Saturday, January 30, 2010

Best Uses of Music in the Movies (2009)

"Music is one of the best parts of movies. There were thousands of moments to choose from. These are just my favorites."

1. “There is a Light that Never Goes Out” by The Smiths in (500) Days of Summer: Because nothing’s better than finding out that SHE also likes that band.

2. “Rock Me Amadeus” by Falco, Adventureland: Because nothing’s better/worse than the crap-ass music the play over and over again at your crap-ass job.

3. “One Thing Leads to the Other” by The Fixx in The House of the Devil: Because nothing’s worse/better than 80’s music blasting through a walkman.

4. “Penelope’s Theme” by Nathan Johnson in The Brother’s Bloom: Because nothing’s better than holding hands for the first time.

5. “Tom Sawyer” by Rush in I Love You, Man: Because nothing’s better than SLAPping Dat Bass.

6. “Wake Up” by Arcade Fire in Where the Wild Things Trailer: Because it’s the real reason we went to see this movie.

7. “Stu’s Song” by Ed Helms in The Hangover: Because there’s nothing worse than when you’re best friend goes missing.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Out Cold (2001): B-

"No regrets, that's my motto. Well... that and everyone Wang Chung tonight."

A classic comedy time forgot...Well...Comedy Central hasn't forgotten it...because it's on the channel every day. Nonetheless, an under appreciated comedy for its day.

It's essentially Animal House meets Casablanca. Rick Rambis (Pretty Boy) and his friends (Zach Galifnakis, Willie Garson and David Koechner to name a few) are having the time of their lives on Bull Mountain until the owner's son decides to sell the mountain to a sleazy land developer (Lee Majors), having the staff fired and turning Bull Mountain into Yuppieville.

Now that Zach Galifinakis is a superstar, people might actually check-out or revisit this film. It's dumb, predictable and hilarious. You know every twist and turn that's coming, yet it's a fun ride that makes for a good time.

Winter Vacation is over but if you need a little boost to get you through the beginning of the semester you can find the entire film on YouTube or Watch Instantly on Netlfix (for better quality).

Here's a little teaser to wet your cinematic willy...

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Film Rubbish Podcast #5

Click this link for the newest episode of the podcast.

Film Rubbish is now up and running on iTunes! If you'd like to subscribe to the podcast on iTunes (have them automatically updated to your iTunes player without having to go looking for them) just follow these simple steps.

1. Open up iTunes and go to the iTunes Store.
2. Search "Film Rubbish" in the search bar.
3. Simply click the subscribe button and enjoy. Listen to them on your MPthree jiggy ipoddy music players.

Don't forget to write a review on iTunes and spread the Rubbish. Reviews are the best way to gain an audience on iTunes.

This week on the Film Rubbish Podcast...

Film News:
Is Film Rubbish now up on iTunes and can you subsribe?
Will Anna Kendrick Marry Me?
Who will direct the new Spiderman franchise?
What is happening to Ghostbusters 3?
Who's gonna win the Leno/Conan/NBC Battle Roayle

Film Jive:
What is the history of the Post Apocalypse in cinema?

Film Review:
Is The Book of Eli a flop, a rental, or a masterpiece?

Rubbish List of the Week:What are Mike's Top 5 performances of 2009?

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Golden Globe Reactions

These are my rants, rambling and congrads to the winners and losers of tonight's show. I left out the mini-series because I don't watch them and lets be honest...neither do you.


* Mo’Nique, Precious
* Penélope Cruz, Nine
* Vera Farmiga, Up in the Air
* Anna Kendrick, Up in the Air
* Julianne Moore, A Single Man

They started the night out with a true crime. This award should have gone to Anna Kendrick (if not, her co-star Farmiga).

The Globes tend to prefer large performances over more subtle ones.

  • Toni Collette, United States of Tara
  • Courteney Cox, Cougar Town
  • Edie Falco, Nurse Jackie
  • Tina Fey, 30 Rock
  • Lea Michele, Glee
Sorry Lea'll have to wait your turn.

Tina actually deserves it but she's had her days in the sun.

  • Michael Emerson, Lost
  • Neil Patrick Harris, How I Met Your Mother
  • William Hurt, Damages
  • John Lithgow, Dexter
  • Jeremy Piven, Entourage
Lithgow deserved it 100%.

Emerson is too one-dimensional.

