From the Simpsons Episode The Twisted World of Marge Simpson, this has to be one of my all time favourite runs in the history of The Simpsons. For context, Marge is about to give Cletus 300 pretzels for free because of some missing fine print. He then calls all (26) of his children:
Alright. You wanna know why I love and admire Mr. Steven Soderbergh? It’s this:
One day the man can make an insanely artsy film where he more or less tells his audience “I don’t give a shit if you get it or not, in fact, I hope you don’t get it!”.
The next day he’ll make a depely thought provoking yet also artisitcally tinged film about the war on drugs.
And then he finishes off the week by making a Hollywood romp through Vegas with Messieurs Clooney, Pitt and Damon.
In all seriousness, I admire that this man is not able to make a beautiful film that is in many ways quite artistic (and sometimes borderline “art film”) but also manages to tell a story. And not some loosely strung together narrative to show off his pretty shots, but a straight up story. With a begining, middle, and end.
And that my friends is why he is a genius. I want to do that.
And did I mention: Two Oscar nods, in the same category, in the same year. Boom!
The BBC believes most people will have read only 6 of the 100
THESE ARE THE ONES THAT I HAVE READ:
01 Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen - 02 The Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkien - 03 Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte - 04 Harry Potter series - JK Rowling - 05 To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee - 06 The Bible - 07 Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte - 08 Nineteen Eighty Four - George Orwell - 09 His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman - 10 Great Expectations - Charles Dickens - 11 Little Women - Louisa M Alcott - 12 Tess of the D’Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy – 13 Catch 22 - Joseph Heller - 14 Complete Works of Shakespeare - 15 Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier - 16 The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien - (Started this… couldn’t get into it) 17 Birdsong - Sebastian Faulk - 18 Catcher in the Rye - JD Salinger - 19 The Time Traveler’s Wife - Audrey Niffenegger - 20 Middlemarch - George Eliot -
21 Gone With The Wind - Margaret Mitchell - (I’ve Seen the Movie!) 22 The Great Gatsby - F Scott Fitzgerald - 23 Bleak House - Charles Dickens - 24 War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy - 25 The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams - (and the Radio show, and the Movie, and PART of the TV series) 27 Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky - 28 Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck - 29 Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll - (Read an abridged one… but I wont count that) 30 The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame -
31 Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy - 32 David Copperfield - Charles Dickens - 33 Chronicles of Narnia - CS Lewis - 34 Emma - Jane Austen - 35 Persuasion - Jane Austen - 36 The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe - CS Lewis - 37 The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini - 38 Captain Corelli’s Mandolin - Louis De Bernieres - 39 Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden - 40 Winnie the Pooh - AA Milne -
41 Animal Farm - George Orwell - 42 The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown - 43 One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez - 44 A Prayer for Owen Meaney - John Irving - 45 The Woman in White - Wilkie Collins - 46 Anne of Green Gables - LM Montgomery - (saw the Musical!) 47 Far From The Madding Crowd - Thomas Hardy - 48The Handmaid’s Tale - Margaret Atwood - 49 Lord of the Flies - William Golding - 50 Atonement - Ian McEwan -
51 Life of Pi - Yann Martel - 52 Dune - Frank Herbert - 53 Cold Comfort Farm - Stella Gibbons - 54 Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen - 55 A Suitable Boy - Vikram Seth - 56 The Shadow of the Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon - 57 A Tale Of Two Cities - Charles Dickens - 58 Brave New World - Aldous Huxley - 59 The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime - Mark Haddon - 60 Love In The Time Of Cholera - Gabriel Garcia Marquez -
61 Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck - 62 Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov - (I do have the audiobook ready for reading) 63 The Secret History - Donna Tartt - 64 The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold - 65 Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas- 66 On The Road - Jack Kerouac - 67 Jude the Obscure - Thomas Hardy - 68 Bridget Jones’s Diary - Helen Fielding - 69 Midnight’s Children - Salman Rushdie – 70 Moby Dick - Herman Melville - (did you know Moby is related to the author, hense the Nickname?)
