Saturday, January 21, 2012


Or, the-movie-I-only-watched-because-I-think-Gackt-is-hot-but-then-actually-ended-up-enjoying-so-much-that-I-went-out-and-bought-it-the-next-day-so-now-I-have-to-find-some-way-to-pay-the-co-pay-on-my-next-doctor's-visit-maybe-someone-will-take-pity-on-me? Maybe we should just call it by its real name, Bunraku.

Released in 2010/2011 and directed by Guy Moshe, Bunraku stars Josh Hartnett, Gackt (my first reason for watching the movie), and Woody Harrelson as the three heroes. A drifter, a samurai, and a bartender that stand up against The Woodsman (played by Ron Perlman who seems to be in everything these days).

This movie is a mishmosh of styles; pulling things from film noirs, westerns, samurai movies, and comic book movies. Bunraku isn't the first movie to do this, but it is one of the few that manages to do it successfully and doesn't come off as being horribly pretentious or just flat out trying too hard to be cool.

If movies were all teenagers in a high school, Bunraku would be the movie that could blend in with any of the little movie cliques. Well, maybe everyone except the Romantic Comedy cheerleaders. They wouldn't like Bunraku just because Bunraku was going around being popular without joining the cheerleader squad and might actually think that the cheerleading uniforms are ugly because we need better school colors. But Bunraku doesn't really think that, because Bunraku is too cool to care about such silly things as cheerleader uniforms, it needs to go out and raise the money to buy a really cool car. Or maybe to save kids with cancer.

Maybe it's not the smartest movie out there, and it's certainly not going to leave people trying to dissect the plot or leaving many mysteries behind, but it is very enjoyable. The plot isn't very deep. Mysterious strangers come to town (our heroes) and then get in fights with the bad guys that run the town. That's pretty much the entire plot minus a few details. Sometimes, though, a movie doesn't need any more plot than that. We can't all be vague enough in plot and details to leave people wondering about the deepness of our meaning or if maybe we just missed something as an audience or that maybe the movie really isn't that deep and because we want to feel smart as an audience we are projecting. I'm looking at you here Inception.

It could also be that I was just distracted by the style of the sets. The title itself comes from a style of Japanese puppet theater and the way this movie moves calls back to that. The way things are styled, the plot, the characters all could be translated into a movie done with puppets. Now I kind of want to see the Muppets take on this movie. Kermit could be the drifter!

This is a very colorful movie, in a sort of muted way. I know that doesn't really make sense, but it might after I attempt to explain myself. Blue is a very prominent color in this movie but it is a very vibrant blue. It's blue that you KNOW is blue. This isn't no blue that could sort of be purple if you squint it's motherfucking BLUE. There are other colors that make appearances too, and they all tend to follow this same badass, you better know what color I am cause I'm going to be right up in your face, baby.

Anyway, I do recommend this movie. Go watch it. NOW.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

That Sultry Swinging Jazzland Sound

Alright, Adele. She's the current voice in music that I can't escape no matter how hard I try it seems. Don't get me wrong, I like her songs well enough. I find them enjoyable and catchy enough that I will sing along with them in my terrible, husky, ravaged voice while others cover their ears in pain. No seriously, it's that bad.

No, my problem with Adele stems from the fact that I just can't get away from her. Every station it seems plays her songs. The same two songs. I'm not kidding. I've switched from one station playing alternative rock to a station playing "soft hits" and THEY WERE PLAYING THE SAME SONG! I just can't get away from her.

Then one station got the brilliant idea to play a live version of "Rolling in the Deep". I didn't find it very well done. Adele didn't sound anything like what she did on her cd. I am willing to give her the benefit of the doubt, though, and decided that it might have just been that recording.

Still, she's being touted as a powerful woman and a good role model because her body type doesn't fit in with the norm. My issue with this line of thought is that, as far as I can tell, all of her songs are about men. She doesn't have any songs talking about her going off on her own without a man. They are just about her needing a man or being sad about a breakup.  Maybe with more albums her songs will branch out, but so far she's put out three albums of just about the same song.

I think there might be another artist in the same genre that should be getting the recognition that Adele currently is. Personally, I think Fiona Apple has a much better sound and her songs are more varied in theme. She really fits the bill of having empowering songs.

I am aware that personal tastes differ, and I've only shown a limited selection of each artists' songs, but to me Fiona Apple is the better artist overall.