Thursday, September 29, 2011

Movie Review: Drive

I did not see this one coming. I really didn't. Some of you bloggers might remember how much I loved Nicolas Winding Refn's film Bronson, so naturally I had high hopes for his latest movie Drive. Well, Drive shattered all expectations and easily stands as my favorite movie of the year. Unless this coming holiday season brings it's A game, I'm almost certain Drive will end up on the top of my list.

First, Drive is not a car chase flick à la The Fast and the Furious. If you come into the theater expecting a macho muscle car ADD fest you will be horribly disappointed with this film. A few people walked out of the theater I attended and I wondered why? Then I went online and saw Drive's trailer and said, "Ohhhh." No matter how gnarly and testosterone filled the trailer might seem (guns drawn, cars flipping over, etc) don't fall for it. Drive is an entirely different beast altogether.

Try to imagine a Brothers Grim fairytale infused with Coen brothers Film Noir. Imagine what would happen if Clint Eastwood's "Man with no name" was transported to the grimy Downtown Los Angeles of James Cameron's Terminator. How about Michael Mann telling an existential love story, while sprinkling obscene bits of grindhouse violence for shits and giggles. If any of those descriptions tickled your fancy, Drive should be right up your alley.

Ryan Gosling is the film's protagonist. A Hollywood stunt driver/mechanic by day who moonlights as a wheel man for criminals at night. Gosling has the prototypical lone wolf shtick down to a science until he encounters Irene, a sorrowful damsel in distress played by Carey Mulligan. Our stoic driver swoops in on his horse/Chevy and must protect Irene's family from the scum and villainy that inhabit Refn's seedy Los Angeles.

Love in an elevator

Everything about this film is amazing. The cast is stellar. The cinematography is breathtaking. Hell, even the sound is awesome. I shit you not, listening to the wind blowing during the hotel scene or Gosling's leather gloves tighten will leave you jostled. Of course you can't talk about Drive and not mention the soundtrack. Refn's choice of 80's style synth-pop initially grated my ears after the opening scene but guess what? By the time the credits rolled I was humming along like an idiot and loving every second of it. Overall, Drive is a beautifully twisted film. It's sleek and hyper stylized without being soulless. On the contrary, Refn's film meticulously wrenches emotion from its audience. I could literally go on for days about how great this movie is. My advice is, go see Drive for yourself.

Here's the part where I usually insert the film in question's trailer. Well, Drive's trailer has, in my humble opinion, way to many goddamn spoilers so instead I've got my favorite song off the film's soundtrack. Listen to this song with your eyes closed, imaging you're behind the wheel of a 1973 Chevy Malibu and you'll get the gist of it. is the actual trailer for those who need more convincing. Be warned, SPOILER CITY.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

On Marriage:

I see a lot of status updates and photo uploads on facebook these days dealing with marriage. People getting engaged or friends posting drunk pics from wedding receptions. It's all so, sickening. ha.

I don't know. Part of me sees marriage like this:

as a necessary evil needed to advance/function in society.

Then I remember that even the best of relationships can quickly sour and transform into something like this as soon as marriage enters the equation:

Some might say I'm being overtly negative/pessimistic regarding my views on marriage. To this I say, you're right. Long term relationships and the concept of love are great and all, but I'm just not too thrilled about being a legally bound indentured servant once that ring goes on the finger.

If I do ever decide to walk the plank and get hitched, I hope I'll be lucky enough to have a strong and lasting marriage like my hero down below. He makes it seem oh so easy.

setting the example

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

My Favorite Soda/Soft Drink

In my last post I asked you bloggers to reveal your favorite soda/soft drink. Thanks to all who participated. Stuff like this is what makes the blogging game so rad. Did I really just say/type that? *sighs*

Well in case that giant image up above didn't ruin the surprise, Pepsi is my hands down favorite soda. Like, I end up favoring certain restaurants/eateries because they sell Pepsi. I'm not kidding. Aside from it's delicious taste, I've always just thought Pepsi was cool. Maybe I've just been brainwashed by years of genius marketing. For example:

remember this from Fight Club?

Holy crap! Alfonso Ribeiro aka "Carlton Banks" drinks Pepsi too! Oh yeah, Michael Jackson.

Hell even my second favorite soft drink is Mountain Dew...which is owned my PepsiCo. And there you have it. I substantially cut back on drinking this stuff years ago. At home I'm all about Powerade, juices and most importantly, water. So I don't always drink soda, but when I do, I drink Pepsi.

