Amoeblog

(In which the author receives an anonymous gift.)

Posted by Job O Brother, February 21, 2011 04:38pm | Post a Comment

Don't you hate it when you're stuck sitting on a plane next to someone with thick ankles?

The other day I was busily preparing my usual breakfast – a small bowl of nonfat cottage cheese with a few cucumber slices, a cup of black coffee, and a rice cake, all deep fried and smothered in butterscotch gravy – when a knock came on the front door. Imagine my surprise when I opened it and found no one there, some eight hours later. What was there was a small package, neatly wrapped in what looked like paper (though this is merely speculation on my part).

Strange packages from persons unknown should always be regarded with suspicion, but as I am a curious person by nature (my great-great-grandfather was a cat) I couldn’t help but open it, which proved to be a long and arduous task as I opted to use only my tongue, rather than the more versatile and saliva-free hands I keep at the end of my arms.

Inside the package was a cassette tape, painted a variety of colors, but without any linguistic explanation as to its purpose or content. I assumed it was a gift from one of my fans, but then I remembered they were without capacity for thought, incapable of free will and basically only good for circulating air. No, this cassette tape was almost certainly from a human, probably a living one, and almost certainly residing somewhere on this planet!

Having thus solved this riddle to my satisfaction, I sought out mechanisms necessary to enjoy the cassette. I decided to use my old boom-box (that’s 1990’s for “ghetto blaster”), which gets far better sound than my washing machine (though does nothing for butterscotch gravy stains).

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All That Biodigital Jazz, Man

Posted by Kells, December 30, 2010 10:55am | Post a Comment

I remember the first time I caught sight of the glowing, blacklit neon appeal of TRON. The boxy upright console outshone the others in my hometown Putt-Putt arcade and I couldn't help desiring to bask in its purple hazed portal though I'd always considered Centipede to be my one and only love. Let's be honest, playing TRON was about as exciting as the saccharin in a can of Tab, no matter how romanced I was by that Starlight Express meets Pinball Wizard of a design story. It's a silly game popularized a silly movie and it seems the good folks down at Disney completely understand that. TRON may never be taken seriously for its dramatic narrative and that's exactly right-on, but it is bursting with cinematic content. For me, re-viewing the 1982 classic TRON flick and the recently reimagineered TRON: Legacy was pure pop Sci-Fi pleasure the likes of which anyone this side of the Logan's Run Carousel knows better than to over-analyze.

Anyway, what better way to punctuate sweet freedom of another semester completed and celebrate the spirit of the season than seeing TRON: Legacy in IMAX 3D over Christmas vacation? Disney's new take on the ambitious yet sketchy Rotoscoped, post modern, science-fantasy arcade-gaming jam delivers a not very smart but sometimes clever cross-section of tired sci-fi/fantasy genre clichés, slickly redesigned to diamond-cut, mind-blowing visual perfection, ever flying the promotional gaming flag and still driven (literally!) by a pre-Lebowski albeit CG'd Jeff Bridges (which raises questions about the ethical treatment of dead actors' imminent bodies of possible future work) as well as the more popular (and less obviously plasti-complexioned) post "Dude" Jeff Bridges. Aesthetically, TRON went from this: 
to this:



...clunky helmet no longer required. I really love the visual shift in the application of a primary color scheme from TRON's UV tinged, patent eighties neons to the updated laser red, tungsten yellow and halogen blue as they appear both on and off their respective renderings of "the grid," not to mention the thrilling, hi-tech hard edge TRON: Legacy has over the crappy vectorgraphic "effects" dealt by its predecessor. However, TRON: Legacy does manage to shovel its fair share of shit: what's with that queeny Castor character and his, or should I say HER, swishy hardly-head-of-security counterpart? Accommodating the Brits-as-villains Star Wars stereotype much? Castor's little ditty and dance act should be cast out. And how about all that easy, cheesy dialogue? I swear some of those lines were straight up lifted from the Matrix --- is that why this film wasn't made ten years ago? And while I'm not buying so much the Neo/Jesus/Skywalker/Solo vibe of Kevin Flynn's son (played by Garrett Hedlund), Sam, I am totally vibing on Jeff Bridges' Obi Wan/God/Gandalf "zen thing" update of his completely timelapsed character, under the influence of a heavy dose of his Dudeness (Duder, or El Duderino if you're not into the whole brevity thing). I mean, really, if Bridges hadn't had his prior engagement with the brothers Coen, TRON: Legacy would probably only have its visual wizardry going for it and zero characters for folks like me to latch on to. Besides, I was more than ready to settle in and enjoy the ride after that opening sequence: Bridges' voice, speaking over Daft Punk's excellent score of electronic minimalism meets classical orchestration --- incorporating Wendy Carlos' original TRON soundtrack in a fitting homage --- urging us to think of a time when computers seemed more magical than mechanical and menacing, the inevitability of A.I. more a willing dream than nightmarish catastrophe. "The Grid," he recalls: "A digital frontier. I tried to picture clusters of information as they move through the computer. What did they look like? Ships? Motorcycles? Were the circuits like freeways? I kept dreaming of a world I thought I’d never see. And then, one day, I got in."

