31 March 2009

Rural's (Lazy) American Idol Snark-cap

Top 9 Perform

I called it. I just knew most of them would sing songs they loved rather than songs they could actually, ya know, SING. Trainwreck.

Anoop Desai: Wait . . . What did he sing? I honestly can't remember. Welcome to Sarver country. Population: Anoop. Stop making painful sex faces, nerd. Stop getting snippy with the judges. Moving on . . .

Megan Joy: Megan, I still like you. But . . . gah. Pull it together, woman. Amy Winehouse, Duffy, Adele, Regina Spektor . . . Ever heard of them? The season's most current voice and she chooses Bob Marley. Good going.

Danny Gokey: At least he didn't mention his dead grandfather. Wasn't horrible . . . I might actually admit it was kind of good if I was acknowledging his existence. Pass. Whatever.

Allison Iraheta: Holy Hobknobs and Hairclips Batman! Who the hell was dressing this girl? Ah . . . but now I'm being as bad as the judges and not mentioning that the first, more low-key half of the song was quite good if significantly better than the second. Still . . . Go Allison!

Scott MacIntyre: Fine. He was decent. It seems like his voice gets better the worse his hair gets. Maybe they should pin that deranged cockatoo sitting on Allison's head on him next week. He'd probably end up the best of the night. Still bored.

Matt Giraud: Oh dear . . . Remember what I was saying about contestants singing songs they liked rather than ones they can actually sing? The prosecution rests.

Lil Rounds: Pro: Not 'My Heart Will Go On." Con: Celine Dion. Pro: She can still belt. Con: I think I just watched a rerun of last week's performance. Pro: Her children want to punch Randy in the face. Con: Her children pussy out on threats . . . She cried. She's safe. Girl's got an ASS on her, too. That dress was painted on.

Adam Lambert: Isn't it funny how sometimes the judges say a contestant really could just sing the phone book? I think Paula or Kara said that about Allison last week. Well, ladies and gentlemen, I think we just saw it in action. 'Play that Funky Music White Boy?' Is it more disturbing that this song is on the top of the charts for downloads off of iTunes or that this performance actually kind of worked? I'm gonna go with option C: He actually fucking twirled in the middle of the song. Giving props to the band . . . VERY SLY, Mr. Lambert. The hair, though. That mullet was having a party in the front and the back.

Kris Allen: OH. MY. GAWD. YOU. GUYS. Like, I don't even really know what to say. I kept waiting for him to mess up because I really didn't think it was possible that he could keep that up the whole time but DAMN! I need that to be on iTunes an hour ago.

Fuck it. I'm embedding this.

Judges' Notes

Paula: Never stop dancing. If you and Megan had a dance-off, the world might explode.
Kara: You are not Simon. Do not fight a large auditorium full of people. You will probably lose. But good job on the counting.

Completely Subjective Favorites Ranking

1. Kris
2. Adam
3. Allison

Aaaaand then it kind of becomes a cluster fuck of mediocrity with Lil and Megan at the top, I guess, and Matt 'proving himself' near the bottom. The rest are just kind of circling around in the middle blackhole of forgetableness. And I seemed to have missplaced Anoop somewhere. Possibly on an oil rig.

30 March 2009

Things I'm Loving This Week

Mishavonna Henson's version of 'Drops of Jupiter.' How this girl didn't even make Wild Card night on American Idol is something I'll never understand.

NBC's shamefully low rated, addictive melodrama, Kings. This show is the quintessential guilty pleasure. It's a little bit like the similarly addictive The Tudors, except with better lighting and more religious allegory. If I tried to explain the pseudo-science fiction meets Old Testament plot, I wouldn't do justice to just how watchable this show is. The entire cast is just right, but I got to give credit to Susanna Thompson who plays Queen Bitch like nobody else and Ian McShane who anchors this show with a lot of gusto. Special shout out to Prince Jack (played by Sebastian Stan). Good to have a gay character on TV whose entire storyline isn't about his sexuality. Watching this on Hulu is the highlight of my Mondays.

Dean Stockwell in A Long Day's Journey Into Night. Yum Yum delicious. I spent my entire first class today just GAPING at him.

26 March 2009

Rural's (Lazy) American Idol Snark-cap

Top 10 Perform

Can we get the pacing down, producers? You've only had 8 seasons to figure it out, so why are they always rushing through the last 3 performers?

Matt Giraud: He's getting better, actually. He didn't try to fiddle around with the melody too much this time, thank god. His voice is still a little whiny to me, though.

Kris Allen: Sex. Big brown eyes. Skinny tie. The voice. Lots of sex.

Scott MacIntyre: Yawn. So over it. Ugh . . . don't even feel like wasting time on him. Sitting at the piano. Great. Original. What was he wearing, anyway? Put sunglasses on him, please.

Megan Joy: I agree that her vocals tend to be all over the place, but let's be honest. Her sound is pretty current (Adele, Amy Winehouse, Duffy), and she'd probably be the only winner whose album I'd consider buying. So, Megan's growing on me. I don't think this was nearly as bad as the judges made it out to be.

Anoop Desai: Simon said, "I think you looked like you were half asleep throughout the song . . ." That makes two of us. Zzzzzzzzzzzzzz. You're very close to Sarver-ing yourself out my consciousness. Speaking of . . .

Michael Sarver: What's a Michael Sarver? (Note: I wrote this before I even heard him perform, and I saw no reason to change it afterward).

Lil Rounds: I love this girl's personality, but come on. Just STFU. "I was so affected by how far you guys had come . . . " Whatever. Oh, the performance? She didn't sing it. She SANG it. Is that good or bad? I dunno. That's really a matter of taste. At least they figured out how to dress her this week so her hips didn't look 12-feet wide. She's definitely got the pipes.