71 Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens - (Again, read an abridged one… but I wont count that. Also saw the Musical and then was IN the musical) 72 Dracula - Bram Stoker - (and again: abridged - but not counting) 73 The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett - 74 Notes From A Small Island - Bill Bryson - 75 Ulysses - James Joyce - 76 The Inferno – Dante - 77 Swallows and Amazons - Arthur Ransome - 78 Germinal - Emile Zola - 79 Vanity Fair - William Makepeace Thackeray - 80 Possession - AS Byatt –
81 A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens - 82 Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell - 83 The Color Purple - Alice Walker - 84 The Remains of the Day - Kazuo Ishiguro - 85 Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaubert - 86 A Fine Balance - Rohinton Mistry - 87 Charlotte’s Web - EB White - 88 The Five People You Meet In Heaven - Mitch Albom - 89 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle - 90 The Faraway Tree Collection - Enid Blyton -
91 Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad - 92 The Little Prince - Antoine De Saint-Exupery - 93 The Wasp Factory - Iain Banks - 94 Watership Down - Richard Adams - 95 A Confederacy of Dunces - John Kennedy Toole - 96 A Town Like Alice - Nevil Shute - 97 The Three Musketeers - Alexandre Dumas - 98 Hamlet - William Shakespeare - 99 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl - 100 Les Miserables - Victor Hugo - (sorta, I read an abridged version, and part of the unabridged version… IN FRENCH)
Not Bad for someone with a hatred of novels and reading…
The Beatles - Strawberry Fields Forever (Love Version).
You’re probably wondering: why is Adam, the self proclaimed non-fan of The Beatles, posting a Beatles track?
The fact is this is probably the big standout track from my all time favourite Beatles album (I’ll admit over the last few years their later work has grown on me), Love.
For those that don’t know, Love is the album created by Beatles Producer George Martin and his son Giles for the Cirque du Soleil show of the same name. What makes the album so unique is that it is, essentially, a giant Beatles mashup album (which The Grey Album already proved to us was a great idea). Multiple songs are mixed together to create new versions of classic tunes you all know and love.
really shows off the true genius of the album. It also shows off the person who I think was the real genius behind all of The Beatles work: Mr. George Martin.
This track, along with While My Guitar Gently Weaps are my two favourites from the album. Seriously, if you don’t have this disc you should probably get it as soon as possible. Even if you don’t like The Beatles.
I was at my local HMV today and saw something sitting on the shelf: Michael Jackson Live in Japan on DVD. As a giant Jackson fan I was shocked to see a new product on the shelf. I had seen it mentioned in the past and thought: what the heck. It was $15, and if it was actually decent quality then awesome! The packaging was pretty BAD (no pun intended) but who knows. Could be good, right?
I know what you’re thinking: “Adam, this product is CLEARLY a bootleg, why in God’s name would you buy it?”. You know what, you’re right… but if they’re selling it in a legitimate store (HMV is an international brand!) then maybe it actually is pretty good.
Beleive me when I say, it is not. This is one of the most inferior products I have ever purchased and HMV should be ashamed that they even sold it.
For starters, the picture quality: It appears that this was sourced from a dub of a dub of a dub. In fact I wouldn’t be surprised if the studio that produced this got the files from the various torrents that have been floating around for years, other than the fact that the torrent versions are better quality.
The picture is grainy, faded, dark, and cropped (a 4:3 frame has been cropped or stretched I’m not 100% sure yet to be 16:9). The entire disc weighs in at 4.13 GB which in and of itself is suspicious since most DVDs tend to be dual-layer these days.
It also boasts 5.1 audio. While it is certainly a 5.1 audio stream, it is likely just a 2.0 > 5.1 spread (meaning the 2.0 stereo sound is fed into 5.1 channels). The audio quality isn’t actually too bad (when compared to the video quality) but I mean this when I say it: it is damn near unwatchable.
The menu’s are a joke (they look like they were made in a very old DVD authoring program) the scene selection is weird (no titles, and some songs are split into multiple chapters).
Normally I’d write to the company to complain and demand a refund, but after heading to their website, i discovered it’s not even complete! Even still, trying to figure out which company to complain to would be damn near impossible, there are a five listed on the boxart: Hudson/Street, New Media, Highline Play, Atelier Chormatique and CineVu. I could only track down a website to CineVu but as I mentioned it is incomplete.
THERE IS NO WAY They have a copyright on this. This is a bootlegged item, and not even a good one. They used the same cheap mass-marketed DVD cases we used at my old work (that were $0.10 a case and came in a box of 100).
People, avoid this at all costs! I’m going to be contacting everyone I can get a hold of and demanding my money back. I don’t care if the disc has been opened. This is unacceptable.
High Quality Menu
Even the FBI warning is shit.
Oh Yeah, This Looks Legit.
I’ve Seen Betamax That Looked Better Than This
Grain, Video Artifacts, Noise, and Colour Bleed. Check.
Of course, this isn’t the first time a “bargain bin” DVD has been created. The difference is this is not a public domain film thown onto a DVD and sold for $1.99. This is a concert film, whos rights likely still belong to the Jackson estate, featuring music that certainly is still under copyright, and being sold for $15.99. I don’t know who I’m more mad at. The company trying to make a quick buck, or HMV for not looking into the products they are stocking.
So, be warned. This is a very poor quality bootleg that is available in LEGITIMATE stores. Do not purchase it (unless its a $0.99 purchase, and even then that’s too mch). I have contacted HMV about a refund… we’ll see what happens.
