Thursday, August 23, 2007

Lyrical Gangster

The Black Eyed Peas are a very successful band. From this I assume they have quite a bit of money. So I don’t understand why they can’t hire a lyricist to help them out.

Now I’m not a big Alanis fan, but she did the world a favor by pointing out how ridiculous both the lyrics and video for My Humps is:

Now will.i.iam, or however he punctuates it, has released his latest opus “I Got It From My Mama.” Here’s a sample:

Baby where’d you get your body from?
Tell me where’d you get your body from.
Baby where’d you get your body from?
Tell me where’d you get your body from.
I got it from my mama.
I got it from my mama.
I got it from my mama.
I got it got it got got it…
Admittedly that’s the chorus, but the chorus happens to occupy 90 % of the song. The verses are slightly better, but then lapse into another fantastic refrain of:

If the girl real fine,
Nine times out of ten,
She fine just like her mama.
If the girl real pretty,
Nine times out of ten,
She pretty like her mama.
And if her mama real ugly,
I guarantee ya she gon’ be ugly like her mama.
And if her mama real ugly,
I guarantee ya she gon’ be ugly like her mama.
HE COULDN’T EVEN COME UP WITH A SYNONYM FOR UGLY. He has to abandon his clever wordplay (switching fine for pretty, later alternating it to sexy and hot) and use ugly every time. Now I know that Fergie’s a big star now and takes her thesaurus with her on tour, but can’t he find a 3rd grader to help him out here?

Wouldn’t the world just be a better place if the Peas took their beats (which are admittedly very danceable) and hired some poor schlub to put something moderately compelling lyrically into their songs? I’m a bit busy, but I could refer them to several dozen of my friends who seem to have more skill than will.i.iam.

Admittedly, I’m a hypocrite. Beck is an artist I quite like, and his latest single “Timebomb” is filled with such gems as these:

We're going sideways
Riding on an elevator
Cold just like an alligator
Now my baby's out of date
Fighting and lightning
And tightening above the buckles
Of an atom bomb's timebomb
Tick tick tick tick

I don’t know, somehow I just feel better about Beck’s lyrics. I’m positive that he knows what all of these words mean. He’s rambling off a stream of consciousness, but again, he knows what a stream of consciousness is. Even if it’s absurd gibberish, it feels like he put thought into it and everything is intentional. I’ll download both songs, but I’ll only pay for Beck. I’ll have the Peas around for when someone requests to hear it, but I’ll silently judge them when I press play.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

All these tremendous brunettes around

So evidently I’m attracted to brunette secondary characters on marginally successful tv shows. Who knew?

My most recent interest is Jemima Rooper, who nearly stars in the British tv series Hex. Though technically not the main character, she’s a lesbian ghost who’s funnier and has a better accent than the protagonist, so she’s the reason I watch it.

The pattern has emerged after my continual interest in Shawnee Smith, who played Ted Danson’s secretary in Becker. I’ve nearly watched Saw several times because I know she’s in it. But for now I watch her brief scene in The Island as Buschemi’s girlfriend and make do.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Flight of the Conchords- Albi (racist dragon)

New Zealand wit may be some of the best wit in the world.

Sunday, August 05, 2007

My movies

With my summer schedule I’ve had the luxury of seeing a variety of movies recently. Although a couple have snuck past me (I have yet to catch Die Hard 4, so don’t ruin the surprise that McClane wins for me) I’ve seen most of the hits of the summer, often in the first several days.

The Bourne Ultimatum was pretty good. As with the Pirate movies and Oceans movies, you know what you’re going to get at this point. If you liked the previous iterations you’ll like the most recent one. Bourne is back and his spying and fighting prowess are once again very impressive. I feel that Mormons are overly fond of these movies because the majority of films in this genre are rated R. I however have seen many of these films, so realize that the plot in these movies isn’t terribly original. I had hypothesized the end of the movie before it started, which I really feel I shouldn’t be able to do. I like the style, I like the stunts, but I’m just not wowed.

The Simpsons Movie was likewise pretty good. It wasn’t stupendous, which is what I was hoping for but not expecting. But it was about as good as the Simpsons was 10 years ago, which was more the enough to warrant my price of admission. Some parts didn’t work, but most did. I for one would have been happy to wait another six months and have it go through test audiences a couple more times to fix some of the silent spots when you knew the writers thought they were being hilarious and the audience just didn’t respond. But regardless, I was laughing nearly constantly for the first 10 minutes, and consistently throughout.

Now it’s interesting to me that while I enjoyed these movies, I’ve had a much better experience with a different set of films. With my roommate gone and my Blockbuster subscription all to myself, I get to experiment much more with what I see.

Primer is a great movie. I’d heard about it from various circles and finally got around to seeing it. I’m not going to divulge much of the plot, because I think it’s more fun to go into it cold. Suffice it to say that it’s a science fiction movie, but it focuses much more on the science than anything you’ve seen in the theater in the last decade. It was a rather complex movie, but I enjoyed it all the more because of it. If you were scratching your head in The Matrix, prepare to watch it several times. It’s an independent movie, but went on to win a variety of awards at film festivals. It was made for a scant seven thousand dollars, which is utterly ridiculous for a science fiction movie. And you can definitely tell throughout that it’s an amateur production. The lighting changes drastically from scene to scene, some parts are a bit out of focus, the sound is even a bit off at times. But I like it even more because of these flaws.

I also just watched The Host. Now Rotten Tomatoes just ranked this as one of the 10 best science fiction movies of all time, which is completely off base. It’s about a mutated tadpole that eats Koreans who can’t run fast enough. It’s not spectacular. But it’s a good movie. It’s a good movie made in a country known for making . . . nothing. Have you ever heard of a South Korean movie, actor, director, anything? The fact that it’s so out-of-the-blue makes it great. The fact that it has political and environmental statements that are only slightly beaten over your head is great. The fact that the tadpole looks pretty darn cool is great.

It’s just so much more fun when you find movies yourself. It’s true that you sometimes have to go though a lot of mediocre ones before you find the gems, but it’s so much more rewarding. Even if Bourne had been absolutely amazing I don’t think I would’ve had the same satisfaction that I had watching these other films. And while I readily admit to being elitist, I don’t think that’s even a factor here. I also just watched Pathfinder and enjoyed it greatly. There are dozens of things to rip apart about the movie, but there were also several elements (digital cinematography, costuming etc) that I greatly enjoyed. All in all it was a bad movie, but it was original, a rarity, and I enjoyed myself simply because I had found it. Critics panned it, I’m sure it didn’t make much money, but I happened across it one day and found a lot to like. You should go out there and find yourself some unknown movies.