PHIL/GEEK/PHIL


VP resolution !
August 23, 2008, 10:25 am
Filed under: politics | Tags: , , , , , ,

Finally Obama has picked joe biden as his running mate…

Like the Obama/Osama confusion wasn’t enought, we now have more to chew on : OsAMA BInlaDEN.
This pick is definitely not helping the “confusion” and I bet American media pick that up as soon as this morning ! (sorry I could’nt resist making that joke)

Now seriously, I think it’s an excellent choice. Biden is a good companion for foreign issues and has a ton of experience.

Go Obama !



Tropical laughs

I’m going to go ahead and say it : Tropic Thunder is just about the funniest blockbuster comedy I’ve seen in a long while. It’s really quite a success, on all fronts : The characters are all- and I mean all- funny and fresh, the story is original, the chemistry between the actors is fantastic, the pacing is perfect etc…

Most of all, the film include two stellar performances :

– Tom Cruise’s surprise performance as a  movie executive. Seriously, this has you saying “gosh, that guy’s not that bad”, which is a lot compared to what is said about him these days. He’s actually pretty excellent in it, and this role will definetly redeem him a bit in the eyes of the tabloid-obsessed public.

-Robert Downey Jr’s turn as the Australian actor gone black (he has a pigmentation adjustement in preparation of his role as a black army officer).He acts with such political incorrectness that it sometimes feels like watching Larry David insult a retard.

The thing about this film is that it never lets go and never lets you down. It’s funny from top to bottom and keeps reinventing itself in the process. What starts as a spoof of Apocalypse now, fast becomes a satire of big hollywood and then goes into action comedy territories. And it all works like a charm.

Ben Stiller is at the peak of his career here, delivering a solid script, solid directing and a solid performance. Jack Black, on the other hand, is hilarious as a heroin addict and Jay Baruchel, from our dear hometown of Montreal, acts as the balancing act of the film. This will definetly propel him to larger productions and, as he puts it in the movie, he will “get more laid after this movie”.

I say go see this film if you want a good time. It’s been a while since a film like that showed up.

Note : I haven’t seen Pineapple Express yet, which I’m told is pretty good too…



Don’t forget the lyrics
August 18, 2008, 2:11 pm
Filed under: Music, Randomness | Tags: , ,


“This is intense shit” part 2
August 14, 2008, 10:58 am
Filed under: Movies | Tags: , , ,

I was at it again last night, watching a 35mm Kubrick screening . This time, it was one of my long-time favorites, a film that changed my life when I first saw it ten years ago.

The Shining is one of those “horror” films that flirts with comedy, without ever crossing the line. It’s almost never funny, but I swear whenever Jack gets angry, I think : “if he has played it a tad more extreme, it would’ve been like Anger Management“. But it’s not, and that’s where Kubrick legendary actor direction comes in : he knows exactly how much terror/anger/joy to show on screen. It’s always the right ammount and yet, always feels so deliciously innapropriate. Shelley Duvall does the weirdest facial expressions, and seems to exxagerate every emotion but, I buy it (I would like to think that, faced with this situation, my expressions wouldn’t be more graceful….)

Anyhow, the thing I like most about this film is the incredible sense of pace. The movie builds up tension like no other I’ve seen (except maybe the recent 4 months, 3 weeks and 2 days) and reaches a peak that very few films ever do. By the end of the film, my feet were tired from jittering and I had bitten all my fingernails off (and that was my 10th time watching that film). The actor’s performances has everything to do with this tension. The trio is outstanding, and Danny Lloyd is one of the best child actor ever to grace the screen.

Of course, we need to mention the cinematographical importance of this film : this was Kubrick’s first use of the Steadicam (I think) and what a use ! He really changed the face of cinema with this technique and this film illustrates that perfectly. The cinematography is such a success, ranging from erraticly symmetrical shots to fast-moving camera pursuits. It’s like being in a the mind of someone with OCD. Troubling !

One last note : The music – a mix between an original (and crazy) compositions, and a few classical pieces – is probably responsible for half the tension created in the film. What a great soundtrack! I’m not surprised : Kubrick’s soundtrack are always the most effective.

Enough said.
This is not Kubrick’s masterpiece, but it’s definetly a film that will resonate for many years to come. It’s a great experience to watch it, and it gets better every time.

PS: Did I mention the ending is legendary and will have you think it over for years ? I’ve now reached a point where I have a somewhat satisfying theory. I’m glad I do, but somewhere deep inside, I miss the clueless me…



Lucid Dreams
August 11, 2008, 5:08 pm
Filed under: Music | Tags: , , ,

New Franz Ferdinand single was out today…
It sounds a bit old-fashioned to my taste (watch out for some Glam Rock moments…), but there is enough freshness for me to give it another listen.  I will postpone judgement to a later date. Watch this post for an update….

