Monday, April 30, 2007

BKJ Scoops 'The Bachelor'

This is what you learn when drinking with friends of friends.
The current dude on ABC's The Bachelor was known as "Brass Monkey" at Duke University because he was "blonde and bronze and brought little to the table. He was brassy, but not really interesting. Nice enough guy." Ah, yes. The nice guy.
I also learned he was on the swim team at Duke and grew up in Lancaster, which means he was probably on a swim team in Lancaster and given our age differences...I kicked the Bachelor's ass!
Yeah. Forget age-adjusted times. Let's take this on a purely year-by-year scale. When I was older than dirt and he was just out of pampers, he was eating my wake in the pool. Hell, he was probably still wearing water wings and pissing in the kiddie pool.
It remains to be seen whether this guy will be more or less embarrassing to the Lanc than Floyd Landis.

The Bachelor airs tonight at 9:30.


Thursday, April 19, 2007

Neal Pollack Loses Lunch, Edge

I liked Neal Pollack more as a phony baloney blowhard than as the yuppified “alternadad” with no stomach for ballpark food that he's become.
A Phillies dollar dog-an-inning challenge would only embarrass this Philly ex-patriot further.


Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Welcome WPRB Listeners

Contrary to his show's slogan (Nothing but Not Hits) Brian Howard has more hits than Ryan Howard tonight.
By the way, BH has mad productions skillz! He was talking to me on the phone while his voice was on the air plugging this blog. He must have some kind of delay pedal or something. Damn!
Thanks for the plug, BH.


Ask and You Shall Receive

Hooray for Stars!!!!
BH takes requests. Tune in. Give him a call.
What's this? Another cover of "Ring of Fire"? Yes, it is.
I just set a Bloody Knee Jerk record for most posts in a day.


Cellphone's Dead

Last song on WPRB rocked.
Now I think BH is dialing on air. No wait, it's a song. Or is it?
No, it is. "Do you believe in life after love?" The playlist has not been updated, but it's Macha Loved Bedhead (thanks BH).
This is like the time I drunk dialed the DJ only it's going the opposite way.
The rock has returned. Talk about "The Spirit of Radio." Hmm. Is Rush considered college rock? Probably not.
Hooray for Apples in Stereo!!!! Hooray for the New Pornographers!!!


Turn UP the Radio

My boy, BH, is on the radio RIGHT NOW!!!
Tune into WPRB 103.3 in Princeton (or right now.
He promises to stop the ambient electronica sleep music and bring tha noiz!
I called. He confirmed.
I'll call again.


Roll Credits on the Film Festival

Final night of the Philadelphia Film Festival means it's time for the Festival Favorites!
Tonight the Ritz East 2 featured 2 favorites not included in the program guide, so don't bother looking.

The Good Life
Canada/United States
Set in a desolate and lonely Nebraska town, The Good Life might be the most depressingly uplifting and life affirming movie since It's A Wonderful Life. For the first 100 minutes it is sad, sad, sad, and then in the final 5 minutes it finds redemption.
Hope I didn't spoil the good news ending for you.

Dog Bite Dog
Korea? (IMDB says Hong Kong, but I believe it was billed as Korean at the festival)
Violence and more violence. Violence for its own sake. Brutal violence. Ironic use of music scoring the ultraviolence.

That's it. The festival wraps with Waitress tonight.


Good News for People Who Love Bad News (i.e. The Inquirer)

Slate republishes a 2004 piece entitled "Pulitzer Schmulitzer" (if it's on the internet does it really need to be "republished") about the history of the Pulitzer Prize, how little any one cares about the award (other than the winners), and how to improve it.
That should make the Philadelphia Inquirer feel better about its current lowly state of front-page ads, insanely oversized photographs (space filler), deceptive advertising posing as news items, shoddy copyediting, and overall lack of substance.
Inquirer mogul Brian Tierney's must be thinking the same thing. If no one cares, why not wreck a rich history of award-winning journalism.


