Obviously Losing

Location: Los Angeles, California

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Guster's "Manifest Destiny"...

... is perhaps the best song of the summer. Listen here.

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Bush & the Pig

And fianlly, the last of today's Stewart videos. I wonder, how do people who voted for Bush sleep at night?

Stewart Again

And these great Jon Stewart clips just keeping popping up. This one tackles Bush's veto on stem cell research.

Brink of War?

Jon Stewart nails it once again. I especially love the ending segment. Click here.

Friday, July 28, 2006

Upcoming Movies

Here's what I'm looking forward to most in the rest of 2006...

1. The Fountain (Darren Aronofsky) - Nov 22
2. For Your Consideration (Christopher Guest) - Nov 17
3. Volver (Pedro Almodóvar) - Nov 3
4. Babel (Alejandro González Iñárritu) - Oct 27
5. Borat (Larry Charles) - Nov 3
6. Children of Men (Alfonso Cuarón) - Dec 25
7. The Departed (Martin Scorsese) - Oct 6
8. The Prestige (Christopher Nolan) - Oct 20
9. The Science of Sleep (Michel Gondry) - Sept 22
10. The Good German (Steven Soderbergh) - Dec 8


All the King's Men (Steven Zaillian) - Sept 22
Apocalypto (Mel Gibson) - Dec 8
The Black Dahlia (Brian De Palma) - Sept 15
Breaking and Entering (Anthony Minghella) - Oct 6
Catch a Fire (Phillip Noyce) - Oct 27
Dreamgirls (Bill Condon) - Dec 25
Flags of Our Fathers (Clint Eastwood) - Oct 20
The Good Shepherd (Robert De Niro) - Dec 22
Goya's Ghosts (Milos Forman) - TBA
Little Children (Todd Field) - Oct 20
Marie Antoinette (Sofia Coppola) - Oct 20
Margaret (Kenneth Lonergan) - TBA
Pan's Labyrinth (Guillermo del Toro) - Dec 29
Perfume: The Story of a Murderer (Tom Tykwer) - Dec 8
Quinceañera (Richard Glatzer & Wash Westmoreland) - Aug 4
Stranger Than Fiction (Marc Forster) - Nov 10
This Film Is Not Yet Rated (Kirby Dick) - Sept 1
The Wind That Shakes the Barley (Ken Loach) - TBA
World Trade Center (Oliver Stone) - Aug 9

Roddick vs. Pong

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

The Fountain

Darren Aronofsky's The Fountain has been my most anticipated film ever since it first began production in 2002. Aronofsky, coming off the masterpiece that is Requiem for a Dream, wrote a science-fiction love story about a man's search for the Fountain of Youth in three different time periods - 1500, 2000, and 2500. Aronofsky cast Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett in the lead roles, and Warner Bros. gave him a $75 million budget.

Pre-production started. Elaborate sets were built. And then Pitt decided to abandon the project and do Troy instead. Warner Bros. pulled the plug; the sets were demolished. It looked as if The Fountain was dead.

And then in early 2004, the project was miraculously revived. Aronofsky was given a smaller budget of $35 million, and he cast Hugh Jackman and Rachel Weisz (who would become the director's fiancee). Fans were simultaneously elated and dismayed... happy that the film would become a reality, yet saddened by that diminished budget.

And then the trailer was released. This is one of the most beautifully haunting trailers I've seen a long time, and it's impossible to believe these images were accomplished with such little money.

The early reviews have been sensational, so keep your fingers crossed...

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Landmark Film Center

The June 2007 opening of the Landmark Film Center is the most exciting thing to happen to moviegoing in L.A. since the ArcLight. The Film Center will be a three-story luxury theater with 12 screens (all stadium seating), a lounge, a wine bar, a couple of restaurants, and a book store. Sounds a lot like the ArcLight, but here's the kicker... the Film Center is an art-house theater. That's right - it'll be devoted to playing only indie, alternative, and foreign films.

I drove by the construction site the other day, and I'm already salivating.

