Monday, November 30, 2009
Sunday, November 29, 2009
Well, well... aren't you a fine lookin' pair of bookshelf speakers? I think I want to take you home, love. Make you my own. $479 for a pair? I guess those good looks don't come cheap...
Saturday, November 28, 2009
Mismarketed as teen sex romp, this smart, tender romance that's a bit heavy on the sentimental side. Yes, it is quite sappy at times, especially if you're not into that sorta thing. But don't confuse it as just another summer love story - Adventureland is a personal journey through the eyes of a recent college grad (which can be highly relevant or not at all), which is timed surprisingly well, hitting many of today's relevant themes such as the recent recession, adultery, and drug use. What the film doesn't excel in is creating anything that'll jump off the page. No, what you'll find here is something truer to life. Call it "ordinary" and even "dull," if you may, but that's wonderful, I think. It's about capturing life as it happens, with all of its ups and downs; executing that with such emotional poignancy without filling it with Hollywood fluff - that can be a beautiful thing. 8.1/10.
I've long dreamed of owning such a fabulous flat. Especially lovin' the attention to detail with the eye-ball light fixtures in the bedroom, sexy mix of modern and natural materials throughout, and a living room area designed for community! More here.
Absolutely lovin' these Russian disco studs. This is some serious stuff, ya'll.
Xuman - Panic (MP3)
Thursday, November 26, 2009
Most great comedies are based on fundamental truths - we find a deal of humour in the illumination of our own human tragedy. Like how Office Space is funny because we've all worked that type of dead-end job, put up with that type of boss, and suffered that type of monotonous everyday boredom. The Hangover, aptly titled, does exactly that - in strides. It's also funnier due to the fact that the plot works backwards, without tacky flashbacks, and much of everything is left for the viewer's imagination. All in all, genuinely one of the funnier comedies in my recent memory. 8.8/10.
- 1/2 c. light soy sauce
- 1/2 c. orange juice
- 4 tbsp. honey (substitute with brown sugar if needed)
- 1 clove garlic, crushed
- 1 tsp. ginger
- 1 tsp. cornstarch
- 1 1/2 lb. chicken (cut in bite-size pieces)
- 1 tbsp. olive oil
- 1 bunch broccoli
- 1 lg. onion
Add broccoli and onion to hot skillet. Stir-fry 1 minute. Add 1/4 cup water, cover and steam for 3 minutes or until broccoli is tender-crisp. Return chicken to skillet, adding marinade. heat through, stirring constantly. Serve over rice with a fried egg.
Like most families, mine had a Thanksgiving tradition we kept up until I began college. For my entire childhood I remember it like this: Our Thursday nights were spent driving around every corner of San Jose, trekking across the town until we finally reached our grandparents' house off McLaughlin Blvd.
When we arrived, hugs were passed around until the adults would adjourn to the family room to have beers and begin conversations about the weather, jobs, their kids, and whatever else adults talked about. Meanwhile, the cousins would collect in the living room and catch up on our lives while munching on some array of Asian dishes either homemade or ordered from one of the family friends. Outside, it was pitch black; the late autumn skies cold and starless.
Things began to change as college came around the corner. I don't even remember my last Thanksgiving when everyone was still around. Had I known there was a "last Thanksgiving" together, perhaps I would have tried to appreciate it more. But then again, life always seems to enjoy playing that little game with us. You never know what you have until it's waving 'goodbye' from a hilltop as you careen down a foreign highway in the opposite direction.
As I grow older, things start to pass with flying colors. People get married. People die. I start to say that really annoying thing that old people hate: "I remember back in the day..." People succeed. They fall. I've seen people get so occupied with their own agendas that they forget about the ones around them. This disconnect often leads to hate and misunderstanding - and hate doesn't feel very good - on either side. But hopefully, in the end, you start to realize and appreciate life for what it really is; a set of traditions between people.
I will admit I'm in quite the hypocritical stance, as I am still thousands of miles away this Thanksgiving from anyone I hold dear, I'm still hopeful that someday I'll have the opportunity to create and sustain this sort of tradition on my own. Maybe after fifteen or twenty years of holding this tradition, I'll have my own kids move out and hopefully start their own families, with their own traditions. Ones that include coming home at the end of each November to see the faces of interact with the people we call family, enjoying a delicious meal together one more time.
Of course this sort of spiel doesn't work very well without good music, so I've selected a few of my favorites from the last decade or so below:
Modest Mouse - 3rd Planet (MP3)
The Flaming Lips - Fight Test (MP3)
My Morning Jacket - Burmuda Highway (MP3)
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
Calling it just "cute" may be understating this fine and colorful backyard design courtesy of JJ Locations over in London. Definitely diggin' the traditional serenity mixed with the urban and new.
