Sunday, June 29, 2008

Pretty =/= Talent: The Keanu Reeves/Steve Buscemi Scale

In a new feature here at Pop Culture Geekery, we will be applying simple mathematics and analyzing the unfortunate event where a pretty actor/actress does not deliver on the performance front. Simply put, prettiness does not equal talent.

Using my bitchass MS Paint skills, I have drawn up a graph that is both easy to read and will tell you everything you need to know about this theory;

Simple maths


This segment will rate and chronicle other actors/actresses who walk the thin line between pretty and talent.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Links Almighty!: Pixar, Grindhouse, Kanye and other shenanigans

Kanye West, he of the talent and the whine, goes crazy on the capslock action to show that he is MAD AS HALE. Something about coming on stage two hours late at the Bonnarroo music festival and being met by an angry crowd is what's gotten his goat this time around.

But this Bonnaroo thing is the worst insult I've ever had in my life. This is the most offended I've ever been... this is the maddest I ever will be. I'm typing so fucking hard I might break my fucking Mac book Air!!!!!!!!

I believe the Internet called and the netizens of the world has this to say, "Call the WAHHHHHHHHHmbulance, son." Nice product placement there, by the way. Nobody likes a delayed performance, but sometimes a simple explanation and a 'sorry' will suffice. That being mocked, it's hard to hate on Kanye when he so obviously has so much passion for his work and craft.

Call me any name you want.... arrogant, conceited, narcissistic, racist, metro, fag whatever you can think of.... BUT NEVER SAY I DIDN'T GIVE MY ALL! NEVER SAY I DIDN'T GIVE MY ALL!

Even if his passion does sometimes translates to excessive whine and the abuse of the caps lock button. Read the whole ranty whine/explanation here. Beware, your eyes might bleed halfway through it.

The Film Experience blog carries on the Vanity Fair retrospective with a look at the annual VF Hollywood cover of 2000 and 2001.

This is 2000. From left to right: Penelope Cruz, Wes Bentley, Mena Suvari, Marley Shelton, Chris Klein, Selma Blair, Paul Walker (looking mighty out of place with that grin), Jordana Brewster and Sarah Wynter (way to jump the gun there, VF). Read the retrospective here.

And in 2001, from left to right: Nicole Kidman, Catherine Deneuve, Meryl Streep, Gwyneth Paltrow, Cate Blanchett, Kate Winslet, Vanessa Redgrave, Chloe Sevigny, Sophia Loren, and Penelope Cruz. Read about it here.


Via ONTD, read about Coldplay in the latest issue of Spin magazine. Make of their music what you will, but Chris Martin's stint as a self-obsessed rock star on the BBC Extras, and such quotes like this,

"Politicians must be so happy about how crazily over-the-top celebrity society is at the moment, because it means that they can get away with murder. Literally, murder. Because everyone's following around a 26-year-old girl and obsessing about her life instead of what's really going on in the world."

leads me to think him a very likable man. Here be the article, click it and read.


With the upcoming release of Wall-E, which by the way, has scored an insanely high 98% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes thus far, the A.V. Club has written out a really illuminating article on the history of Pixar -from it's creation to explore the use of computers to produce moving graphics to becoming the industry behemoth movie-going audiences have come to associate with good quality animated films. (We do not speak of Cars) A.V. Club has also chronicled all the little shorts Pixar have included pre-movies and added the YouTube video for your viewing pleasure. Even if animated movies aren't your cup of tea, it's hard to deny the talent and appeal behind the Pixar works.


And Melbourners/-nites(?)/people of Melbourne(??), take note. If you've heard about the Robert Rodriguez/Quentin Tarantino double feature Grindhouse, you'd probably also know that owing to it being a flop in the States, the entire movie got cut and dissected into two separate features, Planet Terror and Death Proof everywhere else in the world. As gimmicky as Grindhouse might have sounded, it was an unfortunate incident that it had to be destroyed like so. The presentation of it - the hackneyed film roll and the fake movie trailers especially created to fill the gaps between the movies were part of the initial charm.

Thankfully, The Astor Theatre at St Kilda will be screening Grindhouse, as originally concocted, all next week (from 29 June to 5 July). It'll be screening every night at 7.30 pm with additional matinée screenings at 2 pm on Saturday and Sunday. Directions to the theatre cab be found here. So now, you have absolutely no excuse to miss it. Bring on the shlocky gore and sex appeal, I say!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

The Summer of My Discontent: Music Edition

With the dismal state of movie affairs, I was afraid the disappointment would carry over to the music scene so I had been putting off purchasing Weezer's and Coldplay's latest album. After getting over my paranoia I got my ass to JB Hi-Fi and made the purchases. The verdict?

I am happy to report that I am fully contented on the music front!

Coldplay has reinvented their sound and whether the change can be attributed to Brian Eno's involvement, personal growth, or the need to silence the comparisons between them and Snow Patrol, Viva La Vida is different from their usual fare. I've always said that Coldplay has progressively been growing style-wise, especially if you compare the dreamy sounds of Parachute with the rousing stadium rock of X&Y.

But I can't crow to much about Viva La Vida. I have to admit that thus far, I've only heard the entire CD once. Not because it's unimpressive, because it is, but my attention has been diverted elsewhere. Namely, The Red Album.

This is without a doubt, Weezer's comeback album. The Red Album is, in a word, glorious. I am aware that I might actually just be overcompensating and overprojecting enthusiasm here after the utter disappointment that was the-album-we-do-not-speak-of, but Red sounds great. I believe Austin Powers would describe the band as, "getting [their] mojo back".


Weezer over the years.

Weezer got off the drugs they sang about in Make Belive and are back to form. Yes, I went there. If there's anything good about that abomination, is 'Perfect Situation', 'The Other Way' and making lame jokes about the rest. Weezer, you are pardoned. What can I say? Lame albums breeds lameness. That's just how it works. For another example of that rule in action, observe the utter lameness that is Scott Stapp and his band, Creed. Not the same but I'm sure you get my point.


A.V. Club recently featured the best tracks thus far of 2008. Read the article here. Going through it made me realize how out of loop I am with the current music scene. Out of the 27 tracks, I have only heard 3. And two of the songs don't count because I only heard them after buying the albums mentioned above.

Somehow without listening to the radio and little access to new music, I caught onto the MGMT bandwagon. While 'Time to Pretend' is good, 'Indie Rockers' and 'Boogie Down' have been on constant repeat on my iTunes. If my iTunes could speak, it'd probably scream, "KAREN, GET NEW MATERIAL ALREADY. AND STOP PLAYING MARIAH CAREY TOO."

All this talk of new music got me wondering. How do people go about picking up new tunes? Is it from the radio, forums, the Internet or if you want to be super old school, magazines and newspaper reviews? I usually get new releases from bands I already like or suggestions from my brother, who has the most agreeable and varied taste in music. I used to have a Last FM but that didn't work out so well. How do you get new music?

Saturday, June 21, 2008

The Summer of My Discontent: What Would MacGyver Do?

(It's actually winter in Australia now. But let's not argue semantics now.)

Summer movies as a whole aren't lauded for their Oscar-worthy material. To reflect the warmer weather and longer days, Hollywood churns out easy-going crowd-pleasing fare that requires very little thought-processing after you've figured out how much change you should get for your ticket.

Nonetheless though, I'm finding that in 2008, Hollywood is really scrapping the bottom of the entertainment barrel here. Thus far the majority of the films I've seen and those that are coming out soon inspire very little but apathy and "Seriously?!"s.

These are the movies I've watched recently that I couldn't even bothered be typing up a review for because all my thoughts point to one word: FAIL.

What Happens In Vegas
Indiana Jones and the Epic SkullFuckery (or something like that)
The Chronicles of Narnia 2: Where The Theme of The Day is Killing and Plundering is A-Okay even if you're not 17.

And these are the movies that are screening (soon) that I can only work up a "Meh" at.

The Happening
You Don't Mess With the Zohan
The Love Guru
Sex and the City
Speed Racer
Get Smart
Mamma Mia!
Meet Dave
Star Wars: The Clone Wars aka Morefanboy wank material from George Lucas
The Mummy 3

In fact, apart from Iron Man, everything else has just sort of been really disappointing. That includes The Incredible Hulk. Although that is mainly because I am one of the few who liked Ang Lee's movie and didn't see the need for a remake, even if it included Edward Norton and his impressive body. Although to be fair, I did like the, "You won't like me when I'm... hungry?" subtitled joke.

It has gotten to the point where in a very dreary movie, I remedy my boredom and disappointment by thinking to myself, "What would MacGyver do?"

It's a little childish and lame, but thinking up how MacGyver, the titular man's man, would react to the scenarios on screen brings the hilarity that the film fails to project. Honestly, it's rather pathetic having to think up entertainment when I'm paying to be entertained.

I'll keep going to see the moving pictures because I must. But I can't help but wonder if anyone else is noticing the massive suckage that are the summer movies of 2008. Hell, even the viral marketing for The Dark Knight is ironically taking away all my anticipation for the film. Turns out there is such a thing as overkill. I would have thought a lesson would have been learned from Snakes on A Plane. Apparently the movie execs think otherwise.