Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Wanna know how hateful the Right is in about five seconds?

"...if I'm going to say anything about John Edwards in the future, I'll just wish he had been killed in a terrorist assassination plot." -- Ann Coulter

Seriously, that's just sick.
What kind of diseased mind says something like that in a public forum? "I don't agree with someone, so I hope he suffers and dies!" Really.
Ann Coulter is so threatened by Edwards' progressive ideas and agenda that she's wishing death on him. That says loads about his effectiveness. If he's got the Right scared, he could well be the guy we need heading a ticket next November.
We're gonna win, folks.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Keith Calder is Anti-Human!!!

USA Today has an article on the upcoming film Terra which has already stirred up a shitstorm.
Why? Because the film is about an alien world that must fight to protect itself when invaded by earthlings.
The humans come to the planet to rape it like George Lucas raped fanboy childhoods everywhere, looting the planet's natural resources and disturbing the ecosystem.
Because this parallels the environmental destruction of the earth, one would think this story might be a parable of today. But, the Right Wing bloggerati are already spewing hate at it, accusing producer Keith Calder of being, amongst other things, anti-American and anti-human.
Think about that for a second. Really. What does America have to do with the worldwide consumption of natural resources. Sure, we consume more than our fair share, but we also HAVE more than our fair share. Perhaps this judgement of anti-Americanism by the twits on the Right comes from some guilt? Perhaps they realize that their rabid consumption and wasteful ways are actually endangering our future.
Wait. What am I thinking. The day a Right Winger realizes anything other than "Jesus is coming back...and soon!", I might just die laughing.
Anti-human, though? Seriously... What's anti-human about PRESERVING THE ENVIRONMENT WE LIVE IN??? You know, the thing around us that SUSTAINS OUR LIVES??? Are Right Wingers this dumb? Really?
This is the dogmatic stupidity that infuriates me about the Right. They don't want humanity to survive. Why? Because it might cut into profits this month. Things are gonna get a lot worse unless someone smacks some sense into the neo-cons...if that's even possible. They might not be bright enough to actually absorb information that's not spoon fed to them by a fat, annoying Oxy-cotin addict or a vitamin shill with a show on FOX News.
Yeah, Keith Caldwell's anti-human, all right. Any moron who believes that might as well join the rest of the lemmings in their march to the sea. The rest of us don't need them any more.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Adam falls hard for ONCE

I hate musicals, by and large.
Musicals, unlike opera, tend to stop the story, bring things to a halt, have a musical number, then continue with the narrative. This is why I refuse to consider West Side Story (still not a fan, but so what?) or Moulin Rouge (which I adore) musicals. They're closer to opera, where the songs tell the story. They just have some spoken dialogue in-between.
Strangely, I adore Singin' In the Rain, which exists purely for the joy of the songs.
I'm weird that way.
Needless to say, I hate musicals.
I was still knocked on my ass by Once, the brilliant little Irish film that's finally found its way to the states. It's deceptively simple, incredibly heartfelt and sweet, and meticulously crafted on a miniscule budget.
Glen Hansard from the band The Frames and Markéta Irglová (with whom Hansard released The Swell Season last year) are Guy and Girl (they have names, but they don't really matter). He's a street musician who also works in his father's vacuum cleaner repair shop. She's an immigrant from the Czech Republic who's working odd jobs to support her mom and daughter.
They come together by the simplest of coincidences, all for the love of music. It's a love story, to be sure. But it's as much about the love of music and the need to have their voice heard than it is about two people falling for one another.
Like 2005's Hustle and Flow, Once is very much a movie about desperation. However, where Craig Brewer's film wallows in the hopelessness of the lead's situation, John Carney's Once clothes itself in the joy of music itself. The characters sing because they have love in their hearts. For their lost loves and perhaps for each other. Occasionally that love brings pain, but it's better to have loved and lost, eh?
The relationship between the guy and girl is awkward (he's nearly 2 decades older than her, neither of them is really over their exes, etc), but remarkably honest. Not a moment of the movie feels forced, even the one Hollywood moment in the entire film (a swooping crane shot at the end). Shot hand-held, cinéma vérité style, the film feels lifelike. The ending defies Hollywood logic and still feels satisfying.
Have I mentioned the songs? Fantastic. Simply fantastic. I'm gonna track down the soundtrack...and if I can, the album that Hansard and Irglová did together. I'm still humming the tunes hours later, and I can see wanting them in my music library for years to come.
Hansard's voice has an earnest everyman quality. The emotion he pours out in his songs is palapable and very, very real. I've not listened to The Frames before, but I'll be listening now. And Irglová, at the ripe old age of 17 when she did the soundtrack has all the experience and pipes of someone like Kirsty McColl. As a backup or a lead vocalist, she's a treat to listen to, and she raises the bar for the rest of the performers.
Get your asses to the theater and check this one out. It's wonderful to the nth degree.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Yes! A DVD double dip I'll gladly pony up the money for!

