Monday, January 23, 2006

Stinky Cheese

I read an article in the paper tonight about bad movies. While I normally don't seek out movies just because they have terrible reputations, I have been known to see one or two simply because I'm curious about all the negative fuss. Remember, I'm one of six people who actually saw Gigli in the theatre because the critics made it sound like it was the worst movie ever made. (Yes, it was bad, but nowhere near the cinematic turd everyone made it out to be.)

Anyway, the article was about a website that has done the opposite of the annual AFI Top 100 lists; they've actually come up with the 100 worst American movies. Here's the list; take note that it's not ranked, it's alphabetical. It was also published in 2001, which means the Indy Star must be running old stories in order to fill space. I agree with the majority of the list, although some of the choices seem a bit obvious. Care Bears II: A New Generation? Isn't that a given that that's a bad movie? I don't even think the filmmakers thought they were making good cinema when they were working on that film.

Here are ten films on the list that I disagree with:

The Blair Witch Project - This is the best film I can think of when it comes to telling a complex story very simplistically. (And originally. The POV video cameras place you right in the action.) They should use it as a teaching tool in film schools.

Godzilla - Yeah, Godzilla seems to change size a lot, but I've seen worse brainless action films. (Like Stargate, which was made by the same filmmaking team.)

Hudson Hawk - It's way out there, but if you're willing to go along for the ride, I'll guarantee you'll have a good time. Plus the musical scenes are a blast.

Independence Day - Dumb, but dumb fun. Remember how everyone's jaw dropped when they first saw those special effects? Any movie that creates that kind of excitement can't be all that bad.

Ishtar - I will defend this movie until the day I die. For one thing, it's been out-of-print for years and those who ridicule it more often than not have never seen it. For another, it seems to be judged more on how much it cost than whether or not its a good film. Yes, it feels like the movie was cut with a chainsaw. And, yes, Beatty and Hoffman playing against type is jarring. But those song lyrics are hilarious. And the two actors play off each other brilliantly. If this were on DVD I would buy it in a heartbeat.

Last Action Hero - The relationship between the boy and Schwarzenegger is a bit cloying, but the film does manage to effectively parody early 90's action films.

Mars Attacks! - Two reasons this movie is great: 1) The aliens are perfectly designed, expertly animated and hilariously voiced. 2) That cast.

Titanic - It's the best-looking B-movie I've ever seen. The plot is for shit, but those effects are eye-popping. It is perhaps the only film I've ever paid more attention to the background than the actual story.

Weekend at Bernie's - As Chandler said, "Come on, it's a dead guy getting hit in the crotch!" Exactly. And that's pretty damn funny.

Xanadu - The plot has something to do with a big band clarinet player, an artist who specializes in recreating massive paintings of popular album covers, and a muse opening up a roller disco. In other words, it doesn't make a hell of a lot of sense. But the music saves the film from being the incomprehensible mess it could have been. Whoever thought of pairing Olivia Newton-John and Electric Light Orchestra were geniu...well, they were pretty creative, I'll give them that.

The only film I noticed missing from the list was Purple Rain, which also had a terrific soundtrack but was such an ugly movie that it didn't matter. And the list gets bonus points for including Natural Born Killers, a film that thinks its making a lot of cool statements but is really glorifying both violence and the overuse of different types of film stocks.

Looks like we have a lot of bad movie watching to do, Andie.

Friday, January 20, 2006

Smells Like Teen Cinema

Alright, so the last thing I wrote promised an overall 2005 review. But, seeing as how it's now January 20th, I don't really want to look back at last year anymore. I did promise you I would write something, so I'll merely condense it. That way I'm not lying on my blog. Here we go:

2005 - I had a lot of fun.

And that's my year in review.

This week I watched two educational films from the 80's: Ferris Bueller's Day Off and Dead Poets Society. Ferris held up very well, better than expected. All you film snobs can have The Breakfast Club and it's one-note stereotypes. (The Jock! The Loser! The Druggie! The Geek!) Give me Ferris, Cameron and Sloane and their impromptu vacation any day of the week.

I have that entire movie memorized. Seriously. I can recite the dialog in tandem with the actors. Which means I've spent too much time watching Ferris Bueller's Day Off in my lifetime.

Here's what else I love about Ferris: There's absolutely no sex, drugs or alcohol in it at all. After years of suffering through high school movies where someone inevitably drinks piss thinking its beer or has accidental sex with a chicken, it was refreshing to see a film about teenagers without any potty humor thrown into the mix.