Monday, September 26, 2011

What's Your Favorite Soda/Soft Drink?

the yours!
Quick question bloggers, what is your favorite soda/soft drink? I'm really curious about this. I try to limit my soda intake and have successfully cut back from the amount I used to drink, but every once in a while I give in and need a tasty beverage to wash down that Big Kahuna Burger ya know?

So what do you people drink? Here's the situation:
You're eating at a joint that doesn't have a liquor license so booze is out of the question. What is your drink of choice? GO!

This video is kind of related. It's one of my girlfriend's favorite songs and also, one of her favorite drinks as well.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Kylesa, Intronaut & Ides of Gemini @ The Troubdaour. 9/2/11.

So I've been lagging it with this concert review for some time. Kylesa's headlining set was filmed by camera crews for an appearance on Last Call w/ Carson Daly. I was hoping the episode would air so I could share/link some HQ footage with you bloggers, but alas, the show won't air until next week and I'm getting sick of waiting. Also, the lighting at the Troubadour was super dim so I don't have any photos to post either. =/ Here is the only decent video I managed to record, but the song is super rad so, your welcome.

Kylesa and Intronaut together again. I saw these two play a special one off show (with Made Out of Babies!) at the Echoplex a few years back. It was a great show. Tonight would be no different.

Ides of Gemini was playing as we walked in. I knew nothing about these group beforehand but recognized that dude from Decibel magazine on guitar and later found out the singer was the chick from Black Math Horseman. I really wished I could have caught their entire set but the last song I saw was damn good. There's something eerily beautiful about their music. Haunting might be a better word.

Intronaut was next. I've had a love/hate relationship with them recently. The band has changed a lot with their last two albums, becoming more "spacey prog" and less "yelling metal." Sometimes I'm ok with this and sometimes I'm like, "NO, I want my old Intronaut back. Stop singing." Well after their performance on this night, new Intronaut has successfully gotten me to stop my bitching and enjoy the ride. They played new stuff off Valley of Smoke with some serious firepower, but it was like they weren't even trying either. The band has reached some kind of "awesome autopilot" at this point when it comes to their live shows. Also, I don't know how many times I've listened to "The Literal Black Cloud" but it's never sounded heavier then when they played it here at the Troubadour. Pummeling. Oh yeah, and Danny Walker is still a raging beast on the drums. DEFINITE DrumTHRONE inductee there.

Kylesa took a little longer than expected to take the stage. I'm sure it had something to do with the cameras/recording setup for their big television debut. Either way, when the band did come out, they were more fired up then I'd ever seen them. By now I was pressed alongside the right corner of the stage near Philip (guitarist/vocalist) and and got an awesome view of the band's dueling drummers. Yeah Laura (2nd guitarist/vocalist) was on the opposite side of the stage but I could still hear her shrieking her heart out just fine. The band predominantly ripped through tracks off their latest head trip Spiral Shadow as well as songs from their breakthrough 2009 album, Static Tensions. Everyone in the audience was beyond stoked with the band, and this included some of the Carson Daly camera guys too! I caught one of the camera dudes near the center of the stage singing/rocking out a few times. Hell, I bet that guy was probably responsible for getting the band on the air in the first place. See, us underground metal scum are taking over. Today it's Last Call with Carson Daly, tomorrow....the world.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Star Wars/Full Metal Jacket

Wow. How could I have NOT seen this before....easily the most lulz I've seen in some time.
I've always wondered what a Lucas/Kubrick collaboration would be like. Now I know.

sound off like you got a pair....LAUGH!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Awesome Photo (2)

This next photo amuses me on a few different levels. It's Sasha Grey at some HBO Emmys party or something.

Think about it. Sasha Grey. Emmys.

I'm not hating on her though. Sasha Grey seems like one rad chick who I wouldn't mind hanging out with. We could talk about Sartre, Soderbergh and Satanic Black Metal. Cool stuff you know?

Monday, September 19, 2011

Anthony Jeselnik

Tonight is the Comedy Central Roast of Charlie Sheen. I probably won't watch it but I kind of want to. Anthony Jeselnik is one of the roasters and the dude is easily one of my favorite comedians around. I saw him at the Hollywood Improv a few years ago and was blown away at how over the top this guy gets. His humor is dry and requires a bit of thought to comprehend but man, the shit this guy says will either convince you that he's horrendous or brilliant. I vote for the latter.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

1 Year Anniversary (kind of)

Yesterday marked the one year anniversary since I started Jim's Fear . I still remember sheepishly writing up that first post, wondering how I'd be able to come up with more original entries in the future, and expecting droves of negative comments for my, uh, odd choice of tunes. It ended up going over well since I had no followers and nobody really saw it anyways. HA.

