27 June 2008

Yeah I think I love you for it..

It's Friday and there's not a whole lot going on. There's a lot of little things happening, though. Clinton (the Mrs.) is campaigning with and for Obama in New Hampshire today. Famed and foul-mouthed comedian, George Carlin, passed away this week leaving a legacy of spitting in the face of censors and dashes of comedic brilliance. The price of oil rose again, creeping slightly over $140 a barrel (Can oil companies actually declare a war? Ask Vice President, Dick Cheney). The latest Angelina Jolie action / thriller, "The Matrix" arrived in theaters today. Wait a second......I'm being told that it's actually *not* "The Matrix" but, in fact, a new movie titled "Wanted." Either way don't go see it.

Wow. that was too many words to say that it's been a far less than interesting week. However, National Geographic has come to the rescue. According to rumors (and the National Geograpic website and dozens of news outlets worldwide) Tomorrow, 28 June 2008, Sigur Ros and Bjork will be playing an outdoor show live from Iceland in protest of naturally reserved land being built over by energy companies.

So what does National Geographic have to do with anything, silly? Well, wise guy, they are actually broadcasting the performance live on their website. It begins at 3:00 pm EST. That's 7:00 pm GMT (time for tea, no?).

Aside from the fact that they are playing in order to express a most admirable national pride, I will get to see Sigur Ros perform some old classics and some of their new songs from "Með suð í eyrum við spilum endalaust." Have I mentioned that you should own this record as soon as possible? Well, I am on the record as saying so.

You can thank me later.

24 June 2008

The Rain Drops

Wow! Last night I finally watched The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters and I have nothing but a rave review to give to this documentary. Director, Seth Gordon, did such an amazing job telling the story of World Gaming Champion, Billy Mitchell, and his (vindictive) quest to maintain that title and every record he'd attained in Donkey Kong.

Mitchell first set the points record for Donkey Kong in 1982, a record that held until the 21st century when the OCD and highly-driven Steve Weibe stepped into the picture with an alleged score that topped Mitchell's '82 record.

However, after much ado and slimy investigation (some of which was agreed to by Mitchell himself), Twin Galaxies - the official refereeing setup for the gaming arena - declared Weibe's score invalid. You can't make this stuff up, people.

With a driven spirit, Weibe took off to top Mitchell's long-standing record in public before member's of Twin Galaxies, one of Mitchell's disciples and a few lucky on-lookers. He did so by ending the game on what's called a "Kill Screen," the final level that Kong players reach just before the game runs out of memory and kills Mario.

I could emphatically continue to tell the story, but I would rather encourage you to rent it, Netflix it, buy it, whatever. It's well worth your time and money and you might even thank me for recommending it.

17 June 2008

Sur le fil

Here is my plea for everyone to seek out the documentary Surfwise . I saw it this past Sunday and with very little knowledge of the family or the story, I left the theater extremely glad that I saw it. It's the story of the Doc Paskozitz, the Jewish- American doctor and surfer who, after marrying his wife - a woman whom he fell in love with after she score over 90 on his sex test - took to living in their truck and traveling around North America.

The Paskowitz truck was soon upgraded to a 24-foot trailer, in which the family of 11 would eventually occupy. A tale that is, in and of itself, amazing.

Doc raised his children on a strict diet and daily episodes of surfing, teaching them to read and to live on little to nothing. With occasional income coming in from surf lessons Doc and his children gave, the Paskowitz lived nearly two decades in a constantly changing landscape, but a detrimentally similar

Without going into more details, you can imagine the stories that come from the this and they are great stories that are wonderfully presented in this documentary. I recommend it and hope that you'll find in at the rental store or on Netflix.

Here's a preview:

10 June 2008

All Alright

I may or may not have a leaked version of the new Sigur Ros record Með suð í eyrum við spilum endalaust. But that's neither here nor there. What you can do is head to THEIR WEBSITE to stream the entire album. Be patient. It's lengthy, but worth every minute you can possibly invest in the album.

On the record you'll hear a completely different Sigur Ros than the epic efforts of "Takk" " ( )" and "Ágætis byrjun." The record, however, does not lack any bit of epic-ness (that's right. I'm using that as an adjective). Standout tracks such as Ára bátur will leave you speechless. Within the nine minutes of the track a beautifully imperfect song is expressed only to end with a powerfully orchestrated climax to make you envious of yourself for even being able to listen to such an amazing song.

But allow yourself some time to really digest every song. With the opener, 'Gobbledigook' you'll hear a different, more rhythmic, Sigur Ros than you may have ever heard. And this is the first time that the band ventured outside of their home of Iceland to record parts of the record in New York as well as Jamaica. Personally, I feel that the influences of being in different places comes through very vividly in certain tracks.

And let me prepare you (in case you haven't heard) that the closing track, 'All Alright' is completely sung in English; a first for the band whose lyrics have been entirely sung in Icelandic (maybe Hopelandic on " () ").

All in all, this record is nothing short of amazing. An expected result from this band. I can't recommend this album enough. It's beautiful, refreshing and inspiring.

Arrest This Man

Today, a huge congratulations goes out to "The Natural" Ken Griffey Jr. of the Cincinnati Reds. He secured his place in history as the sixth man to hit 600 home runs in his professional baseball career.

Griffey now joins the ranks with such slugger greats as Hank Aaron, Barry Bonds, Sammy Sosa, Babe Ruth and Willie Mays. Not a bad place to be especially considering that his career has been plagued with injuries keeping him benched for what seemed like seasons on end.

But in true legendary fashion, Griffey still jacked homers time and again as soon as he was cleared to step off the bench.

So hats of to you, Junior. You've had one crazy ride and you've earned every bit of good cheer that can come your way.

03 June 2008

Everything's going to get lighter

Last night I watched The Orphanage (El Orfanato en Espanol). I'm going to use this time to use a lot of adjectives to describe this film. Oh...and if you like thrillers, you must watch it.

Ok, here we go. This film was, dark, eerie, beautiful, frightening, chilling, unsettling, amazing, beautifully scored, perfectly written.

I hope that's enough to tantalize you (that's right, I used "tantalize" in a post). But it is great and well worth the 150 minutes you'll spend watching it. And if you're a fan of Guillermo Del Toro's films (Pan's Labyrinth is a must-see as well), then you'll find yourself in love with this movie. But, don't expect to fall asleep right afterwards.

Not many films have that type of affect on me. The Shining is one that messed with my head a lot with the imagery, acting, and score that was portrayed in the film. I think I will be seeing The Orphanage again.

I apologize for sporadic writing. My head is all over the place.

02 June 2008

There Goes My Hero

Amazing! a two-photo post. But it's worth it and only for one of the more more beautifully shot movies I've seen in sometime: The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford. The acting, screenplay, costumes, storyline and especially the cinematography were nothing short of phenomenal. And this comes from me, a man who has recently watched some of the greatest movies of the last year.

Needless to say, I recommend this film to the fullest that I can recommend anything. It's a bit lengthy, but the length of the film only adds to it's greatness. And Nick Cave's score for the film is fantastic.

Ok, enough gushing. Rent, buy or otherwise find a way to view this movie.

Tonight I watch The Orphanage . Full details to come.