The bonus features were fun. Did you know that the actors playing Ferris' parents fell in love during the making of the film and got married in real life? According to the IMDB they even had a kid. If it was a boy, they should have named him Ferris. If it was a girl, they should have named her Jeanie. Or Shauna.

Dead Poets Society, on the other hand...ugh. I haven't seen it since about 1992 and have been wanting to take another look for a few years. Last week it was released in a new special edition, so I forked over the $10 at Target and picked it up. Anyone want to buy a gently used copy of Dead Poets Society? Because I didn't care for it much at all. It's too underwritten; none of the characters emerge as the focal point of the story because each of their arcs are too slight. Example: Ethan Hawke is shy...but then he's not! And...? Look at the Knox character: He likes a girl who's in love with someone else. Oh, and he also...nope, that's it, he simply likes a girl who's in love with someone else. It's amazing the actors turned in the performances they did since they had so very little to work with.

And I'm supposed to believe that out of a large group of kids in the late fifties, that none of them were into rock and roll? Other than one scene with two minor characters dancing to a radio transmission of an r&b song, there's not one mention of rock.

What the hell was with that scene where Robin Williams had his students recite a random line of poetry and then kick a ball? What the hell was he trying to teach them? That sometimes poetry makes you want to kick something?

I didn't know Melora Walters was in it. (Melora Walters = Claudia the Coke Addict in Magnolia and the girl in Boogie Nights who marries Don Cheadle.) She was even in the special retrospective look back at the film. Melora Walters is a hell of an actress, and if you don't believe me, see Magnolia as soon as possible. Just forget about all those frogs and concentrate on her performance. She's freaking amazing. The scene at the end where she finally smiles? One of the few cinematic moments that make me bawl.
I will admit that I enjoyed the scene where Robin Williams forces Ethan Hawke to create a poem spontaneously. It's shows what the film could have been had they decided to tell one solid story instead of 40 mediocre ones. And I love how director Peter Weir handled the suicide, although the bit with the Dad running towards the body of his son in slow motion while yelling "NOOOOO!!!" was a bit much.

I will agree that the movie has some great themes in it, seize the day and all that. I just think those messages could have been conveyed in a more concrete manner.

Carpe diem, everyone. I wonder what the Latin phrase for "This movie isn't worth all the hype." Crape diem, perhaps?

Oh, and life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop to look around every once in awhile, you might miss it.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

2005: Theatre

And now back to our regularly scheduled 2005 Year in Review posts, this time dealing with theatre...

Part I: Shows I Did

JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR
Role(s): Thaddeus/Guard.
Random Memories: Jenn and I trying to give nicknames to the entire cast but only coming up with about four. (But those four stuck. Right, Spearsy?) Jeff Miller's cameo as Yoda. Discovering George's Ann Geddes checkbook, which led to a new nickname for him. The carpool. The apartment building that housed 2 billion people. Pilate and his lyrical shortcomings. And, to this day, I'm still discovering Jesus blood on my shoes.
Line I'll always remember: "DO YOU HAVE YOUR KROGER PLUS CARD?!?!?!?!?"


PLAZA SUITE
Role: Bellhop.
Random Memories: Auditioning for the show on my way to the Pixies concert. Developing my bellhop accent. Watching as Ray inserts the word "midget" into the show. Catching Jennifer's eye as he does so and immediately realizing we are both thinking the same thing: "What the hell was that?" Rehearsing in the park because a neighborhood association has our room and we can't get in. Brett's cast party. Elizabeth's cast party where I busted out my impressions. Being part of a great group as a new theatre troupe is born.
Line I'll always remember: "Stop crrrrrrrryyyyyying on your dreeeeessssss."


A HARVEST OF HITS
Role(s): Goody Stout, mostly. Sometimes Joe Smith. Always confused.
Random Memories: The call from Ellie asking me to do the show. Driving to the theatre the next day. And driving. And driving. Falling in love with the space. Excited for Katie as she choreographs her first show. Frustrated for Katie as she continually has to dumb down the choreography. Those songs...all joys to sing, except for "Round and Round" which I hope to never hear again. Impromptu tap dance numbers inserted into the show. Standing by helpless as gas rises to $3 a gallon. Missy the dog. Donna feeding Missy the dog cabbage. Bad Actor Guy holding the show hostage. Another actor quitting the show before it finished. Getting to do the show with Brian and developing our characters on the fly. Oh, and driving. And driving. And driving.
Line I'll always remember: "I toad you we were havin' mashed po-tay-toes."