Monday, April 16, 2007

Film Festival: Fly Eagle, Fly!

Eagle vs. Shark
New Zealand; Festival guide page 92.
A quirky romantic comedy about two misfits forging a relationship in the heat of video game battle.
This movie felt a lot like Napoleon Dynamite with claymation. There were some really funny moments andLoren Horsley is adorable as the helplessly smitten Lily, but overall it was too derivative for my tastes.
Eagle vs. Shark has been chosen as a Festival Favorite. It screens again on Tuesday, April 17 at 7:15 at the Ritz East.


Sunday, April 15, 2007

The Hat of Shame

No additional comment needed. A larger image can be found here (not a permanent link).


Saturday, April 14, 2007

Film Festival Friday

Great Britain; Festival guide page 140
A company retreat in the woods of Hungary goes horribly awry when the employees find themselves hunted by mysterious assailants.
Hyped as "the BBC's 'The Office' re-imagined as a horror movie," Severance had several very funny moments, but it fell short as a horror movie. As soon as what was hunting the team of defense contractors was revealed, the movie became a lot less scary. The unknown is far more terrifying.
Severance has been added as a Festival Favorite; it screens Tues., April 17th at 9:30 at the Ritz 5.

On a vaguely related note, the Film in PA folks need a copy editor. Their ad on the back cover of the Philadelphia Film Festival guide is just embarrassing. It should read: Hey Eastwood, there are a million reasons to film your next baby here.


Friday, April 13, 2007

Cardinals Win!: Hell or High Water Edition

Phillies fans know losing. They also know a lot about the Cardinals...enough to name just about every notable (and not so notable, Greg Jefferies) player in the history of the Cardinals franchise and say something disparaging. Nonetheless, we have 10 World Series titles...and Alyssa Milano! How charming.

Further evidence of the Cardinals' long-standing commitment to winning came earlier this week. It was only a regular season game against the Pirates, but the St. Louis Cardinals came from behind to win it in the 12th.

From the St. Louis Post Dispatch:

"This is a game that we win that some other teams don't win," said La Russa, sounding as much like a proud father as a winning manager. "I'm not saying we're the only team. But you lose Rolen. You don't have Carpenter. The guy (Spiezio) who replaces Rolen is not going to play. He guts it up. You bring in an emergency starter.

"We're going to play nine hell or high water. Sometimes you get a win just because you go out there, you try hard and you do things right."


Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Once More With Feeling

Ireland; Festival guide page 39
In this beautiful film, real-life musical collaborators Glen Hansard (of The Frames) and Marketa Irglova become musical collaborators after the girl (Irglova) meets a guy (Hansard) on a Dublin sidewalk performing for change.
The film is shot primarily (entirely?) with a single hand-held camera, which gives it a very intimate feel. It's really an outstanding movie.
I’ve never been big into singer-songwriters (or wuss rock, either), but with the addition of a plot and moving images suddenly the whole genre makes sense.
Once has been picked up by Fox Searchlight Pictures, so it should see life beyond the festival circuit, and it deserves to. Cross your fingers that the big money players don’t change the ending.
Also showing at 5:15 pm on Thursday, April 12 at the Ritz East


Tuesday, April 10, 2007

A Job Ain't Nothin' But Work

In honor fire drills and the orange vest I wear as my department's fire marshall, here's "Safety Dance!"

I actually saw this video in the 80s because it aired on Saturday mornings between cartoons. The dippy hippy chick and the Renaissance Faire vibe conjure memories like a sorcerer, and who could forget Mike Edmonds? He was Jabba's tail. Learn more about Men Without Hats at Wikipedia.

And in honor of the 2-hour meeting I had today, here's a fun little game from Adult Swim.


Monday, April 09, 2007

Revolution Called for Rain

Ukraine is near and dear to my heart, and I've been following the political turmoil going on over there as closely as the American media will allow (check out the Guardian Unlimited for better coverage of well, everything). Brief though their coverage may be, this paragraph in today's New York Times caught my eye.

