Archive for the ‘ five things ’ Category

three more things.

As was sort of promised yesterday, here are three more things.

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1. Izze

I love Izze so much. How is this stuff only a mix of juice and soda water?!? It’s so delicious. Better than soda. I bet it’s like the frozen yogurt episode of Seinfeld, and soon we’ll find out Izze is full of all sorts of delicious and unhealthy things. Like sugar. And bacon.

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2. Helvetica

A documentary about type faces, specifically through the lens of Helvetica, the most famous and used font in the world.

It made me want to watch more movies about fonts. A few of the folks in there only got to talk a few times and they deserve their very own documentaries.

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3. A Tribe Called Quest

Been listening to a lot of Tribe lately, which I guess is always the case. So, I’ve been listening to even more tribe than usual lately. They’re still the greatest, and Midnight Marauders and The Low End Theory are still my favorite Hip Hop albums of all time.

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back in the saddle, again. [five things, 10.24.11]

Things haven’t actually been all that sparse here on Roused over the last few weeks. I’ve gotten content up at least intermittently this month. Still, today marks my return to writing in earnest, so here are five more random things I’ve been enjoying of late.

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1. Hanna

Just watched it for the second time, Emily’s first. I absolutely love this movie. The way its framed around Grimm’s Fairy Tales; a kick-ass heroine who isn’t masculinized, isn’t sexualized, and never loses her humanity in the midst of the struggle for survival; amazingly beautiful cinematography, editing, and great relationship between the visuals and the music, especially during action scenes.

Amazing performances as well, especially by the young Saoirse Ronan, who continues to amaze film after film.

Love. Love. Love.

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2. Ides of March

People seem to be split on this movie. Sure, Rotten Tomatoes has it at 83%, which is nothing to scoff at, but when people don’t like it they seem to really hate it. I really enjoyed it, though.

I think a huge part of what drew me in was the power of Gosling’s performance. I really didn’t care much for him in the past. He had to go through a bit of a Leo DiCaprio style shift in how I felt about him. It started last year when I saw Half Nelson for the first time, and after Drive and Ides of March I am now wholly won over.

I think the Cloonster did a really great job in every facet of this film. There were always several layers going on at every moment, lots of implications that are never fleshed out, but are enjoyably playing below the surface for anyone paying enough attention. Every scene is filled with the characters off-screen, which isn’t an easy thing to do well, especially not with the subtlety of Ides of March.

It also seems important that the political darkness he is taking a look at happens in the world of his own political views. If the guys in this movie were all Republicans, it would have just felt like a cheap shot.

It’s a film of tremendous real-world darkness, which raised many questions, and the story is told with a skill that had Emily and me in conversation well after the film.

My feeling when I left the theater was, if a just world, this film locks up noms for Best Actor (The Gos), Best Supporting Actor, maybe twice (PSH and Giamatti), with some potential for Clooney as Director.

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3. Summoner Wars

An awesome expandable nerd game that I love. I’m not very good at it, but I love it just the same. A bunch of fun ‘factions’ or armies to play as, lots of different styles of play to experiment with. Good times. Emily even likes it, which makes for lots of fun times.

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4. John C Reilly as ‘Dean Ziegler’ in Cedar Rapids

The movie was decent. Uneven, but funny enough at times to be worth my 90 minutes. But, I loved John C. Reilly. If I was laughing out loud, it was almost certain to be Ziegler I was laughing at.

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5. Starting the lists of 2011.

Yay! My favorite part of every year is making the lists of my favorite music, movie moments and characters, tv shows, video games, etc. Brian is back for a second straight year of collaborating on the music lists. We are getting started early to hopefully miss fewer great albums this year.

Woooooooo!

movies. [five things, 10.17.11]

Some movies I’ve been loving lately, during the last few crazy weeks. I can’t wait to get back into movie watching more regularly again.

1. The Lion King (on Blu-Ray)

Still awesome, after all these years. Among other things, a smorgasbord of metaphors for understanding our own identity development, how we run from our callings, how fear holds us back from being what we can be, etc.

I really wish I had my own Rafiki.

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2. Jane Eyre

I’ve never read the book. It’s just another classic on the long list of books I own but still need to read. So very many books, and so little time. It’s sad.

This means I had no idea what to expect when watching the film. I was actually on the edge of my proverbial seat watching this love story unfold. Great performances, stunningly beautiful cinematography, and solid direction make a splendid film.

Also, I love Michael Fassbender so much!

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3. To Catch a Thief

Oh, Alfred. My sweet, sweet Alfred. You created so many wonderful films in your life. To Catch a Thief  was like a balm to my story starved soul. After circumstance limited me to only three movies in September, this film made things better. Some of the sexiest chemistry ever, and yet all with silly innuendo and firework metaphors instead of the blatant sexuality we have all grown so accustomed to.

