Never have the lyrics, "I'll tell you something, I know what you're thinking" held less meaning. Because I never, ever saw this one coming. For one thing, Lynch's movies tend towards either very retro, classic tunes ("In Dreams") or cutting edge experimental stuff (Rammstein in Lost Highway). Duran Duran...is neither.
Not that I don't love me some double-D - "A View to a Kill" remains the Bond theme most favored by my aural senses. But that was them years ago - nowadays they're the guys known for a song aptly called "Ordinary World," and a hilariously whitebread cover of Grandmaster Melle Mel's "White Lines." They've become the kind of bland nostalgia that Lynch deftly undercut in Blue Velvet.
Which might make him the perfect fit after all. But..."American Express presents"? Never thought I'd see a corporate sponsor line up behind the maker of Eraserhead.
After the jump, a very different cinematic take on "A View to a Kill."More >>
"Broken" - the short film, not the CD - was like an urban legend in the '90s. Before YouTube, before cable modems made Internet video manageable, the only way to see a music video MTV wouldn't show was if the band put it out as a commercially available VHS tape for purchase, for which you were looking at a $30 price tag or so.
Parts of "Broken" made it onto an official video. An edited version of "Pinion," minus the disgusting punchline, became the opening credits for an MTV show - Alternative Nation, if I recall right. But the real thing was like the video from The Ring, something only bootlegged and spoken about as if in a dare. It didn't kill you in seven days, but a little part of your soul might die after seeing it.
In a nutshell, this video recounts the final memories of a criminal being hanged. Said memories are about making a snuff video, as he tortures and degrades a victim in the most horrible ways you can imagine, all while making him watch Nine Inch Nails videos. People talk about things like the Saw movies being "torture porn," but if you see what the late professional "super-masochist" Bob Flanagan does in the "Happiness in Slavery," video you'll realize how inaccurate the term is today compared to back then.
The funny thing is that every nerd girl I knew in college, and I mean EVERY ONE, thought Trent Reznor was the ideal man. If anyone else in the world had been associated with something like this, it would probably be female-repellent for life.
No, it's not embedded after the jump. It's at the official Nine Inch Nails tumblr, which you can search for if you're inclined. But I'm serious in saying it pushes even my limits.
UPDATE: Even Vimeo has limits. NIN had to post this followup...
EDIT: VIDEO REMOVED BY VIMEO. This just wasn't meant for the masses. There is, however, a certain broad inlet of the sea where the land curves inward, inhabited by people who attack and rob ships at sea, where this video can be downloaded in high quality.
The 18 year-old me, however, is glad he finally got to see what all the talk was about. Now I want to see a version of "Closer" without all the "scene missing" parts.
From the folks at the Improvised Star Trek podcast, the song that every Taco Bell ever has on their constant-rotation playlist gets an upgrade. The nice-nice lyrics of Christian band Sixpence None the Richer required some slight tweaks before being translatable into Klingon, as you'll see...
Both are likely to get big Hollywood adaptations in the next couple of years; in the meantime, this combination of two of the great "arrogant protagonist with annoying assistant he never asked for" tales of our time makes for perhaps a better match than you'd think.
Hey, just like the main characters in both stories! That's deep.*
*no it isn't
Happy Tax Day, everybody! Well, maybe "happy" is too strong a word, but have at least a day of enjoyable grumbling. Since the mid-20th Century, the Ides of April is the deadline (when it falls on a weekday) for Americans - or at least for that 53% of Americans not thought by a recent Presidential candidate to completely suck as human beings - to file a federal income tax return. It's also an unofficial day to whine about it, when even supposedly progressive types like to put their civic-mindedness on hold and gripe a little about the long arm and upturned palm of government. Hence, in pop culture, Uncle Sam's field agents the taxmen are usually not the most likable sorts. Even in the New Testament, after all, they're seen favorably only by comparison to the Pharisee. The preference is by no means universal, and typically tax collectors are depicted as unpleasant, if not actually sinister. Here are ten notable specimens of "revenuer":
10.) The Taxman in Popeye (1980)
When the title sailor-man (Robin Williams) arrives in the not-so-sweet village of Sweethaven, the first person to accost him in Robert Altman's live-action version of the cartoon classic is this bicycle-borne revenuer, played by the excellent Donald Moffat. Calling himself an "exact change" taxman, he's of the nattering, pedantic school of officialdom, and hits Popeye up at once for Docking Tax (twenty-five cents), a New in Town Tax (seventeen cents), a Rowboat Under the Wharf Tax (forty-five cents) and a Leaving Your Junk Lying Around the Wharf Tax (a dollar). Popeye asks a question, and is warned that there's a "nickel Question Tax." Presumably this is different from the "Curiosity Tax" he races off to levy on some onlooking kids.More >>
"Try parodying one of my songs now, you stupid bastard!"
