Wednesday, November 26, 2008

808s & Heartbreak

Kanye's new album 808s & Heartbreak (great name by the way) is out now and my initial reaction is that I like it. It is really different from his previous efforts. I really like the haunting Auto-Tune sound of his voice coupled with the shoegaze styled beats. I actually heard one person compare the sound to that of M83. Essentially what this album does is make it even harder for me to reconcile the complete and utter douchiness of his media persona with my enjoyment of his music. One thing that has helped is that I have it on good authority from one of my friends that has spent extensive time with Kanye that his media bravado and annoyance is all an act. He is actually kind of shy and reserved and treats people around him very well. Oh yeah, and I like that be Kanye ad for Absolut that they used to show in theaters before movies started.

So yeah, I like the new album and I think I like Kanye. You can stream the whole album here.

Party You Can Believe In

Now this is my kind of house party.

Monday, November 24, 2008


Newsflash. Jean Claude Van Damme can act. For real. So you're skeptical. I understand. I was too. But then I saw JCVD. It was great. And the great JCVD himself has a few scenes that are quite moving. And I don't mean moving in the watch me kick this cigarette out of some dude's mouth way, but moving in the wow, I might just tear up a little as I watch JCVD bare his soul way. It was seriously a great movie. 

Before I had seen it, one of my friends made the bold statement that it was Van Damme's best movie ever. I, being the skeptic that I am, was a bit incredulous and immediately said "Better than Bloodsport?" He replied "Better than Bloodsport." I was still not a believer. But now I have been fully converted. It is better than Bloodsport. Much better than Bloodsport even though Bloodsport will always hold a special place in my heart.

My only complaint about JCVD is that the subtitles were sometimes hard to read because they blended in with the lighting of the scenes. Other than that, the movie was great. I know it is only in limited release, but if it is available near you, check it out. You will love it. I promise. 

Oh yeah, Slumdog Millionaire is pretty amazing as well. Be sure not to miss that one. Spoiler alert, Danny Boyle does not make the traditional Danny Boyle move of driving the train off the tracks in the third act. Slumdog Millionaire is excellent from start to finish. I wouldn't be shocked if it wins best picture this year.

Keith & Leslie Get Married

Last Friday, my good friends Keith & Leslie got married. It was wedding number 1,342 that I have attended in the last year. Seriously. At least this one was not only in Santa Monica, but it was like 4 blocks from my house. A welcome change of pace for sure.

While at the wedding, I was able to take this photo of my friend Broek. Definitely my favorite photo in a while.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Pushing Sadness

There have been rumblings over the last couple of weeks that Pushing Daisies, one of my top 5 TV dramas of all time, was going to be canceled mid-season. Even though I knew this sad news was coming and tried to prepare myself, it made the actual news of the cancellation no less disheartening. Especially after so fully enjoying this weeks episode. The scene changes with the curtains opening and closing were great. And The Magic Book of Magic, simply  hilarious. 

Ned, Chuck, Emerson, Olive, Vivian, Lily, and Lily's eyepatch. You will be missed. I will cherish our final seven episodes together.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Monday, November 17, 2008

Quantum of Awesomeness

Don't believe the "Bond Traditionalists" and their negative hype. Quantum of Solace was great. The whole "James Bourne" line of complaints is just plain lame. Sure, there were a few stylistic elements that were similar. Most notably, the editing of some of the action sequences. Guess what, that is bound to happen when an editor from Bourne Supremacy also edits Quantum of Solace. Deal with it. I could continue to rant about the "Bond Traditionalists" but I am going to stop here. I don't want to let their Negative Nancy attitudes ruin a perfectly good movie going experience. Instead I will briefly list a few of the things I liked:

  • The Bolivian desert was the perfect setting for the revenge theme of the movie and where Bond was at emotionally.
  • Judi Dench was excellent.
  • I thought the run time was perfect. It didn't feel too long which was one of my only complaints about Casino Royale.
  • The opening car chase was off the heezy fo sheezy.
  • I thought the two vengeance story lines came together quite nicely.
  • The two Bolivian hotels were amazing.
  • Absolutely loved the opera scene. My favorite shot from the movie took place at the opera. It was the low/wide angle shot when Bond and a group of villains walked into the same room. Bond on the left and the villains on the right. It was just a glimpse but it was perfect.
  • Daniel Craig.
The best way to sum up my opinion is that I really like the new direction of the Bond franchise with Daniel Craig. I feel like it is Bond for adults as opposed to Bond for teenage boys. I like the grittiness and I like the tragedy.

So if you are a "Bond Traditionalist" you probably won't enjoy Quantum of Solace like I did. If you prefer the more mature version of Bond as established with Casino Royale, than you will probably enjoy Quantum of Solace. Choose accordingly.

Friday, November 14, 2008

30 Rock?

Is it just me or has 30 Rock lost something this year? I feel like I am watching Amare Stoudemire immediately after his microfracture surgery. There are glimpses of greatness and there is the sense of a lurking giant but it just isn't coming off the pick and roll with the same ferocity. I am really hoping that this is just me or just a bump in the road and 30 Rock will round back in to form similar to Amare and his domination this year.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Diet Grape Soda?

Earlier today, I was standing in front of the fridge at work trying to decide which flavor of soda to drink. I ended up commenting to one of my co-workers that I wished we had grape soda because I was really in the mood for one. This sparked a conversation about the greatness of grape soda which led to a discussion about grape soda being "gangsta" because it doesn't come in diet. As we were wrapping up our anectdotal tales about never seeing diet grape soda, another co-worker mentioned that a few years ago our fridges were stocked with diet white grape soda and that it truly tasted like the sweet nectar of the gods. 

This comment literally made me stop mid sentence and I may or may not have heard a record screaching to a halt in the background. First of all, WHITE grape soda? Second of all DIET white grape soda? So much for my grape soda is so gangsta way of thinking. Diet white grape soda is right up there with diet 7up on my list of least gangsta sodas.

Even though my mind was just blown and I was more than a little disappointed in my new found knowledge, I must admit that I was quite intrigued. Diet white grape soda really sounds quite delicious to me and so the hunt was on. Thanks to Google, I now know that diet white grape soda is produced by Diet Rite and is availabe on Amazon. I may or may not have already ordered 2 cases.

Monday, November 3, 2008

I Heart Tracy Morgan

Tracy Morgan. What more needs to be said? Enjoy.

Video courtesy of English.