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Archive for February, 2010

I was doing some dishes yesterday (yes, it has be known to happen), and the only station that wasn’t ads was playing a new Rihanna song, something about “Can you get it up? Are you big enough? Give it to me baby, take it, take it”, and I’m not that hip at the best of times, but it was just too damn early for all that carry on. So I kept on searching and hello, “golden oldies”. Like seriously, we’re missing out. Those stations that play old music have way less ads, and DJs that just shut the hell up and play music! Hallelujah, it’s a revolution. And not all the songs totally suck.
 

 

The Song of the WeekSong: Even The Bad Times Are Good
Artist/Group: The Tremeloes

Yup, since this week was Valentine’s Day, here’s a nice romantic song by a band called The Tremeloes. Apparently, British record label Decca once auditioned 2 promising bands, The Tremeloes and a similar band called The Beatles. “In what is now considered one of the notorious blunders of all time”, Decca chose The Tremeloes. Darn, ay?

There are times in this life of mine,
I think that the sun forgot how to shine,
But as long as you’re always there,
It don’t bother me, ’cause why should I care?
When all I’ve gotta do, is run to you

Isn’t it weird how in songs from the ’60s there’s always lots of “laaa, la la” kinda stuff? I guess they just didn’t have all the studio effects that we do today :p It’s a bit of a change of pace and I kinda like it – maybe it’s the effect of all of the That 70s Show that I’ve been watching recently… I think the lyrics are cool. I mean, it’s no “can you get it up?”, but it’ll do.

Even the bad times are good,
As soon as I get to you, baby
You’ve just got to kiss me
And even the bad times are good.

This song was #4 on the UK singles chart in 1967 (#36 in the U.S.), and I heard the band’s still playing. I think I’ll just stick to YouTube and my golden oldies radio station, though, thanks.

The Tremeloes

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Snow Cake (2006)

I thought this DVD looked good so I hired it, then never really felt in the mood. So by the time it was overdue I’d kinda forgotten why I’d chosen it, which made it kinda nice. Just sitting there, not knowing what to expect.

Englishman Alex (Alan Rickman) is sitting alone in a Canadian diner, minding his own business, when an emo-looking teenage girl comes and sits with him. He ends up giving her a ride and they kinda become friends, when out of nowhere a huge truck just slams into their car, killing emo-looking teenager.

Vivienne (emo-looking teenager) and Alex

The Englishman is devasted and although the accident wasn’t his fault he’s guilt-ridden and seeks out the teenager’s mother to apologise. He finds that mother Linda (Sigourney Weaver) is autistic and lives alone, and he is convinced to stay with her for a week or so. As he begins to help the mother by organising the funeral, he also finds comfort in staying with this woman and being part of her life.

Alex and Linda

 Have you ever had an orgasm, Alex?
It has been known.
It sounds like an inferior version of what I feel when I have a mouthful of snow.

I think Sigourney Weaver does pretty stellar job and Alan Rickman’s his usual self. I also found the teenager, played by Emily Hampshire, to be really captivating, in an offbeat, wary kind of way. I thought Carrie-Anne Moss did a good job, but her character felt too familiar, almost cliched.  The film has a sort of indie feel to it, but in parts it’s so obvious it’s like it’s consciously putting it on, like a wobbly camera or a random dream sequence kinda feel. It’s got a pretty rad soundtrack to it, including ‘Notteru Ondo‘ by The Drifters. I like movies like this that make you think, without trying too hard and being overly graphic to try and prove how “real” they are.  

 So if you’re after an interesting film which is genuinely thought-provoking without being agressively confrontational, this might be a good option. It’s also funny in parts, tragic, and has some good dialogue. Plus there are great performances from Snape, Trinity, and Dr. Grace Augustine. Snow Cake, anyone?

Director: Marc Evans
Starring: Alan Rickman, Sigourney Weaver,
Carrie-Anne Moss 

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I have to post about this new film blog I heard about on Campbell Live the other night. The blog is called Nanna Goes to the Pictures and is written by “Nanna”, an Auckland film-goer in her “twilight years”. Campbell Live‘s just taken her on as a film reviewer on their show, but I think reading her reviews on her blog is convenient and amusing. I like that her reviews aren’t too long and rambling (like my own movie posts are) and she’s not afraid to give her real opinion. Unlike my grandma she loves all kinds of films – her last reviews were of Precious, Invictus and Valentine’s Day – and each film is rated out of 5 stars balls of wool. My only complaint is that she often gives away the end of films, so watch out for that.

I think the blog’s maintained by her granddaughter, possibly? And has a lovely clean layout and includes images for each film.