THE LEBANON FOLLIES: FOLLIES KALEIDOSCOPE
Role: Roy G. Biv
Random Memories: Co-writing the script over many wonderful meals made by Ellie. Katie showing up to long Sunday dressed as a refugee from Flashdance simply because I asked her to. Orbs. Volunteering Kelli for anything and everything just to get a rise out of her. Michelle and I developing our characters together. Gilligan and his never-ending ad-libs. Karaoke. Eating a Denny's Italian Chicken Melt every night for a week. "Fighting" with Michelle before curtain. Losing my voice because of all the energy I had to give to the role. The obviously fixed wheel. Glow tape on Rose.
Line I'll always remember: "Ten bucks she hugs Cragun longer."


Part 2: Shows I Saw
  • Smokey Joe's Cafe, Civic - Gibby was in it and did a hell of a job.
  • Aladdin, The Artist's Studio - It didn't suck out my soul as advertised, but it was still pretty bad.
  • Godspell, The Artist's Studio - Liked all the pop culture references. Gibby again did a hell of a job.
  • Proof, The Belfry - Brenna was awesome. Really liked the set. The rest of the show? Um, if you can't say something nice...
  • The Music Man, The Artist's Studio - Cute, and Pilate remembered his dialogue. We think.
  • Man of La Mancha, Footlite - Really great show. Another fine example on why I think Footlite is the best community theatre in town.
  • Godpsell, Jr., Lebanon - Perhaps the cutest thing I've ever seen. The kids were having a ball.
  • Sweeny Todd, Buck Creek - A little too long, but still entertaining. Dug the way they got rid of the corpses.
  • Grease, The Artist's Studio - Not my kind of show. As Jenn said, "I like my shows to have a plot."
  • The Music Man, Wayne Township - Decent version, although I personally preferred The Artist's Studio's. But how can you not like The Music Man?
  • The Secret Garden, Footlite - My favorite show of the year. The entire cast, down to the two kids, were wonderful. Could have done without the director explaining the meaning of her symbolism before the show. We're supposed to figure that out on our own, lady.
  • Black Comedy, Wayne Township - Funny premise and the cast committed to it 100%. Didn't like the ending, but that's the writer's fault.
  • Crazy for You, Beef and Boards - Ellie was wonderful. And I fell in love with the girl who played Polly. I was doomed from the moment she took off her hat; yup, long red curly hair. And she could sing! And dance! Ah, Red. You know you want to leave NYC to be with me, right?
  • Seussical, The Artist's Studio - The show itself has an awful reputation, so I wasn't expecting much. But I thought it was a cute and entertaining performance.
  • 42nd Street, Footlite - Tap, Spearsy, tap! Although Jenn and I are still confused as to why you're picking through that guy's hair at the beginning of Act II.
  • Inherit the Wind, IRT - I was technically in this one, but since I was just a jury member in one performance and only onstage for one scene, I count it as a viewing experience. Still, it was a great acting exercise. Plus I can now say I've acted on a professional stage.
  • Miss Saigon (Touring Version), The Murat - A CGI helicopter?!?!? What the hell is that shit?
  • Annie, The Artist's Studio - Better than last year's Annie, but staring at a blank wall would be better than last year's Annie. Pilate was in this one as well, although this time I could tell he was itching to start again. Please.

Next 2005 update: A look back at my calendar year. And then we're done with looking at 2005.

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Crash

The 2005 Year in Review updates will return at the next post. Now, in other news...

I was in a car wreck Friday night. The short version: I was stopped at a light, a guy rear-ended me and the force of the impact caused me to hit the car in front of me before I flew into a ditch. I'm fine, just some general post-crash soreness. I hit my head on something during impact, which caused my glasses to get all fucked up and knocked askew. So not only was I now trying to stop a car that was already stopped but I was trying to do so so while blind. Needless to say, I picked up my new contacts this morning so that the next time I take a side trip into a ditch I will at least have vision.

My car has been towed to the body shop, where it is currently sitting amongst all the other poor damaged vehicles. I'm driving my parents' Rav-4 SUV thing, which is a trip. Especially when I couldn't figure out how to turn the headlights on tonight. Hey, when you're used to one car and are forced to use another without any instruction, sometimes you have to relearn the basics.

The CD player works perfectly, though.

I don't think my Jetta's totaled, it's just seen better days. At least now I finally know how my car handles on grassy terrain while going downhill: Not very well.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

2005: Film

First off, apologies that this update took a day later than anticipated. I was dead to the world last night and crawled into bed earlier than expected.

