Archive for July, 2013

This is going to be one of those rare moments when I get a little serious friends, if you wanna turn back now and wait for our next lighthearted post I won’t hold it against you. The subject for today is death, accidental death due to overindulgence of a recreational substance, to be more precise. Hold hands if you need to, it may get dark…but probably not…

Theres always sadness when a life is lost. Sadly unless its someone famous it rarely makes the news and even then if its a death of natural causes, its usually pushed back to page two. I truly am sorry for the friends and family of the latest life cut short by bad decisions but find it hard to feel sad for someone who had so much and threw it all away for drugs and alcohol.

I’ve heard when you’re famous it’s so easy to get caught up in drugs, everyone wants to be your friend and everyone has something they want you to try and of course you want to fit in so you try whatever’s handed to you and it’s not your fault. I understand that one night it was raining heroin and you got trapped outside your car and I understand that you saw a pile of cocaine and thought it’d be fun to make coke angels face down and I understand that when you are famous and have a toothache the dentist will write you a prescription for almost anything and when you have such easy access to these things accidents happen or knowing these things could potentially kill you, you overindulge and wind up as a cover story for a month.

I’ve been sitting here trying to figure out how to wrap this up and wondering why I even started writing this in the first place. To be honest friends, I have no idea how fame and fortune would impact my life. I like to think I wouldn’t join the ranks of Chris Farley, Shannon Hoon and John Belushi, to name a few in a long list excessive partiers. Maybe I’d live a long life and still be entertaining my fans well into my seventies and eighties, like Betty White and Morgan Freeman, or maybe I’d travel down that other road where, to paraphrase Marilyn Manson, “you can be drowning in a sea of liquor, wash up on a beach made of cocaine and the sky is made of LSD”, or maybe I’d be like Willie Nelson and smoke the marijuana, after all I don’t recall anyone ever dying from an overdose of the kind.

Stay entertained friends.

-D

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Having been a huge music fan ever since I developed the ability to truly appreciate music, I love all music. There is no such thing as a guilty pleasure band in my mind. There is good music and there is bad music, simple as that. I don’t turn off my mind to any artist or genre.

That being said, Fall Out Boy first popped up on my radar in 2005. Like many others, “Sugar, We’re Going Down” was my first exposure to the band. It was a huge hit for them and was the song that gave them nationwide mainstream success. It was an undeniably catchy, poppy, punky song with great lyrics and it was just damn good. The band followed with a series of equally catchy, if not slightly more varied, pop rock songs that continued to gain them fans left and right for the next few years. After a long hiatus the band regrouped and decided to start completely from scratch when writing and recording their new album…

The almost ironically titled Save Rock And Roll starts the the scorching pop rocker “The Phoenix”, a slightly excessive glam rock meets electro pop track that sets up the vibe for pretty much the whole album. The album also contains the insanely catchy hit single, “My Songs Know What You Did In The Dark (Light ’em Up)”. This track wears the glam rock influence on its sleeve with glam styled guitars squeals and high pitched vocal breaks.

The album also boasts some highly contrasting guest spots. “The Mighty Fall” features a great verse from otherwise mediocre rapper Big Sean. Indie-punk styled track “Rat A Tat” features a guest spot from former grunge queen Courtney Love and is shockingly good. The highlight of the album though is the title track. A pop rock ballad with a great hip hop beat, “Save Rock And Roll” boasts a guest spot from always superb pop legend Sir Elton John. A great track with fantastic lyrics, the song is absolutely everything you would want an Elton guest spot to be. It’s beautiful, meaningful, and heartfelt with a great piano riff from the man himself.

Thunderous hip hop-esque beats and squealing guitars mix with synthesizers and the occasional piano driven pop rock sounds to create a truly unique vibe.This album is a far cry from F.O.B.’s previous output, it is a Phoenix like rise from the ashes of pop punk and emo. If you appreciate really good music and great pop music in both the classic and modern sense then you’re in for a treat. This one is definitely worth your time and money. 5/5

-Heath

While flipping through Netflix this morning, trying to decide what to watch before work, I came across this gem of a film and by gem I mean it should stay buried. I figured it was going to be bad but chose to watch it because I had spent twenty minutes trying to find something and it did have Lara Flynn Boyle’s name attached to it. Midway through it hit me that the last movie I had watched with her in it was Men In Black 2. Anyway, let’s jump in but stay in the shallow end my friends cause we won’t be here long…

Hansel & Gretel are pot heads this time around and the evil witch has got that good. Hansel goes looking to score and gets snatched and kept downstairs where she snacks on him. Gretel’s all like “wheres my brother?” And rival drug dealers are all like “wheres this new weed coming from?” and all roads lead to Boyle or Agnes who has a giant magical pot field in her basement and it has the puppies left over from Resident Evil and theres a big cage and I think there was even a fucking zombie and…I gotta be honest with you friends, about ten or fifteen minutes in and I had picked up the iPad and was only paying partial attention.

