Saturday, March 29, 2008

My Sassy Girl: The Remake Trailer Is Finally Out!!!!!

So, here it is. I suppose this means it'll be out sometime soon.

The good: It looks like a straight remake, without much embellishment. This means, while the remake is totally unnecessary, at least it's faithful.

The bad: It looks like the film's straightforward violence is going to be toned down a bit to make THE GIRL more lovable to American audiences. The mood of the subway slapping scene is different. She smiles too much. The best friend role to the male lead is totally unneeded. He doesn't need a sidekick.

Here's the trailer. See what you think...

Thursday, March 13, 2008

If you go to my Review of "Run Fat Boy Run"...

...which you can get to here, you'll see I've updated it with a widget. A widget is a flash window that contains information and more about the movie. This widget is a promo for "Run Fat Boy Run" that's coming out on March 28th, 2008 and it contains a game called "Blister Bash" (if you heard a farting noise, that was the widget's "Blister Bash" game calling you). Bust the blisters on Dennis' (Simon Pegg) feet for a chance to win a private screening of the movie for you and 25 friends. Go on, now. Do it. You know you wanna...

I've created another blog...

My favorite all time group, Love Psychedelico, is making it's US CD debut at the end of April so I created a new blog about it ( "The Another World" (a line from their song, "Right Now") is a fansite that will both promote and chronicle Love Psychedelico's emergence into he American music market.

Have a look. Click on the link below to go there...

Dr. Goldfoot and the Gril Bombs!

Hulu is threatening to become the video monster of the Internet. I hope the site builds on the material it has right now, because there are some gems! Below, you'll find the FULL LENGTH FEATURE, "Dr. Goldfoot and the Girl Bombs", directed by Mario Bava. Why is this so special? It's not available on US Video, it starrs the inimitable and it's kind of a lost Bava film. The reason? Well, it's kinda terrible but totally watchable and it's here in all of it's wide screen glory. There are some other AIP titles there, too, including the marvellous "Comedy Of Terrors" and the first Dr. Goldfoot flick, "Dr. Goldfoot and the Bikini Machine".

So, here, fellow shockedelicicos, is the AIP Feature:

"Doctor Goldfoot and the Girl Bombs"

Monday, March 10, 2008

Tom Hanks = Godhead

Tom Hanks and Dave Clark at the 2008
RnRHOF Induction Ceremonies

Are you watching the Rock -n- Rock Hall Of Fame Ceremonies right now? Tom Hanks is inducting The Dave Clark 5 right now. Tom Hanks understands. Tom Hanks knows. He is the Pope of Shockedelica. Hallelujah!

More to follow.

P.S. The Ventures ripped it up, too. Now, explain to me HOW in God's green Earth Madonna got in? Even Iggy Pop couldn't convince me. SHE IS NOT, and NEVER WILL BE ROCK AND ROLL!!!!!!

The Teenage Prayers Invade Pittsburgh!

Last Thursday night at Pittsburgh's Club Cafe, The Teenage Prayers from NYC kicked off their latest tour. This was the 3rd time I had been invited by the band to come and see them on a Pittsburgh stop and I had to decline the past two times, so it was imperative on my part to make every attempt to see them.

It was a late show (10:30pm), so it didn't interfere with my work schedule. I got there about 20 minutes after 10 and the place was about 3/1 capacity; not bad for a Thursday after hours gig. I bought a Ginger Ale and had a seat about 15 feet from the stage. The first act was a lovely little wisp of a girl with a ukulele who called herself "Pizza Pierogi". She plucked the uke and whistled like a marvellous reincarnation of Tiny Tim through time tested standards such as "Paper Moon" and "Tiptoe Through The Tulips". She also ran through some modern standards like The Beach Boys' "God Only Knows" and Michael Jackson's "Beat It" and made them sound golden. "God Only Knows" was especially affecting. The only thing that I found to be rather sad was her self deprecating insistence that these songs were "cheesy". I'm sure she repeated this to deflect any undue criticism to her performance. It was unnecessary, however, since her set was sterling. I'd see her again. I regret, I didn't see the other band, The Harlan Twins. Maybe next time, guys.