Now, let's take a look at 2005's movies!

Too bad I haven't seen that many. It's not that I didn't want to; I just didn't have the time. What with doing four shows this year - one of which lasted nearly four months - and my typical busy social calendar, my time was stretched pretty thin. Besides, it costs too damn much to see a movie every week like I used to. $7?!?!? For shitty projection and annoying audiences? Thank God for Netflix and my home theatre.

I feel kind of silly compiling a top ten list since I've seen so few 2005 films, so instead I'll give out awards. Keep in mind that if you ask me to do this again in six months time, this list would be totally different; there's still a lot left I need to see to make it complete. But, since no one wants to read a review of 2005's movies in late 2006, you'll have to make do with a smaller pool of candidates. And now, on with the show:

BEST PICTURE - Murderball. Who knew that a documentary about paraplegics playing a modified version of rugby would be so damn moving? The film packs a whallop and manages to tell the subjects' stories with dignity and grace. Highly recommended.

SECOND BEST PICTURE - Happy Endings. I was not a fan of Don Roos' The Opposite of Sex, so I wasn't expecting much with this film. Imagine my surprise when I was blown away. Some of the character plots are a little tedious, but every single actor - especially Lisa Kudrow and, yes, Tom Arnold - are excellent. It even manages to make Billy Joel's overplayed "Just the Way You Are" interesting again.

BEST ACTOR - Steve Carrell, The 40 Year Old Virgin. The movie's too long and stretches its premise pretty thin - come on, even a 40 year old virgin would know what a thong is - but Carrell's portrayal is very dignified. He never overplays it, which had to be hard to do since nearly everyone else in the film is chewing whatever scenery is available.

BEST ACTRESS - Joan Allen, The Upside of Anger. A beautiful performance in a blah film. Why writer/director Mike Binder felt the need to cram the story full of 75 pointless characters is beyond me. He knew what Allen could bring to the table - he wrote the film for her - so why he didn't trust her to carry the movie 100% is beyond me. I admit, she's a personal favorite, but I think she deserves the Oscar for her work here.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR - Ed Harris, A History of Violence. Many people are pushing for William Hurt to get a nod for his role in this film, but I thought his performance was nothing but a bunch of tics and mannerisms. Instead it was Harris who brought the theatrical fireworks as a one-eyed gangster who may or may not be a threat to a small-town cafe owner. Harris is overdue for recognition from the Academy, but I doubt this will be the movie that finally wins him an Oscar.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS - Rachel Weis, The Constant Gardner. Who knew that Weis, previously best known for chasing a CGI mummy through a CGI desert, could turn in such a ferocious performance? Certainly not me.

BEST DIRECTOR - David Cronenberg, A History of Violence. Murderball was great but the footage pretty much directed itself. Happy Endings was a little too overcooked. And The Constant Gardner, while interesting, left me scratching my head at times. No, I must give this award to Cronenberg, since he took an interesting subject - violence in today's society and at what point someone should use it - and made a thought-provoking film. I admit that the movie tried my patience towards the end thanks to William Hurt, but for the most part it was a solid piece of entertainment.

Some of the movies I have yet to see that could possibly change the outcome of the winners above: Capote, The Squid and the Whale, Munich, King Kong, Syriana, Brokeback Mountain, The Matador, Shopgirl, Rent, The Producers, and, yes, The Wedding Crashers, to name a few.

And now, onto the fun awards:

MOST OVERRATED FILM - Crash. For the life of me, I cannot understand what everyone saw in this film. Some good performances, but that script! Basically the dialogue was "I hate you because you're !" "Oh, yeah? I hate you because you're !" With the exception of a few characters - Matt Dillon's and Terrence Howard's - all the roles were underwritten and horribly cliched. I know everyone loved the film and found it thought-provoking, but to me it played like an overly simplistic film about a very serious subject.

MOST OVERRATED PERFORMANCE - Bill Murray, Broken Flowers. I love Bill Murray. Hell, I even watched that movie where he inherited an elephant simply because he was in it. But he was phoning it in during this film. The only explanation I can give for everyone salavating over him in this movie is that maybe they're still riding the high from his Lost in Translation performance. Bill, I think it's time for you to smile on screen again. Please?

LAMEST ENDING - War of the Worlds. What, they walked to Boston? From New York? That doesn't seem very realistic. And who's that at the door? Is that his...nooooooo. That's just not possible! Wait a second, are we sure that Spielberg made this movie? Because usually he's not this stupid.