For now, you can listen to the single, Lucid Dreams, at this link….



Rainbowhead
August 9, 2008, 2:16 pm
Filed under: Music | Tags: , , ,

35,000 people gathered in the mud, under the rain…
An hour to get in. Another hour to get out.
Sounds like an ordeal, doesn’t it ?

Well, let’s just say we deserved it. It’s almost a sin to watch radiohead perform during two hours. You have to be punished somehow 🙂

***

Last night’s concert was, as my previous post suggests, many things. Unspeakable things. I even found myself uttering these words during the concert : ” Its.It’s.It’s… It’s !”. There were really no words to describe what we were witnessing. I was at their concert at Place des Arts in 2006, and, frankly, this one topped it in every way possible and it wasn’t a close call!

First of all, I don’t recall ever hearing a better live sound in my life. It was crystal clear (very hard to achieve outdoors). We could hear every minute detail and Thom Yorke’s voice was godlike, surfing over the music. Every nuance, every crack, every breath could be heard. And let me tell you something : this almost never happens. I can’t recall the last time I thought the sound was good at a gig. Let alone great.

The light bubble thingies hanging on the stage were the most innovative, beautiful and appropriate set decorations I’ve seen in my whole concert-going life. They were simply magical. The screens in the back added to the visual pleasantness. Overall, the concert was an unparalleled sensual experience.

Now on to the music. The setlist was really a sort of balance between the softer songs and the electro madness songs. Some rock anthems were thrown in, but they faded next to the majesty of the rest.I guess we can say the concert was very In Rainbows in attitude. Fans will know what I mean…

Highlights of the evening were :

  • Morning Bell, with an added section featuring a hypnotic vocal duo between Thom and Ed.
  • My Iron Lung, with the first light explosions of the evening that had us all go “Yeah” !
  • The majesty and restraint of Nude
  • Thom dancing freneticly on The Gloaming
  • La Ronde Fireworks going off during National Anthem (much to the band’s dismay)
  • “Because we separate…” during Reckoner was intense.
  • Piano-Bass version of Like Spinning Plates. Unrecognizable.
  • Thom :”If you’re feeling cold you can always grab someone next to you”. Then Phil went to hug Colin
  • Idiotheque‘s fabulous new version. Top Notch.
  • Thom is interrupted by fireworks and a loud scream during Faust Arp. He starts laughing in mid-song. Crowd is delirious.
  • Paranoid Android ! need I say more ? Yes I need to. The lighting on that one was out of thie world, with rhytmic explosions of color.
  • The uber-fabulous Bangers and Mash, with Thom on drums (and, if you didn’t know him, you would think he was on acid too) . Why, oh, why wasn’t that song included on In Rainbows ?
  • Karma Police : Most moving moment of the night. 35,000 people sing along. “This is what you get”. Unity. Beauty. Then, Thom realizes the majesty of the moment and hangs around at the end to accompany the crowd with his acoustic guitar. then leaves the stage, ending the encore. My heart skipped a few beats in that one…
  • You and whose army ? : The most creepy live moment of my life. Thom York’s eye was being filmed from atop and he was trying his best to look intense and scary. In the end, realizing he was doing too much, he starts laughing… 🙂
  • When you least expect it (i.e. after 24 songs), Everything in its right place enters and ends the show with an explosion of awesomeness and a light show from heaven, spelling out the lyrics.

It was hard to reduce the highlights list. But, what can I say, this is a Radiohead concert. Every note is a highlight.

***

To close off this long review, I’ll have to say that someone has yet to top Radiohead. They’re still the best band around and I don’t see any band out there that can remotly claim their throne…

***

Check out the setlist here

HD videos on yutube (excellent quality — thank you mr. Bootlegger)
My Iron Long
There There
Jigsaw Falling into place
Fake Plastic Trees
15 Steps
All I need

NB: did I mention that rainbows appeared in the sky right before their set? You can’t get more appropriate than that ! It’s almost cheesy…



House of Lego
August 8, 2008, 7:51 pm
Filed under: Music | Tags: , , ,

from ateaseweb.com

Radiohead made their latest video for House Of Cards, without cameras, but used lasers instead. But, how about a House Of Cards video without a band, lasers, but with a camera and LEGO!

The intrepid filmaker Ian MacKinnon has recreated it using Legos: