Jan 5, 2010

Paranormal Activity

I posted this quick review of Paranormal Activity on another website but decided to post it here as well to increase my content and to draw multitudes of readers to my blog. That's my intent. Readership. Numbers. Vagina.

I finally watched Paranormal Activity. It was pretty bad. It was probably designed to work best in a theatre full of god-fearing teens. I watched it at home which is good because it only cost me $1 to rent from the Redbox. Sure, I lost out on the screaming, jumping, throbbing mass of assholes by not going to the theatre, but that's a good thing.

A couple parts made me think that it could be scary, but the terrible acting and horrible dialogue were so distracting that the tension couldn't hold up. The arguments between the couple on whether or not to keep the camera rolling were shallow and illogical. I wasn't buying any of their reasoning. The boyfriend doesn't believe in psychics but he thinks he can contact the dead using magic Ouija board techniques? Super. I think the movie would have been much more effective if the filmmakers pursued the possibility that the female protagonist (can't remember her name) was suffering from mental illness rather than some invisible "demon". That would allow those of us that don't believe in all the supernatural nonsense to still enjoy the film on a somewhat rational level. And they could leave out the part about the demon leaving its hoofprints in baby powder.

As it stands, I hope this trend of single-camera, found-footage filmmaking is finished. Blair Witch was innovative, Cloverfield was unique (and nauseating), and Rec (and it's remake, Quarantine) was intense. But that's enough. I want to feel like I'm watching a regular movie again, not someone's crappy wedding video gone awry.

Coming Soon: Favorite Films of 2009

I'm currently compiling a list of my favorite films of 2009. There are still a couple of movies that come out on DVD in the next few weeks that I want to watch before I finalize my list. I don't think my top three favorites will change, but the order of the list after that is still up in the air. I'm also hoping to see The White Ribbon soon if I can find a theatre that's showing it. Peace.

Jan 4, 2010

Favorite Albums of 2009

Here is a list of my favorite albums from the year 2009 in descending order from 11 to 1. 1 is the best. 11 is the least best. There are 11 albums because 10 are too few. 12 are too many. May your list not be as cool as mine. While I respect The Dirty Projectors' valiant effort called Bitte Orca, it's really not my thing so it didn't make my list but it made everyone else's instead. That's good.

11. Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix--Phoenix

A good friend turned me onto Phoenix this year. I wasn't as hip as you as I didn't run out and buy their album after I watched Lost in Translation. Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix is extremely catchy and fun. I haven't gotten bored of it yet.

10. Sunrise in the Land of Milk and Honey--Cracker

This new Cracker album is my favorite since The Golden Age. All the songs are great. Turn On, Tune In, Drop Out With Me is as good as anything Lowery has ever written.

9. There Is No Enemy--Built to Spill

It's probably unfair to the many new bands making so-called waves this year, but Built to Spill is always guaranteed a space on my list. Hindsight is my favorite song of the year and the entire album is consistently great.

8. 3 Rounds and a Sound--Blind Pilot

Blind Pilot's album is the only debut album on my list. See...I like new stuff too. It's a mellow, folky outing, kind of like Vetiver or something. I hope these guys continue to make good music and don't end up being part of a "supergroup" like Monsters of Folk or Chickenfoot.

7. Welcome Joy--The Cave Singers

Pure dark-folk goodness. Welcome Joy is a welcome joy to behold or some such shit. I really dig it.

6. White Water, White Bloom--Sea Wolf

A perfect album for teenage girls who like moody, romantic lyrics full of natural imagery. Pitchfork hates this album because it comes from a band that is part of the Silverlake music scene. "Love the music/hate the scene" is my motto. Fuck pretension. Fuck Pitchfork.

5. Tight Knit--Vetiver

One of the most relaxing listening experiences I had this year. The lead singer looks like he's retarded, but his songwriting ability proves otherwise. I wish Wishing Well made the album, but it's a pretty great exclusive 7" that assholes like me can show off.

4. It's Frightening--White Rabbits

Yes, they sound like Spoon. That's a great thing. Britt Daniel produced this album and it really compliments the White Rabbits musical sensibilities. If the first two tracks don't blow your mind, perhaps some Dirty Projectors will.

3. Wilco (the album)--Wilco

I don't know what it is about the new Wilco album that I like so much. I just love it. I've listened to it more than anything else on my list and in my iTunes library by far. Everything comes together like it's supposed to. Wilco making great music.

2. Embryonic--The Flaming Lips

Wow. The Flaming Lips completely shredded my expectations with this record. They abandoned the ELO tendencies of their last two albums and released a dirty, dark, dreary, distorted mess of music that perfectly compliments the Silver Trembling Fetus Christmas tree ornament I recently bought from their website. To top it all off, they just released an amazing cover of Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon album. Genius. Absolutely genius.

1. Crack the Skye--Mastodon

A perfect concept album. A perfect metal album. A perfect rock album. An amazing live show. Mastodon rules.