One of the most memorable scenes in American Psycho involves Patrick Bateman (Christian Bale) demonstrating his lack of depth by going on and on about the supposed profundity of the music of Huey Lewis and the News. It would seem that Lewis has decided to repay the favor, resulting in the best thing he's been part of since...what...Back to the Future?
As a longtime gamer and film nerd, I'm more than familiar with the endless comparisons made between the two mediums. When Bioshock was released in 2007 some hailed it as the Citizen Kane of videogames. Set in the underwater city of Rapture circa 1959, the game featured a primary antagonist, Andrew Ryan, who had a passing resemblance to Orson Welles. Bioshock was a comment on the grand notion of freewill and more specifically, what it means to chase the American Dream like Kane. Still, Bioshock was a satire of the work of author Ayn Rand more than newspaper tycoon William Randolph Hearst, but never mind; it's indisputably one of the best games of all time.
Me, I take issue with all those constant film allusions. While I recognize that videogames have evolved through aping a lot of techniques from cinema, the arrival of a new title in a beloved franchise is more akin to a new album by a favorite band. In Halo, Mario Bros., heck, even Grand Theft Auto, you pretty much know that a lot of what you want/expect is essentially more of the same. At the same time, you hope that the developer finds a way to refine and explore the same themes they have in their previous work. Filmmakers do this too. Marty Scorsese's movies usually explore redemption via Christian guilt, but for me a new game feels more like a new offering by Radiohead than simply a blockbuster sequel.
Ken Levine, the brain trust behind the original Bioshock, has, with the third title, Infinite (he skipped out on Bioshock 2; you can too) done exactly what I would want from a new White Stripes LP (come on, Jack and Meg, make a new album!) by exploring similar ideas while working within the gameplay aesthetics of a first person shooter. (Did anyone expect Infinite to suddenly be an RTS?)
Booker DeWitt is a private investigator hired to extract a young gal named Elizabeth from the flying city of Columbia. The year is 1912. The city is run by a religious zealot called The Prophet by its citizens. He's seceded Columbia from the United States. Racial purity is preferred over the rantings of that devil of a president Lincoln; here, John Wilkes Booth is immortalized with a statue. So even though Booker's armed with plenty of guns and vigor enhancements (like possession or bucking bronco), he'll have his work cut out for him if he's to get the girl and unravel the mystery of the balloon-floating city in the clouds.
So here were are again, this time as Booker DeWitt instead of Bioshock's Jack. This time there's no Big Daddies, but a really big Songbird: a flying iron-clad terminator monstrosity. This time there are no Little Sisters to protect or exploit, but there is the similarly-dressed Elizabeth. Out with the underwater city of 1959 Rapture, in is 1912's floating city of Columbia run by The Prophet. Andrew Ryan need not apply.
For me, this is the best way to approach a new title in a franchise. Not as a 10-hour film but as a new piece of entertainment from a band I adore. Like a great album, you'll want to take it in, and listen (er, play) over and over.
With that said, then, how does Infinite stack up?
Alice Cooper is no stranger to comics; most notably, he starred in The Last Temptation, a Marvel miniseries by Neil Gaiman that was a tie-in to the original shock-rocker's 1994 album of the same name.
But now he wants to be in comics again - specifically, twelve comics by Annoying Orange co-creator Tom Sheppard, who'd also like to turn them into a TV series (of course he would). And for whatever reason, I guess Marvel's not into it this time.
And so they are Kickstartering, hoping that Uncle Alice Presents, a Tales from the Crypt-like anthology that Alice narrates and appears in as a character, will catch on. I have to say, I'm glad that even though A.C. is a born-again Christian and could easily have disavowed his twisted theatrics, he's still willing to indulge that dark sense of humor and not disown everything that made him. He was my gateway drug into heavier music, and when I finally got to meet him, with my face painted in that style the Crow stole, he simply said, totally deadpan, "You know they have shots for that now?"
Seeing him deftly navigate both sides of his personality is part of the fun of the video after the jump. It was enjoyable to see even if he never makes this.More >>
How do you even...?
"four Kiss x Hello Kitty characters living their rock 'n' roll dreams and bringing pink anarchy to every situation they are in."
Will it be the perfect show for both metalhead teens and their kid sisters whose doll heads constantly get pulled apart by same? I doubt it.
Better question: what WOULDN'T Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley do for a buck?
Oh, and "pink anarchy"? I know nothing says anarchy to me like two massive corporate entities merging incongruent brands to make a quick buck. Disney isn't pretending to be anarchic.