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4. Plan 9 From Outer Space [Invasion/Visitation Movies #7]

The consensus worst movie of all time. It  really was awesomely bad. You should watch this, and then watch Ed Wood to see the story behind the man behind the movie.

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5. Kung Fu Hustle

Stephen Chow is amazing. He’s the type of star that only exists in a few forms for each generation. There are those folks who write, choreograph, act, etc. etc. etc. In many ways, this movie is Stephen Chow as today’s Gene Kelly. The martial arts and dancing of Kung Fu Hustle tells a large part of the story. We learn who characters are, we see martial arts that are hilarious as well as those that are exciting. It’s certainly nothing in the jaw-dropping ‘how’d he just do that’ variety. However, that’s mostly because Chow’s sense of humor takes things so far over the top that most fight scenes are filled to the brim with CGI assistance.

When I say that Chow’s sense of humor takes things over the top, I really mean it. This movie is part homage to movies, part martial arts dance party, part Bugs Bunny cartoon, with a little bit of Buddhism thrown in for good measure. I loved it. It was pure good time movie watching.

trailer park + five things. [10.16.11]

Here are five trailers I like. You should watch them. The End.

1. This Means War

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2. Machine Gun Preacher

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3. Coriolanus

Shakespeare, losers.

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4. Shame

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5. Albert Hobbs

something awesome this way comes. [five things, 10.13.11]

The bad news, my job sucks to the point that I literally had to quit for my mental well-being. The good news, only six more shifts until I am free of Java Bean forever. October 22nd. To help me make it through, I have compiled this list of awesome stuff that is coming during my final days of work, and immediately afterward. There is goodness coming (and hopefully that goodness will soon include a new job, but we’ll see).

1. Friday, October 14th. Also known as, Tomorrow!!: Our new iPhones arrive in the mail.

I know, I know… these phones are only a new 4 and not the iPhone 5. I know that if you have an iPhone 4, many are saying to just wait it out. Well, Emily and I don’t have iPhone 4’s, or iPhone 3G S’s, but instead have iPhone 3G’s. Oooooooooold school iPhones. Over 3 years old, which is ancient in smart phone years. We are so excited to have phones that work again! It’ll be hard not to keep using it while I’m at work Saturday.

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2. Saturday, October 15th: Sounders Game

We get to go to the Seattle Sounders game on Saturday. The feel will probably be a bit different with the larger crowd, since they are opening up all the seating. Still, this is as much fun as you can have at a sporting event.

Seattle ’til I Die, bitches.

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3. Sunday, October 16: The Walking Dead returns. 

The first season started off so strong, and then moved into a hit or miss sort of field. Early accounts are that the new season starts off strong as well, but then Darabont left so who knows what the season holds. Either way, I know for damned sure I’ll be tuned in this Sunday.

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4. Tuesday, October 18th: Batman: Arkham City arrives in the mail. 

Batman: Arkham Asylum was so amazing. To use the vernacular of my youth, that game was dope! I can honestly say, without any hyperbole whatsoever, that I have never been this excited for the release of a video game before. Ever. To be Batman again, this time with added villains and allies. Oh, yes. Things will be looking up in the world of Bruce Way… I mean Scott Small.

Pre-order HERE.

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5. Monday, October 24th: Tom Waits – Bad As Me 

Tom Waits has a new album coming out October 24th.

Tom Waits. Has a new album. Coming. O.ut. Oct.o.ber 2.4.th.

Tom! Waits!

And the heavens opened up, and God said, “I love you, Charlie Brown.”

Get the single HERE.

more music. [five things, 10.11.11]

I’ve been away for so long. It’s been one thing after another, the final blow of which has been feeling terrible for a few days. Finally, I think I am starting to turn the corner into being healthy, but that might go out the window tomorrow when I have to be at work at 5:30am. I need to throw myself back into writing again, and it seems the best way to do that is with the easy-peasy world of RtM.

I have so much I’ve wanted to throw up on Roused, but just haven’t been able to. If I can find the time and stay healthy, I think I’ll do a few days in a row with five things posts. So much goodness to share.

First, to make things even easier on myself, music you should be listening to, if you aren’t already:

1. Lisa Hannigan – Passenger

The sophomore solo album from the lady who was once the female voice on all of Damien Rice’s albums. We got to see her live last week at The Tractor, and even though I had to sit in the back because I didn’t have the energy to stand, she was still delightful.

And, in case you want to see her perform for real, instead of pretending while people cover her in paint.

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2. The Kills – Blood Pressures

I got to this one a little late, I know. I really like this album!

