Wednesday, January 30, 2008

If Wishes Were Actors...

I've been upset ever since I've heard that Sean Penn would be playing Harvey Milk in Gus Van Sant's biopic. Now there's this:


Whereas I once just had an abstract vision of what Penn might do to defame Milk's memory, I now have hard evidence in the form of a fake campaign poster that's been created for the film's production. Apparently, Van Sant's crew has taken over the Castro and is revamping the whole street to look as it did in the seventies. That's cool and all, but I maintain that I am wholeheartedly against Sean Penn playing Harvey Milk.

Literally anyone would've been better in the role of Milk: Jake Gylenhaal, Kevin Spacey, Johnny Depp... even T.R. Knight would've done. Let's not even get started on about how Penn's infamous bravado and overwrought machismo is at direct odds with Milk's image as peace-keeper and bridge-builder.

If people are still even allowed to have heros, then Harvey Milk is mine. If you haven't seen The Times of Harvey Milk, then stop reading right now and get thee to a Netflix. You'll thank me later.

I'm honestly hoping that Penn is able to pull a Tom Cruise in Interview with the Vampire with this role and then I'll be all Anne Rice and say, "Oh my God, I totally thought you were gonna suck, but now I love you." That would be ideal, but as a douchey dude I used to work with once said, "If wishes were horses, then beggars would ride." Vomit.

The Only Way I'm Moving Back To LA

This graphic makes me, how do you say, moist as a snack cake down there. These aren't the final stops and routes for LA's "subway to the sea" but they're the possible combinations that Metro LA will be presenting to affected communities. According to laist, this thing is going to take ten years to build, but since things are already underway, well let's hope that everything stays on track.

If living in Chicago has taught me anything it's that I CANNOT live in a city without a subway or some sort of wicked transportation system (I'm not ruling out monorails) so my moving back home is absolutely contingent on this thing. Hear that Villaraigosa! Cuz I know you read this blog.

Best. Awards. Ceremony. Ever.

If I was Julian Schnabel I'd be livid that my supreme moment of self-actualization was ruined by the lush in the white fur coat, but thanks be to Sean Young for taking a piss out of Hollywood and reminding all of us how ridiculous these ceremonies really are. Oh yeah and, uh, get well soon.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Obey-ing Obama

Shepard Fairey

Shepard Fairey of Obey fame recently released this amazing Obama poster in a limited run of 350 prints which I'm sure are completely out of my price range, but I want one NOW.

It also pains me to admit this because I'm a staunch Hillary Rodham supporter, but she's obviously neglected the urban artist contingent which is why you won't find any awesome illustrations of her with the words Health Care underneath and, unfortunately, I'm afraid her mug just wouldn't carry the same gravitas.

I've always had a love/hate relationship with guerrilla artists like Shepard Fairey, which was confirmed wholeheartedly when I met Buff Monster at a gallery opening in 2003. While the event was fun and there was lots of free booze, it was one of the single most harrowing events of my life trying to not get murdered while searching for the gallery in the back alleys of downtown Los Angeles at 11 on a Friday night. Like it's not a certifiably indie event unless its being held in a converted flop house with syringes still lining the floor.

Buff in Venice

A friend of mine was dating Buff Monster at the time, or should I say Buff (whose real name is Alex or James or something) was campaigning hardcore to get into her pants. Suffice it to say I remember him being equal parts annoying, evasive, and crazytown, but his work rocked my soul so viciously that I gave him the benefit of the doubt and told my friend she should screw him if for nothing else than getting a good story out of it. I'm pretty sure, however, she did not relent.

At any rate, you should check him out and here's some more Buff goodness:

Buff on Vine and Free Buff Wallpaper

Buff Toys

Buff Print

Friday, January 25, 2008

Surely You Jest

Proving that idiocy knows no bounds... or country for that matter, Warner Brothers has put up a site to promote their forthcoming Batman movie where legions of fans are encouraged to gather their nearest and dearest, dress up like the joker (or at the very least paint their faces), and pose in front of their town's greatest landmark.

