Make someone's day

Hey guys,

Quick note asking you to do something nice.

Send a lady with cancer a postcard. Wish her well. Make it funny.

Here are the details:


Video of the Day (Follow Up?)

I'm amazed that my post from Friday about B4-4 generated as much interest as it did. Far more than most of my posts do. So, of course, I had to investigate the band a little more. Here are some nuggets.

- The band were around in the 90s, and are (were?) from Toronto.
- There were three of them in the group, and since three comes before four, the name was B4-4
- They really appreciated their fans.
- The little kid from the video is now in a fraternity with my friend Tom's friend Logan. So I'm three degrees from him, and therefore four degrees from B4-4.
- Since the group broke up, one guy is now a model.
- The other two, the twins, now record together as RyanDan.
- Their album (RyanDan) went top ten in the U.K.
- RyanDan's new sound is far from the "LFO-from-Canada" vibe of B4.

Video of the Day

I saw this music video posted over at Videogum today, and I can't quite find the words. There's a number of things to focus on, but I don't know where to begin. Fortunately, my friend Tom summed it best when he said "Is this, like, supposed to be an inverse of the Stepford Wives?"

Watch and enjoy

I just hate having dinner with people

Maybe it's because of hype or gimmicks, but as I've said before, the comedies of 2008 have failed to make me laugh too much. (A second possibility, that I'm a miserable, humourless bastard, is not an option). So it was all the more of a surprise that I found Role Models, a quiet-ish film with no big buzz or major name stars, to be the funniest of the year so far. I'm increasingly coming around to David Wain (in addition to Wainy Days, his entry in the Ben Karlin book is ace), and here he has put together a pretty basic but very effective film. It definitely has the best Marvin Hamlisch joke I've heard in a while.

In the leads, neither Paul Rudd nor Seann William Scott is really straying from what they do best - straight faced sarcastic dude and carefree party machine respectively. Why deviate from what everyone loves? (Though I continue to defend SWS in Southland Tales, much to my increasing spiritual detriment). The dynamic between the two here is perfect, and both are given some great lines. There are good performances from the youngsters - the McLovin kid is given more to do than just be a caricature, and the kid from Shutterbugs gets plenty of raunchy lines. Throw in appearances from many recognizable comedy faces (yes Matt Walsh, no Michael Ian Black), a ridiculously over the top finale that's somewhere between Darkon and Kiss Meets the Phantom of the Park.

There are moments of sweetness, Jane Lynch is hilarious, a child's drawing of a man getting raped by a robot, Rock You Like a Hurricane, and plenty of boobs.

Go see it.

There is no why

Completing a standardized test on Saturday morning meant that I earned the right to do nothing else productive for the rest of the weekend. So I watched Man On Wire. Now, at the time of writing this, the documentary is the best reviewed film of the year, with 129/129 raves. Of course it's fantastic. If you haven't heard, it's about a guy named Philippe Petit who walked tightropes, and in 1974 decided to walk across the towers of the World Trade Center.

It's an amazing story of defying the rules of both gravity and law and order. He does it "because he can". To see Petit talk about it, more than thirty years after the fact, still hugely animated, and moving about all over the place, is incredibly infectuous. Then there are his pals, who posed as contractors to get up to the top of the towers, get the wire across there, and provided Petit with support for his terrifying yet amazing objective. His girlfriend-at-the-time tells the story today with the same wonder that she had back in 1974. As you hear the crew talk of lying perfectly still and silent to avoid getting caught by WTC security guards, it's hard to not get caught up in the tenseness. Yes, we know how it ends, but it's still a thrilling ride to the top.

And then, we get to the day itself, and the footage is truly breathtaking.

Watch it as soon as you can.

You thought Brad Pitt was a cave in Yorkshire

As you hopefully will have noticed, this blog has been following the lead of Sleater-Kinney and global economic stability, by going on indefinite hiatus. Lots of things going on at the moment for me, so writing about music for ten people to read hasn't been too high on the to-do list.

But with Arsenal winning again today and my completion this morning of the MPRE, I've a bit of time, so I can tell you what I thought of How to Lose Friends and Alienate People, which I watched recently. I've a horrible habit of watching Simon Pegg in whatever shit he agrees to appear in, and with the reviews generally being pretty poor, I wasn't expecting much out of it.

Based very loosely on the autobiography of Toby Young (who was on Have I Got News For You last night, but that's an aside), the film is terrible, overbroad comedy with lots of overdone gurning and falling over for the first hour or so. Pegg's character is idealistic but hampered by his complete arrogance and unlikeability. If you've seen that clip where he's playing with the chihuahua, it's like that for an hour. Then it suddenly takes a sharp twist towards responsibility, maturity, self-awareness and (relative) seriousness with - hoo boy - a rant from Kirsten Dunst. The film hasn't earned the right to become reflective, so it doesn't resonate much, and soon enough we're back to dumb comedy set-pieces (food fight ftw!) and a predictably corny ending. Also, there's a transsexual lapdancer, which is always funny.

It's a big problem for the film when the best reactions are for two of the three people from The I.T. Crowd in brief appearances, a coke dealer who was in ONE SCENE of 'Spaced' (hey, it made me happy), and a pretty decent soundtrack. Guillemots! Robyn! Dragonette! There's some props to 'Con Air', though, so that's good. If you're not a Pegg completist, then I envy you, and don't watch this.

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