Archive: April, 2009
Tommy Avallone, aka Rockhard Killer, from the defunct Kidd Chris Morning show, premiered his debut film, Community College, for a packed house at the Trocodero on Wednesday night.
Rev. Bob Levy kicked off the show, overcoming his Delirium Tremors with numerous shots of tequila. A model of moderation and consummate professional, Levy regained his composure after a shaky start to bring the crowd to full attention with such clever and sophisticated material such as informing an elderly gentleman in the front row that he looked like a 'creepy son of a bitch.' Levy killed and received a rousing ovation from a crowd ready to receive the very raunchy and low-budget independent movie.
The movie did not disappoint. Extremely sophomoric, Community College is spiked with well-timed glimpses of cutting edge comedy, never attempting to wish itself out of the goofy low class highjinks.
Filmed mostly in Haddon Heights, NJ, it draws on local surroundings to tell the story of four career college students whose only ambition is to drink for free at their local bar. When the bar is threatened with closure, they must ban together in order to raise the 10 grand necessary to keep the taps flowing. Along the way the four independently prove their self worth by confiscating a little girl's lemonade stand proceeds,' graduating a bowling gym class, sleeping with the most popular girl from their high school days and enlisting a live studio audience for a sitcom called Head Of The Class' Full Of Deaf People.
Avallone is in the process of entering the film into different film fests and exploring distribution options. 'I want it to be that one movie at Blockbuster; everyone asks, 'what movie is that, why is that here?'' says Avallone in a phone interview.
Avallone's next project is a Saturday night concert with his HA HA Hip-Hop (his words) band, Nitty Gritty. Sharing the bill is Dirty Diamond, who does filthy song parodies that mimic Neil Diamond songs. On their MySpace, you can hear his various hits, including "Sweet Cocaine Lines," which would make Sweet Caroline blush.
Nitty Gritty and Dirty Diamond, w/ Keithfromdablock!, Stucco Lobster Breadbox, Action Park, hosted by Benny Michaels, 21+, 9 p.m., $10, North Star Bar, 2639 Poplar Street.
Admit it, you want more from this week's movie section. Here's what didn't make it into this week's paper and oh-so-much more.
Fast & Furious
Saddled with the thankless task of sexing up characters that peaked in sexiness close to a decade ago, Justin Lin's not-quite reboot of the Fast and Furious franchise unfolds exactly how you expect it to ' plenty of nitrous oxide, dozens of guard-rail-bending crashes and a friendly dose of unnecessary philosophical insight courtesy of big-bald-bad criminal mastermind Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel). Here, Dom reunites with drag-racing FBI frienemy Brian O'Conner (Paul Walker, looking exhausted) to infiltrate the organization of a heroin importer who ' yes! ' uses street racers to smuggle his shipments across the border. (I will never understand why the crooks in these flicks select the most gawdy and conspicuous vehicles in America to do their dirty work.) Dom's girl Letty (Michelle Rodriguez) and sister Mia (Jordana Brewster) succeed in looking really good while all this happens. Lin (The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift), by all accounts a slick and talented director, orchestrates some exhilarating sequences, but it all comes off a bit like an old dude rocking a haircut a few years too young for him. Your buddy from high school with the neon ground effects on his Impreza will love it; you merely will tolerate it. Unless, of course, you got ground effects, too. 'Drew Lazor
But that's not all ...
Adventureland - B+
Shaun Brady says:
Greg Mottola's follow-up to Superbad asserts the director's independence from Apatow-land, more of a return to the precisely observed character tics of his debut, The Daytrippers, than the raucous and raunchy comedy its marketing suggests. Adventureland is an almost note-perfect coming-of-age tale that captures the purgatory between graduation and adulthood when hormones, hopes and uncertainty collide on what seems like an hourly basis.
Alien Trespass - D
Shaun Brady says:
R.W. Goodwin's years as a director and producer for The X-Files would seem to prove his sci-fi insider bona fides. But Alien Trespass is an utterly bland pastiche, not knowing enough to be forgiven as homage and too lacking in humor to be considered parody. In its particulars, Goodwin betrays a lack of familiarity with not only the genre but with '50s Hollywood in general.