It's been a year + 1 day since then and now I've got more segments here @ Jim's Fear than I can keep up with (Movie Reviews, Concert Reviews, Crunch Time, Female Obsession, Take a Guess/...And the Answer Is, plus the newly created DrumTHRONE)! That, and I've amassed a small group of, if not loyal I'd say, "genuinely interested" followers amongst the many spammers and troll blogs out there.

So thanks for following and or tolerating this random hodgepodge of blog I've strung together this past year. If I was to suddenly stop blogging tomorrow, I could honestly say it's been a fun ride. How much longer will Jim's Fear last? Who knows? I don't. Maybe, beyond infinity? And theeeere's the cheesy tie-in to this next song. My first post featured The Dillinger Escape Plan's "Jim Fear," one year (+ 1 day!) later and it's "Calculating Infinity."

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Musical Geniuses Part II

Unexpected post! I was surfing the interwebz and hit up for my daily fix of heavy metal news/lulz/gossip and other crap when I stumbled upon their post about The Axis of Awesome's latest video.

With their "4 Chords" video, this Australian comedy act highlights how eerily similar most pop songs are. I was kind of astonished how well this turned out so now I'm sharing it with you bloggers. Enjoy:

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Musical Geniuses

The Dream Team
I've already ranted about how much I love South Park, especially when Eric Cartman uses his angelic voice and bursts into song. Today I'm going to pay tribute the men behind America's favorite crude 4th graders, Trey Parker and Matt Stone.

Perhaps the only thing I love more than their hilarious jokes, brazen satire and utter disdain for organized religion are their ridiculous musical talents. Aside from crafting awesome little jingles throughout South Park's 15 season run, the two have been nominated for an Academy Award for Best Song and recently swept this year's Tony Awards with their new musical The Book of Mormon. Critical praise/accolades are nice and all, but I've got to say my favorite Parker/Stone musical project is their over the top rock band, DVDA (Double Vaginal, Double Anal).

Here are 3 of my favorite DVDA tracks that I'm sure many of you are already familiar with:
Here's the theme song to their 1997 cult classic film Orgazmo.

Next we have Osama Bin Laden's favorite song of all time, the theme from 2004's Team America: World Police.

Finally, a song that still brings tears to my eyes every time I hear it, from South Park's 8th season, I leave you with:

Trey Parker singing about his balls in Japanese = COMEDIC GOLD!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

9/11- A Decade Later

We all knew it was coming. The ten year anniversary of the September 11, 2001 tragedy. Ten years ago the world watched as thousands of innocent people died on live television. How many first responders risked their lives to help search for survivors and now find themselves on their deathbeds, battling strange cancers and respiratory diseases? What's the cost in dollars and more importantly, human life, from the subsequent wars in Iraq and Afghanistan that stemmed from this single day?

No matter what you believe happened or who was responsible for 9/11, a tragedy is the best way to describe this event.

I could go on a long winded 9/11 Truth type rant here but I honestly don't have the energy for that right now. So while I'll spare you the conspiracy theory lecture, I'll end with this:

If there is a hell, I hope Dick Cheney enjoys his stay there when his pacemaker finally gives out. You got your "new Pearl Harbor" you bastard.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Movie Review: Crazy, Stupid, Love

I heard rave reviews about this film. I had friends tell me how much they enjoyed it. There were a lot of reasons why I should have already seen Crazy, Stupid, Love but somehow, the film just never caught my interest. Then again, I'm an idiot. This was easily was one the most enjoyable films I've seen in some time.

Bang Bros.
Steve Carell plays Cal Weaver, a pathetic shell of a suburban dad whose wife, played by Julianne Moore, announces that she's cheated on him and wants a divorce. Cal has a bit of a breakdown and starts boozing it up every night a happening downtown bar which attracts the attention of Ryan Gosling's ultimate ladies man character Jacob. Jacob takes Cal under his wing and teaches the previously emasculated loser (with his Supercuts hair style and clothes from The Gap) how to strut his stuff and bone hot twenty-something broads like a champ!

Of course things flip turn upside down when long lost emotions start to resurface in all of the film's characters. Not just in Cal but for other members of his family as well as in the coldly calculating Lothario, Jacob himself. What makes Crazy, Stupid, Love so successful is it's serious look at love at all levels of the human experience. From grade school crushes and one night stands, to 20+ year marriages and bouts of infidelity. The film explores just how intoxicating and heartbreaking this raw emotion can be. Anyone with a pulse who has ever longed for another human being will have something to identify with here.

