Wednesday, July 29, 2009


Some concept art has been released for a supposed steampunk-style Mickey Mouse Wii game in development, tentatively titled "Epic Mickey". It's pretty wild:

Eat your kingdom heart out, Kingdom Hearts.

[via Joystiq]

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Focus - "Hocus Pocus"

Focus to Jethro Tull: "We see your jazz flute, and raise you one scat-yodeler/snaggletooth-whistler."

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Away We Go

Aside from the amazing cast the reason I most wanted to see this was Dave Eggers. I'm a big fan of his writing, so I knew there would be something worth seeing here. Still, I'd heard mixed reviews, so I wasn't really sure what to expect.

The beginning started a little slow for me. It took me a while to settle into the tone of the movie, and the dynamic between Maya Rudolph and John Krasinski. But once I settled in I really loved it.

The movie deals a lot with parenthood, and how various people rise to the challenge. I used to think that I hated annoying kids, but then a couple weeks ago I realized that it was actually the parents of annoying kids that I hated. Away We Go fits nicely into that world view, which may explain why I liked it so much. As Rudolph and Krasinski travel the country, visiting old friends and family, some of the people they come across are parents from hell. This leads to a lot of awkwardness and funny situations, but it also plays into Rudolph's fears that she may end up in similar shoes.

And that's mostly what the movie is really about. Rudolph and Krasinski finding their place, and becoming comfortable with the new path their lives are taking. It's a very entertaining road trip movie. Each stop along the way is like a little short story unto itself. Some of them are hilarious, some of them are heartbreaking. The movie comes close to being overly sentimental in a couple spots, but I never felt that it crossed the line.

For me, Away We Go is a fantastic movie. It's a romantic comedy for people who hate romantic comedies.

Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet

This is one of the prettiest indie games I've ever seen. Why's it got to be PC-only?

Monday, July 13, 2009


Bruno was probably my least favorite character from Da Ali G Show, so I was a bit puzzled when I heard Sacha Baron Cohen was making a movie based on him. Then I saw the trailer and it changed my mind. The word "genius" gets tossed around almost in every conversation I've heard about Cohen, and I've even used it a few times myself. But I think for the kind of character acting he does you'd be hard pressed to find someone more dedicated to the roles he inhabits. I think the real genius comes when he refuses to break character under any circumstances. When most others would flee for their lives, he pushes things way past the point of comfort. There are several points in Bruno, for example, that make you wonder how he even got out alive.

Or maybe that's not genius. Maybe it's just crazy. In any case, it's hilarious. Bruno certainly ups the anty when it comes to uncomfortable (and often gross) situations. Like in Borat Cohen uses his over-the-top characterization to reveal things about people they might not normally reveal in more comfortable settings. He's often going after easy targets, like Bill Maher does in Religulous. No one will be surprised that there are homophobes in Alabama, but it's still funny as hell to see them squirm. And many of these people deserve to be mocked, whether it's the Christian homosexual deprogrammers, or the stage moms who will subject their babies to anything if it means they get the paycheck.

Bruno isn't as funny as Borat, but it's pretty close.


Moon is an excellent science fiction movie about a solitary man working on a lunar mining station. He has only three weeks left from a three year stint, and he's starting to lose it. I don't really want to give anything more about the story away.

I am always a fan of Sam Rockwell, but he is particularly good in this. It's a challenging role and he pulls it off nicely. Kevin Spacey is also good as Rockwell's robot companion on the station. There is a really nice dynamic between them. There are conscious shades of HAL here, but this robot really holds its own in the realm of great movie robots.

If you like serious, heady sci-fi like 2001 and Primer then you'll almost certainly like Moon.

The Pixel Gives Birth To The Polygon (Or Something)

Video Games from MUSCLEBEAVER on Vimeo.

[via Offworld]

Friday, July 03, 2009

The Brothers Bloom

It's probably not a good sign when your entire movie is upstaged by a cat that appears onscreen for about ten seconds in the first scene. Either your movie has some serious flaws, or that is one fucking great cat.

Fortunately for The Brothers Bloom it is one fucking great cat. Unfortunately the rest of the movie doesn't quite live up to its promise. The Brothers Bloom begins as a wonderfully quirky comedy set in a world not too far removed from one you might see in a Wes Anderson movie. This is Rian Johnson's follow up to the billiant Brick, which if you haven't seen it, is one of the greatest debuts from a director/screenwriter in the last decade.

The Brothers Bloom is an entertaining film with some wonderful performances and set pieces. And like in Brick, Rian Johnson is fudging with genre as much as possible. Unfortunately this time around things get a bit more muddled. The genres don't blend as effortlessly here, so much as simply shift halfway through the film. Somewhere near the end you realize that things have gotten serious, and the playful whimsical tone from the film's start is sorely missed.

That being said, The Brothers Bloom is one of the most original and fun movies you're likely to see all year. It was horribly marketed, not surprising since it doesn't fit into an easily defined mold (which studios to this day do not know how to represent). There are some plot twists and turns, as movies about con men/women are wont to have, but Rian does a wonderful job with the slight-of-hand moments. The twists you know are coming are not really the twists.

It's a shame he wasn't able to carry the silliness of the first act through the entire movie, but it's a damn good first act. And the rest ain't too shabby.
New music downloads from June:

1. Grizzly Bear - Veckatimest
2. Black Moth Super Rainbow - Eating Us
3. St. Vincent - Actor
4. Ratatat - Classics
5. Future Islands - Little Advances
6. Bell Orchestre - As Seen Through Windows
7. Danger Mouse & Sparklehorse - Dark Night Of The Soul
8. Sarah Siskind - Say It Louder
9. Moby - Wait For Me
10. Iggy Pop - Preliminaires
11. Sunset Rubdown - Dragonslayer
12. Ida Maria - Fortress Round My Heart
13. Silversun Pickups - Swoon
14. Coconut Records - Davy