Thursday, July 31, 2008

Biehn there, done that.

Tonight it occurred to me that despite my fascination / obsession with 80's action movies and the tremendous actors that starred in them, I had never given the slightest mention of my all-time favourite 80's actor, Michael Biehn. Then when I realized the completely ridiculous potential puns that I could come up with to use as the title of the post, it kind of seemed like a no-brainer to write something about Michael. From 1984 to 1989 he was James Cameron's golden boy, appearing in the Terminator, Aliens, and the Abyss, 3 of the best genre pictures ever made, and yet was somehow never able to translate this success into official leading man status. In 1990, he did star in Navy Seals with Charlie Sheen, but after that, besides Tombstone in 1992 and the Rock in 1996, all he's really done is a bunch of crappy TV movies that no one saw, like Asteroid, or critically reviled theatrical flops like Jade.

This just kind of upsets me just because he's so great in the hard-assed hero role in both Terminator and Aliens. I vividly remember crying uncontrollably when he sacrificed his life to save Sarah Connor, and...shit I just realized I cried uncontrollably when his character died in the opening minutes of Alien 3. I honestly just realized that. That is actually fucked up, even for me. Do I have some kind of weird, Freudian pshychosexual obsession with Michael Biehn? You know what, on second thought, don't answer that. Um, anyways, he was also awesome as a scary military psychopath in the Abyss (where he also sported one of cinema's all-time great moustaches, seen above.) He proved he had range, was in some damn successful films, and had some, dare I say, ruggedly handsome good looks, so I don't see why he never became more of a movie star. By 1999, he was slumming it by "acting" in the videogame Command and Conquer: Tiberian Sun. That is just not cool at all. He did do a bunch of other movies in the 90's but a lot of them are quite obscure and I have a strong feeling that many of them are played late at night on Cinemax, and feature gratuitous butt shots. I have too much respect for the guy to find out.

Anyways, I was delighted to see him pop up in Robert Rodriguez's Planet Terror, even though I wasn't crazy about the movie itself, and the whole Grindhouse experiment was pretty much a massive theatrical flop. Nevertheless, I do see that he has an astonishing 5 movies in post production right now, including Streets of Blood with Val Kilmer, Sharon Stone, and 50 Cent. So that's kind of a big deal. Here's hoping that more directors realize that there has been a serious lack of Biehn - a Biehn-vacuum, if you will - in modern day cinema, and that it would be foolish to allow this virtually untapped ass-kicking resource to continue wasting away in late night Cinemax purgatory. Because trust me: this guy is no has-Biehn.

the Dark Knight.

Well, I finally saw it. And there's not much I can really say about this movie that hasn't already been said. Is it the greatest film of all time? No, its not. But it does represent something really cool, and that's the coming together of a group of really talented filmmakers and actors who have taken source material that is inherently stupid - that is, a man dressing up in a bat suit and beating up criminals - but treated it in an intelligent, adult way, resulting in a final product that is both entertaining and thought provoking, and is still making absolutely fucking insane amounts of money.

On top of that, you have Heath Ledger's performance as the Joker who automatically becomes one of the most iconic screen villains of all time; I was absolutely mesmerized by him for every second he was on the screen, and its really quite sad that we'll never seem him reprise this character, or act in another film ever again. Although pretty much every performance gets completely overshadowed by Ledger, the rest of the cast was amazing, especially Aaron Eckhart who I thought was fucking fantastic as Harvey Dent. He gets just as much screen time as Christian Bale in this movie, and he really makes you believe in this character, and that adds a lot of weight to the unspeakably tragic story arc this guy has in the Batman universe.

So all in all, my hat is off to Christopher Nolan, he wasn't given an easy task to reinvent this franchise, which had been absolutely destroyed by Joel Schumacher, and the campy ridiculousness of the previous two films. But with good writing, completely perfect casting, and his usual skill behind the camera, (which has grown exponentially since his first major film only a few years ago,) Nolan has managed to make an instant classic: an Oscar-worthy crime drama about a dude in a bat suit. Amazing.

