Friday, February 24, 2006

CR Top Pick's #3: American Beauty

Starring : Kevin Spacey and Annette Bening with Thora Birch and Wes Bently

Director: Sam Mendes

Overview: Lester Burnham is at a milestone in his life...middleage. His wife, Carolyn, is a real estate agent, obseesed with work-related success. His daughter, Jane, is a average teen trying to be more then avreage. And Lester himself works at a desk 8 hours a day. Tired of the same old life, he has an epiphany, taking his miserable life and switching it around, upsideing everyone elses life in the process.

Why It Kicks Ass:

When I first so American Beauty, I had never seen a movie starring Kevin Spacey. But, I felt right at the first glance, that I had been raised on his work. As his role of Lester Burnham takes shape you feel more and more sorry for him. He's losing his wife, he's losing his daughter, yet all he really wants to do is change himself and not be so much of a tight-ass. What I was really impressed about though, is the immediate emotion you feel for his charather. Before you even see him you sypathize with him. He lives in an average suburb, with a medium-upper class house, yet he still feels like he's missing something in his life. It is an emotion we have all felt. Pure desperation.

Although American Beauty has multiple plots churning at once, taking on the point of view of both Jane and Carolyn Burnham at times, the movie has a very well-thought and profound meaning. It shows that life dosn't work when your to uptight because your never willing to take risks, and it also shows that life dosn't work when your too free spirited either, because there is not a care in the world that could effect you. By the ending moments of the movie, Lester Burnham stares off into space, looking at a picture of his family, and this is what appears to be floating through his mind. A realization of being simoltaneously at two different parts of a spectrum, where all he really wanted was to be happy. Yet, for that sublime moment of realization is short-lived, but always lives in his dark dreams.

There are many interlooping themes of drugs, teenage life, glee, homsexual activity and the hatred that follows, but what these all add up to be are the meaning of life and the mortality of man. The quest for the truth. And the answer lies in the fact that people are born, just so they can die. And Sam Mendes makes this a beautiful story that could of been destroyed by any other director.

CR Top Picks # 2: Amadeus

Starring: F. Murray Abraham and Tom Hulce

Director: Milos Forman

Overview: The story of Wolfgang Amadeus Motzart, told throught the eyes from the now insane, Antonio Salieri, who is narrorating from an insane asylum

Why It Kicks Ass:

The movie starts with a bang. Antonio Salieri, former peer of Motzart is attempting to commit suicide. But why? This is told all in good time. The great thing about this film is that the story is told through the eyes of an envious and insane man, so there is no telling of what differs from real life and Salieri's point of view. F. Murray Abraham and Tom Hulce are both spectaculer in there roles. There are times in the movie where you forget you are watching a scripted film and start believeing that these pictures are of real life. A documentery hunderds of years before the invention of camera.

I also love how Milos Forman isn't afraid to tell the story from such a dark point-of-view. No sugar coating here. The twisted view of Salieri's thoughts are showin in magical set designs and true to form costumes. Don't be turned away though, this is no period piece. It is a tale of true love of music and devotion to sound. And a man, years ahead of his time. But mostly, a tale of genius,

Standout Scene: Salieri writing Motzart's Requiem as Motzart dictates from his death bed.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

CR Top Picks #1: Aladdin



Starring: Voice Talents of Robin Williams, Scott Weinger, and Linda Larkin

Director: Ron Clements and John Musker

Overview: A poor boy named Aladdin falls in love with a woman he sees on the street. She is Princess Jasmin, though she was dressed as a commenor when he first sees her. After learning that his new love is a princess he decides to win her love by any means. When he is imprisoned for kidnapping the Princess (he was only showing her his shelter), Jafar, the King's aide, dressed as an old man, leads him to a secret desert chamber which holds treasures beyond any ones imagination. Aladdin is the only one allowed into the chamber, he is the "Diamond in the rough". The greatest treasure inside the chamber is not gold or gems, but a single rusty lamp. And within this lamp, a genie.

Why it kicks ass:

Aladdin is simply great story-telling. Adapted from the original tale from Arabian Nights, Disney turns it into a living, breathing piece of film. What makes the movie so well made is the relatability to children and adults. Even if your older then 16, this movie is just as enjoyable then if your younger. By the end of the film, you find yourself really caring about the charachters. Even though it's animated, you still wish the best for Aladdin and Jasmin.

It's a story of true love, betrayl, deep evil, and unbelievable good. The voice talents of the actors are brilliant, and the color is vibrant and vivid. This movie is a rememberance of the times before disney went CGI'd, and it's a great memory at that.