LAMEST LINE OF DIALOGUE - "Let me into the crime scene! I'm a district attorney!" - Katie Holmes, Batman Begins. Because we all know that district attorneys, especially ones that look like they're 15 years old, should be at the crime scene.

BIGGEST "HUH?!?!?" MOMENT - The entire film Layer Cake made very little sense and I will admit to being confused during portions of The Constant Gardener, but the most confusing moment for me in 2005 was that damn jazz studio in the middle of the Good Night and Good Luck newsroom. What the hell was that all about? Did they stop playing jazz when Murrow began broadcasting?

BEST PERFORMANCE I'D SEEN BEFORE - Billy Bob Thornton, Bad News Bears. Or should I say Bad Santa?

THE MOST HUMOUROUS TWO HOURS I'VE EVER SPENT IN A THEATRE - The 120 minutes of people watching before the midnight premiere of Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith. There was a dude there dressed like Chewbacca! Did he leave the costume on during the film? If so, how did he see the screen? And watching all the lightsaber duels between all the Anakins in the parking lot was good times. Geeks. You gotta love 'em.

THE ANNUAL "AREN'T SOUTHERNERS FUNNY?" AWARD - Junebug. 'Cause, gosh, they's stupid in the south! They like to whittle and play Bingo and stuff! Maybe someday someone will actually set a film in the South and not make everyone who lives there look like characters from Deliverance.

THE "STOP HIM BEFORE HE MAKES ANOTHER ONE" AWARD - Cameron Crowe, Elizabethtown. He's always been a soundtrack coordinator who makes movies, and now he's finally imploded. At least he used a lot of Ryan Adams songs on his way to film irrelevance.

And, finally...

THE WORST MOVIE OF THE YEAR - Be Cool. If we needed a sequel to Get Shorty - which we didn't - we would have been hard pressed to receive a worse film than this one. Let's face it, the original was mainly a hit because people were clamoring for more of John Travolta's Pulp Fiction character. Now that we've all been watching Pulp Fiction for the past decade...who cares? Judging by Be Cool's box office, no one.

Next '05 update: Theatre.

Sunday, January 01, 2006

2005: Music

Welcome to 2006. Hope you all had a great holiday season. Because as of Tuesday, it's back to the old grind for everyone.

So, here's the deal. I wanted to write one big mammoth "2005 in Review" post, but that's proven to be more detailed than I thought, so I'm going to break it down into several mini-posts over the next week. Tonight I'll concentrate on 2005: The Year in Music.

My top ten CDs from 2005:

