Friday, December 14, 2007

Dear God, Why?: Before The Devil Knows You're Dead

Tuesday was The Boyfriend's birthday, and he wanted to go to the movies. He'd been wanting to see Before the Devil Knows You're Dead since it came out, and as it was playing at the Somerville, he chose that for his birthday movie. Having read up on it, I KNEW that I wasn't going to like it, but it WAS his birthday...turned out that he hated it too. As did the other three people who came to the movies with us. I discovered the only thing worse than a relentlessly depressing movie in which none of the characters are likeable and all the decisions are bad is a relentlessly depressing movie that continually LOOPS BACK on itself, so you actually end up watching the SAME depressing scenes over and over again. Maybe I liked it less than I could have because I hate non-linear story-telling. Or, as I said, it could be because I felt about it the same way I did about Chicago, in that I found all the characters to be shitty people whom I didn't care about. OR it could be that it opened (and when I say "opened" I mean literally the very first scene in the film) with a graphic scene featuring a naked Phillip Seymour Hoffman banging Marissa Tomei doggy style. (Admittedly, everyone DID enjoy Marissa Tomei, who spent most of the movie wandering around topless and looking pouty.) Naked PSH is not something I ever felt a desire to see, and everything just spiraled downhill from there. Definitely not a good date movie, or a film to see with your parents. Not to mention that it's very long, and the first hour or so draaaaaaaaaaags on forever. Maybe I'm just not artsy enough, but the whole thing just sucked hardcore in my opinion. Everyone in the theater seemed to feel the same way--when it was over (the ending is rather abrupt) someone said aloud in the silence "Jesus Christ! Thank God THAT'S over!" and there was laughter and applause from the, like, 12 other people in there. Do yourself a favor--instead of seeing this movie, just take a meat fork and jam it into the side of your head.I told The Boyfriend that this definitely makes him even for the movie I picked out a while ago which turned out to have all the ass-raping in it.

Monday, December 3, 2007

'Tis the Season: Christmas Music Essentials

So I uploaded my Christmas music to my iPod. Yay, it is the Christmas season!

1. "Carol of the Bells" performed by the American Boychoir. I didn't pick this version for any special reason (although it's quite good) I think it was just the first version of the song that happened to come up when I plugged it into iTunes.

2. "Mr. Heat Miser" performed by Big Bad Voodoo Daddy. This is not exactly a Christmas classic, but it is a lot of fun.

3. "I Won't Be Home for Christmas" by Blink-182. I like a little punk rock in my stocking, you know. Besides, I WON'T be home for Christmas, so it's apt.

4. "Santa Claus is Coming to Town" performed by Bruce Springsteen. This is a live performance, and Bruce and the E Street band rock the roof off.

5. "Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree" by Brenda Lee. As far as this goes the original (or, at least I think it's the original) is best.

6. "Most Wonderful Time of the Year" performed by In Memory. This is another raucous cover of a Christmas classic.

7. "Christmas Baby, Please Come Home" performed by Jon Bon Jovi. This is another one you just can't escape on holiday radio. It's not a favorite, but it doesn't feel right not to include it.

8. "Last Christmas" performed by Wham! Oh, come on now. How can you have a holiday playlist and NOT have a little Wham!?

9. "Run Rudolph Run" by Chuck Berry. This is old time rock and roll, and Chuck just does not let up on poor Rudolph.

10. "Silver Bells" performed by Bing Crosby. I would honestly prefer to have the Crosby/Bowie version of "The Little Drummer Boy" but unfortunately it doesn't seem to have been released to iTunes. Stupid Bowie.

11. "Merry F#%$in Christmas" by Denis Leary. This makes me laugh EVERY SINGLE TIME I hear it.

12. "Blue Christmas" by Elvis Presley. This one always makes me think of Nerd Queen's mom, who hates it. And when Nerd Queen and I would howl along to the background vocals. "Ooowooohooowoohoo..."

13. "The Christmas Waltz" performed by Harry Connick Jr. I'm not generally big on HC2, but he's certainly got his niche. (I also enjoy his cover of "The Bare Necessities" for the little known Simply Mad About the Mouse video.) He does this in sort of a cocktail lounge style, but doesn't slow it down to a point where it's unrecognisable, which happens all too often with this style.

14. "Feliz Navidad" by Jose Feliciano. No, you can't escape it. Resistance is futile.

15. "All I Want for Christmas is You" by Mariah Carey. Ordinarily, I cannot STAND Mariah Carey...however, this song is a notable exception. It's simply a glorious and sugary way for Ms. Carey to show off her stunning pipes. Say what you will about her, but the woman really could sing.

16. "Do They Know It's Christmas" by Madge Ure and a bunch of British popstars. I really don't want to like this song. It's kind of patronizing and insulting, despite being for a good cause. No, they don't know it's Christmastime in Africa because I don't think most Africans CELEBRATE Christmas. However, it's still damn catchy and I find myself listening for it around the holidays. Stupid Bob Geldof.

17. "The Christmas Song" performed by Nat King Cole. There's not much to say about this. It's just GOOD.

18. "Snoopy's Christmas" performed by Rich Little. I'm very annoyed because I was forced to accept this substandard version of this song, due to the fact that the original (by The Kingsmen, I believe) is not available on iTunes. This is particularly galling because this is one of my very very favorite Christmas songs. Stupid iTunes.

19. "Little St. Nick" by the Beach Boys. Nothing says Christmas like the Beach Boys. Okay, so that's not really true, but this is still a fun song in classic Beach Boys style.

20. "The Chipmunk Song" perfomed by Alvin & the Chipmunks. Anyone of my generation who doesn't like this song is a communist. Or maybe a terrorist. It's just that simple.

21. "Welcome Christmas" performed by the MGM Studio Orchestra (original movie version). "Da-who-dor-ay da-who-dor-ay Welcome Christmas one and all..." Oh, those Whos down in Whoville...

22. "Happy Xmas (War is Over)" by John Lennon. This was only recently released on iTunes, and I'm so glad because the covers that were available last Christmas were simply appalling in their horribleness. And as much as I dislike Yoko, this is such a good song, especially now.

23. "Santa Baby" performed by Eartha Kitt. You can take your Madonna and your Marilyn Monroe (ETA: A watchful reader has informed me that Monroe did not record this song, and the version I'm thinking of was done by actress Cynthia Basinet.)--THIS is the defining version of this song. All others are pale imitations.

24. "The Christians and the Pagans" by Dar Williams. This isn't a traditional Christmas song, but it's a sweet little tune about people of different faiths coming together at this time of year to remember what's important.

If there's anything you think I MUST HAVE, let me know. Although it has to be available on iTunes for me to get it.

CBR11 #4:Pretending to Care - The Pretenders (Cemetery Girl #1) by Charlaine Harris and Christopher Golden

I wanted to like this, but...I just didn't. I don't know if it was too short, or whether it would have more appeal for a YA audience...