Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Bigotry: Internet Fail/Salvation

Here's the FAIL:
So last week a video of two naive and wonderfully bigoted young Florida high school girls went viral on Youtube and made a little splash on the news as well.

Apparently the girls posted some kind of racial tirade against blacks in a previous video and received a lot of negative feedback from it. So what do you say to somebody hate? (Answer: Start up your tape of NWA....duh) Well these girls decided to post a retaliation video to address all their haters and inadvertently...or maybe purposely, pushed the racist/ignorant/horrible excuse for a human being card beyond the stratosphere, waaaaaaaay into outer-fucking-space. Here's the story:

The crux of their argument is that "the blacks" in their area are lazy/ignorant/and a drain on society.
So these girls:
1) Post a video on the internet from the confines of their living room(lazy).
2) Expose their own pea brained racists views for THE ENTIRE WORLD TO SEE( and act, that's not only deplorable but BEYOND ignorant in of itself).
3) Are now a drain on their families/friends/community having been kicked out of school for the cluster fuck they've unleashed.

Welcome to the internet girls

and now, here's the salvation:
A screen cap that encapsulates the absurdity of these whole situation happening in the 21st century...and underscores the TRUE purpose of the internet.

This brilliant Youtuber "dukeofbaja" got it right. The internet isn't for hatred. It's for knowledge, communication, porn and of course, lulz. Thank you sir. For redeeming all of us.

Here's the girl's video in it's entirely for those of you who want to look the devil square in the eye.
WARNING. It's not pretty folks.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Goatwhore & Hate Eternal @ The Whisky, Hollywood. 2/22/12.

I just love it when two of my favorite bands tour together. Goatwhore, my favorite blackened thrashers of the last decade, and Hate Eternal, the pummeling death metal juggernaut, on the same bill. This was like a early Xmas gift. I really wanted to check out Cerebral Bore as well but alas, they had some kind of visa issues and had to drop off the tour. We arrived inside as the other band Fallujiah was playing but wasn't really too impressed with them and their aping Decrepit Birth schtick.

For those of you who've never been, the world famous Whisky a Go Go in Hollywood is actually a dumpy little club I try to avoid like the plague. Fortunately, because the place is so tiny there is no backstage area to store or load gear, meaning the bands have to quickly haul their instruments off stage and run out through a side door to their vans before they get towed or all their gear stolen. Either way, that area near the loading door provides a birds eye view of the stage and since you aren't directly in front of the house PA, can appreciate the band's sound without blowing your eardrums out. That's where me and my girlfriend stayed all night. Yes, I drag my girlfriend to these things.

King of all Kiiiiiiiiiiiiiiings
Anyways. Hate Eternal came out and slayed the joint. The sheer power and ungodly amount of racket that emanates from this trio boogles the mind. They opened with "Victorious Reign" off I, Monarch and brought out the inner cave man from everyone in the audience. However, calling Hate Eternal's music primitive or neanderthal-ish is a grave injustice. Not only is their music blindingly fast but it's insanely complex & intricate. From our spot near the left side/loading area of the stage we could hear all the subtle nuances of JJ's bass playing, something I don't often focus upon when listening to an album you know? Also, Hate Eternal's drummer Jade Simonetto is easily one of the fastest dudes in the business. Again, thanks to our viewing spot, I was able to hear the awesome wash from Jade's cymbals than just the bass drum trippgers that usually overpower most death metal acts. You can't talk about Hate Eternal without saying how badass Erik Rutan is. Not only is he a guitar phenom, but his vocals are gnarly as hell and even my girlfriend thought he looked rad (like a pissed off lion or something...) onstage. This was my fourth time seeing Hate Eternal over the years and they continue to impress me. Their music, is the soundtrack Darth Vader would bump while commanding a legion of Storm Troopers on panzer tanks. Just saying. And for the record, my girlfriend likes calling them Hate Internal because she's funny like that.

