Thursday, December 25, 2008

Holiday Movie Releases, Best Songs of 2008 plus a fun dose of Yankee Hatred!

Happy Hanukkah. Don't forget your Star Wars Droidel!

It just turned Dec 25th, the holiday of Christ and such and for the Juden. Time magazine has a funny article about how kitschy the 8 crazy nights are getting. What is there for a Jew to do on Christmas you might ask? Plenty! There's gambling in Atlantic City, Chinese takeout and of course Oscar bound movies. This year fells a little weird, no major standouts but a lot of possibilities and much anticipation. I'm sitting here watching Gran Torino, a awkward but heartwarming tale that may possibly close the career of possibly the most important man in the history of cinema. Clint Eastwood, of course.

He's done it all. The movie has a weird feel due to the mildly amateurish skills of the younger, Asian actors who take up most of the supporting roles but Eastwood made a wise and interesting choice. He chose a movie with heart and soul that didn't leave that Man with No Name/ Dirty Harry. Listen closely for him singing a song at the end. Is there another director that is taking advantage of the late stages of his life? An octogenarian pumping out two high caliber, memorable movies a year as a director. good for him. I just hope I'm one-tenth as productive when I'm that age.

Christmas brings the dregs (Owen Wilson stooping with Marley & Me, Adam Sandler's kiddie movie entry Bedtime Stories and Frank Miller's directorial debut with The Spirit, the Sin City look-a-like that is bound to suck balls) along with the maybes (Tom Cruise's Nazi Extravaganza Valkyrie?) and the movies that will be good if you stay awake long enough to enjoy them (Brad Bit in the 2 1/2 plus hours of Benjamin Button) What I really want to see will take an effort to find but might be the most worthwhile of all, Danny Boyle's Slumdog Millionaire & Darren Aronofsky's Mickey Rourke vehicle The Wrestler.

There are more movies that I haven't mentioned that I'm sure will be worthy of your time but I should take a minute on the much ballyhooed political biopic of the homosexual icon, Gus Van Sant's Milk, a film I saw earlier this week. The overall story is interesting and aptly documents the times. It is easily one of Van Sant's more "mainstream" digestible film, even if it is laden with lots of male nudity and man on man make-out sessions.

Just like Clint in Gran Torino, Penn carries the movie as Harvey Milk himself, a common theme in most Oscar film is that the performances often triumph the movie itself. The starring performances make the movie which makes Best Actor probably more important than best picture. Although Emile Hirsch was an excellent in a supporting role in film and is quickly moving up my list of trustworhty actors worht seeing his movies. For Hirsch, it seems to be the case as long as the film is not called Speed Racer.

Speaking of politicians, Sarah Palin has won an award, Conservative of the Year. On the opposite side of the spectrum, Al Franken's appeals in court seem to possibly be working, it's like the anti-Bush v. Gore circa 2000.

On the topic of widely despised entities, let me throw my two cents of blatant Evil Empire Yankee hatred in here. These fucking rich white devils who are signing every high priced free agent in sight. Sadly, I am a fan of a team at opposite side of the spectrum, a Padres fan stuck in the NY area, the area of over-privileged with money while underachieving teams. The Padres payroll is about $40 million dollars and they are trying to cut that in half by trading away one of their two real excellent major leaguers, all star Jake Peavy, one of the five best pitchers in baseball. Why are they cutting payroll? The main reason is the owner is getting a divorce and wants to sell the team. The Cubs are up for sale and the owners just filed chapter 11 but the team is still out there trying to add free agents.

The Padres are the anti-Yankees. Every time a free agent comes up for discussion the proverbial "hot stove," they are never mentioned because they don't sign anybody. They don't do free agents. They don;t do anything. Maybe this is all jealousy but maybe it's just digust. The Yankees are within their rights to sign whomever they want but then they shouldn't be asking NYC for another $450 million afterwards. I hope all of these free agents have major injuries and the Yankees are right back to where they started, an unbelivably overpaid above average shortstop named Jeter, past his prime catcher, past his prime just about everything. It's like the Passover song Dyenu, meaning "it would be enough." If the Yankees opened a new stadium, it would have been enough. If the Yankees signed Sabathia, and not Burnett, Dyenu! If they signed Sabthia, Burnett but nothing else Dyenu! If those fuckers had signed Sabathia, Burnett & Texiera, it would be enough? What's next 3 years, $80 million for Manny. When does it end with these fuckers? Why don't they just sign another team worht of player to play at Yankee Staium on the off days? UUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!

Change the topic. Some pleasant music would be nice. Stereogum's List of Most Anticipated Musical Releases of 2009. The list includes new stuff from Morrissey, M. Ward, Midlake and a personal favorite... Doves (and remember no Dove.) And Chinese Democracy is out so they don't have to list it anymore.

The new U2 album will cost $96?

You Ain't No Picasso's Top Ten Songs of 2008 very closely resembles what would be my list if I ever end up making a list especially Elbow's "Grounds For Divorce," The Dodos' "Fool" as well as the Sigur Ros and Wolf Parade tracks, you can hear & download them all right off the page.

Have you been wondering what is Franz Ferdinand up to? As much as you can rag on them for being tired as fucking hell of their last album, twas some quality funky Brit Manchester-ite shite. Well here's some of the new stuff it is...

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