Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Movie Review: 127 Hours

wat do
Go see this movie. Really. It's in limited release but should begin playing in more theaters across the country soon. I had to drive down to Hollywood to catch Danny Boyle's latest film but man, I was NOT disappointed. The true story of hiker Aron Ralston's harrowing experience, trapped for five days with his arm pinned under a rock in Utah's Blue John Canyon, has been documented before, in Ralston's book, Between a Rock and a Hard Place, and various news specials and interviews since the incident in 2003 (like this MUST SEE clip). Spoilers aside, 127 Hours is still one of the best movies I've seen not only this year, but in recent memory. James Franco gives the performance of a lifetime, carrying the entire movie on his shoulders and delivering every step of the way. I know the thought of paying money to see one dude on screen for 90 minutes who eventually chops his arm off (not a spoiler if you clicked the links!) might sound retarded but Franco's stand out performance and Boyle's, literally, in your face direction is something that should not go unappreciated. I ran the gamut of emotions while watching this film. I laughed, I cringed, I almost shouted at the screen during the opening scene where he packs his gear, something I never usually do at home let alone the theater. I was frustrated by his predicament, outraged by his stupidity, in awe of his resourcefulness but most of all, inspired by his determination. I don't know if this film will have much replay value over time, but 127 Hours is something that everyone should see at least once in their lives.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Watain & Goatwhore @ The Whisky, Hollywood. 11/19/10.

This show seemed cursed from the start. Behemoth's triumphant trek across North America with Watain, Withered and Black Anvil was canceled when Nergal announced he was battling Leukemia back in summer. Watain decide to carry on and headline their own tour with Goatwhore supporting instead of Withered. The venue changes from The House of Blues to the uber shitty Whisky Ago Go. Regardless, I was still excited to finally catch Watain live and am always down to see the mighty Goatwhore in action. Of course since the universe hates me, I was not only unable to get the day off from work, but got stuck working overtime on the day of the show. By the time I arrived at Whisky, Goatwhore had just started playing, meaning I missed all of Black Anvil's set (along with all the local bands...but that might have been a good thing) and the venue was pretty packed relegating me to the back. My lackluster vantage point coupled with my shitty (albeit expensive) new camera  resulted in some horribly blurry and utter worthless photos not worth posting. Plus the Whisky has some gestapo ass policy forbidding any form of video recording inside the venue which means this review will have no live pics or videos =/ LAME I know.

So anyways, Goatwhore comes out and lays waste to the place. This was probably my 600th time seeing Goatwhore live or something but I never get sick of these guys. Their brand of thrashy/crusty/black metal has never let me down. Even the last time I saw them play the Whisky as a trio they still kicked ass. Too bad not everyone in the crowd seemed to give a fuck. Some might have been black metal purists and hated on Goatwhore for numerous KVLT infractions they've somehow committed (music videos? Signed to Metal Blade?) but I imagine most were just smug/jaded LA assholes who are too cool to show appreciation for bands that aren't going to impress hipster broads and get them laid. By the end of their set they seemed to win over most the knuckleheads down on the floor as they finished up with "Apocalyptic Havoc." Heres their official low budget but still looks fancy music video for the song:

So Watain takes a while to set up. Set up isn't the right word, more like create the appropriate atmosphere. See, when you're international black metal rockers and real deal satanists like Watain, you can't set foot onstage until the dark lord himself would be satisfied with the presentation. The dozen or so burning candles, the giant flammable pitch forks, the excessive fog and most importantly, the smell. Yes, the fucking SMELL. The band likes to stash their tour clothes/costumes in dirt with dead animals to encapsulate the true aura of death. Watain also like to throw pig's blood and animal heads into the crowd but I guess the folks at the Whisky threatened them with the banhammer for such PETA friendly activity, so while the Hollywood audience was spared the blood and guts aspect of Watain's live shenanigans nobody stopped the band from shooting tons of rancid scented fog into the air to stink the joint up in anticipation of their performance. Imagine someone covering a slab of roadkill in feces then tossed the burning carcass into a skunk orgy. Thats how it smelled inside the Watain show.