Masters of Apocalyptic Havoc
Goatwhore took the stage soon afterward to an enthusiastic crowd. Nothing says pumped like a bunch of drunk metal heads chanting "WHORE!" I'll tell ya what. They played a crap load of songs off their brand new album Blood For The Master. So new in fact, I hadn't even heard any of this material yet but it didn't matter. These new jams sounded like the Goatwhore I know and love. Vile bursts of Satanic black metal, meets head banging old school thrash and wrapped up in a grimey punk rock ethos and you've got Goatwhore. I've stopped keeping track of all the times I've seen Goatwhore live, lets just say it's a lot (maybe 10) and as of now I've got 4 different shirts of theirs and a nifty sweater (all black...of course). So the band ruled. Again. Like always. I love that they've now released three killer albums on Metal Blade Records, all of which were produced by Hate Eternal's Erik Rutan, yet still go back and play some of their killer old school tracks off their first two records. "Invert The Virgin" is still one of the sickest songs with the sickest riff ever. I especially love the older stuff because of Sammy's awesome background vocals. It's so rad seeing him and Ben's interplay when they both sing, or as I like to call it, who can make the the filthiest sounding shrieks possible. During songs like "Alchemy of the Black Sun Cult," when everyone's head is bobbing on command, I could totally see an arena of Slayer or even Metallica fans rocking out to Goatwhore's music. Hopefully they continue their rising momentum. They're slated for this years Summer Slaughter tour already. If any underground act can and should make it big, it's these dudes/whores.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Movie Review: Hugo

I'm a huge Martin Scorsese fan but for whatever reason, I was in no rush to see his latest film Hugo. A kids movie in 3D just didn't seem up my alley. My bad. I finally got around to seeing Hugo and cannot stop raving about this movie. It's amazing. Like, one of my favorite Scorsese films ever type amazing.

Hugo is a young orphan living in a Paris train station in the 1930's. When he isn't operating/maintaining the stations many clocks, he passes the time stealing food from shops, dodging the police and picking up spare parts to fix an old automaton that he and his father dreamed of fixing together before his death. One day he crosses paths with the stations elderly toy shop owner and after becoming friends with his young goddaughter, embarks on an heart warming adventure that somehow ties together themes like longing, death, redemption, family and the power & history of early cinema...and robots, into a nice little tear inducing package. I'm not kidding, this old grinch came close to crying several times during this film.

So first thing's first. I HATE 3D. I think it's lame and a sad desperate attempt for Hollywood to make an extra buck and herd the masses back into theaters to watch their (mostly) sub par piles of dog crap they play in multiplexes these days. Now that we've got that out of the way, Hugo is easily the best looking 3D film I've ever seen. Don't mention that Avatar crap in the same sentence as this. Even James Cameron is all wet over Hugo's 3D presentation. Next, I'd like to say how awesome the film's cast is. Asa Butterfield, the little dude who plays Hugo, gives an amazing performance as this downtrodden yet optimistic orphan. His eyes and facial expressions are priceless not to mention he looks like a clone of Elijah Wood from the early 90's...but even sappier! Chloe Moretz is the next Natalie Portman, I'm calling it now. Ben Kingsley, he's already regarded as one of the greatest actors of all time so I should have known he would knock this role out of the park, but I honestly didn't expect him to be this good in a "kids film" you know? I even liked Sacha Baron Cohen as the bumbling police inspector and I usually hate that guy.

Lebowski achievers
The most powerful thing about Hugo is Scorsese's genuinely earnest love of film and all the many aspects of the art form. The audience follows Hugo through a crash course in cinematic history and although the plot of Hugo focuses on a different director in the early 20th's basically Scorsese's love letter to his craft. From the costumes, camera work, editing, art direction, acting, to the sound of film stock running through a projector and the overwhelming experience of sitting in a dark theater, Hugo is basically Martin Scorsese shouting I LOVE MY JOB from the mountaintops. In 3D.

So now it's Taxi Driver, Raging Bull, Goodfellas...Hugo. It's that good folks.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

The Black Dahlia Murder's new NSFW video

Although their album Ritual is almost a year old now, The Black Dahlia Murder have finally released a video for their song, "Moonlight Equilibrium." There's a werewolf, some douche-y 18th century dudes in powdered wigs, boobs and good ol' fashion gore. Whats not to love?

Click Here To Watch The Video

Monday, February 20, 2012

My Favorite Candy:

Here it is, my favorite candy/sweet snack: Haribo Gummy Bears. People might wonder why I'm not into drugs or anything like that and I say it's because I already have one addiction...these suckers.

