Friday, May 18, 2007

Thursday, May 17, 2007

3 Funniest US TV Shows...

...beside cable news...

The dumbest show on earth, the entire premise of the show is about how incompetent the government is and that the country is dependent on a trigger happy sociopath to save a place from a fate which he and his loved ones more or less causes in the first place. Then there's Chloe, do you wish the someone give her an enema, so she could loose her "I haven't shat in a week" look. The fact that it is one of the most watched show Stateside shed light on how blinkered, xenophobic and DUMB most Americans are.

Law & Order - The Original
Reinforcing Middle America's view of the sins in the Big Apple. Dick Wolf and co, manages to cram the crimes and vices of the entire nation into this fictional version of New York City. The first half of the show has always be a solid descendent of Dragnet, but the second half of this longest running PSA is pure comedy. The DAs are pure and righteous fire and brimstone good folks.If you play a drinking game where every time Sam Waterson chokes up or appears indignant at the crime of the week, you'd be drunk by the time the show ends.

CSI Miami
Horatio Caine, his sunglasses, bad quips, head tilt, and the revolving crane shot. Some of life's purest pleasures.


How religion can make a Superspy stupid.

Saw Breach... Well acted and aesthetically "pleasing" though it felt phony and rushed towards the end, with too much compression of time throughout.

A solid performance Laura Linney, fine as usual, but the O'Neil's wife has the dodgiest german accent I've heard in a while. Though based on a real person, Ryan Phillipe's interpretation of his character was almost an extension of his role in Antitrust, maybe the Hayden Christensen (who played Stephen Glass in director Ray's superior more focussed, less generic debut, Shattered Glass). Typecasting didn't help either, Chris Cooper, fine actor that he is, has played the perv/ traitor many times, Gary Cole as the office prick, and and the guest appearance of Jonas Blane completely spoils the suspension of disbelief.


In a world of what-ifs – what if they keep Chris Cooper, but hire Matt Damon instead of Phillipe and add some action – Bourne Begins!

Would have made a more compelling 6 episode HBO or BBC miniseries though.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Falwell croaked!

Best news I've heard in a long time! The rest of the free world rejoices, too bad he didn't die whilst getting a blow job from a family member.

Sartorial Fascism

There is an interesting subculture of (maily American) men who have appointed themselves as the true descendents of the White Gentlemen and Beau Brummel (wonder if they see the irony in that). For these puritanical "gents", the world of menswear has halted in the mid 1940s, save for Naples. They all want to dress like the Duke of Windsor, pull birds like the fictional James Bond, behave like either Gordon Gecko and look like Patrick Bateman. Yet these "gentlemen" feel compelled to dish out homophobic, racist and sexist remarks at an alarming rate within their modern day equivalent of the smoking room. Anything not worn or endorsed by their heroes are deemed "unacceptable", "trashy" or "gay".

For the non delusional, could you really say with a straight face, that, aesthetically, a man dress like this:

is really it more attractive than someone who dresses like this.

And is it not equally predictable that their "bible" is written by a former speech writer for Dubya?

Top Shelf Films No.1 - Homicide

a.k.a. When Mamet was still brilliant.

Maybe it was my first conscious exposure to Mamet's work (saw The Verdict before this), but this is my idea of a perfect Mamet film. I enjoyed it more than House of Games. Great dialogue, intriguing premise, the flawed characters were well portrayed and rythmically coherent. Why no decently put together dvd? All that's left of this film is a piss poor Region 2 release that's cropped and poorly mastered.

Joe Mantegna was at his peak as an actor, the Mametspeak was less stylised than it was in House of Games and his delivery was effortless.

I could hit repeat watch it all day...

List No.1 - Favourite Female Actresses

In no particular/conscious order


1) Naomi Watts
2) Julianne Moore
3) Cate Blanchett
4) Anna Karina
5) Laura Linney

Performance specific
1) Melissa Leo, Homicide
2) Mary Louise Parker, Weeds
3) Maggie Cheung, In the Mood for Love
4) Louise Brooks, Pandora's Box
5) Meg Ryan, When Harry Met Sally
6) Carole Lombard, My Man Godfrey
7) Nicole Kidman, Birth
8) Mia Farrow, Purple Rose of Cairo
9) Irene Jacob, La Double vie de Véronique, Rouge

Purely superficial, pervy oogling
1) Eva Green
2) Greta Garbo
3) Veronica Lake
4) Kristen Bell

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Did Clooney or anybody else notice the irony?

I saw Good Night and Good Luck a second time last night, I liked the film immensely as it is well shot, structured evokcative, and reminded me of more "mature" films of late 50s-80s mainstream cinema. However, midway through the film I realised that the only difference between Murrow and cretins like Bill O'Reilly or its Fox cookie cutter counterparts is their political worldview. Murrow's shift from reporting "facts" to subjective editorial soapboxes is what makes current Stateside television news the madhouse that it is today.

Wonder what the late-Murrow, Clooney or Noam Chomsky would say about that.

Image(C)Warner Independent Pictures. All Rights Reserved

Breaking and Entering

Tedious! A potentially interesting character(s) study of urban isolation becomes a miscasted Crash / Babel hybrid. Bland, preachy and full of artifice, only Robin Wright Penn, Ravi Gavron and Poppy Rogers "feels" real. Maybe I am spoiled by "proper" British kitchen-sink drama and Haneke's clinical studies of middle class egocentrism but this cod British-Hollywood movie (not film) has as much insight as Love Actually, albeit better shot but less entertaining.


Note to self - let's rewatch Secrets and Lies, Notes on a Scandal, Cache, or Blue again...

Image(C)The Weinstein Company and Miramax Films. All Rights Reserved

Sunday, May 13, 2007

The Thom Browne Conundrum

While I like his designs, I fail to see what's revolutionary about them. From a menswear perspective, are these not repros of the late 50s-60s "Ivy meets Roman" aesthetic? Check out Lee Marvin in The Killers or Point Blank, the 500-odd Reid Miles designed, Francis Wolff photographed album covers of Blue Note or KoB-era Miles Davis – They're all "Thom Browne" in flashier colours.

If that's too distant in the past for you, check out the Two Tone and Mod '79 subcultures, the covers of The Specials or The Jam. From the world of fashion, it's all early 90s Jil Sander, Kartherine Hammnet, G Fujiwara, mid 90s Prada or even his contemporaries like Slimane or Raf Simons. Too much column space is wasted on him already when more innovative and potentially more influential designers are given scant space - is it because he's an American?

On a related note, for every article of Browne you read, it's unnerving to know that somewhere, clothing fascists out there (mainly Americans) would be starting up numerous threads in dogmatist/conservative "men's style*" forums, equating his designs with A) Pee Wee Herman, B) Anti American, C) Gay, D) Al Qaeda, E) Anti "Real-sized People"

If you don't like the designs DON'T BUY EM, why get all hot under your spread collar?

*Don't you DARE call them fashion sites, fashion are for "queers".