?? The Magic Hour
Koki Mitani wrote and directed this hysterical homage to the great screwball comedies Hollywood yesteryear. The recipient of 11 nominations in this year's Japanese Academy Awards, The Magic Hour assembles an ensemble cast to tell the story of rival gangs, romantic rivals and one mysterious, clueless hitman caught up in the fray. Set in the fictional yet aptly named city of Sukago, the film piles anachronisms atop one another to amusing effect in a unique visual style. Blending modern technology with a latter day costume and set design that bespeak the gang-land stereotypes of the Roaring Twenties, Mitani disorients the viewer in a film itself dependent upon mistaken identities and confused intention. Opening with Bingo (Satoshi Tsumabuki) unwisely making time with crime lord Boss Tessio's girl, the two are caught and given one chance to save their lives. Bingo must produce Della Togashi, a famed assassin unseen for years, and referred to only as a 'Phantom.' Clueless concerning the whereabouts of the real Togashi, Bingo instead pretends to be a director, and hires Taiki Murata (played brilliantly by Koichi Sato), an out-of-work actor, to play the part of the notorious killer in his upcoming movie. Convinced he has accepted the role of a lifetime, Taiki believes hidden cameras film his every move. The zaniness that ensues is nothing short of sidesplitting. 'Della Togashi' struts around the city in affected style, charges into gunfights assuming they are staged, and, believing them all to be extras, begins offering humorous advice to his new criminal friends on how to better 'act' the part of gangsters. Funny, and at the same time a clever interrogation of the relationship between movie-making art and real life, The Magic Hour is a brilliant comedy deserving of a wide audience.
Monday, April 6, 9:15 PM
We like American Idol ' too much.
Molly Eichel: I'm a big fan of this week because a) it allows you to see what kind of artist each Idol fancies themselves as and b) it's got product placement IN THE THEME.
Tommy Button: Oh God, I hate Top 40 week. Mostly because people pick shitty songs. They get the opportunity to choose any song the American public has ever really liked and they parade around singing Celine Dion or the flavor of the month. I don't care how good your voice is, "Play That Funky Music" is a dumb song.
Anoop Desai - "Caught Up" by Usher
TB: Anoop, you are not cool enough to sing an Usher song. It doesn't matter how pitch perfect your voice is, you just lack something you can't learn: cool. But don't fret, it worked for Kevin Covais! Remember him ' See you in the bottom three.
ME: Not fair. Kevin Covais looked like an all growed up version of that little kid from Jerry McGuire if his balls had never dropped but he was still fixated on the weight of the human head. Anoop has charisma, which is why he's stayed on for so long. Surprisingly, though, this song was completely charisma free. It is Usher, though, and his abs are actually high tech charisma storage systems.
Megan Joy Corkery - "Turn Your Lights Down Low" by Bob Marley
TB: What's this hot girl trying to get me to do with my appliances? A while ago I was putting my records on. Now, I'm turning my lights down low. It'd be nice to hear a song about animals or something once in a while. She was arguably the worst I've ever seen and that's saying a lot. She's normally not that great, but last week she started to grown on me but this week I think she might have done herself in. She didn't look nearly as hott (yes, double t's) as usual and this song just sounded like all the other songs she's sung. I knew she'd end up in the bottom three this week deserved to go home but didn't think she would.
ME: Alright, this is why this week is great. Does she seriously think any record company would allow her to sing that song? Especially looking the way that she does? Pishaw. She has this warped sense of what her pop stardom will end up being and that's her downfall. Yeah, it was bad but I really didn't hate her until she responded to the judges criticism by referring to her fans. Sweetheart, you've been famous for 10 seconds. They're not fans, they're crazy (See: Tommy's tantric hard on for Danny Gokey).
Matt Giraud - "You Found Me" by The Fray
TB: Awkward in the middle of the audience performance!! I can't say anything the judges didn't. So stop reading after this sentence if you like Kalamazoo. In Hollywood week he was so good but since then he's just been inconsistent, which is not gunna get him a demographic whose votes he can rely on. Unless he's shooting for the constantly confused bipolar crowd. Then, he's a shoe in.
ME: Honestly, I didn't think this was nearly as bad as the judges or Tommy says it was. I could totally see Kalamazoo releasing a song like this. The judges keep saying he's Justin Timberlake. But here's the deal with JT: If scientists could figure out a way to harness the energy created by the glean of his smile, we would no longer be dependent on fossil fuels. Not to mention, you can bounce a quarter off his ass. Kalamazoo just doesn't have the looks to pull off that type of career. On the other hand, he's just nonthreatening enough to pull off this type of mom rock.
Allison Iraheta - "Don't Speak" by No Doubt
TB: It's like she's up there playing house, singing in to a mirror. I've rocked out a few times holding a guitar I can't really play, singing a song I really can't sing. Except I was alone. And nobody was judging me. That being said, girl's still got chops, just not rock chops. Tonight her wild pink hair, sparkly jewelry and whatnot felt like an affectation. She just doesn't seem as badass to me as I think she wants to be. She could have chosen a better song just because she can fucking sing. Everyone else is starting to lose their shit so now is her time to really bust out as the young lady to watch. Allison got lucky with Alexis taking a hike because she was a serious threat. She should miles ahead of these girls but instead she's just keeping pace and that ain't good enough.