I'm sorry, Heath Ledger, if this proves to be your greatest legacy:

This dude is posing on a sign for what I believe is Warner Brothers Music's offices on Hollywood Way. What the caption on Warner Bros' site doesn't tell you about this guy is that right after the picture was taken he was promptly arrested by lot security and held in an interrogation room for three hours until Burbank PD could finally get their act together and take him to a real jail.

The submission guidelines on WB's site specifically tell you not to get arrested, so it's pretty awesome that this kid is none too subtlety testing their directive. Talk about taking down the man with his own tools.

Riddle me this: Is the look on this guy's face a result of the fact that he just realized that he's never going to win a WARNER BROS internet contest by posing in front of the COMPETITION'S landmark, or is he just having a really horrendous reaction to the toxic goo he just slathered all over his face?

These hooligans are pretty dorky and all, but I like them if for no other reason than they remind me of the Upright Citizens Brigade. This is so something Amy Pohler would've been talked into doing by those guys.

This, without a doubt, is my least favorite submission. No surprise then that it's also the front-runner to win right now (I'm not even sure what you win... your dignity back?)

These two are gross for so many reasons. If I actually listed all of them I think I might break the server.

Buddy looks sad in this pic (maybe he just lost on the ponies?) and much too old to be wearing clown makes-up. Especially if he's not going to even enjoy it.

I pity these kids because, while this is all fun and games right now, at some point in their mid-teens brother and sister are going to be cursing their parents for having made them do this. I hope they win just for the children's sake.

Here's another contender for first place who looks like a complete loon. The only anecdote I can equate this to is when my dad's girlfriend went to Europe without him and took along a paper facsimile of him to take pictures with at the leaning tower of Pisa.

And I'm sure all those tourists trying to get a snapshot of Sugar Loaf really appreciate this nutcase that they just had to ride the tour bus up the mountain with. Word to the wise, this is the kind of traveller who gets killed in Turistas.

Dude here gets a special shout-out for being so GD pretty. He reminds me of this guy I used to work at the Gap with who was super tall, super skinny, and dressed up one Halloween as Trannysaurus Rex.

There really is more to North Dakota than just wood chippers and Frances McDormand.

Mormon Jokers. Priceless.

The two guys at the bottom get bonus points for being Mormon Joker missionaries complete with Batman comics in tow. If they showed up at my door, not only would I let them in, I'd totally convert.

How much do you think this girl's boyfriend had to pay her to let him take this picture? If she's doing that shit for free then she's been seriously ill-advised.

More important still, did she do the makeup or did he?

This girl - I love. For her, painting your face up and running around town posing in front of pseudo-landmarks isn't horribly embarrassing just 'cause it's pretty a propos of her whole aesthetic. That, and she's what fifteen?

She reminds me of all those Hispanic goth girls I used to go to high school with - the one's who knew every lyric to every Morrissey song ever written. Those are the girls you knew would have your back if you ever got into a fight... and probably would do more damage than anyone else. Although, Latina Joker kind of loses points for me in the second photo since she seems, I don't know, a little too eager. And her eyes are open really wide.

I thought this building was a firehouse or something until I read the caption that said it was a actually these girl's fav Mexican joint in Ft. Worth. How many times must I remind you ladies? I love south of the border cuisine as much as the next guy, but a Mexican restaurant does not a landmark make.

Words escape me. This guy is probably doing improv as we speak.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Never Take Advice From a Stoner

Slutmachine from One D at a Time and Rich from Four Four are starring in Jezebel's latest in the series Pot Psychology. This is usually an advice column over at Jezebel wherein Slutmachine gets stoned and answers questions sent in by readers. This one, however, is about a thousand times better since we get to see these two giggle their little hearts out (link below).

I'm usually not an advocate of pot smoking because I can't stand being around people when they're high, but that's just me. These two are kind of adorable though and I love her even more because she looks and acts eerily like my ex-roommate. I haven't talked to the my former roomie in over two years and after watching this I totes miss her. sigh.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Heath Ledger Died While I Was Writing This

The Oscar nominations were announced today and Heath Ledger is dead. What, may I ask, is this world coming to?