And now I've gone and said a bunch of things about the movie that have already been said hundreds of times but much more reputable sources than myself. I was seriously trying not to do that.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

mark on prince.

mark says:
it would seriously not surprise me to find a large stable of rare or mythical creatures at prince's north york palace

Monday, July 28, 2008

in your tiny, mutant eyes.

I've already gone on record with my love for all things Schwarzenegger, so it goes without saying that I consider Total Recall to be one of the greatest films ever made. On a completely unrelated subject, I am also a big Peter Gabriel fan so obviously I have a profound love of the song In Your Eyes, which was forever immortalized in the classic Cameron Crowe movie Say Anything.

Yet as I discovered today, when you put together these two seemingly unconnected pop culture standards, the end result is literally the greatest thing I've ever seen.

By the way, I found this video on Best Week Ever, which is one of my favourite blogs, and one of the places where I routinely steal content without any sort of proper acknowledgment.

me and her we had us some fun.

Speaking of Americana, I have been ridiculously obsessed with the Bruce Springsteen record Nebraska recently, but that album kind of exists on the opposite end of the spectrum from Bob Seger. There's really nothing cheesy about Nebraska at all (even though Bruce can lay on the schmaltz from time to time,) it is just a beautiful, haunting record. As much as I enjoy the rocking E Street Band songs like Born To Run, I prefer these stripped-down tunes about downtrodden midwestern Americans attempting to carve out a living, sometimes on the wrong side of the law.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

old time rock and roll.

I was taking the train home from my brother's wedding today and I got into a pretty serious Bob Seger kick. I'm a pretty big fan of his particular brand of cheesy, Americana rock so today I'm going to switch things up by posting not one, but two, YouTube Seger clips, for two fucking classic tunes.

Hollywood Hills:

and Night Moves:

Wow, I've never really realized, but Bob Seger was massive! Those crowds are going Seger crazy. Good for them.

they're already here.

I'm not one of those super-weird conspiracy nuts like Mel Gibson in Conspiracy Theory, but I am a firm believer in the UFO phenomenon. The continued expanse of the internet, and the spread of user controlled internet video sites like YouTube has created a huge database of information on the subject which was just never available previously because its not something that's really ever reported on in the mainstream media. Slowly but surely there are more and more credible sources that have come out and admitted that there is something fishy going on, but just a few days ago Dr. Edgar Mitchell, Apollo 14 astronaut and the 6th man to walk on the fucking moon has come right out and admitted that we have been visited by aliens and its been covered up for the last 6 decades. His entire radio interview where he drops this bombshell is posted below:

I for one believe everything he says. I mean he's a fucking astronaut. He clearly knows about this kind of stuff, and why would he lie? I for one welcome our new extraterrestrial overlords. Let's hope when we finally meet them they look like this:

and not this:

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

playing with the boys.

So I watched Top Gun again the other day, and it had been quite a while. I had (almost) forgotten just how homoerotic the volleyball scene with Cruise, Val Kilmer, Anthony Edwards, and random sweaty, muscular guy was.

Now they're talking about making a Top Gun sequel?? I'm so there.

Monday, July 21, 2008

my eight-year-old self would be disgusted.

Probably the coolest add-on for the new Firefox is something called Firenes, which allows you to play old-school Nintendo games directly on your web browser via a simple flash player. So I have become really hooked on playing Contra, but I have come to a somewhat embarrassing conclusion: I am fucking terrible at Contra. This was a game that as a small child, I could easily beat, and now I am a grown man and I can barely make it past the second level. It's really quite depressing. I have gotten so used to complicated games like Grand Theft Auto and Metal Gear that I have forgotten my video game roots. However, the plus side to this unfortunate reality is that I was looking searching Youtube for Contra videos and I found this sweet video of a guy playing the music from the 1st level on guitar. He also plays music from other 80s video games, you know, if you're into that sort of thing.

its so easy.

