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Showing posts from January, 2008

Passings: Heath Ledger, Actor

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On an elemental level, I'm pretty ill-equipped to comment on the life of Heath Ledger, the highly-regarded Australian actor found dead on January 22 at at the tragically-young age of 28. Up until a week before he died, I'd never even seen one of his movies. Being a good pop culture/media sponge, though, I'd followed the man's career from afar for quite a few years. I'd avoided his early breakout movies Ten Things I Hate About You and A Knight's Tale due to my utter lack of fondness for the genres they represented (synthetic nineties teen comedy and willfully anachronistic MTV-ized period piece respectively). Never got around to seeing any of his other movies, either (though five of 'em, ironically, have been on my Netflix cue for a long time, periodically supplanted by my spur-of-the-moment fetishes for blaxploitation flicks, old-school Japanese horror movies, etc). All along, though, I'd continue to read interviews with Ledger or see him on some fr

Radiohead, In Rainbows: In love, I am

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I'll admit it right now: I'm one of those schleps who thinks that every Radiohead CD is a pretty special thing, an honest-to-God work of art that deserves to be respected and admired. I'll also be the first to admit that, carefully-crafted and challenging (in a good way) as their work is, it's hard to, well, really love some of Radiohead's long-players sometimes. So the big news for me re: the new Radiohead effort In Rainbows isn't so much the album's history-making single-finger salute to the Major Record Label Man (right on, gents). No, it's the fact that In Rainbows possesses a heart--and melodic beauty--equal to its smarts. Make no mistake, this British band still takes a decidedly glass-half-empty lyrical stance, and they defiantly continue to hurl melodic and tempo curve balls into their densely atmospheric brand of popular music. Twitchily-charismatic frontman Thom Yorke remains an acquired taste, too. But the band hasn't nursed a disc

Hooray for Hollyweird 3--in Super 3D

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Two years. Two bloody years. It's some kind of record, I swear. That's how long it's taken me to get around to posting the final chapter of our January 2006 Hollywood visit (here are links to Parts One and Two if you'd like to catch up/refresh). Take heart, dear reader: As a reward for your patience, you'll get some red-carpet frosting on this movie-nerd cake. Rita and I were floored by the preponderance of unscheduled celebs who attended the January 27/28 2006 Collectors' Show besides Ron Jeremy. Other unannounced guests included Joe Dante (director of The Howling, Gremlins , and the controversial Masters of Horror episode,'Homecoming'), character actor Hank Garrett (who we met at the February '05 Collectors' Show), legendary sci-fi author Ray Bradbury (wheelchair-bound but in good spirits visiting close friend Tab Hunter), and actor Chuck McCann , late of The Far-Out Space Nuts and an irritatingly-memorable guest shot on Starsky and Hutc