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Wednesday, September 2, 2015

50 Favorite Albums: 44

The Lonely Island's second album did not feature Dick in a Box, unfortunately. That was a song for Andy Samberg's, Jorma Taccone's, and Akiva Schaffer's first album. No, their second one, Turtleneck and Chain, featured so many more great tunes. Motherlover, the epic sequel to Dick in a Box, is the headliner for the album, but there are some other classics you probably know, too. I Just Had Sex, Shy Ronnie, The Creep, Threw It on the Ground, Great Day, and the iconic (and my personal favorite) Jack Sparrow. Any album that features Michael Bolton singing about Erin Brokovich and John McEnroe becoming very happy due to his sexual lifestyle is an album worth listening to over and over again.

Turtleneck and Chain: 2011 comedy hip hop album from The Lonely Island.

Inside Out

Yesterday I posted about Jurassic World, an excellent summer blockbuster that became the third-highest grossing movie of all-time recently. But today, I'm going to post about another movie I saw relatively close to when I saw Jurassic World, a movie that varied very differently in content, tone, characters, and thematic development. Inside Out. I'm sure you've heard the onslaught of critics who claim this movie to be Pixar's long-awaited "return to form," as it were and they're just so absolutely right about that. Toy Story 3 was one of the greatest movies ever made and it came out in 2010. Then, Cars 2 was really bad. Brave was something of a betrayal from Pixar. Monsters University was underwhelming. Now, Pixar is back with Inside Out, a perfect movie for the culture of reform. My initial interest came from the amazing voice cast. Bill Hader as Fear, the emotion. Lewis Black as Anger and Phyllis Smith as Sadness. Paula Poundstone and Bobby Moynihan voiced a tandem role, Richard Kind was cast, Rashida Jones had a small part. But, of course, Amy Poehler played Joy and Mindy Kaling played Disgust. An amazing cast that immediately had my interest. But the movie and the story of itself was just too perfect. It was really pleasing visually, but it also dealt with one of the best themes for "children's" movies, that of how children do not need to be happy all the time. (This was emphasized with some of the best symbolism in cinematic history.) I recommend this for everyone, especially those who enjoy movies that buck the tropes and stereotypes of most films. Inside Out doesn't even have an outright villain! Bing. Bong. Forever.

A Movie Called Gravy

There's a new movie coming out on October 2nd of this very year that has flown relatively under the radar as far as most movies tend to go. But there is a certain notoriety that prompted me to post about it. It's a film with the title, Gravy, and the director, James Roday, best known for his amazing turn as Shawn Spencer on Psych. Aside from casting himself in the film, Roday also placed Sarah Silverman with a role and, as fate would have it, Dule Hill, known for his role as Gus on Psych. Can't wait to see the duo back together again! You know that's right.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

50 Favorite Albums: 45

As good as Sam Cooke was with his original fares, I am, time and again, drawn to his covers. And that's why his album, Hits of the 50's [sic], is so great to me because it's all covers of songs from the 1950s. And he just has such a great voice, too. Frankie Avalon, Doris Day, Nat King Cole. They're all here. But the best one is also one of his more underrated covers, Unchained Melody by the Righteous Brothers. He absolutely kills it. Cooke was great.

Hits of the 50's: 1960 rhythm and blues album from Sam Cooke.

August 2015 Covers of the Month

No better movie to feature on the cover for Entertainment Weekly's Fall Movie Preview than Star Wars: The Force Awakens. It's going to be a good season for movies with this, The Peanuts Movie, Sisters, Steve Jobs, and The Night Before.

I have never been rooting for a non-Boston team to win a championship more than I have been with the Chicago Cubs this year. They can do it.

Jurassic World

My discussion of the movie, Jurassic World, is long overdue, but I am very pleased to be bringing it to the blog now because it's better late than never. I love the first movie in this franchise which everyone rightly knows as Jurassic Park. It's an amazing movie. It's just the best. I've gushed about it before, but I knew when going to see Jurassic World that it never had a chance to be better than Jurassic Park. The best it could do was do the original film justice. And it did that and then some! It's really everything Jurassic Park fans could have wanted, a vast improvement over The Lost World: Jurassic Park and Jurassic Park 3. There was the perfect blend of nostalgia, kick-ass scenes, and Jurassic Park theme music. When I first heard it, I became excited and when the song climaxed, I damn near cried. (The tears were much more real when the two kids went to the old visitors center from the first movie.) I didn't think Chris Pratt riding a motorcycle with four raptors could be topped, but the final battle scene managed to do it. Not only do we get a T-rex and Blue team-up against the Indominus rex, but we get to see ol' Rexy redeem herself to become the hero when she was once the villain. "We need more teeth" is a line that will forever give me chills. And what a great callback to The Goldblum. I won't spoil the ending ending, but god. Such a great movie. I'm so glad it was so great.

Monday, August 31, 2015

50 Favorite Albums: 46

Big Brother and the Holding Company was never the premiere band, nor were they ever prestigious, but I'll be damned if their songs weren't great to listen to. And their album, Cheap Thrills, the last one with Janis Joplin as lead singer, just had the makings of a classic from the beginning. Not only did Joplin have one of the most killer voices of the 1960s, but she used it to record Piece of My Heart, the biggest track on the album.

Cheap Thrills: 1968 blues rock album from Big Brother and the Holding Company.