Monday, December 17, 2007

The DARK Knight

The official trailer is out. It is very dark. The Joker looks freakish. I could not be more excited.

Watch it. Press play.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

"Call it, Freind-O"

"McCarthy and the Coen brothers have just collaborated on a movie version of McCarthy's novel No Country for Old Men, a thriller about a serial killer and a busted drug deal. It's a searing, shocking movie that plays like a eulogy for the great American West. It also features the best scene ever filmed of a dog chasing a guy in a river."

The above quote is from a Time magazine article located here. It's pretty much just the goddamn coolest single paragraph review of a movie ever. The men in question above are Cormac McCarthy, the National Book Award and Pulitzer Prize winning author, and the Coen brothers (Joel and Ethan), renowned filmmakers of American classics such as Fargo, Raising Arizona, and Miller's Crossing. And simply speaking, they've just made the best movie of the year.

I've been wanting to see this film since I first saw any press about it. I knew about the book, and had already read some of McCarthy's work prior to any knowledge of this film. Well, needless to say I tracked down a paperback copy of No Country, plowed through it in a week, and have been counting down the days until November 21. Did the film live up to my generous expectations? Very much so. I loved the book and loved the film. Some scenes, if not most, are taken directly from the novel. And I mean directly... dialogue and all.

I seem to have this attraction to films that deal with violence in such an unflinching manner. The Departed. History of Violence. Fargo. The types of films that don't just use gratuitous violence as a backdrop for some shitty overproduced action movie, but the kinds of films that almost use these "grotesqueries" of the human psyche as future talking points (look at me with the made-up words). Almost as minor characters in the film, for lack of a better term. Why am I so attracted to these films? I don't know, maybe it's because we secretly all want to be serial killers and throw our bosses out of 30-story office buildings, and murder our wives in their sleep with dull, over-used kitchen knives. Or maybe it's just 'cause these films are so fucking good. Yeah, I'm sticking with that one. Otherwise I have nightmares.

One other thing I'd like to note is the "non-use" of any real score in the film. I'd really have to see it again to appreciate everything fully, but it seemed as if the Coen brothers used the background sounds of each location as the music for their film. Cascading winds through the Texas countryside. Ambulance and police sirens following brutal shootings. Dogs barking. Televisons blaring. It really is an interesting way to present a movie. Obviously it left some sort of impact on me if I picked up on it. And that's really all that can be asked of a filmmaker, isn't it? To leave an impression. And this film does so in spades.

Watch it. You'll be glad you did. Or maybe not.

Friday, November 16, 2007

How can the train be lost? It's on rails.

So, I saw The Darjeeling Limited today. What a great piece of film making. It's touching, it's funny, it's honest, it's uncomfortable at times, it's soul-searching, it's everything a Wes Anderson film should be. Possibly his best film yet. If I wasn't so incredibly in love with Rushmore maybe I'd be able to say that on further viewings.

Do yourself a favor and see it. Laugh... cry... witness Owen Wilson being nasally endearing, Jason Schwartzman in his doe-eyed glory, and Adrien Brody's freakish gangly-ness.

And Bill Murray does make that ridiculous cameo I had so hoped for. Yay for me!

By the way, the above widget-jobber-thingie I found on the movie's official website was so fucking cool, I just had to imbed it here. Scroll over it with your mouse and well... things happen. Make with the clicky.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

In Rainbows

The new Radiohead album, titled In Rainbows, is available now only through download at the website It's available as a digital download where you can "choose what you pay," and also as a discbox set which includes all sorts of goodies like unreleased tracks, 12-inch vinyls, and lyric booklets among other things. The discbox sells for 40 pounds (depending on the exchange rate, somewhere just north of $80.00 U.S.)

I've heard the new album a few times already and I really don't know what took me so long to get it until now, but I literally just downloaded it about 5 minutes ago. Needless to say, it's amazing. I opted against the rather expensive discbox (which is unlike me as I'm usually a sucker for any and all bonus material) and went with the traditional download. I paid 3 pounds for it, which including the service charge is somewhere around $7.00. There, I said it.

Now, I desperately need to go listen to it.


Thursday, November 8, 2007

General Lafayette! You Are Not Alone!

I've been hearing this new song on Sirius satellite radio recently. It's by a band called Ravens and Chimes and the song is called General Lafayette! You Are Not Alone! It's beautiful guitar-and-drum pop and it makes me inexplicably happy every time I hear it. My favorite part is at the end of the song where they break into THE most beautiful orchestral arrangement I've heard in a pop song. Ever.

Check them out on MySpace to hear more great stuff from the NY-based band and at

And if you have Sirius, do be a doll and check out channel 26, Left of Center. It's the best music on the dial.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Arsenal 2 - 2 Manchester United

Arsenal stay at the top of the table with the 2-2 draw against Man. United at the Emirates on Saturday. A late goal in stoppage time by defender William Gallas clinched the point for Arsenal to remain just above United atop the leader board. Cesc Fabregas also scored again for the Gunners as his midfield play is really reaching top form.