Scene To Look For: Aladdin fleeing from the guards after being caught stealing.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Massive Project Time!

Starting today, Crooked Rambling's is starting a long term blog project. Which basiclly is just going to be a massive list of my favorite movies. Each day starting now, i'm going to do one review per day, on every movie I rated a 10 on www.imdb.com . So check out the site daily! There's going to be a mega amount of updates.

Movies You Should See (If you havn't seen them yet)

One of my previous posts was an ode to the Overrated crap that people prattle and preach about, only to convince you to see it, so you can see how much their enthusiasm has faltered. So I thought I would be fair, and do a post of movies that are underrated. Keep in mind, these are movies I have seen recently...not my all time favorites, we'll leave that for another post.

1. The Aviator (Drama/ occasianal Comedy/ insanity/ OCD)
2. Amelie (Fantasy/ Comedy/ fluffy/ cuteness/ pursuit of happiness/ good date movie!)
3. Anchorman: The Legend Of Ron Burgandy (Comedy/ harmless/ jazz flute)
4. Modern Times (Comedy/ semi-silent/ satire)
5. The Maltese Falcon (Film-Noir/ Drama/ black and white/ murder)
6. Saved! (Comedy/ religion/ satire/ growing up/ hypocrites)
7. Sin City (Drama/ Action/ Film-Noir/ comic book/ dark/ violent)
8. 61* (Drama/ Sports/ Non-Fiction/ home run race/ stress)
9. Mr. 3000 (Comedy/ Sports/ aging/ comebacks)
10. 50 First Dates (Comedy/ Romacnce/ loss of memory/ trama/ love/ feel good/ fluff)

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Port-a-potties Suck!

Since I attend an average of 15-20 concerts/shows a year (most in the summer) I encounter plenty of public rest room faciliies. But no matter how dirty a normal bathroom can get. It never has the smell of rotting corpse that a Port-a-Pottie emits. I would rather sit on a pile of venomous scorpions then sit on a port-a-johns disgusting toilet seat. For example, if I had consumed a dinner of Beans and Cheese Burritos the night before a show, I'm going to be in bad shape. If given the choice between a Port-a-pottie and a diaper, I would choose a diaper anyday. I'd rather wallow around in my own feces then the disgusting remenants of other people's bowels movements. Whenever I come within a certin proximity of one I start to worry about infectious diseases, such as Digestive Problems, Herpes, Malaria, Typhoid Fever, Whooping Cough, Polio, Bubonic Plague, and of course just the genaric nausea.

The point of the story is that venues should be furninshed with better bodily evacuation centers then the piecees of shit (no pun intended...ok maybe a little) that I don't even give the benefit of calling a rest room. They don't seem very portable to me. When I think portable I think something that can fit in your pocket. You'd have to be one fat son of a bitch to have pants big enough to hold the pockets to cart around this sucker. How about making something a little more practical? Like a paper cup or something. Same principal, everyone take a piss in the cop and pass it around. And don't forget, theres always the person right before you that has the massive diarrehea, and the stench of that is more dense then the air surrounding it. I mean this shit has a pulse. The only way to not have to deal with port-a-potties is preporation. Don't eat anything heavy the night before going to a festival style show. Never walk within 100 yards of the port-a-pottie, the stench will lure you in. And the most important piece of preperation, is remember to be updated on all vaccines. And remember, next time you smell the rotten stench of boggy turd water, my guidlines will do you some good.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

The Kids Are Not Alright...Thier Fat!

What's with all these fat kids? Everywhere I look there are kids getting fatter by the second. When I was younger, there was like one fat kid per town, and they were always made fun of rutheslly. But now, fat kids are the majority. Invading a McDonalds near you. So why are the kids becoming fatties now? Well...there are a few reasons.

1.) Technology - The explosion of Videogames and computers has led us to a epidemic of fatass kids who won't get off thier rather rotund asses. Instead of going outside, and amusing themselves with the simplest activities like my generation did, they now sit around eating multiple pounds of lard each day while immersed in the newest hip game. I use to be able to go outside and spend hours just throwing a ball around by myself or maybe taking a brisk walk to my local creek and building a dam in it. You can forget about that now. You can just buy a game called "Let's Take A Brisk Walk To The Creek".

2.) Lack of Imagination - This goes hand in hand with technology. Becuase of the flat and repetetive drone of videogames, there is no need for kids to think anymore. So not only are we gonna have fat kids running around, but incredibly stupid kids too. What ever happened to making up your own activities?