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3. Feist – Metals

Still in my first ten listens to this one, so its early. So far, superb.

Here she is performing Graveyards.”

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4. Fitz and the Tantrums – Pickin’ Up The Pieces

I should have listened to Fitz and the Tantrums far sooner. They were talked up quite a bit last year on KEXP, but they just got lost in the shuffle as another band I really need to check out eventually. Well, eventually came, and I’m so happy it did. Please, friends, release another album soon!

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5. Liam Finn concert

So, this isn’t exactly in line with the rest of the post, and it means I’ll have to wait a while to share my love of the new Wilco album and my favorite movie soundtrack since Tron: Legacy. The Liam Finn show I got to see at The Tractor was so great. He’s a little manic kiwi rock god. So much energy and charisma, but in a down-to-earth, common way.

The crowd’s favorite part was always when he would get on drums, in addition to his brother, who played drums for the touring band, and they would double team the rhythm. So great. One of the best concerts I’ve been to, in a genuinely surprising way. I expected it to be a good show, not an amazing show.

Then there was the fact that, as those of you who follow me on Facebook already know, Eddie Vedder showed up for the encore to perform with Liam. There were only like 100-150 people there, so being able to enjoy the surprise visit of one of Seattle’s favorite sons at a divy little rock bar was pretty exciting.

If Liam Finn comes to your town anytime soon, be sure to check him out. It’ll be pretty cheap, but awesome! Do yourself a favor. Go.

welcome back, television. [five things.]

First, some thoughts I was having the other day. Television received the well-placed ire of the educated for some time. At best, it was a guilty pleasure people used to unwind in small doses, as well as the most convenient way to watch sports. At worst, it was a time sucking hole into which people through their hopes of a better life. The chance of seeing a well told story on tv was so slim for most of its history. There were certainly flashes of brilliance, like Seinfeld and The West Wing. There were shows that were too good to stay on the air, like Arrested Development and Firefly. And there was HBO, which has always been head and shoulders above anything else as far as original programming is concerned. Yet, for the last decade or so, things have been changing. People are trying to create truly great content for television, to the point that now television has become an artistically viable medium. What the what?

This point was really hammered home for me when I realized that so many legitimate and well respected actors are moving to television, and not just television, but network television. Television used to be an elephant graveyard, where once great -or at least, once popular- talents went to die. Gena Davis and Christian Slater tried to make the network tv thing work towards the end, and when even that didn’t work it was clear they were finished forever. Then the talent pool started improving, with Alec Baldwin heading to 30 Rock. He hadn’t had a hit movie in some time, so it was certainly in his best interest to become a big fish in the small network pond, but the man is a fantastic comedic actor, and he is one of the few parts that 30 Rock simply wouldn’t work without. His success there seems to have at least something to do with more actors making the move to the small screen.

Still, Ken Jeong heading to Community as a permanent cast member right around the time his star was rising its fastest? Zooey Deschanel taking her own sitcom? Will Ferrell volunteering to do a short stint on The Office? Maria Bello doing a procedural cop show? Christina Ricci joining Pan Am? Amber Heard on The Playboy Club? Adam Scott joining the cast of Parks and Rec right around the time in his career that most actors are leaving TV behind to seem more legitimate? Something is different. Actors would always head over to TV for a guest appearance to win an Emmy or two, show up on Law & Order or Friends for an ep. to collect some awards and acclaim and move on, but now actors are attaching to shows permanently. TV doesn’t have the stigma it once had.

Anyway, I’m not going anywhere with that. I should, but my brain isn’t working too well these days.

I just figured I would share that before heading into the five shows I’m most excited to see back this fall.

1. Community

It’s possibly my favorite comedy on television. I can’t wait to see what sorts of homages and references this season brings! We already got Abed calling their fake version of Doctor Who the greatest show he’s ever seen. Also, taking an already amazing show and adding John Goodman and Omar (I really hope they have him whistle “A Hunting We Will Go/The Farmer in the Dell” at some point this season) from The Wire. Ummm, yes please.

2. Parks and Rec

A show that just keeps getting better as it ages. Just the first few minutes of Ron Swanson in this year’s season opener was funnier than most shows are in their entire existence. On with season four!

3. It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia

So far, Fat Mac has been just as hilarious as I’d hoped he would be. The first episode was better than any from last year, as was episode dos. Looks like Sunny is back up to their old standard. Hallelujah.

4. 30 Rock

Another season that’s sure to have me Lizzing (laughing till I whiz) and Jacking (jumping up and down in excitement until I yack) all year.

5. Castle

I know, I know. I just can’t help myself, I’m in love with the cast and characters of this show.