Continuing from yesterday's post...
- Paris poop
Imagine the inanity of Paris Hilton's British Best Friend (one of my guilty pleasures of the year -- and I tend not to have too many of those, as I'm rarely guilty about pleasure, but come the fuck on with this fucking show!). And now imagine that inanity with some sledgehammer blows to the head and a long inhalation of helium and an idea of what the episode re-edit above is like. It's brilliantly stupid in a way that Paris can only aspire to claim to be on purpose.
The most consistently enjoyable evil-kid movie of all time also has the most howl-inducing cinematic twist I've ever witnessed. This combo of The Good Son and The Hand the Rocks the Cradle is just as frustrating as those two movies, and if the mood strikes you, even more emotionally involving (I wanted to stand up in the theater and shout, "Why won't anyone believe Vera Farmiga?!? Whyyyyyy?!?!?!?"). What's not to love in this lurid, un-PC, anti-adoption propaganda? There's nun killing, child voyeurism, piss pants, the suggestion of a serious Elektra complex, a gun-toting, deaf 4-year-old, and Peter Sarsgaard's hands-on-hips, lispy flamboyance. Clearly, the answer is: nothing. There is nothing not to love about Orphan. This deserves the adoring cult following it has coming to it.
- Susan Boyle
Congratulations, world! This year, you learned that a person's level of conventional attractiveness is not necessarily linked to his or her ability to belt out show tunes. Hopefully in 2010, we can graduate to such advanced concepts as beauty is in the eye of the beholder, the fact that Broadway actors are not the same thing as supermodels and the magical way that cat food makes cats' breath smell like cat food.
- Levi Johnston
I don't even care about not seeing cock (his fears confirmed its average status anyway, and I've sen a lot of average-sized cocks, so what was one more?). There was something gorgeously masculine about how not a big deal his ass turned out to be (butch men sit on it, not flex it into a single-occupant moonbounce...or so I hear). But his dainty, posey posing was the second boner-killer of this fiasco (first his, then mine/yours). And 0 for 2 is a shitty record. I don't even watch sports, and I know that.
- Broken Embraces
Pedro Almodóvar has flair for melodrama, but Broken Embraces is uncommonly subtle and still. That makes explaining why this movie haunted me for weeks after seeing it even more difficult. No wait, it's impossible. This movie reduces me to incoherence. Devastating.
- Fear of Tigers' Cossus Snufsigalonica
More mid-'90s Eurohouse revival a la Alphabeat's The Spell, except this is less song-y and more Corona-y (the title track interpolates the verses of "Rhythm of the Night"!!!!). Best of all, this is free. After you start listening to this, good luck stopping. I haven't been able to yet.
For all of its faults -- the wooden acting, the dopey and overly literal music cues -- Watchmen won me over with its massive shot-to-gorgeousness ratio. I'd never read the comic, so that whole superhumans wrestling with their humanity thing really struck me, but not more than the (SPOILER!) final resolution that turning a group of freaks into scapegoats would be a wonderful thing to promote world peace. I don't have magical powers except that my penis is magnetized to other penises, and that made me feel like the final lesson of Watchmen wasn't as cheery as it seemed. It's, in fact, really grim commentary on humankind's need to subjugate.
Oh, and speaking of penises: get over it people. Manhattan's wasn't that big. It's so weird, because I feel like 99 percent of the time that penis size enters mass discourse (via, say, hidden-camera pics of Shemar Moore swinging in the wind on a beach), it's people calling what appear to be perfectly average-sized dicks "small." In this case, everyone was going on about how big Dr. Manhattan's perfectly average-sized dick was. Really, it just looked that way because Dr. Manhattan a) was projected on a giant screen, and b) was hairless. Seriously, people make me feel like I'm the only one who knows what flaccid cock looks like.
Gabe said all there was to say about this song about the most bizarrely deemed R&B object of desire since Roni. I say that over four months after being introduced to this shit, it still pops up in my head regularly. It is an ode to J'Koko for the ages, clearly. I found a cable access R&B original that I love the most. Its name is "J'koko." (I think.)
- Audience of One
"Common sense is no match for the voice of God," writes Jon Krakauer in Under the Banner of Heaven. He's talking about Mormons (specifically the type that team up to kill their brother's wife and daughter and then write it off as carrying out God's work), but he might as well have been talking about Richard Gazowsky. Supposedly blessed with a vision, the Pentecostal pastor decides to make a sci-fi epic he characterizes as a cross between Star Wars and The Ten Commandments. Audience of One chronicles his God-given hubris, his time-suckage of far too many (his congregation, outside financiers and the city of San Francisco) and his inevitable failure. It's a reminder of the mentality that can strike some of the most vocal believers, the kind of pious arrogance that causes them to assume they are automatic experts in things like science (as if they know more about evolution than people who have actually studied it!) and sexuality (as if they know more about what it is to be gay than people who actually are!). Having this folly laid out so nakedly may not do anything to change the agonizing state of ignorance in the world, but is at least comforting to those of us who invest value in reason. And we deserve comfort. Take back the comfort, damn it!
- Sade's "Soldier of Love"
Like Avatar, Sade's first single in almost 10 years is a reminder to our culture's ultra-zippy work ethic that it's OK to take your time and get it right. And the sleek, biting "Soldier of Love" gets it so right. If you had any doubt that Sade Adu is running shit, doubt no more. The once and future HBIC is back.
And that's it! I hope that 2010 brings more shit that I put off commenting on till the end of the year! Hey, but I did it!