TORO! :: bull by the horns

an online compendium of culture and commentary

Archive for the ‘dude check it out’ Category

to earth, and beyond

Posted by rollinsloane on 28 March 2009

battlestar galactica

episode 4.12 – daybreak, pt 2.

http://www.hulu.com/watch/64690/battlestar-galactica-daybreak-part-2

official synopsis: “In the final episode, conflicts reach a climax while Cylons and humans face a stark choice.

 ——- quotes and comments and SPOILERS follow ——-

Hmmm…lots of drinking back there on Caprica. Come to think of it, lots of drinking (Saul, Starbuck) throughout BSG

God, you can’t even recognize Starbuck in the flashbacks. It seems like Katee Sackhoff is actually just doing another character…and it’s nice to know she’s got the range. I kind of like her in this goofy incarnation, flirty and bright but still so secure.

This young version of Lee is familiar to me – the earnest young politico, mad at the system but convinced of its necessity. So certain that his leadership will make things different.

Cheesy thank you speech from Roslin to Doc Coddle, but somehow observant, because doctors only get those kinds of thank yous on their own TV shows, and even then rarely. You know, Doc Coddle’s been a pretty stand-up guy throughout this series and they’ve never really given him the depth of a good background story or parallel plot (Deadwood, too, has a similarly affable-and-frequent-but-underdeveloped doctor character)

Not going to lie…I’ve never really bought the whole Gaius-cult thing as a legitimate story line…I understand what they were trying to develop, but it’s a bit too left-field for me.

Good lord, the battle scene music…ridiculous! Like, old-school Davy Crockett-style over-the-top.

Oooo, shades of Starship Troopers as they scour the Cylon ship with battles guns drawn.

I love Lee’s hilarious half-mullet. Whipping off that space helmet, he couldn’t possibly be more 80s.

It’s hard to fathom how high the stakes are in these aerial dogflights….all that stuff flying at them, and any single slightly wrong move could kill them instantly.

The Cylon examiner gets a Deep Blue Sea-style death (remember Samuel L. Jackson getting chomped mid-speech by the shark?) after calmly telling Boomer that “In the end, it’s all mathematics.” She then swiftly breaks his neck in the name of some vague emotion. Score one hugely  obvious narrative point for the theme of Heart Over Head.

Then Anders comes back (in one of his creepy catatonic monologues) with  “Open your mind and hear what your heart wants to deny.”  Point for Head Over Heart?  

Cylon (re Boomer’s significant betrayal): “Never should have trusted her.” Dean Stockwell: “Trust didn’t enter into it. I simply miscalculated her need to engage in gestures of futility.” – Ice-cold! But so well-phrased. Isn’t that a lovely way to think of trust?

Does Caprica 6, Baltar’s Cylon-ghost-invisible friend, say that she wants to be proud of him or part of him? “I always wanted to be proud/part of you. I guess I always felt that was the only thing missing.” It’s either maternal or creeper, but odd either way.

WHA! Does Caprica 6 have her own slinky, manipulative Baltar in her head? That is awesome. Totally appropriate. Another comment on relationships, perhaps…isn’t it an unrealistic image that serves as our inner motivation? Of course, BSG gives it its own oddball sci-fi twist with the suggestion that these internal images also served the characters in some sort of mystical Fates capacity.

Ummm…how did Athena and Starbuck and Helo et. al get to Boomer and Hera soooo fast? What are the lay-outs of these ships that they’re so easy to navigate? 

Interesting, Athena shoots Boomer in the stomach…not up to the task of shooting her own image in the face?

You know, filming some of this stuff must seem so silly on-set, the emotional marching through the hallway, etc.

Interesting image – Baltar leads the way while Caprica 6 holds the child and wields the gun.

I’m sure it’s supposed to mean something that the most intelligent human (man) and most beautiful Cylon (woman) continually compose the series’s favorite hybrid family image instead of plain old goody-two-shoes Helo and Athena, the hybrid child’s actual parents.

It’s Baltar who gives Dean Stockwell the last speech for mankind — and it’s about the beauty of faith? Is this really what humankind represents? 

Baltar’s ‘angel’ version has a seriously 70s porno vibe going on.