It also helps that the script/dialogue is sharp. The all star cast does an amazing job of grounding these often goofy characters with some sense of reality. Gosling and Carell have some strangely awesome chemistry together while Emma Stone is as cute/funny as ever. Of course the film's secret weapon is the always entertaining/gorgeous, Marisa Tomei. She may only have a small role in this film, but like even the tinyiest of diamonds, she sparkles, shines and proves extremely valuable in the end.

Jim's Fear, Female Obsession:  March 2011

So go see Crazy, Stupid, Love...or as I like to call it: Funny, Smart, Entertaining.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Jane Doe Anniversary

Still staying gold
September 4th marked the 10th anniversary of one of my favorite albums of all time, Converge's 2001 epic, Jane Doe. The good folks over at Invisible Oranges wrote a nice little something commemorating the awesomeness of this record. Here's my own brief little rant for you all to enjoy...

Listening to Jane Doe is one of the most blissfully excruciating experiences you'll ever have in your life. First, the production is LOUD. Not in your face but rather through your face, loud. The opening guitar notes on "Concubine" conjure images of claustrophobic meth addicts in a confined space. Pure, unhinged depravity. The closing moments of the lumbering title track/album closer "Jane Doe" are emotional enough to make Oscar Schindler weep. Listening to this album all the way through flushes out every emotion under the sun.

The music is beyond metal and hardcore. Song's run the gamut from blast beats to space rock but no matter what genre Converge dabbles in, they always sound authentic. Jacob Bannon's lyrics and vocal performance on Jane Doe have become the stuff of legends. Chronicling the messy deterioration of a long term relationship, the story Jacob tells on Jane Doe constitutes the gnarliest "break up" album ever created. Good luck trying to decipher the lyrics though. Jacob's vocals are damn near inhuman and sounds like a dying velociraptor most of the time. All in all, this album is one of the most abrasive, painful and hauntingly beautiful records I've ever encountered.

Heaven in Her Arms
 This album has gotten me through some dark times as it has countless others. The Jane Doe image has become this millennium's Misfits skull. People adorned their bodies with this album's iconic image and do all kinds of other crazy shit in it's honor. Like this:
Bitter...and then some!
I can honestly say this album has changed my life for the better. I know this stuff isn't for everyone, hell, even I couldn't understand what the hell I was listening too when Jane Doe first came out, but once it clicks, it's like some kind of amazing drug (I'd imagine). Celebrating a ten year anniversary is cool and all, but really, this is the type of record that will stay with you for a lifetime. Thank you Jacob, Kurt, Nate and Ben.

check out Decibel Magazine's special Top 100 Greatest Metal Albums of the Decade for an in depth making of Jane Doe feature. Spoiler ranked #1.

Monday, September 5, 2011

"There Are No Pacts Between Lions and Men"

I was up late some time last week and watched part of Troy on TNT or TBS or some basic cable TV station. For those of you who don't remember, Troy is the 2004 Hollywood schlock fest of a movie that puts a blockbuster spin on Homer's The Iliad. The movie is pretty campy but entertaining nonetheless. Of course since it was broadcast on TV most of the cool stuff was edited out, like this awesome fight scene between Achilles and Hector (the highlight of the damn movie!). I went and hunted for the scene on the web and now, here it is!

Achilles vs Hector by TroikosPolemos

Friday, September 2, 2011

Crunch Time: Pantera

*Welcome to the latest edition of Crunch Time, where I swoon over some of my favorite HEAVY riffs.*

Pantera. Arguably the biggest metal band of the 1990's (Post-Black Album Metallica doesn't count). I wrote a lengthy nerd rant/article about my love for these dudes last year. Now I'm here to gush about one of my favorite Pantera riffs, the one that makes me stop what I'm doing and immediately begin stomping my imaginary enemies to pieces, every single time I hear it. I'm talking about the CRUSHING main riff from the middle section of "Strength Beyond Strength." I still remember the first time I heard this song. The track begins with that break neck thrash tempo and I thought, "wow, I've never heard Pantera play this fast before." Then the song gets to the middle and the overpowering might of Dime's guitar tone caused my bowls to shift and I suddenly needed a diaper. I went from "wow this is a fast song," to "OMG this is the heaviest thing I've ever heard in my life!" Here it is folks, the lumbering behemoth of a riff kicks in @ 1:10 mark.

The power. The sheer power of this riff is unstoppable! It's so simplistic and haunting, it conjures up images of a Neanderthal performing brain surgery with a rusty crowbar. STRONGER THAN ALL.