Neil Patrick Harris would have been the best speech to watch. Someday...

  • Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs
  • Coraline
  • Fantastic Mr. Fox
  • The Princess and the Frog
  • Up
The first of many. Get used to hearing this ones name at award shows. In strict animation standards I think Coraline and Fox are more important, but you can't deny the emotional power of these Pixar films.

I've yet to see Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs but with the buzz around the entertainment aspect of the film, this one might actually deserve its nomination (but no win, of course).

  • Simon Baker, The Mentalist
  • Michael C. Hall, Dexter
  • Jon Hamm, Mad Men
  • Hugh Laurie, House
  • Bill Paxton, Big Love
The Globes get it right again in my opinion. Michael C. Hall is playing one of the fully developed and interesting characters portrayed on TV. This was his first win after three nominations.

Baker and Paxton didn't make a big enough splash for this kind of award.

Could have easily gone to Jon Hamm or Hugh Laurie. Luckily they were just too obvious.

  • Glenn Close, Damages
  • January Jones, Mad Men
  • Julianna Margulies, The Good Wife
  • Anna Paquin, True Blood
  • Kyra Sedgwick, The Closer
Didn't really watch The Good Wife so I can't comment on this one.

Nice to see that big names (Glen Close) or big shows (Mad Men) aren't taking all the awards.

I would have given it to Anna Paquin. She represents the right way to play a female lead in a vampire story. *cough* Kristen Bell *cough*

  • “Cinema Italiano,” Music & Lyrics by Maury Yeston (Nine)
  • “I Want to Come Home,” Music & Lyrics by Paul McCartney (Everybody’s Fine)
  • “I Will See You,” Music by James Horner, Simon Franglen; Lyrics by James Horner, Simon Franglen and Kuk Harrell (Avatar)
  • “The Weary Kind,” Music & Lyrics by Ryan Bingham and T Bone Burnett (Crazy Heart)
  • “Winter,” Music by U2; Lyrics by Bono (Brothers)
Not gonna be much help in this category either. Crazy Heart is an interesting film and I'm not sure how popular it will be at these award shows.

Cinema Italiano really shouldn't be here. Kate Hudson is adorable, but that song was the most random thing in a very random movie.

  • Michael Giacchino, Up
  • Marvin Hamlisch, The Informant!
  • James Horner, Avatar
  • Abel Korzeniowski, A Single Man
  • Karen O and Carter Burwell, Where the Wild Things Are
This was my personal choice. The music literally sums up the feelings portrayed in the film.

A very strong category this year. I really could see any of these songs taking the award home.

Avatar didn't win either of the musical awards. Probably for the best. It'll have plenty of time to shine in other more technical award shows.

  • Sandra Bullock, The Proposal
  • Marion Cotillard, Nine
  • Julia Roberts, Duplicity
  • Meryl Streep, It’s Complicated
  • Meryl Streep, Julie & Julia
Wow what a shocker...she deserves it to be taken away from her for her performance in It's Complicated. On a side note, Merryl had one of the better acceptance speeches I've heard so far this evening.

Roberts and Cotillard were crazy under-appreciated in their movies, so it makes Streep win just that much more bitter.

I've yet to see The Proposal, but it's my brothers movie of the year so I guess I'll have to see it.

  • Neill Blomkamp and Terri Tatchell, District 9
  • Mark Boal, The Hurt Locker
  • Nancy Meyers, It’s Complicated
  • Jason Reitman and Sheldon Turner, Up in the Air
  • Quentin Tarantino, Inglourious Basterds

    Wednesday, January 13, 2010

    Film Rubbish Podcast #4

    (Actual podcast at the bottom of the post)

    Here is the newest episode. Since our culture's attention span has decreased and our constant media intake has increased, I've decided to break up the show into three different independent files so you can listen to whatever you'd like. Enjoy.

    Film News -
    1. The abusive relationship between Netflix and Warner Bros
    2. George Lucas is coming off as an ass. - 7 minutes.
    Film Jive - A look at one dimensional actors in Hollywood and their role in the buisiness. - 17 minutes.
    Film Review - Youth in Revolt - A look at Michael Cera's Performance. - 6 minutes.

    Monday, January 11, 2010

    TV: Snookin' for Love

    The beginning of 2010 brings the decade to an end. A decade ruled by reality television.

