Saturday, August 8, 2009

i have returned.

Well hello there. As you might have noticed, I have been on a bit of a sabbatical from blogging as of late. It was somewhat tough to do it with any regularity while I was away in the UK, and since I have been back, I have been still quite busy with my musical endeavors, but more than that, I have just had a difficult time getting back into the habit of posting things here. Well, I'm here to tell you that this ineptitude is going to stop TODAY! (if this were a Michael Bay movie, I would be moving in slow motion right now with an epic rock soundtrack blasting in the background. Man, I wish my life was a Michael Bay movie. But not one of the Transformers movies. Fuck that.)

Anyways, there are all kinds of funny, bizarre, and exciting things going on in the pop culture universe. But you know what, I have to start small.



It's good to be back.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Noah's nineties endorsements part 1: The Indian Runner.

This is the first in what will hopefully become a series of posts by yours truly in which I recommend a film from the decade that gave me the love of the medium. This is my no means the golden age of cinema, but it was a pretty damn good one to come of age during. I will try to find titles a lot of people may of missed, but I'll also be encouraging you to take a second look at movies you may have dismissed the first time around. The first film is one I've wanted to blog about since I first started writing for Action and Action and remembered that Rob is a big fan of Springsteen, who's connection to the film will become clear as you read on.



Long before Sean Penn was milking the Academy for a yearly acting nomination, he made his directorial debut with an extremely cool, underrated film called The Indian Runner. The few films he's directed since (The Crossing Guard, The Pledge and Into the Wild) have generally been well received as mature, realized projects, but I still feel this often overlooked first film is his strongest. The year was 1991, and the barely 30 year old actor demonstrated that he was a lot more than just that, and was in fact very well adversed in cinema, its past masters and capacity for artistic expression.

When people think of independent cinema in the 90's, most think of Tarantino, Kevin Smith, and all those that tried to be like either Tarantino or Kevin Smith. The Indian Runner came out before either of them had made a film, and features a cast that I'm sure had Tarantino seeing it at his first opportunity. The film stars David Morse as the 'highway patrolman' Joe Roberts and Viggo Mortenson stealing every scene as his enigmatic, trouble-seeking brother Frank. The supporting cast boasts names like Charles Bronson, Patricia Arquette, Dennis Hopper, Valeria Golino, and even a brief appearance by a young Benicio Del Toro. As if this cast wasn't already enough to give it a 10/10 on the ultra cool scale, Penn got the story idea for his original screenplay from Bruce Springsteen's 'Highway Patrolman.' Refer to song below for plot summery.





Probably because the film takes place prior to the Boss's day, the song is not featured in the film, but the badass classic rock soundtrack compliments several scenes beautifully.

Attesting to Penn's well placed influence and awareness, is the film's dedication in loving memory of John Cassavetes and Hal Ashby. Myself being more familiar with Cassavetes (actor turned father of independent cinema, created very personal projects such as A Woman Under the Influence), I can certainly see moments reflective of the great director. My favourite being a hilarious little scene which relates little to the rest of the plot, all done in one shot where a nosey local tries to console Joe who is clearly annoyed as he washes his police cruiser while she follows him round and round. Sean Penn apparently developed a bit of a relationship with Cassavetes before his passing and had planned to collaborate. Penn later starred in She's So Lovely directed by John's son, Nick Cassavetes.

For the most part a heavy, serious drama, the film will often surprise you with strange little touches of humour, such as the aforementioned car washing scene, and several other moments which seem almost Lynchian to me.

After watching the film, I recommend checking out the trailer on youtube, which I see as a humerous demonstration of advertisers' total inability to market what is essentially an art film. I'm reminded of the classic re-cut 'Shining' trailer, particularly when the trailer's cliched voice states “Franky and Joe have one more chance to make everything right” making it look like a fun filled film of two brothers re-kindling a childhood relationship.

Anyway, I think I've ranted on long enough for now. Just see it, and hopefully you will recognize how elements of the film pay homage to some of cinema's most inspiring auteurs while others make it truly unique and one of the first in what was to become a great decade for independent cinema.

Fun fact: The film has a birthing scene with a 'crowning' shot pre-dating Knocked Up's by 16 years... eat that Apatow! (Judd Apatow has also named Cassavetes as an influence... I guess they both directed movies, I see no further connection).

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

waaAAIHHaa

As Action and Action's patriarch figure travels back from his extended tour around the land of snogs, scarves, and casual attitudes towards dental hygiene, here's a cool video that has nothing to do with any of that.



There's all kinds of compilations of the Wilhelm scream on youtube, but I found this video to be the most interesting and informative, though they fail to mention its common use in video games as well.

Years ago I brought this familiar scream up to a film studies friend of mine who said 'Oh yeah, the Wilhelm scream.' I always wondered how he knew that, and in the back of my mind thought he could be making that name up to sound knowledgeable. Score one for him.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

March of the long-hairs '64

This feels like a Monty Python sketch. Regardless of whether or not he's being sincere, the fact that David Bowie founded The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Long-haired Men at 17 years old makes me love him all the more.



He's continued to push the boundaries of what's conceived as 'masculine' in our society, and probably even began to let people call him 'darling' and carry his handbags somewhere along the way too.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Ryu Wannabe rages against machine

Another video game re-enactment from those lovable Japanese. I had always felt that the 90's movie adaptation of Street Fighter failed because it completely skipped over these bonus stages.



I wonder what this guy's story is. Over a million views in less than a month is pretty impressive, particularly for a youtube user with no previous videos. I did find this comment on his profile pretty funny:

donksvilesghost (5 days ago)
hey stop sending me videos advertising cameras UNSUBBED!!!!!!!!!!!!

All of a sudden all those cutaways to the camera make a lot more sense. Oh you crafty Japanese :D

I'm sure Rage Against the Machine would have a thing or two to say about Samsung if they knew about this.

a few thoughts about Michael Jackson.

I had just finished playing a show in Cork, Ireland, when I heard the news about Michael Jackson's death at the age of 50. I've been quite busy touring and without internet since this happened, so I haven't really been able to write anything about it, and now that I'm sitting here in front of a computer, I'm realizing there's not a whole lot I can say about it that hasn't been said already. His life and death are going to be endlessly analyzed and scrutinized over the next few months and years and I doubt there's much I can really add to the to the conversation. But I'll do my best.