So, Chief kills Tori after finding about her instigation of Callie’s death…I wondered if Tori was ever going to get some comeuppance for that.

Isn’t Lee’s optimistic vision for giving the Earth natives the Capricans’ “best parts” a bit resonant of the Cylons’ attempts to create a new, more perfect race? And didn’t that not go so well? Also, the paternalism of the technologically advanced white man bearing down on African natives….shaky, questionable ground to tread, although I understand the historical point the creators are trying to make – the insinuation that these were our forefathers.

So they all get to Earth, only to go off into their own directions. Huh. So much for solidarity.

Ew, Baltar and Caprica 6’s last little bit of editorializing on the streets of present-day Manhattan, critiquing excess materialism, etc…snore. Although, how funny – those are indeed real, creepy Japanese robots! Our next downfall is eminent!

Overall, I must say, I’m happy with this BSG wrap-up…I’m satisfied. Even Starbuck’s ugly wing tattoo gets explained (*ahem, as she’s an angel). The flashback sequences were a wee hammy, but BSG has always been a wee hammy — that was really part of its draw.

Advertisements

Posted in dude check it out, long hard look, TV recap | Tagged: , , | 1 Comment »

michael rides again

Posted by rollinsloane on 27 March 2009

michael scott revs to glory   

michael scott revs to glory

the office

episode 5.19 – two weeks 

http://www.nbc.com/The_Office/video/episodes/?vid=1073183 (Original Air Date: 3/26/2009)

official synopsis: “Michael gives Corporate two weeks notice, giving him freedom to do whatever he wants in the office.”

———–

oscar: “I love a good quitting story…it makes me feel like I have control over my own life.” so sad, so true

michael’s new drink: scotch and splenda! note to self…

michael lounging around drunk at work with just a week left…yes, michael is an idiot, but come on – you know that’s what you would want to do

michael, deferential and sarcastic to new all-business boss: “your ‘I need you to’ is my command.”  

the brief exchange between the new outside managerial hire, politely signing in with pam, and michael, lulling boozily on the reception area sofa. it would make for an interesting situation even without michael’s buffoonery

kevin to pam, re the still-broken copier machine: “you said it would be ready by today, and it is today.”

monsters scream on michael’s computer. jim responds instantly – “it’s monster.com” – revealing his familiarity not just with monster.com (the job site), but with the same stupid misspelling that michael just committed.  brilliant snippet.

michael, in reaction to pam’s gentle discouragement after announcing his new plans to start his own paper company: “I have had this dream since lunch, and I am not giving up on it now.”

michael tells andy that he’s starting his own paper company. andy: “in this climate?” michael: “in all climates. I’m going worldwide.”

dwight’s reaction to hearing (from andy) that michael was starting his own paper company…I had to watch it twice. he and michael go through so many little uncertain jerks and emotional twists and not a single full sentence

meredith, as pam shows off her copier skills, in total boredom: “little miss thing wants attention.” zing!

I feel for pam in her travails against the copier…I have so many little gadgets that bewilder me so much that I’d rather not use them than sink time trying to fix and understand them, and to be beaten by them in public is truly frustrating. worse yet, humiliating

michael scott vs. the man

michael scott vs. the man(s)

angela and kelly’s perpetually man-hungry dating styles…meh

toby’s somehow sweet, somewhat summarizing reaction to michael’s sudden departure: “michael’s like a movie on a plane. You know – it’s not great, but it’s something to watch.” (sidenote: doesn’t that seem to broadly apply to a lot of things in life?) “and then when it’s over, you’re like, how much time is left on this flight? now what?”

michael crawling camo-style across the office after being kicked out…actually somehow moving when you think about it

pam with michael, kevin at reception, stanley suddenly promoted…give the writers credit, they know how to mix things up without changing the core set-up

the nice-guy cometh

the nice-guy cometh

Posted in dude check it out, huzzah | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

mmm…pretty panoramas

Posted by rollinsloane on 5 March 2008

The magic of the internet has put the magic of awesome photography at our fingertips in any number of forums (Flickr, lomography), but maybe none are quite as awesome as viewat.org.  Featuring a collection of panoramic views from locales worldwide, it’s like taking a two-minute vacation in the middle of work.

