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Thursday, November 30, 2006


I swear. Disney gets more uppity every year. This time around, I am firmly convinced that the people responsible are GOING TO HELL. Who told them they could make a movie out of Bridge to Terabithia? Furthermore, who told them that it would be a good idea to lift imaginary scenes from the book, change them into real-life monsters and magic, and then call it Bridge to Terabithia as though nothing was wrong?

I mean. Watch this and tell me you're not personally offended. I know I am, and not just because I dislike Disney at large. This is sheer idiocy, warping a classic children's book into a knock-off of a knock-off (and I do mean Eragon). What, was the original story not good enough? The death of some 11-year-old kid's best friend--geez, that's just so five minutes ago, not enough human interest. I find it purely sick that Disney feels the need to cash in further on the sudden 'ooh magic!' craze; will this version of Terabithia also feature penguins, that other Hollywood fad of late? Furthermore, from all appearances the plotline has been moved to present-day, a decision which strips the story of plenty of its meaning. The book's time period is that of Vietnam, a teensy detail which just happens to contribute mightily to the plot, subtext, and conclusion. Would it have killed them to just make up a new title to fit this new film of theirs, instead of cribbing Katherine Paterson's? From what I can tell, this movie bears very, very little resemblance to the book, so why not just make it allllll up??

This is one I won't be seeing. This isn't even on level with King Arthur or the remake of The Wicker Man. Those were bad, very bad indeed, but I saw them anyway, because I like to see things and then complain about how badly they suck. Heck, it's a treasured pastime. This, however, this bastardization of one of my favorite children's books...this will not be getting a dime from me. And if I find out that anyone I know went to see it, well, that'll be the end of that friendship. Disney, don't screw with my childhood--for Pete's sake, don't screw with my psyche. I know I'm not the only person out there who's absolutely going bonkers over this film (whoever you are, let's hang. Clearly we both have too much time on our hands); and I know that for every book-loon alive and shrieking in America, there's eight more movie-loons who will see this film in 2007 and think that the book they never read in elementary school is just another C.S. Lewis rip-off.


Friday, November 24, 2006

What if you could live forever?

Ah, Darren Aronofsky, keeper of my heart. At least, my film-nut's heart. Creator of Pi: Faith in Chaos, one of my very favorites; Requiem for a Dream, which though I dislike I at least admire; and the new, weird, lovely, stunning The Fountain.

People will tell you it sucks. It's a mess. It's disjointed, pointless, scrambled, nonsensical, and above all pretentious. These people are sadly misguided. It's a wonder; a film with fairy-tale originality, maybe, but told and portrayed with fairy-tale magic. The film consists of three sections: the central one is that of Izzi and Tommy, a woman with a brain tumor and her husband, a neurosurgeon working to find a cure for her. Then there are Isabella and Tomas, the Queen of Spain and a conquistador sent by her to find the Tree of Life, stars in a story Izzi is writing--a story which Izzi leaves open-ended, for Tomoas to finish. In the final segment, Izzi has become the Tree, and Tommy is an astro-monk of sorts, and both are on a spaceship (I guess), zooming toward eternal life, which is to be found in a nebula the Mayans called Xibalba.

I swear, it makes more sense when you're watching it. The director manages to weave together the three parts beautifully, due in no small part to the talents of star Hugh Jackman (watch this movie and just TRY to imagine Brad Pitt doing the characters justice). And although I personally would not cast Rachel Weisz to act as herself, you can hardly blame Mr Aronofsky--she gave birth to his child. On one hand, The Fountain is the sort of thing which happens when a director has too much time, yes-men, and money on his hands: it is self-indulgent, bombastic, egoistic. But on the other hand, it is and needs to be nothing more than a moving, spiritual portrayal of love.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Stoner-pop for the win

I've already drooled over this bunch in a previous post, but I think they deserve a few more paragraphs. Priestess (along with Godspeed You! Black Emperor, of course) is Canada's way of saying sorry for things like Steppenwolf and Avril Lavigne and Rush. Priestess is a seething foursome of whomp-rockers who bang their heads, stomp energetically over their guitar strings, and clearly don't think much of barbers.

I love them? Yes? Hairy-Canadian-rock-star-mosh-pit-sex please?

Maybe it's the froggy vocals of singer Mikey Heppner, hoarse and engaging and full of fire. Maybe it's the fact that they actually blew out one of my laptop's speakers. Maybe it's the Rieseny way Mike Dyball's basslines slide down my ears, heavy dark-chocolate-coated swaggering headbanger goodness. Maybe it's the bopping drums, hard-pounding and yet oddly cheerful. Whatever it is, it's addictive like homemade mashed potatoes and crystal meth, and I want more. Hello Master, their debut, isn't enough. Hurry up, Priestess! Stop touring with Black Stone Cherry since you're not paying Tampa a visit, go back to the North Country, and record another album now please!