"The Teenage Prayers" then took the stage and basically blew the doors off the place. It was a Rock ~n~ Soul baptism. On the tiny, cramped Club Cafe stage, the 5 piece band (normally 6?)made every second of their 30 minute set count. They sang some selections from their first album, "Ten Songs" but the bulk was from their brand new, forthcoming silver disc, "Everyone Thinks You're The Best" (it comes out in a week, Preorder HERE). I wanted to request the song, "Annihilation" from their first album, but my mind slipped again and all I could think of was "Isolation". That, however, was a John Lennon tune. My damned middle aged brain.

After the show, I introduced myself to the band, somewhat in vain. I was talking to the lead singer, Tim Adams, online for a little while, but do you think I could for a moment remember his mane? No! I went haphazardly through each member saying, "Hi! I'm Terry... from the Internet? Did I speak to you? I'm friends with Mike Viola..?" Of course, no one knew who the hell I was, but I was persistent and finally (lastly) spoke to Tim. After that was ironed out, I had a lovely time with, Tim, his brother Terry (No! Not Another Terry!) and Remy Weber. I have to say the entire band was absolutely accommodating to me and I thank them for that. I had a great time talking to them. Bought both CDs, too!

I had a blast, though. I'll definitely see them again, time and date permitting.

Here's their website. You can Listen to their tracks, see their tour dates there and buy their CDs, too! LISTEN! SEE! BUY!

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Return from the DEAD!

Yep, so last week I was sick as the proverbial dog. FLU sick. It's been 13 days and I'm still recovering. I really don't mind so much since I don't seem to get sick all that often (knock, knock). I mean, a person really needs to be sick sometimes to strengthen the body's immune system.

I saw a few movies last week that I hadn't yet commented on. In addition to "Run Fat Boy Run", I saw the concert film "U23D".

I hadn't seen the "Hannah Montana: Best of Both Worlds" 3D concert film because a) I'm 38 years old without children and b) the friggin' tickets are $18 bucks a pop. $18. That's Child or Adult. That's Matinee or Evening prices. It's a sad and outrageous fact of life these days. Big Business makes your kids into spoiled brats, then use them to make the parents pay ungodly amounts of money for things that have been marked up 500% from what they should be. I digress.

In my Flu induced haze last Tuesday, I decided to leave the house and see "U23D". $11.00 a ticket. Wow. I remember a day when 3D movies were the exact same price as other features. The glasses were actually FREE in those days. So I pay the money and sit in the back row.

The film is really good. I'm not a U2 fan by any stretch, but I know all the hits. I tried to get into U2 back during the release of "Rattle & Hum", but the whole "We're messiahs from Ireland coming to America to become Journeyman Bluesmen" thing left me cold. I saw it a few times during it's release since I was doing the Rocky Horror floor show thing back then and "Rattle & Hum" played for 3 weeks at the same theatre (yeah, I did Rocky Horror. I was a kid. Sue me). So, yeah, I wasn't really into U2's pretensions.

The movie itself is a criminal 80 minutes long. This is one film that could've easily ran 2 hours with no audience fatigue. I was a bit unsettled by the first credit: A BEST BUY PRESENTATION and then kinda mystified by the second one: NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC PRESENTS... Strange bedfellows. I'd have never thought I'd see those two credits before a film. The actual opening scenes of kids running through the stadium to get to their seats are actually in 2D with artificial 3D sun flares added to them, but once the concert proper starts, the 3D really rips.

I was incredibly impressed with the 3D. It wasn't ever the poke you in the eye 3d, but many effects were quite pronounced. The best shots were not of the sort where the band pokes instruments into the screen, but the shots taken from the audience. Those shots are the ones that really give the feel of being there. The first time someone onscreen pumped their fists up into the air, I was actually tempted to yell, "Sit down!", but then I realised it was onscreen and not the guy in front of me.