from TVShowsOnDVD.com:
They're gonna be re-releasing Twin Peaks all remastered and nice for a new series-spanning mega boxset this fall.
Word is, there will be tons of extras. And the DVD's being produced by the same guys who are working feverishly on the 4 disc superdeluxe Blade Runner set that's also coming in the fall.
This is something to be excited about. And trust me, I'm positively giddy with happiness about this.
Extras include the pilot episode (previously unavailable on R1 DVD) and interviews with most of the principals involved, EXCEPT some of the Twin Peaks hotties. Apparenly Sherilyn Fenn, Sheryl Lee and Laura Flynn Boyle didn't think enough of the series or wanted too much money. I don't believe I heard anything about Heather Graham, either way. But, my favorite name of all time (and my pick for the bestest of the babes from the show) Madchen Amick (Sleepwalkers, Dream Lover, Barry Sonnenfeld's fantastic Fantasy Island remake) did.
Pardon me while I do a happy dance here.
Funnily enough, I heard about this from a friend a couple of days ago. And apparently, according to the article, rumbings about it have been circulating for up to two years. Wow. Consider my finger firmly on the pulse of what's happening.
The fun thing? I'll probably donate my original issue DVDs to someone after I get this new box (instead of selling 'em). Why? Because there's always someone who's NEVER seen Twin Peaks and needs to.
This is great news, and I'll be itching for this set until it drops in October.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Adam says SICKO is good for your health!

Michael Moore has a bad reputation.
He's a rabble rouser, to be sure. An enemy of a good portion of the establishment. A gadfly stinging the rump of corporate America.
Liberal as I might be, even I have some problems with Moore. He's PT Barnum with a political agenda. The show is sometimes more important than the message with him. The irritation he causes is sometimes the root inspiration for his actions. Not change itself, but the annoyance he causes his enemies.
Quite a lot of the time, Moore gets the Right so enraged, it helps them to stave off attempts to actually enact change.
Moore's necessary, though. He's a funny guy who tackles unfunny subjects.
And now, he's gone after the most unfunny thing ever. The American health care system.
Sicko is a gigantic wake up call. A smack to the face of the American people. It's chilling at times, seeing how utterly broken our health care system is.
At one point in the movie, Moore travels to California and sees security camera footage of an elderly woman dropped off on the street by the hospital she was being treated at because she couldn't pay. The woman is confused and disoriented -- you can tell that from the silent footage. And she's wandering around with no idea where she is or where she should go.
The footage is terrifying.
That could be any one of us. Or our mothers. Or our children.
What kind of nation do we live in where a HOSPITAL dumps patients on the street? Literally dumps them.

It wouldn't be a Michael Moore film without some form of a stunt. In Sicko, he takes a flotilla of civillian 9/11 rescue volunteers and other people in need of health care and takes them to Guantanamo Bay Naval Base in Cuba looking for health care.
Of course, he can't get into the naval base. So he takes the people to a Cuban hospital, in face of the US embargo of the island. Shame on you, Michael Moore. You got a woman prescriptions for inhalers (that would cost her $120 in the US) for the equivalent of $0.05 in Cuba. Shame shame shame.
Seriously. The drugs cost $119.95 LESS in Cuba.
I thought we lived in the greatest nation of the history of the world. I thought we lived in a nation that can do anything, should we put our mind to it. How can we not provide health care to ALL our citizens when a Third World country like Cuba can manage it?