You can read the whole match rundown at ESPN Soccernet along with updated scores from around the Barclay's English Premier League.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Arsenal remains unbeaten with late equalizer at Anfield.

For the uninitiated, Arsenal is one of the top clubs in the Barclay's English Premier League. In short, they're a soccer team (they call it football across the pond). They're also my favorite team, and the big match this weekend was Arsenal against Liverpool. A full match rundown is available here.

The short version... Steven Gerrard blasted home a free kick just outside the box in the 7th minute to put Liverpool up 1-0 early on at home. The Gunners (that's Arsenal) tied it up late in the 80th minute with some immaculate passing and a sweet poke from Cesc Fabregas to get it past Liverpool's keeper Pepe Reina. The game ended in a 1-1 draw, garnering each team a point and keeping Arsenal atop the table in the Premiership.

Huge, huge match next Saturday for Arsenal against Manchester United. This one's at the Emirates, which has proven to be a tough place for any club to come into and play well. But United are at top form with Rooney and Tevez really hitting their stride together, and Cristiano Ronaldo is always a major threat from midfield.

Learn more about Arsenal football here and here.
Learn more about the Barclay's English Premier League at wikipedia and the official site.

Friday, October 19, 2007

NOT Phoney Beatle-mania

I just saw Julie Taymor's new musical Across the Universe this afternoon. A stunning amalgamation of 60's era Americana and music by the Beatles. It follows the lives of a handful of individuals each following separate paths but intimately connecting with each other along the way.

Visually, it's the most impressive thing I've seen in cinema in quite some time. The psychedelic-era Beatles provides some of the most fascinating imagery, but the extreme close-ups during solos and innovative camera angles throughout make the entire movie experience one that will keep your eyes glued to the screen. If only to see what Julie's going to come up with in the next scene.

I'm not trying to take anything away from the rest of the film. This film is not just visually stunning, but the performances are top notch as well. Evan Rachel Wood is beautiful... and only becomes more beautiful as the film progresses and her character arc unfolds. Jim Sturgess and Joe Anderson also knock it out of the park as lover and brother (respectively) to Wood's character. Surprising cameos from Joe Cocker, Bono, and Eddie Izzard as well. The movie tells the story of some of the most simple concepts imaginable: life, love, and war. Relatable to anyone in any time period.

I can tell you this much: having left the theater, you will have a new appreciation for the Beatles music. If you weren't a fan before, you will be. Julie Taymor wonderfully blends some of the Beatles' most popular and lesser known songs with the journeys each of these characters goes through. By the time you reach the last song and the most powerful scene in the movie, you'll nearly be in tears. I was.

Highest recommendation.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

The Coen Brothers and Wes Anderson are at it again.

Two films are being released shortly that I'm most excited about.

The first is the Coen Brothers' newest creation based on the Cormac McCarthy novel of the same name. Star-studded cast and the serious makings of a Best Picture winner. Watch out for this one.

No Country for Old Men:

And the second comes from a much lighter frame of mind, Wes Anderson's new "dramedy" The Darjeeling Limited. Starring Owen Wilson, Jason Schwartzman, and Adrien Brody as three brothers who find themselves through each other. One can only hope Bill Murray makes a completely absurd cameo.

Here's the trailer:

Friday, October 12, 2007

Hello world.

Those of you that know me know I go by Aaron in nearly every sort of social situation. The moniker of Jack Frost that I'm using here is just something that I'm toying with and may soon be eliminated altogether, but for the time being will still be used. Besides, I kind of enjoy the semi-anonymity it provides.

The title Bethlehem Slouch comes from a very loose reinterpretation of the last line in W.B. Yeats' poem The Second Coming. I'm not much of a poetry afficianado, but if I had to pick a favorite poem it would probably be this one. Perhaps it's the dreadful imagery that I'm drawn too or maybe it's just the idea of a massive change coming that reflects my worldview. I don't know. I just like it. Here's the poem in it's entirety:

Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.
Surely some revelation is at hand;
Surely the Second Coming is at hand.
The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out
When a vast image out of Spritus Mundi
Troubles my sight: somewhere in the sands of the desert
A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
Reel shadows of the indignant desert birds.
The darkness drops again; but now I know
That twenty centuries of stony sleep
were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?

c. 1920

The title of Bethlehem Slouch that I've decided to use has more to do with my general laziness and geographic location to the city of Bethlehem, PA than to anything written by Yeats. But I'm sticking with it.

I promise future posts won't be as boring, but I just wanted to set up what I'm trying to accomplish here. Mostly I'll just be musing about whatever new music I'm into, or what I thought of some recent film I watched. Hopefully this will give whoever chooses to read this an opinion that can be trusted for those sorts of things.

I've been wanting to set up a weblog for some time, but just never did. I found that it was time to get off my sorry ass and just do it, so this is the result. Enjoy.