Michael was a childhood hero of mine, I listened obsessively to records like Bad and Thriller when I was growing up in the 80s, and would amuse my family to no ends trying to mimic his legendary dance moves (I was especially fond of his famous crotch grab.) I loved Michael long before I really even started listening to or taking an active interest in other kinds of music, there was just something about it that absolutely captivated me even as a child with no knowledge or understanding of what exactly makes music great, or what makes a particular song a well-written one.

Of course, over the last 10 or 15 years, Michael has been far better known for his increasingly bizarre personal life and his legal troubles, but I don't think any of that will ever take away from the incredible musical legacy that he left behind. Update: I don't want to simply gloss over that part of his life and pretend that some of his extremely disturbing behaviour never happened, as so many have been willing to do over the last few days, so if you are interested you can find all the Vanity Fair articles that were published on Michael after his first court case in 1994 here. None of these Vanity Fair articles were ever challenged legally by Jackson or his team. So despite the overwhelming amount of praise and support that he has been shown since his death, no one can possibly deny that he was, at the very least, a deeply troubled man. If anything, his life will serve as a chilling reminder of what the highest levels of success and a lifetime of the decadent excess of celebrity culture in America can do to someone.

In any case, despite the controversy and terrible accusations that plagued him over the last 2 decades, I would like to believe that my love of Michael's music as a child played some part in my eventual decision to pursue my own career in the music industry and I am incredibly grateful for that, and for the happiness that I felt listening to his music when I was younger. Because when I think of Michael now, I don't picture the pale, skeletal looking-man with the strange, surgically altered face...I just think of an awkward white kid in Landsdowne, Ontario, standing on his bed and dancing like an idiot while that legendary voice played out of the cassette player in his room.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

More shameless self promotion

Last weekend some friends and I took part in Toronto's 24 hour film race. At 10pm on Friday night we were given a theme (payback) and a surprise element (Action - Spraying perfume / cologne). By 10pm the following evening we submitted a 4 minute short film which was written, filmed and edited all within 24 hours. Less than a week later, they screened the 34 entries at The Bloor cinema. After the screening, the audience voted ours as their favourite! In about four weeks, we find out what the judges thought and if we get any of the big prizes.



I have to give a lot of credit to our creative nucleus consisting of the lead actors (Jake Mednick as the sad blockee and Paul Bullock as the cock blocker) and the multi-talented Joel Harvey (director, cinematographer, composer and editor).

Fun tip: try to figure out what dirty words 2625 can make on a telephone.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

just dance (and shamelessly promote yourself.)



Lady Gaga is an artist who has kind of come out of no where to dominate the pop world, and from all indications will probably be around for a long while. Her songs are amazing, and her whole look and image is just so well-crafted, and she is just pretty awesome. A few weeks ago my band started playing a totally over the top cover of her first big hit, Just Dance, along with a few other songs in there for good measure. You can listen to it or download it here if you so desire.

tripping kitties.

I've had less and less time lately to scour the internet for weird crap, or let alone to do anything creative to post here, but today I uncovered this little gem which I think you will enjoy. Watch out for the cat that is so high he is drooling everywhere...it makes me nostalgic for high school!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

a Top Shelf site for geeks.

Having spent most of my teenage life as a bit of a movie toy collector (also called 'figurines' if you own a comic book store, or 'dolls' if you're a jerk), I still have several 'dork shelves' in my parents' house dedicated to my Star Wars and Mcfarlane obsessions. I think this phase reached it's peak when I was in the 11th grade and went to Zellers on my lunch break to pick up most of the newly released Episode 1 figures, Jar Jar and all (keep in mind the movie wasn't out yet). I took solace that I did not go it alone, as on that particular day I was joined by someone who is now the co-creator and main contributor of a very comprehensive site on comics, film and video games called 'Dork Shelf.' I think he deserves some credit here as I have posted several videos to Action and Action which he has brought to my attention (Hard Ticket to Hawaii, He Loves a Fat Girl), including this one which was recently posted to their site. (If you're not familiar with Magnum P.I., I may recommend going straight to the side by side comparison of that show's opening and the video posted below).



The astute observation was also made that Tom Selleck was originally cast to play Indiana Jones but couldn't due to a conflict with his Magnum P.I. schedule, so George Lucas agreed to free Ford of his carbonite prison long enough to film 1982's Raiders of the Lost Arc before re-freezing him in time for Return of the Jedi. This adds another coincidental layer to the likening of these two characters.

Other things worth checking out on Dork Shelf include Will's list of 'Great Moments in Stop Motion Animation' (which was featured on popular site fark.com) as well as the soon to be posted 7th podcast featuring a very special guest (I'll give you a clue, it's me).

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

new kanye single.

In case you missed it, here's the video for the new Kanye West track, Paranoid. This is pretty much the first time anyone has seen Rihanna since the whole unfortunate, "getting beaten by Chris Brown" incident happened, and although she doesn't even sing in the track, she appears in 99% of the video and looks fantastic, as per usual. If I were Chris Brown I would be watching this video while simultaneously stabbing myself in the face with an icicle. Made of acid.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Honor, diplomacy, and the 'ultimate shamed ballplayer'

Since this show has been lauded once or twice on this site, I thought I'd throw in my two cents along with a couple updates and one 'funny or die' video that has me laughing to death.


When I saw the first episode of 'Eastbound and Down' it was presented by someone who told me that HBO had already pulled the plug on the series due to it's crass, lowbrow humor tarnishing their reputation, even though the first episode hadn't even aired yet. Now six episodes with Kenny Powers have gone by faster than six with David Brent, marking the end of the first season. I thought the makers would try to push a DVD release as soon as possible so as to get fans clamoring for a second season. About half of that assumption was correct. The DVD is being given a semi-quick release in about three weeks (June 30) but apparently it's been almost two months since HBO announced that it's been renewed for a second season, though there's no word yet and when it will air or if it's even been written yet.