Is it fair to write a review of a film that I barely watched: yes, no, who the hell cares, I’ve written this much so we might as well finish. The story and acting are what you should expect from a pot smoking horror movie. If you partake of the kind then you’ll watch this movie, mainly because you’re high and you’ll watch anything that has people smoking weed in it, I know, I been there brother. For those of you that don’t pack you’re vaporizers with kush (really trying to work in as many pot references as I can) you can give it a watch if you want but as for me Hansel & Gretel Get Baked gets a rating of: roll it up, light it up and then realize its ditch weed and toss it away. Stay entertained.

-D

Women’s prison. Those two words by themselves are enough to capture the attention of most hetero males age fourteen to the grave, but once you’ve brought them in with promises of T&A and lesbianic shower scenes, will it be enough to keep them locked in for longer than five minutes…surprisingly yes

I’ll be honest with you friends, I had all intentions of giving this one a pass, that is until I came across it under the “New Release” tab and saw it was labeled as a comedy. I’m always looking for a good laugh so I figured what the hell, it’s either this or I waste thirty minutes trying to figure out what to watch. While there are some laughable moments, a comedy this is not but an enjoyable watch it is…let’s dive in.

It’s a tale as old as time: boy meets girl and the two fall in love, they become engaged and then the girl has to go away and serve fifteen months in the joint for some stupid shit she did for a girl she was once in love with, heartwarming isn’t it.

Taylor Shilling turns in an amazing performance as Piper, the new fish thrown in with the sharks and left to drown. Larry played by Jason Biggs, in possibly his best non pie raping performance, is the fiancĂ© having to get by with phone calls, visitations and edging. Speaking of actors from that particular coming of age movie, we also have Natasha Lyonne as Nicky, a junkie with mommy issues, who’s waiting to welcome Piper to the big house. And then theres Laura Prepon as Alex, the lesbian love interest that got Piper into this mess in the first place. There are so many great performances in this series but one of my favorites has to be Uzo Aduba as Crazy Eyes, I can’t wait to get into her back story. I apologize to the actors I haven’t mentioned here but hopefully knowing I enjoyed your performances equally as well will help you sleep at night.

I watched all thirteen episodes in about four days. It was well written, directed, acted and I was a little disappointed when I reached the end of season one but look forward to season two.

Hopefully I’ve given you enough without giving too much away.

Orange is the New Black gets a rating of “Consume it on Netflix”. Stay entertained friends.

-D

As a huge horror fan, zombies in particular, it’s pointless to say how excited I’ve been about World War Z since it was first announced and staring Brad Pitt nonetheless. Then came the onslaught of rumors about how the production was troubled, rewrites, re-shoots, and pretty much anything else that could go wrong in a big budget film. That sort of killed my buzz for the whole thing a little bit. When the positive reports finally began to trickle in, I started to get excited again. Then the trailers hit and my excitement was multiplied. It’s a little late, but I finally got to watch it today so here goes nothing. I’ll do my best not to drop any spoilers.

The film starts with a typical set up introducing Brad Pitt’s character and his family. Pitt plays Gerry Lane, a former UN employee and apparently a stay at home dad, who is going about life as usual when things start to get a little strange. The reports of a global virus out break come and the action jumps off pretty quickly. Once the pace is set, it doesn’t let up for the remaining two hours.

Now, this isn’t your typical zombie flick. It adds a whole extra continent hopping world adventure element to this horror/thriller. Brad Pitt brings a certain down to earth, everyman element to the main protagonist character which is something usually missing from this genre. After a trip around the world, and some amazing visuals, with no shortage of scares this well crafted thriller reaches its end and leaves the viewer begging for more.

World War Z is a fast paced, effective horror thriller. A great script backed by stellar cast make this film well worth watching. For fans of films like 28 Days Later and Dawn of The Dead (2004) this film is right up your alley. If you’re in the mood for a scary good time your money could not be better spent. WWZ did not disappoint at all and I am hopeful about a sequel. This one gets 5/5.

-Heath

If you haven’t watched Who Framed Roger Rabbit I urge you friends, stop reading this, grab a copy and give it a watch, otherwise reading this may spoil it for you. If you’re still reading then you know that Judge Doom was behind it and we can move on.

When I first watched this film as a kid, it blew my mind, cartoons and real people interacting, Warner Brothers and Disney characters in the same film, it was almost too much for me to handle. The dueling piano scene between Daffy and Donald Duck (no relation) remains one of my favorites. This scene is followed by Jessica Rabbit performing a sexy rendition of “Why Don’t You Do Right?”, a scene that ushered my pre-pubescent brain a little closer manhood.

Bob Hoskins turns in a wonderful performance as hardass, toon hating, private detective Eddie Valiant. His song and dance routine near the end of the film never fails to crack me up. Kathleen Turner provides the breathy speaking voice for Jessica Rabbit, delivering the movies most memorable line, “I’m not bad. I’m just drawn that way.” I’m not sure if I believe her friends but I find myself really wanting too. Charles Fleischer gives Roger his voice, along with one of my favorite toons from this film, Benny the Cab. Rounding out this brief cast discussion is Christopher Lloyd as the villainous cartoon in human disguise, Judge Doom, the criminal mastermind who wants to destroy Toon Town for profit. The entire cast makes this film and easy and enjoyable watch.

This is one of those films I can and have watched over and over again. Anytime I’m flipping through the channels and come across it, I find myself watching it. I fear in time this film will fall prey to the dreaded Hollywood remake machine like many of my childhood favorites but maybe by that time I will have developed Alzheimer’s.

Keeping it short as always, I love everything about this movie and recommend it to everyone.
Watch it, love it and always keep it in your queue.

-D

If you are very religious and/or are of the belief that everyone should believe the way that you do, turn back now or strap in because this may not be up your alley. I was born and raised in a very religious home in a very religious part of the very religious southern American Bible Belt…Alabama to be specific. I use the term “religious” to describe all of those because being “religious” and being “spiritual” are two different things. To me “spiritual” is having some deep seeded belief and “relationship” with a higher being of your choice where as, “religious” is “hey look at me I’m at church, but I don’t actually practice what I preach”.

That being said, I’ve always had a sense of detachment from the whole church/god/worship thing. There has always been a sense of…well this is kind of bullshit. That overwhelming, loving, being loved, and being unable to contain your joy so you just have to express it however you can belief in a higher power has always escaped me and believe me, it’s not for lack of trying. I’ve always wanted that kind of feeling, that kind of relationship with religion because that’s what I thought I had to do what I had to have in my life.

It wasn’t until recent months that I really finally came to the conclusion/came to grips with the fact that I really had no spiritual belief or faith in a “god”. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that one doesn’t exist…who am I to know that kind of thing? I’m just saying I haven’t seen any evidence. I may someday find out that I’m completely wrong and have a total egg on my face kind of situation, but I doubt it.

It was also in recent months that I realized I did have something in my life that gave me those overwhelming feelings of happiness, sadness, swelling joy, and drowning sorrow (you know, other than my family and great friends). These wonderful things being music and films. These things have always inspired be in the best and worst possible ways. I’ve never in my life felt feelings like when a certain song strikes a nerve, whether it be a happy, uplifting song that just destroys a bad mood or a sad song that makes you feel the heartbreak the person is singing about. Music has always made my life better and given me a reason to power through tough times and made them better.

Film has always been a medium through which I have found inspiration. Films have always been able to take my mind off of any situation that I’m going through. The sheer excitement of finally being able to sit down and watch a film that you’ve been eagerly anticipating is like no other feeling in the world. It’s like every best Christmas and birthday you have ever had all rolled into one amazing, glowing moment. It brings back feelings from childhood when you saw your favorite superhero on the big screen. Not so ironically, The Avengers and The Dark Knight Rises were two of those amazing moments for me as an adult.

These things for me take the place of some people’s god or religious practices. Going to see a movie I’m excited about or cracking open an album I can’t wait to hear is like going to church or opening the bible. It’s truly an indescribable happiness and enthusiasm. Luckily for me, it’s a set of feelings that I get to experience on a near daily basis. I get to endulge in those experiences pretty much as often as I want to where as some people are unfortunately limited to feeling those feelings.

In conclusion, don’t follow along blindly and believe something just because you think that you should. Also, don’t disbelieve something because someone says you should. Believe what you feel is right and put your heart into whatever you feel passionate about. For me, it’s music and film that inspires me every day. For you, it may be art, or literature, or dance, or anything really. I guess what I’m saying is just be passionate about something. It sounds cliche but it really can make all the difference in the world and can change your life. While you’re at it, give a chance to a band you’ve never listened to or a film you’ve never seen. Open your mind, you may be surprised at what you discover.

-Heath