Category Archives: Uncategorized

Nivana 12-12-12 Reunion: “Cut Me Some Slack”

12-12-12 isn’t just a fancy date and obnoxious Twitter hashtag anymore.

Only a hurricane leveling half of New Jersey and flooding Manhattan could make Paul McCartney team up with the remaining members of Nirvana to bring the thunder like none other.

More spectacular yet, they didn’t just play an old 90s tune – they wrote a brand new, kickass song led by McCartney’s bluesy slide guitar and powered by Dave Grohl in his natural habitat behind the drums.

Hoping this gets at least an iTunes release soon.

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GREEN DAY MAKE MUSICAL STATEMENT ABOUT NOTHING IN PARTICULAR WITH “KILL THE DJ” VIDEO

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Uno!, the first of Green Day’s new trilogy of albums is coming out later this month and the video for its second single, “Kill The DJ” (not to be confused with Nicki Minaj’s “Kill da DJ”) was just released today.

With twangy guitar tones light on the overdrive, and falsetto-seasoned vocals, The song sounds more like a Foxboro Hot Tubs tune than a Green Day single. It’s a little bit rock n roll and a pinch of disco, but is wholly boring and thoroughly uninspired.

It’s hard to tell whether the pseudo-anthemic chorus line “Someone kill the DJ, shoot the fucking DJ” is supposed to funny and ironic, or an actual call for the end of EDM as we know it through the kind of violence the band condemned in their 2009 hit, “21 Guns”.

Whatever the intent is behind the lyrics (if any), it doesn’t change the fact that “Kill the DJ” is a pretty bland song with a bland video and that plenty of EDM groups with a fraction of Green Day’s resources are producing far more interesting music than this.

But maybe that’s the joke? Hell if I know.

The single isn’t a complete waste. It’s light, catchy, and is the kind of thing I could hear echoing through every mall across America if it weren’t for that naughty F-word that pops up four times per chorus (delivered by Armstrong with a complete absence of emotion). Lackluster though it may be, “Kill the DJ” at least hints at a (sort of) new musical direction for the band, and while the three albums worth of material they’ve prepared likely has plenty of filler and fluff, there’s bound to be a few gems in there somewhere. And hey, at least it’s not American Idiot Part III. 

Now I’ll anxiously await the even more ironic flood of remixes that this song is about to spawn.

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“HANSEL AND GRETEL: WITCH HUNTERS” INT’L TRAILER

I scoffed at the ludicrousness of this movie when I first heard about it, but this trailer is too good to not share with everyone I know.

It admittedly is coming on the (hopefully) tail end of the fairy tale craze, and looks very familiar to anyone who’s seen Van Helsing, but that doesn’t make the concept of the grown-up duo rampaging across the German countryside with steampunk shotguns and crossbows any less exciting.

Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters is coming to you from the writer-director of Dead Snow, stars Jeremy Renner and Gemma Arterton, and is being produced by Adam McKay and Will Ferrel.

That’s one hell of an odd team-up and is something I will likely throw down dollars to see when it hits theaters next January in all three dimensions.

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Michael Clarke Duncan has died

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Michael Clarke Duncan has died at the age of 54.

Known best for his Oscar-nominated performance in 1999’s The Green Mile, Duncan starred in many films, TV shows, and video games after abandoning his profession as a bodyguard, often for celebrities, in his 30s.

His IMDB page lists him lending body and voice to over 90 productions including Armageddon, Sin City, Daredevil, Planet of the Apes, and The Whole Nine Yards.

Duncan died in an LA hospital where he was admitted after suffering a heart attack in July.

Needless to say, this is extremely sad news.

Duncan was a fantastic actor in drama, comedy, animation…you name it. He’ll be sorely missed.

Sources:

LA Times

NY Daily News

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WEEKEND FUN: METALHEAD TIMELAPSE VIDEO SHOWS METAL OVER TIME

Youtube user Thisnomyp recently posted a timelapse portrait supercut in which you can watch his metal-as-hell hairstyle change every day for FIVE YEARS (among other changes).

Watch til the end for magical mustache time.

Thanks to Metal Injection.

 

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I WAS GOING TO SAY…

How Warner Bros. just shot down Ron Howard’s latest pitch for an adaptation of Stephen King’s Dark Tower series. 

I was going to, but WordPress destroyed it just as it was ready to be published. Just as it’s done with four other articles so far.

So there it is. Geek Tyrant has more.

I am so, so sick of this happening. 

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THE LATE WORD: The Amazing Spider-Man

A BIT OF HISTORY:

In 2002 Sony and Marvel finally brought the world-famous Spider-Man to the big screen in a high-budget tentpole action movie that went on to spawn two sequels.

The Sam Raimi-directed trilogy most certainly had its flaws (most of them in the final installment), but it helped usher in a new wave of superhero films and more or less captured the essence of its source material while making a ton of money for the studio.