I am currently reading Slash's autobiography and it is fucking entertaining. I highly recommend it. It's funny, I guess at this point in my life I can officially call myself a professional musician, but I am well aware that neither I nor the band I play in can ever hope to be as cool as Slash and Guns N' Roses were. I mean look at them: they really do not give a fuck. G n' R are representative of an era of music that has pretty much come and gone. There isn't one aspect of that band that is contrived or phony, they were just 5 total badasses who came together, made one of the greatest rock records of all time (Appetite for Destruction, of course,) and totally conquered the music world for a brief time before unfortunately messing it all up. Bands like that just don't exist anymore. I mean sure, there are bands that try to emulate that sort of hard-rocking, fast-living image, but its so obviously an act, they just end up seeming like douches (like these guys, for instance.) Anyways, despite the fact that Axl became an overweight, football jersey wearing, dreadlock having loser who replaced the whole band with people who also pretty much suck in every way imaginable, Guns N' Roses are, as far as I'm concerned, probably the coolest band of all time (Zeppelin doesn't count because they reached such a level of ultimate coolness that they are automatically excluded from any such argument.) Wow, that was quite a run on sentence. Now, do I provide the obligatory Youtube video? Yes. Yes I do.

I see you standing there. You think you're so cool. Why don't you just fuck off!?!?
-Axl Rose

Friday, July 18, 2008

can we still be friends?

This is another one of my favourite songs. I don't know what it is with me and posting random 70's and 80's music videos recently, I just get a big kick out of them. Anyways, you should watch the video just for Todd Rundgren's amazing outfit, even if you watch it on mute. Plus there is a really weird interpretive dancer that is also strangely compelling.

superhero movies don't suck anymore.

I'm incredibly excited about seeing the Dark Knight this weekend. Its funny, because you'll remember way back on June 25th, I mentioned that I had a suspicion that Heath Ledger would get nominated for a posthumous Oscar for his role as the Joker, and within the next few weeks, the movie started screening for critics and pretty much every review I've read has said the same thing. The only thing is, I was basing this assumption on the fact that the publicity surrounding his death would force the extremely shallow Academy to give him the nomination, no matter how good the actual performance was. But from what I understand, Ledger really did turn in a performance for the ages, and most critics seem to agree that he would have gotten the nomination whether he had died or not. In any case, I am chomping at the bit to see what Christopher Nolan and that absolutely insane cast has accomplished, the gushing hyperbole surrounding the movie has been so intense that I am pretty much expecting to see one of the greatest movies of all time, and anything less than that will be a profound disappointment. Yet somehow I have a feeling it is going to live up to those impossibly high expectations. I guess I'll find out this weekend.

Its really quite astounding how seriously studios are starting to take superhero movies. You have Marvel creating this true cinematic multiverse with Iron Man, the Incredible Hulk, and their upcoming plans for Thor, Captain America, and the Avengers, you have Christopher Nolan pretty much doing whatever the fuck he wants with the Batman franchise and making a movie that people are seriously comparing to Heat and the Godfather II, and now you also have a Hollywood studio actually making an Alan Moore adaptation that looks to be a faithful interpretation of the greatest graphic novel of all time:

Things are really looking up for geeky fanboys like me. Now we just need an epic, sweeping adaptation of Robert Kirkman's the Walking Dead, directed by Peter Jackson. That would actually make me cry a little.

silly love songs

This is one of my absolute favourite songs of all time. It's literally impossible to be depressed while listening to Silly Love Songs. Paul McCartney takes a lot of crap for being trite and whimsical, but damnit, I love him triteness, whimsy and all. This critical obsession with marginalizing everything he does as somehow not artistic is a struggle that I definitely identify with, and that's kind of what this song is about. Because literally, "what's wrong with that?" Not much if you ask me.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

things could be worse...

Sometimes I have a tendency to get pretty down on myself. I'm sure everyone has been there, but there are just times when nothing seems to be going your way and it can be tough to get out of that kind of funk. Or at least it used to be, because thanks to the internet, whenever I get into that kind of mood in the future, I can just read this story about a guy whose wife left him after he got an erection while watching the dolphin show at Sea World, and it really helps put everything in perspective.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Russians are weird, but cool.

Earlier today, my friend Spencer turned me onto this following video with the solemn promise that, "it will change you." And let me tell you, that sick fuck was absolutely right. Spencer, you had me at "Russian metal band video featuring Mikhail Gorbochev as an axe-wielding barbarian zombie killer."


the Ah-nuld sound.