10. Bob Dylan, No Direction Home. Yeah, it's nothing but a bunch of outtakes and alternate versions of popular songs, but it's just as illuminating and entertaining as the Beatles Anthology discs were.
9. The Rolling Stones, A Bigger Bang. Finally, a Stones disc that is worth their legendary status. There's very little tampering with the formula that made them famous; the disc is a straight-up rock and roll album from the first second. It's a little long, but it still proves they've got the mojo.
8. Ben Folds, Songs for Silverman. A confession: I love Ben Folds Five, the band Folds fronted in the late 90's that managed to pack a lot of energy in their songs even though there were no guitars present. But since the Five broke up, Folds has remained a powereful live act but turned out mediocre albums. He finally brought a great disc to the table with this album, releasing something as strong as his past work. It's a lot more lush than anything the Five would have recorded, but that's not a bad thing.
7. Beck, Guero. Beck's been chasing Odelay for years, trying to recapture some of his past glory. While his latest doesn't exactly duplicate the earlier disc's success, it comes close. "E-Pro" was a great lead single and there are about seven other wonderful songs to match it.
6. Ryan Adams, Cold Roses. Adams released three albums in 2005, this one the first and the best. The first song on the disc, "Magnolia Mountain", is probably my favorite song of the year.
5. Wilco, Kicking Television: Live in Chicago. I have a love/hate relationship with Wilco. While some of their stuff is great, the majority of it sounds like the songs have been smothered by production tricks in the studio. They've always been revered as a live band, and listening to this album, it's easy to see why: Stripped of all the studio shit, the songs finally have a chance to shine. Now I can kick myself for not seeing them at The Murat in October.
4. Son Volt, Okemah and the Melody of Riot. Son Volt "reunited" in 2005 - only one original member, founder Jay Farrar, remained - but even though the name of the band is fishy, the disc is not. It's a powerful political statement that doesn't beat you over the head with its message. Great stuff, and, like Wilco, I foolishly passed up the chance to see them when they were in town.
3. Bruce Springsteen, Devils and Dust. Much was written about Springsteen going acoustic for this album, so imagine my surprise when I listened to it and heard a full backing band on many of the tracks. Maybe the press is confused by what, exactly, "acoustic" is. Springsteen still never fails to surprise me. Just when you think he's done releasing great material, he comes out with something that takes your breath away.
2. Fiona Apple, Extraordinary Machine. Not being the biggest fan of Fiona Apple, I was blown away by this disc. Finally, she sounds like she knows who she is and what she wants to say. Pity no one really paid attention to the music on the album, instead concentrating on the making of it instead. (Apple recorded the album years ago, shelved it, went into seclusion, and then regrouped last year with a new producer to re-record it.) I entered 2005 thinking Fiona Apple was nothing more than a strange girl crawling around in a video wearing purple underwear. I ended the year thinking she was a terrific songwriter.
1. The White Stripes, Get Behind Me Satan. They are a gimmick band. They wear nothing but red and white. They are comprised of two members who claim to be brother and sister but in reality were formerly married. Their only instruments are a guitar and drums. There is no reason why the Stripes should be as good as they are. Nor is there any reason as to why each album they release is leaps and bounds better than the last. I thought it would be hard to top 2003's Elephant, but they did it with this release. A great album, easily my favorite of 2005.
BEST REISSUE OF 2005 - Talking Heads, Brick. Every album they ever recorded, remastered with bonus tracks. The Heads are either my second or third favorite band, depending on the day - they're always duking it out with R.E.M. for that slot - so being able to purchase their entire catalog in one attractive package was too good to be true. Each album sounds wonderful, and the bonus tracks don't fail to disappoint. (There's a version of "Psycho Killer" with strings that I think is better than the version that was released.) Only drawback: The discs are in the dreaded DualDisc format, which means one side is a CD and the other side is a DVD. DualDiscs are known to get stuck in car CD players because they're slightly thicker than a standard CD, which means in order to play them in the car I had to burn copies of the discs. But that's a small problem, and one that was easily fixed.
Let's not forget the disappointments of the year, in alphabetical order:
Foo Fighters, In Your Honor. It was hailed as pure brilliance, but I thought it was a bunch of noise without anything interesting to say. And the second disc of "quiet songs" was a disaster.
Dave Matthews Band, Stand Up. I was never the biggest DMB fan, but this release pretty much ended my interest in them. Bland songs, trendy production and Dave doing that hiccup singing thing made this disc a chore to get through.
Paul McCartney, Chaos and Creation in the Backyard. Half of this album is alright, and half of it reeks of someone trying to prove they're still relevant even though they ceased being that years ago.
Michael Penn, Mr. Hollywood Jr., 1947. The year's biggest disappointment. I love Michael Penn and his symphonic pop sound, but this album was horrible. Half of it seems comprised of song fragments, tunes that sound unfinished and should never have seen the light of day. You know an album sucks when the bonus disc of samples from Penn's movie scores is much better than the album in question.
Weezer, Make Believe. The worst album I bought all year. One mediocre song followed by eleven god-awful tunes. It's not like I should be surprised; ever since they reunited in 2000 they've churned out half-assed product to trick idiots like me into buying it, hoping its another Blue Album or Pinkerton. But with this disc I was finally convinced not to fall for the old Weezer sham anymore. Too bad, because their first two albums are terrific.
And one last music-related topic:
BEST CONCERT OF 2005 - The Pixies, June 7, 2005, The Murat Theatre. Sure, the songs didn't sound that different from their recorded versions. Sure, at times it seemed as if they were only there for the money. Sure, the crowd was more concerned with being seen than actually enjoying the music being played for them. But I didn't care: It was The Pixies! And I was seeing them live! And they played their set in alphabetical order! I was in music geek heaven.
2ND BEST CONCERT OF 2005 - The Finn Brothers at The Vogue in February. A show so great, Andie came from St. Paul to see them with me. (Thanks, Andie!) If you don't have their 2004 release Everyone is Here, get it soon.
WORST CONCERT OF 2005 - Neil Diamond at Conseco Fieldhouse on December 9. You would think a guy wearing sequins while singing some of the cheesiest pop songs in history would at least be fun on a camp level, but you'd be wrong. This show was so dull that I spent the majority of the time thinking of what I had to get accomplished the next day. And that's not something you should be doing at a concert.
Tomorrow? 2005 in film. Stay tuned.