In short, the good parts of TRON: Legacy are really
good and they mostly make up for any short-comings Disney inserted or let slip into the big picture. The restraint in shown in choosing to present certain scenes in 2D and the impressively seamless transition from early eighties to late eighties to present day, not to mention tasteful use of songs by Journey and the Eurythmics, add a touch of class and sophistication to what should by any reckoning be a silly remake of a silly movie concerning an attractive yet silly video game where hot fem-bot types still manage to stomp it out stilettos and impossibly wide tires, or whatever, corner like a ten-speed on ice. Whatever, Daft Punk's cameo was flawlessly fun and I got a kooky idea for an interior lit Jedi cloak that'll look fabulous flapping in the wind while riding a TRON bike. Plus, seeing TRON: Legacy has only kicked off my holiday Sci-Fi/Fantasy movie marathon extravaganza by putting me in the mood for, well, every film I've mentioned above plus about ten others like Bladerunner, Soylent Green, Westworld, Zardoz, They Live, Star Trek IV (the one with the whales) and Star Trek VII (the better one with the Borg), just to name a few. Here's the trailer, if you choose to go out and see it, do yourself a favor and shell out the extra ducats to see it in 3D IMAX, it really should be the only way to view it.

(Wherein I review rad, rainy resources.)

Posted by Job O Brother, December 20, 2010 11:38am | Post a Comment

Merry Christmas from the homeless guy who stole your candles!

Santa, it would seem, heard my Christmas wish and brought me lots of rain. While not convenient to my compulsive walks to the grocery store for whatever culinary whims o’ertake me, I’ll trade easy access to the “Asian food aisle” for gloomy storm-clouds any old day. It’s not just the weather itself, it’s the music, movies, food and activities that I save for just such an occasion. What are they? I’m pretending you ask – Why, I’ll tell you!


Boner.


Let’s start with alcohol, as any good day does. This is the season for a cocktail staple of mine: hot toddies, of the whiskey variety. It’s so simple, I hesitate to say this is a recipe, any more than boiling spaghetti and dumping a jar of sauce on it is a “recipe,” but if I’ve learned anything about you earthlings, it’s that when cooking doesn’t come naturally, it doesn’t come at all. So here goes…

1.)  Simply boil water. If you need instructions for this, stop now and don’t ever, ever step into a kitchen.

2.)  While you wait for your water, squeeze the juice from one whole lemon, removing any seeds. Save the seeds and, in another blog, I’ll show you how you can use these dried lemon seeds to make the ugliest, stupidest necklace ever.

out this week 9/28 & 10/5...Beauty & the Beast Diamond Edition...Grindhouse Collector's Edition...