I can't remember when I first got the gummy bear bug but I do know that it's all I want. It's the first thing I look for at markets, gas stations, inline at Blockbuster and what I wish they carried in theaters when I get a sweet craving. Whats even more crazy is that these things actually upset my stomach a bit...and I don't care!

I'll take the red and green ones...all day everyday son!

Thanks to everyone who participated in the previous post. Lots of love for the chocolates I see. I dig random posts like those and the answer they bring. We may all live in different parts of the world and blog/rant about different topics...but who doesn't love eating junk food? Horrible eating habits, the great unifier.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

What is your favorite candy/sweet snack?

Quick question bloggers...what's your favorite candy/sweet snack? Some of you might remember my previous survey about people's favorite soft drink, so now I'm back asking the all important follow up question: favorite sweet.

Here's the situation, you're inline at the concession stand at the movie theater and are super stoked to see whatever new Michael Bay movie is hogging 5 of the 20 screens at the multiplex. Basically, you're going to need  A LOT of comfort food to prevent a suicide by cinema. You're prepared to really break the bank with this over priced binge of popcorn, hot dogs, nachos, soda, water, and rat poison (in case the film is Episode I horrible you know?)....what is the ONE candy/sweet snack you want to gorge yourself with??? GO!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

The Answer Is...(6)

Congrats to Bonjour Tristesse, for winning yesterday's Take a Guess Challenge. This shouldn't have come as a surprise, since Bonjour runs a blog dedicated to foreign and cult cinema, one I recommend everyone check out for all you cinematic needs. Kudos to Yeamie Waffles and the unstoppable Pat Hatt for guessing, just a tad too late though. So the answer to yesterday's question is:

Richard Linklater's 1995 film, Before Sunrise. Some movies entertain you, others might touch a nerve or make you really think. Before Sunrise does all these, but most importantly of all, it haunts you.

Before Sunrise stands as one of the greatest romance stories of all time. The plot may seem a little cliche, boy meets girl on a train and they sweep each other of their feet, but Linklater's film has become a modern day cult classic because it breaks through most conventions of romance genre films (or any films for that matter) and creates an intoxicating sense of realism, inviting the audience into Jesse and Celine's exclusive little world, one that you'll never want to leave.

Très bien
The film centers around two young lovers who spend one magical day together on the streets of Vienna. Ethan Hawke is Jesse, a wondering American riding the rails across Europe before flying back home to the States. By chance, he encounters Julie Delpy's Celine, a beautiful young Frenchwoman on her way back to Paris. What follows is one of the most engaging and original tales of romance and life you'll ever see.

Jesse charms Celine into spending the day with him in Vienna. Fully aware that they both must return home eventually, Jesse and Celine entertain each other as a lark knowing that the hands of time have doomed any potential romance of theirs from the start. This Cinderella effect forces them to cut through the usual getting to know you type bullshit facade people usually project during first dates and you see the intense chemistry between the two is not only instant, but real, and they revel in it throughout the entire film.

I use the term real because at times, Before Sunrise feels more like a documentary than a regular movie. Linklater's script is genius. The dialogue, dear lord the dialogue. Kevin Smith, Tarantino they have nothing on this script. Not only do Jesse and Celine talk a mile a minute in this film, but thanks to Hawke and Delpy's amazing delivery it all sounds natural and again...real! Their performances are uncanny. Even when they aren't talking and just vibe off each other with little glances or gestures. I've never seen such chemistry between actors. Watching two people sitting in a streetcar, in a restaurant booth or park bench has never been so enthralling. Here is the scene that featured the song from the previous Take a Guess Challenge, Jesse and Celine in a record store listening booth:

Not a single word was spoken in that booth but their eyes and mannerisms said it all. Subtlety George Lucas, look it up.

The film takes place in the course of about twelve hours. It's called Before Sunrise for a reason. As soon as morning comes their fairytale must end. Linklater's 2004 film Before Sunset takes place nine years later and we see what's become of Jesse and Celine as they've grown into adulthood. It takes all the awesomeness of Before Sunrise to the next level, (dialogue, acting, camera work...Sunset even feels like it's playing out in real time) but that's a different post for a different day. If you've never seen Before Sunrise and my ranting has peeked your interest I'd urge you to check this film out for yourself ASAP. I'll guarantee you'd be fiending (yes FIEND) to see Before Sunset immediately afterward and never want to leave the pocket romantic European universe Jesse and Celine inhabit. 