When the time came to start developing the fourth movie, Sony and Raimi had a falling-out concerning the direction of the series and the next villains to be included.

Raimi walked. Or Sony fired him.

Whichever way it happened, instead of finding a new director and carrying on with the films that spanned more than half a decade, Sony opted to reboot the entire franchise and start the whole thing from scratch – new director, new cast, new story.

Film and comic fans alike were outraged at the prospect of restarting a series that wasn’t even ten years old yet, but Sony persevered, hiring (500) Days of Summer director Marc Webb to helm the film, casting Andrew Garfield as the new hero, and keeping scribe of the original three films, James Vanderbilt aboard to pen the thing.

In 2012, after all that grief, was it worth it?

Hell no. Not one bit.

THE REVIEW:

The Amazing Spider-Man became the title of Sony’s reboot, and what mess of a movie it turned out to be.

“The untold origin”, as it was sold, is anything but.

After a nonsense prologue in which we discover Peter Parker’s father was some kind of genetic scientist working for OSCORP, ASM falls back into the old routine: Lonely awkward nerd gets bitten by a type of super-spider, his uncle is murdered, he decides to use his newfound powers for good and learns the meaning of responsibility.

This “all-new” take on the Spider-Man mythos turns out to be very close the first Raimi film.

Of course there are some minor differences. Besides Peter’s parents’ mysterious past, he also builds his own web-shooters now rather than growing the baffling “organic” ones in the Raimi films, the suit’s a tad more stylish, and instead of Kirsten Dunst’s Mary Jane, we see our hero fawning over Emma Stone’s Gwen Stacy.

If there’s anything the film does right, it’s the casting. Stone makes an excellent beauty-nerd and her chemistry with real-life boyfriend Andrew Garfield is mesmerizing  to watch on screen. Rhys Ifans does what he can with the thinly-written Dr. Connors and somehow makes him out to be more than the loony one-armed mad scientist he was designed to be. And I cannot stress enough that if ever there was an actor meant to play Peter Parker, it is Andrew Garfield. Not that Tobey MacGuire’s performance was at all bad (except for the third film, in which all things were bad), but Garfield captures perfectly the witty, smart-mouthed, basement scientist that Peter Parker is across most of his incarnations. The film also holds a great supporting cast in Martin Sheen’s Uncle Ben and Dennis Leary’s Captain Stacy.

The acting was so good on its own I found myself wrapped up in Peter Parker’s “normal” life and dreading the inevitable moment he’d have to watch his uncle die and put on a silly costume to avenge him. In this way, Webb and his cast do something the original films never accomplished – they created compelling characters that serve as a platform to build the fantastic theatrics on rather than the other way around.

Where The Amazing Spider-Man really falls flat on its face is the story.

The Lizard was rumored to be a possible villain in the fourth Raimi film, and the whole reboot stank of a storyline transplanted to somewhere it didn’t belong. I don’t believe this falls squarely (or even mostly) on Vanderbilt’s shoulders. Major parts of ASM hinted at in trailers (what Peter Parker “really is”) were mysteriously absent from the theatrical cut of the film and storylines that are spun in the first act inexplicably disappear in the second.

The whole film is a jumbled mess and reeks of last-minute studio intervention.

Unfortunately for Ifans, the Lizard just isn’t a character that can serve as a top tier villain, let alone the only villain. It would seem Sony was trying to fix what it believed to be the primary flaw of the abysmal Spider-Man 3 – too many villains. They blamed the failure on quantity rather than quality – The Sandman, main bad guy of Raimi’s third film, will never make a good villain in any way in any movie ever because he’s a guy made of sand. Making him “also the guy who helped the guy who killed Uncle Ben” does not give him more depth, it just makes him more annoying and that is why SM3 was doomed from the start.

Now the Dr. Connors had potential. Peter Parker’s mentor transforms himself into a hideous reptilian monster. That’s superhero drama gold! But the Lizard, silly raving lunatic he is, can not be the lead antagonist and this is why: The Doc’s ultimate evil scheme is…wait for it…to turn everyone else into lizard people! Aaaahhhh! He’s so mad! And evil!

And completely, utterly comic book-stupid.

What I mean by that is, sure, that objective could work in a Spider-Man comic book, but never in a live-action tentpole feature film. Especially not one that exists in competition with The Avengers’ Loki and The Dark Knight Rises’ Bane. Spider-Man’s New York City deserves a better class of criminal and while the Lizard makes an excellent CG sewer monster, a criminal mastermind he is not and it was hard to buy into the idea that he would ever succeed in anything he did.

Connors is a great character, and again, Ifans portrays him marvelously, but his reptilian alter ego is better suited as a pawn in a greater game or the second in command to a true villain than as the lead antagonist for Sony’s second try at the franchise.

