Lions for Lambs for Losers

November 11, 2007

I love politics. I love movies. I love heated debates about the “war on terror”, Iraq, Afghanistan, and the importance of national service. I love Meryl Streep. I love uber liberal Robert Redford. I should have loved Lions for Lambs.

But I didn’t. In fact, I hated it. I thought it was one of the worst films I saw this year. Over hyped, over advertised, over acted, and over ambitious. In fact, I thought it was so bad I needed to post about it.

Problems:

It is preachy and self important. It tells you what is important and just how important it is. It had Tom Cruise just spouting the same Republican Party lines I could watch on CNN of the value of security and turning the Middle East into some Christian moral crusade. It had Meryl Streep as a weak, menopausal reporter who lost the spunk and dedication to truth journalists used to have. She was only capable of saying something needed to be done (and of course to compare the situation to Vietnam). Robert Redford was the worst; he was supposed to be the inspirational teacher who changes apathetic American kids into the proponents of change while having done nothing himself. Except it was so dry the only thing it inspired me to do was fall asleep. Intermittent through the two main conversations were some decent scenes of two soldiers, exploitation cinema at its finest. Although that was essentially to make you sympathize with the troops regardless of your political views by making them minority martyrs dying for our sins. Then after no plot, there was no resolution. I guess it was just to pose the questions you should be asking yourself about our government already. Except the problem is if you weren’t already asking those questions you wouldn’t have gone to see the movie, so it was preaching to the choir. It was also incredibly spineless, there was a general leaning towards anti-war sentiments, but it wasn’t strong or in your face. Just a terribly ineffective, boring tirade made my Hollywood to try to prove some sort of political awareness. I don’t care that you read the newspaper Robert Redford.

My advice:

If you are looking for a movie to make you ask yourself what is right and wrong, check out Gone Baby Gone. That is a fine example of movie posing moral questions while still having an entertaining and fast paced storyline.


He’s real and that’s rare.

November 10, 2007

Alex put me on Lupe Fiasco a couple of months ago, but it just didn’t click initially. But now I am addicted. I just heard the wrong song first. I first heard his break out hit “Kick Flip” and thought it was okay, but nothing to write home about (or blog about). But now I’ve listened to all his previous work and it is solid.

I am huge fan of urban-suburban meshes that blend street and skate culture. I think the result is intensely cool fashions that utilize bright colors, functionality, comfort and freshness. It also tends to result in fun music. I think music should be essentially a reflection of life. So I want to listen to love songs when in love, loud rock when I’m angry, and expect to have upbeat songs to listen to when I am happy. So when happy (and if you are doing life right that is the majority of the time) I usually get stuck listening to poppy top 40 songs or oldies, as opposed to my preferred rap music.

That is where some of the current and up and coming rappers are really stepping up. Jason Fox, Gym Class Heroes, Kayne West, Pharell and my currently love Lupe Fiasco are pumping out catchy non gangster rap. I don’t have to feel bad about being a middle class white kid who listens to rap. I am not some sort of wigger, I like the music, I’m not out wearing gangster clothes, talking in slang, and rocking gang symbols or tims. I am listening while driving, studying, or dancing. Not to say these guys are rapping about some heavy things, but in those instances it is not related to glorifying violence or drugs. If those topics are in the song it is about how guns, drugs, violence, crime, and poverty are holding the black community down.

So I highly recommend checking out some of his work, these are the links to a few of my favorites:

Dumb it Down

He Say, She Say

Kick Push

I Gotcha

Daydreamin


Breaking News: Non-fiction can be good!

October 2, 2007

I discovered something I long thought impossible this summer; Non-fiction books can be good. My dad brought home “Money Girl” by Edward Humes because it was about evolution (a personal favorite topic) and the legal battle over Intelligent Design (which largely took place in PA. woot woot). I devoured the book in a matter of hours. It had a balanced approach like classical journalism, the fast pace of a fiction novel, and the factual background of a science textbook. For the first time in a while I was so impressed with an author that I went out and started reading his other books. I read three more of his books before the summer ended. “Murderer with a Badge”, “Buried Secrets”, and “Mississippi Mud” where all equally well written and interesting. I highly recommend any of his books to you.

What made me think of this today? I was studying at the library and finally remembered to order another one of his books. I’ll tell you how it is when I am done.


Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous

October 1, 2007

I have a new favorite blog: bornrich.org. The site has luxury items that only the insanely fabulous could own. I thought I would share the photos of some of the most recent insanity. The site features houses, boats and cars that range in to the multi millions. But it also has tons of normal items like cellphones, couches, computers, games, and collectibles that are over the top.