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Take a Guess 6

Can any of you bloggers tell me what movie features this song?

Feel free to answer below in the comments section. Please refrain from using google/wikipedia/browsing the youtube comments to find the answer...cheating gets you nowhere! I'll post the answer tomorrow (or the next time I update) and the winner gets my total movie nerd respect and a shout out/link for being awesome.

Check out previous editions of my Take a Guess Challenge HERE.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Sunday, February 12, 2012

R.I.P. Whitney Houston...and just say NO kids.

So Whitney Houston is dead. Bummer. I remember hearing her music seemingly everywhere when I was a little kid in the late 80's/early 90's. Back in her prime she was beautiful (a model actually) and of course, you know, had an AMAZING voice.

my God, it's like she wasn't even trying.

Too bad that all went to shit. Whitney's career started to mimic her personal life, all messed up. If you aren't familiar with her long and tumultuous relationship with Bobby Brown, her battle with drugs and knack for insane public behavior, have fun with Google afterwards. In short, I'll just say that Whitney was like a walking D.A.R.E. (Drug Abuse Resistance Education for you non-USA'ers) advertisement =/ Such a waste of talent. Of course she wasn't the first, and sadly, won't be the last.

At least her music will live on...through young boys from Taiwan.

When news of her death broke I immediately thought of two things:
X-Men: The Animated Series

and my homie Patrick Bateman...he was a HUGE Whitney fan =p

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Iron Maiden Return

I let a friend borrow one of my Iron Maiden DVDs back in December (maybe even November) and totally forgot about it. They gave it back the other day. I'm in Iron Maiden mode now all weekend.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Movie Review: Miss Bala

Beautiful girl caught in a ugly situation. It's always tragic, and Gerardo Naranjo's latest film exemplifies this adage to a tee. Miss Bala (or Miss Bullet, thanks Google translator) exposes the horrors of Mexico's long and bloody drug war, and the havoc it has reeked on the nation's innocent population for decades.

It ain't easy being sleazy
Newcomer Stephanie Sigman stars as Laura, a gorgeous young beauty pageant contestant who, by a cruel twist of fate, becomes the reluctant accomplice of a criminal drug lord. Sigman's performance is amazing. She literally carries the entire film on her shoulders and doesn't miss a beat. Not quite as mesmerizing as Elizabeth Olsen's turn in Martha Marcy May Marlene, but damn close. As the carnage of Miss Bala unfolds, Laura remains true to herself and tries to do what she believes is right. Putting the welfare of her friend and family before her own, Laura even tries going to the police, but doing what's right is next to impossible in Mexico's ultra corrupt landscape, completely engulfed in the cloud of it's drug war.

Naranjo's direction is superb. Although his script is a bit spartan, his choice of shots and most of all, his ability to create tension is amazing. From the disco hall massacre in the beginning, to the shoot out in the streets of Tijuana (very Michael Mann-ish a la Heat) and the final narco hotel attack scene, each of these action set pieces should have you at the edge of your seat. For large parts of the film, Naranjo's camera stays over Laura's shoulder. This allows for a disorienting, yet gripping fly on the wall perspective. The audience is as clueless as poor Laura, descending further into suspense and madness together. My only problem with this is, I started getting annoyed with the back of people's heads. When an actor's haircut starts intruding into the world of the film, I don't consider that a good thing.

I'd wife that

Either way, small grievance aside, Miss Bala is still a great film and accomplishes it's goal of shedding new light on Mexico's brutal drug war. In a world where cops and government officials can be bought and sold (even pageant officials as well!) no one is safe from the violence, rape, death and misery of Mexico's all encompassing narcotics trade. Not even a beauty queen.

Thanks to DM over @ for giving me the heads up about this movie. Although I saw the trailer for Miss Bala before watching Shame, it was the blog post at classy-films that first peeked my interest. Thanks again!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

"We have a Hulk:" Avengers Super Bowl Trailer

So I worked Sunday night. Didn't see the Super Bowl (didn't really care either) or Madonna dancing around the field like a mummy, but unfortunately I DID miss the brand new, mouth watering trailer for the Avengers film. I'm sure most of you have seen this by now but I can't stop pushing "replay" so I guess I might as well post about it.

