As always, the best part of writing for my own web-based journal is pimping out all the fun stuff I seem to be enjoying at the moment. And because I can, I share it with you, my unsuspecting public. Please feel free to discuss, but more so, feel free to enjoy these things, and talk to me about them. Share your opinion. Get a discussion going.
Unless you disagree with me, in which case you should always know that you are wrong, and I am always right.
The Shins - Wincing The Night Away
The new album kicks a fair amount of ass, retaining the lyrics and harmonies that make the Shins so appealing while exapnding on their sound scape. It takes a few go-rounds to truly get into it. Because I'm crazy, I listened to it four times in a row. Personally, while I'm a little played to death with Phantom Limb (although, it is pretty cool to hear the Shins on the radio), I think the best songs are Phantom Limb, Red Rabbits (which has a nice "Young Pilgrims" feel to it, as well as a possible Star Wars reference), and Sealegs.
Other Music: The soundtracks to Me, You and Everyone We Know, and The Descent, Jenny Lewis and the Watson Twins, and this Aphex Twin ambient stuff that's pretty darn good.
The Knights of Prosperity
I love this show. Every week, it continues to get better and better. Which means that it will probably be cancelled very soon. But it shouldn't matter. You should try and catch it while you still can. The writing is sharp as hell and quite hilarious to boot ("My baby's so white, she's like a nurse's uniform), and the cast is top notch. Just check out this little video of the theme song.
Each episode lays out one more section of the plan that the knights usually have to overcome. It's like a low rent Ocean's 11.
Along these TV lines, I'd like to point out the bossomeness of Heroes, as well as the NBC Thursday night comedy line-up. Heroes is fast becoming a favorite (even if last week's episode was a little weak), as it has fun with it's premise, and it respects it's continuity without alienating itself from viewers. Plus, it's a lot of fun. Not the best written show, but a lot of fun. I'm hoping for two things from Heroes: a Whedon written/directed episode, and a "stand alone" episode, like in comics, where they focus on just one person, who's not necessary to the whole thing. I would enjoy an episode about a Hero with a useless power. Like the ability to grow a beard really fast, or a hero who can generate heat from his hands, but only enough to really make a grilled cheese sandwich. And the Earl-Office-Scrubs-30 Rock combo is Solid. The episode of 30 Rock with Paul Ruebens was fantastic. I should also point out that in this past week's Office, the opening where Jim has Pavlovian trained Dwight to take an Altoid whenever he heard the start-up noise of the computer, yeah I laughed for about five minutes straight on that one.
Other TV of note: Lost (yeah, last episode was pretty good, and it looks like it will be good again), and MythBusters. Of note mainly for one reason: Kari Byron. Yummy.
In DVD, I'm really enjoying Idiocracy and The Science of Sleep. I never did a proper review of either (although I did write up something on Idiocracy for Home Theater Magazine, but I can't reproduce that here), and the only reasoning I can think of behind that is I'm lazy. Idiocracy is not a great film, but it's funny as hell, and even more than that, I fear that it's an accurate prediction of where we as a species are headed. And Science of Sleep is just gorgeous, but it breaks my heart to watch it. It really does.
And if you're looking for a good old fashioned Van Damme-esque craptastic flick, check out The Marine. It's not a good movie, by any means, but it just tries to kick a little ass. And it succeeds. Entertaining, and sometimes that's all you need.
Oh, I almost forgot to mention this: THE DESCENT KICKS AN UNHOLY AMOUNT OF ASS!
Easily one of the most frightening films I have ever seen. Highly entertaining. This is a movie where the hype is justified as well as deserved. It's good, solid horror filmmaking. The best part is, it goes on for about an hour on pure suspense, then the gore comes into play. Well worth checking out. So good, I might have to add it to my top films of the year, at about the same spot as Hard Candy.
In theaters: Children of Men. It holds up better with multiple viewings. Its lack of most award recognition is criminal, but hopefully enough Academy members will have had a chance to check it out and reward it for what they can. The last sequence is so amazing, and it gets me every time. And besides, it has the sure sign that a film is good: Chiwetel Ejiofor.
On this Oscar-type tirade, I'll tell you who else I want to win Academy Awards: Mark Wahlberg for The Departed and Thomas Newman for The Good German. Wahlberg rose to the top and stole the show, so much so that when you start to realize that he might not be coming back into the story, you miss his presence. His is truly a supporting performance, and he does a damn fine job with it. (I will accept an Jackie Earl Haley win over Wahlberg, but that won't happen). And Thomas Newman, even though I haven;t heard his score for this film, is one of my favorites, and deserves it. He deserves it for his Little Children score this year (and for the American Beauty and Shawshank Redemption and Green Mile and Finding Nemo, and the list goes on). It's his 8th, and I feel like he won;t win, but it would be nice.
I'm currently reading Chuck Klosterman IV, which is a lovely collection of articles the man has written for various publications (if the moviemaking career never panned out, I would love to follow in Chuck's footsteps, but I fear I would always be viewed as a pale imitation of the man, when really I've been writing like him all along). He has great views, and a good enough sense of humor to keep things lively and interesting, even if at times it feels like he's that friend who really DOES know all about music, but never shuts up about it, and it gets kind of annoying after awhile.
I also read this book about M Night Shyamalan, about the making of Lady In The Water. It's a damn fine read, but it doesn't really forgive Night for making a crappy movie. It just sort of gives a weird kinnd of "shrugging off" of the film as to why it's so weak. But it's worth checking out. I'm also getting on with World War Z!
And despite the fact that we have quite a selection of games for the Xbox 360, I can't stop playing Burnout: Revenge. It's an amazing game. Too much fun.
That's stuff I'm digging lately.
Oh, and I'm really digging this picture of Chow Yun Fat from the third Pirates movie.
And just in case you're wondering as to the opposite end of the spectrum, stuff I'm not digging lately: Fuckin' Jerks who do stupid things all the time to you without realizing it, and Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip. Those are things that suck. I tried to give them fair chances, but alas, I can't do it anymore. I'm done.