(note: They didn't play this song =/ wish they did though)

Watain's live performance was impressive but was hardly the greatest black metal act I've ever seen (Mayhem was TITS last year). As insane as they appear on stage, their music isn't really all that extreme or abrasive. Infact I'd argue they're more of a Satanic punk rock/jam band (if that makes any sense) than black metal (aside from the corpse paint and shit). Either way, They put on a very powerful and at times hypnotic show. Maybe I was tired from working all day, or nauseous from the smell, but I really felt like I was in a trance during "Sworn to the Dark" and was ready to pass out and wake up quacking like a duck or something. I dug their performance, but was glad to walk back to my car in the rain than having to breathe putrid air inside the Whisky any longer.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Movie Review: Due Date

I don't know why I do this to myself sometimes. The first time I saw the trailer for Due Date I chuckled slightly and thought, "I'll watch that on cable...one day." I knew right off the bat that this film was not up my alley. So what happens when you're with a group whose mob mentality creates stifling peer pressure? I ended up seeing Due Date that's what happened.

I'm going to make this review short and to the point. This movie isn't horrible. It just isn't very funny either. Yeah and I liked The Hangover, and sure this film stars Zach Galifianakis and was also directed by Todd Philips but lets be crystal clear, Due Date is no Hangover people. The Hangover was such a success because of its ensemble cast (where Galifianakis brought lots of laughs but ultimately shared the limelight with others) and its fill in the blank plot structure kept the audience actively engaged. Due Date has none of this. Instead we watch Galifianakis ham it up in "one trick pony" mode while Robert Downey Jr. stands around and collects a pay check. This odd couple/road trip formula has been done before with much better results. *ahem*

1987's Plains, Trains & Automobiles

1996's Kingpin

Lastly, I could not forgive the blatant The Big Lewbowski ripoff, where Galifianakis stores his father's ashes in a coffee can. C'mon Hollywood...are you trying to piss me off?

Monday, November 22, 2010

Rough Weekend

My experiences at work this weekend can be summarized as follows:

[Music & lyrics: Mieszko A. Talarczyk]

When you try too hard
to find meaning in what you see
You forget the origin of the landscape
so carefully laid out at your feet

Is it hard for you to understand?
Does it bother you that I don't fucking care?

I'm not here for you to read me
like an open book, so don't fucking ask
I'm just thinking, thinking loud
bringing words to tongue and moving fast
All this shit you take for granted
leads to nothing, makes no sense
Instead of waiting for being told
maybe you should tell yourself?

You're a slow learner, you'll never last
In a world so cold you're supposed to make it fast!

Disappointed - yes, but this is hardly news
You're disadvantaged from the start
There's no denying it and you are through...

I hate people telling me what to do - fuck you!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Crunch Time: Celtic Frost

I think I failed to explain in my previous Crunch Time post that this would be an ongoing thing here on my Jim's Fear bloggy blog. No, I totally failed to mention it. Instead of announcing the purpose of the Crunch Time segment, to highlight the awesomeness of my favorite HEAVY metal riffs, I wrote a drawn out "The Black Dahlia Murder is super rad" editorial which is causing me to explain myself here. Oh wells.

Are you Morbid?
So here is Celtic Frost, one of the most important yet criminally underrated metal bands of all time. They may look retarded but seriously, without Celtic Frost, metal's evolution would have been stunted in it's infancy. No Celtic Frost = No Black Metal, No Grindcore, No world I want to live in. The fellow with the luscious blond locks is Thomas Gabriel Fischer aka Tom G. Warrior. Previously of Hellhammer, currently of Triptykon, he will go down in history as the man behind Celtic Frost and creator of this FAT FUCKING RIFF right here (begins at the 8 second mark):

Holy feces, did ya feel that? Huh? I did. Still do after all these years. Tom's opening little Howard Dean scream rules so hard ("Yeeeeeeeeow!") Just about every Napalm Death songs in the past decade has an obligatory "Celtic Frost" part that sounds exactly like this song. So enjoy the epicness of Celtic Frost.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Female Obsession: Famke Janssen

I've been meaning to do "hot famous chick" post for some time, because if it's one thing I dig more than metal and depressing ass movies, its ogling famous broads. I was debating on just who should be the first candidate for the esteemed position of my first Female Obsession post but last night, FATE intervened.