As for U2 themselves, I was suitably impressed with their show. Their political causes have intensified, but the pretensions have fallen off a bit. Outside of Bono wearing a bandanna with religious symbols on it, there wasn't much grandstanding. Most of that was on the huge screens behind the band. Bono is, admittedly, quite a showman, but he really needs to be seen from about 20 feet away. Up close, the guy is kinda creepy. Still, a scene where he's close enough to touch while a 60 foot reproduction of him is lit up on the screens behind him was damned awesome.

Later in the film, there were some visual effects that were 3D representations of the graphics on the rear screens and those made things interesting, but they reminded me of the free association projections utilised in the greatest concert film of all time; the Talking Heads' "Stop Making Sense".

One thing that bothered me was it seemed like the band did a run through of the show expressly for the cameras. Some of the shots seemed too staged for an audience to actually be there. In fact, I didn't detect an on camera camera until about songs in. I'd read afterwards that the film was culled from around 6 shows, but I can't believe there wasn't some post concert doctoring going on.

All in all, a wonderful concert experience, but not nearly the greatest. It's a great film for people like me who wouldn't dare pony up the dough for a ticket to an actual U2 show.

A couple of things I learned from watching "My Blueberry Nights":

- Wong Kar Wai is a visual genius that is incapable of creating a film that isn't absolutely gorgeous.

- Natalie Portman is actually more attractive as a butch gambler.

- Norah Jones' speaking voice is impossibly different from her singing voice.

- Uncover any cinematic rock, and you'll find a Jude Law performance.

I almost completely missed this film by accident. I knew that Wong Kar Wai, director of the devastatingly gorgeous Chinese art house films "In The Mood For Love" and "2049" was making an all English, all Western actors movie and I'd heard Norah Jones was going to star, but I'd forgotten all about that. The title "My Blueberry Nights" rang a bell in my head as well, but I couldn't tie it all together.

When I finally worked it all out in my head, I immediately dropped everything and sat down to watch. "My Blueberry Nights" is obstinately a road picture; kind of a feminine "Iliad" where Norah Jones' character Elizabeth seems to drift from one scenario to another. Jude Law's character Jeremy is the owner of a busy NY diner who keeps a collection of keys in a bowl under the counter. Either someone forgets their keys or, as in Elizabeth's situation, leaves them on purpose. Regardless, every set of keys tells a story. Elizabeth leaves her cheating boyfriends keys behind to signify their breakup. When he doesn't come to retrieve the keys, Elizabeth begins to frequent the restaurant; talking to Jeremy about relationships over the blueberry pie that no one seems to ever order. After a night of being mugged and catching her now ex-boyfriend red handed with another woman, Elizabeth moves to New Orleans to start a new life, sending postcards with no return address to Jeremy as to how she's progressing.

Along the way, Elizabeth finds herself involved in other peoples personal lives and situations. To reveal more would be to give away much of the film's mystique. The other two big names in the movie, Rachel Weisz (who looks strikingly like Jones in more than a few scenes) and Natalie Portman give some dramatic weight to the film, but this is Norah Jones' show all the way. As stated earlier, her speaking voice is a bit jarring if you've only ever heard her sing. In fact, the first scene with her involves her screaming into a phone and her screechy voice set me on edge. She quickly settled into her role, however, and was fine from there on.

I'm not really sure exactly what the film was really about, but that could be easily said for all of Wong Kar Wai's films upon initial viewing. I'm starting to believe Wong's interests are not in actual plot and resolution than just observing people in their daily lives and making the surrounding look as magnificently beautiful as possible.

I've always stated Korean films are some of the most visually sumptuous films in the world. Even their garbage films are wonderful to look at. No where is this more true than in Korean Romantic Comedies. These films grab me every time. Usually, it will be a few hours after one of these has ended before I realise what a crap film it was.

Case in point: "Spring Bears Love" (aka "Everybody Loves Spring Bear"), a Korean Rom Com from 2003 that I recently caught up with. It's lovely to look at and the plot is fairly engaging. So much so, that it didn't hit me until later what a total muddled mess the entire film was.