Amazing Spider-Man isn’t all bad. There’s some nice world-building through continuous references to the omnipresent OSCORP and NYC’s leading news source, The Daily Bugle, and none of it ever feels forced down your throat (I’m looking at you, Iron Man 2). This sets up a great environment to harbor multiple stories across the trilogy Sony has planned. The “Parker conspiracy”, while annoying and jumbled in the theatrical cut, actually does seem like an interesting route to take the new series in, and the new Spidey suit is a great design and the perfect way to separate the reboot from its predecessors. Still, these factors alone aren’t enough to redeem the movie entirely. ASM is Sony’s second chance at giving Spider-Man the big-screen treatment he deserves and there’s really no excuse for the amount of holes the film has.

The all-new Spider-Man isn’t exactly horrible, and not quite unbearable, but it falls far from “amazing”. Start the countdown clock for the next reboot.

THE VERDICT:

2.5 out of 5

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25-Minute “Amazing Spider-Man” Preview Supercut

Someone was kind enough (and had free time enough) to cut together the 25 minutes or so of footage Sony has released for “The Amazing Spider-Man” into a pretty coherent story.

If you’re not a fan of spoilers, avoid this obviously, but I don’t believe you can really have too many spoilers in what is essentially a remake (teen angst, origin story and all).

Enjoy!

The Amazing Spider-Man in 25 Minutes from sleepyskunk on Vimeo.

 

EDIT: The video in this post (published not ten minutes ago) has disappeared from the whole internet. It’s likely that Sony pulled it for obvious reasons. Oh well.

Amazing Spider-Man hits theaters July 3rd.

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Review: BarCrawls.com – St. Patrick’s Day “Shamrock Shuffle”

Like others who have posted reviews here, I paid $25 to participate in BarCralws’ “Shamrock Shuffle” St. Patrick’s Day bar crawl in Boston.

By far, the worst St. Paddy’s I’ve ever had.

Tickets are $25 each minimum plus a $5 charge on an arbitrary ticketing website BarCrawls sells through. So right off the bat, $30 gone with the promise of “$2 drafts, $3 bottles, $4 mixed drinks, and $5 shots” at 15 bars across Boston, most of which are at Faneuil Hall.

Now there is a note saying “deals may vary by time and place”, but more on that later.

The doors open for registration at 11AM on St. Patrick’s day. If you purchased the $25 ticket, there are two bars you can register at and there’s about an hour wait at each. Why they chose to do registration on St. Patrick’s Day and not the days leading up to it is beyond me.

After an hour waiting in line at the Royale club we received bracelets, tiny plastic cups, and a list of deals for the day, most of which ended by 3PM – we’d reached the end of the registration line around 1PM; we only had two hours to get to Faneuil Hall, wait in line at the bars there, and hopefully get in before the deals ended.

Turns out we couldn’t make it into any bar except the Hard Rock Cafe. The goddamn Hard Rock Cafe, where you can pay $12 for half a plate of nachos covered in bowling alley cheese topping.

Fortunately for us, Hard Rock had the best deal on the list: $3 bottles of beer until 9PM! Any bottled beer for $3 all night?! What could be better?!

So we waited in line for another 45 minutes to get into the Hard Rock, which was shockingly empty for a place with a 45 minute wait.

Of course by the time we got in, a waitress informed us that they had “run out of beer” (on St. Patrick’s Day!) – everything but Bud Light. That fantastic $3 bottle deal was now only good for Bud Light drafts.

If I wanted to drink horse piss all day I would have gone to a farm.

When our waitress found we were part of the bar crawl she pretty much stopped serving us, left dirty dishes on our table for an hour, and literally threw the bill down on the table every time we ordered a round of drinks.

This is a review of BarCrawls.com, but let me advise you to never eat at the Boston Hard Rock Cafe as well.

So after a few rounds of Bud Light we gave up and left Faneuil Hall and wound up going to the Intermission Tavern on Tremont Street most of the night – not part of the bar crawl.

In conclusion, BarCrawls.com is a blatant ripoff and a scam with fraudulent advertising and I’d be surprised if they’re still around by next March.

Saying deals “may vary by time in place” does not equate to “you’ll have about an hour to take advantage on most of these deals after you register”.

Also, let me be more specific about the deals:

$2 Drafts? Two bars had that deal going. TWO out of FIFTEEN. Most draft deals were either on PBR or some other fratwater domestic brew.

$3 Bottles? Only Hard Rock advertised that deal really. A couple other bars had bottles of Budweiser listed – again, no beer worth drinking.

$4 Mixed Drinks? $5 shots? I wouldn’t know how many bars honored that deal because I couldn’t get into any of them – but Hard Rock told us they ended that deal by the time we finally got into the place.

For my friends and I, St. Patrick’s Day 2012 equated to paying $30 to wait in line for an hour to get a bracelet, so we could go wait in line at a crappy, overpriced bar to order $3 Bud Light drafts from one of the worst waitresses I’ve ever had. All thanks to BarCrawls.com.

Steer clear of this nonsense and party well, friends.

RATING: 1/5

(originally posted on Yelp.com)

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