Limited edition Diamond encrusted Nokia N95 8GB (~$24,500)

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McLaren-Mercedes SLR 722 GTR (~$1.1 million)

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Colossal AMP speaker desk

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Sanrio’s Solid gold Hello Kitty playing card (~$5000)

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Gold-plated Macbook Pro project (~$1500 on top of laptop price)

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A Pencil for €9,000?

It has a cover featuring built-in sharpener and the wood used is made of 240 years old olive wood. The special feature of this edition is three diamonds worked into the cap.

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Mommy Please??

October 1, 2007

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These muffins look like the tastiest things ever. (I think food photography is amazing, there are photographers who can make asparagus look tasty). I want them right now. Problem is I don’t have the ingriendents, nor any cooking abilities, my mom would freak out, and it is almost midnight. But that won’t stop me from wishing. Maybe I’ll wake up and some nice lady (yes I am sexist) will have made them for me. Just imagine them warm. yum yum. So if you are out there woman of my dreams, here is the recipe for my heart.

Peanut Butter and Milk Chocolate Chip Muffins
2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2/3 cup brown sugar
6 tbsp butter, melted and cooled
1/2 cup crunchy peanut butter (or smooth)
2 large eggs
1 cup milk (low fat or skim is fine)
3/4 cup milk chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 375F. Line a a standard 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners.
In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt and brown sugar.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the melted butter, peanut butter, eggs and milk until smooth. Pour into flour mixture and stir until just combined. Stir in chocolate chips.
Divide batter into your paper-lined muffin tin. Each cup should be filled to the top, not just half way up, to ensure you get a nice dome on the muffin.
Bake for 17-20 minutes, until a tester comes out clean and the top of the muffin springs back when lightly pressed.
Cool on a wire rack.

Makes 12.


Hot Lesbians, Adorable Guys, and Sad Old People?

September 29, 2007

So I wouldn’t normally do this, but I feel compelled to post about “Feast of Love”. I am generally unqualified to review movies, since I like almost every movie I see. I believe in taking a movie for what it is, not what it could be. If it is supposed to be a gross comedy than it should be judged accordingly ( a la Superbad!!!). Feast of Love looked from the preview to be somewhere between a romantic comedy for adults and a character drama. And it was ( just add a lot of nudity).

The acting was excellent. Selma Blair was like a petulant child and very believable. Greg Kinnear was endearing although annoyingly naive. Morgan Freeman was fantastic (as to be expected). Both Toby Hemingway and Alexa Davalos were intense and somewhat creepy, but you bought that they were in love. The story was decent. There were tons of ups and downs keeping your heart on the edge the whole time. Some parts were melodramatic to an extreme degree. They probably could have left out a couple parts, particularly a man named Bat. The plot outline from IMDB says it best:

“A meditation on love and its various incarnations, set within a community of friends in Oregon. An exploration of the magical, mysterious and sometimes painful incarnations of love.”

I liked it and would recommend it to pretty much anyone with a heart. Although I hate sad movies, and this had its fair share of sad moments, the overriding theme was love. It was somewhat unconventional in its willingness to show the often intensely painful side of love. There are tons of movies where people meet and overcome some initial difficulty to walk away into the sunset together. There are only a few movies that show the reality of love. That love can be unpredictable, awkward at times, unreciprocated at others, painful, and intensely scary. But that it is also an absolutely necessary part of our world. It is the part that makes us human, and we are all better people because of it.

Some critics liked it, some hated it. Personally I think the negative reviews are somewhat pretentious. They complain that the movie tries too hard and that Morgan Freeman is playing the character he always plays. He plays that role, because he is good at it. And why shouldn’t a movie try hard, it attempts to show you the bigger picture with love. Yes at times it fails, but most of the movies out don’t even strive to portray real love. Besides how can a movie not be good if early on Morgan Freeman’s soothing voice says:

“They say that when the Greek gods were bored, they invented humans. Still bored, they invented love. That wasn’t boring, so they tried it themselves. And then they invented laughter — so they could stand it.”


More hot and nasty gay videos

September 28, 2007

Apparently you all like some good ole gay videos. After the popularity of my last video post (i can see the hits, so i know your there even if you don’t comment) I’ve decided to post a few more favorites. and if anyone has some suggestions. I placed in parthesis any necessary warnings.

I love Charles Firth:

Be Gay (bad language):

Cute:

Old School:

Harry Potter:

If Larry Craig was gay (cheesy singing):

Oh Lesbians: