Thoughts on the fucking Oscars

Sunday, February 27, 2011 8:42 PM By Simon

Kirk Douglas and Banksy are in cahoots. I fucking know it.

When the King's Speech won, I'm not gonna lie, me and my sister lost our cool for a second. Some words were said, some feelings were hurt, some couches mutilated.

One funny thing I saw on the Film Rejects Live Blog, during Kirk Douglas's epic adventure: "He's gone rogue!"

Javier Bardem's clip was heartbreaking, dude.

That is all.

Cartoons that shaped my childhood 3: Teen Titans

Saturday, February 26, 2011 2:58 PM By Simon , In

I'm so thoughtful, I'm even linking back to other additions. That's how nice I am!

1: Recess
2: Xiaolin Showdown

Oh, I know, as if you care. Anyway, thus far I've covered Disney Channel and WB shows, so now we must move on to the granddaddy of my upbringing, Cartoon Network.


They're so happy for me.

Okay, so, surely you're at least half-aware of DC Comics, yes? Batman and Superman and all the good, not-stupid-Jean-Gray ones? Well then, you must know who Robin is. Even if you've never heard of Doom Patrol, Young Justice, or Detective Comics, I assure you, you've heard of Batman & Robin. Well, little did you scallywags (I'm trying it out) know, Robin left Batman scratching his Batnipples to lead the Teen Titans. And then he went on to become Nightwing. But that's not important right now. Bitch.

Enough boring-ass exposition. Teen Titans was a cartoon that premiered in the early Naughties (that's its name now. Deal with it.) on Cartoon Network. It followed the PG-ed adventures of the Teen Titans, a five-man-band of sidekicks, comic reliefs, and various characters created specifically for the comic. There was Robin, of bloody fucking course. And, thank Xenu, he was heavily implied (confirmed in the spinoff comic Teen Titans Go!) to be Dick Grayson-Robin, not that little shiteater Jason Todd. So, anyway, instead of the wisecracking Boy Wonder he was in the books, he's now a scowling, hardcore, obsessive, kind of psycho BAMF. Who still wears a T-shirt. But whatever.

Then there's Starfire. I forget if she was made just for the comic, but I wouldn't be surprised. She's an alien from Tamara (have you ever noticed how, whenever an alien planet is in question, everybody on that planet speaks the same language, named after the planet itself. Like, surely there must be some kind of separation between bodies of land? And why the fuck don't we speak Earthian?), who was evidently much more crazy and naked in the books (am I talking too much about them?), but here, she's sixteen-or-so, naive, sweet, and can learn any language by making out with a native speaker of it. She can fly and shoot green lasers from her hands and various orifices. She is also very bubbly. And kind of annoying sometimes. But she gets some funny scenes. Like when she berates drapery.

Next is Beast Boy. Formerly of the Doom Patrol (even wearing the costume), he's a little green boy who thinks he's hilarious, and can shape shift into any animal (and pterodactyls, for some reason). He's the comic relief. And very sad inside, yo. Eats tofu, which people are always ragging on him for, for some sick reason, because as he aptly puts it, "I've been most of those animals", and I think that's a good bloody fucking reason not to eat bacon.

Raven. Half-demon. Constantly doing mental battle with her evil demon father and trying not to destroy the universe. Levitating. Has a rather annoying chant to concentrate her powers and whatnot, something like "Azerath Metrion ZINTHOS!" She must keep her emotions neutral. Voiced by Tara Strong, who voices at least one character on every cartoon show ever. Has been on note as saying "Evil beware. We have waffles." She is awesome.

And, finally, as I'm sure you all are eagerly anticipating, Cyborg. He's a former athelete turned half-robot who always plays video games with Beast Boy and says 'BOOYAH' a lot, because he's black, so he has to say something sassy or us children might get the wrong idea. He can still eat, though, and people tend to fuck with his hard drive, which is on his back, during battles.

To save room, I won't give detailed backgrounds on Terra, earth-manipulating friend/traitor/villain/noble sacrficer, or main villain Slade, who's Deathstroke the Terminator (both names are badass, but the latter kind of pounds the nail a little too far in), and is obsessed with making Robin his apprentice, and is voiced by Ron Perlman, so fuck yeah. Or Speedy, who shows up to be Robin's quasi-clone, or Aqualad, who's voiced by Wil Wheaton, or Bumblebee, who is in latter seasons and I don't remember much of because I only got the first two from the library, or Blackfire, Starfire's bitch sister, or Jinx, a graduate of blah blah blah.

--

This show, man. In my day, this was the show. It was one of those cartoons that started out kid-friendly, with enough broad appeal to hook in adults too. Then it got hardcore dark. Lots of mindraping, Raven by Trigon (daddy) and Robin by Slade (wannabe daddy) and Starfire by tons of people, because she's has the innocent mentality of a four-year-old, goddammit. There was a movie, called Trouble in Tokyo. It doubled as the series finale. There might be a Bryan Singer-directed live-action adaption of either the comics or the show (hard to tell, as Robin is the only confirmed character. Batman never shows up, but is lightly alluded to.

What I loved about this show was how funny it was, how it wasn't so lame-humor-then-scowl as all the other superhero shows at the time. It was anime-inspired and the characters sometimes morphed into chibis, and it was manic and weird and not-weird and loud and colorful. What I love now is how it actually has some quality storytelling, and Malcolm McDowell voiced Mad Mod a couple times, where he drops some Clockwork speak and says 'duckies' a lot. I love how it wasn'f afraid to jump into the characters, how fucked-up they are, like how Robin can never lose and he is just on the brink of insanity with Slade, all the traumas they all got in their past, man. And they had Very Special Episodes about racism and arranged marriage and one I'm pretty sure was about steroids.

I love the theme song, by Puffy AmiYumi, a Japanese girl band who got a cartoon, but I never really watched it.

Of course, upon rewatching the first two seasons, I noticed some things. Mostly about Robin. He did the whole pun thing. A lot. He wears a T-shirt. Everytime someone talking, he interrupts them. Like, in the Mad Mod episode, I just wanted someone to scream 'JESUS CHRIST, ROBIN, LET ME FINISH!'.

And, apparently, if he doesn't say 'Titans Go!', everyone would scratch their asses while they got mauled by autonomous cinderblocks.

Some of the Aesops were groan-inducing.

Still. Unbridled joy hits me whenever this show is on. It created it's own mythology in that way only the good shows can. Enjoy clips and such.









And so on.

Why we don't really hate the things we hate

Thursday, February 24, 2011 8:49 PM By Simon


It's because, my dear doves, we need the things we hate. If peope didn't hate things, nothing would get done. Can you imagine everyone on the fucking planet twirling around in utter bliss? I'd say a paradox would form from your annoyance at such tomfoolery, but then, you'd be in the same state.

We need stuff to bitch about. We need those tiny little grievances that make your day more interesting. Sure, the rest of your week will rise and set on a math test, but hey, it distracts from the fact that we're on a hurling rock, the odds of human survival are comically stacked against us, and it's only through dumb luck that we have existed this far into a fucking terrifying universe.

We are fueled by our hatred of talkers, hipsters, preppies, teenagers, old people, young people, math teachers, cell phones, social networks, Cameron Diaz, Kim Jong-il, toasters, water taking forever to boil, broken computers, ugliness, uncomfortableness, Blogger malfunctions, Disqus, losing your favorite issue of Teen Titans Go!, the fact that you actually read a comic based off a Cartoon Network series, feeling overprotective when someone mocks us for it, the fuss over Johnny Storm, realizing your Bio teacher doesn't know who Nikola Tesla is, the fact that there's a huge honking Edison poster plastered outside your English room, writing poetry, your lack of multilingualism, stubbing your toe, hating that one girl who sits at your lunch table, crowded stairs, broken washer, Canadian rappers, weird fingers, stories about nature, the inpenetrable smell of feet permeating from your living room, your state, your government, your lack of dignity, your cold future of cubicles and Community reruns.

We need our own complaints. That is all.

Im Su-jeong in I'm A Cyborg, But That's OK

8:41 PM By Simon

Courtesy of Rich at Wide Screen World, who was so kind as to hold a contest a couple months ago. I tip my hat, good fellow.

My Dashboard be illin', yo

4:36 PM By Simon


So you precious good folks will have to do without my delightful comments underneath your delightful posts, because I can't be bothered to go through my Blogroll. Godspeed.

Why Christina Aguilera is the most boring singer of all time

12:26 PM By Simon

If I may be so trangressive as the briefly change the subject matter of this blog completely.