"We have a Hulk." SOLD. Done deal. Count me in. I'm there. Front row with an inhaler to help me breathe through the sheer excitement.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Crunch Time: Nile

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

Nile. Technical death metal juggernauts, with a knack for Ancient Egyptian themes. Usually, Nile songs blaze through at a 1000mph (or 250+ BPM for drum geeks) but today, we feature one of their slower, yet heaviest tunes of their catalog.

I first got into Nile back in 2003. This was my senior year of high school and I was already listening to all the cool metal bands of the day...or so I thought. Hearing Nile's 2002 album In Their Darkened Shrines smashed my skull (via disc man) to pieces. Three distinct vocalists, rapid fire riffs, dazzling lead guitar work and lets not forget my personal favorite, the drums. I was sold instantly. Saw them twice in concert that year and could not wait for their next album. Then their bassist/vocalist and drummer quit. I was bummed. Sure, Nile added drum phenom George Kollias to the fold (easily one of the fastest drummers on Earth) but I didn't dig their following two albums as much as Shrines. People may thing I'm crazy but I prefer Tony Laureano's playing to Kollias any day of the week. As this song illustrates, speed isn't everything:
(Crunch Time riff begins @ 0:18 mark)

Damn that still gets almost a decade later. This song makes me want to command a legion of soldiers, conquer a foriegn land, then bang my head slowly as I ride a pack of elephants through the streets of my victory parade.

It's so simple, so haunting and so, so heavy. I've never abandoned Nile though. In fact their last album, 2009's Those Whom The Gods Detest, was amazing and almost as rad as Darkened Shrines in my book.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Drive on Blu-ray

 Drive, my favorite film of 2011 is out on Blu-ray. I picked up my copy earlier this week and have been loving it ever since. I implore you all to do the same. I used to hate on the Blu-ray format, but damn if this flick doesn't look amazing in high def.

Also, that soundtrack = pure win.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Female Obsession: Natalie Portman

Oh Portman. Beautiful, intelligent,  and one hell of an actress. Is there anything she can't do? I think Episode I was probably my first time seeing Natalie Portman on the big screen. Not her finest hour, but then I saw Leon: The Professional on DVD. I was SOLD. I've kept up with my Natalie (or Portman as I affectionately refer to her) ever since.

Although born in Israel, Portman moved to the states when she was a toddler. While attending school, she performed with local theater groups before getting her big break in 1994's The Professional, at the ripe old age of 13. If you've never seen Leon: The Professional....shame on you! It's an awesome little movie about a hitman and his relationship with a 12 year old girl. It's violent, funny, touching and even a little creepy at times, but it's Natalie Portman's debut film performance and therefore, a must see!
she wants to clean

I could go on about Natalie's adorable performance in Beautiful Girls, or her snarky turn in Mars Attacks!, but I'm trying to stay out of Chris Hansen territory so, let's just talk about Star Wars. George Lucas cast Natalie Portman as Padme in the Star Wars prequel trilogy of utter crap and almost ruined her entire career. Natalie's first two acting roles showed she had chops, pity that none of that was needed for her character in Episode I-III. Dear Lord, a malfunctioning T-800 Terminator could show more depth. It's not her fault though, I really think Natalie tried her best with this role it's just, the dialogue man! That and the plot. Alright, let's NOT talk about Star Wars.

Luckily, Portman was able to bounce back with films like Garden State, Closer, and V For Vendetta. Oh yeah, and she was also going to Harvard during this time. She graduated with her BA in psychology in 2003. Movie star, Harvard grad and as of 2011, Academy Award winner. Oh yes, Portman won the Oscar for Best Actress for her role as Nina in Black Swan.

Harvard Grad/Oscar Winner

In 2011 Natalie Portman gave birth to son. Yes, little Mathilda from The Professional is now a mom. Crazy, since I've been into Portman since I was a young lad myself. Time flies, yet Portman keeps getting better. Here are some photos of her hotness throughout the years:

And now, the greatest moment in Natalie Portman history:

*Bonus Portman Overdose clip*
Natalie Portman, growing up before your eyes on The Late Show w/ David Letterman.