Slumdog Millionaire (2008)

When you're recommended a film by someone for a reason such as "I've never been so attached to characters before," your expectations immediately shoot through the roof and it's difficult from that point on to come back down. The more I read about Slumdog Millionaire, the more I expected ("movie of the year" and all those titles people love to hand out). 

But this movie met my expectations, introduced itself kindly, conversed for a little, and then kept going on with its life.

It went beyond because it is one of the better (regardlessly fictional) life stories I've learnt about in a movie. It made me wish it really was fact, but then it helped me realize that although this story is fiction, there are a million different stories around me, filled with just as much life, love, and death as this one.

Any sort of plot summary I try to concoct for people just dumbs it down ("A kid goes through countless hardships to be on Who Wants To Be a Millionaire.. but that's not the main.. nevermind"). So believe me that it's more than  just WWTBAM

The characters are beautiful and captivating; those evil are unforgivable, those good are right even if they do wrong, and those in between are lost from the start. They don't make it easy on us. Latika (Freida Pinto)  is the never-dying love of Jamal (Dev Patel), and her beauty makes it easy for any viewer to fall into Jamal's point of view.
The music is done by A.R. Rahman (Collaborating also with M.I.A.) and it is just one of the many spectacles of Slumdog (and one of the many soundtracks Rahman's composed this year [eight to be exact]). M.I.A.'s notorious "Paper Planes" begins to play in a scene where the poor children are hustling in whatever way they can to make money and you realize the real home of this billboard hit. It's going to feel weird hearing that song now blaring from someone's car downtown when I know what and who M.I.A. is really singing for. 

This movie is being lined up with WALL-E by people on a few imdb forums for best romance of the year, for some the best picture of the year. Whether these are overstatements or not is completely up to the academy, the average viewer, and the internet trolls, but the fact that Slumdog is being placed with WALL-E is telling me that I'm going to need to watch a certain robot-romance very soon.


Train Man (Densha Otoko) (2005)

It's confusing whether Train Man is a true story or not because the characters they're based on (or not) supposedly have always remained anonymous. But it's a lot more fun to treat it as real life.

The story has spawned comics, a TV series, and movies that all have profited a great amount in Japan. It follows a nerd who has a moment of bravery and helps a woman being harassed on a train, and becoming known as Train Man on his internet chat board, he is guided by his internet companions on his journey to win over the woman of his dreams. The main character is hopeless most of the time and there are many moments you can't help sigh out loud because of his incompetence. This ain't no Tom Hanks & Meg Ryan flick.
Why you should see it: Because you know what every American romantic comedy is like, the formula is etched in stone. Throw that blueprint out the window because you're about to follow a real geek who really doesn't know what to do with what he's feeling for the girl.

And the most interesting part of the story, the material it's based on, is right here. An English translation of the chat room that chronicles his entire story.


Norm Macdonald

No one has the amount of balls as him for filling an entire room with awkward laughter.
The funniest man in the entire world:

And god bless Gilbert Godfrey for being probably the only person there fully understanding and appreciating what they're experiencing.


Stop and listen

Why does rap have to be about ringtones and excessive wealth? Back when Run DMC started making songs it was 'boom, boom, clap'. I can make a beat as complex as theirs in about 10 minutes on my PC, but to recreate the energy, the thoughts, and the drive in those songs isn't going to happen. Public Enemy came along and opened up a whole new world for production and sampling, but the message was still loud and clear, so why do people have to dumb themselves down now? 

There's a stereotype nowadays for rappers to fulfill, and that's exactly what they do. The fact that they do it is a shame, because they're taking something that in certain windows of time is one of the most modern poetic things we've got. When someone like Soulja Boy is getting famous, who has nothing going for himself musically (rap, rhymes, beats, or production), it's about time to reassess the situation. Is it too much to ask for some innovation?

Rap doesn't have to be a joke, but if you're only known as an artist for having too many cars to fit in your driveway then you're going to end up supplying the punch line.