Looking forward to it.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Bang your...bindi?

Much as I hate to admit to SPIN getting the jump on me, this month's issue contained one interesting story amongst the garbage: Indian metal. Yes, Indian as in subcontinent; Mumbai specifically seems to be the center of this apocalypse. Apparently some choice Indian twenty-somethings are getting a tad morose with all the Bollywood and bad Coldplay covers, and have decided to do something about it.

Children, meet Demonic Resurrection, four young Mumbaikers who cite Emperor, Lacuna Coil, and Porcupine Tree among their influences, and just generally play their metal with vicious aplomb. The quartet is easily as harsh as anything to come out of Finland recently, and better than much of what passes for metal in America, mix'n'matching melodic and death metal vocals freely and backing it all up with pounding bass and some shrieky guitars. Fittingly, they call it 'demonic metal'.

On the other side of India's metal scene are Pin Drop Violence, a five-man 'chaos squad' who are enrolled in the Lamb of God school of metallurgy. Growlier than Demonic Resurrection, Pin Drop Violence is all black metal hollers, brassed-off lyrics, and thundering drums, and they believe in their right to riot. Sounds like a kick in the balls.

So there you have it. The next wave of heavy metal, fresh and spicy from the Far East.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

George Carlin was right

I'm a fairly private gal, but some things must be shared for the sake of humanity and civilization. I feel that my ongoing hunt for an anti-perspirant that actually works is one of these things.

To be frank, I'm sweaty. I live in Florida, where everyone is sweaty, but I think my sweat glands are a tad overactive. This problem is exacerbated by the lack of air conditioning in my car--I drive five minutes to Blockbuster and to look at my armpits you'd think I ran there instead. In any case, the normal lot of anti-perspirants don't seem to work--at all--thus, my quest to find one that actually does. Make no mistake--this is not a cheap endeavor. And if I were more artistic, I'd find some way to shape all the half-used Mitchums and Lady Speedsticks and (Heaven help me) Arrid-Xes into something beautiful, something worth all the money I give to the talc and aluminum barons. However...I just throw them away, because the sight of them and their ineffectiveness makes me cry.

So. Come along on my damp-armed adventure!

Suave Invisible Solid: So close, but no dice. This is the one anti-perspirant that actually almost works. Bonus points for it fooling me into thinking it works because the first time I used it was on an overseas flight, and not only do you not do much on planes period, but it's also too cold to sweat efficiently, even if you're me.
Secret Platinum Protection: Not strong enough for a man, still made for women. Doesn't work AND tends to bleach the arms of dark-colored shirts. Thanks for nothing, Secret. Your commercials blow, too, for the record.
Secret Platinum Protection Gel: See above, but even more pathetic. You'd think by now I'd be used to failure, but it still hurts. And my armpits still sweat.
BAN: Catchy adverts that don't deliver. And by 'don't deliver' I mean 'my armpits cackled in glee when I put this on and five minutes later I appeared to have run a marathon in July heat'. One word: EW. Wait, another word: USELESS. Don't bother; BAN sucks more than a truck-stop hooker.
Lady Mitchum: So effective, you could skip a day. Only not. I put this on, put on my t-shirt, brushed my teeth, and...ew, I haven't even gone outside yet! NEXT.
Mitchum: So effective, you CANNOT SKIP A DAY STOP IT STOP IT. It's really bad when even men's-strength anti-perspirant does nothing. And I do mean nothing. I guess I'm not a Mitchum man, even though my freezer contains an economy-size box of frozen hamburgers.
Degree: More evidence that I sweat more than your average beefy male. I skipped Degree for Women--what's the point? Nothing like crescents of moisture under your arms 24/7 to make you feel feminine. Plus, this stuff doesn't even smell good.
Teen Spirit: My mom bought this for me; I think it was supposed to be funny. I smelled like it, all right. If only the sweaty grunge thing was still in. I'd be the coolest kid on the block!

I'm getting to the point where I wonder if it is actually possible to apply so much pure talcum powder that one is 'chemically unable to sweat', as Rick Bragg claims. That would be okay with me, because let's face it, I am wicked sweaty. My armpits howl in the face of anti-perspirants. No one will ever want to cuddle with me. But hey--at least the deodorant aspect seems to work...mostly.

The really sad thing? I'm not even getting paid for all this terribly useful scientific research.
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