Christina Aguilera. Xtina, if you will. I won't. I've been aware of her for most of my life. As a wee child of six, getting carted off to Kingergarden, I'd hear tidbits from the fourth graders (who, I assure you, were quite menacing back then) about either her or Brittany Spears. Eventually, me and my sister, having heard the music of either of them, or if we had, we couldn't put song to faces (mostly because we didn't really know what they looked like either. It was a long time before we got a cable box)...right. Eventually, we just picked at random who our favorite singer would be. I picked Aguilera, because I liked her name, and I felt all smart being able to spell it.

How proud I was of my choice. In long car rides with friends of Folks, I'd brag that she was so much better than my sister's stupid Brittany. I'd tell friends at school, yo, yo, I know people, I got connections (the only kid in our class who had any non-Disney musical interests was into Michael Jackson, and when, in fourth grade, during The Trial, he went on a cruisade so indignant we were tempted to believe that he was innocent, though nobody knew who he was either). I felt like a grown-up, ya'll.

And then we got cable.

Me and Sister were so psyched-the-fuck-out. We'd finally get to watch Powerpuff Girls somewhere besides the heavily-guarded couch of our rich cousins in Florida! Hazzah!

One day, Mother, bless her heart, came into the room where we now watched our shows (I keep a carbon dating-like record of all the rooms we moved around to. This was the room that would one day be mine, right before we got carted to the future office/dining room, which we left when me and Sister got nightmares from that episode of the Superman animated series that involved ghosts flying into everyone's stomach and eating them or something, it's complicated).

Anyway. She comes in and informs me that Aguilera has a music video on one of the higher stations. Me, enthusiastic that I'd finally get to listen to the music of my favorite singer for the first time, I jumped up and switched the channel (pre-remotes, shut up).

After five minutes, I turned that shit off.

Not fucking worth it.

And here's why:

Christina Aguilera frequently rides on the wave of the latest musical trend. Her big claim to stardom was 'Reflection' from Mulan. She went through a Brittany Spears thing ('Genie in a Bottle'), a Gwen Stefani thing, a hardcore-ballad thing (motherfucking 'You Are Beautiful'), and now appears to be in a Lady GaGa phase. She rarely, if ever, does anything noticeable.

What sucks is that she's a great singer, but she has no charisma to match it. In interviews, she's so non-offensive and tame, making her onstage persona...fake, I guess.

She has no subtly in her songs. She never tones it down. Which is all well and good, if she didn't have to act like every note was her big 'wow, she can sing!' moment.

Have you heard of that song 'Firework', by Katy Perry? There's a reason, as my sister points out, why it's so popular. It's catchy, yes, but Perry's voice is so very not suited for the song. She is not someone who would traditionally sing it. Which makes her vocals, as flat as they can be, interesting. Scratchy and kind of husky and whatnot. It's interesting to hear someone leave their comfort zone.

Christina Aguilera never does this. Everything's her comfort zone, as long as she can scream at the top of her lungs. It's boring. She's boring. She may be remembered, but she'll never be an icon.

*scene*

Go watch this

Tuesday, February 22, 2011 7:24 PM By Simon

Preferably with your weirdest friend. You and he? Will sing that shit all fucking week.

Teen Titans Theme Song

Sunday, February 20, 2011 6:07 PM By Simon

Is awesome when it's translated into English:



Translated back to Japanese:



Then back to English, but literally:



For those who didn't catch those lyrics:

I don't watch any of the Real Housewives shows

Saturday, February 19, 2011 7:31 PM By Simon

But I imagine this is spot-on.

The nerds have taken the Earth. All hail.

6:07 PM By Simon



Thoughts on Wet Hot American Summer

Friday, February 18, 2011 10:45 PM By Simon

-A spoof of summer camp movies. An awesome spoof. Back when it took some sort of ability to make a successful one.

-This shit rules. I can't even.


Criterion Files coming soon, because of stupid-ass Hulu Plus

Thursday, February 17, 2011 2:16 PM By Simon

St. Vincent help us.

Have you ever woken up one morning to face the horrors of the day, and was all

Tuesday, February 15, 2011 9:13 PM By Simon












Books of Adam

Battle royale: Best cover of 'Man Who Sold the World'

Sunday, February 13, 2011 7:41 PM By Simon

So, mes amores, if you hadn't gathered by the somewhat-persistent music videos planted here, I am something of a Bowie fan. The song that made me a Bowie fan, as it were, was The Man Who Sold the World, a brilliant split-personality-off that might've doubled as a space western anthem.

So I ask you: who embarrasses it least with their cover?