    Up until a few months ago I’d never been able to really enjoy this new genre that the public and its media seemed to embrace so lovingly. I attribute this to the fact that I have a hard time turning my brain off during any presentation. It’s a gift and a curse I suppose. I’m constantly imagining the men behind the cameras, feeding the actors their lines and the obvious presentation and work that’s put into creating something that should never be called “reality”. At first, I saw myself towering above the rest of society in a fortress of sophisticated elitism. However, in the fall of 2009, that tower came crashing down due a little project called Jersey Fucking! Shore.

    Basically, the is a human chemistry experiment conducted the scientists over at MTV. Lets round up a bunch of juiced up Italian Americans with personality disorders and follow them around a sex and booze drenched New Jersey coast. At first, this seems like a basic premise that I had previously been immune too. That was until I was introduced to the Guido culture…

    It’s hard to imagine now what life was like before my experience with Jersey Shore. Did I understand the awesomeness of The Situation and his abs? Did I ever think that the most important ritual in the art of love making was the introduction of the hot tub? Would I be a different person if I’d never heard the following brilliant Guidoisms?

    “I was born and raised a Guido; it’s just a life style, it’s being Italian, it’s representing family, friends, tannin’, gel, everything.”

    “My ideal man would be Italian, dark, muscles, juicehead, Guido. If I found that guy, I’d snatch him like that”

    “I am the Kim Kardashian of Staten Island, baby!”

    “My only rule: Never fall in love at the Jersey Shore. Never. Ever ever ever”
    “I am like a praying mantis—after I have sex with a guy, I will rip their heads off.”

    I feel like an anthropologist who has just discovered an ancient tribe. They are surrounded with rituals I can only hope to one day understand. For the first time that I can remember, I love a character not because I can relate to them but because I can find joy in separating myself from them. Maybe that’s what reality television is all about.

    I don’t know if the actors are in on the joke. I don’t know what is worse; the universal immoral behavior the show’s characters involve themselves in, or the racist and corrupt way in which they are presented to us by MTV. I don’t even know if it’s right to take some form of pleasure from this kind of show.

    I only know that I can’t stop watching it. Maybe this could be a substantial personal triumph over my "constantly-analyzing" brain. Or maybe it simply marks me as just another victim to the unstoppable brainless tarantula appropriately named Reality TV.

    It’s a complicated situation...

    Wednesday, January 6, 2010

    Script: Mixtape Hits the Right Beats

    Here's something interesting. This is the script for Mixtape, written by Stacy Menear.

    This coming of age story follows a thirteen year old outcast who finds a mixtape that belonged to her deceased parents, accidentally destroys it, and uses the song list to find all the music.

    It should be coming out around 2011. Directed by the guy who made "King of Kong: Fistful of Quarters" and starring the teenage girl from "500 Days of Summer" (Who Gordon Levitt constantly visits for relationship advice).

    You could watch the movie and jump on the bandwagon when everyone else does...or you could read it...and fall in love with it now. Its 119 pages but it only takes an hour or two to read.

    Probably the best thing I've ever read on the power of music. Hope you guys like it. Strongly recomended.

    Sunday, January 3, 2010

    Top 10: Favorite Films and "Need to See"

    These are my personal favorites from 2009. I’m still debating if these types of lists are actually necessary. Part of me feels that you can’t compare apples to oranges and attempting to do so creates a list that is likely to change dramatically overtime. The other side of me feels like I owe the readers a list because our culture is way more likely to enjoy lists than standard. People love this stuff.

    Expect this list is likely to change by the next time you see me, nonetheless these are my favorites entering the end of the year.

    Honorable Mentions: Avatar, Fantastic Mr. Fox, Humpday, I Love You Man, Moon, Watchmen, Up and Zombieland.

    Top 10 of 2009

    10. The Brother’s Bloom: This one could basically be interchanged with any of the Honorable mentions above but it squeezed its way onto the list today. Creative and quirky writing that created characters I loved spending time with. Left the theater with a smile I couldn’t shake.

    9. Star Trek: I had too much fun with this film to keep it off my list. Chris Prine turns in the most charismatic performance of the year and J.J Abrams proves himself to be one of the most entertaining directors of the decade. The hardest film to hate of 2009.

    8. The Hurt Locker: My pick for the most likely to win Best Picture this year. This action-filled thriller not only qualifies as the best war film of the 2009, but possibly the best film ever featuring the Iraq war. Look for Jeremy Renner in the Best Actor category at the Oscars.