3.) Japan Attack - Pokemon and various other card games have become a huge fad with the young'ns. Why is this so bad? Well i'll tell you. During recess in school, kids used to play tag, kickball, wall ball, or any other recreational game you can think of. Now, recess for schools consists of a bunch of kids sitting on there steadily wideining asses and pretending to understand how to play the card games. I say pretending because the majority of the kids have no clue how to play, and just dick around.

4.) Parents - Yes...Parents. You have become extremely lazy. You are as well getting massively fat. But I don't care to much about your multiple chins. I care about how you let your kids stay inside all of the time and not force them out like my parents used to. I look outside my window now and I see desolation. If i was looking out of the window 10-15 years ago, the streets would of been full of kids. There's no one ever riding there bikes anymore!

So now that you are informed about the cause, start working on the solution. And I got one for you. GET OFF YOUR FAT ASSES!

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Movies That Are More Overrated Then Hillary Clinton

1. Mystic River - Wow, did I ever hate this movie! To tell you the truth, I got about half way through and then turned it off. I couldn't see what the allure was. This movie would of been a lot better if Chuck Norris made a little cameo kicking the shit out of Sean Penn. I thought the whole theme of childhood trama could of been an interesting conecept, but I admit, I was so so wrong that it hurts my heart.

2. Napolean Dynamite - This movie is just generally bad. All this movie accomplished was remind me of all the kids in high school that I consistintly wanted to strap to a rack and torture. All the quasi-goth bastards with those really sarcastic senses of humour that thought they were extraordinarily intelligent and wanted to act all cool and nonchalant, yet disproving the goal by acting so vigoursly uncaring. Ehh, you know what I'm talking about. The humor of this movie is unbelievably dull and hypnotized me into a seni-consious drone. I never want to hear another human being quote the nauseating line, "Gosh!". Oh man, and even worse are those poeple that wear the Vote Pedro T-Shirts that are available at your local Hot Topic. Because Hot Topic is so damn hardcore!

3. Donnie Darko - I probobly should of liked this...but I didn't. The director was no doubt trying to be artsy and different, and it showed. Which brings me to the reasoning behind the suckiness of this movie. Sacrificing good story-telling and plot points, for a jumbled pile of jilted editing and artsy concepts. If you make a movie, and it comes out naturally artsy, then thats fine, but going out of your way to cater to indie-kid movie buffs who worship this shit, defeats the point of making a movie that people will look to for substance. The whole movie was like a dream. A haze of a story that drifts away minutes after experiening it.

Goodfellas - I'm a fan of the director (I don't want to misspell his name and I am to laszy to go look for the correct spelling). But this movie just left a bad aftertaste in my mouth. Even though it was an interesting story and Joe Pesci was amazing in his part, there were various low points. For one, I don't think Ray Liotta is a capable actor for the leading role. He seems like a cool guy during interviews and what not, but his acting just is not that spactacular. Many praise this movie for being the best movie about organized crime of all time. And I say that is a pile of shit. I also think Robert DeNeiros role was his weakest role of his career. I think this movie could of been great, and I know that its based on a true story, but it just didn't contain the sheen that it should of.

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Now They Tell Me!

Hewlett Packard has totally fucked me over. I bought an iPod thinking they were the top of the line. The king of the hill. The head of the herd. And for the most part, I was right. But wow, this really put the knife through the heart of my musical dream. I went to turn on my iPod the other day as usual, but instead of going to the options screen, it went to a screen of a iPod logo looking very unhappy (it has a sad face in it, they call it the iPod blues). So i'm thinking...OK...Something like this has happened before. All I have to do it reset it. After multiple tries at resetting it, multiple times of getting no results, and multiple instances that the veins in my head were set to burst from frustration, I decided to give Apple a call.



So after 10 minutes of waiting on the phone for a iPod "specialist", I was told I would have to call Hewlett Packard for information on it. So after another 20 minutes or so waiting, a very pleasant, canadian-sounding woman answered the line. Now this woman knew her stuff. I have to say, HP had tremendous customer support. So anyway, it turns out that my little unhappy iPod, actually had a very fatal hard-drive error. So in conclusion, I have to send to whole thing back, so that they can make sure its broken, and send me a new one. So now I have to read every single song back onto it. Which is no doubt a week long venture.

The real kicker is that the problem was not with the iPod per se. It was a little bug in the production of the iPod that was the problem. I just so happen to have a Toshiba Satellite Laptop. And it just so happens that the Toshiba exclusive chips called Kia, send the iPod into psycho mode and eventually turn the hard-disk off its track. So i'm going to have to get a new laptop eventually. Most likely a HP. As for Apple and Toshiba, they can take thier uncompataible hardware and shove it up their mega wrinkley asses.




Even though i'll proboly love them again in weeks.