(by the way, check this shit out: )

And, of course, any others you can think of.

Thoughts on Interview

12:05 AM By Simon

-So I watched this last week, and meant to review it, really, truly, for seriously, but then school came about, and my sister insisted I watch all of Young Justice (which I did. Fuck yeah.), and I didn't remember until just now. So take any of the succeeding with the knowledge that I only half remember what I wanted to say about it at the time.

-So. Steve Buscemi is a fading political journalist who gets assigned to interview a paparazzi-prone TV star (Sienna Miller). They meet at a restaurant, bump heads, hate each other profusely, and storm off. After she inadvertantly causes an accident with the cab he's in, she takes him to her apartment, where they wax about fame, reality, and some such shit.

-It really is a fascinating film (based off the movie by Theo van Gogh, and if you don't recognize the name either way, pity your soul). Miller's apartment, the one they use for the movie, is big, a nice studio apartment, where different areas are structured to make it feel like completely different places from the other. It's claustrophobic when it has to be, lonely, cloying, comfortable. As the two pace and subtly chase each other around, it's like their touring the city, almost, making every conversation fit the surroundings.

-Buscemi and Miller are good here. Going from strangers to enemies to grudging acquaintences to romantically-involved-ers to father-daughter to opponents (it's very different from enemies) to friends, concluding with a mix of it all, a clear winner in the heap, and one could argue, ending it all as strangers. All of this is undercut by a weird sexual tension (any sexual tension of Steve Buscemi is weird, okay?). Buscemi, as always, plays his character's smarm perfectly, narcissistic and aggressive and arrogant, and whenever you get backstory evidence to possibly sympathise with the guy, it never really lands, as either during or after each confession, he seems to try and use it as leverage for something else.

-I don't keep up much with Sienna Miller's tabloid life, or any of her life, really (you know not the contempt I have for her after Layer Cake ), but I imagine this is playing on her reputation as, I don't know, vacuous pseduo-actress/model thing. She really is quite charismatic as a cleverer-than-she-looks starlet who is either very troubled or very manipulative, or maybe she's just too damn sincere. Whatever. I'm sure my sister would like her boots.

-Being biased towards chamber dramas in film, mostly because I respect that, unlike theatre, it takes much greater will-power as a filmmaker not to roam elsewhere, having the power of a portable camera and a budget, that is. I love seeing what people do with the limitations of the sub-genre (in fact, reminded that I was supposed to write something about this while reading an AV Club review of Sunset Limited). Why is this relevant? It's not. But your this far down, so you've either stuck with my incoherent vomit until the end, in which case, wassup, or you skipped down past the preceeding paragraphs, in which case, ...)

I have lost a follower. This is unacceptable.

Saturday, February 12, 2011 8:31 PM By Simon

But don't get too worked up. Here, comfort yourself with the beauty of Ziggy.

Thoughts on The Illusionist

Friday, February 11, 2011 7:00 PM By Simon

-A beautiful film by the director the the Triplets of Belleville. Okay?

-SPOILERS

-So, the little Scottish girl of this film has gotten a lot of flack for being, at best, inconsistent, at worst, an annoying, underdeveloped, selfish little brat. But I don't see it like that. She is a fairly young (fluctuating age, but whatever), naive, sheltered girl from a rural Scottish village (the kind that still speak primarily Gaelic), who is absolutely mystified by the illusionist, thinking he really is magic. She does not know that her constant asking for expensive clothes is a financial burden on him...like the coins he pulls from her ear, she thinks he just makes them appear out of nowhere. Notice how, at the end, he, in a hurry to convene with his new boss or whatever, he simply pulls a coin from his pocket, dropping pretenses.

And finally, in the rather heartbreaking end, he leaves her a note. You gotta be there to get how fucking sad it is. I cried, you bitches.

As always, some eloquent thought from an eloquent blogger. Peace out.

Yo.

Thursday, February 10, 2011 9:19 PM By Simon

Everything Is A Remix: KILL BILL from robgwilson.com on Vimeo.

Oh, I know, my loves, I've just been terrible.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011 9:04 PM By Simon



Leaving you in the cold, dark abyss of the internet, where you surely spend your available hours refreshing this very page, forever in hopes of an update, but never to be quelled. Surely.

Let me make it up to you, dearies. Review-type thingers for The Illusionist, Strictly Sexual, Downtown 81, and probably Young Justice if I ever get around to Youtube. That wit you've all come to vaguely tolerate shan't be away for long!

