Thursday, February 27, 2014

Yeah, I'm still not dead and neither is HYR:


"The days go on and on... they don't end. 
All my life needed was a sense of someplace to go. 
I don't believe that one should devote his life to morbid self-attention, 
I believe that one should become a person like other people."
- Taxi Driver (1976)


Been a long while since I posted anything besides on the Hooligan Youth facebook page, I know.  There's been a heavy funk fog settled in here at HYR headquarters for the last few months (and no, I don't mean gamer stink and cigarette smoke).  I haven't posted because, frankly, I didn't have anything going on that was worth more than a sound byte and I have been depressed as hell.  Don't get me wrong, I'm not tra-la-la-la, "Nobody gonna break my stride" right now - I'm still on the razor's edge of living off of the good graces of friends and thinking navel-gazing morbid thoughts.  It's just, well, I'm at the start of the up-swing from the opening quote.

Moxie & I are moving into a historical home with an excellent family of friends (one family but I'm friends with all of them) in the next two weeks.

Positive aspects about this life change:

  • Moxie will have a bunch of other cats to hang out with (indoors).
  • The depression plaguing me for the last year (or so) has been replaced by my preferred mental mode of pragmatic logistics (thank you, three years of EVE and over three decades of gaming for this neural mapping).
  • My daily commute mileage will be doubled.  I'm gonna get wicked shredded.
  • If I do die in my sleep (in the next year or so), someone will notice sooner than later.  I had a really bad night a few weeks ago, when I couldn't sleep and my brain was just being a total dick and I started thinking about being dead and CSI gross and an inconvenience and Moxie has eaten chunks of my face (and is all psycho and like Church at the end of the book and has to be put down) and the corpse that was left, unnoticed, in a car back in Austin on North Loop in the parking lot of our apartment complex and the stench of death was horrible but all of us neighbors were all like, "God, what is that smell? Smells like something died." (Seriously, before Amanda and I moved to Nac in 08, that summer, a corpse was in a car in the summer heat - it smelled worse than my Grandfather's dog who loved to roll on carcasses).  
  • The house has two kitchens.
  • I'm looking forward to min/maxing my stuff into more or less one  room.  It's not that I own a lot (thank god I never wanted to buy a sofa, thank you Fight Club) but I have a good amount of stuff I've lugged around for years that I haven't looked at (or listened to or read or used) in years.  Maybe it's time to just shitcan that stuff.
At this juncture all I have for a cribbed closing is, "This is this."

I hope that all of you fine folks are safe and doing well and not letting the bastards grind you down.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Iron Man 3 (2013) dir Shane Black

As we all know, well those of us who know, Shane Black has scripted Christmas for a lot of us.  Lethal Weapon, The Last Boy Scout, The Long Kiss Goodnight, Kiss Kiss Bang Bang.  These movies imprinted on me hard when I first saw them as a kid (I was 10 in 1987 - Mr. Black was 26 - the year that Lethal Weapon  came out).  Brutally hard movies with noir dialogue (and yes I knew what noir dialogue was when I was a kid because my father took me to a revival theater that mostly screened noir but that's another story for another time...).

So Shane Black directed and co-wrote Iron Man 3.

Fuck it.  This movie was awesome.  I wasn't expecting some of the human elements (though I should have) that Black brought to Tony Stark.  Stark's PTSD wasn't overplayed nor did it have/lean back on Hallenbeck humor (Tony Stark is too, well, Tony Stark).  I found the dialogue play between Downey Jr. & Cheedle to be not only the best parts of the movie but also the most Black-esque.

Not as satisfying as the first Iron Man movie nor as satisfying as Black's earlier works, I think that this movie will grow on me as I watch it.  Fuck, when's the last time I wanted to own a movie after watching it?  Iron Man 3 is fun and filled with mayhem and Black gets some solid performances out his crew (something Branaugh and Whedon didn't on Thor: the Blonde Douche God).

Valerie June "Pushin' Against a Stone" (2013)

Holy fucking shitfire.  The first post in months and it's about an album?

(Side note primus:  My life has pretty been suck and broke, mostly in tandem for months.)

I managed to drunkenly blunder up on and over Valerie June's "Pushin' Against a Stone" the other night when I was feeling sorry for myself (you know what sucks more than feeling sorry for yourself when you're drunk?  Feeling sorry for yourself when you're sober and watching SVU  on mute and eating crappy microwaved popcorn and still thankful you have the electricity to microwave anything).

In any case, this is one hell of an album.  It reminds me of: The Cowboy Junkies, Mazzy Star, Liz Phair, Portishead, Goldfrapp, and Sharon Jones.  It's twangy.  It's super Soul.  It's a make-out album.  It's a break-out album. It's fucking brilliant.  It flows and transitions smoother than a hand down a silk clad thigh.  It's a kitchen album.

There's a fucking guitar riff on the title track which reminds me of Cream but then track that follows ("Trials, Troubles, and Tribulations") is as good as any track off of Stewart's "Every Picture Tells a Story" (well...almost).

   

She's got some burn.

A hell of an album by a woman with one hell of a voice.  I've got her on heavy rotation, you should too.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Compulsion (2013) dir Egidio Coccimiglio

Compulsion has two draws for me, Heather Graham and cooking.  Combine those two elements with top shelf production quality, Carrie-Anne Moss, Kevin Dillon, Joe Mantegna, and you have a nasty little remake of the Korean 301, 302 (which I haven't seen because I'm not all hot and flustered by K-Horror that much...).

This is a psychological thriller for gourmands.  Where Feed is ostensibly a "foodie" (I hate that fucking word) horror movie Compulsion is food pr0n of the highest quality.  Graham's Amy is a gourmand whose entire world and sense of self, sexuality, ability to interact with other people centers around haute cuisine.  She is obsessed with food to the point of being frigging nuts.  At first it's endearing, plus Graham is ravishing in her classic dresses and aprons, but over the course of the film she gets spookier and spookier.

This is another one of those movies where the less you know about it going in the better.  Moss dishes up (no pun intended) a particularly painful performance - in the best way possible.  Dillon, well I really like Kevin Dillon but every time I see him I go, "Oh shit, it's Kevin Dillon."  I dug his character and his performance as Fred, Amy's fiance.  There's one section of dialogue in which he says something that made me say, "Oh.  Dude.  You done fucked up now."  I've been a Mantegna fan since I was a young film dork (I particularly loved him in David Mamet's Homicide (1991)) and he delivers a great performance as the straight-man of Compulsion.

What I really enjoyed about Compulsion is a two-fer.  The first: This is a movie for grown-ups.  Not because of T&A or anything of the sort.  The themes, pacing, dialogue, and ability to connect with the characters is stronger if you're older/experienced/etc.  I could easily say the same thing about some of Almodovar's work or Greenaway's classic The Cook, the Thief, His Wife & Her Lover (1987) or  Delicatessen (1991).  The second:  No gore despite the abundance of sharp and jabby kitchen implements and some really dark happenings.  Yes, I know, gore has its time and place when the movie calls for it but my gorehound days are fading in my rear view mirror.  I still love Neil Marshall gore though, then again I love him doubleplus good.

I strongly recommend Compulsion for you folks who can appreciate a strong psychological thriller as much as they can an exquisite meal.  If not, there's always an Eli Roth movie you can fap to whilst eating Jack in the Box.   

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