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.