Here you'll find my wants and predictions for the 80th annual Academy Awards even though they probably won't be televised this year and it was generally a dismal year for movies. Sure these are the best of the best, but frankly, there should've been more to choose from.

Not to make this too difficult, but here' goes:

Who Should Win - Image & Green Font
Who Will Win - Purple Font

If there's no purple font then the "want" matches the "prediction".


Performance by an actor in a leading role

George Clooney in "Michael Clayton" (Warner Bros.)
Daniel Day-Lewis in "There Will Be Blood" (Paramount Vantage and Miramax)
Johnny Depp in "Sweeney Todd The Demon Barber of Fleet Street" (DreamWorks and Warner Bros., Distributed by DreamWorks/Paramount)
Tommy Lee Jones in "In the Valley of Elah" (Warner Independent)
Viggo Mortensen in "Eastern Promises" (Focus Features)

Performance by an actor in a supporting role

Casey Affleck in "The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford" (Warner Bros.)
Javier Bardem in "No Country for Old Men" (Miramax and Paramount Vantage)
Philip Seymour Hoffman in "Charlie Wilson's War" (Universal)
Hal Holbrook in "Into the Wild" (Paramount Vantage and River Road Entertainment)
Tom Wilkinson in "Michael Clayton" (Warner Bros.)

Performance by an actress in a leading role

Cate Blanchett in "Elizabeth: The Golden Age" (Universal)
Julie Christie in "Away from Her" (Lionsgate)
Marion Cotillard in "La Vie en Rose" (Picturehouse)
Laura Linney in "The Savages" (Fox Searchlight)
Ellen Page in "Juno" (Fox Searchlight)

Performance by an actress in a supporting role

Cate Blanchett in "I'm Not There" (The Weinstein Company)
Ruby Dee in "American Gangster" (Universal)
Saoirse Ronan in "Atonement" (Focus Features)
Amy Ryan in "Gone Baby Gone" (Miramax)
Tilda Swinton in "Michael Clayton" (Warner Bros.)

Best animated feature film of the year

"Persepolis" (Sony Pictures Classics): Marjane Satrapi and Vincent Paronnaud
"Ratatouille" (Walt Disney): Brad Bird
"Surf's Up" (Sony Pictures Releasing): Ash Brannon and Chris Buck

Achievement in art direction

"American Gangster" (Universal): Art Direction: Arthur Max; Set Decoration: Beth A. Rubino
"Atonement" (Focus Features): Art Direction: Sarah Greenwood; Set Decoration: Katie Spencer
"The Golden Compass" (New Line in association with Ingenious Film Partners): Art Direction: Dennis Gassner; Set Decoration: Anna Pinnock
"Sweeney Todd The Demon Barber of Fleet Street" (DreamWorks and Warner Bros., Distributed by DreamWorks/Paramount): Art Direction: Dante Ferretti; Set Decoration: Francesca Lo Schiavo
"There Will Be Blood" (Paramount Vantage and Miramax): Art Direction: Jack Fisk; Set Decoration: Jim Erickson

Achievement in cinematography

"The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford" (Warner Bros.): Roger Deakins
"Atonement" (Focus Features): Seamus McGarvey
"The Diving Bell and the Butterfly" (Miramax/Pathé Renn): Janusz Kaminski
"No Country for Old Men" (Miramax and Paramount Vantage): Roger Deakins
"There Will Be Blood" (Paramount Vantage and Miramax): Robert Elswit

Achievement in costume design

"Across the Universe" (Sony Pictures Releasing) Albert Wolsky
"Atonement" (Focus Features) Jacqueline Durran
"Elizabeth: The Golden Age" (Universal) Alexandra Byrne
"La Vie en Rose" (Picturehouse) Marit Allen
"Sweeney Todd The Demon Barber of Fleet Street" (DreamWorks and Warner Bros., Distributed by DreamWorks/Paramount) Colleen Atwood