First, I'm a geek and an insomniac. Second, they show re-runs of Star Trek: The Next Generation really late/very early in the morning on TV. Third, that's a match made in heaven people.

Take me now Professor Picard, er...Cpt. Xavier
So I was watching Star Trek at 2AM because I'm so awesome when my eyes almost burst out of their sockets when I saw my home girl Famke Janssen playing a sexy alien trying to get all up in Captain Picard's uniform. She plays a empathic metamorph who uses her physic powers to adapt to the personalities/desires of males, making her the perfect mate. Yes, Famke Janssen played a chick with mental powers alongside Patrick Stewart in 1992. Circle of life. So I watched the whole episode with a dopey grin on my face, because I've worshiped her ridiculously big feet for about ten years now.

She's probably most famous for her role as Jean Grey in the recent X-Men films. Older heads might remember her as Xena Onatopp from Goldeneye. She's a former fashion model, speaks Dutch, English, French and German, studied at Columbia University and has action figures made after her. Drool. The sad part is, I ALMOST met her once. My girlfriend and I met up with some of her family at Disneyland last summer. Her twelve year old cousin runs up to us saying "We met Jean Grey in line on Space Mountain!" I say, "Famke Janssen's here at Disneyland?" before balling up my fist and screaming bloody murder in the middle of Tomorrowland. True story =/

So here are some pics/clips of my favorite 45 year old Dutch actress in the world.

Here she is making a young Conan O'Brien jizz his pants in the first few minutes of this clip:

Here's Famke punking a thinner (but still short) Jon Stewart, her co-star in The Faculty.
The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Famke Janssen
Daily Show Full EpisodesPolitical HumorRally to Restore Sanity

and finally, here's the trailer to my favorite Famke Janssen film, Love & Sex:

I found this flick on late night cable back in 2002 I wanna say. Hoping for softcore cable porn, I found a quirky/entertaining romantic comedy and ended up falling in love with Famke Janssen. I guess being an insomniac has its benefits.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Movie Review: Jackass 3D

"...an elegant weapon for a more civilized age"
You know you're at a strange point in your life when you find yourself cherishing the cinematic reverence of Jackass Number Two. The glory days so to speak. See, I was a sophomore in high school when the first season of Jackass aired. This was like the be-all, end-all form of entertainment for my dumb-ass friends and I. They even started their own little group called, you guessed it, DumbAss. I only participated in a few of their shenanigans at school because, well I'm not totally fucking retarded but still, the point is we and almost every teenage dude on campus loved this type of shit. I remember watching the first Jackass film in the theater with my eyes tearing from laughter. The audience inside was literally howling at the screen. When Number Two came out I had low expectations, expecting a corporate cash crab flick from greedy ass MTV and the desperate Jackass crew who hadn't really amounted to much following the show's demise. Boy was I wrong. I know this is a touchy subject, right up their with the debate between The Godfather V.S. The Godfather Part II, but I honestly think Jackass Number Two trumps the first film. My reasoning? Both films (as well as the TV show) were funny in their slapstick way but I nothing throughout the series' history grossed me out like the "How To Milk a Horse" bit. I literally almost vomited in my seat watching that. I think I saw that movie three different times at the theater. "What? You haven't seen the new Jackass yet?" is what we'd say then boom, off to vomit land.

