procrastinate about registering or getting this awesome cover.

Also, you can check out the YouTube vid that has been circling for some time now after the jump.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Burn After Reading

In a major departure from their last film, the Coen brothers move from the dark and brooding to the ridiculous and perverse. Burn After Reading, their latest flick, is a slapstick star-filled comedy packed with quick lines, outlandish scenarios, and visual gags. After last year’s incredible but bleak No Country for Old Men, I couldn’t wait for the brothers to get back to a comedy. I’ve enjoyed their previous works, and this one is no exception.

The movie opens with Osbourne Cox (John Malkovich) being demoted from his position in the CIA. Furious, he quits, takes to the bottle, and decides to write a memoir of his rather dull life. To top things off, his adulterous wife (Tilda Swinton) has made a copy of all his confidential files to prepare for their upcoming divorce. When the disc is lost at a local gym, two unwitting employees (Frances McDormand and the lovable Brad Pitt) convince themselves these documents are of the utmost importance. Determined to reap a monetary reward, they begin to search for Osbourne. Of course, things go wrong for everyone and, like other Coen brothers movies, the characters are headed down a slippery slope from one to disaster to another. I’ll leave it at that, although I could go on about George Clooney, Richard Jenkins, and J.K. Simmons. To put it simply, there’s a lot going. The Coens find a way to intertwine every character’s story with each other. However, unlike other movies where the cast is connected through intricate, plot-driven details (i.e. Pulp Fiction, City of God), Burn After Reading uses a less traditional method (i.e. everyone is screwing everyone). While it may sound complicated, everything is relatively simple to grasp while watching it.

Despite a slow start, the movie finally begins to pull its weight at about fifteen to twenty minutes in. As you can tell by the name dropping I pulled earlier, this movie is packed with major actors and actresses. Pleasantly surprising, laughs come from each and every person in this flick. Sure, some take up a majority of the comedic bits (Brad Pitt, and I’m not just saying that because of my man-crush, he’s absolutely hysterical), but each cast member does their part, gets some jokes in, and really adds something. Simmons’ role was also one of the biggest treats. He may not have many lines, but he sure does make ‘em count. There’s also some incredibly unexpected laughs, the strongest example being Clooney’s secret basement contraption which had everyone either gasping or cracking up.

As much as I enjoyed this movie, I’ve heard many conflicting views. I saw it opening night in a decently packed theater with a very reactive audience and loved it. However, I’ve talked to others who were the only ones in the theater or who sat with unresponsive audiences. They got much less out of the movie than I, so the environment you see it in may affect what you think. Either way, the Coen brothers have released another solid movie. If you’ve liked their previous comedic flicks, be sure to give this one a go.

Burn After Reading gets a Fu Man Chu (4 out of 5).

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Noah and the Whale Rocks!?!?!

They do now anyway. Recently I watched La Blogothèque's segment starring the Brit-Folk group Noah and the Whale. I have followed the band for what has almost been a year, and they remain pretty consistent with pop-folk melodies. Their songs, which have been likable, are not something that I would think would evoke this type of behavior on stage. Granted, they are no KISS or AC/DC, but for what it is, these guys give a great stage presence.

Check out the vid.