UPDATE: You are not alone HMV. Even Amazon.com is listing the item. How is this company getting away with this?
UPDATE 2: I heard back from HMV customer service, who claim that the disc in question was licensed by Warner Music Canada (bearing in mind that Jackson’s material is owned by Sony Music) and to contact them. I have done so and am awaiting a response. Here is the email I received from HMV.
Dear Mr. Adam Schoales: Thank you for your email. The product that you are referring to: Cat.No..: 030309994090 Barcod: 00003030999409 Stats: A ACTIVE / Sku: 531168 Artist..: JACKSON*MICHAEL Title…: LIVE IN JAPAN Format.: DVD DIGITAL VERSATILE DISC Supplier: WARNER MUSIC CANADA
Is supplied to HMV by a legally licensed business to trade music in Canada, Warner Music Canada. HMV does not sell bootleg products. If you are concerned that this product is of questionable sources, please contact Warner Music Canada, as they are responsible for the acquisition of this title. Regards, HMV Customer Service
Well it’s official ladies and gents. Michael Jackson’s final performance, the rehearsal for “This Is It” is coming to theatres near you.
As you can imagine I’m going “Off the Wall” with excitement! I want to see this so “Bad” that it’s “Dangerous” (okay I’m not going to do that anymore…).
Details are currently quite scarce: the rumoured release date is late October. There is talk it will feature scenes in 3D (which comes as no shock since the tour was supposed to have an opening with a 3D video).
According to the official press release it sounds like it will mostly be a retrospective mixed with some concert footage. Which is fine, but really I think we fans would MUCH prefer to simply have a 2 hour “concert” film, rather than an hour of concert footage and an hour of people telling us what we already know: Michael was a genius. (There are two Madonna concert documentary films that took this approach, and while the other bits were nice, most of the time you just wanted to watch the damn concert! She also released some straight up concert DVDs which are magnificent). Perhaps the DVD will feature both the complete concert and then the “documentary” portions?
I also forsee this taking shape in a fashion similar to the film version of “Rent: Filmed Live on Broadway" which was a limited engagement at limited theatres in HD (which when seen on a big screen was better than front row seats at the live show). Of course, I’m sure this will see a much wider release (it better). I attended a screening of the Rent film and it was a really special experience, being there with probably one hundred other fans… imagine the excitement for the Jackson film.
But we’ll have to wait and see. Sony would also be foolish not to start releasing all the other Jackson concerts that have been recorded over the past 3 tours (there are literally hundreds since each show was filmed).
For more information check out the official press release from Michael Jackson.com
Also, there’s rumours of a new Michael Jackson blog out there… but I wouldn’t know anything about that, would I.
It’s like Psycho but with all the good bits taken out… …and a lot more nudity.
Seriously, one of the silliest films I’ve ever seen, and not in a good way. Maybe that was the point? I went in thinking this was a somewhat serious drama/thriller but the whole thing came off as just plain stupid.
Maybe it was considered good/groundbreaking by 1980s standards, but by today standards: shite.
Also, another case of a film that doesn’t hold up when you know the ending already (much like The Sixth Sense)
“In the end, the most important thing is to be true to yourself and those you love and work hard. Work like there’s no tomorrow. Train. Strive. Really train and cultivate your talent to the highest degree. Be the best at what you do. Get to know more about your field than anybody alive. Use the tools of your trade, if it’s books or a floor to dance on or a body of water to swim in. Whatever it is, it’s yours. That’s what I’ve always tried to remember.”—Michael Jackson (via iremembermjj)
MERLIN enters, carrying ELEANOR, and waving his iPhone around like a winning scratch-off ticket. MADELINE is doing kitchen things
MERLIN Holy shit, you’ll never believe this. MADELINE Mm? MERLIN I just heard this song in the car, and I pulled out Shazam because, I’m like, “Is there conceivably a Breeders song I’ve never heard?” MADELINE Right. MERLIN And, so I run Shazam… MADELINE …and it was Metric. MERLIN WHAT?!? YES!! Totally! How’d you guess that? MADELINE Because the middle part of that Metric sounds almost exactly like Tanya Donelly. And the rest of it sounds like three different Breeders songs. MERLIN YES!! Like, if The Breeders used auto-tune and had expensive shoes. Exactly. Yes. Weird.
MADELINE So, were you driving with the baby when you got all excited and held your iPhone up to the speaker?
MERLIN Um. No?
MERLIN Man, that sure smells good.
I’d be lying if I said this didn’t make me literally laugh out loud. Probably because I hear those voices in my head perfectly.
That and I can imagine a similar conversation between myself and Robin happening (with Michael Jackson or Coldplay being subbed in for that band I’ve never heard of).