Nothing like some troubled youth remixes to start up your Wednesday morning. This time around, Cassius gets their tossed around with Radioslave, the Subs, and Don Diablo...
Cassius – Youth Speed Trouble Cigarettes (RESET TROUBLE Remix) (MP3)
Sunday, November 22, 2009
Ah, I can't emphasize enough how much I love these mid-century modern Danish pieces. Saw a few exquisite pieces on Craigslist the other day. Couldn't get myself to pull the trigger, though. Must be due to this haunting little debt I've started to gradually accumulate since I started graduate school...
Sometimes I believe the best reviews are ones that leave me in the same boat as I was coming in watching it. So I'm going to leave out all the details on plot for now. Let's just say while watching District 9, I immediately got that same feeling as when I saw 28 Days Later for the very first time. It was intriguing, highly entertaining, and with a dynamic cast of characters - both rich in humor and action. They obviously got the cinematography down to the nitty gritty details and it's quite apparent how much work went into orchestrating the crescendo of events up until the very final scene. Cue the cliché; this film is guaranteed to stick with you long after you leave the theaters. 9.3/10.
Friday, November 20, 2009
Dark comic fantasy meets the hand of Quentin in this glorious new adventure based on a fictional WWII Germany universe. The approach is very much in the essence of Tarantino - unusual, audacious, dark, funny, violent, and stylish. I do appreciate his style quite a bit, but I can see how the over-the-top-ness could make a feel people feel uneasy. During a screening at the university, we saw a few people leave after 20 minutes. To me, dark humor is highly underrated. We need more of it. And Quentin's proven he's a man that delivers. 9.0/10.
Thursday, November 19, 2009
When I saw the commercials, I already had pretty low expectations for Cobra. But little did I know how unfathomable the level of campiness and fail this movie would obtain. It's almost like they threw a bum a croissant, told him to name 10 big name actors, and spent 6 months in the special effects room creating what has to be the worst movie I've seen in a long time. I'm still amazed at the sheer audacity of its failure. Avoid an unnecessary headache. Do not watch this movie. 4.2/10.
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
Sci-fi movies are a select little bunch. To make a good one, you need to fill in at least 75% of the plot holes, create a believable space environment, and truly capture the alternative universe you're trying to portray. Moon does this in strides, with excellent cinematography and music by Clint Mansell. The script is quite well-written and the story is told in a very character driven way. It's probably a bit too story driven for all you explosion-aholics (I suggest watching my previous recommendation on The Hurt Locker instead), but if you dig that sorta 2001: A Space Odyssey sort of thing, you'll definitely enjoy Moon. 8.6/10.
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
Man, what a refreshing rush. Hurt Locker brings what Black Hawk Down did a few years back - gritty, straight-up fictional documentary style that allows you to draw your own conclusions without force feeding anything to you. The sound is authentic. Editing - brilliant. All of this plays into an absolutely phenomenal experience that'll leave you wired 'til the very end. Highly recommended. 9.0/10.
Monday, November 16, 2009
Lovin' the mid-century modern country feeling I get from Sandrine's place featured on DSO.
All of the computers on Ebay are mine. In fact, everything on Ebay is already mine. All of those things are just in long term storage that I pay nothing for. Storage is free.
When I want to take something out of storage, I just pay the for the storage costs for that particular thing up to that point, plus a nominal shipping fee, and my things are delivered to me so I can use them. When I am done with them, I return them to storage via Craigslist or Ebay, and I am given a fee as compensation for freeing up the storage facilities resources.
This is also the case with all of my stuff that Amazon and Walmart are holding for me. I have antiques, priceless art, cars, estates, and jewels beyond the dreams of avarice.
The world is my museum, displaying my collections on loan. The James Savages of the world are merely curators.
As I am the curator of their things, and thus together we all share the world."
-A fine comment from one Pastabagel on Collect ‘em all!
Saturday, November 14, 2009
DJ Le Clown - Austin Bootleg (MP3)
Livin' in Brooklyn (I wish) requires some extra consideration for the daily bike commuter. Light and durable floors are a good way to help keep track of dirt, keep things well-illuminated by bouncing natural light, and allow for some color-poppin' action to make things all nice and modern-lookin'.