And I'm just a skinny white boy who wears flannel, but the truth is the truth, so don't fit into the stereotypes that everyone loves to give you!

This is what rappers should aspire to be like. 
Watch these and don't get goosebumps, I dare you:


I totally forgot about this...

I wish I was feeling better so I could dance around my room to this song. This was big on Ebaumsworld years ago. The kid is actually a middle-aged midget, believe or not.
A translation of the dialogue at the end shows the conversation to be something like this:

Mother: Hey, hey. What's with the party early in the morning. Everyone go away, shoo, shoo. (Speaking to Rajinikanth, who's lying on the cot) Why not take some rest, dear.

Rajinikanth: OK Mom (lights up a beedi as she walks away).

Thavakalai: Dude, give me a beedi.

Rajinikanth: Hey! Kids shouldn't smoke.

Thavakalai: Buddy, I'm ten years older than you. Give it to me I say.

Rajinikanth: And if I don't?

Thavakalai: I'll skin you alive.

Rajinikanth: Here you go.


Oliver Postgate

Today I found Oliver Postgate, an amazing writer/animator for children's stories, through word of his death. It sucks to discover an artist this way, but it's usually the most convenient way because if you hear about their death, chances are their works are that much easier to find and enjoy. 

I'm still discovering what he had done, but I read a short story earlier that he wrote and it was really, really entertaining. It's the kind of story I love that takes very prominent characters, in this case God and the devil, and has them use humorous language to discuss something that is much more deep than you were expecting.

You can read the story right here (it is called The Law of Unintended Consequences, on the front page).

Frost/Nixon (2008)

I'm not a political follower, I'm only even beginning to become interested in politics. The time and the generation we're in and a part of I think definitely doesn't promote the redeemable aspects of the whole game, but I'm seeing a shift in interest in public; it's appearing that way at least. 

I watched the movie Frost/Nixon earlier and it really moved me (in a way I wouldn't expect from Richard Nixon).

The movie follows British TV reporter/journalist David Frost and his uncompromising need to interview Nixon after his resign from presidency. Frost and Nixon initially want the interviews for the publicity, the money, and the chance to elevate their careers (Frost for the first time and Nixon for a resurrection). But in the end the interviews become a battle of either mediocrity for Frost and renewal for Nixon or a pure answer for America and a cleansing of Nixon's soul. Deep stuff for Tricky Dick.

Why you should see the movie
It single-handedly turned me onto, at least, learning more about certain politics in history, it presents something you probably wouldn't learn about any other way and in a form that is still complete entertainment, and the acting alone is breathtaking. 


JCVD (2008)

I just finished watching Jean Claude Van Damme's new movie, JCVD. This truly blew me away. 
It's a fictional movie that actually has the actor playing himself in a role that justifies him and everything cheesy he's ever done before. The biggest highlight is a monologue he performs, talking straight to the camera and pouring his heart out about his actual, not make-believe, life, from leaving his hometown to becoming addicted to drugs. 

Why everyone should see this movie:  Jean Claude Van Damme almost made me cry. Nothing more needs to be said.


Screw this essay...

I just want to play video games with my homie:


Me I want a hula hoop

I have to write a gargantuan paper for monday, and then it's.. it's...
Sing it, fellas!

The only holiday that could possibly make me tolerate (let alone love) the likes of George Michael.



At this very moment I'm finding architecture really interesting. I probably won't tomorrow, but I'm embracing the interest while I've got it.

I found this guy, Gordon Matta-Clark, he seems to construct more for the sake of art than anything else. His stuff looks like his hands are the paintbrush and the world is his canvas.

And someone I found who I really want to read more about is Constant Nieuwenhuis. 

He basically conceptualized his idea of utopia (a kind of playground for adults), tried to work out every aspect of it for 20 years, and then the following four years he spent describing and elaborating how it wouldn't possibly work and how people would kill each other rapidly and that there will be a lot of blood.