I have yet to find a website that lists the special features of a DVD long before its release date. No word on this one yet, but I hope it includes this hilarious video I came across over at 'Funny or Die.' Though it has no direct connection to anything in the show, it was clearly shot on the set of 'Eastbound and Down' while Will Ferrell was in his Ashley Schaffer costume. I particularly like Ferrell's singing style and the sound editing in the last minute.




To learn a more about the show's genesis, check out this TV guide interview with Danny McBride.

Friday, June 5, 2009

no one sleeps when i'm awake.

I mentioned the new Sounds record a few weeks ago, and they just released the video for first single 'No One Sleeps When I'm Awake,' so here it is. It's pretty cool!

No One Sleeps When I’m Awake from Davis Artist Management on Vimeo.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

One of those days...

...Ralph Kramden eventually stopped attending anger management classes and this stopped being funny for about 50 years. That was now 51 years ago.

Friday, May 29, 2009

even more keyboard cat.

Keyboard cat is the internet meme that just keeps on giving. I'm not even remotely sick of it yet, and let's hope you aren't either, cause here he is again:

Friday, May 22, 2009

This Big Fat Blog

Happy 1 year Action and Action.

action and action 1 year on: what have we learned?

The answer is nothing.

But it has been a fun year sharing all the random shit that I find on all my web adventures with all of you. We've laughed, we've cried, I even put on my internet-journalist hat and covered the US election (if you consider making ridiculous photoshops of Sarah Palin "covering" anything.) I've also been happy to bring Mark and Noah aboard to help me out here while I am busy with my real job (note: I don't have a real job.)

Anyways, I'm not sure what the future holds, but I know that it is highly doubtful that I will quit wandering the internet aimlessly in search of weird stuff, so in all likelihood this blog will continue to exist, and hopefully it will continue to improve to the point where it is a daily source of amusement for all of you.

Thanks to everyone who has stuck around.

I'll leave you with this bad boy:

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Guy Ritchie's Sherlock Holmes trailer.

As you can probably tell from the incredibly clever title to this post, Guy Ritchie's reinvention of Sherlock Holmes, starring my man-crush, Robert Downey Jr, just released a trailer, and it looks pretty good. I like the idea of upping the action and laughs, and it looks like Ritchie's style is going to work rather nicely. And RDJ with an English accent? Yes please.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

crying vlogger angry father.

In the following, absolutely amazing video, a frustrated father has had enough of his wimpy, video-blogging son's crying, and gives him some sound advice about why recording yourself sobbing like a little girl and then broadcasting it on your Youtube channel for the entire world to see, is maybe not the best idea (apologies to little girls everywhere.)

And of course, keyboard cat is waiting in the wings for the perfect opportunity to make his presence felt.

Monday, May 18, 2009

new album from the sounds on june 2nd.



The Sounds 'Dying To Say This To You,' is hands down one of my favourite albums from the last...well, ever. And what's not to like about the Sounds? They write amazingly catchy, synthy dance rock songs and feature an unbearably attractive frontwoman with one of the best voices in rock and a propensity for flashing her crotch at the camera, or audience, or really whoever is around to look. It's a win-win situation for everyone. Their new record, Crossing the Rubicon, is coming out June 2nd, and you can hear the first officially released track on their myspace page, but for now, here's Painted by Numbers.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

I am a grown man and I listen to:

Taylor Swift.



It's been a while since I've done one of these, and this installment of IAAGMAILT (how's that for a seamless acronym) seemed like a no-brainer. Taylor Swift has a fantastic voice, has just the right amount of American cuteness, and is a genuinely good songwriter to boot - and not the type of songwriter who will rearrange a few words in a prewritten song and then demand a co-writing credit like some other female popstars who shall remain nameless (Avril Lavigne.) And hey, she was the top selling artist of 2008 and she's sold 4 million copies of her last record, Fearless, so she's clearly doing something right. I was hooked after about one minute of the first song on that record, Love Story, but this rock mix is particularly epic.





Friday, May 1, 2009

Seriously, this shit is important.

Before you read on or watch the video below, I would like to begin by apologizing for this departure from 'Action and Action's usual lightheartedness and humour you've come to know and love us for, but this is a serious issue that affects all of us and is often overlooked. I applaud these young kids for their bravery in speaking out against what we've all been guilty of from time to time.



To learn more about this matter, please visit the no cussing website, where you can find out more about how this video came to be. Don't forget to visit the e-store to purchase fabulous items such as this.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

The Kindness of Strangers

Like Blanche DuBois, I can confidently say that I’ve always relied on the kindness of strangers. I will willingly slurp up any drink that’s bought for me, crash out on any couch available, and take travel tips from lazy-eyed hostel dwellers (NB: this mantra isn’t recommended for everyone). And, for the most part, it’s a strategy that’s worked for me; yes, I’m fully aware that I might wake up in an iced bathtub sans kidneys. But usually, I’ll just end up underneath a Nova Scotia underpass with a bunch of gregarious Australian backpackers, a purple grill, and a collection of noteworthy (if not hazy) stories. It’s a risk that I’m willing to take.

But then there’s the flipside, the jarring reality that the great unknown isn't always populated by bleached-blonde, kiwi fun-seekers. Take, for example, Edarem, Youtube’s newest – and potentially creepiest – starlet. Now, he is probably what your mom had in mind when she cautioned you about strangers. But don’t believe us – check the videos below.







(just forward to about 2:30 in that last video)

Now, despite that fact that he resembles a hybrid of …


… and …


… We’ll give him the benefit of the doubt. Mostly, he’s just a lonely coot who shares strangely perverse relationships with his dogs, possesses an uncanny singing ability, and films himself scratching his back with a toilet brush. Get your mind out of the gutter: there’s nothing that suggests that he’s a ephebophilic sexual deviant-vampire – his status as a registered sex offender notwithstanding. Honestly.

I don’t think that I’ll need to take a cold shower ever again.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Does Hawaii Top That?

Two clips that epitomize the 'so bad it's good' phenomenon we've come to associate mostly with the 80s.

