IF you didn’t laugh at the above clip, we can’t be friends. Don’t even read the rest of this blog. In the past I’ve reviewed things as they’ve come out. Now its time for me to recommend something only available on DVD or Netflix (until Season 4 starts in May). Louie. Those familiar with Louie C.K may assume that the show (FX, Thursdays, 10:30 when in season) would mirror his excellent stand up, and it does. But the show is so much more than that. This “sitcom” is not for the light of heart. Readers that enjoy dark comedies like Cable Guy, Death to Smoochy, and other dark comedies should get ready to cringe. But as uncomfortable as it can be, its the best show on television.
Louie C.K is a 40 something single dad who is reaching Seinfeld status in terms of comic and sitcom success. Much like Seinfeld, Louie somewhat mirrors Louie’s real life, being a single father of 2, living in NYC, but the Louie character has less commercial success than the real life inspiration. Louie is brutally real, and when it’s not being hilarious, awkward, and uncomfortable, its busy being heartfelt, riveting, and compelling.
Darkest, funniest moment: Louie gets “asked out” by Dolores, a mother from Louie’s daughter’s school. Dolores. Dolores’ reasoning behind choosing Louie is, “I’m approaching you because you seem safe and discreet.” Dolores blatantly propositions Louie for sex, as opposed to the traditional dinner and a movie. When Louie arrives Dolores changes into a old fashioned nightgown that would have been out of fashion in the 1910s. Louie is then sent to the corner store for condoms, feminine hygene products, and blueberries. Once he’s back at her apartment they get down to business, and Dolores requests to be spanked while calling Louie “daddy”. She quickly starts sobbing, while Louie looks on in horror. As cringe worthy is this sounds, its 1000x worse.
Most compelling, heartfelt story: Louie meets a female employee at a local bookstore, played by Parker Posey. Their night together is a confusing, frantic whirlwind romance, capped with the couple on the roof of skyscraper overlooking New York City. The woman eventually reveals her name is Liz before they go on their separate ways. The viewer feels what Louie feels for the entire episode; that confusing excitement of a young crush. Later in the season Louie reunites with Liz by chance on a city bus, after a failed attempt to find her earlier. She collapses and dies at the hospital and Louie, along with the viewer, is truly devastated.
Hey there folks. We’re back and mixing it up a little. Last time I decided to review an album, and today I’ve got a movie review hot off the presses. For those of you that didn’t see the first Hunger Games movie, check out this YouTube summary that does a good job:
Now that youre all caught up I’ll try to give a review with as few spoilers as possible. Right off the bat, this movie is a chick flick in my head, simply due to the fact that the main character is a girl. I know that’s incredible misogynistic, but I can’t imagine getting a group of my guy friends to go see it. That being said, I went with my girlfriend, who has read the books and acts as a great guide when I get lost or don’t notice a subtle plot point. The movie picks up shortly where the first left off, with Katniss back in her district, which is still doing poorly considering she won the Games. She and Peeta have to fake their relationship to inspire the world, but Katniss actually loves Gale. The big problem is that Katniss’ performance in the Hunger Games accidentally inspires a revolution, and the people of the districts look to her as a symbol of hope. The President doesn’t like the thought of a second rebellion, so he inserts a twist into the 75th annual games. Because every a change to the rules is allowed every 25 years, he decides so send back all the old winners, who are supposed to be safe, as a “Hunger All Stars Games” in hopes of killing Katniss and squashing the rebellion. Thats as far as I can go without blowing the rest of the film.
Peaks: I hate Jennifer Lawrence (Katniss). I also hate Woody Harrelson (Haymitch). That being said I think they’re both perfectly cast for their roles. The underlying themes are obvious to anyone over 15, and make the movie a lot more than a fluff piece. Ancillary roles from Jeffery Wright (Boardwalk Empire), Phillip Seymour Hoffman, and Elizabeth Banks are all strong. The budget was obviously bigger for the second film, which was apparent by the bigger, better special effects.
Pits: The beginning half drags a bit. As a guy I was there for the action, which obviously picks up once the Hunger Games start. I understand the love story and the revolution are all interesting, but I was more interested in a Lord of the Flies on steroids. My biggest bone to pick, and this IS NOT a spoiler, is that the film ends on a to be continued cliff hanger instead of wrapping the film up, because there is a 3rd book and obviously a 3rd movie. At least the first film stood on its own.
Guess who’s back? Back again. This time Marshall Mathers is back. Tell a friend (only if they’re an Eminem fan). For those readers not familiar with the man named Marshall Mathers, i’ve not a lil ‘splanin to do. Over the last 15 years Eminem/Slim Shady/Marshall Mathers has been one of the most controversial and successful hip hop artists in the industry. He reached his peak in the early 2000’s, when I was in high school and I’ve been a fan since. Eminem, as he’s most commonly known, has the two aliases listed above and with each name comes a different persona. Eminem, who is a skilled rapper, Marshall Mathers (his real name) who talks about his real life and experiences and Slim Shady, who is somewhat of a pop icon and can have nonsensical lyrics.
This November Marshal Mathers released his first studio album in 3 years, and it does not disappoint. One thing Eminem has always been known for is song variety, and the Marshal Mathers LP2 (MMLP2) has plenty; from pop tracks featuring Rihanna and the Beastie Boys to darker, more personal songs with a simple beat like the opening track titled “Bad Guy”. One thing that Eminem has always been known for is his “flow”, or the style of his lyrics and how they are presented. Eminem’s flow is most impressive at its fastest, when he emphasizes different syllables of words to create nontraditional rhyme schemes, and shoehorns words into a limited space to show how quickly and clearly he can rhyme. Nowhere is this on display more than on the song “Rap God” which features a middle of the road beat and an average at best chorus, but the verses start slowly, and build to a frantic lyrical pace. While not everyone loves rap, if you look at it as poetry there is no one on Eminem’s level. For those looking for catchy beats check out Berzerk, produced by Rick Rubin. This track is Eminem’s signature “pop track” that boosts his record sales, and features Beastie Boys lyrical samples mixed with intrumentals from “The Stroke” by Billy Squier.
Aim for: Bad Guy, The Monster, Headlights
Avoid: So Much Better, Survival