Posted by Brad Schelden, October 8, 2010 06:46pm | Post a Comment
In addition to the usual music releases, there are also two Blu-rays out this week that have me all kinds of excited. I have been obsessed with Disney since I can remember being obsessed with anything. I still think they are one of the most brilliant studios in the world. They somehow manage to get you when you are super young and then you are a fan for life...at least that is how it worked on me! I am obsessed with Disneyland and all things Disney. I love the old movies but the best period was really the 90s. The "Disney Renaissance" started in 1989 with The Little Mermaid; next was the Rescuers Down Under in 1990; Aladdin came out in 1992, and The Lion King in 1994. The best of these and the first to be released on Blu-ray is Beauty & the Beast from 1991. The movies continued with Pocahontas in 1995, the Hunchback of Notre Dame in 1996, Hercules in 1997, Mulan in 1998 and Tarzan in 1999. Some of the older classics have also been released on Blu-ray -- Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, & Pinocchio -- but Beauty & the Beast is the first of the newer films to be come out. Beauty & the Beast is also the first animated film to be nominated for a Best Picture Oscar. Some of you may remember the 80's television show Beauty & the Beast starring Linda Hamilton and Ron Perlman. I found myself sort of freaked out by this show but also intrigued. I was not a loyal fan of the show but I imagine there must have been somebody out there who watched every episode. I did catch a couple of them. They sort of stayed with me forever. The show might have ruined the image of Beauty & the Beast for some but Disney reinvented it and brought it back to life in 1991. The movie starred the voices of Angela Lansbury, Jerry Orbach, and Jo Anne Worley. The music was by Alan Menken and Howard Ashman; Menken composed the music and Ashman wrote the lyrics. They worked their magic together on Beauty & the Beast, Aladdin,The Little Mermaid and then Howard Ashman passed away in 1991. The documentary Waking Sleeping Beauty covers this period of Disney. I have heard great things about this film and didn't get a chance to see it in the theater but it is out on DVD on November 30th. Beauty & the Beast is still one of my favorites and it looks amazing on Blu-ray! But of course it does! Hopefully the Little Mermaid and Aladdin will have Blu-ray release dates right around the corner. The Disney Diamond Edition includes the DVD and the Blu-ray, in total three versions of the film, plus audio commentary and a sing along mode! There are some extra documentaries on there as well. It is fun to relive these movies all over again when they get rereleased on a new format, almost like seeing the movie for the first time.







Buy Beauty & the Beast (Disney Diamond Edition) on Blu-ray








The other Blu-ray out this week is the Grindhouse Collector's Edition. We have been waiting for this since the movies first came out in the theater. Both Planet Terror by Robert Rodriguez and Death Proof by Quentin Tarantino are now together like they were originally released in the theater with the trailers in between. I love these movies and have been excited for a while for this release. I have not seen the trailers since I saw the movies in the theater. Overall, the movies did not do as well as expected in the theater but I loved them and loved the whole idea behind them. I blogged about the movie here way back in April 2007. I have not picked up my copy of the Blu-ray yet but I am sure it looks fantastic, right?

Here is a list of all the Blu-ray only extras on this Blu-ray Collector's Edition...

* Robert Rodriguez's 10-Minute Cooking School
* The Makeup Effects of Planet Terror
* The Hot Rods of Death Proof
* From Texas to Tennessee: The Production Design of Death Proof
*Trailers
* Extended Werewolf Women of The SS Trailer
* View Extended Cut Of Werewolf Women of the SS Trailer with Commentary by Director Rob Zombie
* The Making Of Werewolf Women of the SS Trailer
* Extended Don't Trailer
* View Extended Cut Of Don't Trailer with Commentary by Director Edgar Wright
* The Making of Don't Trailer
* Don't Storyboard/Trailer Comparison
* View Don't Storyboard/Trailer Comparison with Commentary by Director Edgar Wright
* Don't Storyboards Still Gallery
* Don't Poster
* The Making of Thanksgiving Trailer
* New York Times Talk with Quention Tarantino and Lynn Hirschberg at Comic Con 2006 Featuring the Directors and Cast of Grindhouse
* Grindhouse Trailer Contest Winner Hobo With A Shotgun






Buy
Grindhouse Collector's Edition on Blu-ray








also out 9/28...






Crush by Abe Vigoda











Halycon Digest by Deerhunter












Ring by Glasser











Invented by Jimmy Eat World












Matador at 21 Box Set












Music of DC Comics












Everything In Between by No Age












History of Modern by OMD












King Night By Salem












Telephantasm by Soundgarden












Inevitable Past is the Future Forgotten by Three Mile Pilot












Public Strain by Women












Le Noise by Neil Young






also out 10/5...






Buy the Ticket Take the Ride by Black Ryder












Bubblegum by Clinic












Wreckorder by Fran Healy












Surfing the Void by The Klaxons












Doo-Wops & Hooligans by Bruno Mars












Waves by Tamaryn












Mixed Race by Tricky












1000 Years by The Corin Tucker Band



HAPPY WALRUS DAY, 2010!!!

Posted by Job O Brother, October 8, 2010 08:57am | Post a Comment
HAPPY WALRUS DAY!

May your day be filled with awesome whateverness, motherlovers.










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