Adam Lambert: Fat Elvis crossed with Chris Isaak and tons of hair gel. Pretty good vocals, though. Much better than Johnny Cash by way of John Wayne Gacy.

Danny Gokey: I'm sure if I cared I might say it was corny as hell but a little bit fun, too. No thanks.

Allison Iraheta: If you don't have something mean to say, don't say anything at all. Go Allison!

Judges' Notes

Randy: Just say no to horizontal stripes, dawg.
Kara: One-of-the-best-performances-of-the-night. Not 6 words.

Oh, and a note to Ryan and the judges, all of this banter is UNBEARABLE. Not funny. Why are we talking about coloring books and drawing mustaches. Please stop.

Completely Subjective Favorites Ranking

1. Kris
2. Allison
3. Megan
4. Adam
5. Matt
6. Lil
7. Anoop
8. Scott
9. Danny

(Hmmm . . . I don't think I'm forgetting anyone )

10 March 2009

Rural's Week of the Dead

I was sick last week and, in between episodes of Degrassi and American Idol, I got the zombie bug and ended up watching a string of zombie films for no real reason other than I started and couldn't stop. All of these were first viewings.

There's spoilers. Duh.

Dawn of the Dead (1978): Is Zack Snyder's remake maybe just a teensy bit more fun to watch? Sure. I watched the extended version so perhaps that played a part, but it seemed like this one took a little long to really get going. But Snyder's version is not nearly as smart. It's refreshing to see a horror movie with a cast of human beings. Like, the people at the center of this movie just feel real, and I liked them for it. I didn't feel like there were any characters I was actively being forced to root against. I felt a little bad for them when they got into trouble. I know Romero gets some grief nowadays for making the ending less nihilistic, but I kind of like the idea that our central characters are flying off in a helicopter headed for god knows where. It adds a little hope, yes, but how much when you really think about it?

Day of the Dead (1985): So, I understand this had collected a bit of a cult following over the years, and I can understand why. This is certainly a much more cerebral film than the first two entries in the series which, unfortunately, makes it a lot less entertaining at times. It's quite dour and claustrophobic which works toward the mind set of the characters, of course. It just makes it a little hard to get through. You can see in the military characters too that Romero was starting to devolve into good vs. bad guys plot lines (see Land of the Dead further down). And I think I understand that this is the chronological last film in his series, coming even before Land of the Dead. That's crazy because we really don't get a lot of closure about what happens to the world. The characters end up on a tropical island somewhere, literally counting their days, but I guess we're just supposed to assume that the world is pretty much over? Whoa.

Day of the Dead (2008): First of all, this has absolutely nothing to do with the original other than the fact that the army is involved. These aren't even technically zombies, if you want to be technical, since they're actually infected like the creatures in 28 Days Later, not to start that debate up or anything. This isn't a horrible movie, actually, if you remove it from the original, certainly compared to a lot of straight to DVD horror. It's just kind of silly. And all I can say is thank god they killed of Nick Cannon badly playing Samuel L. Jackson, though I think a much longer death would've been in order. And, really, when did it become commonplace to fill horror movies with so many unpleasant people that bicker the whole time and have poorly timed personal conversations? Also, it's time to retire the last second jump-cum-promise of a sequel from the zombie movie.

Land of the Dead (2005): Ok . . . so the credits SAY this was directed by George A. Romero, but I'm pretty sure Steven Spielberg did it. Like, what was with the E.T.-ification of the zombies? I'm sorry. I don't feel sorry for them. They want to eat me. Maybe you should kill the lead zombie who's teaching them to use guns instead of playing inspirational music and letting them go ahead on their journey bla bla bla. Also, really? A 9/11 metaphor? Really, George? Again . . . ZOMBIES EAT PEOPLE! What's with all of this Guantanamo-zombie posturing? Asia Argento is in this movie, though, so I cannot hate this movie. It's true that her character had tenuous ties at best to the plot, but you get Asia in there however you can.

Dance of the Dead (2008): Future horror filmmakers, please hear this. NEVER work overtime to make a character or characters obnoxious and then expect me to enjoy the fact that they have lived in the final reel. If you're going to set up characters as unlikeable, at least have the decency to off them as they gain redemption yada yada etc . . . The two nerdy characters really grated on my nerves. I'm sorry. I know I'm supposed to find them endearing, but no. Otherwise, though, this is a pretty fun little movie. Funny in all the right places and featuring a pretty creative use of dead frogs. BUT . . . if you're going to sell your movie as a prom/zombie movie, you might want to actually show us the prom, ya know. Why segregate your main characters when you have a whole gym full of horny teens ready to get bitten? Or at least that's what Stacie Ponder thinks. All in all, the movie IS a lot of fun, despite its faults, and surprisingly well-acted.

Dead and Breakfast (2004): So here's what I think happened. Someone with a lot of marginally famous celebrity friends (i.e. Portia de Rossi, David Carradine, Erik Palladino, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Jeremy Sisto, Diedrich Bader) had some money lying around and thought it would be fun to make a supernatural voodoo zombie movie. My prime suspect's Miranda Bailey since she happens to star and executive produce. I mean . . . I dunno, I suppose it's funny and gory enough, but it was all just a little bit confusing. There's a lot of bells and whistles with the country singer/narrator and the Buddhist monk, etc . . . Some of the gory scenes work well, though. It's watchable even if you get the sense it kind of wasn't meant for anything else than a home movie between friends who got bored and decided to pass the time.

05 March 2009

I Can't Wait for Shutter Island or Ashcliffe or Whatever They're Calling It

FYC Emily Mortimer. Best Supporting Actress. It's never too early.