ME: Oh, sweetheart, that's what happens when you let Scott dress you.
Kris Allen - "Ain't No Sunshine" Withers
TB: By far the stand out. It's crazy. I wasn't even paying attention to this guy until he made the Top 13. What a dark horse! That's a tough song to do because Bill Withers wrote the book on that song. That's right, a whole book about one song and how to blow boxes with it. Apparently Kris read this book.
ME: Answer: Tofu. Snow. Kris Allen. Question: What are things that are white?
Lil Rounds - "I Surrender" by Celine Dion
TB: I will wait 100 years if it means I can hear the Lil Rounds I know is in there. I will wait in the rain. I will hold a boom box over my head until my arms fall off. I will do anything John Cusak has ever done to prove he's loved a woman if only it means you will love me back, Lil, and give my box the skull fucking it needs and only you can provide. There is nothing more to say about Lil's performance except never sing Celine Dion, ever. If Al-Qaeda captures you and forces you to sing the entire Celine songbook or die. Choose death.
ME: Lil, oh Lil. Mary J.! Mariah! Whitney! These are your compatriots on the valourous side of divadom! Celine Dion is a skinny Canadian bitch with a super old husband and daddy issues. That aside, Lil's ass looked flatout fantastic last night.
Scott McIntyre - "Just the Way You Are" by Billy Joel
TB: First thing, blindy. This song was written about Elizabeth Weber who later divorced Billy Joel. Maybe not the best choice. I'm sure Billy thought, "Hey, it's Liz's birthday. I know! I'll write a song!" A little while down the line the guy is signing divorce papers and forking over 50%. Think about it. But his hair is getting better by the episode and he wasn't that bad. Sure, he wasn't as inspirational as I thought he might be but he sounded good and looks good behind a piano. I dunno, what else do you want? I don't want him to win or anything but he's holding his own. I guess that's good enough.
ME: I FUCKING HATE BILLY JOEL. That being said, Scott's hair looks fabulous.
Adam Lambert "Play That Funky Music" by Wild Cherry
TB: This song is dumb unless you're hammered drunk in a club. Then it's awesome. I was only a little drunk and in my apartment so I thought it was just alright, I've already established my extreme dislike for this clown shoe so it's hard to say anything about him ' How 'bout: He sure is one funky white boy!!! That I want to see mauled by grizzly bears.
ME: Okay, he's creative. He's different. But seriously, what kind of radio station will play this song? Or is American Idol simply further subverting the traditional forms of music marketing and the pop music paradigm by creating genre-less musicians who are propelled by their own sense of celebrity rather than outside promotion? Also, I was pretty drunk and this still blew.
Danny Gokey "What Hurts the Most" by Rascal Flatts
ME: Maybe they should give Danny off next week so the rest of the contestant can play catch up.
TB: What hurt the most for me was that I couldn't hold Danny while you sang. All the blind men singing in the world couldn't move me the way Dan the Man did. I don't listen to Rascal Flatts and I don't even really know what their deal is but whatever chump is fronting your band, dump him for Gokey. I guess from this point on I'm going to be only singing the praises of Danny Gokey. He could go out there and fart Randy Newman songs next week and I'd think it was gold. Actually, thinking about someone farting the melody to "Short People" does sound like it'd be awesome.
ELIMINATED!!!: Magean Joy Corkery
TB: Megan Joy Corkey, it was an honor to look at you for however long it was. Your boobs, your hot sleeve tat ' we'll miss these things. But, now is your time to step aside and let the people better than you shine. Go raise your child. He's gunna have so many friends cuz he's got a hot mom.
ME: Megan's many fans are going to be so disappointed. Boo motherfucking hoo.
TB: I was urprised to see Allison in the bottom three, but it makes sense, I guess. She wasn't that good. But surely I thought she was better than Kalamazoo. That shit was weird. But I'm glad he'll be back another day. I'm still a believer. What I really liked, though, was seeing the Idols impersonate each other. Anoop does a great Kris (I bet he does). Allison's Danny was kind of off and a little condescending, I thought. Way to be a bitch, Allison. It's not like his wife is dead or anything. He can sing the shit outta you! Where's Idol getting these guest performers? Lady Gaga and the scalp of Dolly Parton put on quite a show with rocking violins and a clear piano.
ME: True fact: I saw Lady Gaga perform in college at a school talent show when she was still a singer-songwriter type (at least, that's what someone told me later). Jesus, coke and hot pants can really change a girl, can't they?
TB: I don't know, I can't really say anything about Lady Gaga because I don't care about Lady Gaga. So why am I writing about her? Good question.
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