That was four year ago. Now it's 2010 and the world is a different place. I was actually excited when I first heard the news of Jackass 3D. Anothiter installment from my favorite nearly middle aged juvenile delinquents? Awesome! If they don't have to grow up, maybe I don't either. Well after watching this movie I've concluded maybe it's about time they and my whole generation finally stopped playing feces.

My first gripe with the latest Jackass installment is that it's filmed in 3D. I happen to loathe Hollywood's recent post-Avatar 3D trend. A polished turd of a film that requires me to fork out extra money and wear some annoying glasses is still a fucking turd. The only 3D movie I enjoyed was Piranha 3D, and that's because of Kelly Brook's tits flopping around in glorious three dimensions. All the 3D stuff in Jackass was unnecessary and a waste of the audiences' money as far as I'm concerned.My second problem is, the jokes/gags/stunts just weren't up to par.
Yeah, I chuckled a lot and winced in discomfort a few times but didn't OMG/ROFL like the previous films. I sat in the theater thinking, "Oh look, they're being attacked by animals again. Now they're old guys in make-up again. Now they're..." The giant hand slapper bit was funny but really seemed like a rip off of the boxing glove stunt from Number 2. You could say the same thing about A LOT of this movie. I'd say the jet engine scene was the best stunt in the whole movie. They stand behind a jet plane and get launched by/pelted with objects by it's roaring engine. Other than that it's slim pickens in terms of originality. My third and final complaint about Jackass 3D is the fact that most of the Jackass crew looked old, out of shape and like they didn't even want to be there. Knoxville and Dave England were the only dudes without spare tires or man tits which is kind of sad. I know they aren't exactly spring chickens anymore but c'mon guys, do some sit ups or cut back on the booze if you're gonna try and rock a bikini on the big screen (in 3D no less).

I'm sure most everybody has seen Jackass 3D by now so my negative review is kind of pointless. I planned on making this post after I saw the film but honestly, after a day or two passed I forgot I even saw it. For those of you who haven't seen it yet, I'd recommend waiting for Netflix...and don't even watch the entire movie either, just skip to the ending montage of old photos and clips from the crew's glorious early 2000's heyday, set to the tune of Weezer's "Memories." That was honestly my favorite part of the movie, remembering my DumbAss youth, a time when I paid no taxes and when Jackass was still funny. 

Friday, November 12, 2010


Hellsongs- Serving up Swedish bits of Heaven
First, I have to thank the folks at Metalsucks.net for inspiring this post. Strange, the day after my lengthy Pantera rant my favorite metal douche lords post THIS.

What? Didn't click the link provided to their original post? It's alright, I'll break it down for ya. The metalsucks cats posted an AWESOME folksy/indie/acoustic cover of Pantera's "Walk" performed by a Swedish trio called Hellsongs. Apparently, the dudes (and gal) of Hellsongs have been cranking out their quirky lounge versions of metal classics for a few years now. I'll give you a few examples of their handy work to drool over.

In keeping with my recent Pantera binge, here's the original version of Pantera's "Walk."

"Can't you hear, the violins, playing your SOoooooooooooong?!" Damn I love that part.

So here's Hellsongs quirky ass take on this aggro classic.

Mind blown? Mine was.

Here's another example of their hippie/Swedish mind-fuckery:

Yeah, thats "Blackened," by Metallica. Easily one of the most brutal songs they've ever written. Here's how it normally sounds:

The comments on the metalsucks article as well as Hellsongs' youtube videos show just how polarizing stuff like this can be. People either love the breath of proverbial fresh air covers like this provide in the often stale metal community or flat out decry this stuff as retarded, pussy shit. Well, I for one like metal, can be known to act retarded on occasion and happen to embrace my softer "pussy shit" side (see recent Interpol/Arcade Fire posts) so I can't help but gush over what Hellsongs is doing. Check em' out.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010