Until then, here's this.





Go listen to this podcast

Monday, February 7, 2011 5:51 PM By Simon

Since I will not be able too because, as is well documented, my computer is a slutty thingwhore asshole.

Thoughts on Pontypool

Saturday, February 5, 2011 10:32 AM By Simon

-A mysterious disease sweeps through the eponymous Canadian town, as seen from the small staff of a local radio station in the basement of a church.

-Holy shit, is this movie awesome. I mean, it's terrifying. One of the few modern movies that literally made my heart stop. And Stephen McHattie, as the shock jock protaganist who is eventually torn between his duty to inform what little public remains/verbal tick of never shutting up, and the fact that his broadcast is the very-near reason the disease is spreading so quick, spends much of his time giving smooth monologues on this and that, with wit and delivery of a natural-born radio personality. By the end, he transcends obnoxious and enters epic.

-The zombies/conversationalists (as director Bruce McDonald puts it) are just...damn. Mimics and not-quite cannibals, but turns out, they're just really, really confused...

-And it's funny. I mean, at the end, what should be sad is actually kind of uplifting, in a way, and throughout, and...the coda scene confirms the joke. It's a brilliant ending.

-I love how they play it like a real radio station would be, everyone talking over each other, people listening to an emergency broadcast while the DJ is still talking in the background, and eventually, they can only get information from call-in viewers (the original concept was going to be that the only image would be a line reacting to the voices, like an actual radio broadcast, and at least one character would only be mentioned), and there's a chick who looks like the brunette on Criminal Minds, and, shit, I'm not explaining this well at all.

-Terrifying and clever and brilliant, a comment on meaningless conversation (many of the triggering words, if you know what I'm talking about, are often superfluous and pointless dialogue-fillers), the Canadian government (Canada...), language in general (hells yeah), and shock jocks.

-I don't know why, but I want to make a T-shirt that says: "It's not the end of the world, it's just the end of the day". It'll either be stupid or awesome.

Thoughts on Sex is Comedy

Friday, February 4, 2011 7:34 PM By Simon

-I've figured out why I can never really relate to characters in foreign films, even if they're excellently drawn and whatnot. I spend half the time reading the subtitles, and so I never really see the words coming out of their mouth. It's like, I never connect the verbal ticks with the person, and since I more often than not don't speak the language, turning off the subtitles would turn all of them into a wall of foerign noise. With the subtitles, I'm reading a picture book.

-ANYWAY!

-Anne Parillaud (Nikita Classic) stars as Catherine Breillet's reflection, a tyrannical director prone to philisophical monologues on film, actors, sex, and sex scenes. She tries to film a love scene (basically Fat Girl without the eponymous character, or any other characters, really, but for Roxane Mesquida, almost-reprising that role, and a new sleaze), but the two actors can't stand each other.

-I'm not gonna lie. I kind of dig Anne Parillaud here. She's brilliant, swaggering around, a little amused, a little annoyed, never shrill, playing someone who might be a genius or just might be talking a fair load of shit...I mean, I can't describe it. It's just so effortlessly cool. I know Breillet meant her to be a parody of herself, or a satire, or something, but...I so very suck at describing why I like things.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011 7:21 PM By Simon

uncle bob's van

Thoughts on Bluebeard

Tuesday, February 1, 2011 4:47 PM By Simon

-A retelling of the famous folk tale, as framed/joined by two sisters reading the storybook in their attic.

-What I loved about this was how...well told the story was. Usually, with any sort of cinematic adaption of folktales, in order for them to appear more real than the admittedly vague original content, they'll add romance or a wacky sidekick. Catherine Breillet manages to make us relate to these characters--Bluebeard, apparently a gentle giant, his newest young bride, who may be much more devious than she lets on. Without any sort of 'modern' tinges, the characters feel just as real as the little girls reading the story (although I feel they go hand-in-hand, but that's another thing), and when they read real excerts from a version of the story, it's rather jarring, hearing everything we just saw reduced to a few lines. The relationship between the bride and her sister, established for the first half of the movie, in fact, feels more real than the modern sisters.

-The parallels are too obvious to make. One is the other, they're all the same.

-Oh, whatever. Theaorize of the ending. See if I care.

A One-Man Zombie Apocalypse (with no comment)

4:43 PM By Simon

For the Love of Film

4:41 PM By Simon

Go see The Self-Styled Siren for more information. Bitch.