Teen Witch (1989)



Hard Ticket to Hawaii (1987)



I can imagine this altercation between the film's editor (Bill) and its producer (Jack)-

Bill: But why would we he have his back turned for so long while he puts down his gun? What if we just cut back to him after Rowdy throws the frisbee for Colleen like a dog?

Jack: You mean before the zoom-in for the 'great ass' line?

Bill: Yeah.

Jack: You're fired. Oh, and Bill.

Bill: Yeah?

Jack: You've got a great ass.

Bill: Gross.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

auto-tune the news.

I'm sorry if anyone finds this annoying, but I am going to continue posting any pertinent auto-tune themed videos I happen to stumble across.



The world just seems like such a less fucked up place when it is perceived through auto-tune. SHAWDAY!

Also, if Katie Couric ever decides to end her career as a news anchor, I think she could fairly easily become a pop/R&B sensation.

Henson's 11

Thanks to /Film for featuring this awesome Youtube mashup by Kat Reilly.



I would totally go see this movie in a heartbeat, and it's making me even more excited for the Jason Segel-scripted new Muppet movie that is in the works now.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

a baby crying into auto-tune? yes please.

I fucking love auto-tune. You would think the whole phenomenon would have gotten tired and played out by now, what with T-Pain, Akon, Kanye, Lil Wayne, and pretty much everyone else in the pop or R&B world just completely abusing it, but I still just get such a kick out of it. I actually just bought an Antares AVP-1 Vocal Producer recently that has a live, realtime, auto-tune function and it is just mind bogglingly fun to play with. But what happens when you combine auto-tune with the normally annoying sound of a baby crying?



I'd say throw some drums and some funky synth lines over this, and all of a sudden this little guy's pain and anguish has just become a bumping summer jam.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Someone's got a kaiser blade up his butt (some folks call it a sling blade)

I knew I should have been all punctual and posted this video when I heard about it the day after it occurred in my hometown two weeks ago, but shut up! I've been like, busy and everything (scratches neck, looks up and away). Anyway, almost 2 million views isn't quite Susan Boyle numbers yet, so maybe a couple Action and Actioners haven't seen this video of career asshole Billy Bob Thornton trying to usurp Joaqin of his recent corner on the crazy actor turned musician market.



Clearly he's sorting out some personal things. I heard a rumour that they left the tour after this appearance, though I couldn't find any evidence of this on the Boxmasters myspace. Less surprising is the lack of any mention of this interview on the myspace, but I did notice that they're scheduled to be on Jimmy Kimmel tomorrow (Tuesday) night, so it's sure to come up then. I listened to a couple of the songs and I couldn't hear the 'cosmic' British invasion influence. The few songs ranged from laughably bad to halfway decent, though I'm assuming it's the cream of the crop from their six albums or whatever it was they made last year.

Here are some other things I love about this video:

-Billy Bob compares himself to Tom Petty. I wish Ghomeshi had hit back with "If Tom Petty started making films, would no one mention his music career anymore?"

-His non-sequitur monster magazine tangent... brilliant.

-How uncomfortable the rest of the band is throughout.

-Just when you think his horse can't get any higher, he says he grew up as a music historian and nobody's done what they're doing in the last 30 years (this point is accompanied by a half angry, full crazy eye twitch).

-How you can almost see the blood coming from Jian Ghomeshi's mouth from biting his tongue so as not to say that Billy Bob's acting past is the only reason he agreed to have the 'Boxmasters' on his show.


It's no wonder this so called master of the box has been divorced 5 times. Speaking of which, I would have liked to have seen Billy Bob's reaction if Ghomeshi brought up this period in his life:



Interesting tidbit: Billy Bob Thornton is still acting.

Another interesting tidbit: I fucking love 'Armageddon'

I'd also recommend checking out some other QTV clips, such as some cool acoustic performances by K'naan and Lily Allen, and a good interview with The Killers.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Do you like fishsticks? What about DVDA?

Last week's 'South Park' episode gave us another great addition to the ever expanding songbook of comic gold by Matt Stone and Trey Parker. With 'Lonely Planet' and 'Flight of the Conchords' enjoying recent popularity, some people are saying musical comedy acts are cool again for the first time in years (with 'Tenacious D' as a small exception), but these guys have been doing it successfully for almost 15 years now. And how many of those acts have an Oscar nominated song? (3-6 Mafia comes closest with their Oscar winning 'Hard Out Here For A Pimp' but are disqualified because I'm pretty sure the humour there was mostly unintended). With three feature length musical films under their belts, songs featured in at least two others, and 12 and a half seasons of an original series with musical gems like this one sprinkled throughout, I think people should motherfuckin' recognize!



I've listened to this song over and over for the past 7 days, and apparently I'm not alone as this youtube posting (one of many) is already at almost 1 million views. It reminds me of when I used to listen to Weird Al because I could enjoy certain pop songs I would never normally listen to and tell myself that it's because he's making fun of the performer. But unlike Weird Al's songs, 'Gay Fish' is an 'original' creation that sounds like any Kanye song, not spoofing a particular one (that I know of). I love the absurdity of the lyrics, but also just enjoy the song in all its pop-like glory.

As I've mentioned on this blog before, I admire these two guys for many reasons, particularly their autonomy and consistency they've been able to maintain with this show, not to mention the increasing relevance and immediacy as episode production periods get shorter and shorter (last season saw and episode with Obama winning the presidency that aired the night after the election, of course he was ahead in the polls for weeks, but I wonder if they had a contingency plan if he lost). Anyway, I think Trey and Matt's cars are metaphorically waxed to a blinding shine by now, so I'll just leave you with this song from Season 8, my favourite season which they happened to make in the same year as 'Team America', another accomplishment that can't say enough good things about, so I'll shut up now.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

play him off, keyboard cat.

You might think I am a sick bastard for finding humour in this video, but if you are not laughing hysterically by the time its over, then I don't know what to tell you. You are a better person than I am. Congratulations. Because this is one of the funniest things I've ever seen.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

The Dirty Mac

Since Rob is busy being a rock star in England, I thought I'd post this cool clip of these up and coming blokes.



I believe this performance was the only one by 'The Dirty Mac' and was the first time John Lennon played in public without The Beatles. It was for a TV special entitled The Rolling Stones Rock and Roll Circus. Pretty cool stuff methinks.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Santana shreds.

Hey everyone, I've been pretty busy on tour and don't always have access to the internet, but I thought I would leave you this absolutely hilarious video real quick just so you know that I haven't forgotten about you. There are a whole series of these shredding videos on Youtube but this is the best one I think. I want to meet the guy who edited these and shake is hand because he is a god amongst men.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

I blessed the rains down in Africa.

The hotel I am staying at in the UK has free internet access, and thanks to the generosity of a good friend, I am not computer-less. This is good because I was worried that after a few days without my computer I was going to revert to savagery like the kids in Lord of the Flies.

And fortunately for you, now I am still able to keep my bringing you important, news-worthy, socially relevant blogging like this: the video for Africa by Toto.



The 80s were such a glorious decade. You could become a massive rock star even if you happened to look like a lame high school chemistry teacher, and your hit song contained about 9000 different chords in it. Did I mention this song went to #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1983? Because it did.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

japanese trick bowling.

Most people, when faced with the prospect of knocking down 4 pins across three separate lanes when bowling, would simply say, "I can't."

Well I don't speak Japanese, but I am pretty sure that there is no Japanese word for can't. And if there is, it is probably a dirty, filthy word that you are not allowed to say in public.



via afrojacks

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

new favourite artist: Tyler Stout

Well I am just about to get on a plane headed to the UK to go on tour for a few weeks, and I'm not really sure if I'm going to be blogging with any kind of regularity while I'm away. So before I go I thought I would leave you with some cool stuff, in this case the artwork of Austin, Texas based artist Tyler Stout. As you can see, Tyler creates speciality posters for classic films and other pop culture gems, usually in conjunction with Austin's legendary Alamo Drafthouse.







I would absolutely love to have one of these bad boys hanging on my wall (particularly the incredible piece he made for the Big Lebowski above,) but I think they sell out pretty fast. Still though, I know very little about the art world, but I do know that Tyler Stout is wicked awesome.

Alright, well I'm off, and I will be back as frequently as I possibly can! I love you all!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

better off as two.

Just got back from a few days in NYC, and I will write a little about my big city adventures here as soon as I have a few minutes.

I already posted Frankmusik's first single, 3 Little Words, but as long as he keeps putting out amazing tracks like this, I am going to continue to post them here. My excitement level for his Stuart Price-produced LP has reached critical mass. Frankmusik is genius and I have a feeling he is going to be absolutely massive.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

terror of golf course.

Now, there's nothing that I can see that specifically says that this is from Japan, but you know what, this is weird enough that even if it originated in Korea, or China, or elsewhere in Asia, I think it qualifies as officially Japanese.



What's that, you'd like some more and you want the strangeness level turned up even higher? Ask and ye shall receive:

Saturday, March 14, 2009

you should be watching Eastbound and Down.

If you haven't started watching Danny McBride in HBO's Eastbound and Down yet, you are officially missing out on one of the funniest shows ever and after it has been cancelled due to bad ratings and critical indifference you will have no one to blame but yourself. But really, this training montage put together by Kenny Powers (the egomaniacal former MLB star and current high school phys ed coach,) and his band-teaching lacky Mr Janowski, should be all the reason you need to start watching:



I also just started watching AMC's Breaking Bad and I am already absolutely loving the shit out of that as well. So you should probably also be watching that.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

enough is enough.

Wow, we sure have been posting a lot of Star Trek / Star Wars / generally geeky material here recently. I think we should probably tone it down a little, and try to inject a little more "maleness," (as Noah refers to it,) into this blog. Actually, wait a second, what the fuck am I saying? Of course I'm going to post this incredible Star Trek TNG modded iPhone.



This is so cool, it makes me feel kind of funny, like when we used to climb the rope in gym class. I must have one.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Kittens inspired by Kittens!

My first instinct was that I should save this video to post on Bobbo's birthday. But then when I saw that it had almost 3 million views, there was no doubt in my mind that he must have already come across it in his hours of watching youtube kitten videos, and would have posted it but didn't want to water down the maleness of 'Action and Action' with too much kitty content. I'm pretty sure this video was written and directed by the same responsible parent that gave that little girl a tattoo of a dog on her arm.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

a turtle attempting to make love to a shoe.

Pretty self-explanatory. This is oddly hypnotic, and I certainly am sympathetic to the endless cycle of rejection this poor little guy is forced to endure.

computer porn.

Too...awesome. Can't put into words...just watch...video.



via Gizmodo

Monday, March 9, 2009

The Kepler Launch: finally, NASA does something cool.

The Kepler telescope is the first of its kind designed specifially to find Earth-like planets. It has a much wider field of vision than most telescopes and, by monitoring the brightness levels of a specific area of space which is populated by around 100 000 stars, it will find planets that are around Earth size and located in the ideal proximity to a star to support liquid water. This will come in handy once we have fucked up this planet to the point that we all have to go live somewhere else.


Kepler Telescope from Gizmodo on Vimeo.

What I find really cool about this is that if Kepler determines that there is a significant volume of Earth-like planets within its search radius (which is larger than any other telescope but still ridiculously tiny in the grand scheme of space, which is pretty big,) then it really does significantly increase the odds that there is other life out in the universe besides us. And the aliens that have visited Earth already.

If you want to see the launch, here it is.

10 Reasons why George Lucas shouldn't have directed the Star Wars Prequels.

1999 was a much more innocent time than the one we live in now. The world's intelligentsia all believed whole heartedly that the new millennium would bring about a technological apocalypse, few of us had even heard of George Walker Bush yet, and right about this time ten years ago, fans began to line up for 'The Phantom Menace' and thought it was going to be good. I have a distinct memory of Liam Neeson promoting the film on The Rosie O'Donnel show, saying that Ahmed Best (aka Jar Jar) was going to be the next Eddie Murphy.

I've been looking forward to seeing how the film 'Fanboys' portrays this period ever since it was finished 2 years ago. After some re-shooting, re-editing, and redirecting (the original director was replaced), the film finally got its (limited) US release last month. No word yet on when the Canadians will get to see it, even though there's a bunch of us in it (Jay Baruchel plays one of the main characters, Seth Rogan and William Shatner both have cameos as well). For those of you unfamiliar with the plot of the film, it involves a group of fans trying to sneak into the Skywalker ranch to get a copy of the first unreleased Star Wars prequel so that their dying friend can see it.

While they may have not known the disappointment that awaited them, the world today is much wiser to the directorial skills of Darth Lucas. The following list isn't really what the title of this post suggests, but more just a list of really cool things other people have done with the Star Wars universe, showing that 'fanboys' sometimes grasp the content better than its creator.

10. Troops (1998)



9. Masters of Teras Kasi (1997)
Ever wonder who would win in a fight between Han and Chewie? I know, it would never happen, right? Except in this awesome Star Wars fighting game for the original sony playstation.


8. Robot Chicken: Star Wars (2008)
This is just one of the many great moments of the 23 minute special.


7. Darth Vader with removable helmet toy (1996)
His hand comes off too. Totally boss.

6, 5, 4 Timothy Zahn's 'Thrawn Trilogy'
'Heir to the Empire' (1992) 'Dark Force Rising' (1992) and 'The Last Command' (1994) take place about 5 years after Episode 6 and are the first serious and successful literary contribution to Star Wars' expanded universe. It's been a long time since I've read a Star Wars book, but I would probably read these again before picking up anything new, as I'm sure these are superior.

3. Warning: mind is at risk of being blown if image below is clicked to enlarge.



2. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000)
Okay, this film has no literal connection to Star Wars whatsoever, though I'm sure one could uncover several thematic links. The first time I watched this martial arts masterpiece, these links are what made me think Ang Lee would be a much better man for the job that Lucas, blinded by self importance, refused to let anyone else have.


1. 'Fette's Vette' by MC Chris
Wanting to post this video was the primary catalyst behind this entire post. It's a great rap, and the videogame footage they show is pretty incredible as well, though I'm not sure where it comes from. Kevin Smith used the song in 'Zack and Miri Make a Porno' and it's ten times better than that Chewbacca song he used in 'Clerks.'




The only thing that George Lucas has done in the last 15 years that's anywhere near as cool as anything in the list above, was setting Hayden Christensen's stumps on fire, and he made us sit through three movies before that happened.

Click here to read what like-minded individuals over at Dork Shelf have to say about Lucas beginning production on a live action Star Wars series.

Friday, March 6, 2009

ZOMG NEW STAR TREK TRAILER!!!!!11!



I'm looking forward to seeing this bad boy on the big screen tonight before Watchmen. I was never sold on J.J. Abrams going with the 'young versions of classic characters' format for this, but fuck me running this looks fantastic.

yaaaay, that's great!

Nicely done, Noah! You have officially won the Internet. You've earned this, big guy:




So now you guys have met the new supporting cast, and for the final time, I am really excited about having Noah and Mark on board, and I think it's going to mean very good things for this little old corner of the webisphere (I think I just made up that word.) Anyways Mark clearly had no moral qualms with shamelessly plugging the ever-loving shit out of his various projects, but Noah seems to think he is above such an action. I'm not above it at all though, so check out Noah in his web series My Robot Friend. You also might want to become one of the 800,000 people that have already enjoyed this following video:

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Almost there Internet...

I subscribe to the bohemian beliefs expressed by the ill fated lover of that French 'Red Windmill' movie: The Internet is like oxygen. The Internet is a many-splendoured thing, the Internet lifts us up where we belong. All you need is the Internet!

A little anachronistic given that the ever capitalized 'Internet' did not reach France until approximately the 1950's, but then again, Nirvana didn't exist in 1889 either and Elton John was only a child at the time.

All jokes aside, I do love how accessible the Internet has made the rest of the world. Any idiot could disprove pretty much everything I said above with a few simple word searches. Aside from the practical, productive uses (banking, job searching, email), it is also how I spend most of my leisure time (youtube, facebook, Action and Action). I never thought there would be a period in my life where I wouldn't have cable, let alone a television set, but these days my laptop is my TV, cable, and TVO all inside of a portable DVD player. Another thing that makes the Internet better than television is the user generated material that you would never see on a network, like all those 'Internet sensations' we've come to know and love so much.

Our current reliance and obsession in some cases (like mine) with the Internet has been spoofed several times over by the inspirational Trey Parker and Matt Stone, who I've long respected for having the most available show on line. When the Internet fails nationally in episode 1206 'Over Logging' we're treated to a panic that leads to brilliant Depression era throw-backs and an imaginative 'Internet porn simulator' for Stan's dad. After losing instant access to anything and everything his perverted mind could come up with, Randy gets a little backed up and resorts to a man behind a box drawing crude pictures of his requests for “Japanese girls exchanging bodily fluids” and “Brazilian fart fetish porn.” We understand where he gets his name once his 'Randyness' creates quite a mess.

Since I am fortunate enough to have what I consider to be rather pedestrian pornographic interests, I decided to apply this theory that just about any image one can dream up already exists in some form on the Internet to something other than fetish. When I tried to think of what I'd really like to see, the first image that came to me was of Freddy Kruger rocking out on guitar. Sure it would be tricky with the glove, but in the hands of the right artist, I'm sure it could somehow be beautifully realized. I wasn't successful in my search, but did find this sweet guitar image and for some reason, this awesome 'Clockwork Orange' desktop as well.



So the lesson learned is that if you do a google image search for something you'd really like to see, even if it's not on the Internet yet, you'll probably find some similar things that are equally as cool. I leave it to you to find me a picture of Freddy Kruger making Kirk Hammet look like Paul Jonas, then the Internet will truly be complete.


I'm going to sign off my first Action and Action post by thanking Rob for inviting me to contribute to a blog which has long been an oft-clicked bookmark and inspired me to begin my own just a few months back. I'll try to keep future posts a little more concise than this rant as we share tidbits of this strange technological beast.

a man giving a tiger a belly rub.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

it's the city...of 500 cats.

"I want to go to there."
-Liz Lemon



via Urlesque

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Terminator Salivation.