I already posted about Pantera's 20th Anniversary of Cowboys From Hell deal back in September (here) yet here I go again with yet another one! Former Pantera frontman Phil Anselmo is on the cover of this months issue of Decibel magazine (the only real print publication covering extreme music here in the states). After reading his cover story/interview I couldn't help but feel some Pantera nostalgia wash over me. Like many entry level/teenage metal heads past, present and for the foreseeable future, Pantera was an important gateway band for me. While I had already headed down the evolutionary path of Metallica < Slayer< Sepultura< Death, I still managed to love me some mainstream All- American "Power Groove" via Phil, Rex, Vinnie and Dime from Pantera. Shit was catchy as hell, sounded crystal clear on my disc man and honestly was fun to fucking listen to and or watch. That was perhaps the thing I liked most about Pantera.

Remember their awesome home videos? Shit was hilarious. It was like JACKASS and CKY but with headbangers instead of skateboarders. Who wouldn't have wanted to hang out with these crazy fucks? Thats coming from a straight-edge no drugs/alcohol stick in the mud like myself. I mean, just watch:

My teenage self would much rather hang out with Pantera than say, Cannibal Corpse any day of the week. Pantera likes to smash shit, set off fireworks, hang out with naked chicks and act retarded around the world. How awesome is that?

The other thing I loved about Pantera was the strange dichotomy between it's members. Vinnie and Dimebag were undoubtedly the musical talent. They could shred their respective instruments to hell and jam on a telepathic/brotherly love type vibe that was pretty astounding. The only problem with the redneck Van Halen bros. was their ignorance. Yeah, these boys could play but they knew jack shit about metal. About REAL metal anyways. Vinnie and Dime were always quick to jump on the trend wagon because their metal integrity was a bit lacking. Here's Pantera, the glam metal act in the 1980's.

and here they are again in the early 2000's all up on the Nu-Metal train with their godawful Damageplan. Sigh.

one of these things is not like the other...
Phil joins the band in the late 80's and Pantera magically transforms from Texan cock rock outfit to semi-Thrash AGGRO band jamming with Exodus & Slayer. Hmmmm. Phil's interview in the new Decibel only reiterates what everyone has known all along, that Phil was always the guy in the band with his ear in the underground/extreme metal world. The dude was giving props to Darkthrone and Morbid Angel during the height of Pantera's MTV reign. Phil succeeded in pushing the band to the limits of extremity throughout the 90's. His vocals alone transformed from a rasp, to a bark to a damn near unbearably painful screech by the time the The Great Southern Trendkill came out. Vinnie Paul's double bass work on Far Beyond Driven was and still is pretty sick. Diamond Darrell transformed from that hick who plays cool solos into Dimebag Darrell, guitar legend...period, by the end of the millennium. As for Rex, he plays bass. Leave him alone.

So yeah, the yin and yang of these twisted Southern fellows created one of the sweetest metal bands of all time. The strange Frankenstein monster that was Pantera is gone forever and I'll never forgive myself for passing on a chance to see them on what became their final US tour with Slayer, Static X and Morbid Angel in 2001. So here's some rad youtube clips celebrating the music of  Phil, Rex, Vinnie and Dime. RIP Pantera.

Heres a lovely young thing named Meytal Cohen playing drums to "Cowboys from Hell." She's cute as fuck, has a funny accent, plays drums like a champ, and sometimes wears outfits that make her tits jiggle and sexy legs shine through. You're Welcome.

This is the handy work of some diabolical music teacher who forces his kids/students to jam along to Pantera. It's like a non-gay School of Rock.

Finally, my favorite Pantera music video ever. It's the four of them in a room just rocking the fuck out.
Jesus, Terry Date's production on Far Beyond Driven is AMAZING. Dime's guitar tone is a thing of beauty here. Vinnie snare sounds like he's chopping wood with an ax, Rex has probably the sickest groove here than on any other Pantera album and Phil's voice is straight up lethal. Sounds like he's been gargling nails.

So go listen to Pantera. Watch their always entertaining home videos on Youtube if you're lazy/cheap. Subscribe to Decibel and read Phil's new interview and pay homage to the man by shaving your head like I did.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Interpol @ The Greek Theatre, 10/23/10.

After a five year drought, I saw Interpol play two shows in two months.

Their free record release gig in Hollywood this past September was pretty awesome. Sure, their new album kind of sucks (erase kind of) but some of the new material actually sounds better live. Either way, watching Interpol rock out for an hour in a parking lot, near the front of the tiny ass stage was so badass...their real concert at the Greek just couldn't match the experience.

We caught the last few songs from the opening band White Rabbits. They weren't horrible, just not my cup of tea I suppose. Our seats were closer than my last Interpol show at the Greek (where I froze my balls off in the cheap seats), but still too far for me to get any decent photos or video =/

The band's setlist was pretty rad. They blended some of their non-horrible new songs pretty seamlessly with favorite cuts off Antics (C'mere, Slow Hands, Not Even Jail, Narc, Take You On a Cruise, Evil) and a few Turn on the Bright Lights classics (PDA, Say Hello to Angels). The only song they played off Our Love to Admire was "Rest My Chemistry" which was kind of odd. I know a lot of fans stand divided over that record (I don't really love it all that much myself) but its far superior to the new album and I guess they had to cut something from somewhere. Their encore was all SICK:
  • Untitled
  • NYC
  • Stella Was a Diver and She Was Always Down
  • Obstacle 1
Yeah, all Bright Lights era jams had  the audience queefing pretty hard. I personally lost my shit when they played "NYC." I mean, just watch (courtesy some jerk with a waaaay better seat than me)

It's strange that this show was marred by three separate "incidents," where three different male fans rushed the stage and tried to get at Paul Banks while he was singing/playing mid song and almost NO FOOTAGE has popped up online. First some guy jumps onstage and actually tries to kiss Paul on the cheek or something before being hauled away. Another fellow climbs up and is tackled mid-air by security as he lunges at Paul. The last and most freakish outburst came during the "Stella Was a Diver..." near the end of the night when some maniac rushed Paul and knocked his mic stand down, broke free from security and had to be wrestled off stage with Daniel playing guitar on the side looking confused as fuck. It's funny that the band did not miss a beat, never stopped playing and didn't even really talk about what had happened either. I guess it's common place for dudes trying to molest Interpol these days or what?!

Check out the only footage I can find of Paul's insane 3rd admirer here:

dude tries to get frisky around the 2:20 mark

So yeah, Interpol's Greek show was great. Paul's voice sounded stronger than ever (unlike how nasal he sounds on the new record...haters gonna hate?) and yeah, Carlos D looked cool dressed up like a Hitler youth with his bass hung all low but these two shows proved that the band can carry on just fine without him. Sadly, as cool as the Greek concert was, I don't think anything will beat their earlier gig...unless they play in my apartment or something.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

On Loop

Feeling a bit under the weather. Not full blown sick (yet) but definitely fighting something. This seems to happen every time I purchase a new Disney dvd. On the nights Little Mermaid and Aladdin were released I ended up curled in ball sweating with a fever in my girlfriend's lap. Went and got Toy Story 3 on election day and here I am still feeling like garbage two days later. Moral of the story...don't support Disney least you want your body to shut down!

I've been listening to these two songs A LOT in my semi-conscious state. The last half of Torche's new EP Songs For Singles....good stuff.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Election: 2010

Today is election day in the United States. Here in California people are casting their votes on important clean air legislation, legalizing marijuana, a heated Senate race that could have dire effects on the rest of the nation and prepare to elect our next governor; who will face the daunting task of saving the state from financial annihilation (as well as record unemployment, eminent water/power shortages, plagues of locusts, etc). Regardless of what happens, today marks the beginning of the end for our Governator, the once mighty ARNOLD. He might have failed as an elected official....but he'll always hold a special place in this eternal six year old boy's heart. A 10 minute "moment of lulz" in your honor sir.