This week in entertainment

I’d kind of forgotten about all the movies we’ve watched over the past week:

  • Kick-Ass: most excellent
  • Precious: good, incredibly well-acted (in that if I ever see Mo’Nique walking down the street I’m likely to punch her face in) but hard as fuck to watch
  • Stripes: I’m sure it was a classic for its time, but it doesn’t really hold up.
  • Boondock Saints II: All Saints Day: look, the original isn’t exactly a classic, but it’s always been kind of special to me because we discovered it ten years ago in a self-serve movie rental machine, not having any idea what we were about to see. I didn’t expect the sequel to live up to that, but I would have been happy with a close approximation of the original. Unfortunately it was hammy and stilted and over the top, and not in the cool way that the first one was. Lots of shots of my neighbourhood though, just like the first one.
  • The Men Who Stare At Goats: I think I had the same reaction as most other people: quite funny in parts, but nothing special. Also: Ewan MacGregor continues to do the worst American accent of any British actor.
  • Paranormal Activity: Okay, we watched this two weeks ago, but whatever. Actually a pretty effective little scare-machine, but completely blew it in the final 20 seconds. Also: Katie Featherston = girlfriend du jour.


My headphones were filled all week with the new releases by Best Coast (pretty good…almost like the Raveonettes without the male voice), Japandroids (good, but not as good as their last album, I’m afraid; few things last year were), Sleigh Bells (which I like more than I feel I should), Mates of State (hearing them cover the likes of Tom Waits and The Mars Volta seems sacrilegious at first, then awesome, then just fun) and, naturally, The Arcade Fire. Which is < Funeral but > Black Mirror and therefore one of the best things I’ve heard all year. Speaking of CadeFire — which is what I call them now, due to us being so very tight — Frank Yang (aka Chromewaves) summed up awfully well what’s so captivating about them:

They somehow manage to evoke that singular moment in everyone’s life where youth gives way to adulthood, where one becomes acutely aware of the fact that they are not in fact invincible, that they will someday die, but also the sense of still having their entire lives ahead of them and the sense of opportunity that offers – that mixture of anxiety and optimism, insecurity and confidence. It’s a powerful, primal resonance made even moreso when rendered in broad, bold musical strokes. With Funeral, it was conveyed through the lens of family and neighbourhoods, of being part of a special gang. Neon Bible turned it around to be them against the world with no sense that they’d actually triumph. And The Suburbs realizes that there’s no us and them, there’s just everyone.

I’ll probably keep The Suburbs on perma-rotation until my next big anticipated release: Lisbon by The Walkmen.


With Treme, The Office, Friday Night Lights, 30 Rock and Nurse Jackie off the air right now the only things I’m watching are Mad Men (because it’s the best thing on TV right now), True Blood (because it’s the most entertaining thing on TV right now) and Entourage (because, despite its persistent suck whenever Ari’s not on the screen, for the life of me I cannot seem to stop watching it).


The miniature time slot attributed to reading is reserved for, as ever, Tony Judt‘s Postwar and Kate Carraway’s twitter feed. However, all other reading shall cease on Tuesday and Wednesday as I have only those days to select our TIFF films.


And, with that, I’m off to work. After all, all play and no work makes Jack really far behind on his to-do list.

My favourite albums of 2008

OK, I think I’ve now listened to all the music I need to make the call. Here are my ten favourite albums from 2008, in alphabetical order:

  • the constantines . kensington heights
  • dodos . visiter
  • frightened rabbit . the midnight organ fight
  • fucked up . the chemistry of common life
  • the kills . midnight boom
  • kings of leon . only by the night
  • mates of state . re-arrange us
  • marnie stern . this is it and i am it and you are it and so is that and he is it and she is it and it is it and that is that
  • this will destroy you . this will destroy you
  • the walkmen . you and me

If I had to pick a favourite from that pile I’d probably say either Mates of State or The Constantines, but nothing really stood out.

By the way, even though Vampire Weekend‘s album technically dropped in 2008, I heard all their stuff in 2007 so I didn’t include it here.

Lullaby Haze

Tonight: blogging in delicious bite-sized portions.

  • The new Mates of State is very good. Maybe not Bring It Back awesome, but very good.
  • We’re going to try to do Nuit Blanche this year. That should be interesting…I’ll basically get home, sleep for most of Sunday and then go to a Leafs game. Yes, a Leafs game. Normally I wouldn’t go but it’s a work thing, so I’ll just have to try to scrub off the dirty feelings and record lots of Canadiens highlights to watch when I get home, lest all the patheticness get lodged in my brain.
  • My brother just sent me this link, which made me puke and shit a little at the same time. That’s right, it made me shuke. Behold: lobster ice cream.
  • The Economist asked people around the world who they’d choose if they could vote in the American election. The results: awfully blue.
  • Paste Magazine reviewed the 10th anniversary edition DVD set of Sports Night. I know I’ve said it eleventy million times, but really…go watch it. So good. Stick it out through the first few episodes when they forced Sorkin to use a laugh track.
  • My debate plan this evening: watch the Canadian election debate but keep the picture-in-picture tuned to the American VP debate. If Sarah Palin gets that scared fawn look in her eyes, I’m flippin’.

See? Tasty!