Yes, Moore admits in the film that he gave money to the webmaster of MooreWatch to keep his wife in treatment rather than he have to shut down his website, fully hoping that Jim Kenefick continue to bust his balls. Say what you will about Moore's motives, but no conservative group gave Kenefick the money.
Instead, his enemy did.
Don't you wish you had enemies like that?

Tony Benn, a former member of the British Parliament, puts the whole issue in perspective. The whole thing is about democracy. Prior to democracy, all the power was in the hands of the rich. Giving the poor the vote moved the power from the marketplace to the polling place.
Choice depends on the freedom to choose. If you're in debt, you lose the freedom to choose. When the poor feel helpless, they don't vote. And that keeps the power in the marketplace, not the polling place.

Sicko is mature beyond Moore's previous work. He doesn't get snarky. He doesn't have cutesy cartoons. Why? Because there's no humor in tragedy. And our health care system is a tragedy.
The movie ends on a hopeful not of "What if?", realizing that our pharmaceutical and health care industries are completely entrenched and won't go quietly into that good corporate night. But what if we could provide for our citizens as they deserve. We live in the richest, most productive nation on earth. Don't we owe it to our own people?

Friday, June 15, 2007

Adam doesn't go for THE OH IN OHIO

Independent film has stagnated over the last 15 years, spiraling the bowl into the pit of mediocrity.
Indie films have become so formulaic and rote that the constant stream of Hollywood remakes seems positively riveting by comparison.
So goes the naval-gazing introspection of The Oh in Ohio, a handsomely-shot, earnestly performed mess from last summer. Where the filmmaking and acting are both top-notch, the movie suffers from its indie subject matter and sensibilities, substituting false character notes for story and content.
Both Priscilla (Parker Posey) and Jack Chase (Paul Rudd) are unhappy in their marriage. Why? Because Priscilla has never had an orgasm. Jack is convinced it's not him. After all, he has his youthful memories as a stud to remind him of his prowess in the sack.
After all of this suffering, both of them go their separate ways, Jack with a student (Mischa Barton) and Priscilla on a walkabout of sexual discovery. She tries everything to achieve happiness, starting with a sex guru played by Liza Minelli who embodies every stereotype feminism has to offer with maybe the exception of the crew-cut bull dyke. Priscilla gets her lesbian moment, though, with a sex shop clerk played by Heather Graham. Because, as you all know, all lesbians are hot. Mmmmm, hot lesbians...
Where was I? Oh, yes, Priscilla's sex life. Well, she turns into quite sexual adventurer, the entire time complaining that she's never there when she has sex (after she's already discovered her orgasm through mechanical means). Considering that she realizes that her frigidity is totally internal, and she's learned to let go and enjoy the act on her own, the entire middle of the movie feels artificial to the nth degree.
The ending is utterly unresolved, Priscilla's journey left on the wayside as she considers a new life. Her story and her marriage to Jack are discarded with little thought to emotional consequence or even the audience's curiousity.
Simply put, all the magic that Rudd, Keith David, Parker Posey and the great Danny DeVito bring to the movie seems an utter waste, since there's nothing really going on and no actual arc for their characters to develop.
The whole thing seems rather pointless, as there are no real lessons learned and nothing actually makes any progress in their lives. I'm almost positive that the writers just thought it would be witty to make a movie about orgasms called The Oh in Ohio and the entire production was based around just how utterly witty they were for that magnificent play on words.
The Oh in Ohio is worthwhile only if you're desperate to see a movie with any of the previously mentioned actors, of if you're really jonesing for a taste of Cleveland. Otherwise, it's merely time killer.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007