I give this site 5 balls of wool out of 5. (Sorry, Nanna, I couldn’t resist! :D)
 

New film blog!

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Hello, Wisconsin!!!!

Oh man. You know which old TV show rocks? Yup, That 70s Show. One of my favourite things to do is hire an entire TV series on DVD and just watch them and bf and I have just started watching the first season of That 70s Show, which I didn’t see from the very beginning when it was on TV.

If you’re interested in checking it out, there’s this awesome website with a detailed episode guide, plus it’s got clips from the show, cast info, gallery and all that good stuff.

Cast of 'That 70s Show'

 

Reasons it rocks:

#1 There are, like, 8 seasons to watch, man! And each season has about 20 episodes… I’m no genius, but that seems like a pretty decent number.

#2 The clothes. Whether you’re into Starsky jackets/man cardi’s, bellbottoms, rock’n’roll t-shirts, leisure suits, or hippie blouses, the 70s were the decade for you.

#3 Debra Jo Rupp as Eric’s mum, Kitty. That woman cracks me up!!! She does a wicked job as a 50’s housewife who loves fonduefundue” and making punch. Whenever someone makes a daggy, unfunny joke now I hear her laugh in my head. Also, her hairstyle in the first season is so rad.

#4 Those moments when you’re watching and you go “oh yeah! Remember [insert random nostalgic memory from “back in the day” here] ?!” For example all the shops being closed on Christmas Eve, family dinners, cassette tapes.

#5 I love that me and my bf can both watch it and find it funny and entertaining.

#6 The way that although it’s set in the 70s, the kids are pretty much the same as today. I love it when someone’s like “C’mon man, this is the 70s!” Like, “Our technology is so modern and our society so advanced!”

#7 The whole “gang”. Ya love them, and some (*cough* Red, Laurie *cough*) you love to hate.

#8 The theme song. I dare you not to sing along by the 3rd episode. (“HELLO WISCONSIN!”)

#9 The scenes around the basement table. Remember how there’d be like 4 (stoned) people around the table with the camera in the middle and it swivels around as each person talks? Genius.

#10 Because I said so. …ok, this isn’t a real reason. But I think everyone should give it a chance!!

'That 70s Show' cast

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Kinky Boots (2005)

Ladies, gentlemen, and those who are yet to make up your mind…

I saw the poster for this movie at a bus stop around the time it first came out and thought it looked like a pretty good comedy. The other night I finally got around to watching the DVD and just as I hit ‘play’ I suddenly got really nervous that I’d made a mistake and it was going to be some horribly draining, gritty comedy exploring the seedy underbelly of a small English town. So I guess the first thing I should say is don’t worry, it’s definately not that.

Straight away I should mention that I’m not a huge fan of drag queens, since generally they either scare me or look a helluva lot better in a dress and heels than I do. Lola, the main drag queen in this film, would definately fall into the latter category. Played by the radiant Chiwetel Ejiofor, (from 2012 and Love Actually), the male protagonist (Charlie) meets Lola when he’s drunk in London one night and seeing a damsel in distress he defends her from being hassled by a group of thugs. He is knocked out in the scuffle and wakes up in Lola’s dressing room at her cabaret club and watches her remove her boots. Back home, the old-school shoe factory he’s just inherited from his father is outdated and in danger of closing, and Charlie’s firing people left, right, and center. One spunky (ex)employee tells Charlie he needs to find his niche market and so of course Charlie remembers Lola struggling into and out of her extremely high boots. And the rest, as they say, is history. Charlie and his motley band of employees must make over 10 new styles of stiletto drag queen boots, designed by Lola, and have 6 samples of each one to show at the Milan runway show in 3 months.

Charlie and Lauren make the pitch to Lola

Came all this way for my advice? I feel like Oprah!

When she’s performing Lola makes the whole thing look effortless and her confidence seems only natural when she sweeps into the Northhampton shoe factory. She cracks jokes, pretends to flirt with a worker and addresses the whole factory. Something I wasn’t expecting was for her to come into work wearing lipstick, a large sweater, jeans, and no wig. I guess I thought that drag queens pretend to be women… but of course for most drag queens I guess it’s about the performance, and no one can perform all the time.

Lola and Charlie chat in the shoe factory

 

I thought the opening scene was lovely, a young girl in a school uniform waiting on a bench on the waterfront, then she guiltily pulls on some scarlet, strappy high heels and goes dancing and twirling over the boards of the pier. She loses herself until an angry old man raps on a window of a nearby building then comes out and says something like “come on, you stupid boy”. And you’re like “oh. She’s a boy.” Eventually Lola tells Charlie her tragic tale of how her father disowned her.