Friday, November 13, 2009
Can little Sackboys really save all of humanity? 9 is a bleak little story, and while animated, it does carry many mature themes such as darkness, death, and sacrifice. However, the more the story moves along, the more you realize how much it plays out like a mediocre video game rather than a movie. And like most video games, the resolution of the characters is extremely poor, the writing generally sucks (some may even argue downright pathetic), and the quality of presentation is pretty much on par with that of an art student movie. If it were a video game, perhaps I would deem this all acceptable. But a feature film? That's just a recipe for disaster. 6.8/10.
Thursday, November 12, 2009
Definitely diggin' Patrick Conner's signature style of the 20th century modern man. Half timeless, half new wave. Can ya dig?
If there's one thing I love more than eating a bag of Oreos with milk, it's providing music that's accessible to the masses. Music that's not solely for hipsters on fixies, wearing uncomfortable-to-look at tight jeans, and cardigan sweaters. It's music for your father. Music for the pigeons. For everyone.
Floating Points - Love Me Like This (Nonsense Dub) (MP3)
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
Monday, November 09, 2009
Something as obscure as font typefaces couldn't possibly be turned into a movie, can it? Well, it can and at the same, "Holy hell, no flippin' way I'd watch anything like that." I'm a bit in the middle. I was driven by graphic design in the late 90's, but abandoned my love for typeface by the time college came around. It wasn't until recently when IKEA decided to change their fonts on their catalogs to Futura or something that I realized how important typefaces are to people in their everyday lives. And so, I decided to check out Helvetica - a movie dedicated to the most ubiquitous font in my lifetime thus far. The thing is - I found it rather dry. Not only was the subject matter quite difficult to spin into a catchy movie to begin with, but because the exploration of Helvetica simply can't be represented with such hazy generalizations and dull representations in the way it's represented in this movie. A good try, but no cigar. 7.2/10.
Sunday, November 08, 2009
Is her, Is her, her is her AGAIN! She is the same, just that a breast size is different!
*The girl speaks*
When I go to the office, I adjust to B cup. Pretty in every sense!
When I hit the streets, I adjust to a C cup. I bedazzle all the people around me!
When I party, I adjust to a D cup. Hot and Fiery!
*Man interpreter comes back*
B, C, D THREE DIFFERENT SIZES! Whaaaaaaa!
Ah, MTV generation. This is where I categorize films like Terminator Salvation in. Michael Bay explosions upon explosions, Christian Bale yelling in every scene, and deafening cues from Danny Elfman's score. Everything's so loud, intense, bombastic. For some, this may be perfect. Meanwhile, there are those like me, who are stuck right in the middle - who is willing to accept a barely passable action thriller given there is some type of characteristic twist with the main character, John Connor. Unfortunately, there is none. John is boring, as is the story. But hey, at least there's plenty of explosions to go around, right? 7.0/10.
Saturday, November 07, 2009
I think I kinda want one. Half fixie. Half practical. And a silky smooth Carbon belt drive that's light, clean, and lubricant-free. More Schindelhauer info here.
Friday, November 06, 2009
Carl Sagan & Stephan Hawking - Glorious Dawn (Cosmos Remixed) (MP3)
This is a story of boy meets girl - without annoying characters, without the cheesy love clichés, and without the downfalls of modern day romantic films. A story both crushing and hopeful. Eloquent and artistic. Beautiful and unattainable. There is very few films out there capable of depicting love in such fashion. And for that, 500 Days is brilliant; it successfully captures the essence of that hard-to-pinpoint human sensation with such poetic vibrancy that you start to ponder your own humanity and life-long frustrations with love, many of which never truly have an answer to. 9.3/10.
Thursday, November 05, 2009
Wednesday, November 04, 2009
My first camera was an Olympus. It was a 35mm. A nice little vintage piece that took incredible photos. However, the O-team has long slipped off my radar since I started twiddling with Canon and Panasonic digital cameras back in 1997. Even now, I await my new Panasonic Lumix GF-1 to arrive in the mail so I can get my Bobby Digital on.
However, with a pending announcement set for tomorrow about a possible second attempt at their micro 4/3rds Pen line, I find myself sincerely intrigued once more. Though it's probably just childhood memories driving this interest, but you gotta give it to them - they really know their retro hardware. Let's just hope it shoots as well as it looks.
Update: Nevermind. Looks like its just a minor update with an extra $300 tagged on it. Olympus fail!
Tuesday, November 03, 2009
Monday, November 02, 2009
Well, now isn't this plenty nifty? I can't even start to imagine how annoying it must be for the person doing the paper cutting, though. Grab it here and italicize your wallz.