Rafe 

Posted in dude check it out, huzzah | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

sexploitation at fairfax’s silent theater

Posted by rollinsloane on 1 March 2008

It’s hard to consider Fairfax’s Silent Movie Theater a hidden LA gem, especially considering the packed house that showed up for last night’s screening of Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill! (even the theater’s 3-to-a-seat couches were stuffed, presumably by some uncomfortable strangers). But I certainly haven’t come across much press coverage of what must be the top arthouse theater in this very movie-minded town. Even my LA-born-and-bred cinephile butt had never before been; last night’s wham-bam conclusion to SMT’s Russ Meyer month proved the perfect introduction.

The thin wooden seats are too hard and too close together, but they all come with plump corduroy pillows and it’s the sort of place where you might get to know your neighbor anyway. In lieu of pre-screening ads or trailers, the 4×3 screen played a real police training video from the 70s featuring “To Shoot or not to Shoot” scenarios (hilarious for its paranoia, frightening for being real), and I for one didn’t miss the bogus pre-show usher speech now playing in every hoity-toity cineplex in this goddamn town.

Then on to the main event. Where to even begin. Pussycat (1965) is trash cinema at its most innocent, as if all involved were simply riding high on the freedom of being totally outrageous. Its violence is unmotivated, but cleanly bloodless; it oozes with the sexuality of tight leather and innuendo, but plays it for laughs and holds it to mere kisses. Pussycat wise cracks — it’s too happy-go-lucky to offend.

Don’t get me wrong, though — it’s still sexploitation. How many countless feminist film majors have earned their Ph.D with a lengthy examination of writer-director-producer Russ Meyer‘s sexual politics? This man’s bread-and-butter was the burgeoning soft-core industry; as a Playboy centerfold photographer, Meyer was in the perfect place to nudge the new, ahem, art form along. But Pussycat‘s backbone remains its strangely theater-ready script, a tangle of fascinating character dynamics that go beyond its ludicrous plot.

Basically, three go-go dancers-cum-renegade bad-asses stalk the California desert in a trio of sweet 60s sports cars. That’s it. Along the way they terrorize a wholesome young and try to rob a crippled rancher and his two sons, and murky chaos ensues. But mostly they wear tight close and sling about their fantastic hair. Led by tough-talking fem-sadist Varla (Tura Satana, with her own soap operatic backstory and a downright perfect name), these sex-starved ladies (played by embodied by Haji, a purring Italian-looking Canadian, and Lori Williams, the ultimate all-American blonde) could single-handedly bring back high-waisted jeans.

 faster pussycats

(Let’s just hope Quentin Tarantino’s recently announced desire for a remake featuring Eva Mendes, Kim Kardashian and Brittany Spears will never in a million f-ing years come to pass.  I can’t even believe I just read that.  I mean, I know he’s all about the homage, but if he does this out of love it would the ultimate in cinematic OJ Simpson. )

Check out the trailer below for a full-dose of the old-school soundtrack and cheesetastic acting:

Sexuality and strength and violence are all twisted up in there somewhere, and one of these days I’ll get my head around the mess. For now I’ll just be heading to the Silent every chance I get. This month’s calendar includes Philip Marlowe and 30s chorus lines, so feel free to shun Hollywood’s annual crap period and still get out to a hell of a show.

Sloane

faster pussycat kill kill poster

Posted in dude check it out, filmdom, had to be there, huzzah | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

poster art for the cult set

Posted by rollinsloane on 29 February 2008

sweet warriors movie poster by tyler stout

Courtesy of the fine folks over at /film:

Two words: Tyler Stout.  This man needs some cinephile lovin, so pucker up.  In an age of Photoshop and shamefully juvenille studio graphics, this dude has managed to triumph with good old pen-and-ink, winning over the likes of retro-master Quentin Tarantino thanks to an f-ing rad gift for uber-detail.  With posters for movies, concerts and film festivals under his belt (not to mention fabric — there are some sweet hoodies on the market, s’all I’m saying), Mr. Stout has an impressive resume already going; as soon as I get my blockbuster monster-movie epics in the works (any decade now…), I’ll be enlisting him for some iconic design.