Monday, July 24, 2006

3 Awesome Trailers

I just got back from New York today and am exhausted, but here's a quick post of trailers for three movies I'm really looking forward to this year.

Children of Men

The Fountain

The Prestige

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Barry Lyndon

I finally got around to seeing Stanley Kubrick's Barry Lyndon (1975), which is perhaps the most visually beautiful film I've ever seen. The cinematography by John Alcott is famous for its use of natural light (often candlelight), and the Zeiss lens he used contained the largest aperture in cinema history. The result were film images that resembled the flattened perspective of 18th century paintings.

And of course, the film itself is powerful, sad, and completely engrossing. But those images... damn.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Mid-Year Music Report - Top 5 Albums

The music year has been better than the movie year, and I had a very hard time narrowing down this year's musical output to just 5 selections. But alas, it has to be done, so here it is - the five best albums from the first half of 2006.

Asobi Seksu - Citrus
Beirut - Gulag Orkestar
The Strokes - First Impressions of Earth
Mates of State - Bring It Back
Elf Power - Back to the Web

You're Gonna Play Pole Position!

Quite possibly the greatest video game commerical ever.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Bush sings U2's "Sunday, Bloody Sunday"

This is one of the best Bush edits yet.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

A Reflection on Soccer via Zidane

This moment in today's World Cup game pretty much sums up soccer for me... who head-butts another man in the chest? What is this? Wrestling? When these players aren't being thugs, they're on the ground whining about their supposed injuries.

What's worse about soccer is that it's simply silly and boring. How many games ended up being decided with penalty kicks? That's like ending a basketball game in a free-throw shoot-out.

Here's an easy solution: no goalies. This would allow teams to score anywhere from 5-10 goals (and don't think it would be any more, for the players rarely kick a shot that's blocked by the goalie). But of course such an idea would be ridiculed by soccer fans.

During each World Cup, the media tries to convince us that this will be the decade that soccer catches on with American kids. But most American kids play soccer for a year or two and then quickly realize what a dumb sport it is. They then move on to more interesting athletic aspirations, such as baseball, basketball, football, golf, cycling, bowling, swimming, ping pong, frisbee, lacrosse, arm-wrestling, poker, archery, jenga, and competitive eating.

So thank goodness the American children are smart enough to avoid soccer - it means we won't have to hear about it again until 2010.

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Pirates' Booty

I'm down in beautiful Del Mar... just going to post a quick reflection on Pirates of the Caribbean's $55 million gross on Friday, which is the highest of all time. This puts Pirates on track for anywhere from $125 to $145 million for the weekend, which will destroy Spider-Man's previous weekend record.

And yet, one can't help but feel that the wrong film is breaking these records. Dead Man's Chest pales in comparison to its predecessor; in fact, it's a cheap replica of it. The first movie was unaware of how clever it was; its sequel is all too aware that the first movie was a surprise hit, and therefore, it decides to simply retell all the same jokes. Furthermore, it puts forth what has to be the most convoluted pirate storyline ever.

But it's big and loud - and America has responded with their wallets. I'm not saying moviegoers are to blame; after all, I paid money to go see it too. I just wish a better movie was coming out on top.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Pirates > Spidey ?

Since everyone is playing the box-office guessing game for Pirates of the Caribbean, I will too. My prediction is $118 million, a full $4 million more than the current record holder (Spider-Man.)

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Mid-Year Movie Report

We're halfway through 2006, and so far the movie year has been mostly lackluster. There have been numerous good films, but nearly no great ones. In fact, only one 2006 film stands out as a masterwork - Paul Greengrass' United 93. Unfortunately, most people ignored it, claiming that they were either "not ready for a 9/11 film" or "didn't want to re-live that particular day." Too bad. I realize I'm writing this on the 4th of July, and United 93 is as patriotic as you can get - not in the "hooray for America!" sense, but in the sense that is shows how an ordinary group of Americans decide to fight for something beyond themselves.

Now I'm off to eat and watch some fireworks.