Hyun Choi (Played by Bae Doona) is a average looking girl that has terrible luck with men. Actually, that not true. It's not luck so much as she's not very good socially. She always seems to say/do the wrong things at the wrong times. She takes care of her father, a writer, and brings him library books to study up on. One day, she opens one of the books and discovers a love note that refers to another book. The next book, in turn, has a note that refers to another book. And so on... She begins to believe that notes are placed there for her and that she has a secret admirer whom she dubs "Vincent", since all of the notes are written in books on paintings.

Enter Dong Ha (played by Kim Nam Jin). He's Hyun Choi's would be suitor from their childhood who returns to the city just to be close to her. His attempts at affection fail due to her obsession with finding "Vincent".

That's the basic plot, but the damn film is so bent on twisty plot devices that my head started to hurt as the finale approached. Once the plot strands were untangled, however, it was actually a very ordinary and standard story, somewhat predictable but pleasant enough.

I'm beginning to believe the era of quality Korean Romantic Comedy cinema is about finished. There doesn't seem to be any more films of the caliber of "My Sassy Girl", "My Tutor Friend", "Someone Special" or "Please Teach Me English". Last year's "200 Pound Beauty" was close, but someone needs to come up with something really special. I'll keep my eyes peeled and probably sit through a million more "Spring Bears Love" before I find one. (*sigh*)

Monday, March 3, 2008

Run Fat Boy Run

Last Spring when I saw "Hot Fuzz" theatrically, there was a preview for a movie entitled, "Run, Fat Boy, Run". The trailer was a string a slapstick scenes surrounding Simon Pegg working out in a gym and failing miserably. I thought the trailer was hysterical and couldn't wait for the release.

Although it comes out at the end of this month, I secured a copy of the PAL UK DVD to watch in advance (It came out last September in the UK). What the film is actually about is a sad sack character named Dennis Doyle (played masterfully by Simon Pegg) who, in a great panic, runs away from his own wedding day and his pregnant wife, Libby (Thandie Newton).

Five years pass and Dennis is living alone in a one room apartment and working as a security guard for a women's clothing store. He gets along with his ex-fiancee' just enough to share custody of his son, Jake (Matthew Fenton). Things become edgy when a new man enters Libby's life. Whit (Hank Azaria), is seemingly the perfect man. He's handsome, successful and apparently well endowed. Whit mentions to Dennis that he runs marathons and Dennis, in a fit of "Well I'm just as good as this guy" decides to run in the same marathon.

I wasn't expecting another "Shaun of the Dead" or "Hot Fuzz" (and I wasn't looking for another "Big Nothing"), but the film was ill represented by the theatrical trailer I saw last year. The film does have many big laughs, but it's bot the slapstick juggernaut that the trailer was making it out to be. In fact, after peeling away what is, on the surface, an underdog sports story; the film is, at it's very core, a romantic comedy about correcting mistakes and second chances. I'm sure "Run, Fat Boy, Run" will confound and frustrate fans of Pegg's cinematic adventures with Nick Frost, but Simon Pegg's fans will find much to feast on here. Fans of Dylan Moran will be in 7th Heaven, too. Yeah, he's playing the patented half-pissed-on-a-bender role he's so wonderful at, but it never gets old. He and Pegg are magic together and their street fight is classic physical comedy.

David Schwimmer's direction is basic, but sure handed and the comic timing is spot on for the majority of the films running time. The Story by Michael Ian Black and Screenplay by Black and Pegg takes it's time in setting up eccentric characters and it's warmhearted, but predictable story arc. Yup, I said it. The film is predictable, but there's no reason it shouldn't be. If you were going to eat meatloaf and you had your mouth set on meatloaf, would you want it to taste like sauerkraut? Of course not. No punches are pulled here.

...and that's the rub here. This film is pure comfort food. It's a lovely date night movie and I hope it will find it's deserved audience in a few weeks. This film is Shockedelic Approved.

UPDATE: 3-13-08!

The folks at Deep Focus have created a "Run Fat Boy Run" Widget and here it is below. Included in the widget is a game called "Blister Bash". Play it and gather a chance to win a private screening of "Run Fat Boy Run" for you and 25 friends!

Also, visit the official movie website at

The film opens March 28th, 2008. Be There!!!!!!