The new trailer for Terminator Salvation is going to be attached to Watchmen which comes out Friday (!!!) but Warner Brothers has released it online via Yahoo. I was highly skeptical of this project when it was announced. Terminator and Terminator 2 are kind of sacred ground for me - T3 was kind of fun but I still died a little inside when I saw it, and I kind of despise the Sarah Connor Chronicles. So When McG was announced as the director for the new film I prepared myself for a disaster of Aliens vs Predator proportions, but he has managed to say all the right things and his casting decisions have been interesting and most every image and trailer that have been released so far has been really impressive. He seems to really want to embrace the continuity of the franchise, he has reached out to James Cameron for his blessing and now there is talk that Linda Hamilton and the Governator may be involved in some way as well (a Hamilton voice over to start the film, and the use of Arnie's face digitally mapped onto a younger Austrian bodybuilder, allegedly.) And now we have this new trailer which reveals more about the story and characters than ever before, and I have to say, this has pretty much reached must-see status with me. I really like the look of everything, so much of the outdoor action is outside in broad daylight, and the war between humans and machines has yet to descend into the nightmare world of the Cameron films. Supposedly this is the first film in a trilogy of new Terminator movies so I am really anxious for this to be as good as it looks.








Its no wonder Bale was screaming at the DP, this shit looks intense.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Star Trek TNG high comedy.

YEAH, GIVE IT UP FOR MARK EVERYBODY!!!

OK, I'm sorry, I won't type in all-caps ever again. I'm just really excited about the prospect of having some more people contributing here, I think this is going to be really cool, and I'm also just glad I have have someone at least somewhat covering for me when I am stricken with one of my frequent bouts of just-don't-feel-like-doing-it-itis.

Anyways, I am shocked that someone has been making this incredibly irreverent, hilarious, Star Trek: the Next Generation mashup on Youtube for months and I am just hearing about it now. TNG is somewhat of a Youtube staple. There have been various minor comic triumphs like the filthy rap song, and the Picard remix...but this ongoing series from Jan van den Hemel and Andrew Hussie elevates the burgeoning genre to a serious artform.







via BWE

I feel like I could just keep embedding these all day, but you should just go and check out all their videos on their Youtube page. They also do mashups of Back to the Future. I haven't watched one of those yet as I've been too engrossed in TNG, but I'm going to go ahead and predict that yes, those are fucking hilarious too.

Friday, February 27, 2009

O, hai?


Good day, Action and Action readers. As Rob mentioned a few days ago, there will be a couple new faces here, and I’m one of them. We’re going to be doing things a little differently around here. While Rob’s gallivanting around the world playing elephant polo, watching the Watchmen, or doing whatever the hell he does, yours truly will be contributing. Get prepared for lots – and I mean lots – of rick rolling.

Okay, that’s not going to happen.

Anyhow, I’d write a little bio or introduction about myself, but those entries always seem so… self indulgent, you know? I mean, unless you’re deeply, unforgivably, in love with me, why would anyone want to know? Does it really matter if an anonymous blogger, say, lives in Toronto, thinks that the Rural Alberta Advantage is one of the best bands in Canada, advocates the written work of Paul Quarrington, or writes for other blogs? Why would anyone, save their mothers, want to read their Twitter pages? Does it matter what their pasty, mouth-breathing asses look like?

No, it doesn’t. What matters, friends, is life, love, and Sharon Stone's Bronze-aged pencil-erasing nips (which bear an uncanny resemblance to Popeye's elbows). Actually, forget pencil erasing, I need a mind eraser.

Action and Action-ites, it’s nice to meet you.

Love,

Mark

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

this just made my head explode.

I...I'm actually speechless. Please just watch this clip in its entirety, it is worth seeing the ten full minutes.



via Videogum

How does this not have 50 million views? This is like the hidden jewel in the ocean of human waste that is Youtube. Oh, speaking of which, I started a Youtube channel.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Joaquin Phoenix insanity recap.



I haven't mentioned anything thus far about the epic Joaquin Phoenix meltdown that has been going on for the last few weeks, as it just seemed too...easy. But you know what, fuck it, this is rapidly becoming one of my all-time favourite celebrity meltdowns, and I don't care whether its really real or if its all just an elaborate media stunt to create a compelling documentary subject for his brother-in-law Casey Affleck. This shit is funny. First he claimed to be retiring from acting to concentrate on his music career. Then there was his first ever live concert that made a collective nation say, "what the fuck??" Then there was the already-legendary Letterman appearance. Now he is being mocked mercilessly by Alec Baldwin and Ben Stiller. Seriously, what the hell is going on with this guy? Whatever it is, I personally prefer my crazed-Letterman appearances to be a bit more Crispin Glover-y.

Monday, February 23, 2009

crazy exciting changes.



So I know I wrote that long-winded piece the other night at 4am about how I was going to start using this space to talk about my personal life a bit more, but I ultimately decided that that was a silly idea. This blog has never really been about me, only things that I happen to be interested in. So I ended up starting a totally new blog where you can go from now on if you want to find out exactly what is going on in my ridiculous life.

So from this point on, Action and Action is going to exclusively be about different aspects of the pop culture universe...more or less exactly what it's been since I started it. But it has occured to me that I am never going to have the time or dedication that is required to make this blog into what I really think it could be, so I've contacted a few like-minded friends who are going to start contributing here, and I am really excited about this decision. It will add some much-needed fresh perspective and some new voices into the mix, but the bottom line as that way more content is going to be going up, and I think it's going to be good times for everyone.

So all that's going to be happening in the next little while, and I hope you guys enjoy the changes!

oscar mania.



So, it was the Oscars last night, and no, I did not watch them, as I do not have cable. I did follow them on some various liveblogs for a while, but instead of paying attention until the end I opted to watch Danny McBride's new HBO show Eastbound and Down, which incidentally is fucking hilarious and far more entertaining than the Oscars could ever hope to be. But I do have a vested interest in the winners of the awards so let's see how I did on my picks.