He wouldn’t talk to me. Even when he got lung cancer. So it’s ironic, really. Fags got him in the end. 

Other than this brief teary moment the movie’s pretty much plain sailing. In fact it’s so… clean, it feels kind of naive in it’s approach to gender identity and the struggle of many transgender or crossdressing or whatever-ing people. But it’s a comedy, and it’s funny. In a gentle way.

Lola's first prototype

Kinky boots is based on a true story, apparently, about a real shoe factory in English which “diversified” it’s range when facing job loses and possible closure. I did a quick search, but just found an X-rated site for fetish accessories, whose website is out of order. Darn, ay? But there’s no nastiness, no x-rated fetishes or sexual deviants in this movie. It’s light, fluffy comedy that takes it’s time (I felt the 2 hours) and like the poster said, it’s from the makers of Calendar Girls, which I really enjoyed, and I think the movies are comparable in pace and level of offensiveness. As long as you don’t mind dudes in dresses. I think it’s worth watching just for Chiwetel Ejiofor’s performance. Dude cracked me up. And it wasn’t like laughing at a guy in a dress, it was laughing with a person who has a really strong personality. And likes to wear boots.

Look to the heel, young man. The sex is in the heel.

 

'Kinky Boots' movie poster

Director: Julian Jarrold
Starring: Chiwetel Ejiofor, Joel Edgerton, Sarah-Jane Potts

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Song of the week: How Bizarre

The Song of the WeekSong: How Bizarre
Artist/Group: OMC

This week’s song is the 1996 hit How Bizarre by kiwi duo OMC. It’s one of those songs which, if you’re under 30 and grew up in NZ, you probably feel like you’ve always known. OMC stands for Otara Millionaire’s Club – which is a joke since, as most kiwis know, Otara is one of the poorest suburbs of South Auckland.

Brother Pele’s in the back
Sweet Sina’s in the front
Cruising down the freeway
In the hot, hot sun

How Bizarre reached number one in NZ, Australia, Canada and the UK. Because it is an awesome song. Lead singer Pauly Fuemana’s wicked kiwi accent makes this song, and the catchy chorus and laidback tune with the lively beat mean I won’t ever forget it. There’s a couple of things in the lyrics that struck me as weird for a kiwi song, like the use of the American “freeway” instead of “motorway” and the car being a Chevy – does the song actually take place in the U.S.? Does NZ have “marines”?? I don’t care! This song is all kiwi for me, baby.

Suddenly red ‘n’ blue lights
Flash us from behind
Loud voice booming,
“Please step out onto the line.”

Pele breathes words of comfort
Sina just hides her eyes
Policeman taps his shades,
“Is that a Chevy ’69?”

How bizarre.

The music video’s really funky, complete with beautiful polynesian styles (apart from the white chicks in short shorts and sparkly bras :p), a cruisy car and lots of driving on the lefthand side of the road! Check it out on Youtube and sing along with the lyrics.

Jump into the Chevy
Headed for big lights
Wanna know the rest? Hey-
Buy the rights.

I was thinking of using this song last week because of its awesome summery vibe, and I’ve chosen it this week in memory of OMC’s lead singer Pauly Fuemana, who passed away last Sunday, the 31st of January, “after a short illness”; he was 40 years old.

He’ll definately be missed.

 

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So today I viewed the hottest song released this year on a YouTube clip recommended to me by a friend. The clip is of 62 year old civil rights activist “General” Larry Platt, in an American Idol season 9 “audition” performing the song Pants on the Ground. Obviously his isn’t really a true audition in that they were never going to let him continue on the show, but I’m glad they gave him his 15 minutes. ‘Cause that song’s damn catchy. And true. You ARE lookin’ like a fool with your pants on the ground!!

Lookin’ like a fool with yo’ pants on the ground
Gold in yo’ mouth
Hat turned sideways, pants hit the ground
Call yourself a cool cat looking like a fool
Walkin’ down town
With yo’ pants on the ground!

 Also need to post a link to Amy Letinksy’s The Saga of Ceiling Cat. Because it’s awesome. LOLZ!1

Finally, another site from the ‘Cheezburger Network’, and this time there’s less cats! VeryDemotivational.com allows users to use a library of random images, or upload their own, to poke fun at those cheesy office motivational posters by creating their own, well, very demotivational posters (or just strange ones). Warning: although the site is (imho) hilarious, some of the pictures might be considered a bit naughty by some people. (Go see if you’re one of them! :P)

     
   

Branches

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