Achievement in directing

"The Diving Bell and the Butterfly" (Miramax/Pathé Renn), Julian Schnabel
"Juno" (Fox Searchlight), Jason Reitman
"Michael Clayton" (Warner Bros.), Tony Gilroy
"No Country for Old Men" (Miramax and Paramount Vantage), Joel Coen and Ethan Coen
"There Will Be Blood" (Paramount Vantage and Miramax), Paul Thomas Anderson

Best documentary feature

"No End in Sight" (Magnolia Pictures) A Representational Pictures Production: Charles Ferguson and Audrey Marrs
"Operation Homecoming: Writing the Wartime Experience" (The Documentary Group) A Documentary Group Production: Richard E. Robbins
"Sicko" (Lionsgate and The Weinstein Company) A Dog Eat Dog Films Production: Michael Moore and Meghan O'Hara
"Taxi to the Dark Side" (THINKFilm) An X-Ray Production: Alex Gibney and Eva Orner
"War/Dance" (THINKFilm) A Shine Global and Fine Films Production: Andrea Nix Fine and Sean Fine

Best documentary short subject

"Freeheld" A Lieutenant Films Production: Cynthia Wade and Vanessa Roth
"La Corona (The Crown)" A Runaway Films and Vega Films Production: Amanda Micheli and Isabel Vega
"Salim Baba" A Ropa Vieja Films and Paradox Smoke Production: Tim Sternberg and Francisco Bello
"Sari's Mother" (Cinema Guild) A Daylight Factory Production: James Longley

Achievement in film editing

"The Bourne Ultimatum" (Universal): Christopher Rouse
"The Diving Bell and the Butterfly" (Miramax/Pathé Renn): Juliette Welfling
"Into the Wild" (Paramount Vantage and River Road Entertainment): Jay Cassidy
"No Country for Old Men" (Miramax and Paramount Vantage) Roderick Jaynes
"There Will Be Blood" (Paramount Vantage and Miramax): Dylan Tichenor

Best foreign language film of the year

"Beaufort" Israel
"The Counterfeiters" Austria
"Katyn" Poland
"Mongol" Kazakhstan
"12" Russia

Achievement in makeup

"La Vie en Rose" (Picturehouse) Didier Lavergne and Jan Archibald
"Norbit" (DreamWorks, Distributed by Paramount): Rick Baker and Kazuhiro Tsuji
"Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End" (Walt Disney): Ve Neill and Martin Samuel

Achievement in music written for motion pictures (Original score)

"Atonement" (Focus Features) Dario Marianelli
"The Kite Runner" (DreamWorks, Sidney Kimmel Entertainment and Participant Productions, Distributed by Paramount Classics): Alberto Iglesias
"Michael Clayton" (Warner Bros.) James Newton Howard
"Ratatouille" (Walt Disney) Michael Giacchino
"3:10 to Yuma" (Lionsgate) Marco Beltrami

Achievement in music written for motion pictures (Original song)

"Falling Slowly" from "Once" (Fox Searchlight) Music and Lyric by Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova
"Happy Working Song" from "Enchanted" (Walt Disney): Music by Alan Menken; Lyric by Stephen Schwartz
"Raise It Up" from "August Rush" (Warner Bros.): Nominees to be determined
"So Close" from "Enchanted" (Walt Disney): Music by Alan Menken; Lyric by Stephen Schwartz
"That's How You Know" from "Enchanted" (Walt Disney): Music by Alan Menken; Lyric by Stephen Schwartz

Best motion picture of the year

"Atonement" (Focus Features) A Working Title Production: Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner and Paul Webster, Producers
"Juno" (Fox Searchlight) A Dancing Elk Pictures, LLC Production: Lianne Halfon, Mason Novick and Russell Smith, Producers
"Michael Clayton" (Warner Bros.) A Clayton Productions, LLC Production: Sydney Pollack, Jennifer Fox and Kerry Orent, Producers
"No Country for Old Men" (Miramax and Paramount Vantage) A Scott Rudin/Mike Zoss Production: Scott Rudin, Ethan Coen and Joel Coen, Producers
"There Will Be Blood" (Paramount Vantage and Miramax) A JoAnne Sellar/Ghoulardi Film Company Production: JoAnne Sellar, Paul Thomas Anderson and Daniel Lupi, Producers

