Sunday, February 27, 2011

I'm Having Trouble Following the Story Arc Here...

For a couple of years I had Journey's "Seperate Ways" set as the ring tone on my Blackberry.  Full Disclosure: I blatantly stole the idea from Jim Carrey's movie "Yes Man".  The song is a catchy 80's power ballad, but it wasn't until a few weeks ago that I first saw the music video.  Hoo boy....

It's not like I expected a Journey music video from 1983 to be a Scorsese directed epic - but this video may have been directed by a retarded monkey. The brilliance comes from the blatant overacting, and their attempt to create some sort of story out of the lyrics. Have a look, and then let's break it down - shall we?

0:04 - Air Fingering
0:10 - 0:20 - Dramatic walking (multiple angles)
0:26 - 0:33 - Steve Perry Facial (multiple angles + mullet)
0:49 - Aggressive air drumming in the back
0:54 - Bear Claws and tweed sport coat
0:56 - Where is this lady going? Someone get her a map. Clearly she's lost
1:08 - Journey Mob / Mullet convention. Watch the drummer on the far right - he clearly doesn't know the words.
1:26 - Wall keyboard. Normal. Nothing to see here.
1:38 - Now our mysterious walking woman is David Copperfield - dissapearing behind vans? Let's move along.
1:54 - Easy Steve. No need to start punching the building.
2:14 - Slow motion Zoolander
2:17 - Holy shit. Extreme close up on Steve's mole. Wasn't ready for that.
2:19 - Backwards wood pallet maze? Can't miss.
2:30 - 2:38 - Dramatic people jumping into frame.
2:46 - Nightmares are made of group shots like this
2:59 - She's still lost, but walking with a greater sense of purpose. Basically she's spent the last 3 minutes walking aimlessly back and forth along a single strip of this pier.
3:04 - Oil drum drumbs. Why not.
3:50 - More wall keyboard. Why?
3:56 - I just realized, the drummer's shirt says, "FOOSBALL - Where the action is". Par for the course really.
4:20 - Wait. So at the end, this was all her dream? Her dreams are walking in high heels amongst mulleted men playing their slow motion instruments attached to brightly colored walls? Yeah, I get that one too.

Remember how they always talked about how Michael Jackson spent a Million dollars making Thriller? With a costume crew of 20, semi-famous director, etc? Journey decided to do the opposite. I think it would have been fascinating to be at the planning meeting for this shoot:

"So what's our budget?"
"$40, and free hair spray."
"Have we scouted a location?"
"No, but I bet if we show up behind those abandoned warehouses by the bay...we could get some shots in."
"Great. I have only two requests: 1.) Walking.  2.) Musical instruments are so much classier when affixed to a wall.
"Done and Done."

Rumor has it that the same guy also directed this video:

Friday, February 25, 2011

Annual Oscar Rankings

A couple of years ago I made it a point to see all of the movies nominated for Best Picture at the Academy Awards.  I did this mostly so that when someone tried to tell me how great their favorite movie was, I could look at them with disdain and say, "you idiot."

Some people look down on the idea of ranking movies, as it's a bit silly to rank pieces of art.  It's like trying to rank the top 10 best paintings of all time.  Still, we give out these awards - and someone has to win.

Now that the Oscars has gone to nominating 10 movies for Best Picture instead of just 5, one needs a small fortune and a strong tolerance for Sour Patch Kids in order to get through all of them.  $11 per movie + $10 for snacks x 10 movies = $200+ 

A couple of this year's nominees I might not have normally seen (I'm looking at you Toy Story 3), but pretty much all of them this year were movies I genuinely wanted to see.  In fact, I'd seen most of them before the nominations came out.

So once again this year I have seen all 10, and here are my rankings:

1.) Inception
2.) The Social Network
3.) Black Swan
4.) True Grit
5.) The Kids Are All Right
6.) The Kings Speech
7.) The Fighter
8.) 127 Hours
9.) Winter's Bone
10.) Toy Story 3

I waffled a bit on whether Inception or Social Network should sit atop my rankings, but in the end I think Inception was the most unique and visually stunning movie this year.  Social Network was a tour de force in terms of storytelling, but Inception won out for me in terms of having the whole package.  I think Inception is hurting a bit in the popular discussion due to the fact that it came out way back in July.  However, when I think back to when I first saw Inception - I distinctly remember it blowing my mind.

I won't go into details on why I ranked the rest how I did; again its like trying to describe why a Picasso is better than a Monet.

The Academy Awards air this Sunday, and it's hosted by two of my least favorite people - James Franco and Anne Hathaway.  Barf.  Can't Ricky Gervais just host everything?  I look forward to seeing all of young Hollywood all dressed up, but not Natalie Portman - pregnant chicks are gross.

And who do I think will actually win the award?  Social Network

Kings Speech?  G-g-g-go fuck yourself England