Organizers called off the rally in Independence Square, focal point of 2004 "Orange Revolution" protests, at the last moment on Easter Monday -- a public holiday -- citing poor weather. A small crowd in the square listened to speakers amid freezing drizzle.
To me, the fact that they'll call off a protest because of inclement weather lends validity to a report that many of the protesters (on both sides of the Yushchenko-Yanukovich split) are being paid for their activism. This time around the revolution will be payrolled.


Big Screen Weekend

More movies over the weekend.

Not part of the Philadelphia Film Festival, just a really entertaining film if you enjoy zombies, muscle cars, ultra-violence, and profanity. Check it out at the Roxy for a true grindhouse experience.

Monkey Warfare
Canadian; Festival guide page 93.
An outstanding black comedy from Canada about ex-revolutionaries meeting the next generation of radical activists. Bringing up baby.
The accompanying short, The Saddest Boy in the World, was bizarre and funny in parts. Yes, even a short film can be uneven.
Keep your fingers crossed that Monkey Warfare will be selected as a Festival Favorite, because otherwise you missed it.


Sunday, April 08, 2007

Eat It, Crows

It's been 14 years since the release of "Mr. Jones," and finally someone (other than yours truly) has publicly accused Counting Crows of sucking.
Aqua Teen Hunger Force's Master Shake lays out the case against crap rock in the April 13th issue of Entertainment Weekly.

"It is incredible how stupid the lyrics to this song are. Take the worst open-mic poetry you've ever heard, then let an ugly frat boy with dreadlocks bounce around and sing it to you. There! You just saved 10 bucks."

Always listen to your milkshake, kids.* Had ATHF been around in 1993, maybe it would have saved the world from Recovering the Satellites and every CC album since.

*I pity the lactose intolerant.


Saturday, April 07, 2007

Rockin' the Ritz: Around the World in 3 Films

Caught 3 movies (and a short) at the Ritz 5 last night as part of the Philadelphia Film Festival.

Change of Address
French with English subtitles; Festival guide page 92.
A funny and thought-provoking relationship comedy centering on Ann and David, two strangers sharing an apartment in Paris.
There was a jump in the film during the screening I attended, which makes me think there was a reel missing, still nothing of the story was lost and the movie was very enjoyable.
It is being shown again at the Ritz 5 on Monday at 9:30.

Swedish Auto
United States; Fesival guide page 112.
Swedish Auto is a slow-burning drama starring Lukas Haas (of Witness fame) as a mechanic in Charlottesville, Virginia.
I've never had one bit of dialogue derail an entire movie for me before, but there was a line in Swedish Auto that made me giggle and completely took me out of the story. Not a bad movie, but not great. The acting was competent.
Before the main feature, there was a short film, Forward, which also involved cars. Several puzzled audience members started to leave the theater as the short credits rolled only to be reassured that the 13-minute short was not Swedish Auto. Forward packed a lot into its scant 13 minutes.
Swedish Auto will probably see wider distribution if you miss it when it screens again at the Ritz 5 on Sunday at 12:15.

German with English subtitles; Festival guide page 90.
Go see Wholetrain! It's a drama about a band of graffiti artists and a celebration of a vibrant, cultural, "illegal" artform.
DeLillo's prose about graffitied trains in Underworld* was vivid, but as they say, a picture is worth a thousand words, and Wholetrain presents the craft beautifully. The characters are interesting (perhaps a little static), but the real stars of the movie are the art work and the hip hop soundtrack.
At the Q&A after the screening, the director revealed that Warsaw, Poland was the only city in Europe that would permit him to graffiti a train for his film. Danke, Warsaw, Danke!
Catch Wholetrain on Sunday at The Bridge at 12:00 or at the Ritz 5 on Monday at 5:00.

*I can't recommend Underworld enough.