Best animated short film

"I Met the Walrus" A Kids & Explosions Production: Josh Raskin
"Madame Tutli-Putli" (National Film Board of Canada) A National Film Board of Canada Production Chris Lavis and Maciek Szczerbowski
"Même Les Pigeons Vont au Paradis (Even Pigeons Go to Heaven)" (Premium Films) A BUF Compagnie Production Samuel Tourneux and Simon Vanesse
"My Love (Moya Lyubov)" (Channel One Russia) A Dago-Film Studio, Channel One Russia and Dentsu Tec Production Alexander Petrov
"Peter & the Wolf" (BreakThru Films) A BreakThru Films/Se-ma-for Studios Production Suzie Templeton and Hugh Welchman

Best live action short film

"At Night" A Zentropa Entertainments 10 Production: Christian E. Christiansen and Louise Vesth
"Il Supplente (The Substitute)" (Sky Cinema Italia) A Frame by Frame Italia Production: Andrea Jublin
"Le Mozart des Pickpockets (The Mozart of Pickpockets)" (Premium Films) A Karé Production: Philippe Pollet-Villard
"Tanghi Argentini" (Premium Films) An Another Dimension of an Idea Production: Guido Thys and Anja Daelemans
"The Tonto Woman" A Knucklehead, Little Mo and Rose Hackney Barber Production: Daniel Barber and Matthew Brown

Achievement in sound editing

"The Bourne Ultimatum" (Universal): Karen Baker Landers and Per Hallberg
"No Country for Old Men" (Miramax and Paramount Vantage): Skip Lievsay
"Ratatouille" (Walt Disney): Randy Thom and Michael Silvers
"There Will Be Blood" (Paramount Vantage and Miramax): Matthew Wood
"Transformers" (DreamWorks and Paramount in association with Hasbro): Ethan Van der Ryn and Mike Hopkins

Achievement in sound mixing

"The Bourne Ultimatum" (Universal) Scott Millan, David Parker and Kirk Francis
"No Country for Old Men" (Miramax and Paramount Vantage): Skip Lievsay, Craig Berkey, Greg Orloff and Peter Kurland
"Ratatouille" (Walt Disney): Randy Thom, Michael Semanick and Doc Kane
"3:10 to Yuma" (Lionsgate): Paul Massey, David Giammarco and Jim Stuebe
"Transformers" (DreamWorks and Paramount in association with Hasbro): Kevin O'Connell, Greg P. Russell and Peter J. Devlin

Achievement in visual effects

"The Golden Compass" (New Line in association with Ingenious Film Partners): Michael Fink, Bill Westenhofer, Ben Morris and Trevor Wood
"Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End" (Walt Disney): John Knoll, Hal Hickel, Charles Gibson and John Frazier
"Transformers" (DreamWorks and Paramount in association with Hasbro): Scott Farrar, Scott Benza, Russell Earl and John Frazier

Adapted screenplay

"Atonement" (Focus Features), Screenplay by Christopher Hampton
"Away from Her" (Lionsgate), Written by Sarah Polley
"The Diving Bell and the Butterfly" (Miramax/Pathé Renn), Screenplay by Ronald Harwood
"No Country for Old Men" (Miramax and Paramount Vantage), Written for the screen by Joel Coen & Ethan Coen
"There Will Be Blood" (Paramount Vantage and Miramax), Written for the screen by Paul Thomas Anderson

Original screenplay

"Juno" (Fox Searchlight), Written by Diablo Cody
"Lars and the Real Girl" (MGM), Written by Nancy Oliver
"Michael Clayton" (Warner Bros.), Written by Tony Gilroy
"Ratatouille" (Walt Disney), Screenplay by Brad Bird; Story by Jan Pinkava, Jim Capobianco, Brad Bird
"The Savages" (Fox Searchlight), Written by Tamara Jenkins