Tag Archives: movies

Breaking News: People Argue Over Shit

Pax Arcana

Living the life of an reclusive eccentric billionaire has its advantages, to be sure. But spending my days secure in a (extradition-free) mountain redoubt also leaves me regrettably isolated from the rest of society.

That’s why I turn to the Fashion & Style section of the New York Times to keep me abreast of how the lesser classes (that would be you) spend their days. For example, yesterday I learned that the high tech movie rental service Netflix is driving a wedge betwixt married people everywhere.

No, really. That’s what it says:

leonardBut for many couples, the queue — the computer list of which films will arrive next in the mail, after those at home are returned — is as important as everything else that spouses and other varieties of significant others share, from pet names to closet space to the bathroom. For some, this is fine. For others, the queue is the new toilet seat that somebody left up.

The article then quotes a gentleman whose wife refused to watch The English Patient for a full six months. The couple — by now almost certainly on the verge of divorce — finally returned the DVD unwatched.

And somewhere in heaven, an cherub was born with AIDS.

Unfortunately, the aforementioned rift is not the only one. According to the article, acrimony over the Netflix queue is in a giant tie for first place on the list of stupid ass shit husbands and wives argue over:

Mr. Marino and Ms. Miller are not alone. Far from it. Men and women from perfectly happy partnerships report their own dysfunctional cohabitation within the confines of the queue. Once upon a time, these sorts of disagreements were sorted out in the aisles of a video store, before a movie was selected. Now, when the conversation begins, it’s already too late.


This is why I simply trade from my DVD collection with Kim Jong Il. His taste is surprisingly girlish, but at least he returns things on time.

Hey, Who Ordered ‘Gigli’? [NYT]

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Watch out for fast-moving Nazi snow zombies

Pax Arcana

Most students of modern history know that Norway was occupied by Germany for much of World War II.

What you probably didn’t know is that fast-moving Nazi snow zombies still roam the fjordland, wreaking havoc on groups of young pleasure-seekers. Luckily — as contributor Fallen Angel discovered — there is a new documentary film on its way that promises to fill that knowledge gap.

Presenting, for your edification, Dead Snow:

This is a subject that hits close to home. My grandfather’s cousin Otto lives in an area with a very high concentration of murderous undead Nazi soldiers. He once had to fend them off armed only with a bucket full of frozen herring and a slingshot.


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Black Dynamite

Pax Arcana

Via FilmDrunk comes the “red band” trailer for a movie called Black Dynamite that I predict will shatter every box office record and sweep the Academy Awards, the AFI Awards, and the Nobel prizes.

Please feast your eyes on the deliciousness that is… Black Dynamite (WARNING: This trailer contains a brief look at some exposed female body parts, including those whose name starts with “t” and ends with “itties” and I’m not allowed to say in front of my wife).

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What is it with “Scarface” anyway?


Pax Arcana

Back when I was studying film theory at the Sorbonne, I watched both the 1932 original and the 1983 remake of “Scarface.” The original was a taut, if completely overracted, film noir gangster thriller starring Paul Muni as an Italian tough making it big in the city. The remake is the clownish, oversized minstrel show of campy violence starring Al Pacino in what will long be remembered as the first in a long line of movies in which he completely lost track of what he was supposed to be doing and hammed it up like a deranged soap opera actor.

It is also, for some goddamn reason, the favorite movie of every athlete, singer, rapper, or producer on earth.

In this article, Salon writer Louis Bayard reviews “Scarface Nation,” a new book by Ken Tucker that tries to unravel the mysterious allure of the film and explain its place in the firmament of popular culture. The answer, Tucker suggests, has less to do with what the film was than what it was interpreted to mean, rightly and wrongly:

We can see, then, that the phrases “Tony Montana” and “cinematic treasure” are never going to be yoked in the same sentence. “Scarface” owes its immortality, anyway, not to traditional tastemakers but to a devoted cult of young black and Hispanic men (a few women, too) who seized it for their own. Its arrival coincided with the gangsta phase of rap and hip-hop, and the film’s various tropes — “the ostentatious jewelry, the glorification of drug-taking as well as drug-selling, and the images of women as near-naked arm-candy” — have been staples of music videos ever since. As one observer put it, “All these rappers are out there rapping about how much money they got, and all the drugs they sell — that’s who they’re emulating: They’re living their little Tony Montana dream.”

Tony’s second-class status, coupled with his ruthless pursuit of the American dream, spoke with ferocious directness to a whole generation of street kids, not to mention celebrities. Snoop Dogg watches the movie at least once a month; Sean “Diddy” Combs has seen it at least 63 times; Shaquille O’Neal celebrated his 34th birthday with a Scarface party. No episode of the MTV series “Cribs” is complete without some musician pointing pridefully to a Scarface photo collection or a set of Scarface window blinds or an exact replica of Tony Montana’s white sofa.

I think celebrities and athletes would be a lot more interesting if they obsessed about “The Dark Crystal” instead of “Scarface.” Think about it. That movie was scary as hell and just as realistic as “Scarface” ever was. Imagine if they had an MTV Cribs episode where Willis McGahee showed off his replica of Thra and called his live-in homies “Gelflings.” And had a Rottweiler named “Emperor SkekSo.” How awesome would that be?

Why “Scarface” is f-ing great [Salon]


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That guy with the voice died

Pax Arcana

Don LaFontaine, whose kick-ass deep voice convinced thousands of otherwise rational humans to fork over $10 to see Big Momma’s House 2 and other awful movies (and some good ones), died yesterday at 68.

Here’s a nifty little video about his career from YouTube:

The cause of death was, um, extremely specific:

LaFontaine died Monday at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, California, according to ETOnline, “Entertainment Tonight’s” Web site. He died from complications from pneumothorax, a collapsed lung that causes air to build in the pleural cavity, his agent, Vanessa Gilbert, told “ET.”

In a world, where air builds in your pleural cavity…

Anyway, expect movie ticket sales to drop by at least 17% now.

‘In a world’ voiceover master dies at 68 [CNN]

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Barack Obama is going to kick people into pits

Pax Arcana

Like the rest of America, I follow politics passionately and armed with as little information as possible. I accomplish this mostly by ignoring the work of print journalists — but paying close attention to the graphics displayed on cable news shows.

Needless to say I was in for a shock this morning when I accidentally opened the front page of the New York Times Web page (on my way to reading about the Mets’ 10-game win-streak) and saw this headline:

A Cast of 300 Advises Obama on Foreign Policy

You mean these guys?

Oh man. The Obama presidency is going to rule!




A Cast of 300 Advises Obama on Foreign Policy [NYT]
Mets, With Late Push, Pull Even With Phillies [NYT]

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Here’s something weird

Pax Arcana

If you’re among the 0% of the population who thinks famous orchestral movie themes would be better if they had actual words — you’re in luck. Witness the spastic genius somethingness of Andrew Goldenberg, who is on a mission to set lyrics to many of the most famous film tunes in history.

I guess the song is okay, but the video falls flat to me because of all the fancy special effects. When is Hollywood going to learn that all these expensive computer graphics are no substitute for writing and talent.

Odd L.A. Spotlight: Andrew Goldenberg [MetBlogs]

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