Saturday, October 28, 2006
Monday, October 23, 2006
Tampa, my city, has a lot of this. One reason why I like this town so much--it contains both urban and natural decay, both of which are oddly fascinating. There are the alleys overflowing with garbage and used needles and the homeless; there is the low concrete wall on Columbus, once decorative and now in decline, eaten away by air pollution and shrubs; there is the water tower, white and slim and inside bursting with bats and moths and moldering beams; there is the prodigious graffiti covering the back walls of minimarts and gas stations . And there is perhaps my favorite spot in the entire city: the lot at the rear of the art museum, yards of gardening forgotten, growing wild. There are neat rows of palm trees and clear outlines of intended flower plots and scads of climbing vines trailing down the back wall onto the sidewalk and outdoor lights which have been kicked, shards of glass half-covered in earth. There's even an amphitheatre, its steps clotted with dry leaves and trash. It's a little eerie, to walk alongside the shiny tin-foil musuem wall, modern and sleek, and then climb up to wander in the gardens that somehow, the museum personnel managed to forget. It looks like a movie setting; you wonder if maybe you're about to be mugged, or--depending on the time of day--see a ghost.
Wednesday, October 18, 2006
Saturday, October 14, 2006
Now. Check it, people: Frank Miller's 300. At long last, the comic book nerds and history buffs will have something to drool over communally. And I don't want to hear about historical inaccuracy; for Pete's sake, I'm a history major. I know there weren't any war rhinoes at the Battle of Thermopylae. That doesn't change the fact that the idea of WAR RHINOES IS COMPLETELY BADASS. I'm aware that the Persians weren't misshapen monster-creatures, and I realize that there were more than three hundred allied Greek fighters at Thermopylae, but damn if I care. Gerard Butler is Leonidas, David Wenham is Dilios, Rodrigo Santoro is Xerxes, and this movie is going to own your soul.
Speaking of historically-inaccurate yet soul-owningly-cool films-to-be, Pathfinder is also on the menu for spring 2007. Talk about loose interpretation of history, but again...who cares? Karl Urban running around in a loincloth brandishing a sword, Vikings who look more like Uruk-Hai, and plenty of nice Earth Mother mysticism--what more could you need? It might be a history professor's worst nightmare, but it appears to be stylistically gorgeous and have some butt-kicking fight scenes to boot, so we'll just pretend that the Vikings did in fact wear huge horned helms into battle and enjoy the ride.
Wednesday, October 11, 2006
Monday, October 02, 2006
So! Weird Al's newest offering, Straight Outta Lynwood, shows him in top form, as witnessed in the video for his...single?..."White & Nerdy". An excellent take on Chamillionaire and Krayzie Bone's "Ridin'", you can't help but, well, laugh your head off. Or maybe you can. Please tell me it isn't just me--the proverbial single hand clapping. In any case, "White & Nerdy" is the "All About the Pentiums" of the new Millennium, as sharp, giggly, and bursting with pop-culture references as any of Al's previous ditties. "Don't Download This Song" is also quite nice, and "Canadian Idiot" is a love song to everyone's favorite Northern neighbors. As always, there's a polka: this time, tunes getting the jaunty treatment include "Speed of Sound" by Coldplay, "Float On" by Modest Mouse, "Slither" by Velvet Revolver, and, somewhat oddly, "The Chicken Dance". For the diabetics in the house, there's an original track entitled simply, "Pancreas". And we musn't forget "Do I Creep You Out" a mockery of and tribute to that silver-haired songbird, Taylor Hicks.
Something else worth noting--a totally fabulous (one assumes) parody of that horrifying James Blunt song "You're Beautiful" was recorded, but the Brit-pop pretty-boy's label requested that it be removed. I'm sorry; that's just pathetic. If Coolio, Jacko, and Lars Ulrich don't mind, neither should James "You're Pitiful" Blunt.