Hmm..it looks like I correctly called the Best Picture, Best Director, Best Supporting Actor and Best Actress categories. Yawn. Unfortunately Mickey Rourke was completely screwed out of his best actor award. Now, I like Sean Penn and don't want to take anything away from his work in Milk, but the way the character of Randy "The Ram" Robinson and the real life persona of Mickey Rourke came together in The Wrestler...that was one of my favourite film moments in a long, long time, and I thought Rourke deserved to be awarded for the performance (some kind of mention of Darren Aronofsky, cinemetographer Maryse Alberti, or writer Robert Siegel would have been nice too.) But hey, its the Academy, you can't expect too much of them I guess.

I don't really have all that much else to say. Except I would like to point out that I predicted the inevitable Heath Ledger Oscar a full 8 months ago*, after I had only seen the trailer for the Dark Knight, so that shows you just how shallow and predictable the Academy is. But I still feel they got this right even it was maybe for the wrong reasons. Heath's Joker is easily one of the most iconic screen villains of all time, and that performance was objectively astounding, no matter what happened after he finished his work on the film and if you disagree with me here, you are wrong.

Then again, it is just some meaningless gold statues that cause all this fuss, and the Oscars ceased being relevant or even very interesting years ago, so who cares really.

*OK, I acknowledge that I predicted his nomination 8 months ago, but come on, that's still pretty good. And once they announced the nomination my exact words were "this one belongs to Heath," so I feel like all in all, I am allowed to boast about this.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

a dalmation riding a bike.

Also, this clip comes from Japan so that pretty much makes it an epic win for all parties involved.



via afrojacks

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

late night ravings / michael jackson robot head.



So I've been having lots of trouble sleeping lately. Well I shouldn't say that much, as I've been sleeping a normal number of hours per night (at least for me,) but it's just that my sleeping patterns are completely screwed up and I am keeping some seriously vampiric hours these days. I have generally been staying awake until around 7 or 8am until the sun is fully up and then sleeping until about 2 or 3 in the afternoon so that by the time it is around 10 o'clock at night I am awake and alert and ready to be productive. I have spent the night hours working on various projects - I've rediscovered my love of FL Studio and I've been obsessively working on a few new songs using that and that's taken up hours and hours of my time.

I also completed a new Spin Earth video that you can see here, which was on Toronto pop star Lights. That was actually my first experience editing video, all the other stuff I've worked on up until now I have had help from some generous friends who know about such things, but I'm starting to get the hang of it now, so I think I will gradually be making more and more video content that I can post here and elsewhere. I actually sent the video to Lights and she wrote me back and said she thought I was hilarious so hey, go me.

I have also been trying to start a new writing project, which has been an interesting experience for me, as its something that I've always been interested in in but have never really been able to get past the very initial stages of. So the odds are against me that I will ever complete anything that I am satisfied with, or that I am comfortable sharing with anyone, but just starting to work on something has been cool and its been another thing that I've been able to turn to in order to feel like I'm not wasting my time. I guess this is why I haven't been writing in this blog that much as I've been spending a lot of daily writing capital working on that, but I will try to balance it out a bit more in the future.

I definitely consdider my primary job as being a musician, so it has been frustrating for the last few weeks kind of waiting for the giant music industry machine to lumber back to life after the new year break so I can get back to work. I have so much stuff coming up in the next few months but I still have the next few weeks to sit around Montreal and sort of figure out ways to make myself useful. It would be nice to spend this time working and making extra money, but work is pretty scarse because of my erratic schedule, not to mention my general aversion to getting jobs of any kind that suck the life out of you, which is the vast majority of jobs in existence. Nevertheless, as I mentioned before I have been in a great creative mindspace so that has been cool and has helped me to avoid the depression that would probably have set in by now had I spent this entire time watching television (which obviously I have done a lot of as well.)

Another thing I have been doing recently is watching really odd movies in the really early hours of the morning. The other morning it was around 6am and I was trying to sleep and then for some reason it occured to me that it would be a good idea to watch Rob Zombie's Halloween remake. I actually really enjoyed it even though it was really weird seeing this depraved violence unfold in front of me as the sun was coming up outside my window. But I think Zombie is actually a great filmmaker, and I think I'm going to write a bit more about the movie and a little bit about the horror/slasher genre in general but I'm not going to do that right now as this post is long enough as it is. I'll try to post that later this week.

You might have noticed that this post is somewhat different from most of my other posts that I've ever done. Up until recently I never really had an interest in using this blog to talk about my personal life beyond just writing about stuff that I am interested in or obesessed with. I think I had a vague fantasy when I started this thing that if I become more successful and well-known in real life, I could sort of have this forum to talk about certain subjects with this anonymity so I could say whatever I wanted and not have it come back to me, but you know what, fuck it, keeping a secret internet identity is too much of a hassle, and besides, if I can't tell anyone about this blog then no one's going to read it anyways and then what's the point in even doing it all, right? My point is I will probably start writing some more posts like this in the future where I go into a little bit more personal detail about what's going on with me, or nights like tonight where I am bored and restless and just felt like writing something and this is just kind of what came out. So I hope that sounds interesting to those of you that have stuck around thus far.

Oh yeah, the Michael Jackson robot head.



This is the reason I originally started this post, as it was around 3:30 and I found this beauty on Gizmodo. Michael Jackson is going through some financial troubles lately (which is totally mind blowing to me since he has made fucking astronomical sums of money in his career. Note to self: do not buy amusement park. Or put myself in a position where I have to spend millions of dollars of lawyers fees to defend myself against child molestation charges. Further note to self: really seriously remember that second thing I just mentioned. Don't do that, seriously.) Anyways he has financial troubles so he is selling this bust of the robot head from the climactic scene in Moonwalker for a measly few grand. Those of you who were born in the 90s won't remember Moonwalker, but it is MJ's epic 80s film where in the end he transforms into a giant robot Michael Jackson and saves some kids by defeating a bunch of evil drug dealers. No, I'm not making this up. Anyways that's all I really have to say about it, I just saw the head and thought "fuck, the Michael Jackson robot head," and so here it is.

Well I guess that's all I got for now. It's almost 5 am and I think that means its time to see some horrible violence inflicted on sexually curious teenagers. Sometimes I wonder about myself.