As you might have guessed by my obsession with Steven Seagal, I am a massive fan of 80's action movies (well, I'm pretty much obsessed with action movies from any genre.) Perhaps no one better personifies the action movie archetype better than Arnold Schwarzenegger, who has starred in some of the most memorable movies to ever come out of the genre, like Commando, Terminator, Total Recall, Red Heat, Predator, Terminator 2, and, ahem, Last Action Hero. Although probably the most shocking thing about Arnold's career, is that he is now governor of one of the most powerful states in America, and is actually doing a really good job. Arnold practices politics in a very logical, pragmatic way - he puts his personal feelings aside, and governs the state based on what the people living there want. It seems simple enough, but I feel like most other political leaders don't exactly grasp this concept. To my uninformed self, politics, especially in America, seem to be based more on complete insanity, or the whims of a very small group of rich people. Anyways, even though I am a huge fan of Arnold's both as an actor and a politican, it is still really amusing to me to look at this and realize that he is one of the most powerful men in America.

Friday, July 4, 2008

saviour of the universe.

Queen are one of my favourite bands ever, but in the grand scheme of Queen songs, the title track for the Flash Gordon movie doesn't really hold a candle to any of their other classic songs. Yet for some reason I felt compelled to post the following video, just so you can witness just how far it descends into insane 80's camp. This is partially accomplished by including scenes from the movie, which is pretty much one of the campiest, cheesiest movies ever (I've never even actually seen it, but I caught most of it without the volume while at a bar one night several years ago, and I think I pretty much got the gist of it.) And the song is so over the top to begin with that the resulting video is just one big glorious mess of 80's kitsch.

By the way, Freddy Mercury, another one of the all-time great moustaches.

One of the main reasons I like Queen so much is because Brian May is probably my favourite guitar player ever, but another one of my favourite guitar players is Randy Rhoads, who was the guitarist on the first two Ozzy Osbourne solo albums. Ozzy is a huge joke these days but the two records he did with Randy are insanely good (mostly because Rhoads played on them.) Anyways, I found a really cool video of a live performance of Mr Crowley from around 1980.

Its hard to believe, and extremely depressing, that Rhoads would be dead 2 years later at the age of 25. There's no telling what else he would have gone on to accomplish. Please, someone remind me never to go on a plane ride with a sketchy, coked-out tour bus driver, under any circumstances!

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Happy Birthday TC

Today is the birthday of one of my all-time favourite actors, Tom Cruise. I know that he has taken a lot of shit with the media (and pretty much everyone else in the world) over the last few years as he has grown to be more and more outspoken about Scientology, but amidst all that he has been turning in some stellar performances that get totally overlooked because of his so-called 'mental instability.' He always seems to work with really great directors like Spielberg, Michael Mann, P.T. Anderson and Cameron Crowe, picks interesting projects and never phones in a performance. Despite (or perhaps because of) the intense backlash against the Cruise, I have been, and will continue fervently supporting him to anyone who will listen.

And besides, is Scientology really that bad? Is alien spirits trapped in your body that were once blown up with hydrogen bombs at the hands of a Galactic Emperor named Xenu really more bizarre than most of the fantastical and obviously made up shit that comes from any other major religion? And I don't know, I can't help but watch this next video, and think that some of it makes a lot of sense! I think I need to head over to my local Scientology center for a free E-Meter reading.

See, they're the authorities on improving conditions! They improve conditions. And they're here to help. Period. Happy Birthday Tom.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

moustache thoughts

So I was thinking that when I get a bit older and have kids, I'm going to grow a moustache. I've tried growing one before and it hasn't worked out too well so far. I feel like I need about another decade of growth to really be able to sufficiently rock one. Ideally I would be able to grow something akin to Bill Murray in Rushmore. Not too prominent but still noticeably there, and effective. All this thinking about moustaches reminded me off my favourite moustache ever, Oates from Hall and Oates:

Now, I will never be able to grow a moustache as glorious as Oates', but anytime I feel a little down because of that sad reality I can always just watch this:

Tuesday, July 1, 2008