Wild Target — I’m not quite sure how this wound up in my queue — possibly from this equivocal though interesting Alyssa Rosenberg review — and from the trailer, I had high hopes. They weren’t dashed, precisely, but after a strong start the movie makes a fatal error. Nighy plays a fussy assassin, heir to a family hitman business, so buttoned-up that his mother still isn’t sure he’s heterosexual. Emily Blunt plays a grifter moving forged Rembrandts around. A long opening sequence in which we see Nighy and Blunt going about their work separately (and expertly) suggests that we’re in for a genuine “two-hander,” with equal attention and characterization to the male and female romantic comedy leads, but after Blunt’s mark gets wise and hires Nighy to off her, it becomes a predictable exercise in unbuttoning by a Manic Pixie Dream Girl par excellence. Instead of killing her, Nighy’s hitman gets in the way of his client’s henchman’s own attempt, and pretends thereafter to be her savior as they stay a step ahead of the angry mark. Blunt’s cool grifter goes out the window, replaced by an impulsive child in need of protection and prone to swooning.
A more active role for Blunt after the meet-cute would have taken this from amusing to solid; also, the confidence to recognize that Bill Nighy is many fabulous things, none of which ever need change. Rupert Grint tags along as a possible protege for Nighy. There’s an every-which-way triangle between the three of them that never gets off the ground. Martin Freeman is very funny as a hitman who’d like to think he’s Nighy’s competition.
The Last Waltz — In memory of Levon Helm, taken by cancer last month, we watched The Band’s self-thrown funeral. Continue reading
I think I went from The Sweet:
hating every kind of rock music in the middle:
I was in the car with The Eldest Son and we happened to be listening to an alternative music charts program. The Daughter had apparently left the radio tuned to a non-news channel. After a song or two we gave each other a WTF look, an endless repeat of the same old Pearl Jam song seemed to be upon us. When the countdown was at 7, they called a listener for their top 3 (obviously his n° 1 was in that very spot 7, I hate predictability). It emerged he was himself tops 7 and he clearly did a read-out of what one of his parents had prepared for him including all kinds of praise for the Foo Fighters. This led us to the OMG look.
I hate this constant drizzling guitar whining with corresponding singing without articulation. I hate that as my generation comes to mothering and fathering the whole damned thing makes a come back via the kids. Let them be cool in their own way. My taste may be good or bad but, regardless, I am happy to report that The Kids don’t share it. To be honest I do not have a clue what they like.
Is it actually possible to make a rap video this bad and it not be intentional? I just started my 35th year of life, and this is a very good way to begin it.
So let’s say you had to name an undetermined yet relatively small number of your favorite songs “of all time,” as reflected in your current mood. If I were to do that, it would probably look like this (alphabetical by artist):
- “Creature Fear,” by Bon Iver
- “Moya,” by Godspeed You Black Emperor
- “The Only Tune,” by Nico Muhly
- “Peach, Plum, Pear,” by Joanna Newsom
- “Magazine,” by Pedro the Lion
- “Atom Heart Mother,” by Pink Floyd
- “The Rip,” by Portishead
- “Exit Music (for a film),” by Radiohead
- “Somedays,” by Regina Spektor
- “Radio Cure,” by Wilco
For the first time ever, Twitter has proven itself useful to me, enabling me to find this music video to share with The Girlfriend:
Recently, someone asked what I’d been listening to lately, and I said I didn’t know. Over the next few days, however, I noticed a pattern where I was listening to Deerhunter constantly, but somehow not noticing that I was listening to them. Maybe you will notice you are watching the following music video, however, which is my contribution toward making this blog suck even more than it already does:
The Girlfriend and I sought out some old 90’s one-hit wonders last night. My favorite is probably Spacehog’s epic single “In the Meantime,” though Marcy Playground’s “Sex and Candy” is nice as a reminder of the excesses of 90’s music videos. (For some reason, I can’t get an embeddable version of either.)
What are some of your favorite forgotten 90’s tracks?
My SoCal source for good new music recently alerted me to Darcy James Argue’s Secret Society, and, my, does it live up to his praise. New Amsterdam Records is streaming most of their seven-track album, Infernal Machines, which should give you enough to know whether it is your kind of thing. It certainly is mine.