    7. Sugar: Here’s on you might not have heard of. Follows the story of Miguel Santos, a.k.a. Sugar, a Dominican pitcher from San Pedro De Macorís, struggling to make it to the big leagues and pull himself and his family out of poverty. The best sports movie of the 2009 that is supported by an impressive performances and interesting insights into the immigration experience.

    6. Up in the Air: The most impressed I’ve been in theater all year. Everyone brings their A game to a project that deserves all the hype surrounding it. It’s characterization of a 21st century loneliness won’t soon be forgotten. The strongest film of the 2009.

    5. The House of the Devil: The one legitimate reason a critic should make this kind of list is to introduce his audience to new films. If I had my own theatre, I’d be promoting and screening this thing well into 2011 just to spread the good word. A slow-building throwback to 80’s Slasher films that gets everything just right.

    4. 500 Days of Summer: My hipster pick of the year. I don’t like the criticism that this film is too “Indie”. It’s like saying a horror movie was too scary. This project had me intrigued from its witty opening to its achingly perfect ending. Also featured my favorite soundtrack of the year.

    3. District 9: My blockbuster pick of the year. I feel a lot of people may have missed this one, or forgotten about it with the Star Trek and Avatar hype. As far as large budget projects go, it has the strongest script, characters, and direction of the year. Bring on District 10!

    2. Inglorious Basterds: Didn’t make my top 10 after the first experience, but after a few more viewings it slowly crawled to the #2 spot. Definitely a movie for film nerds. This is a classic Tarantino genre-bending thrill ride that makes my geek out a bit too much.

    1. Adventureland: A very personal pick this year for my top spot (opposed to last year’s universal pick of The Dark Knight). Full of humor and nostalgia, this is a sweet, insightful coming-of-age comedy that resonated with me to a degree I didn’t think was possible. I came in expecting a raunchy comedy Superbad wanna-be. I got an Indie Romcom that put my life in a different perspective.

    Top 10 2009 Films I Still Need to See

    Now, I confess to the Top 10 films that I still really need to see. I’ll be hunting them down in small theaters or waiting for them to be released to DVD.

    10. The Girlfriend Experience: Steven Soderbergh's latest low-fi production. An interesting character study I couldn’t ever find the time to see in theaters.

    9. The Proposal: A romantic comedy I may have written off too soon. I’m next expecting anything revolutionary, but I’m still intrigued to see the chemistry between the two leads.

    8. The Cove: Every year there’s always one documentary that I miss. Excited to take a look at what looks like the Dolphin Holocaust.

    7. Coraline: Can’t believe I haven’t seen this. Buzz around this movie suggests that it can hold its own against the other animation giants Up and Fantastic Fox.

    6. Brothers: My respect for the hosts of Filmspotting and my love for Natalie Portman tell me I might have missed something by not seeing this one.

    5. Drag Me to Hell: Looked like a lot of fun but I could never round the gang up to see it. I’ll pop it in on a cold dark night when I’ve gotten nothing else to do.

    4. Crazy Heart: Excited for Jeff Bridges performance. I may have missed my chance to see this one in theaters.

    3. In the Loop: A political comedy that I can already tell I’ll like. It’s at the top of the Netflix queue.

    2. An Education: This one has the potential to be one of my favorite films of the year. It also could be a boring exploration of the mediocre. I’ll see how the award season treats it.

    1. Bronson: I’m dying to get my hands on this one. It was featured in the Milwaukee Film Festival and I was out of town! Supposedly a gripping tale featuring an exploration of prison, art and lies.

    Saturday, January 2, 2010

    Film/Rubbish Podcast #3: Up in the Air

    Finally found a format that should work for everyone. It's all still a bit rough around the edges but at least I'm getting it out there.

    P.S. I had to cut the trailer because of the length of the show so don't be confused when you don't hear it.

    1. Film News:
    a. Sandra Bullock, Top Celeb
    b. Disney Buys Marvel
    c. Sony won't support Rockwell

    2. Film Preview: An Exploration of Loneliness in Film

    3. Film Review: Up in the Air

    You can play it in the crappy player or download it and play it on itunes. To download just right click and and push download. Then open it in itunes. Then you can tell how much time you have left etc...

    It's 25 minutes long...just so you know.