Ollie

sweet movie poster for big trouble in little china by tyler stout

Posted in dude check it out, filmdom, huzzah | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »

when I think ignoble deaths, I think ‘deep blue sea’

Posted by rollinsloane on 28 February 2008

New York Magazine‘s online Vulture squad — one hell of a pop culture crack-unit — is pretty much my Google Reader equivalent of the daily paper, and typically generates Top 10 lists to put the AV Club to shame.  They served it up right today with “Ten Beloved Characters, Ten Ignoble Deaths,” compiling a bunch of lame-death/cool-character combos to honor The Wire‘s latest undeserving victim.  Donny from The Big Lebowski was an obvious choice (not to mention prelude to filmdom’s most awesome eulogy ever), and list-topper Jesus (from The Passion) a total f-ing cop-out, but damn if #9 ain’t the saddest demise in shark-movie history.  When Deep Blue Sea‘s Samuel L. Jackson first got it from behind, it sent my teen heart leaping straight back at the screen.

 — Sloane

PS — The LA Times amused itself last week with an untimely but totally true career re-cap of the many hair stylings of y’all’s favorite Mr. Jackson.  Never would the NY Times print such offbeat non-news, and thus has the LA Times indefinitely proved to me its far superior worth.

Posted in dude check it out, filmdom, list action | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

we heart nbc.com

Posted by rollinsloane on 28 February 2008

TiVo’s great, but when’s the last time you watched it at work? Turn to NBC.com during those midday doldrums for a quick TV infusion. And no, I’m not talking Office re-runs either. Check this: Way Back Wednesdays, NBC’s retro headquarters featuring the C-grade likes of A-Team, Battlestar Galatica (70s version!), The Alfred Hitchcock Hour, Buck Rogers and, yes, Miami Vice. Full episodes, clips, interviews — the works, and all without a DVD player. Yeah, you love it. Why didn’t VH1 think of this?

Ollie

Warning: there are internet commercials to deal with, but you have to look busy when the boss comes by anyway. Nothing in this life is free (except intern slave labor!).

Posted in dude check it out, the greatest | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

the chinese barack obama

Posted by rollinsloane on 17 January 2008

I know that fat dude on SNL is slimming down in the hopes of snagging a four-year gig as resident Obama impersonator, but if I were Lorne Michaels I would hire a translator and cast this guy instead:

tony leung lust caution

Chinese actor Tony Leung, best known for anchoring Wong Kar-Wai’s gracefully melancholy films (In the Mood for Love, 2046) and currently starring in Ang Lee’s erotic spy thriller Lust, Caution.  He’s always been a bit boyish-looking — just like the Dem’s most cuddly candidate.

barack obama

— Sloane 

 

Posted in dude check it out, filmdom | Tagged: , , | 1 Comment »

because birthdays should be fun

Posted by rollinsloane on 14 January 2008

Why send a boring e-card? Even your grandmother will appreciate a step away from flowers and teddy bears. Next time you e-card, try someecards.com (“when you care enough to hit send”). These snarky little zingers will have you trolling their website looking for excuses to send cards.

For Valentine’s Day:

be my valentine someecards

For MLK Day: “Happy Martin Luther King Day to a borderline racist.”

For a crestfallen superfan: “Sorry I can’t empathize with the pain over your team losing.”

For new parents: “I hope your baby doesn’t hate you later in life” (or, even better, option #2: “Congratulations on not being sterile”)

For a true friend (and/or Deadwood fan): “If I were to shoot you, it would just be in the leg.”

— Ollie

Courtesy of: AdFreak.

Posted in dude check it out, the greatest | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

will all you tv critics just give the wire’s last season a little time to get off the ground?

Posted by rollinsloane on 14 January 2008

Two episodes in and they’re all already doubting. Here’s a little reminder of how The Wire turns police-procedural TV into brain candy: videosift — The-All-Fuck-Murder-Investigation-Scene-from-The-Wire. McNulty and Bunk investigate an old crime scene and quickly discover new evidence with only four-letter commentary.

— Sloane

Related: hey, TV critics — david simon has internet, too

Posted in dude check it out | Tagged: , , , , , | 1 Comment »